Meatless Monday! Whole Wheat Linguini with Peas, Scallions and a Spicy Peanut Basil Sauce!
It was just me for Meatless Monday! today.
I was hungry for pasta, which I rarely eat, and I wanted to keep it simple and fast.
I also didn’t want to shop for any ingredients. So, Meatless Monday! was a really low carbon footprint meal.
Let me also add that the peanut butter which I use is a no sugar added, natural brand made from roasted Valencia peanuts; that’s it!
I scavanged the pantry and the freezer for what was available.
I just happen to have a basil plant on my patio.
I am sure that there is a better peanut sauce recipe but I improvised with what I had.
Whole wheat pasta
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup broccoli florets
1 Tbspn peanut butter
1 Tbsp Bragg’s Aminos
1/2 lime, juiced
1 Tbspn crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup fresh basil chopped
Boil the pasta.
Chop the veggies.
Mix together the peanut butter, Bragg’s Aminos, lime juice and crushed red pepper.
Place veggies in the colander and pour linguini and water over veggies and allow to drain.
Mix the sauce and chopped basil into the pasta, mix and enjoy!
I like the idea of gently “scalding” veggies with the pasta water. It brings out the flavors of the veggies and warms everything nicely.
Just me, dining al fresco!
A cool cucumber salad with red onion complimented this meal and tamed the heat a bit.
Posted in: Green Living, Healthy, Ingredients, Recipes
Tags: basil, Bragg's Aminos, broccoli, crushed red pepper, Meatless Monday, pasta dish, peanut butter, peanut sauce, peas, scallions, vegan meal, vegan recipe, vegatarian meal, Whole wheat pasta
Pan Seared Scallops with Lemon, Thyme and Goat Cheese Gnocchi at Pier W!
Pier W never lets me down.
From the fantastic Happy Hour to the incredible views this place is a winner every time.
Not only is the happy hour a great value; 1/2 price bar food and select drinks, but the quality is first class.
These calamari must be some of the best I’ve ever tasted. Light and crispy calamari are fried to perfection with delicate fragrant dipping sauces; a spicy mayonnaise and a tamarind sauce.
This is a far cry from the usual bar food you’d find elsewhere and you get the incredible atmosphere as a bonus!
Pan seared scallops with goat cheese, thyme and lemon gnocchi with an asparagus coulis was amazing!
Sous Chef Jack Ahern was on board this night and his precision in the execution of this dish was out of this world.
The tempura fish and green beans looked yummy…
…but I couldn’t get over the flavor pairings of my scallops.
I usually feel that mushrooms with any seafood is a risk; the earthiness of the mushrooms can overpower and compete with delicate sea flavors but it was not the case tonight.
Lemon and thyme kept the gnocchi light and the mushrooms and asparagus lent smoky and bitter notes, respectively that were enhanced by the subtle creaminess of the goat cheese.
Asparagus coulis was a light sauce of everything beautiful about asparagus!
Posted in: Chefs and Restaurants, Inspirations
Tags: asparagus, chef Jack Ahern, Cleveland Chef, Cleveland happy hour, cleveland restaurants, gnocchi, goat cheese, goat cheese gnocchi, happy hour, lemon, pan seared scallops, pier w, Pier W Cleveland, scallops, Sous Chef Jack Ahern, thyme
Fruity Cocktails, Amazing Pizza, 200 Fabulous Gay Men and Me!
A dream come true!
Me in a sea of men surrounded by the most glorious pizzas, ever and tropical fruity cocktails served up by a cute bartender with attitude!
Luxe was host to the G2H2 Happy Hour event in Cleveland , Oh.
The food was amazing! I know it’s a social thing but given the “circumstances” I had plenty of time to focus on the food and drinks!
This portobello mushroom, spinach, goat cheese and balsamic reduction pizza was my favorite.
Chef Marlin Kaplan knows that a light touch of fresh potent ingredients is the way to go!
