Maybe it's the baby growing inside of me or maybe it's just a phase, but I've been loving pasta lately. And even though I'm perfectly happy some nights with some ground beef or turkey and some jarred sauce topping my pasta, this recipe was developed one night when I wanted something a little more interesting. That, and I had a couple red peppers on their last leg wasting away in my fridge.
Necessity truly is the mother of invention.
This simple but delicious dish comes together effortlessly because your blender does all the hard work for you. Feel free to use a food processor if you don't have a blender on hand.
They say that when one of your senses is dulled, your other senses are heightened. "Dining in the Dark" has gained in popularity across the country and is being marketed toward those who want to experience a heightening of senses, while eating. In Charlotte, however, this dining phenomenon is also being used to serve a greater purpose: to benefit those who experience this form of dining every single day.
On Wednesday, Jan. 30 at 8 p.m., Good Eats and Meets, along with Osso Restaurant and Lounge, will join together to host a Dining in the Dark event.
The purpose of our dinner is to give guests a unique eating experience while fostering a greater understanding of what it's like to be visually impaired and to raise awareness for their cause.
For $39 a person or $79 a couple, diners will begin the evening with an hour of cocktails and mingling. From there, diners will move on to a room of total darkness as they begin their mystery meal. From the food on their plates to the faces at their table, everything will be experienced in complete darkness with only scent, sound and touch to guide them through the experience.
The price of the meal includes dinner, one drink of choice, tax and gratuity. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Fighting Blindness Foundation.
Tickets can be purchased at the event's Eventbrite website. Seats are limited and every Dining in the Dark event has sold out, so purchase tickets soon to be a part of this unique dining experience.
Fern, Flavors from the Earth is excited to present a very special event — a completely vegan dinner with white wine pairings from Carmel Road Winery on Monday, Aug. 20. The event will begin with kombucha cocktails and hors d'oeuvres at 6 p.m. and the vegan feast will begin at 7 p.m.
Vegans and non-vegans alike will be impressed with Chef Alyssa Gorelick's ability to transform animal-free foods into hearty delicious dishes. If you have ever dined at Fern, you know their menu offerings have the ability to win over carnivores and omnivores alike. This meal is sure to do the same.
Check out the menu and be prepared to salivate. Details for reserving your spot at this incredible meal follows.
VEGAN WEISSWEIN DINNER WITH CARMEL ROAD WINERY
Lenny Boy Lost Cove Kombucha Cocktails
Chilled Apple, Melon & Fennel Soup
Crispy Bread, Cream Cheese Schmear, 'Smoked Fish,' Onion & Tomato Powder
Monterey Pinot Grigio
Smoked Chickpea-Stuffed Baby Eggplant
Ginger, Cayenne & Maple Glaze
Mustard Greens, Baby Tomato Salad
Olive Oil Cake
House-Made Vegan Ricotta, Grilled Peaches & Summer Berry Sorbet
Monday, Aug. 20
Cocktails at 6 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m.
$60 per person
Reservations by phone only, call 704-377-1825
Last October, Bernardin's Restaurant opened in the historic location of what once was the Ratcliffe Florist at 425 S. Tryon St. Since 1992, owner and executive chef Freddy Lee had wanted to relocate from New York and open a restaurant in Charlotte. When the location he wanted to purchase did not work out, he landed in Winston Salem instead. Twenty years later, after much success with Bernardin's Restaurant in Winston Salem and two additional restaurants, he finally embarked on his newest restaurant venture in downtown Charlotte.
On Friday, June 22, Bernardin's Restaurant celebrated its half-year anniversary and invited some special friends to be a part of the celebration by dining at a chef's table.
Peanut sauce is one of my very favorite sauces to enjoy with some pasta and whatever veggies are in season. It's a delicious and decadent way to dress up a healthy meal, like this one, which includes a lot of leafy greens.
If you're not a fan of dark leafy greens, this peanut sauce just might change your mind. I used Nappa cabbage and bok choy to create this colorful and healthy dish, but broccoli and carrots also work really well. Later on in the fall when winter squash is in season, I often substitute the spaghetti squash for the soba noodles, making the dish a bit lighter with less carbohydrates and less calories. Whole wheat spaghetti noodles would also be a great substitution.
I believe in giving credit where credit is due and I cannot claim credit for this recipe. This recipe is completely my husband's through and through. It was one of the very first meals we made together five years ago when we first started dating, and I first started experimenting in the kitchen with his encouragement.
