Seafood Pasta

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I can’t tell you how much I enjoy a big heaping bowl of seafood pasta! Something about the freshness of the flavors and anything that reminds me of the ocean just makes me happy. Speaking of the ocean, I used my new dutch oven from Le Creuset’s new spring line called Sea Salt. It’s a lovely shade of muted blue and pale green and it’s the perfect vessel for this dish. From stovetop to table top you will not be disappointed.

With only a handful of ingredients this dish comes together in just about 30 minutes making it great for a special weeknight meal or a quick meal to entertain friends or family. When making recipes with few ingredients you want to make sure and splurge on the best tomatoes and the freshest seafood you can find. I used a combo but you could certainly use your favorite blend of seafood. I also added some fennel because I love it but if it’s not your thing the flavors will still be beautiful. I used my favorite gluten free pasta from Jovial, if you haven’t tried their high quality pasta from Italy you are totally missing out. I have tried many gluten free pastas over the years and this brand has nailed the flavor and texture.

Now let’s make some pasta! Mangia! Mangia!

Seafood Pasta

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot (sliced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup fennel (sliced)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 25oz San Marzano Whole Tomatoes
  • 1/2 pound large shrimp
  • 1/2 pound mussels
  • 6 large sea scallops
  • 6 large clams
  • 1/4 cup basil (torn)
  • 2-4 tbsp parsley (chopped)
  • 1 lemon (quartered )
  1. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted water until al dente and strain. Taste the water, it should taste like the sea! 

  2. Meanwhile in a heavy bottomed pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots, garlic and fennel. Season with salt and red pepper flakes. Cook until shallots and fennel are tender about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and break up into chunks with a wooden spoon. Let the sauce simmer for 20 minutes. 

  3. Stir in the seafood and cover with a lid for 5 minutes or until all the seafood is cooked. 

  4. Once seafood is cooked stir in the pasta.

  5. Garnish with basil, parsley and lemon slices.

  6. Serve immediately! Bon Appétit! 

Chai Spice Muffins With Vanilla Glaze

It’s officially sweater weather over here which means comfort foods and warming spices are back on my mind. Chai Tea is one of those cozy beverages that I love for it’s rich blend of ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and black peppercorns. I was super excited when Dona Chai reached out to sample their award winning Masala Chai concentrate! Small batched in Brooklyn and sourced with quality ingredients and sustainability in mind this concentrate is delicious to drink as it is to make tasty treats. I created these gluten and dairy free Chai Spice Muffins With Vanilla Glaze and Nova could barely keep her little hands off of them so we could take this pic! Dona Chai is offering 15% off their site with code JULIAANDCHAI so you can also enjoy a cozy beverage and make a batch of these muffins. Enjoy!

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Chai Spice Muffins With Vanilla Glaze

  • 2 cups Bob's Red Mill All Purpose Gluten Free Baking Flour
  • 1 tsp guar gum or xanthan gum
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup Dona Chai Concentrate
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (melted )

Vanilla Glaze (optional)

  • 2 tbsp coconut milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a standard 12 muffin pan or fill with muffin liners. 

  2. Whisk together the gluten free all purpose flour, guar gum, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.  

  3. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, maple syrup, Dona Chai Consentrate, coconut milk and melted coconut oil until smooth. 

  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet until smooth. 

  5. Fill the muffin cups about half way with the batter and bake for 17 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. 

  6. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to finish cooling. 

  7. Whisk together the ingredients for the glaze if using until smooth adding more sugar as needed to thicken to desired consistency. Drizzle on top and enjoy!

  8. Store in an airtight container on the counter for up to 5 days. 

Matcha Latte Hot or Iced

 

Matcha Latte Hot

  • 1 tsp matcha tea
  • 2 ounces water
  • 10 ounes macadamia nut milk unsweetened (or milk of choice )
  • 1-2 tsp honey (optional)
  • 1 TBL collagen peptides (flavorless) (optional)
  1. In a small saucepan heat up the water and milk to just before boiling, about 160 degrees. In a blender add your matcha, honey and any other optional additions. Pour the hot milk mixture into the blender and blend until completely smooth. Pour in a mug and enjoy! 

Other additional add ins of coconut butter, adaptogens such as maca or wild mushroom powders can be added to your liking. 

I must admit, of all the many food trends that come and go matcha lattes have quickly become a fav. On days when I want a lighter caffeine fix I turn to matcha. This whole leaf green tea is packed with antioxidants, naturally detoxifying, mood boosting and delivers a stable energy without the crash or jitters that coffee can bring. Because of its popularity there are many grades of matcha in the market but I’ve found that ceremonial grade delivers the best creamy, grassy umami flavor without the bitterness. There are many ways to make a matcha latte and I have included a basic recipe as well as optional additions that you can add to your liking. I have found that macadamia nut milk adds a really creamy and natural sweetness to the latte but you can use whatever you’d like.