I couldn’t get enough of this pizza and made myself a fixture at the buffet!
This is definitley something that I want to try at home.
Chris was adorable and he knows the food.
This tomato basil was fantastic; fresh and delish!
The setting was elegant but casual.
Sweetheart! Jen kept the fresh hot pies coming my way
Tomato and herb.
Chicken, rosemary and goat cheese was a big hit.
What would the evening be without a spunky bartender serving up the one-liners with the best mojitos in town?!
Lee was a delight!
Posted in: Chefs and Restaurants, Indulgences, Inspirations, Parties
Tags: balsamic reduction, Chef Marlin Kaplan, chicken rosemary, Cleveland happy hour, cleveland restaurants, G2H2, Gay happy hour, goat cheese, happy hour, Luxe Cleveland, mushroom spinach pizza, pizza, portobello mushrooms
Tuna Tartare, Passion Fruit Martinis and a Magical Night at Le Colonial, Chicago!
Le Colonial, Chicago is a treat for the senses.
The exotically luxurious atmosphere is the first hint that you are in for something special.
These Passion Fruit Martinis were incredibly fresh and delicious! Floral and fruity yet light and refreshing on a warm summer night.
Tuna Tartare with wonton crisps was light and satisfying and tasted fantastic with our cocktails….round 2!
Romance was in the air so sharing an entree of vermicelli and seafood in coconut curry seemed like the right thing to do!
What put this dish over the top for me were the copious amounts of fresh basil and cilantro; a garnish, I know, but for me a side dish or side salad!
The aroma of fresh herbs and the delicacy of the spicy coconut broth made my tastebuds tingle!
The music, the martinis, the warm summer breeze…
Posted in: Chefs and Restaurants, Indulgences
Tags: asian fusion, basil, Chicago restaurants, cilantro, coconut, coconut curry, exoctic drinks, exotic restaurants, fruit cocktails, fruit martinis, Le Colonial Chicago, lobster, martini's, passion fruit, passion fruit martini, shrimp, tuna tartare, vegetarian, vermicelli, Vietnamese food, Vietnamese French fussion, Vietnamese restaurants
Taco Roll-Ups! Summertime Snack for Kids to Make and Enjoy!
This is an “easy-peasy” recipe which kids can easily make.
Not only will you be able to ply them with vegetables but you will also be able to keep them busy for a while!
All you will need is:
8-10 flour Tortillas
2 8 oz. pkgs of cream cheese, softened
2 pkgs of taco seasoning mix or make your own as we did with chili powder, garlic salt, cummin, and a little cayenne and paprika
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 8 0z. can black olives chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
You may have to chop for the younger kids but mixing can be done by even the youngest of children.
Spread evenly; roll and slice.
These can even be done “cigar style”; roll and slice just 2-3 times for easy holding for little hands.
Posted in: Food on a Budget, Ingredients, Recipes
Tags: black olives, cilantro, cream cheese, food for kids, food kids can make, green bell pepper, red bell pepper, taco roll-ups, taco seasoning, vegetarian, vegetarian snack, vegetarian snacks for kids, yellow bell pepper
Roasted Eggplant and Lentil Spread with Roasted Garlic and Roasted Red Pepper!
The secret to the delightful flavor of this dish is the roasting!
Roasted garlic, eggplant, rep pepper and sauteed leeks create a richness that makes this similar to a pate in texture and flavor.
This recipe is also full of nutrition. Lentils are hardy and full of protein and fiber.
This is also light and when spread on whole wheat or flax crackers leaves you satisfied yet not full.
It is also easy to make and can be whippped up on short notice.
1 medium eggplant
1 cup lentils
1 glove garlic
1 medium leek
1/2 cup olive oil
1 bunch cilantro
1 roasted red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
In a 350 degree oven wrap in aluminum foil the eggplant cut in half with a drizzle of olive oil on the flesh.
In a clay roaster or aluminum foil wrap the garlic and place in oven to roast.
