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Thai Noodle Salad with Almond Butter

September 7, 2017

Thai Noodle Salad with Almond Butter

Thai noodle salad with almond butter is my newest creation.  I make Thai noodle salad all the time and always switch up the different veggies I use.  This time I decided to try it using chunky almond butter instead of peanut butter and it turned out great.  Almond butter has less sugar and is healthier for you, but I still love the more traditional Thai noodle salad as well.  This is a great option for people who are allergic to peanuts!

Ancient-Harvest-Spaghetti

I also used my favorite gluten free pasta by Ancient Harvest made with quinoa.  You can usually find this pasta at any grocery store.

Thai noodle salad is also great with shrimp, chicken or beef!  Other vegetables that are great with this dish include, but are not limited to:  asparagus, snow peas, cilantro, radish, and greens.

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Thai Noodle Salad with Almond Butter
Thai Noodle Salad made with almond butter instead of peanut butter
Cuisine Thai
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
Servings
People
Cuisine Thai
Prep Time 15 Minutes
Cook Time 15 Minutes
Servings
People
Instructions
  1. Cook spaghetti noodles per package instructions and place in large bowl with a bit of sesame seed oil and stir, then set aside.
  2. Whisk together the Braggs Amino Acid or soy sauce with the almond butter, chili garlic sauce, ginger paste, sesame seed oil and honey.
  3. Add the vegetables into the pasta dish and then slowly add the almond butter mixture while stirring until the pasta is completely coated and mixed well. There will be left over sauce, so safe that and use it later if needed after the pasta has been refrigerated.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and serve. Use some of the left over sauce if needed.
Recipe Notes

Thai noodle salad is also great with shrimp, chicken or beef!  Other vegetables that are great with this dish include, but are not limited to:  asparagus, snow peas, cilantro, radish, and greens.

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Appetizers, Dinner, Entrees, Gluten Free, Pasta

Traditional Meatballs

January 6, 2017

I am a little behind on posting my recipes as always.  I made my traditional meatballs over the holidays for a party.  They are great as an appetizer, or you can throw it over some spaghetti.

GourmetGirlDoesRE

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of ground grass fed beef
  • 1 pound of ground veal
  • 1 pound of ground pork (you can get the spicy one if you want)
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of fresh thyme
  • 1/3 cup fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 4 to 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup day old bread crumbs finely crumbled, or you can buy seasoned bread crumbs (if you eat gluten free, they do sell gluten free bread crumbs at Nugget and Whole Foods)

Directions:

  1. Mix the meats together using your bare hands and then mix all the other ingredients with it.  I usually mix the eggs first then add the breadcrumbs and everything else afterwards.
  2. Roll meatballs into the size of a golf ball.
  3. Put meatballs in a large skillet over the stove with a bit of olive oil on the bottom and cook on all sides until all sides are browned.
  4. Place in a large pan and put in the oven at 250 for about 1 to 2 hours along with your favorite marinara sauce.  See below for my fast and simple marinara sauce.

Fast and Simple Marinara Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 large cans of tomato puree (there are gluten free options at the store)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons garlic powder or 2 to 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons chili flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped

Cook on medium to low heat for about 20 minutes and then you can put the sauce over the meatballs when you put them in the oven.

Dinner, Entrees, Pasta

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

October 15, 2016

Here is a really easy Cajun shrimp pasta with my own little twist!   You can use chicken in this recipe instead of shrimp if you want.

Cajun Shrimp Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of spaghetti pasta (gluten free or regular)
  • 1 pound of jumbo shrimp shelled
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 package prosciutto chopped in small pieces
  • 1 small container of cherub tomatoes sliced in half
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked or regular paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a skillet drizzle a small amount of olive oil in pan and add the chopped prosciutto on medium heat.  Cook until crispy.
  2. In another skillet add butter, onions, garlic, shrimp, spices and prosciutto on low to medium heat for about 6 or 7 minutes.  At the last minute add cherub tomatoes so that they don’t get overcooked and mushy.
  3. Cook pasta according to package instructions and place into a large serving dish.
  4. Pour shrimp mixture over pasta.
  5. Garnish with fresh parsley if desired.
  6. Parmesan cheese is great with this dish.

