Veggie Packed Peanut Butter Pasta

This pasta dish is CRAZY good. Seriously. Don’t believe me? My sister and her husband along with my *adorable* niece were here a couple weekends ago from Ohio and we made this pasta dish together. While eating, the conversation went something like this:

Sister: This is soooo good. The best thing I ever ate.

Me: I know, right?


Brother-in-law to my sister: Steph sent you this recipe, right?

Sister: Yeah I should have it in my email.

Brother-in-law: Ok, good. Just wanted to make sure.

Then, silence. While eating. And eating. And eating. The only one who wasn’t silent was my niece but that’s because she’s a baby and was hungry. Can’t blame her really. She is only just starting to eat real food and doesn’t understand the concept “CRAZY good” yet. All she knew was that she was hungry so she’s exempt from the silence while eating I speak of.

Needless to say, my sister and her husband ate the leftovers the next day before they went home. They also made it about 2 days later. Actually, every time we’ve talked since then my sister says they are eating it for dinner. I’m starting to wonder if this is all they eat.

Well to add to the fun, my sister and brother-in-law apparently told my parents about this pasta gold and my parents ended up coming a couple weekends later. I’m pretty sure they came for the pasta. Forget their daughter. Forget their son-in-law. Forget their cute grandkitties. They came for this pasta. What is this world coming to?? Delicious pasta…that’s what it’s coming to. I’m okay with that honestly.

Why is it so delicious? It’s probably the homemade pasta. Or maybe the abundance of colorful and delicious vegetables. Or maybe the creamy, salty, sweet, tangy sauce that goes on top. You’ll have to decide why you love it so much. All I know is this recipe is worth the time. Now go make it. Thanks. Actually, you should be thanking me for giving you the recipe. It’s that good.

Veggie Packed Peanut Butter Pasta
Serves 4
Print
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
30 min
Pasta and veggie ingredients
  1. 1/2 of fresh homemade pasta recipe (or 1 pound of dried pasta)
  2. 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  3. 1 red bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  4. 1 yellow bell pepper, cored and thinly sliced
  5. 3 carrots, peeled and sliced into thin sticks
  6. 2 cups shredded red cabbage
  7. 1 bag frozen shelled edamame (10 ounce bag)
Peanut butter sauce ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or creamy)
  2. 1/4 cup soy sauce
  3. 2 tablespoons honey
  4. 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  5. 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  6. 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  7. 1 clove garlic, minced
  8. 1 teaspoon sriracha, or to taste
  9. 1/4 cup pasta water, as needed
Instructions
  1. Whisk all the peanut butter sauce ingredients (except the pasta water) together in a bowl. This can also be done in food processor, though I like the crunch of the crunchy peanut butter we used.
  2. Prepare pasta by cooking al dente. Save 1/4 cup of the pasta water to help thin the peanut butter sauce.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a large saute pan, then add the bell peppers and carrots. Saute for 2-3 minutes
  4. Add the red cabbage and edamame. Saute for an additional 2-3 minutes, or until edamame is heated through.
  5. Toss the peanut butter sauce, sauteed veggies, and pasta together in a large saute pan or pot. Add the pasta water, as needed, to thin the pasta to desired consistency.
Notes
  1. You can add peanuts, sesame seeds, or scallions to garnish if you would like, though I did not. I enjoy using crunchy peanut butter because it adds a crunch to the pasta along with the vegetables. I honestly have never made this recipe with dried pasta. This may be because I have not eaten dried pasta since I got my pasta maker. We're officially pasta snobs I suppose. If you can make the pasta from scratch, go for it! Otherwise, my sister informs me that it is also delicious with dried pasta.
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven
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Fresh Whole Wheat Pasta

 

I’m addicted to pasta. It’s a real problem. Don’t judge. You’ll understand once you make it. At least I’ll tell myself that. It will help me sleep at night.

The addiction started when my husband, Travis, got me a pasta machine earlier this year for my birthday. It wasn’t just a wrapped present though. It was an experience. Knowing my love for food, Travis set up a food challenge for me with bins full of “mystery” ingredients for an appetizer, entrĂ©e, and dessert (food fans will know this is, of course, based on a popular food challenge show). In each bin, he included a food related gadget to help with my quest, including a pasta machine. Then he gave me some extra money and the charge to go shopping for additional items I may need for my courses.

Now, any normal person would probably say, “Hmm. He gave you food. Then gave you money so you had to grocery shop. Then he made you make dinner. How is that a birthday present?”


My response: “It’s only like the best birthday present ever!”

