Summer pasta dreams do come true… this recipe is proof.
Ripe tomatoes lined my windowsill this morning and they looked like summer’s precious jewels. Either raw or cooked, heirlooms tomatoes have the most incredible burst of sweet flavor. After coming up with about 20 different ideas for my ‘maters, I landed on making this perfect summer garden linguine dish since I was really keen on twirling pasta around my fork in that moment. If you are Italian, you can especially understand what it means to be in a particular mood to twirl your past. A sentence my mother has often uttered in her true Brooklyn form, “No, I don’t feel like rigatoni today, I am really in the mood to twirl.”
My future self six months from now in the dead of winter will look back on this meal and try to remember a time when we could eat tomatoes that looked and tasted this good every single night. I’ll wonder, “Did I eat this outside?” “In a tank top and shorts?” I will be so jealous of the lucky bitch duck that I am today. But for now, I am obsessed with myself for whipping up such a SIMPLE and incredibly DELICIOUS recipe that I can now share with my readers.
Banza makes linguine out of chickpeas and I think if I blindfolded you and put a bowl of regular linguine and a bowl of chickpea linguine in front of you– it would be hard to tell the difference. I can just feel my skeptical brother rolling his eyes at this last sentence, as he tends to do towards me more than anyone I know… but I will keep you guys posted on his reaction when I serve him a bowl with chickpea spaghetti. Spoiler alert: He’s gonna love it.
Channeling my inner “Barefoot Contessa” as I was making dinner this evening, I put up a large pot of boiling water and added “lots of salt”. She also always advises her viewers to use “good olive oil.” She is my goddess.
The pasta took 10 minutes to cook and I find that the trickiest part about getting chickpea pasta to taste amazing is making sure that it gets cooked the right amount. Too short or too long of cook time can make it go from “YUM” to “MEH” and that’s just not acceptable.
The creation of this dish was actually inspired by a tomato pasta dish I usually make in the WINTER by Giada DeLaurentiis. Canned cherry tomatoes are what make it more of a winter meal.
Can this dish be made vegan?
Can you use regular pasta instead of chickpea?
Either version will be delish, but this version was what my heart was calling for on the day of creation. I even had burrata in the house that I put right on top, but if you don’t have that, you can alternatively add cubed mozzarella, ricotta, or omit the soft cheese all together.
One day soon, hopefully, I will have videos of these recipes in my very own kitchen!
Tips for this dish:
1. I used kosher salt because it really draws out the juices of the tomatoes.
2. I save my Parmesan rinds in the freezer and then whip them out and add them into sauces, but you can always buy parmesan rinds at a reasonable price at many grocery stores. I know Whole Foods has them since I am there pretty much every day.
3. If you want this to be vegan, my advice is to blend half of the sauce so that it isn’t too dry.
4. I have made this kind of dish with macaroni (like penne rigate and rigatoni) as well and it is fantastic.
How beautiful is this pasta dish?
It just looks like summer. Mangia! Let me know what you think of this tomato recipe and please enjoy these precious days of summer.
1½ teaspoons kosher salt (plus more for pasta water)
1 pound Banza chickpea linguine pasta (Can use regular pasta as well, even penne)
1 cup fresh basil, ribboned (leave a little extra for the end).
½ cup parmesan, grated
2 tablespoons room temperature butter
1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese or 4 oz mozzarella, cubed or burrata (optional)
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Heat the olive oil in a large pot set over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté on medium, high hear for 5-7 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and crushed red pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the garlic is lightly caramelized, golden, and fragrant. Slowly add the tomatoes and any juices left on your cutting board. Add the parmesan rind. Adjust the heat to medium to keep the sauce at a simmer. Simmer for 30-40 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Stir often to avoid sticking. Stir in the salt.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until al dente. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain.
Once the sauce has thickened, you can either puree the sauce in a blender or leave it in this chunky form. Remove from the heat, remove the parmesan rinds from the sauce. Stir in the pasta, basil, parmesan cheese and butter. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt, and pepper. If needed, thin the sauce with pasta cooking water.
