Tag Archives: balsamic vinegar

Roasted (or Grilled) Veggies & Carb Goodness

First of all, happy father’s day to all the dads out there!

Second of all, here’s a fun recipe that can be made any time of year. Roast vegetables in balsamic vinegar in the oven or toss them on the grill! Summer or winter, this dish is equally delicious.

Third of all, notice a difference on my blog? What do you think of the new header I put together? Yay or nay?

Back to the recipe…

I used a combination of bell pepper, mushrooms, onion, and zucchini. Throwing in some fresh herbs and some chopped Kalamata olives and marinated artichokes gives the dish a tangy bite. Sprinkle with a bit of feta for saltiness and you’re all set to tickle your tastebuds!

Eaten hot or cold, this pasta salad is extremely versatile. A side dish, a lunch or a dinner if you throw in some chicken or beans 🙂 Or these veggies make a delicious side dish on their own, pasta excluded!

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Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad
(Serves 4-6)

1 lb. whole wheat penne, fusilli, rigatoni, etc.
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 orange, yellow or red bell pepper
1 large red onion
2 medium zucchini or yellow squash
8 oz. cremini mushrooms
12 Kalamata olives, halved
1 c. chopped marinated artichoke hearts
1/3 c. feta cheese
2 tbsp. chopped thyme, rosemary, & basil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

If you’re going to grill your vegetables, turn the grill to medium. Chop pepper into quarters, slice onions into 1/2″ thick rings (keeping the rings together), slice zucchini into quarters, and keep mushrooms whole. Basically, you’re keeping these veggies in large pieces so they’re easier to grill and they don’t fall through the grates. Toss with garlic, balsamic vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Marinate for about 20 minutes. Place pieces on the grill and grill for about 15 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. You want the veggies to have a nice brown coloring on them, but you don’t want the veggies to be falling apart on the grill.

If you’re going to roast the veggies, chop the veggies into 1/2″ pieces, toss with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast the veggies for about 20-25 minutes in a 400 degree oven, or until the veggies are nice and browned (turning halfway between cooking).

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to keep from sticking. Set aside, covered, to keep warm.

In a large mixing bowl, place pasta and cooked veggies. Toss with 1/4 cup olive oil, lemon juice, artichoke hearts, Kalamata olives, and herbs. Sprinkle with feta cheese before serving. Serve hot, cold or room temperature.

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Delicious Spring Salad

First off, I apologize for the lack of posts over the last week. Working 6/7 days is not conducive to blogging. Apparently it’s not conducive to my immune system either! So while I’m curled up in a blanket on the couch, I wanted to share a great recipe with you to kick off the start of spring.

It’s my barley salad with roasted beets and vegetables.

This salad is delicious hot or cold. I had it warm when it was finished because I couldn’t wait for it to cool off. Then I had it cold out of the fridge when it was leftovers!

The color of the finished product is fantastic. The beets turn the barley a deep pink – beautiful!

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I topped this salad with a bit of goat cheese, because I absolutely love the stuff. You can omit it, or maybe use gorgonzola if you prefer.

Always remember to get some help from the grocery store when you can. In this recipe, I used the prewashed, pretrimmed green beans in the produce section.

Barley Salad with Roasted Vegetables
(Serves 6-10 … depending if it’s a side or not)

1 c. barley, cooked according to package directions
1/2 bunch asparagus, about 8 stalks, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
8 oz. cremini mushrooms, cut into 1/2″-1″ chucks
1 c. fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1″ pieces
1 medium sweet onion, cut into 1/2-1″ chunks
3 medium-sized beets
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
1/4 c. olive oil
4 oz. goat cheese (or the cheese of your choice), optional
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil

First, cook your barley according to package directions. It takes awhile to cook!

Meanwhile, roast the beets – I have instructions from this post. I also have instructions how to peel there as well. Cut into 1/2-1″ chunks.

While the beets are roasting and the barley is cooking, chop up your veggies. Line a baking sheet with foil. Put your veggies on the sheet, overlapping as little as possible. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with S&P. Bake until the veggies become tender and start to brown. About 25-30 minutes.

In a large bowl, put your cooked barley, beet chunks, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Stir well. The beets turn the barley a pretty pink! See?

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Add the rest of your vegetables Stir to combine. Top with goat cheese before serving.

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Balsamic-Braised Sausages

…in the crock pot!

Remember that Williams-Sonoma crock pot cookbook I mentioned a little while ago? Well, this recipe comes from it.

I bought this cookbook because I love utilizing my crock pot. It makes it so easy, and it’s a one pot clean-up!

This recipe for braised sausages with balsamic vinegar and fennel caught my eye because I had just bought a very large bottle of balsamic vinegar at the store. Also, I’ve become obsessed recently with Shady Brook Farms’ lean sweet Italian turkey sausage. Oh, and this recipe also has fennel too. YUM!

Never used fennel? Here’s a guide how to cut it.

I also added some asparagus to the recipe because I can’t get enough of it, and I had some lying around 🙂

I served it over whole wheat egg noodles. But I’m sure it would be delicious over any grain or pasta (i.e. brown rice, quinoa, cous cous, etc). Or just omit it all together.

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Balsamic-Braised Sausages
(Serves 4-6)

1 pkg. Shady Brook Farm lean Italian turkey sausage (or pork sausage if you prefer)
1 large shallot, or 1 small onion, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, chopped or sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed off and sliced into 1″ pieces
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar or white wine
Salt and pepper

Preheat your broiler. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. Put your sausages on the baking sheet. Broil until golden brown, turning after each side browns. About 9-10 minutes total.

Put all the other ingredients in the slow cooker. Top with broiled sausages. Cover and cook on high for 2.5 hours or low for 5.5 hours. Turn the sausages halfway through if possible, if not, no big deal!

Serve over pasta or your favorite grain.

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