Zoodles (Zucchini Noodles) with Creamy Avocado-Cucumber Sauce

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You know you’re an adult when you make plans to go to Bed Bath & Beyond after work to buy a vegetable spiralizer. I finally purchased my very own Spirooli Spiral Slicer a few days ago, and as soon as I got home, I immediately started researching spiralizer recipes. I couldn’t wait to use my shiny new toy.

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Pasta Primavera [Recipe]

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Every time I attend some sort of potluck, my go-to food to bring is my Pasta Primavera, and without fail, it’s a guaranteed hit. The recipe is original, and what’s great about it is it’s a one-stop shop at your local neighborhood Trader Joe’s!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 bag of Farfalle (or any bite-size) pasta
  • 1 jar/box of heavy cream (16 fl oz)
  • 1 jar of Trader Joe’s julienne sliced sun dried tomatoes
  • 1 box of mushrooms (about 8 oz)
  • 1 package of uncooked bacon (12 oz)
  • 2 heads of garlic
  • 1 large onion (or 2 medium)

DIRECTIONS:

1) First order of business is to cut the two heads of garlic in half. Do NOT remove the skin. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Wrap the garlic in tin foil and broil for one solid hour.
*It is very important to broil the garlic. Cutting a corner and using regular unroasted garlic will alter the overall taste.

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2) In the meantime, cut the bacon in thin slices and sauteé until it cries and sweat its grease. When the bacon turns crispy, set aside in a bowl. Do not discard the leftover bacon grease.

Slice the onions in small cubes and mushrooms in thin slices as well.

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3) Remove the roasted garlic from the oven. Let the garlic cool then carefully separate the flesh from the skin. Mash the garlic with a fork.

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4) Using a large pan, sautêe the mashed garlic in the leftover bacon grease in low heat. Slowly add the onions. Sweat out the onions and let it marry with the garlic and bacon grease. Add the mushrooms and julienne sliced sun dried tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour the heavy cream. If the sauce is too thick, make the consistency thinner by adding pasta water or regular milk.

Let simmer for 20-30 minutes.

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5) Cook pasta until al dente and combine with the sauce.

 

 

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Buon apettito!

Love,
Anicka “Italian in my past life” Nadine

French Crêpes

Ever since I moved out of my parents’ home almost a year ago, I’ve  started a tradition with my family to make French crêpes every Sunday I spend with them.

I’ve tested multiple recipes of crêpe batters in the past, but over time, I’ve come to learn that the simpler the recipe, the better. By far my most favorite is Alton Brown’s version from the Food Network.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extra
  • 2 tablespoon sugar (for Sweet Variation)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (for Savory Variation)

Directions:

1. Combine all of the dry ingredients (flour, sugar) and wet ingredients (milk, eggs, water, vanilla extract, melted butter) in two separate bowls.

2. Mix the wet ingredients with the dry. Make sure to whisk thoroughly to smooth out the lumps.

3. Place batter in the refrigerator for 1 hour to let the bubbles settle, which will keep the crepes less likely to tear while cooking.

4. Heat a non-stick pan on low heat. Add butter to coat. Pour the batter, starting at the center. Then, swirl the pan around to spread evenly and smoothly.

5. Cook for 1 -2 minutes. Once all the liquid has solidified, flip to the other side. Cook for another 30 seconds. Then, remove from the pan and lay it out flat.

6. 90% of the time, I make sweet crepes.  However, they’re versatile enough that they can also be eaten with savory toppings, such as ham, avocados, tomatoes, spinach, etc. For today, we’ll stick with the basics and fill them with my favorites: Nutella, strawberries, and bananas!

Depending on the size of the strawberries, I either cut them in halves or quarters. The key is to keep them bite-size!

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7. Fold in half or thirds. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Bon appétit!

Love,
Anicka Nadine