This dinner was actually inspired by my absentmindedness to thaw the chicken breasts I had planned on grilling for dinner. Whoops! Oh well, this turned out just as tasty so no complaints here.
Once I realized that I needed to raid the fridge and “throw” something together, I started pulling out the fresh vegetables. We are big on meatless meals in the Frey household. Don’t get me wrong we love beef, chicken, pork, yada yada yada, but we like to incorporate a meatless meal at least once a week.
This tortellini primavera is not only easy and delicious but literally took me less than 20 minutes to prepare! Who’s in for that? It makes for the perfect weeknight meal, so skip those frozen dinners and salty takeout and get to chopping.
First I prepare the veggies I want to add. I pulled what I had in the fridge and that consisted of asparagus, tomatoes, zucchini and fresh basil. Chop vegetables as desired and put into a mixing bowl. Coat the vegetables with olive oil, garlic, S&P, and any other spices or seasonings you like.
While the water boils, saute the veggie mix in olive oil and turn in pan until desired firmness. I like my veggies with a little crunch…
Once the tortellini are finished (they only take a few minutes to cook and will float to the top when done) drain and then add the tortellini into the saute pan with veggies. Gently stir everything together so that the sauce begins to coat the pasta. Sprinkle some basil and grate some fresh cheese over the top and voila- dinner is done!
Here’s what you need:
-package of cheese tortellini
-2 medium zucchini
-2-3 garlic cloves, minced
-asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
-extra virgin olive oil
-s&p to taste
-freshly grated Parmesan or other hard cheese
From Our Kitchen to Yours,
It’s almost that time of year again…tomato season is just around the corner, pretty soon you will see an abundance of these beauties stocked up at your local store or farmers market.
Call me weird, but I love the smell of freshly picked tomatoes off the vine. It reminds me of summer ahhhh. We normally plant tomatoes in our garden, but unfortunately this year we didn’t get around to prepping the garden boxes in our new home in time for the season 😦 Oh well, there’s always next year. Last season we planted over 32 tomato plants…they were literally coming out of our ears! But we enjoyed using them in different recipes, we even made and canned our own tomato sauce. Yum yum, that will have to be another post. Our friends and family definitely were not complaining about our plethora of red beauties.
Did you know there are over 10,000 known varieties of tomatoes? Wowza! It can be overwhelming when trying to decide what kind you want to plant. Here are some of our favorites:
San Marzano – great for sauces
Sungold Cherries – explosive sweet flavor that is amazing in a salad or just snacking on
Radiator Charlies Mortgage Lifter – think tomato and burrata salad! Or piled on a juicy hamburger or sandwich!
Here is a quick and flavorful way to prepare tomatoes to add to pasta (check out my Chicken Caprese Casarecce Pasta recipe), fish or chicken dishes. You can even serve this as a healthy, vegetable side dish.
Sauteed Garlic Tomatoes:
Heat 1-2 tbsp. olive oil in a saute pan
Add in 3-4 fresh garlic cloves, minced
Dice your cherry tomatoes into halves
Saute the tomatoes in the garlic and olive oil over medium heat until tomatoes soften and absorb the flavors of the garlic
S&P to taste and that’s it!
Who said cooking was a lot of work?! Enjoy.
From our kitchen to yours,
Not only are beets a sweet treat but they also provide multiple health benefits and make a great addition to your well-balanced diet. Did you know that beets lower blood pressure, aid weight loss and work as an energy and brain booster? So why not fill your plate with these sweet little health boosters.
We’re sharing our roasting recipe as this is our favorite way to prepare both red and golden beets.
When you are shopping for your beets at your local farmers market or produce store, look for beets that still have their leafy greens. The greens are a great indicator of freshness. Vibrant and crisp stems without any rot is a sign of a fresh beet. Avoid wilted stems with any signs of rot. When the greens are cut from the beet root prior to your purchase, the beets will actually bleed moisture resulting in loss of flavor and poor texture. So avoid buying beets without stems.
It’s best to take advantage of beets during the seasons which cool weather prevails, such as spring and fall.
Preparing the beets:
Twist off or cut the greens from the beet near the base. If the greens are young and fresh reserve for another recipe such as wilting or sautéing. We give ours to our tortoise, who enjoys this tasty treat!
Preheat oven to 350. Rinse beets to remove any dirt. Peel and rough chop an onion or shallots. Smash and discard the skin of the garlic. Thin slice the orange. Toss all ingredients except water into a large bowl with beets. Toss to coat and then lay into baking dish. Add water.
Make sure there aren’t any stems or roots sticking out over the edge of the pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap making sure you get a tight seal. Then cover with aluminum foil. What actually cooks the beets is the steam caught within the pan. This is why you want to get a good tight seal so that the steam doesn’t escape.
For beets 1-2 inches bake 30-45 minutes and for beets 2-3 inches bake for an hour.
After the beets have baked, be very careful opening the corner as the steam escapes. Let cool for about 20 minutes. It’s easiest to peel when warm. Use a paper towel to rub the skin and remove. Set beets aside to cool and enjoy!
Add to a salad, serve sliced, add to pasta or side dish…the options are limitless.
- 2 lbs beets (tops removed,washed)
- 2 shallots or 1 small onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Few sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 small orange or tangerine
- 1/4 c vinegar if your choice i.e. white, red, apple, honey (avoid dark vinegar)
- 1/4 c EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
- Liberal amounts of S&P to taste
- 1/2 c water
Cheers and enjoy!
~Melissa & Greg
Happy National Artichoke day! I absolutely love all things artichoke. I mean come on…what an amazing addition to your favorite pasta dish, on a pizza, in a dip, they make a perfect salad topping or seriously just as good all by its little lonesome. How could you not love this versatile veggie. I could eat a whole artichoke just for din 🙂 As we celebrate this fun holiday – National Artichoke day, I share my favorite way to make this tasty side dish, or full meal…enjoy! When shopping for artichokes, I look for medium to large-sized, tight and bright green colored selections. I also keep an eye out for when they are on sale because they can get a little pricey. The prime artichoke season starts in March and continues through late April.
To prepare your artichokes, cut the stem and remove all the little leaves towards the stalk. Cut the tips of each leaf off with scissors (see above). Once the tips are cut, take a large knife and cut the top of the artichoke off – about 1/4″ to 1/2″. Prepare a large pot of boiling water with the following:
1 onion – thinly sliced
1 lemon – thinly sliced
4-5 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tbsp. ground black pepper
1 1/2 teas. red chili pepper flake
3/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. whole black peppercorns
Salt the water like you would when preparing pasta. I don’t mean a pinch, salt it up so it tastes like the sea 🙂 Bring the water to a boil, add 1-2 artichokes and boil/simmer covered for 45 min- 1 hour. Cover the artichokes with a plate if needed to keep them under the water. Test the artichokes by pulling the outer leaves and taste for “doneness”. Once done, remove artichokes from water and drain upside down in a bowl. Serve with your favorite dipping accouterments. Bon appetit and happy National Artichoke Day!