Roasted Cauliflower Pasta

This is a delicious winter pasta recipe! Roasting the cauliflower with red onion gives it great flavour, making a fantastic easy week-night pasta toss. Choose your favourite
hearty pasta shape (a penne or rigatoni style works well) in either regular or gluten-free and enjoy a new take on pasta night that the whole family is sure to enjoy!

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Ingredients:

For roasting:

  • 1 head of cauliflower cut into small florets (should yield approx 8 cups)
  • 1 red onion finely sliced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Kosher (coarse) salt and freshly ground pepper to season before roasting

For pasta:

  • 3 cups of your choice of pasta (I chose my favourite gluten-free ancient grain penne)
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup finely grated fresh Parmesan, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 cup of pasta water
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Optional: 2 pieces of white toast, toasted and whizzed in a food processor to yield 1-1 1/2 cups of bread crumbs + you will need an additional 2 tsp of olive oil to toast the crumbs . . . yes I know I made gluten free pasta then topped with breadcrumbs but its just a little added texture – and it won over the kids!

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Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 425 (I used my oven’s convect roast function) and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (I prefer to do this to protect my pans).
  2. In a large bowl toss together the cauliflower and onion with the 2 tbsp of olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour veggies onto baking sheet and spread evenly.
  4. Roast in middle oven rack for 15 minutes, remove, toss to combine, and roast for an additional 5-10 minutes.
  5. While the cauliflower is roasting, start to boil your water for the pasta of choice and cook your pasta as per the package instructions.
  6. As pasta is in final minutes of cooking, heat a large skillet on medium-high. Once hot add 1 tbsp of olive oil and the 1/2 tsp garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Lower the heat to low and add the pasta into the pan using a slotted spoon and stir to coat.
  7. Add the roasted cauliflower to the skillet and toss to combine with the pasta.
  8. Add the 1/2 cup of pasta water and 1/2 cup of Parmesan and do a final toss to combine all ingredients.
  9. Optional step – drizzle 2 tsp on the breadcrumbs and toast until golden in oven or toaster oven.
  10. Serve pasta with with additional Parmesan and a heaping tablespoon of breadcrumbs.

Winter Detox Salad

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Happy 2017! Excited to kick off the New Year with an easy, fresh and tasty recipe. Last week, one of my besties Jill brought over a delish salad from her local Farm Boy market, and as soon as I tried it I knew I had to create a copycat. This easy broccoli-cauliflower salad is crunchy and deliciously dressed with a homemade apple cider vinaigrette. Perfect as a side or to pop into your lunch. Recipe makes 4-5 cups of salad, and vinaigrette yields appox 4 oz/100ml (the exact amount you will need for the salad). This recipe can be easily doubled, tripled, etc depending on how much you need or want.

Salad Ingredients:

  • Heaping 2 cups of finely chopped broccoli
  • Heaping 2 cups of finely chopped cauliflower
  • 1 carrot, finely julienned (i used my handy dandy julienne peeler)
  • Heaping 1/2 cup of dried cranberries soaked in hot water for 5 minutes and then drained (to soften them up)

Vinaigrette Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher (coarse) salt
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp finely diced red onion
  • 6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Combine broccoli, cauliflower, carrots and dried cranberries in a large bowl.
  2. Prepare vinaigrette by combining all ingredients in an immersion blender container and blending until completely emulsified OR you can use a blender if you do not have an immersion blender.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat evenly.
  4. Salad can be served immediately but best to let sit for 15-30 minutes so vinaigrette soaks in. Salad keeps really well for next day snacking/lunches, etc.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi everyone! So sorry to have taken a hiatus from blogging. Life has been busy, but I wanted to take this opportunity over Thanksgiving weekend to say thank you for visiting and supporting my blog. I will be back at it posting new recipes after the holiday weekend!

In the meantime, I hope all my Canadian readers have a great holiday weekend, and to my readers everywhere else, I hope you have a wonderful weekend with your friends and families.

I have lots of great Fall and Thanksgiving recipes on the blog so be sure to check them out!

I will be sure to share some of my holiday faves on my Facebook page so be sure to “like” Kara’s Favourite Recipes on Facebook so you can see what I am up to when I am not blogging, and you can also follow me on Instagram.

Sending my best! Happy eating : )

Kara

Baked Potato, Ham & Cheese Frittata

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It has been pretty hot here in Southern Ontario for the past couple of weeks, so for a quick and easy summer dinner I love making a frittata (basically a crustless quiche). What’s great about a frittata is that you add in leftovers to make an amazingly delicious meal. This time I had a leftover bbq baked potato (cooked one too many for the family), which was my starting point, and added in some deli counter ham, green onions and two types of cheeses I had in the fridge from my Cheesy Chimichurri Garlic Bread. The results were a fantastic frittata that the whole family loved. It was that hearty, smoky flavour from the potato that really made it. Next time you are doing baked potatoes on the barbecue I highly recommend making one extra to keep on hand for an easy weeknight or weekend morning frittata!

