Sunday, August 7, 2011

My First Post!

Ok, so here it goes! I'm so excited to do my first blog post! I have been wanting to do a blog for quite a while now and I always had a variety of things stopping me, like I needed a good camera (which I got for my birthday! I LOVE it!), also I am just plain scared that people will look at me and think that it is ridiculous that I am doing my very own blog. I have decided to step past that and not care what everybody else thinks - it simply doesn't matter! I am doing this for myself, for accountability, and for anyone else who is interested along the way.

So, I went to the farmer's market the other day to pick up our veggies and fruit for the next couple of weeks. I love going grocery shopping! I go by myself - it's so much fun seeing what veggies and fruits they have for the day - there is always something different! I used to plan my meals then go grocery shopping with a big list - but now I go shopping first (at least at the farmer's market) then plan my meals around the fresh veggies and fruits. I will be so sad when winter comes and they are closed :( no more fresh produce! It's amazing what the difference in taste and texture is compared to supermarket produce! I used a melody of the fresh veggies for the pasta below - it is sooo customizable! You can use pretty much any fresh veggie you have on-hand and it will be just as good! You can also add meat to it if that's your thing - chicken, sausage, steak strips - are a few that would be great in it.

So here is my first recipe!  It is very easy and fresh - not to mention delicious!

Fresh Veggie Ratatouille Pasta

*you can substitute any of these veggies for what you have on hand or for your favorite - this is very adaptable!!!

1/2 box whole grain wheat noodles - whatever kind you like the best - i used spaghetti but would be great with penne, spiral, or linguine
1 red bell pepper - sliced lengthwise
1 yellow onion - roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves - minced (can use less if you want - i like garlic so I'm a bit heavy handed with it)
1 small zucchini - thinly sliced
1 small yellow summer squash - thinly sliced
6-7 stalks of asparagus - chopped into ~1 in pieces
1 small eggplant - thinly sliced
1 tomato - roughly chopped
1 jar marinated artichoke hearts (either from store or homemade - i use the recipe from Carciofi Sott'Olio on the Food Network - recipe posted at the end - very easy!)
olive oil - either spray can of cooking olive oil or 2 tbsp
5-6 fresh basil leaves
1/3 c parmigiano-reggiano

heat olive oil in large-ish pan - i used my cast iron skillet - and add onion
saute onion until soft - about 3-4 minutes
add garlic and red bell pepper to pan and saute ~2 minutes
add the rest of veggies except tomatoes and include the marinade juice with the artichokes and simmer about 5 minutes
add cooked veggies and tomatoes to cooked spaghetti sauce including sauce from the pan
add freshly sliced basil
add freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
enjoy :)

Carciofi Sott'Olio's Marinated Artichoke Hearts

  • 10 globe artichokes, outer leaves and chokes removed
  • 2 lemons, cut in half
  • 5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon red chile flakes, plus 2 tablespoons, for layering
  • 1 bunch mint leaves
  • 1 quart extra-virgin olive oil plus 1 quart
Trim the artichokes and cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges and rub with a cut lemon. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the artichokes, garlic, chile flakes, and mint leaves and cover with the olive oil. Place the pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Once the center is boiling, remove from heat, cover, and allow to cool in the oil. Transfer the cooled artichokes to a clean jar, adding a pinch of chiles every cup of artichoke pieces, cover with the new oil and seal. To serve, drain the oil and serve at room temperature or re-heated in a saute pan, seasoned with salt and pepper.


  1. Not my favorite choices for veggies but I thought it was well written and I look forward to future recipes.

  2. I love this Ashley! You are so creative! I just started my own recipe binder, it was driving me crazy constantly going to my phone or computer to look up recipes that I had found on this website or that website. So, now I print the ones that I have made and enjoyed and keep them organized. So, when I want to make them again, they are easily accessible.