Fresh Veggie Greek Pasta

Fresh Veggie Greek Pasta

Ahhh, look how pretty this one is. Screams summer time BBQ to me.

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NEWS FLASH-I live in Wisconsin (ps. GO BUCKY!)

NEWS FLASH- it’s basically April and it snowed last week……

NEWS FLASH- I’m freaking sick of it!

I was desperate for something that tasted like summer and I came across this recipe.  It seemed so fresh tasting, and it was. 🙂

I made a dinner out of this and topped it with some chopped up chicken breast. We ate it warm. But I believe the recipe was originally intended to be a cold pasta salad. Like the ones you bring to SUMMER barbeques with friends when you wear shorts and tank tops and can sit outsiiiiiide and enjoy a cold beverage and possibly see some lightening bugs…ahhhhhh the good times. CAN. NOT.WAIT.

Anyway, we both really liked this dish. It was also a mini-milestone for me beeeecccaauuuse it contains kalmata olives and my Beau ate them! OK – he sort of picked around them while serving and it’s not like he said “these taste GREAT!” but after you hear this story you’ll realize why I’m so happy.

Jake and I have been together for about 6 and a half years. We met in college. Around our 1 year anniversary I decided to make him dinner. Back then it was a rare occurance as we lived in dorms or college housing and no access to a kitchen and we’re poor so there’s that. ANYWAY I choose to make a dish my mom always made called Medditeranean Chicken. Super simple and tasty. Basically 4 ingredients. Chicken breasts, cherry tomotoes, capers, kalmata olives- and then baked. Looking back, I have NO idea what I was thinking. Jake didn’t grow up eating as many diverse flavors as me and his palate was a little, limited shall we say. This was just too much.

Here’s the down and dirty version: I cook. I plate. We sit down. I take a bite=heaven. Jake takes a bite= run to bathroom, spit out food, brush teeth, gargle with Listerine immedietly.

How we are together to this day you ask? I don’t know. My feelings were so hurt but I tried to understand that it was “weird flavors!” for him. Anyway at the time, he pointed to the capers as being the death of him but after that it was both olives and capers that I had to hear about how he dispised them everytime they were in a 5 foot radius of him. I’m taking this dish a sign that almost 5 years later his palate has grown and adapted and they can slowly become part of our grocery repitiore.

But enough about me- Here is how you can make this deeeelicious recipe for you and your family!

Ingredients:
2-3 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
½ cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons chopped parsley(I prefer Flat Leaf Italian)
1 tablespoon chopped basil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 pound penne pasta (or whatever pasta you want)
6 tablespoons olive oil
3 teaspoons garlic, minced

Instructions:
– In a large bowl, combine the chopped tomatoes, olives, feta, herbs and spices, salt and pepper. *If you want to serve this dish cold, you could add this mixture to the fridge at this point to chill
– Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain in a collander.
– In the same pot, (with the pasta in the collander) heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes without letting it turn brown and cripsy.
– Put the pasta back into to the pot and toss with olive oil mixture.
– Add the tomato-olive mixture and toss until the fresh vegetables are thoroughly mixed with the penne.
– Serve!

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Hope you enjoy! And I also hope the weather is warmer by you, but if it is please don’t tell me about it. I’m bitter, however I can’t complain tooooo much as it’s about 50 today. SPRING IS COMING!

Thanks for vewing !

xoxo

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Mediterranean Mac & Cheese

Mediterranean Mac & Cheese

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Hello! So I started a thing where every week I’ll ask Jake to look at my food Pinterest board and pick a recipe for me to make during the week. I just get so sick of allllllwwaayyys picking what we eat and when I ask Jake he says ” um, I don’t know. Anything.” I mean doesn’t he browse blogs all day long and have a million recipes just floating around in his head? No? Ok then he needs a little inspiration 🙂 This was one that he picked. Clearly didn’t read anything about it since it contains olives which he ‘thinks’ are the spawn of satan but I adapted and only added those to my plate. Honestly this doesn’t have a TON of cheese in it, really you are creating a yummy creamy sauce from the flour and milk- which sort of makes you think it’s all cheese but it’s not too crazy. You can totally adapt and remove items you don’t like or add ones you like better. Enjoy!!!

Ingredients

  • 1 big (14.5 oz) can fire roasted, diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped black or kalamata olives (I used about 1 tbsp of capers too!)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 box pasta(16oz)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 coves garlic, finely minced
  • 3 Tbsp a.p. flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 oz crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease an oven save dish (I used 9×13) & set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine drained diced tomatoes, chopped olives/capers, 1 Tbsp basil and dried oregano, set aside.
  • Boil pasta to al dente according to directions listed on package. Drain pasta well and return to pot.
  • Meanwhile, melt butter along with olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add onion and saute until soft and lightly golden, about 3 – 4 minutes, adding in garlic during the last minute of sauteing.
  • Whisk in flour, and cook stirring constantly for 1 minute. While whisking constantly, slowly pour in milk and bring to a boil, don’t stop stirring!
  • Once mixture reaches a boil reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring constantly until mixture has thickened, about 4 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, stir in 2 oz feta cheese and the mozzarella cheese then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour tomato mixture over drained pasta and toss, then pour sauce over pasta mixture and toss all to evenly coat.
  • Pour coated pasta mixture into prepared baking dish. Sprinkle top evenly with remaining 4 oz crumbled feta cheese. Bake in preheated oven 20 – 25 minutes until edges are bubbling and top is golden brown.
  • Serve warm and garnished with basil!

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Ok see this is an example of a draft I created before I started my new photography initiative. Please excuse my orange ‘blaaaa’ lighting…I promise that it’s equally as delicious as if I’d taken the picture with my Nikon. Just tryyyyy it!

xoxo

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