Super Bowl Fiesta

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We always have a great time watching the Super Bowl at home! It has everything you could ever want: food, drinks, friends, and competition! But it can be difficult deciding what to serve if you’re throwing or attending a Super Bowl Bash. So, here are some delicious, crowd-pleasing ideas that I’m using this year.

It’s great to get a theme going, so this year I decided to have a little football fiesta! So go for a taco bar. Set out the ingredients separately so your guests can pick and choose whatever they would like! Have a chicken, beef, avocado, tomato, cheese, lettuce, and salsa of all different heat levels set up.

Another great option are healthy nachos. You can even use the some of the same ingredients from the taco bar for your nachos. I love topping my nachos with pico de gallo, olives, jalapenos, red and green onion, and plenty of cheese and guacamole! If you don’t feel like preparing ahead of time, pick up some empanadas from your favorite Mexican restaurant, heat and serve!

As long as you have friends, food, and plenty of drinks, your Super Bowl Bash is sure to be a hit! Enjoy!

-Chef K

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Vegan Tomato Cream Sauce

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Although many enjoy a carnivorous feast, it’s always a nice change of pace to allow yourself to go vegan!

Generally, great substitutes for meat and other animal products include: beans, lentils, and tempeh. Mushrooms, like portobella, are also a great alternative to meat because they actually mimic the texture, and sometimes taste, of meat. Pasta is also great for vegans, but often topped with heavy cream sauces, which is no good for vegans! Check out this simple, delicious vegan tomato cream sauce:

1 Large, ripe tomato (2 cups roughly chopped)

1/2 Cup Raw Cashews

1 Tbs Tomato Paste

¼ Cup Water

2 Tbs Olive Oil

2-4 Cloves Garlic, minced, optional

1 Large Handful Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped

Core the tomato, then roughly chop it. Add it to your blender, seeds, skin and all. Add cashews, tomato paste, and water. Blend until very smooth. Pour sauce from the blender into a saute pan and bring to a simmer. Add basil and let simmer for 4-5 minutes and enjoy!

What are some of your favorite vegan choices?

 

Simple Tomato Soup

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It’s mid-January which can only mean one thing: Soup Weather! When it’s chilly out and it seems you constantly have a cold coming on, the last thing you want to do is tend to a pot of soup all day or pop open a can of processed goop. So, we decided to share an easy, healthy Tomato Soup recipe to cure your winter blues!

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup of coconut oil (or butter)

  • 1 medium yellow onion

  • 3 cloves of garlic or 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 28 ounces of diced, canned tomatoes, or 6 fresh tomatoes

  • 2 cups vegetable broth

  • 6 ounces tomato paste

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon pepper

  • ½ cup fresh basil or 3 tablespoons dried

Instructions

  1. Dice the onion and place in a pan with the butter or coconut oil over medium heat.

  2. Mince garlic and add (or add garlic powder)

  3. Saute until onions are softened and translucent.

  4. Add tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes.

  5. Mince the basil (if using fresh) and add to pan.

  6. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.

  7. Reduce to a simmer for at least five minutes (for richer flavors, you can simmer for up to 30 minutes)

  8. Optional but Recommended: Using a metal immersion blender, carefully blend in the pot until smooth.

  9. Garnish with chopped basil or green onions (optional) and serve.

What’s your go-to winter weather soup?

Basil: Not Just for the Kitchen

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Basil is definitely a kitchen favorite here at Bocca Di Bacco, but did you know this common herb can be used in different areas of the house too? For example, simple pesto can be used in other dishes besides the typical pasta dish. It’s also delicious on eggs, sandwiches, pizza, or infused in olive oil. Since basil is used in so many international cuisines, dried basil can be easily added to almost any dish.

Many people don’t know the health benefits basil can pack. For instance, it is thought to have a calming effect on the stomach.  1/2 teaspoon of dried or fresh Basil Leaf in water can often help soothe indigestion and alleviate feelings of fullness.

Some also chew fresh leaves to calm coughing or make a calming tea of dried basil to help sooth illness. Herbalist suggest adding 2 cups of strong Basil Leaf tea to a warm bath to help reduce stress and facilitate relaxation!

What are your favorite uses for basil?

Snow Day Recipes

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New York City just saw its first big snowstorm of the season, and winter has only just begun! When it’s chilly and blustery outside, the last thing I want to do is brave the outdoors, but I still want to enjoy a nice meal. So I came up with a couple easy recipes to warm up even the coldest of snow days.

For breakfast, frittatas are always a nice option. There are no rules when it comes to making your own. Sautee any veggies of your choice in an oven-safe skillet with some olive oil, whisk in eggs and and cook on the stove for about five minutes, then transfer to a 400 degree oven for about ten more minutes. Frittatas are perfect for snowy days because you can keep it on the counter or in the fridge, and they’re good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

Another snow day favorite is Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe. It’s a great option because it only takes four ingredients to make a warm, satisfying meal. Boil your spaghetti to al dente, mix in butter, Parmesan cheese, and cracked pepper and voila, you have an Italian original sure to satisfy all tastes.

Hope you enjoy these snowed-in recipes. Remember: stay warm and eat well!

-Chef K