Category Archives: Basil

Vanilla Ice Cream with Basil Peach Topping

Lisa, one of our trusty and faithful volunteers, shared this delightful recipe from The Pioneer Woman. It is written with easy steps and pictures to follow. I hope you enjoy it!

peachbasil

Photo from Pioneer Woman

 

Homemade Spinach-Basil Pasta

Our Best Bites just posted a great recipe for making homemade pasta using fresh spinach and basil. It looks worth trying!

Create Your Own Baguette Party

 

The kids and I enjoyed a creative lunch today, using a variety of olive oils, an aged balsamic vinegar, Parmesan seasonings, cheese, basil, lettuce, red onion, orange bell peppers, tomatoes and marinated cucumbers, paired with freshly baked tomato basil or rosemary baguette slices. Hummus and avocado sauces would have also been a great addition. Needless to say, the kids had a great time experimenting with presentation and trying new combinations.

 

 

 

 

Marinated Cucumbers – Use balsamic vinegar, EVOO, salt and pepper

 

Tomato-Basil Lentils and Rice

The kids enjoyed last week’s Chicken and Rice version so much that they were begging to have it again. I decided to try an almost meatless version, substituting chicken breast with lentils.

You’ll Need:
1.5 cups Brown Rice
1 cup Lentils, dry
6.75 cups Water
2 TBSP Chicken Base
1 small Onion or large Leek, Chopped
1.5-2 cups Tomato Basil Sauce
Salt and Pepper as desired

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until desired consistency.

Makes 6 servings.

Tomato-Basil Chicken and Rice

You’ll Need:
1.5 cups Brown Rice
3.75 cups Water
2 TSP Chicken Base
1 lb Boneless-Skinless Chicken Breast
1 Green Bell Pepper, chopped
1 small Onion, Chopped
1.5-2 cups Tomato Basil Sauce
Salt and Pepper as desired

Combine all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes or until desired consistency.

Makes 4-5 servings.

Note: You could easily hide other vegetables in this dish, either cut small or pureed. Pumpkin and winter squash would be easy to incorporate.

Sungold Tomato and Basil Pasta Sauce

You’ll Need:
2-3 pints Sungold Tomatoes (or cherry tomatoes)
1 large or 2 medium Heirloom Tomatoes (or 5-6 Roma Tomatoes), sliced
1/2 Onion, chopped
2-4 oz fresh Basil
3 Garlic Cloves, chopped or crushed
dash Italian Seasoning
dash Salt
dash Pepper
2 TSP Oil
1/2 cup Water

Combine tomatoes, water, oil and salt in pot and cook on medium-high for 15 minutes (or until tender). Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients. Allow sauce to cool. Blend sauce in a blender or food processor until desired consistency. Pour sauce back into pan and cook for 10+ minutes. Serve over pasta of choice.

Cornmeal Crusted Pizza

Are you looking for a new pizza crust? We decided to try a new style of pizza crust and found this recipe by Emeril Lagasse that turned out great!

Here’s the recipe from FoodNetwork.com:

You’ll Need:
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (110 degrees F)

Pinch sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for coating bowl
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour plus more, if necessary
1 cup cornmeal, plus more for dusting pizza peel

In a large bowl combine yeast with water and sugar and stir well to combine. Set aside until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the salt, olive oil, and half of the flour and mix well to thoroughly combine. Add the 1 cup of cornmeal and all remaining flour except 1/2 cup and mix well with your hands, working to incorporate the flour little by little. The dough should be slightly sticky to the touch. Transfer dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead dough for at least 5 and up to 7 minutes, adding enough additional flour as necessary to form a smooth and elastic dough that is not too sticky. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled 2 or 3 quart bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp towel and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, usually at least 2 hours. 

Preheat oven to 500 degrees F and if you have one, place a pizza stone on the bottom rack of the oven.

 Divide dough into 2 portions (for 2 (12 to 14-inch) pizzas) and form into balls. (See note below for calzones.) Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured surface, shape as desired and roll out to a 1/8-inch thickness. Transfer dough to a pizza peel (sprinkle with cornmeal to help facilate moving dough) and top with toppings of choice. Transfer to the preheated pizza stone and bake until crispy and golden brown, usually12 to 18 minutes (depending on the toppings and the thickness of the crust). Remove from the oven with a metal peel or spatula and serve immediately.

 Yield: 2 (12 or 14-inch) pizzas or 4 calzones, serving 4 to 6

 Note: For calzones, divide the dough into 4 equal portions and form into 4 balls. Place on a lightly oiled baking sheet and cover with a damp towel. Let rest for 15 minutes, then transfer to a lightly floured surface and roll out into 4 (8-inch) circles. Place filling of choice in the center of 1 side of each circle, then fold dough over filling to meet edges of filled side. Crimp edges with a fork or your fingers, then cut a small slit in the top of the calzone to allow steam to escape while cooking. Cook on a preheated pizza stone in a preheated 475 degree F oven for about 8 to 10 minutes, or until well-browned. Remove from the oven with a peel or spatula and serve immediately.

