Broccoli Leaf and Garlic Pasta Noodles

IMG_1084A couple of days ago, during a grocery store porous, I stumbles upon a produce item that I have not seen sold in stores before, Broccoli leaf. And I was kind of surprised  to see that they were selling bunches of the leaf,  organic,  at 2 bucks a bunch. I was very excited ! But wait.. You can eat broccoli leaves? Heck yes you can! Broccoli leaves  are fantastic. They taste kind of like broccoli, have a hearty texture like a collard, and can be used raw or cooked just like any other green. Its just one more super yummy green to add to your repertoire.  So when I bring home something that I find to be a good score, like a bunch of broccoli leaves, I feel like I have to share it with the mister. (I am so nice) And this dish was how I shared them…. Tossed into a bowl of garlic raging pasta. IMG_1044The stuff…. A bunch of broccoli leaves, lots of garlic, pasta, olive oil, salt and a lemon. Pretty simple right? IMG_1053Fist off, get your water boiling for the pasta. Once its ready, drop a pinch of salt into the water and stick pasta in for the amount of time recommend by pasta box people. While the pasta is boiling, mince up the garlic (I used my garlic press) into a skillet and add in the oil.  Stick on a burner on medium for a few minutes, stirring around to make sure the garlic doesn't stick and burn.  IMG_1069    IMG_1073Once you start to smell the garlic, turn heat onto low, chop up the broccoli leaves (stems and all)  and stir around until wilted and add in the juice of half a the lemon.When the pasta is cooked, remove a few tablespoons of starchy water and  strain the noodles. Add water and pasta right into the skillet with the other stuff.  Toss around, taste, season with salt and pepper.  Go ahead and add some chopped tomato and or parmesan cheese if you want.  IMG_1091And serve your amazingly amazing pasta.  And make sure that you are ok with really smelly garlic breath…Casue it's going to happen. Keep it good! -C

Broccoli Leaf and Garlic Noodles

  • 1 bunch fresh broccoli leaves (about 3 cups chopped)
  • 2 servings of your favorite pasta (spaghetti, penne, vegan, gluten free…..)
  • 8 or so fresh garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • lemon (optional)
  • parmesan cheese (optional)

Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Add in pasta and cook per instructions on box. While pasta is cooking, mined garlic and add to a skillet with the oil. Place on a burner on medium heat and cook and stir until the garlic becomes fragrant. Chop the broccoli leaves (stems and all) into bit sized pieces and add to the garlic oil and toss around to wilt the leaves. Squeeze in some lemon juice. Once the pasta is done cooking, remove a few tablespoons of the starchy water and strain the pasta. Add the water and the noodles to the skillet, toss to evenly coat the pasta and call it down. Serve in a bowl or on a plate, topped with freshly chopped tomatoes and parmesan cheese if you so shall please and another little squeeze of lemon juice if you like. Watch your mouth.. it will be breathing out garlic like whoa. 

Spring Pea Pesto and Bow Ties

IMG_3773Peas scream spring to me. The bright green color with that nice bright fresh taste….. kind of like a fresh spring day. Ah spring, so lovely, so nice, so hasn't made its way here yet. So I guess I am left to eat my spring. And what better way to highlight those lovely spring tastes? A fantastic pesto my friends, and it can be made lickidy split.

Pesto is one of those things that I am constantly making, and not just the kind most people think of with basil and nuts, I pesto everything..peppers, greens, carrots, squash.  And yea, I used this post to make a pesto pasta dish, but pesto has so many other fantastic uses. Like as a sandwich or wrap spread or a dip for veggies and crackers. I have used it as a soup base, a pizza sauce, on roasted potatoes and marinated tofu with pestos. It can also be thinned down and used as a salad dressing. See, so many uses. 

And this pea pesto is no exception. It has such a great light, almost fruity, super bright taste. I mean, it's peas so it taste just like peas but somehow even better. It really works in my mouth. I could eat a bowl of this stuff and be happy. 

Whatever you plan on using it for, make the pesto. You will be thanking me later. 

IMG_3751Pesto Stuff. We got the peas, garlic, lemon, oil, cheese if you please, and salt.  IMG_3757Take a handful of peas and set aside for later. Juice the lemon and take that and the rest of the stuff and stick in a food processor and puree until smooth. 

Oh my, so green, so good.  I first made it without cheese and  scooped a little out for me. It was perfect. Like the most brilliant bright pea flavor ever. It made me happy. After I added in the cheese, the mister said it tasted even better…. so cheese or not, it's going to be good!IMG_3798The pesto is made, and it only took about 2 seconds, now boil up the pasta.  If you were a thinker, you could start the pasta and make the pesto while its boiling. (I wasn't being a thinker) I used bow ties cause they are super cute, but use whatever pasta you're feeling. Shells or the ones that look like little brains would be good options.

