Claudia and Hans Make Stuff

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Pasta al pomodoro

Trying out different variations of tomato recipes, in preparation for (hopefully) ALL those tomatoes that our garden will soon provide. Last week, we made marinara sauce. Tonight, I tried Pomodoro sauce. The ingredients are similar, however, Pomodoro sauce tends not to be blended.

So here we go.

Ingredients (2 servings)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic gloves, minced
1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes, not drained (I ended up cutting the tomato piece very fine)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon raw sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
approximately 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
approximately 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Preparation:
1. Heat olive oil in sauce pan. Add onion and garlic, approximately 5 minutes, until onion is translucent. Add the tomatoes plus juice, simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Add lemon juice and spices including herbs and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to package direction.
3. Serve sauce over pasta with freshly grated Reggiano cheese. Enjoy.

Pomodoro sauce

Pomodoro sauce

Pasta al pomodoro

Pasta al pomodoro

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Greek yogurt & avocado spread

Here is another easy way to consume proteins…the only downside is that it is superdelicious =)
In addition to the easy preparation, this spread is also very versatile. You can use it instead of mayonnaise (I really dislike mayonnaise) on your sandwich, as spread on your veggie burger, as filling for quesadillas or burritos, or as dip for tortilla chips. I even like it just as spread on fresh bread.

With these endless possibilities, you may wonder how to make it. So here is the recipe.

Ingredients (1 serving):
1/2 avocado
juice of 1/2 lime or lemon
3 ounces Greek yogurt
1/8 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
dash of cayenne pepper

Preparation:
1. Remove the pit from the avocado and mash in a bowl using a fork.
2. Add the lime juice, Greek yogurt, and spices. Mix well. Alternatively to hand mixing, you can also place all ingredients into a food processor.
3. Enjoy.

Greek yogurt & avocado spread ingredients

Greek yogurt & avocado spread ingredients

Greek yogurt & avocado spread

Greek yogurt & avocado spread

Health benefits:
* Greek yogurt is naturally low in fat, but is loaded with proteins. This makes Greek yogurt an ideal food item for vegetarians.
* Avocados are a good source of iron, monounsaturated fats (the healthy fats), vitamins C and E, beta carotenes, potassium, and manganese.
* Limes and lemons are rich in vitamin C.


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Lemony pasta with asparagus

Asparagus was on sale and of course I ended up buying it. So now we had asparagus and it was time to try out a new recipe.

(Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker Vegetarian Cooking)

Ingredients:
2 cups uncooked pasta, such as rotini or bow-tie pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 lb fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel, lemon zest from one lemon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 frozen lemon cube
1 (14-ounce) can organic cannellini beans

Preparation
1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on package to al-dente consistency. Set aside. (Make sure not to over cook the paste. Also, do not prepare the pasta too early resulting in the pasta to fully cool.)
2. Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, asparagus, lemon peel, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp-tender (approximately 10 minutes).
3. Add lemon cube and beans into vegetable mixture. Heat, stirring occasionally, until beans are hot. Add pasta and toss.
4. Sprinkle with freshly grated Asiago cheese, optional.

Lemony pasta with aspargus

Lemony pasta with asparagus

Note: Even though it only contained salt and pasta, the dish turned out very flavorful and “spicy”. Must be the lemon zest and/or the Asiago cheese. I was skeptical at first about adding the beans, but they actually fit nicely with the dish and add extra protein to this dish.