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Polenta is one of those things that makes you wonder exactly what you’ve been doing with your life. OK, that’s an overstatement, but still, you can whip up this delicious, rich, corny and creamy side dish in about fifteen minutes with minimal work and expense. It’s only about three ingredients.

I buy polenta – rough ground cornmeal – from the Whole Foods bulk bins, and it’s comically cheap. If you’re waiting for the catch, the catch is that it took you (however many years old you are) to figure this out, and what’s your excuse? Or maybe you knew all about polenta — knew about it your whole life, in fact. Well, good for you.

In any event, I like to serve this as with meats braised in a savory sauce, like short ribs in red wine, or anywhere you’d normally serve mashed potatoes. It’s also great the next day under a fried egg, for breakfast.

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Polenta with Butter and Parmesan
Ingredients
  • 1 cup polenta (rough ground cornmeal)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 large chunk parmesan (about 1/4 cup after blending)
  • Salt to taste
Directions
  1. Blend parmesan in Magic Bullet.
  2. In a large pot, heat four cups of water and a big pinch of salt over high heat.
  3. When the water is boiling, add the polenta bit by bit, whisking all the while.
  4. Reduce heat to low and cook about eleven minutes until the polenta is very thick.
  5. Turn off the heat and add the butter and then, gradually, the parmesan cheese. Keep whisking and taste for salt.
  6. Serve with a saucy dish.
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An ice pop is more than just a tasty treat. It’s a symbol of happiness, nostalgia and friendship (I’m allowed to be sentimental!). Who isn’t having a great time while eating an ice pop? And now with the help of the Magic Bullet, it’s also incredibly easy to make! This recipe combines fresh watermelon, strawberry and some lime juice into a delicious treat you’ll be making for yourself and friends time and again.

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Ingredients

  • 3 Cups Chopped Watermelon
  • 3 Strawberries
  • 3 Tbsp Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Lime juice

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Instructions

1) Chop watermelon. Combine with lime juice in Magic Bullet and blend.

 

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2) Chop strawberries.

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3) Add to Magic Bullet and blend once more, roughly (this is so we get some pieces of strawberry in our pops!)

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Remember: having sticky hands means you’re having fun.

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Have you ever seen golden beets? They’re a rare find, but I strongly prefer golden beets over red because they have a much more subtle flavor, but are still really healthy for you!

Recently, I discovered they go incredibly well in pastas. Bake them in the oven, peel them, chop them up and toss them together with steamed kale, pine nuts, bow tie pasta and a light alfredo sauce quickly whipped up in your Magic Bullet and you have yourself a deliciously healthy comfort dish.

Didn’t know healthy comfort dishes existed? Try this one, it’ll surely change your mind!

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Golden Beet Farfalle
Ingredients
  • 1 pound farfalle (bowtie) pasta
  • 3 large golden beets
  • 2 cups chopped, cooked kale
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • ½ tsp. lemon pepper
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ⅔ cup Parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)
  • ½ cup 1% milk
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
Directions
  1. Add the olive oil, Parmesan cheese, milk and garlic to your small Magic Bullet cup and blend. Set aside.
  2. Wrap the beets in foil and bake them in the oven at 425 degrees F for 45 minutes, or until tender.
  3. Allow them to cool, then peel and cube them and toss into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and add to the mixing bowl.
  5. Add the kale, pine nuts and alfredo sauce to the mixing bowl and toss well.
  6. Serve warm and top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 servings.

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Here’s an easy, delicious side salad that goes well with almost anything. Bitter arugula contrasts nicely with sweet corn, made flavorful by browning in a pan, and rich, fragrant, and sweet shallots – all cut by a simple lemony vinaigrette that’s deliciously tart. This is incredibly easy – I used frozen corn – and hits all the flavor receptacles in your brain. Hat tip to Blue Apron for coming up with the recipe idea.

I served this with some salmon “croquettes” from Trader Joe’s, warmed up in the oven and served on toast with mayo. The lemon in the vinaigrette really cut the fattiness of the salmon, and the salad has enough going on that the meal is really well rounded. I happened to have some avocado lying around so I threw that in too just for good measure.

Make sure to really get the corn good and brown for extra flavor. Of course, you could use freshly shucked corn, and that’d be even better, but we’re not really seeing that in the farmers markets around here anymore.

 

Magic Bullet Recipe Shallot-Corn Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients

Magic Bullet Recipe Shallot-Corn Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette Ingredients in Magic Bullet

Magic Bullet Recipe Shallot-Corn Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette Delicious Meal

 

Shallot-Corn Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • ½ lb frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 bag arugula
  • 3 shallots, peeled and sliced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable or olive oil
  • chunks of avocado, to taste
Directions
  1. Melt butter in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, then add the corn and cook until quite brown.
  2. Blend lemon juice and oil in Magic Bullet.
  3. Mix arugula and shallot-corn mixture, dress with the vinaigrette, and add avocado if you like. Serve with a salmon sandwich or anything, really.

