Foodie Friday

Happy Freezing Friday Folks!

It snowed here in Philadelphia last night and I for one am not a fan. Its warming up a little but the cold has officially settled in – I guess it’s time to bundle up and break out the comfort recipes.

Today’s delicious dish is a Cooking Light adaptation, Butternut Squash and Barley Risotto. I made this a week before Mexico and have been thinking about it ever since. Delectable hot, cold or reheated for leftovers, this hearty health food is so easy to make, my fiance can do it – no offense Phil!


Roasted Butternut Squash and Barley Risotto

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 4.5 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoon EVOO
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sage

Start by peeling and cutting the butternut squash into cubes & putting the stock in a pot to simmer. Toss cubes in 1 tablespoon EVOO, salt/pepper and roast in the oven @ 375 for 30 minutes. While the squash is roasting, dice shallots and garlic to add to a medium sauce pan with the remaining tablespoon of EVOO. Once the shallots and garlic have softened add the cup of barley and season with salt/pepper. After allowing the barley to cook for a few minutes, begin to add the simmering stock, 1/2-1 cup at a time. Continue to stir barley until liquid is almost fully absorbed before adding more and season with sage once all stock has been absorbed. Add the roasted squash as well as 1/2 the cheese & stir until well combined. Season one last time before plating w s/p & top each portion with the remaining cheese. 

I can’t imagine a better way to spend a cold Friday night than with a plate of risotto, glass of wine and handsome soon-be-to hubby!

Looking forward to the weekend – plans with my future brother & sister-in-law, farmers market, tons of cooking for friendsgiving in NJ, swim lessons with my kiddies & YOGA – can’t wait!

Til next time, keeping smiling 😉


Foodie Friday

Happy Friday Folks! As promised, today’s post is my spicy seafood fettuccine alfredo and I am so excited to share!! I’m actually making it again tonight Phil loved it so much!pasta 2

Spicy Seafood Alfredo

  • Whole Wheat Pasta (buy fresh or make: 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup semolina, 1 tbsp EVOO, 2 eggs, 2 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 lb scallops
  • 1/2 lb shrimp
  • 8 oz crab meat
  • 2-3 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp whole wheat flour
  • 1 shallot (minced)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 small hot red peppers
  • 1 bag/bunch of spinach
  • 1/2 cup 2% Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup 1% milk
  • 1/4 cup aged parmesan
  • 1 lemon (juice and zest)
  • 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
  • seasoning to taste: salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, red pepper, red pepper flakes, cajun seasoning

The pasta is easy to make but if you don’t have a pasta roller, or if you just don’t feel comfortable making your own, you can always buy it. If its fresh, pasta only takes 3 minutes to cook, so have a pot of boiling water ready on the back burner. Cut the shrimp in half length wise and chunk the scallops into similar sized pieces. In a dry, med/hot nonstick pan, put the seafood down and let it sear for a minute or two. Turn the heat down to med/low and put 1.5 tbsp butter into the pan to loosen the seafood from the pan, add some lemon zest and lemon juice to deglaze and toss in the crab meat. Continue to cook for a minute and put aside to cool. In the same pan, turn the heat to medium and swirl some EVOO. Once the oil is hot, add shallots and garlic (save some for your sauce) and cook for 2 minutes before adding the peppers – stir often for 5-7 minutes. As the peppers are cooking, sprinkle in some red pepper flakes and start working on your alfredo sauce.pasta 1 In a separate sauce pan, turn the heat to med/low &  add remaining butter, garlic and shallots. Once the butter is melted add your tablespoon of whole wheat flour and stir until totally combined. Turn the heat down a little, add the milk – stirring until well incorporated – then add the Greek yogurt and combine evenly. Once the dairy ingredients are well combined, add your spices and the 1/4 cup of fresh grated parm. Allow the cheese to melt thoroughly and the sauce to thicken before adding to pasta and veggies. While you’re getting the sauce together, splash some white wine into the peppers to deglaze the pan before turning off the heat and adding the spinach to wilt (stir gentle once or twice). Once the veggies and sauce are ready, toss fresh pasta in the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes – remove/strain promptly. Toss pasta, veggies and sauce together and cook together over low heat for about a minute. Top with chopped parsley and serve!

All and all (if you don’t count the 45-1hr to make the pasta) it takes about 30 minutes to prepare and about 30 seconds to devour! Growing up, my mother made the most amazing fettuccine alfredo – its one of those dishes I crave! My mother didn’t cook A LOT but everything she made was always so comforting and delicious it would take me to my ‘happy place’ with every forkful! So many dishes just like this one are tied to memories, and I get so excited when I make a healthy adaptation that doesn’t sacrifice flavor!

What are some of your favorite childhood dishes??



Asian Inspiration

Happy Hump Day!

The snow continues here, only a few inches thankfully, but I wont let it get me down! In a few days I will be visiting one of my college besties in New York for her town’s St. Patty’s Day celebration! While we both keep crazy schedules, we always make time to visit each other a few times a year and the Rockaway St. Patty’s Day parade has been one of those occasions for many years!

In other efforts to keep the snow from bringing me down I have been trying to make comforting evening meals that taste indulgent but are totally healthy! This Asian stir-fry is one such comfort food I can’t live without – and neither can Phil! I have been making variations of this forever, but thanks to the Rocco Dispirito’s Now Eat This Book, I have taken all my Asian dishes to a whole other level while still keeping it guilt free!asian

Tofu Teriyaki Stir Fry

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 1 small head nappa cabbage
  • 1 small box of shitake mushrooms
  • 1 small head of broccoli
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 batch Rocco’s Rockin’ Asian Sauce (1/4 cup chopped ginger, 5 cloves minced garlic, 1/2 bunch scallions fine chopped, 1 tbsp sesame oil, 3/4 cup stock, 1/2 cup reduced sugar ketchup, 1 tbsp corn starch, 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar)

* Cook brown rice as instructed on package (1cup rice 2cup water boil/cover for 20-30 minutes). Drain and dry tofu, slice into cubes and bake in oven @ 400 for 10-15 minutes, rotating every few minutes. As tofu cooks, heat non-stick pan to medium and add sesame oil. Add shallots and garlic to the pan first, followed by all the vegetables except the cabbage. Cook veggies until tender, add cabbage, rice, sauce and tofu.

The dish, sauce and all, takes about 35 minutes and is AMAZING as leftovers!

Nothing like a little comfort food to carry you over the mid-week hump..enjoy!