February 23, 2011 § 2 Comments
This week’s recipe is from Sarah. Thanks, Sarah!
Tomato-Bean Soup with Pasta
From the Chicago Tribune|Serves 6
1 cup any small soup pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cans veggie broth (I assume 30 oz. – pwa)
2 cans cannellini or black beans
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
1/4 cup red wine
2 tsp Italian herb blend
1 bay leaf, optional
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 kale or Swiss chard leaves, coarsely chopped
Prepare pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion, cook until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add broth, beans with their liquid, tomatoes with their liquid, wine, Italian seasoning, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer 20 minutes.
Add chard leaves, cook until slightly wilted, about 5 minutes. Ladle soup into bowls, add pasta. Pass Parmesan at table.
(The only thing I question about this recipe is not rinsing off the beans. I assume the bean liquid thickens the broth, but still, when I make this I may stick to my habit of rinsing and deal with having a thinner broth. That beany, slimy, salty liquid kind of turns my stomach! That’s only my opinion! – pwa)
November 5, 2010 § 2 Comments
I belong to a Mom’s Club and last month five of us decided to start an email recipe swap. We’re all looking for healthy and simple dinners that will make the whole family happy (which in many families is ”Mission: Impossible,” but we have to try, right?)
Luckily, my guys are open to eating pretty much anything…although Peter wouldn’t touch the fancy spaghetti squash dish I made last night. I think his exact words were “no eat dat stuff.” His loss ;-P Now there’s more left over for me. Pete thought it was great, but a little strong in the garlic department. Hey, there’s no such thing as “too much garlic.” It keeps you healthy!
In any case, I’ve asked the other moms’ permission to include their recipes on my blog, and they’ve been kind enough to agree. It’ll be nice to have the recipes in one spot instead of having to search through emails. And since I don’t have a printer hooked up at home, that’s exactly what I’d end up doing.
I’m going to post the recipes verbatim, exactly as they were emailed, but I will provide my comments if I made any replacements/changes.
There will be a mix of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Some will be family recipes, others will be from a cookbook (and noted as such). I haven’t made all of the recipes myself yet, so some may be posted without any of my insightful commentary or pictures. Ha ha! I’m sure you’ll survive, and possibly be thankful :-)
Today, I’ll share a recipe for pasta fagioli.
I made this dish last week, but I replaced the ground meat with an extra 15-oz. can of kidney beans and I used orecchiette pasta, which made it a really hearty and filling dish.
Sarah’s Pasta Fagioli
1lb. ground beef (I use turkey – sarah) (I replaced with 15 oz. can of kidney beans – pwa)
1 onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can kidney beans
1 15 oz can great northern beans
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
1 12 oz can tomato-vegetable juice (V8)
1 tblsp white vinegar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 lb pasta (I used orecchiette - pwa)
Brown beef or turkey Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and saute 10 minutes. Add everything else except pasta. Simmer 1 hour. Cook pasta separately and add at the end. Simmer all together as long as you want.
(Note: Since I didn’t use meat, I sautéed the onion in about 4 tbsp. olive oil until translucent, then added the carrots and celery and sautéed for about 10 minutes, then I added the garlic and sautéed for about another 2 minutes. I then added everything else, except the pasta, to simmer for an hour – pwa)
October 24, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Ahh, we had a lovely weekend spent with lovely friends. I hope you did, too!
Have you noticed the beautiful badge over there on the right side of the screen that my blog has sported for the past week advertising World Pasta Day? Hmm? Have you noticed?
Well, if you haven’t, pay attention now because tomorrow, Monday, October 25 is the 15th Annual World Pasta Day! Woot! Woot!
Coincidentally, it’s also Meatless Monday (come to think of it, it’s probably quite intentional).
What is your absolute favorite meatless pasta dish?
If you don’t have a favorite, maybe one of the recipes on my site will become a favorite. Here’s a link to the pasta recipes on purewellnessamy.com: http://purewellnessamy.com/tag/pasta/
In honor of the special day, I think I’ll give Cauliflower Pasta a whirl tomorrow night.
