Summer Squash & Basil Pasta

Squashbasilpasta

Let me brag for a second. My basil is amazing this year. That means I am sure it will flop over in the night, since I just bragged :-P I can grow most anything, but basil and me….we don’t do well together. I almost always kill it via root rot. Well, this year? My 4 plants bake all day against the back fence – in nearly all day sun. So they are producing. Which means I am enjoying fabulous fresh basil now! And the never-ending heat wave here has helped as well, keeping the plants nice and dry.

Squashbasilpasta

 

Harvest a few baby squash and basil – and have a quick dinner. On the deck of course – so you can enjoy your garden!

Summer Squash & Basil Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound rotini pasta
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 pound green and yellow zucchini
  • Fine sea salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta, cook as directed on package. Reserve 1 cup pasta water, drain pasta.

Meanwhile, trim zucchini, slice into thin rounds. Heat a large skillet over medium-high, add in oil and zucchini, with a pinch of salt. Saute until turning golden. Sprinkle pepper on liberally, reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in lemon juice. Add pasta, toss gently. Slowly add in reserved water, then liberally add in Parmesan cheese (start with ¼ cup, add as desired). Toss until pasta is coated, then add in basil and serve.

Serves 6.

Caprese Pasta

CapresePasta

Have I mentioned how much I love the few short months when I can walk out to my garden and pick fresh Basil for dinner? Life has been busy here – especially with the garden! Everything is coming in, which makes me so happy. The boys love after dinner picking time every night. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, marionberries, green beans and soon carrots and tomatoes!

CapresePasta

Caprese Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 12 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 handful fresh basil
  • Ground black pepper

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, cook spaghetti as directed, drain.

Meanwhile, core tomatoes, dice up, add to a large bowl. Cut mozzarella into small pieces, add to bowl. Toss with olive oil, vinegar and garlic. Remove basil leaves, discard stems and rip leaves into small pieces, add to bowl. Season to taste with black pepper, and salt, if desired.

Add hot pasta back to cooking pot, toss with sauce. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.

Zucchini & Sausage Parmigiana

Zuke

I had an idea for a zucchini parmigiana, and made it a meal by adding vegan sausage. The meal takes a bit of work, but is well worth it! And a perfect use for all the budding zukes loitering in your garden ;-) Use the smaller, less seedy ones for best taste!

Zuke

Zucchini & Sausage Parmigiana

Ingredients:

  • 1½ pounds zucchini
  • 1 package Tofurky Italian sausages
  • 24-ounce jar pasta sauce
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, toasted and crumbed
  • 1½ cups mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 handful basil leaves, torn

Directions:

Lightly oil a 9×13″ glass baking dish, preheat oven to 375°.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high. Slice zucchini and sausage into coins. Working in two batches, grill zucchini for 3 minutes, flip over and grill for another 3 minutes, remove and transfer to a bowl. Add sausage to grill, cook for a minute or two on each side.

Spread 1/3 of pasta sauce on bottom of pan, sprinkle bread crumbs over. Layer half the zucchini and sausage on top, then spread 1/3 more of the pasta sauce on top. Sprinkle on half of the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.

Spread the remaining zucchini and sausage, remaining pasta sauce and remaining cheese on top.

Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before cutting and serving.

Serves 6 to 8.

Fueled For A Day!

CCollage

Do you like to travel, road trip, hike, backpack, or be-on-the-go? Craving an entire day’s of meals, that lean towards the Hippy Hut™? Take a look at this collection of recipes from my site, TrailCooking, and see if you have some inspiration!

CCollage

Breakfast:

Creamsicle Protein Smoothie

Chocolate Covered Cherry Granola Bars

Lunch:

Chickpea and Sweet Corn Salad

Snack:

Sweet Coconut Curry Granola Bars

Dinner:

Edamame Noodle Bowl

Dessert:

Chai Ginger Pudding

Zucchini & Corn Pizzas

ZukePizza1

Summer living should always be so easy – and tasty!

ZukePizza1

Zucchini & Corn Pizzas

Pizza Dough

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2¼ tsp active dry yeast (1 packet)
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 cup warm water (120-130°)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Add 1¼ cups flour, yeast, salt to a stand mixer bowl. Add in warm water and oil, mix on low until blended. Put on dough hook, add in another cup of flour and knead dough for 10 minutes, checking to see if it needs more of the remaining flour periodically (dough should be smooth and elastic, not sticky).

Let rest for 10 minutes before using.

Makes about 1½ pounds pizza dough.

ZukePizza2

Pizza

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch pizza dough
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 large zucchini, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 ears fresh corn, kernels cut off

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450°, lightly oil 2 large baking sheets.

Divide dough into 4 sections, roll out thinly. Each piece will take up half a baking sheet. Place on sheets.

Brush oil over dough. Spread ¼ cup ricotta cheese on each dough section. Place zucchini slices on top. Sprinkle a little ground black pepper on the top.

Bake all 4, with one sheet on top rack, one on bottom rack, switching every 10 minutes. Depending on your oven, it will take 20 to 30 minutes. If you choose to bake one sheet at a time, 15 to 20 minutes.

Take out, sprinkle fresh corn kernels on top, with a bit more olive oil drizzled on, if desired. Pop back into oven for 2-3 minutes, then slice up.

Store leftover pizza covered in refrigerator. Heat for 30 seconds in microwave for a tasty breakfast!

Makes 4 pizzas, serving 4 to 6.

Pan-Roasted Corn & Ricotta Pasta

RicottaPasta1

Summer might not be my favorite season, because while it is pretty, the heat isn’t something I like (I wilt), but it is my favorite for the seasonal produce. The local farmer’s market opens this weekend, and now we live within walking distance! I get more inspired in my cooking once it warms up and more, that I can get more unusual vegetables once again.

