How To: Quickie Meal – Pasta with Garlic, Red Pepper Flakes and Broccoli Rabe

IMG_9230

When it comes to taking care of household chores we all have our roles.

I take care of the cooking, he takes care of the garbage, we both share day to day clean up and laundry duties. I think we have a pretty good groove going. And sometimes, we both step out of our chore box to help each other out, which is always a nice and welcome surprise.

IMG_9221

IMG_9225

Normally when I’m planning on going out for dinner, my husband and daughter dine on leftovers or a frozen pizza always kept on hand in case of a dinner emergency. Well, this past week when I was venturing out for a girls night out, I whipped up this super easy and super delicious pasta, surprising my hubby with a restaurant-worthy meal. #wifepoints

IMG_9223

Even if you don’t normally take on the “cook” role, this pasta is so easy you may choose the cook rather than clean up duties tonight. With just a few simple ingredients – olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and salt, the pasta is so flavourful. If you normally fear broccoli rabe for it’s usual bitterness, the boiling of this grown up version of broccoli takes away the sharp bitter flavour.

And this one big bowl of pasta is also a one pot meal. So you could score double points by taking on the cooking and clean up duty. But probably better to keep this a secret – no one wants to pick up extra household chores!

Dara
IMG_9230

Pasta with garlic, red pepper flakes, and broccoli rabe

Serves 4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Website Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound whole wheat short pasta
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe (ends removed and chopped)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 Tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 Tsp kosher salt
  • parmesan cheese (grated)

Note

Use any short pasta you have on hand - penne, rigatoni, fusilli, even macaroni would work.  I used half a box each of penne and macaroni because that's what I had. You can adjust the red pepper flakes depending on your spice level preference.

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta according to package direction. 5 minutes before it's finished, add the broccoli rabe. Drain pasta and broccoli rabe and place in a large serving bowl.
2. In the same pot, add oil, garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes. Heat over medium heat until fragrant and the garlic is starting to brown.
3. Pour over pasta and broccoli rabe mixture and toss to coat. Add as much parmesan as you'd like and toss again. Serve with additional parmesan on the side.

How To: Recipe Makeover – Vegetarian Cobb Salad

IMG_9174

I know this title may read like an oxymoron.

Bacon and chicken are two of the ingredients typically found in a Cobb salad, joining eggs, blue cheese, tomatoes, and avocados. But who says you can’t deviate from the original now and then? What would life be like if we were all the same, right?

IMG_9169

When I posted this picture of my unique cobb salad creation on instagram, one person commented this was definitely not a cobb salad. It may not be typical, but it is MY cobb salad, my VEGETARIAN cobb salad to boot!

IMG_9172

Instead of chicken and bacon, we’ve got black beans and sweet potatoes. Instead of blue cheese, creamy and tangy goat cheese. Instead of eggs, sweet beets. I’ve kept the usual avocado and tomatoes. And when all of these ingredients are arranged oh so prettily on top of a bed of romaine, a vegetarian cobb salad is born. Top it all of with an herby mustard vinaigrette and you’ve got one heck of a delicious summer meal.

So call it what you want – a vegetarian cobb salad, a fully loaded salad, a rainbow salad, or just an extremely tasty salad. Bottom line, make this salad.

Dara

IMG_9174

Vegetarian Cobb Salad

Serves 2-4
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 large head of romaine
  • 2 sweet potatoes (chopped)
  • 1 can of sliced beets (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 large avocado (diced)
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese (crumbled)

Salad Dressing

  • 1 Tsp garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 2 Tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • 1/4 Tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Note

This may not be your typical cobb salad, but it is just as delicious. Feel free to sub the usual blue cheese for the goat cheese, or feta would also work well. Chickpeas or kidney beans can replace the black beans. The recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a crowd.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 425 and toss sweet potatoes with 1 tbsp olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, or until brown and tender. Set aside.
2. On a large plate place a layer of romaine lettuce. Top evenly in rows with sweet potatoes, tomatoes, black beans, avocado, goat cheese, and beets. Top with dressing or serve on the side for everyone to toss themselves.
Salad Dressing
3. Place all ingredients in a bowl and whisk until combined.

How To: Healthy Side – Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad with Feta, Dried Cranberries, and Cashews

IMG_8469

I know I’ve created a good dish when my husband, after taking one bite looks at me and states “this is really good.”

This coming from a man who thinks kraft dinner is the be all-end-all to mac and cheese (I may have mentioned his large stash on the blog before). So that is how I knew I had hit recipe gold – when after taking a bite of this dish, a salad no less, I heard those very words from his mouth.

IMG_8465

IMG_8466

What makes this salad so delicious isn’t just plain old romaine – just like our brussels sprouts slaw, shredded brussels sprouts are the base for this salad. It is then loaded with creamy and salty feta, sweet and chewy cranberries, and crunchy cashews. All the textures and flavours a crave-worthy salad should have.

IMG_8468

I have to admit I cheated a little here – sure shredding the sprouts yourself doesn’t take that much time as we mentioned before and you can do it even faster with the help of a food processor, but with two kiddos at home, I will take every short cut I can get.

You know you’ve created something special when a brussels sprouts salad can outshine a box of KD.

Dara

IMG_8473

Shredded Brussels Sprout Salad with Feta, Cranberries, and Cashews

Serves 2-3
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Salad, Side Dish

Ingredients

  • 9 oz bags shredded brussels sprouts (You can also buy whole brussels sprouts and shred them yourself)
  • 3/4 cups cashews
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup feta (chopped)
  • 6 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tsp dijon mustard

Note

This salad can easily be doubled or tripled to feed a crowd. Any nut could be substituted for the cashews - walnuts, pecans or almonds would all be great. If you can't find pre-shredded brussels sprouts, use your food processor attachment to shred them from whole.

