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Mini Lasagna-16

Super Simple Sauteed Snap Peas for Two

Washed snap peas - approximately 2 cups.

Running a site called Peas for Two, I would be remiss if I didn’t include a pea recipe from time to time.  Anthony loves snap peas, and I am happy to prepare a snap pea side dish for him anytime he likes.  Here is a simple snap pea side dish that I prepared for him last night.

Washed snap peas – approximately 2 cups.

Super Simple Snap Peas for Two

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Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 8 minutes

13 minutes

2 servings

Serving Size: 1 cup

This simple snap pea dish is quick and perfect for two people. This recipe is also great for green beans. Also, feel free to experiment! Add a dash of your favorite spice or throw in little minced garlic when you cover and cook for the five minutes. Recipes are merely suggestions, so experiment and make it your own.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups snap peas
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable broth

Instructions

  1. Wash two cups of snap peas
  2. Pre-heat saute pan over medium heat
  3. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to heated saute pan
  4. Once oil is heated (a drop of water in the pan will jump when oil is ready)
  5. Add snap peas to the pan
  6. Add salt and pepper
  7. Cook uncovered for 2 minutes
  8. Add broth to the pan, reduce heat to low, cover with lid, and cook for 5 minutes
  9. After the 5 minutes, remove from heat for 1 minute
  10. After 1 minute, drain the cooked peas in a colander to remove excess liquid
  11. Serve
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I served my snap peas with hash-browned potatoes and beef tenderloin tips with a port reduction sauce.

Super Simple Snap Peas

Snap Peas make a simple and healthy side dish.

 

 

Quick and Easy Rosemary & Lemon Chicken en Papillote with Potatoes and Warm Spinach Salad

Chicken en Papillote with Potatoes - Spinach Salad - Asparagus-13
Walt Disney once said, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we’re curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”  This is great advice – if you follow it.  I love trying new things, and I know it is so easy to consider trying something different to be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.  Different does not have to be difficult.

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Easy Mini Chocolate Crescent Rolls for Two

Simple Non-Dairy Chocolate Crescent Rolls

Do you love bread? I do! Bread, pastries, donuts, and rolls of just about any kind.  I love the carbs, but sadly, the carbs and their calories don’t love me –especially around my mid-section –so when I find a way to make a sweet treat that packs fewer calories, I’m all about the yummy!

This weekend, I found Pillsbury Crescent Rolls at our shiny new Maui Target (yeay!) store. Not only did they sell the regular-sized packages, but I found smaller packages with 4 servings at 100 calories per serving.  Perfect for a table of two! Score!

Chocolate Cresent Roll_

With a handful of chocolate chips and the crescent rolls, I created 4 sweet little treats!

Easy Mini Chocolate Crescent Rolls for Two

Ingredients

  • 1 can crescent rolls
  • Non-dairy chocolate chips (the quantity is subjective, and feel free to use regular chocolate chips)

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375F
  2. Place a piece of parchment paper on a cookie sheet
  3. Open container and unroll each piece of dough
  4. Add select number of chocolate chips to each piece
  5. Roll the rolls and place them on the parchment paper-lined cookie sheet
  6. Bake for 9-12 minutes. Oven times/temp will vary based upon altitude
  7. I baked mine for 9 minutes, and they were perfect!
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Simple Non-Dairy Chocolate Crescent Rolls

 

Quick and Easy Honey Mustard Apple Slaw

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This bright and sweet-tasting apple slaw is quick, easy to make, and perfect for a table of two. Read More

HAUPIA TOPPED MACADAMIA SHORTBREAD CUPS

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Haupia Topped Macadamia Shortbread

Haupia Topped Macadamia Shortbread

Hello.  My name is Bonnie and I’m a chocoholic.

It was destined to happen – my mother consumed some form of this delectable treat everyday of her pregnancy with me. My fate was being written with each chocolate donut she vowed she wouldn’t eat…but did.

However, once I began writing my food blog, VEGETARIAN COOKING FOR CARNIVORES BLOG, I felt the need to broaden my dessert horizons – not everyone likes chocolate. (It’s a fact – I looked it up!)

So when my amazing friend, Angie Thompson, who writes Peas For Two – Celebrating Cooking For Two, asked me to guest blog, I decided to create a chocolate-free dessert, choosing to incorporate the flavors of Hawai’i, the state in which Angie resides.