Divide the pasta among bowls and top with ricotta cheese (or mozzarella or burrata, black pepper, cherry tomatoes and basil. EAT!
The beginning of March in NYC still has a little bite in the air even though the end of February gave us a nice glimpse into spring weather last week.
So if you’re still stuck in winter weather like me, I have just the thing. If not, just pretend you’re in your sleeping bag jacket and in desperate need of a recipe that will warm up what my dad calls “your kishkes” (or to the rest of us, your soul).
How does red lentil soup sound? My recipe is perfect for when you’re craving something hearty and comforting yet nutritious.
This soup has 6 ingredients and has convinced even the biggest lentil naysayers that these pink-hued legumes can taste so freaking good. Bonus? It takes less than an hour to make and requires minimal cleanup as it is a one-pot recipe.
The combination of simple ingredients that this soup calls for consists of things that are often hanging around in my fridge and pantry, allowing me to whip it up on a whim. Plus, this soup reheats up beautifully and the lentils provide plenty of plant-based protein and fiber, making it a perfect dish to have for lunch or a light dinner throughout the week.
Anything that is this delicious, super heart healthy, easy to make, and hits the spot on a cozy winter day gets an A+ in my book.
There is a smoothie and then there is a green matcha smoothie.
Are you guys tea fans? Beyond green tea lies this trendy superfood called matcha.
I have been trying to find another way to get that pick-me-up first thing in the morning to curb my love of coffee.
“Green matcha lattes” have been highlighted on the chalkboard menus at many cafes in my neighborhood these days. They cost almost $6 for a small size (gotta love NYC), so I decided that I could probably make something delicious with matcha on my own!
I was intrigued when I first heard about green matcha. Matcha is less processed than green tea and it’s health benefits are extensive.
It is known to improve mental clarity, cognitive function, physical activation as well as relaxation. This brain food also fights cancer-causing free radicals because it is LOADED with antioxidants.
Did you know that matcha has over 137 times more antioxidants than brewed green tea? This stuff is really amazing! It boosts your health AND your energy.
Powdered green tea – also known as matcha – tastes crazy good when combined with coconut milk and vanilla extract. This smoothie is such a yummy way to start the day or to have post workout with your favorite plant-based protein.
The frozen banana in this recipe makes it chilled to perfection and gives this smoothie some extra body. The almond butter in this shake adds great flavor and protein. Some of my clients use peanut butter instead, but I use almond butter whenever possible.
As I mentioned, coconut pairs very well with matcha, so I go coco-crazy and throw in canned coconut milk, coconut flakes AND coconut almond milk. This shake is delicious, creamy and dairy free!
Matcha Smoothie Author: Michele Wolfson Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 5 mins Total time: 10 mins Serves: 1 A delicious dairy-free shake. Add 1 scoop of your favorite plant-based protein to make this into a post-workout meal. Adapted mostly by: http://nutritionstripped.com/green-matcha-milkshake/
Author: Michele Wolfson
⅔ cup canned full fat coconut milk
1 cup coconut almond milk
1 frozen banana
2 teaspoons Green Tea Matcha powder
1 tablespoon almond butter
⅓ cup shredded unsweetened coconut
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt, adjust to taste
Using a high-speed blender, combine all ingredients in the blender and blend until smooth.
I don’t know about you, but I spent the holiday season indulging a bit more than usual.
It’s the time of year when I find it hardest to turn down perfectly baked Christmas cookies and red wine while I cozy up by a fireplace.
I spent a week in Steamboat Springs, Colorado with my sister-in-law’s family the week before Christmas and Chanukah. To say it was delightful would be an understatement.
I cooked almost every meal for 11 adults and 2 children and I didn’t hold back on the heavy cream or decadent cheeses.
While I’m not big on skiing, I love the culture around the sport. Meaning I thrive at sipping on hot cocoa or coming in from the cold for a big bowl of chili, and if I am very lucky, taking a dip in the hot tub to help relax the muscles.
