Sunday, July 31, 2011

Pasta with Veggies

This recipe is excellent with a Pinot Noir or a red wine that is a blend (e.g., blends of zinfandel, cabernet and merlot). You can use regular pasta, but we use "Barilla Plus" (in the yellow box).  It has far more protein and tastes MUCH better than whole wheat pasta.  (I believe there is as much protein in 2 ozs of Barilla Plus as there is in a serving of shrimp. something like 17 grams or so.)

* 3 red peppers, washed, cored, sliced and diced
* 3 yellow peppers, washed, cored, sliced and diced
* 3 orange peppers, washed, cored, sliced and diced
* 1 bag of already cut broccoli, or 3 heads of broccoli chopped up to bite-size pieces
* 1 bag of frozen peas
* 1 large white onion diced
* 2 TBSP minced or pressed garlic (pressed garlic has a stronger flavor)
* 3 TBSP Olive OIl
* 2 tsp dried basil leaves
* 1/2 to 1 tsp of Salt (according to taste)
* 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of coarse black pepper (according to taste)
* 1 lb of angel hair


* In a very large skillet (mine is 12 inches in diameter), over MEDIUM heat warm the Olive Oil and add the onions and garlic. Stir a couple of minutes.

* ADD the peppers and broccoli and salt and pepper. Stir for 5-10 minutes to your preferred level of tenderness.

* ADD the frozen peas and basil and heat through.

* in the meantime, cook the pasta according to the directions on its label.

* After draining the pasta and completing the Veggies, pour the Veggies over the pasta and serve.


* If you would like, freshly grated Parmesan is an excellent topper for this pasta.

* You may want to add a bit more Olive Oil to the pasta before adding the veggies. It is up to you.

* If you are avoiding dairy, then adding some Nutritional Yeast Flakes as a topping is actually quite yummy, too.

You will not need a salad in addition as the veggie sauce will be more than enough veggies for the meal.

Black Bean Soup

• 2 Tbs canola or other neutral oil
• 2 medium onions, chopped
• 1 TBSP minced garlic
• 1 TBSP Chili Powder
• 2 Carrots, skinned and sliced thinly
• 2 ribs of Celery, chopped
• 3 Cans of Black Beans, drained
• 1 Can diced tomatoes in sauce
• 1 Bag (16 oz) frozen corn (microwaved for 3 min) (can use less, but use at least 1 Cup)
• 4 Cups vegetable broth/stock
• Salt & Pepper to taste
• 3 Tbs lime juice

Place the oil in a large, deep saucepan and turn the heat to medium. A minute later, add the onions and celery and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the carrots, garlic, and chili powder and cook stirring another minute or two.

Add the beans, corn, diced tomatoes and veggie broth and season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat to medium-high and bring the soup just about to a boil. Turn the heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Scoop out 1/2 the contents into a blender (try to make it more of the solid stuff than the broth) and puree. Pour back into saucepan and add lime juice.

Good with Saltines or chips.

Serves 6 to 10.

10-Spice Chickpeas

Originally a curry chicken dish from recipe czar that has been re-worked by Kellsey Stokes so it can be a chickpea dish instead.

3 Cans of Chickpeas (or Garbanzo Beans)
1 Large Onion, diced
2 TBSP fresh minced ginger
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
4 TBSP Olive Oil
2/3 Cup White Wine
½ to 2/3 Cup of Coconut Milk (usually found in a can)
¼ Cup of Yogurt (plain or vanilla, dairy or soy)

2 TBSP curry powder (S)
1 tsp Garam Marsala (S)
½ tsp Cardamom (S)
½ tsp Chili Powder (S)
½ tsp Cumin (S)
½ tsp Cinnamon (S)
½ tsp Red Pepper Flakes (S)
¼ tsp Turmeric (S)
¼ tsp Chipotle Pepper Powder (S)
¼ tsp Cayenne Power (S)

(S)= Spice Mix

Make the spice mix.
Dice onion. Mince or press the garlic. Peel and mince ginger. Drain and rinse chickpeas and set aside.

Remember the key to Indian cooking: first, toast your spices in oil.
In a large pot over high heat, pour 4 TBSP olive oil. Let it heat about a minute (but not too long or your spices will burn to a crisp!). Add the spice mix. Stir this mixture until the spices begin to turn brown and toast : approximately 1 minute. DO NOT TAKE YOUR EYES OFF THE POT. IT WILL BURN. STIR, STIR, STIR!

Once the mixture has browned, add the onions and ginger. You want to hold back the garlic just yet. (once Garlic burns, it becomes bitter in taste). After about 2 minutes, you should see the onion begin to change color. Now add the garlic. Cook for another minute over high heat. This step should result in a dark spicy paste of vegetables and spices.

Add the chickpeas. Do NOT stop stirring. Keep cooking over high heat for about 4 minutes. Then, add the wine. Stir quickly and try to spread it around. After a minute or two (the wine should be somewhat absorbed), add the coconut milk. You decide if you want ½ to 2/3 a cup. I usually do 2/3. Stir until mixed through.

Lower heat to low or simmer and cover with lid. Let simmer for about 5 minutes. When done, remove from heat and add ¼ cup of yogurt (if you want. I usually don’t, since my husband doesn’t want it. I just add it to my own personal bowl.)

I often serve it alongside rice or will just mix the basmati rice right in and make it all one dish. I serve this with Garlic Naan. Because it is SO spicy, I usually add yogurt to my own dish as well as raisins and coconut shavings. Macon eats it without the yogurt, raisins or coconut shavings because he likes it HOT!

