Tag Archives: Pasta

Spaghetti with Fa(LOVE)el

Falafel is a wonderful word. At least when pronounced as a North American. If you say it a certain way it sounds like the word “love” is in it. And I certainly love falafel.

I decided to make pasta with falafel. Yummy!

Spaghetti with tomato sauce and falafel

There isn’t much for something special going on in this dish but I have really missed making food for myself so I had to make a simple little pasta. Plus I need to get to know the electric stove top. Going from a gas stove to an electric one with the snap of ones fingers is a hard adjustment!

It took far too long to get my water boiling actually! And how does one thoroughly clean their electric stovetop? I looked it up but I don’t know what a stove cleaner is! I guess I should thoroughly look at the cleaning aisle at the grocery store…

So this was honestly just your basic pasta and tomato sauce. Though I much prefer homemade sauce than the store bought stuff so here is my recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz (114 g) spaghetti
  • ½ teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ cup (75g) yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 can (398ml) crushed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon basil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 5 falafel balls, halved
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot cook spaghetti as directed on box. Once spaghetti is near al dente, prepare sauce.

  2. In a small frying pan, heat olive oil to sauté garlic and onion until fragrant.

  3. Add can crushed tomatoes to the garlic and mix well. Add herbs and salt to tomato mixture.

  4. Once bubbling, allow to simmer for two minutes or until at desired consistency.

  5. Add halved falafel and cook until warm. Beware that falafel soften to a mush-like consistency if over cooked in sauce.

  6. Plate up and top with pepper.

  7. Enjoy

Like I said, my sauce is very basic. But it is fabulous. I quite enjoyed it. It has been a good while since I’ve had falafel. Now I just need to successfully make it from scratch. I tried once and thought it looked too dry and added water. Big big mistake. Never again.

So yeah, that was my dinner for the evening.

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Sorry it wasn’t all that impressive.

But I can tell you that I like to snap my spaghetti in half when I make a pasta. Less splatter when turning the noodles on the fork and smaller bites! It is perfect!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed the generic recipe and if you make it enjoy the meal!

Happy Meatless Monday all!

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Italian Chicken Piccata Pasta

Holy cow am I a lazy lady or what!? Since moving to South Africa I haven’t been cooking much, well no, I’ve been cooking some just haven’t been posting much! And it has nothing to do with not being able to, but for the last week my laptop has been sat on the dining table dead as a doorknob. And I’ve been far too lazy to charge it and write up something new!

Well that changed today! I’ve taken the laptop outside and plugged it in to the extension plug in cord.

So food? I cooked two days in a row this week. Had ourselves a meatless Monday (which I will write about the following Monday) and this pretty awesome chicken and pasta dish yesterday.

I can honestly tell you that I HATE touching raw chicken. Especially raw chicken that has just been defrosted. Ew! If I started this blog two years ago I wouldn’t have even been making chicken dishes as I was so grossed out by raw chicken. But things changed. Living on your own without your mama does force you into the world of food a lot better!

So this was the meal of Chicken Piccata Pasta found here.

I followed the recipe almost perfectly. Word of advice, cut everything else before you do your chicken. Disgusting mess. It looked like a six year old made dinner. Except a six year old wouldn’t have been using a Chef’s Knife to chop chicken and slice red onion. I did!

Pasta Chicken Piccata

Here’s the recipe that I followed:

Ingredients:

  • 3 (870g) chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 cups (500ml) Delallo Organic Whole Wheat Gemelli Pasta
  • 4 Tablespoons flour, divided (any variety)
  • 1/3 cup (83g) butter
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 small red onion, halved and sliced thin
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1/3 cup (78.8ml) fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup (177ml) chicken stock
  • 3 ounces (85g) capers, drained
  • 1/4 cup (5g) chopped parsley
  • Salt and Pepper to taste 

Directions:

  1. Place a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, chop onion, herbs, and chicken. Place a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter and oil. 
  2. Drop the pasta in the boiling water and cook as instructed on the package (about 8 minutes) then drain. Once the butter is melted, salt and pepper the chicken liberally and toss with 2 Tb. flour. Place the chicken pieces in the hot butter and sauté for 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoons and place on paper towels to dry.
  3. Add the rosemary, garlic and onions to the butter and sauté for 1 minute. Then whisk in the remaining 2 Tb. flour to thicken the sauce. Cook for another minute, then whisk in the lemon juice and chicken stock.
  4. Once the sauce is simmering again, toss in the pasta, capers and parsley. Mix in the chicken and serve warm.

Overall, this recipe is pretty damn easy. But I really did make a mess of the kitchen! Also – breading your own chicken? It looks like I have dough fingers. Yikes!

