Veganized Pioneer Woman’s Quick and Easy Roasted Red Pepper Pasta

Yesterday we had the most gloriously carb heavy dinner. I love carbs and I’m not afraid of them. I love pasta and I’m not ashamed. Sometimes I eat just cooked pasta with salt and I know I belong it Italy.

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This is the best bread I have ever had. I can never go back to anything else. The bakery is just a few blocks from our apartment and I love to walk there and pretend I just left my Italian apartment with my pet bunny, walking down cobblestone streets to pick up my daily bread.

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Okay, now to the recipe. Here is the link to the original recipe and below is my substitutions:

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces, weight Pasta Of Your Choice (I used Penne.)
  • 4 Tablespoons Earth Balance Butter
  • ½ whole Large Onion, Finely Diced
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 jar (15.5 Ounces) Roasted Red Peppers, Drained And Roughly Chopped
  • 1 cup Vegetable  Broth
  • ½ teaspoons Salt, More To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • ½ cup cashew cream (1/2 cup cashews, soaked then drained. Blend in blender, with water just barely covering, until smooth. I think next time I might use a little less cashews to not make it as heavy)
  • ½ cup Vegan Parmesan Cheese (leave a tiny bit to sprinkle before serving if you like)
  • Finely Minced Parsley (optional)
  • Chopped Fresh Basil (optional)

Preparation

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.

Melt 2 tablespoons Earth Balance in a large skillet (definitely get out the cast iron skillet…mmm!) over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and saute for 2 to 3 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the chopped red peppers and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until hot.

Remove the skillet from the heat. Carefully transfer the contents of the skillet to a food processor or blender. Place on the lid and puree the pepper mixture until totally blended (there will still be some texture to the peppers.)

Heat the other 2 tablespoon butter back to the skillet over medium heat. Pour the pepper puree back into the skillet. Add the broth, salt, and pepper, and stir until heated. Splash in the cream and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings if you need to.

Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet. Add Parmesan and parsley/basil, then stir it together to coat the pasta.

Serve with a bit of extra Parmesan and a sprinkling of parsley on top.

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Prepare to enjoy pasta heaven.

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February’s Meal Plan

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Favorite recipes from last month:

http://theyellowtable.com/healthy-30-minute-black-bean-soup/

http://www.budgetbytes.com/2013/10/spinach-artichoke-wonderpot/

http://www.cookingclassy.com/2013/07/quinoa-chili/

http://kitchen-parade-veggieventure.blogspot.com/2013/02/slow-cooker-vegetarian-lentil-sloppy-joes.html

http://andreasrecipes.com/slow-cooker-cuban-style-black-beans-with-rice/

http://talesfromaveggiekitchen.blogspot.com/2006/09/frijoles-negros.html

http://ohsheglows.com/2011/04/19/taco-chili-with-nacho-cheeze-sauce/#ixzz2dlOoJjOJ

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2008/02/tomato-soup-with-roasted-garlic-and.html {love tomato soup with a side of rice!}

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2012/04/dreenas-no-fu-love-loaf.html {I serve with mashed potatoes, such a comforting meal!}

http://thesimpleveganista.blogspot.com/2012/10/cashew-ricotta-cheese.html {I use this cheese recipe for the stuffed shells below}

http://marisashealthykitchen.com/2011/03/28/lisa-dawns-vegan-stuffed-shells-with-cashew-ricotta-cheese/

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2008/11/white-bean-chili.html

http://canadiangiftguide.com/2013/09/13/foodie-fridays-bake-destroy/#comment-34541

http://ohsheglows.com/2013/12/16/peanut-better-balls/

Everything was so good and easy to make this past month. I’ll try to post again at the end of March–we’ve already had some new favorites this month! For a more detailed post about how I meal plan, go here. This month (March) I only grocery shopped for the first two weeks (though I still go every week for produce and such) and I really think that is much easier on me, especially since I’m already going weekly anyway. Since I only made a two week list (mostly because I was working on my list 30 minutes before I had to leave to shop!) I used pen and paper, which was easy since it was only two weeks. I also bought 25 pounds each of black beans and pinto beans from Whole Foods and that was so much easier than getting a massive amount from the bulk bin. I think black beans must be the most wonderful food–we go through them like crazy! I’m looking forward to more light, spring-time meals! Anyone have any good recipes? Happy eating! xo

*Peanut Better Balls pictured at top

our Christmas desserts

We made the best sugar cookies and fudge this {past} year! Although the sugar cookies were amazing, next time I might try a recipe not quite as loaded with sugar. But for special occasions and for friends, these are perfect and so easy. Here’s the recipe.

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The fudge we made was super easy and healthy! I actually kind of combined two recipes. I used this recipe. I added in 1 tablespoon vanilla and a pinch of sea salt and subbed maple syrup for the honey. I also made a batch with 1 tablespoon peppermint extract and pecans. I’m not sure which I preferred, but it’s a nice recipe to make your own and add in whatever you like. Both of these would be great Valentine’s Day treats, too! xoxo

p.s. we’ve been making more yummy treats and food that I hope to share here soon as well.

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the best of days

If you were like, “hey hannah, what do you do the three day weekend before your husband goes back to school?” I’d be like, “I get a little crazy and turn the heat on. Then I let Andy sleep in and make homemade pretzels and crepes. Then we make a fort and eat all day and laugh and watch tv.”

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And if you were like, “but how do you love being a vegan, you can’t eat that stuff.” And I’d be all like, girl:

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food & theology

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“By cooking, we transform the mundane into something sacred. And then we share it with others.”

Food helps me remember things I don’t want to forget.

I enjoy eating good food and the memories it creates. 

I love when Andy loves my food. 

