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Artichoke and Tomato Spaghetti

This recipe was one I made quite awhile back (a year ago). I pulled it out of my files as my main computer’s hard drive took a dump yesterday morning, right after we had a power outage (it wasn’t related). Kirk is rebuilding it (thank you off-site backups!!) but for now I can’t upload new photos – and I get to use my teen’s computer or my iPad. First world problems and all, boy do I miss my computer though!

PS:Thank you all for SO many visits and comments yesterday during the Vegan Potluck. It was fun, I will do it agin if it is held! We have a great community out here, all of us crazy bloggers!

A quick and easy dinner, add more red pepper flakes if you like it spicier. Originally this recipe had cheese added. Now? I’d use finely ground almond meal mixed with Italian herb seasoning or Dry bread crumbs flavored with Italian herb seasoning. Both make great cheese substitutes for pasta!

Artichoke and Tomato Spaghetti

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 cup drained marinated artichokes, diced (reserve the liquid)
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup reserved marinade
  • Parmesan cheese, if desired or ground almond meal + italian herb seasoning or Italian flavored dry bread crumbs
  • 1 lb whole wheat spaghetti or 13.25 ounce multi-grain spaghetti

Directions:

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil, add the spaghetti and cook for time on package. Before draining reserve a cup of the pasta water.

Meanwhile in a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat, add in the onion and cook covered for about 5 minutes or until tender. Add in the garlic, artichokes and spices, cover and let cook for a couple of minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes and marinade, turn to medium-low and let simmer for 5 minutes.

Add in the drained pasta and toss to coat. Add in reserved pasta water as needed for a smooth sauce. Top liberally as desired with cheese, ground almonds or bread crumbs.

Serves 4.

~Sarah

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Comfort Food Done Lighter: Green Mac n’ Cheese

Last week I had my blood draws done and while most of my numbers were looking great, because of being 8 months out from having Alistaire, I wasn’t so happy with some of my cholesterol numbers. I know why they had slid back up. Frankly it was due to me eating meat while pregnant (duh) and indulging in heavy cheese and eggs periodically. Yeah, beat me with that plant-based diet stick. I fell off the wagon. So for the past week I have made a push to use up the last of the dairy products in the house. Then back to being a good ol’ PBD follower once again. I want to pull my numbers in 4 months and see how it goes. Until then, I still have 3 freaking pounds of cheese to use up – being frugal I refuse to waste good cheese (My Mom would scream from the spirit world if I were to dump it!) But, I have at least been using it slowly and in small amounts. No more liberal touches…lol! I hope to be back on PBD fully on November 1st. A good way to celebrate Virtual Vegan Potluck Day, eh?

What I liked about this dinner was how fast it comes together, it isn’t full of butter/oil but still feels rich. Personally, I have never been a huge fan of mac n’ cheese that only tastes of salty/heavy cheese.

Green Mac n’ Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1¾ cups milk (used unsweetened almond milk)
  • 3 Tbsp whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 ounces grated medium white cheddar cheese
  • 10 to 12 ounce package chopped frozen broccoli, thawed
  • 13.25 ounce package multi-grain or whole wheat elbow macaroni
  • 9 ounce bag spinach leaves, chopped finely

Directions:

Bring a large pot of lightly slated water to boil. Add pasta and cook for time on package. In the last 5 minutes add broccoli, in last 30 seconds add the spinach in, drain gently.

Meanwhile, whisk the flour, mustard, paprika, salt and nutmeg into ¾ cup of the milk.

Add the remaining cup of milk to a large saucepan, bring to simmer over medium heat. Whisk in flour mixture, whisking constantly until it has thickened.

Remove from heat, whisk in cheese till melted. Add sauce to drained pasta, tossing gently to coat.

Serves 4.

~Sarah

Pumpkin and Sage Pasta

Note from me – I wrote this recipe last fall, in late October. It was saved as a draft and I forgot about it. Fall is nearly here again, seems like a perfect time to post this recipe!

I made this awhile back before my sage plants started turning yellow for fall (they tend to that as the nights get colder!). It was good but it needed something more, still not sure but I can work on it. Kirk’s reply was “sausage”. Gee, thanks!

