Mean Green Pasta, with Goat Cheese!


I didn’t want to go to the store yesterday so I whipped up this pasta with all stuff we had in the fridge/freezer/pantry. I like this frozen Kale/Spinach mix from Costco, it’s great for smoothies and cooking! Soft goat cheese is a great base for sauces. It’s melts down so easily and pairs well with just about anything.

{serves 3-4}

  • 1 box Banza penne (or pasta of your choice)
  • 3 oz goat cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/4 white onion
  • 5 cups frozen greens
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 10 green beans
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • olive oil
  • parmesan and red pepper flakes for garnish
  1. mince garlic and chop onion, heat oven to 350º F
  2. heat olive oil in a large skillet or wok and add garlic, onion and mustard seeds
  3. when the onion has turned opaque add the greens, you can use any frozen greens you’d like, squeeze in lemon juice
  4. meanwhile bring salted water to a boil for pasta (according to box instructions)
  5. when greens are heated add goat cheese and stir until it’s well incorporated
  6. cook pasta, toast pistachios for 5-7 minutes or until smelling toasty
  7. once the goat cheese is melted and stirred in, turn off heat and cover the sauce
  8. chop green beans removing ends, chop pistachios roughly and set aside
  9. serve green sauce over pasta, top with green beans, pistachios, red pepper flakes and parmesan

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Amped Up Oatmeal Raisin Cookies!

We’ve been buying these h-amazing raisins at the Encinitas Farmer’s Market and I’ve been craving a good oatmeal raisin cookie. Oatmeal raisin cookies get a bad rap but I’m a big fan- when they’re good. These are not only good, but they’re also pretty healthy! No added sugar hurr AND they’re vegan. I didn’t do this on purpose it was just kind of a happy accident. They’re also super fast to make and require few ingredients so get bakin.

{makes 12}

  • 2 cups oats
  • 1 apple sauce container
  • 1 1/2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • dash cinnamon
  • dash nutmeg
  • 5 baby bananas 
  • handful dark chocolate chips
  1. pre-heat the oven to 350º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. in a large mixing bowl mix oats, apple sauce and raisins
  3. melt coconut oil in microwave or over the stove
  4. if your almond butter is on the drier side add some the coconut oil into it and melt that as well
  5. mix melted coconut oil and soft almond butter into the oat mixture
  6. add a generous dash of nutmeg and cinnamon and the chocolate chips
  7. slice the baby bananas and add those too
  8. then roll into small balls and space out evenly on the baking sheet
  9. bake 10-12 minutes and enjoy! great w/ wine or coffee

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Kale Salad with Chicken, Avocado and Mustard Vinaigrette


Kale salads can be really good or not good at all. The secret is massaging the kale and adding enough acidity and liquids so that the leaves relax a bit and it’s not just like, well, chewing on leaves.

{serves 2 or 1 hungry person}

  • 1 bunch lacinto kale
  • 1 handful dried cranberries
  • 1 handful pepitas
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 8 oz cooked chicken (I used some we’d bbq’ed last night but this is pretty much up to you)
  • generous dash of ‘Everything but the Bagel Seasoning’ (Trader Joe’s)- if you don’t know now you know- I put this stuff on everything
  • heaping spoonful capers
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 2 soft boiled eggs
  • truffle pecorino- or plain pecorino


  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tbsp caper juice
  • a generous splash (or even a glug) of red wine vin
  1. cut kale along stems so you get a flap on either side, then slice it into small strips
  2. put prepped kale in a big bowl then squeeze the orange juice into the bowl and massage the kale, like I mentioned the acid from the orange juice helps break down the sometimes tough kale leaves so this is the most important step! Give it a nice massage
  3. bring water to a boil in a small sauce pan, bring it down to a simmer and gently slip your eggs into the water, leave simmering for 5-8 minutes (5 for a very runny yolk), then transfer to an ice bath (I suggest using a slotted spoon)
  4. in a small jar, bowl, or if you’re conveniently at the end of your mustard container, add dijon, caper juice and red wine vinegar and shake or stir until incorporated
  5. pour this vinaigrette over the kale situation and use tongs to toss
  6. then add pepitas, dried cranberries and Everything but the Bagel Seasoning and toss once again
  7. let sit in the fridge to marinate; meanwhile peel eggs, slice chicken, avocado and pecorino
  8. when ready to eat assemble all these components on top of the kale and you’ve got yourself a kale salad!

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Spring Orzo w/ Pesto, Favas and Asparagus


We planted fava beans in the beginning of the year and with our all of the rain we got they’ve taken off and grown over my head! They are super beautiful plants and these favas are so incredibly green, I just keep marveling at them. They are also available in lots of grocery stores and farmers markets now if you don’t happen to have a forrest of them in your front yard. This is a light pasta dish that we created to focus on the spring flavors.

