It’s getting HOT in here

Hello again! Sorry for all the delays but things have been more than interesting here, thanks to my AC deciding that it wanted to stop working. Now normally this isn’t that much of a big deal at this time of year however last week we broke numerous records and spent more than a few days north of 90. To make things even more interesting the part that I need replaced is some specialty thing not available in this area so it had to be special ordered and will take up to 2wks for it to arrive. Until then I am trying to think cool thoughts and also trying to hold off until later in the day to cook anything in order to keep the temperature down as much as possible.
The heat wound up being so bad that on Friday night I packed up the furry children and headed to Joe’s apartment for the night. Also made an amazing dish on Friday night at his place but since both cameras were here I don’t have any pictures. At some point I’ll go back and do that one again and actually remember to have a camera available.
Last night wound up being another adventure, this one more of the lack of prior planning variety. All day I was thinking about the yummy homemade pesto I had in my fridge and how delicious that would be on top of some summer veggies with cannelloni beans and some ziti noodles. So I got home and started to cut everything up thinking about how easy this was going to be. Then I opened the fridge and realized that the pesto had gone bad and that I didn’t have an extra bag in the freezer like I thought. This would be when my Ziti with Veggies and Pesto became Ziti Alfredo with Vegetables
– 1tsp EVOO
– 1/2 green pepper, diced
– 1/2 cup white mushrooms, sliced
– 1/4 cup frozen peas
– 1/4 cup corn, fresh or frozen
– 1/4 cup carrots, diced, fresh or frozen
– 7oz Cannelloni beans
– 3 cloves garlic
– 1 tbsp Smart Balance (butter)
– 1 tbsp flour
– 1 cup skim milk
– 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
– pepper and other seasonings to taste
– 1/2lb ziti or other tubular noodle
1. Heat oil in a medium skillet, add garlic and onions and saute for 3 minutes or until the onions have started to become transparent. Add the beans and mushrooms and saute for an additional 2 minutes. Add the remaining vegetables and cover turning heat to medium-low. Occasionally stir in order to prevent sticking
2. While the mushrooms are cooking you can start the sauce by melting the butter in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Add the flour and blend together to create a yellow paste. Gradually add in the milk, whisking the entire time in order to prevent lumps. Turn heat to low and simmer for 5minutes. DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL!
3. Begin a third pot and cook the ziti (or other pasta) as directed. Drain pasta and put back into pot.
4. Add the cheese to the sauce constantly stirring until cheese has fully melted. Cook on low heat for 3-5minutes, stirring frequently. Add seasoning to taste (I normally add 1/4 tsp of pepper, garlic powder, and red chili flakes but this is completely optional)
5. Add the vegetable/bean mix to the pasta and then add the sauce. Stir to mix. Serve HOT
The sauce for this recipe is a basic white sauce, just using skim milk in place of cream or half and half. If you are looking for a thicker sauce substitute you can use any dairy milk you have in your fridge. I have never tried this recipe with soy or rice milk but I would imagine the ratio would be the same. This sauce can be utilized in so many different ways, another common variation in my house is changing the cheese for fresh dill and using as a topper for a baked potato or tuna steak.

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