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Pasta

Meatless Monday, Pasta

Meatless Monday: Spinach Pesto Pasta

February 24, 2014

mkm

This weekend certainly was eventful – an entire nation setting their clocks (well, the west coast at least) to wake up at an unreasonable hour to watch our hockey team win the gold medal. After our win to the US on friday the early morning wake up call was inevitable. 

I didn’t want to get up at 4 am, but I did – for our country and all. It was fun to watch, though not quite as exciting as our last gold medal game (the overtime goal by Crosby was awesome) but fun nonetheless. I went back to bed at about 6:30, and then woke up again at 10:30. Thank goodness it was a sunday morning game. 

Another surprise to the weekend was a huge snowfall. It began saturday morning and didn’t stop well into Sunday night. We had at least 6 inches before I went to sleep, and more on the way. It was so snowy and windy that there was snow right up to our front door, and on it.

I stayed in most of the weekend, making my way to the gym and making Lainey go outside for a walk. She was hesitant, but once there were a few paths shovelled out for us she didn’t mind it. I tried to make her go out again before bed but I think the whole ‘theres snow up to the door’ thing discouraged her. She is only about 10 lbs and therefore quite low to the ground – I don’t blame her. 

This pasta dish is easy and really delicious. I have made spinach pesto quite a few times before after discovering how easy it was – you don’t even need to have pine nuts on hand to make it. A simple spinach + garlic + olive oil + lemon juice does the trick. 

My mom used to make a dish similar to this when we were younger, only it would have olives (which I didn’t have on hand) and lots of cheese (which I can no longer eat because of a dairy allergy) however, my version is still pretty delicious. I think it’s all the garlic. 

The best thing about this is you can eat it both hot or cold. I love it both ways – although I think I would prefer it cold. I usually eat it hot the first night for dinner, then I’ll have the leftovers cold for lunch the next day, adding more tomatoes to it as I go.

A pasta with lots of ridges is best for this dish, I used strozzapreti, but a penne or rigatoni would also work.

mlmmk

Spinach Pesto Pasta
An easy pasta dish that tastes delicious both hot and cold.
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Ingredients
  1. handful of spinach
  2. cherry tomatoes, washed and sliced in half
  3. 3 tbsp of pine nuts, toasted (Optional, and you can also sub sunflower seeds, or cashews)
  4. 3 cloves of garlic
  5. dash of ground black pepper
  6. extra virgin olive oil
  7. splash of lemon juice
  8. Choice of pasta - enough for 2-4 people
Instructions
  1. Wash the spinach. Toast the pine nuts on a pan over medium heat until lightly browned and fragrant.
  2. Add spinach, toasted pine nuts, garlic, a dash of lemon juice and olive oil, and black pepper in a food processor.
  3. Pulse until finely blended.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the pasta according to package instruction until al dente. Drain the pasta, and toss with pesto. Add the sliced tomatoes.
  5. Serve warm or cold.
Notes
  1. This pasta is delicious both hot and cold. I like to enjoy it hot for dinner, and cold for lunch the next day.
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Italian, Meatless Monday, Vegan

Meatless Monday: Mushroom Bolognese and Zucchini Lasagne

September 16, 2013

zl

zucchini

zucchinilasange

We still have 5 days left of Summer before it is officially Fall. The weather has been totally confusing. Last week there were two incredibly hot days, in the high 20s. FYI that’s 20+ Celsius, not Fahrenheit. I had to laugh when I posted a picture of our weather on Instagram and an american follower said she had to remind herself it was C, not F. Because 26 degrees F is like -7 degrees Celsius. A temperature I would not be so happy about this time of year. However the weather quickly changed and we had a few days of rain, and to top off the weekend another thunderstorm last night. 

We didn’t let the weather ruin our weekend though. We were actually just about to head out for a bike ride when our neighbours asked if we wanted to head downtown to bike around Stanley Park on the sea wall. We decided to bring some food and our new camp bbq to have a picnic after the ride. It was actually quite warm and the fog had burned off near us, but as soon as we started to drive into the city it actually started to disappear behind the blanket of grey clouds.

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You could barely seen the Lions Gate bridge as it disappeared into North Van

photo-15

photo-16

It was still rather warm and good biking weather. By the time we had dinner though, it was pretty dark. We’re always up for a last minute adventure and still holding on to summer. 

Zucchini is a late summer squash that everyone seems to have too much of. This is another great recipe to use up all of that zucchini. 

I made this lasagne dish when I was doing my week of Vegan eats while Adam was away. However, he was super jealous when he found out I made it when he wasn’t home. I saved him a tiny, very tiny, piece to try when he got home. I’ve made zucchini lasagne a few times since learning of my wheat and corn allergy. I don’t eat pasta very often unless it’s brown rice, and zucchini for the lasagne sheets works perfectly. I actually prefer this over regular lasagne. 

zzl

Zucchini Lasagne

Mushroom Bolognese
recipe for sauce adapted from Home with Love by Jennifer Perillo

Ingredients

  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive-oil
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 small sweet yellow onion
  • 2 cans whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups white button mushrooms, rinsed and cleaned
  • 1/4 cup red wine

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.

