spring fava beans with pesto & brown rice spirals

every time i think about what to cook in the spring time (yipee! loooonger days, warmer days, brighter days, and…more fresh local produce days) i seem to think greeeen food! right now there’s nothing that makes my mouth water more than minimally processed fresh green produce in our meals. that’s why when i came across the beautifully glistening fava (broad) beans at the market yesterday i couldn’t wait to add them to our dinner menu. these beans were particularly tender, so i decided to boil the larger ones in their skins as an appetizer served with lime and angelica seeds, and use the smaller ones in a quick and easy brown rice pasta dressed with home made lemony pesto (the basil is looking/tasting amazing at the moment). the trick to double peeling these beans (relatively) easily is to remove them from the outer skin (or pod) and quickly boil them in water for just a few quick minutes (5-7) before popping them out of their inner skins by pressing lightly on one end. i’m not sure about you, but i find these types of tasks oddly relaxing and get through them rather quickly (alternately you can purchase double peeled frozen fava beans at most middle eastern markets). having tasted (and consumed way more than intended) the dish last night, i urge you to make some before the season is over-it will be sure to please your taste buds! Continue reading
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twenty minute meal: penne rigate with fresh tomatoes and pesto

it’s been one of those busy days where you have no time to even think about (or pick up) dinner- then you get home, and everyone’s hungry…


  • 2 ripe large tomatoes, quickly chopped
  • 2 tbs or so homemade pesto sauce (from a few nights ago)-see recipe
  • or, 2 tbs arugula-hazelnut pesto-see recipe
  • about 2 cups dry penne rigate (or whole wheat / brown rice penne)
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a touch of sea salt & cracked pepper
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
  • 20 minutes (as long as you have ready made pesto in your refrigerator- which you really should)

you’ve got dinner!

cook pasta al dente per package instructions in salted boiling water. mix pesto in a bowl with tomatoes and olive oil and add a teaspoon or two of the water from the cooking pasta. add cooked pasta to sauce, enjoy….simple as that!



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a quick meal for the kids {and adults}: pinwheel pasta with tomato basil sauce & baby kale salad

the visiting kids {and accompanying adults} came home famished from the amusement park a couple of nights ago (don’t you love summer)? there was very little time to prepare a meal, so i made a quick and easy tomato basil sauce and served it with pinwheel pasta and a baby kale salad. within minutes the big bowl of pasta was empty, and i was feeling quite appreciated!

easy tomato basil sauce:

  • 1 large onion, minced (cubed in small sized pieces)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed & minced
  • 2 cups stewed chopped tomatoes in a jar-i use the parmalat brand (or ripe roma tomatoes, cubed)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt, pepper (i use red pepper flakes) to taste
  • 1 large bunch fresh basil
  • 1 small bunch fresh or dried oregano
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese

heat about 1-2 tbs olive oil in a saucepan, then add onions and garlic and sautee until just golden brown. add the tomatoes, sea salt, pepper, and oregano and simmer for about 10 minutes.

add the basil, stir, and simmer another 5-10 minutes. add another dash of olive oil and a few fresh basil leave just prior to serving.

add to the cooked (al dente) & drained hot pasta, mix well and serve piping hot sprinkled with good freshly grated parmesan cheese. you will have happy kids. and adults.

baby kale salad:


  • fresh organic baby kale
  • thinly sliced cabbage
  • fresh organic cilantro leaves
  • cubed ripe roma or whole baby tomatoes
  • shallot vinaigrette-see recipe


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orecchiette with (lemony) walnut pesto and roasted butternut squash

for this recipe i’ve combined three of my favorite things to eat: orecchiette pasta (with any sauce, really), fresh home made (lemony) walnut pesto, and roasted butternut squash- they’re being combined to make a light and easy early summer (is it summer yet?) dish that is healthy and really satisfies. roasted butternut squash is amazingly flavorful, hearty, and somewhat sweet-you can add it to any salad, eat it with quinoa or brown rice, or add it to almost any creamy soup for an additional burst of flavor. Continue reading
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