Category Archives: February recipes

Cheesy Scalloped Potato, Broccoli and Ham Casserole




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I know that “Healthy” and “Cheesy” don’t usually go together, but trust me, these do. Plus, veggies, which I’ve been trying to eat in some capacity at every meal. This winter has been unbelievably cold and snowy, and we’ve made some stick-to-your-ribs meals that come together pretty easily, warm you up really well and leave enough for lunch the next day, too. Here’s one of them.

  • 2 cups fully cooked, diced ham
  • 2 lbs. potatoes, washed, peeled and sliced very thin (a mandoline helps a lot – just be careful!)
  • 2 heads broccoli, washed and cut into florets
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 vidalia onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 5 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cups grated cheddar, or cheese of choice
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 pinches nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. white pepper

1. Heat the oven to 375.

2. In a French oven, heat butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic, stir, then cook until translucent, approx. 4-5 minutes.

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Creamy Tomato Pasta with Artichokes




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My mom had a pretty rough time throughout December, so before I went away for Christmas, my parents, my sister and I all made a Saturday afternoon lunch and just hung out for a while. My mom’s a vegetarian, and we all needed some comfort food, so this pasta and artichokes in a creamy tomato sauce was perfect. Everything tastes better when you eat it with your family. <3

CREAMY TOMATO PASTA WITH ARTICHOKES (4 servings)

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 shallots, sliced pretty thinly
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 1 14 oz. can artichoke hearts, quartered
  • 1 14-oz can chunky crushed tomatoes
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped and seeded
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • freshly grated parmesan (about 1/3 C., plus more for topping)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 lb. linguini

1. Melt the butter and EVOO over medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and onion, cook until translucent, approx. 5-7 minutes.

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2. Add the wine, stir everything together and keep stirring sporadically until the alcohol has burned off.

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3. Add the artichokes (drained).

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4. Add the chopped tomatoes and let them cook a bit until their skins are looser.

5. Add the can of chunky crushed tomatoes, then the cream, stir everything together.

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6. Get your pasta water up to boiling, then cook your pasta. Reserve about a cup of the pasta water before draining.

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7. Stir in the handful of chopped parsley, about 1/3 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese, then taste and season as needed. Thin with the pasta water if needed.

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8. Add the pasta to the saucepan, combine everything so the pasta is evenly coated.

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9. Serve and enjoy (my mom got the “You’re the Best” plate, of course).

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The Kitchen’s Tomato Soup

The Kitchen, one of my very favorite restaurants in Boulder, is everything that’s right with the world.  The space is warm and welcoming.  Their food is outrageously, ridiculously delicious.  They highlight local & organic farms, farmers, and Colorado ranchers. They’re committed to sustainability, financially generous to their community, and environmentally conscious to the point where the restaurant’s leftover cooking oil is used to fuel the car of one the servers.

And.

They make the world’s greatest tomato soup. Enjoy.

THE KITCHEN’S TOMATO SOUP (serves 8-10, or 2 very lucky people who will eat this for lunch & dinner for 2 days straight.  Ahem.)
– 1 & 1/3 sticks unsalted butter. 
– 1 large vidalia onion, sliced into half-moons
– 3 16-oz. cans whole peeled organic tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
– 1/3 cup heavy cream
– Good quality EVOO or Basil Oil, for finishing
– Kosher salt

1. In a large saucepan (or, better, a Le Creuset dutch oven, which I use for just about everything), melt butter over low heat.  Add the half-moons of onions and stir to coat with the butter.  Add a good pinch of salt to help them “sweat”, not brown, and stir to incorporate that.  Reduce heat to lowest possible setting, cover, and cook for approx. 30 minutes or so, until the onions are translucent. Stir occasionally during the 30 minutes these are cooking.


2. When onions are soft, add the tomatoes & their juices.  Increase heat a little bit – to a simmer – and gently cook these for another 30 minutes.


3. Add cream, stir to combine.  Then, with an Immersion Blender – I’m amazed by how much I use this in cooking – puree the soup until the texture is smooth but still has a little texture to it.  Taste, adjust seasonings, and taste again.

