Carbs & Rec: Happy Cauliflower Day! (Belated, but still.)

Thursday, September 4th, 2014

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Technically Cauliflower Day was yesterday, but I would have had to preempt the very first Waffle Wednesday in order to make it work, and that simply would not do! As much as I love cauliflower, sweet breakfast food trumps it every. single. time.

Also a technicality: Cauliflower Day celebrates the first AND LAST time that Leslie and Ben ate cauliflower together. Leslie did not care for it. So really, this dish should feature broccoli, pizza, ice cream, or some other food that isn’t cauliflower.

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But wait! Stay with me here.

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B is for “Bow Ties Are Cool” Greek-Style Bow Tie Pasta

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

B is for 'Bow Ties Are Cool' Greek-Style Bow Tie Pasta (0003)

 

I know, I know! Two Doctor Who references in two days – what is this, a Whovian VeganMoFo? Actually, that sounds pretty awesome, but I’m afraid not. Next year, maybe?

So this is a pasta dish that I’ve been meaning to try for months now, and VeganMoFo gave me a pretty handy excuse. I absolutely adore the combination of garlic, lemon, tomatoes, red peppers (roasted! is there any other kind?), Kalamata olives, and spinach, so much so that I put them on all the things; see, for example, my Greek-tyle couscous, pizza, and potato recipes. The spinach in this one is chopped into small bits, on accounta wilted spinach leaves give me the heebie jeebies. But if you’d rather leave them intact, just add ’em to the veggies at the end and cook for several minutes.

Of course you can serve this on top of any shape pasta your heart desires: gemelli, rigatoni, elbows, shells. But bow ties?

 


 

“Bow Ties Are Cool” Greek-Style Pasta

Ingredients

16 ounces bow-tie pasta
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons minced garlic
4 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced into halves
4 ounces spinach, fresh
2 roasted red peppers, cut into bite-sized pieces (if home roasted, include the oily juices!)
1/2 to 1 cup Kalamata olives, depending on how much you like Kalamata olives (I LOVE THEM!), pitted and halved
1/4 cup sundried tomatoes (dehydrated, not those packed in oil)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon peel
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup chopped parsley

Directions

1. In a food processor, process the spinach until paste-like. Set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and cook on medium for several minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant and lightly browned. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook for another five minutes. Add the spinach, roasted red peppers, Kalamata olives, sundried tomatoes, lemon juice, lemon peel, and salt and pepper and continue to cook on medium, stirring well. Once the tomatoes have started to become tender, cover and simmer on medium.

3. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.

4. When done, toss the pasta with the veggies and parsley. Serve warm!

 

B is for 'Bow Ties Are Cool' Greek-Style Bow Tie Pasta (0004)

 
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“Triple Threat” and “Tomato Throwdown” End-of-Summer Pizzas

Saturday, August 31st, 2013

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You know you want it.
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Late August/early September is usually the point at which I find myself overwhelmed by the pints and quarts and sometimes gallons of tomatoes spilling out of my garden. 2013 – despite my lackluster record of plant care – has been no exception. Last year I made and froze a ton of tomato sauce – but since freezer space is at a premium this year (ugh so morbid!), that isn’t really an option. And so I’ve basically been eating them on everything: pizza, pasta, salad, sandwiches, as side and snacks, you name it.

Which brings me to the “Triple Threat” and “Tomato Throwdown” End-of-Summer Pizzas, which were last weekend’s attempt at using as many tomatoes as possible. Spoiler alert: the final tally was seven cups of tomatoes on two pizzas. Mission accomplished.

The “Triple Threat” pizza is actually rather light on fresh tomatoes (one to one and a half cups; my original goal of two cups was overreaching) – but the sundried tomatoes, red sauce, and (optional) tomato powder-infused crust make it extra-tomato-y. (Hmmm, maybe I should have named it the Quadruple Threat? Imma go out a limb here and guess that most of you don’t have tomato powder on hand, though, making Triple Threat the safer bet.) Of course you can also make your own pizza sauce for maximum impact (or swap out the store-bought sundried tomatoes for oven-roasted ones); I just ran out of time and stovetop space.

Also making an appearance here, and for the first time ever on this blog: Trader Joe’s Mozzarella-Style Shreds. I had some left over from an upcoming VeganMoFo dish, and in the spirit of emptying the fridge, tossed the rest of the bag on the pizza. Be careful – not all of TJ’s soy cheeses are vegan (boo!), so read those labels carefully.

In a surprise upset, the cheeseless “Tomato Throwdown” pizza proved my favorite of the two. The sauce is so amazing that additional toppings would just be so much noise. Shane said it best: “There’s just so much going on here. SO MANY FLAVORS!” And no less than six cups of tomatoes, yo.

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Product Review: Roland Kalamata Olives

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Olive you, giant jug of deliciousness!

fiveout of five stars

Words can’t describe my excitement at accidentally stumbling upon this item on Amazon! Prior to this discovery, the only place I could find Kalamata olives locally (I live in rural Missouri) was in the salad buffet at a local grocery chain, the nearest location of which is a 45-minute drive from my house. FOR $9.99 A POUND! Needless to say, up until this point Kalamata olives have been a rare luxury in my house.

While Roland’s Kalamata olives aren’t quite as tasty as the fresh ones I’ve enjoyed – the flavor is a bit more subtle and not as bitter; though my husband counts this as a plus! – they’re still very good, and at half the price you can’t go wrong. They also come packed in preservatives, so spoilage isn’t a problem. The jug, while large, has a handy screw top with a handle built right in. You’ll need some extra fridge space to store this sucker, since refrigeration is recommended.

Just be sure to rinse the olives before using them, otherwise you won’t taste much other than salt. A salad colander is perfect for the job. The olives are already pitted and halved, but be careful – I found the odd stray pit here and there.

Initially I just bought one jug for taste-testing purposes, but now I think I might get in on the Subscribe & Save program. It’s been just over a month and already I’ve devoured more than a pound of olives! Now that I have a ready supply on hand, I’ve been putting them in everything: pizza, pasta, breads, dips, spreads. Black olives just seem so meh to me now!

(This review is also available on Amazon. Please click through and vote it helpful if you think it so.)