Almost Mac + Cheese (GF, DF, Vegan)

I've been dying for mac n cheese but just couldn't bring myself to cheat. After coming across a forgotten jar of nutritional yeast and box of Banza pasta in the way back of the cupboard, I decided I could make my own vegan, gluten free version. 

Banza is one of my new favorite things. It's a gluten free, grain free pasta made from chickpea flour and tapioca starch. As a former lover of all things pasta, I love it. So far, it's my favorite alternative pasta. (This post is not sponsored  - I just like to share good things when I find them.)

Makes 2 large servings. 

Almost Mac + Cheese

1 stalk broccoli, peeled, chopped

6oz banza pasta 

1 cup cashew milk

1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes

1/2 teaspoon arrowroot powder

1/4 teaspoon mustard powder

pinch nutmeg

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

s + p 

dash of Worcestershire, optional (not vegan or vegetarian)

Boil a pot of water. Add broccoli. Blanche for 2 minutes. Drain. Set aside. 

Boil a pot of water and cook pasta until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside. 

In a  pot, whisk cashew milk, yeast flakes, arrowroot, mustard powder and nutmeg over medium high heat. Add pasta and broccoli, stirring until thickened and hot. Add vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in Worcestershire if using. 

 

 

Roasted Pepper + Sausage Pasta

A nice alternative to a tomato sauce pasta night.  Roasted bell peppers, red onion and pork sausage make this perfect on a chillier night.  And isn't roasting peppers fun?  I love rubbing off the charred skin and seeing how their texture has totally changed.  Here's a tip:  yellow and orange peppers are almost impossible to tell the difference between once they have been roasted.  

Use any type of sausage that sounds good to you.  I recommend italian or herbed styles.

Serves 6.

Roasted Pepper + Sausage Pasta

8 oz pasta (your choice, I like spaghetti)

3 bell peppers (red, yellow or orange)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 red onion, halved, thinly sliced

10 oz pork sausage, casing discarded

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon chile flakes

s + p

grated parmesan cheese

Boil pasta until al dente.  Drain, set aside.  Turn gas range onto high.  Place whole bell peppers directly onto range. Blacken completely on all sides.  Place in bowl, cover with plastic wrap for 20 minutes.  Rub off skins, discard stem and seeds.  Slice into strips.  Set aside. 

In a large skillet, over medium heat, warm olive oil.  Add onions, cook until soft.  Add sausage, cook completely.  Add garlic, oregano and chile flakes, cook, stirring, about 1 minute.  Add cooked pasta and roasted pepper slices.  Cook until all is hot. Transfer to bowl and toss with cheese.  Season with salt and pepper. 

 

Quick Dinner: Pasta + Kale

On Friday nights, Cam and I like to stay in and catch up.  We drink wine, order takeaway dinner,  relax and chat about our week.  It's a really nice way to unwind after a crazy work week and enjoy being together.  (Chibi likes it, too.)  We've made one small change to our evenings recently, which is that now we make dinner.

Nothing elaborate.  Just something quick and easy that can be put together in under 30 minutes. It's fun and provides leftover bites for any weekend hunger attacks.  I'll be sharing these here and there. 

Serves 2-3. 

Pasta with Kale + Mushrooms

3 cups wide egg noodles

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/8 teaspoon red chile flakes

1 clove garlic, minced

1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms

1/2 tablespoon butter

2 cups chopped kale

s + p

juice of 1/2 lemon

grated parmesan cheese

Boil egg noodles for 6 minutes.  Drain and set aside. 

Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium heat.  Add chile flakes, garlic and sliced mushrooms.  Cook, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are soft.  Add butter and kale, cook about 2 minutes.  Add pasta.  Cook, stirring frequently until hot.  Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Serve with grating of parmesan cheese.  

 

Orzo Salad

Fall Orzo Salad

1 1/2 cups whole wheat orzo

splash olive oil

1 shallot, thinly sliced

6 oz mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 fennel, thinly sliced

8 oz Brussels sprouts, leaves separated, cores discarded

1 tablespoon butter

juice of half a lemon

2 tablespoons chopped parsley 

s + p

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

grated parmesan cheese

Boil orzo until al dente.  Drain, rinse, toss with a tiny bit of oil.  

Heat a large pan over medium heat.  Add oil.  When oil is warm, add shallots.  Cook until soft, stirring, about 2 minutes.  Add fennel and mushrooms.  Cook, stirring, about a 5 minutes.  Fennel should be crisp tender.  Add sprout leaves, cook until warmed and softened.  Stir in orzo and butter.  Add lemon juice, parsley, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and parmesan cheese.  Serve warm.  

 

Summer Vegetable Pasta

svp.jpg

Change up any of the vegetables in this dish as you like.  I suggest strolling around the farmers market and see what looks good.  I added cooked lentils at the end of cooking for a little protein, as you can see from the photo.  If you decide to add lentils, about 3/4 cup french green lentils cooked in plenty of water for 20 minutes, and add one more tomato to the recipe.  

serves 6. 

Summer Vegetable + Orecchiette Pasta 

1 lb orecchiette pasta

olive oil

1 shallot, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes

1 cup romano/flat beans, sliced

1 tomato, seeded, peeled, chopped

1 small yellow squash, halved, sliced

1 small zucchini squash, halved, sliced

juice of 2 lemons

2 handfuls fresh basil leaves, diced

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves

s + p

pecorino romano cheese, grated   

Cook pasta to package directions.  Drain, rinse and set aside.  

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large pan.  Add shallot, garlic, red chile flakes, romano beans, tomato, squash and zucchini.  Cook until vegetables and crisp tender, about 6 minutes.   

Add pasta, one more splash olive oil, lemon juice, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine and cook until all is hot.  Serve with grated pecorino romano.