Posts Tagged healthy recipe

Dinner in 12 minutes!

Yes, it’s the Holiday Season and that means that schedules can be the tiniest bit frantic!  After a day of holiday shopping (shop local, please) sometimes the temptation is to pick up fast food.  But you can make a great delicious easy dinner with ingredients from your pantry – all  in the time it takes to boil a pot of spaghetti.  Here’s this year’s THE HOLIDAYS ARE DRIVING ME CRAZY quick dinner!Spaghetti with tuna and peas.

Make with Morovino Dry Rielsing, serve with Dry Riesling or Barbera

16 oz Spaghetti or Fetuccine
2 T Olive Oil
6 cloves of garlic, slivered/sliced
1/2 C. chicken broth
1/2 C. Morovino Dry Riesling (or other dry white wine)
2 cans tuna packed in water, drained
1/2 onion, diced
2 C. frozen peas
1/2 t. freshly ground pepper (seems like a lot, but you really do need this much)
1/8 t. salt (or to taste)
1/2 t. dried tarragon
juice and zest of 1 lemon
1/2 C Parmesan cheese – grated or shredded
1 T butter

Fill a saucepan with water and put in on the stove on medium heat.  While the water is coming to a boil (about 3 minutes on my cooktop), dice the onion, sliver the garlic and zest the lemon.  As soon as the water comes to a boil – add the pasta and cook according to package instructions (about 9 minutes). While the pasta is cooking, put a saute pan on the stove over medium-low heat.  Add the olive oil and the onion.  Cook six minutes – you want to sweat the onions, not brown them.  Stir occasionally.  When they have softened, add the slivered garlic and saute for 1 minute.    Then add the wine, lemon juice, chicken broth, peas, tuna, salt and pepper and tarragon.  Stir gently until the peas are heated through – about 2 minutes.  While this is heating, the pasta should be finishing up.  Drain it.  Pull the pea mixture off the heat.  Add the cooked pasta, the parmesan and the butter to the saute pan with the peas and stir until the peas, tuna et all and pasta are mixed together.  If your saute pan isn’t big enough to hold the tuna/peas and the pasta – just dump everything into a big bowl and stir until mixed.  Spoon onto plates and garnish with a bit more parmesan, a couple of grinds of fresh black pepper and the lemon zest.  Nutritious.  Delicious.  Time elapsed – 12 minutes.  Serve with Morovino Barbera or Dry Riesling!

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Guiltless Smoked Corn Chowder

Serve matched with 2009 Pinot Grigio (or a crisp white like a no-oak Chardonnay)

This is one of Mrs. Vino’s go-to dishes.  It’s basically a pantry/freezer meal–I always have most of these ingredients in the pantry freezer.  It’s very easy to make.  It’s filling and it’s healthy.  What more can you ask.

6 slices of turkey bacon, cut into small pieces (I always keep turkey bacon in the freezer in 3-6 strip packages.  Just defrost in the microwave)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ t. paprika. Mrs. Vino likes smoked paprika—if you can find a pipe small enough (just kidding!!)
¼ t. crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste—but not too much more)
2 10-ounce bags frozen corn
4 C. low fat, low sodium chicken broth
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 green onions, trimmed and sliced
¼ bunch flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Olive oil cooking spray, or your olive oil mister

Mist the bottom of a heavy skillet or pot with your olive oil mister (that’s Mr. Mister to you). Add the chopped bacon and cook over medium heat until browned—in Mrs. Vino’s kitchen, it’s about 7-8 minutes. Transfer the cooked bacon to a small bowl and set aside. Mist the bottom of your skillet or pot again. Add the chopped onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft—5-7 minutes. The goal is to soften the onion, not brown it, so use medium heat. Add the garlic, paprika and red pepper flakes and sauté for another 2 minutes. Stir in the corn (nope, you don’t even need to defrost it—how easy is that??) and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, just barely bubbling for 15 minutes. Add half the soup to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the blended soup back into the pot. Add the cooked bacon and chopped parsley and stir. The blending is what gives the great, thick, creamy, yummy chowder consistency. If you don’t want to get out your blender, you can use your immersion (stick) blender to smooth it out a bit.

