Caprese Lasagna

I’ve done it again. Something caprese and delicious.

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Something about caprese + carbs is delicious. A perfect marriage of fresh and hearty.

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When you bake this, the mozzarella gets all melty and gooey and perfect.

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Just make this, close your eyes, and pretend you’re in Italy. Maybe make a Bellini while you’re at it. And a cannoli for dessert?..

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Caprese Lasagna

4 whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 plum tomato, sliced
1/4 c fresh basil leaves, torn or julienned
1/3 c fresh mozzarella
3/4 c tomato sauce
Shredded Italian cheese blend
Italian breadcrumbs

1. Cook noodles according to directions.
2. Drain noodles and lay out on a flat surface (ex: aluminum foil over cookie sheet).
3. Place tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil evenly on noodles, such as some on each end and some in the middle.
4. Roll noodles up and place in baking dish.
5. Pour tomato sauce over noodles, and sprinkle shredded cheese and breadcrumbs on top.
6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes on 350°F.

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Tortellini Salad

So today is Labor Day.

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The last of summer, the last of white pants and neon everything. The last of picnics and days at the pool, the last of margaritas on the deck and watermelon seed contests.

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You better enjoy today because summer has come and gone and it is about to be fall, people.

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But for your Labor Day celebrations, I’ve made a tortellini salad for you. This salad can be cold and served picnic-style or it can be hot and served for dinner after a long day at the lake or pool.

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Tortellini Salad
Adapted from The Alchemist

1 package tortellini
1/3 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 c black olives, drained and rinsed
1 c spinach
3 large basil leaves, julienne
1/4 c feta
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (I used flavored: cilantro garlic!)
1 tbsp olive oil (I used flavored: sun-dried tomato and parmesan!)

1. Cook tortellini according to directions.
2. Place tomatoes, olives and spinach in a large bowl. Top with hot pasta to allow the spinach to wilt slightly.
3. Top with feta, basil, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Serve warm or cold.

Lemon Zucchini Pasta

Can I tell you a secret?

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I’m a tiny bit excited for Christmas. Not crazy excited, but I was going through my Pinterest boards and looked at all the delicious peppermint and chocolate recipes in my holiday board. Holy goodness I can’t wait. But I can. Can we just make peppermint a year round thing? AND now that I have an apartment, I can decorate it. Ooooh, let the crafts begin.

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Okay. Back to normal things. Like pasta. Pasta is a year round dish. This pasta is a little bit summery, with the lemon zest and juice and the fresh zucchini.

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What I like about this dish is that you can eat it hot right after you make it or cold the next day as leftovers. 

Lemon Zucchini Pasta
Adapted from Oh My Veggies

7 oz whole wheat rotini (half a box)
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
1/4 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Pinch of dried thyme
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1/4 c feta cheese (I used tomato and basil)
Zest of 1 lemon
3 tbsp lemon juice

1. Cook pasta according to directions.
2. Put 1 tbsp olive oil in pan over medium low heat. Place minced garlic directly into olive oil and cook, allowing garlic to fragrance the olive oil.
3. Add zucchini and saute until slightly softened. Raise the temperature to medium and stir, for about 5-8 minutes.
4. Add spices and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes.
5. Combine zucchini mixture with pasta, then add parmesan, feta, lemon zest and juice.

Mango Basil Stir Fry

I have something that I want to add to my life bucket list.

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Now, you all have seen my food bucket list, but I also have a life bucket list. There are some normal things on it, like go to Hollywood and own a dog, and some not so normal things, like try all the Cheesecake Factory cheesecake flavors and write a manifesto.

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However, I have an addition. Make one of my Pinterest outfits come to life. I feel like everyone with a Pinterest account has this dream. Or, if they don’t, they do now.

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I went out last night with a few friends, and wanted to reach into my computer and pull out one of those outfits. And then I thought, “Why don’t I make that happen?” I’ll just choose one and over the course of time, bring it to life.

Thanks, Pinterest. You rock.

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Pinterest also gives me inspiration for food. While this stir fry was not inspired by Pinterest, it is still pretty awesome. These flavors scream summahtime.

Mango Basil Stir Fry

1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/3 c zucchini, chopped
1/3 c cooked quinoa
2 + 1 tbsp lime juice
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
Pinch garlic salt
2 pinches lemon pepper
Pinch ginger
1 mango, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil

1. In a skillet over medium heat, steam peppers and zucchini in a 2-3 tbsp of water until slightly soft, about 4 minutes.
2. Add 2 tbsp lime juice, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, and spices and cook for another couples minutes on low heat.
3. Add mango and quinoa, stir, and cook for another minute.
4. Transfer quinoa and vegetable mixture to a bowl, add fresh basil and 1 tbsp lime juice.

Caprese Mac ‘n’ Cheese

Sometimes life is tough.

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It’s cloudy on your day off, you have to leave your cat at home as you move into your new apartment, and you can’t seem to stick to your 100-pages-of-Harry-Potter-a-day plan.

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I have made some macaroni and cheese for you. Macaroni and cheese solves all of the world’s problems. It’s a comfort food. I remember when I was younger, my friend and I would eat macaroni and cheese and chicken nuggets. We would eat that, while sitting on the deck and chitchatting. It was just our thing.

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While I don’t do chicken nuggets, I can make some mean mac ‘n’ cheese. And it’s individual style, which is the best part. So if you’ve been out shopping for apartment things (sadly, not a cat), and you need a quick meal, you can whip up this mac ‘n’ cheese.

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Don’t stress. Mac ‘n’ cheese to the rescue.

Caprese Mac ‘n’ Cheese

3/4 c elbow macaroni
2 tbsp soymilk
1 tbsp butter
1/2 c + 2 tbsp shredded mozzarella
1 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 tomato, chopped
2 tbsp fresh basil, shredded (just cut with scissors)

1. Cook pasta according to directions.
2. In a saucepan, combine soymilk and butter over medium heat. Stir until melted.
3. Add cheese into milk and butter mixture, and stir until combined.
4. Add pasta, tomatoes and basil into cheese sauce, then pour into ramekin.
5. Sprinkle remaining cheese and breadcrumbs over pasta, and bake for 7 minutes at 400°F.