Chickpea Casarecce Pasta with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Chimichurri

Chickpea Casarecce Pasta with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Chimichurri

Post sponsored by Barilla. See below for more details.

When it comes to pasta in the winter, I tend towards pasta with cream sauces or loaded up on cheese. It’s a hold-over from all those snowy days in the Midwest. However, now I occasionally opt for something I can throw in the car for a road trip or work day. That’s where this pasta comes in with a little help from Barilla Chickpea Casarecce.

Roasted sweet potatoes, or not.

I recently asked my three-year old why he decidedly didn’t like sweet potatoes anymore. His answer: they taste like garbage. When I posted this on Instagram, there were quite a few people who agreed with him. So, this section is for those people.

Swap out the sweet potatoes for roasted squash or roasted cauliflower for the cooler months. During the summer months, you can bet that I’ll be making this with smoked tomatoes and sweet corn.

Chickpea Casarecce Pasta with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Chimichurri

Batch it: Chimichurri

Chimichurri is one of those sauces I batch make because if I’m going to spend time making it, I’m going to make a lot of it. I use it on grain bowls, tacos, eggs, soups, and pasta (like in this recipe). You can make quick work of this sauce with help from the food processor, but I typically just use a knife to chop everything.

Chickpea Casarecce Pasta with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Chimichurri

Barilla’s Chickpea Casarecce Pasta

As I mentioned before in the recipe for broccoli pesto pasta, I love the shape of this Chickpea Casarecce from Barilla. I also love that it’s only one ingredient but cooks up like traditional pasta (holiday it’s shape really well!) While I went with an extra saucy pasta last time, I wanted to showcase the versatility with this dish that’s a bit more pasta-salad than dinner dish. It’s the perfect pasta to pack-away for a work or picnic lunch. You can find all four varieties (Red Lentil Penne, Red Lentil Rotini, Chickpea Rotini and Chickpea Casarecce) on Amazon.

[tasty-recipe id=”37845″]

Chickpea Casarecce Pasta with Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Chimichurri

Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with Barilla. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It’s content like this that helps me keep this site running to provide the vegetarian recipes you see every week.
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Kabocha Ricotta Pancakes

Close-up photograph of a stack of ricotta pancakes made with einkorn flour and kabocha squash puree.

During February, I start to get the itch. While it’s still snowing in many parts of the country, the Central Valley in California transitions into spring. And I really shouldn’t even say transition. It’s more you wake up one morning and there are blooms on the trees and flowers everywhere. And so, I start impatiently waiting for spring produce.

Truth is though, we still have some time. And so, I reflect back into the winter produce and start to look for more creative ways to use what is still lingering around. Recently I made a squash puree and listed out a handful of recipes I thought about making. In the end, I really feel there’s nothing quite like a solid breakfast, especially if ricotta pancakes are involved.

Kabocha, pumpkin’s cool cousin.

During the cooler months, I go squash happy. Anytime I’m at the store I think to myself, ‘Yes, I need a couple squash.’ Then, I get home and realize I already had a few. And so, I start to get really creative with how I use them.

Kabocha is one of my favorites. It’s flavor is sweet while the puree is similar in consistency to pumpkin. All of of this makes it the perfect squash to use in recipes one might traditionally use pumpkin. Of course, if you don’t want to spend the time cooking the kabocha or can’t find one, use pumpkin puree instead.

Ricotta pancakes: like eating clouds

When I first started making a non-squash version of these pancakes, I couldn’t get over how light and pillowy the texture is. The ricotta really adds the perfect amount of moisture while the stiff egg whites lighten the batter.

I will say, if you’re unsure of spending that much effort to make the batter, it’s really worth it. These aren’t my every weekend pancakes but it’s definitely a nice treat once in awhile.

Einkorn? Einkorn!

