Tag Archives: quick cooking

Seasonal Pesto Pasta

Last week’s vegan (cheeseless) pesto recipe gets a workout here on a hodge-podge salad from seasonal veggies.  A “clean out the fridge” recipe that turned out pretty delish.  This could easily be made vegan or gluten free with the appropriate pasta.

  • 1 pint mixed cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large heirloom tomato
  • 3-4 cubes pesto
  • 2-3 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 4 small zucchini
  • 1 C toasted walnuts
  • 2 C white beans
  • 2 C arugula or other seasonal greens, hand torn
  • 1/2 C packed fresh basil, hand torn
  • 1 pound rotini pasta, cooked al dente
  1. Select a large bowl or rectangle pan for the elements to be assembled.  As the ingredients are finished with their first phase you can just toss them together as you go to avoid destroying the integrity of the veggies by trying to stir or toss together at the end.  The pesto will incorporate easily this way as well.  You do not want a huge bowl of mush at the end.
  2. Tear arugula and basil into pieces and put in the bottom of this large bowl or pan.  The warm ingredients added will wilt this for you saving you a cooking step.
  3. Boil water and cook your choice of pasta noodle, al dente, drain water and toss back into warm pan with pesto cubes, juice and zest of two lemons.  Turn noodles to coat.  Toss into big bowl-this will wilt your greens easily.
  4. Warm a little olive oil (1 tsp or so) in a wok or fry pan, toss in walnuts and toast until slightly browned and super crisp.  Toss into big bowl.
  5. Cut zucchini into little wheels of uniform size.  In the same pan without adding more oil, saute the bite-sized squash pieces for a few minutes, then add the juice and zest of one lemon, salt and pepper to taste.  Do this over high heat and don’t let your zucchini get soggy.  Remove when it still has a bite to it and toss into the large pan with the other ingredients.
  6. Cut tomatoes into bite-sized pieces.  Toss into big bowl.
  7. Finally add your two cups of white beans.  Mine usually come from the freezer as I bulk make beans every few weeks, but using canned is cool with me.  If you do so, be sure to rinse them well, to get all the unnecessary ick off them.
  8. Toss all ingredients together and serve.  This makes a TON of salad.  It keeps well in your fridge for up to a week if you don’t let it dry out.  I make sure plastic wrap is touching the leftovers and that seems to keep it fresh, not dry.  If yours becomes dry, refresh with a little bit of olive oil, water or lemon juice before serving.

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Cheater’s Buffalo Chicken Salad

Sometimes I just don’t have time for extensive dinner prep and if I make one more decision in a day my head will explode; enter, Cheater Buffalo Chicken Salad.

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  • 2 Boca Spicy Chicken Patties
  • 1/2 pound mixed greens
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 5 green onions, greens only diced
  • 1 medium cucumber, seeds removed, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 C ranch or green goddess dressing, diluted with 3 T cold water or milk
  • 3 T Frank’s Red Hot sauce
  • 2 T shredded cheese
Super simple plan:  bake chicken patties according to package instructions, cut into bite-sized pieces.  Assemble veggies into 2 medium bowls, top with baked chicken pieces, top with dressing made from ranch, water and Frank’s Red Hot; plus shredded cheese.
The beauty of this salad as you can use whatever you have on hand in the fridge.  Heck you can even mix up the chicken patty for a black bean burger or any other faux veg protein for that matter.

Curried Noodle Pot

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Curry on the brain this week I guess.  Monday I wrote about Curried Hash and now, we have the Curried Noodle Pot courtesy of the lovely Heidi Swanson from 101cookbooks.com.  This recipe comes from her cookbook Super Natural Cooking.  Why buy one of her books?  Her photography.  You can thank me later for the copious amounts of food porn present.

Curried Noodle Pot

  • 8 oz whole-grain wide Asian noodles ( I used whole spelt udon)
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1-1/2 tsp red curry paste
  • 12 oz extra firm tofu pressed and cubed
  • 1-14 oz can coconut milk
  • 2 C veggie stock
  • 2 tsp ground tumeric or curry powder
  • 2 T shoyu sauce (or any other type of soy sauce)
  • 1T agave syrup
  • juice of one lime
  • 2/3 C peanuts (optional)
  • 1/3 C slivered shallots
  • 1/3 C chopped fresh cilantro

Cook noodles in plenty of water until just tender.

Start making curry while noodles cook. Heat coconut oil in large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Stir in garlic, onion and curry paste and mash the paste around the bottom of the pan a bit to distribute evenly. Cook until fragrant – just a minute or two.  Add the tofu stir until well coated with curry. Stir in the coconut milk, stock, shoyu and agave, bring to simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, stir in the lime juice and add the noodles.  Turn to coat.

To serve, heap big piles of noodles into individual bowls and top with a ladle or two of curry. Top with peanut and cilantro and shallots.

Note:  I thought this needed a bit of salt because I used unsalted peanuts for garnish.  From start to finish, this took me less than 20 minutes to make.  Bonus points for quick dinner.