Pasta Carbonara with Baby Kale and Poached Eggs!

When I hear the word “carbonara” I think rich creamy goodness with lovely subtle flavor. I also think “easy peasy dinner that takes about 25 minutes to make!” And just look how beautiful this Pasta Carbonara with Baby Kale and Poached Eggs is!
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Pasta Carbonara with Baby Kale and Poached Eggs!

The Sauce:

Carbonara sauce is simply a mixture of cream, egg yolks, garlic and parmesan whisked together. No need for cooking, you just place the piping hot pasta into the mixture and toss! It doesn’t get easier than that. And I am sure you have noticed that platter by now, it is lovingly handmade by Nikki at HappyClay.com . Swoon right? You can check out her Etsy Shop here.

Pasta Carbonara with Baby Kale and Poached Eggs!

COOKING PASTA:

When cooking pasta there are only a few things to remember. 1. Follow pasta box cooking instructions, they usually are right on. 2. Salt the water for flavor. 3. To keep pasta from sticking be sure to have lots of water in your pot, at least several inches above the pasta to allow room for expansion, and 4. stir frequently.

Pasta Carbonara with Baby Kale and Poached Eggs!

That Poached Egg Though…

Of course you don’t have to top your pasta with a poached egg, but if you do it’s important to know how to do it right. I have a video tutorial to help you out. Watch it and know that it takes a little practice to get it right. I messed up on my first few attempts, but once I got the technique down, poaching eggs became a cinch! Also if you have another person handy, put them in charge of eggs, then you won’t have to split focus!

The Recipe and What You Will Need…

…a stock pot to cook pasta, a microplane for the lemon zest, grating the cheese and the garlic. If you are new to poaching eggs or need a refresher check out my video tutorial. Gluten free friends use your favorite GF pasta! Note: Carbonara doesn’t reheat as well as most pastas. If you won’t be eating it all, I recommend making a half batch.

2 votes

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Pasta Carbonara with Baby Kale and Poached Eggs!

An easy dinner made in less than 30 minutes! See link above for how to cook a perfectly poached egg. If you have someone around to help with cooking, I recommend putting someone in charge of poaching eggs while you do the rest. Teamwork rules. Note: Carbonara doesn't reheat as well as most pastas. If you won't be eating it all, I recommend making a half batch.

Ingredients

  • 16 ounces spaghetti or linguini prepared to package instructions
  • 1/2 pound thickly sliced pancetta, cooked and then chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated with a microplane
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
  • Zest of one medium lemon
  • ½ cup pasta water reserved for thinning sauce (you may need a little, or none)
  • large handful baby kale (or if preferred use arugula)
  • 4-6 poached eggs (see video tutorial link above)

Instructions

  1. Place a large stock pot of salted water to boil.
  2. While waiting for pasta water, place pancetta in pan on medium/high heat. Cook for several minutes until both sides are crispy and browned. Remove from pan, place on paper towels and allow to cool, then chop.
  3. While pancetta is cooking, prepare sauce.

Sauce prep:

  1. Place olive oil, garlic, egg yolks, cream, lemon zest, cheese, a generous pinch of sea salt and a few turns of fresh pepper in a large bowl and whisk well. Set aside.
  2. When ready add pasta to boiling water, stir frequently.  
  3. While pasta cooks, place a small pot of water to boil for poached eggs. See video instructions above. If you are poaching several eggs, do two at a time and simply reuse boiling water. If you have someone that can help, put them in charge of the eggs while you do the rest! That will make life easier.
  4. When pasta is al dente, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water in a small cup and strain pasta in colander (do not rinse). Place pasta in the bowl with cream/egg mixture. Toss well. If sauce is too thick add a little pasta water to thin. (You may need a little, you may need a lot, you may need none at all)
  5. Add pancetta and a handful baby kale to pasta and toss. Place pasta on plates and top with poached eggs, sprinkle with salt and pepper, serve immediately.

 

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Healthy Grilled Naan Salad Wrap with Herbed Chevre!

Are you ready for the easiest BBQ menu ever? These Healthy Grilled Naan Salad Wraps with Herbed Chevre (goat cheese) were inspired by our recent took trip to New York City and Newport Rhode Island. They are simple, delicious, and you can serve them vegetarian or add chicken. I just love to give you options!
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running. Thanks for your support!)

 Healthy Grilled Naan Salad Wrap with Herbed Chevre: The Easiest BBQ Menu Ever!

New York in Spring is a Dream!

