Linguine with Fresh Tomato, Basil and Garlic

018linguine with tomato, basil and garlic PD

So fragrant! Throwing chopped tomatoes, basil and crushed garlic into hot pasta brings out all the aromas and delivers flavors at the peak of freshness.

012linguine with tomato, basil and garlic PD

The girls loved it! Lots of olive oil and crushed garlic put this over the top.

008Linguine with tomato, basil and garlic PD

Parmesan cheese brought it all together!

007Linguine with tomato, basil and garlic PD

The freshness of summer is right around the corner!

002Linguine with tomatoes, basil and garlic PD

Steamed Veggies with Pesto and Arugula Salad with Lemon and Olive oil

005 steamed veggies with pestoPD

I eat steamed veggies everyday, usually kale, broccoli, spinach and whatever else may be fresh that day.

Keeping it interesting is sometimes a challange.

The last thing that I want to do is add more empty calories.

I have been in the habit of keeping homemade pesto in my fridge and freezer.

I make mine with basil. olive oil, garlic and pine nuts. Real simple; real fast and real food.

I plop about 1 tablespoon on steamed veggies and it is a meal.

Another tip that I like to share is that I always slice garlic into the vegetables while they are steaming. It adds rich flavor.

003arugula with lemon and olive oil PD

This meal is filling and will keep me going all day!

006steamed veggies with pesto PD

This arugula is my new favorite! Just greens with some fresh squeezed lemon and 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

008arugula with lemon and olive oil PD

So delicious, full of healthy fats, high in fiber and low in calories.

Meatless Monday! Rice Pilaf with Pine Nuts and Garbanzo Beans

014Meatless Monday! Rice Pilaf with Pine nuts and Garbonzo beans PD

Meatless Monday! has become an event around here.

Often, I’ll have guests and serve cocktails.

The children are always looking forward to what the day will bring.

Today, I gave careful consideration to Meatless Monday! and decided that trading meat for copious amounts of cheese, eggs and cream wasn’t truly in the spirit of what I was trying to achieve.

The carbon footprint of Meatless Monday! could be improved.

Today’s meal is vegan.

It is a healthy and complete one pot dish.

You can look at it as a kind of cleanse from a weekend of dining out and a fresh start to the week.

005Meatless Monday! Rice Pilaf PD

The kids rolled in on a rainy cold afternoon and asked if there was something hot to eat.

This rice pilaf got rave reviews from my girls.

007Meatless Monday! Rice Pilaf PD

Ingredients

1 cup brown basmati rice
2 cups water
1 large carrot
1/2 white onion
3 scallions
4-5 cloves garlic
1/4 cup cilantro
1 can garbanzo beans
1 cup corn
1 cup peas
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

010Meatless Monday! Rice Pilaf PD

Method

In a large saute pan add olive oil, garlic, onion, carrots, rice and pine nuts.

Allow to simmer for a few minutes.

Then add corn, peas and scallions.

Allow to simmer a few more minutes then add water and cilantro and allow too cook until the rice is tender.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with more cilantro

013Meatless Monday! Rice Pilaf PD

Steve Carell and Roasted Tomato, Basil Pesto Pizza!

023steve carell

OK! So it wasn’t Steve Carell but it was a real fantastic pizza!

017roasted tomato basil pesto pizza PD

This guy was hilarious and ate up all the attention that his “Steve Carell-esque” similarity would allow!

008roasted tomato and basil pesto pizza PD

This pizza, on the other hand, was the real thing and Delish!

Thin crispy crust with a light touch of fontina cheese and the freshest basil pesto and olive oil.

Gently roasted cherry tomatoes “pop” when you bite into them and ooz warm tomato-y goodness.

015roasted tomato basil pesto pizza

Beet Salad with Pistachios, Al Fresco!

030beet salad al fresco PD

The first outdoor dining of the 2010 season!

How exciting it is to sit in the warm sun for an afternoon lunch.

The gold and red beet salad was light and delicious with the added touch of pistachios.

023beet salad al fresco PD

The sun was a welcome ingredient after a long winter.

024beet salad al fresco PD

Tartine is the best place to enjoy al fresco dining in town.

027beet salad PD

Gorgeous beets and a light vinaigrette.

029beet salad PD

Kale, Berry, Banana Smoothie!

003kale berry banana smoothie PD

I started my day with a brisk early morning walk in sunny, crisp air.

What a great way to begin, reflect and feel renewed.

Only a clean, beautiful elixir would do after so much spiritual rejuvination…

This may not be the prettiest thing that I’ve ever made but it may the healthiest!

There are times in your life when you just need to nurture yourself; feed your soul and treat yourself like your own best friend.

009kale berry banana smothie PD

This is one of those times for me.