Here are some other ways of celebration that Oldways recommends:
- Try a new pasta – there are 600 shapes produced worldwide, including many whole grain options.
- Mind your portions – Americans tend to overload their plates. A healthy portion of pasta is one to two cups cooked (1 cup of cooked pasta is about 200 calories). When eaten in the proper portions and in combination with healthy foods, pasta does not cause weight gain.
- Cook up your favorite pasta dish at home – All it takes is a few simple ingredients –for instance, olive oil, garlic, tomatoes and pasta – to create a nutritious and delicious meal.
- Go meatless – Try a hearty vegetable and bean soup such as Pasta e Fagioli or enjoy pasta with roasted seasonal vegetables like cauliflower, or even pumpkin, for a perfect fall pasta meal.
I hope you take part in this fun and healthy celebration!
September 2, 2010 § Leave a Comment
Hello! I hope you’re well. If you’re on the East Coast, the good news is that today looks to be the last day of the insane heat wave. Yay!
The bad news is that a hurricane named Earl is on his way to visit. Boo
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the name Earl, I picture a big, hairy, unshaven man wearing a wifebeater* and smoking a cigar. And he’s a cartoon character. Regardless, what I picture is a badass. And from what I’ve been reading, this hurricane is aptly named. If you’re planning to vacation on the Cape over Labor Day weekend, I would say that you should probably rethink your plans. Please be safe.
In happier news, two nights ago I made another Vegetarian Times 5-ingredient pasta dish for dinner. And we loved it! Even though it was steaming hot outside, I wanted this for dinner. Next time I will make it into a 6 or seven ingredient dinner by adding spinach and fresh tomatoes. (I added fresh tomatoes to our leftovers for lunch yesterday and it was perfect for our picnic, even at room temperature.) I can only imagine how much better it will be on a chilly fall evening. It’s a real comfort food dish.
Orzo Lentil Pilaf with Feta
Serves 4|30 minutes or fewer
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
1 1/2 cups cooked brown lentils, or 1 15-oz. can lentils, rinsed and drained
6 oz. dry orzo pasta (3/4 cup)
1/2 cup crumbled low-fat feta cheese [I used full-fat feta]
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, and saute 5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in lentils, orzo, and 11/2 cups water. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover, and cook 10 to 12 minutes, or until orzo is tender, and all water is absorbed. Divide among serving bowls, and sprinkle each serving with 2 Tbs. feta.
Per 1-cup serving: 326 Cal; 17 G Prot; 6 G Total Fat (2 G Sat Fat); 53 G Carb; 7 MG Chol; 426 MG Sod; 8 G Fiber; 6 G Sugars
As I mentioned, I’ll add some chiffonade spinach, or maybe even chard, to this dish the next time I make it. I’ll stir it in at the end so it wilts a bit. I probably won’t add the fresh tomatoes in the fall only because there AREN’T ANY fresh tomatoes in the fall. Another boo
And the final boo in this post is for the lack of a picture. I totally forgot to take a picture of the pilaf. Sorry!
But here’s a funny picture of Peter and his cousin Ethan eating bananas:
Maybe it’s just funny to me. I don’t know. It’s all I’ve got.
Again, please BE SAFE these next few days.
*I hope you’re not offended by the term “wifebeater.” I don’t know what else to call the white tank top that bad, mean men stereotypically wear.
August 20, 2010 § 2 Comments
Can anyone guess the title and artist of the song I was singing when I wrote the title? Another Lara Bar is up for grabs! It’s unfortunately not quite as catchy as “If you like chana masala and getting caught in the rain…,” but it’ll have to do!
Here’s another pasta recipe from the “Primo Pasta” article in the September 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times. It’s creamy and lemony and of course easy.
