kid-friendly · Recipes

Classic Baked Ziti

I dread the onset of winter with its cold, dark, depressing ways, and anyone with little kids can tell you the havoc daylight saving time wreaks on family sleep schedules. We had an oddly warm fall here in New England; it was 70 degrees out Monday, when I started writing this, and as nice as that felt, I’m ready for the casseroles to start showing up again — even if Mother Nature isn’t. I’ve also been ready to dig into hibernation food for months now!

In that spirit, I’ve made this wonderfully simple Baked Ziti a lot this fall, including for potlucks, Sunday dinner, and for friends with new babies.

img_0990img_0988

This makes the perfect dish for visiting a newborn: it is comforting, filling, and reheats very easily, and can be eaten with one hand while holding a baby. It can also be frozen if your friends don’t have room to eat it right away. As a bonus, little kids like it, too, which is always an implicit goal of any recipe I post! Georgia simply gobbles this up, and it’s one of Mark’s, favorites, too. Win-win.

Classic Baked Ziti.png

This recipe was inspired by Smitten Kitchen with a few adaptations to make it my own.

Cook time: 30 minutes    Serves: 4-6

Classic Baked Ziti

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound ziti, cooked al dente
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or Italian seasoning (I like Wildtree)
  • 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • a few handfuls of baby spinach
  • 1 cup mozzarella, grated
  • 2/3 cup finely grated pecorino (or parmesan) cheese
  • fresh basil slivers
  • optional: red pepper flakes

DIRECTIONS

To start, preheat your oven to 400 F.

Heat a pot of salted water to boil and cook the pasta very al dente, or at least 2 minutes less than the normal cooking time stated on the box. Drain the pasta, reserving half a cup of the cooking water.

Heat a large skillet over  medium and add a swirl of olive oil until warm, then add the meat alongside the onion, garlic, seasonings and a healthy dose of salt and pepper over medium-hihg for up to 8 minutes, or until the beef is browned, stirring often.

Add the crushed tomatoes and stir to combine, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for five minutes. Add in the reserved pasta water and then the spinach, cooking until milted (maybe another minute or two). Here, I like to add in some fresh basil, slivered, and maybe a couple fresh tomatoes from my garden if I need to use them up.

Stir in the drained pasta and mix together. Pour half into a 9×13 glass baking dish or lasagna pan, and sprinkle with half the two cheeses; repeat with another half of the pasta then top with the remaining cheese.

Bake in the heated oven for 30 minutes or until nice and crispy and browned on the edges. You can even run the dish under the broiler for a minute if you’d like it extra crispy! Enjoy warm.

img_0995

NOTES:

  • You can also use Italian sausage, casings removed, if you prefer the taste.
  • To cook al dente, shave 2 minutes off the cook time stated on the package of pasta. Taking care not to overcook is essential for this not turning mushy!
  • Seasoning the ground beef well with salt and pepper is essential; it’s less important if you opt for Italian sausage.
  • I like to serve this with more slivers of fresh basil and, if you have it, fresh ricotta. But that’s totally optional!
  • I have never tried this week meat substitutes, but it’s certainly possible. Other good substitutions to make it vegetarian would be mushrooms, beans, or lentils.

img_0989***

Stay tuned for my first holiday shopping guides soon, and some inspiration for Thanksgiving dinner! I’m so excited Christmas is right around the corner. I basically live for the holidays once Halloween is over every year 🙂 Have a lovely, cozy weekend.

Drinks & Smoothies · kid-friendly · Recipes

Strawberry Peanut Butter Smoothie

Though it hasn’t felt very summery out there so far this year, something about this time of year prompts me to want to get moving more, lighten up what I’m eating so I can feel lighter myself, and spend less time cooking and eating big meals. Enter smoothies, the perfect on-the-go food with built-in health benefits. Of course, the other way to look at it is that these balance out all the inevitable hot dogs, cold beers and after-dinner trips to get ice cream that come with summer, so cheers to that, too!

34836573251_842064ea1c_o

This smoothie is vegan, easy to make as well as to digest, tasty, portable, and perfect for post-workout because of the great balance of carbs to restore glycogen burned during exercise and muscle-building protein.

A healthy and filling after-exercise smoothie will ideally contain a foundation of greens and fruit, like we have here, plus a protein source such as nut butter, silken tofu or plain yogurt, and also a liquid, such as coconut water or almond milk.

