Tag Archives: simple

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!

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DYI: Turkey chili with Trader Joe’s

27 Feb

And this is what I faced when I woke up this morning:

Another day; another 10 inches of snow.

Another day; another 10 inches of snow.

Round two for snow; round two for chili. This time, it was homemade turkey chili.

Almost as simple as pairing a can of TJ’s veggie chili and onion soup, I combined ingredients learned from wintery Midwestern kitchens throughout my life:

  • Ground turkey
  • Crushed tomatoes
  • garlic
  • Kidney and black beans
  • Sweet onion
  • Spices: Cumin and chili powder
DIY chili: Ingredients from Trader Joe's

The homemade goodness of a batch of chili you made yourself.

Then I added a little balsamic vinegar and a layer of shredded Parmesan cheese.

I’m set for days. And the best thing about homemade chili … the longer it sits, the better it gets!

(For those who prefer more specifics, check out last year’s batch from “best chili recipe.”)

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:

Simple turkey chili recipe

Best chili recipe

Organic vegetarian chili from Trader Joe’s

26 Sep

Fall has arrived. Not only on the calendar but in the air.

Crisp temperatures, cool days and leaves turning yellow and red mean one thing: Chili weather.

As you might remember, I’m not a beef fan. For me, eating chili means substituting beef for chicken, turkey or veggies.

Trader Joe’s makes it easy.

Organic vegetarian chili from Trader Joe’s

I tried this at the tasting bar last week, and it was delicious. Very flavorful without being too spicy, for heat wimps like me.

Doctor it with cheese, onions, Tabasco sauce, sour cream, a little balsamic vinegar and a splash of olive oil, chopped black olives, cilantro … the combos are endless, just like with the meat version, but healthier, fewer calories and less fat.

Love!

Thanks, TJ’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:

Battle of the veggie chilis

Nutrition facts

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