I substituted whole wheat penne for the linguine and fresh spinach for the parsley. If you want to go crazy and make this a 6-ingredient dish, you may want to try adding some chopped kalamata olives or maybe even a few capers. It’s a dish that screams “serve me on the veranda with a glass of cold white wine!”
Linguine in Lemon Cream Sauce
Serves 4|30 minutes or fewer
The Italian version of this dish calls for heavy cream, which we’ve replaced with equally rich-tasting light cream cheese.
8 oz. dry linguine [or pasta of your choice]
1/2 cup light cream cheese [I used whole cream cheese]
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 lemon, juiced and 1 Tbs. zest grated
1/2 cup chopped parsley [I used spinach]
1. Cook linguine according to package directions in pot of boiling salted water.
2. Warm cream cheese, oil, and 2 Tbs. lemon juice in saucepan over low heat.
3. Drain pasta, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Stir reserved cooking water into cream cheese mixture. Add pasta, lemon zest, and parsley; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Per 1-cup serving: 343 Cal; 11 G Prot; 14 G Total Fat (5 G Sat Fat); 45 G Carb; 21 MG Chol; 294 MG Sod; 2 G Fiber; 4 G Sugars.
We’re going to be busy today shopping and preparing these two recipes for my friend’s bridal shower brunch tomorrow. They sound like they’ll be amazing, and Heidi’s recipes never let me down. I’ll let you know how they are!
Maple Huckleberry Coffee Cake (I’ll be using blueberries)
Oh, I saved these recipes to Plummelo, which I think is an awesomely useful site. I don’t know if there’s another site like this out there, but if you have a hard time keeping track of all the online recipes you want to make, I really recommend Plummelo. It allows you to save your recipes, plan meals, and create your shopping lists.
Have a good weekend~
August 18, 2010 § Leave a Comment
I made this super easy dinner last night. I took it from the September 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times (p. 32). There’s this great article starting on page 28 called “Primo Pasta. 10 outrageously easy 5-ingredient dinners.” Oh yeah, I’m all over that article. It’s just been so hot, I haven’t felt much like cooking. But I can manage to put 4 ingredients together and toss them with some pasta. The recipe actually calls for casareccia pasta, but I substituted whole wheat gobbetti pasta.
True confession: my knife skills are an abomination. A-BOM-IN-A-TION. The recipe calls for julienned zucchini and I ended up with this:
In any case, it’s a super easy, quick dinner and it was quite good. Peter chowed it down, too. I give it 5 out of 5 zucchinis.
Casareccia with Zucchini and Fresh Basil
Serves 4 | 30 minutes or fewer
Casareccia look like macaroni that have been split open and twisted. The groovy shape is perfect for light sauces.
8 oz. dry casareccia pasta (2 cups) [or pasta of your choice]
4 small zucchini, julienned (4 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup low-fat ricotta [I used whole ricotta]
1/2 cup torn fresh basil
1. Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water according to package directions; add zucchini to pasta water 1 minute before end of cooking time.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together garlic and ricotta in large bowl. Drain zucchini and pasta, and add to ricotta mixture. Stir in basil, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Per 1- cup serving: 245 Cal; 11 G Prot; 2 G total fat (<1G Sat Fat); 47 G Carb; 5 MG Chol; 123 MG Sod; 3 G Fiber; 6 G Sugars. [Of course, these numbers will change if you use a different pasta or whole ricotta].
July 12, 2010 § 1 Comment
This is one of my favorite summertime dinners. My husband and I created it one August night in Vermont while we were staying at a friend’s lake-side home. We had picked up zucchini at a farmer’s market and inspiration struck when we went to the grocery store to find ingredients to go along with the squash. To be honest, I think it was more my husband’s inspiration than mine, but regardless, when we got back to the house and put it all together it was perfect. The sun was setting on Lake Champlain while we ate…and…I don’t know, it’s just such a nice memory! We’ve made it several times since then and it’s always good, but nothing can top the Vermont dinner.
I think that proves how atmosphere really does impact the pleasure of a meal. We should always make a point of creating a beautiful and peaceful mealtime experience, even on busy weeknights.
