Autumn Crunch Pasta Salad

5 ounces fresh spinach half a 10 ounce bag1 and 1/2 cups dry small pasta
3/4 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup dried cranberries
1 can (15 ounces) can mandarin oranges
1 large Granny Smith Apple
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/3 cup pecans, coarsely chopped*
Optional: Feta cheese

Dressing
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 2-4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon each: paprika & onion powder
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon poppyseeds
  1. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, prepare the dressing. In a food processor or blender (I used my small Twister jar on the Blendtec) combine the apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar, sugar, (adjust — more or less to personal preference, we like a less sweet dressing and use about 2 tablespoons) paprika, and onion powder. Pulse or blend for about 10 seconds. Slowly add in the oil and pulse until just combined. Stir in the poppyseeds. IF you don’t have a blender or food processor you can combine the ingredients in a bowl or mason jar and whisk (or shake jar) vigorously.

  3. Drain the pasta once it’s cooked through and immediately toss a few tablespoons of the dressing with the pasta. This helps the pasta soak in the dressing and the flavor.
  4. Chill the dressed pasta in the fridge.
  5. Meanwhile, combine the (washed and de-stemmed) spinach with the chopped celery in a large bowl. Add in the cranberries and a can of drained mandarine oranges.
  6. If desired peel the apple (We like to leave on the peel!) and then slice into thin slices. Toss with lemon juice and then add to the salad.
  7. Pour dressing over the salad and toss. Add in the completely cooled pasta and toss with the rest of the salad.
  8. If you want to toast the pecans, place them in a single layer in a dry saucepan (don’t add anything) over medium heat. Stir constantly until the nuts are barely fragrant — just a couple of minutes. Watch carefully as the nuts are VERY easily scorched/burned.
  9. Alternatively, you can candy the pecans if desired. Check the link in the last paragraph of the blog text for how to candy pecans. *UPDATE: we’ve found we like this salad even more with the pecans coarsely chopped- you’ll get more in each bite! 🙂

  10. Top the salad with the pecans and (if desired) feta cheese.

  11. Enjoy immediately.

 

Baked honey-marinated cod from nogojisnoglory.com

    • 4, 6-oz black cod fillets (aka sablefish)
    • ¾ cup honey
    • ½ cup low-sodium soy sauce
    • ⅓ cup toasted sesame seed oil
    • ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
    • 1½ tsp freshly ground pepper
    • 1 tsp freshly chopped ginger
  1. Combine all ingredients (except for fish) in a medium-sized airtight mixing bowl. Add cod and marinate for 24 hours. If possible, flip half way through marinade time to allow even flavor distribution.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F; prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Remove cod from marinade and bake on the center rack for 7-9 minutes, until cod is opaque and flakes easily.

Caramelized Bluefish from myfishingcapecod.com

 Serve this with rice pilaf, a simple salad or my sautéed mushrooms, chickpeas and kale with pesto (link to the recipe in the post)
Ingredients
  • 1 lb bluefish filets
  • 1 bottle of red wine vinegar
  1. In a deep dish, arrange the bluefish in and pour the vinegar over the fish. Let it marinate for 30 minutes (and no longer!).
  2. Set the broiler to high and arrange a baking sheet with tin foil. Arrange the fish filets on the baking pan and broil on the second to top rack for 10 minutes, letting it caramelize. Watch carefully – the fish can easily burn.
  3. After 10 minutes, set the oven to 350 and move the fish to the bottom rack, cooking for another 10 minutes.
  4. The fish should be caramelized at this point and ready to eat. Serve immediately or store fish in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one day.

Mushroom pie from meatlessmonday.com

  • 2 ounces assorted dried mushrooms
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 baby onions, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 12 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
  • 9 ounces Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup cream

For the crust:

  • 9 ounces margarine
  • 9 ounces flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup cold water

To complete the Mushroom Pie:

  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 4 tablespoons nonfat milk
  • 4 ounces spinach, blanched

To make the Mushroom Filling: Place the dried mushrooms in a medium bowl and cover with hot water. Allow to soak for 15-30 minutes, or until the dried mushrooms become tender. Drain the dried mushrooms, reserving the liquid, slice the rehydrated mushrooms and set aside. Combine 1 cup of the reserved mushroom soaking liquid with the vegetable stock cube and cornstarch. Stir until the stock cube and cornstarch have dissolved. Set aside. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the sliced baby onions and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until onions are beginning to become soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more. Add the button mushrooms and continue to cook over a medium heat for 2-4 minutes, or until they start to soften. Add the Swiss mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes further. Place the sliced rehydrated mushrooms into the pan and turn the heat up to high. Pour in the wine and allow to simmer for 1 minute, then add the mushroom liquid stock cube mixture. Turn down the heat to low and let the mushrooms cook over a very gentle heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the Mushroom Filling has reduced a bit. Remove the Mushroom Filing from the stove and stir in the soy creamer. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

To make the crust: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, rub the margarine together with the flour until it resembles fine bread crumbs. Add the dried thyme and a pinch of salt. Stir to combine. Add the cold water, one drop at a time, until the mixture forms a dough. You may not need all the water. Roll the dough into a smooth ball, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 10 minutes. Prepare a 35 centimeter pie dish with a light coating of vegetable shortening and set aside. Remove the dough from the fridge and cut into 2 pieces, 1 slightly larger than the other. Prepare a large, flat surface with flour. Roll the larger dough ball out on a floured surface large enough to line the base and sides of your pie dish. Lay the pastry into the prepared dish, prick with a fork a couple of times and return the dish to the fridge for another 10 minutes. Roll out the remainder of the pastry to form the pie lid.

To complete the Mushroom Pie: Pour the mushroom filling into the prepared pie crust. Trim the edges of the pastry from the dish and top with the pie lid. Seal the edges of the pastry case by gently pressing down with a fork or your fingers. Cut a cross in the middle of the pie lid, sprinkle with black sesame seeds and lightly brush with milk. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the crust is golden and mushroom filling is bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow the Mushroom Pie to sit a few minutes to cool slightly. Cut in equal pieces and serve topped with blanched spinach.

Best ever instant pot key lime pie from livingsweetmoments.com

For Crust
  • 1 cup graham crackers or vanilla cookies
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
For Key Lime Filling
  • 3 egg yolks large
  • 2/3 cup key lime juice (approx 8-9 key limes)
  • 1 tablespoon key lime zest (approx) 2-3 key limes
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (omit if you like it super tangy)
Topping (optional)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon key lime zest for garnish optional
Instructions
  1. Spray a 7″ springform pan with nonstick spray

  2. ground the crackers in the food processor

  3. In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted butter

  4. Press this mixture into the bottom and sides of the springform pan. Freeze while making the filling

  5. Place the egg yolks and sugar in a bowl. Using a mixer on medium-high speed, mix until the yolks turn pale yellow and thicken (about 2-3 minutes)

  6. Add the condensed milk and keep mixing. Add the key lime juice and zest. Mix until combined

  7. Pour this mixture on top of the prepared crust

  8. Cover the springform pan with aluminum foil

  9. Make a sling with aluminum foil: Break a long piece of foil and fold into 3. The idea is to get a long thin rectangle (helps remove the pie from the instant pot quicker)

  10. Pour 1 cup of water in the instant pot. Place trivet on top

  11. Put the sling in and place the pie on top. Cover with lid and lock in place

  12. Cook on manual high pressure for 15 minutes (15 MHP)

  13. Let the pie cool for 10 minutes before releasing the pressure (10 NPR)

  14. Remove the pie from the instant pot using the sling and cool and remove the aluminum foil cover. Center should be a bit jiggly

  15. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours or until set

  16. For Topping: Whip cream and slowly add the sugar until the cream becomes stiff. Pipe on top of pie and decorate with zest

  17. Enjoy!

Madras Lentils/Daal Makhani with brown rice from ministryofcurry.com

  • 1 cup Black Gram Beans/adzuki beans/whole brown lentils
  • 1/3 cup Red Kidney Beans
  • 1 tablespoon oil ghee or coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoon fresh ginger grated
  • 2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon kashmiri red chili powder
  • 1/2 cup light cream or coconut cream or cashew cream
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala optional for non-spicy lentils
    1/2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tbsp. dried fenugreek
  • 1/2 tbsp  cumin powder
  • cilantro for garnish

Rice:

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 tsp salt

  1. Rinse and soak black gram beans and red kidney beans in 3 cups of water. Overnight or 6-8 hours. Drain the water after soaking and keep the beans aside.
  2. Set Instant Pot to Sauté(more) mode. Once the “Hot” sign displays, add oil and cumin seeds. Add onions and mix well.
  3. Add turmeric powder, fresh ginger, tomatoes, salt, red chili powder, 1/2 tablespoon of cumin powder, 1/2 tablespoon coriander powder, 1 tablespoon of minced garlic along with ginger and red chili powder, 1 tablespoon kasoori methi {dried fenugreek leaves} along with fresh cilantro in the end. 3. You can also add more or less red chili powder and garam masala to adjust the spice level.and beans. Mix well.
  4. Add 2 cups of water.

