Green Curry Vegetable Macaroni & Cheese

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Macaroni & cheese is one of my all-time favs when it comes to comfort food. Is there anything better on a bad day then a nice big bowl of macaroni and cheese? When food supplies are low I tend to whip this up quite frequently as an easy weeknight dinner. Mixing in different spices and vegetables every time to keep it fun! Here The classic dish gets dressed up with spicy green curry paste, fresh lemon and parmesan cheese.

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Green Curry Vegetable Macaroni & Cheese

1 3/4 cup dried pasta

3 large cloves of garlic, minced

olive oil

3 medium carrots, sliced

about a tbsp of soft cheese, I used a laughing cow wedge

1 tsp green curry paste

1-2 tbsp plain yogurt or milk

frozen spinach + corn

grated parmesan cheese

squeeze of lemon

sriracha

salt

Boil pasta according to box directions, I used quinoa shell pasta. drain pasta and set aside. Add minced garlic and about a tbsp of olive oil to the same pot. cook for one minute then add the spinach, corn and carrots. Cook until the vegetables are warm. Then add pasta back to pot with the yogurt or milk, green curry paste and soft cheese. I used laughing cow, you can use any type of cheese you like. Stir till combined and add more yogurt/milk if necessary to get the right consistency. If you want your macaroni to have a little more zing then go ahead and throw in a bit more green curry paste! Once everything is well combined and hot season to taste with salt, fresh lemon juice, and sriracha (if you like it a bit spicy). Serve with a lemon wedge and grated parmesan cheese on top.

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Curry & Lemon Roasted Vegetables with Hummus

Welcome Fall. My first dish of the season not eaten cold. Hearty Veggies with a lemon twang and topped with a creamy goodness. YES. Welcome Fall.

Purple potatoes are a million and one times better then your average yukon gold. Their dark mysterious skin gives way to vibrant tie-dyed insides that not only taste great but up the cool-ness level of your dinner a few notches.

Curry & Lemon Roasted Vegetables with Hummus

{any vegetables you have on hand will work}
I eggplant, halved length-wise & chopped
2 medium sized potatoes, halved & chopped
3-4 large carrots, chopped
2 large leeks, halved length-wise & chopped
1 tsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp red curry paste
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 tsp garlic powder
pinch of cumin
dash of cayenne pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper
 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place all of the chopped vegetables in a baking dish. In a small bowl whisk together all other ingredients until combined and the curry paste is completely dissolved. Pour the dressing over the vegetables and mix until everything is coated. Sprinkle with additional salt/pepper if desired. Roast for about an hour, until all vegetables are soft and cooked though. Eggplant may get a bit crispy around the edges.

Serve over salad, pasta, rice or as a side dish. I spooned mine over a bed of fresh spinach and topped with a generous spoonful of smokey baba ganoush (hummus is also equally delicious).

~

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Tri-Color Carrot Salad with Asian Vinaigrette

Hot hot hot. And brutally hot. Not to mention humid. August in Manhattan…..Don’t ever come to Manhattan in August, unless you find enjoyment in slowly melting into a puddle. As I live here I can’t escape, my window unit can though. It picked the hottest day last week to say adios, the battery went bonkers and I am writing this to you with an ice-pack on my shoulders and a little black fan at my feet. Apart from the fact that every night I mentally tick another day off the ‘almost fall countdown’ this salad should bring some summer fun to your table. Light, crisp and bursting with flavor it will accompany any simple dinner with grace and be all the rage at a picnic. And did I mention no oven is needed?

Tri-Color Carrot Salad with Asian Vinaigrette

Large bunch of carrots (any color will work, I used purple, orange, yellow and white)
chopped spring (green) onion
2 tbsp sesame oil
4 tsp white wine vinegar
ground ginger, salt, & pepper to taste
juice of 1/2 a lemon
splash of ginger juice (optional) 
1 tsp dijon mustard

Using a vegetable peeler, peel off outer carrot skins (purple carrots are orange once peeled). Peel or ribbon enough carrots to fill a medium sized bowl. Do this by holding the thick end of the carrot and carefully make long strips with your vegetable peeler. Add chopped green onions to the bowl and set aside. Whisk all other ingredients together for the asian vinaigrette. Adjust seasonings if needed, I added a bit more vinegar to mine some may like a bit more mustard so customize as you like. You will have extra dressing left over. Toss the ribboned carrots with the vinaigrette right before serving.

Would be wonderful topped with sprinkles of toasted sesame seeds if you can muster the courage to turn on your toaster oven.

A cool and lovely summer side dish.

~

Here’s to the Squash

Here’s to the Squash…

The yellow squash. Not as decadent as its fellow butternut, acorn, or spaghetti variety but still perfect for a winters night.

For the first time in a long time I have only a mere three days as opposed to three months in-between my posts. An outstanding accomplishment I feel and hopefully will be the first of many future kitchen adventures now that I am a bit more settled.

Next week I embark on a journey back home for the holidays! A phrase I am using for the first time, ‘home for the holidays.’ I can’t wan’t to be worry and fancy free with good food and family.

With a longing for all I have been missing at home lately I decided to make one of my moms dish’s for squash caserole. Strolling over to the nearest market I bought all needed ingredients … then when looking for the yellow squash was pointed to a shelf where one package lay left. YES – package, of yellow squash. There is no way I will ever eat vegetables out of a plastic wrapped container of my own free will. They just look so sad in there……So after stopping by TWO more markets I finally found some yellow squash that looked quite happy to jump into my bag and come home with me.

So here we go: Yellow Squash Casserole {for 2}

Wash and thickly chop two large yellow squash, half a red onion, and 10-15 small carrots (or one large).

Fill a large pot with all of the chopped vegetables and water then bring to a boil.

Boil vegetables until the are just tender enough to mash up. The squash skins will still be a little tough which is alright.

I used a small casserole dish, close to the shape of a bread pan. Drain the all the water then transfer the veggies into your dish. Since a masher was not on hand I used a large fork.

Once you have a good mash going, you may be able to drain a bit more excess water out.

The next part is up to your liking….I added around 1/4 cup cottage cheese a decent handful of bread crumbs and a little seasoning.

Then came the cheese……

I had picked up a block of white chedder from trader joes labeled: The Unexpected White Chedder. Deliciously sharp and with hints of parmesan this cheese gets two thumbs up. Hands down Amazing. Any cheese will do, but the salty nutty flavor of the ‘Unexpected’ rendered all other seasonings useless.

With cheese, cottage cheese, bread crumbs, and desired seasonings added, mix then top casserole with a bit of extra shredded cheese and bread crumbs and bake at 350 degrees for around 25-30 minutes or until bubbling hot on top.

Once given a moment to cool serve with a spinach salad and crusty baguette….. Or however you please…

Especially as a meal for two, or one, on a cold winters night there is nothing more pleasing then a hot plate of squash.

Vegetable Broccoli Soup

Of the best variety.  You know, the knock your socks off variety of vegetable soup.

During the past week, winter finally struck the south.  Down to 20 degrees, and in the teens in the early morning.  This is crazy cold to me.  crazycrazycrazy.

SO. I present to you:  Vegetable Broccoli Soup ~

about 2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp chopped garlic

1 large yellow onion

2 large to medium potatoes

2 medium sized carrots

2 stalks of celery

1 can of corn {or frozen}

8 cups of broccoli

8 cups of broth of choice

2-4 cups fresh spinach

1/2 milk of choice

garlic powder to taste

salt and pepper to taste

cheese 🙂

Serves at least 8

First things first.  Chop up the onion, nothing neat…as long as it in in random sized chunks and pieces you are more then good {!}

Cover the bottom of a large {tall} pot with olive oil.  Roughly 2 tbsp.  Add onion and cook on low to med heat for about 5 -8 minutes.  Until onion is soft.

Example of large hearty soup pot

While the onion cooks go ahead and chop up the two potatoes.

And the celery and carrots.  I used a bunch of baby carrots for a lack of larger ones.

Add chopped potatoes, carrots, and celery to the pot.  Give a good stir.  With a rustic wooden spoon if you prefer.

Add garlic, the 8 cups of broth {I used chicken but would have normally used vegetable}, the corn, and the 8 cups of broccoli {I used frozen broccoli}.  Give a good stir.

Bring to a boil then lower heat and simmer for about ten minutes.  Potatoes and broccoli should be tender and cooked through.  Since I made this in the morning I turned the heat off after about 10 minutes and let the soup cool down a bit before blending.

Since this is a family sized recipe you can cut it in half for smaller portions.  A hand blender probably would have been a smarter option, but instead I blended it in my regular blender in three batches.  Pouring into a large metal bowl as I emptied the pot.  Yes.  I had a a lot of time on my hands on this cold winter morning.  OR I was avoiding having to brave the outdoors. . .

As I blended each bath I would leave room at the top and add a few handfuls of the spinach.  Do this all three times.  Blend completley.  Then put in fridge if your are serving later.  If you are serving immedietly, pour all the blended soup back in the pot and heat on low to medium heat.

Add the 1/2 cup of milk.  Stir.  Garlic powder to taste.  Salt and pepper to taste.  And a large handful or two of cheese if desired.  When hot everything is ready to serve.

Topped with cheese and a garlic hot sauce.

In all honesty.  Some of the BEST soup.  I.  Have.  Ever.  Ever.  Had.

Now GO.  Go and keep yourself warm and out of the cold with some soup<3