Sunday, June 27, 2010

Creamy Garden Pasta Salad

Creamy Garden Pasta Salad
From: gardentraveler

So, I saw these two recipes and thought both sounded yummy. Of course, I didn't have all of the ingredients for either one, so I used them as inspiration to create my own. You'll probably want to increase the ingredients some; this one makes 3 servings or so (maybe 4 small servings). Turned out tasty.

2 oz. spinach spaghetti, broken into 2" lengths

1/2 c. (2 oz.) frozen peas (I used petite peas)
1/2 c. (2 oz.) frozen corn

approx. 1 T. minced chives
1/2 t. minced garlic
1/2 c. (2 oz.) chopped carrot
1 large plum tomato, chopped (approx. 1 cup)
1 small avocado, chopped (approx 1 cup)

1/4 c. packed cilantro
1/4 c. nonfat greek yogurt
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 lime
1/4 t. ancho chile powder
salt, to taste

Cook spaghetti until al dente, drain and rinse in cold water. Place in bowl and add a small amount of olive oil to keep the spaghetti from sticking.

Cook peas and corn (I zap them in the microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes. Add to spaghetti along with chives and garlic and refrigerate to cool).

Place cilantro, yogurt, olive oil, lime juice, chile powder and salt in small food processor. Blend until smooth. Mix into spaghetti and return to refrigerator.

Peel and chop the carrot (I used one large), tomato and avocado. Add to salad, blend, and refrigerate. I ate the first serving while it was just below room temperature and it was delicious.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


From: taxi78cab

wrote about the Spanikopita she had made and how she had it down to a science. I asked for the recipe because it's always intimidated me. Here's her response:

GT, I don't really have a spanikopita recipe. I just sort of wing it. Generally the filling is 1-8oz block of feta; broken into chunks, 1 egg (I don't like eggs so this makes a very un-egg-y filling. If you like eggs, I'd try 2 eggs instead.); 1-10 oz box of frozen, chopped spinach; 1 roasted red pepper (I just pull approx a whole one from a jar of them.); garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste. OK, so I don't generally taste the raw egg mixture, but put a bunch of garlic powder and some pepper in. I actually usually don't salt the mixture 'cause the feta is salty enough.

Take one sleeve of phyllo dough from a box (usually boxes have 2 sleeves... freeze the other one for later). Cut it in half. Find a pan that's the right size for half. It's ok if the phyllo is a little bigger than the pan so it goes up the side a little bit. I use a small-ish casserole dish. Something smaller than an 8x8 pan and kind of deep is good. Put the rest of that sleeve of phyllo, tightly wrapped, into the fridge. Try to use it within a couple weeks.

Melt 1-2 tbsp of butter in a microwave-safe bowl in the micro. Add ~1-2 tbsp olive oil and some salt. (If you're using salted butter, leave out the salt. And shame on you for using salted butter. It's better to be able to control the amount of salt yourself.)

Spray you pan with Pam. Count out 8 sheets of phyllo. Cover the rest with a damp towel and set aside. Lay one sheet in the bottom of the pan. Use a pastry brush to brush with a little of the olive oil-butter mix. Add another layer of phyllo. Generally if they're longer one way than the other, I alternate the long sides in the pan. Add a little more butter/oil. Repeat with all 8 layers, but don't put butter on the last one.

Take 1/3 of the filling and layer on top of the phyllo. Add two sheets of phyllo with butter/oil in between (not on top though). Add another 1/3 of the filling. Add another 2 layers of phyllo with butter/oil. Add the last 1/3 of the filling. Top with a final ~8 sheets of phyllo with butter/oil in between. Usually I have 9-10 sheets left total at this point so I just put them all on. Top with a little more butter/oil and some ground pepper.

Bake at 350, covered, for ~1/2 an hour. Uncover and turn up the heat to 375 for 10-15 min. The unbaked spanikopita keeps well in the fridge, but then it needs at least a full hour at 350 covered plus 15 min at 375 uncovered.

It's not hard to make at all, but it does take some time. But after your first 3, you get a routine down, and it's much faster than you think.

Besides, once you get the technique down, you can make your own baklava too!