Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Grilled Broccoli with Chipotle-Lime Butter

I love grilling season. During the summer, my vegetable of choice is grilled corn. My grilled corn usually comes slathered with butter and an ungodly amount of Tabasco. So, when I saw this recipe for grilled broccoli with chipotle-lime butter, I was completely smitten. You'll be amazed how the broccoli gets lightly charred and smokey. And the chipotle-lime butter adds volumes of flavor and just a little heat.

Grilled Broccoli with Chipotle-Lime Butter

6 T. butter, softened
1 lime, zested and juiced plus additional wedges for serving
1 canned chipotle, minced plus small spoonfuls of adobo sauce
1 tsp. honey
1 garlic clove, minced
3 heads of broccoli, cut into florets
Olive oil, for spraying or drizzling
1 cup queso fresco, crumbled

Heat grill to medium-high.

Stir together all ingredients for the chipotle-lime butter and add a pinch of salt and pepper.

Spread broccoli on a large baking pan and drizzle/spray with olive oil.

Season with salt and pepper and then transer to the heated grill.

Grill for 10 minutes, flipping halfway through (the pieces should have nice3 grill marks but not be too charred).

Transfer to a serving bowl and top with spoonfuls of chipotle-lime butter.

Serve warm, topped with crumble cheese.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mini Cauliflower Pizza Bites

Want kids to eat their vegetables? Try this deceptively healthy recipe. These cauliflower bites taste like a yummy combination of pizza and a breadstick all wrapped into a mini little bite. Plus, they are perfect for dipping! These pizza bites would make a delicious snack, side or lunch. Not to mention they are kid-approved.

Mini Cauliflower Pizza Bites
Makes 14 mini muffins 

2 cups cauliflower (about 1/2 head of cauliflower)
1/4 cup egg whites (or 1 large egg white)
1/8 cup low fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1//2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 mini turkey pepperonis

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line 14 mini muffin cups with silicone liners,or foil muffin liners with paper liners removed. Spray liners with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Wash cauliflower, and cut in half (save the rest for later). Break cauliflower into segments, and place in food processor. Pulse until it reaches a rice-like texture.

Place cauliflower in a microwave bowl and microwave for 8 minutes. (do NOT add water or cover).
remove cauliflower from microwave and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir to combine. Place back in microwave for 2 minutes . Mix again.

Scoop cauliflower mixture into muffin liners, dividing evenly between the 14 mini liners. Fill to the top and press filling down so it's compact in liner.

Place muffin tin in the oven and bake muffins of 30-35 minutes, or when top starts to become golden brown. Remove from the oven, let cool completely before popping the muffins out of the liners. Serve warm with pizza sauce for dipping!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Penne with Tomato Sauce, Arugula and Parmesan

My kids love pasta. Red sauce, green sauce, no sauce - doesn't matter. Linguine, shells, spaghetti, penne or farfalle - you name it, they'll eat it. Thankfully, I have this recipe in my back pocket for those days when I'm running late and need to put together dinner in a snap. It's tasty, kid-approved and doesn't get much simpler than this.

Penne with Tomato Sauce, Arugula and Parmesan
Serves 4

1 lb. penne pasta
Kosher salt

3 tbsp. canola oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
Sugar, if needed
1/4-1/3 tsp. red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you like it)
4 ounces baby arugula
Fresh basil leaves, torn
1 cup freshly grated parmigiana cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pasta: 
Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. Stir in the pasta, cover the pot and bring to a boil. Cook until just slightly under al dente (it will continue cooking in the sauce about, 8 minutes). Remove 1 cup of the pasta water and reserve. Drain the pasta well.

To make the sauce:
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large high sided saute pan. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes and half of the reserved juice and bring to a simmer, cook for 15 minutes and then gently crush the tomatoes with a potato masher until slightly smooth. Taste for seasoning and add sugar if needed. Add the chili flakes and continue cooking until thicken, about 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

Add the drained pasta to the sauce and toss to coat evenly. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water, if needed and add 1/2 cup of the cheese. Stir in the arugula and herbs. Transfer to a platter and serve with the remaining cheese on the side.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sopapilla Cheesecake

Here's a dessert recipe that everyone - and I mean, everyone - will ask for more. How 'bout making this sopapilla cheesecake? These sweeties puff like sopapillas and are great for breakfast or as a change from coffee cake or simply for dessert.

Sopapilla Cheesecake
Serve 12

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 (8-ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Beat the cream cheese, 1 cup white sugar and vanilla extract until smooth.

Unroll the crescent rolls and use a rolling pin to shape each piece into a 9x13 rectangle. Press one piece into the 9x13 baking dish. Evenly spread the cream cheese mixture into the baking dish, then cover with the remaining piece of the crescent dough. Stir together 3/4 cup white sugar, cinnamon and butter in a separate bowl. Dot the mixture over the top of the cheesecake.

Bake in the preheated oven until the crescent dough has puffed and turned golden brown, about 30 minutes. Remove from oven and drizzle with honey. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 12 squares.