Butternut Linguine with Crispy Sage

I’m sticking to my (mostly) vegan diet, and also trying to incorporate dietary restrictions due to a somewhat recent rosacea diagnosis. I’m still trying to figure out what my food triggers (things that make my face flush/make my rosacea worse) are, but I’ve heard that tomatoes are one food that can make rosacea worse, and I’ve had mixed results when I’ve eaten tomato products. It’s a tricky disease to figure out.

Anywho, I’ve been avoiding most tomato products for some time, which means no pasta with red sauce (one of my favorite things!). I stumbled upon this pasta recipe a few days ago while searching for ways to use up the butternut squashes sitting on my counter. While it’s definitely different than a tomato-based sauce, it’s still delicious. And, now I want to put crispy sage ON EVERYTHING. So. Good.

Butternut Linguine with Crispy Sage

Butternut 1

 

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 to 4 tbsp chopped fresh sage
  • 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Sea salt and/or kosher salt
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 12 ounces whole grain linguine
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the sage and toss it around in the skillet so it’s coated with oil. Crisp it up, then remove from the pan and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Set aside for later.
  2. Add the squash, onion and garlic to the skillet. Season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent.
  3. Add the broth, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the squash is nice and soft, 15 – 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions, until it’s al dente. Drain the pasta.
  5. Once the squash mixture is done cooking, remove it from the heat and let cool a bit. Pour the mixture into a blender and blend until smooth. Keep the skillet handy because you’ll be using it in just a bit.
  6. Combine the pasta, squash purée, and ¼ cup water in the skillet and toss until the pasta is coated, adding more water as needed. You could also use almond milk for a creamier, nuttier pasta sauce.
  7. Top the pasta with the crispy sage before serving.

I can’t do spicy foods anymore, but if you want a bit more flavor feel free to add black pepper, cayenne, or whatever other spices suit your fancy.

This recipe makes A LOT of pasta. The original recipe says it yields four large servings but you could easily get six servings out of this (or more if you add a side like a nice spinach salad).

Source: Adapted from Cookie and Kate

White Bean and Garlic Scape Dip

I went to the local farmer’s market yesterday before heading to the Minnesota Twins game with a friend from college. I wasn’t really looking for anything in particular, but found some great-looking kale and garlic scapes (the green part attached to the top of the bulbs). I’ve never used garlic scapes before, but I’ve heard a lot about them and was curious to find out how I might use them in recipes. They smell pretty garlic-y, as the dog waiting at the crosswalk near the market surely noticed as it sniffed my bag.

This recipe is pretty simple, though it took me a bit of time to make because I cooked my beans from dry. I had to play around with the ingredients to get the taste just right, but it turned out pretty good.

White Bean and Garlic Scape Dip

Dip 1

Ingredients

  • 2 cups navy beans, canned and drained OR cooked from dry
  • 1/3 cup garlic scapes
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and blend together until smooth. Adjust ingredients as desired.

Source: Adapted from Mountain Momma Cooks

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

Here we are on Sunday evening. I’m exhausted after my first full week at my school site, and wanted to whip up some sort of tasty bread to serve as comfort food before heading back tomorrow. This focaccia recipe is dairy-free, and I had most of the ingredients at home already. Enjoy!

Rosemary Focaccia Bread

 

