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Fresh Corn Galette with Goat Cheese, Zucchini, and Thyme

I actually made this last year, right at the tail-end of summer.  You know that time when there are like 7,000 pounds of zucchini, and the corn is just perfect but it’s like the last week of corn season??

Summer corn galette with goat cheese, zucchini, & thyme...summer recipe perfection, looks fancy but is easy to make

And then I accidentally sat on it too long, and then it just seemed mean to post it in the late fall when you couldn’t get yummy fresh zucchini and corn to make it.  So I’ve been patiently sitting on this recipe for several months, waiting for summer to roll around once again.

Summer corn galette with goat cheese, zucchini, & thyme...summer recipe perfection, looks fancy but is easy to make

Nom nom nom.  It looks fancy, but it really isn’t a difficult recipe.  The only thing that’s a bit of a pain is making pie crust, but you can just buy it pre-made if you don’t want to deal with it.  Add a glass of cold white wine and you have a summer masterpiece.

Summer corn galette with goat cheese, zucchini, & thyme...summer recipe perfection, looks fancy but is easy to make

The combination of the tangy goat cheese, the fragrant herbs, sweet corn, and then mellow crunch of zucchini is sublime.  This is summer perfection. [Read more…]

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One-Pot Kale & Quinoa Pilaf (…and why I’ve been MIA)

Wow, I didn’t realize how long it had been since I posted a recipe! January was gone in the blink of an eye. I was traveling the first half…first, a quick little trip down to Cancun to try and get some sun and relaxation for a few days, then Dallas to visit my bestie, and then NYC for a quick work trip. All within two weeks. Add insanely long hours at work, and my blogging and cooking hours have been few and far between.

This recipe isn’t pretty to look at, so instead here are my food adventures from Mexico. Hit and miss, to be honest, because Cancun is (as my mom pointed out) the Branson of Mexico. But we tried really hard to find more authentic local places, and stayed far away from Senor Frog’s.

I drank ALL THE PINA COLADAS and tried Mayan-style chicken and vegetables. Honestly, it was inoffensive but wasn’t a fan.

jess pina colada

We toured Chichen Itza, one of the seven wonders of the modern world. Then we chowed down on fish tacos.

jess mom chichen itza

I soaked up every ray of sunshine available on the only sunny day we had. Vitamin D, come to me! And of course, I had a pina colada and a Coke, which is my go-to beach beverage.

jess cancun beach

I took Argentinean food out for a trial run, with my first trip to Argentina coming up in just over a month! It was delicious and an OBSCENE amount of food (you can’t see the insanely huge chunk of beef staring me in the face…). Sarai and I are going to have our work cut out for us.

jess argentinean food

So, that’s all to say sorry for dropping off the face of the earth. Things have been crazy and tiring, and I haven’t been eating anything but nachos since I’ve been home, but I do have a major backlog of awesome recipes from late December that I owe you. But first, we get our kale on…

This recipe isn’t pretty to look at, but it IS fast, easy, healthy, and yummy. I’ll be honest and say that quinoa isn’t really my thing. It’s fine, but the texture is kind of weird and it’s a little bland. So for me, this recipe is good. If you love quinoa, it’s great. The flavors are fresh, tangy, and satisfying.

One Pot Kale & Qunioa Pilaf kale One Pot Kale & Qunioa Pilaf kale closeup2 [Read more…]

Rigatoni with Chicken, Goat Cheese, & Grilled Fairytale Eggplant

This is one of those really random, accidental recipes that turned out SO. GOOD.

Chicken Pasta with Grilled Baby Eggplant & Goat Cheese

One weekend this summer I was at the farmer’s market and found the most adorable tiny, lavender-colored eggplant I’d ever seen—fairytale eggplant.

Chicken Pasta with Grilled Baby Eggplant & Goat Cheese done

I had to buy a pound of them, but then try and figure out what to do. After looking up some recipes, I decided that grilling them would be the yummiest. And it was…I’m not a huge eggplant fan, but these were soft and smoky and salty, and just awesome.

chicken pasta with grilled baby eggplant & goat cheese fairytale eggplant

Of course, if I’m heating up the grill then why not grill some herbed chicken as well? I also picked up some of the last juicy tomatoes of summer, and a bunch of massively fragrant herbs. Because those two things make everything better.

chicken pasta with grilled baby eggplant & goat cheese fairytale eggplant grilled closeup

And of course, every pasta needs a sauce. Some goat cheese and some pasta water, and boom—instant tangy deliciousness. It was a bunch of random ingredients, but they somehow all came together into an easy, perfect late summer dish.  [Read more…]

Frittata with Turkey Sausage, Parsnips, & Goat Cheese

Guys, why have I never thought to put meat in a frittata?? What is wrong with me???