 

 

Brunch, Lunch, Pasta, Side Dishes

Caprese Pasta Salad

September 30, 2016

We had a community get together recently for end of summer, and I decided to make a caprese pasta salad.  I always love caprese salads, so this is just a different take on it!

GourmetGirlDoesRE

Ingredients:

  • Penne or Bow Tie Pasta (1 package)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons pesto
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons mayo
  • Heirloom cherry tomatoes to give more color (if you cannot find them just use cherry or grape tomatoes) – one large container or 2 small containers
  • 1 package of basil (remove leaves from stem)
  • 1 small package of pine nuts (about 1/3 cup)
  • 2 containers of Mozzarella Balls
  • 1/2 to 1 cup parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste

See my pesto recipe below!

Directions:

  1.  Cut cherry or grape tomatoes in half and set aside.
  2. Cook pasta per package instructions, drain and place in bowl.
  3. Immediately add the pesto and mayo.  It’s easier to mix when the pasta is still warm.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the basil and Mozzarella balls.  Wait to add when the pasta has cooled down to add the Mozzarella balls.  Do not add the basil leaves until you are ready to serve otherwise they will wilt.
  5. Refrigerate for at least 10-20 minutes before serving.

Pesto

Pesto Recipe

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves (about 1 large bunch)
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup pine nuts (or walnuts)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated hard cheese such as Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino-Romano cheese, or a combo of the two
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste

Directions:

  1. Combine all the ingredients except the oil and cheeses in a food processor. Pulse until the pesto is blended into a slightly coarse paste.​
  2. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the oil and cheeses.​
  3. To serve with pasta, you can toss the cooked pasta directly with the pesto. Or, if you want to thin out the pesto sauce a little, add a spoonful or two of the hot pasta water to the pesto, then toss with the cooked pasta and serve right away.

 

Pasta, Salads, Side Dishes

Pasta Salad

May 18, 2016

I cannot claim this recipe because I got it from a friend who got it from someone else.  It is always a hit when I make this pasta salad.  The main ingredient is pesto, but sometimes I will make a chipotle aioli sauce instead which is also very good.  I also switch it up by putting different ingredients depending on what I have or am looking to try a new version.

GourmetGirlDoesRE

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of bow tie pasta (penne pasta would be good as well)
  • 1 package cherub tomatoes cut in half
  • sun-dried tomatoes (optional), 1/2 to 1 cup julienne style
  • 1 to 2 small cans of chopped black olives
  • 1/3 to 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 can of artichoke hearts cut up into bite size pieces
  • 1 small container of pesto sauce (homemade is always good too)
  • approximately 1 to 2 cups of mayo (try 1 cup first and see how it all blends together)
  • 1 to 2 cups or more of parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta per package instructions.
  2. Drain and place in large bowl.
  3. While the pasta is still hot, mix in the pesto and mayo.
  4. Add the other ingredients and let sit for at least 15-20 to allow all the flavors to mix together.

This can be made the day before.  You can always add more mayo or pesto if needed.   The original recipe I got did not have fresh tomatoes, just sun-dried tomatoes.  I like the fresh tomatoes better, but both are really good.   The original recipe also included turkey meat, which you can add.  Chicken would also be good in this.

Other things I have added before was fresh spinach, feta cheese or cubes of gruyere cheese, and salami cubes vs. turkey or chicken.

Appetizers, Lunch, Pasta, Side Dishes

Thai Noodle Salad

May 6, 2016

I recently had a broker open at one of my listings, and I decided to make my famous Thai Noodle salad that I have perfected over the years.  I served it in Chinese Food Boxes that I got at Michaels and put my logo on it.  This could be a great appetizer though for any party.

