Recipe

04/23/13 Recipe of the Week # , , , , , , ,

Recipe of the Week – Pasta with Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto

Recipe of the Week – Pasta with Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto

This week’s recipe comes from Oh She Glows. It is AH-mazing and super easy. Last time I made it, I didn’t use the nutritional yeast. I can’t explain why this product made me suspicious, but it did. It just seemed… gross to put YEAST in my food.

But I’ve seen in a lot of vegan recipes and everyone seems to be a convert, swearing by nutritional yeast’s “nutty, Parmesan-like” flavor, so I did some research and decided to give it a try. Apparently, it’s a perfect source of protein that’s packed with vitamins, especially B, which has proven to be super important to me for dealing with anxiety and depression.

And I have to say, while this recipe was good last time I made it, it was GREAT with the yeast. It really did give the dish a creamy, slightly nutty/cheesy taste, and the teenagers LOVED it. Plus, it was super easy, and I think it will even be good as a cold pasta salad in the summer. If you’re a vegetarian/vegan who likes to bring a dish to cookouts, parties, etc., this is definitely a candidate.

I only made a couple of changes; I used a few more tomatoes than is called for and I used pine nuts instead of almonds (I used almonds last time and it was delicious, but Andrew said they got stuck in his braces). Otherwise, it was perfect.

And check out Oh She Glows! Angela has some fantastic vegan recipes.

Pasta with Roasted Tomato Basil Pesto

Yield: 1 cup pesto

Ingredients:

  • 9 large roma tomatoes, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup almonds, toasted
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 cup tightly packed basil + more for garnish
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil + more for drizzling on tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Your desired amount of cooked Pasta

 

1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment. Place sliced tomatoes on the sheet and drizzle with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 1 hour and 10 mins at 400F. Watch closely during the last 15 minutes of roasting.

2. Reduce oven heat to 325F and toast almonds for 8-10 minutes. Add 1/3 cup into food processor and process until finely chopped. I left mine a bit chunky for texture. Remove and set aside.

3. With processor turned on, add 2 garlic cloves and let it whirl around until finely chopped. Now add in the basil and process until finely chopped.

4. Add in the oil, optional nutritional yeast, and 1.5 cups of roasted tomatoes (you will have tomatoes left over). Process until smooth. Pulse in 1/3 cup toasted almonds. Season generously with salt and pepper. I think I used about 1/2 tsp salt or a bit more.

5. Pour your desired amount of pesto over the cooked pasta and mix well. Chop the remaining roasted tomatoes and stir into pasta. Chop remaining almonds and Chiffonade the basil (see below).

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02/26/13 Life , Recipe of the Week , Recipes # , ,

The Vegetarian Pantry

The Vegetarian Pantry

I’ve been getting a ton of traffic on my vegetarian recipe posts, which makes me think there are a lot of people out there trying to cut back on meat (or cut it out entirely).

So in lieu of a recipe this week, I thought I’d give you some vegetarian pantry staples. Odds are, if you have most of these things in your pantry or refrigerator, you can make something healthy and vegetarian with a moment’s notice.

Bonus; it’s MUCH cheaper to eat vegetarian, even allowing for organic produce and other more expensive type items, which you don’t HAVE to buy.

This may seem like a lot, but once you’re stocked, you just have to replace an item here and there as you use it. Every week I might have to replace 3 to 5 non-perishables (tamari, vinegar, olive oil, etc.). Most of our grocery cart is fruit, veggies, and the rare dairy product or almond milk. Our family of five (Rebekah is away at college but I still supplement her dorm food a bit) spends $150-$200/week on groceries, and that includes paper products and almost entirely organic produce (and even organic rice, canned tomatoes, etc.). If you’d like to start making changes but want to avoid a big, giant stock up, just add a couple of these items to your regular list each week.

Here’s what I recommend;

Olive oil

Vinegars (I keep balsamic, red wine, apple cider, white wine, and raspberry)

Brown rice

Quinoa

Canned chickpeas (I also keep black beans, pintos, kidneys, and white beans as well as dried beans, although they take longer to cook)

Peanut butter and/or tahini

Jarred tomato sauce

Canned diced or whole tomatoes

Better Than Bouillon vegetable broth paste (in soup/broth section of store or natural foods section for organic)

Applesauce

Pasta and/or rice noodles

Greek yogurt

Goat cheese and/or feta cheese

Olives

Nuts and/or seeds (the ones we use most are sunflower and pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and peanuts)

Eggs

Tamari (natural soy sauce – don’t buy so called soy sauce. It’s just corn syrup) and Sriracha sauce

Wheat bread

Tortillas (corn or flour)

Herbs and spices (my go-tos are cayenne, red pepper flakes, paprika, oregano, basil, tarragon, thyme, chili powder, and cumin)

Staple fruits and veggies (ours are apples, bananas, oranges, tomatoes, mixed greens, avocado, eggplant, zucchini, carrots, celery, leeks, onion, garlic)

With these things you can make multiple (and amazing!) vegetarian soups, pastas, rice and quinoa-based dishes, wraps/burritos/tacos, main course salads, etc. Next week I’ll post some of my favorite quick vegetarian dinners, including a recipe for my much-loved, super fast and easy vegetable soup.

Happy cooking!

<3

 

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01/29/13 Life , Recipe of the Week , Recipes # ,

Recipe of the Week – Apple Pancakes with Greek Yogurt

This is an easy one! I had two granny smith apples in the fruit drawer that needed to be used and I was looking for a special breakfast to have on Sunday. I whipped these up in no time. The Greek yogurt added just the right zing to the counter the sweetness of the pancakes, and the added protein is a bonus, especially for vegetarians.

Here’s what I did (and forgive my sometimes loose measurements – it’s how I do in the kitchen!);

1 regular pancake recipe (whatever you normally use, be it from a mix, from scratch, etc.)

1-2 apples (I used two, but I also triple batch my pancakes because I have a 16- and twenty-year-old guy in the house)

1 cup applesauce (ditto above, adjust for the amount of pancakes you’re making and/or the level of apple flavor you want)

Cinnamon (as much or as little as you like)

Chopped walnuts (optional)

Greek yogurt (optional)

Real maple syrup (PLEASE don’t use “pancake syrup”. It’s not maple syrup. It’s maple-flavored corn syrup and is SO BAD for you. Plus, there’s nothing like real maple syrup, even if it is more expensive.)

Get all your ingredients ready. This is important because the pancakes start to cook fast, and you won’t have time to cut the apple in-between.

Make your regular pancake batter according the instructions. Add applesauce and cinnamon and combine (don’t overmix or your pancakes will be flat). You can choose to add the walnuts to the mix or you can wait and put them out as a topping.

Ladle mixture onto griddle or into hot pan, sprinkling some of the diced apple on top of each pancake (I pressed them into the batter a little bit). Flip and complete as usual.

Top each pancake with a dollop of yogurt and sprinkle walnuts on top (if you choose to use them and didn’t put them in the batter). Pour warm maple syrup over the yogurt and pancake.

All three of the kids who are home LOVED these. Kenneth kept saying, “I can’t believe how good those apple pancakes were.” The biggest testament? It’s the first time I’ve EVER eaten leftover pancakes as a snack.

Enjoy!

<3

 

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Michelle Zink is the award-winning author of over seven novels. She lives in New York with too many teenagers and too many cats.
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