Frittata with Caramelized Onions, Parsnips, & Goat Cheese

I went to visit my bestie in Dallas, since it had been way too long and I hadn’t met her bebe girl yet. I actually got to see my friend Hannah as well and her new little boy. Girls’ brunches are the best—look at those nuggets! They were quickly losing patience with us…

girls brunch babies

The day before, Kristine and I had a girls’ brunch with some other friends at her house. We didn’t want to go to a ton of trouble, but knew we’d all be starving so we needed to make hearty food. We also needed to make sure it was dairy-free since dairy seemed to upset the baby…and that does limit things a bit.

Frittata with Turkey Sausage, Parsnips, & Goat Cheese

Finally we settled on French toast (with almond milk) and a frittata with goat cheese, which was deeeeelish! We basically made a “kitchen sink” frittata, meaning I cleaned out her fridge of veggies and just threw them all in there.

frittata with turkey sausage parsnips & goat cheese french toast

The surprise in this, besides the turkey sausage, is the parsnips. I feel like parsnips don’t get enough love. They’re sweeter than a potato, milder than a carrot, and easier to prepare than a turnip (ugh, peeling turnips is the worst). When sauteed or roasted, they caramelize into this delightfully nutty sweet crunchy awesomeness. We had some extras in the fridge because we made my shepherds pie with goat cheese carrot parsnip mash (amazeballs) the night before. I used the parsnips and onions as the base or “crust” of the frittata, then we also piled in more onions, spinach, and tomatoes, as well as the goat cheese and turkey sausage.

‘Nuff said. [Read more…]

Herbed Goat Cheese Tart with Spring Peas

English peas in the spring are one of those magical things.

Herbed Goat Cheese & Spring Pea Tart

There’s this super narrow window when they’re in season (usually a few weeks in April), and if you can catch them fresh-off-the-vine they’re this crunchy, sweet treat bursting with flavor.

Herbed Goat Cheese & Spring Pea Tart2

My CSA box back in April came with three whole bags of English peas, still in their pods. Shelling them can take quite a bit of work—though if I’d been smart, I would have soaked them in a water or blanched them for a minute to make them softer. I just sat in front of the TV and shelled the peas while vegging out. As soon as I got the peas, I knew exactly what recipe I wanted to make.

Herbed Goat Cheese & Spring Pea Tart assembled

I pinned this tart recipe probably a few years ago, but haven’t had the chance to make it. It just sounded awesome across the board. My family teases me about how much I love goat cheese, but it’s seriously awesome! The combination of tangy goat cheese, creamy greek yogurt, fresh herbs, a little salt, and then those sweet peas is truly unique. I wasn’t able to find micro greens, but I do think they’d make this recipe even better.

It’s also important to note that this is NOT great as leftovers…the tart solidifies in the fridge and becomes quite hard and a little flavorless, losing the awesome texture and tang it had when it was fresh. This recipe is perfect for something like a Mother’s Day brunch or Sunday morning bridal shower—something a little fancy, but where it will get consumed right away. [Read more…]

Carrot, Parsnip, & Goat Cheese Mash Shepherd’s Pie

I’ll start this with a confession: I’m not sure I’ve ever actually had a traditional shepherd’s pie. I don’t know why exactly, though why have something topped with mashed potatoes when you can top it with piecrust (a la pot pie)???

Shepherds Pie with Carrot Goat Cheese Mash piece

But something about this recipe captured my imagination when I first found it. First, I love goat cheese. My sister can’t understand why I love it so much. Second, the combination of flavors in the filling just seemed interesting and so hearty. And the addition of carrots (and parsnips, which I added myself) made the filling so light and fluffy.

shepherds pie with carrot goat cheese mash in pan

This dish really was amazing. I had an impromptu dinner party and needed to fill a crowd. It got rave reviews, and I was sad I only had a small serving leftover for the next day. One guy actually pulled this out of the fridge and had it for dessert instead of the cake everyone was having! [Read more…]

Omelette with Caramelized Onions, Kale, Tomatoes, & Goat Cheese

Sometimes it’s the little things, ya know??

Omelette with Caramlelized Onions Kale Goat Cheese

This recipe was an accidental brainchild, a dish born out of necessity. My dad was in town a couple weeks ago and I invited a friend over to spend time with us. He chose brunch, so I decided to make my whole grain Belgian waffles.

Omelette with Caramlelized Onions Kale & Goat Cheese

Things were pretty rushed that morning since my dad was helping me install gas logs in my fireplace and we had run into some snags (we took 5—count ’em, 5—trips to Home Depot that weekend). I knew I needed to provide some eggs with my waffles, but couldn’t bring myself to do boring old scrambled. My next thought was omelettes, which is my go-to egg dish when serving less than 5 people (any more, and you need to upgrade to a casserole or something). I rooted around in my fridge and came up with what I thought was the perfect combination. I had a half of a yellow onion left from dinner the night before, so I sliced it up in strips and caramelized it. Then I sauteed up a little kale, chopped up some tomatoes and goat cheese, and threw it all in an omelette.

omelette with caramlized onions kale goat cheese ingredients

I figured it’d be pretty good and would more than satisfy these two dudes’ palates. But wow, was I surprised at how good it was! This one is definitely a keeper. Add a little shaved parmesan as garnish, and we’re in business.  Omelettes are a fairly regular part of my dietary rotation, my go-to egg dish with company. I’ll make them with whatever I have on-hand—garlic, peppers, tomatoes, various cheese, herbs, whatever. But these were kind of a revelation. The kale gave it some chew, the tomatoes and caramelized onions provided a sweetness, and the goat cheese melted into this creamy pool of awesomeness. It was the perfect combination of flavors. [Read more…]

Pasta with Garlic Spinach, Chicken, & Goat Cheese

I’ll preface this one by admitting that it’s a tad rich for my blood. Which probably puts it right in most people’s wheelhouse since I have a low tolerance for that kind of thing. But the combination of flavorful rotisserie chicken, garlicky chicken, and creamy goat cheese really packs a wallop.

Spinach Chicken Pine Nut Pasta

This is another of my infamous “kitchen sink” pastas, which have a pretty doggone good track record over the years. There seem to be some really odd but delicious combinations of random pasta-friendly ingredients sitting around my house when I’m hungry. This one, while not my favorite ever, was warm and comforting—it would have been a great winter dish. And for someone with a taste for these things, a dash of spice (like red pepper flakes or something along those lines) would add an interesting bite to the creamy richness. [Read more…]

Cavatappi with Goat Cheese, Tomatoes, Kale, & Grilled Zucchini

I’ve got another “kitchen sink” pasta coming your way, and BOY is this one a goodie!

cavatappi goat cheese zucchini finished2

It was borne of necessity, and in the weirdest way imaginable. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I had surgery towards the end of July, and it actually happened quite fast. Typically it takes about 6-8 weeks to get a spot on the surgery list, but they had a cancellation two weeks out that I was able to grab. But that meant I had to get a million things done in a really short amount of time—calling insurance companies, booking hotels (the surgery was out of state), figuring out what equipment I’d need for recovery, etc.

cavatappi goat cheese zucchini grilled closeup

I also had to get into my regular doctor for a pre-surgery check-up. I got in, they did some bloodwork and such, and then the next day got a call that my blood clotting was the teensiest, tiniest bit below normal. Not a surprise to me, I bleed like a stuck pig, but she wanted to re-do the bloodwork after the weekend and if it wasn’t normal possibly have me see a hematologist. So naturally, I’m freaking out, because I don’t have time for complications, and I really needed the surgery to go on as scheduled.

cavatappi goat cheese zucchini & tomatoes

What does that have to do with pasta, you ask? Well, as I said, I was freaking out a little (okay, a fair amount), so I did a bunch of research on foods that help your blood clot, and foods that prevent blood clots. Unfortunately, I learned that ALL THE GOOD FOODS keep your blood from clotting—wine, coffee, balsamic vinegar, soy, strawberries, tomatoes, basically every spice. And only a few thicken the blood. I avoided coffee and wine (yes, it was a sad weekend) and wracked my brain for what I could make for dinner Sunday night before the bloodwork Monday morning. Veggies high in vitamin K were the first place to start, like kale, brussels sprouts, and okra, so I totally loaded up on those.  I put kale and zucchini in the pasta, roasted some okra, and also had steak, goat cheese, and anything else I could find that was higher in saturated fat. I did go ahead and throw some tomatoes into the pasta, but largely avoided them when I ate it that night, just in case.

cavatappi goat cheese zucchini finished

The good news is that it worked—my blood clotting came out in the normal range and the surgery went on as scheduled. It was a weekend full of worrying, but at least I was able to find a solution. And I got a delicious, super easy pasta recipe out of the bargain. So without further ado… [Read more…]

Grilled Eggplant with Goat Cheese, Balsamic, & Pine Nuts

I have a confession. I’ve never really loved eggplant. I don’t hate it, but I never choose it. I find it kind of squishy and a little bitter and mostly underwhelming. I will never order eggplant parmesan, and I find baba ganoush just plain weird.

I feel like they’re going to take away my Italo-phile card…

grilled balsamic eggplant finished

The great thing about this dish is that it’s super simple, but seems fancy, like you took a lot of time with it. And anything that has goat cheese, balsamic, and pine nuts is okay by me!

grilled balsamic eggplant finished2

I won’t say that this dish totally changed my mind on eggplant or anything, but I really enjoyed it and it was cool to try preparing a new vegetable (which has been a theme lately, stay tuned for my kohlrabi efforts). [Read more…]

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