Squid Ink Pasta with Scallops, Tomatoes and Basil

Last weekend I went camping in Joshua Tree. It was an amazing amazing experience but by the time I got home I was ready to leave my Lara Bar/Apple/Hummus meals behind me and make some nice pasta. I picked up this squid ink pasta from Trader Joe’s a while back and hadn’t had the chance to try it yet. I’ve always like squid ink pasta, it’s super popular in Southern Italian cuisine, especially when it’s a seafood pasta. I worked at the Fish Shop during the day so I brought home these beautiful scallops :). Maybe I’m biased but I think they’re the bessssst. These roasted tomatoes are also a new Trader Joe’s item that are bomb.com.

{serves 2}

  • 6 BIG scallops
  • 1 pack squid ink pasta
  • 10 fresh cherry tomatoes
  • 10 roasted dried tomatoes (in oil)
  • 1 big handful fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp (roughly) olive oil
  • 1 pat butter
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • a splash of white wine (optional)
  1. boil water and cook pasta according to instructions
  2. gently clean scallops with a wet paper towel
  3. heat 1.5 tbsp olive oil and butter in a pan over low heat, allow the butter to start to brown, add nutmeg
  4. add scallops gently (tongs are great for this)
  5. let scallops cook on each side for about 2 minutes then flip them, they should be just starting to get some color on the bottom
  6. when they start to stick to the pan add a splash of wine to deglaze the pan
  7. when they are pure white and just starting to brown remove them from the pan, set them on a plate in the oven to keep warm
  8. strain pasta then add it back to the pasta bowl, drizzle with remaining olive oil, halve tomatoes and add them to the pasta
  9. serve pasta and top with three scallops each, drizzle with sauce from the scallop pan
  10. slice basil and use it to garnish, parmesan and red pepper flakes optional!

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Healthy Summer Grain Bowl

It’s been sooo hot (or at least soo hot for us coastal San Diegans) so I’ve been trying to come up with sneaky ways to avoid turning on the oven at all and still having protein/veggie rich meals. I love love love smoked fish but it can sometimes be pricy. This peppered rainbow trout from Trader Joe’s is the bomb and is also only $4 for a pack that has 4 servings. Thanks Trader Joe’s! Another shoutout to my dad’s friend, Tom, for supplying us with a steady source of avocados from his tree!

{serves 2}

  • 2 servings of peppered rainbow trout or your favorite kind of smoked/cured fish
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 handfuls lettuce
  • 1 cup bulgur (uncooked)
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 small/medium avocado
  • 5 slices cucumber
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 splash red wine vin
  • salt/pepper
  • olive oil
  1. soft boil eggs
  2. cook bulgur according to package instructions
  3. drain garbanzos and rinse, then move to a medium sized bowl and stir in dijon, red wine vin and salt and pepper to taste
  4. halve and slice tomato and avocado, slice cucumbers
  5. assemble bowls: a handful lettuce each, a spoonful of bulgur and garbanzos in each, distribute avo, tomato and cucumber evenly
  6. peel eggs and place in each bowl and lastly don’t forget the fish!
  7. dress with olive oil and more red wine vinegar

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Burrata, Tomato, Prosciutto and Nectarine Salad

It’s been very hot and this just sounded like the perfect thing to eat yesterday. This salad is a great Summer salad because you can chill it and it’s very refreshing. Not to mention it’s a gorgeous! The nectarines make it sweet, the tomatoes make it tart, the prosciutto makes it nice and salty and the burrata makes it creamy and decadent! Can’t forget basil and balsamic for depth of flavor! We grew these nectarines and they are AMAZING, also my uncle grew the basil which is also amazing. I will never get sick of burrata. Or prosciutto.

{serves 4 as a side salad}

  •  2 nectarines
  • 2 cups tomatoes
  • 3 (long) slices prosciutto
  • 7 large basil leaves
  • 1 large ball of burrata
  • a splash of balsamic
  1. cut nectarines into bite sized pieces
  2. cut tomatoes in half
  3. dice or slice prosciutto to the best of your ability
  4. slice basil leaves in long thin strips (you can also choose to tear prosciutto and basil)
  5. layer nectarines, tomatoes, prosciutto and basil into a long, somewhat flat dish
  6. drain burrata and lay it on top, cut a + into the burrata and spread it over the lovely produce
  7. drizzle balsamic on top and garnish with basil leaves!

