Well, we made it to Friday again. Whew! That was a long one.

Old Montreal | Garlic, My Soul

Last week I was in Montreal for work, and today I head off on an exciting Avocado-themed weekend (more on that next week.) For this week, here are some things bouncing about in my head:

1. Speaking of avocados, this is an interesting article sent to me by not one but two friends who are concerned with the avocado situation (and want me to do something about it (which I am on)). As we head into a deeper drought and people really start to be aware of what’s going on in California, it’ll be interesting to see how the food world morphs.

2. This article about gut health and arthritis. Two people near and dear to GMS have RA and we’re glad to know there is research being done. I think the more research is done, the more will prove how important diet is to health over all – not just fitness, but diseases, allergies, etc. It’s time to get back to the earth…

Pollinators | Whole Foods Market

3. Speaking of which, Happy Earth Day Week! Did you do anything for the holiday? This really cool site from Whole Foods Market about pollinators makes my heart sing. A lot of you know I avoid almonds (even though I love them) because of the monoculture that they bring to California, and the way that affects, among other things, the bees. I am BEYOND excited to see that Whole Foods Market has introduced Pollinator Friendly Almonds and Almond Butter. Beyond. Like, going this weekend to get some. Look for some more almond recipes in the near future.

4. If there was ever a 30 before 30 worthy of GMS, it’s this one. This list of 30 recipes from the Kitchn will really up your kitchen game. If you live in LA and want help making any, give your girl a holla and I’ll come over.

5. Speaking of LA, you might have noticed that the blog now has my picture instead of Corelyn and me, and maybe that I’ve started saying I a lot. WELL that’s because Corelyn recently moved to Atlanta to, among other things, be closer to her family. While we were sad to see her go, I know that this just means we now have a BBQ in and a tree-centric city to retreat to when the palm trees get old. We are excited for her new adventures, and let’s be real – I still text her about blog related stuff on the regular.

99days

6. BONUS NUMBER 6: You guys might not know this, but I happen to have had the coolest RA turned best friend in college. She is an author, and her book, 99 Days, came out this week. Katie Cotugno is a rockstar and her first book, How to Love, was a hit too. Get at reading them and tell me what you think!

Anyways, that’s what’s going on here. We hope that you had a great week, and that you have a good weekend planned…are you cooking anything up?

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Shells with Green Peas, Mint, and Ricotta | Garlic, My Soul

Confession time: I didn’t so much make this recipe as supervise it from my kitchen counter while my husband JW did the dirty work.

I feel the need to share the truth with you on that matter. Moving along…

I was so excited to write this post, because we’ve moved onto spring-like recipes in Chicago, because it’s spring here, finally.

And then yesterday, it snowed.

I can’t even discuss it.

Until it finally warms up around here though, you’ve got this dish to keep you warm. Adjusted from Bon Appetit, it incorporates light spring flavors (think peas, mint, and ricotta) with what you need to satisfy you before grilling life takes over (warm pasta and BACON). If I did it again I’d pay attention to the pasta shape, but I could not find fregola for the life of me, so I used medium shells.

Medium shells have always been my jam.

Also, if I was you, I would either up the liquid, or cut it by half. I couldn’t decide if this was a soup or a sauce, and there is no need to be confused at the dinner table.

Confusing or not, this was a delicious entry into springtime (and it was fun to watch Theo throw peas around the kitchen), and I hope you enjoy it (and that it’s warmer in your neighborhood than mine)!

Shells with Green Peas, Mint, and Ricotta | Garlic, My Soul

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

8 oz. medium shells
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 slices bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
2½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas (we went a little nuts here and used like 3, I think anywhere from 1-2 cups would work)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
4 ounces ricotta
s & p

Directions:

1. Cook pasta in boiling water until very al dente, 7 minutes. Drain pasta and set aside, for now.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet (cast iron is my favorite) over medium and cook bacon, until brown around the edges, about 5 minutes.  Note: You probably don’t need the oil, since you’re cooking fatty bacon. I’d omit this, next time. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until bacon is crispy and the onion is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
3. Add wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until skillet is almost dry, about 5 minutes. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Add pasta and cook, until pasta is just al dente and broth is thickened, about 5 minutes. Note: Our broth never really thickened, so beware. We just poured a little bit out.
4. Season with salt and pepper to your heart’s desire. Add peas and chopped mint and cook, stirring, until peas are warmed through, about 4 minutes.
5. Serve topped with ricotta dollops, which make the whole thing amazing. Enjoy!

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Earth Day 2015 | It's Our Turn to Lead

Happy Earth Day, chickens! I love Earth Day because I love earth but also because I love telling you guys how easy it is to do small things to help change the world.

Now, I know that the world came seem overwhelming – there is so much going on, so much to see, so much to do, so many changes that would make climate change slow or food issues less problematic that sometimes it’s all we can do to get through the day without a mild panic attack.

But there are so many small things you can do today – right now! – that can help change the course of this planet. There are a ton of activities here, but for the purpose of food and saving Mother Earth, we’ve got a simple one: eat less meat. Now, we love meat at GMS, but meat takes a lot of water to produce (I am particularly sensitive to this one right now due to the drought) and increases your carbon footprint. (More here.)