I used peanut butter, but you could also use almond butter. You can sub half Greek yogurt and half almond milk — especially to boost the protein ratio for exercise recovery — or all almond milk in place of coconut milk.

34581258610_f934529e40_o

Strawberry PB Smoothie

INGREDIENTS

  • 1-2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1 ripe banana (mine was frozen)
  • 1 can reduced-fat coconut milk OR 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 heaping TBSP peanut butter OR almond butter
  • optional: toss in some spinach or other greens

DIRECTIONS

Add all ingredients to blender, starting with liquid first, and process on high until smooth. It helps to have a high-speed blender like a Vitamix if you want to throw in a handful of greens and have them pulverized, which I did to get an extra veg boost, but otherwise this should be fine in a conventional blender, too.

The amount of berries can vary by however much you want. I used what I had on hand, which was a little less than a full two-cup bag in the freezer.

34125808324_f13bf1977a_o34836573151_138101e0c8_o34581258390_250473f58e_o

I’m not even going to talk about the weather anymore because I think I’ve personally jinxed it from ever being nice this year. We are having a small cookout the weekend after next for Mark’s birthday, and if it’s rainy or cold still, I’m going to lose my mind.

Today, however, we got a peek at the sun, so I strolled on over to The Scooper Bowl in City Hall Plaza, which is an ice cream extravaganza that also benefits The Jimmy Fund. It’s still going on tomorrow from Noon to 8 p.m. outside Boston City Hall, right at Government Center. Perfect for an after-work outing. Or “lunch,” like I did!

strawberry banana smoothie (1).png

If you liked this smoothie, share it with a friend, and pin it for later! Have a great rest of the week, everyone. 

***

Blue Apron · kid-friendly · Recipes

Updating a Classic: Orechiette with Kale & Paprika-Roasted Chickpeas

Back in the early days of my blog, I made this Spinach and Chickpea spaghetti dish that quickly became a favorite and a regular in our rotation. It’s healthy, hearty and easy. Well, I recently updated it a bit and loved the results, so I’m doing a quick post to share! The new version uses orechiette instead of spaghetti and kale instead of spinach, and I roasted the chickpeas in advance to give them some crunch and an extra pump of zest thanks to a sprinkling of paprika when they’re fresh out of the oven. Such simple switches, but they made all the difference! And there was so much flavor that I was able to cut way back on the dairy used for the creamy sauce. 


Orechiette with Kale & Paprika-Roasted Chickpeas

INGREDIENTS

  • Half of a one-pound box of orechiette
  • 1½ Cups Chickpeas
  • 3 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Bunch Kale
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 Onion
  • one pat of butter (about 2 TBSP)
  • 1 TBSP Capers (I keep a jar in the fridge)
  • 1 tsp Smoked Paprika
  • Grated Parmesan (or Pecorino) Cheese, amount to taste (approx. 1/4 cup)

DIRECTIONS

First, roast the chickpeas. Preheat the oven to 450 and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drain and rinse the can of chickpeas, then dry thoroughly between paper towels (laying on a flat surface and rolling sometimes works well). Discard any loose skins that come off. Arrange on the baking sheet in an even layer, coat with olive oil, salt and pepper,  and toss to coat, then roast — stirring halfway through — for about 25 minutes, or until crispy and browned (but not burnt!) After removing from the oven, season the chickpeas with the smoked paprika, tossing to coat evenly, and set aside.

While the chickpeas roast, wash and dry the kale. Prep the produce: peel and dice the onion and garlic, roughly chop the kale leaves (or tear by hand), discarding the stems, and roughly  chop the capers. Quarter and de-seed the lemon. Finally, put a pot of water on to boil the pasta. Once boiling, add the pasta and cook for about 10 minutes, reserving half a cup of the cooking water.

While the pasta cooks, heat olive oil over medium-hot in a large pan. Add the diced onion and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until softened (about 5 minutes). Add the kale and 1/4 cup of water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the greens have wilted and the water has cooked off.

Add the cooked pasta to the pan of kale and then throw in the capers, butter, juice of three lemon wedges and the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook for a few minutes, stirring thoroughly to combine, and season again with salt and pepper after removing from heat. Once off the stove, top the dish with the roasted chickpeas and stir to combine. Top with cheese and squeeze the remaining lemon wedge over the dish before eating.