Enjoy!

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If you like sweet potatoes, you’re in for a treat, my friend!

These lovely sweet potatoes are baked twice. Why? First to cook the filling, which is then blended together with milk, butter, and spices in the Magic Bullet and then stuffed back into the sweet potato shell and baked again. Oh, and don’t forget the sweet pecan topping, which bakes to perfection during the second baking session. I would almost consider these twice-baked sweet potatoes a dessert, but they also make a healthy side dish to almost any meal you can have.

Enjoy!

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Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes
Ingredients
  • 2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and dried
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • Handful chopped pecans
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
Directions
  1. Bake the sweet potatoes in the oven at 375 degrees F for 1 hour, or until a fork easily pierces through.
  2. Cool to touch, then slice off the top third of each potato and scoop out most of the filling (leaving some to keep the shell stable) into your Magic Bullet cup.
  3. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, butter, and milk and blend.
  4. Scoop the filling back into the potato shells and sprinkle with pecans and brown sugar.
  5. Bake in the oven for 15 more minutes.

Makes 2 sweet potatoes.

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Lasagna noodles should not be used for anything other than lasagna!

Well… Or you can also break them up and use them in a delicious pasta just like any other pasta, except with nice chewiness and softness and breadth and all the things that you love about lasagna with completely different flavors. So there’s that.

This is a nice, basically one-pot meal; you cook the sweet potatoes in the same pot as the noodles with delicious butter, thyme, and garlic, and add creamy ricotta to pull it all together. (It’s lasagna. There should be ricotta.)

As a cheffy extra step, the fresh sage is also fried in butter and dried on paper towels to make it extra crunchy and delicious. You can skip that if you don’t want crispy, fried delicious crunch and sage flavor on your pasta… But you do want that, don’t you?

Adapted from Food52.

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Lasagna Noodles with Sweet Potato, Ricotta, and Sage
Ingredients
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” cubes
  • ½ pound lasagna noodles
  • 3-4 Tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 bunch sage, leaves removed
  • leaves from a few sprigs of thyme
Directions
  1. Bring a pot of heavily salted water to boil. Add the potatoes and cook until soft, about ten minutes. Remove to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  2. Break the noodles in half and add to the water. Cook until al dente.
  3. Meanwhile, blend the garlic and thyme leaves in your Magic Bullet.
  4. Add butter to a pan over medium heat. Wait until butter is melted and beginning to foam, then add the sage and cook until crispy. Remove to paper towel-lined plated with a slotted spoon.
  5. Add the garlic-thyme mixture to the butter and cook until fragrant, just 30 seconds.
  6. Mix together the garlic, thyme, and butter with the sweet potatoes and noodles in a bowl. Salt to taste. Serve with the fried sage on top.

Enjoy!

My husband’s favorite food has always been tacos, and sometimes it’s hard to switch up the flavors on something that wows him!

Luckily, I know he loves spice, especially the kind that wakes him up! 😉 This sauce has been made repeatedly and added to pretty much everything he eats. Quesadillas, tacos, sandwiches, burgers, dips for French fries, you name it! If you have a spice-lover in your life, this sauce has their name written all over it!

Give it a try on these super easy-t0-make tacos that won’t take you very long at all, and use the leftover sauce on your favorite dish.

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Spicy Chipotle Adobo Sauce on Black Bean Tacos
Ingredients

For the Sauce

  • ¾ cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, or 1 for less spice
  • 1 tsp. adobo sauce, or ½ tsp. for less spice
  • Zest of 1 lime
  • Juice of ½ lime

For the Tacos

  • Corn tortillas
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • ½ onion
  • 2 Tbsp chopped garlic
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. cumin

Taco Toppings

  • chopped lettuce
  • cilantro
  • limes
Directions
  1. In your Magic Bullet, add the yogurt, peppers, lime zest, lime juice, and adobo sauce. Blend until pureed. Add to a bowl and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Heat a skillet on medium heat. Add your olive oil, onions, and garlic. Cook 2-3 minutes, then add your black beans and spices. Cook until the beans are heated through.
  3. Assemble your tacos with lettuce, cilantro, beans, and adobo sauce. Squeeze some lime juice on top and enjoy!

Hey, what if you could make a pasta dish that was rich and satisfying and perfect for any day? Okay, that’s sort of my mantra (or is it my chakra?) but, in any event, this is an earthy and creamy dish that is pretty low in fat and makes a perfect weeknight dinner in 30 minutes or less. Sold? Sold.

