spaghetti carbonara with shitake bacon.

 

spag.jpgI had seen this recipe floating around on the internet for quite some time now, and added it to my list to make. Glad I did. this was EASY and delicious. We served some roasted broccoli with it. You would think you slaved for hours making this dish – when it really comes together in no time!

SHIIITAKE BACON

  • 1 pound shiitake mushrooms,
    trimmed and thinly sliced
    (about ¼ inch thick)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T soy sauce
  • 1 tspn maple syrup
  • 1/2 tspn liquid smoke
  • 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

PASTA CARBONARA

  • 1 pound long pasta
    (spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 14 ounces soft tofu
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2½ teaspoons sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish
  • vegan Parmesan Topping

For the shiitake bacon:
Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Mix together the ingredients for the mushrooms. Slice mushrooms long-wise and thin and coat with liquid. Spread them on  a large rimmed baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, turning frequently with a spatula, until lightly browned and crisp.

For the pasta:
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and let cook until soft. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes. Remove from heat.

In a blender, combine onion, garlic, tofu, water, lemon juice, and salt. Process on high until very smooth, about 2 minutes.

Add sauce to pasta and toss to coat. Season with pepper and add more salt to taste. Let pasta sit for about 5 minutes to allow sauce to thicken slightly. Top with shiitake bacon, parsley, Parmesan topping, if using, and serve.

 

Advertisements

butternut squash mac & cheese.

MAC.jpg

When fall comes I always find myself buying a butternut squash, then scrambling to find something to make with it before it goes bad. Why not sneak it into some mac and cheese? I made it for my son and his friend and they gobbled it up. Didn’t even phase them!  This would make a great thanskgiving side dish too if you are looking for one.

I found the recipe here.  My modification is below.

  • 1/2 butternut squash, peeled and chopped (yields: 3.5 cups raw)
  • 1/2 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 3-4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
  • 6-7 tbsp Nutritional yeast
  • 2 T Miso Paste
  • 1 tspn onion powder
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp Paprika + more to season
  • Your pasta of choice

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet.  In a bowl, season chopped squash with some oil (~1 tsp) and kosher salt (couple pinches) and stir. Add to baking sheet and roast in oven for 40 minutes, flipping once half way through baking.

2. Add roasted squash, cashews, non-dairy milk, garlic, , salt, nutritional yeast, pepper, miso, seasonings) to vitamix type of blender and process until smooth

4. Cook your pasta according to package directions. When squash is finished roasting, add it to the food processor and blend it with the cheese sauce until smooth. Adjust to taste. The sauce will thicken up with time. If at any point the sauce becomes too thick, you can add a bit of milk to thin it out.

5. Drain and rinse pasta with cold water. Now add the pasta back into the same pot and add your desired amount of cheese sauce on top. Stir well. Add in any desired mix-ins like peas or broccoli. You can either heat this up in the pot, or pour it into a casserole dish (I used a 4 cup dish), sprinkle on breadcrumbs + paprika, and bake it at 350 for about 20-25 minutes.

creamy cauliflower and white bean pasta.

CAULIFLOWERPASTAI’ve been eating alot of mac and cheese this winter…and into this spring. Its just so creamy and comforty and its the perfect meal to make on a monday night. However, when I do make it, I always try to incorporate vegetables in there somehow. So when I saw how to make a ‘cream’ sauce out of cauliflower, I thought this could be a good way to mix up my usual way.

I looked for a few recipes and then did a combination of ingredients that I felt would work well.  The result was a garlic-y, creamy sauce with hidden gems like cauliflower and white beans!

1/2 head cauliflower, about 2 cups worth
1 cup white beans (drained and rinsed if using canned)
1 – 1 1/4 cup almond milk
olive oil
1 medium onion
4-5 cloves garlic
2 T nutritional yeast
salt & pepper to taste
1 cup kale or spinach
your favourite cooked pasta

Cut the cauliflower into large florets and add them to a pot of boiling water.  cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes, then drain.  while the cauliflower is cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and saute the onions until softened and lightly browned. Mince the garlic. Add garlic and kale to the pan, until the kale is wilted. Set the kale aside.

Place the cooked cauliflower in a blender along with the white beans, almond milk, onions and garlic, nutritional yeast, salt and pepper, and about 1 T olive oil.  Blend until really smooth.  season to taste with more sea salt & pepper.  Pour over cooked pasta; add in the kale and enjoy!

304. Butternut squash alfredo pasta.

I saw this posted recently to the PPK blog, and thought this might be something good to make for thanksgiving. I made something similar once though and it was just ok. But this weekend when I saw a butternut squash at the store, I thought I’d pick one up and give it a go.

To my suprise, this was really really good. The sauce had alot of rich flavor, and was so creamy without getting dry, like vegan cream sauces tend to do. It doesn’t use a TON of cashes either, and the sauce makes enough to generously cover a whole bag of pasta. We used brown rice miso, instead of yellow, because its what I had on hand and that seemed to be just fine.

This was an awesome fall dish. highly, highly recommend it! Someone in the comments said they served it up with some apple and sage field roast sausage…that sounds like it would pair perfectly!

Recipe here: http://www.theppk.com/2012/10/roasted-butternut-alfredo/

300. cheezy orzo and broccoli.

300 posts in!
Tonight’s dinner was pretty quick to make, and pretty tasty too!
Vegan mac and cheese sauce could be hit or miss, but this I was pleased with – it had alot of flavor!
Original recipe found here.

255. pasta carbonara.

Vegan pasta carbonara with tempeh bacon. Yum.

Original recipe found here. I left out the peas, because Im not really a fan of peas. I added spinach instead. I think ill add a few more cloves of garlic to the sauce too next time as well. There will definitely be a next time!

