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I am getting ready for a weekend retreat and I am putting together an Earth Day Freebie list. Did you cash in on any of the Tax Day deals? I just have a meal plan for this week:
Meatless Monday: Mascarpone Pasta
1 pkg. fettuccine
2 c. milk
2 Tbs. fresh basil chopped
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp flour
3/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
4 Tbsp mascarpone cheese ( can sub cream cheese)
Cook pasta till al dente. In a sauce pan, heat olive oil and add flour, cook 2 minutes (make a roux). Add milk, basil, salt and pepper. Stir constantly for about 3 more minutes to thicken. Remove from heat, add cheeses and toss with pasta.
I served this with steamed broccoli and some shrimp I had that I sautéed in butter, garlic and lemon juice.
Tuesday: Grilled chicken
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (or lime juice and then use cilantro instead of oregano)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 to 2 1/2 teaspoons salt
A few grinds of freshly ground black pepper
8 to 12 chicken drumsticks
Whisk all ingredients (through the black pepper) in a bowl. Pour marinade into a large Ziploc bag and add the chicken drumsticks. Marinate for at least 60 minutes to overnight (the longer the better). Sometimes when I bring home the chicken from the store I toss it in a zip lock bag with my marinade or leftover salad dressings and then put right into the freezer. When you are ready for your chicken, let it thaw out in the fridge and then it has already marinated and is ready to go! Throw the chicken on the grill!
Pea, Pesto and Arugula Soup
1 loosely packed cup basil leaves
1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons pine nuts
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 small zucchini, finely chopped
3½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
One 16-ounce package frozen peas
1½ loosely packed cups arugula
1. Make the pesto: In a food processor or blender, combine the basil with the garlic and pine nuts. With the motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil. Add the Parmesan and pulse until just combined, adding a splash of water if the pesto is too thick. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
2. Make the soup: In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and the broth and simmer until the zucchini is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the peas and arugula, return the soup to a boil and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 3 minutes longer.
3. Let the soup cool for 15 minutes. In the food processor, blend the soup in batches until smooth.
4. Reheat the soup in the saucepan and divide among 4 bowls. Serve immediately with a tablespoon of pesto swirled into each serving.
For dessert, use the rest of your mascarpone cheese for this tart!
Honey-Glazed Apple Pear Tart
• All-purpose flour, for dusting
• 1 sheet (1/2 a 17.3-ounce package) all-butter frozen puff pastry, thawed
• 1 Bartlett pear, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
• 2 Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
• 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/4 cup honey, warmed
• Mascarpone cheese, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with nonstick cooking spray.
Dust a cutting board with flour and unfold the puff pastry onto it. Dust more flour over the puff pastry and gently roll out the creases. Transfer the puff pastry sheet to the parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Using a fork, pierce a border around the edge of the puff pastry, 1/2-inch from the edges. Prick the center of the pastry as well, about 10 times all over. In a bowl, combine the sugar, and cinnamon.
Arrange the pear, and apple slices on top of the pastry in 4 rows or diagonally, overlapping fruit slices and avoiding the border. Brush the fruit with melted butter and top with cinnamon-sugar. Bake the tart for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and beginning to puff.
Brush honey over the fruit and bake for an additional 5 minutes. Serve warm with mascarpone cheese.
Wednesday: Wilted Lettuce Salad
- 6 slices bacon
- 1 c. apple cider vinegar
- 1/3 c. sugar
- 1/3c. water
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 head leaf lettuce – rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces
- 6 green onions with tops, thinly sliced
- 1 c. cherry tomatoes halved
- Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Remove from skillet, crumble and set aside.
- To the hot bacon drippings, add green onions and saute till tender about 5 minutes. Add the vinegar, sugar,water and pepper and boil 2-3 minutes.
- In a large bowl, combine the lettuce and tomatoes. Add the warm dressing and toss to evenly coat. Sprinkle with bacon.
• 1/4 cup sesame oil
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
• 4 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 bunch green onions, white and green parts, chopped
• 1 cup brown sugar
• 1/2 cup chili sauce
• 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
• 1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
• 1/4 cup honey
• 2 large racks pork baby back ribs (4 to 5 pounds)
• 1 tablespoon cornstarch
Heat the sesame oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the ginger, garlic and green onions until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the brown sugar, chili sauce, soy sauce, vinegar, honey and 1/2 cup water. Whisk until fully incorporated. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. Continue cooking until the sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Sprinkle the ribs liberally with salt and pepper and place in an upright position in the slow cooker. The meaty side should be facing outwards. Spoon the sauce over the ribs and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or on low for 6 to 8 hours.
Strain the sauce from the slow cooker into a saucepan and remove any accumulated grease from the top. Combine 1 tablespoon water with the cornstarch and whisk together in a small bowl. Add the mixture to the saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the sauce until thickened and serve with the ribs.
Friday is left overs!