Once the pasta is cooked, strain, reserving about 1/4 cup of the water. Add that bit of water back to the pot, add in the pesto, give a stir and dump pasta back into the pot. Toss in a handful of peas, maybe sprinkle some cheese and give it a good crack of some pepper.

IMG_3776Into a bowl and served with a fork to eat it with.  A super green fresh springy meal of happiness. And all under 15 minutes in the kitchen.

Oh you want to thank me for this...

Hey, not a problem….not a problem at all.


Spring Pea Pesto and Bow Ties

Makes enough pesto to coat a pound of cooked pasta and have some left over for sandwiches or to spread on crackers.

  • 1 lb. fresh or frozen peas (thawed if frozen)
  • 1 lemon
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 2 ish tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmesan, really or vegan (optional)
  • salt
  • 1 lb (an average box) of bow tie pasta (use any whole wheat, vegan, gluten free variety)

Place peas, (remove a handful and set aside to toss into the pasta) garlic, the juice of the lemon, olive oil and the parmesan (if you are using) into a food processor. Blend until smooth. Taste and salt as needed.

Pasta… Boil per instructions on box. Strain pastas but save about a 1/4 cup of starchy water. Toss pasta, starchy water and pesto together, adding in the handful or more of the whole peas. Sprinkle with more parmesan and or cracked pepper ,if wanted, and serve in big bowls. 

Use a fork. Eat, smile and be happy. 

Spaghetti and Bean Balls

IMG_3037Last night I had my sister and her kiddos come over for dinner. Nothing fancy, nothing to complicated,  just something  fast and something that I knew the littles would eat.  Spaghetti and meatballs, except replace meatballs were bean balls So they came, we played, did a little drawing and had a bit of first grad gossip. Then came  dinner time  when I was told by one little that she was not going to eat.. She had pasta for lunch. Well I made her sit anyway and she mainly just ate carrots (I was ok with that) Then the other little was all into his pasta and bean balls, 1 down, 3 more to go, when the mister let slip that the meatballs were not really meat. He ate around the remaining balls, said he didn't want them anymore. And my sister, well she doesn't eat anything that is not pizza.

Good thing a neighbor stopped by while we were eating. He had a few of the balls and told me that they were amazing. I needed someone to tell me that.  

So yeah, the littles were not overly enthused with the ball, but the Mister the Neighbor, and I thought that they were awesome and delicious. Maybe next time I will make sure that  pasta was not lunch and tell Nick to keep his mouth shut and stop talking about balls at the dinner table.

IMG_2960I feel like I don't need to tell you how to boil pasta or heat up the sauce, so I left that portion of the recipe out. I have faith that you are capable in doing that part without my instruction.

The bean ball stuff. Chickpeas (soaked and cooked or canned), sweet potato, carrot, onion, and some chick pea flour. Dried garlic, basil and oregano. Salt and pepper and a little bit of olive oil. IMG_2974Small chop all the veggies and toss them and the dry spices into a skillet with a drizzle or two of olive oil. Stick on medium  heat and add about 1/4 cup of water to pan. Top with  slid and let veggies cook down until soft and fragrant.

IMG_2983Add the cooked veggies to a food processor or blender with  the rinsed and drained chickpeas. IMG_2984The mixture gets pulsed until combined,  keeping a little bit of chunkiness.  Now go warhead and taste  the mixture. Add another pinch or two of salt , pepper or any of the spices that you think it need.  Dump the mixture into a bowl and mix in the chickpea flour than stink the mixture into the fridge for a least a 1/2 hour. Cooling to off is really important to forming the balls. If you don't, it's much harder to keep mixture from falling apart and sticking to your hands.

IMG_3016After the mixture has had time to cool and set, start rolling the mixture into balls roughly the size of ping pong balls. In a shallow bowl, add a few tablespoons of the chickpea flour with a pinch of salt, pepper and garlic powder. Take each ball and roll in flour and place each ball on a well oiled baking sheet. When the balls are all rolled, stick into the oven and bake away for about 30-40 minutes, flipping balls after about 20.  After you flip the balls, get the pasta ready so its finished about the same time the balls are done.IMG_3039You pasta and sauce is cooked and the balls are all crispy and oh so nice.

Serve balls over pasta with sauce and eat with a fork.

Your day is now complete.. balls and all.

Happy Weekend!