This looks like a lot of work, and it usually is more work than I like to do on a weeknight, but honestly, it came together quickly. I didn’t have cashew butter, so I just put 2 T of cashews in the vitamix, along with the rest of the sauce ingredients and that helped speed things along. The bacon came together pretty quickly and the sauce was done cooking before the pasta even was.  So this may take a little more elbow grease than normal, but its really not too bad. I think it was well worth it!

I’m going to paste the recipe here because this is one I want to remember!

For the bacon

one 8-ounce (225 g) package tempeh, cut into strips as thin as you can manage (I got about 15 strips from one package)

3 Tbsp soy sauce

juice of 1/2 lemon plus enough water to equal 1/3 cup (80 ml)

1/4 tsp (1 ml) liquid smoke

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tspn agave

1/2 cup (120 ml) water

For the pasta and sauce:

package of dry pasta

1 recipe of your favorite tempeh bacon (see above)

2 Tbsp (30 ml) smooth natural cashew butter ( i used raw cashews

1 Tbsp (15 ml) white miso

1 Tbsp (15 ml) tahini (sesame paste)

1/4 tsp (1 ml) dijon mustard

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp (2. 5 ml) turmeric

pinch nutmeg

fine sea salt and pepper, to taste

1 cup soy or almond milk

1 cup (240 ml) vegetable broth or stock

2 Tbsp (30 ml) potato or arrowroot starch

1/2 cup (120 ml) peas (i used spinach)

3 Tbsp (45 ml) chopped fresh parsley

Prepare the bacon: cut the tempeh into strips as thin as you can manage. In a large frying pan, mix together the remaining ingredients.  Add the tempeh and turn each strip over a few times to coat it in the sauce.

Turn on heat to medium-low and cook the strips for about 5 minutes until the sauce has begun to evaporate and the bottoms are browned; turn the strips and continue to cook the other side, pushing the bacon back and forth occasionally to prevent sticking, until the liquid ingredients have been absorbed and the bacon is browned and crisp on the outside, another 5-10 minutes.  If the liquid is absorbed too quickly, add a little more water, as needed. Turn off heat and set aside.

Prepare the pasta: Set your water boiling in a large pot. Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: Put all the ingredients in the vitamix and mix until its well blended Heat the mixture in the pot over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it begins to bubble; cook for about a minute more, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick and creamy.  If the pasta isn’t yet ready, turn off the heat and cover the pot.

Once the pasta is ready Add the pasta to the sauce pot along with the tempeh and peas and continue to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until everything is warmed through, a few minutes.  Sprinkle with fresh parsley and serve.  Makes 4 servings.

224. tomato sauce.


My garden is producing LOTS of tomatoes! So I needed to do something with them all so I made homeade tomato sauce…in the crockpot!

I basically put about 2 T oil, 4 cloves garlic, fresh basil and oregano, (also from my garden), chopped onion, salt, pepper, tomato paste and lots and lots of tomatoes! I cooked it on high for about 4 1/2 hours. I let it cool and then blended it with an immersion blender. It made about two big batches of tomato sauce. Can’t wait to try it out!

179. lemon arugula pasta.

The arugula in my garden is ready, so now I have it coming out of my ears. I’ve been trying to find things to make with it – and tonight, inspired by Shutterbean’s version, I made this quick and simple pasta dish.

I went to the garden and picked a bunch of arugula.
I boiled about half a package of pasta
I took about 1/2 – 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs and sauteed them in a pan. When they were brown and toasty I removed them and put them in their own bowl. I added a little bit of salt and pepper for taste. Then, in the same pan I sauteed about 4 cloves of garlic, lemon zest and juice from half a lemon. When the pasta was done boiling, I strained it, then mixed everything together, adding the arugla immediately and some salt and pepper for taste. Put into individual bowls, top with more arugula if you’d like, and top with some extra lemon juice.

It was delicious and perfect for a hot summer day like today. Then, we headed off to the pool!

95. chickpea picatta.

More food on the blog tonight…Hoping to get to some crafting soon…or at least get some baking in here!

Tonight I made chickpea picatta, from Appetite for Reduction. (so its vegan AND low-fat!)  I think I made this before, but I don’t remember it tasting THIS good. The sauce it makes is like crack…It tastes all lemony and buttery, yet there’s nothing buttery in it.

I chose to serve it over some whole wheat linguine because I was really hungry, but I also made the cauliplots from the book (which are basically mashed potatoes and cauliflower), which she suggests serving this over. And we ate it both ways 🙂

I noticed after it was all gobbled up, that we forgot to add spinach (she suggests arugula, but I had spinach on hand.) Oops. This recipe was fairly easy to throw together with ingredients I had on hand (I didnt have white wine, so I just skipeed it) and I plan to put it in rotation. I think this would be a great dinner to serve to dinner guests as well!

Here’s where you can find the recipe.

Yum.

53. roasted tomatoes


I had a bunch of grape tomatoes in the fridge that were about to go bad, so this seemed only right….
I roasted them in the oven with some olive oil and garlic and threw them in some pasta. This was super easy and will make a great summer dinner!

About 3 cups gape tomatoes – halved
2T olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic (more or less depending on how garlicky you like things; i like garlic!), minced
salt
pepper
16 oz pasta noodles ( i think angel hair would be really nice)
3-4 tablespoons fresh basil – torn or chopped

preheat oven to 400 degrees. toss tomatoes with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and garlic. roast for 12 minutes, remove and toss with 2 tablespoons vinegar. roast an additional 5-7 minutes. prepare pasta according to package directions, drain and toss with tomatoes, juice from pan, fresh herbs, and additional olive oil;  add additional salt, pepper and vinegar to taste.