I grew up eating stuffed peppers for dinner on a regular basis. It was a favorite. They were filled with ground beef and orzo with diced tomatoes and cheese. Sometimes other add-ins made their way into the mix like corn or beans. I actually made it to adulthood thinking this is how all stuffed peppers were and it was a true recipe my parents went by. It wasn’t until my early 20’s that I realized my parents were simply pulling together an easy meal with what they had at home, what was on sale, or what they thought might taste good. Most people consider a “traditional” stuffed pepper to be with ground beef, rice, and some type of tomato sauce (I also didn’t learn this one until recent years either).
Happy Summer Everyone! Just like many of you, I set up a great getaway for the summer. My husband and I are headed out to Oregon and Washington to explore their wine county regions. While, I can’t wait to share all the details when I return, I want to be able to focus on being present and enjoy my time away.
You guys! I’ve done it, I finally mastered risotto. In the past few years I have had some flops and mild successes with cooking risotto but, I could never get the texture exactly how I wanted it. I gave up on believing the cook time on the back of the box (20 minutes until al dente….LIES!). Risotto is typically a labor of love and patience. It requires constant attention, stirring and hope that in less than 2 hours you’ll have dinner on the table. But, no more!!! I can get you that risotto on the table in just over a half hour and it will be perfectly rich, creamy, and cooked through!
It’s one of my favorite times of the year. The birds are chirping, the flowers are in full bloom, and we are starting to head outdoors as much as possible. However; while Spring is certainly a joyful time for the weather; it does happen to lead into the dreadful bikini season. This means that I need to start cleaning up my eating act. Let’s face it; a winter full of travels, holidays, and warm comfort foods leads has led to some soft spots in my routine (and body….eeeek). With all of this said, I am going to try (emphasis on try) to eat better whenever possible. But, It’s all about balance.
What do you do when it’s the perfect spring day, your agenda is empty and your husband is out golfing? You explore your own city! That’s exactly what I did a few weeks ago. I decided to take a long walk around the center of town and about three hours later I had discovered new shops, indulged in a giant ice cream come from the South Street Creamery, and took in the Morristown green’s budding views. It honestly was the best afternoon I had in a long time.
Do any of you scan your Instagram food feed regularly to look at food photos? I know that due to who I follow on my blog account (@behindthepl8s …in case you aren’t already following along! Get on that!) I look at a sea of “foodporn” every day. It’s how the latest and greatest food trends get discovered and the next “it” eateries do their best marketing. One dish that has been on repeat on my feeds for a few years now is Ramen. It exploded onto the food scene a few years back and continues to prove it has stay power. And for anyone who has tried this Japanese noodle dish (And no, the dried Ramen packets you ate in college do not count….), you understand why Ramen has become a household name.
It’s very rare for me not to enjoy an Italian meal. With New Jersey and New York hosting more Italian restaurants than most places across the country, it’s easy to come across a decent dish. While I love to eat Italian food whenever I can, the restaurants I visit also tend to be a dime a dozen. My general feeling is that once you try one, you’ve tried them all. I shouldn’t paint such a broad brush but, as a large majority, most Italian eateries serve the same overplayed Americanized meals that we have come to accept as “true” Italian food. I don’t downplay that I enjoy these dishes, I even cook them myself. But, let’s face it; some of the dishes we chow down on aren’t even popular across the pond. Our ancestors who came over often mixed together American and Italian ingredients to produce these popularized dishes. Or, as time wore on, only the Italian dishes brought over that pleased other Americans’ palates were what stayed in favor.
I saved my favorite recipe, from this spiralized series for last(supported by a huge Kings Food Market haul). I think I love it so much because it’s the most practical of the bunch. It involves everyday ingredients and it’s a 30 minute weeknight meal. The stir fry is also incredibly healthy because it’s overloaded with veggies. There are no carbs in this dish but they are not missed. The carrot noodles do the trick to curb your starch cravings. The sauce the dish is tossed in is smoky and sweet. Ok, now I’m salivating just writing about it.
Third time is a charmer and by charmer I talking about this recipe of course! It’s BTP’s third recipe in the past two weeks (take a look here and here for the other two) that is featuring curly cut vegetables. The zucchini noodle, also nicknamed “the zoodle” is my most frequently used spiral veggie. When you have an obsession with Italian food, specifically pasta, like I do; you need a healthy alternative once in a while. Zoodles got me through my wedding diet routine and were a regular weeknight meal. It’s too easy and while nothing can quite replace real pasta, it still gives you those familiar flavors.
In my last recipe post (Butternut Squash, Spinach and Gruyere Breakfast Bake) I admitted to going a little overboard on the spiralized vegetables at King’s Food Market. I suppose if you are going to over-do it, vegetables isn’t the worst thing in the world! I just love how versatile the vegetable becomes once it is in that spiral form. You can use it as a noodle, French fry or in today’s case, use it in a salad.