If you have a family though this could be great for you. A nice simple dinner which feeds many!

Though if chicken freaks you out like it does me, cook the chicken a little longer to ensure that they are well done. Still raw chicken is not attractive by any means. Plus it can make you sick. Salmonella is not fun.

Actually, when I was a first year student at my college in NL, we had to make meals for our classmates in the kitchen – my class did well everyone enjoyed their food. The other class? Not so much. Majority of the people who were being served food ended up getting salmonella and threw up some due to eating raw chicken. Not the best way to start off.

 Alas, some of those who didn’t cook the chicken too well are now doing much better in the kitchen. It is several years later so you would hope they learnt more in the kitchen after.

 Anyway, enough about food want to see my furry four-legged friend in a party hat? Over the weekend we went to our first dog birthday party. Yes, a dog birthday party. Personally I thought those were just on TV, guess I was wrong! Although Austin didn’t like his hat, he quite enjoyed himself until the last hours of the party where people started popping balloons. Having a skittish dog doesn’t make for much fun, but I still got lovely photos to share:

Roxy's Special Made Dog Cake

Austin in his Party HatWearing Austin's Party HatIf you make this lovely meal I hope you enjoy it as my family and I did.

Buon appetito!

Avocado Green Pasta for a Delightful Dinner

On most blogs… or pinterst, Monday is all about being meatless. But I have noticed that my Mondays tend to be all about shrimp. Probably because every other day of the week is all about vegetarian cuisine! Guess my Mondays are my version of opposite day!

So as you may have guessed, today’s meal has something to do with shrimp.

I made a beautiful green pasta with spicy shrimp. As many of you may know, I am obsessed with the color green when it comes to food, so this meal was pretty great. Especially since the green from this meal is from an avocado sauce! Delicious!

I learnt that this meal is Latin and Italian inspired and if you want to read about it click here. That is also where the original recipe is.

Pasta with Avocado Sauce and Spicy Shrimp

Although it was a bit too spicy, it was quite delicious.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz (170g) spaghetti
    Avocado Sauce:
  • 1 avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon of plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 4 slices jalapeño pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    Garlic Shrimp:
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • a pinch dried hot red pepper flakes
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • ½ lb (226g) large shrimp, deveined

Directions:

  1. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Add the pasta and cook it according to the package directions until al dente, about 8-10 minutes.

  2. While the pasta is cooking, cook the shrimp in a large pan, heat the butter and olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper and cook about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is tender but not browned.

  3. Increase heat to medium and add shrimp and sauté, turning the shrimp once with tongs, until shrimp are just cooked through, about 2 minutes each side. Set aside.

  4. Make the avocado sauce: Place the avocado in a blender or food processor, add the remaining sauce ingredients and process until smooth and creamy.

  5. When pasta is done cooking, drain and place pasta into a large bowl. Add the avocado sauce to the pasta and toss until pasta is well coated.

  6. Using tongs, add the shrimp to the pasta and pour the garlic sauce over the shrimp. Garnish with parsley or cilantro and serve immediately.

Green Pasta with Spicy Shrimp

 

Looks quite attractive right? I love that the sauce is kind of like a carbonara sauce in its thickness. Yet it is very much vegetarian. If I nicks the shrimp this could be a fantastic “meatless Monday” meal.

It is truly wonderful. So I would hope y’all try it as well!

¡Buen provecho! 

Spicy Shrimp Pasta and some Cleaning Insight

Exhaustion is a horrible feeling. All of last week had me exhausted. So much so that I cooked the most drab of meals. I tried making a tuna casserole and failed and after that I just made simple things with lettuce and rice. This is why I haven’t posted in forever.

Finally though today I made an excellent meal which is worth your while.

I’ve been overloading on pasta these past couple of days, and unfortunately today won’t be any different. Alas, today is a fabulous meal. If you’re a fan of garlic and Parmesan than stick around for the meal of the day.

 Spicy Parmesan Shrimp Pasta

This is a plate of my delicious goodness. It is Spicy Parmesan Shrimp Pasta which I got from here.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Parmesan cheese
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ pound (226g) Shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup whole wheat fusilli pasta
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 green onion, sliced

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together olive oil, Parmesan, garlic, agave nectar, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes. Add shrimp to oil mixture and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes (mix often)
  2. In a large pot, bring water to boil and cook pasta as instructed on packaging.
  3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and oil mixture and cook until shrimp is pink (approx. 2 minutes). Stir in pasta and gently toss. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Place in serving bowl topped with fresh Parmesan and green onions as garnish. 