I love when he cooks the meals only he cooks. They are not my recipes, but his.

Spending time in the kitchen creates magic.

Food forms time with family, not away from family.

Cooking creates time to talk, to learn.

Cast iron skillets comfort the soul.

Food must be very important.

We need nourishment.

We were created to eat often.

Food is not meant to bring isolation, but to bring people together.

A warm dinner is fire to conversation.

There is a sacredness and pleasure in sharing a meal.

Food is a joy.

November’s meal plan

“Creamiest Vegan Broccoli Soup”



November was the first time in our marriage that I actually had an organized meal plan and man, did it make life easier! Here are the meals I liked enough to keep for the future, followed by what I did to organize all the meals and lists:

http://www.theppk.com/2013/10/meat-beany-chili-corn-muffins-video/
http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2006/10/stormy-black-bean-soup.html
http://balancedplatter.com/potato-pepper-and-pinto-hash-gluten-free-vegan/#more-4173

http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2009/02/quick-and-easy-potato-soup.html
http://ohsheglows.com/2011/04/19/taco-chili-with-nacho-cheeze-sauce/
http://damndelicious.net/2013/10/16/quinoa-chili/
http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/2007/01/thick-and-hearty-pinto-bean-chili.html <Andy said, “This chili could win awards.”

http://www.theppk.com/2013/09/blt-mac-cheeze/ 
http://www.meatlessmonday.com/recipes/spiced-lentil-tacos/ <…with this cashew cheese topping http://milkandcerealblog.wordpress.com/2012/09/27/cashew-cheese-kale-enchiladas/ (I added a little bit of homemade red sauce as well.)
http://www.iheartnaptime.net/taco-soup-recipe/
http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-best-oatmeal-cookies-youll-ever.html <these are seriously the best! be sure to add in chocolate chips! p.s. I used regular brown sugar and regular cinnamon.
http://www.food.com/recipe/5-minute-vegan-pancakes-132263# <this is one of the recipes I’ve been using to perfect vegan pancakes. Using 1/4-1/2 cup oatmeal flour with white or whole wheat flour for the rest makes it amazing. I’m still on the hunt, though…not quite settled on this yet.

http://bakerbettie.com/chocolate-chip-peanut-butter-skillet-cookie-wheat-free-vegan/ <using a mixture of at least 1 c. white or whole wheat flour makes this much better and more cookie like. be sure to eat with ice cream!
http://awakenedprincess.com/creamiest-vegan-broccoli-soup-ever/ <This is the potato soup I made last night that I talked about on Facebook. It is my new favorite soup. I doubled it last night I love it so much. It is super easy to make, too, just takes some time to chop up all the veggies. p.s. I like to add nutritional yeast to make it even “cheesier” and healthier!

Ziplist has made my life so much easier. I create a new list each month. There is a recipe tab where you can copy and paste a recipe’s URL address and you can then add in all those ingredients into your grocery list. If you have homemade recipes or recipes from a cookbook you can click “create a recipe” for that as well. When a recipe becomes your favorite, keep it in your recipe box and add it to future grocery lists! The only frustrations I have is if you have a lot of recipes that call for onions or garlic (like most do) then you will end up with lots of line items for that, instead of just one all added up together (unless there is a secret way to simplify this I haven’t discovered). However, you can edit your list and add it all up and simplify it yourself within the list. Another thing is occasionally something ends up in the wrong category (it is arranged by “produce,” “drinks,” “frozen,” etc.).

Once I know I have all the recipes I want to use for the month, (I email myself recipes all through the month with stuff I want to try so it easily all stays together until I enter it in ziplist) I grab a calendar of sorts and start putting down meals I want to make on different days. I have never done this before, (I always wanted to eat what I was in the mood for) but it is now the one thing I would recommend doing if you really want to be organized. Now I love it! I always know what day I will cook, what it will be, and it saves money on produce! The days I have designated to cook are M/T/F/weekend, other than that there is usually enough leftovers for our small family for now. Once I have my meals mapped out, I disregard the “produce” category in my ziplist shopping list and only write down the produce for the meals I am making for the week. So, I do one big grocery trip at the beginning of the month, and I usually go to the grocery store on the weekends to pick up produce for the coming week. Why did it take me 3 1/2 years to finally figure this out?!

notes:
*I buy cashew pieces (pieces are SO much cheaper and work just as well for me) and nutritional yeast (which can both be expensive, but it evens out for me because I don’t buy any dairy) in bulk which appears to be much more affordable if you have that option, as most things in bulk are. I store my nutritional yeast (great way to get your B-12!) in a glass jar on the counter and my cashew pieces in a glass jar in the fridge. I always soak my cashew pieces before using them to aid in digestion.

*I now highly recommend getting a coffee grinder for things like flax seeds (buy whole flax seeds and store in the fridge as flax meal does not stay good long!). It made the oatmeal cookie recipe such a breeze.

*I did not receive anything from Ziplist. I found the website searching for meal planning help and just like to spread the word about things that are helpful for me so it might help someone else that may be struggling with meal planning like I was.

i made magic.

I don’t think I’ve had a dessert this good for ages. This apple crisp is seriously magic. Why would anyone ever make pie when they can have apple crisp? This is the food of heaven.

Notes: I did not measure my apples. I just filled up a 9×13 baking dish with the amount of apples I wanted. I really wish I wrote down exactly what I did, but I know I left out the white sugar, probably only used 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and added probably a 1/2 cup of maple syrup. I think next time I will figure out how to only have maple syrup sweeten it. Also, I used regular oats and added chopped pecans to the topping. I think the maple syrup and pecans are what made it spectacular. Served with Trader Joe’s soy ice cream. Pure bliss.