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Ingredients:

  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup of milk or cream
  • Pinch of Kosher (coarse) salt, plus more to season potatoes as they cook
  • Freshly ground black pepper, plus more to season potatoes as they cook
  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cooked and cooled baked (russet) potato, diced
  • 2 slices of deli ham, sliced into small pieces (bacon would also work of course!)
  • 2 green onions (scallions), finely diced (heaping 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup of grated light sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup of grated fontina cheese

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat the broiler on your oven (for a 10″ skillet you can just use the lower setting)
  2. Combine the eggs with milk or cream and whisk until combined. Add in a few grinds of freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of Kosher salt.
  3. Heat 10″ non-stick oven-proof skillet on medium-high heat.
  4. Add the olive oil, and then the potato and cook until potatoes are heated through and slightly browned. Season with some salt and pepper as desired.
  5. Add the ham to the skillet with the potato, and cook for 1 minute.
  6. Add the green onion to the skillet and stir to combine.
  7. Add the egg mixture to the skillet. Top the eggs with the grated cheese distributing it evenly over the top. Cover the skillet with a lid and let the eggs cook for 2 minutes untouched.
  8. Remove the cover and place the skillet in the oven. Watching carefully (do not walk away!), let the eggs cook for 3-4 minutes until they begin to puff and brown slightly.
  9. Remove the skillet from the oven, and let it sit for 2 minutes.
  10. Using a spatula, carefully slide the frittata out of the skillet and onto a serving plate.
  11. Serve the frittata with a side salad or sliced fresh veggies and a nice piece of crusty bread for a nice light and summery dinner.

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Cheesy Chimichurri Garlic Bread

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A year or two ago we tried some really fantastic cheesy garlic bread topped with chimichurri at our local Milestone’s restaurant. Ever since then I have wanted to recreate it at home, because it was SO good! Chimichurri is an Argentian steak sauce, made with cilantro, parsley, garlic, chilli and lemon, and blended with oil. It is traditionally served with steak, but is an awesome topper with a kick for cheesy garlic bread! I re-created the recipe myself, and adapted it for making during bbq season. Just throw that garlic bread on the grill and you have a fantastic appetizer or side for your outdoor entertaining. It is fantastic served with my favourite Raspberry Mojito!

Recipes serves 4-6.

Ingredients:

  • 2 small loaves of french bread (about 8-10 inches in length), or one large loaf of french bread (10-12″+) . . . I was able to slice each loaf into 8 slices = 16 slices total.
  • 4-6 tbsp garlic butter – store bought or homemade
  • 1/2 cup of shredded light old cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup of shredded fontina cheese
  • Chimichurri – homemade or store bought (I love Wildly Delicious)

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Directions:

  1. Combine cheese in a bowl, and set aside until ready to add to bread.
  2. Using a bread knife, slice each loaf into 8 equal slices while keeping its “loaf” shape, and spread all cut sides with a light coating of garlic butter. I also like to smear the top of the crust with a bit of garlic butter too.

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  1. Wrap bread in foil and place on top rack of barbecue and heat for 10 minutes (you could also bake in toaster oven or oven).
  2. Open bread in foil and top each loaf with 1/2 cup of the cheese blend.

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  1. Close barbecue lid and heat until cheese has melted (2-3 minutes).
  2. Remove bread to a serving plate and drizzle each loaf with about 1 tbsp of chimichurri.
  3. Notes: Adapt any quantities of ingredients for amount/size of bread you are using and you can also serve chimichurri in little dipping bowls so guests can add sauce as desired.

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Loaded Steak & Egg Breakfast Burrito

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Father’s Day is coming up this weekend, so what better way to start Dad’s day on Father’s Day then with a loaded Steak & Egg Breakfast Burrito? The combination of tender grilled steak, with egg, sharp cheddar, salsa and guacamole is sure to be one of Dad’s new favourites!

Ingredients:

  • One large flour tortilla of your choice (regular, whole wheat, spinach)
  • 1 large egg scrambled
  • Approximately 1/2 cup of pre-cooked grilled steak, thinly sliced (this is great if you have leftovers . . . I always like to cook extra steak for sandwiches, and breakfast creations!)
  • Light old cheddar, grated – approx 1/4-1/2 cup
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of your favourite salsa
  • 2 heaping tablespoons of your favourite guacamole

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Directions:

  1. Pre-heat your panini press (if using), you can also serve without finishing in a panini-press.
  2. Assemble your breakfast burrito by laying out the tortilla then layering with your cooked scrambled egg, then topping with the steak, cheddar cheese, salsa and guacamole.
  3. Wrap up burrito, folding in sides, then rolling away from you wrapping up all contents “burrito style” securely so they will not leak.
  4. At this point you can serve immediately or you can finish in a panini press (optimal and most delicious as it will melt cheese and heat contents perfectly) . . . you could also press in a warm dry frying pan with a weight of some sort on top (such as a plate or second smaller frying pan).
  5. Remove from panini press, slice in half and serve to your #1 Dad!

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Easy Classic Basil Pesto

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The warm weather in May and early June has made my basil grow like crazy really fast, so I decided I needed to cut it down so it would continue to flourish, and what better way to use a large amount of basil than for beautiful fresh pesto!

I did some research on best authentic recipes, and decided to start with the recipe from Epicurious (Bon Appetit). With everything else in my pantry or fridge, I went out to Bulk Barn to grab some pine nuts (yes the price is astonishing for these wee nuts but all you need is 1/3 cup for one batch, and homemade pesto just can’t be beat!). Just blend together basil, olive oil, pine nuts, minced garlic, salt and Parmesan and you have your own homemade pesto.  I recommended using a food processor vs blender, as I tried using my Vitamix, but it was just too big for this size of recipe. My Cuisinart Mini Prep worked perfectly.

Recipe makes 12 heaping tablespoons of fresh pesto (approx 1 cup).

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups of fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup of good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup of pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of Kosher (coarse) salt

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Directions:

  1. Using a food processor, add basil, olive oil, pine nuts and garlic, and puree until a paste forms. Scrape down sides as needed to get to an even consistency.
  2. Add in cheese and salt and blend until combined.
  3. Use immediately OR using an ice cube tray, fill with 1 tablespoon of pesto per cube cavity and freeze. Once frozen place in a freezer bag and defrost and use as needed for recipes (pasta, baked chicken, sauces, pizza, etc.)

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