Anyway, this is a simple recipe and I wouldn’t be surprised if others have already made it, but I thought I’d share it since we’re heading into prime zucchini/summer squash time.
(All measurements are approximate, so alter to suit your tastes.)
Pasta with zucchini, goat cheese and dill
8-10 oz. pasta of choice
3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3-4 medium-large zucchini and/or summer squash, sliced and quartered
1/2 large white or red onion, chopped
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1-2 tbsp. fresh dill, roughly chopped
1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and toss with olive oil to prevent sticking.
2. Heat olive oil in large skillet. Add onion and saute until translucent, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.
3. Add zucchini, salt, and pepper and saute for about 10 minutes. You don’t want it too mushy, but you don’t want it to be too raw either.
4. Turn off heat and add chopped dill to the zucchini mixture. Toss well.
5. Add some pasta to individual bowls, top with zucchini/dill mixture and crumbled goat cheese. You may need to add a drizzle of olive oil, too, if the pasta is dry.
UPDATED: Ok, I am losing it! I posted a nearly identical version of this recipe back in April I blame it on the heat and old age – lol!
May 16, 2010 § 3 Comments
Sorry vegans, but for this girl pasta just isn’t pasta without cheese. I could never be vegan. I love cheese and plain yogurt too much. Along with eggs, they are staples in my diet. I’ve tried limiting dairy products or replacing them with soy, but truth be told, I’m wary of soy. I was spooked by watching “Food, Inc.” and learning that most, if not all, of non-organic soybeans are genetically modified (as is non-organic corn. As far as I know, products labeled as organic are guaranteed not to be genetically modified). I’ll occasionally eat a soy product, like tofu or miso, but surely not every day. Organic dairy products work for me. And, yes, I most definitely buy organic dairy products. In my idealistic brain, they are procured in humane ways from healthy, well-treated, hormone-free animals. I hope I’m not being too naive.
All that is to preface this recipe which appears in the May/June 2010 issue of Vegetarian Times (p. 28). It’s a recipe that was excerpted from Donna Klein’s vegan cookbook Supermarket Vegan: 225 Meat-Free, Egg-Free, Dairy-Free Recipes for Real People in the Real World. With a few tweaks (sorry, Ms. Klein!)–which I’ll mention at the end of the recipe–this dish was a winner. Pair it with a fresh green salad and you’re good to go.
Baked Ziti with Zucchini, Chickpeas, and Olives
Serves 6 | 30 minutes or fewer
- 8oz. ziti, rigatoni, or penne pasta
- 1/2 pound zucchini, coarsely chopped (2 cups)
- 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, or 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, with basil, garlic & oregano, juices included
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1/4 cup chopped kalamata olives, divided
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 Tbs. tomato paste
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)
- 2 Tbs. Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 11×7-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Cook ziti according to package directions for al dente in large pot of boiling salted water. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain again. Return ziti to pot, and set aside.
- Meanwhile, combine zucchini, chickpeas, tomatoes and juices, tomato puree, 2 Tbs. olives, tomato paste, and garlic in large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes, or until sauce begins to thicken, stirring occasionally. Stir zucchini mixture into ziti, and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
- Transfer ziti mixture to prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs and remaining 2 tbsp. olives. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until pasta is heated through and breadcrumbs are golden brown.
My tweaks: I used whole wheat penne pasta. I also used panko breadcrumbs with added Italian seasoning in place of the pre-seasoned breadcrumbs suggested in the recipe. What really made the dish for me was the crumbled feta cheese and grated parmesan cheese that I added to the top along with the panko breadcrumbs. Next time I make this I may add some lemon zest to the sauce. That may sound odd, but the dish has a Mediterranean feel that I think would be complemented by a little lemon flavor. It’ll “kick it up a notch,” as Emeril would say.
I give this one 5 out of 5 zucchinis.
