Tag Archives: pasta

Stubb’s ‘Triple B’ Pasta Salad

Stubb’s ‘Triple B’ Pasta Salad

Stubbs Pasta Salad 2 sm.jpg

If you’re tired of the same old go-to sides for your summer parties and cookouts, then let me suggest trying something new to kick them up a bit. Stubb’s Legendary Bar-B-Q has an array of tasty sauces, marinades, and rubs that are perfect for injecting new flavors into not only grilled meats, but also your sides and vegetables for holiday cookouts.

For this recipe, I took the classic party dish of pasta salad and gave it a sweet and smoky twist by making a barbecue ranch dressing with Stubb’s Sweet Heat Bar-B-Q Sauce (in place of a mayonnaise-only or vinaigrette). The smoky and slightly spicy chipotle peppers nicely complement the sweet brown sugar and molasses in the sauce. To further enhance the barbecue flavors, I added in tangy blue cheese crumbles and smoky peppered bacon. And of course, to add some healthfulness to the dish, I threw in veggies like broccoli, squash, corn and fresh tomatoes.

To make this recipe an even more appealing option to add to your table, it’s incredibly easy to throw together – simply cut up your veggies and make the dressing while the pasta cooks. Then mix it together and let it chill in the refrigerator for a few hours to overnight. This gives you plenty of time to work on other dishes and entertaining your guests.

If you’re going for a lighter, lower-calorie side, use Greek yogurt and/or light sour cream to make the dressing. Stubb’s products are great to use on your healthy fare because they don’t contain the fat, calories, or artificial flavors, ingredients or sweeteners you’ll see in many other similar products.

This summer, get creative with your food and look for Stubb’s to aid in creating some crowd-pleasing sides (and barbecue, of course).

Stubbs Pasta Salad 1 sm
Read the rest of this entry

Pumpkin and sage give macaroni and cheese an injection of autumn flavors

Pumpkin and sage give macaroni and cheese an injection of autumn flavors

Pumpkin Mac text

Since I’m still on my comfort food kick and totally inspired by the season, I decided to whip up another classic dish and given it an injection of autumn: baked macaroni and cheese with pumpkin and sage. Sure, mac and cheese is great as it is, but you’d be surprised how much better it can be with the addition of pumpkin, giving it the slightest hint of sweetness. Sage is my absolute favorite herb to cook with during the fall and it pairs perfectly with pumpkin, so I figured, why not throw it in this dish, too?

I also wanted to write up this particular recipe to teach you readers a thing or two about classic cooking techniques. I recently featured a recipe here that used the classic “mother sauce” Béchamel — milk thickened with a roux (equal parts fat and flour) to make a white sauce. This one uses the basics for Béchamel but adds cheese to it, thus making it a Mornay sauce (read: fancy name for cheese sauce). See? You can make easy, tasty food and learn some fancy cooking skills along the way.

While you can use just about any cheese you’d like for this recipe, I suggest using a white, mild-flavored cheese, like white cheddar, Gouda, or Gruyere, as it won’t overpower the pumpkin flavor or hide the bright yellow-orange hue imparted by the pumpkin puree. And while this mac and cheese doesn’t need to be baked after the creamy sauce is cooked, popping it in the oven gives it a firmer texture and and crispy exterior.
Read the rest of this entry

A fresh take on asparagus: Asparagus-Hazelnut Pesto with Mint

A fresh take on asparagus: Asparagus-Hazelnut Pesto with Mint

Asparagus Pesto 2_logo

Spring is in the air which means your local grocers will have their produce aisles stocked with plenty of colorful seasonal veggies. One of the most accessible vegetables during this time of the year is asparagus. This green, stalk-like vegetable (that’s infamous for making your pee smell funny) is fantastic because it’s so very versatile — you can boil, blanch, broil, grill, steam, saute, and even roast it.

But lately, I had become bored with asparagus because I’ve used it in almost every way possible, and in just about everything. (Except in my cereal. That would be gross.) Luckily, while perusing a recent issue of Food and Wine magazine, I stumbled upon a recipe that used asparagus as a base for pesto. Huzzah! I had to try it, but of course, put my own spin on it as well.

The original version is very similar to traditional Italian pesto, containing basil, olive oil, and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. I decided to use mint in place of basil as it adds a cooling note to the dish. My adaptation of the pesto will also put a spring in your step as it is lighter in calories than most other recipes. I didn’t use much oil in it (water is great for thinning it out without adding calories) and I omitted the Parmesan cheese that’s traditionally used in most pestos — therefore it’s also vegan. But I promise this recipe doesn’t sacrifice any of the flavor (but it’ll still probably make your pee smell funny).
Read the rest of this entry

It ain’t just for cookin’ rice: Rice cooker mac n’ cheese recipe (and more meal ideas)

It ain’t just for cookin’ rice: Rice cooker mac n’ cheese recipe (and more meal ideas)


The rice cooker was a lifesaver when making sushi in culinary school (and that’s about the only time we were allowed to use a household appliance). I found it to be useful because cooking rice perfectly on the stove is not as easy as one would think (and I’m not talking about the boil-in-bag kind). Outside of class, those cookers are convenient if you eat rice frequently, but never suited my personal cooking needs, or piqued my interest. Until I was shown the way, at least.

I was scrolling through my Google feeds — packed with various food blog posts — and stumbled upon an article about rice cookers from the New York Times. What’s this?! Not only can it cook perfect rice, but it can steam, bake, saute, braise, simmer, poach and more?

Turns out, you can make a whole meal in this contraption, and it doesn’t even have to include rice! Of course, you can make rice-based dishes such as pilafs, Italian risotto, Indian biriyani, Thai curry dishes, Chinese fried rice, rice pudding, etc. But you can also cook other grains and legumes — barley, oats, quinoa, lentils, beans — great bases for soups and one-pot meals. If you simply switch the machine to “cook” and let it heat up, you can also saute and braise. For example, to braise baby back ribs: add your liquid and ingredients of choice, close the lid and switch it to “cook.” It’ll be done in less than an hour.
Read the rest of this entry

Asian-inspired Soba Noodle Salad recipe

Asian-inspired Soba Noodle Salad recipe

soba

As the temperature starts to rise (at least in this part of the country), its time for some refreshing and simple dishes for those hotter days, like my Asian-inspired cold soba noodle salad. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour and have a heartier, more substantial texture than regular pasta noodles. In Japan, they’re used in a variety of ways throughout the year: cold in the summer in a salad (like this one) or hot in a soup or broth in the winter months, and in a multitude of variations. Surprisingly enough, soba noodles are now more widely available now bring in the ethnic aisle many grocery stores. Or you could take a culinary adventure to your local Asian market and pick up other interesting ingredients to play with.

Read the rest of this entry