Tag Archives: vegetarian

penne with roasted tomatoes, garlic, and white beans

Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, and White Beans

Have you ever gone to dinner at someone’s house and before they serve you the food they say, “Uh, I hope you like garlic,” with just the slightest touch of hesitation?  Like garlic?  Are you kidding?  I can’t get enough!

Fresh Tomatoes and Garli

Now, to be fair, I have on occasion turned down an everything bagel because I was afraid of starting the day off with garlic breath, but by lunch, it’s all over.  You might just want to sit on the other side of the conference room if I have a meeting with you in the afternoon.

Chopped Tomatoes and Garlic Going in the Oven

And of course there’s garlic and then there’s roasted garlic.  Don’t you just love restaurants that serve roasted garlic with thick, crusty bread to smear it on.  Well, if you like that, you’ll love this pasta dish.  The lemon adds a nice tang to the sweet, rich flavor from the roasted tomatoes and garlic, while the beans add both protein and a nice flavor and texture, and the basil adds a nice earthy sweetness to top it all off.

Whole Wheat Penne and Lemon

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guacamole

It seems to me that almost every conversation about guacamole has at least one or two people claim that they make the best guacamole ever.  I mean, the thing about guacamole is that it is always pretty darn delicious.  But, not to toot my own horn or anything, I’ve had several people try my guacamole and proclaim that even though they thought they made a pretty mean guacamole, mine was even better than theirs.  Ok, I know, I am tooting my own horn.

avocado, lime, jalapeno, cilantro, tomatoes

de-seeding tomatoes

I think the thing that makes my guacamole so good is that I try it out as I go along and add more of things as I see fit. I had never, ever measured quantities until last night when I made this.  But the thing is that avocados seem to have this neutralizing power.  You can put a whole lot of jalapeño in there and barely get any spice.  So I will often try the guacamole and decide that it needs more garlic, more cilantro, more jalapeño, and more salt.  It always needs more salt than I think it will and the heat level of peppers can really vary.  So I add more stuff in and then try it again.  I know, it’s lot to ask to keep trying the guacamole.  But it’s in your best interest in the long run, so soldier up and grab a chip (or two, or three, or four, or…).

guacamole ingredients

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spicy sweet potato “fries”

spicy sweet potato fries

Who doesn’t love a good sweet potato fry?  I know that given the choice at a restaurant, I will never pick regular ol’ fries over sweet potatoes fries. They’re just so irresistible!  They’re sweet, salty, and oh so addictive.

chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne, cumin, salt, black pepper

This recipe takes sweet potato fries to the next level.  Now, I have to warn you, they are spicy.  I have a relatively high tolerance for heat and these had me sweating a little bit!  But sweet, salty, and spicy?  These are way too good to pass up!

cut sweet potatoes

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curried lentil soup

curried lentil soup

Ok, I promised you something healthy after all those cookies and here it is.  Believe me, it’s worth the wait.  I found out about this recipe from my friend, Anne, who is an incredible cook.  After every amazing meal that she cooks everyone oohs and aahs over her creations and she always, always responds by saying, “Oh, it’s so easy.”  This is generally met with wide eyes because it’s often clear that it’s certainly not easy by most people’s standards.  This soup is an exception.  It is in fact very easy and it’s very delicious and it has quickly become one of our go-to recipes for when we don’t know what else to make.  It’s easy, it’s healthy, the ingredients keep well for a while, and you can even make it ahead of time, which is just what we did the other night when my sister was coming into town.

red lentils

It’s a good thing we did, because her flight got in an hour late and we were getting pretty hungry by the time we got home from picking her up. But luckily we had made this soup the night before and Joseph had set the bread maker earlier in the day.  We came home to a house filled with the scent of fresh baked bread and all we had to do was throw the soup in a pot to heat up, slice the warm bread, and pour a nice Albariño. It is the perfect remedy to a cold Boston night! Continue reading


healthy mac and cheese (aka mac ‘n squash)

Running out of Thanksgiving leftovers? Trying to squeeze in some healthy food to make up for all that pie and stuffing?  Well, look no further than this lightened up version of mac n’ cheese.

I should tell you up front that this mac n’ cheese is not going to be the same as the ooey gooey traditional stuff overflowing with cheese.  But neither is it a sad pile of flavorless, plasticy macaroni.  It’s actually one of my favorite dishes because it it satisfies my craving for mac n’ cheese without making me feel guilty.  What’s the secret? Pureed winter squash.  But don’t worry, there’s still cheese — real cheese — but now you’re also getting veggies in your mac n’ cheese!  Can’t you just feel your reservations melt away?