Adapted from Martha Stewart, that old so-and-so. Serve with truffle oil and/or pinot noir.

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Pasta with Mushroom

Pasta with Mushroom and Ricotta Cream Sauce
Ingredients
  • 2/3 pound rigatoni, or other pasta
  • 1 Tbsp butter, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth (I use Better than Bouillon)
  • 1 pound white or crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp. thyme, picked from sprigs
  • Juice from ½ of a lemon
  • Parmesan cheese, to taste
Directions
  1. Boil pasta in heavily salted water until al dente or just short of al dente.
  2. In a large pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, about five minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, blend the garlic and the thyme in the Magic Bullet. Add the garlic and thyme to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add mushrooms; season with salt and pepper and cook until browned, about eight minutes. Meanwhile, stir up the ricotta and the chicken broth in your Magic Bullet.
  5. Remove skillet from heat and stir together pasta, ricotta sauce, lemon juice, chicken broth, mushrooms, and any extra butter or pasta cooking water, as desired. Stir until everything is warmed and the pasta is well-coated with the sauce and mushrooms.
  6. Serve, passing parmesan.

Enjoy!

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This much is clear: if you can make stovetop macaroni and cheese that is much more delicious than what comes from the box in less than half an hour with minimal ingredients, you must do it.

This recipe is from The Food Lab, Kenji Lopez-Alt’s newish tome of a book about all things food science, or rather recipes involving food science. The real, secret strength of this recipe is the way that it gets gooey and delicious, while maintaining that great cheese flavor that mac and cheese is all about. This miracle is accomplished with a few special ingredients: cornstarch and evaporated milk, rather than a béchamel, provide creaminess without any off-tasting or gritty flour, and just a touch of American cheese allows for the cheese to melt through and through. An egg also adds amazing pasta-grabbing ability.

The best part? Virtually no technique is required. Just boil up some pasta and throw all the ingredients together. Grate your cheese in the Magic Bullet and mix – and that’s it!

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Stovetop Mac and Cheese

Adapted from The Food Lab by J. Kenji López-Alt

Ingredients
  • 1/2 pound elbow macaroni
  • 1 5-ounce can evaporated milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 pound extra-sharp cheddar
  • 1/4 pound American cheese
  • 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, cut into hunks
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce, or to taste
  • frozen peas, optional, to taste
Directions
  1. Cook pasta in heavily salted water until barely al dente. Optional: add frozen peas about a minute before the pasta is done.
  2. Blend the cheeses in the Magic Bullet, then move them to a bowl with the cornstarch and stir. Add the other ingredients (except the pasta!) to the Magic Bullet and blend or shake until well-mixed.
  3. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and return it to the saucepan. Over low heat, add the butter and then everything else. Season to taste with salt and serve while hot.

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If you love peanut butter like I do, you probably spend all your time trying to figure out how to work it into more recipes. For whatever reason, that’s not something that’s done very often, at least not here in the ol’ U. S. of A. But, as it turns out, in West Africa they use peanut butter to create a delicious and nutritious soup, loaded with lots of vegetables and sweet potatoes for a healthy, savory, creamy, peanut buttery delight. Even better, it all comes together in under an hour using tasty, fresh ingredients, making this a great weeknight dinner that’ll knock your family’s socks off.

I’ve adapted this recipe from a giant of Senegalese cooking, Mark Bittman. I’ve also added some extra-savory things to make it even tastier.

P.S. This reheats great the next day.

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Peanut Stew with Sweet Potatoes, Chicken, and Kale
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup peanuts
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 3-inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • ½ pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
  • 3 cups chicken broth (I use Better than Bouillon)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 very large sweet potato (about two pounds), peeled and sliced
  • 8 tomatoes from a can, roughly chopped or sliced
  • ½ pound kale, cut into ribbons (I used half of a big bag)
  • 1/3 cup natural, organic peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • Salt, to taste
  • Hot sauce, to taste
Directions
  1. Blend peanuts in your Magic Bullet until chopped (don’t make peanut butter) and remove to a bowl.
  2. Pour oil into a Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about five minutes.
  3. Blend the garlic and ginger in your Magic Bullet. Add to the pot and cook until fragrant, about a minute.
  4. Add chicken and continue cooking for another few minutes, until just coloring.
  5. Add the peanuts, chicken broth, water, and sweet potatoes.
  6. Bring to a boil over high heat, then turn heat down to medium-low.
  7. Stir in tomatoes and kale, then cook, stirring occasionally, until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  8. Add the peanut butter, soy sauce, and fish sauce, and stir until peanut butter is combined. Taste for salt and adjust thickness by adding more peanut butter or water. Serve, passing hot sauce.

Enjoy!