Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Pasta’ Category

Hello hello!

School is going well, but busy. I just had my first exam of the new semester this week – whew! But I am so happy to finally be delving into the “meat” of the nutrition courses! This semester I am taking Methods in Nutrition Education, Energy Nutrients, Nutrition of the Life Cycle and Management in Dietetics; all of which are interesting in their own ways. Energy Nutrients is going to be toughest one because it is nutrition, chemistry and biology all coming together to talk about metabolism. Nutrition of the Life Cycle is the most interesting as we cover so much and get to do some case studies and “pretend” to be dietitians. I also started a new job at the local VA hospital as a diet aide. (I did the same thing previously, just at a different hospital, and for less money.) Three weeks in and all is well there too. Keeps me out of trouble, right?

And I am *trying* to be a good chairperson for our local support group. I have so many things I want to do with and for the group, but they all take time. Which is in short supply these days. And so I am working to improve my time management skills.

So, to honor that, I’ve been cooking, just nothing fancy. This is one of those easy and quick, no-recipe meals. An old friend of mine made this for me many years ago when I came to visit her (Hi, Jessi!). I’ve probably changed her recipe unknowingly over the years, but in spirit it is still her recipe.

Oh, and if you have some extra zucchini lying around from your overflowing garden, here’s another recipe to use up a couple of them!

IMG_4080-sm

Italian Chickpea and Pasta Skillet

Adapted from Jessica’s recipe, as remembered by me

8 oz pasta, cooked

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

2 medium carrots, sliced thinly into rounds

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 small zucchini, halved and sliced

1 Tbsp oregano

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well

1 can diced tomatoes, or 2 cups of fresh, chopped tomatoes

1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

Parmesan cheese, grated, to taste, (or nutritional yeast for vegan)

Cook the pasta according to the directions. (Tonight, for the first time, I tried Trader Joe’s Organic Brown Rice and Quinoa fusilli pasta. It was pretty good but be careful, it overcooks quick. I set the time for 6 minutes and it was already past al dente.)

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium.Add onions and carrots and cook until the carrots begin to soften. (It will depend on how thinly they were sliced.) Add garlic and zucchini and cook until zucchini begins to soften. Stir in oregano. Then add the chickpeas and tomatoes. Add 1/4 cup water and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Stir in salt to taste.

Serve over the pasta with grated Parmesan cheese.

Read Full Post »

Over the past month, I’ve been making a lot of dishes using the produce coming out of our garden and what I’ve found at the farmer’s markets. One of my favorite summer meals is pasta with a bunch of fresh vegetables. Below I present you with two variations on a theme, both of which are deliciously simple.

I intended on getting this post up for Go Ahead Honey, It’s Gluten Free since the theme was “Dishes so Simple, No Recipe Required” but alas, I procrastinated and didn’t get it up. Regardless, go over to GF Easily and check out the other un-recipes.

Balsamic Vegetable Pasta

Quick Summer Pasta

Original by Renee

No measurements here, just go with what feels and tastes(!) right.

Gluten Free Pasta, my favorite brand is Tinkyada (which is also sold cheaper as Trader Joe’s house brand of brown rice pasta).

Chopped heirloom tomatoes (Yay for Green Zebras – the birds don’t try to eat them since they’re green, and leave half-eaten, beautiful red toms hanging on the vine)

Chickpeas, cooked/canned, drained and rinsed

Feta cheese, crumbled – I had picked up some lovely marinated goat feta from Sweetwoods Dairy at the farmer’s market

A drizzle of olive oil

Fresh basil – lots of it!

Sea Salt and Fresh Pepper

Cook pasta and drain. Toss with remaining ingredients.

Balsamic Vegetable Pasta

Original by Renee

Again, no measurements but I wanted more vegetables than pasta in this one.

Gluten Free Pasta – see above

Onion, halved and thinly sliced, either red or white will work

Balsamic vinegar

Chickpeas, canned/cooked, rinsed and drained

Heirloom tomatoes, chopped – lots of them!

Feta or goat cheese, crumbled

Olive oil

Basil – lots of it!

Sea Salt and Fresh Pepper

Cook pasta (gluten free pasta needs a lot of water to move around in!). Drain and rinse.

In a large skillet, heat a bit of olive oil. Add in the sliced onion and cook over medium heat. Turn down and let the onions start to carmelize a bit and then drizzle some balsamic vinegar over them. Add in the chickpeas and let them heat through, stirring occasionally, and adding a bit more balsamic if you want.

Toss onions and chickpeas into a  large bowl. Add in the tomatoes, basil and feta, toss gently. Add in pasta (I wanted more veggies, less pasta in this version). Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and add salt and pepper (and/or more vinegar) to taste.

Notes:

* Sometimes I also saute a red sweet bell pepper with the onions.