{serves 4}

  • 1 pack (1 lb) whole grain orzo (or reg. orzo)
  • 8 cups chicken broth (or a mix of water and broth)
  • 1 1/2 cups fava beans (pods removed, with outer bean layer still on)
  • 2 tbsp heavy cream (optional)
  • 2 tbsp julienned mint
  • asparagus tips (remaining from pesto)
  • more asiago for serving

for the pesto:

  • 1/4 cup mint
  • juice of 1 1/2 lemons and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 lg garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup pistachios
  • 5 fat asparagus spears (cut off tips)
  • 2 tbsp grated asiago
  • tbsp olive oil
  1.  cook the orzo according to package instructions
  2. meanwhile remove fava beans from pods and boil for 30 seconds then move to an ice bath, let sit for 2 minutes then remove with a strainer and use your fingernails or a knife to peel outer layer off, use the same water to blanch asparagus for 1 minute, transfer them to an ice bath as well
  3. blend all pesto ingredients together in a food processor
  4. when the orzo is pretty cooled off stir the cream (if using) and pesto in
  5. serve and garnish with asparagus tips, fava beans, mint and more cheese!


© 2017, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Cal Mex Breakfast

I love hash browns as much as the next person but I also don’t always want to stuff myself full of fried potatoes. So I came up with this baked sweet potato version. It’s simple, flavorful, healthy and goes great with all kinds of foods. I’m thinking of doing something Indian-inspired with them next.

  • 3 medium sized sweet potatoes
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt (jalapeno salt if you have it)
  1. pre-heat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet (maybe 2 depending on how big your sweet potatoes are)
  2. grate sweet potatoes on the large setting of a box cheese grater
  3. put the shreds in a big bowl and drizzle olive oil over, mix in all the spices with your hands then spread on baking sheet (s)
  4. bake for 40 minutes, remove from oven and turn with fork and flip around the sheets if your oven cooks kind of unevenly like mine.
  5. continue cooking for about 30 more minutes stirring with a fork occasionally, until starting to crisp and get brown
  6. serve with mashed black beans, a soft boiled egg, avocado, baked tempeh and lime wedge (pictured here) -these keep well in the fridge

© 2017, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Niçoise Inspired Salad


My mom got me these sardines as a little treat. Because those are the kinds of gifts we give each other 🙂 . So I made this niçoise inspired salad. It’s not really a niçoise because it doesn’t have olives, green beans or tuna but I replaced those with capers, cornichons, beets and sardines.

{serves 1}

  • 2 handfuls of greens
  • 1 soft boiled egg
  • 4 cornichons
  • spoonful of capers
  • 3 sardines packed in olive oil (we love matiz)
  • 4 small tomatoes
  • a couple of slices of leftover beet terrine (or just roasted beets and goat cheese)
  1. soft boil the egg (or a couple to have on hand); my theory is to boil a small pot of water then turn it down to a simmer, add the eggs gently and cook for 7 minutes then remove w/ a slotted spoon and put in an ice bath for a few minutes
  2. in a bowl put washed greens, sardines, sliced beet terrine (or simply slices of beets and crumbles of goat cheese)
  3. top with capers, cornichons and tomatoes and dig in!

© 2017, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Beet and Herbed Goat’s Cheese Terrine

My cousin brought a Hemsley & Hemsley cookbook over to my grandparents for me to look at and I was very excited by a lot of the recipes and gorgeous photos but this one really jumped out. It’s so striking and also all ingredients that I love. We mixed up the herbs and quantities a bit.

{makes 8 servings, as a side dish}

  • 2 red beets
  • 2 golden beets
  • 1 log of goat’s cheese
  • 3 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 tbsp chives
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • parsley (for garnish)
  1. pre-heat oven to 350° F
  2. roast beets in foil on a baking sheet for about an hour (unless they are super big you might need more time)
  3. remove from oven and let cool
  4. soften goat cheese and chop herbs finely and mix herbs into the goat cheese in a large bowl
  5. when beets are cooled, peel them and slice them in varied thicknesses (on the thinner side)
  6. line a 9″ by 4″ loaf pan with parchment then start layering beets and goat cheese mixture starting w/ a layer of beets, we did all red first then gold then red and so on; use less goat cheese than you think you need, I rolled it into small balls placed each one on top of a beet round then smoothed it out to cover w/ my fingers
  7. when finished layering all the ingredients, place a weight on top (we used a rubber banded down beer can and a small brick) but whatever works you know
  8. then leave it in the refrigerator for a few hours

~original recipe from Hemsley & Hemsley~

© 2017, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Decadence of the Halibut

My uncle went on a fishing trip last summer and now he’s trying to get rid of all his fish. I guess he’s had enough. But we’re not complaining, my mom saw him a couple of days ago and he gave us some halibut, black cod AND salmon. Very exciting. We decided to go with halibut tonight but wanted to do something special with it so we gave it the fancy treatment that we usually do with scallops.