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Smoky Portobello Risotto

I get very excited to got to Costco and see what’s new and this week they had… beautiful portobellos! I love love love mushrooms so it was an exciting find. We saw a recipe for a smoky mushroom risotto and loosely based this off of it, tweaking it with what we had. We added these mini peppers for a little flavor contrast and color.

{serves 4}

  •  1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 pat butter
  • 3 small portobellos
  • 1/2 cup sweet mini peppers (optional)
  • pinch smoked sea salt
  • pinch black pepper
  • 3 cups low sodium bone broth (or chicken broth)
  • 1/2 tbsp coconut aminos

to garnish:

  • basil
  • red pepper flakes
  • parmesan
  1. heat butter and 1 tsp olive oil over low heat, slice shallots thinly and cook them slowly to caramelize them
  2. in a big pot over medium heat, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil and coat the uncooked rice in the oil to lightly toast it
  3. add one cup of broth stirring continuously
  4. add additional cups as the liquid gets absorbed
  5. cook risotto for 40 minutes, stirring often
  6. meanwhile season mushrooms with a drizzle of olive oil, a drizzle of coconut aminos and a bit of smoked sea salt
  7. grill (or bake on a sheet) them until well done, dice them once they cool
  8. when the risotto is done, season to taste with smoked salt and pepper
  9. add the sweet mini peppers and mushrooms
  10. garnish with sliced basil, parmesan and red pepper flakes

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Easy Peasy Blueberry Scones

I used bon appetit’s blueberry scone recipe with a few tweaks. I used buttermilk instead of heavy cream and I think if anything it made them fluffier and less sweet which I love! I also added nutmeg for a little more depth of flavor and used fresh blueberries from our garden. We’ve been trying to grow blueberries for years without much luck but this year we have quite the crop so I had to showcase them in a recipe. I love this recipe because there are very few ingredients (no butter!), it’s simple and quick, and the result is comforting and beautiful. Enjoy!

  • 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup + 2tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups all purpose flour + some for dusting
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp old fashioned oats
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 lg egg yolk

{makes about 8 BIG scones}

  1. pre-heat oven to 400º F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. zest the lemon on a microplane into a big bowl, add 1/3 cup sugar and rub these two ingredients together with your fingertips until they smell very lemony
  3. add in 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of the oats, all of the baking powder, salt and nutmeg and whisk to combine
  4. in another small bowl whisk together 1 1/3 cups buttermilk and the honey, this is a bit tricky but it will come together
  5. then add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until combined
  6. using a plastic spatula gently fold in the blueberries
  7. liberally flour your work surface, I used a big cutting board but you can use your countertop too; flour your hands as well
  8. transfer the dough to your work surface and from a square that’s about an inch thick
  9. using a sharp knife (rinse under hot water before each slice for cleaner cutting) cut an X then a + shape into the square so you have eight triangles
  10. using a slotted spatula transfer each scone onto the baking sheet
  11. in a small bowl whisk together then egg yolk and remaining 1 tbsp of buttermilk; brush this onto each scone
  12. sprinkle the remaining 2 tbsp of both oats and sugar onto the scones

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Banana Ice Cream with Date Coconut Caramel

I’d been wary of banana “nice cream” for a while but I decided to give it a try the other night when I had an ice cream hankering but no ice cream. It turned out pretty good! It’s all about the toppings though.

{serves 1}

  • 1 banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp date coconut caramel
  • dark chocolate chunks
  1. take bananas out of the freezer and give them a quick minute to soften slightly
  2. in a small food processor blend bananas and vanilla extract
  3. blend until they reach a smooth soft serve kind of consistency but not too much, you don’t want it to turn into a smoothie!
  4. then scoop out and top with your favorite toppings! mine are date caramel and chocolate chunks ATM

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Healthyish German Chocolate Cake