Spaghetti and Bean Balls

makes about 20 balls

  • 4 Cups (or 2 cans) Cooked, Rinsed and Drained ChickPeas
  • 1 Small Sweet Potato
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1/4 Cup Chickpea Flour plus extra to roll balls in
  • 1 Heaping Teaspoon Basil
  • 1 Heaping Teaspoon Oregano
  • 1 Heaping Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • Olive or Vegetable Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Your choice of Spaghetti (Use Vegan and or Gluten Free if needed)  Prepared as package recommends
  • Marinara or Pasta Sauce of your choice

Preheat Oven to 425 degrees

Small dice the carrot, onion and sweet potato and toss into a skillet on medium high heat with a splash of oil. Add in the dry spices and add in about a quarter cup of water. stir and cover the skillet with a lid and let the veggies cook down until the water has evaporated and the veggies are tender. 

Add rinsed and drained chickpeas to a food processor with the cooked veggie mixture. Pulse together until the mixture is combined and slightly smooth, but still with a little bit of texture left.Place bean mixture in a bowl  and mix in the 1/4 cup of chickpea flour. and stick in the fridge for a least a 1/2 hour to cool. (Mixture can be made a day ahead if you want)

Once the mixture has time to cool and set up , remove from fridge and with a light head, roll mixture into ping-pong sized balls. In a separate shallow dish add a bit of chickpea flour with a pinch of salt and pepper. Roll each ball in the flour mixture and place balls on a well oiled baking sheet. Once balls ae made, stick into the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes, flipping after about 20 minutes. The balls are done when the outsides are once and golden brown and crispy. After about 30 minutes, get to cooking your pasta and mariana sauce.

Once the pasta and sauce is done, plate it and toss on some of those awesome bean balls!

Bean balls also make fantastic bean ball sandwiches or bean balls on a toothpick. 

Kale Walnut Pesto and Baked Ravioli


Yesterday The mister and I went for a walk, a long walk. I was wearing a sweater, a light jacket and I  left the mittens and hat at home. There was sunshine, huge puddles and mud. Birds were chirping. It was amazing.

After our nice long walk, we got home and I needed to start dinner. It was a little later than I usually so I wanted fast and easy  I usually always have pesto in my fridge (I had to make some, but it only takes 5 minutes) because when it's in there, I can whip up a big awesome meal in the time it takes to boil some pasta or quinoa or smear on toast or toss with potatoes. It really can be used on everything and can be made out of just about anything. Kale and walnuts are just one of so many fantastic combos. And frozen ravioli is always in the freezer too. I  used just plain cheese, but use whatever kind you like.

Together, pesto and ravioli, well that's a quick, easy, and tasty meal, perfect for a spring evening,  And yea, there will be left over pesto from this recipe… just stick it in the fridge or freezer….you will be glad you have it.

IMG_1642    IMG_1655   Pesto stuff. Kale, walnuts, parmesan cheese(nutritional yeast to keep it vegan), garlic, lemon, olive oil, and salt and pepper.

A few little pre steps before the blending.. Toast the walnuts. Just toss onto a dry skillet and stick on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until they start to become née and fragrant. Remove from skillet and add in a bit of water. Add in chopped or ripped kale and cover to let the kale tenderize, but only for about 2 minutes. (you want the kale to still be crispy and fresh tasting)  Drain water and add kale, garlic, toasted walnuts, cheese  and the juice of the lemon into a food processor. Turn on and slowly add in olive oil until you get to a nice paste, adding more oil to get to your desired consistency. Oh and don't forget to salt and pepper to taste!

IMG_2081 IMG_2098Straight up frozen ravioli goes onto an oiled baking sheet.(make sure that non are overlapping) Place into an oven at 400 degrees for about 15-18 minutes, flipping after 10. If you want to add mushroom and a few more walnuts, just toss them onto the ravioli when you are flipping over the ravioli. 

When the ravioli is nice and brown and crispy, remove from oven and dump the ravioli and the mushrooms into a bowl. Add a big old scoop of the freshly made pesto and toss around. 

IMG_2121Look at this… fresh, crunchy, light and happy. Kinda like a spring day.

I am the best lady, making the mister a pretty yummy dinner. 

Have a great Tuesday!


Kale Pesto and Baked Ravioli

  • 4-5 cups chopped Kale
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese ( Nutritional Yeast  to make it vegan)
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 4-5 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 bag of frozen ravioli(use vegan or gluten-free if you want)
  • 3-4 mushrooms

Note..There will be plenty of left over pesto… Just fridge or freeze it

Place walnuts in a skillet and toast on medium heat for about 3-5 minutes or until the nuts become fragrant. In the same skillet, add enough water  to cover bottom and add in all the kale. Place a lid on it and let kale wilt on medium heat for about a minutes or 2, Take off heat. Add walnuts. garlic, cheese, salt and pepper, and juice of lemon to a food processor. Blend. Now add in the kale and blend, slowly adding olive oil until a thick paste forms. You can add as much oil as you want to make it as thick or thin as you like.

