Category Archives: meatless

Fresh Basil Pesto

photo 2 (6)

Chicken and Pesto on the Grill

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Pasta Pesto

The original recipe for this delicious pesto appeared back in May 2011 on Cooking with Candi.  Yummy Pesto was the title. This is the same recipe from my BFF Suki. I have tried many pesto sauces and this remains my absolute go to favorite. It is super easy and while the basil is abundant you should make it and freeze it. When you freeze the pesto in a container, pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top . I have it frozen for up to 3 months. I use it on chicken, pasta, and it’s wonderful as a spread. This recipe is good for 2 lbs. of pasta usually. So I use 1/2 and freeze the rest if it’s just the 2 of us.

Pesto Chicken on the Grill with Grilled Peppers and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

DSCN3588

Fresh Basil

If you are going to use on chicken , just brush on the chicken sprinkle a tiny bit of  kosher salt on it and  let it marinate for a few hours at least and it can be marinated  overnight in the refrigerator. Take it out of fridge and let it sit at room temp. before putting on the grill. That’s it!

*You’ll need a food processor

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh basil (washed)

1/2 cup romano cheese (grated)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese ( grated)

1/2 cup pignolli nuts or walnuts

1 cup extra virgin olive oil–use a good one

1 – 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter (it’s good if the butter is softened before adding) you can soften in microwave

4 cloves garlic – peeled and whole

freshly ground black pepper–to taste

*kosher salt to taste if you feel you need it after finished making pesto

Directions:

I put all ingredients except for olive oil in the food processor. Give it a few grinds using the blade attachment. Then I slowly add in the olive oil through the top of processor while it’s on. Beautiful green pesto! so easy. Taste for salt and pepper

Cook pasta and drain and add pesto. Done!

Grandma Regina’s Farfel for Passover

DSCN2696DSCN2700I must preface this with the fact that anyone who’s ever had this farfel dish loves it. It is steeped in tradition, it was made absolutely the best by my Grandma Regina, and only seconded by my mother (G’ma Millie). It is a very tricky dish to make, and after many failed attempts, I figured out that doubling it doesn’t work, and you must let it dry out!!! It should probably sit out to dry for at least 2 hours. I know this sounds crazy, but it’s true. Of course, G’ma Regina never wrote a single thing down, so you’ll be winging the spices and the oil, because I always do. It’s not the healthiest thing in the world, but it’s so delish and we only  make it but once a year. When I was little I couldn’t wait to have it at my grandparents’ house. We looked forward to it every year at Seder. It’s no surprise that it’s Joel’s favorite. He remembers my grandmother’s and that’s a tough act to follow even after all these years.  It’s tradition in our house to always have it on Passover, and what better way to remember Grandma Regina. There is no better legacy to a great cook than a well cooked farfel.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 canisters matzoh farfel

1 lb. mushrooms, sliced (regular white mushrooms)

2 spanish onions, peeled and sliced thinly

Vegetable oil

Kosher salt (app. 1 tablespoon)

Freshly ground black pepper (app. 1/2 tablespoon)

1 tablespoon garlic powder (every year I guess this amount. If you’d like, you can also use fresh garlic, and then it would probably be approx. 2 minced cloves.)

Paprika (get some good paprika here and use a good dash for color)

6 eggs

Directions:

Beat eggs with spices (the paprika will add a red color). Coat the farfel with the egg mixture. Add oil to a large heavy skillet, about 1/4 inch deep, and heat over medium-high flame. Toss farfel in the hot oil, and coat well; farfel should brown a little bit. (Don’t burn.) Then add water to just cover the farfel, bring to a boil, then simmer until water dissolves. After the water is all gone I turn the flame off and just let it sit there and dry out. I cannot emphasize enough how important this step is. Go out and do something else, and come back to it.

Meanwhile, in a separate pan, saute the mushrooms and onions with salt and pepper and a dash of paprika here as well.  The farfel is very bland and you’ll need the salt and pepper. Put this in a container ’til you’re ready to use it. You will eventually add it to dried out farfel. When farfel is completely dried out (at least 2 hours), add the mushroom and onion mixture to it. Taste for salt and pepper. Mix well and bake in a Pyrex dish at 375 degrees for about  1 – 1/2 hours. You want it to get crispy. If it’s too dry, add a little more oil to baking dish. Stir it often–you’ll have to open oven a few times and stir. Your house will smell great while making this. My family likes this on the crispy side, so I let it cook for a long time, but you’ll be able to tell when it’s done–it will be bubbly and crispy! Enjoy and good luck!