GourmetGirlDoesRE

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of spaghetti noodles (this time I tried the short spaghetti noodles because I thought they would be easier to eat as an appetizer)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 package julienned carrots
  • 1/3 to 1/2 package of sliced red cabbage
  • fresh cilantro to taste
  • 1/2 to 1 full cup of peanuts
  • 1 to 2 red bell peppers cut into thin julienned slices
  • 3 to 4 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup chili sauce or sriracha sauce (more if you like really spicy)
  • 1/2 to 1 full cup seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seed oil (optional)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons Bragg’s Amino Acid or low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey

Directions:

  1. To make the sauce, whisk the peanut butter, chili/sriracha sauce, rice vinegar, honey, soy sauce and sesame seed oil.  Set aside.
  2. Cook the spaghetti noodle per package instructions; drain and then place in a large bowl.
  3. While the pasta is still warm add the sauce along with all the other ingredients and mix well.
  4. Garnish with Cilantro and/or more peanuts.

This can be made a day before.  The noodles end up soaking up the liquid, so you can make more sauce or what I have done when I am in a hurry is just put some rice vinegar in it and mix right before you are ready to serve.

Dinner, Entrees, Pasta

Tomato Basil Pasta

March 8, 2016

Tomato Basil Pasta is one of my favorite recipes because I love the simple flavors together, and I usually always have all the ingredients on hand.

GourmetGirlDoesRE

Ingredients:

  • 1 package spaghetti noodles (regular or gluten-free)
  • 1 package fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 2 small packages of grape tomatoes or approximately 6 Roma tomatoes
  • 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • olive oil (approximately 5 to 6 tablespoons)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook pasta per package instructions, drain when done and set aside.  I usually put a bit of salt and olive oil in the pasta water before I bring it to a boil.  It helps so that the pasta does not stick together.  Make sure to stir frequently, especially with the gluten-free pasta because it tends to stick together more so that regular pasta.
  2. Cut grape tomatoes in half or chop the Roma tomatoes put in pan with olive oil, garlic and salt/pepper stirring frequently.  Cook at medium heat for about 10 minutes or so.  The tomatoes will break down creating a sauce with the olive oil.  The Roma tomatoes will break down more if you want it to be closer to a tomato sauce.
  3. Right before you are ready to serve over the pasta, throw in the basil and stir for about a minute then place pasta and sauce in a large dish and mix together.
  4. Serve with fresh basil and as always top it with Parmesan cheese!
Dinner, Entrees, Pasta

Gourmet Beef Stroganoff

February 10, 2016

Here is my twist on a Beef Stroganoff Gourmet Girl style!

GourmetGirlDoesRE

Ingredients:

  • 1 tri-tip (You can use filet mignon too)
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic; roasted and chopped
  • 3 to 4 cups of sliced mushrooms
  • 5-6 shallots; chopped
  • 2 heaping tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • zest of one lemon
  • lemon juice of one lemon
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • fresh thyme to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 package papparadelle pasta

Directions:

Roast tri-tip in oven for approximately 35-40 minutes.  Cook until rare/medium rare.  Let meat sit approximately 10-15 minutes and then cut into cubes.  Set tri-tip aside.

In a small sauce pan mix flour and 2 tablespoons butter on medium heat to make roux.  Cook for 1 minute and set aside.

Put olive oil and 3 tablespoons butter into skillet with chopped shallots and mushrooms.  Cook until tender, and then add garlic, white wine, Dijon mustard, sour cream, lemon zest, lemon juice and spices.  Add flour mixture (roux).  Roux will thicken the sauce.  Add tri-tip cubes and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Cook pasta separately and mix when ready to serve.  Top with fresh chopped Italian parsley as a garnish.

Dinner, Entrees, Pasta

Spicy Chicken and Sausage Pasta

January 22, 2016

Here is my spicy chicken and sausage pasta recipe I created a few years ago, and decided to make it today for a network meeting I held at my office.  I made enough for an army, so I had tons of left overs to share with the other agents and staff in my office.

