Grilled Halloumi and Peach Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Grilled Halloumi and Peach Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Make this summery grilled halloumi and peach salad with lemon-tahini dressing! It’s has tons of different flavors and textures from crunchy veggies, sweet and juicy fresh peaches, creamy avocado and squeaky grilled halloumi cheese! You’ll love the easy lemon tahini dressing too!

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Turmeric Mango Smoothie

Turmeric Mango Smoothie

This turmeric mango smoothie is SO refreshing! Made with a blend of mango, orange juice and carrot with coconut water, it’s the perfect little hydrating smoothie for summer. I added ginger and tumeric for a spicy kick, and a boost of antioxidants. Enjoy this for breakfast or a snack!

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Mexican Street Corn Chopped Salad

Mexican Street Corn Chopped Salad

My favorite summer salad! This Mexican street corn chopped salad is inspired by my favorite food truck snack. And, it’s made entirely on the grill so you don’t have to heat to house up by turning on the oven. Top crunchy romaine with grilled bacon, peppers, corn, and scallion, add pinto beans and cotija cheese, and drizzle with a chili lime vinaigrette!

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Kelp Noodle and Mango Salad with Peanut Dressing

Kelp Noodle and Mango Salad with Peanut Dressing

If you’ve never tried kelp noodles before, don’t be afraid! This kelp noodle and mango salad with peanut dressing is the best dish to try it in! The crunchy and chewy noodles add tons of texture, and soak up the spicy peanut sauce, and the sweet mango makes it taste bright and summery! Bulk it up with protein like grilled chicken or baked tofu!

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Sheet Pan Ratatouille and Chicken

Sheet Pan Ratatouille and Chicken

Looking for an easy and healthy chicken recipe you can prep in less than 15 minutes? Make this sheet pan ratatouille chicken! Throw ratatouille vegetables, olive oil and bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs on a sheet pan and roast until the chicken is crispy and the vegetables are caramelized. It's so simple and perfect for those late summer nights! 

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Summer Gnocchi with Basil Brown Butter

Summer Gnocchi with Basil Brown Butter

Celebrate the season with this summer gnocchi with basil brown butter and all of the yummiest seasonal produce! It's incredibly simple - just saute zucchini, tomatoes, corn or whatever else looks delicious at the farmer's market, toss with gnocchi and nutty browned butter. 

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Summer Farmer’s Market Skillet with Pistachio-Herb Spread

Summer Farmer’s Market Skillet with Pistachio-Herb Spread

This summer farmer's market skillet with pistachio-herb spread is a delicious way to highlight summer produce! Pick your favorite veggies from the market, saute, bake a few eggs into the mix, and serve with a bright and herbaceous pistachio-herb spread. Don't forget crusty bread for soaking up the runny yolks! Easily adaptable for any season. 

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Grilled Naan Pizza with Kale Pesto, Heirloom Tomatoes and Burrata

Grilled Naan Pizza with Kale Pesto, Heirloom Tomatoes and Burrata

This recipe for grilled naan pizza with kale pesto, heirloom tomatoes and burrata cheese is my favorite quick and easy recipe for summer! Naan makes such a simple and tasty crust and perfectly ripe summer tomatoes are delicious paired with creamy burrata cheese. 

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Melon and Mint Salad with Coconut and Pistachios

Melon and Mint Salad with Coconut and Pistachios

This melon and mint salad is my summer go to when watermelon and cantaloupe are at their peak ripeness. It's super simple and a portable side for bringing to barbecues. You can even turn it into a main dish salad by adding avocado and grilled shrimp! 

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Tomato Basil Risotto with Prosciutto

Make this recipe for tomato basil risotto with prosciutto and get tips for making a creamy, dreamy Italian risotto! 

I couldn’t be more thrilled for this month’s Recipe Redux theme, recreating a favorite recipe from our travels.

When I went to Italy for the first time with my family back when I was in high school, each of us had a very specific dish that we were determined to discover the best possible version of. If we saw it on the menu, we would always get it, even if was a shared dish for the table, ordered solely for taste testing purposes. For my stepmom, it was spaghetti carbonara, lactose intolerance be damned! For my brother and dad, it was basically anything pork, including suckling pig, which was somewhat traumatic for me as I had just gotten out of my vegetarian phase. And for me, it was risotto.

The winner turned out to be a seafood risotto from Harry’s Bar in Venice. It was creamy and savory and rich and perfect. I must also give honorary mention to a squid ink risotto, also from a restaurant in Venice. It was so tasty the only thing that kept me from spending the rest of the night with a satisfied grin on my face was the fact that my mouth was turned jet black by the squid ink.

