penne with brown butter, spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli

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ingredients:

1/2 box of penne
1/4 c. olive oil
zest and juice of one lemon
3 or 4 heirloom tomatoes
one small head of broccoli
a few handfuls of spinach
half a stick of butter
a handful of pine nuts
salt and pepper

this recipe is a take on one of giada di laurentiis’ recipes which consists of penne with brown butter, arugula, and tomatoes. i took what i had in the fridge and made my version! i started out by boiling half a box of penne for 8 minutes (al dente), and toasting a handful of pine nuts for about 5 minutes. then i mixed up a little dressing, consisting of 1/4 of a cup of extra virgin olive oil and the zest and juice of one lemon. whisk this together with some salt and pepper and set aside. when the pasta is about half way done, brown half a stick of butter- once it is melted down completely it will only take a few more minutes until it is the right ‘caramel’ color. also steam cook some broccoli to throw in with the pasta. once the pasta is done cooking throw it in with the browned butter, a few handfuls of spinach, chopped heirloom tomatoes, and your steamed broccoli. once the spinach is wilted down, add the dressing and toasted pine nuts. serve up and enjoy!

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pesto crusted salmon on a bed of quinoa and spinach, with a side of roasted potatoes and mushrooms

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this week i decided to be adventurous and try something new- salmon. although i’ve eaten it before, i had never cooked it by myself and thought, ‘it’s time…’. I browsed through a ton of recipes regarding salmon and they all seemed too complicated and over powering so i did some inventing of my own. this is what i came up with!

Ingredients:
-Pesto (basil, garlic, olive oil, pine nuts, parsley- optional)
-Salmon (filets of steaks will work for this!)
-A bag of small rainbow potatoes
-Sliced mushrooms
-Fresh Spinach
-Quinoa or Mixed Grains

Step One:
Mix up your pesto- for this you don’t need a ton, so grab a few good handfulls of basil, two or three clove of garlic, a few tablespoons of olive oil, a handful of pine nuts, salt and pepper, and if you have any, a bit of fresh parsley. Blend this up so everything is mixed into a paste like consistency. 

Step Two:
Prepare your potatoes and mushrooms- make sure they are rinsed! The potatoes can be roasted whole or cut in half. I coated the potatoes and mushrooms in a couple spoonfuls of the pesto and a bit more olive oil. Throw this in the oven at about 400 degrees.

Step Three:
Prepare your grain- quinoa takes about twenty minutes so you’ll want to get it up to a simmer and cooking while the potatoes are cooking.

Step Four:
The salmon- I coated this in the pesto and a few slices of lemon and grapefruit. I made a little foil pouch/packet to cook it in for the oven and threw it in with the roasting potatoes. Salmon cooking time varies so i checked mine after about eight minutes and then let it cook for another five to eight minutes until it was light pink and flaky all the way through. 

Step Five:
While everything else is cooking, you’re going to want to sauté your spinach. this goes pretty quick so thats why i saved it for last! once all the leaves were wilted down i put some garlic salt and pepper on it for flavor.

i was lucky and managed to time everything just about right so it was done at about the same  time. i served the salmon on the bed of spinach and quinoa, with the potatoes and mushrooms on the side. i also topped the salmon with some avocado slices!