Back To School Pasta Dinner #glutenfree

Back To School Pasta Dinner #glutenfree #familyfriendly #chicken #peas #carrots

Back To School Pasta Dinner for the Whole Family
Chicken Breast, Peas, Carrots
Gluten-Free Chickpea Fusilli
Light Cheesy Creamy Sauce

This is an awesome recipe the whole family will love. It’s great for the start of a new school year with fall colors and a rich cool weather vibe. A satisfying but lighter style cheesy-creamy sauce made with low-fat milk coats organic protein-packed gluten-free chickpea fusilli pasta. It’s full of hearty-sized pieces of browned chicken breast and plenty of vegetables – peas and carrots – two of the most popular with kids.

The sauce is flavorful, but I’ve gone easy on the shallot, garlic, and nutmeg – so the flavors are there in the background but they are not a turn-off for the little ones.

And there are no icky green bits in the dish, I garnish with a large sprig of tarragon or parsley, that’s easy to remove! Serve finely chopped herbs on the side for adults to sprinkle on their dinner.

Back To School Pasta Dinner Recipe

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Spring Strawberry Farro Salad by Baran’s 2239

Spring Strawberry Farro Salad by Baran's 2239

Baran’s 2239 Spring Strawberry & Farro Salad
English Peas, Asparagus, Burrata

The highlight of Teacher Appreciation Week, as usual, was our Annual Luncheon. This year it had a super-fun hang loose Hawaiian Island theme. Our friends at Baran’s 2239 Restaurant generously donated the salad course, a delightful Strawberry & Farro Salad, the epitome of springtime in a bowl. Chef Tyler Gugliotta shares his recipe here on Taste With The Eyes. Mahalo Chef!

Spring Strawberry & Farro Salad Recipe

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Succulent Fresh Fish and Spring Produce

Fresh-Caught Pan-Fried Yellowtail, Garlic Butter Petite Peas and Green Beans, Toasted Pine Nuts, Tarragon, Mint, Parsley, Meyer Lemon Hummus Drizzle

Fresh-Caught Pan-Fried Yellowtail
Garlic Butter Peas and Green Beans
Toasted Pine Nuts
Tarragon, Mint, Parsley
Meyer Lemon Hummus Drizzle

Neither succulent fresh fish nor fresh spring produce need much embellishment. Although the addition of lots of fresh green herbs and a drizzle of meyer lemon hummus doesn’t hurt. The verdant colors of spring make the dish pop. Where pine nuts, parsley, and lemon juice are a classic pairing with hummus – here all these flavors and textures lend a supporting role to the fish and vegetables. The ubiquitous dip is equally fabulous as a sauce for fish.

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Pasta with Peas, Bacon, Mint, and Ricotta

Pasta with Peas, Bacon, Mint, and Ricotta

Pasta with Peas, Bacon, Mint, and Ricotta

It’s a sprightly mash-up of two traditional Italian pasta dishes: Paglia e Fieno and Pasta e Fagioli. Paglia e fieno, translates to “straw and hay” named for its two color fettuccine made from both egg and spinach. The yellow and green pastas are typically paired with prosciutto and peas and Parmesan. Pasta e fagioli is a brothy dish combining pasta and beans.

Here, conchigliette (small pasta shells) are paired with peas and bacon in a flavorful chicken and vermouth-based broth, brightened with fresh mint. Scoops of whole milk ricotta are stirred into the broth taking the place of the traditional rich Parmesan cream sauce. A sprightly mash-up indeed.

Pasta with Peas, Bacon, Mint, and Ricotta Recipe

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peas & pasta, garlicky yogurt sauce, smoky chile walnuts

peas & pasta, yogurt sauce, smoky walnuts
peas & pasta
pea sprouts, basil, feta
garlicky yogurt sauce, smoky chile walnuts

peas & pasta, garlicky yogurt sauce, smoky chile walnuts

Color, texture, aroma, flavor – it’s all here in this delightful pasta bowl. Beautiful green peas and fresh pea sprouts, summery herbaceous basil, toasty walnuts cooked with hot chile and smoky paprika, a garlicky creamy yogurt sauce, briny tangy feta. Nope, nothing’s missing.

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Spring Bliss: Sugar Snap Pea, Avocado, Tomato, Mint

spring bliss soup, sugar snap pea soup, chilled pea and mint soup

Chilled Sugar Snap Pea & Mint Soup
Mashed Avocado with Lime, Tomato Concassé with Shallot
Fresh Mint, Chili Oil & Creme Fraiche Garnish

A vendor at the Farmers’ Market was handing out samples of fresh-from-the-vine sugar snap peas. Telling people just to eat them as is, no cooking necessary. They were sweet & exploding with flavor, crunchy, the color of spring. Few of us could pass up buying a basket or two. Once home, I turned to my favorite vegetable cookbook Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables for inspiration: Sugar Snap Pea Soup. A simple and refreshing chilled soup. With avocado for richness, tomato for sweet acidity, mint for brightness. Spring. Bliss.

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