Both should take no more than 30-45 minutes.
In a pan add a drizzle of olive oil to sliced leeks and sautee until translucent.
Cook 1 cup of lentils in 2 cups of water until tender.
When everything is done and cooled for handling, place in the food processor.
Add the cilantro and puree.
Add enough olive oil to create the texture you desire.
For a creamier dip; just add more oil.
I then chopped the roasted red pepper, very fine, and folded it into the finished mixture.
I wanted little “pops” of sweet juicy flavor and the texture contrast.
I, also squeezed some lime into the finished dish and then gave it a good mixing.
Serve with your favorite crackers or breads or even crudites.
Posted in: Food on a Budget, Green Living, Healthy, Ingredients, Parties, Recipes
Tags: cilantro, eggplant, eggplant spread, garlic, leeks, lentil spread, lentils, lime, olive oil, roasted eggplant, roasted garlic, roasted red pepper, vegan, vegan meal, vegan recipe, vegetarian, vegetarian recipe
Quinoa Salad with Black Beans, Corn, Roasted Red Pepper, Tomatoes, Scallions, Cilantro and Lime!
We love quinoa!
It is a great alternative to pasta in that it delivers the same creamy, chewy, texture but is high in protien. A complete protien, as a matter of fact.
Aside from it’s nutrtious profile it is delicious and versatile.
We love this salad!
It is a power packed meal that delivers flavor and energy for very little expense.
Get creative and use your favorite fresh ingredients to create your own quinoa delights!
I used lots of lime in this dish. It compliments the cilantro and brightens the tomatoes.
1 cup quinoa and 2 cups water
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 roasted red pepper
1 cup black beans ( canned are fine )
1 cup corn
1/2 cup of finely chopped cilantro
2 Tbspn olive oil
Boil the quinoa. 10-15 minutes
Set aside and chop all the veggies
combine and add salt and pepper to taste.
Sqeeze lots of lime on the salad!
I mix the fresh veggies in when the quinoa is still a bit warm; it seems to bring all the flavors to their peak yet not cook them at all.
There is always room for more lime!
Garnish with avocado for an even richer flavor!
Posted in: Food on a Budget, Green Living, Healthy, Ingredients, Recipes
Tags: avocado, black beans, cilantro, corn, lime, olive oil, quinoa, quinoa recipe, quinoa salad, roasted red pepper, scallions, tomato, tomatoes, vegan, vegan meal, vegan recipe, vegatarian meal, vegatrian recipe, vegetarian
Pink Girlie Cocktails and Hot Smoked Salmon Spread!
Hot smoked salmon is the key ingredient to this light, savory dish that is tasty and sooo girlie!
We topped whole wheat crackers with the delicate creamy and sublte flavors of the salmon spread.
My dear, BFF shared her favorite recipe with me and I will share it with you.
6-8oz hot smoked salmon finely chopped
1 Tbspn fresh dill finely chopped
1 Tbspn fresh parsley finely chopped
1/4 cup red onion finely chopped
1/4- 1/2 cup of Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise
1 large garlic clove crushed
A sqeeze of fresh lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
The real secret to the success of this recipe is to mix the mayo, garlic and lemon together very well before adding to the salmon.
Mix well and serve chilled!
Pink and girlie all around when friends just want to have fun!
This delicious pink cocktail was inspired by a magical elixir we had at Le Colonial.
We tried to approximate the light tropical flavors of the passion fruit martinis we ordered and serve them “family style”!
We mixed a high quality, low sugar coconut pineapple juice with a light berry juice mix, and added vodka and fresh lime.
The result was sublime!
Posted in: Cocktails, Indulgences, Ingredients, Recipes
Tags: Chicago restaurants, coconut, dill, Hellman's Real Mayonnaise, hot smoked salmon, Le Colonial, Le Colonial Chicago, lime, martini recipe, martini's, parsley, pineapple, salmon, salmon recipe, salmon spread, tropical fruit drinks, vegetarian, whole wheat crackers
Meatless Monday! Picnic Style! Potato Salad, Eggplant Burgers and Corn on the Cob with Garlic Butter
This amazing potato salad recipe has endured a handful of incarnations.
