Spring Salmon Pesto Pasta

I love pasta but eating it every day isn’t recommended (apparently). So my new favorite substitute is legume-based pasta, which includes lentils, beans, peas, and chickpeas. This past year, legume-based pasta have been having a real moment. It first began with a few new brands, but now popular brand pastas have also launched a legume-based line.

The benefits of switching include fewer carbs, more fiber and more protein than regular pasta. They are also gluten-free and contain iron.

While you may not be sold yet, the flavor and texture of the pasta are not that much different than any old regular boxed pasta. What I have noticed is that most legume-based pasta is very toothsome. Other than that, there isn’t much of a difference in terms of flavor.

GIve the delicious recipe a try and enjoy a new alternative to a week night classic!

MY Portuguese Mother // Salmon Pesto Pasta
MY Portuguese Mother // Salmon Pesto Pasta
MY Portuguese Mother // Salmon Pesto Pasta
 

Ingredients 

Pesto :

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves

  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, plus more for serving

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts (or for raw walnuts)

  • 1 medium lemon, juiced & zested

  • 1/3 cup olive oil, more for serving

  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

  • Salt and pepper

Pasta :

  • 12 oz. red lentil pasta (or substitute for whole-grain)

  • Pesto

  • 1 lb. cooked salmon, roughly flaked (great for using leftover grilled or poached salmon)

Recipe

Pesto

  1. In a food processor or blender, pulse basil leaves, mint leaves, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, and parmesan cheese together. Slowly add the olive oil until pesto is smooth. Set aside.

Pasta

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add a generous pinch of salt. Once boiling, add pasta of choice and cook according to package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of pasta water, and drain pasta. Set aside in a large bowl.

  2. Add the pesto to the pasta and toss to combine. Add reserved pasta water if needed to loosen pesto pasta. Toss in the flaked salmon. Finish with lemon zest and mint leaves. Serve immediately.

 
 

Butternut Squash Citrus Salad

New Jersey seems to be the only place where it can be 60 degrees one day and 30 the next!

This past weekend was a real tease! I am so ready for the warmer weather, flowers blooming, and more importantly, spring produce!

For me, once the warmer weather begins I automatically feel like I want to eat healthier foods that are light, bright and packed with nutrients! Salads are one of my go-to everyday foods. For warmer weather days, I love to add refreshing raw ingredients like shaved carrots, and fresh fruit. But for days like today, it’s hard to crave a cold salad when it’s 30 degrees outside. So what I like to do is incorporate warm ingredients into my salad instead. Some of my favorite ingredients are roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes. I usually roast a big batch, so I always have them available to toss into my salad or use them as a side. The roasted squash really helps fill you up while still keeping your salad healthy and vibrant! Paired with a citrus vinaigrette, this salad will have you fall in love with salads even during the colder months!

Warm weather will be here shortly but until then, warm up with this butternut squash salad!

My Portuguese Mother // Butternut Squash Citrus Salad
My Portuguese Mother // Butternut Squash Citrus Salad

Ingredients 

  • 5 cups arugula or baby kale, loosely packed

  • 2 cara-cara oranges, segmented

  • 1 cup chopped walnuts  

  • 2 cups roasted butternut squash, cubed

  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 3/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

  • Salt and pepper

Recipe

  1. Whisk together the ingredients for the vinaigrette, adjust salt and pepper to taste, set aside.

  2. Arrange the greens in a large bow. Add the roasted butternut squash, segmented oranges, and chopped walnuts. Dress the salad with the vinaigrette. Serve immediately

 

Chicken Tinga Tinga Tacos


If there is one cuisine I can have over and over again, it would be Mexican. I love the combination of flavors , from the salt to the sweet and heat, everything comes together in a perfect harmony. These Chicken Tinga Tinga tacos are the perfect example! 

I dare you to eat just one! From the spicy sauce to the layer of toppings, this is the taco recipe you didn't know you needed! 

The sauce is made with adobo peppers, and fire roasted tomatoes that gives a kick and a layer a sweetness to the sauce. Top a nice bowl of rice, or drizzle some on your morning eggs! Delicious!!

MY Portuguese Mother // Chicken Tinga Tinga Tacos
 
My Portuguese Mother // Chicken Tinga Tinga Tacos
 
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Ingredients 

Tacos :

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 cup sweet onion roughly chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1–2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 3/4 cup canned crushed fire-roasted tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup chicken stock

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 3 cups rotisserie chicken shredded

For serving :

  • Corn tortillas

  • 2 ripe avocados, sliced

  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1/2 cup pico de gallo

  • crumbled cotija

  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Recipe

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium. Once warm, add the oil and onion. Sauté for 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add in the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Stir in the chipotles, oregano, and cumin, and toast for 1 minute. Add in the tomatoes, stock, and salt. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 7 minutes.

  2. Place the tomato mixture in a high-powered or regular blender, and blend until smooth.

  3. Return the blended sauce to the pan over low heat. Add the shredded chicken, and cook for 5 minutes and season to taste.

  4. Prepare the garnishes. Warm your tortillas over an open flame on your stove top. Smash your avocados in a bowl, and squeeze lime and season with salt.

  5. Assemble your tacos, add the avocado, chicken, then top off with pico de gallo, cheese and cilantro. Serve with a lime wedge.

    Recipe from Pinch of Yum

 
 

Steak Tacos

I can’t say no to a taco.

No matter how full I could be , if I spot a taco truck, chances are, I’m getting one!  And no, Taco Bell is not my favorite taco place or I ever craved their food… Unless you are starving after a long night of drinking and the only place you have to eat is Taco Bell, then that's acceptable, but let's be honest, even then, I’m sure you’ll find a taco truck on some corner, somewhere that serves real tacos!

Taco Tuesday was never big in my house. I dislike our American version of a taco.. ground meat, hard shell (PASS), shredded lettuce and diced tomatoes... no thanks.
So instead, I wanted to spice things up, change some ingredients around and create a quick & easy taco recipe with ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen.

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Ingredients 

  • 1 pound flank steak

  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil

  • ¼ cup of lime juice

  • 2  garlic clove, minced

  • 1 tsp. chili powder

  • 1 tsp. cumin

  • 1 tsp. paprika

  • 1 tbsp. minced jalapeño

toppings:

  • 1 radish, thinly sliced

  • 4-5 tbsp of diced grilled pineapples

  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges

  • 1 handful cilantro

  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1 charred corn cob

  • 8 small flour or corn tortillas

Recipe

  1. Combine olive oil, lime juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, paprika, and jalapeno in a larger bowl or zip-top bag. Season the steak with salt and pepper and place it in the bag or bowl covered with plastic and marinate at least 30 minutes at room temp. Or overnight in the refrigerator.

  2. If chilled overnight, let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.Prepare a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill steak for around 7-10 minutes, or until the thickest part of the steak reads 125 degrees f. Remove from grill and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Slice the steak against the grain.

  3. While it rests, prepare grilled pineapples and charred corn. Grill the pineapples for 1-2 minutes or until they achieve grill marks on both sides. Charr the corn by rubbing olive oil so it won't stick and place it on the medium-high heat grill. Turn frequently, until the entire cobb is nice and charred. Allow the cobb to cool before cutting the corn off the cob.

  4. Warm the tortillas on the grill or on the stove top. If using the stove, use low heat and keep an eye because they will charr quickly.

  5. Divide the steak among the tortillas and begin to layer with the grilled pineapples, corn, radishes, thinly sliced red onion, cilantro and finish with a wedge of lime.