Yeah I’m weird. But come on, super cute and thoughtful present for a chef wannabe like me. There’s no getting around that.

Over the months my love of pasta has grown exponentially. And again, Travis came to the rescue to make me an *awesome* pasta drying rack (see above picture). It’s just fueling my addiction. Bad news for my waist… good news for my happiness. Just sayin’ it’s probably worth it. And by probably I mean definitely.

Travis has actually become the go-to pasta roller. You can see him above working his magic. I can’t say I mind. I mean who doesn’t love a man that can cook??

Fresh Whole Wheat Pasta
Serves 6
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups whole wheat flour
  2. 1 cup all purpose flour
  3. 3 eggs
  4. 1/4 - 1/2 cup water
  5. pinch of salt
For the dough
  1. Mix together the 2 types of flour and pinch of salt (to taste). Mound the mixture up on a flat surface. Create a well, or hole, in the middle of the flour.
  2. Crack the eggs into the well and scramble them, making sure not to let them pour out the side of the mound. Add the water (start with 1/4 cup) to the well and mix that into the egg mixture. *You can also mix the water and eggs in a separate bowl then pour it into the well all together*
  3. Start bringing the flour from the walls of the well into the egg mixture with a fork. Eventually you will end up with a dough you can knead. If the dough is not coming together, slowly add more water until it forms a dough.
  4. Knead the dough until it forms an elastic, but not super sticky dough ball. This will probably take at least 5-6 minutes of kneading. Wrap in plastic wrap.
  5. Let the dough sit for 20-30 minutes.
To roll out the dough
  1. Once rested, cut the dough into about 4 pieces to make it easier to work with.
  2. Lightly flour each piece of the dough before putting it through the pasta machine at the lowest level (level 0 on mine).
  3. You will put the dough through the pasta machine at the lowest level a total of 4 more times, folding it into thirds before every run through the machine (see above picture) and lightly flouring the outside if it is sticky. Every run, put the dough through the opposite way (the folded, flat edges should be facing the sides of the pasta machine). This helps create a nice flat edge.
  4. Put the dough through, setting the pasta machine up one setting for each run, until you reach the desired thickness.
  5. Use an attachment to cut the dough into the desired shape, cut by hand or leave as sheets for lasagna
  6. At this point you can let the pasta dry and refrigerate for another time or put immediately into boiling water to cook for 2-5 minutes depending on the thickness and width of your pasta.
Notes
  1. This recipe is actually only 2/3 whole wheat flour. I find that it helps keep the pasta a little lighter but feel free to use all whole wheat flour. You may need to add more liquid to the dough if you do this.
  2. My dough is usually a little drier than other recipes I've seen. This never seems to be a problem once it rests and is put through the pasta machine.
  3. We ended up at a level 5 thickness for our fettuccine but we usually will end up on a level 7 for regular spaghetti.
  4. If you don't have a pasta machine, you can still make pasta! Follow the steps to make the dough then roll out the dough by hand. You'll need some muscle for that task but on the plus side you can skip your workout for the day you make it!
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Farmer’s Market Finds

This is a story about life changing cherries. You heard me. Life changing cherries.

My parents came up from Ohio to visit this weekend. We went to *gasp* Ann Arbor. Ohio State folks going to Ann Arbor. Brave move. For those of you not from the Midwest, University of Michigan (in Ann Arbor) and Ohio State are HUGE rivals when it comes to sports. Being that I am not exactly a sports fanatic, this didn’t faze me. However, I must say we did double check our attire to make sure we didn’t have any stray Ohio State gear on before we left. We spent the day walking around Ann Arbor, which is a cute town, and walking around another cute nearby town…eating the whole way, of course.

Actually, the whole weekend mostly consisted of eating at local restaurants and laughing. I think we all ended up stuffed beyond belief from delicious food. I’m pretty sure there are worse things in life. However, since we all love food A LOT but are also trying to eat somewhat healthy, what better place to check out than the local farmer’s market?? Well, actually ended up being markets. We started by going to a farmer’s market we had never been to before thinking it would be wonderful but turned out there were about 5 stands, 2 of which actually had fresh food. So we resorted to another local farmer’s market where they have PLENTY of wonderful options. We are very lucky to have multiple farmer’s markets within close proximity!

