Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Whoa baby these things are delicious. Yes I said it… delicious. If you’ve never had pumpkins seeds, try them now! They are so salty and addictive that you’ll wish you could carve pumpkins all year round just so you can make these little beauties.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Directions:

1. Separate pumpkin seeds from pulp

2. Rinse seeds with water very well.

3. Lay out on paper towel to dry. They don’t need to be completely dry but should be mostly dry to the touch.

4. Toss in a small bowl with olive oil and coarse sea salt. Use your discretion as to how much to use depending on how many seeds you have. Oil should evenly coat seeds without being drenched and always use more salt than you think you should! (I used about 1 1/2 Tbsp of salt for about 1 1/2 cups of seeds.

5. Spread out on a baking sheet in one even layer

6. Bake at 400 degrees for about 15 min. until golden brown and crispy.

7. Enjoy!

Snickerdoodle Bars

As promised, I present to you a melt-in-your-mouth treat that will have you begging for Christmas cookies. A disclaimer: These are in no way shape or form healthy, good for you, or acceptable under any diet plan. But, in the words of Dick Button, who cares! (No one knows who Dick Button is except me and a few other lonely souls who care about figure skating). Anyways, back to these delicious treats. This recipe is pretty much butter and sugar with a little egg and flour to keep it together. And (bonus!) I didn’t even have to go to the store, because I already had all of the ingredients in my house! But let me tell you from experience, don’t plan on making these for anyone unless you’re ready to listen to them begging for more after they’re gone.

Snickerdoodle Bars

Ingredients:

2 2/3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 cup butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 TBSP vanilla
2 TBSP white sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Sift flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add the flour mixture gradually to the egg mixture and beat until well blended. The mixture will be very thick.

4. Spread the mixture evenly into a lightly greased 9x13 baking pan.

5. Combine white sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle evenly over top of mixture.

6. Bake for 25-30 minutes until the surface springs back when touched.

7. Remove and let cook on a wire rack. Cut while still warm.

8. Enjoy! You won’t regret it.

*This recipe is originally from My Own Sweet Thyme. I think we’d all like to say, thank you for this!

Honey Mustard Salmon with Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa

Nothing tastes better in the Fall than a hearty, flavorful meal that will fill you up. This meal does just that! Roasted vegetables are one of my go to meals when the weather gets chilly and I use all kinds of variations. This time I used sweet potatoes, carrots, onions, zucchini, and brussel sprouts but you can use anything that you like. Usually I try to stick with seasonal veggies and just pick out what looks good at the store that day. Some of my favorite staples are red potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, zucchini, carrots, and peppers, but be creative and follow your taste buds! Now lets talk about the salmon. The honey mustard glaze on this salmon is a perfect compliment to the rich herby vegetables. It’s the easiest thing in the world to make and it’s healthy and delicious. The quinoa is the final part to this hearty meal and it adds a nice balance between the salmon and the veggies. Quinoa is one of my favorite grains because it’s packed with more protein per ounce than meat and it tastes great with just about anything! Try this out for your next dinner and I’m sure it will be a hit!

Honey Mustard Salmon with Roasted Vegetables and Quinoa

Ingredients:

4 6-oz servings of Salmon

2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard

1 to 1.5 Tbsp Honey

4-6 cups assorted roughly chopped vegetables

2 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 tsp dried basil

1 tsp dried thyme

1 cup quinoa

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Roughly chop all veggies into bite-sized pieces and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, basil and thyme. Feel free to experiment with vegetables and seasonings to your own tastes.

3. Cover a large baking sheet with aluminum foil and spread veggies out evenly in one layer. Bake for 30 - 45 minutes until veggies are cooked through, golden and crispy on the outside, tender on the inside.

4. Meanwhile, prepare salmon and quinoa.

5. Whisk dijon and honey until combined.

6. Season salmon with salt and pepper and spread honey mustard glaze evenly over all pieces.

7. Place in oven about 10 minutes before veggies are done and cook for 10-12 minutes.

8. Cook quinoa according to package instructions.

9. Enjoy!

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo with Shrimp

If you like pasta even a little bit, you’ll LOVE this recipe! It’s rich and flavorful, all while being calorie-conscious! What could be better? I got this recipe from the "Cook This Not That" cookbook (which by the way is awesome).  This cookbook takes popular restaurant dishes and thins the calories down, while still adding a ton of flavor. The pasta counterpart for this recipe from Olive Garden (talk about a calorie death pit), weighs in at 1,220 calories and 75 grams of fat! Whoa, nobody needs that pumping through their veins. The original Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo recipe is only 390 calories and 12 grams of fat, now that’s speaking my language! Not only is this recipe healthy and delicious, it’s homemade! Alfredo sauce out of a jar can be a little bit scary if you read the ingredients label closely. This sauce is SO easy to make even for the most “in-experienced” cooks and it only has 4 ingredients, 3 of which are butter, flour and milk, which I can imagine everyone has in their kitchen.  The base is a rue (flour and butter), and if you can learn to make that, you can make all kinds of delicious sauces! Substitute other spices, herbs or vegetables for the roasted red peppers and garlic and you have a completely new homemade pasta sauce. I have altered the original recipe to feed more people and I added a bit of crushed red pepper to give it a little heat. Feel free to improvise to your tastes. Now, in true Noodletarian form, I give you Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo with Shrimp:

Roasted Red Pepper Alfredo with Shrimp

Ingredients:

16oz Fettuccine

2 Tbsp Butter

2 Tbsp Flour

1 1/4 cup Milk

1/2 cup Half and Half

1 cup Roasted Red Peppers (bottled)

2 cloves Garlic

1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese

Crushed Red Pepper to taste

Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:

1. Bring large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta as package directs.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter in large saucepan. Stir in flour and cook for a minute until combined. While whisking, slowly add milk and half and half to prevent lumps. Once sauce is combined, add red pepper and garlic. Simmer on low heat for about 10 minutes until sauce thickens.