bread panIMGP3199

Ingredients

  • 1 envelope active dry yeast
  • 1 3/4 cups warm water
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 2 to 5 sprigs fresh rosemary (depends on size; you want about 2 Tbsp of leaves)
  • A few pinches of sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Wait a few minutes for it to get foamy, and you’re all set to go!
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flours and salt. Add the yeast mix and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Mix with spoon until it’s pretty smooth.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add flour as needed, to keep the dough from sticking to you and the surface.
  4. In a large bowl, pour 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Put the dough in the bowl, and cover all sides with the oil. Cover with a kitchen towel and place in a warm place for about two hours. The dough should be about doubled in bulk when the time is up.
  5. Rub about 1 teaspoon of olive oil onto the sides and bottom of a baking sheet. Punch down the dough and stretch it out to cover the bottom of the baking sheet. Cover again with a kitchen towel and let sit for about 35 minutes.
  6. When there are about ten minutes of resting time left, move one of the oven racks to the middle, if needed, and preheat the oven to 450. Prepare the rosemary by washing thoroughly and stripping the leaves from the stems. Cut up any large leaves.
  7. Once the dough has rested, sprinkle the rosemary over the dough. Make dimples in the dough using your fingertips, and drizzle 2 to 3 teaspoons of olive oil over the dough. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  8. Place in the oven and turn the heat down to 375. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
  9. When the bread is done, you can remove it to a cooling rack if you’d like, though I just ate it right from the pan. ; )

I enjoyed my focaccia with a little tomato basil soup that I whipped up using the remnants of the canned tomatoes used in last week’s ratatouille recipe.

Next time I will probably mix some rosemary, and maybe other herbs, into the dough to get more herb-y flavor throughout the bread.

Source: Adapted from the kitchn

Vinaigrettes

I usually post on a weekly basis, but was out for most of last week at Pre-Service Orientation (PSO) for my VISTA position (that starts tomorrow!!). PSO was pretty exhausting, so I was looking to make something quick and simple, that I could whip up with little or no time spent cooking.

Since going dairy free I’ve found that I can no longer eat some of my favorite salad dressings, which is probably a good thing because they’re not all that healthy. I’ve tried a few good vinaigrettes here and there, but nothing really beats the taste of homemade.

Herbed Vinaigrette

Herb Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup fresh packed fresh herbs
  • 1/4 cup plus one tsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp chopped onion
  • 2 cloves gralic
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

Directions:

  1. Put everything into a food processor or blender and blend well.

I used basil, thyme, parsley, and a few leaves of rosemary in this recipe, and it turned out wonderful. I love this viniagrette on spinach or romaine, and am betting it would make a great dip for bread as well.

Source: Adapted from Kitchen Explorers at PBS.org

Red Wine-Mustard Vinaigrette

IMGP2883

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 5 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all of the ingredients except for the olive oil.
  2. Add olive oil slowly, adding about one tablespoon at a time, while whisking mixture continuously.

Source: Orangette

Mashed Potatoes with Avocado and Cilantro Pesto

I often find myself with leftover ingredients after using only a tiny bit in a recipe, particularly when cooking dishes with fresh herbs that only come in bunches (I’m looking at you, cilantro).  After using some  cilantro in my chana masala,  I was looking to make something tasty that would use up the rest of the bunch, and settled on a nice pesto.

Cilantro Pesto

Cilantro pesto

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cilantro leaves, packed
  • a few basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup blanched almonds
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water, if needed

Instructions

  1. Put everything but the olive oil in a food processor or blender.
  2. Pulse a few times; alternate adding olive oil and blending until the pesto reaches desired consistency. Add water if it seems like things aren’t mixing well.

Source: Inspired by SimplyRecipes, but mostly just thrown together in the moment.

Later in the day when I decided to make dinner, I realized that I had half  of a quickly browning avocado in my fridge. Cilantro and avocado are wonderful together (hello guac!) but I was more interested in something that would go with leftover grilled chicken. I poked around in the kitchen and found a fairly large red potato, and decided to make some sort of potato/avocado/pesto dish.

Mashed Potatoes with Avocado and Cilantro Pesto

Pesto potatoes

Makes 1 to 2 servings, depending on your appetite, but can easily be adjusted to make more.

Ingredients:

  • One large red potato
  • Half an avocado
  •  2 tsp cilantro pesto
  • Earth Balance
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Cook the potato by either boiling it in a pot of water or wrapping in a wet paper towel and microwaving until tender enough to mash.
  2. Place potato in a bowl and mash slightly. Add Earth Balance, avocado, and pesto.  Mash everything together until desired consistency is achieved –  I like some lumps in my potatoes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper.

I will admit that these green potatoes look a little weird, but they’re super tasty.

Source: My own culinary genius.