Our oldest son and his family live in Manhattan, so we visit several times a year. If you haven’t been to NYC in the spring, I hope you get the chance. The weather is amazing and the cherry blossoms in Central Park are exquisite!

 Healthy Grilled Naan Salad Wrap with Herbed Chevre: The Easiest BBQ Menu Ever!

Rhode Island: Add It To Your Bucket List!

We took a road trip to Newport Rhode Island for the weekend. It was our first time visiting this beautiful state. Gorgeous doesn’t begin to describe it! The first day was moody and windy, but the beaches were still breathtaking.

 Healthy Grilled Naan Salad Wrap with Herbed Chevre: The Easiest BBQ Menu Ever!

 Healthy Grilled Naan Salad Wrap with Herbed Chevre: The Easiest BBQ Menu Ever!

We didn’t just enjoy the beautiful scenery. When the sun came out we also buzzed around the quaint town of Newport on these two seater scooters, stopping to look at gorgeous beach houses, walk the cliffs, shop and eat. (photo above taken by my son, Christopher Spiker)

 Healthy Grilled Naan Salad Wrap with Herbed Chevre: The Easiest BBQ Menu Ever!

But the best part of the trip was hanging out with these two. This is Will and Nora. Being a grandparent is the best part of life in my humble opinion!

 Healthy Grilled Naan Salad Wrap with Herbed Chevre: The Easiest BBQ Menu Ever!

Let’s Talk About Food Baby:

While strolling through Newport, we stopped in at a little cafe called Rosemary and Thyme. They sell soups, sandwiches, freshly baked pastries and salads. If you visit, I highly recommend stopping by. I ordered a grilled naan salad wrap with herbed chevre and loved it so much that when I came home to California I made my own version! So simple and delicious, these Mediterranean wraps have it all: greens, veggies, soft flavorful herbed goat cheese, a balsamic vinaigrette and if desired you can add chicken.

 Healthy Grilled Naan Salad Wrap with Herbed Chevre: The Easiest BBQ Menu Ever!

The Process:

To keep this meal as time efficient as possible, I chop the herbs, stir them into soft goat cheese, make the salad and then grill the naan. Grilling takes all of five minutes. Then I generously spread the herbed goat cheese onto that warm naan, fill with dressed salad and eat! If you want a more substantial meal add organic rotisserie or leftover roasted chicken. The easiest BBQ menu ever!

 Healthy Grilled Naan Salad Wrap with Herbed Chevre: The Easiest BBQ Menu Ever!

 

The Recipe:  Healthy Grilled Naan Salad Wrap with Herbed Chevre

Tips and what you will need: Not all goat cheese is created equal. Be sure to use the best quality you can find. You can grill naan on the BBQ or use a grill pan on the cooktop. My gluten free friends, there are some delicious GF naan available in the grocery stores!

5 votes

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Healthy Grilled Naan Salad Wrap with Herbed Chevre

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 6

A healthy, delicious, quick BBQ menu!

Ingredients

8 oz chevre (soft goat cheese)

2 Tablespoon parsley, chopped

2 Tablespoon chives, finely sliced

3 tablespoons basil, chopped

4 oz baby greens (sometimes called spring mix)

2 roma tomatoes, diced

1 smallish cucumber, peeled and diced

1/3 cup roasted salted sunflower seeds

2-3 cups rotisserie or leftover roasted chicken (if using) diced

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

3 Tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon mustard

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 naan wraps

Instructions

Allow cheese to come to room temp if possible

Prepare herbs and use a fork to mix with goat cheese, set aside

Place greens on a platter and add prepped tomatoes, cucumber, sunflower seeds and chicken if using

Make dressing by whisking together olive oil, balsamic and mustard, add a pinch of sea salt and pepper

Grill naan: wipe clean grill with coconut oil or spray with an organic grill spray

Preheat grill to 400 degrees (or use a grill pan on the cooktop)

Grill naan just long enough that grill marks form on each side

Dress salad, toss (I dress this salad more heavily than usual. With all the goat cheese and naan the dressing can get lost)

Spread goat cheese onto the center on naan, top with salad, fold naan and enjoy!

Courses Main Course

Cuisine Mediterrean

 

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Recipes for a Fantastic Spring/Summer BBQ!

It’s May! That means grilling season is upon us. Outdoor parties, BBQ’s, Memorial Day, vacations, and Fourth of July all call for fresh, healthy seasonal fare. Here are my recipe recommendations for your warm weather celebrations!
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running. Thanks for your support!)

Recipes for a Fantastic Spring/Summer BBQ!