Finally, flour. You could easily use traditional all purpose or even whole wheat pastry. However, I urge you to check out einkorn. I’ve been in love with einkorn for years. The flavor brings the most warm and nutty flavor to the mix. I also find it’s one of the easier flours to try in place of all purpose (especially if you find Jovial’s all-purpose einkorn flour.)

[tasty-recipe id=”37838″]

Photograph of ricotta pancakes from the side, topped with candied walnuts and maple syrup.continue reading

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Easy DIY Harissa Paste

Easy DIY Harissa Paste

Have you ever seen a recipe that called for “harissa paste,” but weren’t sure what it was? I’ve been there.

In my earlier days of cooking I used to either skip it altogether, or substitute with whatever hot sauce I had on hand.

Fast forward to now, and I use harissa paste — a North African spicy red sauce — all the time. It consists of simple ingredients like red chilies, garlic, vinegar, and spices, and is perfect for adding smokiness and heat to dishes like hummus, lentil chili, pasta sauce, and more.

Easy DIY Harissa Paste from Minimalist Baker →

Buttermilk Berry Muffins

The other morning I found myself gushing to this guy about some muffins I baked. Josey is my neighbor (ladies, don’t hate), and he’s super inspiring – fully geeked out on all things flour, seed, and grain. As a side note, when I get him to show me how to make his Dark Mountain Rye Bread, you’ll be the first to know. I see Josey around a lot, and sometimes we chat about what we’re baking. So, there I was, telling him about a batch of muffins I was particularly into, they were just GOOD. 
Sugar-topped Buttermilk Berry Muffin Recipe
Berry-streaked with sugar-sparkled tops, big flavor, buttermilk tender texture, I kept going on and on. On the way home it occurred to me that I should probably write them up. Here goes.
Sugar-topped Buttermilk Berry Muffin Recipe
I used whole wheat pastry flour, huckleberries from last summer (frozen), and topped them with crushed rose cinnamon sugar. They’re not overly sweet, and they’re nice and moist from a the buttermilk and a of couple bananas worked into the extra-thick batter. Although, it’s worth noting that after baking the banana flavor didn’t overwhelm the berries.
Sugar-topped Buttermilk Berry Muffin Recipe
You can use any berries you like, frozen or otherwise. Blueberries are always good, chopped strawberries are also a favorite in muffins.

Sugar-topped Buttermilk Berry Muffin RecipeSugar-topped Buttermilk Berry Muffin Recipe

Now, here’s where the magic happens. To make these extra-special, I decided to top them. I love the combination of berry and rose, and that’s part of what inspired the rose & spice sugar-dusted tops. The next time around I might even spritz the muffins, in the last few minutes of baking, with rose water (or rose sugar water), or something along those lines, to heighten the floral aspect.

Continue reading Buttermilk Berry Muffins on 101 Cookbooks

Ginger Sweet Potato Soup with Crispy Farro

Ginger Sweet Potato Soup with Crispy Farro

Post sponsored by Bob’s Red Mill. See below for more details.

I feel like not much needs said beyond winter and soup. It’s almost a testament to how creative one can be during the cooler months: just how many different soups can I make? This sweet potato soup is minimal on ingredients but features one of my favorite things with leftover grains: make them crunchy.

In this case, I’m using Bob’s Red Mill Farro. It brings the perfect warm, nutty flavor and it’s a great way to use up small amounts of leftover grains.

Cream-based Winter Soups

While I’m always down for a delicious creamy bowl of broccoli or cauliflower soup, my favorite is using brightly colored squash and sweet potatoes. The earthy flavor paired with solid spices and herbs is always a winning combination.

However, you can easily swap out the sweet potato for something else. Try butternut squash or sometimes when I’m in a hurry, I like to pan-fry the garlic/ginger then use pumpkin puree (about 3 cups worth).

Ginger and Garlic: the power couple

When it comes to soups, I like to keep the flavors simple. Time and again, in different variations, I come back to ginger/garlic. So simple yet so good. This might also be that I’m obsessed with the ginger flavor in everything I can get. So soup makes sense!

