Tag Archives: vegetarian

Tortellini Primavera

This dinner was actually inspired by my absentmindedness to thaw the chicken breasts I had planned on grilling for dinner. Whoops! Oh well, this turned out just as tasty so no complaints here.

Once I realized that I needed to raid the fridge and “throw” something together, I started pulling out the fresh vegetables. We are big on meatless meals in the Frey household. Don’t get me wrong we love beef, chicken, pork, yada yada yada, but we like to incorporate a meatless meal at least once a week.

This tortellini primavera is not only easy and delicious but literally took me less than 20 minutes to prepare! Who’s in for that? It makes for the perfect weeknight meal, so skip those frozen dinners and salty takeout and get to chopping.

First I prepare the veggies I want to add. I pulled what I had in the fridge and that consisted of asparagus, tomatoes, zucchini and fresh basil. Chop vegetables as desired and put into a mixing bowl. Coat the vegetables with olive oil, garlic, S&P, and any other spices or seasonings you like.

While the water boils, saute the veggie mix in olive oil and turn in pan until desired firmness. I like my veggies with a little crunch…

Once the tortellini are finished (they only take a few minutes to cook and will float to the top when done) drain and then add the tortellini into the saute pan with veggies. Gently stir everything together so that the sauce begins to coat the pasta. Sprinkle some basil and grate some fresh cheese over the top and voila- dinner is done!

Here’s what you need:

-package of cheese tortellini
-2 medium zucchini
-2-3 garlic cloves, minced
-cherry tomatoes
-asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
-fresh basil
-extra virgin olive oil
-s&p to taste
-freshly grated Parmesan or other hard cheese

From Our Kitchen to Yours, 

~Melissa 

 

 

 

 

Fresh Off The Vine

It’s almost that time of year again…tomato season is just around the corner, pretty soon you will see an abundance of these beauties stocked up at your local store or farmers market.

Call me weird, but I love the smell of freshly picked tomatoes off the vine. It reminds me of summer ahhhh. We normally plant tomatoes in our garden, but unfortunately this year we didn’t get around to prepping the garden boxes in our new home in time for the season 😦 Oh well, there’s always next year. Last season we planted over 32 tomato plants…they were literally coming out of our ears! But we enjoyed using them in different recipes, we even made and canned our own tomato sauce. Yum yum, that will have to be another post. Our friends and family definitely were not complaining about our plethora of red beauties.

Did you know there are over 10,000 known varieties of tomatoes? Wowza! It can be overwhelming when trying to decide what kind you want to plant. Here are some of our favorites:

San Marzano – great for sauces
Sungold Cherries – explosive sweet flavor that is amazing in a salad or just snacking on
Radiator Charlies Mortgage Lifter – think tomato and burrata salad! Or piled on a juicy hamburger or sandwich!

Here is a quick and flavorful way to prepare tomatoes to add to pasta (check out my Chicken Caprese Casarecce Pasta recipe), fish or chicken dishes. You can even serve this as a healthy, vegetable side dish.

Sauteed Garlic Tomatoes:

Heat 1-2 tbsp. olive oil in a saute pan
Add in 3-4 fresh garlic cloves, minced
Dice your cherry tomatoes into halves
Saute the tomatoes in the garlic and olive oil over medium heat until tomatoes soften and absorb the flavors of the garlic
S&P to taste and that’s it!

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Who said cooking was a lot of work?! Enjoy.

From our kitchen to yours,

Melissa

Mediterranean Couscous

This delicious mediterranean couscous side dish is wonderful served with fish or chicken or even enjoyed as leftovers the next day, simply add to a bed of mixed greens and drizzle with a vinaigrette dressing.

Ingredients:

12-15 cherry tomatoes, sliced in quarters
2 tbsp. olive oil
3-5 garlic cloves
s&p to taste
1 c pearl (Israeli) couscous
12-15 kalamata olives, sliced in half
1 tbsp fresh mint
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp. fresh parsley
1 1/4 c chicken broth
fresh lemon juice

Cook the couscous according to the directions on the package. Use chicken broth in lieu of the water. This will add additional flavor to the couscous without adding additional salt.

While the couscous cooks, heat the olive oil over med-high heat in a saute pan. Add halved cherry tomatoes and heat until the tomatoes start to soften, add in chopped garlic cloves and saute until the garlic becomes fragrant but keep an eye so you don’t burn.