Appetizers:

Appetizers start the party off right and give your guests an opportunity to nibble while waiting for the big show. When having a party I don’t want my guests to stuff themselves before the meal is served, so here are my picks that keep it light and save room for what’s to follow:

Strawberries with Lemon Mascarpone Dip and Pistachios~ make the dip ahead and then just set it out and the guests serve themselves!

Cucumber and Tomato Tartines ~ Delicious, light and healthy this one is summer favorite!

Good Old Fashioned Hummus made in Five Minutes!~ Make ahead and then just set it out with some pita and veggies. No fuss, no mess.

Salads:

Salads one of the most important components of a good outdoor party menu. When it comes to celebrations I like to keep salads simple and assembly only to take stress out of the equation. Here are my top salad picks for a summer get together:

Easy Caesar Salad~ make the dressing ahead and then just toss together. Couldn’t be easier!

Summer Berry Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette~ I love berries in a salad and this vinaigrette is amazing.
Strawberry Avocado Salad with Lemon Poppyseed Vinaigrette ~ a salad everyone loves!

Sides:

I like to keep side dishes healthy too. So here are my top fruit and veggie side dish picks.

Simple Roasted Veggies ~ My ‘go to’, every time!

Tri-Colored Potato Salad with Green Beans and Rustic Pesto~ This is not your mom’s mayo slathered salad. Light and healthy this potato salad is net level!

Grilled Mexican Street Corn~ all I can say is, this is so, so good!

Strawberries and Watermelon with Mint and Feta~ every outdoor party needs cold watermelon!

Main Courses:

Whether you’re grilling a burger, pork tenderloin, chicken, or beef  I have you covered!

Argentinian Beef Kabobs with Chimichurri~ Make the chimichurri three hours ahead and then grill the steak…yum!

Spicy Grilled Pork Tenderloin~ A family favorite, especially when served with the potato salad above!

Sesame Apricot  Chicken Kabobs~ the best chicken kabobs I have ever had.

Tri-Tip with Caramelized Onions~ tri-tip fans, you’ll love this recipe!

How to Make a Fantastic Burger!

Desserts:

You have to cap off a great meal with a fresh dessert!

Lemon Shortbread Tarts with Peaches~ lemony crust, rich filling and topped with juicy ripe peaches…yum!

Berries in a Pastry Basket with Vanilla Whipped Cream ~ this dessert is so pretty! The pastry cups and whipped cream can be made in advance.

Lime Blueberry Cake~ the quintessential spring/summer dessert!

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Blueberry Lime Cake with Lime Buttercream Frosting

I am not going to lie. I have made this cake every weekend for the last three weeks. The weather has been so perfect here in Southern California that we have hosted backyard dinner parties with friends all month, and this Blueberry Lime Cake with Lime Buttercream Frosting was a hit at each event. This cake is as lovely as it is delicious! Blueberry and lime. Such a classic combination.
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running. Thanks for your support!)

Blueberry Lime Cake with Lime Buttercream Frosting

The Cake and the Frosting:

The base of this cake is a classic vanilla buttermilk cake. I added freshly grated lime zest and plenty of ripe blueberries to make this version the quintessential dessert for spring and summer. The frosting is a stunning buttercream made with fresh lime juice and zest…notice the green specks?

Blueberry Lime Cake with Lime Buttercream Frosting

To Decorate:

When it comes to decorating, I like to keep my cakes simple. I usually top them with fresh flowers or berries. To decorate this beauty I used lime slices, blueberries and a few random greens from my garden. As long as whatever you use for decoration is safe to be eaten you can place right on top of the cake. If you use something inedible I recommend placing a small circle of parchment paper under the decorations so they can be easily removed before serving.

Blueberry Lime Cake with Lime Buttercream Frosting

The Recipe: Blueberry Lime Cake with Lime Buttercream Frosting

Tips and what you will need: I use two 9 inch cake pans for this recipe. Always line with parchment paper for easy removal from pans. I love my Kitchen Aid Mixer and vanilla paste!  You will need a microplane to zest the lime.

2 votes

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Blueberry Lime Cake with Lime Buttercream Frosting

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 12

Ingredients

The Cake:

  • 2½ cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temp (plus 1 tablespoon for preparing pans)
  • ¼ cup coconut oil (or baking oil of your choice)
  • 1⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon extract
  • 6 eggs, room temp
  • 1⅓ cup cultured buttermilk
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed, dried and stems removed (plus more for decorating if desired)
  • zest of two limes

The Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup butter, room temp
  • zest of one lime
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • tiny pinch of sea salt
  • 4-5 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

Cake Prep:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place oven rack in center position

Prep pans:

  1. Fold a large piece of parchment and use 9" cake pan bottom to trace a circle onto parchment. Cut circles and place in the bottom of pans. Use a paper towel to wipe sides of pan and parchment with butter. Lightly coat with flour. Set aside.

