Quick Pasta All’arrabbiata

Quick Pasta All’arrabbiata

Penne All’arrabbiata ranks as one of the classic Italian dishes. It is hard to believe it is so simple and quick with stunning results. This dish can be made as the pasta is boiling. That easy and quick.

The ingredients are not complicated, but render complex flavors. All it is garlic, red pepper flakes, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, kosher salt, olive oil, and red wine vinegar. Add pasta and freshly grated Parmesan cheese if not vegan.

I adore anything with pasta so if you are looking for more recipes then check these out.

 

Quick Penne All’arrabbiata

Ingredients

  • 400g Pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 2 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • 1/2 - 1 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 15oz cans chopped tomatoes
  • 8 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • Kosher Salt to Taste
  • Generous Turn of the Pepper Mill
  • Parmesan Cheese Grated (optional if vegan)

Preparation

  • 1. Cook pasta to box directions; keeping some of the pasta water
  • 2. Heat a pan on medium heat and add the oil.
  • 3. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes cooking for about a minute.
  • 4. Add the chopped tomatoes and the tomato puree mixing well bringing to the boil then reduce to a simmer cooking for 5 mins stirring occasionally.
  • 5. Add the vinegar and season with salt and ground black pepper to taste.
  • 6. Add the pasta and cook until the sauce coats each piece of pasta. If the sauce seems too thick add a little of the water from cooking the pasta to thin it out.
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Quick Vegetable Dal

Quick Vegetable Dal

This plant-based quick vegetable dal is my go-to dinner on very busy days when I’m too tired to cook or frankly too tired to think about what to cook and don’t want to order pizza. It is packed with protein and vegetables.

Many of the ingredients are always in my fridge and pantry. I use canned tomatoes, lentils, low fat coconut milk, and chickpeas with bottle minced garlic and ginger. I always have baby spinach, cilantro, green onions, and limes on hand as they are versatile in plant-based cooking.

You can serve with cooked rice or toasted naan/pitas.

I found this recipe originally on The Happy Pear, but modified to use pantry staples adding my own touch. If you like this quick vegetable dal recipe and are looking for more plant-based dishes, visit here.

 

Quick Vegetable Dal

Ingredients

  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon Minced Ginger
  • 5 Green Onions
  • 1 15oz can of Chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 1 15oz can of Lentils (Goya brand) drained and rinsed
  • 1 15oz can of Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 Bunch of Cilantro chopped finely
  • 2 Tablespoons Curry Powder
  • 2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • Generous turn of the Pepper Mill
  • Juice of half a lime

Preparation

  • 1. Heat oil on high heat in a large non-stick pan.
  • 2. Add garlic and ginger to pan reducing heat to medium cooking for 2 minutes stirring occasionally.
  • 3. Add green onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and 1 teaspoon of salt stirring well cooking for a 1 minute or until the mixture thickens.
  • 4. Add in the spices, salt, black pepper, and lime juice combining well cooking for a couple of minutes then stir in the coconut milk, lentils and chickpeas.
  • 5. Bring to a boil then lower to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  • 6. Add spinach to wilt.
  • 7. Check seasoning adding more salt or pepper.
  • 8. Serve with warmed naan/pitas or cooked rice.
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Fresh Simple Roasted Vegetable Hummus Tart

Fresh Simple Roasted Vegetable Hummus Tart

A fresh and simple meal: roasted vegetable hummus tart.

Folks have it in their minds that preparing good food has to be hard. Good food doesn’t have to be complex. Simple is just as good and often even better. We tend to overthink food. Yes, there are some recipes that complex in terms of techniques, tools, and/or ingredients, but for the most part, simpler is better. Making a veggie hummus tart for dinner. Simple, fresh ingredients.

There is nothing easier than making this roasted veggie hummus tart. All the ingredients are stars in this recipe. Start with simple, fresh ingredients you may have on hand. Chopped up some red peppers, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes and/or eggplant with some fresh chopped basil. Add olive oil with salt and pepper tossing. The end result is delicious roasted veg which will be the topping for the tart. Spread hummus – store bought or homemade – on the baked puff pastry then top with the roasted veg. Perfection. This dish can be served warm or cold.

