Hearty Lentil & Adlai Salad

Hearty Lentil & Adlai Salad

Salads are a staple to our family table. We are quite big on vegetables at home. What I love about this particular recipe is that it is high on protein (from the lentils), and has a good amount of healthy carbs (from the adlai). Though it makes a great side dish, this can also be an easy main that packs well for school lunches the next day. It is light, yet quite hearty and will fill you up. This salad can be enjoyed cold during the summer, and warm when it is raining outside!

Ingredients

1 cup dry lentils, washed

1 garlic clove, peeled

1 bay leaf

1 shallot, sliced

2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar

½ cup squash, chopped

½ cup sweet potato, chopped

2 tablespoons CONTADINA olive oil

1 can CONTADINA diced tomatoes, strained

½ cup adlai, cooked

1 bunch romaine lettuce, roughly chopped

1 bunch baby spinach, roughly chopped

2 tablespoons CONTADINA Extra Virgin olive oil

a pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Boil water and ass lentils, garlic clove and bay leaf. Leave to cook at medium heat.
  2. Once cooked, strain lentils. Set aside.
  3. Marinate shallot in balsamic vinegar. Set aside.
  4. Place squash and sweet potatoes in baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast squash and sweet potato at 300c until cooked but still firm (around 15-20 minutes). Once done, cool completely.
  6. Once lentils, adlai, and vegetables are cooked and cooled, combine in a salad bowl with spinach, lettuce, and diced tomato
  7. Put shallots and all the vinegar in, then drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  8. Season with salt and pepper and toss until properly dressed.
  9. You may chill before serving.
  10. If you would like to serve this warm, just skip the cooling process.
Comforting Veggie Pene

Comforting Veggie Pene

An easy dish like this is the perfect ‘go-to’ for moms on the run, a quick dinner, a simple potluck, or a freeze-ahead meal. I love it because the sauce is packed with vegetables. In fact, you can add whatever vegetable you have in the fridge. I have used zucchini, eggplant, spinach, and even plant based meat substitutes. For pickier eaters, you may grate the vegetables instead of chopping or mincing. Asides from a healthy weekday meal, leftovers make for the perfect guilt-free mommy snack throughout the day.

Ingredients

1 package CONTADINA pene pasta

3-4 tablespoons CONTADINA olive oil

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 white onion, chopped

1 large carrot, minced

1 package fresh button mushrooms, cleaned and chopped

1 bottle CONTADINA Aglio Arrostito pasta sauce

½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated

1,2 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Directions

  1. Cook pene until al dente, strain (saving half a cup of pasta water), drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and set aside.
  2. In a large sauté pan, add 2-3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, white onion, carrot, and mushrooms. Let simmer over medium heat.
  3. Once vegetables are softened, add CONTADINA Aglio Arrostito pasta sauce.
  4. Season with salt and pepper. Lower the heat and let continue to simmer over low heat.
  5. Once sauce has reduced, add cooked pasta and pasta water and combine well.
  6. Transfer to a baking dish and top with a mix of your grated cheeses. Bake until cheese is bubbly and brown.
  7. Serve hot. This dish is best paired with garlic bread.
Tortilla de Patata

Tortilla de Patata

One of my favorite make ahead easy breakfasts is Tortilla de Patata. Though usually served as an appetizer or ‘pica-pica’ in many Spanish households and tapas bars, I think it is a great option for the first meal of the day. You can serve it warm, or straight from the fridge, depending on preference.

Sharing my super simple recipe. Though it takes a bit of skill when flipping – in fact I still have yet to get it just right as seen in the video – practice makes perfect.

 

 

Ingredients

5-6 large potatoes, peeled

1 large white onion

1-2 cups olive oil

8 large eggs

salt & pepper

 

 

Procedure

  1. Slice potatoes thinly, if possible no larger than ¼ of an inch
  2. Quarter and slice onion
  3. Season both with salt
  4. Heat olive oil in a non stick pan over medium heat
  5. Add potatoes and onions and cook until very soft. This usually takes me around 15-20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the potatoes
  6. While waiting, crack eggs into a bowl, generously season with salt and pepper, and lightly beat
  7. When potato – onion mixture is ready, slowly transfer into eggs, disregarding the oil
  8. Heat about a tablespoon of the left over oil a shallow non stick pan over medium heat
  9. Add egg – potato mixture and let sit for about 3-5 minutes, checking if the bottom has browned
  10. Once ready, flip into a second pan and return to heat on your shallow non stick pan
  11. Leave for another 3 minutes, then remove from heat
  12. Once cool, transfer to a serving dish
Honey Mustard Malunggay Roast

Honey Mustard Malunggay Roast

An easy recipe that's packed with goodness and flavor!

