Tag Archives: recipe redux

Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches

18 Aug

I received free samples of Breton Crackers mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Breton Crackers and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

I’ve become somewhat of a weather-app-checking freak every time I set out to train for a race. Will the weather be good enough for my long runs? Will I get caught in the rain? Do I need to wait or go sooner to avoid high temps or bad storms? My weather app is probably the most-used app on my phone as a result!

Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Which is why, when planning this weekend’s running, I was disheartened to see 90 degree highs for Saturday through Tuesday. Wisconsin seriously has something against spring time, because I swear we jumped from winter to summer overnight. It’s ridiculous.

I don’t like running super early in the morning, but it looks like it’s either that or I suffer through the heat! Luckily, as I think about the half marathon that is just two weeks away, I know that it’s an early start time, so in most cases, we should be fine.

Speaking of hot weekends, it’s just about time to start whipping up allllll the nice cream for easy scooping to beat the heat. If you haven’t jumped on board the nice cream train, let me give you the low-down.

Rather than sugar- and fat-filled ice cream or frozen custard or froyo, nice cream is simply made by pureeing frozen bananas with a splash of milk and flavoring agents of your choice. In the mood for a protein boost? Chocolate protein powder tastes great as an addition. Want something fruity? Throw in a handful of berries. Going for a classic ice cream flavor? Toss in the toppings of your choice and drizzle with homemade date caramel or magic shell (melt coconut oil with cocoa powder, stir, and cover your nice cream- the oil will solidify on contact with the cold nice cream!). It’s a wonderful dessert that you will always feel good about.

Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

So when I was eating some of these Breton Artisanal Sweet Potato and Ancient Grains crackers on their own, I was totally inspired! Why not use these as the “sandwich” part to a nice cream sandwich? These crackers are pretty magical. They’re made of ancient grains, like rye and quinoa, have sweet potato baked right in, and are still somehow light and flaky. Sure, plain vanilla nice cream could suffice, but I wanted to kick up the flavor party with the addition of strawberry and chocolate layers. The resulting Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches are a hearty, healthy dessert that perfectly join together the slightly salty, crispy crackers with a guilt-free filling. A wonderfully satisfying snack or appetizer on a hot day!

I’m super excited about these. Make them now – you’ll thank me when it’s 90 degrees in your neighborhood!

Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches

Makes 15 sandwiches

Line a 9×13″ baking dish with plastic wrap. Lay half of the crackers bottom side up on the sheet, making sure they touch each other but do not overlap.

Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

In a food processor, puree all the bananas with the nondairy milk and vanilla. Remove 1/3 of the banana mixture from the food processor bowl and spread this on top of the layer of crackers, being careful not to break the crackers. Place in the freezer to firm up.

From the remaining banana mixture, remove half to another bowl; set aside (this would be another 1/3 of the original mixture). Into the food processor, add the quartered strawberries and puree again until completely smooth. Spread this on top of the frozen vanilla layer. Place in the freezer again.

Wipe out your food processor bowl and blade with a clean cloth and then place the final 1/3 of the banana mixture back in, along with the sea salt and cocoa powder. Puree together until incorporated. Spread this mixture onto the vanilla and strawberry layers. Place the other half of the crackers on top, following the same pattern you did for the bottom layer. Make sure these crackers face up.

Freeze the nice cream sandwiches for at least an hour, or until firm.

Remove the pan from the freezer, and let sit out a few minutes to allow the nice cream to soften a bit. Use a sharp knife to cut out the sandwiches from the layer of nice cream, again being careful not to break the crackers.

Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Transfer sandwiches to a plate and place them back in the freezer to harden again.

Serve cold and enjoy! Leftovers can be transferred to a freezer-safe container and eaten one at a time.

Neapolitan Nice Cream Sandwiches | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

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Quick Herbed Goat Cheese Alfredo with Red Lentil Pasta

22 Jan

Have you ever added up how much you spend on food? The daily coffees, lunches out with co-workers, dinner dates, picked-up meals and weekly groceries all add up to a LOT of money. Whether you’re working on a New Year’s goal related to spending habits, or just want to be able to cook more frugally, the Recipe Redux has you covered this month!

We’ve been tasked with creating a recipe that costs less than $3 per serving. Now, as a vegetarian, this is much easier for me than my meat-eating friends. I noticed the drop in spending immediately after I gave up meat – both at the grocery store and at restaurants. But the bill can still add up and sometimes in a less than healthy way.