Peach Farfel for Passover – crowd favorite

I believe my friend Audrey gave this recipe to me originally many years ago.  It has been on our Passover table ever since. Actually a few years back  I had thought I had it scanned into my computer (under Passover Recipes) and I couldn’t find it. Lucky for me, I know my friend Carol always makes it and her family loves it, so here it is. With 2 weeks to go till Passover I am going to try to post as many Passover Recipes as possible . This one is really a winner! Remember to read recipes through before making them, familiarize yourself with the recipe, the method, and the ingredients. This will help you when you go to actually make a recipe.
Recipes tend to spread out to a wide group of people, so they usually don’t get lost. Sort of the reasoning behind this website as I will now have all my recipes under one tidy little roof ! Enjoy this one; it is sweet and makes for a delicious side dish with poultry or beef. This has always been a crowd pleaser. I know, the amount of eggs is obscene on this holiday! This one has 7 eggs in it!!!!!

Ingredients:

1 box matzoh farfel (I think it’s in a canister now only)

2 15 oz. cans sliced peaches

7 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 sticks margarine, melted

2 tsp. vanilla

4 cups hot water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place dry farfel in a bowl, then pour hot water over it. Let stand until absorbed.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, syrup from peaches, salt, sugar, margarine, and vanilla. Add farfel and combine well. In a well sprayed 9 x 12 baking dish, pour 1/2 the mixture, then arrange a layer of peaches on top. Add remaining mixture on top, then top with remaining peaches. Sprinkle with just a bit of cinnamon if you’d like. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serve hot out of oven, or room temp. It is quite delicious at room temperature, if you don’t have the room in your oven, and it makes for a pretty awesome leftover.

Can be assembled, cooked 1/2 way through, then cooked the rest of the way through on the day of the holiday.

Fresh Basil Pesto

photo 2 (6)

Chicken and Pesto on the Grill

photo 2 (8)

Pasta Pesto

The original recipe for this delicious pesto appeared back in May 2011 on Cooking with Candi.  Yummy Pesto was the title. This is the same recipe from my BFF Suki. I have tried many pesto sauces and this remains my absolute go to favorite. It is super easy and while the basil is abundant you should make it and freeze it. When you freeze the pesto in a container, pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top . I have it frozen for up to 3 months. I use it on chicken, pasta, and it’s wonderful as a spread. This recipe is good for 2 lbs. of pasta usually. So I use 1/2 and freeze the rest if it’s just the 2 of us.

Pesto Chicken on the Grill with Grilled Peppers and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

DSCN3588

Fresh Basil

If you are going to use on chicken , just brush on the chicken sprinkle a tiny bit of  kosher salt on it and  let it marinate for a few hours at least and it can be marinated  overnight in the refrigerator. Take it out of fridge and let it sit at room temp. before putting on the grill. That’s it!

*if you’re going to freeze the pesto for a later date–put into a container and add a thin layer of olive oil to the top. Then when you defrost it just mix the olive oil in this will keep it green .

*You’ll need a food processor

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh basil (washed)

1/2 cup romano cheese (grated)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese ( grated)

1/2 cup pignolli nuts or walnuts

1 cup extra virgin olive oil–use a good one

1 – 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter (it’s good if the butter is softened before adding) you can soften in microwave

4 cloves garlic – peeled and whole

freshly ground black pepper–to taste

*kosher salt to taste if you feel you need it after finished making pesto

Directions:

I put all ingredients except for olive oil in the food processor. Give it a few grinds using the blade attachment. Then I slowly add in the olive oil through the top of processor while it’s on. Beautiful green pesto! so easy. Taste for salt and pepper

Cook pasta and drain and add pesto. Done!

Peach Farfel for Passover – crowd favorite

 My friend Audrey gave this recipe to me many years ago and it has gone on to be a Kolen Family staple and favorite. It is always on our Passover table.  Actually, this year, I had thought I had it scanned into my computer (under Passover Recipes) and I couldn’t find it. Lucky for me  my friend Carol always makes it and her family loves it, so here it is. Recipes are like that–they tend to spread out to a wide group of people, so they usually don’t get lost. Sort of the reasoning behind this website as I now will have all my recipes under one tidy little roof! Enjoy this one; it is sweet and makes for a delicious side dish with poultry or beef. This has always been a crowd pleaser. I know, the amount of eggs is obscene on this holiday! This one has 7 eggs in it!!!!!