MY NOTES:
1. We prefer our cornbread recipes to have a sweeter taste than this yielded, so next time I would add 2-3 TBSP honey.
2. We placed the dough in a moist and hot microwave oven for the rising step. (You can create this environment by first boiling 2 cups of water in the microwave for ~2-3 minutes. Then quickly place the bowl of dough in the microwave and shut the door (leaving the microwave off). It works wonderfully and cuts the rising time down to 30 minutes instead of 2 hours.)
3. We cut our dough into 4 equal pieces and rolled out mini pizzas. They each measured approximately 8 inches in diameter.  We found 8 minutes at 500 F was plenty of baking time on a baking sheet.
4. This would be a great crust to infuse some herbs into the dough, such as sun-dried tomato, basil, rosemary, etc.
5. We topped our pizza with tomatoes, basil, and sweet bell peppers. Don’t be afraid to be creative too.

-Angela

Basic Green Smoothie Recipes

There is a huge BUZZ floating around the internet centered around the health benefits of enjoying a daily green smoothie. Have you tried it? We have several members in our group who continue to rave about them. Here are some basic recipes to get you started (borrowed from ‘GotGreenRevolution.com’).

The Basic Green Smoothie Recipe

 This is what we recommend for starting out (makes about 1 quart/1 liter). 
1 or 2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup of another fruit: (pineapple, blueberry, apple, peach, mango)
1 1/2 cup fresh greens:   (~2 chard leaves or ~1 handful spinach)
~ 12 oz water (or to desired consistency)

Mint Melon Medley Green Smoothie Recipe

 For a sweet refreshing mint feeling. 
3 bananas
1  mint sprig, or 2
3 cups  spinach packed in the blender
2 cups cantaloupe
~ 16oz water (to desired consistency)

Green Apple Glory Green Smoothie Recipe

For sweet creamy goodness. 
1  ripe banana
1  large apple cored
1/2  medium ripe avocado
1 cup  packed spinach
1 cup  packed romaine (about 3 large leaves)
~ 1 pint of water

Irish Banana Split Green Smoothie Recipe

Sweet dessert goodness. 
2 frozen ripe bananas
1 cup frozen pineapple
1/2 cup frozen strawberries  
2 cups   packed spinach
~ 1 pint of water

Tropical Dream

 Sweet visions of the tropics. 
1/2  mango
1 1/2 c  pineapple
1 frozen strawberries 
2 cups  spinach
4  small kale leaves
~ 1 pint of water

Lasagna with Roasted Eggplant

You’ll Need:
1 Box Lasagna Noodles
1 Jar Marinara Sauce
1 large container of Small Curd Cottage Cheese
3 Egg Whites
1 cup Roasted Eggplant Puree
8 oz Shredded Mozzarella
0.33 cup Parmesan Cheese

1. Mix cheeses, eggplant puree and eggs in mixing bowl. (Note, only use half of the shredded mozzarella in this step.) Set aside.
2. Spray a baking dish with oil.
3. Spread ~0.5 cup of marinara sauce on bottom of pan.
4. Place 3 lasagna noodles (uncooked) on top of sauce.
5. Spread 0.33 of cheese mix on top of noodles, completely covering noodles.
6. Lightly cover cheese mix with some marinara sauce.
7. Repeat steps 4-6 two more times.
8. Place 4th layer of noodles on top of lasagna.
9. Spread the remaining sauce on top of the noodles.
10. Sprinkle the second half of the mozzarella on top of the lasagna.
11. Cover and bake for 40 minutes at 375 F.
12. Bake uncovered for 10 minutes at 375 F.
13. Remove from oven and allow to sit and cool for 10+ minutes.
14. Serve.

-Angela

Roasted Eggplant Puree

I decided to try something new with our eggplant from last week’s box. I wanted a recipe that would allow me to add eggplant to several other staple dishes without it being noticeable. So, with a little thought, I decided to roast the eggplant with some tomatoes and herbs. The aroma of these vegetables and herbs roasting was incredible. I’m sure it had more to do with the garlic then anything else, but nonetheless, it was wonderful.

If your family enjoys eggplant, you may choose to only roast it and serve with pasta, chicken, rice, etc. But if you find some resistance at the table or want to freeze it in several smaller portions for later use, consider pureeing it. I’ll be honest, I hid it in a lasagna today and NO ONE noticed. They sure did enjoy dinner though. LOL

You’ll Need:
1 Eggplant, peeled and sliced (0.25″ thickness)
3 Roma Tomatoes, sliced (0.25″ thickness)
3 Garlic Cloves, crushed
0.25 to 0.5 cup Olive Oil
1 TSP Basil
1 TSP Oregano

1. Spray dish with oil.
2. Lay eggplant slices in single layer on bottom of dish.
3. Brush oil on top of eggplant slices.
4. Lay tomato slices on top of eggplant.

5. Brush oil on top of tomatoes.
6. Add garlic, basil and oregano to top of tomatoes.

7. Roast at 350 F for 1 hour.
8. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

9. Blend vegetables in a blender or food processor until smooth.
10. Store for use in other dishes (pastas, soups, etc.).

-Angela