Creamy Fontina Pasta Sauce

Creamy Fontina Pasta Sauce With Hidden vegetables. Hey everyone! So excited to share this recipe with you. Did you know that sauces are a great way to serve vegetables to your family? Now while my kids happen to love any type of vegetable, I know that not every parent has it this easy. So this is my spin on a regular pasta sauce that is chock full of whatever vegetables and herbs you may have on hand. It’s blended until smooth or left chunky depending on your picky eaters. Then combined with some nutty, creamy fontina cheese, browned meat, and your favorite pasta. The perfect way to feed your family and get them to eat their veggies. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

Creamy Fontina Pasta Sauce

 

Creamy Fontina Pasta Sauce

Two tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, finely chopped.
Two cloves garlic, finely chopped.
2 cups kale
One tablespoon tomato paste
1- 13.5 ounce can whole tomatoes.
Handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped.
1 cups eggplant, chopped. (I had fairy tale eggplant on hand.)
Two teaspoons dark brown sugar (Cuts the acidity.)
One teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces fontina cheese
1 pound cooked ground meat (I used ground lamb)
1 point pasta of choice ( I used rigatoni)

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add in onion, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes.

Add in eggplant and kale and saute for another 3 minutes.

Stir in the tomato paste, whole tomatoes, sugar, and thyme. Mix well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes.

You can choose to leave this sauce chunky or use a food processor, hand mixer or blender to puree the vegetables (hide them).

Add in fontina cheese to the hot sauce and allow to melt. Before topping with chopped parsley.

You can add your favorite browned meat to this sauce and serve over pasta.

Delicious!

Sauteed Mushrooms And Asparagus

Sauteed Mushrooms And Asparagus. Hey guys! Here is an effortless and flavorful way to create a side dish. I love to add a little white wine to boost any traditional vegetable into an aromatic and delicious side dish. Cooking with wine is a great way to add a little flavor to your next meal. Whether you’re deglazing a pan or sauteing with it. The alcohol cooks out as your dish cooks. And using wines that you drink in your dishes versus using “cooking wine” is always the best choice. That way you know what your cooking with already tastes good. Plus it doesn’t hurt to have a glass while you cook! Serve this alongside your next main dish. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

Sauteed Mushrooms And Asparagus

 

Sauteed Mushrooms And Asparagus

16oz. Sliced mushrooms
1lb Asparagus, trimmed and sliced.
1 cup white wine (your choice)
Three cloves garlic, minced.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat and add in mushroom, asparagus, and garlic. Pour in white wine and stir frequently. Cook for 10-12 minutes until tender and wine has cooked down. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.

Warm Arugula Salad With A Maple Vinaigrette

Warm Arugula Salad With Maple Vinaigrette. Springtime is probably my favorite season of the year. I get to harvest my vegetables from the garden and 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 mothers day lunch or side dish. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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.

Mini Chicken Parmesan Burgers

Mini Chicken Parmesan Style Burgers. These quick pan-fried mini chicken burgers are a simply flavored spin on chicken parmesan. But In handheld form! Perfect for your next gathering or game night. Chicken parmesan is one of my family’s favorite meals for me to prepare. So I loved creating this fun and delicious spin on a classic. Ground chicken is mixed with some simple seasonings, fresh basil and pan-fried until cooked through before topping it with fresh mozzarella, more basil and a slathering of marinara sauce. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,
Xo- Ayesha

 

Mini Chicken Parmesan Burgers

Mini Chicken Parmesan Burgers

1lb ground chicken (ground chicken thighs pack a lot of flavors.)
Two tablespoons fresh chopped basil. Plus more for topping.
One tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
One tablespoon Italian seasoning
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Mozerella ball, sliced.
Marinara sauce, for topping. (Store-bought. Shortcuts are everything!)
Slider buns or rolls for serving.

 

In a large bowl add in ground chicken. Toss in seasoning, chopped basil and gently mix. I like to use a 1/4 measuring cup to scoop out even sized burgers and form shape.

Tip- You can moisten your hands before forming burgers. It will help keep the burger from sticking to your hands.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add in chicken burgers and allow to cook 4-5 minutes per side until each side has browned and is cooked through.

Assemble burgers by placing on the bottom of the bun and topping with mozzarella, basil, and marinara, Serve immediately.

Curry and Garlic Shrimp

Curry and Garlic Shrimp. I’m so excited to share this recipe! A new and delicious way to prepare shrimp. We use shrimp and saute them in some olive oil with curry powder, garlic, shallot, tomatoes, capers, and parsley. And don’t be afraid of the word “Curry.” It’s used very subtly in this dish. You could also cut the amount of curry in half in you desire. So if you’re looking for a quick and tasty dinner, tonight give this a try its a keeper! Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

 

Curry and Garlic Shrimp

Curry and Garlic Shrimp

1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined.
One tablespoon olive oil
One tablespoon butter, unsalted.
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped. (Use all three if you love garlic!)
One small tomato, diced.
One small shallot, finely chopped.
Two tablespoons capers, drained.
1/4 cup white wine or chicken stock
One tablespoon lemon juice
One tablespoon parsley, chopped.
1/2 tablespoon curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute garlic and shallot for 2-3 minutes. Lower temperature and add in curry powder to allow to simmer 3-4 minutes. Deglaze the pan with wine (or chicken stock) and add in lemon, tomatoes, parsley, and capers. Stir well and season if desired. Add in the shrimp and coat with the sauce. It should cook for about two minutes and then remove from heat. The sauce will thicken. Serve the shrimp over rice or crusty bread.