Preheat oven to 400

Place frozen ravioli on an oiled baking sheet, making sure none are overlapping. Place into oven for about 15-18 minutes, removing after 8 minutes to flip. When you take the ravioli out to flip, slice up the mushrooms and grab a few more walnuts and toss onto baking sheet with the ravioli.  When the ravioli's are nicely browned and toasty, remove (mushrooms and walnuts too) and place into bowl. Add a big scoop of pesto and toss to mix.

Serve and eat.. fork is optional.

Note..Add a thin layer to the top of any left over pesto to keep it fresh and from turning black 

Lemon Garlic Poppyseed Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes

IMG_9245I was cleaning my spice shelf (I feel like I do this like once a week) and found some poppy seeds hiding behind some jars. Accidental spice findings happened more often the then one might think in my house.. I like to buy tiny baggies of spices with good intentions of using them, but because of their tiny size, I often lose them or forget about them due to that  tininess. But I usually find those tiny little bags, and when I find them, I try to use them right away..(I don't like having old spices around and no, I will not toss it) And it just so happened that I has a lemon in need of using.. and it was getting close to dinner time. I could wait and make lemon poppy seed cake or muffins, or just start dinner.   Then I was like, " I'll  just make lemon poppy seed pasta." And so I did. And of course it needed to have lots of garlic and some kind of vegetable to round out the dish, (I know tomatoes are fruit but you know what I mean)  

And the mister….He loved it. And I am sure you will too. How can you go wrong with lemon, garlic and poppy seeds all creamy and fragrant? You really can't,  Pus this recipe is so easily adaptable. It can be vegan and or gluten free..whatever you want it to be. 

So if you are looking for a  fast, delicious, and impressive looking dinner… look no further. You gots one right here!

IMG_9122Start by tuning oven on to 400 degrees. Chopped tomatoes  and sprinkle in oil and salt and stick in the oven. Do this first because the rest of the meal only takes about 10 minutes..So fast!!!

Choose your pasta and get a pot of water boiling and start on the sauce.. which includes, olive oil, lots of garlic, flour, milk(any kind you use), lemon zest a little lemon juice, poppy seeds, salt and pepper. 

IMG_9143The sauce is pretty much a basic roux…

Crush the garlic and stick into pot with the oil. Let simmer for a few minutes until you can smell the garlic, which smells like heaven. Whisk in the flour and then gradually whisk in the milk. Keep on low heat and continuously whisk until sauce has thickened and doesn't run off a spoon. Add in lemon zest, the poppy seeds, and the salt and pepper. Mix it all up and turn off heat.

IMG_9157Once your pasta is cooked (cook however it says to on package), reserve about a 1/4 cup of pasta water and drain the rest. Add the pasta water and pasta the sauce. (the pasta water helps the sauce and noodles canooddle together)

IMG_9181And its all mixed up just waiting to be served…and the roasted tomatoes!

IMG_9232Scooped into a bowl with a scoop of the roasted tomatoes and some chopped chives,  served with a couple wedges of lemon..just because.

And dinner is done….  and it took all of 15 minutes. 

Thank me later.


Lemon Garlic Poppyseed Pasta with roasted tomatoes

  • 3 cups pasta (whatever you it can be gluten free too) 
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons flour (use corn or arrowroot starch for gluten free)
  • 2 cups milk (cow, hemp, soy…any kind you use)
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds
  • 2 roma tomatoes (optional but really good)
  • salt and pepper

Start by chopping tomatoes  and placing them in a skillet or baking sheet, sprinkled in salt and a little bit of olive oil, and stick into a 400 degree oven

Bring a large pot of water to a boil add you pasta…cook to the boxes instructions.

While pastas is boiling, crush garlic and add to a pot with the olive oil. Heat on medium low heat until the garlic is fragrant and slightly brown. Now whisk in flour and then whisk in milk. Continue to whisk until sauce thickens to where it doesn't run of a spoon. Add in the zest of 1 lemon, the poppy seeds and salt and pepper to taste. When pasta is done (should be around the same time the sauce is done) reserve about a 1/4 cup of pasta water and drain the pasta from the rest. Add water and pasta to the sauce and mix together.

Remove roasted tomatoes from the oven. Scoop pasta into bowls and top with a scoop of the tomatoes. (you can mix into pasta, but it will turn the sauce red and the tomatoes will fall apart)

Serve with a wedge of lemon and bring food to face!