You could easily use onions or shallots with or in place of the garlic. I will say, however, that they ginger is the main flavor. It’s a bit harder to replace but you could just leave it out and up the amount of alliums you use.

Bob’s Red Mill Farro

When it comes to soups, I need something crispy on top. Croutons and nuts/seeds are the first obvious choice. However, I’ve been in love with crispy farro. It’s a fairly extreme crunch (to which Grace mentioned was a bit like grape nuts!) It’s a perfect way to use leftover farro or if you’re me, a perfect excuse to make a pot.

I love using Bob’s farro because it cooks up great every time. The flavor is perfectly warm and nutty and I know I can always trust the product I’m getting.

Cashew Cream + Vegan vs Not

Finally, a note about cashew cream. You really don’t need the cream for the soup because the sweet potatoes puree nicely. However, I love the extra level of richness the cashew cream gives. You could also get this from a splash of heavy cream or another type of nut cream.

[tasty-recipe id=”37745″]

Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with Bob’s Red Mill. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It’s content like this that helps me keep this site running to provide the vegetarian recipes you see every week. continue reading

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Magic Sauce

I call this my magic sauce recipe. In part, because it makes everything it touches shimmer with deliciousness. It’s magic like that. Technically, it’s a riff on a chimichurri sauce – one that veered off the rails in a big way. Much tweaking has rendered it a distant second cousin. If that. In fact, the hallmark of that sauce, parsley, I skip entirely. But I love this. Love love love. And I use it a hundred different ways. Magic sauce, it’s real.

Magic Sauce Recipe

Double Up

Let’s just start by putting one thing out there. You’re best off making a double or triple batch. This is the sort of stuff you burn through in minutes. Not exaggerating. I cook eggs in it – scrambled, omelette, frittata, you name it. I drizzle it on soups. This time of year that means corn soups, brothy bean pots, or lunch time slurpy noodle bowls.
Magic Sauce Recipe
Magic Sauce Recipe

 I can also attest it’s the sort of thing that makes baked potatoes even better than usual. And salads welcome it as well – particularly shaved salads, or ones made from spicy greens. You can use it to marinate or slather ingredients before grilling or roasting. And its the sort of dressing that turns a bowl full of farro or quinoa or soba noodles into something close to a full meal – just toss in another favorite seasonal ingredient or two.

Magic Sauce Recipe
This sauce is as versatile as a black dress. Although, it’s not really the little black dress of sauces. Think more bohemian that that – earthy, intricate and interesting. Completely approachable. The way the garlic-perfumed oil suspends flecks of rosemary, thyme, and oregano is really nice. And the rusty red tint of the paprika makes everything this sauce touches look just that much more special.
Magic Sauce Recipe

If you do anything extra special with it, give a holler in the comments. I still have a half-full mason jar of it ready for business. -h

Continue reading Magic Sauce on 101 Cookbooks

An Exceptional Ginger Carrot Dressing

Blender dressings are great, in part, because they’re fast. Everything into one container, puree, and you’re set. This is a dressing I tend to make quite a lot in the fall, and then I just keep on going all the way through winter. It’s an incredibly versatile blend of favorite ingredients like carrots, turmeric, coconut milk, ginger, and sesame. Also, lots of shallots. Which, as we know from last week, I rarely skimp on.
An Exceptional Ginger Carrot Dressing

A Versatile Dressing & Ways to Use It

I use this dressing on green salads, grain salads, and as an A+ finishing touch over sautéed, steamed, or simmered vegetables. It works nicely in cold, summery noodle salads, and as a dipping sauce for crudité. This is all to say, it’s great on many things. I’ll list of some specific ways I’ve used it recently below!
An Exceptional Ginger Carrot Dressing

Shredded Winter Salad: Add some winter citrus segments, to a bowl of shredded baby romaine, endives and radicchio, and toss with the ginger carrot dressing and lots of toasted sesame seeds.