Creamy Edamame And Avocado Dip

Creamy Edamame And Avocado Dip. Hey everyone! Here is another quick and easy recipe — edamame and avocado dip. I happen to love edamame. So I wanted to create a creamy dip using both edamame and avocado. It transforms into a healthy and tasty dip that will brighten the table at your next gathering. Its fresh flavor is loaded with fresh lime juice, garlic, and cilantro. And the added siracha gives it a nice tangy and spicy kick. You can enjoy this as a dip, healthy snack or sandwich spread!

Enjoy!

Xo– Ayesha

Edamame and Avacado Dip

12oz. Edamame shelled.
One large avocado pitted and cubed.
1/4 cup onion, diced.
1/2 cup cilantro
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup lime juice
1-2 tablespoons sriracha
One teaspoon sea salt
One teaspoon black pepper
2-3 tablespoons olive oil

Heat a large pot of water over medium-high heat. Add frozen edamame and quickly blanch for 2-3 minutes.

 

Place the hot edamame into a blender or food processor. Pulse five or six times until slightly broken up. Add in avocado, onion, cilantro, garlic, lime, and sriracha. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and drizzle in olive oil. Puree until smooth but still chunky. You can adjust the seasonings to taste.

Transfer to a bowl and serve with desired accompaniments. (Cucumber slices, pita, bell pepper, carrot sticks, etc.)

Super Quick Shrimp Pasta

Super Quick Shrimp Pasta. Heres another quick and flavorful meal to make when you are short on time. And as a busy mom of three, I am always looking for a recipe that can be put together in a flash. I made this for my family this week, and it was a hit.  Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Enjoy!

Xo- Ayesha

Super Quick Shrimp Pasta

Super Quick Shrimp Pasta

1lb pasta, spaghetti.
1lb peeled, deveined shrimp
Three tablespoons olive oil
One clove garlic, minced.
1 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped. (about a handful)
One tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
1/2 stick salted butter (I always buy grass-fed)
1/2 cup white wine (plus more for drinking!)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

In a large bowl add shrimp and season with lemon pepper seasoning before carefully tossing to coat.

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook for 1 minute. Add in garlic and butter and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Deglaze the pan by adding in the white wine. Making sure to get any bits off the bottom of the pan. (That’s flavor!) Season with pepper and add in chopped parsley. Remove from heat. Now add the cooked shrimp mixture to the cooked pasta and top with parmesan. Gently toss to coat. You can add in reserved pasta water if needed to thin out the sauce. Serve hot and garnished with extra parsley and parmesan is desired. Enjoy!

*Tip* reserve about 1 cup of pasta water to stretch the sauce if needed!

 

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!

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 is a highly nutritious vegetable. It 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!

Turkey Sloppy Joe

Turkey Sloppy Joe. Sure to be one of your next dinner favorites. Sloppy joes are one of those comfort foods that you grew up eating, but probably don’t admit to liking as an adult! Barbecue like sandwiches that consist of sauce and ground beef or as my mom says “Minced meat.” The “sloppy” sauce came out of a can but let’s be honest when you were a kid who cared? So this is a decidedly healthier spin on your classic sloppy without losing that delicious sweet and tangy flavor we all love.  Using ground turkey and most ingredients you probably already have on hand like onion and bell pepper. I mean what’s not to like about a meal that combines a hearty meat mixture nestled inside a bun and is oh so SLOPPY! I hope you enjoy it.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

 

Turkey Sloppy Joe

 

Turkey Sloppy Joe

1lb ground turkey
One tablespoon olive oil
15 ounce can tomato sauce
One small red onion, diced.
One red bell pepper, diced.
Two cloves garlic, minced.
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika (You can substitute regular)
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
Buns, for serving.

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and brown your ground turkey until cooked through. Add garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Saute the mixture for 1-2 minutes and add the remaining ingredients. (Obviously not the bread!) Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Vegetables should be tender.

Spoon mixture inside of your favorite bun. Toasting the bread is also a nice touch. I like to serve it with homemade sweet potato chips or fries and some crunchy cucumber slices!

Turkey And Butternut Squash Baked Ziti

Turkey And Butternut Squash Baked Ziti. Hey everyone! Here is a recipe that’s easy enough for a busy school or work night. Now we all love those classic comfort foods that we had as a child. And baked ziti was one of my favorites. Its loaded with cheese, pasta and meat sauce. Not to mention a very inexpensive and easy throw together meal. Now this recipe is a lightened up baked ziti. We start with a flavorful ground turkey that’s tossed with a velvety butternut squash sauce. And topped with fontina cheese and baked until bubbly and golden. I use ground turkey in place of ground beef to lighten it up. The roasted butternut squash is pureed into a sauce alongside a little cream and chicken stock. This meal will honestly fool even the pickiest of eaters. It looks and tastes like a decadent cheese sauce. I hope that you enjoy this comforting casserole as much as we did. Leave a comment below.

Enjoy,

Xo- Ayesha

Turkey And Butternut Squash Baked Ziti

Turkey And Butternut Squash Baked Ziti

8oz pasta, cooked. (You can use ziti or whatever pasta you have on hand.)
Two tablespoons olive oil
4 cups roasted butternut squash (See below)
1lb ground turkey
One cup sweet onion, finely chopped.
Two garlic cloves, minced.
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream or half and half
One cup Mozzarella, shredded.
4 ounces fontina cheese
One tablespoon Italian seasoning
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

 

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook pasta according to package instructions.

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. And saute onion and garlic for 2-3 minutes. Add ground turkey and seasonings, break into pieces and cook until browned about 6-7 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a blender add roasted squash, cream, stock, salt, and pepper. If it is too thick for your liking, you can always thin it out with a little leftover pasta water.

Add butternut squash sauce and mozzarella with the turkey mixture. Combine with pasta and transfer mixture into a prepared baking dish. Break off chunks off fontina cheese and place over the top of the pasta.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes until bubbly and browned. Serve immediately.

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!