I’m no stranger to Polynesian food, having been a Tahitian dancer for many years. (That’s me in a dance competition where I took 1st place.)

tahitian competitionAs with most ethnic groups, food plays a central role in the Polynesian world. The first potluck I went to I was asked to bring haupia, a coconut jello-y pudding. Not realizing there was canned coconut milk, I actually bought coconuts, cracked them open, removed the meat, and made my own coconut milk. It took hours of life threatening work with a hammer and a sharp knife. The haupia was delicious, but definitely not worth the effort. Years later, I saw canned coconut milk in the market. It was a slap-palm-to-forehead moment.

I decided to create an embellished haupia and, in keeping with my portion control doctrine (everyone over 40 knows why), make it in custard cups. One cup = one portion. No nibbling those odd pieces in the pan that “no one else will eat and it’s sinful to waste.” Just to add a little substance, I poured the haupia over macadamia nut shortbread. And, then, because I can never let things alone, I made a mango sauce topping.

The mango sauce was delicious and extremely pretty (see photo), but I confess I prefer Haupia Topped Macadamia Shortbread sprinkled with just some toasted chopped macadamia nuts. Without the scene-stealing mango, the toasted macadamia nut taste bursts forth, complementing the subtle coconut flavor.

Haupia Topped Macadamia Shortbread all gussied up with Mango Sauce.

Haupia Topped Macadamia Shortbread all gussied up with Mango Sauce.

Topped simply with chopped toasted macadamia nuts or perked up with Mango Sauce, Haupia Topped Macadamia Shortbread is an easy, light dessert.  Enjoy!!!

NOTE: It’s important to toast the macadamia nuts – I put the word “toasted” continuously in front of the word “macadamia” to remind you (I’m a mom – it’s what we do!). Toasting brings out the flavor and gives a better crunch. Just make sure you keep an eye on them – they go from lightly browned to black in an instant.

HAUPIA TOPPED MACADAMIA SHORTBREAD – makes 4 servings

Macadamia Shortbread

  • 3 T macadamia nuts, chopped and toasted (measure and toast after chopping)
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 T sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 T butter, soft

Put toasted macadamia nuts, salt, and sugar in a food processor. Whirl until nuts are tiny bits. Add in flour, vanilla, and butter. Blend until batter is creamed.

Preheat oven to 350º Fahrenheit.

Pat dough into into the bottom of 4 ungreased custard cups (or muffin tins). Bake for approximately 15 minutes, until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and cool in cups on a wire rack.

Haupia

  • 1  13.5 oz can of coconut milk  OR  put 1/4 cup coconut powder in measuring cup and add warm water to 1 3/4 cup mark
  • 3 T cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • dash salt

Put the cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan and mix. Pour in some of the coconut milk and make a smooth paste. Add in the rest of the milk and heat over a medium flame, stirring constantly. Lower the flame a little when it starts to bubble. Continue to stir until the liquid is thickened – about 10 minutes. There will be a kind of burst of steam just before it’s done.

Pour evenly onto the shortbread in custard cups. Let cool, then refrigerate at least 5 hours to set.

Mango Sauce – optional

  • 3/4 cup mango chunks (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 1/2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/2 tsp lime zest
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Purée all ingredients together in a blender or food processor. Serve on top of haupia, if desired.

NOTE: If you’re using a muffin tin instead of custard cups, add the Mango Sauce after plating. To remove the Haupia Topped Macadamia Shortbread Cups from the tin, carefully run a dull knife around the edge, working your way to the very bottom to release the shortbread.  Lift out and transfer to plate.

 

Mini Lasagna – Made Two Ways

Mini Lasagna Two Ways Preview-2Mini Lasagna Two Ways Preview

Before the other night, I’d never made a lasagna of any kind. Yes, you read that correctly. I admit that until I made mini lasagnas in a muffin tin on Thursday, I have never made anything even remotely resembling lasagna, so I really was starting from scratch.

I’d seen pictures of lasagna cups made in muffin tins – using a rolled lasagna layer or won tons, but I hadn’t seen any with polenta. Oh, polenta – I am a fan of that ingredient. I decided to try making the mini lasagna two ways – with won ton wrappers and with polenta slices. I chose not to read any recipes for inspiration on mini lasagna and to see what I could come up with. Trial and error, my friends. That’s what it’s all about.

Mini Lasagna - 2 Ways

6 mini lasagnas

Ingredients

  • 18 won ton wrappers or 18 thin polenta slices
  • tomato sauce (any kind - homemade or store-bought)
  • You may use any filling, I used:
  • 1/2 cup diced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup sautéed beef
  • 6 thin slices of yellow zucchini squash
  • 6 thin slices of green zucchini squash
  • 1/2 cup cheese if desired
  • 18 5x5 inch squares of parchment paper

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375
  2. Line muffin tin cups with parchment paper
  3. Layer and fill each in any way you choose
  4. I use three layers of won ton or polenta slices
  5. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.
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Sneak Peek – Mini Lasagna Two Ways

Mini Lasagna Two Ways Preview

Tonight, I made Mini Lasagna Two Ways.  I made 12 miniature lasagnas – half of them made with won ton wrappers and the other half made with polenta slices.  The won ton wrapper mini lasagnas turned out best and held together nicely, and they tasted terrific and looked gorgeous.

