Tag Archives: vegetables

When is pasta not pasta? When it’s mushroom.

2 Mar

For me, cooking is usually an arts-and-crafts project or a science experiment. I imagine that certain flavors will go together well and then test the theory.

Other times, I challenge myself by trying to recreate an amazing dish I’ve had at a restaurant. Like I did this week.

Recently, I went with friends to John Bentley’s in Redwood City, Calif. Everything on the menu sounded delicious and I thought it was going to be hard to decide what to order, until I got to the end of the menu and found: “Trumpet Mushroom “Pappardelle” with tomato, garlic, basil,Kalamatas, edamame and Pecorino Romano.”

Mushroom Pappardelle

A carbless delicious beauty from John Bentley’s

The waiter said the chef created Pappardelle from mushrooms. The dish had a red sauce, and it was like a pasta dish without the pasta. I was so intrigued I had to order it. And WOW! It was SO delicious!

A week later, I decided to try to recreate the dish with a few embellishments.

For my mushroom pasta, I did not use edamame or fresh basil, although there was basil in the pasta sauce. I used shiitake mushrooms, garlic, Kalamata olives, spinach, onion, tofu and a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan on top. I went with the short cut of using Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil Maranara sauce.

I started by sautéing garlic and onion in olive oil.

Step one, saute onions and garlic in olive oil.

Onions and garlic sautéed in olive oil.

Then I added the mushrooms, olives, tofu and spinach.

A garden in a skillet

Ingredients. Not pictured: sauce, cheese.

After the vegetables were softened, about 10-15 minutes, I poured in some marinara sauce, sprinkled shredded Parmesan on top and. SOOO good!! (To make it vegan, don’t add the cheese at the end.)

As you can tell with the difference in ingredients and stage presence, it wasn’t exactly the meal I had at John Bentley’s, but it was close enough and very satisfying!

Give it a try!  Add your own twists, and please share your recipe thoughts in the comments.

Bon appetite!

It’s Brussels Sprouts time, again!

29 Jan

A bag of shredded Brussels Sprouts = good eating ahead!

What’s that you say? You don’t like Brussels Sprouts?! Well, then, feast your eyes on a raspberry tarte or homemade lemonade. The rest of you, come with me to Brussels Sprout heaven.

Shredded Brussels Sprouts from Trader Joe's

Trader Joe’s does the shredding. You do the eating.

Start by sauteing some garlic and onion in olive oil.

Sauteed garlic and onion

Add more onion and the bag of B. Sprouts. Include the balsamic vinegar and water as recommended on the bag.

BowlOfBrusselsSprouts

When done, I also squeezed some lemon juice on top. I did not use bacon, but that could be a meat-eater’s happy addition.

I separated the batch into four containers for easy access at meal time.

Here’s the official recipe, but be creative and make it your own:

RecipeBag

 

Salivation Sunday: Summer salad video

19 May

This is a vegan offshoot of one of my favorite salads: Using watermelon in a savory way. The veggies are so delicious, by the end of this Anthropologie video, I want the bowl of salad in front of me immediately! Still waiting for that online feature.

Happy Sunday!

Snow’s on; soup’s gone at Trader Joe’s

25 Mar

Did you have soup this weekend?

Saturday and Sunday, Kansas Citians received our third snow storm in about four weeks. And we had soup on the brain.

Like hundreds of others, I made my Trader Joe’s trek before the onslaught to stock up on essentials.

While most shelves were holding their own, it was easy to see what’s on most people’s minds when the temperature drops and there’s a real threat of being snowed in: The soup shelves were thin to bare.

Trader Joe's soups were selling out before the storm

Dramatic close up: Lonely little box of chicken soup.

The whole picture paints a picture of soup flying off the shelves.

The whole picture paints a scene of soup flying off the shelves.

After an incredibly snowy month, everyone’s going a little stir crazy. We need a little more comfort than usual, which we apparently translate into comfort food. What could be cozier than a pot of hot soup combating the criminal chill?

What’s your winter go-to soup?

Thanks for the variety, Trader Joe’s!

And thank you for visiting Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related links:

100 healthy soup recipes (Cooking Light)

6 easy chicken soup recipes (Real Simple)

Healthy winter soup recipes (Chow)

 

 

The art of frozen food from Trader Joe’s

13 Feb

Frozen foods are really growing on me, especially the packages from Trader Joe’s freezer aisle.

When I was growing up, I preferred my veggies raw. I still do. Mom used canned vegetables, and those were tasty. But when the side dish was pulled from the freezer, it was going to be a flavorless clump of mush.

I’m happy to report a very different finding lately! In this package …

bag of delicious vegetables from Trader Joe's

Freezer aisle delicacy

not only are the cauliflower and Romanesco solid and delicious, but…I mean, what is Romanesco?! It’s like futuristic delicacy meets edible art!

Trader Joe's offers the coolest food

Edible art: Cool food in the frozen section.

Wikipedia starts its description of Romanesco as follows:

“Romanesco broccoli, or Roman cauliflower, is an edible flower of the species Brassica oleracea, and a variant form of cauliflower. First documented in Italy, it is light green in color and is a natural approximation of a fractal.”

Whatever it is, it’s yummy and pretty. And the garlic butter is just as tasty as it was for the serving of Beans so Green I enjoyed a week or two ago.

Thank you, again, Trader Joe’s!

And thank you for visiting Things I Love at Trader Joe’s! Have you tried/seen Romanesco? Any favorite recipes? What are your thoughts?

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related links:

Romanesco: How to choose, store and prepare (L.A. Times)

Try a new vegetable: Romanesco

Bean So Green from Trader Joe’s

28 Jan

The green beans are delicious. And I love the cauliflower in the mix. But I have to admit, the garlic butter is addictive.

Beans, cauliflower and garlic butter.

Beans, cauliflower and garlic butter.

I’m somewhat skeptical of frozen veggies. Often, they cook up limp and mushy. I was pleasantly surprised with this bag of veggie goodness. However, I might be talking out of rose-colored taste buds from the yummy garlic butter.

Thank you, TJ’s!

And thank you for visiting Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

 

“M” mmmmmm, good! Minestrone from Trader Joe’s

9 Jan

Another cold day; another warm soup.

Minestrone

A beautiful can of deliciousness.

Thank you, Trader Joe’s.

And thank you for visiting Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Twitter: @TraderJoesKC

Follow Things I Love at Trader Joe’s on Pinterest: Trader Joe’s

Related links:

Minestrone in Wikipedia

Classic Minestrone – Martha Stewart

 

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