Noodle salad: Toss soba noodles with it and then go from there, adding other favorite seasonal ingredients – roasted vegetables, toasted seaweed, tofu or whatever protein you like, etc.

Brussels Sprouts: Pan-fry some brussels sprouts along these lines, transfer to a serving bowl, and toss with a bit of the dressing.

Farro Salad: I did this as a side for Thanksgiving – combine farro, lots of toasted seeds, and plenty or arugula in a large bowl and toss with a generous amount of the ginger carrot dressing.

Summer / Early Autumn: tossed with green beans and topped with deeply roasted cherry tomatoes +toasted almonds

A number of you were curious about a winter miso chowder I posted a photo of to my instagram feed recently. I’m going to write it up next. Making it again tonight, and fine-tuning the ingredient amounts. It’s definitely a hearty, winter warmer.

Continue reading An Exceptional Ginger Carrot Dressing on 101 Cookbooks

Black Olive Red Lentil Pasta

Overhead, close-up photograph of red lentil pasta, cheese, and black olives.

Post sponsored by Barilla. See below for more details.

When it comes to vegetarian pasta dishes, it can feel a bit harder to get protein into the meals. I typically opt for making a side salad loaded with chickpeas and occasionally I’ll make a version of lentil Bolognese. However, sometimes I just want a simple, 20-minute dinner that doesn’t take any fuss. Enter this black olive lentil pasta using at Barilla Red Lentil Penne.

Alliums

I love shallots, but I know they can be a bit of a pain when it comes to mincing. Swap out shallots for minced garlic or minced onion. If you want to make this during the spring, this is also an opportune time to use green garlic.

Overhead photograph of red lentil pasta with olives and a box of barilla pasta.

Olive varieties

I typically reach for kalamata, primarily because we pick up olives from the olive bar quite frequently. However, using black or green olives would work as well. We keep a couple cans on hand for quick meals, and this would definitely be one of those quick meals!

Barilla Red Lentil Penne

Up to now, I’ve showcased the chickpea pasta from Barilla, but I’m also excited to share their red lentil version. This beautiful pasta is made from just red lentils and one serving has 13g of protein. When cooking vegetarian, it can be a puzzle to get enough protein into your day and I love when I can use ingredients like lentils in unexpected ways. You can find all varieties on Amazon.

Make it Vegan

One of the best things about this pasta: it’s easy to make vegan. While I love the parmesan in this recipe, you could easily leave it off. Or, try your hand at some vegan parmesan. I love using this mix that has hemp and nutritional yeast- it’s such a great nutty flavor.

Side-angle photograph of red lentil pasta with black olives and parmesan.

[tasty-recipe id=”37795″]

Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with Barilla. All thoughts and opinions are my own. It’s content like this that helps me keep this site running to provide the vegetarian recipes you see every week. continue reading

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Beer-Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta

Hang in there with me on this one. It’s a study in efficiency, and with some faith, it all comes together in the end. In short, poach a whole head of cauliflower in an olive-oil dappled, chile-spiked, beer-based broth, then wedge it & roast it until golden-crusted and butter tender. At the last minute, use that same broth to cook your favorite pasta. Serve it all up in a bowl with a shower of fresh herbs. Beer-roasted Cauliflower with Pasta
PRO TIP: Only add as much pasta as you’ll eat to the broth. It’s not great for leftovers. Use whatever pasta you like – I used a whole wheat fusilli here, but you could use penne, or one of the alternative grain or legume pastas.
Beer-roasted Cauliflower with Pasta
I started working on this recipe just before leaving San Francisco. It’s the perfect hearty bowl for cold nights, wintery weather, or summer in SF.  A squeeze of lemon brightens everything up.

Continue reading Beer-Roasted Cauliflower with Pasta on 101 Cookbooks