Roasted Vegetable Hummus Tart Recipe

 

Roasted Vegetable Hummus Tart

4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped basil
  • 2-4 cups mixed chopped vegetables such as peppers, red onion, tomatoes, and zucchini
  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (room temperature)
  • 1 container plain hummus

Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 430F.
  • Place chopped basil and vegetables in a bowl.
  • Drizzle the oil over the vegetables and basil adding a dash of kosher salt and a few generous turns of the pepper grinder then toss.
  • Spread the mixture on the medium roasting tray lined with foil roasting for 20-25 minutes.
  • Prepare the puff pastry sheet by scoring an inch border around the sheet and prick the middle with a fork a few times to stop it puffing up too much.
  • Cover with dish towel and place in the fridge until the roasted veg is done.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and top with the hummus, then top with the roast vegetables.
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Black Bean Quesadillas

Black Bean Quesadillas

Lazy Meals

We all have them. The meal that is your go-to dinner when no one feels like cooking, didn’t go to the grocery store, or don’t want to order delivery. For us, it is black bean quesadillas. We can always count on them filling out bellies quickly and easily. It is a simple and quick meal made in 15 minutes with a handful of items I always have on hand:

  • minced garlic
  • canned black beans
  • canned tomatoes with green chiles
  • canned “Mexican” corn
  • fresh cilantro
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • flour tortillas

I do my best to keep my pantry stocked and fridge filled with essential fresh veg for moments listed in the previous paragraph. I always have a bottle of minced garlic, limes, and fresh cilantro in the fridge since I cook them with 3-4 times a week.  I don’t know if flour tortillas go off, but they seem to last forever and we haven’t die yet.

 

Kitchen Tip: To keep herbs fresh put trimmed herbs in a jar filled with cold water, put a plastic bag over it, and keep in fridge changing the water every 3 days or so.

 

The key to lazy meals is knowing what works for you and building your pantry around it. Our schedules are hectic though we try to keep them in check. There are days dinner is the last on my mind and having a list of go-to meals I can throw together in 15 is wonderful. Take out is great, but it does take a toll on your waistline and wallet.

Back to our go-to meal of black bean quesadilla which was based on a recipe from Real Simple magazine from years ago and has evolved. It is flexible as to how you make it. It is what I call a drain and dump meal. I like to add a splash of lime juice just to the bean mixture for a zing. We add cheese, but it tastes nice without cheese making a good vegan meal.

Looking for other quick meals? Have a look here.

What’s your go-to meal?

 

 

Black Bean Quesadillas

Ingredients

  • - 1 tablespoons minced garlic
  • - 1 can black beans
  • - 1 can tomatoes with green chiles
  • - 1 can "Mexican" corn
  • - Handful fresh cilantro
  • - 2-3 handfuls shredded cheddar cheese
  • - 4 flour tortillas   

Preparation

  • - Preheat broiler.
  • - Heat pan with a splash of olive oil.
  • - Drain and rise black beans and corn. Add tomatoes on top.
  • - Chop cilantro.
  • - Add garlic to pan cooking for a minute or until brownish.
  • - Add black beans, tomatoes, corn, and cilantro to pan cooking for 5 or so minutes.
  • - Using a slotted spoon arrange bean mixture on to tortillas topping with cheese then folding into a half-moon shape.
  • - Broil until cheese is melted or until slightly browned.
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Vegetarian Cassoulet

Vegetarian Cassoulet

 

A New Classic: Vegetarian Cassoulet

We all know the class French dish, cassoulet, with pork, chicken, and sausage. It is perfect on a winter’s evening for dinner. But what if you aren’t eating meat? A vegetarian cassoulet is a delicious non-meat alternative to this rich traditional version. While is without meat, it doesn’t lack flavor and fills you up. And what makes this dish even better than the original? It is simple to make and can be on the table in under an hour. The dish is respectable enough to serve on Sunday and to company. Even my meat loving guys enjoy this dish not missing the meat.

