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olivepasta_sm.jpgPenne pasta with rich Italian flavors of kalamata olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and garlic. Fresh herbs and lemon juice brighten the flavors, and crispy garlic breadcrumbs add crunch and flavor. Easy roasted chickpeas add protein for a full one dish meal.

2 T olive oil
6 medium garlic cloves, minced (~2T)
1 T minced anchovy fillets (4-6 fillets)
1 T tomato paste
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 c. drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, rinse, patted dry, and cut into thin strips
1 c. pitted kalamata olives, rinsed and coarsely chopped
2 lg. slices sandwich bread, torn into quarters
1 3/4 tsp. salt
1 lb. pasta (we used penne)
1/2-1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
3 T chopped fresh parsley leaves (optional)
1/2 c. fresh basil leaves, roughly torn
pepper
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Optional: Oven Roasted Chickpeas
1 15 ounce can organic chickpeas

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon chunky sea salt

Heat the oven 400°F. Pour the chickpeas into a colander and drain and rinse very well under running water. Pat dry.

Toss the chickpeas with the olive oil and spread out on a large cookie sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes or until brown and crispy. Turn and stir every ten minutes so they don't burn. Take out and toss to taste with salt and spices.


Combine 1 T olive oil, 1 T garlic, anchovies, tomato paste, red pepper flakes, sun-dried tomatoes, and olives in medium bowl. Set aside.

Pulse bread in food processor until coarsely ground, about 16 1-second pulses. Heat remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add bread crumbs and cook, stirring frequently, until beginning to brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in remaining tablespoon garlic and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook and stir until garlic is fragrant and bread crumbs are dark golden brown, 1-2 minutes longer. Transfer to plate to cool. Wipe out skillet with paper towels.

Meanwhile, bring 4 quarts of water to boil over high heat. Add rigatoni and remaining 1 1/2 tsp. salt. While pasta is cooking, return now-empty skillet to medium heat and add olive mixture. Cook until olive mixture is aromatic and oil has turned rusty red, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove 3/4 c. pasta cooking water from pot and add to skillet. Bring to simmer and cook for 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat while pasta finishes cooking. When pasta is just shy of al dente, drain pasta, reserving 1/2 c. cooking water. Transfer back to pot, add olive mixture and toss over medium heat until pasta absorbs most of liquid, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 c. Parmesan. Remove pot from heat and stir in parsley and basil, adjust seasoning with pepper. Sprinkle with bread crumbs, serve with lemon wedges and extra cheese.

From Cooks Illustrated, July & August 2008 

creamy_pasta_sm.jpgA simple, hearty, all-in-one pasta dish with main flavors of sausage, garlic, and fresh pepper. Mushrooms, onion, and wilted greens round out the vegetables. Feel free to use whichever dark leafy green you like. Could easily be a good vegetarian meal or side dish if you omit the meat.

1 pound whole wheat pasta, like penne or farfalle
1 large onion, diced
8 ounces button (or portabella) mushrooms, sliced
greens: 1 bunch chard (about 1 pound), stems removed and diced, leaves cut into ribbons
            OR 1 bunch kale, stems removed and discarded, leaves chopped
            OR 1 bunch rapini, stalks removed and discarded, leaves and florets chopped
2 sausage links (8 ounces), sliced, or chopped ham (optional)
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
3 ounces cream cheese, marscapone, or other soft creamy cheese
1/2 cup pasta water, saved from cooking pasta
kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
optional: red pepper flakes

Cook the pasta in a large amount of boiling water with a good palm-ful of salt. Just before draining, use a measuring cup to dip out about a half cup of the starchy pasta water, and set this aside.

If using meat, saute it over medium-high heat until brown and crispy, set aside.

Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat . Add the onion with a pinch of salt and cook until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the mushrooms and another pinch of salt. Cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid, the liquid has boiled away, and the mushrooms are turning golden. Stir in the diced chard stems and the sausage. Cook until the stems are softened and the sausage is warmed through.

Clear a space in the middle of the pan and add the garlic. Cook just until the garlic is fragrant, then stir it into the rest of the vegetables. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the chard leaves. Continue stirring frequently until the leaves are bright green and wilted.

Stir in the cooked pasta and the cream cheese. When the cheese has melted, pour in half of the reserved cooking water to make a creamy sauce. If the sauce seems too thick, pour in the remaining pasta water a little at a time.

Grind the fresh pepper right over the pasta. Don't be shy! Taste as you go to gauge how peppery the pasta has become and how you like it. Season with additional salt, if desired.

Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to one week.

Original recipe


Carmelized onion, sliced garlic, and soft and tender kale make a wonderful light and flavorful pasta topping, perfect for a fancy side dish with a formal meal or by itself for a light dinner. My hands-down favorite use for fresh kale.

