Red Lentil Penne, Coconut Red Curry, Turmeric Yogurt #glutenfree

Red Lentil Penne, Coconut Red Curry, Turmeric Yogurt #glutenfree

Red Lentil Penne, Coconut Red Curry
Zucchini and Sweet Peppers, Turmeric Yogurt
Basil Scallion Chile Garnish

Would you believe that this is not a pasta dish? Actually, it is a lentil dish! Courtesy of my good friends at Explore Cuisine, red lentils are masquerading as pasta with a shape reminiscent of a pen or quill, aka penne. This penne is packed with protein and fiber, and is organic and gluten-free too.

Red Lentil Penne, Coconut Red Curry Recipe

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Spaghetti and Meatballs, Reimagined

Zucchini Quinoa Meatballs, Green Lentil Pappardelle, Fresh Tomato Sauce

Zucchini Quinoa Meatballs and Green Lentil Pappardelle
Fresh Organic Tomato Sauce with Basil, Parmesan

Imagine a super-moist, super-tasty meatball that has the added health benefits from green vegetable and quinoa. Imagine a pasta that is packed with protein, high in fiber, lower carb and gluten-free. Imagine skipping jarred sauce and preparing an easy homemade tomato sauce made from organic tomatoes and fresh basil. This is spaghetti & meatballs for 2017.

Zucchini Quinoa Meatballs, Green Lentil Pappardelle Recipe

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Italian Sausage, Balsamic Syrup

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Italian Sausage, Balsamic Syrup

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Italian Sausage, Balsamic Syrup

Last Thanksgiving’s Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Shards was such a hit, I’m going to add meat to the veggie dish again this year. Bacon and Brussels sprouts are a classic pairing, but for an unexpected twist, I’ll be serving the little brassicas with Italian sausage seasoned with fennel. Fennel seeds add interesting anise notes that complement and add complexity to the roasted sprouts.

A balsamic vinegar reduction will add sweet notes and enough acid to balance the rich sausage. A sprinkling of parsley will bring bright, fresh qualities. I’m confident that this side dish will be equally, if not more popular, than the bacon version. As a bonus, ease of preparation and a short ingredient list make this one a winner for the busy holiday cook (me).

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Italian Sausage Recipe

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Spaghetti AFRAID-O with White Carrot Phalanges

Spaghetti AFRAID-O with White Carrot Phalanges

Spaghetti AFRAID-O with White Carrot Phalanges

Are you wondering what to serve for dinner on HALLOWEEN night? Something delicious and nutritious to counter-balance all that candy? SCARE your family with Spaghetti AFRAID-O!

It is a downright DISTURBING dish where alfredo and marinara sauces depict DEATH or at the very least, some SEVERE INJURY as FINGER BONES are MANGLED among BLACK bean spaghetti.

The idea for this dish came to me in a NIGHTMARE, it is the second in a series of three original FRIGHTFULLY fun and flavorful BLACK bean spaghetti recipes developed for my friends at Explore Cuisine.

The challenge was to create three HORRIFYING recipes. They needed to be GORY yes, but also DEVILISHLY delicious. This one is organic, meatless, gluten-free, and lower-carb too.

Spaghetti AFRAID-O with White Carrot Phalanges

Spaghetti AFRAID-O Recipe

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Deviled Eyes Buried in Garlicky Black Bean Spaghetti Spoons

Deviled Eyes Nestled in Garlicky Black Bean Spaghetti Spoons

Deviled Eyes Buried in Garlicky Black Bean Spaghetti Spoons

Happy Halloween! DEVILED Eyes BURIED in Garlicky Black Bean Spaghetti Spoons are the first in a series of three original FRIGHTFULLY fun and flavorful BLACK bean spaghetti recipes developed for my friends at Explore Cuisine.

The challenge was to create three UNNERVING recipes with a GHOULISH bent. They needed to be CREEPY yes, but also DEVILISHLY delicious with a unique presentation – the first ones to DISAPPEAR from the halloween buffet.

To keep the VAMPIRES at bay, dish #1 is quite garlicky. BLACK spaghetti is tossed with olive oil, GARLIC, fresh herbs, red chile flakes and crumbled egg yolk, while EERIE eyeballs are flavored with GARLIC mayonnaise. BLOODSUCKERS BEWARE!

