Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Winning: Pasta with Broccoli and Yum

Disclaimer: I hate jumping on the band wagon. Especially when a particular topic has been beaten to death (via status updates/album titles/photo captions/tweets YES I HAVE TWITTER NOW @taryneleanor... follow me).  

But Charlie Sheen is special case... 

For whatever reason, when I was writing this recipe, his fun little catchphrase came to mind. And although I could try to explain the addicting garlicky cheesiness of this pasta, Chuck just has such a way with words. So I'll pay tribute here, to a man whom I personally hate, but whose words have touched us all.  Here's what the great American poet of our generation has to say:

"It's perfect. It's awesome. Every day is just filled with just wins. All we do is put wins in the record books. We win so radically in our underwear before our first cup of coffee, it's scary. People say it's lonely at the top, but I sure like the view."

Thanks, Chuck. Couldn't have said it better myself. 

This pasta is just that-- one for the record books. A bowl of wins. Make this pasta, and you'll get it. 

Flavorful + filling = winning

Shout out to all you cheese-loving normalvores out there-- fear not. You can easily swap out the vegan cheese for something more your style, maybe mozzarella or parmesan. Or if you're anything like my roomies... both! Love them. And I promise I don't judge.

So without further a-do (?), here's how I made it:

Garlic Lemon Pasta with Broccoli & Sun-dried Tomato
[2] oz pasta shells
[1/2] cup broccoli
[1/3] cup vegan cheese (daiya really is the best)
[1] garlic clove
[1/2] lemon juice
[1] tbsp sun dried tomato, minced
[2] tsp olive oil
[1] tbsp chopped basil or parsley
cracked pepper

Start by bringing a pot of water to a boil. Once it's boiling, add a considerable pinch of salt and cook pasta until al dente.

Meanwhile, steam the broccoli. I find that it's easiest to do this in a microwave. Just fill a microwavable bowl with about 1/4 inch water, add broccoli, and cover. Microwave for about 2 minutes, or until broccoli is bright green and tender.

Cook garlic in a small sautee pan with 1 tsp of olive oil until it starts to turn color. Add sun dried tomato and continue cooking for about 1 minute.

Once pasta is cooked, drain and return to pan. Add broccoli, garlic and sun dried tomato, cheese, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and remaining olive oil. Combine and transfer to a dish. Top with fresh herbs.

Take a bite and try not to pass out.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

On a Roll!

Between my last post (Feb.8... yikes) and now, a lot of stuff has happened.

Blogging, clearly, has not been one of them. Sorry.

I'm sensing a pattern developing, here. I get on a serious roll, then... uhhh... I don't even want to know when the last entry was. And the busier I get, the more often it tends to happen. At least I'm consistent?

But enough of that, today is a new day. And April is (about to be) a new month. Being a better blogger is still on my radar, and what's the harm in having a long-term goal.

One thing that hasn't fallen to the wayside-- my cooking. I've got tons of recipes to share and I promise, sooner or later, I'll get 'em up here.

So, let's see how many posts I can get in before the next dry spell. Chances are pretty good that consistency will get the best of me once again, but for the sake of everyone who reads my blog, I'll remain optimistic.

Here's a phenomenal recipe for Roasted Red Pepper Hummus. I don't know many people who don't like hummus, and I'm telling you, this is honestly the best hummus I've made so far.* This recipe literally could not be easier.

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
[1] can organic chickpeas
[2] tbsp sesame tahini
[2] lemons, juiced
[1 1/2] whole roasted red peppers, chopped
[1] garlic clove (use more... if you like more garlic)
[1] tsp paprika
[1/4--1/3] cup water to thin. (I use water in place of olive oil but you could use either, or both!)

Blend chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic and a little water in the food processor until smooth. Add water until you've reached desired consistency. When smooth, add salt and pepper to taste, chopped peppers, and paprika. Blend once more until combined. I kept the consistency pretty chunky (I hate that word) so that it was more like a dip. Sprinkle the top with paprika and add a sprig of parsley for presentation and color. Bring it to a party, serve it with pita, then watch it dis-ap-pear.

I'm going to go eat this now and pretend that Spring Break hasn't ended.

You're gunna be sahooo pOpuLaR

*In my latest attempt to avoid preservatives, I've been making my own hummus. It's so much cheaper (hummus at the grocery store can cost up to $5.00 compared to a can of chickpeas for like, $0.80), plus you can control the flavors and consistency. Basically, after you make your own hummus, you'll never buy it from the store again.