Simple Ingredient for Big Flavor

Vegetarian Cassoulet

Simple ingredients you may have in your fridge and pantry. It is leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme, parsley, bay leaf, ground clove, and canned cannelloni beans. I like to use fresh herbs even in winter, but you can substitute dried herbs. I bring my herbs inside keeping them in my mud room so I have fresh thyme, parsley, rosemary, and oregano to use in my cooking. I was fortunate when I made this vegetarian cassoulet last I had fresh leeks from my garden. They were little ones, but so good. I took pride in using them in my dish. The cassoulet has a garlic breadcrumb topping. Depending if I have stale homemade bread, I will make my own or I use store bought bread crumbs.

This really is a meaty dish. You can serve it with a salad and a baguette.

Vegetarian Cassoulet

Vegetarian Cassoulet

Ingredients

  • - 3 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • - 4 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch-wide pieces
  • - 3 celery ribs, cut into 1-inch-wide pieces
  • - 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • - 1/4 cup olive oil
  • - 4 thyme sprigs
  • - 2 parsley sprigs
  • - 1 bay leaf
  • -1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • - 3 cans cannellini rinsed and drained
  • - 1 quart water
  • For garlic crumbs
  • - 4 cups coarse fresh bread crumbs
  • - 1/3 cup olive oil
  • - 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • - 1/4 cup chopped parsley

Preparation

  • 1. Halve leeks lengthwise and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces.
  • 2. Wash well and pat dry. Salad spinner is helpful.
  • 3. Cook leeks, carrots, celery, and garlic in oil with herb sprigs, bay leaf, cloves, and 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a large Dutch oven over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and golden, about 15 minutes.
  • 4. Stir in beans, then water, and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until carrots are tender but not falling apart, about 30 minutes.
  • 5. Make garlic crumbs while cassoulet simmers.
  • 6. Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
  • 7. Toss bread crumbs with oil, garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper in a bowl until well coated.
  • 8. Spread in a baking pan and toast in oven, stirring once halfway through, until crisp and golden, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • 9. Cool crumbs in pan, then return to bowl and stir in parsley.
  • 10. Discard herb sprigs and bay leaf.
  • 11. Mash some of beans in pot with a potato masher or back of a spoon to thicken broth.
  • 12. Season with salt and pepper.
  • 13. Just before serving, sprinkle with garlic crumbs.
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Homemade Chicken Soup

Homemade Chicken Soup

Good for the Soul: Homemade Chicken Soup

Most of us growing up when we were sick, soup was what we ate. And the top choice was some form of chicken soup. Campbell’s Chicken Noodle soup from a can was in our cupboard growing up. While my Mom was a good cook and did make soup, I don’t remember her ever making a chicken soup. I do make a couple of soups such as Slow Cooker Thai Chicken Rice Soup, but never the traditional chicken soup.

Not that this recipe is very traditional. I’ve made it with some healthy flu fighting ingredients such as garlic, ginger, turmeric, fresh herbs, and orzo pasta. It is a step-up from canned soups. This is a quick and simple recipe. There are the traditional ingredients of onion, celery, carrots, chicken, and chicken broth, but the addition of the garlic, ginger along with fresh rosemary and thyme kicks it up with a more complex flavor.

Now if you are sick with cold, flu, or stomach bug, a more complex flavor may not be what you are going for, but instead something warm and liquid to fill your belly. And that’s fine, but just because you are sick doesn’t mean your taste buds should suffer or the people you share meals with.

Make a big pot of this homemade chicken soup with orzo pasta, it will become a family favorite.

Homemade Chicken Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2-3 large carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 celery stalks, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric)
  • 6-8 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon freshly chopped thyme, stems removed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup small pasta
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas

Preparation

  • - Place a large dutch oven over medium high heat and add in oil. Once oil is hot, add in garlic, onion, carrots and celery; cook for a few minutes until onion becomes translucent.
  • - Next add in grated ginger and turmeric. Sauté for to let the spices cook a bit for about 30 seconds, then add in chicken broth, chicken breast, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.
  • - Bring soup to a boil, then stir in pasta. Chicken should be covered with broth.
  • - Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.
  • - Once chicken is cooked, remove then shred the chicken with two forks. Add chicken back to pot then stir in frozen peas. If the soup is too thick then add more broth.
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