Category Archives: Quick Weeknight Recipes

On Patrol

Spinach and Shells

spinach_and_shells

Trying something new with my site, in theory things should now be MUCH faster and hopefully posts/updates will stop disappearing.   Today’s post is a healthier twist on my standard lazy night dinner, a recipe that started back in college as it is easily double and can be made on little to no sleep.  Just requires some pasta, a leafy vegetable, and shredded cheese of some form!  In college this normally meant thin spaghetti, frozen spinach with onions, and whatever fake stuff was on sale.  Now that I have a bit more money, and still no time, I’ve been able to upgrade this recipe while reducing the sodium that goes along with fake cheese and fake (or canned) vegetables.  It still comes together in under 30 minutes, so perfect for late nights after work or for a late lunch when the day is slipping away.   As a bonus – it’s a green dish perfect for St. Patrick’s day!!!

Shells with Spinach

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1/2 lb shells
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Pepper (to taste)

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, then add the garlic and onion and cook for an additional 10 minutes before adding the basil.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta per instructions then reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining. Return the pasta, water, and garlic/onion mixture to the pasta pot.
  3. Stir in the spinach then top with cheese and season to taste with pepper and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/03/on-patrol.html

I’m also sending this over to /r/52weeksofcooking for their hangover challenge as I’m fairly certain the first time I made this in college that was the case.   This recipe is also a great way to clean out the fridge or freezer, and no need to stick to just one vegetable!

Fix What’s Broken

Mulligatawny Style Curry

mulligatawny_stew

I have a curry addiction, I’ll admit it – it’s totally true.  I love the spice, both the heat and the flavor, and the fact that it warms me up on even the coldest day.  With the Siberian Vortex currently coming down on the Mid-Atlantic a bit of heat and spice is very much needed and appreciated.  Still in shock over how low the temperatures have been and are going to be, just totally ridiculous especially since I’m technically in the south.  Anyway, enough about the weather cuz it’s time to time to focus on the curry.  I can’t remember the first time I had mulligatawny stew but it had to be years ago as it involved chicken.  Which is why I set out to create a vegan version, no chicken involved!

Fix What’s Broken

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 16 oz tofu, well pressed and cubed
  • 1 pink lady apple, diced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven then add the shallots, green pepper, and carrot. Cook for 5-7 minutes, then stir in the curry powder and cook for an additional minute before adding the tofu. Continue cooking the tofu until golden on all sides.
  2. Add the apple along with vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low then simmer for 25 minutes before stirring in the greek yogurt and the golden raisins. Cook for a final 5 minutes then Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/02/fix-whats-broken.html

 For dinner we enjoyed the stew as is, while I added lentils the next day in order to make it go a bit further.   For those who don’t want all the spice feel free to drop the cayenne powder – or switch for something milder.  Whatever works best for you!

Rain Starts

Cheese”burger” Mac & Cheese

seitan_mac_cheese

When I first went vegetarian, I thought I could just make up a box of something and just leave out the meat – then I started reading labels and realized how so not healthy that option was.  With that I started experimenting to see what “out of the box” options I could come up with that would have the same great taste but healthier (i.e. less sodium).  It took a bit of time until I could figure out the right method, but now I have down to a science!   Even better, this dish can be adapted for vegans and all cooks up in one pot.  The one pot paste took a bit of time to get used to but the trick is to add less water than you think as seriously much easier to add more water later than to eat a soggy mess (trust me).

Rain Starts

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasonings
  • 1 cup seitan crumbles
  • 1/2 lb elbow pasta
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 10 minutes, then add the Italian seasonings and cook for an additional 5 minutes - stirring to prevent sticking/burning.
  2. Add the seitan along with the pasta and water and bring to a boil.
  3. Cook for 10 minutes, then turn heat to low add the tomatoes and the shredded cheese. Keep stirring until the cheese melts. Add a bit of milk if too dry, give a final stir and keep on low heat for a final 5 minutes.
  4. Serve and Enjoy!

Notes

Vegan Option: sub the cheddar cheese with Daiya meltables

http://dancingveggies.com/2015/02/rain-starts.html

For an added crunch, add some fresh spinach at the very end – or some kale!  To add an extra punch, I used tomato pasta which also gave the dish a fantastic shade of red.  I’m a huge fan of flavored pastas, especially ones that I don’t have to make myself, even if I know they aren’t as healthy as they might advertise to be.  All the flavors of a cheeseburger, minus the meat!