Dice the onion and add 1/2 of the diced onion to pot. Using a garlic press add the cloves of garlic and cook until fragrant and golden (if you don’t have a garlic press mince with a knife.) Simmer for 2-4 minutes. 

Using your hands, squeeze the tomatoes over the pot. Add the remaining liquid from the can and the white wine. Alternatively, you can blend the tomatoes in a blender if you like. 

Season with salt and pepper to taste and stir. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let cook 20-30 minutes.

Meanwhile, place a skillet over medium-high heat and add a splash of olive oil. Dice the mushrooms chopping them finely. Add the other 1/2 of the diced onion to the pan along with the chopped mushrooms. Cook until golden for about 5-7 minutes. Season with pepper. 

Add the red wine and bring the pan to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, and cook until the wine is reduced by half, about 5 minutes. 

Add the mushroom mixture to the sauce and continue to cook.

To assemble the Lasagne

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized zucchinis
  • mozzarella cheese (if vegan use Daiya mozzarella, if non-vegan I suggest goat cheese)

To prepare:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 

I use a mandolin to slice my zucchini layers for this dish. If you don’t have a mandolin you can slice it as thin as you can in long strips. Secure the zucchini to the mandolin and slice at about the second setting (it varies on each brand, mine is usually 1/4” thickness). You want them thin, but not too thin otherwise it will be a little messy when cutting. Set aside the zucchini strips. 

Using a 9×9 inch square pan, spread a spoonful of sauce on the bottom. Layer zucchini on top all facing the same way. Add another scoop of sauce on top and spread across the zucchini strips. Sprinkle with chosen cheese, and top again with another layer of zucchini. 

Continue this pattern, zucchini, sauce, cheese until you’ve reached the top of the dish. Finish the top layer with another sprinkling of cheese. 

Place baking dish on cookie sheet (in case any spills over) and bake at 350 degrees for about an hour, or until sauce is bubbling and top is slightly browned. You can also stick a sharp knife in it to feel for the tenderness of the noodles. 

Remove from oven, and allow to sit for a 5-10 minutes before serving. This will help the cheese set and make it easier to dish out. 

Serve with a side salad. Refrigerate leftovers. And like most pasta dishes, this also tastes even better when it’s sat overnight.  

WIAW

WIAW: Week 2, Italian style

March 14, 2012

Late post today! But here is my second week of WIAW. This time, the Italian edition.

For the past year I have been volunteering each week at an Elementary school in preparation for my application to the Teaching Program. I hope to start it in September. It has been a great experience working in the classroom and getting to know all of the students. I was in a grade three classroom for the end of last year and since September of the beginning of this school year. It was fun to help them with their work, marking assignments and corrections, teaching them cursive and new math skills. The kids were all very sweet and it was sad to say goodbye yesterday, my last day, as it was the last Tuesday before their Spring Break, and when they return I will begin my final exams and projects. I would defininitely vist them again, as Adam’s cousin is also a teacher at the school! Bonus. I would love to get a teaching job in the same district.

The children surprised me with a giant thank you card. It was so sweet! I will definitely miss them too.

I did not spell check these haha- and apparently they still need a little help with their spelling ;)

And apparently I am also married according to some of them ;)

From Peas and Crayons!

Breakfast was early Tuesday. Thanks to Daylight Savings time. My 7 am wake up, was more like a 6 am wake up. Not cool. The usual, Rice Krispies with Almond milk – as per my allergy diet.

The school is in my hometown, where I lived before I moved in with Adam, and where my brother and Nonna still live. So, every Tuesday I see my Nonna for a visit or lunch, or dinner. Depending on when I make it to her house, and my schedule in the classrooms. Yesterday was lunch.

When I’m at Nonna’s, I tend to throw the allergy-diet out the window. I just can’t say no.

First course, Pasta. My Nonna said she sauteed peas in oil, with artichokes and garlic, and then poured it over the pasta. It was so light and delicious. I love oil, all kinds, and this was simply delicious.

Second course was Salad, a simple oil and homemade red wine vinegar. Note the homemade white wine also. It was noon. Nonna likes a little vino with lunch.

There was also tomato, I can assume only freshly picked from Joe’s extensive vegetable garden (her live in boyfriend/companion since my Nonno is no longer with us) Joe also makes the red wine vinegar and wine. Topped with fresh mozzarella,¬†bocconcini with basil and more delicious oil.

I ate these by themselves and atop some crackers. I probably ate about three, before being told to “eat more!” and to “finish, finish.” Thus, I ended up eating about half of the plate of cheese and tomatoes. I was fine with that.

Dinner was the usual right now, yam/sweet potato topped with black beans, goat cheese and cranberry sauce with lettuce drizzled with oilve oil, and a non-appealing looking piece of chicken breast. The yam was the best part.

Do you participate in WIAW? 

Did you eat anything delicious yesterday??