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pasta with butternut squash, sage, and pine nuts

Ok, so clearly we’re really into fall foods.  We just can’t stop buying butternut squash.  One Monday night when we had a butternut squash lying around waiting to be eaten, I saw this recipe on the kitchn and thought, perfect!  A quick Monday night dinner and we have all the ingredients!  The problem was that I was only right on the latter.  You see, once you have to roast something, your time is just going to go up and we just didn’t factor that into our timing.  So it ended up being a late night dinner, but it was totally worth it for this delicious autumnal pasta.

One of the things that really made this dish shine was the truffle salt that we put on just before serving.  Now, this is totally optional, but trust me, it’s totally, totally worth the money.  This last Valentine’s Day I got Joseph Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home and a jar of truffle salt from Williams Sonoma. Now, this may be a teeny, tiny far of salt that costs nearly 30, yes 30, dollars.  But trust me!!!  It’s so worth every penny!  We use it all the time and yet  you can barely tell that we’ve made a dent in it even though we’ve been using it since mid-February!  If you don’t believe me, just check out all 30 reviews with the average of 5 stars.  If you’ve never had the extreme pleasure of getting to try truffles, do yourself a favor and get this salt.  If you have had truffles and you know how extraordinary the flavor is, I shouldn’t even have to tell you to get this salt.  It imparts a lovely, earthy truffle flavor to everything you add it to from scrambled eggs to your pizza to your pasta with butternut squash, sage, and pine nuts.  Put the salt on your Christmas/Hanuka/Kwanzaa/Winter Solstice/Whatever list and you’ll thank me the second you open the jar and get a whiff of what lies inside. Continue reading


butternut squash and sage soup with sage breadcrumbs

Ok, so here’s another butternut squash soup that you have to try.  I think Joseph and I actually liked this one better than the last one.  The sage is a really nice flavor and the breadcrumbs give it a little texture and a lot of richness.  Possibly too much richness.  I think I won’t add as much to mine next time because it was a little too rich for me.  We used extra breadcrumbs on some delicious butternut squash tortellini we got from Whole Foods.

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spicy cauliflower soup

Like I’ve said before, I think cauliflower gets a bad rap but it can be quite deliscious when prepared well.  I was excited to see a cauliflower soup recipe in Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food because soup weather is in full swing and how can you go wrong with Alice?

For the first few years of our relationship, Joseph wasn’t really into soups.  He was fine with it as an appetizer before dinner, but it was never really enough for him as a meal on its own.  Or so he thought.  Something has changed this fall and we’ve been making a lot of soups and Joseph’s getting pretty into it. Which makes me happy because I love a simple dinner of soup and fresh baked bread and it’s even better when they’re so easy to make, like this one. Continue reading


fresh arugula and tomato fettuccine

I am so excited to tell you about this dish.  My sister and brother-in-law gave us a pasta roller attachment for our KitchenAid mixer and I’ve been itching to try it.  But we’ve been going out of town nearly every weekend and it didn’t seem wise to try to tackle it for the first time on a work night.  So we decided today was finally the day and in preparation we went to one of my favorite places in the Boston area, Hutchins Farm.

Hutchins, in beautiful Concord, MA, is an organic farm that Joseph and I found on a bike ride shortly after we had moved north.  It was my favorite place to pick up produce when I worked in Concord a couple years ago.  It’s still my favorite place to get fresh produce, but it’s harder now that I’m not working in the area.  But it’s well worth the trip for their amazing fruits and veggies, especially when you have something special in mind.  Something like my making your own pasta for the first time! Continue reading


Zucchini Pasta with Almonds

I mentioned before that my sister had sent me a zucchini pasta recipe super similar to a Smitten Kitchen recipe that I was already planning on making.  My sister raved about this recipe from Cooking Light, so I had to try it and see how it compared.  The recipes both share all the same key ingredients: whole wheat pasta, zucchini (of course), lemon, olive oil, almonds, and pecorino romano.  The two main differences between the two dishes are the cut of the zucchini (simple dice vs. painstakingly cut little slivers), addition of tomatoes, and number of ingredients.

The Cooking Light pasta adds both mint and thyme.  As much as I love mint in certain situations (like mint and chocolate, which I love), I’m wary of it in certain food combos such as pasta.  I just feel like it has a strong flavor and can overwhelm the dish.  I might have been a bit light-handed when I added it, but I thought it was fine, adding just a subtle mint flavor. Continue reading