For pot in pot rice (optional)

  1. Rinse and drain rice. Add rice, 2 cups of water and salt in a stainless steel container.
  2. Put a tall trivet ( I have a 2.75 inch one from amazon) over the beans.
  3. Place rice container on the trivet.
  4. Close Instant Pot with pressure valve to sealing. Cook on Manual(Hi) for 30 minutes followed by Natural Pressure Release.
  5. Open Instant Pot and set to saute mode.
  6. Carefully take out the Rice container and the trivet.
  7. Stir in cream, add garam masala (optional) and garnish with cilantro.

summer beets stacks from wendyseewendydo.blogspot.com

  • 4 beets, small to medium sized
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup walnut oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • Preheat oven to 350º F.
  • Scrub, rinse and pat beets dry then rub with a small amount of olive oil and wrap tightly in foil (two beets per foil packet).  Roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours until beets are tender and easily pierced with a knife.  Allow to slightly cool then carefully remove skin.  (The beets will stain your hands and clothing! So I use rubber gloves.)  Set aside.
  • In a small, dry frying pan toast walnuts until slightly browned.  Set aside.
  • In a small  owl, whisk together balsamic vinegar and walnut oil then season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.
  • Once skin is removed slice beets width-wise into three or four sections (depending on the size of the beet.)
  • In layers, alternate beet slices and crumbled goat cheese.  Drizzle stacks with balsamic walnut oil vinaigrette, fresh thyme leaves and the toasted walnuts.

Beet and Avocado Salad with Feta Cheese and Basil from motherrimmy.com

  • 4 small roasted beets, sliced
  • ½ medium avocado, sliced
  • 5 leaves basil, thinly sliced (Chiffonade)
  • ¼ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons low fat feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 sqeeze lemon juice
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place whole and unpeeled beets in a foil packet in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 1 – 1 /12 hours until just tender. You don’t want mushy beets. When beets are cooled, peel off skin with your hands and slice.
  2. Layer beets, onion, basil and avocado on a plate. Sprinkle with feta cheese. Drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Mushroom Rice from recipetineats.com

2 – 3 tbsp olive oil , separated
2 tbsp butter
1.5 lb mushrooms , sliced 3 – 5 mm / 1/8 – 1/5″ thick (Note 1)
2 garlic cloves , minced
1 small onion , finely diced
1 1/2 cups long grain rice (Note 2)
2 1/4 cups / 565 ml vegetable stock (Note 3)
1 1/2 – 2 cups sliced green onion / scallions
Optional: More butter to stir through

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large pot over high heat. Add half the mushrooms, and cook for 5 minutes until golden. Season with salt and pepper then remove and set aside.
If the pot is dry, another 1/2 – 1 tbsp oil, and add butter. When melted, add onions and garlic.
Cook for 30 seconds, then add remaining mushrooms. Cook for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are lightly browned (they won’t caramelise as well as the first batch) and the base of the pot is brown.

Add rice and a splash of broth. Mix so the brown stuff on the bottom of the pot mixes into the liquid.
Once the base of the pot is clean, add remaining liquid. Place lid on, bring to a simmer then turn down to medium low.
Cook for 15 minutes or until there is no residual liquid (tilt pot to check).

Remove from stove, remove lid, QUICKLY toss in reserved mushrooms and scallions, put lid back on. Leave for 10 minutes (do not skip this step!).
Fluff rice using a fork or wooden spoon. OPTIONAL: Stir through more butter. 🙂 Serve!
Recipe Notes

1. Use any mushrooms you want, I used normal button mushrooms, it’s even more mushroomy if you use Swiss Brown / Cremini mushrooms. Don’t slice them too thin otherwise they literally disintegrate!

Mushrooms do “suck up” oil but don’t be tempted to add more oil until the end if needed. When raw, mushrooms suck up the oil, but then as they cook, release water and the oil, so this helps them brown towards the end. But if you do find they are looking dry, add just 1 tsp towards the end of browning.

2. Basmati and jasmine would also be great here, comes out nice and fluffy like long grain rice. I find that medium and short grain rice is a bit sticky for my taste when cooked pilaf style. Risotto rice, sushi rice and paella rice are not suitable. Please use uncooked rice.

BROWN RICE: Follow recipe but use 2 1/2 cups liquid for tender, fluffy rice (or 2 3/4 cups for soft rice) and it will take around 45 minutes to cook on the stove (check at 35 minutes, then every 5 minutes until liquid is absorbed).

QUIONA: This will also work with quinoa but adjust the recipe as follows: rinse quinoa, use 3 cups of liquid (I would prob do 2 cups broth, 1 cup water), follow recipe but cook for 20 minutes.

3. The amount of liquid to rice ratio I use yields a tender just cooked rice that is fluffy. If you like your rice on the soft side, use 1/2 cup extra liquid but note that the rice will be stickier rather than fluffy like what you see in the video and photos.

4. SERVES: Makes around 7 cups of rice (packed) which will serve 8 as a side or 4 as a main. YES it’s a lot but it will keep well in the fridge for a few days and it freezes well too!

5. Nutrition per serving, assuming 8 servings.