I used to make risotto pretty regularly at home until I started watching Top Chef. I feel like every time a chef makes an attempt at risotto, it turns into a miserable fail that gets them sent home! And if the nations top chefs can’t make a decent risotto, I know I sure as heck am failing at it.

So while this risotto may not please the judges on Top Chef, I personally was quite happy with how it turned out. To flavor the dish, I used prosciutto and halved heirloom cherry tomatoes briefly sautéed with fresh basil leaves and extra virgin olive oil. Here’s a few notes on how to make a maybe not Top Chef worthy, but totally passable and tasty risotto:

  • Use Arborio rice or some other type of short grain white rice, which is starchier and creates a creamier risotto. You may be tempted to swap in brown rice or another whole grain, like farro or barley. With the delicate flavors like tomato and basil, I think a whole grain would be overpowering, but for more “fall” or “winter” flavor risottos, brown rice is really tasty! Think chicken and wild mushroom risotto with peas. You’ll just want to double or triple the cooking time and have more stock on hand.
  • Use warm stock. If you add cold stock to the dish, it will cool everything down and slow the cooking process.
  • Don’t over, or under-stir your risotto. Stirring the risotto is necessary – the rice grains rub against each other which creates more starch and a creamy consistency. It also evenly distributes the liquid and prevents the bottom from burning. But there’s no need to stir constantly. You’ll be left with sore biceps and a gluey risotto. I give it a good stir when I add broth, let it simmer for a bit, and then give it another good stir before adding in more broth.
  • Add the vegetables after cooking the risotto. Other than the garlic and onions that flavor the dish, you’ll want to cook your vegetables in a separate pan and stir them into the fully cooked risotto, otherwise the veggies will get mushy and disintegrate.

Tomato Basil Risotto with Prosciutto

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, sliced
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 10 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup lightly packed basil leaves plus extra for serving
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat broth to a simmer in a pot on medium heat. Let it continue to simmer, turning down the heat if it starts to boil.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large, pot on medium heat. Add prosciutto and cook until crispy, about 2-3 minutes. Add onion and garlic and saute until tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in rice and cook until rice smells slightly nutty, about 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour in white wine and stir until wine is mostly evaporated. Pour a ladle of hot broth into the rice, stir for a few seconds and let simmer until broth is mostly absorbed. When the risotto starts to look dry, repeat with more broth. Continue with remaining broth until risotto is creamy and tender with a bite (al dente).
  4. As the risotto is cooking, heat remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add tomatoes and basil with a pinch of salt. Cook until tomatoes are tender, but not falling apart, about 5 minutes.
  5. When risotto is creamy and done, stir in tomatoes and parmesan cheese. Season with salt and black pepper. Serve garnished with more parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Pasta with Shredded Squash and Yogurt Sauced

Use up your bounty of summer squash with this pasta with shredded squash and yogurt sauce! Trust me on the yogurt sauce, it's delicious!

Are you swimming in squash right now?

We're not....because we managed to kill our squash plants yet again. Womp womp. We've spent an ungodly amount of money on plants and seeds at the Hartley household, only to watch them wither up and die. Still, every spring we set out to have a garden plot any doomsday prepper would be proud of. When will we ever learn?

If you're better at keeping plants alive than we are, or at least know someone else who is, then maybe you'll appreciate this pasta with shredded squash and yogurt sauce. It's the perfect way to use up lots of summer squash or zucchini, which melds right into the yogurt sauce.

I know the yogurt sauce sounds kinda weird, but trust me on this one. It's takes on a rich and almost sweet flavor mixed with the caramelized squash and parmesan cheese. Plus, it's a heck of a lot easier than whipping up a cream sauce from scratch! Do be sure to use full fat yogurt. Not only does the fat help keep you satisfied but it tastes a heck of a lot better too.

Pasta with Shredded Squash and Yogurt Sauce

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole grain pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium-large squash, shredded on the large grates of a cheese grater
  • 1 cup plain, full fat yogurt
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 14-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 scallions, sliced
  • More parmesan, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions. Reserve 1 cup of starchy cooking liquid then drain pasta.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat butter and olive oil in a large sided skillet on medium-high heat. When butter is melted, add squash, season with salt and pepper and saute until tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Decrease to medium heat and stir in yogurt, parmesan, nutmeg and a little reserved pasta water (start with about 1/3 cup). Season with salt and pepper. Stir in chickpeas and pasta and warm through a couple minutes. Pour into a serving bowl and serve garnished with almonds, scallions and more parmesan cheese.

More tasty ways to use up summer squash:

Millet and Quinoa Crust Pizza with Grilled Squash and Pesto
Millet and Quinoa Crust Pizza with Grilled Squash and Pesto
Zucchini Fritters in Tomato Sauce
Zucchini Fritters in Tomato Sauce
Grilled Zucchini and Gruyere Panini
Grilled Zucchini and Gruyere Panini

Spicy Hummus Pasta with Roasted Eggplant

A tub of hummus, a seasonal veggie and pasta is all you need to make this spicy hummus with roasted eggplant! Tastes like baba ganoush in pasta form! 

Hum. MUS. What is it good for? Absolutely everything

But really, it is. And I think this hummus pasta proves it.

Do you have pasta in your house? Of course. What about hummus? Duh, always. Some kind of seasonal veggie that likes to hang out in a hot oven and get all sweet and tender and caramelized? Darn it, you should! Because that’s really all you need to create this crazy delish and crazy easy dinner.

This pasta was the result of one of those days you come home, realize you didn’t plan anything for dinner and just can’t seem to drag yourself to the grocery store. Although my unreasonable fear of throwing away food has made me a pro at meal planning, sometimes I think my best creations come from days like this.

To make the sauce, I used Sabra's supremely spicy hummus. It creates a creamy, spicy and flavorful sauce that perfectly coats the pasta. Roasted eggplant takes on this buttery, melt in your mouth consistency. When the two combine, it kind of tastes like baba ganoush pasta! Not a bad thing as all my fellow baba ganoush lovers can surely attest.

What’s cool about this dish is that you can easily switch it up with different flavors of hummus and vegetables. Here’s some ideas:

Lemon hummus + roasted asparagus + peas + goat cheese

Jalapeno hummus + halved cherry tomatoes + roasted zucchini rounds

Horseradish hummus + smoked salmon + tomatoes + capers

Roasted garlic hummus + roasted zucchini + sun dried tomatoes

Olive hummus + spinach + oven roasted tomatoes

Possibilities = endless

Spicy Hummus Pasta with Roasted Eggplant

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini, grated on the large holes of a cheese grater
  • 12 ounces whole grain spaghetti
  • 1 10-ounce tub of spicy hummus
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons basil, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss eggplant with olive oil and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast 25-30 minutes until tender and lightly browned.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Reserve 1/3 cup salty cooking water. Drain and set aside.
  3. While pasta is cooking, heat remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add shredded zucchini and saute until tender and lightly golden, about 7 minutes.
  4. Toss pasta with hummus, thinning with reserved cooking water. Toss in zucchini and eggplant. Serve garnished with cilantro, scallion and basil.

More hummus friendly recipes:

Pita with Yogurt Chickpeas and Muhammara
Pita with Yogurt Chickpeas and Muhammara
Chickpea Hummus Salad Sandwiches
Chickpea Hummus Salad Sandwiches
Hummus Smorrebrod
Hummus Smorrebrod
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Summer Spaghetti with Zoodles, Crispy Prosciutto and Garlic

Make the most of summer's bounty with this recipe for summer spaghetti, tossed with sauteed zoodles, burst cherry tomatoes, golden garlic and crispy prosciutto! 

Time for another round of Recipe Redux! This month's theme is Get Your Fruits and Veggies in Shape, all about trying creative cuts for fruits and veggies. I obviously went with zoodles, which I've been making on the reg since I was gifted a spiralizer for Christmas. In this recipe, I've tossed with whole grain spaghetti with briefly sauteed zoodles in a summery cherry tomato basil sauce infused with tons of garlic and crispy prosciutto.

Oh, and there's cheese. I love you too.

Veggies pretending to be other things has gotten quite popular lately. Certainly, I've been on board with the trend. It's a fun way to fit in more produce and experiment with different flavors and textures.

Buuuuut...I feel the need to clarify something.

Cauliflower is not rice. Zucchini is not pasta. Lettuce is not bread. Vegetables are not a substitute for carbohydrates.

Don't get me wrong. Zoodles are fun and I swear zucchini tastes better in noodle vs semi-circle form. And I adore cauliflower rice. Actually, I think I like it better than real rice...probably because I'm pretty miserable at cooking rice so that it's nice and fluffy.

But there's also a sinister side to the whole vegetables as other things trend. Rather than being a fun way to experiment with different ways of enjoying veggies, it's become a trendy and socially acceptable way to go low carb. Gone are the Atkins days of a giant hunk of meat and steamed veggies. Now you can have mashed "potatoes," "pizza," "pasta," and (gasp!), even "bread!"

Except it's not.

Zoodles are not pasta. There is an entire country that might kick your a** for claiming it to be so. Zoodles are really yummy briefly sauteed and tossed with actual pasta to add bulk and texture, like I did in this summer spaghetti recipe. They're also tasty in "noodle" soups, where they don't get gummy like pasta sometimes does. Zoodles left raw and topped with pasta sauce are awful. Just don't.