I skied a total of one half day the entire trip, but partook in all the other activities like a boss.
The holidays are now over and reality has set in, which isn’t a bad thing.
I am not going to come at you with any New Year’s Eve clichés, but I thought it would be wise to post a recipe that you may want to make when you’re feeling kind of lazy, looking to stay on a budget, and want to eat a delicious, healthy dish.
Here’s a little tip from me to you: MEAL PREPPING AHEAD OF TIME IS WHERE IT IS AT MY FRIEND! Planning what I am going to eat for the week and chopping ingredients in advance has saved me SO much time, money and stress in the long run. It’s simple- Meal planning makes cooking more enjoyable.
Anyone who knows me can tell you that I love going to restaurants, but it’s usually not cost effective. The urge to dine out is tempting since I live in Manhattan which is arguably the food capital of the world.
Not only is eating at a restaurant expensive, there is a good chance that there are hidden calories laced into every scrumptious bite.
Also, when I spent that week in December with my two adorable nephews who are 2.5 and 8 months old, I realized that eating at home is much preferable for many families because… have you ever been at a restaurant with a toddler and a baby? Suddenly the idea of cooking even for 13 people for the week became tremendously more appealing.
I love the results that staying home and cooking new dishes has had on my skillz. The more I cook, the more I enjoy figuring out which meals scale easily and can be prepped in advance to accommodate various diets and food allergies.
The recipe I am sharing today is the perfect meal post-holidays when it’s time to put down the hollandaise, renew your gym membership, and make healthier choices. Aside from being vegan, this dish is easy to make and Sam and I LOVE the way it tastes! It is so versatile that it started off as a dish on it’s own, but then one day I had corn tortillas on hand, so I turned this meal into lentil tacos. Hello new taco Tuesday recipe!
I am also going to give you another little tip to make this recipe 100 x easier: If you don’t have the time to do your prep work in advance, buy your butternut squash pre-cubed at the grocery store. You will kiss yourself later for spending the few extra shekels and ultimately saving yourself a little time and effort.
Eating the filling on it’s own with baked tofu + cabbage soup is another great dinner option!
2 lbs medium butternut squash (I used pre-sliced butternut from Whole Foods), peeled and sliced into 1-inch cubes
¾ cup black lentils
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin (optional)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
½ cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)
8 corn tortillas (certified gluten free if necessary)
Optional garnishes: shredded lettuce and guacamole
Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line one large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easier cleanup.
To roast the squash: On your prepared baking sheet, toss the cubed butternut in enough olive oil to lightly coat all sides, about 2 tablespoons. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon chili powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. Arrange the butternut in a single layer. Bake until the butternut is tender throughout and caramelized on the edges, about 30 to 35 minutes, tossing halfway.
Meanwhile, soak lentils for 10 minutes in a small bowl, then drain. Cook lentils in boiling salted water until tender but firm, about 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water, then drain and cool.
Combine lentils, butternut squash, goat cheese, if using.
To warm the tortillas: In a small skillet over medium heat, warm each tortilla on both sides before transferring to a plate and covering with a lint-free towel to keep warm. Repeat with each tortilla, stacking each warmed tortilla on the last.
To assemble the tacos, spoon an ample amount of filling down the center of your taco, top a spoonful of guacamole down the side. Top with garnishes of your choice and serve immediately.
This recipe is dedicated to my late uncle Phil who loved ice cream. He had practically no body fat on him in spite of the fact that he indulged in a late-night dessert binge nearly every single evening. Philip Wolfson was warm, kind, quirky, loving, hilarious (without even trying to be), caring, selfless, a great listener, honest, hard-working, brilliant, compassionate and one of the best humans that you could ever meet. He was remarkable, but he was incredibly humble and he had a unique way of making people feel that they were remarkable.
