This simple pasta recipe is quick and easy to whip up, and the combination of ingredients makes it a heartwarming and flavorful meal that is sure to be a dinner favorite in your house.

Penne Pasta with Pine Nuts

Ingredients

16 ounces of penne pasta
2 cloves of grated garlic
1 cup of Iberia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of oregano
¼ cup of grated Romano or parmesan cheese
1 ounce of pine nuts sautéed in Iberia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of salt to boil the pasta
1 tablespoon of Iberia Extra Virgin Olive Oil to boil the pasta
Salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Boil 2 liters of water with a teaspoon of salt and olive oil, then add the pasta and cook for 10 minutes. Drain and add grated garlic, oregano, cheese, pine nuts and salt/pepper to taste.

Prior to serving, add the cup of Iberia Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Simple and delicious!

*Recipe courtesy of Iberia.*

Black Forest CookeisChocolate and cherries are the foundation of the classic dessert Black Forest Cake. Now you can enjoy the same flavors in a delicious cookie that can surprisingly be served to family and friends who want gluten-, grain- and dairy-free treats.

This easy-to-make recipe was created by Carol Kicinski, a professional recipe developer, editor in chief of Simply Gluten Free Magazine and TV chef. Kicinski explains, “They are something between a macaroon and a brownie made better with ruby-red maraschino cherries.”

In fact, maraschino cherries can add color and flavor to a variety of baked goods, so it’s wise to keep a jar or two in your pantry for when you’re ready to bake.

Gluten-Free Black Forest Cookies

Ingredients

2¼ cups blanched almond flour*

¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon kosher or fine sea salt

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 large eggs (“Mom” prefers cage-free eggs)

¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup maraschino cherries, patted dry and quartered

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in mixing bowl. Whisk together oil, brown sugar, vanilla and eggs. Add to dry ingredients; mix well. Stir in chocolate chips and cherries.

Using teaspoon or small (#60) ice cream scoop, spoon dough onto the prepared baking sheets about 2 inches apart. Bake for 11 minutes or until the cookies are firm. Cool on pans for 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes 2½ dozen cookies.

*Grind your own almond flour: Pulse about 3 cups sliced almonds in food processor until it reaches the consistency of flour. Yield: about 2¼ cups almond flour.

For delicious recipes from The National Cherry Growers and Industries Foundation, visit www.nationalcherries.com. Or go to www.simplygluten-free.com for more gluten-free advice and recipes.

*Recipe and image courtesy of NAPS.*

roasted_butternut_squash_pearsThis easy, flavorful side dish starts by roasting rosemary-coated butternut squash until golden brown. While the squash roasts, sauté pears and onions, then toss everything together at the end so the fruit and vegetables all have just the right texture.

Roasted Butternut Squash and Pears Recipe

Ingredients

2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion
2 medium ripe but firm Bosc pears (about 1 pound)

Preparation

Heat the oven to 475°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Place a baking sheet in the oven as it heats.
Mix the salt, rosemary, and pepper in a small bowl; set aside
Prepare the squash: Peel off the skin with a vegetable peeler. Trim the top and bottom. Cut the neck from the bulb of the squash. Halve each piece lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Cut the squash into 3/4-inch cubes and place in a large bowl.

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and add it to the squash. Add half of the reserved salt mixture and toss to combine. Remove the hot baking sheet from the oven and spread the squash into an even layer on it. Roast until the squash is golden brown on the bottom, about 25 minutes. Using a flat spatula, stir and continue roasting until knife tender, about 10 minutes more. Meanwhile, prepare the onion and pears.

Cut the onion into medium dice; set aside. Peel, core, and cut the pears into large dice; set aside. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the pears and remaining half of the salt mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pears are knife tender, about 5 to 6 minutes more. Remove the pan from the heat.

When the squash is ready, add it to the pan with the onions and pears, toss to combine, and serve.