Although I made enough food for two, I wanted to eat it all up! Alas, I put the rest into a microwave safe bowl and popped it into the fridge.

Enough for 2

By the way, if any of your clear glass bowls are from Ikea and have cute little colorful lids to cover them… they are most likely far from microwave safe. I was reheating some rice and green peas the other day and heard a pop in the microwave. I thought it was the microwave unit itself until I was half way done my rice when I noticed half of my bowl was cracked. So instead of eating peas, I may have been eating small shards of glass. Delicious!

Actually no, glass is really bad to digest. So now I am sticking to microwaving things in plastic containers that I bought rather than what is from Ikea that was here before my arrival.

Also I had an amazing discovery today. White vinegar is heaven. You know when you go to the grocery store and you need to buy vinegar? They always have an array of cooking oil bottle sizes, but you can only buy the MASSIVE bottle of white vinegar? It is a pain in the rear. But I now found the benefit to having vinegar even if I use it seldomly for salads and such.

Vinegar is the magical way of cleaning. Why use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser when you have vinegar?

While I was prepping my shrimp today I was also boiling water and vinegar in my electric kettle. Over the past while there has been a build up of calcium in my kettle. I have tried removing it but never really got it shining like new. Once boiling vinegar water and rinsing with cold water, the interior of my kettle looks BRAND NEW. It is beautiful.

Here you can find sixty-two uses of vinegar. You really should read this link as I learnt so much. You may too.

So that’s my insight for the day.  I hope you learn as I have!

Happy cleaning… and enjoy your Shrimp Pasta!

L

 

Healthy Hearty Soup to Cleanse My Body

Learning is one of the greatest things about living. Everyday you learn something new. Be it about the world you live in, the people who surround you, or the body you inhabit.

This weekend I learnt a lot about myself. First I’ve learnt that I cannot speak French. I spent the weekend in Paris with my friend and realized that when in France, I want to speak every language I know BUT French. I spoke some English, Spanish, Dutch, and the little Portuguese I know all in one. Not a word of French ever came out of my mouth.

I also learnt that my body cannot handle copious amounts of non-nutritious food. My friend lives a life of sugar and starch. I doubt she understands what life is with vegetables and fruit, while I do not understand how life can be lived with only sugar and starch. I had about a handful worth of vegetables all weekend long. That is not enough for a human.

So having returned to the Netherlands yesterday night, I promised myself I would make a delicious and nutritious meal the following night. I can tell you that I definitely did just that.

Minestrone Soup for DaysIf you can’t figure out what that is in the large pot, it is minestrone soup. I have been craving it for some time now and decided to finally go about making it. I made a large amount of it too as I know my body needs to have better food inside it than what I have consumed since Friday.

The recipe I used was from here. I followed the recipe to a T, although I used larger proportions for a larger amount of soup.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can dark red kidney beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 can cannelini beans (or any white bean rinsed and drained)
  • 4 cups of vegetable broth
  • ½ cup white onion, diced
  • ¼ celery, diced
  • ¼ cup zucchini, diced
  • ¼ cup carrots, shredded
  • ¼ cup fresh green beans, cut in 2″ pieces
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes
  • 2-3 tbsp parsley, chopped (save 1 tbsp for garnish if desired)
  • ½ cup small pasta
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ tsp basil
  • ¼  tsp 
  • ½ ground Mediterranean oregano
  • ½ tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • parmesan cheese (optional)
Directions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot or large sauce pan and add celery.  Cook the celery for a few minutes (because they take longer to soften) and then add onion, zucchini and green beans.  Once onions are translucent, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds longer.
  2. Add the Diced Tomatoes, carrots, the vegetable stock, beans and the spices.  Bring the soup to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Add pasta and cook for 15 minutes.  Add spinach during the last 3-4 minutes.
  4. Garnish with parmesan cheese and parsley if desired.

Hearty Minestrone Soup

Boy, did my body desire such a wonderful thing.

While I was in Paris I had a great time with my friend and making new friends, but the food was just not good for me. Chips, cookies, and other sweet thing just aren’t good for this body of mine. Do you understand what I am saying? No, this isn’t me just feeling guilty about what I’ve eaten. This is my internal organs screaming at me not to eat poorly ever again.

I hope you all enjoy this soup as much as I did.

Happy eating.

P.S. Here are some photos of my little weekend vacation. My friend is not in any of the photos as she hates camera’s, instead you will see my new friends.

The Eiffel Tower and I

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View from the second floor of the Eiffel Tower
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My new friend and I at the 1am Light Show

 

Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese is a past time favourite for me. As a family we still eat it, but I get a miniature portion with vegetarian beef crumbles while my parents and sister eat a large portion of it.