Thanks again Audrey!

Ingredients:

1 box matzoh farfel (also available in a canister now)

2 15 oz. cans sliced peaches

7 eggs

2 cups sugar

1 tsp. salt

2 sticks margarine, melted

2 tsp. vanilla

4 cups hot water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place dry farfel in a bowl, then pour hot water over it. Let stand until absorbed.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, syrup from peaches, salt, sugar, margarine, and vanilla. Add farfel and combine well. In a well sprayed 9 x 12 baking dish, pour 1/2 the mixture, then arrange a layer of peaches on top. Add remaining mixture on top, then top with remaining peaches. Sprinkle with just a bit of cinnamon if you’d like. Bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. Serve hot out of oven, or room temp. It is quite delicious at room temperature, if you don’t have the room in your oven, and it makes for a pretty awesome leftover.

Can be assembled, cooked 1/2 way through, then cooked the rest of the way through on the day of the holiday.

Carrot Souffle

I was looking for a carrot souffle recipe that would be perfect for the holidays and came across quite a few, I settled on this one and I was very happy I did.  Original recipe comes from Emeril Lagasse, and if you can believe it, it had more butter and more brown sugar than it does, I took a few liberties with the recipe and it was just delicious. The orange flavor is very strong, so if you like you can cut that a bit but I love the fresh flavor of orange so I kept it at a full tablespoon.  It is not difficult to make, just takes some time and a lot of ingredients. I peeled the carrots, and just cut them in thirds to boil, because they were getting thrown in the food processor anyway. You need a food processor for this, and a large one at that. I literally put all ingredients into it and gave it a few whirls. . It is a most perfect  holiday dish, perfect for Christmas, Jewish New Year and Thanksgiving, really any time you are making dinner for a big group. If you’d like you can cut this recipe in 1/2 for a smaller gathering.   I also didn’t use a 9 x 13 but used a deeper casserole dish, which was fine, you can use whatever pretty baking dish you like.  I cooked it for 1/2 the time the day before and then just put in oven again day we were eating it for another 45 minutes or so. The deeper the dish , the longer it will take to fully cook through. It was light like a souffle should be and the topping is crunchy and sweet. This goes to any holiday meal, and really any time. Good news is carrots are always readily available no excuse not to eat them.

*this recipe can easily be cut in half

Ingredients:

3 pounds carrots, I peeled them and cut them into thirds

6 large eggs – beat before adding to processor

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup milk ( I used skim plus)

1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice

1 tablespoon orange zest ( use the orange that you will juice)

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg ( or 1 teaspoon powder)

pinch of salt ( regular table salt)

Topping:

1 cup packed light brown sugar

1 cup chopped pecans/walnuts whichever you prefer

1/2 cup all-purpose  flour

4 tablespoon ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter , at room temperature

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a casserole pan ( up to 9 x 13 ) . Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the peeled cut up carrots, and cook until tender, app. 15 minutes and drain. Combine the carrots with the remaining ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. I was able to put all ingredients in a large processor, if not you will have to work in batches.  Spoon the mixture into the prepared casserole dish.

Combine the topping ingredients, brown sugar, pecans, flour and butter in a medium size bowl , stir to blend. Scatter the mixture over the top of the casserole and bake until the topping is lightly browned, 55 minutes to 1 hour. I baked for 35 minutes the day I made it, and will re – heat it for another 45 minutes before serving. You’ll want it a little bubbly around edges.

Pumpkin Soup – Happy Fall

Fall is here, and time to make soups, and hearty meals. Heartwarming and comforting is what comes to mind. This pumpkin soup is all of that–warm,sweet  and savory all at the same time. It contains cream; and I do use heavy cream, you can probably substitute skim milk and let me know how that works out. I figure there are 8 servings and only 1/2 cup of cream in the total so it’s not too too terrible. You can also substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth for a vegetarian style soup. It’s a smooth delicious soup, and served with a nice green salad and some crusty bread, it’s awesome! Happy Fall.

Ingredients:

6 cups chicken / vegetable stock ( either one)

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

4 cups ( 2 cans) pumpkin puree ( not pie filling – be careful)

1 medium yellow onion chopped

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme ( you can use fresh )

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup maple syrup

5 whole black peppercorns, or a few grinds of the pepper mill

1 tablespoon olive oil

Directions:

Heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil in a nice deep soup pot ( Le Creuset) add chopped onion and saute till translucent, add garlic and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. When onion is translucent add stock, pumpkin, thyme, maple syrup and peppercorns. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer on low flame for at least 30 minutes uncovered.

