Archive for the 'Pasta' Category

Summer’s Bounty

Spaghetti with Tomatoes and Coconut Bacon

While my sister was away on holiday, I raided her backyard garden. Because I’m a pirate and that’s what pirates do. Arrrr! That’s pirate talk for “I like vegetables.”

Back in the kitchen with my loot, I made a simple pasta dish so that the freshly picked from the garden tomatoes and basil can really shine. It’s so simple and easy, a recipe is hardly necessary.

Just chop said tomatoes and chiffonade the basil leaves. Mix together with a minced garlic clove, a splash of balsamic vinegar, a dash of extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Toss with your favorite pasta, I like whole wheat spaghetti noodles. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast and top with coconut bacon, because that’s how we pirates roll.

Disclosure: Alas, I’m not really a pirate. I actually had permission to help myself to the bountiful garden. Really. But don’t tell Mom I’ve been fibbing. The recipe is for real though.

Related Posts
King Oyster Mushroom Pappardelle Noodles
Tomato Bread Salad
Yellow Tomato Bruschetta

Noodles in Spicy Peanut Sauce From Wildly Affordable Organic

Noodles in Spicy Peanut Sauce

The newest book to plop on my doorstep for review is Wildly Affordable Organic: Eat Fabulous Food, Get Healthy, and Save the Planet – All on $5 a Day or Less by Linda Watson. I remember when I first started buying more organic food way back when, it was definitely a shocker compared to prices for conventional food and produce.

I’ve acclimated now and shop at the farmers market for what’s in season and wouldn’t think of buying non-organic produce, especially anything listed on the Organic Dirty Dozen. Wildly Affordable Organic is helpful for those just starting out with shopping, cooking and eating tips and strategies, as well as seasonal menus and recipes.

Noodles in Spicy Peanut Sauce

The book begun as an experiment to eat well on a food stamp budget which I found quite interesting (that could have been a whole book in itself). The plans and menus are less interesting for me as I rarely follow them.

But I do like to try new recipes, not all of them are vegan though, some call for eggs and dairy. But in the back, there is a list of which recipes are vegan-friendly. I tried the Noodles in Spicy Peanut Sauce with Seasonal Vegetables – it’s quick and simple to make with easy to find ingredients.

To get you organized and onto the organic path, I’m giving away a copy of Wildly Affordable Organic.

To enter the giveaway:
Leave a comment in this post with your favorite must-have organic food, affordable or not. Comment must be made by midnight PST on Sunday, July 24th; one entry per person. No purchase is necessary to enter or win.

One winner will be randomly selected (using from the comments received and announced in a new post on Monday, July 25th. Winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be randomly chosen. Prize awarded is the book that I received from the publisher (approximate retail value $17.00). I did not drool on it.

Official Rules
Open only to U.S. residents age 18 and over. Odds of winning depend on the number of entries received. Void where prohibited by law. Any tax is the sole responsibility of the winner. Winner releases Chow Vegan from any liability arising out of participation in this giveaway or the acceptance, use or misuse of the prize.

Disclosure: I received the book free of charge from the publisher to review. The opinions and experience with the book expressed herein are my own. There was no pay to say.

This post also contains Amazon links, I get a few coins tossed my way if you click on any of the links and make a purchase of anything.

Vegetable Fettuccine Alfredo

Vegetable Fettuccine Alfredo

It’s been unusually cool here lately, I’m not complaining as I prefer the cool to the broiling hot. And it’s much more pleasant to be cooking in the kitchen when I’m not sweating all over the place.

So I feel like having something a little heartier but still somewhat light. On the menu is fettuccine alfredo – fettuccine noodles in a rich, creamy white sauce tossed with fresh vegetables.

Next time though, I think I’ll use regular organic fettuccine instead of the whole wheat. It just tasted a little too “wheaty” for me. Whole wheat spaghetti is fine, you don’t notice any difference but for fettuccine it’s a bit much, at least it was for me.

Vegetable Fettuccine Alfredo
Serves 2

8 ounces whole wheat fettuccine
1 teaspoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1/2 cup broccoli
1/2 cup asparagus
3 ounces crimini mushrooms
Handful of cherry tomatoes

Bring a large pot of water to boil, cook the pasta according to the package directions.

Heat a saute pan or wok, when hot add the olive oil, the garlic and then the broccoli, asparagus and mushrooms, cook until desired tenderness. Set aside. Slice the cherry tomatoes in half and set aside.

Creamy White Sauce
1 12-ounce package silken tofu
1 tablespoon vegan butter
1/4 cup vegan sour cream
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup strong vegetable broth

Mash the tofu in a bowl, combine the rest of the sauce ingredients except the broth. Blend, adding just enough broth to make it smooth and creamy. Transfer to a sauce pan and heat over low heat, do not boil.

