Pasta With Quick Kale Sauce

Pasta With Quick Kale Sauce. I’m in love with this quick and easy no-frill pasta dish. It has Kale in it which has numerous health benefits and happens to be pretty darn tasty. Check out my cookbook for “The Seasoned Life” for a quick “Kale Chip” recipe that is sure to be a favorite. And for those of you that are scared of anything green. Give it a try! It turns out to be a smooth and silky sauce that pairs perfectly with pasta. Share your favorite way to eat kale in the comments below.

Enjoy!

Xo-Ayesha

Pasta With Quick Kale Sauce

Pasta With Quick Kale Sauce

12 ounces favorite pasta (I used orecchiette pasta)
1/2 white onion, roughly chopped.
1/2 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped.
2-3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
Two tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup walnuts or pine nuts
2-3 cups fresh kale, ribs and stems removed.
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste (I used about a teaspoon each)

 

Cook your pasta according to the package directions.

Remove the pasta from the boiling water and set aside. Add your chopped kale to the water and quickly blanch for 1-2 minutes and remove.

In a blender or food processor add blanched kale, garlic, onion, parmesan, lemon, and nuts. Stream in olive oil and puree until smooth.

Add kale sauce to your cooked pasta and toss to coat! Serve immediately!

Fig And Orange Glazed Salmon Fillets

Fig and Orange Glazed Salmon Fillets. Hey everyone! Now I’m always on the hunt for a new and exciting approach to cooking salmon. And this dish is so darn flavorful and pairs one of my favorite proteins with FIGS! I’m a colossal fig lover, naturally, since I live in California where most of the nation’s fresh figs are grown. Their subtly sweet creamy and seedy texture makes them great for both sweet and savory dishes. And the combination of sticky figs and orange is a winner in this recipe. This glaze is a great sauce that adds the perfect amount of tang and sweetness to the salmon. Are any of you fig lovers? Share in the comments below.

 

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

Fig and Orange Glazed Salmon Fillets

 

Fig and Orange Glazed Salmon Fillets

Ingredients:

12-16 ounce salmon fillet, cut into four pieces.
Coarse salt and black pepper

Orange Fig Sauce:

One cup California figs, stems removed and halved.
Two tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup orange juice
Three tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Two tablespoons honey
Two tablespoons dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
One tablespoon chopped fresh mint

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Cut stems from figs and cut into quarters. Place figs, orange juice, balsamic, and mint in a small pot. Bring to a boil and allow the sauce to reduce about 15-20 minutes. Once your figs have reduced and softened remove from heat.

In a blender add in hot fig mixture along with honey, dijon, and salt. Stream in olive oil and pulse until well combined. It will be thick! But will melt wonderfully over the hot fish.

Place salmon, skin side down on a lined baking sheet. Brush with glaze and cook through until flaky, about 12 to 15 minutes. You can brush salmon with remaining sauce if desired and serve with steamed rice.

Lamb Ragu

Lamb Ragu. Let’s throw it back to this delicious and crave-worthy dish. This rich and creamy, pasta is a spin on the traditional spaghetti sauce. Served over your favorite pasta. And flavored with tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and a little red wine. Perfect for lunch or dinner! You can’t go wrong. This just may be your new favorite dinner to make. My kids were a big fan of this. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

 

Lamb Ragu

 

Lamb Ragu

1lb ground lamb
2 tablespoons olive oil
1-28oz can whole peeled tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
2 cloves garlic, minced.
One small red onion, diced.
Three cups cremini mushrooms, sliced.
One cup full-bodied red wine (I used cabernet)
One cup sour cream
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon Herbs de Provence
1 1/2teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/12 tablespoons brown sugar (Of course I’m going to use it!)
1lb box favorite pasta (I used fusilli pasta)
Grated parmesan cheese for garnish
Fresh basil or parsley for garnish

 

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Make sure to salt your water! Add the pasta and cook according to instructions. Drain pasta. And set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add your onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the ground lamb into the pan. Season with salt, pepper, paprika, and Herbs de Provence.