Originally, it included bacon so I, a vegetarian, have been on a quest to replace that bacon flavor with a handful of substitutions.
I have tried avocado in the dressing, toasted pine nuts, immitation bacon; spices. You name it.
Nothing really captured not only the flavor of the bacon but the crispy texture or greasy mouthfeel, either.
Fried leeks were my next attempt to capture all of these elements that have always seemed to be missing from the veggie version of this very popular dish.
Chop and boil 4 lbs. of red skin potatoes
Chop 1 red bell pepper, 1 orange bell pepper, 1 yellow bell pepper
Chop 7-8 green onions
Chop 1 red onion
Fry 2 leeks until crispy
Add ingredients together when cooled
Mix togehter about 2 cups of Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise with about 2 Tbsn of yellow mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
Learning about leeks was the next step.
My very knowledgable girlfriend gave me some useful tips when dealing with leeks:
Clean them very well as they have dirt in between the leaves and use only the white to bright green portion when frying or using for salads.
The dark green leaves can be used for soups and stews.
This corn on the cob cooks on the grill. What could be easier!?
Open the husks and remove the silk
Mix together butter and crushed garlic and rub all over the corn
Close the husk and place on the grill. Delicious! and Easy!
I used 1 medium eggplant and sliced into thick planks.
Then dredged them in flour, egg wash and Italian style bread crumbs and fried until golden.
Then I place them on a baking sheet and kept them at about 325 degrees until we were ready to make our burgers.
I toasted the buns with a bit of olive oil and made a mayo/spicy barbeque sauce to serve on the side.
My very handsome date, Wolf!
Posted in: Food on a Budget, Healthy, Indulgences, Ingredients, Recipes
Tags: butter, cooking on the grill, corn, corn on the cob, eggplant, eggplant burger, French's Yellow Mustard, garlic, Hellman's Real Mayonnaise, mayonnaise, Meatless Monday, olive oil, orange bell pepper, picnic food, Potato salad, potato salad recipe, red bell pepper, red onion, red skin potato salad recipe, red skin potatoes, scallions, vegetarian burger, vegetarian meal, yellow belle pepper, yellow mustard
Crab Ceviche with Lotus Chips, Mango and Roasted Red Pepper Puree!
Tartine Bistro never fails to impress. And the wine list has a life of it’s own; getting better all the time!
Crab ceviche with avocado, roasted pepper puree, mango, lotus chips.
This was amazing and the best part were the lotus chips! So easy and light and crispy.
These are a new favorite.
This fresh and light appetizer was fantastic with a Monterey red by Muirwood.
Avocado adds a creamy, rich texture and buttery flavor. Absolutely delicious.
Grilled pita with chipotle hummus, cucumber yogurt, tomato-olive tapenade.
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives
3/4 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
2/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup drained capers
3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 pound lotus roots, peeled
Peanut or vegetable oil, for deep-frying
Using a mandoline or other mechanical slicer, slice the lotus into very thin rounds. Soak in a large bowl of cold water to prevent discoloration and to remove excess starch.
In a large heavy pot, heat enough vegetable oil to come halfway up the sides of the pan to 350 degrees F.
Drain the lotus completely and pat dry with paper towels. Add in batches to the hot oil, being careful not to overcrowd, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Remove with a slotted spoon or spider and drain on paper towels. The chips will crisp as they cool; serve at room temperature.
Posted in: Cocktails, Indulgences, Ingredients, Recipes
Tags: avocado, cleveland restaurants, crab ceviche, lotus chips, mango puree, olive tapenade, roasted red pepper puree, sundried tomato and olive tapenade, Taritine Bistro Cleveland Oh, Tartine Bistro