Voila!

Without the cream cheese, this actually felt light enough to be in contention as an early spring dish, instead of a heavy “load up for hibernation” winter dinner. Georgia really loves roasted chickpeas as a snack, so she mostly kinda ate this, picking the onion and kale out and setting it off to the side. Cooked greens = bad, but cold fresh greens in a salad = OK by her. Pasta, of course, is always a toddler win.

I live by toddler logic.

That’s all from me today everyone! I hope you try this and like it as much as we did, and that you stay dry in the soggy northeast this week. Happy Tuesday!

Recipes · Tips and Tricks

Have you tried Blue Apron?

I know I’m late to the trend! But a couple weeks ago I finally got to give Blue Apron a try, thanks to a friend who couldn’t cook her order before leaving for vacation.  And I have to say, it was absolutely delicious, and I felt like it broke me out of my usual recipe rut. I never cook something with this many ingredients these days, and the flavors were so much more complex than what I typically end up making for weeknight dinners. Overall, I’m definitely a fan and am considering signing up.

IMG_9584

What I made

The recipe I got was for Roasted Japanese Sweet Potatoes with Miso-Dressed Spinach and Candied Cashews. YUM.

The ingredients included two sweet potatoes, brown rice, baby spinach, scallions, sesame oil, sugar, fresh ginger, miso (fermented soybean) paste, cashews, mirin (rice wine) and a spice blend.

Everything comes labeled, packaged for freshness, and with picture-heavy step-by-step directions.

IMG_9587

How it works

Blue Apron delivers original recipes with ingredients pre-portioned alongside step-by-step directions. It is designed so that both experienced and novice cooks can take part, and menus change seasonally. Blue Apron work with hundreds of farms to source quality ingredients, which they say stay fresher longer than what you get at the supermarket. You can pick your recipes, including family-friendly options, and deliveries are booked around your schedule. According to their website, their main value add is offering specialty ingredients you might not otherwise be able to try, at a better value than shopping at your local grocery store. Competitors include HelloFreshPlated and Din (currently just CA and NV but expanding nationally soon).

Pros

  • Everything comes pre-measured and portioned, so there’s minimal prep work involved (I had to slice some scallions and sweet potatoes for my dish; otherwise everything was ready to go) and zero food waste.
  • If you really don’t know how to cook much at all, this can teach you! It’s that easy to follow. They also have tutorials for specific techniques (mince, caramelize, etc.) on their website.
  • You can adjust the portion size for each order. I found that the two-person order I cooked left me with enough for two filling dinners and some leftovers for lunch, too.
  • Expands your child’s palate, if you share with them; gets you out of the usual rotation of recipes we all fall into.
  • Customizable for any dietary preferences. Especially for vegetarians, this will introduce you to some original new recipe ideas.
  • Delivery is free and arrives refrigerated in case you aren’t home.
  • Recipes are seasonal and healthy (between 500 and 700 calories) and are designed to be ready in about half an hour.
  • The quality of the ingredients seems top notch — mine lasted several days after I received them in the fridge, even the greens, and still tasted great.
  • Allows you to cook with specialty ingredients that would otherwise be too pricy or hard to find.

IMG_9597

IMG_9599

Cons

  • The convenience of having things pre-measured means lots of packaging, which felt a tad wasteful.
  • I found that the time estimate — 35 minutes — was ambitious. While the timing of the instructions (“preheat the oven, then chop X ingredient, then while that’s cooking, candy the cashews,” etc.) was accurate and helpful if followed literally, the overall start-to-finish time frame was more like an hour because I had to re-read techniques I wasn’t familiar with, double check that I hadn’t missed anything, and just take it slow simply because it was an unfamiliar recipe.
  • While it’s great to learn new skills (I had never candied nuts, for example) I had the benefit of trying Blue Apron on a weekend night after Georgia’s bedtime. This would have been WAY too chaotic for a weeknight dinner with a toddler underfoot. Alone? Forget about it, unless your kiddo is big enough to help or at least watch safely.
  • This is nit-picking, but the cleanup from using every burner on my stovetop, several pots, pans, and the oven was substantial.  I’m sure if you have a dishwasher this won’t bother you too much, but for me and my small kitchen, cooking something with this many ingredients absolutely took over the joint and took ages to clean up by hand.
  • Expensive. Three meals for two people every week is $60, and weekly is the only interval for shipping they offer. You can skip any week or cancel any time, but it would be nice if you could get just one meal a week or two meals a month, etc. For a family of four, the price jumps to $140 for four meals per week ($70 for two meals).

