Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Penne with Arugula, Peas and Caramelized Balsamic Walnuts

This recipe came about as I was trying to come up with a vegan alternative to chopped bacon. Something savory, sweet, salty and crunchy all in one bite. That I could sprinkle on rice and salads or just snack on with a piece of fruit.

I actually like pasta salad that combines leafy greens and some cooked pasta. There has been some difficulty in finding a gluten free pasta that eats well at any temperature. I prefer the Tru Roots mixed grain penne.
This pasta salad is served warm but can be eaten cold the next day.
A nice bowl of green to welcome spring. Who else is excited about spring showers and growing flowers?
Penne with Arugula, Peas, and Caramelized Balsamic Walnuts
1 cup peas (I used organic frozen but fresh is even better - no need to cook fresh)
2 cups gluten-free penne
4 cups arugula
2 cups walnuts, chopped or whole
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 TB olive oil
2 TB maple syrup
1-2 cloves garlic
1. In a small to medium size saucepan,  add walnuts, vinegar, oil and garlic. Turn to medium high heat. As soon as bubbles form, turn down to low, stirring frequently for 10-15 minutes or until sauce has thickened and walnuts are toasted.
2. Meanwhile cook pasta according to package, adding the frozen peas when you add the noodles. Drain and add a small glug of olive oil.
3. Add handfuls of arugula to bowls, top with pasta and then walnuts and sauce.
Skip the peas and arugula. Before you drain noodles,  add fresh spinach to the bottom of the colander. The hot water from pasta will quick steam spinach. Add the special walnuts and chopped fresh or sundried tomatoes.
When the king smiles, there is life;
his favor refreshes like a spring rain.
Proverbs 16:15
Gentle words are a tree of life.
Proverbs 15:4

Friday, April 3, 2015

Sweet Potato Ginger Smoothie

This is for my neighbor Pattie who is always graciously facebooking me healthy recipes. This recipe below was inspired by a juicer recipe she sent me. For lack of juicer, I make smoothies. Plus it's extra fiber which I appreciate and is good for the wee ones.
This drink has a nice dose of beta carotene and Vitamin C. A quick zing of ginger, a powerful healing spice.

You can easily substitute or add cinnamon for the ginger. Its great idea to add herbs or spices to your smoothies because they are nutritional powerhouses. Also try my Golden Smoothie (uses turmeric), Immunity Strengthening Smoothie, Chamomile Cantaloupe Smoothie, and Blueberry Basil Smoothie.

Sweet Potato Ginger Smoothie
1 steamed sweet potato, cooled
1 large carrot
1 cup coconut milk
1 cup chopped pineapple, frozen (or add ice if fresh)
1" chunk fresh ginger
2-3 dates or 4-6 drops vanilla stevia (I buy NuNaturals on amazon or I make my own with this recipe)
1. Blend ingredients in a high speed blender.
2. Enjoy!
Serves 2-3

There are really two season during the year. Blender soup season and smoothie season. Vitamix hot or Vitamix cold. It's smoothie season again! YAY!

What is your favorite smoothie combination?

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