*Recipe and image courtesy of CHOW.*

Poached Pears in Grape JuiceA delightful way to enjoy wholesome eating can start with your packing your plate with produce, including a dynamite little fruit—the Concord grape. Concord grapes are bold in taste and pack quite a nutritious punch. They can be enjoyed as 100% grape juice or in simple, healthy and flavor-packed recipes.

Consider this: Welch’s uses Concord grapes grown in North America exclusively by its family-farmer owners, who work tirelessly during harvest season to collect exceptional fruit that meets their high quality standards. These Concord grapes are picked at their peak and pressed into juice within eight hours of harvesting to capture their perfectly ripe flavor.

Thanks to the Concord grape, 100% grape juice can help support a healthy heart. According to Alton Brown, Food Network star, food historian and scientist, “Welch’s presses the entire Concord grape, skin, seed, pulp and all, and that releases heart-healthy plant nutrients called polyphenols.”

Many of the polyphenols in Concord grapes are the same as those found in wine. In fact, you can even use 100% grape juice instead of sweet wine in a variety of recipes.

There are many ways to get your share of the goodness of Concord grapes. 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes can be enjoyed in a glass as a nutritious beverage and can easily be incorporated into recipes for desserts, low-fat salad dressings, marinades and more. This tasty ingredient may not only enhance the flavor of your favorite dishes, it can add a boost of heart-healthy purple fruit to your day.

Here’s one easy way to add this one-of-a-kind fruit to your menu:

Poached Pears in Grape Juice

Ingredients

1½ cups Welch’s 100% Grape Juice made with Concord grapes

2 cinnamon sticks

2 strips of orange rind

4 pears, peeled with stems remaining

Preparation

In a medium saucepan, bring grape juice, cinnamon and orange rind to a boil.

Place pears standing in saucepan and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.

Turn or spoon juice over pears as they simmer. Remove pears and let cool.

Reduce sauce by boiling down to about ⅓ cup.

Spoon sauce over pears and keep chilled.

Serve pears by themselves or with light whipped cream.

You can find more facts, tips and recipes to share the goodness of Concord grapes with your family at www.welchs.com.

*Recipe and image courtesy of napsnet.com.*

Roasted VegetablesThe vegetables can vary with the season, what you like, and what’s fresh in the market. The main thing to do is make sure that each is roasted to the perfect point of doneness — which will take a few separate pans.

This delicious recipes was created by mother-daughter duo Terry and Tracy Paulding, of Paulding & Co. Their comapny specializes in creating innovative event ideas for families and corporate entities through public cooking classes and exercises.

Roasted Vegetables with Balsamic Reduction

Ingredients

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar (not the super expensive kind, but make sure it’s from Modena)
1 small, firm globe eggplant
Handful of small sweet red (or yellow or orange) peppers
2 ripe tomatoes, if in season
1 red onion or bunch of spring onions
12 asparagus, if in season
2 medium zucchinis and/or golden zucchinis
1 yam
1 Portobello mushroom (optional)
Salt & freshly ground pepper
Extra virgin olive oil as needed
2 Tbs. chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

Preparation

One day in advance, pour the balsamic vinegar into a shallow pan. Let sit uncovered at room temperature overnight. You will have thick balsamic syrup by morning! Pack this into a jar or squeeze bottle. If it’s too thick, thin with a little bit more vinegar. This will keep at room temperature, so feel free to make more and use it on other dishes.

Prepare several baking sheets, by covering them with parchment and brushing the parchment generously with olive oil. Preheat oven to 375°F.

Wash all the vegetables. Split the peppers in half and seed them Top and tail the eggplant, and slice thickly. Thickly slice tomatoes, trim asparagus by snapping off the bottom fibrous stalks and then cutting them straight. Peel onion and cut into 6 even round slices, or wash spring onions. Wash, trim and slice zucchini lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices; halve these if zucchinis are large. Without peeling, cut yam in thick rounds. Leave Portobello whole, but trim stem. Place tomatoes, onion and mushroom on one oiled sheet. Blot eggplant dry (if salted) with paper towels and place on another oiled baking sheet with the peppers and asparagus. Place zucchini and yam slices on another sheet. Brush or drizzle all the vegetables with oil. Lightly salt each pan of vegetables, and put in the oven to roast.