A Long

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

butternut_mac_cheese

I can’t believe it’s already day 5 of TripleSBites!  Last night we had our awesome twitter party, which included a few of our awesome sponsors and lots of tasty recipes.  Today’s feature is one that takes a bit of prep work but offers a great twist on a classic dish.  While a few of my twists on Mac & Cheese haven’t been blogworthy (hello, cauliflower) but this one is out of the world!  To save some time I used a few of my Gourmet Garden treats and also added just a touch of a new goody: Chili Cumin from Acala Farms.  Normally I use mustard seed in my mac & cheese but decided to switch it up this time!

A Long

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili cumin oil
  • 1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs), halved
  • 1 lb elbow noodles
  • 1 tsp Italian Spices paste (Gourmet Garden)
  • 1 tsp Chunky Garlic paste (Gourmet Garden)
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (optional)

Instructions

  1. Turn oven to 425. Mix together the olive oil and cumin oil and pour in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the squash in roasting pan, cut side down. Roast for 45 minutes.
  2. Turn oven down to 350 and remove squash from oven for 10 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile cook the elbow pasta per the box, rinse and then return to the pan.
  4. Stir the squash in to the cooked pasta, along with the spices, greek yogurt, and goat cheese.
  5. Place in to a casserole dish and top with the breadcrumbs. Then bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/02/a-long.html

Another HUGE HIT!  For a quicker version, drop the baking part and serve right after mixing everything together.  Always been a big fan of the breadcrumb crunch but some nights there just isn’t time.  If using a gluten free pasta, add 2 tbsp of milk to the dish before baking to prevent the noodles from drying out.

Have you entered the Giveaway yet?!?


My Darling

 Bulgar Wheat Beet Salad

bulgar_wheat_beets

Welcome to my second post for #TripleSBites!  My first post can be found here and it features some spicy Brussels Sprouts

I’ve had so much fun with this challenge – trying to think up dishes that are saucy, spicy, and sexy while still staying within the normal parameters of this blog (cheap, healthy, vegetarian).  Tonight’s dish is certainly healthy, and as long as shopping in the bulk bin section of your grocery store it should be on the cheap side, while the vegetarian goes without saying- this dish can also easily go vegan by swapping the goat cheese for a soft cashew cheese or leaving it out all together.  This salad is actually one of the first dishes I wanted to do, but it has gone through a few versions.  The original concept involved endive boats with roasted beets, bulgur, and goat cheese which then evolved into cucumber boats stuffed with raw beets, bulgur, and goat cheese – both topped with a balsamic dressing.  Yet, something always seemed to be missing.  Then I received another sponsor goody, this time a bottle of Roasted Beet Vinaigrette thanks to Out of the Weeds – and finally had my missing component.

Bulgur Wheat Beet Salad

Serves: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, diced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat, pre-rinsed
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2 roma tomates, diced
  • 1 cup chickpeas, pre-soaked
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese (optional), crumbled
  • radicchio lettuce leaves (two per serving)
  • 1/4 cup Out of the Weeds Roasted Beet Dressing

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the garlic and onion and cook for 7 minutes before adding the herbs. Cook for an additional minute, stirring to prevent burning
  2. Add the water and bulgur wheat and bring to a quick boil before adding the chickpeas. Then cover and turn heat to low, simmering for 20 minutes.
  3. Fluff the bulgur then stir in the Roasted Beet dressing along with the cucumber and tomato.
  4. Line a bowl with two of the radicchio leaves (creating a mini bowl) and serve the bulgur salad in the middle. Top with the crumbled goat cheese (optional)
  5. Serve and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/02/my-darling.html

As a bonus, the dressing turned my dish a fantastic shade of pink – which is rather perfect for the upcoming holiday!  The radicchio offered a tart contrast to the earthy beets while the cucumber provided a needed crunch.  The fact that the dressing turned everything pink (seriously, pink!!!) just added a whole new level of awesome.  Dropping the chickpeas and reducing the portion size would turn this pink treat in to a fantastic side for herb crusted tofu, fish, or chicken.

Note:  I received Out of the Weeds Roasted Beets Dressing as part of the #TripleS blog challenge, which started February 2nd.  I was not required to use the products, or post anything about them outside of acknowledging that I received them, so all opinions and experiences are my own.  

Did I mention there are 19 (!) other awesome bloggers participating in TripleSBites?!?  Make sure to check them all out: