Parmesan Garlic Roasted Spaghetti Squash

parmesan-garlic-spaghetti-squash-1

Parmesan Garlic Roasted Spaghetti Squash – oooo la la!

Spaghetti Squash may not the best photographic subject…. but oh what an easy and seriously delicious dish this is!

In the past, I have usually cooked my spaghetti squash in the microwave by simply poking fork holes in it and “steaming,” but this time, I decided to roast it in the oven, and OH boy did we love it!!!

parmesan-garlic-spaghetti-squash-3

In the past, I also typically put a tomato or marinara sauce or canned diced tomatoes with seasoning on it, and it was good and filling and low calorie, and a great vegetable, but this version……

is KICKED UP!

Not sure I can go back now!

And as full flavored as it is, it is so super simple.

Give it a try, and see what you think!

Ingredients:parmesan-garlic-spaghetti-squash-1

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 6 Tbsp butter
  • 3-4 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth (or vegetable broth to keep it completely vegetarian)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiana Reggiano Cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut squash in half, scoop out seeds, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place flesh down in a baking dish, and roast for approximately 30 minutes.

Remove from oven and let cool slightly to handle.  While it is cooling, melt butter in saucepan, add garlic and cook for a minute or two.  Add broth.  Stir in cheese.

Use a fork to scoop out spaghetti squash.  Add to saucepan.  Stir to coat.  Sprinkle with parsley and a little more cheese if you please.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Summer Vegetable Tart

Summer Vegetable Tart Baked

My sweet friend Janet found a recipe for this amazing summer vegetable tart, and I told her she had to come over so we could make it together and enjoy.

And that we did one evening this week.

Besides being so great to see her and spend time in the kitchen slicing and chopping and chatting….

O. M. G. –  this turned out so delish!

Summer Vegetable Tart Before Baked

With summer coming to an end and the abundance of zucchini and red-ripe tomatoes and eggplant and squash, this recipe is a must-do for a hot August evening dinner or Sunday lunch or brunch – or anytime really!

Summer Vegetable Tart Before Baked with Cheese

Anything smothered with Parmegiano Regianno is a winner in my book, but this savory summer vegetable tart is seriously a new favorite.  Dare I admit I had 4 pieces?!

I think you are going to want to try this, so here is the recipe.

Summer Vegetable Tart

Ingredients:Summer Vegetable Tart Baked

  • 1 medium zucchini squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium eggplant, thinly sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed (or pie crust or crescent rolls)
  • 1/4 cup tomato or pizza sauce
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmegiano Reggiano Parmesan cheese
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Roll out puff pastry or pie crust or crescent rolls on a baking stone or cookie sheet to rectangle or circle to form “pizza” tart crust.

Thinly slice vegetables with mandolin or sharp knife.  Lay out on parchment paper or paper towel.  Sprinkle with salt, and let set for 15 minutes.  Pat dry with paper towel to absorb excess moisture.

Spread tomato sauce on pastry.  Layer with vegetables.  Drizzle with olive oil.  Top with Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 30-40 minutes until crust is golden brown, vegetables are tender, and cheese is melted and browned.  Let set for 5-10 minutes, cut, serve, and enjoy!

Happy Eating!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

If you Carrot All…

watercolor carrots

Watercolor Carrots 5×7 Arches 140lb Arches Rough

Today’s painting for #WorldWatercolorMonth is a quick and simple one celebrating the glorious carrot.

It was fun to create the leafy greens by gently rubbing the side of a rigger brush across the rough watercolor paper in random strokes.

Carrots are a beautiful, healthy vegetable that is equally delicious raw and cooked.

For a yummy version of roasted carrots, check out my recipe for Roasted Caramelized Garlic Carrots here.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Best-Ever Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps & Lettuce Art

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Last week, I made these YUMMMMMMMMMY Chicken Lettuce Wraps.   They are so delicious filled with fresh vegetables and chicken coated in a sauce with a little kick and a peanuty hint.  Wrapping them in crunchy lettuce just makes everything SING together.

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps 2

I am sure this recipe can be adapted with changes to any veggies you like and making the sauce as spicy or sweet as you like.  However you do it, I believe you are going to really enjoy these.   They are nice for a light summer supper and elegant enough to serve to guests.

And since it is July and #WorldWatercolorMonth, I thought I’d try painting some lettuce from my garden to share with this recipe.

lettuce watercolor

Watercolor Lettuce Leaf -140# Arches Hot Press – Lemon Yellow, Green Gold, Sap Green, Burnt Umber

Here’s the recipe.  Enjoy!

Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps*

Ingredients:Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

1 head romaine, butter, bib, or iceberg lettuce to get approximately 8 large leaves (whatever kind you like best)

 Filling:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast, diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet or green onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple

Sauce:

  • 4 Tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp chili garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dry basil
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Add at end:
    • 1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
    • 1/4 cup peanuts

Directions:

Dice and chop all Filling ingredients.

Whisk together all Sauce ingredients in a medium bowl except peanut butter and peanuts. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large wok or skillet over medium high heat. Add chicken and cook just until no longer pink, about 3 mins. Add onions, peppers, carrots and celery and saute for 2 more mins. Stir in pineapple chunks and Sauce and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter until smooth.   Top with peanuts.

To serve, fill lettuce leaves with desired amount of filling and enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi
*Slightly adapted from another amazing recipe by Jen @ CarlsbadCravings.com

Fresh Poppy Seed Vinaigrette Cole Slaw

Fresh Poppyseed Viniagrette Cole Slaw

If you are looking for a fresh, bright, colorful, crunchy salad, I hope you will give my favorite version of cabbage slaw or cole slaw a try.

I so prefer a bright, light vinaigrette on my cole slaw to the heavier mayonnaise-based version.  How about you?

Fresh Poppyseed Viniagrette Cole Slaw 2

This salad goes well with so many Spring and Summertime meals (and if you live in or near Pittsburgh like me – you can even use it as as an addition to your actual cheese steak or burger like our famous Primanti’s Brothers does!)

I made this last night as our salad with a kielbasa potato skillet hash and steamed broccoli, and we all had seconds!

Here’s my recipe if you’d like to give it a try.

Fresh Poppy Seed Vinaigrette Cole Slaw

Ingredients:Fresh Poppyseed Viniagrette Cole Slaw 2

  • 4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 4 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 3 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. dry mustard
  • 1 tsp. poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2  tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. hot pepper sauce
  • 1/2 large head or 1 small head (approx. 4 cups) shredded green cabbage
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 2 stalks of celery,  minced
  • 2 green onions, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup diced sweet red, yellow, or orange peppers

Whisk vinegar,  oil, sugar, dry mustard, poppy seeds, black pepper, salt, and hot pepper sauce in a bowl, stirring until sugar has dissolved.

Mix cabbage and vegetables in a large salad bowl and pour dressing over slaw. Stir to coat. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Onion and Rosemary

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Onion and Rosemary 2

Fresh Brussels Sprouts are so divine – especially when sauteed with bacon and onions and garlic and rosemary and splashed with balsamic vinegar.

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Onion and Rosemary

If you are looking for a knock-out vegetable dish for a special occasion or a simple veggie side dish for Sunday supper or a weekday dinner, this recipe rocks it all around.

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Onion and Rosemary 1

It takes a teensy bit more time than throwing a bag of frozen corn in a pot, but it is OH SO WORTH it!

I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of anything Brussels sprouts can’t go with!

Hope you get a chance to try and enjoy this recipe.

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Onion, and Rosemary

Ingredients:Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Onion and Rosemary 2

  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5-6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. If sprouts are very small, cut in half; otherwise cut into quarters. Cook the sprouts until barely tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a large heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring, until just crisp, 5-6 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel. Pour out all but about 1 tablespoon bacon fat from the pan.

Add olive oil to the pan.   Add green onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until soft but not browned, about 4 minutes. Stir in rosemary, salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high, add the Brussels sprouts, and cook, tossing or stirring occasionally, until tender and warmed through and beginning to brown, about 3-5 minutes. Add the bacon and balsamic vinegar.  Stir an additional minute.  Pour into serving dish and enjoy!

*adapted from this recipe at Eating Well

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Cauliflower & Fennel Au Gratin

Cauliflower and Fennel Au Gratin

I had never cooked anything with fresh fennel before and really wanted to try.  I picked one up at the grocery store having no clue what I was going to do with it.

The other night, when trying to decide what vegetable I was going to serve with dinner and knowing I still had this fennel bulb in the fridge along with a fresh head of cauliflower, I decided to “google” and see if there was a recipe combining the two.

I came upon this one, and oh what a winner it is!

Cauliflower and Fennel Au Gratin 2

This would be a lovely vegetable to serve for company, take to a potluck, or just enjoy for dinner.  The fennel (which smells like anise and is kind of licoricey) is mild, yet full-flavored and holds up nicely in the dish.  Don’t be afraid to try it, even if you say you don’t like licorice.  It is a lovely vegetable that I’m looking forward to using again in other dishes – cooked and raw.

I’m sure you could make this with just the cauliflower too, but I loved what the fennel added to it.  And just a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg made it really sing.

I hope you’ll give it a try.  Enjoy!

Cauliflower & Fennel Au Gratin

Ingredients:Cauliflower and Fennel Au Gratin

1/4 cup butter
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets
1 large fennel bulb, cored, trimmed, and cut into 1/4-inch slices plus 1/2 cup chopped fronds (the green ferny part)
2 Tbsp  flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup whipping cream, half & half, or milk (even skim milk is fine)
1 cup (4 oz)  shredded Swiss cheese (or your favorite)
2/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Directions:

Preheat oven to 450º F.  Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add cauliflower, and sauté 4 min.  Add fennel slices, and sauté 4-5 more min. or until tender. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with flour, salt, and nutmeg; add fennel fronds, and lightly toss together.

Spoon into a prepared 2-quart baking dish. Pour cream over mixture. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese, bread crumbs, and Parmesan cheese.

Bake at 450º for 20 minutes or until top is browned and crispy.

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi

Don’t play with your vegetables

vegetable card radishes

Remember being told to not play with your vegetables as a child at the dinner table?

I’m still playing with my veggies – watercolor painting these days – just for kicks.

Aren’t the radishes radishing?!

Certainly not some of my finest art work, but fun nonetheless.

vegetable card green onions

I had some scraps of paper and the urge to continue after recently painting my Lazuli Bunting, but was obviously getting a bit tired and punchy by the time I got to the green onions and carrots.

vegetable card carrots

Maybe I should stick to cooking and eating my veggies.

Cheers & Hugs,

Jodi

Black Bean & Edamame Salad

Black Bean and Edamame Salad 1

I love legumes!

Unfortunately – the two guys I live with – do not…

So when I had some girls over last week, it was my chance to make this black bean and edamame salad as a nice accompaniment to our chicken fajitas.

Black Bean and Edamame Salad

This is one of those things I will sometimes make for myself as a high protein, high fiber, nutrient rich lunch to have on hand for a few days.  It holds up nicely, and the fresh cilantro really kicks it up!

You can really play with this recipe and use whatever you have or whatever you like.  Mix up the beans.  Marinade with YOUR favorite vinaigrette.  Add YOUR favorite veggies.  I daresay it is a smidge different every time I make it according to my mood or what I have on hand.

If you are a legume lover like me, I hope you will give it a try.  And… share your ideas and combos too!

Black Bean & Edamame Salad

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup edamame beans
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 cup chopped red, orange, and/or yellow pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Red Wine Vinegar
1/2 lime, juiced
Salt & Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, mix and refrigerate for a few hours to marinade.  Serve cold.

Enjoy!

Cheers & Hugs

Jodi

Roasted Cabbage Slices with Garlic

roasted cabbage

O. M. G. I am becoming obsessed with roasting vegetables!  And this one is another winner!

Cabbage has NEVER tasted better!  Nor has it ever been easier!

roasted cabbage before

I’ve seen a variety of versions of this recipe floating around, but when I saw this simple version with roasted garlic that you smear on top of the cabbage slices after roasting, I had to try.  And it so delivered!

How can something so stinking simple end up tasting so luscious?  It is truly magical… and so wonderful to eat food in its purist state with just a little olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic that tastes like this.

roasted cabbage before 1

You can use green or purple cabbage.  Slice it, drizzle it generously with pure olive oil, and sprinkle it generously with coarse sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper.  Add a few cloves of peeled garlic drizzled with olive oil to roast along side.  Throw it in a 425 degree F oven for about 30 minutes, and get ready to rumble!

roasted cabbage after

This is a great accompaniment to most any meal.  SO DELISH!  I’ll bet this would make a cabbage loving fan out of ANYone!

Try it TODAY!

Roasted Cabbage with Garlic

Ingredients:
1 head cabbageroasted cabbage after
6 large cloves garlic
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Carefully slice cabbage into 6 thick slices, and lay on a shallow baking stone or baking dish.
Drizzle both sides of each slice with olive oil.
Generously sprinkle coarsely ground sea salt and freshly ground cracked pepper on top of each slice.
Peel garlic cloves and add to dish. Drizzle with olive oil.
Roast for approximately 30 minutes.
When done, smash garlic cloves and spread one on top of each cabbage slice.

ENJOY!

jodimckinney @lifeinbetween.me

Can’t wait to hear if you try it and like it!

Cheers & Hugs,
Jodi