At some point I realized that Alamo Drafthouse, the awesomest of movie theaters, included a dish on their menu called “spaghetti squash and pomodoro sauce”. Since the dish was both vegetarian and featured a new to me squash I had to try it. I think I’ve now eaten it on 3 out of my last 4 Alamo trips because it is delicious. It’s basically squash topped with mushrooms, sauce and parmesan.
Well this week I decided I wanted to make my own spaghetti squash dish, so I did. I got a giant squash at the grocery store that fed two of us for two nights. I sliced it open and cleaned it out, kind of like a pumpkin. It then had to go into two separate baking dishes - I baked it for about 50 minutes, sliced side down, with a bit of water in the bottom of the pan.
While the squash baked, I assembled my ingredients, sauce, mushrooms, onion, and a red pepper. If you’ve never tried Newman’s Own “Sockarooni” sauce, I highly recommend it. It has a slight fresh garden and spicy flavor and is just plain good. Newman’s Own also donates their profits to charity so that makes me happy.
I sautéed each vegetable separately in a touch of olive oil, being careful not to over cook them.
After all of that, the squash was about done. I could tell because when I scraped the inside with a fork, the squash easily pulled apart into spaghetti looking strands.
I served a quarter of the squash topped with the mushrooms, onion, red pepper, sauce and cheese. It was quite delicious. I really like the slightly crunch texture of the squash strands.
This week I tried making some strange food. Last week I encountered a recipe for Caramelized Peanut Butter Banana Quesadillas posted to the Craftzine blog. Bananas, marshmallows, and Peanut Butter - some of my favorite foods from when I was 12.
We just happened to have some left over tortillas and a looming bike ride so I decided to try this for breakfast. However, my adult self decided the marshmallows and butter would be too much. I took a single tortilla, covered it in a thin layer of peanut butter, sprinkled on some brown sugar and added a layer of banana slices on half of the tortilla. I folded it in half and toasted in in a frying pan. It came out quite tasty this way. Next time I won’t bother with the brown sugar, it just made a mess and didn’t add anything.
The second random food I made this week was a blueberry dessert. We had some blueberries that weren’t all that exciting to eat so I decided to try to make them into a blueberry crumble dessert. I made the mistake of just winging the topping. I used oats, flour, yogurt, and honey. I accidentally poured too much flour in and the mixture got too doughy and didn’t turn out so great. Next time I’ll make more of a dry topping because the blueberries were tasty underneath.
Ever since I came across quinoa, I’ve been interested in recipes that I come across that use it. It’s a very small seed and when you cook it up, it opens up and looks like a little spiral.
Tonight I used this recipe but modified it to my taste of course. I added zucchini, garlic, some left over vegetable broth, more thyme, oregano from the garden, and a special spice mix that I got at the Savory Spice Shop on 6th Street.
The ingredients ready to go - carrots, zucchini, onion, tomato, and garlic:
First, the onions were sauteed in a bit of olive oil and some crushed garlic:
After appropriately cooked, but not overcooked so they would stay crunchy, I added the quinoa and toasted it for a few minutes:
Next, the vegetable broth and water along with herbs (thyme, oregano, pepper, spice mix) were added to the pot. That simmered for a few minutes and then the carrots and zucchini was added:
After the liquid was absorbed, the tomatoes and spinach were mixed in. I had a bit too much spinach and had to take some out. Whoa, so much spinach!
Once the spinach was fully cooked down, I served it with some shredded Parmesan on top. Not bad for a light summer time meal, but I’m still trying to figure out how to get more flavor in quinoa dishes.
Look at all of those colors - such a healthy dish!
Sometimes we like to make little personal pizzas on top of flatbread for dinner. Instead of pizza sauce, we tend to use olive oil or hummus.
Our garden is somewhat sad this year due to the crazy drought we’ve been having but at least the herbs are doing well. I picked some thyme, oregano, garlic chives and rosemary from the garden to start with:
I then stripped the thyme, oregano, and rosemary leaves from their stems and sliced up the chives and put them in my mortar:
I proceeded to use the pestle to crush up the herbs:
and then mixed in olive oil:
We spread this concoction on our flatbread pizzas and we could definitely taste the herbs after the pizzas finished cooking. Yum!
Like most people, my husband and I like stir fry. The problem is that every time we try to make it at home, it’s bland at best despite following tasty sounding recipes.
Every so often we forget that we’re bad at making stir fry and give it another go. This time, I was persuaded to try yet again by two things. This blog post from Yard Farm, ATX about how to roast cabbage by tossing it in olive oil with some salt and pepper. It suggests using the roasted cabbage as a noodle substitute and I do love some cabbage. Then, the most recent Vegetarian Times magazine had a section on Asian dishes, including one for Stir Fried Rice Noodles. The recipe calls for rice noodles, asparagus, sugar peas, eggs, green onion and a sauce. It looked amazing.
Luckily for us, it turned out delicious this time, despite the changes I made to the recipe.
The recipe in Vegetarian Times:
Asparagus and Sweet Peas ready to be cooked, sliced green onion, minced garlic:
Eggs being cooked omelette style, to be sliced up later:
Rice noodles soaking in hot water (we didn’t completely replace them with cabbage):
Sweet peas, asparagus, and garlic cooking:
Roasted cabbage - oh man, this was so good I just ate it by itself:
All ingredients together, simmering in the sauce: