Garlic Scape Pesto Pasta

Have you ever heard of a garlic scape? I sure hadn’t before we got some in our CSA share last week. We probably looked like a bunch of ignorant city kids in front of the farmer, tentatively picking them up between unsure fingers. In all fairness, they look crazy! Like some sort of plant straight from the Jurassic period that could uncoil, reach out, and sting you at any moment! Ah! Never fear, I tamed the beast and made this absolutely phenomenal Garlic Scape Pesto Pasta.

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According to About.com (obvi the most reliable source out there…), garlic scapes are the “flower stalks” of garlic plants that are most often removed and discarded. However, savvy farmers know that they pack a mean flavor punch and sell them at markets. When I say mean flavor punch…. Boy, do I mean it. If you’ve ever eaten raw garlic or the green part of a green onion, you know what I mean when I say “bitey”. A flavor so sharp it bites you on the tongue in a spicy-but-not-spicy way.

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When researching this strange curly tendril taking up space in my fridge, I found that some people used it as a pesto sauce. Seemed easy enough. Blend it with oil, lemon, some nuts, and call it a day. Then I went to taste my creation…

BOOM. The sharp flavor smacked me straight across the mouth. It was decent, the right salt and oil ratios, but MAN did it pack a punch. I was skeptical.

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My ever-positive boyfriend encouraged me to use it anyways and that it would be fine. So we made the pasta, sautéed the other veggies, and then had a light bulb moment.

“Why don’t we add the pesto to the pan with everything and cook it out a bit???

Genius, that boy is. See what teamwork in the kitchen can produce?? Cooking the pesto removed the sharpness just like cooking garlic tones down the flavor. What we ended up with was SO good. We absolutely gobbled it up.

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Please, PLEASE go to your local farmers market and hunt down this crazy vegetable. You will not regret it!

Garlic Scape Pesto Pasta

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 3 Servings

Garlic Scapes are an unusual vegetable found at farmer's markets in the spring and early summer. Their strong garlic and onion flavor mellow beautifully when tossed with warm pasta and other fresh spring veggies!

Ingredients

  • ½ box whole grain linguine (or GF pasta of choice)
  • 1 pint (about 2 cups) of fresh sugar snap peas
  • 4 cups large leaf spinach, roughly chopped
  • 1 large (or 2-3 small) green onion, white and light green parts only
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • For the pesto sauce:
  • 1 “bunch” of garlic scapes, about 6-8 stalks
  • 6-8 large basil leaves
  • 2 tsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • ¼ walnuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼- ½ cup water
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper

Instructions

  1. Begin by bringing a pot of very salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 6-7 minutes, or according to package directions. Drain (DO NOT rinse) and toss lightly with oil or non-stick spray.
  2. Meanwhile, roughly chop garlic scapes and add them to a food processor, pulsing to break them down into very fine pieces. Add the rest of the pesto ingredients and process until smooth and thick, adding water as needed.
  3. To cook the vegetables, heat a large pan with the oil over medium-high heat and add the green onions, sautéing for 2-3 minutes. Add the snap peas (destemmed) and sauté an additional 5-6 minutes until they have turned bright green.
  4. Once peas and onions are cooked, add the spinach on top followed by the pasta. The heat of the pan and the pasta will wilt the spinach.
  5. Add the pesto sauce and use tongs to toss and combine everything in the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes until everything is warm and incorporated. Enjoy!
https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/garlic-scape-pesto-pasta/

Strawberry Avocado Toast

Oh happy day! It’s CSA season!!! For those who don’t know, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture and basically means we get a weekly share of a local farmer’s produce. It also means the BEST, freshest, most delicious, non-GMO, all-natural, chemical-free produce you can find. We pick it up at the North Market every week from this adorable Amish farmer and absolutely love what they produce. Especially their strawberries. Ohhhh the strawberries…. They are perfect for topping this Strawberry Avocado Toast.