3. Pour mixture into a blender and puree until smooth. Return to pan, add cheese, crushed red pepper and season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Add cooked shrimp to the sauce 2 minutes before pasta is done cooking or add uncooked shrimp 4 minutes before pasta is done.

5. Drain pasta, add to saucepan and toss to coat evenly.

6. Enjoy!!

Makes 5 servings. 536 Calories, 84 Carbs, 13 grams of fat, 23 grams of protein.

*Note this recipe has been altered from the original version.

Grilled Margherita-Style Pizza

Mmmm… pizza. We all love pizza so why not take that delicious treat and put it on the grill! Grilling pizza adds a delicious smoky charred flavor and the crust gets extra crispy.  This recipe is a very simple margherita-style base version so feel free to explore and get creative with your toppings! Grilling pizza is super easy once you get the hang of it. All it requires is a little preparation and organization, both of which I tend to lack in the kitchen.  If you’re like me, you skip down the recipe to the beginning of the instructions and prep as you go, which can make for a very hectic cooking experience! (And last minute grocery runs because I forgot to read the ingredient list). It is important when grilling pizza to prep everything before you put the dough on the grill because once you do, it’s a very quick process.  Also, I find it helpful to bring all of your ingredients outside with you before you put the dough on the grill and line them up according to the order you’ll need them. It also helps sometimes to have an extra hand when flipping the dough or getting it off the grill. Sounds annoying but trust me, you’ll thank me later. Alright ladies and gentlemen, here it is! Enjoy!

Grilled Margherita-Style Pizza

Ingredients:

1 package prepared pizza dough (I used the Trader Joe’s brand - delicious)

1/4 to 1/2 cup basil pesto depending on your pizza size

1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes

1/4 cup snipped fresh basil leaves

2-3 TBSP olive oil

1/2 TSP crushed red pepper (or to taste)

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 cup cubed fresh mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

Directions:

1. Preheat grill to about 400 degrees. Cut cherry tomatoes into quarters and combine in large bowl with snipped basil, olive oil, crushed red pepper, and salt and pepper. The seasonings here really depend on your taste buds so go with what you like.  Stir to combine all ingredients and slightly mash tomatoes with the back of your spoon while stirring to release the juices.  Set aside to marinate while you prepare the rest.

2. Roll out pizza dough onto a floured sheet of aluminum foil that is covering an inverted baking sheet (picture below). Roll to a thickness of about 1/4 to 1/2 inch depending on your preference. Don’t go too thick, though, because then the outside will burn before the inside gets cooked properly.

3. Combine cubed mozzarella and crumbed goat cheese into a bowl. You want the cubes to be about 1/4 inch think so they melt well.

4. Once grill is heated and all ingredients are prepared, slide aluminum foil sheet with pizza dough onto the grill. Close lid and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the dough puffs up and grill marks begin to appear underneath.

5. To flip dough, use tongs, a spatula, an oven mitt or all of the above to quickly invert pizza onto it’s other side. Remove aluminum foil and turn heat down to about 325 degrees.

6. Once dough is flipped, quickly top pizza starting with a layer of pesto, followed by tomato mixture, and finally the cheese mixture. There may be some olive oil left over from the tomato mixture, that’s O.K. you don’t want a greasy pizza. You want to move quickly so the cheese has time to melt before the crust becomes too charred. 

7. After all toppings are on, close the lid and cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and there are prominent grill marks on the underside. Cook times will vary depending on the heat of different grills.

8. Once pizza is done, slide it back onto the inverted baking sheet, cut, and enjoy!

Step-by-step picture instructions are below (for those of us who need a little extra help - it’s O.K. I do too)

Pizza dough rolled onto aluminum foil covering inverted baking sheet. Don’t get hung up on the shape, it’s rustic! My first one turned out looking something like Africa…

Tomato/basil/seasoning mixture. This should sit for at least 10 minutes while you prepare everything else.

Pizza dough on the grill. Note: the aluminum foil goes directly onto the grill, not the baking sheet.

Dough once it’s flipped with pesto layer. There won’t be grill marks on this side because of the aluminum foil but that’s just fine because it will be covered up by delicious toppings!

Tomato and cheese toppings. Again, it’s rustic so don’t get caught up in making sure it’s perfectly covered. Imperfection is perfection here!

Final product! Doesn’t it look delectable? It was…

Thank you for checking out Noodletarian! I’m very excited that I could share my first recipe with you and I would love to hear your feedback! Happy grilling!

Le premier post.

Hello everyone and welcome to my noodletarian blog! If you have no idea what that word means you need to read my About page. And even then you might not understand but that’s O.K. Follow along as I try new recipes and restaurants and explore all the deliciousness that food has to offer! I can’t wait to share what I find with you!

Tales from a kind-of-vegetarian food lover.

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