Roast until vegetables are lightly golden. Eggplants should be soft, and tomatoes may become very soft. This should take from 15-25 minutes, depending on oven conditions and thickness of slices. Once the mushroom is done, slice it neatly.

Arrange vegetables into a “tapestry” on a platter. Before serving, dress with the balsamic and garnish with parsley.

Vegetables can also be grilled, but watch carefully so they don’t burn.

Makes 6 generous servings.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Terry and Tracy Paulding, of Paulding & Co.*

ALTER ECO Indian Inspired Street Tacos - finalThis might be the most interesting recipe ever featured on Tiny Green Mom! Merry Graham of Newhall, CA won the Alter Eco Quinoa challenge by coming up with this incredible recipe!

Indian Inspired Quinoa Street Taco with Fresh Fig Salsa

Recipe by Merry Graham (Newhall, CA)

Ingredients

1 cup Alter Eco Royal Black Quinoa

4 Numi Organic Carrot Curry Savory Tea Bags

1/3 cup steel cut oats (oats act as a binder)

4 fresh figs, chopped (if not in season, use ½ cup red seedless grapes)

1/4 cup minced baby carrots (mini food processor)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro, divided

1/2 chopped green onions, divided

2 tablespoons red bell pepper, chopped

1 lime, cut in halves

1-2 teaspoons hot sauce, divided (optional)

1 teaspoon ground ancho chili pepper

1 teaspoon ground roasted cumin

3 tablespoons olive oil

1-2 packages (at least 10 count total) small artisan taco shells or slider taco shells

1/2 cup Greek low fat yogurt

2 cups shredded lettuce

Preparation

In a medium saucepan bring 3 1/2 cups of water to a boil. Add tea bags and steep for 10 minutes while preparing quinoa. Rinse quinoa until water runs clear. Spread in a large skillet, over medium heat, toast for 10 minutes or until the quinoa is dry and airy. Add oats, 3 cups steeped tea, and 1/2 tsp sea salt, and bring to a boil. Adjust heat to low and simmer, cover, for 18 minutes, stirring once.

Meanwhile, make salsa. Combine figs, minced carrots, 1 tablespoon green onions, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, red bell pepper, squeeze of lime juice, a shot of hot sauce. Set aside.

Remove quinoa from heat, quickly add ancho chili pepper, cumin, 1/4 cup minced cilantro, 1/4 cup minced green onions, 1 teaspoon hot sauce, juice from 1/2 lime or to taste. Stir and taste; add about ½ teaspoon salt or taste. Cover and steam while preparing taco shells.

Heat a griddle and brush each taco shell with oil. Cook on one side just a minute, turn over and fold in half. Fry until just crisp. Remove and rub taco shell with second lime half and lightly salt. Fill with warm quinoa filling. Top with salsa, shredded lettuce, and a dollop of yogurt. Sprinkle remaining green onions and cilantro over platter of tacos.

savory-crepes-capreseThis scrumptious recipe for Savory Crepes Caprese is courtesy of the Inn at Ellis River in Jackson, New Hampshire.

Savory Crepes Caprese

Ingredients

3 large eggs (“Mom” prefers cage-free eggs)
1 teaspoon milk or water (“Mom” prefers organic milk or just water)
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8-10 cherry tomatoes (variegated colors if possible)
3 tablespoons fresh mozzarella cheese, grated (“Mom” prefers organic)
3 large basil leaves

Preparation

Whisk eggs with milk or water and pepper. Cut tomatoes into quarters and chiffonade the basil. Heat a 6-7 inch nonstick saute pan and warm one crepe in the pan. Remove crepe to a warm plate and then coat saute pan lightly with butter or olive oil. Toss in cherry tomatoes and saute for a minute until they start to soften. Add beaten eggs and scramble over gentle heat. When eggs are partially cooked, add cheese and 2/3of the basil and continue to scramble to desired firmness. Spoon eggs onto one third of the crepe, roll, and garnish with the remaining chiffonade of basil.