GourmetGirlDoesRE

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 purple onion, chopped
  • 2 links spicy Italian sausage, chopped
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 to 3 cups eggplant chopped into bite size pieces (I like to use the Japanese eggplant for this dish)
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup julienne sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes sliced in half
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • chili peppers to taste (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 to 5 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
  • 1 (32 oz.) can of tomato puree
  • 1 package of penne pasta (or your favorite pasta)
  • olive oil as needed
  • Parmesan cheese to garnish pasta dish

Directions:

  1. Put olive oil, salt and pepper on the chicken and put in the over at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until done.  Set aside and let cool.
  2. In a large pot or skillet coat the bottom of the pan with olive oil (approximately 5 to 6 tablespoons), and then add the sausage, onions, eggplant, grape tomatoes and garlic.
  3. Cook mixture at medium to medium high heat for approximately 15 minutes or until eggplant, onions and the rest of the mixture looks cooked.   You might need to add more olive oil.
  4. Slice the two chicken breast into small bite size pieces and add to mixture.
  5. Add seasonings and julienne tomatoes as  well as the tomato puree and cook at low heat for approximately 20 to 30 minutes to let all blend together.  Try to squeeze out as much of the oil in the julienne tomatoes as you can.
  6. Cook pasta per package instructions.
  7. Mix the pasta and sauce in a large serving bowl and serve.
  8. As always, add Parmesan cheese to top of the dish!

For all you vegetarians out there, this dish can be just as good without the chicken or sausage.  If you like spicy dishes, you can just add more chili flakes!

Dinner, Entrees, Pasta

Pasta Carbonara with Asparagus

December 1, 2015

Pasta Carbonara with Asparagus is one of my most favorite dishes and is one that my friends and family always ask me to make.  There are not that many ingredients and it’s pretty easy to make. There are so many ways you can add or subtract to this recipe.  You could put kale, chard or some other green instead of asparagus too which is also really good.  For all you vegans out there, see my special notes below for vegan options to this recipe.

GourmetGirlDoesRE

Ingredients:

  • 1 small bundle of asparagus, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 to 1 full bag of frozen peas
  • 1 box of spaghetti noodles
  • 2 thick chunks of pancetta, finely chopped (you can also use bacon or prosciutto; sometimes I like to mix pancetta and prosciutto together)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped (or 1/2 yellow onion)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • fresh Italian parsley, chopped for garnish on top

Directions:

Put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta per package instructions.

In another large skillet that will fit the pasta later, cook the pancetta, prosciutto or bacon (whichever combination you choose).  I like using pancetta and prosciutto together because they both give a nice flavor and the prosciutto gets crispy.  Add the finely chopped shallots and garlic and cook a few more minutes until the shallots are translucent.  Then add the asparagus, frozen peas, cream and dry white wine.  Cook until asparagus is al dente and put on simmer until your noodles are ready.

Beat the eggs in a bowl with parmesan cheese and pepper.  Add approximately 1/4 of a cup of the sauce to the egg mixture to temper the eggs before you add to the sauce so that you don’t cook the eggs immediately.

Drain the spaghetti noodles and set aside.  Add the egg mixture to the sauce and then immediately add the noodles and mix together.

Garnish with chopped Italian parsley and shaved Parmesan cheese.

Special Notes:

  1.  Sometimes I make this dish without the eggs.  However, if you do this you need to cook the sauce longer to let it thicken more.  Or sometimes I will only use one egg.  The egg thickens the sauce quickly.   However, when you have it as leftovers, the egg soaks up all the sauce.  You can always put the leftovers in a pan and add more heavy cream also.
  2. For those people who are vegan, you can leave the heavy cream, egg, parmesan cheese and meat out of it.  You can use more olive oil and mix with the dry white wine.  You don’t want to use more wine because the sauce will be to thin and will not cover the pasta well.  As far as pancetta vegan replacements, you cook up crispy shallots, collard greens or kale which could give the same texture as well as add great flavor.  To make crispy, you can dry off vegetable with a paper towel, coat with a very small amount of olive oil and bake at 350 for approximately 12-20 minutes.