He loved jogging and cycling. He was a pediatric surgeon who was completely dedicated to his patients and he loved teaching medicine to prospective doctors. Most of all, he loved his family. He was infatuated with his wife and two daughters. He was a real man. He was a real man because he was never threatened by letting his wonderful wife be all that she can be and he encouraged his daughters by letting them know they could do anything that they put their minds towards. He would go to the ends of the earth for the people he loved most as well as complete strangers.
When I was in 11th grade I had to write a paper on who my hero was and I wrote about my uncle Phil. Nine years ago today, my uncle left this earth and those of us who loved him, loved him so deeply. Our lives are richer for knowing him, but they will never be the same after his passing. My husband never got to meet my uncle and that makes me sad every single day.
On my wedding day, my father made a toast and said that I possess many qualities that remind him a lot of my uncle and my late grandfather. That has probably been the best compliment that I have ever received.
Photo Credit: Lindsay Madden Photography
Photo Credit: Lindsay Madden Photography
Usually this blog is dedicated to posting plant-based recipes that are nutritious and also delicious, but today I am posting my ice cream cookie sandwich recipe because that’s what I would want to eat with my uncle right now if he could be with me here today.
When you make these treats, remember how fortunate you are to spend time with the ones you love. Live in the moment and appreciate those belly laughs among good friends and family. On a day like today, when I am especially sad, I try to keep my chin up and I remember to treat people with gratitude and respect. I remember to love life because that was the Philip J. Wolfson way and it is what he would have wanted. He will be missed every day. His laugh, his hugs and his amazing kindness to all will forever live on in my heart.
Preheat the oven to 325°F. Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
In a medium bowl, beat together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until combined well.
Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.
Drop cookie dough ¼ cup (for a ridiculously large cookie, one or two tablespoons for more standard-sized cookies) at a time onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
Bake for 15 to 17 minutes (bake for about 12 minutes for non-1/4 cup scoop cookies) or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks or plate to cool completely.
Whisk together milk, cocoa powder, and sugar to combine. The sugar and cocoa should close to completely dissolved.
Stir in heavy cream and vanilla extract.
Refrigerate the chocolate ice cream base for at least 30 minutes before putting it in your freezer, so it is completely cold. This will help it freeze faster, improving the texture, and allow the cocoa powder to become fully hydrated by the milk and cream.
When ready to use, turn machine on; pour mixture into freezer bowl, and let mix until thickened, about 25 to 35 minutes. The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired (which for ice cream cookies is good), transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in freezer for about 2 hours. Remove from freezer about 15 minutes before serving.
Adapted from http://www.thekitchn.com/the-absolutely-positively-best-way-to-make-a-perfect-ice-cream-sandwich-84140
Author: Michele Wolfson
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Ice cream, any kind but today we are making chocolate
Cool the cookies for no more than 5 minutes. Let them cool for 3 to 4 minutes; they should still be quite hot but just firm enough to handle.
Take your ice cream out of the freezer. Do not remove your ice cream from the freezer until this moment. It should still be quite hard.
Shave the ice cream in strips, not balls. Here's an important part of the process: Scoop or shave your ice cream in long strips — not in big round balls. You want chunky, thin blocks or strips.
Construct the sandwich. Don't spread or scrape the ice cream onto the cookie. Gently lay your thin strips in layers. Press another cookie on top.
Eat your sandwich! Don't delay. Eat immediately.
Storage: These aren't made for storage. But if you must store them, you can wrap them individually in wax-paper bags or plastic wrap and put them in a box in the freezer. If you underbake the cookies, they should stay chewy and soft — even when frozen.
April showers seem to be still with us in May, but at LEAST May has bought us…
The Dirt on Vegetable’s “4 x 4 Meal Delivery Calendar.”
Spring has sprung, which means summer is right around the corner. Are YOU ready?
I want you to feel great in your shorts, bathing suits, and sundresses, so let me pitch in and help you towards that goal. Sign up for my meal delivery service here in Manhattan’s Financial District so you can get four meals a week that are designed to be consumed at your convenience during the week. These meals are perfect for either lunch at the office or for dinner after a long day’s work. We are already approaching week two, but it’s not too late to sign up!