*Recipe and image courtesy of BNBFinder.com.*

Tofu Pumpkin_BreadFamily traditions during the holidays always include a pumpkin – for carving, eating or both! Creamy pumpkin desserts are notoriously high saturated fats, but don’t despair – adding tofu is the perfect way to lighten up your favorite recipes. By incorporating tofu into pumpkin dishes, it makes dessert a better health choice while keeping traditional flavors intact.

Pumpkin lovers can rejoice with the new recipe from House Foods – Tofu Pumpkin Bread – a fragrant loaf with spices of cinnamon and ginger. The not-so-secret ingredient is their creamy tofu, which makes a perfect substitute for any dessert.

Tofu Pumpkin Bread

Ingredients

½ package House Foods Premium or Organic Tofu Soft, drained
½ can pumpkin
½ cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup water
1 cup sugar (“Mom” uses Stevia in the Raw instead of sugar)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
3 tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt
3 tsp. pumpkin spice
Dash ginger

Preparation

In a blender, combine pumpkin and tofu. Puree until smooth and transfer to large bowl.  Add sugar, vegetable oil, water and vanilla to tofu mixture

In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger and pumpkin spice.

Combine dry and wet ingredients. Mix thoroughly and pour into loaf pan. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Cool about 1 hour before serving.

Makes 1 loaf.

*Recipe and image courtesy of House Foods Tofu.*

Tessemae's SpaghettiYou’ve heard the benefits of eating kale, but you just aren’t sure how to incorporate it into a family-friendly dish! Well, how about adding it into this simple and healthful whole wheat pasta dish, topped with fresh Pecorino cheese!

Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Pecorino, Pepper and Kale

Ingredients

12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
1/3 cup Tessemae’s Cracked Pepper Dressing
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
4 cups loosely packed baby kale
Coarse salt

Preparation

Cook spaghetti in a large pot of salted boiling water according to the box. Before draining, reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water.

Return drained spaghetti to the pot and toss with Tessemae’s Cracked Pepper Dressing and half of the Pecorino cheese. Add half of the pasta water, then remaining Pecorino and continue to toss. Add more pasta water if needed to loosen. Fold in the kale.

Serve pasta topped with more pecorino and a drizzle of Tessemae’s Cracked Pepper Dressing.

*Recipe and image courtesy of Tessemae’s.*

Perfect-Peanut-PastaThis dish packs in the protein and veggies, and is great served hot or cold, making it an excellent lunchbox choice!

Perfect Peanut Whole Wheat Pasta with Chicken and Veggies

Ingredients

1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti, reserve ¼ cup of pasta cooking water
1 teaspoon of kosher salt (optional)
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons honey
1½ tablespoons white vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon finely minced ginger
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
3/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
12 ounces cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin 1/2-inch-wide strips
1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded and julienned
1 red bell pepper, halved and julienned
1 medium carrot, peeled and julienned
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon chopped peanuts, unsalted (optional)
2 scallions, chopped (optional)

Preparation

Bring a large pot of water to a boil (with parental supervision), add salt if using. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta and reserve ¼ cup cooking water. Briefly rinse pasta under warm running water. Set aside.

In medium bowl whisk peanut butter, reserved pasta cooking water, vinegar, honey, soy sauce, sesame seed oil, ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes until smooth and creamy. Pour over warm pasta. Toss the pasta with chicken, cucumber, red bell pepper. Sprinkle each serving with scallions and 1 tsp. chopped peanuts. Serve warm or cold.

Serves 4.

*Recipe and image courtesy of www.pastafits.org.*