Tonight though, I made a large batch of spaghetti Bolognese – vegetarian style. I am proud to say that this sauce looked as though it truly had ground beef in it. I even took a photo to send my best friend to show her that it looked as if I was going to eat beef, but really it was all vegetarian. I am a truly happy camper for this.

Vegetarian Spaghetti BologneseDoes that not look extra beefy to you? Well it is 100% vegetarian!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups wholewheat noodles (or preferred spaghetti type)
  • 1 package vegetarian meat crumbles
  • 1 jar vegetarian pasta sauce (mine had eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers in it)
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoon paprika powder
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

  1. Fill small pan with water to boil and cook noodles as instructed on box.

  2. Place a frying pan on medium heat and melt coconut oil, once liquidized add chopped onion and garlic and cook until translucent and fragrant. Add meat crumbles and cook until warm.

  3. Add vegetarian pasta sauce to meat and mix well. If too dry add water to sauce to become more liquid. Turn up heat and allow sauce to boil, adding oregano and paprika powder to add flavour. Add salt and pepper to taste if necessary. 

  4. Once noodles are cooked, drain in a colander and return to pan with heat turned off. Add teaspoon of olive oil to the pasta to allow noodles not to stick together. 

  5. Spoon onto plate and top with Bolognese sauce.

  6. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Spaghetti BologneseI definitely enjoyed it! I opted for without the cheese as I am trying to eat more vegan than vegetarian. But this was definitely delicious.

If you are a fan of fooling people into thinking that you are either eating real meat or having them taste real meat then this is definitely something good for you. I mean my best friend (who is a full on vegetarian) thought that this was even real meat until I of course told her and showed her the photo of the sauce in the pan.

Salsa Bolognese

I think my favourite part about this sort of meat substitute is that you can still eat it “raw”. Normal ground beef you shouldn’t eat when it is uncooked, but this you can. It doesn’t taste all too appetizing, but it is edible none the less.

If you make this meal I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did.

Buon appetito!

Green Pasta and Sauce

I think I have a problem. I am over the top obsessed with colors when it comes to food. Red velvet cake? Why not – but lets make it blue velvet! Rice Krispie Squares? Sounds good – but mix all colors together and make it black like coal! Sugar cookies? Sounds amazing – but lets add some green to the mix!

Yeah, I am obsessed with color in food. I honestly blame it on Dr. Seuss with his Green Eggs and Ham book. After reading that book I knew I wanted colorful food. I can honestly still remember sitting in our TV room in Ciudad Ojeda and imagining eating green food. I am a psycho for color.

I am sure my future children will love this just as much as I do.

So tonight I had green pasta with a basil tomato sauce. How awesome does that sound? And what a cuisine clash – Italian sauce meets Japanese spaghetti!

Green Tea Pasta with Basil Tomato Sauce

The other day my dad and I were killing time and decided to enter a grocery store in downtown Den Haag. The grocery store is called the Marqt. And oh my God is it amazing. It has everything organic and healthy and just amazing. It is rather similar to the store EkoPlaza, but I’ve not seen green pasta in EkoPlaza, so de Marqt is a favourite right now.

Dinner of Green Tea pastaThe instructions said to boil the water and then add the spaghetti and allow to cook for six minutes until al denté. I looked to my kitchen clock and saw the minute hand was on forty-three. I went on with adding some onion and garlic to olive oil in a pan and added some chopped portobello mushrooms to that sautéeing the vegetables and finally adding the basil tomato sauce to it. I then looked to the clock and was shocked to see that only a minute had passed in that time.

I then continued mixing my aromatic garlic and onion mixture with the mushrooms and sauce. And again I looked to the clock realizing that the second hand was ticking back and forth. The clock was dead.

My spaghetti was overcooked. Delightful.

So I strained the pasta and poured it into my bowl plate. I added a half a teaspoon of olive oil to the pasta to make it less sticky. Just before adding the sauce to the pasta I added a forth a teaspoon of dried basil and dried oregano then poured half the sauce I made on the green noodles to look like the above photo. I added the remainder of the chopped portobello to the top of the sauce.

It was rather decent tasting. Although I did have to add a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese.

Want a Bite?

It was definitely interesting. I would honestly make it again. Maybe use a different sauce to go with it though. The package that the spaghetti came in probably feeds two mouths. It is a small package of only 200g, but is perfect if you’re eating for one person as I am much of the time.

At the end of the day, green tea spaghetti is the best way to go about making a pasta dish.

If you manage to find colorful pasta I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! And please show me what amazing concoction you create!

Buon appetito!