Break up your lamb as it browns. Letting all of the liquid evaporate in the pan until you see little bits start to stick to the pan. Add mushrooms.

Add wine and deglaze the pan by getting all those brown bits off the bottom of the pan. (So much flavor!!) Let the wine cook down to half its size. Add the whole tomatoes and gently break up, simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes. Add brown sugar and sour cream and mix well.

Serve over the pasta. Garnish with freshly grated parmesan and freshly chopped basil.

End Of Summer Watermelon Salad

End of summer watermelon salad. We are in our last official days of summer. So I wanted to share with you a ridiculously simple and refreshing salad. It combines sweet watermelon, salty feta, herby mint and drizzled with a little balsamic. A very classic take. You can make this in a large bowl or make individual salads. So refreshing and you can even jazz it up with some chicken or shrimp for a protein-packed salad. Simple, fast, and tasty you can’t go wrong with that. What’s your favorite way to eat watermelon? Comment below.

Enjoy!

Xo- Ayesha

Watermelon Salad

Watermelon Salad

Four cups watermelon, cubed.
1/2 cup feta, crumbled.
Handful fresh mint, roughly chopped.
Salt and pepper to taste. (Just a pinch should do)
Balsamic vinegar, for drizzling.

In a large bowl add watermelon, feta, and mint. Gently toss together. Season with salt and pepper before drizzling with balsamic vinegar serve immediately. Enjoy!

Tips- You can add red onion or arugula as well (For arugula add a little extra balsamic to dress it). You can also substitute basil for mint.

Quick Pan Seared Sweet Chili Shrimp

Quick Pan Seared Sweet Chili Shrimp. Now In my cookbook “The Seasoned Life” I have a recipe for “Sweet Chili Shrimp Wraps” they are quickly fried and served inside butter lettuce with a jicama salad, and they are oh SO delicious! My condiments of choice are always sweet chili sauce and ketchup. There are always bottles of it stashed in my cupboards and refrigerator. This recipe is a simple pan-seared shrimp that incorporates sweet chili sauce without the frying. It’s a quick and easy recipe when you are looking to have a flavorful meal in twenty minutes or less. (That’s counting the rice cook time!) What is your favorite way to prepare shrimp? (Fried, pan seared, grilled?) Comment below!

Enjoy,

Xo-Ayesha

Quick Pan Seared Sweet Chili Shrimp

Quick Pan Seared Sweet Chili Shrimp

1 Pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined.
2 Tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste (I used about 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, optional.
One shallot, minced.
1-2 cloves garlic, minced.
3 Tablespoons sweet chili sauce (I prefer Mae Ploy)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon lime juice
One tablespoon brown sugar

 

Add spices and one tablespoon of olive oil into a large bowl and mix well until a paste is formed.

Place dry shrimp in the bowl and toss to coat. (You have to dry your shrimp after you rinse them. Shrimp tend to absorb water and will change the outcome of your dish!)

Now in a small bowl, whisk together the chili sauce, soy, lime juice, brown sugar and set aside.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat and add in one tablespoon of olive oil to heat. Add garlic and shallot and cook for about 1 minute before adding the shrimp to the pan and cooking for 1-2 minutes per side. Do not overcook! Remove the pan from heat and pour the sauce mixture over the shrimp and stir to coat the shrimp evenly.

Serve over jasmine rice or pasta and enjoy!

 

Quick And Easy Homemade Croutons

Quick And Easy Homemade Croutons. The end of summer is nearing and what better way to finish it out than with a flavorful salad straight from the garden. My Panzanella salad with a dijon vinaigrette is fantastic. It’s tangy and sweet with lots of crunchy vegetables and of course Croutons! Panzanella is a traditional Italian “bread salad.” For the full recipe on how to make it click the link. Now, these crispy croutons are so easy to make and so much better than the bagged stuff. You can use them in your next soup or salad recipe and create something magical. Just chop, cube and brown in the oven, and about fifteen minutes later you’ll have golden chewy and crispy croutons! Try it with cornbread for a yummy alternative. What’s your favorite way to eat croutons? Comment below.

 

Enjoy!