I like Vanilla Yogurt because it is sweeter than plain, but to each his own, yes?

I printed out these detailed instructions on one page and the "CONDENSED" instructions on another. I read through these to know what all the details are, and then I used the condensed notes to glance at once I actually start cooking.


1) Toast spices in oil until brown (approx 1 min)
2) Add onions and Ginger (salt it to taste between ½ to 1 tsp) (approx 2 min)
3) Add Garlic (cook approx 1 min, still over high heat)
4) Add Chickpeas (cook about 4 minutes)
5) Add Wine (approx 1 min, maybe 2 until it absorbs some)
6) Add ½ Cup Coconut Milk (after stirring so it mixes through assess. If it has been totally absorbed, add rest of the 2/3 cup from the beginning. If there is enough for the mixture to be gooey, don’t add more).
7) Lower heat to low and put on lid. Simmer about 5 min.
8) Remove from heat and add yogurt. Serve with rice and Naan. ENJOY!

Moroccan Lentil with Chick Peas Soup

This can be found at:

I have adjusted the recipe to reflect generally available items as Wegman's Grocery Stores are not available to me in Austin, TX.

* 2 TBSP Olive Oil
* 1 pkg (8 oz) Cut Mirepoix (50% chopped onions, 25% chopped carrots, 25% chopped celery)
* 4 cloves (2 TBSP) chopped Garlic
* 1 pkg Organic Green Lentils, sorted and rinsed, approx 2 1/3 Cups
* 1 can (28 oz) Can Cut Roma Tomatoes with Basil
* 2 cartons (32 oz each) Vegetable Stock
* 1 tsp ground coriander
* 1 tsp cumin
* 1 tsp turmeric
* 1 tsp cinnamon
* 1/4 tsp powdered cayenne pepper
* 1 can (15.5 oz) Garbanzo Beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
* 2 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro
* salt to taste (my mother-in-law uses 1/2 tsp...and it tastes great!)


1. ADD olive oil to stockpot on MEDIUM. Add mirepoix and garlic; cook, stirring, 5-6 minutes, until soft but not browned. Stir in lentils, tomatoes, stock, coriander, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne peppr.

2. COOK, covered, 20-25 minutes.

3. PUREE briefly (about 15 seconds) with handheld blender, just to thicken (don't puree all the lentils)

4. STIR in garbanzo beans and cilantro. Season to taste with salt. Simmer about 5 min on MEDIUM until heated through.

Nutrition info: each serving (1 1/2 cups) contains 300 calories, 49 g carbohydrate, (21 g fiber), 17 g protein, 4 g fat, (0 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, and 330 mg sodium."

Serve with a salad and some delicious multigrain bread.

Chick Pea "Tuna" Salad

My mother-in-law made this when we visited, but I do not know where she got it. I am copying it from an index card. This is a mixture that tastes somewhat similar to tuna salad, but as I never liked actual Tuna salad, I find that I like this MUCH better. It is very good served inside pita bread.

"* 2 cans chick peas, rinsed & drained & coarsely chopped (pulse in food processor until chopped, but not so long that it smooths out like hummus)
* 1 TBSP kelp or dulse flakes
* 1/2 cup chopped celery
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 2 TBSP lemon juice
* 2 TBSP nutritional yeast
* 2 TBSP veganaise
* salt & pepper to taste

Combine and mix in a large bowl."

I personally like to add curry, sweet apples, and raisins to this dish, but Macon prefers it without.  You can always make it like normal and add in whatever extra items you like afterwards. (the dulse flakes can be hard to find...I have not tried making it without them, though, so I don't know if the flavor is largely affected or not.) If you try it, let me know!

Basic Vinaigrette

This is the dressing my mother-in-law served with the Pasta Salad with Black-Eyed Peas and Corn. It can be found at:

"Here's a basic, all-purpose dressing for salads, slaws, and marinating. Increase the proportion of vinegar if you prefer a more pungent taste.

Makes: about 1 Cup

* 1/2 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/4 to 1/3 Cup balsamic or apple cider vinegar, to taste
* 1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
* 1 tablespoon natural granulated sugar or agave nectar
* 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend

Combine all ingredients in a tightly lidded bottle and shake thoroughly. Shake well before each use.

Good with: green salads; grain and/or bean salads; pasta salads; lentil salads; corn salads. Use for marinating vegetables before roasting or grilling; or for marinating tofu that has been very well drained, blotted and diced to use as a feta cheese substitute."

Pasta Salad with Black-Eyed Peas and Corn

This meal is one my mother-in-law made when we visited her and her husband in Miami Springs. She served it on a bed of spinach leaves, which was a perfect compliment to the meal. She got it from

"Serves: 6
* 8 ounces pasta, any short, chunky shape
* 15- to 16-ounce can black -eyed peas, drained and rinsed
* 2 Cups cooked corn kernels, preferably fresh (from 3 large ears)
* 1 Cup or so snow peas, trimmed, halved crosswise, and briefly steamed, or 2 large celery stalks, diced
* 1/2 medium red bell pepper, cut into narrow strips
* 2 scallions, thinly sliced
* 1/2 Cup vinaigrette, or more to taste
* 1/4 to 1/2 Cup chopped fresh parsley

Optional additions (any or all, as desired):

* Halved cherry tomatoes
* Halved oil-cured black olives
* Chopped fresh dill and/or oregano leaves as desired

Cook the pasta in plenty of rapidly simmering water until al dente. Drain and rinse under cool water, then drain well again.

Combine the cooked pasta with the remaining ingredients in a serving bowl, and toss together. Add the dressing and toss again. Cover and refrigerate until needed, or serve at once."