Mini Lasagna Two Ways Preview

The mini lasagnas made from polenta slices were a bit sloppier and fell apart easier – thus they were not as pretty as the won ton style; however, they tasted fantastic.

Mini Lasagna Two Ways Preview-2

I’ll post my recipe this weekend!

Simple Sesame Zucchini Spirals

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Spring Rolls and Stir Fry Dinner Lo ResI‘m such a fan of pickled foods! Last night, I made veggie mini spring rolls, and I wanted something tangy to sprinkle on top of them to add some acid to the flavors and balance them. Since I was using mini zucchini strips in the spring rolls, I knew I’d have at least half of the zucchini left-over.

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Veggie Mini Spring Rolls

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Spring Rolls and Stir Fry Dinner Lo Res-15I’m really starting to love won ton wrappers! They are light, versatile, and so easy to work with. Last weekend, I made a Valentine’s Day dinner (featured in my blog earlier today) Sage Butternut Squash Ravioli with Lemon Sauce and only used 12 of many won ton wrappers in the package.  With plenty of leftover wrappers, I have challenged myself to find multiple ways to use them.  First was the  obvious – spring rolls. I had an assortment of vegetables in our refrigerator, so I pulled them out, chopped them into thin strips, and wrapped the little rolls.  With ginger and a little sesame oil, the vegetables were very lightly seasoned.  I lightly sautéed the rolls and served them topped with zucchini spirals that had been soaked in rice vinegar and sesame oil, and side of Sriracha aioli alongside a veggie stir fry dinner.  I’ll share my recipe this week on the blog. Until then, here is a sneak peek with a photo gallery.

Sage Butternut Squash Ravioli with Lemon Sauce

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Ravioli-13Julia Child, who is actually a distant relative of mine, is responsible for this phrase: “I think careful cooking is love, don’t you? The loveliest thing you can cook for someone who’s close to you is about as nice a Valentine as you can give.”

I received the best Valentine’s gift I could ask for from my sweetie.  He doesn’t cook, so for Valentine’s Day this year, my sweetheart treated me to a fantastic meal at my favorite restaurant – Roy’s Ka’anapali, Maui the night before Valentine’s Day.  That is love.  He knows what makes me smile, and he makes it happen!  He is the sweetest man ever, and I wanted to do something special for him as well. We ate so much at Roy’s that we wanted a light meal for Valentine’s Day. I decided to make very light butternut squash ravioli using won ton wrappers. The wrappers are light and they cook much faster than regular pasta.  The result? He loved the meal!  It was a hit.  Here’s my recipe:

Sage Butternut Squash Ravioli with Lemon Sauce for Two

Ingredients

  • 12 won ton wrappers
  • 1 cup cubed butternut squash
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 egg - whisked
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp butter (I used vegan butter)
  • 1 tsp sugar (or to taste)
  • 1 sheet waxed paper

Instructions

  1. Puree the butternut squash, 1 tsp dried sage, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1 tbsp water, and 1/8 tsp of the salt.
  2. Add the puree to a small saucepan heated to medium and cook the mixture for 1 minute.
  3. Let the mixture cool for a few minutes. You are almost ready to make your ravioli.
  4. Whisk the egg in a separate bowl and set aside.
  5. To wrap your mixture, place a won ton wrapper on the waxed paper (to avoid sticking)
  6. brush a small amount of egg on the outer edges of the won ton wrapper.
  7. Place about a teaspoon-full of the squash mixture in the center of the won ton.
  8. Fold the won ton wrapper in half (to make a triangle) and press the edges together.
  9. Repeat 11 more times to make 11 more ravioli.
  10. Set a pot of water to boil on the stove. Once the water has boiled, lower 3 ravioli into the boiling water for one minute. As they cook, they should float to the top. Use a slotted spoon to remove each ravioli and transfer to a plate.
  11. Repeat until all 12 ravioli are cooked.
  12. For the sauce, heat a sauté pan to medium. Once the pan is hot, add the butter. Once it has melted, reduce the heat to low. Zest some of the lemon into the butter, and then cut the lemon in half. Squeeze half of the lemon into the butter. To sweeten the sauce, add sugar to taste.
  13. Cook for about 2 minutes on low.
  14. Pour over the ravioli on the plates.
  15. Enjoy your meal!
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