Healthy(ish) Green Macaroni & Cheese

GMC Final.JPGI love macaroni and cheese! Give me blue box, homemade, or anything in between and it’s sure to be a hit! I’ve tried lots of different versions of this ultimate comfort food and this recipe has evolved to become my favorite! Not only is it delicious, but it’s also pretty and Continue reading

Vegan Spinach & White Bean Soup

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With the recent passing of pop icon Prince, I decided to pay homage to his legacy by preparing a vegan meal. For those of you who didn’t know, Prince was not only a musical genius, but a vegan. I didn’t know him personally, but I like to think that his status as a vegan is a good indication that he was also a kindhearted person who loved animals. Just guessing. Anyway, I immediately thought of this soup because I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Orzo pasta, and I had some leftover Spinach from when I made my Better than Panera Quinoa Broth Bowl. This is an easy vegan dinner that can be prepared easily and quickly for a weeknight dinner, but has a flavor profile that can rival dishes at high-end restaurants. Plus, the ingredients are those that I usually have on hand for last-minute meal planning!

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Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 4 Cloves of Garlic, minced (not pictured)
  • 2 Small Sweet Onions, Diced
  • 1 Can Cannelini Beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 Pound Orzo Pasta
  • 3 Cups Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 4 Cups Vegetable Broth
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • 2-3 tsp. Dried Basil
  • 2-3 tsp. Bay Leaves
  • 2-3 tsp. Dried Thyme

And here’s how you make this delicious meal…

Heat olive oil in large saucepan. Add onions and sauté’ until they become somewhat Continue reading

Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Pasta

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One of my favorite appetizers to order when my husband and I go out is Spinach and Artichoke dip. I’m also a huge fan of the homemade version that often makes an appearance at family barbecues throughout the summer. I seriously cannot get enough of the stuff! So upon review of a few recipes, I decided that I had to make a vegetarian Spinach and Artichoke Pasta recipe that was quick and easy enough for dinner. This warm and cheesy dish is definitely it!

For this recipe you will need:

  • Penne Pasta (1 box)
  • Vegetable Broth (about 2-3 cups)
  • Butter (3 Tbsp.)
  • Garlic Cloves (4, minced)
  • Mushrooms (1 pkg sliced white)
  • Flour (4 Tbsp)
  • Heavy Whipping Cream (3/4 cup)
  • Parmesan Cheese, finely shredded (1/2 cup, plus some for sprinkling)
  • Artichoke Hearts (1 can quartered)
  • Frozen chopped Spinach (1 box, thawed)
  • Thyme (dried, about 1 Tbsp)
  • Pepper (to taste)

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Start off by gathering your ingredients and ensuring that your frozen spinach is properly thawed. You’ll also want to press it onto a plate with paper towels to soak up excess water or you’ll end up adding the water to your sauce later. If you don’t want to deal with the frozen spinach, feel free to use fresh. I’m sure it would be delicious!

Now that you’ve gathered your ingredients, get the water ready to boil your pasta so that it will be ready when you need it. Once it’s boiling, go ahead and prepare your pasta Continue reading

Better Than Panera…Hearty Quinoa Broth Bowls

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I am a Panera Bread junkie! I love their selection and can always justify getting myself a danish for dessert! That alone makes it well worth the trip to the restaurant. Sometime recently they’ve added an awesome Quinoa Broth Bowl to their menu and I can’t get enough! But, at around $8.00 a pop, I certainly can’t go there everyday. Plus, I’m always a little unsure if things like that are truly vegetarian, or if they have a chicken or beef base. They tell me it doesn’t, but you never know.

Quinoa ad.png     Lentil ad     Olive oil ad     Ramekin ad

Anyway, shortly after trying the dish for the first time I began searching online for a good copycat recipe. I found a few but I am a “little of this, little of that” kind of cook and I’ve created a new and improved version of the bowl that is a little more hearty and makes a great dinner! It’s a quick and easy vegan dish (unless you add the egg, in which case it’s vegetarian) that my husband the meat-eater loves (check out my post on vegetarian cooking for the meat eater here)!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Fresh Baby Spinach (enough for about 2 cups)
  • Kale (enough for about 2 cups chopped)
  • Lentils (1 1/2 cups dried…becomes about 3 cups cooked)
  • Quinoa (3/4 cup uncooked)
  • Sun-dried tomatoes (1/4-1/2 cup chopped)
  • Olive oil (2-3 Tbsp.)
  • Vegetable Broth (2 cartons)
  • Onion (1 chopped)
  • Garlic (1-2 cloves minced)
  • Bay leaves, dried (2 Tbsp.)
  • Hard-boiled eggs (optional, 1-2 per person)
  • French Baguette

 

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Now that you’ve got your ingredients together, it’s time to get started! Make sure that you’ve pre-cooked your lentils and this will go very quickly!

If you’re adding hard-boiled eggs to your dish, you’ll want to get those started before you jump into making your main dish.

Start by heating your olive oil in a large saucepan and dumping in your onions. You’ll want Continue reading