Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sausage Pasta with Vegetables

You know those food commercials where they say just wrap half to take home, I'll throw away the other half anyway. Well, sometimes I was that woman. I've been working harder to use up the bits and pieces of things in the veggie drawer of the frig. Since I'm usually cooking for two these days it's easy to have a little of this and a little of that laying around. I had some leftover penne in the frig and two Field Roast Italian Sausages and this is the result of opening the frig and pantry. Delicious!

2 cups uncooked penne pasta (not in pic below)
2 Field Roast Italian Sausages (1/2 a package), sliced into coins
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 package (5-6 ounces) organic baby spinach
1/2 cup Diaya mozzarella cheese, shredded (not in pic below)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside. (I had left over pasta from the night before, just boiled some water, tossed it in for one minute and drained.)

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook sausage.

Once they are a little bit crispy (about 3 minutes per side) add the mushrooms and cook about 5 minutes.

Stir in the tomatoes, bring to a boil.

Add spinach, cook and stir until spinach is wilted.

Stir pasta into skillet of veggies and sausage.

Sprinkle with cheese; remove from heat. Cover and let stand until cheese is melted.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Blueberry Buckle

I have some store bought frozen blueberries (but will be picking some this year when they come into season) that we've been using to make smoothies. Tay and I decided we'd try a Blueberry Buckle to have for snacks, breakfast, whatever. Here is the recipe and pics! Fun times!

Buckle ingredients:
  • 2 cups and 1-2 Tbsp of sifted, all purpose flour separated
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) Earth Balance, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Energ-G egg replacement
  • 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 pint blueberries
Topping ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup sifted all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease an 8-inch springform pan. Set aside.

Sift together the 2 cups of flour, the baking powder and the salt. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Beat in the egg. Add the flour mixture in 3 parts, alternating with the milk.

Toss the beries with the remaining 1 to 2 tablespoons of flour (to separate and scatter evenly throughout the batter). 

Fold in to the batter.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Set aside.

Combine ingredients for topping with a fork to make crumbly mixture. Sprinkle this over the batter.

Bake for one hour, then test for doneness by gently inserting a fork. If it does not come out clean, give the cake another 5 to 10 minutes to bake.

When the cake has cooled, run a knife around the edges and lift the cake out of the pan.

Be sure and lick those beaters before you toss them in the sink!!! Enjoy!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Mushrooms

I found some frozen Butternut Squash Ravioli at Ward's and thought I'd give them a try. Imagine my surprise when the next magazine I opened up had this recipe in it. I only made three changes and they are listed in the recipe below, but full credit for the recipe itself goes to Southern Living.
  • 1/2  (16-oz.) package frozen butternut squash-filled ravioli
  • 6 tablespoons Earth Balance, divided
  • 1 (8-oz.) package sliced baby portobello mushrooms
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 6 tablespoons sliced fresh shallots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Toppings: freshly shaved Parmesan cheese, freshly ground pepper, chopped fresh parsley

Prepare ravioli according to package directions. Keep warm.

Melt 2 tablespoons Earth Balance in a large skillet over medium-high heat.

Add mushrooms; sauté 3 to 5 minutes or until lightly browned.

Add garlic and shallots; sauté 2 minutes or until tender.

Remove from skillet. Wipe skillet clean. Melt remaining Earth Balance  in skillet over medium-high heat; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in parsley, sage, and mushroom mixture. Add hot cooked ravioli, and toss gently.

Stir in salt and pepper. Serve immediately with desired toppings.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Cobb Salad

Now that the weather has warmed up we've been eating a little lighter and more fresh veggies. I saw this salad over at Healthy Happy Life and decided to make it last weekend. I did make a few changes which are listed below in bold, but I have to give all the credit Kathy for the inspiration behind this awesome salad.
  • I used 1/2 spinach and a small head of chopped Romaine lettuce, tossed
  • 1 can Mandarin oranges, drained
  • 1/3 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped and tossed with black pepper
  • 1 avocado, chopped - tossed with the juice of 1/2 a lime
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • NO bacon anything
  • 1 can chilled kidney beans, drained
  • 1 can hearts of palm, sliced and divided in half- tossed half with 1/8 teaspoon turmeric + 1 teaspoon olive oil + 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar + 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast.
I followed Kathy's recipe as directed EXCEPT I didn't dress the salad until we had put our helpings on the plate. We then added a Kraft Olive Oil Vinaigrette to each plate as desired.

This was so filling, fast and delicious!! Go check out her site, you won't be sorry!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pesto Pasta with Roasted Veggies

I decided to fire up the grill the other night and roast some fresh veggies that needed attention and broke out some frozen pesto ice cubes I'd made a little while back. Basically, cut your veggies, get the water going for the pasta and pull those frozen pesto cubes from the freezer and set out to be thawing. This is a delicious way to use up whatever fresh veggies you have in the house.

1 zucchini, sliced into half moons
1 squash, sliced into half moons
1 red bell pepper, cut into bite-sized pieces
6-8 asparagus spears cut into 1 inch or so sections
1 sweet onion, cut into bite sized pieces

Cut veggies and toss into large baggies with a little olive oil and some seasonings. Close the bag and gently shake to coat all the veggies.

Spray you grill pan lightly just to be sure your veggies don't stick.

I put my grill pan on a cookie sheet and poured the veggie mixture on it to transport it outside.

Cook on the grill until desired doneness. I like a little char on mine and use a heat high so they don't get soft but cook quickly. I use two wooden spoons to toss on a regular basis.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.

Toss pasta with pesto. This is the pesto recipe I used except I used walnuts - I'd bought in bulk for a lot less then pine nuts are going for these days.

When veggies are done but the grilling pan back on the cookie sheet and bring indoors. You could add some nutritional yeast or vegan parm at this point.

Put some pasta in your dish and top with the roasted veggies. 


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Cucumber Cups

These quick and yummy appetizers are a breeze to make. You can adjust the flavors as needed. I bet they would be good made with shelled edamame peas instead of green "English" peas also! I sliced the cucumber into 1/2-inch thickness but Jack thought it would be good to just slice them then, don't hollow them out and just put a touch of dip on each one like a cracker. I may try that next time.

  • 1 English cucumber
  • 1/2 cup green peas, I used frozen ones and let them thaw first
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 cup Tofutti sour cream
  • 1/4 cup hummus (I used Sabra Luscious Lemon)
  • chopped scallion for garnish

Cut the cucumber into 1/2 inch discs. Scoop out the inside seeds and inner flesh using a melon baller or teaspoon, being careful not to scoop out the way to the bottom. Place the slices on paper towels to drain.

Put the peas, mustard, horseradish, sour cream and hummus in a small food processor, or mash with a fork until smooth.

Fill each cucumber cup with the mixture and garnish with the chopped scallions or garnish of your choice.