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Not Your Average Crudités Platter

Crudités Platter with Lemony Cauliflower Dip

Crudités Platter with Lemony Cauliflower Dip
Three Oils, Three Seasonings

There are literally hundreds of flavor combinations waiting to be discovered on this one platter. Try a crisp slice of cucumber with lemony cauliflower dip, dunk a sweet cherry tomato into chili oil then crust with sesame seeds, dip a peppery radish into olive oil then coat with za’atar…

Cauliflower makes its appearance as a lemony dip. Three oils (fruity olive oil, fiery chili oil, and toasted sesame oil) plus three seasonings (Maldon sea salt flakes, za’atar, and toasted sesame seeds) complement a vibrant array of fresh vegetables. Castelvetrano olives, basil, and edible flowers add another layer of flavor and interest to this appealing platter where guests can enjoy discussing their favorite combinations over cocktails.

Crudités Platter with Lemony Cauliflower Dip, Three Oils, Three Seasonings

Not Your Average Crudités Platter

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Red Lentil Penne with Gorgonzola Sauce, Walnut, Apple, Mint

Red Lentil Penne with Gorgonzola Sauce, Walnut, Apple, Mint #glutenfree

Red Lentil Penne, Gorgonzola Sauce
Granny Smith Apple, Toasted Walnut, Fresh Mint

Gorgonzola, Granny Smith apples, and toasted walnuts have a particular affinity for each other. Here they are paired with gluten-free penne for a satisfying wholesome meal with higher protein, higher fiber, and lower net carbs. Explore Cuisine penne is made in Italy and comprised of only two ingredients: organic red lentil flour (73%) and organic brown rice flour (27%). Cool mint adds a note of freshness and counterbalance to the rich gorgonzola sauce while apple cut into allumette shape makes for a jaunty presentation.

Gluten-Free Red Lentil Penne Recipe

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Black Bean Spaghetti for the Whole Family #meatless #glutenfree

Black Bean Spaghetti for the Whole Family #meatless #glutenfree

Black Bean Spaghetti for the Whole Family

The nutritional facts are hard to believe, until one realizes that this spaghetti really isn’t pasta at all, but black beans masquerading as noodles.

Black Bean Spaghetti is made from 92% black beans and 8% water and has 25 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber in every serving. Generally, dried pastas have 5 to 7 grams of protein and 2 to 3 grams of fiber per serving. Black bean spaghetti’s taste is mild while the tooth is delightfully chewy.

The whole family will benefit from organic noodles packed with higher protein and fiber, and lower net carbs. Cook the spaghetti about seven minutes then plate two ways: A buttery-cheesy “caterpillar” will appeal to the kids while black bean spaghetti topped with a complementary avocado mash and fresh salsa will be a big hit with the adults.

Black Bean Spaghetti Recipes

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Mandilli di Seta al Pesto {Handkerchief Pasta} #glutenfree

Mandilli di Seta al Pesto (Handkerchief Pasta) #glutenfree

~ Mandilli di Seta al Pesto ~
Silk Handkerchief Pasta with Creamy-Style Pesto
Edible Begonia, Basil, and Pecorino Romano Garnish

Imagine a pasta that is a gorgeous shade of olive green, higher in fiber and lower in net carbs than traditional noodles. One that is full of plant-based pea protein, organic, and gluten-free. My friends at Explore Cuisine make such an extraordinary noodle. It is produced in Italy of green lentil flour (50%), green pea flour, and brown rice flour.

Usually used for lasagna recipes, here the rectangular green lentil sheets stand in for handkerchief pasta in a beautiful mandilli di seta adorned with edible begonias. The basil pesto is an elegant creamy-style, unlike its more grainy rustic cousin. The method of plating mandilli di seta is also unique – pasta handkerchiefs are dipped in the pesto, coating the entire noodle with the dreamy sauce, then they are artfully folded onto the plate.

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Simple & Elegant: Grilled Veal Chops & Baby Broccoli

How to Grill Veal Chops and Baby Broccoli

Grilled Veal Rib Chops & Baby Broccoli

A simple preparation is definitely best for letting the natural virtues of this premium cut shine through. Veal rib chops sliced from the middle of the rack are super tender with an elegant flavor, they need no major enhancement. A brief marination in naturally fermented soy sauce and olive oil deepens the umami qualities of the crusty exterior.

The young beef steers are milk-fed and humanely-raised, allowed to move freely in small groups. Where grass-fed veal is more like beef, here milk-fed veal is paler in color, much more tender, and milder in flavor.

While they are quite pricey for everyday dining, don’t wait for a special occasion to give these exceptional chops a try – at least once this summer!

Grilled Veal Chops & Baby Broccoli Recipe

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