I had never eaten Thai green curry in my entire life, much less cooked with it! But I was pleasantly surprised to find that I absolutely love the taste of spicy green curry and especially love the contrasting texture and sweetness of the green apples in this recipe.
I should be fined for my overuse of the term "simple" when referring to the recipes I make, but I swear this little dish is so very simple. You can complicate things by roasting your own chicken, but I prefer to keep it easy and purchase a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken from the grocery store.
Eat this chicken salad your favorite way - on a sandwich, in a pita, on a salad, with some crackers - whatever strikes your fancy.
St. Patrick's Day is one of those fun holidays that I don't always celebrate. Even though green is my favorite color, there have been a few years where I have completely forgotten to wear something green, although I can't recall ever being pinched.
Celebrating the holiday has gotten much more attractive as I've gotten older — mainly when I turned 21 and learned to appreciate beer. But wearing green and drinking Irish beer aren't the only ways to celebrate this holiday. Cooking an Irish dish is also a great way to salute your Irish heritage ... or at least pretend you have a bit of the Irish luck.
Guinness and Steak Pie is an incredibly easy Irish dish that is hearty and flavorful. This version is more like a casserole because there is no crust on the bottom.
If you can't tell by now, you should know that I love ethnic foods. It seems that most crock-pot recipes out there are as American as apple pie, so once again, I'm planning to shake things up again this week with something a little different.
While my belly loves ethnic foods, my heart belongs to Southern cuisine. I've been eating fried chicken and fluffy white biscuits since I got my first few teeth. But no food reminds me more of my Southern upbringing than pulled pork. I grew up eating my grandfather's, which he basted in his own homemade sauce for 24 hours. Now that's some slow-cooking.
Pulled pork is extremely easy to make in the crock-pot, which is my preferred method. While anyone can dump half a bottle of barbecue sauce over a pork tenderloin and end up with a fantastic and easy meal, let's get a bit more creative, shall we?
There are so many wonderful flavor combinations you can pair with pork. I'm particularly fond of the sweet and tangy flavors of teriyaki. If you like sweet and smoky barbecue sauce, this will be right up your alley, but also a nice change of pace.
This week I dove far down into my crockpot arsenal to find something exotic, spicy, and savory.
Chana Masala ...
... in a crock-pot!
You know, I used to think that I hated Indian food. After trial and error, I learned that I actually don't. I just hated all the fried stuff I ate at Indian food buffets. So I stopped eating what my husband ordered at Indian food restaurants and decided to branch out into a healthier version of Indian food.
Quick pop quiz!
a. Too busy to cook?
b. Not in the mood to cook?
c. At a loss of how to prepare an easy healthy meal?
D. All of the above?
Have I got a recipe for you!
When I want to put a healthy meal on the table, but have little to no time, I reach into my crockpot arsenal.
My crockpot arsenal is a handful of easy healthy recipes that basically involve dumping a bunch of ingredients into a crockpot and walking away for at least eight hours, then coming home to a delicious home cooked meal.
1. Assemble ingredients.
2. Dump in crockpot.
3. Walk away for eight hours.
4. Come back and enjoy!
It's really as simple as that!
One of my favorite recipes to pull from my crockpot arsenal is curry chicken soup. Chicken soup is so comforting and delicious, but I love that this recipe is a little different than your traditional chicken soup by including curry.
It's warm, delicious, and comforting. Exactly what I want to come home to on a cold winter day!
Crockpot Curry Chicken Soup (serves 6)
1 pound chicken breast
6 cups chicken broth
1 can light coconut milk
1 1/2 Tablespoons curry powder
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 cups spinach
2/3 cup brown rice
1/2 cup cilantro, stems removed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
Put all ingredients in a crockpot and stir. Turn crockpot to low heat and cook for at least eight hours. Once cooking is complete, pull chicken apart (shred) into bite size pieces with two forks. Spoon into bowls and serve piping hot.
If you think this soup is delicious, wait until the next day! This soup gets tastier and tastier over time.
Serve it with a side salad or veggies and hummus, and crusty bread to sop up the broth. This meal will feed a crowd or will serve a couple for a few days. Feel free to halve it for less servings or stick it in a sealed container in the freezer to keep up to a few months.
Now what are you going to do with all of the free time you have by not slaving over a hot stove?
Come back next week and I'll share another tasty, healthy, quick and easy recipe from my crockpot arsenal!
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As long as the chicken recipe hasn't changed I think I'm good with it.