Cauliflower is not pizza. Cauliflower crust is really tasty, but nothing will compare to a thin, crispy pizza with a chewy crust and little spots of char from it's trip into a burning hot woodfire oven. But, it's still really really good, if not pizza, so feel free to try my Mexican inspired one, which still has carbs from a "sauce" of refried beans.

Cauliflower is also not rice. It's better than rice. Yeah, I said it. But you still need carbs with your meal, so top that cauliflower rice with beans or at the very least, have some fruit on the side.

Lettuce is not sandwich bread and it's most certainly not crispy crusted French baguette, savory garlic studded ciabatta or sweet and buttery Sally Lunn bread. It does make for a refreshing wrap for rich, Asian inspired fillings, like warm, soy marinated chicken and veggies or my bulgogi tofu meatballs, as long as you include some brown rice or rice noodles for carbs (and to soak up the delicious sauce).

If you want pizza, eat pizza. If you want bread, eat bread. If you want pasta, eat pasta.

And if you like, throw some zoodles into it.

Summer Spaghetti with Zoodles, Crispy Prosciutto and Garlic

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 ounces whole grain spagehtti
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 12 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
  • 4 ounces prosciutto, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb zucchini, spiralized
  • 1 lb cherry tomatoes (I used mini heirloom tomatoes), halved
  • 1 cup basil leaves
  • 8 oz mini fresh mozzarella balls, drained

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti, cook until al dente. Reserve a little of the starchy pasta water (~ 1/2 cup) then drain and set pasta aside until ready to use.
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add garlic, proscuitto and red pepper flakes. Cook until prosciutto is crispy and garlic is golden, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add zucchini and saute until crisp tender about 5-7 minutes. Add tomatoes and saute until tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Toss in pasta with the veggies and add a little starchy pasta water to make a sauce. Stir in basil. Season with just a little salt and black pepper. Toss in mozzarella and serve immediately.

Savory Tomato Cobbler with Whole Grain Yogurt Biscuits

Bake easy whole grain yogurt biscuits over sweet, caramelized heirloom tomatoes infused with garlic and basil to make this savory tomato cobbler. 

Ever since I saw a recipe for tomato cobbler on Joy the Baker, I've been a wee bit obsessed with the idea. Now that I've finally made one, I can't believe it took me so long. Roasting the tomatoes brings out their natural sweetness and truly, this cobbler could almost pass for dessert. Almost.

Right off the vine, summer cherry tomatoes are one of the tastiest, sweetest things...about as close to perfection as you get! As much as I was daydreaming about my tomato cobbler, I wondered if it was a sin to cook my perfect summer tomatoes. It hurt a bit as I watched my tomatoes blister and pop in the cast iron skillet, but it smelled so good coming out of the oven that I knew I made the right choice!

A savory tomato cobbler with sweet, caramelized onions and tomatoes, topped with flaky whole wheat yogurt biscuits

Speaking of cooked versus raw, that brings up a great topic I'm frequently asked about. Although the raw food craze has mostly passed, many people wonder if they're "killing" the nutrients in their vegetables by cooking them. Raw food dieters claim cooking food above 120 degrees destroys the health supporting enzymes and nutrients it contains. This is partially true. Enzymes in food are mostly deactivated by heat, but they would be destroyed anyway by the acidic environment in your stomach. And while some nutrients are lost in cooking, others are made more digestible and absorbable. The phytonutrient lycopene in tomatoes is a perfect example - tomatoes cooked in fat contain thousands of times more lycopene than raw! So really, as long as you're eating plenty of produce and preparing it in ways you enjoy, you're set!

Savory Tomato Cobbler with Whole Grain Yogurt Biscuits

Serves 4ish

Ingredients

Filling: 

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 lbs cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

Biscuits: 

  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons very cold butter, cut into cubes
  • 1/2 cup full fat yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons honey

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat. Add red onion and garlic and saute until tender, about 7-8 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil and thyme and saute until tomatoes are tender and starting to burst. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. While tomatoes are cooking, make the biscuits. Place the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl and whisk together. Using fingers, mix in butter until it forms a sandy consistency. Stir in yogurt and honey until combined. Make four biscuits and dollop over the tomatoes. Place in the oven and bake 20-25 minutes until golden and tomatoes are bubbling. Let cool slightly and serve.

More recipes for summer tomatoes: 

Tomatoes Stuffed with Pesto Brown Rice
Tomatoes Stuffed with Pesto Brown Rice
Grilled Pork Tacos with Charred Tomatoes and Eggplant
Grilled Pork Tacos with Charred Tomatoes and Eggplant
Zoodles with Creamy Vegan Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes
Zoodles with Creamy Vegan Pesto and Roasted Tomatoes