Here is the cost break down for the rest of the month:
3-Week Program: $195
2-Week Program: $140
1-Week Program: $75
The meals are plant-based, health supportive, and SO delicious. It feels almost impossible to eat nutritious and tasty meals on a regular basis with our crazy, hectic schedules, but the meal plan will have you eating dishes that do not contain any refined carbs, sugars, dairy, and meat.
You have more than enough on your plate (no pun intended), so let me plan your meals and help you live a healthier lifestyle.
I have been craving a soup that seems creamy, but doesn’t actually have any cream. You know what I mean? Like when you want to fit into your skinny jeans, but you don’t actually want to put in the effort of going outside, heading over to the gym, and then getting on the treadmill for 45 minutes. I was starting to think that my desire for a healthy soup that would taste unhealthy wasn’t going to be possible. My husband often tells me that I am a skinny girl on the outside with the thoughts of a very large (and in charge) person on the inside.
Whenever my refrigerator is filled with produce that will go bad in a few days, my mind goes to combining all of these extra ingredients and making a scrumptious soup. This dish is easy to make a delicious lunch or light dinner. You can replace the cauliflower with broccoli rabe if you want a super green soup. I added the superfood spinach at the end to wilt.
If you have an immersion blender, you are going to want to cook this soup in a nice, deep pot. Turn your heat way down, put your immersion blender all the way to the bottom of the pot, and stand back a little so you don’t get splattered. Then, just start whizzing that up and you have your healthy, vegan, no-cream creamy soup all ready to roll! If you do not have an immersion blender, you can just blend this soup in batches. I used my vitamix (a chef’s best friend) and the soup came to a perfect texture. My husband likes to add some grated parmesan cheese on top, which is over-the-top delicious, but I keep mine vegan and I love it just the same.
2 tablespoons butter (omit butter and use more olive oil if vegan)
2 leeks, whites and light green tops, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and chopped
1 large sweet potato, small cubed
Salt and pepper
2 quarts vegetable stock
10 ounces spinach, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 handful basil, thinly sliced
Heat olive oil in a medium soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
Add butter and melt; when it foams, add leeks and garlic, and stir 2 minutes.
Add cauliflower, sweet potatoes and season with salt and pepper.
Raise heat to medium-high and cover to sweat 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add stock and bring to boil. Wilt in the spinach, then throw in the shredded basil and then blend with an immersion blender or purée in batches in a vitamix, blender, or food processor. You can add a cup of water if soup is too thick. Adjust seasoning.
I am amazed that we have gotten all of our wedding gifts to fit into our one-bedroom Manhattan apartment. Many people have been in awe over the amount of kitchen supplies we received and the constant question that keeps being asked, “Where are you going to put everything?” is usually followed by this question, “Wouldn’t you guys just prefer getting cheddar (the green kind) as opposed to all of this STUFF?” Those people just don’t understand the purpose of wedding registries. They wonder, who could possibly need all that stuff?
I am here to tell you that the answer is “me.” Yes, to the Vitamix AND the Cuisinart Food Processor. Yipee to the half dozen Le Creuset pots and Staub grill pan. Hooray to the Breville Juicer, the Indian copper serving bowls, and the William-Sonoma monogrammed salt and pepper grinders. There is no shame in my game… I get pure joy out of having a fully stocked kitchen.
I don’t blame my fellow New Yorkers who think I am crazy for outfitting my kitchen with all of these top-notch supplies. The amount of stuff we now own probably wouldn’t even fit very well in a space that was 4x the size of where I currently reside. I have learned that there are two different types of people in this world; the ones who love registries and the ones who don’t. Some of us have been fantasizing about our registries at places like Williams-Sonoma, West Elm, and Restoration Hardware longer than we have been dreaming about our actual wedding.