To plate, add desired amount of sauce to the pasta and vegetables, mix well and divide between plates. Alternatively, place pasta/vegetables on plates and spoon sauce over the top. I like mine premixed.

Chinese Veggie Beef Noodles

Chinese Veggie Beef Noodles

What do you do when there’s nothing in the house to eat? You open the refrigerator door and to your horror, you realize that in your very busy week, you somehow managed to forget to go to the grocery store. The fridge is absolutely empty, devoid of anything edible, save a few jars of condiments and a carrot that’s been there for who knows how long. And now it’s too late, you’re too tired, and too lazy to go to the store. And you don’t feel like having take-out.

You get creative.

I found some dried spaghetti noodles in the cupboard. Ok, that’s something. And there’s a box of veggie burgers in the freezer – things are starting to look up. So how do I combine them into something tasty? With vegetarian oyster sauce!

Inspiration comes from my Dad, I remember him cooking up a similar dish, Chinese Spaghetti, when I was little. This is my “semi-homemade” vegan version, it’s a very quick and easy meal for those “way-too-busy-and-nothing-in-the-fridge” days.

Chinese Veggie Beef Noodles
Serves 2

4 ounces dried whole wheat spaghetti
2 veggie burger patties
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Vegetarian oyster sauce (also known as vegetarian mushroom sauce)
2 sprigs of cilantro, chopped

Cook the spaghetti according to the package directions, drain and set aside. Heat the burger patties enough to be able to cut into bite-sized pieces.

Heat a wok until hot, add the oil, swirl to coat the sides of the wok. Add the burger pieces, stir. Add the noodles and stir, try not to let the noodles stick to the wok. Add the veggie oyster sauce to taste, about 2 tablespoons or so. Stir to combine well. Divide between two plates and garnish with the cilantro.

Cold Soba Noodle Salad

cold soba noodle salad

Once upon a time, there was a Japanese restaurant in downtown Palo Alto, California. It was one of my favorite restaurants and I think one of the first East-West fusion restaurants around. They were very innovative yet the food was very simple. They had some of the best vegan dishes. So sad when they closed down. This recipe is inspired by their Asian salad. Now if I could just remember what was in their vegetable roll, I’ll be golden.

Cold Soba Noodle Salad
Serves 2

6 ounces buckwheat soba noodles
1/4 cup rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 hearts of palm
2 small ripe tomatoes

In a large bowl, mix the rice vinegar, soy sauce and olive oil; set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the noodles and cook for about one minute or according to the package directions. Drain the noodles and rinse briefly under cold water. Add the noodles to the dressing and mix to coat well. Cover and chill for an hour or until cold.

Divide the noodles between two shallow bowls, drizzle a little bit of the dressing on top of the noodles. Quarter the hearts of palm lengthwise and slice the tomatoes, place on top of the noodles and serve.

Red Swiss Chard Pasta

red swiss chard pasta

Sometimes I feel like having pasta. This is one of those times. I like to use fusilli, it’s my pasta of choice for a dish like this. I’ve tried penne several times now and I find it’s just a little too much pasta per bite. Why do I say this? Remember that frozen pasta episode on Top Chef last year where one of the contestants was whining that he didn’t want to use fusilli because it was “boring” and everybody uses it. I was all hey I like fusilli. What? You don’t watch Top Chef? Well, I won’t be watching anymore either. The cable company finally caught on that I was getting more channels than I was actually paying for and they cut me off. Bummer. Actually it’s probably for the best – less time for me to be sitting around on my butt watching other people cook and more time for me to be doing other things like setting fire to the kitchen, I mean cooking.

Red Swiss Chard Pasta
Serves 2 to 4

1 bunch Red Swiss Chard
1/2 lb fusilli
2 veggie sausage, cut into 1/8 inch rounds
1/2 cup water
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil
Nutritional yeast for garnish

Wash the chard, cut off the stems and chop crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces, coarsely chop the leaves.

Heat the pot until hot, add 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil and the veggie sausage, cook over medium heat covered so the oil doesn’t splatter all over until brown on both sides. Remove from pot and set aside. (I use a wok but you can use a heavy pot and cook everything in progression so it’s just a one pot mess to clean up).

Add 1 1/2 teaspoon oil to pot. Add chard stems and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add a little bit of water if it seems dry.

Add the chard leaves, water and red pepper flakes and turn down to low heat, covered for 5 minutes until the stems are tender. Drain and remove chard to a mixing bowl.

Cook the pasta in the same pot according to the package directions. Drain the pasta and add to the bowl with the chard.

Toss with 1 tablespoon oil and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or to taste. Add the veggie sausage and toss well. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast.