Basil

Deconstructed Garden Pesto "Pasta"

What a week! I truly believe that I have had the most productive days of my life recently, and it is all paying off. My upcoming cookbook

Bowls of Love is FINALLY coming together! It has been months and months (and months) of some serious hard work, and I am overflowing with excitement as I see it becoming a reality. Thanks to the hard work and brilliant creativity of my incredible designer Margot, the book looks so professional, colorful, and just my style. I released a sneak peak of the cover on Monday, and the response has been incredible. The books should be delivered to me by mid-October and in your hands before Halloween just in time for cool Fall nights and the holiday season. If you want to get your hands on a first-edition signed copy of the book at 20% off, you can order a pre-sale copy at my Square shop  - don't forget to enter PRESALE20 at checkout to get your discount.

I am also eagerly awaiting some big-named Paleo celebrities to review my manuscript! I am hoping for at least one review/endorsement for the book, and I will keep you all posted on the progress. In the midst of all of the craziness, I wanted to make a simple yet perfect summer dinner tonight. I was eating alone because Ry had to work late, so I made some zucchini noodles and threw in a tomato and some basil from our balcony garden. It tasted AMAZING, and while the picture wasn't perfect, I decided I should share it with all of you! Go pick some tomatoes and give it a try! 

Deconstructed Garden Pesto "Pasta":

 Serves 1, Prep time: 5 min, Cook time:  10-15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 small zucchini, peeled into "noodles"
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. pine nuts
  • 5-10 small basil leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil over medium heat
  2. Add the garlic and saute for 5 minutes until fragrant
  3. Add the zucchini noodles, and cook for 3-5 minutes until soft
  4. Add the tomato, pine nuts, and basil, and cook another 2-5 minutes until well combined
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste

YOU WILL LOVE THIS! 

Roasted Ithaca Tomato Soup w/ Fresh Basil Pesto

Life is good... Really good... Beyond amazing actually! Need some reasons?

1. I have a complete draft of my cookbook Bowls of Love: Paleo Soups for the Seasons! All 50 recipes have been photographed by the wonderful Erica Gannett, and the stories have been drafted and are getting refined by my editor (famous author) A.J. Walkley :) I am still pushing for a publish date in October so the book will be ready for all of you just in time for the Fall and cool nights that will be perfect for bowls of soup.

2. Mal and I have been separated for over three years, and our official reunion is TOMORROW! She is finished with business school, and her two-month travel adventures in Asia are coming to a close. She is moving back to Stamford, living in my building, and making my dreams come true!

3. RYAN AND I GOT ENGAGED!!! There are no words to fully describe how this makes me feel, so just know that I am so (sooo) excited, grateful, and in love with the turns my life has taken. Everything truly has happened for a reason, and there is no better time than today to reflect on that and appreciate every moment that brought us here.

I am also thrilled to announce that I won Groundswell International's basil recipe contest which was an incredible way to reconnect with an old sorority sister AND have the chance to work with the wonderfully talented Emma Frisch of Frisch Kitchen. She was by far my favorite contestant on the Next Food Network Star, and I was overjoyed to win a guest post on her blog. Check out my guest post here.

The winning recipe is for my Roasted Ithaca Tomato Soup with Fresh Basil Pesto. It is one of the 50 recipes from my upcoming cookbook, and I am bursting at the seams with excitement for the book to be done. You will have to wait a couple more months for the rest of the recipes, but in the meantime, enjoy this beautiful teaser with photo cred to the talented Erica Gannett!

Roasted Ithaca Tomato Soup w/ Fresh Basil Pesto:

Serves 4-6, Prep time: 15 min, Cook time: 90 minutes

Ingredients:

Soup:

  • 3 pounds roma tomatoes (or any other tomatoes in your garden!)
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • sea salt & pepper
  • 1 sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 heaping Tbsp. chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh basil (about 20 leaves)
  • 15 oz. can diced tomatoes (organic & no salt added)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock

Pesto:

  • 4 oz. fresh basil
  • 2-3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • fine sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

Pesto:

  1. Add the basil to a food processor
  2. Pulse until basil breaks down, and then add all other ingredients
  3. Blend until smooth (you may need to scrape the edges down a few times)
  4. Add additional olive oil or pine nuts if you like your pesto thinner or thicker

Soup:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Slice the tomatoes length-wise, and arrange them on a foil-lined baking sheet
  3. Drizzle 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over the tomatoes, and season with sea salt and pepper
  4. Roast tomatoes for 45 minutes
  5. In a large soup pot, heat the other 2 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium heat, and add the onion, shallot, and garlic. Cook for 5-10 minutes until tender
  6. Add the can of tomatoes, fresh basil, and broth
  7. Stir in the roasted tomatoes
  8. Cook for 45 minutes uncovered over medium-low heat
  9. Puree the soup with your immersion blender until smooth. 
  10. Top with drizzled pesto and enjoy the taste of your fresh summer garden!

Yellow Mango Salsa

Happy Cinco de Mayo! It is 68 degrees and sunny, and I am counting down to my 5-mile evening walk with Chloe. Walking season is officially underway, and I am trying to get in at least 20 miles a week. I decided a long time ago that I love exercising, but walking will always win as my favorite. My ultimate dream is to be the 90-year-old woman in a head-to-toe matching warmup suit walking all around the neighborhood pumping one-pound hand weights. I figure it is never to early to start reaching for your dreams, and I think I am on my way in more ways than one!

Speaking of reaching my dreams, the Kickstarter campaign for my upcoming cookbook Bowls of Love has been insanely successful! The campaign is only on day 4 of 28, and it crossed the 75% funding line today! The whole experience has been incredible, and I cannot thank my backers enough! 

Now, I am off to tend to the guacamole!   

Yellow Mango Salsa:

Serves 4-6, Prep time: 10 min, Cook time: N/A

Ingredients:

  • 1lb. mini yellow tomatoes (or any other variety of tomatoes), diced
  • 2 yellow ataulfo mangoes (or 1 large regular mango), peeled & diced
  • 2 small orange bell peppers, diced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients in a bowl
  2. Stir well to combine, and then refrigerate for a few hours (if possible) - the longer it sits, the better the flavors taste!
  3. Serve on top of your favorite Paleo tacos or as a fresh side dish all Spring and Summer!

Vermont Balsamic Maple Turkey Meatloaf

Well hello there. Today was a big day with my blog hitting over 100,000 hits and my health coaching certificate and card coming in the mail. I am now officially a board certified health coach, and I am thrilled! It has been an interesting journey of self-reflection throughout my studies, and my life is completely different (in so many wonderful ways) than when I started. 

I have been a bit MIA from blogging over the past few weeks with some major things going on. Luckily in the midst of the craziness Ry came home from Dubai and we had an amazing getaway in Vermont. We celebrated Heather and Kenny's wedding and had tons of adventures along the way. I wanted a souvenir from the trip, and I ended up with some special Vermont-made food products to experiment with. One of the treasures was maple flakes which basically looks like brown rice krispies. The only ingredient is dried maple syrup, and they are crispy and sweet. I figured I could sprinkle a few of them on tonight's recipe instead of covering my meatloaf with the more traditional sugary ketchup concoction. It was just a hint of sweet mixed with the tangy balsamic, and it came out great. Enjoy!

Vermont Balsamic Maple Turkey Meatloaf:

 Serves 4-5, Prep time: 20 min, Cook time: 40 min

Ingredients:

  • 1.25lbs ground turkey
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup almond flour
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled & chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1+ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. basil
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. Vermont maple flakes

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat
  3. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes until soft
  4. Add carrots, celery, salt, pepper, garlic powder (more is better!), basil, and thyme and cook for another 10-15 minutes until soft
  5. Mix turkey, egg, almond flour, and veggie mixture in a bowl
  6. Form into a loaf on a foil-lined pan
  7. Brush with balsamic vinegar
  8. Sprinkle meatloaf with Vermont maple flakes (if you don't have these you can use a mixture of balsamic and maple syrup for the topping)
  9. Bake for 20 minutes
  10. Brush the meatloaf with the leftover balsamic
  11. Bake another 15 until cooked through (no pink in the turkey)
  12. Cover the meatloaf and let sit for 5-10 minutes before serving
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