Try This— Classic Homemade Cacio e Pepe

I’m heading out on another European adventure this Summer. First stop: Rome. This will be my first time visiting the Eternal City  and while I imagine the Sistine Chapel is really impressive, I’m mostly looking forward to dining out on really real Italian food. Everybody I know is telling me that I have to try cacio e pepe while I’m there. Cacio e pepe, literally translating to ‘cheese and pepper’, is standard Roman fare, and if the name is any indication, it sounds like it’s as close to perfection as food can get because, well, cheese and pepper.

Anyway, I scoured the internet for a recipe that I could prepare at home so that I when I try it in Rome, I can slowly lean back at the table, loosen my jeans button, and arrogantly say, “the cacio e pepe I make at home is waaaayyyyy better.” #petty. So, I found this amazing recipe from the fine folks at Food52, and I’m pretty confident that this dish will hold up against any cacio e pepe I order in Rome. For real, this recipe is real life weeknight dinner goals. You must try this!

Classic Homemade Cacio e Pepe

ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns crushed in a mortar and pestle or 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 (16 oz) package spaghetti
  • 3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • About 3/4 to 1 cup of cooking water

Directions

  • In a pot over low heat, heat the crushed peppercorn with the olive oil.
  • In a pot large enough to cook the spaghetti, bring water to a boil.
  • Turn the heat off under the olive oil and add about 1/2 cup of the hot cooking water from the pot into the pan, then set aside.
  • When the pasta water comes to a rolling boil, add the salt, stir, then add the spaghetti. Cook the spaghetti until 2 minutes under the lowest time recommended on the package. Using tongs (you don’t want to get the rid of the water), add the pasta to the pot with the pepper. Turn the heat onto very low and turn the pasta continuously until most of the water is absorbed. At this point, remove from the heat and transfer to a warm bowl.
  • Still tossing, begin adding the two grated cheeses, a couple handfuls at a time. If it starts to get dry, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of pasta water. Keep turning and turning, adding cheese and pasta water, a little at a time, until all the cheese has been incorporated and you have a lovely creamy sauce coating each strand of pasta. Eat immediately.

 

Try This— Root to Stalk Cooking

I don’t want to look back on my life and think, I could’ve eaten that. Anyone that’s ever tended their own vegetable garden, or paid those hefty price tags for organic vegetables knows the pain of throwing those perfectly green stalks into the compost heap. The amount of care we take and the amount of money we spend to have fresh, organic vegetables in our kitchens is reason enough to adopt the philosophy of root to stalk cooking. The most convincing reason though is that we’ve been robbing ourselves of some pretty vital nutrients and unexpectedly rich flavors without even knowing it. While every home cook knows that vegetable scraps can make the perfect broth, it’s totally easy to overlook the other awesome root to stem cooking techniques. You must try this!

Cauliflower doesn’t have to be cut into florets. Instead, you can slice straight through the stem to create ‘cauliflower steaks’ to roast in the oven or sear in a pan with tomatoes, black olives, and capers

Leeks have those dark green tops that take longer to cook, but transform into a braising green with a slight onion flavor that gives a richness to egg dishes

Beet greens look and taste like a cross between beets and chard (earthy and sharp) and are delicious sautéed and added to a whole-grain salad (think quinoa or cous cous) with pickled beets, goat cheese, and walnuts

Radishes come with peppery-tasting leaves that you can use as salad greens tossed with sweet corn, tomatoes, and a creamy dressing, along with the radishes themselves.

Broccoli stalks used to never make it to my plate. But the silky, dark leaves surrounding broccoli stalks cook like spinach and taste like the sweetest broccoli you’ve ever had. The stalk itself can be peeled leaving the sweet and crunchy part of the stem which is just a perfect addition to a stir fry

Fennel fronds and stems are sweeter than the white bulbs and have a stronger anise flavor. If you like licorice, you can thinly slice the stems and candy them, or head in a savory direction and toss them in a salad with sliced fennel bulbs, shaved Parmesan, lemon juice, and olive oil

These tips and more delicious recipes can be found in Tara Duggan’s Root to Stalk Cooking available on Amazon.

Try This—Loaded Sweet Potato With Lime Cream

There’s  almost nothing more gratifying than straight up feasting on healthy food that you prepared with your own hands. I love to know what is actually in the food I’m eating (I’m giving the side eye to you, Monsanto), and I like to be able to pronounce all the ingredients. Admittedly, clean eating can be a challenge when you’re exhausted… on a weeknight… and super hungry… and just want to chill. I know the feeling. You guys, bad things happen when I’m too tired to cook. I gravitate toward bad-for-you quick fixes that are overprocessed, full of empty calories, and totally lacking nutritional value. I’m left feeling weighed down and even more tired. This recipe though! This is my go-to, weeknight, clean-eating, lazy girl recipe.