RicottaPasta1

This meal came together quickly, and while the water was coming to a boil, I went out back and picked the basil. I don’t grow basil well and usually end up killing it. My plants this year I snagged on a weekend sale for 59 cents a plant. I figure if this is the only meal I pick any for, I am ahead financially so far ;-)

RicottaPasta2

Pan-Roasted Corn & Ricotta Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound shell or similar pasta shape
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 ears fresh corn, shucked
  • 1 large red onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese, preferably full-fat
  • 2/3 cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • Ground black pepper

Directions:

Let ricotta cheese come to room temperature while you prepare the dinner.

Cut kernels off the corn cobs. To make it less messy, stand up each ear in a large bowl, running a chef’s knife down the cob. This prevents the corn kernels from flying everywhere.

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add pasta, cook as directed on package. Reserve 1 cup pasta cooking water, drain pasta.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet (not non-stick) over medium-high heat. Add in the corn kernels, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring constantly, until the corn is browned in spots. Turn the burner down to medium, add in 2 Tablespoons of the oil, onion and garlic, saute until onion is tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle on plenty of ground black pepper and toss.

Transfer hot drained pasta back to cooking pot, toss gently with remaining 2 Tablespoons oil. Add in vegetables and basil, toss again. Stir in just enough reserved pasta water (I used about 1/3 cup) for the pasta to have a bit of sauce. Serve immediately with small scoops of ricotta cheese on top.

Serves 4 to 6.

Spicy Artichoke & Chickpea Spaghetti

OuterSpice

Last week I received a sample of Outer Spice Spicy low salt seasoning. Outer Spice makes 2 blends, regular and spicy, in both low salt and salt free.

OuterSpice

 

Being that it was late and someone (me) had been out in the yard with the boys all afternoon…I quickly pulled together a pasta based dinner and then sat down to dinner outside. Summer time living is good!

 

Chickpeapasta

Spicy Artichoke & Chickpea Spaghetti

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 15 ounce can chickpeas, drained
  • 15 ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tsp Outer Spice Spicy blend*
  • Parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, cook pasta as directed on package, reserving 1 cup cooking water, drain pasta.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium, adding oil. Stir in garlic, chickpeas and artichokes, saute until sizzling. Sprinkle vinegar and spice on top. Add pasta and toss gently to coat. Add half of reserved pasta water and ½ cup Parmesan cheese, toss to coat, and add more pasta water as needed for a smooth sauce. Sprinkle on as much cheese as you prefer!

*The Spicy blend is spicy. If you are not used to heat…use only a little. Kirk and I…well, a good sweat while eating is always good ;-)

Serves 6 to 8.

FTC Disclaimer: We received product samples used in this recipe.

Farmers Market Soup

Farmersmarketsoup

Can I say I am excited? It is only about 2 weeks from our local farmers market opening for the season! And now I live within walking distance as well – yay! We had this soup recently and all it did was have me wistfully sighing over having to wait for the market to open!

Farmersmarketsoup

Farmers Market Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 ears corn
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, diced
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 14-15 ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • Hot sauce

Directions:

Remove the husks and silk from corn, cut kernels off the cobs. Add the broth, corn kernels, corn cobs, zucchini, garlic, black pepper and garbanzo beans to a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove and discard corn cobs, season to taste with hot sauce.

Serves 4.

Artichoke & Tomato Pasta Salad

ArtichokeSalad

Summer was in my dinner bowl yesterday, even if it is only 60° outside currently ;-)

ArtichokeSalad

Artichoke & Tomato Pasta Salad

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces tri-color spiral pasta
  • 14-ounce can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 4 roma or plum tomatoes, cored, seeded and chopped
  • 1 ripe avocado, cubed
  • ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Dressing:

  • ¼ cup sunflower oil
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
  • 1 Tbsp dried cilantro
  • ½ tsp fine sea salt
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper

Directions:  

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add pasta and cook for time on package. Drain, rinse with cold water and shake dry.

Toss cooked pasta with artichokes, tomatoes, avocado and cheese.

Whisk dressing ingredients together, pour over salad and toss to coat.

Serve warm, or cover and chill.

Vegan & Gluten-Free Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

PastaSalad

Hawaiian Macaroni Salad is an oddity. You may have never had it before, you may love it or you might just think..what the heck? If one expects a mess of greens and mac and cheese at a BBQ joint, well, one expects a scoop (or two) of macaroni salad when dining at a “Hawaiian” joint.

Now then…it is made with pasta and is heavy on the mayonaise. None of which Alistaire can eat. A few adaptations later, and we had a huge bowl of weird tastiness. I’ll fully admit that as a kid I loved fried Spam, which no way would I eat now…but there is a tiny sliver of me that was “oh yeah, Spam steaks!!!!). Lol…….

PastaSalad

Vegan & Gluten-Free Hawaiian Macaroni Salad

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces gluten-free macaroni (Barilla Gluten Free Elbow Pasta)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk, such as unsweetened coconut milk beverage
  • 1 cup vegan mayonaise
  • 2 tsp dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • 2 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery, trimmed and diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely grated

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil, add in pasta and cook as directed, drain throughly and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Toss with apple cider vinegar and set aside.

In a small mixing bowl, whisk milk, mayonaise, brown sugar, pepper and slat together, pour over pasta, stir to coat. Add in green onions, celery and carrots, stir again.

Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least an hour. Let it sit overnight and the flavor magic really happens!

Serves 4 to 8, depending on portion size.

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