When I was left to my own devices building our registry completely unmonitored by my former fiancé (now husband), I realized that I can peruse the Internet for hours because things like All-Clad pots and pans in all shapes and sizes truly excite me to my core. I am sure that a candied thermometer has never made the day of any registry nay-sayer.
Since I am a chef, I have had a lot of the cool crap that most pre nuptial people have been coveting for years like the Kitchen-Aid mixer and many of it’s appliances. I have owned knives that I consider some of my most prized possessions since I graduated from culinary school in 2011. My kitchen wasn’t in desperate need of an upgrade, but it has made cooking even more fun and I look cuter over my stovetop too (thanks Antropologie for making the CUTEST aprons and oven mits)!
Choosing a favorite appliance would be like picking a favorite child, but many of my readers know how much I love my Vitamix. We call it “the baby” here at the Broderson household and I use it very regularly. The baby comes out to play anytime I make this nut butter miso dressing. This concoction gets put on a multitude of different roasted veggies because it’s so delicious and in this food obsessed kitchen it is our version of crack.
This recipe goes perfectly with my efforts to go to Pure Barre class 4-5x a week, which I am still maintaining post wedding. I forced myself to sign a 6 month contract so I didn’t try to get lazy. If you have anything green from edamame, to peas, or even a leafy green, you can throw that in here too and it will be delish. It is my belief that you can never have too many greens!
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place quinoa in salted water on the stove and cook according to package directions.
Cut sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes. Cut tops off cauliflower and separate into bite-sized florets.
Toss sweet potatoes with 1 TBS olive oil, place on baking sheet, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, until browning underneath. Flip and toss chunks around, then add cauliflower to the baking sheet, season again with salt and pepper, and roast for another 10 to 20 minutes, until cauliflower is lightly charred at edges and sweet potato is fully bronzed and tender. Toss chunks around one more time if it looks like they’re cooking unevenly.
In a small skillet, toast sesame seeds until fragrant and then let cool.
While vegetables roast, prepare the nut butter miso dressing: Combine everything in a vitamix and blend until very smooth, scraping down sides once. Taste and adjust ingredients if needed, but try to resist adding more sweet since the saltiness pairs wonderfully once added to the sweet potato.
Assemble bowls: Scoop some red quinoa into each, then pile on the roasted sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and toss in the baby kale. Coat lightly with sesame-miso dressing and finish with toasted sesame seeds and sliced avocado. Serve with extra dressing on the side.
The Gift of Gourmet Granola + Engagement Party Pictures
This past weekend, my future in-laws hosted our engagement party in Sam’s hometown of Newton, MA and they invited some family and many of their friends to the celebration. I had very little responsibilities when it came to organizing this shindig until I volunteered to make the party favors. Even though I host my fair share of gatherings, the only party favor that I usually send my guests home with is a hangover, so coming up with an edible, cute, healthy, and fairly easy concept, was a bit of a challenge. I figured that as a personal chef, it would be a nice touch to make something for the guests that came straight from my kitchen.
My future in-laws really admire my attempts to be health conscious, even mentioning it in their speech on Sunday. So in an effort to stick to my health-supportive ways, I wanted to make sure that the edible favor wasn’t cookies, pies, or any sort of treat loaded with white sugar.
I was brainstorming with my business partner and we came up with making granola and having a tag made up that said “x’s and oats! Love Michele & Sam.” This recipe is AWESOME! I want to sprinkle it on my yogurt every single day. It is simple, but full of flavor and it’s super easy to make one batch (making enough for almost 100 people is another story, but it was worth the effort)! There are hints of vanilla, coconut, and cinnamon as well as chunks of crunchy almonds that balance the flavor of this yummy snack.
There is no comparison… homemade granola tastes WAY better than the store bought brands and it’s way more economical to make at home. I went to the bulk section of Whole Foods and got all of my organic ingredients, which cut down the cost as apposed to buying each individual ingredient in packaged form. Make sure that you buy the big coconut flakes and pick the ones that are unsweetened. This will help keep down the sugar content and if you are using this recipe as a present like I did, you can still feel like you are giving the gift of healthy inspiration.