With an immersion blender, ( if no immersion blender a regular blender or food processor will do, but then you need to do in batches of 1 cup at a time and let it cool down a bit)

Blend till well combined, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered. Taste for salt, the peppercorns get ground up and taste wonderful but you may want to add more pepper. Stir in heavy cream and stir well. Pour into soup bowls and enjoy!

You may want to sprinkle some fried onion rings on top. If I am pressed for time I take the onion rings right from the container ( French’s ) makes the best type and add to the soup for a little more flavor and crunch. Not too much just a taste. Of course a great crusty bread with butter and a delicious hard cheese needs nothing else but the soup.

Fresh Basil Pesto

photo 2 (6)

Chicken and Pesto on the Grill

photo 2 (8)

Pasta Pesto

The original recipe for this delicious pesto appeared back in May 2011 on Cooking with Candi.  Yummy Pesto was the title. This is the same recipe from my BFF Suki. I have tried many pesto sauces and this remains my absolute go to favorite. It is super easy and while the basil is abundant you should make it and freeze it. When you freeze the pesto in a container, pour a thin layer of olive oil over the top . I have it frozen for up to 3 months. I use it on chicken, pasta, and it’s wonderful as a spread. This recipe is good for 2 lbs. of pasta usually. So I use 1/2 and freeze the rest if it’s just the 2 of us.

Pesto Chicken on the Grill with Grilled Peppers and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

DSCN3588

Fresh Basil

If you are going to use on chicken , just brush on the chicken sprinkle a tiny bit of  kosher salt on it and  let it marinate for a few hours at least and it can be marinated  overnight in the refrigerator. Take it out of fridge and let it sit at room temp. before putting on the grill. That’s it!

*You’ll need a food processor

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh basil (washed)

1/2 cup romano cheese (grated)

1/2 cup parmesan cheese ( grated)

1/2 cup pignolli nuts or walnuts

1 cup extra virgin olive oil–use a good one

1 – 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter (it’s good if the butter is softened before adding) you can soften in microwave

4 cloves garlic – peeled and whole

freshly ground black pepper–to taste

*kosher salt to taste if you feel you need it after finished making pesto

Directions:

I put all ingredients except for olive oil in the food processor. Give it a few grinds using the blade attachment. Then I slowly add in the olive oil through the top of processor while it’s on. Beautiful green pesto! so easy. Taste for salt and pepper

Cook pasta and drain and add pesto. Done!

Kale and Pasta Perfection

photo 4 (40) photo 2 (43) photo 3photo 5 (34) photo 1 (56) photo 1 (55) photo 3 (44)Our daughter Kerri is out visiting in Colorado and it’s a great opportunity not only to ski with her and enjoy our time together but to cook vegetarian style for her. I have been saving this one for her because we all know what a waste this would be for just Joel. I made Joel a separate Bowties Pasta with Turkey Sausage, Peas and Mushrooms which if you have never made you really must check out, it’s on my blog under that title originally posted on July ’11. (see in photo)   I used a Fusilli type short pasta which was perfect. This dish really was so super easy to put together and it will now become one of my go-to pasta dishes for sure. I was also able to buy the Kale from Whole Foods chopped and cleaned already, which only made the prep that much easier . I would say total prep even if you have to chop and clean kale would only be 20 minutes . Super healthy and the kale turned a beautiful shade of deep green and the flavor is amazing. I of course added a little crushed red pepper , just 1/4 teaspoon which is enough for a bit of heat but not too much at all. You can moderate this to your own taste.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of Kale , I bought a bag of cleaned , chopped Kale and it was perfect. I used one bag of chopped and cleaned Kale.

4 cloves garlic, chopped

3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons to cook kale and 1 tablespoon at the end

1/2 cup water

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 box  (1 lb.) short pasta like fusilli , I used DeCecco brand Fusilli Corti Bucatini which worked out beautifully. Any short macaroni will do.

3/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

Cook pasta according to box directions for al dente.  Make sure you reserve 1 cup of pasta water before you drain pasta. Start to boil water as you prepare the kale.

Prepare the Kale if you can’t find the chopped and cleaned version. Pull the kale leaves from the stems, discard the hard stems and tear the leaves into small pieces. Wash Kale. A salad spinner is perfect for this task.

Chop the garlic.

Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large skillet type pot, large enough to hold and cook all of kale. Heat oil till it shimmers for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1/2 minute. Add the kale and toss with tongs if you have them coating the kale with the oil and garlic as you go. Then add the 1/2 cup of water, cover and cook , stirring a few times and cooking the kale until it is tender 7-10 minutes. Stir in the salt, pepper and crushed red pepper. Remove from the heat.

Your pasta should be ready by now and you should have your reserved cup of pasta water handy. Drain the pasta.

Add the pasta to the kale in the pan you were using and turn the heat on to a medium heat. Add about 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water. Bring to a low simmer, add the parmesan cheese and stir, using a wooden spoon to mix till cheese melts and coats the pasta. If you need a little more liquid you can use the little bit of pasta water left. Keep stirring until it’s nice and creamy. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Taste for Salt and Pepper. Mine was perfect . Serve with a fresh hunk of Parmesan Cheese for grating in a little extra and a little more crushed red pepper.

Perfection.

Potato – Zucchini Latkes for Chanukah

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Jenn’s Potato Latkes

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Jenn’s Potato Latkes

Chanukah is here if you can believe it!  These tasty little pancakes are perfect for the holiday and really any day.   Most perfect of all is that you can cook them, freeze them and have them for whenever you want. They make a great appetizer or side dish. My experience with latkes is that they never really taste as good as when you first fry them, but that’s such an impossible task with people waiting to eat and having fifty million other things to do. Latkes are the ultimate comfort food. This is just a little twist on the traditional potato latke .  Usually about 2 – 2 1/2 inches in diameter is the right size, but it’s up to you. Not sure where this recipe hails from. The original from my Grandmother, but the zucchini was added later. My grandmother didn’t own a food processor and it’s a game changer, just makes it so much simpler to do.  I loved my Grandmother’s latkes and not quite sure what she did to make them so delicious but I try my best.

Happy Chanukah!

If you’re not into the zucchini thing just add 2 more potatoes and omit the zucchini. My daughter Jennifer made these with no zucchini and said they were amazing. I posted her pictures of her potato latkes.

Delicious served with applesauce , that’s how we do it here.

Ingredients:

6 russet potatoes, peeled and quartered (for food processor)

2 zucchini, cut into large chunks (for food processor)

1 spanish onion, peeled, and cut into quarters (for food processor)

4 eggs, beaten

1 – 2 teaspoons kosher salt ( more to taste) tasting is key here , potatoes can be very bland

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2/3 cup matzoh meal or bread crumbs ( if you’re making for Passover it’s perfect with matzoh meal)

Vegetable oil for frying

*applesauce for dipping ( optional) this is what we use

* sour cream ( optional) if you like

Directions:

Using the grater blade for the food processor, grate the onions, potatoes, and zucchini. A little trick to these latkes is to drain out as much of the liquid as possible, so I literally squeeze out every drop of liquid with my hands. I let each vegetable sit in a colander to drain as I grate the next one.

In a separate bowl, beat together the eggs, salt and pepper. Add it to the potato mixture and combine well. Next, add the matzoh meal or bread crumbs.  Taste for salt (start with 1 teaspoon and add more if needed, this is very important for flavor.

Heat oil in a large, heavy skillet or cast iron skillet, over a high flame. You want the oil very hot. I test the oil with a drop of water–when it sizzles, it is ready to fry. I put about 2 inches of oil in the pan, you may need to add more as you start frying. Form pancakes about 2 inches in diameter, place (very) carefully into the oil, and when the edges start to crisp up, turn them over and continue cooking until golden. If you like them flat and crispier, then flatten them out with a spatula while cooking and start with a little less.

*I like the oil to be clean as I fry a lot, so if it starts to run down I usually pour it out, wipe pan with paper towel and add fresh new oil. This is only in the event the oil starts to get very dark from the potatoes. It may not be necessary but sometimes it is. They will just fry up better.

Let the pancakes cool off, and serve plain or with sour cream or applesauce on the side. If you are freezing them, let cool completely first, then I usually use a Hefty Ziploc freezer bag. Mark them with the date, and take them out the night before you need them. They should stay for at least a month in freezer, and probably longer.

*to re-heat I like to use the oven at 350 degrees on a cookie sheet for about 15 mins. depending on how thick they are. Spray the cookie sheet with Pam Spray and you may want to flip them over 1/2 way through. Make sure they are heated throughout. Serve with some of that homemade applesauce on my blog. Enjoy!