IMG_9601

Bottom Line

My overall take on this is that, if you love cooking but don’t have the time to pick up lots of specialty ingredients or you’re trying to break out of a rut and gain some new ideas or skills, this is fabulous. I felt like I could easily handle the cooking and plating instructions, and got to experience a flavor profile I never would have tackled on my own. It’s not a meal or grocery delivery service, though, and it really shouldn’t be used for dinner every night of the week. You could eat out at a casual sit-down restaurant or order take-out and pay less! Lastly, although we didn’t do it this way because Mark works nights, I’d imagine this would be fun for couples to do together.

How about you — have you tried one of these services? What’s your take?

psst! A couple last-minute Mother’s Day deals for you. My favorite cardigan is on super sale at Nordstrom, and ThredUp is having 15% off sitewide with code MAMASDAY15. Good luck shopping and have a wonderful Mother’s Day!

Holidays · Recipes

Eating Fish on Good Friday?

Allow me to share my two favorite seafood recipes for any last-minute Good Friday cooks out there (with apologies for the 2012-style fuzzy photo in the second dish). These really are scrumptious and easy to pull together.

Seafood Pasta Baked in Foil, adapted from the Pioneer Woman

Are you eschewing meat entirely this Lent? Allow me to share with you my favorite meat-free risotto recipe.

Springtime Risotto

However and whatever you’re celebrating, have a lovely weekend and enjoy your family, friends and food. XOXO

Recipes

Meatball Pizza

I made this one up to use all of the leftovers from our Baked Ziti dinner the previous weekend.

And it worked out perfectly: I had mozzarella, extra sauce and an odd handful of meatballs left over, just all hanging out homeless together in the fridge. I even had some fresh spinach because I convinced Mark to make me one of those amazing Greek Omelettes again!

20140505-210806.jpg

So toss it together with garlic, which I’ll assume you have hanging around BECAUSE WHO DOESN’T, and pretty much any seasonings or cheeses you feel like throwing in there. I figured, what the heck, I’ll finish off the feta and fresh oregano from said omelette too, and you know what? It was damn tasty. I suspect it would be just as good if you used frozen spinach, vegetarian meatballs, another type of green, any cheese, and so on. Customize to your heart’s content.

20140523-092608-33968389.jpg

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pre-bought pizza crust (or a ball of fresh dough)*
  • 1 cup (max) tomato sauce, canned or homemade
  • 2 or 3 cooked meatballs, broken up/crumbled into pieces**
  • 1 cup any cheese, such as mozzarella
  • 1 handful of fresh spinach
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced or diced
  • fresh oregano (optional)
  • feta cheese crumbles (optional)

* I get fresh dough at Trader Joe’s, packaged individually in plastic bags in the fresh produce section, or at a pizza shop. They will usually sell a ball very cheap if you ask nicely. I get pre-made Archer Farms crusts at Target.

** This recipe really comes in handy if you have a leftover ingredients from a pasta dinner like my baked ziti to use up, but if you don’t, you could always buy frozen meatballs and heat them in the microwave or stovetop. My favorite frozen meatballs also come from Trader Joe’s.

20140523-092606-33966810.jpg

20140523-092608-33968075.jpg

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven per the pizza crust package directions, or a good rule of thumb is about 400F.

Place your crust on a round pizza baker (or a square pan if that’s easier, particularly if you’re rolling out fresh dough. In which case, brush the pan with olive oil and dust the ball of dough with flour so you can work with it more easily. No need to coat a non-stick pizza pan).

Assemble the pizza: sauce on bottom, followed by garlic, then meat, then greens and then finally cheese.

Pop in the oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is just starting to brown and crisp.

Let cool, then cut with kitchen shears and serve. Enjoy!

20140523-092608-33968866.jpg

Did you like this pizza recipe? There are lots more where that came from!

Plus this handy tip for working easily with pizza dough.

20140523-092609-33969506.jpg

I hope you enjoyed this one and that you’re all enjoying the summer weather as it unfolds. Get out and plant your garden — I’ll live vicariously through you, since we’ve been too busy (or plagued by day care viruses) to get ours in the ground! 