I really try to stick to clean foods. Foods that are delicious in their natural state and don’t need a ton of barbecue sauce to make them edible. Most of all, I try to stick to foods that give you more bang for your buck. Those foods that fill you up and keep you satiated, all for a reasonable price. How can we go wrong with sweet potatoes, avocados, and beans? For real, these ingredients practically scream fiesta without the guilt and certainly without the huge price tag. Clean-eating ingredients, seriously filling at a low cost, quick cook time, and gourmet style presentation are really our #squadgoals here, y’all. This recipe certainly ticks all of those boxes. You must try this!!!

Loaded Sweet Potato With Lime Cream

ingredients

For the filling

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloved garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans (if canned, rinsed and salt-free)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tbsps tomato paste
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • salt

For the Lime Cream

  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • water, if desired

Optional Garnishes

  • cilantro
  • scallions
  • micro greens
  • avocado
  • fresh lime juice

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce each potato a few times with a fork. Place on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan, and roast for 60-75 minutes or until you can easily pierce the skin with a knife and the inside is soft. Allow to cool slightly before slicing and stuffing.
  • While the potatoes cook, warm the coconut oil in a medium sized sauté pan or dutch oven. Add the onions and garlic and cook until caramelized, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add 1 tbsp water to the pan and scrape any brown bits stuck to the bottom in order to deglaze.
  • Stir in spices and tomato paste and toast for 30 seconds. Add the bell pepper and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Once softened, stir in the beans, add a pinch of salt, and allow the flavors to meld together for 5 minutes.
  • Slice each potato down the center, almost through to the bottom. Open to reveal the orange flesh. Spoon in the beans and top with selected garnishes.
  • For the lime cream, simply whisk together lime juice and yogurt. Add water, a tsp at a time to thin, if desired.

Source: Crunchy Radish

Try This---5 Unapologetically Vegetarian Burgers for Your Meatless Monday

Try This—5 Unapologetically Vegetarian Burgers for Your Meatless Monday

Before I became a vegetarian, I used to head over to the East Village to a place called Paul’s Palace  down on 2nd Ave & St Mark’s Pl. I’m probably giving away my age, but this was at a time when the East Village was sprinkled with drug addicts and punk rockers, not a hipster in sight. Anyway, this was THE burger spot. This place served up any topping you could think of, all on top of a 1/2 pound burger. That was many moons ago. In fact, it’s rapidly approaching 25 years worth of moons ago. I only mention Paul’s Palace (I think it goes by Paul’s Da Burger Joint now) because over the years, it’s kinda sculpted the way I build veggie burgers. Because of Paul’s, there is no such thing as too many toppings… no such thing as a savory sauce that doesn’t belong. I’m talking so many toppings, you might have to eat this burger with a knife and fork. I still think y’all might be sleeping on me and my veggie burger craft. You hear me? I’ve even put grilled fruit on a veggie burger. What?! I know you hear me now!

Anyway, I rounded up some pretty unique veggie burger recipes for you. Some of these recipes will work even if you use store bought veggie burger patties. I kinda feel like the toppings make the burger anyway so you should still check these out. If you’re more adventurous, you should totally make the burgers from scratch. It’s so worth it. Just remember that veggie burgers are rarely the same consistency as meat burgers, so don’t feel bad if your homemade patties fall apart a bit. It’s the taste that matters and these are sure to please. You must try these!!!

1. Meatloaf Veggie Burger with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy

This is a meat and potatoes kinda burger. Comfort food fa realz. And fried sage leaves! Are you kidding me?!

2. Cauliflower Sweet Potato Burgers with Avocado Sriracha Aioli

You already know how I love me some sriracha. This burger does not disappoint!

3. Veggie Sliders with Blackberry BBQ Sauce

This is a recipe from Lightlife, using their Lightlife Original Smart Patties. Of course, for me, it’s all about the sauce.

4. Quinoa Veggie Burger with Roasted Red Pepper Relish

Roasted red pepper relish?! Seriously, I don’t even need to convince you to try this one.

5. Tabasco Double Bean Veggie Burger

This is a fresh and spicy take on your run of the mill black bean burger. Take my word for it, you want to use fresh corn for this one!

I am always on the hunt for new and inventive veggie burgers! Do you guys have any suggestions? I’m all about those toppings yo!