Okay. Okay, I’ll get to the point of the story. We picked up some teeny tiny sweet Michigan yellow plums, which were good. BUT, let me tell you. Let me tell you about these scrumptious little deep purple cherries. Now, I don’t like cherries. Not one bit. The cherry on top of my sundae does not make it better. My life was changed when I tried these fresh Michigan cherries. Michigan grows a lot of cherries and blueberries and I’ve always gone for the blueberries. But now, I think I have a cherry addiction…for only these delicious cherries. They taste like candy and make my mouth water. I need one now just thinking of them…


Okay, back. It was delicious, by the way. After trying a few cherries upon our return from the market, I told my husband that we are going back every weekend to buy more cherries from the farmer’s market. I’m pretty sure that is not optional. Perhaps I’ll try some from the store if I get brave but I’m pretty sure nothing can get better than straight from the farmer’s market cherries. So if you’re ever looking for me, check the cherry stand at the farmer’s market. Chances are I’m there salivating. Now I just need to come up with some recipes to use these for! They’ll probably be eaten before that happens though. I think I need to go now to eat a few more cherries to “research” for future recipes. Yeah.

P.S. Moral of this long, rambling story is go to the farmer’s market and try local food! You may be surprised at what you like!

Roasted Corn & Bean Salsa

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I love summer. First of all, working in the schools as an occupational therapist I get the summer off (minus a few weeks of summer school). Woo hoo! Second, Michigan feels like it has about 8 months of winter so summer is a nice break from cold. And snow. And cold. And snow. You get the point. If you don’t understand, I envy you because you must live somewhere warm where everyone thinks winter is a myth that us Northerners make up. Well, winter is real, folks. It’s real and it’s horrible. Unless you like snow up to your head. Then it’s wonderful. Third, and most of all, summer has the most wonderful options for beautiful fruits, veggies, and herbs!

I love going to the grocery store knowing that most of the food in the produce section is actually in season and not shipped from across the world. Actually, most of it is probably still shipped across the world BUT I try to gravitate towards the stands that say “Grown in Michigan.” It makes me feel better…even if it’s a lie.
 

Right now, corn on the cob is in abundance. A big perk of buying produce is season is that you can find it for cheap. Look for what’s on sale. Chances are there’s a reason it’s on sale. Like as in they have 5 bajillion ears of corn so if you don’t buy it the corn will go to waste. It’s very wrong to let something as delicious as fresh corn go to waste. So, I decided to use some of the sweet summer corn for a gorgeous and scrumptious corn and bean salsa!

I actually used corn that I cut of the cob with a knife for this recipe. Novel concept, I know. BUT if you *really* didn’t have fresh corn (I understand not everyone lives in corn country) you can use frozen or drained canned corn. To cut the corn off the cob I stood the uncooked, husked corn up on it’s edge and simply cut down the side as close as I could to the cob with a serrated knife. I usually do this in a bowl to keep the kernels all together. But if you want to make a mess, that’s your decision. I support you. I will not come and clean your house after you make the mess though, so choose wisely.


This salsa is so fresh and very versatile. I ate mine with tortilla chips but it would also be delicious on a salad, in tacos or a quesadilla, on top of rice, or just straight up. Try them all. I dare you. Comment and let me know how you ate your roasted corn and bean salsa!

 *Side note. We went out to eat the next day. Because that’s what my family does when we’re together apparently. Anyways, we got corn and bean salsa/salad at a Tex Mex restaurant and my family told me that mine was better. WIN! If you want to be a winner make this salsa.
Roasted Corn & Bean Salsa
Serves 12
Print
Prep Time
15 min
Prep Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup corn
  2. 1 cup shelled edamame
  3. 1- 15 oz. can of black beans, drained
  4. 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  5. 1 cup tomato, seeds removed and chopped
  6. 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and minced
  7. 1 clove garlic, minced
  8. 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  9. juice from 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
  10. 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  11. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Saute the corn and edamame on medium heat with a pinch of salt and pepper until the corn turns a brighter yellow and the corn and edamame start to slightly brown. Let cool.
  2. Mix corn and edamame mixture with remaining ingredients. Salt and pepper to taste. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. *I found that letting the salsa sit for a couple of hours or even overnight before serving lets the flavors mix nicely!*
Notes
  1. I cut the kernels from 2 uncooked ears of corn, which ended up being approximately 1 cup of corn. If you do this, make sure you saute the corn as listed in step 1 because raw corn would not be yummy! For the edamame, I used frozen. If you find fresh that's great but the frozen works wonderfully! I used about half of a medium red onion to get a half a cup chopped. I removed the seeds and chopped up 3 Roma tomatoes to get about 1 cup chopped. I like to remove the seeds to make the overall salsa less runny. Roma tomatoes are nice because they have a lot of meat to them!
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