{serves 3}

  • 1 lb halibut
  • 1/4 capers
  • 1 pat butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • juice of 1 meyer lemon
  • parsley (as garnish)
  • splash of white wine
  1. pre-heat oven to 400º F
  2. in an oven-safe skillet, over medium heat, heat the butter and olive oil, then add capers to fry up a bit
  3. push the capers to the side of the pan and place the halibut in the pan over medium low heat, cook for 3 minutes before flipping
  4. pour a splash of white wine in the pan and cover with lid
  5. remove lid and squeeze juice of 1/2 of meyer lemon into the pan
  6. then move to the oven and bake for 7 minutes (w/ lid on)
  7. then squeeze the rest of the lemon juice in, plate w/ butter and capers on top and garnish with parsley and enjoy with a nice white wine

© 2017, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Greenies (Matcha Blondies)

Not blondies, not brownies but GREENIES! I love love love matcha and I have a bunch right now so I’ve been trying to come up with some healthy-ish desserts to use it. I found a recipe for some super healthy matcha blondies but they had all these ingredients that I didn’t have/ didn’t want to buy so I substituted and simplified and cut out a lot of sweetener. Matcha isn’t sweet at all, actually it’s kind of grassy but I like to taste that flavor and not overpower it with excess sugar.

These came out a bit crumbly but very tasty and they’re healthy!

{makes 9}

  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 4 tsp matcha
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp stevia
  • 1/3 cup toasted coconut milk -or just regular coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup coconut butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 container apple sauce (about 3/4 cup)
  1. pre-heat oven to 350º F and line a 9″ 9″ baking pan (you can use smaller if you want them to be thicker, you could also do it in muffin tins just adjust the cooking time)
  2. in a large bowl mix together almond meal, coconut flour, matcha, baking powder, salt and stevia
  3. in another bowl, stir together coconut milk, melted coconut butter, melted coconut oil, the vanilla extract and the apple sauce to your best ability
  4. then pour the wet mixture over the dry mixture and incorporate thoroughly
  5. then spread it into the pan and bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick in the middle comes out clean and the edges are starting to brown and you’ve got some greenies!

© 2017, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Creamy Goat Cheese Mushroom Sauce over Spaghetti Squash

I was always kind of wary of the whole spaghetti squash as a replacement for pasta thing but once you get over the fact that it’s not going to taste like pasta you start to appreciate how much lighter a vehicle it is. Another little trick that I’ve grown to love is using a tad bit of goat cheese to make a creamy sauce without the heaviness of cream or sour cream. Goat cheese also goes great with mushrooms and spinach and these things all cook quickly so this sauce comes together very easily. The only thing that is time consuming is baking the squash but if you throw it in the oven while you’re doing other things, it’ll just heat up the house and make it smell good to boot. Another cool thing about this recipe is everything is very cheap; mushrooms, onions, squash and spinach (especially when you buy it at costco).

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1/2 cup broth (turkey, chicken or veggie)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pat butter
  • 2 or 3 oz goat cheese
  • 16 cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion white
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 handfuls spinach
  • zest of one meyer lemon
  • juice of 1/2 of a meyer lemon
  • a dot of truffle oil (optional)
  • red pepper flakes (optional)
  • parmesan cheese (optional)

{serves 5}

  1. pre-heat oven to 350º F
  2. bake spaghetti squash whole on a lined baking sheet for 1 hour and 15 minutes
  3. dice onion and mince garlic
  4. heat oil and butter in a wok or large skillet
  5. clean mushrooms and quarter them
  6. add the garlic and onions to the skillet over medium low heat and let cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally
  7. then add mushrooms and continue sautéing until they are cooked through (4 or 5 minutes), zest the lemon into the pan then squeeze the juice of half of it in
  8. cut or crumble the goat cheese into a couple of pieces and add to the pan and stir in until melted
  9. when the squash is finished, let cool and cut in half lengthwise, then discard seeds and scoop out the flesh with a fork
  10. move the spaghetti squash “spaghetti” into a heat safe container and pour the broth over and keep covered in the oven
  11. slice spinach roughly, move the mushroom-goat cheese mixture to one side of the pan and add the spinach on the other side to steam
  12. then incorporate the spinach into the rest of the stuff and serve over the spaghetti squash, top with grated parmesan and red pepper flakes and enjoy!

© 2017, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

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