1 pound lacinato kale (about 2 bunches), large center ribs and stems removed, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
8 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 pound spaghetti or linguine
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Finely grated Parmesan cheese

Rinse kale. Drain; transfer to bowl with some water still clinging.

Heat 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally, about 6 minutes. Add sliced garlic and sprinkle with salt; cook until onion is golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add kale and remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and toss until wilted, about 3 minutes. Cover pot and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue cooking until kale is very tender, stirring occasionally and adding water by teaspoonfuls if dry, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in medium pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid. Add cooked spaghetti to kale mixture in pot. Add lemon juice and 2 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid; toss to combine, adding more liquid by tablespoonfuls if dry. Sprinkle spaghetti with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

Original recipe

falafel_sm.jpg

These homemade falafel made with canned chickpeas, onion, and fresh herbs are easy, delicious, and healthy. The mix can be made ahead of time, and the patties cook up quickly in a frying pan with a little oil or baked in the oven. Adjust the red pepper to taste: even 1/4 tsp was fairly spicy to me.

1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans
1 small onion, finely chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Serve with: pita bread, cucumber, hummus, lemon-yogurt sauce, lettuce and tomato

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drain and rinse the garbanzo beans. Put in a medium sized bowl and smash with a fork. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Form into small balls, about 1 1/2″ in diameter and slightly flatten.

To bake: Place onto an oiled baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes on each side, until nicely browned (since it's baked, only the part actually touching the pan will be browned and crispy).

To saute: Heat 1 tsp. olive oil in a large frying pan over med-high heat. Add falafel, cook until brown and crisp on both sides.

Makes about 18 patties.

Original recipe


A sweet, nutty tofu dish with a nice texture from the saute-steam cooking method.

2 cups diced tofu, extra firm
3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
1/4 cup white sesame seeds
1 Tbsp peanut or olive oil
1 lime, juiced
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp honey
1/2-1 tsp red pepper flakes (or cayenne) (optional
3 garlic cloves, grated or chopped
garnish: chopped cilantro and fresh chopped ginger/garlic
Chop tofu into cubes or thin slices and marinate in 3-4 tbsp soy sauce soy sauce and 2 Tbsp water for five minutes (while you do the first saute above).

Add oil, garlic, ginger, peanut butter, agave syrup, lime juice and a pinch of sesame seeds to a frying pan. You might need to add a bit of water to keep from sticking, but don't worry if it's thick.
Saute on medium-high heat for a minute.

Add tofu to pan with the peanut mixture.
Stir/toss well over high heat for a minute to coat tofu.

Turn heat to medium. Cover pan and allow steam and heat to cook tofu for a few minutes.Constantly move covered pan around, to preventing burning.
Uncover pan and check for doneness of tofu. It should be fluffy from the steam and cooked through.
If the mixture looks dry, add a Tbsp of water and a tsp of soy sauce and re-cover to steam.

Once the tofu looks fluffy with a few browned edges, turn heat to medium-low. Sprinkle in red pepper flakes and toss tofu a few times-gently.
Pour in sesame seeds. Allow the seeds to stick to tofu. Add more or less if necessary to coat about 1/2 of the total surface area of the tofu.
Saute sesame crusted tofu for a few minutes- uncovered. Sesame seeds should be crusted and lightly toasted.
Garnish with garlic/ginger/cilantro.

Original recipe
orangetempeh_sm.jpgMy absolute favorite way to eat tempeh: sauteed until golden, and glazed in a tangy, sweet orange sauce. I always seem to forget how thin the sauce is starting out, but don't worry, it will thicken as it cooks.

1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (3-4 large juicy oranges) (I usually just use bottled)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons mirin - Balsamic vinegar can be substituted for a tangier version
2 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
2 small garlic cloves, crushed
roughly 10 ounces of tempeh (or extra-firm tofu)
1 tablespoon olive oil
optional:
1/2 lime
a handful of cilantro leaves
Put the orange juice in a small bowl. Add the soy sauce, mirin (or balsamic), and maple syrup, ground coriander, and garlic. Mix together and set aside.

Cut the tempeh (or tofu) into thin-ish, bite-sized pieces, and if working with tofu, pat dry with a paper towel.

Put the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the tempeh and fry for 5 minutes, or until golden underneath. Turn and cook the other side for another 5 minutes, or until golden. Pour the orange juice mixture into the pan and simmer for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced to a lovely thick glaze. Turn the tempeh once more during this time and spoon the sauce over the tempeh from time to time.

Serve the tempeh drizzled with any remaining sauce and a squeeze of lime, with the cilantro scattered on top.

Original recipe



Like most stir fry style dishes, feel free to vary the choice of vegetables. The peanut sauce is addictive with tofu and also works well as a dipping sauce for eggrolls. Can be served over rice instead of pasta.