Matcha Latte Iced

  • 1 tsp matcha tea
  • 12 ounces macadamia nut milk (unsweetened) (or milk of choice )
  • 1-2 tsp honey (optional)
  • 1 TBL collagen peptides (flavorless) (optional )
  • 1 cup ice
  1. In a blender add all the ingredients except for the ice. Blend until smooth and pour into a tall glass with ice. 

I’m really excited to be partnering with Easthill Tea Co. in Chicago for this giveaway. Easthill Tea specializes in small batch, premium loose leaf tea sourced for purity and freshness. Spring is matcha harvest season. For brands like Easthill Tea Co. the 2017 batch is still high quality, but they mark it down to make room for the new 2018 product coming in. This is a good chance to find a great deal on a very high quality product.

Easthill Tea Co. carries ceremonial grade matcha which makes a smoother, creamier matcha than lower grades. Their 2018 product will be available in June, and is always recommended straight-up without milk or sweetener. Their 2017 product is a great opportunity to get high quality matcha at a much lower price to use in lattes etc.
The giveaway is being held on my Instagram account so head on over for the details on how to win a months worth of 2017 matcha tea from Easthill. They are also offering free shipping on all orders with code JULIA at checkout for the month of May.

 

 

Roast Chicken & Shallots with Salsa Verde

Cast Iron roast chicken isn’t fancy but somehow always comforting and the perfect weeknight go to that is always a crowd pleaser.  I like adding quartered shallots and citrus and topping the chicken with very herby salsa verde. This sauce is so great to have on hand because it literally can be added to anything from roasted veggies, morning eggs, steak and/or salmon.

Roast Chicken & Shallots with Salsa Verde

  • 4 bone in skin on chicken thighs
  • 2 bone in skin on chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 2-3 tbsp ghee or olive oil
  • 3 shallots (peeled and quartered )
  • 1 lemon (sliced )

Salsa Verde

  • 1 tbsp capers (drained)
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 anchovies (minced)
  • 1/4 cup parsley (chopped fine)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro (chopped fine)
  • 1/4 cup basil (chopped fine)
  • 1 tbsp tarragon (chopped fine)
  • 1 tbsp mint (chopped fine)
  • 2 tbsp scallions (chopped fine)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil (extra virgin)
  1. Preheat oven to 475° and place your cast iron pan in the oven to heat up. 

  2. Once oven reaches 475° remove from oven and place chicken skin side up in the preheated pan and season with salt, pepper on both sides and drizzle with olive oil.

  3. Scatter quartered shallots and lemon slices tucking in between and on top of chicken. 

  4. Place pan in the center rack. Check the chicken after 30 minutes and if browning too quickly turn the heat down to 400° until the chicken is cooked through anywhere from 45-60 minutes. 

  5. Remove from oven and let the chicken rest for 10 minutes before serving. 

  6. Serve with shallots, lemons slices, cooking juices and salsa verde.

Salsa Verde

  1. In a medium bowl add all of the ingredients, stir and set aside.

  2. Salsa can be stored in the fridge up to two weeks as long as the olive oil is covering the herbs completely. 

Sweet Potato Toast: Four Ways

I love toast! I’ve been known to drop silly amounts of money on avocado toast and large thick slices with fresh ricotta and jam. So when I came across sweet potato toast a couple of years back I was very intrigued. Whether you are doing a Whole30 and need to steer clear of grains or you’re looking for a fun appetizer to serve at your next brunch or party sweet potato toast will be your new bff. Bake a batch ahead of time and you’ll have slices ready to go and pop right into your toaster to heat up. I’ve created four options, savory and sweet but the skies the limit on your favorite combos.

Sweet Potato Toast: Four Ways

Sweet Pototoes

  • 1 or 2 large sweet potatoes (sliced quarter inch thick)
  • 2 tbsps ghee (or oil of choice)
  • salt

Poached Egg with Avocado

  • 1 egg (poached)
  • 1/2 avocado (sliced)
  • salt and pepper – to taste

Poached Egg with Smoked Salmon

  • 1 egg (poached)
  • 1 ounce smoked salmon
  • dill – to taste (fresh or dried)
  • salt and pepper – to taste
  • everything but the bagel seasoning – to taste

Almond Butter Banana

  • 2 tbsp almond (or any nut) butter
  • 1/2 banana (sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate seeds ((optional))

Strawberries and Ricotta

  • 2 tbsp almond milk ricotta (I used Kite Hill)
  • 2 strawberries (sliced)
  • 1 tsp balsamic glaze
  • 1 tsp fresh basil (sliced)
  • sea salt – to taste (flaky or maldon)
  1. Preheat oven to 425°

  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

  3. Lay out your sweet potato slices, brush with ghee, and season with salt on both sides. Bake for 25 minutes (flipping half way through). Once finished, add your toppings & enjoy.

  4. Note: this can be done beforehand & you can place them in a toaster to reheat when desired.