Tag Archives: Italian

Antipasto salad

antipasto salad

quick easy lunch; 5-minute antipasto salad

Some of my favorite dishes come about as a result of being short on options. This antipasto salad that I had for lunch a couple days ago was one of those — a super quick, easy lunch!

It starts with me standing in front of the open fridge, thinking – Let’s see, what’s on hand? Mixed greens, Genoa salami, mini peppers, a block of Parm. Hmm, I could make an Italian salad out of that. Cut the salami in quarters, slice the peppers very thin, toss that together in a bowl. Shave in some Parmesan, using a vegetable peeler.

This Creamy Italian Dressing would have been nice, but since I didn’t have it on hand, I put 1 T. of red wine vinegar, 2 T. of olive oil, and a tiny squirt of dijon mustard in a baby food jar, and shook that up. Then decided some salt and pepper would be good, too, so added a few dashes of each, and shook it again. Instant vinaigrette!

instant vinaigrette for quick easy salad

Poured that over the salad, and tossed in some pine nuts. These add a bit of crunch and a little bit of sweetness. (If you like olives and have some on hand, that would be a good addition, too.)

Bonus: it’s Paleo-friendly, Whole30 compliant (without the Parm), sugar-free, gluten-free, and low carb!

Pretty quick, easy lunch — and doggone good for five minutes and on-the-fly! So good, in fact, it will be showing up as a side dish at dinner tonight. 🙂

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quick, easy lunch; 5-minute antipasto salad

Meatballs with marinara & Italian roasted cauliflower

meatballs, marinara, zoodles, + roasted cauliflower

With some easy advance prep, this is a Whole 30 compliant / Paleo meal that comes together quickly. The cast:

One yummy, tasty, Whole30 dinner!

For the side dish: Roasted cauliflower from Simply Recipes  – to make it Whole30 compliant, skip the Parm but sprinkle the cauliflower with garlic salt and Italian seasoning mix.

Make sure the seasoning mix is sugar free, corn free, etc. Better yet, make your own. You can find plenty of recipes, but in a pinch, just throw together some dried basil and oregano in generous portions, some garlic powder, and then a little rosemary, thyme, and/or marjoram, if you’ve got ’em.

How to make this an easy, throw-together weeknight meal: Make up a whole batch (or two) of the nom nom meatballs on your day off, and keep them in the freezer in serving-size packs. Four per person works nicely in our house. Make up a batch (or two) of that easy marinara sauce, and freeze it in one- or two-cup units. Cut up the cauliflower the night before, if you want to save that time. Then everything comes together quickly at the last minute!

And — did I mention — yummy?

paleo meatballs, marinara, and cauliflower

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Summer squash topped with sausage

squash-w-sausage-done-row
This squash topped with sausage is a quick easy dish to prep ahead of time, and then assemble and cook in about 15 minutes. It evolved from a recipe for stuffed portobello mushrooms — which is good, don’t get me wrong! — but I think I like it better on squash.
In these pictures, I was testing a batch without the sundried tomatoes, but I don’t recommend skipping them. I think they add an important zing to the dish.
 Note: I have since Paleo-ized this recipe. I used cashew ricotta and skipped the Italian cheese blend. I did sprinkle a little grated Parmesan on top. It was delish!
paleo sausage on squash

Recipe: Summer squash topped with sausage and cheese

Ready In: 30 Minutes      Servings: 3
1/2 cup cooked, crumbled sausage
1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 T. finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated
1 medium summer squash
Optional for plain squash slices:
olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Combine sausage, half of the shredded cheese, ricotta cheese, onions and tomatoes in medium bowl.
Lay the squash flat on cutting board, and cut off the bottom on a diagonal.
 squash-slice-1
Slice the rest of the squash, parallel to the first cut, in approximately 1/2″ thick slabs.
 squash-slice-2
You’ll have some large diameter slices and some small ones. If you’re prepping this meal early in the day, you can put everything in the fridge now to hold till you’re ready to bake.
squash-slice-3
Lay the slices on the prepared baking sheet. Divide the sausage mixture among the slices; first just dump some on (shown upper left in the photo below), then pat it down with your fingers (shown in the top second one). Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the sausage mixture.
squash-w-sausage-topped
You may top all the slices this way, or you can use the two or three smallest ones without the sausage topping. If you’re not topping all the slices, brush the bare ones with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake 10-12 minutes or until squash is just tender. Remove from the oven.
squash-w-sausage-done-oh
Sprinkle the plain slices with grated Parmesan.
summer-squash-w-parm
Serve it all up. Yummmm!
paleo sausage on squash
Topping squash slices for pizza-like bites

 

Restaurant review: Pacific Coast Pizza

minilink4
One of the foods I miss the most while living a balanced-carb lifestyle is pizza. Eating pizza with whole-wheat crust alleviates some of the guilt, but until Pacific Coast Pizza opened up a couple years ago, there was no place in Wichita that served it.Happily, that has been remedied. In addition to a traditional white crust, they also offer a “rosemary wheat” crust. I haven’t asked for specific nutrition info, so I’m not sure it’s 100% whole wheat, but it looks and tastes like it, and that’s enough for my conscience, once in a while!

They offer a wide variety of pizzas, from classic to pesto-based to vegetarian to “Pacific Coast Style.” There’s also the “build your own” option. (Find the menu here.) My favorite is the San Andreas: rosemary wheat crust topped with red sauce, low-fat mozzarella, roasted chicken, red onion, mushroom, roasted red pepper and pineapple.

pacific coast pizza - San Andreas
Their strength is definitely their pizza. I haven’t tried any of the pasta, sandwiches or wraps, but pass up the salads. The “Caesar” is just a normal salad with what tastes like bottled Italian dressing, with some Parmesan sprinkled on top. Don’t expect much from the atmosphere: what little decor there is consists of beer brand signs. There is a patio, so on those precious few days when Kansas weather makes sitting outdoors comfortable, that’s a nice option.
It’s located in Sienna Plaza, on the northwest corner of 37th Street North and Rock Road, and parking is never a problem.

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