To help you curb your meat intake, I have gone back and found five great recipes you can make that’ll fill up you and your family and lower your carbon footprint. Even those who cannot imagine a meal without meat will be happy – trust me.

5 Meatless Main Courses

Baked Lemon Pasta | Garlic, My Soul

Baked Lemon Pasta – this is one of our favorite recipes. It’s filling, it’s tart and creamy, and it makes excellent leftovers. Add some peas or kale to up your veggie game, and don’t skimp on the fresh parsley.

Portabella Mushroom Pizza | Garlic, My Soul

Portobello Mushroom Pizza - You could make regular pizza topped with delish veggies, too, but why not really impress with mushroom pizzas? These are full of flavor, can be personalized, and are simply fun to make. While we do use bacon in this recipe, it’s easy to leave off and swap with something – might we suggest  tomatoes?

Vegetarian Chili | Garlic, My Soul

Sweet Potato Chili - This dish is so filling, it’ll fool the most Vegetarian-phobic family member. Trust us. It’s chocked full of sweet potatoes, beans, and tomatoes, and can be topped with avocado for extra creaminess.

Strawberry Spinach Salad | Garlic, My Soul

Spinach & Strawberry Salad – this one is on the lighter side but is a perfect lunch. The nuts really elevate it to be filling, and the burrata will leave you smiling wide.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes | Garlic, My Soul

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes - Breakfast for dinner, anyone? It’s an easy way to avoid meat altogether. We love this light lemon ricotta pancakes with maple syrup and a side of fresh fruit.

Are you celebrating earth day? Do you regularly participate in #MeatlessMonday?

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DSC_0080

We made it past Monday. I think this means we deserve a treat, don’t you?

Now, I love chocolate ice cream. Anyone who knows me know this to be true – chocolate anything trumps vanilla, hands down. I also happen to love coffee more than most things on the planet. Recently I had it in my head that I wanted to make an affogato, which is basically ice cream and espresso, but I was going to do it my way.

First of all, I don’t have an espresso maker, so double-strength coffee worked for me. Simply brew half the water with the same amount of coffee you normally would use, and you’re golden. Secondly, affogatos usually have vanilla ice cream, but I wasn’t buying that. I used chocolate, and I was not disappointed.

Chocolate Cayenne Affogato | Garlic, My Soul

I used a big ole scoop of ice cream and about 2 ounces of piping hot coffee, and I was beyond the moon in happiness. This is the perfect mid-afternoon treat to let your spirits soar.

Chocolate Cayenne Affogato | Garlic, My Soul

A big dash of cayenne really takes this a step above, so I recommend you add that, too. It’s kind of got that Mexican hot chocolate vibe to it. Now, take your affogato outside and just relish in the flavors and the moment. You won’t regret it.

Ingredients:

1 scoop chocolate ice cream
2 oz double strength coffee
dash cayenne pepper

Directions:

1. Make coffee (double strength.)
2. When coffee is ready, scoop ice cream into glass.
3. Top with 2 ounces or so of coffee, and a hearty dash of cayenne.
4. Enjoy with a spoon and maybe a straw, too!

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Savory GF Bread Pudding | Garlic, My Soul

Recently, we had a craving for gluten free bread pudding. After some poking around we didn’t find a recipe that quite fulfilled the craving, so we used a few as guidance, mostly Noshing with the Nolands, and struck out on our own.

From this experiment we learned the following: bread goes a long way. You probably don’t need as much as you think.

This recipe creation reminded us that experimenting in the kitchen is a process. Dishes are not going to be perfect the first time around, and good recipes and balance take time to develop. We all need to cut ourselves slack sometimes – the truth is if it turns out on the wet or on the dry side you can’t go wrong with baked bread, cheese, and vegetables.

Adjust the ratios of wet to dry ingredients to make this recipe just how you like it. Some people like wet bread pudding (like me!) and some people like dry (like Jennie); we think that this ratio turned out to be a good balance between the two.

Savory GF Bread Pudding | Garlic, My Soul

Ingredients:

10 oz. gf bread, cubed (we used Udi’s hamburger buns)
5 ounces of cubed brown portabella mushroom caps (or mushrooms of your choice)
1 head broccollini, rough chopped
4 leaves of kale, rough chopped
¼ white onion, rough chopped
10 halved sundried tomatoes
6 eggs
1 cup of milk
8 oz. fontina, cubed
parmesan, for topping
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1) Cube gf bread and toast at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes or until slightly browned
2) Rough chop broccolini, mushrooms, kale, and onion and saute in wok until kale is wilted.
3) Mix toasted bread, vegetables, and fontina in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4) In a separate bowl mix eggs and milk then add to bread, vegetable, and cheese mixture.
5) Place mixture in greased baking pan, top with parmesan cheese and bake for 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees. Use foil for last 10-15 minutes if browning too quickly.

Savory GF Bread Pudding | Garlic, My Soul Savory GF Bread Pudding | Garlic, My Soul

What recipe have you been perfecting in your kitchen?

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