For this post I am sharing one of my many roast chicken recipes. I love this particular one because its perfect for feeding families – simple and delicious, it uses flavorful ingredients that aren’t too high in fat, plus the malunggay packs that healthy punch. Today I am working with the whole chicken of Backyard Farms. Hormone and antibiotic free – it’s guaranteed to be good when feeding your loved ones. I hope you try it, and would love to hear what you think in the comments section!

Ingredients:

1 whole chicken, cleaned and dried

½ stick of butter at room temperature

2 TBS Dijon Mustard

2 TBS yellow mustard

1 TBS honey

1 TBS minced garlic

2 tsp herbes de Provence

1 bunch malunggay leaves, roughly chopped

salt and pepper

 

Directions:

  1. Place chicken in a baking dish, breast side down and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper, making sure to rub salt on chicken, including the inner cavity.
  2. Whisk together butter, garlic and malunggay. Add honey, mustards, herbes de Provence then season with salt and pepper.
  3. Rub whole chicken, including inner cavity and crevices
  4. Bake in the oven at 200 for 45 mins to 1 hour

 

A Hearty Lunch

A Hearty Lunch

Growing up, we were fed a lot of Spanish dishes at home. Not so much the tapas, but the hearty bean stews such as Lentejas, Pote Gallego, and one of my favorites, Fabada Asturiana. I think because all dishes are one-pot, and cover a lot of the food groups, they make a great option for family meals. To someone who isn’t too kitchen savvy, a dish like Fabada might seem a little complicated to take on, but don’t be intimidated. Though it can be complex, I do a simplified version and all ingredients are always readily available in our local supermarkets.

FABADA ASTURIANA

 

Ingredients:

1 package dry white beans OR 2 cans white beans

1 pork cube

2 bay leaves

1 can chorizo bilbao, sliced with oil reserved

1 tablespoon olive oil

sliced ham (optional)

chopped cooked bacon (optional)

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 bunch pechay, roughly chopped (optional)

Paprika

Salt & Pepper

 

 

Procedure:

  1. If you are using dry beans, rinse beans. If you are using canned beans, drain beans
  2. Fill a large pot with 2-3 cups of water and dissolve pork cube over medium heat
  3. Once boiling, add white beans and bay leaves and let simmer over low heat until soft and broth thickens
  4. While beans are cooking, prepare your remaining ingredients – In a shallow pan, sauté onions and garlic in olive oil over medium heat
  5. Add chorizo oil from the can and let onion and garlic continue to soften
  6. Season with Paprika, salt and pepper
  7. Add chorizo, ham, and bacon to pan and immediately remove from heat once coated with onions and garlic to avoid over cooking
  8. Once beans are ready with a thickened soup, add mixture from the pan, combine, and bring to a boil
  9. Add pechay a few minutes before serving, and stir
  10. Remove bay leaves and serve hot

Notes:

* I like using dry beans because I prefer making things from scratch. But canned beans work just fine as well. Using canned beans will definitely speed up the cooking process, whereas using dry beans will let you control the flavor more.

* ham and bacon are optional – both add a different layer of flavor to the dish. It really depends on your personal preference. For this recipe, I used ham. But other times I use bacon. That being said, there are so many options out there – many different types of chorizos and jamons to choose from too.

* A traditional Fabada Asturiana doesn’t contain vegetables, but I always like to add a bit of greens to whatever dish I can, especially when I am making it for my family. Another vegetable that could work well is diced carrots.

HAPPY COOKING!!!

Summer Dips: Salsa & Guacamole

Summer Dips: Salsa & Guacamole

The summer has been stifling, so snacks for the family need to be refreshing and light. Sharing my home recipe for an easy salsa and guacamole – best served refrigerated. This is a great make ahead option for the kids lunches, as well as for when you are entertaining.

SALSA

Ingredients

5-6 fresh tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped

1 bunch cilantro, rough chopped

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

½ red onion, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 115g pack tomato sauce

Salt & pepper

Procedure

  • Combine tomatoes and cilantro in a serving bowl. Add lemon juice and let marinate. Set Aside.
  • Heat olive oil on medium and sauté onions. Add salt & pepper.
  • Add tomato sauce and let simmer
  • Remove from heat and set aside. Let cool.
  • Once cooled, combine sauce with fresh tomato and cilantro.
  • Season with Salt and pepper.
  • Chill and serve.

 

GUACAMOLE

Ingredients

2 ripe avocados, seeded

1 red onion, minced

4 fresh tomatoes, chopped

2 tablespoons cilantro, minced

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Procedure

  • Combine onions, tomatoes, cilantro and lime juice. Season with pepper and let marinate. Set aside.
  • Mash avocado to desired consistency and lightly season with salt and pepper.
  • Combine mashed avocado with tomato mixture and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  • Before serving, drizzle with olive oil and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

 

MOM TIP: These recipes are perfect if you are making it for the kids. But If you make these for entertaining, you may add your preferred hot sauce and or chili flakes to kick it up a notch!