The Cake:

  1. Combine flour, baking powder and salt, set aside
  2. Place butter, coconut oil, sugar and vanilla in mixer and mix until well combined
  3. Add eggs one at a time
  4. Alternate adding flour mixture with buttermilk until well combined, mix for one more minute
  5. Add lime zest and mix until incorporated
  6. Add blueberries and gently mix in by hand
  7. Pour equal amounts of batter into prepared pans, tap pans firmly on counter to take out any bubbles
  8. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
  9. Allow cakes to cool, gently remove from pans discarding parchment and then frost

The Frosting:

  1. Place softened butter, lime juice, zest, sea salt and 4 cups powdered sugar into a bowl and mix. If frosting is not quite thick enough add more sugar (up to a cup, I usually end up using almost 5 cups). If it's too thick add just a little more lime juice. When frosting is desired consistency, frost cooled cake.
  2. Top with your choice of decoration and serve

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE and Privacy Policy: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. View The Organic Kitchen’s Privacy Policy.

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto

I have been meaning to post the recipe for these Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto for a while now. I don’t know what took me so long, they are seriously the best potatoes ever. And so easy!
(This post contains affiliate links. I may make a commission off sales which allows me to keep my site up and running. Thanks for your support!)

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto

Gorgeous Aren’t They?

Roasted until the skin is crispy perfection, tossed in the freshest basil pesto and then smashed, these baby spuds make the perfect side dish for chicken, fish or beef! Notice those sweet caramelized shallots mixed in…drool.

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto

The Pesto:

Homemade pesto literally takes two minutes to make and it stands head and shoulders above any store bought or jarred pesto.To avoid waste and get the freshest possible pesto I prefer to buy/grow a basil plant and use what I need as I need it. When I buy cut basil it always browns and dries out before I can use it all.

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto

Simply place garlic, basil, parmesan, pine nuts, a little sea salt and extra virgin olive oil in a food processor and process until the pesto looks like a paste. So quick and easy, and it tastes and smells heavenly!

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto

Once you learn how easy it is to make homemade pesto you will use it for so many things. I use pesto on pasta and pizzas, in sandwiches and wraps, to top salmon, and for salad dressings, it’s very versatile. And so good for you!

When tossed with warm potatoes the pesto adds moisture and flavor. Seriously, are these potatoes not swoon worthy?

Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto

The Recipe: Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto

Tips and what you will need: use ‘new’ or baby potatoes for best results. You will need a food processor to make pesto, a microplane to grate parmesan, and a rimmed cookie sheet covered with unbleached parchment paper. As always you need a good knife! This recipe is gluten free.

6 votes

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Roasted Baby Potatoes with Pesto

Prep

Cook

Total

Yield 6 -8

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds baby or 'new' potatoes (pierce each with a fork once)
  • 6 large size shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (give or take)
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ⅓ cup pine nuts
  • 1-2 medium sized garlic cloves, peeled
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese (skip if you live dairy free)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, place oven rack in upper third of oven
  2. Place potatoes and shallots on a parchment covered cookie sheet
  3. pierce each potato with a fork
  4. drizzle with olive oil and toss (use enough olive oil that potatoes and shallots are coated)
  5. sprinkle generously with sea salt and pepper
  6. place in oven and cook for 40-45 minutes or until potato skins are crispy and browned and centers are cooked through
  7. While potatoes cook, make pesto:
  8. Pulse garlic in food processor
  9. Add basil leaves, pine nuts and parmesan
  10. Puree in processor, slowly adding olive oil till desired consistency is achieved
  11. Add a generous pinch of sea salt and a few turns of fresh pepper, scrape down sides of processor and process again adding more olive oil if necessary
  12. When potatoes are done remove from oven
  13. Spoon pesto onto potatoes and toss until potatoes are covered with pesto
  14. Smash potatoes with a metal spatula or wooden spoon, serve (you can also opt to not smash, but I like the way it looks)

 

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STANDARD FTC DISCLOSURE and Privacy Policy: In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please note that I only endorse products that are in alignment with The Organic Kitchen’s ideals and that I believe would be of value to my readers. The Organic Kitchen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. View The Organic Kitchen’s Privacy Policy.