Your friends will thank you. So will your in laws. And your doormen.
In a small saucepan over low-medium heat, whisk agave, oil, and vanilla together.
In a large bowl combine oats, almonds, coconut, cinnamon and sea salt.
Pour oil and agave mixture over dry ingredients and stir very well to coat. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 10 minutes; remove from oven and stir. Place back in oven but remove and stir every 5 minutes or so until the oats are golden brown ( total time is approx. 20-25 minutes).
Recently, I realized that some of my favorite recipes have very few ingredients. I keep gravitating towards the whole “less is more” concept. Plus, this whole “peasant food” kick that I’ve been on has been good on my waistline and my credit card statement. I just looked at the percentage of my hard-earned money that goes towards my groceries and it ain’t pretty. I guess I am just the kind of girl who would rather buy morels and oyster mushrooms than a pair of Jimmy Choo’s. Here’s to hoping that recipes like this one will help my grocery store overspending issues.
Spring started on Friday and the fresh peas that I have been lusting for are on their way. But, for now, I will be using frozen peas that were plucked off the vine during the peak of their season and I recommend for you to do the same if you are a mid-westerner or northeasterner. You people in nicer climates where the warm sun might be beaming on your face at this very moment, can go take a walk, and pick up some fresh peas while you’re at it.
I’m not going to lie- I’m getting very sick of this weather. My love for my native land, New York, runs deep, but it’s getting harder and harder to picture myself here for all of my days when the winter drags on in this fashion. I guess it could be worse… I could have been living in Boston, and after this winter, that would have been my straight up nightmare.
Anyway, this soup with keep you warm and skinny, which are two of my favorite things. I made it recently when I was having a girl’s night in with a bunch of my favorite gal pals and they all thought it was a hit. In fact, one of my friends who is a CrossFit junkie threatened me if I didn’t post this recipe ASAP. She’s a tough cookie now with her no-nonsense muscles, so I figured that I better listen to her and post my pea soup.
If you feel the early signs of a cold, you should make this soup tonight!
Health benefits of….
Onion: Onions improves blood circulation, disperse cold, damp, and mucus from the system, and help detoxify. Onions have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, and anti viral properties. When buying, select firm onions that have a papery, dry skin with little or no neck and no soot. Avoid onions that are light for their weight or are beginning to sprout.
Olive Oil: Nearly three quarters of olive oil’s fat content is monosaturated fat, which lowers your LDL (bad cholesterol). Extra virgin olive oil is highly regarded for its ability to support the liver and gallbladder functions.
Peas: Green peas are high in vitamin A and B-complex and are a good source of calcium and potassium. While shopping, look for peas that have small, crisp, shiny pods that squeak when rubbed together. Refrigerate and use immediately.
Crushed Red Pepper: Crushed red pepper is a great addition to a meal and can help reduce inflammation. If you want more flavor in your food plus health benefits like weight loss and pain relief, try adding crushed red pepper to your meals. In traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, a traditional form of Indian medicine, red peppers have been used to treat digestive problems, circulatory problems, infections and arthritis. Most crushed red pepper mixtures contain a variety of different peppers such as bell, jalapeno, ancho and cayenne peppers, which range from mild and peppery to hot and spicy. If you have pain or inflammation in your body, eating more crushed red pepper may help. Capsaicin is a compound in peppers that gives them a hot and spicy flavor and is also responsible for reducing pain.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add onion, and cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the onion is tender. Add the vegetable stock, increase the heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add the peas and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, until the peas are tender. (Frozen peas will take only 3 minutes.) Off the heat, add the salt, and pepper.
Puree the soup in batches: place 1 cup of soup in a blender, place the lid on top, and puree on low speed. With the blender still running, open the venthole in the lid and slowly add more soup until the blender is three-quarters full. Pour the soup into a large bowl and repeat until all the soup is pureed. Serve hot and top with crushed red pepper.