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Posted on 08/24/2015

Lentil pasta is a great item to keep in the pantry - whether you’re sensitive to modern wheat or not. Lentils are nutritious, high in iron, fiber, protein and full of essential vitamins. My “go-to” brand is definitely Uddo’s Kitchen Red Lentil Penne. It’s all natural and it’s made of one - yes ONE - ingredient: Red lentils.

Another characteristic of the pasta, is that the texture mimics traditional whole grain or white pasta - you won’t have to worry about any soggy texture with these guys. Which makes this pasta a wonderful base for so many pasta-type dishes.

I’d like to invite you try my recipe for red lentil pasta which uses fresh oregano and flax oil. The recipe is so easy and quick to make, perfect for busy weeknights!

Red Lentil Pasta w/Fresh Oregano and Flax Oil
(Serves 2 - 4, as a meal)

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. Uddos Kitchen Red Lentil Penne (prepare according to package directions)
  • 2 Tbl. organic fresh oregano, chopped (I like bold flavor so I opt for more fresh oregano - or 2 tsp. of dried oregano)
  • 1-2 Tbl. organic flax oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste, if desired

Instructions:

  1. Prepare Lentil pasta according to package directions.
  2. Chop fresh oregano.
  3. When pasta is cooked al dente, drain water and return to pot. Add 1-2 Tbl. organic flax oil and chopped Organic Fresh Oregano. Add salt and pepper if desired. Toss.
  4. Plate or transfer to your favorite serving bowl.
  5. Serve with a fresh salad or veggie of your choice and enjoy!
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Posted on 08/20/2015

We’re (still) heating things up in Chicago this week. And I’m not just talking about the weather. At least in our family, we’re cranking up the grill and enjoying a few more backyard dinners as we close out summer.

Many people automatically associate “grilling” with meat, but this method is also fantastic for cooking vegetables and fruits like asparagus, pineapple and so much more. Vegetables or fruits taste incredibly flavorful when they’re cooked on a grill and you can easily prepare a healthy dinner or side dish in little time. One of my favorite weekday dinners to make are these grilled potato and portobello pouches. It takes no time to chop the potatoes and mushrooms, season them and in under 20 minutes you’ll have a delicious meal.

Whether you’re stepping away from cooking up meat on the grill, or if meat just isn’t part of your diet, these pouches are packed with flavor and are filling! If you want to make a tasty meal in under 20 minutes, take a peek below at this simple recipe. If you’re trying it out, I’d love to hear how it went!

Grilled Potato & Portobello Pouch
(1 pouch makes 1 serving)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium potato, cubed (I like Russet or Yukon Gold)
  • ¼ small onion, sliced
  • 1 medium portobello mushroom, sliced
  • 2 - 3 Tbl olive oil
  • Salt/pepper, to taste
  • Aluminum foil (recommend to cut into 12” x 12” squares)
  • Parchment paper (recommend to cut into 12” x 12” squares) 

Instructions:

  1. Heat grill to medium high heat. Make aluminum foil squares to fit ingredients. A 12"x12" piece is usually enough.
  2. Place a layer of parchment paper on top of the aluminum foil.
  3. Layer the cubed potatoes, sliced onions and topped with the sliced portobello on the parchment paper/aluminum foil square. Drizzle with olive oil, and season to taste, with salt and pepper.
  4. Lift foil edged and fold to make a well-sealed “pouch”.
  5. Place on grill for about 15-20 min. Or until bottom layer of potatoes are lightly brown and crispy to your liking.
Posted on 08/14/2015

It’s amazing to me how the summer months fly by. Before you know it, the kids are back in school, the leaves fall from trees and the air turns crisp. I love summer as much as anyone, but I do enjoy the transition into fall as I get to adapt many of my summertime recipes to fit the cooler weather.

I see fennel as a fantastic transition vegetable. It’s texture is crunchy and flavor delicious. It’s also a wonderful source for calcium, folic acid, vitamin C. Not to mention it helps with digestion, keeps your breath fresh and soothes stomach aches. You can combine fennel with so many great flavors - it works well with melon, apples and below I chose red currants with lemon. The tart and sweetness of the currants mixes well with fennel’s aromatics. Throw on some toasted spelt for some crunch and wholesome grain - and you’re set!

If you’re looking for an easy, healthy salad to make as we enter a new season, take a peek below at a simple salad that will be a treat to your tastebuds.

Fennel Fall Salad with Red Currants and Toasted Spelt
Makes approx. 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus another 2 tbsp olive oil for toasting spelt)
  • a pinch of sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill (or ½ tsp dried dill)
  • 2 tbsp currants
  • 2 medium sized fennel bulbs
  • 1 cup Arugula
  • 1 cup spelt
  • 1 Lemon (garnish)* 

Instructions:

  • Combine lemon juice, salt, pepper, dill, olive oil and currants in a mixing bowl
  • Trim the tops of the fennel and keep about ½ cup of the fronds. Cut the bulbs in half, trim any marks then slice as finely as possible. Add the fennel to mixing bowl and toss to avoid discoloration
  • Add fennel fronds and arugula to the mixing bowl
  • Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a medium skillet. Add spelt and cook, stirring often, until grains are two shades darker, about 3-5 minutes
  • Toss toasted spelt into the mixing bowl
  • Serve onto plates, finish with a good grinding of fresh black pepper and a lemon spiral

*To make a lemon spiral garnish: Take 1 lemon and slice a ring from it. Make one small slice through one side of the peel and pulp (you’re not cutting the ring in half though.) Remove the pulp so you have one long piece of rind. Twist the peel into a curly shape (it should naturally hold its shape.)

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