May 5, 2010 § 1 Comment
As I had hoped, I’m pretty much back on track this week, rebounding from the wackiness of last week. Dinner tonight was pretty good. It was a pasta and cauliflower dish I found on the Arubula’s Kitchen blog. Arubula’s Kitchen is a service which creates weekly menus for its customers. According to their site, all menus come with grocery/prep lists and wine pairings are also available. Past menus are found on the blog, which is where I found tonight’s recipe:
1/4 cup pitted olives
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup olive oil
1 head cauliflower, cut into 1” florets
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
1/4 cup water
3/4 pound spaghetti
1 oz Parmesan, finely grated
3/4 cup almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
Pulse olives and parsley in a food processor.
Heat oil in 12 inch skillet over medium heat . Add cauliflower and salt stirring occasionally until golden brown, about 8 minutes.
Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 3-5 minutes more. Stir in water and boil for 1 minute.
Add olive mixture and cook until heated through.
Meanwhile cook pasta until al dente. To the side, reserve 1 cup pasta water.
Add cauliflower mixture to pasta and toss well. Add cheese and toss again. Moisten with pasta water.
Sprinkle with almonds and serve with additional side of cheese.
I liked that most of these ingredients were already in my kitchen. The only item I had to buy today was the parsley. When I make this again, and I’m sure I will, I’ll probably roast the cauliflower in the oven rather than cooking it on the stove top. I love the rich flavor of roasted cauliflower and I think it will only make the recipe better. I may also add some sautéed spinach or some other greens, as the dish was kind of ugly and white. Sun-dried tomatoes may also be a nice addition.
[...Once upon a time I was falling in love, now I'm only falling apart...nothing I can do, a total eclipse of the heart...Turn around bright eyes! .... sorry, I'm watching Glee...]
Where was I? Dinner. Yes. I recommend it. It’s easy, tasty and fairly nutritious. I give it 4 out of 5 cauliflower heads.
And tomorrow? Cinco de Mayo, baby! For some reason, it’s one of my favorite days. I’m looking forward to a burrito and a margarita. Or maybe a Corona. ARRIBA!!
April 19, 2010 § 2 Comments
Get your mind out of the gutter! I was lucky because the Peters cooked dinner for me:
They prepared a wonderful pasta dish which included sautéed zucchini and yellow squash, fresh dill, and goat cheese. One of my all time favorite combinations is squash with dill and goat cheese. Especially in the summer with zucchini fresh from the garden. It’s so good.
Since it was Pete’s dinner, he chose to use regular semolina pasta. That’s like a treat for me. I do love white pasta, but I usually cook fiber-filled whole wheat pasta. (Regular semolina pasta has 2 g of fiber per 2 oz. serving, while the whole wheat pasta has 6 g). He also bought a soft-as-a-down-pillow loaf of white Italian bread, the likes of which I don’t even look at in the grocery store. White bread? “No danks,” as my son would say. But, to be polite, I had a piece tonight. I couldn’t just leave all those globs of goat cheese and dill on the bottom of my bowl. That would’ve been so, so wrong. They were begging me to mop them up with that soft bread. So I did. And they were goooood.
So, there’s not a formal recipe that Pete follows for this dish (he is staunchly anti-recipe), but here are the main points:
extra virgin olive oil
squash (zucchini and/or yellow squash), sliced
fresh grated parmesan (optional)
crushed red pepper (optional)
1. Cook pasta of your choice until al dente. Drain.
2. Saute sliced onions in extra virgin olive oil over medium-high heat until they’re translucent, or even a little browned.
3. Add some chopped garlic (and maybe some crushed red pepper) to the onions and saute for about 30 seconds.
4. Add the sliced squash to onions and garlic and saute until they’re the texture you like (crispy v. soggy).
5. Turn off heat and mix in the fresh dill (as much or as little as you like).
6. In individual bowls, add the pasta & top with the squash & dill mixture. Add goat cheese and maybe a little grated parmesan on top.
This dish always gets 5 out of 5 squashes from me.