Put into serving bowls and top with a sprinkle of sliced green onions. Serve with toasty warm artisan bread! It’s a soup. It’s a vegetable. It’s a great meal!!!

NOTE:  Vegetarians, leave out the bacon and use Veggie broth (recipe on this site) instead of chicken and it is still absolutely delicious.


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Spinach and Pasta Salad

No wine in this one, tastes great paired with Pinot Grigio – any of the Morovino PGs!

1 lb of your favorite small pasta (I like Orzo or mini Farfalle)
2 lbs tomatoes from your garden or Farmer’s Market
½ bag baby spinach leaves—or go crazy and use the whole bag
leaves from 4 sprigs of basil
¼ C. REALLY good fruity olive oil (always use the best olive oil you can afford for dishes like this.  If you are cooking with it–applying heat–you can use a lesser quality)
1 6-ounce package of feta cheese, crumbled
2 large cloves of garlic—finely diced, grated on the microplane or squished in garlic press
3 green onions, chopped
zest from ½ lemon

Cook pasta according to package directions. While cooking, dice tomatoes and put in bottom of large bowl. If you can’t get tomatoes from your garden or farmer’s market, use the sweet grape tomatoes (cut in half) from Costco or grocery store as the best non-h0me-grown option. Regular sized tomatoes from the grocery store just won’t cut it (promise me you won’t even try). Chop the green onions and put them on top of the tomatoes on the bowl (the order of ingredients in the bowl is important).

Chiffonade the spinach leaves and put them in the bowl (ooohhh, fancy word). Chiffonade is basically taking a handful of leaves and making a “cigar” out of them by rolling them all up together. Then cut lengthwise across the leaves into tiny strips. Don’t worry about how they look, this isn’t Top  Chef and no one is grading you! Chiffonade the basil and add it to the bowl. Don’t want to try a Chiffonade? Just chop the basil really finely or use your food processor. Zest the lemon and put it on top of the basil in the bowl. Add the cooked, drained pasta on top of the veggies (it should still be warm) and leave  it there for a minute or so. It is wilting the spinach and basil and warming the tomatoes. Add the olive oil, feta and salt and pepper to taste, then gently toss. A great summer main course or yummy as a pasta salad. Still good the next day, too.

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Comforting Chicken Soup

Serve with sangiovese or Pinot Grigio (any of them)

If there is something more comforting than chicken soup, I don’t know what it is!!?  This soup, adapted from a Marth Stewart recipe, is also relatively healthy and absolutely delicious.  It’s warming enough to enjoy in the dead of winter.  But light enough to enjoy in spring or a foggy Pismo Beach summer evening.

4 carrots, cut into ½”  slices
3 turnips (rutabegas also work), peeled and cut into 1/2” cubes
1 large onion, cut into 1/2″ dice
1 4-lb (ish) chicken
Kosher Salt

Put veggies in a VERY large pot. Add the chicken breast side down and add water just to cover (note, the chicken floats, so hold it down with a spoon as you pour the water in so the water fills the chicken cavity and it sinks a bit). Water will be about 12 cups. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a steady simmer (medium low heat on Mrs. Vino’s stove), and cook, partially covered for about 45 minutes.  Skim the foam from the top periodically, and discard it (yuck).

Remove chicken from the pot (there will be HOT water in the chicken cavity and it will want to spill all over your hands – be very careful). Place chicken on a plate and allow to cool. Turn the burner under the liquid and veggies back to high and boil to reduce for about 20 minutes. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the chicken and discard. Remove the chicken meat from the bones and discard the bones. Dice the chicken meat into 1/2” pieces and return to the soup. I like to make this soup the day before I serve it. If you put the pot of soup in the fridge to cool, the next day you can easily remove the congealed fat from the top of the soup and end up with a delicious, healthy low fat chicken soup. Serve this soup garnished with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime juice!

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