Meatless Monday! Whole Wheat Linguini with Peas, Scallions and a Spicy Peanut Basil Sauce!

020Meatless Monday whole wheat pasta with basil peanut 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.

005Meatless Monday Veggies Peanut basil pasta

I am sure that there is a better peanut sauce recipe but I improvised with what I had.

009Meatless Monday Peanut sauce

Ingredients:

Whole wheat pasta

1 cup frozen peas

5 scallions

1/2 cup broccoli florets

Sauce:

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

011Meatless Monday peanut basil pasta

Method:

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!

014Meatless Monday whole wheat pasta with peanut basil sauce

I like the idea of gently “scalding” veggies with the pasta water. It brings out the flavors of the veggies and warms everything nicely.

Meatless Monay Pasta

Just me, dining al fresco!

023Meatless Monday whole wheat pasta with basil, peanut sauce

A cool cucumber salad with red onion complimented this meal and tamed the heat a bit.
016meatless Monday cucumber salad

Pan Seared Scallops with Lemon, Thyme and Goat Cheese Gnocchi at Pier W!

006happy hour pier w

Pier W never lets me down.

From the fantastic Happy Hour to the incredible views this place is a winner every time.

004calamari pier w

Not only is the happy hour a great value; 1/2 price bar food and select drinks, but the quality is first class.

002calamari pier w

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.

005 calamari pier w

This is a far cry from the usual bar food you’d find elsewhere and you get the incredible atmosphere as a bonus!

009dinner pier w

The view!

012dinner pier w

The wine!

014scallops pier w

The scallops!

015scallops pier w

Pan seared scallops with goat cheese, thyme and lemon gnocchi with an asparagus coulis was amazing!

019scallops pier w

Sous Chef Jack Ahern was on board this night and his precision in the execution of this dish was out of this world.

020tempura fish pier w

The tempura fish and green beans looked yummy…

024scallops pier w

…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!

027goat cheese gnocci

Fruity Cocktails, Amazing Pizza, 200 Fabulous Gay Men and Me!

040G2H2 Luxe

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!

034mushroom spinach goat cheese balsamic  pizza

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!

032mushroom spinach goat cheese balsamic pizza

I couldn’t get enough of this pizza and made myself a fixture at the buffet!

011spinach mushroom balsamic goat cheese pizza

This is definitley something that I want to try at home.

013chris at Luxe

Chris was adorable and he knows the food.

019tomato basil pizza at Luxe

This tomato basil was fantastic; fresh and delish!

018pizza at Luxe

The setting was elegant but casual.

017pizza at Luxe

Sweetheart! Jen kept the fresh hot pies coming my way

021tomato and herb pizza at Luxe

Tomato and herb.

030Goat cheese chicken rosemary pizza at Luxe

Chicken, rosemary and goat cheese was a big hit.

044bartender Luxe

What would the evening be without a spunky bartender serving up the one-liners with the best mojitos in town?!

Lee was a delight!

Tuna Tartare, Passion Fruit Martinis and a Magical Night at Le Colonial, Chicago!

033chicago

Le Colonial, Chicago is a treat for the senses.

The exotically luxurious atmosphere is the first hint that you are in for something special.

041drinks at Le Colonial

These Passion Fruit Martinis were incredibly fresh and delicious! Floral and fruity yet light and refreshing on a warm summer night.

049tuna tartare at Le Colonial

Tuna Tartare with wonton crisps was light and satisfying and tasted fantastic with our cocktails….round 2!

044Le Colonial

Romance was in the air so sharing an entree of vermicelli and seafood in coconut curry seemed like the right thing to do!

038drinks at Le Colonial

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!

053vermicelli with fresh cilantro and basil

The music, the martinis, the warm summer breeze…

069vermicelli with coconut seafood

Taco Roll-Ups! Summertime Snack for Kids to Make and Enjoy!

078taco rollups sliced

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!

006taco rollups

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

031taco rollups

You may have to chop for the younger kids but mixing can be done by even the youngest of children.

035taco rollups

Spread evenly; roll and slice.

042taco rollups

These can even be done “cigar style”; roll and slice just 2-3 times for easy holding for little hands.

044taco rollups

081taco rollups

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