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 4. Pour yourself a bowl, drizzle a little EVOO or basil oil over the top, serve alongside a grilled cheese sandwich, and add The Kitchen to your list of places to eat at the next time you’re in Colorado. 

Oscars tonight!!!

Greek Turkey Meatloaf “Roll-Up”

I love making Spanakopita, even though all those delicate layers of pastry dough are my nemesis (nemeses??).  That said, all those Greek flavors – spinach, feta, a little lemon, and dill – are some of my very favorites.  Could we take those and incorporate them into a turkey meatloaf?  Yes.  Yes we could.  This was delicious, and I didn’t tell B what I had added, but he noticed the light lemon and dill flavor after a couple of bites.  They definitely add a different dimension to your typical turkey meatloaf, but in an awesome way. Rolling this up makes it so pretty, too!
 
GREEK TURKEY MEATLOAF “ROLL-UP” (serves 4-6)
Ingredients:
– 2 lbs ground turkey
– 1 Vidalia onion, diced
– 5-6 packed cups fresh baby spinach (approx. a 10-oz. bag), wilted, drained, and chopped
– 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
– 1 egg & 1 egg white, slightly beaten
– 1 cup panko bread crumbs
– 2 tbspns olive oil (or 1 tbspn olive oil and 1 tbspn butter)
– salt and pepper
– dried dill (1.5 tbsps)
– juice of 3/4 of a lemon  (approx. 1.5 tbsp)
 
1. Preheat the oven to 400. 
 
2. Heat 2 tbspns olive oil (or 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter) in a large saute pan over medium heat.
 
3. Dice the vidalia onion like this:
Half an onion, slice off the top part (but keep the “root” part intact) and then make slits along the ridges of the onion, almost down to the root. You can kind of follow the natural lines of the onion.  Then flip it on its side, and slice it horizontally. The onion will “dice” itself naturally.
 
4. Saute the onion in the oil or oil/butter combo until soft, add salt/pepper to taste.
 
5. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, combine turkey, dill, breadcrumbs, the lemon juice, the egg, 1/2 a teaspoon salt, and 1/2 a teaspoon pepper.
 
6. When onion is soft, remove from the pan and put on a plate to cool slightly.
 
7. Put pan that previously contained onions back on the heat, and add spinach to it.  Lower heat and stir until just wilted, then remove spinach and drain by either pressing spinach against the sides of a sieve, using a cheesecloth to wring it out in bunches, or squeezing most of the liquid out with your hands (but let it cool first, obviously). When the spinach is drained, roughly chop. Set aside.
 
8. Add cooled onions to the turkey mixture, stir everything to combine. You can really get your hands in there to mix it up, which is probably easiest. Form turkey mixture into a ball, and then press into an oblong shape on a piece of wax paper, and flatten minimally.
 
9. Top turkey mixture with chopped spinach, and then top with the crumbled feta:
10. Using the wax paper to help get things moving, roll the turkey meatloaf, beginning at either short end of the roll. It should look like this when you’re finished:
12. Put the meatloaf in a foil-lined baking pan, and bake in the oven at 400 for approx. an hour, or when the internal temperature reaches 160 Degrees 160 degrees.  About 45 minutes into this, I took it out of the oven and drained off the fat/liquid that had pooled in the foil. You don’t have to, but it probably helps.
 
This is really pretty, so tasty, and is even better for lunch the next day, hot or cold.

Linguini with White Clam Sauce

This recipe has been my simplest go-to meal to cook for company since I got my first apartment. It’s comfort food that seems fancier than it really is, it takes almost no time at all to throw together (minus the simmering), and if you make it with fresh pasta (please do) it’ll be immediately added to the rotation.  I have never known anyone who didn’t completely love this recipe.  Thanks Mom!


