Tag Archives: green peppers

I Still Do

Pasta with Pepper Sauce

pastaPepperSauce

Greetings! I think Spring has finally arrived and with it fresh vegetables and farmer’s markets!   I believe the first ones in this area open next weekend and I can’t wait! This recipe is perfect for spring and farmer’s markets, where it’s possible to get peppers that really taste like peppers.  I made this recipe a few times in college but it really all came together when I made it for Joe’s family last summer.  I also learned a valuable lesson that day: not all meat substitutes are vegan.  However that’s not a problem because this dish is just fine without it.  The key to the sauce is getting the best produce possible.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1 cup white wine ( I used Bloom Reisling)
2 large green peppers, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
1/2 lb linguine

Directions:
1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed skilled.  Add the garlic and cook 3 minutes, then add the bay leaf and wine and season to taste.  Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.
2. Stir in the bell peppers and tomatoes, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often.
3.  Meanwhile cook the pasta until al dente per box instructions.  Drain and return to pan.  Pour the pepper sauce over the pasta and toss well!  Top with some freshly grated Parmesan if desired. 


This dish makes a great simple supper and it can also be easily bulked up in order to provide more protein.  I tend to use Vegetarian Italian Sausages and add them to the pan before the garlic, crumbling them up as they cook.  If you decide to add a meat you will probably need to add 1 tbsp more EVOO during step 2, otherwise things start to stick.  If you are preparing this for any vegans just make sure to double check the meat substitute so that you don’t have any last minute surprises!

Eggplant with Peppers

Eggplant with Peppers

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I heard something scary the other day…there are people out there that don’t like eggplant.  I can understand not liking broccoli or brussel sprouts (both of which I love) but eggplant?  Eggplant is one of the most versatile vegetables out there, you can do pretty much everything with them.  Fry them for some eggplant parmesan, bake them for rolletinis, saute them…cream them (hello baba ganoush)…the options are limitless.  So I have to wonder if these people have been the unfortunate victims of bitter plant, which I have been guilty of doing.  In fact the first thing I ever cooked for Joe included a few bites of this not so wonderful version eggplant.  When eggplant is not properly prepped, or if it’s kept too long, it becomes a bitter cousin of its true self, and you can’t tell from looking at it.  The trick: salt and press!  Take the eggplant, cut it as desired, lightly coat in salt and then press it between two plates/cutting boards with paper towels to collect the liquid.  After pressing for about 30minutes, rinse the eggplant and dry with paper towels.  I would say this method works 98.9% of the time, because if the eggplant is old this won’t fix it.  The downside of this is that one needs to know somewhat in advance if eggplant is on the menu.  However taking out the risk of the bitter  plant is well worth the extra time!  This recipe is one that really showcases how amazing the eggplant is, taking center stage where it belongs.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp EVOO
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb eggplant, cubed
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
2 cups mushrooms (shitake if available)
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup marsala
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:
1. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, and peppers.  Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.  
2. Add the eggplant and mushrooms, turn heat to medium high, and cook an additional 10 minutes until eggplant is tender.  Stir in flour.  
3.  Add the water, marsala, and vinegar.  Bring to boil. and then turn heat to low and simmer for 20minutes.  Season to taste and serve over brown rice.


Did I mention this is a really simple recipe?  Gotta love anything that was easy to prepare after classes.  Typically I let this simmer while I did some minor cleaning/worked on homework.  Now I let it simmer while I do some minor cleaning/take care of the furry children.  This is also a very simple vegan recipe, which gives it bonus points in my book!

Joe’s Corner: Hearty Seitan Ragout

This may be called a ragout but when I cooked it felt more like a stew. Then again I don’t even know what a ragout is. After the initial cooking of the seitan, tofurky and vegetables this pretty much involved a large pot of broth, the vegetables and spices. And what’s nice is that you cook the pasta with it, rather than serving it like a sauce. I had fun with this dish; it has a lot of wiggle room with how you spice it. I was constantly tasting it as I added more of one spice or another. I also thought the cheese taste never really came out, and honestly would have been just as good if not better without it. Some dishes are made for cheese, and some don’t need it. If the cheese isn’t a large part of the taste why add it? I think this is one of those situations, but to each their own. Also, using tofurky sausage still didn’t get me away from the need to remove the “sausage” casing. Having never done this, I didn’t quite figure it out… So I just cut it into slices. The original recipe calls for ground meats, but the sliced tofurky along with the cubed seitan gave this dish a very different texture. I enjoyed it. This was one of my favorites so far.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground seitan
1/2 lb tofu sausage (italian preferred), casing removed
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
4 beefsteak tomatoes, diced
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tbsp parsley
1 (16 oz) can cannelloni beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup uncooked elbow pasta (I used ziti)
6 oz fresh baby spinach leaves, washed (didn’t have this either unfortunately)
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Heat oil in sauce-pot over medium-high heat. Add seitan, onion, and pepper then cook until  seitan has browned. Add garlic and cook an additional minute.
2. Add broth, spices, basil, tomatoes and beans. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add pasta and cook until pasta is done.
3. Add spinach and cook just until spinach is wilted, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in cheese. Serve hot with fresh crusty bread.

I added mushrooms and used 2 cups pasta instead.  As you can guess this is a very versatile dish, but without adding those I think it would have been too light, but maybe that’s just me.

Summer time

Every now and then I hear something, either on TV or the radio, where I have to stop and ask myself if I heard that correctly. This would frequently happen when watching House or Glee or while listening to one of the various local “shock jocks.” However it has rarely happened as the result of a commercial yet the other day while driving to work I heard a Subway commercial that really made me pause and wonder if I heard them correctly. Now I’m not saying I agree with them but the “summer tips from Officer Jim (?) are some of the funnier things I had heard on radio in awhile. I’m not going to give details about this very un-PC commercial but I’m sure that it can easily be found online by googling Subway and “keep our beaches beautiful.”

Now on to the real reason you are here, the recipe. Many moons ago I had this amazing zucchini and cheese side dish at a restaurant near my college. I basically decided to take an already amazing side dish and make some changes to make it more of a main dish. This is not one of the healthiest vegetarian dishes out there but it could easily become less sinful by changing out the cheeses for a part skim mixture, or even subbing with a low-fat vegan cheese.
Three Squash Casserole w/Two Cheeses
1 zucchini, sliced 1/4 in thick
2 yellow squash, sliced 1/4 in thick
1 medium eggplant, sliced 1/4 in thick
1 medium onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
5 ounces Gouda, shredded
5 ounces Pepper Jack, cubed
salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375
2. Lightly spray a medium size casserole dish with cooking spray. Arrange a layer of squash slices evently on the bottom of the dish, alternating between the zucchini, squash, and eggplant. Top with a layer of onion and green peppers and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Layer a 1/4 of the shredded Gouda along with dots of the Pepper jack. Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of cheese.
3. Cover the casserole with aluminum foil and bake for 35minutes. Remove the foil and continue to back an additional 30minutes, until the squash is tender and the cheese is bubbly. Let stand a few minutes before serving.
I’m not sure what cheeses were in the orginal version of this dish, I’m sure cheddar was one of them but I’m not sure as to the second cheese. I have a feeling that any combination of smooth and sharp would work well.