* Kalamata olives and/or toasted pine nuts are a nice addition.

* Parmesan cheese instead of feta or goat cheese works too. So many variations!

* Mix it up to fit your taste buds!

What’s your favorite quick summer pasta combination?

Read Full Post »

Is there such a  thing as healthy pasta with Alfredo sauce? Perhaps not, but you can’t blame me for trying!

You see, Alfredo sauce is a craving of mine. And I got the craving the other week. Unfortunately I had no Alfredo sauce in the house and I am not one to make it from scratch either. In fact, out of the jar is what makes it so comforting to me, I don’t have to do too much!!

So last week I bought a jar of Classico Roasted Garlic Alfredo sauce. (It says Gluten Free on the label!) And then I got to feeling under the weather and so I *really* wanted carbs and cheese, and lots of it! And this is what I ended up with…

Alfredo Vegetable Pasta

Alfredo Vegetable Pasta

an original from Beyond Rice and Tofu

1 pound of pasta, gluten free *

1 – 15 oz jar Classico Alfredo sauce, check the label

1 – 15 oz can artichoke hearts in water, chopped

8 oz frozen spinach

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, not in oil, chopped

1/4 – 1/2 cup vegetable broth, as needed to thin

1 – 15 oz can white beans, drained (or garbanzos, cooked chicken or shrimp*)

a few Kalamata olives, sliced

fresh basil, torn

Cook pasta. For gluten free pasta, use lots of water in a large pot. And stir frequently to prevent it from sticking together.

Empty contents of sauce into a medium saucepan. Add artichoke hearts, spinach and tomatoes and stir to combine. (You can add the spinach still frozen like I did.) Add broth as needed to thin slightly.  Add beans and just cook till beans are heated through.

Drain pasta. Place in serving bowls and stir in some sauce. * Top with olives and basil. Enjoy!

Notes:

* My favorite pasta is Trader Joe’s brand, which is the same as Tinkyada pasta.

* I have been eating a bit of meat or fish here or there to bump up my perennially low B-12 levels. I added some cooked (frozen) shrimp to mine.

* Keep leftover cooked pasta and sauce separate. Reheat pasta in a covered bowl with a teaspoon or two of water in the microwave. Reheat sauce separately and then combine as desired.

Read Full Post »

I love pesto. But my husband does not. So it is one of those things I make for myself, and I only make him eat it occasionally. This summer I have been keeping a small bowl of traditional basil pesto in the frig and I have been enjoying it smeared on toasted Udi’s or Canyon Bakehouse bread with a slice of fresh mozzarella and a slice or two of tomato. So delicious.

I had made some basil pesto earlier this week because my basil plants needed trimming and when I was digging around for something for lunch today, I found some leftover brown rice penne.  So I lightly heated up the pasta (add a bit of water and put a lid loosely on it – I’ve found that it helps to reheat leftover gluten free pasta slightly, even if eating it cold or room temperature) and stirred in a big spoonful of pesto. Then I sliced up some cherry tomatoes and added a few little chunks of fresh mozzarella, salt and fresh ground pepper. What a delicious lunch!

But I have also been known to make other types of pesto. A while back I made sun-dried tomato and spinach pesto. And when I saw Linda’s Pesto Challenge over at The Gluten Free Homemaker, I knew I needed to post this recipe since it has been languishing in my “future posts” folder for about six weeks now. I initially made this back when I was still harvesting a lot of spinach. No spinach growing right now, but it is almost time to plant spinach for a fall harvest.

Sun Dried Tomato and Spinach Pesto and Pasta

Inspired by all, but an original recipe by Renee

1 pound bag of brown rice penne *

3 cups fresh spinach, divided

4 oz sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained

3 cloves garlic

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp pepper

olive oil

1-15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed

1-15 oz. can artichoke hearts in water, drained and coarsely chopped *

4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Cook pasta according to directions. If you are making gluten free pasta, be sure to use a lot of water, more than you would for regular pasta. And be sure to stir the pasta frequently when you begin cooking it as it can clump together easily. Drain pasta. (Drain pasta into a colander with the remaining spinach in it if you prefer your spinach to be wilted.)

In a food processor, combine 1 cup of spinach leaves, tomatoes, garlic, salt and pepper. Pulse it while slowly adding enough olive oil until it is of a pesto consistency. Taste and adjust according to your preference.

Stir pesto into warm pasta and remaining 2 cups of spinach leaves. Add chickpeas and artichoke hearts and top with crumbled goat cheese. Easy, delicious and nutritious!

Notes:

* My preferred gluten free pasta is Trader Joe’s brown rice pasta. For this dish I used the penne but you could use any shape. My other favorite pasta is Tinkyada, which may be the same as Trader Joe’s pasta, just under a different label.

* I prefer the artichoke hearts that are canned in water, not oil. I typically find them at Trader Joe’s. And depending on what I am making with them, I will buy the water or oil.

**This post is linked to The Gluten Free Homemaker’s Pesto Challenge on Gluten Free Wednesdays and Simply Sugar and Gluten Free’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.** And be sure to check out past Gluten Free Wednesday pesto posts here.

Read Full Post »

Every time I make this meal, my husband comments that it “smells like Thanksgiving”, essentially because of the liberal use of sage. This is a family favorite that I have been making for years. I wasn’t sure where I found the original recipe but when I did a Google search I found a very similar recipe at Epicurious. The meat-eaters out there may enjoy that version although my meatless version is quite hearty and delicious too. We serve ours over Trader Joe’s Brown Rice Penne. I think this would also go well over polenta.

White Beans in Tomato Sauce with Sage

Adapted from Epicurious

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups chopped carrot

2 cups chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

3 cloves of garlic, minced

3/4 tsp sage

2 – 15 oz cans of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 – 14 oz can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup vegetable broth or water

Cooked pasta, 3/4 – 1 pound

In a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the carrots, onions and celery and saute for about 10 minutes, until they are beginning to soften. Stir in the garlic and sage. Cook for about 30 seconds. Add the beans, tomatoes and broth. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve over pasta.

Read Full Post »

If you haven’t checked out Tasty Kitchen, I would highly recommend it. It is a project of Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman. Lots of goodies and plenty of inspiration over there. And you can also post your own recipes too, if you’re so inclined. I saw the following recipe and although I have another recipe similar to this one (Creamy Chickpea Curry), I thought I would try this version, substituting the chicken of course. I liked the inclusion of the additional vegetables with the broccoli slaw.

It was very tasty, although, right off the bat, I began changing it up to fit our tastes and needs.

Red Curry Coconut Noodles

Adapted from nika at Tasty Kitchen

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 onion, julienned

2 red bell peppers, julienned

1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated

1-1/2 tsp red curry paste

2 – 15 oz cans light coconut milk

2 –  15 oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 cup packaged broccoli slaw

1/4 cup sweet Thai chili sauce

1 package of rice noodles, such as these

2-4 cups vegetable broth

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in your largest skillet. Saute onions and peppers in oil until they are beginning to soften. Add ginger and saute another minute. Stir in the curry paste and cook for 2-3 minutes. Pour in coconut milk. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to a simmer. Add chickpeas, broccoli slaw and chili sauce. Add rice noodles and enough broth to cover the noodles. Cook until noodles are tender. Stir in salt to taste. Serve in large bowls topped with cilantro.

Notes:

* The original version called for full fat coconut milk (2 cans!), I used the lower fat version and added a bit of olive oil for sauteing.

* I think you could omit the Thai chili sauce. The curry paste dominates the flavor and the chili sauce is lost.

* This was great as leftovers except that the broccoli slaw pieces got really hard and were not good the next day. Omit these if you plan on eating as leftovers.

Read Full Post »

Another great, light summer salad. When I made this recently I asked my husband if this pasta salad reminded him of anything. Nope. For me it has memories of an old apartment back in Chicago where we would sit on our back deck in the summer evenings to eat dinner and to try to catch a breeze as the apartment did not have air conditioning. We had a couple of window air conditioning units but we preferred to be outside. The deck faced north and stayed pretty cool, plus there was a nice little garden below us and squirrels across the way to entertain us. We spent many evenings on this deck. And for some reason I have vivid memories of eating this salad on that deck. Perhaps we ate it a lot in those two years that we lived there? I don’t know, but it’s a great dish to add to your repertoire.

Spicy Ginger Noodles

Adapted from Vegetarian Times magazine

1 pound of pasta *

1 large cucumber, partially peeled, seeded and sliced

carrots, sliced, in an equal amount as cucumber

2-4 green onions, sliced

1/2 cup cilantro

Dressing:

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 cup soy sauce *

1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp chili oil*

2 cloves garlic

1″ chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and minced

Cook pasta according to instructions. Drain and cool. Chop vegetables and place in bowl. Mix dressing ingredients together and stir into cooled pasta and vegetables.

Notes:

* We prefer Tinkyada brown rice pasta or Trader Joe’s brown rice pasta (I think they are the same product actually, just repackaged for TJ’s). I use either the spirals or penne and, in a pinch, the spaghetti. Just be sure to use lots of water to cook the gluten free pasta and don’t overcook or it will turn to mush!

* Be sure the soy sauce is gluten free if you are cooking gluten free.

* You can probably omit the chili oil if you can’t find it. I can usually find it in the Asian food section of the large grocery stores. One bottle lasts a long time as you only need a little bit each time.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 132 other followers