Penne in Herbed Yogurt Sauce

Penne in Herbed Yogurt Sauce
With us having prime growing weather lately, my patio herbs are going nuts and needed a good trim, so dinner featuring fresh herbs was a no-brainer. Tangy Greek yogurt and whole wheat pasta seemed like good vehicles for an herby dish and what’s not made better by buttery garlic and onions?

This meal comes together quickly so is perfect for a week night. Add a glass of chilled rosé and any stress from your work day will melt away while you recharge with a fresh and light supper, ideally al fresco. Enjoy!
Basil and Mint

Lemon Thyme

Fresh Herbs

Penne in Herbed Yogurt Sauce

Inspired by this Food.com recipe

10 oz. penne pasta, preferably whole wheat (I love Trader Joe’s organic)

2 tablespoons butter or non-hydrogenated margarine, divided

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, cut in small dice

¼ teaspoon salt (plus more salt for the pasta water)

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

¾ cup Greek yogurt at room temperature (I used 2%)

½ cup chopped fresh herbs, such as mint, basil and lemon thyme (parsley and regular thyme would work too)

Freshly ground black pepper

Heat a large pot of generously salted water to boiling. Cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon butter or margarine and the olive oil in a cast iron or other heavy skillet over medium heat. When hot, add onion and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions begin to brown, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 3-4 additional minutes. Remove from heat and add remaining tablespoon of butter or margarine and stir into onion-garlic mixture until it melts.

Toss drained pasta with yogurt. Add onion-garlic mixture and pepper to taste. Mix well. Stir in fresh herbs. Transfer to a serving platter. Makes about 4 servings.

 

Creamy Sriracha Potato Salad

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Scrambled eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches have been the extent of my culinary adventures lately as I recuperate from total hip replacement surgery. Until my appetite and agility return and I dive back into cooking escapades worth sharing, here’s a potato salad recipe I came up with last month. A little creamy, a little tangy, and subtly spicy. I hope you like it. Enjoy!
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Creamy Sriracha Potato Salad

½ pounds Yukon gold potatoes

1 cup sliced radishes

¾ cup sliced scallions

¼ cup sour cream or plain Green yogurt

1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 teaspoon lemon zest

1 tablespoon dill pickle juice

1-2 tablespoons sriracha sauce (depending on how much heat you’d like)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon garlic powder

¼ cup chopped parsley or dill

Cut potatoes into bite-sized chunks. Place in a pan and cover with water and throw in some salt. Cover pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cook potatoes until just tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, and dump into a large serving bowl. Add radishes and scallions and toss.

While potatoes are cooking, combine sour cream, mayo, lemon juice & zest, pickle juice, sriracha, olive oil, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Whisk until smooth and creamy.

Pour dressing over potato mixture and toss to coat. Sprinkle in parsley or dill and toss again. Cover and chill for a couple hours before serving. Makes 4-6 servings.

 

Sweet Potato Chickpea Patties with Tangy Coleslaw

Sweet Potato Chickpea Patties with Tangy ColeslawTwo new-to-me recipes came together last night in a flavor combination that was a total winner. All they needed was a little spicy barbeque sauce and we had a dinner to rave about. By the way, I’m currently obsessed with Trader Joe’s Organic Sriracha and Roasted Garlic BBQ Sauce—smoky and seriously spicy, and extraordinarily delicious! I may just have to work on a homemade version.

I’ve wanted to share the coleslaw recipe since Father’s Day when I made it for the first time. It’s adapted from Minnesota’s Bounty: The Farmers Market Cookbook by Beth Dooley, which is getting a lot of use in my kitchen now that the farmers markets around here are in full swing (and soon so will our garden!).

I love this cookbook and if you garden or frequent farmers markets you will too. It’s divided into sections for fruit, vegetables, cheeses, grains and meat & fish, along with recipes for some essentials like mayonnaise, vinaigrettes, pastry crust and a spiked whipped cream. There are wonderful recipes for all the amazing goods found at the markets in the upper Midwest and if you enjoy seasonal cooking, you need this book! It’s a resource and guide that will give you new ideas for beautiful, healthy dishes with the freshest foods possible.

The coleslaw is great by itself, as the crowning touch on the Barbequed Pulled “Pork” I shared recently, or on these hearty and filling Sweet Potato Chickpea Patties—it’s pretty and extra tangy with the addition of Greek yogurt.
ColeslawDoing some mindless food Googling the other day, I came across the Sweet Potato Chickpea Patties. Included with the original recipe was a simple guacamole of chopped avocado, red onion, lime juice and salt, and I topped the patties with that the first time I made them. DeeeeLish! But after my Sunday farmers market trip, I had red & green cabbage and carrots on hand. Sadly, we don’t have avocados at the Minnesota farmers markets and we have to rely on the supermarket variety, which can’t possibly be as good as fresh off the tree.

Bonus—any patty & coleslaw leftovers make a great lunch for work tomorrow—as I can attest. Pack little barbeque sauce too. Enjoy!
Sweet Potato Chickpea Patties

Sweet Potato Chickpea Patties with Tangy Coleslaw

Coleslaw:
Adapted from Minnesota’s Bounty: The Farmers Market Cookbook by Beth Dooley

4 cups shredded (or thinly sliced) green cabbage

4 cups shredded (or thinly sliced) red cabbage

1 ½ cups shredded carrot

1 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons organic sugar

¼ cup white wine vinegar

½ cup mayonnaise (I used Vegan Earth Balance Mindful Mayo—soooo good!)