Xo- Ayesha

Quick And Easy Homemade Croutons

Quick And Easy Homemade Croutons

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
One long baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 6 cups)
One teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, optional

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl add bread cubes, salt, and garlic powder. Drizzle with olive oil over the bread and combine well until coated and the bread absorbs olive oil.

Spread cubes of bread onto a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes until golden all around. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

Grilled Spiced Chicken Sandwich

Grilled Spiced Chicken Sandwich. Happy Friday, everyone! Now if you have my cookbook “The Seasoned Life,” you have probably made one of my favorite recipes called “Grilled Spiced Chicken.” I take chicken breast and coat them in a dry rub mixture before grilling them indoors or outdoors. The chicken gets all caramelized on the grill and is just so juicy and flavorful. Here I slice it up for a sourdough sandwich with a sweet and peppery arugula salad for crunch and flavor. You can also pair it with a little mayo and your favorite cheese. This sandwich is going to be your next backyard hit. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy!

Xo- Ayesha

Grilled Spiced Chicken Sandwich

Grilled Spiced Chicken Sandwich

Four boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
Two tablespoons olive oil
Two tablespoons paprika
One teaspoon cinnamon
Kosher salt, to taste.
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste.
Eight slices lightly toasted sourdough bread (Or bread of your choosing.)
Sliced cheese, for serving. (I used fontina)
Mayonnaise, for serving.
Arugula salad, for serving. (recipe below)

Preheat grill at medium-high heat.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine seasonings and thoroughly mix. Coat chicken breast one at a time into the spice mixture and set aside onto a plate.

Grill the chicken until cooked through and juices run clear — about 4-6 minutes per side.

Slice chicken breast diagonally and assemble sandwiches to your liking. Enjoy!

 

Arugula Salad:

2 cups packed arugula
One tablespoon balsamic vinegar
One tablespoon dark brown sugar
One tablespoon olive oil

In a small bowl, add vinegar, sugar, and oil and whisk together.

Add in arugula and toss to coat.

Serve immediately.

Island Green Smoothie

Island Green Smoothie. For a sweet and tropical pick me up, try out this recipe. It just happens to be one of my husband’s favorite drinks to get when we go to any smoothie place. And with only three simple ingredients that you probably already have at home.  You can add in protein powder, chia seeds, and more to make it your own — also a perfect substitution for a sweet tooth craving. For the full recipe and more, go out and get my book “The Seasoned Life” available at book retailers nationwide. And if you’ve already tried this let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy.

Xo- Ayesha

Island Green Smoothie

Shishito Pepper And Garlic Sauce

Shishito Pepper And Garlic Aioli. Shishito peppers are not only a delicious finger food but extremely easy to prepare. They are abundant at most farmers markets in the summertime. And If I see them on the menu at any restaurant, I order them. They are Normally just sautéed in a pan until blistered and seasoned lightly with salt. We have a running joke that I somehow always find the only hot one in the bunch. But Typically they are very mild and smoky in flavor. Here I use them in a sauce that is the perfect condiment for your next back yard cookout or sandwich. I topped a perfectly cooked charleston crab cake with this sauce, and it was phenomenal. But you can really use it on anything. And I strongly feel like my sauce would have turned out greener in the pictures below if I hadn’t “sampled” so many of the shishito peppers before blending the sauce. I couldn’t help myself! Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy.

Xo- Ayesha

 

Shishito Pepper And Garlic Sauce

Shishito Pepper And Garlic Sauce

1-pint shishito peppers rinsed and dry.
One tablespoon olive oil
1 cup good mayonnaise
3-4 garlic cloves, whole. (Use all four if you’re a garlic lover.)
Two tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste. (I used ground rainbow peppercorns)

 

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet until hot. Add peppers and cook until blistered and charred — about 5-10 minutes. Just watch them as this process can vary in time. About halfway through I like to add in the whole garlic cloves to give them some color but that’s up to you. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Remove stem tops with a knife.

In a large blender or food processor add blistered peppers, garlic, mayo, lemon, salt, and pepper. Pulse until well combined. Serve immediately.

