Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Beef Stew with Garlic-Thyme Sour Cream

Start this slow-cooker beef stew before you leave for work and you'll arrive home to a delicious and hearty meal. All you'll need to do is whip up the garlic-thyme sour cream topping, and it will be ready to eat.
  • 2 pounds boneless beef arm pot roast, trimmed of fat and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cups halved cremini or button mushrooms
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 pound round red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium medium parsnips, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 stalks celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup frozen pearl onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon snipped fresh rosemary or 1½ teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
  • 4 cups lower-sodium beef broth
  • ⅓ cup red wine or pomegranate juice
  • ¾ cup light sour cream
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons snipped fresh thyme


  • Prep
  • Ready In
  1. In a large skillet brown meat on all sides, half at a time, in hot oil over medium heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meat to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Add mushrooms, carrots, potatoes, parsnips, celery, onions, 3 minced cloves garlic and rosemary. Pour broth over all.
  2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 8 to 10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4 to 5 hours. Stir in wine just before serving.
  3. For topping, in a small bowl stir together sour cream, 1 minced clove garlic and thyme. To serve, ladle stew into eight serving bowls. Top each serving with some of the sour cream mixture.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Lemon Pesto Penne

 sometimes my favorite blog recipes are the ones that I don’t make for the blog. This is one of those times. The tang of the tomatoes, the chewy whole wheat pasta, the tender-crisp baby broccoli, the creamy melted feta + the firm crumbly feta, plus the freshness of lemon, basil, and pesto. I mean, this is the whole flavor, color, texture, and nutritional package. AND 20 MINUTES

  • 8 ounces whole wheat penne
  • 2 cups baby broccoli
  • 1 cup oven roasted tomatoes (I used Kirkland brand and rinsed excess oil)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (optional)
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • fresh basil, cut into ribbons

  1. Cook the penne according to package directions. Add the baby broccoli to the pot of boiling water for the last 1-2 minutes of cooking. It should turn bright green. Drain and return to the pan over medium high heat.
  2. Add the tomatoes and garlic to the pan with the pasta and baby broccoli; saute 1-2 minutes or until fragrant. Add the pesto, half of the feta, and the lemon juice. Toss in the pan until well combined. Remove from heat and add the basil. Sprinkle with remaining feta before serving.
 You could also use regular broccoli, broccolini, or broccoli rabe (all have different flavors and textures but I think they could all work).
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Monday, February 11, 2019

Easy winter Minestrone soup

 This Weeknight Minestrone is the speedy version of the classic Italian Soup. It’s fast, it’s easy, but it tastes amazing! It’s a recipe from Laura Vitale’s incredible new cookbook, Laura in the Kitchen,
This Weeknight Minestrone is the perfect dish because it’s so easy, just a few minutes prep time, and you’ll end up with a dinner that’s still totally worthy of your  guests. This is my favorite kind of meal – very little work for a very big flavor payoff.

 This speedy Weeknight Minestrone is a quick and tasty version of the classic Italian soup. I have just slightly adapted it from Laura Vitale's new cookbook: Laura in the Kitchen
Serves: 6
  • 1 small yellow onion, quartered
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into a few large pieces
  • 1 large carrot, cut into a few large pieces
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1¼ cups marinara sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 2 small zucchini, sliced
  • 2 cups green beans, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 10 oz (1¼ cups) ditalini pasta
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 5 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  1. In a food processor, pulse the celery, onion, and carrot until finely chopped.
  2. In a large stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the processed vegetables and saute for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the broth, kidney beans, marinara, and Italian seasoning. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the zucchini, green beans, and pasta. Cook at a low simmer until the pasta is al dente - about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove from heat. Stir in the baby spinach and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve topped with freshly grated parmigiano
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Thursday, February 7, 2019

Chicken & Asparagus Skillet Pasta

 Fresh lemon juice, tangy sun-dried tomatoes and zippy pesto tie together the flavors in this quick and easy skillet meal. The 30-minute dinner is so versatile—you can use any quick-cooking protein or vegetable you have on hand and still have a delicious meal on busy weeknights.


  • 6 ounces whole-wheat fusilli
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into bite-size pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup prepared pesto
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish


  1. ring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 3 minutes less than the package directions. Add asparagus and sun-dried tomatoes and continue cooking until just tender, 3 minutes more. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add chicken, salt and pepper and continue cooking and stirring until the chicken is just cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to medium; stir in broth and pesto and cook until slightly reduced, about 2 minutes. Add the pasta and vegetables to the skillet and toss to coat. Cook, stirring, until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Garnish with Parmesan, if desired.

  • Serving size: 2 cups
  • Per serving: 518 calories; 25 g fat(5 g sat); 7 g fiber; 43 g carbohydrates; 32 g protein; 57 mcg folate; 83 mg cholesterol; 6 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,024 IU vitamin A; 11 mg vitamin C; 142 mg calcium; 4 mg iron; 428 mg sodium; 612 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Iron (22% daily value), Vitamin A (20% dv)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3
  • Exchanges: 3 lean protein, 2½ fat, 2 starch, 1½ vegetable
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Friday, February 1, 2019

One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp


  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 6 medium cloves garlic, sliced, divided
  • 1 pound spinach
  • ¼ teaspoon salt plus ⅛ teaspoon, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons lemon zest
    • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
    • 1 pound shrimp (21-30 count), peeled and deveined
    • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
    • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley
    • Preparation

    • Prep
    • Ready In
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add half the garlic and cook until beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add spinach and ¼ teaspoon salt and toss to coat. Cook, stirring once or twice, until mostly wilted, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Transfer to a bowl and keep warm.
  • Increase heat to medium-high and add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pot. Add the remaining garlic and cook until beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add shrimp, crushed red pepper and the remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring, until the shrimp are just cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes more. Serve the shrimp over the spinach, sprinkled with lemon zest and parsley.

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