¼ cup 2% Greek yogurt

½ teaspoon celery seed, or more if you’d like

Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, toss cabbages and carrot until combined. In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, sugar, vinegar, mayo, yogurt and celery seed. Pour over cabbage/carrot mixture and toss until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper. Serve cold; best made a day or two ahead of serving. Serves 6.

Sweet Potato Chickpea Patties:
Adapted from this Cooking Light recipe

2 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

½ cup chopped yellow or sweet onion

½ cup chopped red bell pepper

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeño, minced, seeds removed if you don’t want the heat

1 ¾ cup grated, uncooked sweet potato (about 8 ounces)

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

½ cup panko bread crumbs (or rolled oats for a gluten-free version)

1 ½ tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

1 15 oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 large egg

Bottled or homemade barbeque sauce, for serving.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large skillet, over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until shimmering. Add the onion, bell pepper, garlic, and jalapeño and sauté for several minutes. Stir in the sweet potato, salt and pepper and cook for several more minutes.

Place the sweet potato mixture, panko, lime juice, smoked paprika, chickpeas and egg in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the chickpeas are coarsely ground.

Form the mixture into 4 patties. Heat the remaining olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the patties (you may have to do this in two batches to avoid over-crowding) to the pan and cook 3 minutes. Flip and cook 3 minutes more.

Transfer cooked patties to prepared baking pan. Bake 20-25 minutes. Serve with barbeque sauce and top with coleslaw. Makes four patties.

Green Sauce

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Green Sauce

Today there was a meeting at work where lunch was served. It was from a place called Brasa, and while the bulk of the meal wasn’t vegetarian, even I could tell this was quality food. It looked like spiced roasted pork and pulled chicken, along with a killer slaw and several varieties of pickled veggies, all for people to pile on fresh buns with a couple sauces, one barbeque and the other just called “green sauce.”

That green sauce looked mighty intriguing and I thought it might be a good match for the pasty (or pastie) I had brought for lunch (I’ll save the pasty story/recipe for another blog post, but it’s my healthier and vegetarian version of the tradition Cornish savory hand pie filled with meat & vegetables). Whoa, was I right! Green sauce made a delicious lunch mega-delicious!

Could I buy it? Could I make it? I must have more! I Googled “Brasa Signature Green Sauce” (the official name of this elixir). I found references to the restaurant only, no recipe, but I did find out that green sauce is really a thing, and there were a number of recipes out there. Based on an attempt to copy the taste, and a desire to make my version a little less caloric, I settled on the following recipe. It’s pretty darn close and every bit as good. It will take anything you sauce or dip or dress with it to mega-delicious status. And don’t be put off by the quantity of cilantro—I’m normally not a big cilantro lover, but it MAKES this sauce. Enjoy!

Pasty and Green Sauce

Pasty with Green Sauce

By the way, in my Googling, I found out Brasa Premium Rotisserie (the full name of the restaurant/caterer) gets outstanding reviews and actually has a separate vegetarian menu. I see a date night with Pete at Brasa very soon!

Green Sauce

Adapted from the green sauce in this recipe from Once Upon a Chef

1 medium jalapeño pepper, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

1 cup fresh cilantro leaves

½ cup mayonnaise (I used the amazing vegan Mindful Mayo made by Earth Balance)

¼ cup Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice

A scant ½ teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Place all ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. With machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and process until it is fully incorporated. Transfer to a container and refrigerate until ready to use. It tastes best if given some time for the flavors to mingle.

Serve on everything and anything!

Greek Yogurt and Kale Dip

Dip and crackers
I’m having fun today making some Super Bowl munchies. One of which is this tasty dip. Full of lots of healthy stuff, it’s another one of those things that tastes like you’ve jumped off the healthy train, but guess what? You’re still on board! Appropriately, two super foods are the foundation for this Super Bowl dip: Greek yogurt and kale, taking starring roles in a veggie-centric dip that is good on just about anything. Assorted crackers, pita wedges, baguette slices or even more veggies. And leftovers on a sandwich or baked potato would be perfect!

Greek Yogurt & Kale Dip

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A 7 or 8 ounce container 2% Plain Greek Yogurt (I used 7 oz. Fage)
¼ cup mayonnaise (regular or vegan)
2 loosely packed cups of finely chopped kale
1 large carrot, grated, then squeezed to get most of the moisture out
½ cup finely chopped organic red bell pepper
¼ cup finely diced onion
Half to ¾ of an 8 oz. can diced water chestnuts, drained and diced finely
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon white pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Prep veggies and water chestnuts and place in a medium bowl. In a small dish, mix garlic powder, onion powder, white pepper, salt, and cayenne. Open yogurt container, dump in the spices and mix well. Add seasoned yogurt and mayonnaise to bowl of veggies and mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with crackers, pita wedges, sliced baguette, or veggies. Enjoy!


Dip and crackers