Quick Herbed Goat Cheese Alfredo with Red Lentil Pasta | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

So I wanted to develop a meal that was not only low cost, but high in flavor, protein and fiber. Have you seen those legume-based pastas that are available? Black bean spaghetti, red lentil rotini, even chickpea penne! Yes, they sound a little crazy, and the first time you make black bean spaghetti, I guarantee you will be weirded out by the color of the cooking water. But these are such an incredible alternative to traditional pastas. (Which I totally have nothing against, especially since I began making my own!) Sometimes, you just need a high protein meal that comes together quickly and can be easily dressed up.

This Alfredo delivers on all of the above. Red lentil pasta, which clocks in at a hefty 21 grams of protein per serving, is tossed with a simple yet flavorful goat cheese sauce. Dress up the finished product with a bit of balsamic glaze and voila: a healthy, quick, delicious meal that only costs $2.22 per serving.

Quick Herbed Goat Cheese Alfredo with Red Lentil Pasta

Serves 2

  • 6 oz red lentil gluten free pasta (can substitute for black bean pasta, or another favorite) – ($1.50)
  • 2 tbsp butter ($0.15)
  • 1/2 C soy milk (or other preferred milk) ($0.12)
  • 4 oz garlic & herb goat cheese or chevre ($1.99)
  • 1 oz parmesan, freshly shredded ($0.36)
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp Balsamic glaze, to garnish ($0.32)

Grand total: $4.44. Per serving: $2.22!

Cook pasta according to package directions. These legume-based pastas have pretty specific directions, so it’s best to follow them!

While the pasta boils, heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high. Once melted, stir in the milk and then the cheeses. Keep stirring to melt all the cheese into the milk. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.

Drain the cooked pasta and immediately transfer into the skillet with the hot Alfredo sauce. Toss to coat completely. Serve and drizzle with balsamic glaze (this is optional, but the sweet tang of the glaze makes the creamy sauce pop!)

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Pasta with Charred Pepper and Onion

22 Dec

Happy winter! I know, it’s been a while since I posted a new recipe. Work and life and more work have taken a priority, but all for great reasons! Since September, I have been teaching public speaking at the nearby university in addition to my day job. The class is fun and poses some interesting challenges for myself. This week will see the end of the semester, which simply means five weeks to prep for spring.

I was excited to see that this month’s Recipe Redux challenge was a cookbook-related one. In order to celebrate all the accomplishments of 2016, the Redux team has asked us flip to a 2016-esque page number in the nearest cookbook.

A year or two ago, my Oma and Opa gave me a vegetarian cookbook for Christmas. I know they sometimes question my vegetarianism, but the gift of that book said a lot in terms of acceptance of my dietary choices. I know they want the best for me overall, and proper food is a surefire way to be healthy!

So, I flipped to page 216 in the book “330 Vegetarian Recipes for Health,” and low and behold I found a simple yet satisfying recipe of pasta, roasted peppers and onion!

Pasta with Charred Pepper and Onion | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

After a long day and a nice run on the treadmill, this was to be the ideal dinner with some modifications. This meal really is the ideal dinner to make on a busy night. Bell pepper roasts quickly in the broiler or on the grill and pairs perfectly with whole grain pasta and sauteed onion. I added some beefless ground for a protein boost, and some spices for additional flavor, and that’s it! A quick and easily meal for two or four.

Pasta with Charred Pepper and Onion | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Fusilli with Peppers and Onions, modified from 330 Vegetarian Recipes for Health

Serves 2

  • 1 large bell pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1-1/2 whole grain fusilli or rotini
  • 3/4 C beefless ground
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • sea salt & black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, to serve

Turn on your broiler or grill. Place the washed bell pepper in the flame and cook until charred. You’ll need to watch it and turn it around to ensure an even char. Once sufficiently blackened, remove and place in a paper bag. Close and let sit for five minutes.

Scrape off the charred skin from the bell pepper. Slice thinly; set aside.

Bring water to boil in a pot and cook pasta according to package directions. I prefer the whole grain pasta for added chew, fiber and protein. Drain and return to the pot.

While the pasta cooks, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in frying pan. Saute onion 8-10 minutes. Add in the sliced bell pepper and sprinkle in some sea salt and black pepper. Then, stir in the beefless ground, paprika and coriander. Cook another 5 minutes to heat through.

Stir the vegetables into the pot of pasta. Mix well and serve into two bowls. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil, and extra salt and pepper.
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