By the way, I’m going to be moving the blog to a new server soon — hosting myself through WordPress.org instead of using the free WordPress.com domain. While I’m still finalizing the details, it shouldn’t cause any interruptions to readers, and may eventually include a new design. But I am wondering if you can help me with one thing: what’s the one thing you would change about this blog if you had a chance? Where can I improve — is it the name? Making it easier to print recipes? Better topics? Tell me! I’m all ears, and I really want to know.

Recipes

A drizzly, happy birthday

Yesterday was my birthday (I’m 30 again? How is that possible!) and, naturally, my presents had a culinary twist. Mark never disappoints when it comes to foodie gifts — there was this winner a couple years back, and this classic the Christmas before. But this year….{wait for it}….he COOKED FOR ME! And not just any old meal, but breakfast, the one time of day I’m so focused on getting everyone else ready that I never have a chance to eat. It made a rainy, dark birthday so much brighter!

20140430-152810.jpg

On the menu: a Greek omelette — my absolute favorite — with spinach, garlic, oregano and feta (!!), plus an English muffin, a (virgin) mimosa since I had to go to work after, and a strawberry lemonade cupcake for dessert from Crumbs Bake Shop.

20140430-152901.jpg

 Georgia, of course, contributed her own present, including a good night’s sleep the evening before. (She was down from 8 pm to 7 am with no ‘separation anxiety’ symptoms whatsoever! Last night, not so much).

Mark even agreed to share his omelette recipe, which came from The Chew. This is a guy who literally can barely cook, so to say I was impressed is a serious understatement. How lucky am I!

Mark’s Easy Greek Omelette

 adapted from The Chew

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil (plus more to drizzle)
  • 1 clove Garlic
  • 2 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh Oregano
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 1/2 tablespoon Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 cup Greek Feta (crumbled)
  • Salt and freshly ground Pepper

DIRECTIONS

In a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Once hot, add the spinach and garlic, cooking until the spinach has wilted then remove to a strainer set over a bowl and press some of the liquid out with the back of a spoon. Set aside.

Crack the eggs into a bowl with the oregano, and whisk with a fork. Set aside. 

Warm a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add the butter to the pan, and once it foams and subsides, add the egg mixture. Move the outer edges of the eggs inward and cook until just set. Sprinkle the feta on one half along with the spinach mixture then fold the eggs over in half. Seaon with salt and freshly ground pepper. Slide the omelet off on to a plate, drizzle with olive oil, and enjoy.

Helpful Tips from The Chew
1. The spinach should only wilt a little bit while you’re sautéing it, so don’t over do it!
2. Don’t salt the eggs before putting them in the pan. Salting the eggs pulls moisture out and makes them rubbery, so add the salt once the eggs start to set.
3. Whisks add a lot of air to beaten eggs and make the final product too fluffy. For a creamier omelet, use a fork instead of a whisk.
4. Add the warm spinach directly on top of the feta to help the cheese melt.
5. If you’re having difficulty sliding the omelet out of the pan, try sliding it while holding the pan over the heated stove.
6. Don’t be afraid to make your omelet runny like you might with sunny side up or over easy eggs. Your omelet will still be safe to eat and will have added flavor.

What am I going to do with these two?? What a pair of loves.

20140430-153005.jpg

Recipes

Spinach n’ Artichoke Pizza

As you may have noticed, I love the combination of spinach & artichokes. Preferably with cheese. So, it was just a matter of time before I threw it on a pizza…with cheese.

20140315-104031.jpg

Spinach ‘n Artichoke Pizza

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pizza round, or 1 fresh ball of dough*
  • 1 package fresh mozzarella
  • 1 can artichokes, cut into smaller pieces
  • 1 bag fresh spinach
  • 1 large tomato, chopped into chunks
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
  • parmesan, grated (to taste)
  • tomato sauce (optional)

*You can get fresh dough at Trader Joe’s or from your local pizza parlor.

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven per the package instructions for the pizza dough (or roughly 375 if using fresh dough).

Meanwhile, chop your mozzarella, grate your parmesan, cut up the tomato and onion, and push the garlic through a press and set all aside.

In a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat, warm a little bit of olive oil. Toss in the onion, drained & chopped artichokes and spinach until the spinach wilts, adding garlic halfway through cooking so it doesn’t burn. Season with a dash of salt and pepper if desired. Remove from heat and set aside.