8 ounces uncooked fettuccine
1 pound firm tofu, drained and cubed
1 cup (2-inch) sliced green onions
1 cup matchstick-cut carrots
1 cup asparagus, cut into 1" pieces
1 red bell pepper, cut in strips
Sauce:
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 teaspoons chile paste with garlic
4 garlic cloves, minced
Combine sauce ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until smooth, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Sauté or bake tofu until browned on all sides. Remove from pan, sauté vegetables until tender. Add sauce; stir to coat.
Cook pasta in boiling water 8 minutes, omitting salt and fat. Place pasta mixture in a large bowl. Top with vegetable/tofu mixture.

Nutritional Information (for 2 c. serving)
Calories: 465
Fat:14.5g

Original recipe

southwestpastasalad.jpg

A fresh tasting pasta salad with roasted southwestern flavors. Double the dressing to add a bit more flavor. Add chopped cooked chicken or steak for a full meal.

2  poblano peppers
2  red bell peppers
2  ears shucked corn
4  cups  hot cooked penne (about 8 ounces uncooked pasta)
2  cups  halved grape tomatoes
1  cup  finely chopped onion (optional)
1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
1  chopped peeled avocado
3/4  cup  (3 ounces) queso fresco
Dressing:
2-4  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
1-2  tablespoon  extra virgin olive oil
1  teaspoon  salt
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/2  teaspoon  ground cumin
1  garlic clove, minced

Preheat broiler.

Cut poblano and bell peppers in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves, skin sides up, on a foil-lined baking sheet; flatten with hand. Add corn to baking sheet. Broil 18 minutes or until peppers are blackened and corn is lightly browned, turning corn occasionally. Place peppers in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel and coarsely chop. Cut kernels from ears of corn.

Combine juice, oil, salt, black pepper, cumin, and garlic in a large bowl; stir. Add peppers, corn, pasta, and remaining ingredients except cheese; toss. Top with cheese.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup pasta and 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese)
Calories: 234 (29% from fat)
Fat: 7.5g (sat 1.6g,mono 4.1g,poly 1g)
Original recipe

Soft, homemade crepes filled with ricotta and topped with tomato sauce take the place of manicotti shells in this rich Italian dish. Suggested additions to the filling: cooked Italian sausage, chopped spinach, sauteed vegetables. Note: making large crepes requires thin batter and a skillful hand, smaller ones are easier to cook and flip.

For the crepes
1 large egg
1 cup flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup whole milk, more as needed to thin the batter
canola oil, as needed to lightly grease the pan

For the filling
16 ounces ricotta or cottage cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan or locatelli cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups marinara sauce
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Add the pasta ingredients to the bowl of a blender. Blend, adding more milk one teaspoon at a time, until batter is a thin, almost runny consistency. Heat a nonstick 8-inch skillet over medium-low heat. Brush pan lightly with oil, if needed (see note). Hold pan at an angle, and swirl pan as you pour in enough batter to coat bottom of skillet. Cook 30 to 45 seconds, flip and cook for 15 more seconds. And don't forget, the first one or two might end up being sacrificial until you get the hang of swirling the pan.Transfer to a flat dish or tray. Repeat with remaining batter.

Preheat oven to 350F. Spread ½ cup of marinara sauce into the bottom of a 9-inch by 13-inch casserole dish. Combine all the filling ingredients in a medium bowl; mix well. Lay pasta crepes on a flat surface and spoon an event amount of filling in a long strip down the center of each one. Roll crepes closed, and place seam-side down into the casserole dish. Evenly pour remaining sauce over filled crepes. Sprinkle remaining grated cheese over top and bake 20 minutes, until golden and bubbly. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve immediately.

Original recipe

Sauteed tofu gets more of a fish style preparation with fresh, tangy Mediterranean flavors: tomatoes, green olives, basil, oregano, bay, and marjoram. Don't skip the pickle juice, it sounds weird, but adds a vinegary tang that makes the whole dish work.

1 14oz package of extra firm tofu.
1 lime, juiced
2 teaspoons butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
4 large tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped (or a 28 oz can of diced tomatoes)
2 tablespoons liquid from a jar of sweet pickles
10 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 green olives, pitted
Slice the tofu into four slabs and pat dry. Lay them on a plate and cover with the lime juice.
Heat the oil in a pan and add the onions. Saute for 5 minutes on medium-low.
Add the garlic and saute for 3 minutes more.
Add the tomatoes, turn the heat up a little and saute for 15 minutes, stirring often
Add the pickle juice, herbs, salt, and olives, saute for another 10 minutes or until most of the liquid is cooked off.
Remove the bay leaf.
In another pan, melt the butter on medium to medium high heat.
Add the tofu and fry for 3 minutes on each side.
Remove from pan and top with the Veracruz sauce.

Original recipe
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