Posts Tagged ‘quick and easy’

Lemon “Caviar” Spaghetti with Fried Lemon Slices!

Oh Ikea. How much I love thee. Where else can you buy a new futon and go home with elderflower syrup?! I’ve always wondered what the Swedish must think of Ikea… Anyhoo, I digress. Recently, my friend Mariko Corella told me that Ikea carries a vegan version of caviar. After picking my jaw up off the floor, I immediately dashed over to Ikea to check it out and sure enough it exists and for only $1.99!!! Seriously! $1.99, are you out of your mind!? I immediately picked up 5 jars and made Ina Garten’s recipe for lemon capellini with caviar. I used spaghetti instead of capellini as I love the texture of it much better and I added thinly sliced fried lemons to make it a real party. 🙂 Zak claimed this as his new favorite and has asked me to make this 3 nights in a row. As it’s amazingly easy & light, I had no problems fulfilling this request from the hubby! I hope you all go get your TANGKORN (I will never get used to the product names at Ikea or at least say them without a chuckle) today and try this dish out! 🙂

Servings: 6

Time from start to plate: 25 minutes

Olive oil

1 bag of spaghetti (16 oz)

1 stick of butter (Ina’s recipe calls for 2 sticks but I found that half the amount works just fine)

3 lemons (2 to zest & juice for the pasta & 1 to slice very thinly to fry up)

Tangkorn (vegan caviar from Ikea)

1/4 cup of flour

Garlic powder

Vegetable oil

Salt & pepper to taste

This is how we do:
Here is Ina’s original recipe for the pasta.  While your water is boiling & your pasta is cooking, you can fry up your lemon slices. Quick tip for cooking pasta – add a lot of salt after the water has started boiling. Adding salt before it’s boiled makes the water take longer to act up! Also, my other domestic hero, Nigella Lawson always says that “the water you cook pasta in should be as salty as the Mediterranean” and I completely agree!

In a small bowl, add your flour, salt, pepper and garlic powder and mix. Coat your thinly sliced lemon slices in the mixture and in a pan, heat up some vegetable oil. Throw your lemon slices & and let them get brown & crispy!

When you’ve put together your pasta & caviar dish, add your crispy lemons and enjoy!


Portobello Sliders!

It seems that I’m super into mini sliders lately! I came up with this while reading a recipe for a portobello burger in this month’s Rachael Ray magazine. It’s extremely easy & fast to assemble and Zak has now proclaimed this as his new favorite! These are great to serve as appetizers at your next party or if you make a few, you can have them for dinner (and because they’re tiny, you won’t feel so guilty after eating say 10)!

Servings: 6 mini sliders

Time from start to plate: 40 minutes

6 mini portobello mushrooms, stems removed

6 mini slider buns

Balsamic vinegar

Olive oil


1 jalapeño, veins & seeds removed & diced

1 onion sliced very thin





This is how we do:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

In a bowl, pour some balsamic vinegar & olive oil (about 1/4 cup of each). Dunk your mini portobello mushrooms and let them soak for a minute in the balsamic mixture. Place them on a foiled baking sheet with the opening of the caps facing up. Fill each cap with some diced jalapeños.You can add more than one jalapeño if you like a lot of heat but even just one gives a good strong kick. Fill each cap with daiya shreds and then pop the baking sheet into the oven. Let them bake for about 20 to 25 minutes (the daiya cheese should get nice & melty).

While your caps are cooking, you can sauté your onions! You can also choose to grill them if you prefer.

Once your caps are done, turn your oven off but leave them in until you’re ready to assemble your sliders. Toast your buns and then add layers of veganaise, dijon and ketchup. Then add some arugula, sautéed onions, and finish with your slider. Garnish with a cornichon (they are a MUST to complete this dish). 🙂 Try not to eat more than 5 in one sitting.

K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Spaghetti!


This is a quick & easy but super flavorful pasta that I make when I have little time or am craving something savory with a kick! The ingredients are very simple & basic (hence the “keep it simple” idea) and you can totally add to it like lemon zest or other fresh herbs. Because it’s super simple, there are no exact measurements for the ingredients. Enjoy with a glass of red vino!

Servings: about 6-8 (depends on how much pasta you like as a serving ;))

1 package of spaghetti (16 oz)

Olive oil

4-5 cloves minced or 1-2 tbsp of garlic powder

Crushed red pepper

Handful of fresh parsley, chopped



This is how we do:
Start by cooking your pasta until it’s al dente. Whenever cooking pasta, I always add a a few dashes of salt into the boiling water as it adds flavor to the noodles. I also stir the pasta quite frequently to prevent it from sticking. I used to add oil to the boiling water as I once heard that it helps the pasta from sticking together, but it actually just creates really oily noodles.