Add the cooked couscous into the saute pan with the tomato and garlic mixture. Add in sliced olives and fresh herbs. Mix all until well combined and heated through. S&P to taste and then squeeze some fresh lemon juice to taste.

That’s it, pretty simple and super fast. Enjoy!

From our kitchen to yours,

~Melissa

Vegan Ramen? Yes Please! 

I have been on a ramen kick lately…and I mean big time! I seriously could eat it every week! There is just something so comforting about it and of course…love the noodles. It’s been a challenge for me to find the right place that has a decent tasting vegetarian ramen with lots of veggies and goodies. Although, I am not vegan nor vegetarian, but I am pretty particular with meat. I love chicken, fish, pork and beef but when it comes to ramen…I prefer the veggie or vegan option, I know call me weird 🙂Greg and I discovered Tajima, a local japanese restaurant here in San Diego. They have a few locations, but we prefer to go to the convoy location. The wait is never unbearable and the food is consistent. We always start off with the fresh made gyoza. One of the best I have EVER had and I love gyoza. I’ll get a pic next time we go, you won’t have to wait that long 😉
The vegan ramen is packed full of veggies like asparagus, shitake mushrooms, corn, bean sprouts, green onion, cabbage and mixed green salad. I order it with the spicy broth to kick it up a notch! Greg usually gets the standard pork ramen with lots of extras. I’ll snap a pic of that as well!

The service is great and like I said, the food is consistent. They serve a wide variety of craft brews, sake and wine. The atmosphere is casual and very relaxed, they tend to play the “club hits” now and then and that will get you questioning where you are…”wait yes we are at a ramen house not da club” haha but no worries here, it’s a trendy place and we would recommend it to anyone visiting San Diego looking for some good authentic japanese cuisine and ramen. You won’t be disappointed.

Grab your chopsticks and check it out today! Tajima San Diego Website

Sizzling Chicken Fajitas 

Chicken fajitas has to be one of my favorite dishes to make. It’s simple, healthy and you can whip it up pretty fast on a busy weeknight. I usually make chicken fajitas, but you could also make this with beef, pork or shrimp. If you are looking for a vegetarian option, sliced portobello mushrooms make a nice addition and give the fajitas substance paired with the peppers and onions. 
Not only do these chicken fajitas taste amazing, the aroma of the peppers and onions sauteing makes your mouth water. This meal is great served with your favorite Mexican toppings like cheese, avocado, sour cream, salsa, freshly sliced jalapeno, and cilantro. My husband loves fresh flour tortillas on the side. However, when I am looking to lighten up the dish, I prefer enjoying mine as a “fajita bowl” and omit the extra carbs from the tortillas.

There is one secret to knocking your fajitas out of the park…make your own fajita seasoning. I’m telling you, ditch the packaged stuff and take the extra 5 minutes to mix up the tasty blend of seasonings. The packaged mixes are convenient yes, but did you know they contain unnatural ingredients and preservatives like modified corn starch and corn syrup, all things that don’t make your meal taste any better…they are just there for filler.

So I will share my recipe with you and I promise you’ll want to take the extra time, plus you can make a bulk batch and keep it on hand in your spice drawer.

Homemade Fajita Seasoning:

2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp white sugar
2 tsp chicken bouillon powder
1 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like spicy- I always add more)
1 tsp ground cumin

Fajita Ingredients:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 orange or yellow bell pepper
1 medium yellow or white onion

Cut bell peppers in 1/2 inch wide strips and slice the onion. Place the peppers and onions to the side. Slice chicken breast into 1 inch wide pieces. In a medium saute pan, heat 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Add chicken and brown over med-high heat or until the chicken is visibly cooked but not complete done. Remove and set aside.

Crank back up the heat to high and add a little oil if needed. Once the oil is hot, add the onions and peppers. Saute for about 5 minutes or so then turn the heat back down to medium. Add the chicken back into the pan and start adding the homemade fajita seasoning. Once the seasoning is well mixed and the chicken is completely cooked through you’re done!

Serve with tortillas and top with your favorite Mexican accouterments like: sour cream, cheddar cheese, avocado, jalapeno, cilantro, salsa etc. Enjoy!