Assemble the pizza on a stone, paddle or non-stick pan like this. Starting with the sauce on bottom, followed by the spinach mixture and then the tomato chunks, assemble the pizza so ingredients are evenly distributed, ending with the mozzarella and grated parmesan on top.

Bake according to the pizza pie instructions, or about 20 minutes/until bubbling and crispy but not browned or burned.

Remove from oven, let cool, and slice (I always use kitchen shears). Serve hot!

Note: I always make two pies back-to-back, since I’m already chopping all the vegetables and cheese, and since the pizza rounds come in a double pack. I like the low-fat ultra-thin crust from Archer Farms at Target. It comes in square or round, which is nice depending on what kind of pan you have! I just assemble mine on the counter while the first pizza is in the oven, and then pop the second one in as soon as the pan has cooled off. If you buy one mozzarella ball, a large tomato and a bigger container of spinach, then you should have enough to make double.

20140315-102408.jpg

Recipes

Spicy Penne Rosa with Shrimp

This has a nice subtle heat that will call to mind shrimp fra diavolo. Made with whole wheat pasta, spinach and a creamy sauce of fire-roasted tomatoes and non-fat Greek yogurt, it packs a healthy punch that will keep you feeling fuller longer. Tons of great protein and flavor in here!

spinach_penne

Ingredients

  • 1 package whole wheat penne
  • 1/3 cup 0% Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
  • 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes, such as Muir Glen
  • 4 cups fresh spinach (eyeball it to your taste)
  • frozen shrimp, deveined and without tails (about 1 cup)
  • small jar of marinara sauce or tomato soup
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • pinch of red pepper flakes (add more if you like heat!)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil for the pan
  • parmesan, shaved, for topping

20130315-000608.jpg

Directions

In a good-sized skillet, heat a couple swirls of olive oil over medium heat until warm. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes (more or less to your taste) until the garlic begins to soften but hasn’t browned. Meanwhile, put a pan of water on to boil for the penne.

Once the garlic and red pepper flakes are ready, add the tomatoes to the pan with salt and pepper. You can also use fresh tomatoes, chopped (about 2 medium tomatoes, or 1/2 a pound). Cook about 5 minutes.

Turn up the heat to medium-high, and add the shrimp. Next, add the spinach until it starts to wilt. You might, like me, find yourself wanting to add more once you see how much it wilts down.

20130315-111532.jpg

Cook for a few minutes, until the spinach have just wilted and the shrimp are pinkish and see-through. Add the cooked penne, the Greek yogurt (adding more from the container to taste, if you like it) and then add either the marinara sauce or a splash of tomato soup (I thought of this in a pinch) to loosen the sauce.

20130315-125843.jpg

20130315-000337.jpg

Stir until it is well mixed, taste for seasoning and desired thickness, and top with grated parmesan cheese. Divide into pasta bowls and serve warm. Voila!

20130315-130004.jpg

Inspiration for this recipe came from Back To Her Roots. I only altered one thing in the original recipe: Mark hates mushrooms, so I omitted them.

ENJOY!

Recipes

Vegan Spinach Artichoke Dip

I have a great salsa recipe coming soon for Super Bowl Sunday (not that I’m watching, with the Pats out)…but first I have to share this great vegan recipe for Warm Spinach & Artichoke Dip by Chloe Coscarelli. You all know how much I love Chef Chloe, and she’s got another winner here. I devour Spinach & Artichoke Dip, but if you’re like me and you have issues with the heavy, cheesy nature of the traditional recipe, I think you’ll find this agrees with you a lot more. Watch the video & check out the recipe below!

Warm Vegan Spinach-Artichoke Dip

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, optional
  • 5 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 14-ounce package soft tofu, drained
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 ounces of canned, marinated, or frozen artichoke hearts, drained
  • Bread or tortilla chips for serving

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 1-quart baking dish.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and saute the onions until soft. Add the garlic and red pepper and cook for a few more minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Then, add the spinach.

Let the mixture cook, stirring gently, until the spinach is wilted.

In a food processor, blend the silken tofu, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, basil, salt, and pepper until smooth. Add the artichokes and spinach mixture, and pulse about 15 times. Transfer to your prepared baking dish.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned on top.

Let cool a few minutes, then serve with bread or tortilla chips. Yum!