Directions

1. In a large bowl combine brussels sprouts, cashews, cranberries, and feta.
2. In a small jar with a tight fitting lid, add olive oil, vinegar, dijon mustard and honey. Shake until thoroughly combined.
3. Pour dressing over salad and toss until evenly coated. Serve immediately.

 

How To: Quickie Meal – One Pan Burrito Bowls

IMG_8262

You may notice my recipes now have a bit of a theme – slow cooker, one pot, stove top only.

Yes, I’m going the quick and easy, low maintenance, less clean up route, as per my last post the ever hunger newborn prevents me from cooking any meal that requires any sort of involved prep or cooking. But the fact that our oven has been broken for the past three weeks and will likely not be fixed for another three has also lead me to look to other methods of cooking to get dinner on the table.

IMG_8245

IMG_8246

I didn’t realize how much I rely on my oven – throwing a bunch of veggies, sweet potatoes, and protein of my choice on a pan to roast is my usual go-to “quickie” meal. So looking for ways that are just as quick without the use of the oven is what lead me to this delicious find.

We love our burritos on how to eat – so it should come as no surprise that I absolutely fell in love with this one pot burrito bowl. All the usual burrito fixings minus the tortilla. Which means more fillings and toppings – which is all the good stuff!

IMG_8249

IMG_8264

Rice, beans, corn, peppers, onions, tomatoes, spices, and some vegetarian ground round all cook together in one pot. Any ground meat of your choice will do here, or just double up on the beans. After about a 25 minute simmer and a couple handfuls of cheese, you add your favourite toppings and dinner is served.

IMG_8261

I sure don’t miss my oven when I’m digging into this bowl of deliciousness, but I sure do miss it when the cookie craving hits! If anyone is baking cookies, I will gladly accept! Burrito bowls for cookies seem like a fair trade, no?

Dara

IMG_8265

One Pan Burrito Bowls

Serves 4-6 (depends on how hungry you are!)
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Website Adapted from I Heart Nap Time

Ingredients

  • 2 shallots (diced)
  • 1 red pepper (chopped)
  • 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Package yves vegetarian ground round
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can corn (drained)
  • 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup long grain brown rice
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 Tsp chili powder
  • 2 Cups water
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese

Note

I kept these bowls vegetarian, but you could sub ground chicken, turkey, or beef for the soy ground round if you prefer. Top with your favourite taco or nacho fixings - chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sour cream or Greek yogurt, avocado, additional cheese and salsa, green onions, some hot sauce would all be great additions.

Directions

1. Heat olive oil in a large non stick skillet over medium high heat and add shallots and red peppers. Saute for about 5 minutes, until soft. Add yves ground round and break it up into small pieces with a spoon.
2. Add black beans, corn, salsa, tomatoes, rice, taco seasoning, and chili powder to skillet and mix to combine. Add in water and bring to a boil. Cover pan, reduce heat to low, and simmer until all the water is absorbed and rice is cooked and soft, about 25-30 minutes.
3. Remove lid, add cheese, cover and cook until cheese is melted. This should only take another couple minutes.
4. Spoon into bowls and serve topped with lettuce, chopped avocado, Greek yogurt, and additional salsa.

How To: Big Batch – Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

IMG_7648

After making this recipe three times over the past two weeks, I thought it could now definitely be deemed “blog worthy.”

I loved it so much that the last time I made it, I doubled the recipe and made an extra pan to store in the freezer. Yes, at just over 38 weeks pregnant I am in full on nesting mode. And I know that having this delicious and filling lasagna ready to pop into the oven with a 2.5 year old and newborn at home will surely be a lifesaver.

IMG_7642

IMG_7644

But I must say, this Mexican lasagna comes together so fast, it is the perfect weeknight meal. Just like our enchilada casserole, corn tortillas replace the standard lasagna noodles. Instead of the Italian tomato sauce, your favourite salsa is used to cover the bean, spinach, and cheesy layers.

IMG_7645

IMG_7646

IMG_7647

If I say this is worthy of a triple recipe repeat in a mere two weeks, you owe it to yourself to at least give it a go once!

Dara

IMG_7649

Vegetarian Mexican Lasagna

Serves 6
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Main Dish
Misc Freezable
Website Adapted from Kiwi and Bean

Ingredients

  • 10 Oz bag spinach
  • 1 Large jar of salsa
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 red pepper (chopped)
  • 1 Small log goat cheese
  • 1 1/2 Tsp chili powder
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 1/2 Cups shredded cheddar cheese

Note

I like serving this casserole with a dollop of Greek yogurt, a squeeze of lime, and a mixed green salad with avocado and tomatoes. This dish also freezes very well so it makes a great make ahead option.

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 pyrex dish with cooking spray and set aside.
2. Heat a large non stick skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Cook spinach in pan until wilted and set aside.
3. Spread about 1/3 of the jar of salsa evenly over the bottom of the pyrex dish. Lay 6 tortillas evenly on top. Spread another 1/3 of salsa on top of the tortillas and top with spinach, beans, red pepper, chili powder, and goat cheese. Lay remaining 6 tortillas on top and cover with remaining salsa and cheddar cheese.
4. Cover pan with foil and bake for about 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. If the cheese isn't browned yet, broil for another 5 minutes. Serve topped with sour cream or greek yogurt and guacamole.