Cucumber And Tomato Salad

Cucumber And Tomato Salad. In my cookbook, “The Seasoned Life,” I  have a recipe for “Cucumber Salad.” Here I added in some fresh tomatoes from my garden. I also used Thai chili powder in place of red pepper flakes. It’s perfect in this chilled salad. If you can get ahold of it and enjoy a little heat, give it a try! Such a quick and straightforward way to use produce that you have on hand or can get ahold of at your local market or farmers market. This dish is sweet, vinegary and has a touch of heat — the perfect complement to your next summer cookout.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

 

Cucumber And Tomato Salad

Cucumber And Tomato Salad

1 Cucumber peeled and sliced
1-pint baby cherry or heirloom tomatoes
Two tablespoons red wine vinegar
Two tablespoons minced red onion
Two teaspoons light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

In a small bowl mix vinegar, onion, sugar, salt, and chili flakes. mIx well.

In a large bowl add cucumber slice and tomatoes. Add in dressing and toss to coat. Allow to sit for atlas 5 minutes before serving or refrigerate and serve chilled.

Tip* I personally think it tastes better the longer it sits. So if you have time to make beforehand and refrigerate I would suggest it.

Seared Scallop And Teriyaki Bowl

Seared Scallop and Teriyaki Bowl. Who needs takeout when you can whip up a meal in just minutes. And you can use any protein or rice you have on hand. I love the subtly sweet and rich flavor of scallops, and they take little to no time to prepare. You just need to make sure they are completely dry. A wet scallop won’t sear properly. The teriyaki sauce is sweet yet tangy with a little bit of heat from the red pepper flakes. You can use this sauce in so many different dishes. Dinner in a bowl is my kind of meal. I hope that you enjoy it.

Thanks,

Xo- Ayesha

Teriyaki Sauce

1 cup of soy sauce
1 cup of water
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
One tablespoon honey
One tablespoon ginger, minced.
1-2 garlic cloves, finely minced. (Depending on your taste)
Pinch crushed red pepper flake
Slurry to taste.

Heat a small pot at medium-high heat and add all ingredients. Cook until sugar has dissolved.

Slurry-

Two tablespoons cornstarch
Two tablespoons water

Mix until combined.

Combine all of the ingredients in a saucepan on medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add slurry a little at a time until you get the desired thickness.

Assemble bowls with cooked rice, protein, vegetables and drizzle with sauce.

Scallops-

Pat dry. Season both sides with salt and pepper.

Heat a large pan with one tablespoon of olive oil and butter at medium-high heat. Sear the scallops on each side for 2-3 minutes per side. You want a golden color with a slightly firm touch. Remove from pan and serve immediately!

Warm Arugula Salad With A Maple Vinaigrette

Warm Arugula Salad With Maple Vinaigrette. I absolutely love being able to harvest the vegetables from my garden and being able to prepare easy and delicious meals with them. This salad is full of crunchy, sweet, and sour goodness. Arugula is such a pepper flavored green that has loads of health benefits. And it works perfectly with the sweet and tangy maple vinaigrette. I topped it with some quickly seared scallops, fresh corn, peas, and chopped asparagus. But the beauty of this salad is that you can substitute your favorite vegetables that you have on hand and it will be just as good. Use whatever protein you want — the perfect meal for a quick lunch or dinner. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy.

Xo- Ayesha

 

Warm Arugula Salad With Maple Vinaigrette

Warm Arugula Salad With Maple Vinaigrette

3 cups arugula (You could also substitute spinach)
Large ear of corn shucked and cut off the cob
One cup asparagus, sliced.
1/2 cup peas fresh (Or frozen)
Maple vinaigrette, recipe below.

Just heat some olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook asparagus until tender and bright green for about 2 minutes. Add in corn and peas and saute for 1 minute more. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, add arugula and warm veggies. Toss with vinaigrette and combine well. Serve warm with a protein of choice or on its own.

Maple Vinaigrette

One clove finely minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
Two tablespoons pure maple syrup
One tablespoon white wine vinegar
Two tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
Pinch of salt and pepper

Add all of the ingredients into a jar and shake well. Set aside until ready to use.