Thursday, March 31, 2011

Big congrats to local bakery Vegan Treats

Vegan Treats is a local vegan bakery in the Lehigh Valley, and its popularity has sky-rocketed over the past few years, not only due to the increasing awareness of the vegan lifestyle and its health benefits but also because their sweet treats are outright DELICIOUS! I was excited to read this article in the Easton Express-Times this morning that this bake shop and owner Danielle Konya are going to be featured in a reality series on Animal Planet this summer (I imagine, due to the animal-friendly nature of the business). I'm definitely going to keep an eye out for this one!

Doughnut, anyone
Photo by P. Petty for Easton Express-Times

Chocolaty goodness
Photo by P. Petty for Easton Express-Times

Sausage & Vegetable bake with garlic-herb crust

Using many of the same ingredients as my Tuscan Sausage & Spinach soup, I created this delicious casserole with a completely different flavor. Starting with a base of classic sausage & peppers, this recipe is enhanced with the addition of healthy spinach, a layer of whole grain pasta, and a delicious garlicky herb crust. This recipe will easily serve 8-10 hungry friends and family.

(Dig in!)

Wine pairing: The tomato sauce and spicy sausage in this recipe will pair well with Sangiovese or Chianti (these wines are from the same grape), which are medium-bodied fruity wines and are available from Italy or California.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tuscan Soup with Sausage & Spinach

The concept of this recipe began when I woke up one morning with a miserable cold. As most of us do when we get sick, I wanted soup. I had other plans for my sausage, a fabulous baked pasta dish with veggies, but I needed the comfort of a hot bowl of soup steaming against my stuffy nose. This recipe has a delicious rustic flavor and can be enjoyed with a glass of dry Italian white wine (when you're not fighting off a cold) and a loaf of crusty italian bread.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A preview of what's to come

Spring is in the air, which means a new season for fruits and vegetables such as strawberries and asparagus. Although there's still snow on the ground here in the northeast, it won't be long until april showers bring may flowers (and the end of flu season, sniffle - I've been sick all weekend).

Coming up this week on Rachel B. cooks... I make two unique recipes featuring sausage and spinach, and I will try to highlight healthier recipes and options as we all prepare to shed our winter weight for bikini season.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Pancakes...and bacon

I love breakfast. I never skip it. Not only is it the most important meal of the day, but it can also be the most delicious. Many people skip breakfast every day, and scoff at me when I obsess over my need for a well-rounded, filling breakfast to start my day. Well, I think those people are aliens. Not really, but their opinions of breakfast are alien to me. My husband has been having a bad week, so I decided to wake up and make a big breakfast for the both us (by the way, my husband is one of those aliens that don't eat breakfast most days). There's just something so comforting about pancakes so here's my recipe for banana chocolate chip pancakes. This recipe will make about 10-12 pancakes, which feeds about 4 hungry people.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Chicken Cordon Bleu

This chicken cordon bleu recipe started with a mission. My husband was asking for chicken cordon bleu but does not like swiss cheese. so I sought out a recipe without. This is a modified version of a chicken cordon bleu recipe from cooking light, so I tried to alter it without adding to many calories to keep the recipe "light". Serve with a salad and a glass of pinot grigio!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pasta Lasagna

This recipe to me, is like the lovechild of baked ziti and lasagna, taking the best notes from each of these classic culinary creations. Moreover, it's easy, affordable, and can easily be health-ied up without sacrificing taste. Feel free to cut this recipe in half if you're only a cooking for a few, as this recipe made about 8 nice-sized portions. The meaty, tomato-y sauce in this recipe is best paired with red wine. I would recommend Chianti or Sangiovese (they come from the same grape), as these also pair well with the mild flavors of mozzarella cheese.

(can you say yum?)
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