In the recipe I use some not as common measurements. If you haven’t seen these Pinch Dash Smidgen Measuring Spoons before you need to! When Kirk got them for me as a present I wasn’t sure how often I would use them, I use them at least a couple of times a week now. It makes for much more accurate measuring over using ones fingers.

Pumpkin and Sage Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb small pasta shapes (used bow ties)
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, trimmed of stem and dry, cut into slivers
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large shallots, peeled and diced (or 1 onion)
  • 4 tsp granulated garlic (or 4 fresh cloves, diced)
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin purée
  • 2 cups lower sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ cup milk – dairy or unsweetened almond
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (used Tabasco)
  • 1 tsp ground sage
  • 2 pinches ground cinnamon (1/8 tsp)
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg (1/16 tsp)
  • Grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Directions:

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil, cook pasta for time on package and drain.

Meanwhile in a large non-stick skillet heat half the oil over medium heat. Add in sage leaves and cook until crispy (the pan will quit sizzling). Take out the leaves and let drain on clean paper towels.

Add in the remaining oil and the shallots and let cook until tender. Sprinkle the garlic on and let cook a minute, then add the broth, pumpkin and milk and the remaining seasoning.

Turn to medium-low and let simmer for 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

Toss with the hot pasta and add cheese as desired.

Top with the crispy sage leaves on each serving.

Serves 4.

~Sarah

Summer Pasta – Light and Lemony

We had a pretty evening yesterday with a cool day overall. Perfect for working in the garden with my boys. Walker and I harvested the first ripe blueberries, little ones off my subalpine bushes, the berries are very small in comparison to regular berries. But quite tasty, as little berries are often found to be. Our regular blueberries are 2 to 4 weeks away from being ripe so this kept Walker happy!

We checked our Red Huckleberry plants and 3 of the berries were ripe, Walker was impatiently waiting for me to hand them over!

Last year I had found a Stevia plant but it didn’t fare well over the winter and died. I found a new plant in the spring and so far it is healthier and doing better than the previous one. Its flowers are tiny and quite pretty:

When we bought our house the backyard was intense, the previous owner was a bulb and shrub lover. I have pulled out quite a few of the plants in the past near 8 years but a few hang on – such as the very pretty lilies that bloom in June.

Walker having a great time “sawing” at the retaining wall:

For dinner a light meal sounded perfect. This dish takes only the time to boil water to bring together and tastes much richer than it really is. Make sure the yogurt you use is real and isn’t thickened with questionable stabilizers. In this case full fat yogurt is preferable.

A secret of mine in saving money on quality cheese: buy the rind ends! Usually I buy wedges of Pecorino Romano from Costco. Being a sheep milk cheese it cost a lot less than Parmigiano Reggiano. A lot less. Like nearly half per pound! But sometimes I want the flavor that only a good Parmigiano Reggiano gives. So I wander by the fancy cheese counter – which one of our local grocery stores has, with a cheese monger to boot. They take the ends and sell them in tubs at 50% off the pound price, selling them for use in soups. Well…if you have a tool like a Microplane 42102 Artisan Fine Grater, you can grate them up. Yes, you have to earn the cheese but you could be having top quality pillows of grated cheese for $6 to 8 a lb! And no added preservatives or fillers (remember my lecture about cellulose being added to American made Parmesan cheese? Yuck!) Even better….the store was running a deal on the cheese counter, a $3 coupon off any $3 or more purchase. I found a tub for $3.15. Heehee! Now that is saving money!

Spaghetti with Sautéed Zucchini and Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 13.25 ounce package multi-grain spaghetti
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1½ lbs zucchini, trimmed, halved and cut into thin slices
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 10 ounces small grape tomatoes, halved
  • ½ cup plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced, about 3 Tbsp
  • ¼ tsp fine sea salt and ground black pepper

Directions:

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil, add spaghetti and cook for time on package. Reserve ¼ cup cooking water.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high, add the oil and zucchini, sauté until tender and turning golden. Add garlic, sauté for a minute, add the tomatoes and let cook for 2 minutes, until they soften.

Mix the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl, add the hot vegetables and toss to coat. Add the spaghetti, toss gently. Add reserved pasta water as needed for a creamy sauce.

Serve with more cheese if desired.

Serves 4.

~Sarah

Smashed Pea Spaghetti

Vibrant green and fresh tasting even on a night where it was snowing outside….frozen peas are one item I always have bags of to use in recipes!

Smashed Pea Spaghetti

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 16 ounce package frozen green peas, thawed (used no-salt added)
  • ¾ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add spaghetti and cook for time on package. Reserve 1/3 cup of the pasta water, drain the pasta.

In a food processor or work bowl of a high power blender (I used my Ninja 1100) chop the peas up. Add in the ricotta cheese, oil and pepper, process until mostly smooth. Transfer the sauce to a large mixing bowl, stir in the reserved pasta water. Season to taste with salt. Toss with the hot pasta.

Serves 4 to 6.

~Sarah

Quick Balsamic Beef Rigatoni

When I was pregnant with Alistaire I wrote up a number of recipes I had made but never had a chance to post…the next couple of weeks I am going to be catching up on these. I fully admit I have nearly no energy these days. Since a week ago I have made one sad lonely dinner. That is it. I know I will find myself again but finding my rhythm is going to take time so I hope everyone puts up with my writing for awhile. And I do promise baby photos though soon!

~Sarah

Balsamic Beef Rigatoni

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic (jarred works well)
  • 2 14.5 ounce cans petite diced tomatoes
  • 12 ounce can roast beef, drained and shredded (Costco find)
  • 1 cup marinated artichokes, drained and finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp dry parsley
  • 2 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp dry basil
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb rigatoni pasta
  • Parmesan cheese as desired

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to boil, cook pasta for time on package, drain.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion in the oil until golden, add the garlic and cook for a minute longer. Add the remaining ingredients through the basil. Cover and let cook over medium-low while the pasta cooks (15 minutes is all the sauce needs). Add in the drained pasta and toss to coat, sprinkle on some Parmesan and toss again, serve with more.

Serves 4+.

~Sarah

Penne with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

I came across the basis for this recipe on a cooking website but it called for an entire stick of butter. ½ cup of butter? Wow, talk about fatty! So I decide to play with the recipe and see if I could adapt it. I took the butter out, added a diced onion and used lower-fat cream cheese and the sauce was delicious!

Penne with Creamy Pumpkin Sauce

Ingredeints:

  • 1 package 13.25 ounce multigrain penne pasta
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion (medium), peeled and diced
  • 8 ounces lower-fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup dairy milk (whole works best)
  • ½ cup grated or shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 15 ounce can pumpkin purée
  • ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper (or less if desired)
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for time on package. Drain.

Meanwhile in a large non-stick skillet heat over medium and add the oil and onion, cook until tender and turning golden.

Stir in the rest of the sauce ingredients, turn to medium-low and let the cream cheese melt in. Stir often and keep an eye on the sauce, turning down if it begins to bubble.

When the pasta is done and the sauce is creamy, toss together in the skillet. Serve immediately.

Serves 3 to 4.

~Sarah

Mushroom Stroganoff Pasta

A quick dinner for a busy night. Easy and tasty!

Mushroom Stroganoff Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 13.25 ounce package multigrain corkscrew pasta shapes
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp dried thyme, crumbled
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 cups lower sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth for non-veg’s)
  • 2 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • ¼ cup whole milk
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the pasta and cook for time on package, drain.

Meanwhile heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the oil and onion, cook until tender, add the mushrooms and continue cooking until golden. Let come to a gentle simmer, thickening. Add the parsley and Worcestershire sauce, stirring in. Add the spices and flours, cook for a couple of minutes, stirring often. Add in the broth and stir to dissolve the flour. Turn to medium-low and add the milk and the Parmesan cheese.

Let the sauce gently bubble while the pasta cooks, add the hot cooked pasta and toss well. Serve immediately.

Serves 3 to 4.

~Sarah

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