It is not about eliminating anything. It’s about adding; adding love to everything.

011kale berry banana soothie PD

1 Bunch Kale

1 Ripe Banana

2 cups Mixed Berries

2 Cups Water

017kale berry banana smoothie PD

These are the ingredients to a wholesome nourishing cocktail to fuel your day!

020kale berry banana smoothie PD

This was REALLY good! The first sip was a little harsh, but it got better and better till the very end.

Steamed Mussels and Salmon with Noodles and Cold Beers!

003stonemad mussels PD

Stone Mad Irish Pub in Cleveland Ohio was the hot spot as we sipped on ice cold beers and enjoyed the steamed mussels in a rich broth with onions and red peppers.

Sunny skies gave way to a cool crisp night as the sun went down on the stone extravaganza that is Stone Mad.

007stonemad mussels PD

The rich woods and carved stone create an ambiance that will have you thinking you are in the heart of the Irish countryside.

005stonemad ussels and beers PD

The mussels are classic and great with beer.

The salmon and noodles was one of Chef Michael Fadel’s specials and was very good and easily shared by two.

019stonemad sa<br />
lmon PD

Romantic and cozy; this is a great date spot and will be even better come summer.

The gorgeous stone patio with fireplace and quixotic atmosphere beckons.

018salmon stonemad PD

Meatless Monday! Sweet Corn Chowder with Roasted Red Pepper and Cilantro and Baby Field Greens with Balsamic Vinaigrette

008 tulips PD

Spring is fragrant and lovely in this little lakeside town.

Warm sunny days inspire herbs and fresh veggies and lots of salad!

My daughters loved this meal and the simple balsamic vinaigrette dressing on the salad.

Fresh and crunchy with warm and creamy; Perfection!

017Meatless Monday soup and salad

This chowder was so easy.

Ingredients:

2 Cups organic sweet corn
1 ½ cups half and half
½ cup milk
¼ cup chopped cilantro
1 cup finely grated Mexican cheese blend
3 cloves garlic
3 Tbspn organic sweet cream butter
¼ cup chopped roasted red pepper
¼ white onion chopped
½ Tbspn chili powder
Salt and pepper to taste

002corn chowderPD

Method:

Add butter to medium sized sauté pot.
Add chopped garlic, chili powder, onion and corn and allow to sauté for a few minutes.
Add cilantro half and half and cheese.
Allow to cook then add milk; enough to create a smooth creamy consistency.
Serve warm and enjoy!

019Meatless Monday soup and salad

Eggplant Caviar with Currants and Roasted Red Pepper

eggplant caviar 2 Luxe PD

This fabulous appetizer or main, dish in my case, was a real find at Luxe in the Detroit Corridor on Cleveland’s West side.

Chef Marlin Kaplan creates a creamy texture and full bodied flavor with rich roasted peppers and sweet juicy currants.

I am a big fan of Chef Marlin and I am happy to see the vegetarian offerings at Luxe.

Hob Nob Pinot Noir was a great compliment to the sweet and savory flavors of this humble but, oh so yummy, dish!

Serve with pita or in Bib lettuce, radicchio, or in endive.

Ingredients:

Roasted eggplant
Roasted garlic
Pinch of chili flakes
Olive oil
Roasted red pepper
Fresh cilantro chopped finely
Touch of cumin
Shallots
Currants plumped in port or water

Courtesy of Chef Marlin Kaplan

eggplant caviar Luxe PD

Coconut Red Curry with Shrimp, Mussels, Scallops and White Rice

193Red Curry with seafood and white rice PD

Fresh, warm and light; this dish is a nice compromise between soup and a meal!

The flavors of Spring come together to offer a hearty meal which features cilantro and lime.

Warm and spicy ingredients go great with beer on a sunny but cool Spring evening!

Ingredients

1 (14-ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons red curry paste
1/2 white onion, peeled and finely chopped
small bunch scallions finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 lime, juiced
1 bell pepper chopped
2 to 3 tablespoons canola oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 2 pound shrimp, shell and tail left on
1 cup small scallops
2 dozen mussels
Bunch of fresh cilantro for garnish

Method

Whisk together coconut milk, curry paste, onion, cilantro, lime juice, and oil in a large bowl. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Place shrimp in the bowl and toss to coat. Cover and let marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes.
Stir red curry paste in large skillet over medium-high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add coconut milk and clam juice and bring to boil, whisking until paste dissolves.

Boil until sauce is thick enough to coat spoon, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes.

Add shrimp to sauce.

Add chopped bell pepper.

Cook until shrimp turn pink and are just opaque in center, turning occasionally, about 4 minutes.

Stir in cilantro.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide shrimp and sauce among 4 shallow bowls. Garnish with cilantro, lime wedges and serve.

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