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Now wait a second… Avocado toast is cool… Strawberries are cool… Strawberries and avocados together? You bet your sweet…. berry… To be honest, I can’t take credit for this revolutionary food pairing idea. #sawitoninstagram BUT the idea was too good to not share with the world! Tell your kids, tell your wife!

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To smash the avocado, I simply mashed one half in the shell and added in a pinch of salt. Then spread it on the toast, top, and munch. It’s a bit ridiculous to even call this a recipe… I know you all know how to make toast. I used a piece of the [AMAZING} loaf of wheat bread our Amish farmers gave us but feel free to use whatever you prefer. Whole wheat or Ezekiel is best, or sub your favorite gluten-free bread if GF is your thang.

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My thang? Strawberries with salt… Now excuse me while I go polish off this loaf smothered in the 3 quarts of local strawberries I somehow came home with…

Please excuse my mangled fingers.... I shouldn't be allowed to use sharp knives...

Please excuse my mangled fingers…. I shouldn’t be allowed to use sharp knives…

Strawberry Avocado Toast

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 3 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

This ingenious pairing makes for the best toast since sliced bread... Err.. On sliced bread! Lime juice and hemp seeds take the flavor over the top!

Ingredients

  • 2 pieces whole wheat bread (or gluten free)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 8-10 fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1 slice of lime
  • Hemp and chia seeds (for topping, optional)
  • Sea salt

Instructions

  1. Mash avocado in its shell with a fork and add a pinch of sea salt.
  2. Meanwhile, toast bread slices. (I don't have a toaster so I use the broiler setting of the oven)
  3. Spread half of the avocado on each piece of bread and squeeze some lime juice on each.
  4. Top with sliced strawberries, hemp and chia seeds, and some coarse sea salt.
https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/strawberry-avocado-toast/

Tropical Green Smoothie Bowl

“We eat with our eyes first.”

This has become my mantra as I’ve taught myself to cook. It has also become my excuse when the boyfriend is complaining “Can’t we just EAT it already.” No honey, first we have to look at it. And photograph it. And appreciate it. And place it on every surface in the house to find the best lighting…  Sorry dear!  It is true though- the better looking your food is the more exciting it is and the more delicious it tastes.  Science.

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This fact couldn’t be any more true for this Tropical Green Smoothie Bowl.  It’s gorgeous.  I just wanted to sit and stare at it all morning. But I was also very hungry. And in order to prove my “beautiful food = tasty food” theory I just HAD to test it for you guys. For science.

So what makes a smoothie bowl different from a regular smoothie??? A spoon. Oh and the endless possibility of beautiful toppings. I chose some fruit we had sitting in the fridge, a little granola for crunch factor, and coconut flakes to continue the tropical trend.  A smoothie bowl works best with a super thick smoothie so be sure to use frozen fruits and to not add too much liquid. Otherwise your toppings will all sink to the bottom and your bowl will just look like a chunky mess…. Not that I know from experience……

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However you top it, you’re going to LOVE this Tropical Green Smoothie Bowl!  It’s a quick and easy breakfast that your eyes AND your tummy will enjoy!

Tropical Green Smoothie Bowl

Yield: 1 serving

This eye-catching and simple breakfast is a great way to bring a little tropical sunshine into your morning routine. Add toppings however you like- just make it pretty!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 3/4 cup frozen mango chunks
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 scoop vegan vanilla protein powder
  • 1/2- 1 cup coconut or other non-dairy milk
  • 1 Tbs coconut butter (optional)
  • 1 tsp spirulina powder (optional)
  • Toppings:
  • Fresh blueberries, raspberries, or other fruit
  • Granola or toasted oats/nuts
  • Shredded coconut

Instructions

  1. All all of the smoothie ingredients to a blender with just enough milk to get the ingredients moving. Blend for 1-2 minutes. Add more milk and blend again if desired.
  2. Pour smoothie into a large bowl and top with desired toppings. Enjoy!
https://www.areyoukitchenme.com/tropical-green-smoothie-bowl/

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