My mom kept dropping hints about wanting German Chocolate Cake for her birthday so I thought I would make the best German Chocolate Cake she’d ever had! I used Smitten Kitchen’s recipe for the most part but free styled my own “frosting” with dates and subbed out the sugars for coconut sugar. I also used slightly bigger pans so I increased the cake ingredients by half. I don’t have 6 inch pans and I figured probably a lot of people don’t. You’ll probably have leftover date-coconut paste but it’s great for a cheese accoutrement or on banana ice cream! Since the cake was pretty much shades of brown I topped with some berries 🙂

{serves 8}

  • 3 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used scharffenberger chunks)
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup hot coffee (I used Lion Coffee)
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3 large eggs, seperated
  •  1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cocoa powder
  • 1 1/8 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 + 1/8 tsp salt
  • 20 medjool dates
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened coconut
  • 3/4 cups pecans
  • 1/2 tsp coconut extract
  • sea salt
  • berries for garnish (optional)

CAKE:

  1. heat oven to 350ºF, line the bottoms of two 8 inch cake pans (or somewhere close to that size, I used heart shaped pans) with parchment paper, coat the bottom and sides with butter
  2. pit dates and soak them in hot water in a big bowl
  3. in a medium sized bowl whisk together chocolate and hot coffee until the chocolate is all melted. whisk in buttermilk; set aside
  4. in another medium sized bowl beat egg whites until stiff using (I highly recomend using an electric beater!)
  5. in a large bowl (use the same beaters, no need to clean them), beat butter, sugars and salt together until fluffy. beat in yolks and vanilla until smooth, then buttermilk/coffee/chocolate mixture
  6. sprinkle baking soda over and beat well to combine again. scrape down sides, add cocoa powder and flour and beat until just combined
  7. fold in a quarter of the egg whites to loosen batter. fold in the rest gently until fully combined
  8. divide between the baking pans, bake for 24-26 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. set out to cool

DATE COCONUT CARAMEL:

  1. line a small baking sheet and spread coconut and pecans out evenly, bake for 10ish minutes, stirring occasionally until toasty and fragrant, let cool
  2. chop pecans coarsely
  3. in a small food processor blend dates, coconut, pecans, coconut extract and a dash of sea salt until paste-like

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

Smoked Yellowtail, Baked White Bean and Roasted Tomato Salad

For anyone who thinks salads can’t be exciting dinners, I have to disagree. We’ve been focussing on dinner salads for the past couple of weeks. It’s quick, versatile, cheap and easy. This one was especially notable. We picked up some smoked yellowtail at Seaside Market and I kind of based the dinner around that. I used to bake beans like this in college all the time. I lived with three girls who all loved to cook and had similar tastes and this was one of our favorite drunk snacks. We’d all end up back in the living room after a night on the town and I’d inevitably toss together some white beans (cannellini beans) and nuts with some mustard, tahini and vinegar mixture and throw them in the oven- side note, I’m kind of known for my strange drunk snacks. Anyways don’t knock it ’til you try it, it sounds kind of funky but it’s quite good. Also roasted tomatoes are never a bad idea and of course I have unending fondness for soft boiled eggs <3

{serves 2}

  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 lemon
  • Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning
  • a drizzle olive oil
  •  1 tbsp tahini
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 thyme sprigs, stemmed
  • 2 eggs
  • 14 cherry tomatoes
  • 8 oz smoked fish
  • pita chips (optional)
  • avocado ! (optional)
  • 3 handfuls mixed greens
  • 1 bell pepper
  1. pre-heat oven to 350ºF
  2. soft boil eggs; boil a small pot of water then turn it down to a simmer, add the eggs gently and cook for 6-7 minutes then remove w/ a slotted spoon and put in an ice bath for a few minutes –or hard boil them if that’s more your speed
  3. drain beans and transfer to a medium sized bowl; add tahini, mustard, balsamic, lemon juice, herbs and Everything But the Bagel Seasoning
  4. line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spread beans on one half, then toss tomatoes in same bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil
  5. spread them on the other half of the baking sheet
  6. bake for about 30 minutes, checking and turning every so often after the first 15 minutes
  7. rinse greens and chop, divide between two bowls
  8. chop bell pepper and add that on top; slice fish and throw that in
  9. let the beans and tomatoes cool slightly when finished them add them to the party and lastly top with the egg and avo! great with a vinaigrette and maybe a glass of crisp rose

© 2018, domenicadreamsofcalamari. All rights reserved.

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.

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