Tag Archives: Basil

Chickpea and Fresh Basil Salad

The warm days are supposedly leaving us, and crisp cool days are around the corner, but we’re still in time to prepare this salad. This is a really easy and fresh salad, perfect for outdoorsy summer days and it’s also a convenient make ahead recipe, you can prepare it the night before and it will taste even better!  Aside from being delicious and fresh this is a very healthy dish.  Truthfully, I didn’t make it because it is healthy, but my husband asked me if there is a nutritional benefit to eating chickpeas, so I looked it up.

I found out that these legumes are high in fiber, so it’s a great aid to our digestive system and it is also very beneficial for people looking to include foods that help improve their cardiovascular health.  As little as ¾ cup of chickpeas per day can help lower our LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglycerides in a one-month period of time.

With that in mind, I will definitely try to prepare chickpeas more regularly at home and I’ll be on the lookout for more recipes, so you can try them too.


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Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

I’ve missed posting like I regularly did, this year has been full of changes and adjustments for me and I just can’t seem to get a handle on my schedule… but I’m still here!

Now more than ever, I am leaning towards fast and easy recipes. I always try to keep homemade tomato sauce in my fridge, I use it for all sorts of things and is sometimes a lifesaver when I need to get a quick meal ready for my daughter. I use it to make a quick pasta dish, or pita bread pizzas for her. For breakfast I use it on eggs and sometimes I use it on my cooking when the recipe calls for tomato sauce. Of course, using store-bought tomato sauce is convenient, but we have gotten so used to the natural flavors of the homemade kind that we don’t like the flavor of the commercial brands anymore. You might have to invest a little time in making it, although it’s actually quite easy, but you can double this recipe to freeze half of it for later use. And also, don’t you think that every home cook should know how to make a good tomato sauce?


Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

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Chicken Mozzarella Rolls

During the week, we’re all in a hurry,  at home we prefer to eat healthier no fuss meals like a chicken salad.  But sometimes, you just need a little comfort, which usually means you want to eat something filling, cheesy and delicious.  This recipe for chicken mozzarella rolls is great tasting, easy to do, and you don’t sacrifice the healthy aspect all that much.  It’s all baked, no fried stuff.

The combination of bread crumbs, cheese, and tomato sauce will surely satisfy your taste buds!  I recommend you pair this with mashed potatoes and a side of green vegetables. You can use Italian style tomato sauce, or whip up your own chunky tomato sauce by simply dicing and sauteing tomatoes, garlic,  onions, and basil  (seasoned with salt and pepper).

Chicken Mozzarella Rolls

Chicken Mozzarella Rolls

Serves 4
Adapted from www.recipe.com Chicken Kiev

2 tablespoon chopped green onion
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb mozzarella cheese (sliced, or shredded about 1 cup)
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs ( I used herbed bread crumbs)
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
Salt and black pepper

Italian style tomato sauce, for serving.


1. In a small bowl combine green onion, basil, and garlic; set aside. Cut cheese  into sticks (if using shredded cheese, just set aside). In a shallow bowl stir together egg and water. Place flour in another shallow bowl. Place bread crumbs in a third shallow bowl. Set aside.

2. Place a chicken breast half between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet pound chicken lightly into a rectangle about 1/8 inch thick. Remove plastic wrap. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with one-fourth of the green onion mixture. Place cheese in center of chicken piece. Fold in sides; roll up. Repeat with remaining chicken.
3. Coat chicken rolls with flour. Dip in egg mixture; coat with bread crumbs. Dip in egg mixture again; coat with with additional bread crumbs. (Coat ends well to seal in the butter.) Place coated chicken in 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Cover and chill for 1 to 24 hours.
4. Place rolls in a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Bake, uncovered, in a 400 degree F oven for 18  to 22 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170 degrees F). Spoon any drippings over rolls. Serve with italian style tomato sauce

Chicken Mozzarella Rolls

Chicken Mozzarella Rolls

Chicken Mozzarella Rolls

Chicken Mozzarella Rolls

Capellini with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil & Goat Cheese

This pasta dish has few ingredients, and it is not smothered in thick tomato sauce or any cream based sauce.  This is a light pasta with sauteed cherry tomatoes, fresh basil a few spices and a lot of flavor.  I recommend you have this with toasted baguette slices and a nice glass of wine. It’s a perfect meal to treat yourself with at the end of the day.

I used capellini, but you can substitute for regular spaghetti or any other pasta you prefer. I happen to love goat cheese, and its creamy texture in this pasta blends perfectly with the tartness of the cherry tomatoes and the kick of the pepper flakes, but you can substitute for Parmesan cheese, if you don’t like goat cheese.

If you do use capellini, be careful to follow the package’s instructions. It should take no more than 3 minutes.  I didn’t like the brand of capellini I used for my recipe, I cooked it for exactly 3 minutes and it turned out mushy.  But I have made this recipe before using another brand and it works out perfectly.

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Capellini with Cherry Tomatoes, Basil & Goat Cheese

 Recipe adapted from BBC Food
Serves 6


1 package dried capellini (1 lb)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
olive oil, for frying
1 onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or less! depending on your preference. They are hot!)
1  pint cherry or grape tomatoes
1 large clove garlic, crushed
handful basil leaves, torn
goat cheese, crumbled.

Variation: Add 1/2 cup of chopped sun dried tomatoes as well.


  1. Boil capellini in salted water until al dente. Follow your package’s instructions for cooking time. It should take 3 min
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a frying pan and sauté the onion until soft. Add the chilli, salt and freshly ground black pepper, turn the heat up and stir. Add the tomatoes and garlic and cook for a further three minutes.
  3. Add the spaghetti to the sauce and add the torn basil leaves. Toss until the pasta is coated in the sauce. If necessary add a little more olive oil to keep the pasta from sticking.
  4. Serve garnished with goat cheese.