LINGUINI WITH WHITE CLAM SAUCE (serves 3-4)

– 3 cans whole baby clams (& juice of 2 of those cans)
– 1 vidalia onion, sliced into thick half moons
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– handful fresh parsley, chopped
– 3/4 cup good white wine (optional, but lends a nice dimension of flavor)
– 1 tbsp. butter
– 1 tbsp. EVOO
– 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
– pasta, approx. 1/4 lb., or 3-4oz. for each guest 

1. In a large pan, melt the butter and EVOO over medium heat until combined. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant, approx. 60 seconds.  Add the onions and saute until soft, approx. 5-7 minutes.

2. Add the wine and let the alcohol burn off, approx. 3-5 minutes. 

3. Add juice of 1 can and all the baby clams.  Take 1 can of juice and discard. In the remaining can with the juice, add 1/4 c. grated parm, combine, and add to the pan.

3. Stir to combine, then turn heat down to low.  Cover and simmer for about an hour, stirring every now and then.


4. At the very end, throw in the chopped parsley and stir to combine.  Cook the pasta, then top with the white clam sauce.  There will be quite a bit of juice, which is delicious, so keep the pasta separate so it doesn’t soak it up (if you’re going to have leftovers).

5. Serve, per my Mom’s instructions: “with a salad & of course a good bottle of white wine.  Invite a friend over for a real treat!”

That’s a well-used recipe card from my Mom, right there!

In other news, I am super psyched for a weekend yoga workshop with the amazing Pradeep at Balance Yoga  despite this snowstorm that’s meant to be bombarding the Northeast this weekend.  Also, snowstorm “Nemo”?  Seriously??

Shaved Cauliflower & Radicchio Salad with Honey-Toasted Walnuts & a Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Did you need something super healthy and fresh to kind of ease you back into a week following the over-indulgence of Super Bowl weekend?  I did.  I also got to use one of B’s Christmas gifts to me for the first time, this ridiculous Cuisinart Food Processor, which made making this salad a 10 minute process instead of maybe a 20 minute one.  Shaving the cauliflower and radicchio into paper-thin slices really “takes this salad from a meal to an event” (we do the same thing with the radishes and avocado for our Favorite Salad Ever), so a julienne will work just as well if you don’t have a food processor that will accomplish this.  You can also just shave these into thin slices with a really sharp knife.  This salad is so pretty and crunchy, the dressing gives it a little lift of sweetness, and the honey-kosher salt toasted walnuts finish it perfectly.  It also makes a ton of it (this would be great for parties), so I just kept the salad and the dressing separate so we could combine them when we were ready to have this over the next day or so.  A paper towel in the bowl with your salad will keep the ingredients from getting soggy.


SHAVED CAULIFLOWER & RADICCHIO SALAD WITH HONEY-TOASTED WALNUTS & A MEYER LEMON VINAIGRETTE (makes a really big bowl of salad – adapted almost exactly from the lovely Happy Yolks)
– 1/2 a head of cauliflower (not cored)
– 1 head radicchio, cored
– 4-5 celery stalks, with leaves
– 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
– 1/2 c. honey-toasted walnuts
– 1-2 tbsp honey
– 3 meyer lemons, juiced
– 1 tbsp. dijon mustard
– 1/4 c. EVOO
– kosher salt & fresh ground black pepper

1. Cut a head of cauliflower in half, then shave it either with a julienne, a food processor, or a very sharp knife. Include the stem of the cauliflower. Throw this all into a big bowl.

 


2. Core a head of radicchio, and shave that as well. Do the same with the celery sticks, and also roughly tear  the celery leaves.  Add to the bowl. Chop the chives and the parsley, add to the ingredients, and stir everything to combine.


3. For the meyer lemon vinaigrette, juice the lemons, then add (in this order, to help it all blend together) kosher salt, pepper, dijon mustard.  Whisk together (or shake it up, if you’re using a little mason jar), then add the olive oil. Whisk or shake it to combine, then add to the salad (or keep separate if you’re planning to eat this over the next day or so, too).

3. To make the walnuts, drizzle them with honey and then sprinkle lightly with kosher salt.  Bake for approx. ten minutes at 350.  Remove, let cool slightly, then top the salad with these.  Serve and enjoy.