Tag Archives: garlic

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!

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!

I’ve Hungered

Caribbean Beans & Rice

carribean_beans_rice

Day 3 of TripleSBites – a saucy, sexy, spicy collection of recipes from 20 incredible bloggers! So far I’ve featured one of my Valentine’s favorite vegetables, a delicious pink treat, and today I’m featuring a spicy dish that is sure to heat things up.  I’ve mentioned before how when I first met my husband he wasn’t a fan of the spicy, and how over the years (5 this spring!) he has acquired a taste for the hot, hot, HOT!  So when the I was Pirate Jonny’s Caribbean  style hot sauce I knew I HAD to use it to make something special for my better half.  This dish features a bunch of vegetables along with two types of beans some brown rice and for those that want it: cheese!  Basically all the things my husband loves, minus Old Bay.

I’ve Hungered

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 can rotel tomatoes, original
  • 1 tbsp Syrena's Seduction Hot Sauce
  • 1 cup black beans, presoaked
  • 1 cup pinto beans, presoaked
  • Grated Cheese, Sour Cream, and/or Avocado for topping

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and green pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the corn and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  2. Add the rice, and toss well in the oil and vegetables for a minute before adding the stock, hot sauce and rotel. Bring to a boil, then cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes, then stir in the beans and fluff the rice and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Serve and top with cheese, sour cream, and/or avocado and Enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/02/ive-hungered.html

Not going to lie – this sauce packs a bit of a punch! However it is more than just a hot sauce, there are other flavors going on which is key to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy hot sauce but there has to be something else going on beyond the HOT portion – and this sauce has it.  Next on my list is to check out their Guava Girl Hot Sauce, mostly because of the name, but it also sounds like another sauce that will more than just a “hot sauce”.

Note: While I did receive the Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup for free as part of participating in TripleSBites, I was not required to use or mention the product outside of acknowledging receipt of the product.  All opinions are totally my own.  

Don’t forget to check out the giveaway for your chance to try some of these incredible products!  Also, be sure to check out all the other bloggers below!

Gives a Smile

4 Cheese Pasta Bake

mushroom_spinach_bake 

Nothing like a dairy challenge to get my husband involved with planning a meal – so thank you /52weekofcooking for that!  He tossed around lots of ideas, and at least one of them will be making an appearance in a few weeks, but for today I’m sticking with a super cheesy pasta dish that comes together in record time.  In fact, if you have some pre-made sauce in the freezer this delicious dish can be on the table well within an hour of getting home!  This was also my first time testing out some treats from Gourmet Garden, which I got as part of a blog challenge I’m participating in come February.   As for the cheeses, well I just grabbed whatever I thought would work – and then grabbed a few more!

Gives a Smile

Serves: Serves 5-6

Ingredients

  • 1 lb angel hair pasta, precooked and set aside
  • 2 cups favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp Gourmet Garden Chunky Garlic Paste
  • 1 tsp Gourmet Garden Italian Herb Paste
  • 1 cup spinach, rinsed and chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, diced
  • 1/2 cup shredded Provolone cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Mix the egg with the Parmesan cheese until smooth then stir in the two pastes along with the spinach, onion, and red pepper flakes. Set Aside
  3. Spread 2 tbsp of sauce along the inside of a 2qt casserole dish, to include the sides
  4. Spoon 1/3 of the pasta in the casserole dish, then top with half of the ricotta cheese, half of the mushrooms, half of the onion/egg mixture, and 1/4 cup of the provolone cheese and 1/2 cup of sauce. Repeat, switching the provolone with the mozzarella cheese. Top with the last of the pasta and cheeses before finishing with the remaining sauce (1 cup) and left over provolone and mozzarella cheeses.
  5. Bake for 35 minutes, or until cheese is brown on the edges and the sauce is bubbling. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before Serving!

Notes

If not using gourmet garden pastes, sub with three cloves of minced garlic and 1/2 tbsp dried Italian herb blend

http://dancingveggies.com/2015/01/gives-a-smile.html

Needless to say one must really enjoy cheese in order to enjoy this dish, so if you’re vegan or lactose intolerant this might be a good recipe to skip.  It can be easily adapted for gluten free by switching out the whole grain pasta for a gluten free variety, of which there are more and more available!  For even more vegetables, I love that there are more and more vegetable flavored pastas – tho it does keep me from making my own.   For a super healthy option, switch out the pasta entirely for spaghetti squash – just reduce the cooking time to 25 minutes to prevent the squash from becoming totally dried out.

I have to say, using the Gourmet Garden pastes really sped up the process – and the flavors were fantastic!  I only wish more of the pastes were vegan, with the collection I got only the ginger was whey free and while that isn’t a HUGE issue for me it would still be nice.  However the convenience of the products is insane and I love that the ingredients are all organic, plus it tells you right on the container how many fresh cloves, bunches, etc went in to the container.

 Note:  I received a bunch of Gourmet Garden pastes and herbs as part of the #TripleS blog challenge, which starts 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.    

Wash Out

Butternut Squash Dressing

squash_stuffing

I’ve always found that it’s hardest to be a vegetarian around the holidays – so much of the celebration revolves around food and so much of that food involves meat.  From turkey to brisket to ham to venison, the traditional feasts revolve around a core protein of the animal variety.  When I first went vegetarian I had to accept that my holiday meal would consists of sides and for the first few years that was rather rough though there was always one exception: the dressing.  More often then not, the dressing would feature breadcrumbs of some form with vegetables and even tho it was normally on the dry side since no gravy – most of them were rather amazing.   For the past few years my contribution to the holidays have been my sweet potatoes but this year I wanted to try and completely veganize a stuffing that would be moist and amazing regardless of gravy.   So I set out to search the internet and various grocery stores to see what all was out there for me to mess with.  In the end I came up with this (in my opinion) awesome dressing that could work for more than just the BIG holiday meals.  In fact, I think it would be the perfect stuffing for an acorn squash!

 

Wash Out

Serves: Serves 8-10 as a side

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash
  • Bag of plain vegan stuffing (Wegmans brand, Pepperidge Farm, etc)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup cranberries

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat, add spices and cook for 1 minute while stirring frequently. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 10 minutes, or until onion is golden.
  2. Preheat oven to 375
  3. Add the butternut squash and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes, stirring as needed.
  4. Once the squash is soft, add the stuffing mix along with the stock, water, and cranberries and mix well.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes, or until stuffing is warm throughout.
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/01/wash-out.html

 I was surprised how many stuffing mixes were vegan as I was expecting most of them to feature whey, eggs, and/or turkey.  Most of the “plain” and “original” varieties turned out to be vegan while most of the ones featuring spices or seasoning were generally vegetarian – featuring whey.  The stuffing was fantastic and moist tho most of us did enjoy it with some vegan mushroom gravy from Whole Foods (seriously, that stuff is insanely good).  All in all an awesome side dish that can be enjoyed by vegans and turkey-eaters alike!

As of now I’m not really that much of a fan on 2015 – the year has just started and so far it’s been rather annoying.  Our first attempt at DIVF was a bust, our FET has been put on hold, my car is on the verge of dying as is our oven, while my cell phone had an accident this morning so it’s basically busted.  I know that most of these things, okay all but the cell phone, are out of our control but at the same time – this is just insane!!!  I thought bad things happened in groups of three and so beyond three at this point.