Saturday, September 13, 2014

Baked rigatoni with mushrooms

I was on a pasta binge and my husband requested rigatoni in some form. A baked version sounded enticing, and it turned out to be absolutely delightful with portobello mushrooms. The rigatoni have more of a texture than most other pastas. There is something to bite into on your fork, even if no meat is added.

1 clove garlic
2 tbsp minced onion
2 tbsp minced pepper
16 oz portobello mushrooms
8 oz rigatoni
12 oz marinara sauce
4 oz fresh mozzarella
2 oz shredded parmesan
1 tbsp olive oil

Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a round, 9-inch pan with nonstick spray. Cook the pasta according to package instructions. Drain.

Add the olive oil to a nonstick pan. Heat and add the minced garlic, onion and pepper for 30 seconds. Then add the sliced mushrooms and brown well. Pour in the marinara sauce, it is half a standard jar.

Mix the pasta into the sauce and arrange into the round Pyrex dish. Top with fresh mozzarella pieces and shredded parmesan.

Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove cover and broil until cheese is browned. Serve.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Artichoke one-pot pasta

I took all my random veggies from the fridge and tossed it into this pot. Zucchini, browned mushrooms, a can of artichokes, a sad bag of wilted spinach. This dish swallowed them and turned them into delicious!

4 cups chicken broth
1 cup white wine
12 oz linguine
8 oz mushrooms
14 oz artichokes
4 cloves garlic
1 onion
1 tsp oregano
0.5 tsp thyme leaves
0.5 tsp black pepper
8 oz spinach leaves
0.5 cup canned diced tomatoes
4 oz Parmesan

Brown the mushrooms, chop the spinach and artichokes. Chop the onion and mince the garlic. Break the linguine in half.

Add all ingredients to the pot, separate the pasta pieces with the other ingredients a bit to reduce the chance of sticking.

Pour in the broth and wine, cover with a lid and bring to a simmer over high heat. When it is boiling, stir the pot and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer with lid on for 10-15 minutes, until liquid forms a nice sauce and pasta is cooked. Stir every few minutes to prevent sticking.

Serve with grated Parmesan. The real stuff, not the boxed version!

Blackberry margarita

I love margaritas, especially frozen with salt crystals rimming my glass. This recipe was the perfect refreshment after a hot and sweaty hike.

8 oz blackberries
0.25 cup sugar
0.5 lime juiced
0.5 lime cut into four wedges
2 tbsp blackberry sauce
0.25 cup tequila
1 tbsp Cointreau
1 cup ice

Add the sugar, blackberries and lime juice to a pot. Simmer for 15 minutes. Press through a sieve and reserve sauce. Discard seeds. Chill sauce.

To a blender add 2 tbsp blackberry sauce, 1 cup crushed ice, 0.25 cup tequila, 1 tbsp triple sec (cointreau). Blend until smooth.

Moisten the rim of a glass with a lime wedge. Dip into Kosher salt. Decorate with a lime wedge. Serve drink in this glass.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Veggie patties

There is no real vegetarian substitute for a real burger. However, if one can for a moment shed the need for comparison, they will find these vegetarian patties truly delicious. The quinoa gives them a nice texture.

1 cup dried chickpeas
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 small onion
3 scallions
0.25 cup basil
0.25 cup cilantro
0.25 cup parsley
2 tsp kosher salt
1.5 tsp smoked paprika
0.25 tsp crushed pepper flakes
1 small zucchini

Soak the dried chickpeas in a covered bowl with plenty of water overnight. Drain.

Add all ingredients but the zucchini to a food processor. Process until blended, scrape down sides as necessary. Grate the zucchini and add it to this mixture.

Distribute into 6 equal portions and shape into patties between your palms. Set onto a baking sheet.

Heat a nonstick pan over medium heat. Brown both sides of the veggie patty. Serve with dilly cucumber salad, onions, flatbread, etc.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Creamy tomato spinach pasta

I found this great and cheap three-cheese tortellini in the fridge section of my grocery store. The sauce added to it was simply delightful: flavorful yet delicate. A perfect comfort food.

10 oz three cheese tortellini
1 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic
0.25 tsp pepper flakes
1.5 tbsp flour
0.5 tsp onion powder
0.5 cup + 2 tbsp milk
0.25 cup heavy cream
7 oz petite diced tomatoes
6 oz fresh spinach
2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
1 tsp dried oregano

Cook the tortellini following package instructions and drain well.

Meanwhile, add the butter to a pan and melt. Add the garlic and pepper flakes, cook for 30-60 seconds. Add the flour and onion powder, cook for a minute.

Whisk in the cold milk quickly, then add the oregano and cream. Bring to a simmer and add the chopped spinach and the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until spinach wilts and add the chopped fresh basil.

Fold pasta into the sauce. Top with freshly grated Parmesan.

Baked pumpkin oatmeal

This was a delicious and super easy way to start my morning. The oats lend a nice substance to what reminds me of a pumpkin pie filling. Best served warm with maple syrup and a little milk.

14 oz pumpkin puree
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp pumpkin spice
0.25 tsp salt
0.75 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp vanilla extract
1.25 cup milk
1/3 cup yogurt
2.5 cup old-fashioned oats

Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk together pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs, vanilla, spice, salt and baking powder.

Whisk in the milk and yogurt.

Add the oats and fold them into the batter.

Spray an 8x8 baking dish with cooking spray. Pour in batter. cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 45 minutes, removing foil after 30 minutes.

Top with maple syrup and milk.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Coconut mango shrimp curry

I had this amazing meal of a perfectly roasted duck breast topped with a super-spicy mango curry. When I got home I realized that I have a list of ingredients to produce something vaguely familiar. In fact, those items were on my eat-down list. (The coconut milk has been hanging out in my freezer for a month). So, while I can't say that this delicious dish was borne out of necessity, it nevertheless helped me get rid of some ingredients that just had to go.

2 ripe mangos
1 yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp Thai red curry paste
1 tsp cayenne
0.5 cup coconut milk
1 lb shrimp
1 tsp ginger
2 tbsp minced cilantro leaves

Grate the onion, I chopped it, but it should be grated. Mince the garlic. Peel the mangos and dice them. Add half of the mango cubes to a blender with the coconut milk. Blend until smooth.

In a large pan saute the ginger, garlic and onion paste until fragrant. Add the cayenne and the curry paste and stir for 30 seconds. Add the shrimp and cook until done (should take very little time). 

Pour in the coconut milk blend and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add in the diced mango and cook for another minute. Top with the cilantro.