Once the pasta is done, drain it but reserve about a 1/4 cup of the water.  In the same pot, toss the pasta with the pasta water & olive oil over medium heat and saute. Add more salt, pepper & the garlic and continue sauteing. Add the crushed red pepper a dash at a time (be careful not to add to much of this as it can make your pasta VERY spicy). Turn the heat off and add the fresh parsley and toss everything together some more. Plate & enjoy! 🙂




Potato Salad

Recently, my lovely friend Juliette told me about a French-style potato salad that her mother always made her. She described a very light & delicious dish filled with potatoes, onions, mayo & vinegar. I then remembered the Japanese-style potato salad I grew up with – potatoes with peas, cucumbers, carrots, mayo and a hint of hot mustard. I then thought, why not create a mixture of both! Below is the recipe I came up with. It combines the light, yet creamy sauce of the French-style, while adding texture and kick from the Japanese-style. I hope you guys try it out and enjoy! 🙂

Servings: 6

Time from start to plate: 30 minutes


About 1 lb. of potatoes, cubed (I used fingerlings)

1 cup of peas

1/2 an onion sliced very thinly

2 cucumbers (peeled and thinly sliced)

1/2 cup of vegan may (I LOVE Vegenaise)

1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar (you can try white too, I just had this variety on hand)

1-2 tsp of hot mustard

salt & pepper to taste

This is how we do:
Boil potatoes in salted hot water for about 10 minutes or until they are ready (you’ll know they’re ready when you can pick a piece out, rinse under cold water, and easily bite into it). When your potatoes are ready, drain and rinse under cold water. Let cool for a few minutes. In a bowl, add the potatoes, onions, peas, cucumbers and mayo. Add a little by little the vinegar and hot mustard and mix. If you want the sauce to be lighter and acidic, add more vinegar. If you want more of a kick, add more hot mustard. Add salt and pepper to taste. Once you have the right consistency and amount heat desired, EAT!!!

Smore Bites


The hubby and I have been on vacation (hence the long break in between posts) for the past two weeks. We started out our time off in Mendocino with our pups. Mendocino is a very dog-friendly and gorgeous place to visit. If you want lots of nature, beautiful oceans and to be able to bring your best friends, I highly recommend it! In Mendocino, we stayed at this very charming and cute lodge called The Andiron Inn. It’s extremely affordable and you can rent out individual cabin-like rooms. Each room is decorated in a very playful theme AND it’s dog friendly. 🙂 When we first arrived, we were greeted with a handwritten note welcoming us and two bite-sized smores. Of course, I had to recreate this treat and make it myself! This is very easy to make and is great to prepare when you have guests coming over or want to whip something up for a party (and again, it’s my favorite kind of desert – the kind that requires no baking :)). I made a ton and stored them in the freezer. They didn’t last very long though, when someone kept going back every 10 minutes to grab and eat one.

Servings: 1 dozen smore bites

Time from start to plate: 45 minutes


12 graham crackers

1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

24 Dandies vegan marshmallows (these are SUPER awesome)

This is how we do:
In a microwave-safe bowl, place the semi-sweet chocolate chips. Microwave for about 1 to 2 minutes, checking and stirring a couples of times to ensure that the chips are melting and not overcooking. Once you’ve melted down the chocolate, dip a graham cracker in and cover it completely. Place the chocolate-covered graham cracker on a parchment lined baking sheet and place 1 to 2 marshmallows on top. Once you’ve done this with all 12, place in the freezer for about 5 to 10 minutes (until the chocolate hardens).

When you’ve confirmed that the chocolate has hardened, take a match or a lighter and hold it against the marshmallow to create those burnt edges. Beware of the hubby monster that will eat them before you’re done!smore

My Recipe Is In This Month’s Rachael Ray Magazine!

I’m so very excited to see that my quinoa salad made it into this month’s Rachael Ray magazine under the “5 Ingredient Meal” section! This recipe is SUPER easy to make as it only has 5 basic ingredients: lemon juice, basil, quinoa, kidney beans and onions! It’s filled with protein and you can build onto it – add kale, craisins, nuts – go crazy! Hope everyone picks up a copy & tries it out! If you do, tell me how your creation came out! WOOT WOOT!

Alfredo Linguini with Crispy King Trumpet Mushrooms, Onions & Swiss Chard

I came across this VERY easy and super delicious “alfredo” recipe from Vegan Yum Yum by my wonderful and talented friend, Dianna. Vegan Yum Yum is an AMAZING blog/cookbook writer! I have LOVED everything I have ever made from her. 
I wanted to somehow incorporate these beautiful mushrooms and chard I just received in my farm box from Farm Fresh To You

I don’t know how you love to eat your alfredo pasta but I’m not a huge fan of mixing veggies into the sauce. So, I decided to crisp the veggies and place them on top to add some fun texture! Zak has claimed this to be his new favorite….hmmm….I’m starting to wonder how much I can trust him as an actual critic….

Servings: 6
Time from start to plate: 40 minutes
Here is the recipe & ingredients list for the alfredo sauce from Vegan Yum Yum.
Ingredients for the crispy toppings:
4-5 stalks of King Trumpet Mushrooms

Olive oil

Salt & pepper

Onion or garlic powder

1 small onion

3 leaves of swiss chard

This is how we do:
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F. Thinly slice the mushrooms, onions and chard. Drizzle the mushrooms in the olive oil and spread out on a baking sheet. Drizzle the chard with olive oil and spread on a separate baking sheet. Make sure that all of the slices are laying flat. Sprinkle salt and pepper and garlic/onion powder on top. Place in the oven. Keep in there for about 30 minutes but keep an eye it as you don’t want to burn your veggies, just make them crispy. Once crispy and browned, remove from oven. Your mushrooms should come out tasty buttery & according to Zak, like bacon!

In a pan, sprinkle some salt and add olive oil. Sautee the sliced onions at a medium-low heat, stirring often until the slices are browned & soft.

While you’re waiting for your veggies in the oven to brown, you can boil your pasta and make your alfredo sauce. Top with your crispy veggies & serve! Make sure to add tons of black pepper before serving. Mangia mangia! 🙂