Friday, June 1, 2012

The Cozy Chicks Kitchen

by Lucy Arlington

Before I get into this month's recipe, I wanted to share with you the cover of the next book in the Novel Idea Mystery Series, hot off the presses this week. Every Trick in the Book is scheduled for release February 2013. Isn't the cover gorgeous?

At Malice Domestic this year, the Cozy Chicks were selling print copies their new cookbook, The Cozy Chicks Kitchen. Of course I got mine, signed by the seven lovely Cozy Chicks. While perusing the delectable recipes within its pages, I came up with the idea of featuring a selection of them in my Lucy’s Cozy Kitchen blog. So for the next while, you will be treated to a scrumptious recipe by one of your favorite authors every first of the month.
When I was trying to decide which one to include in today’s blog, it so happened that my son was visiting us for a week. I needed something hearty (because my grown up son seems to have a hollow leg!) but still in keeping with my “healthy lifestyle plan.” I also had to live up to my reputation as the vegetable queen (my son’s nickname for me because I always made sure I cooked multiple vegetables with practically every meal), so I was thrilled to find this one by Lorraine Bartlett. Not only does it contain a variety of vegetables, it also has a wonderful marinade/sauce that keeps the flavors light and fresh, and invokes tastes of Asia. Enjoy!
By Lorraine Bartlett/LL Bartlett
2 cups uncooked bow-tie pasta
2 medium carrots, julienned
1 medium onion, chopped
2 small zucchini, julienned
1 each medium sweet red, yellow, and green pepper, cut into thin strips
1 cup fresh green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces 
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons your favorite vinegar 
2 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. 
2. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet or wok, stir-fry the carrots, onions, zucchini, peppers, and beans in hot olive oil for 3-4 minutes or until crisp-tender. [Lucy’s note: I like my onions thoroughly cooked, so I fried them first until they were soft and translucent, then added in the other vegetables.]
3. Drain the pasta; add to the vegetable mixture. Drizzle with sesame oil. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, honey, salt, chili powder, and ginger. Pour over the pasta mixture and toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4-6 servings
Lucy’s note: We ate the leftovers cold the next day for a salad. Delish! The next time I make this, I plan to double the marinade and use half of it to marinade chicken chopped into small pieces and stir-fry it with the vegetables. As a vegetarian option, I would add a can of chick peas just before serving.