Tag Archives: tomato sauce

Real Love Comes from the Heart

What is your favourite vegetable that starts out as a flower and turns into something delicious? Can you actually think of vegetables that come from a budding flower?

If not here is the list I found of them from Wikipedia:

  • Artichoke
  • Broccoli
  • Broccolini
  • Caper
  • Cauliflower
  • Daylily
  • Courgette
  • Squash

Am I the only one who hasn’t heard of a Daylily?

Well my two favourite vegetables in that list are definitely broccolini (which I actually like to call broccoletti) and artichokes! Yum artichokes!

I actually recently introduced my nieces to artichokes. During Ramadan we went to a Boston Pizza with their grandmother (siti in Arabic) while Siti didn’t eat anything I had a salad and shared with the monkeys. The youngest really liked the artichokes!

So I am happy about that! She and I can enjoy artichoke together.

Obviously with all this talk of artichoke you can see that tonight’s feature vegetable is definitely artichoke hearts.

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I got the recipe from Better Homes and Gardens the direct link to the recipe can be found here.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz (114g) spaghetti
  • ¼ cup (27.5g) parmesan cheese
  • ½ red onion (40g), chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (398ml) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can (398ml) artichokes hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • Grated parmesan

Instructions:

  1. Cook spaghetti as directed on package until al dente.

  2. Once pasta is cooked drain most of the water but set aside a bit of the pasta water to combine with the parmesan cheese.

  3. In a medium pan sauté the red onion and garlic in olive oil. Once fragrant add the crushed tomatoes with their juices and the artichoke hearts and mix well. Add salt, pepper, and basil to mixture.

  4. Once sauce is cooked, spoon pasta onto plate and place sauce on spaghetti. Sprinkle with parmesan and enjoy!

Real love comes from the heart… the Artichoke heart!

Now although this was a pretty simple supper, it was sooo good. But then artichokes are one of my favourite!

Anyone else a fan of artichokes?

So it is officially September and it seems that the cool air has come as soon as August ended. I swear yesterday was insanely cold. You could feel the instant change from the previous day to yesterday. BRRRR.

I am dreading the cold that comes with Autumn though I do really like that time of year.

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I saw this on Facebook and loved it! But there are two additional things that make Autumn the best season.

  • Heeled booties
  • Vampy lipsticks

Especially the last item!

What do you love about Autumn and do you call it Fall or Autumn?

Anyway I hope you give this simple recipe a go and enjoy it!

Happy eating!

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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!

Spinach Lasagna with a “Secret” Ingredient

It is finally a traditional Meatless Monday! Usually I skip the whole meatless thing and end up making something completely different. If I recall, most of my Monday dishes tend to be shrimp dishes at that. At least they were when I would only cook for myself in Holland.

Well this week we are starting off with a good and healthy meal! Lasagna!

Simple. Easy. Healthy. What more could one ask for?!

All a girl needs is a meal with garlic and she is happy! (Well at least this girl is.)

And making a tomato sauce for your lasagna smells amazing. Chopping your garlic and onions, sautéing them in olive oil in a pan, getting it all aromatic – yummmm. That’s like the natural perfume of the kitchen. Best. Smell. EVER.

Until you burn your garlic. That doesn’t smell too good.

Anyway, I got the recipe from Relish though I did tweak it ever so slightly. The direct link to the recipe can be found here. This recipe made a great dinner and it was quick to make! Probably all due to the no-bake lasagna noodles!

Pre-Baking
Pre-Baking

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 can (400g) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (400g) whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 ½ cups (625g) ricotta cheese
  • 2 packages (750g each) frozen spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
  • ½ package (20g) fresh arugula
  • 1 egg (or 2 small eggs)
  • 9 no-cook lasagna noodles
  • 1 pound (453g) mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
  • 2/3 cup (73g) parmesan cheese, grated

Instructions:

  1. To prepare sauce, heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent.

  2. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, salt, and spices/herbs and stir well. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. If sauce becomes too dry, pour water in one of the cans of tomatoes and mix into tomato mixture until a sufficient amount of liquid has been added. (I only poured half a can of water.)

  3. Preheat oven to 375ᵒF (190ᵒC).

  4. Meanwhile as sauce is simmering away, begin to prepare spinach ricotta mixture. Combine ricotta cheese, spinach, arugula, and an egg in a large bowl; mix well.

  5. Coat the bottom of baking dish with a third of the tomato sauce. Cover with 3 noodles without overlapping (break noodles to fit well in dish), half the ricotta mixture, and half the mozzarella slices. Add half remaining sauce, 3 noodles, remaining ricotta mixture and remaining mozzarella. Top with remaining 3 noodles, remaining sauce, and Parmesan cheese.

  6. Place on baking sheet and bake uncovered for 40 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for about 15 minutes before cutting into squares.

  7. Serve and enjoy!

Can you guess my secret ingredient? Arugula! Or “rocket” as the Dutch call it! My absolute favourite green leafy vegetable would have to be arugula. It has such a lovely taste that I could add it to any sandwich or wrap.

As for the mozzarella, I ended up using two types of mozza. Now I know all of you have heard of buffalo mozzarella, you know that round moist ball of cheese that is incredibly creamy? Well I also used low-moisture mozzarella, this being a normal square of cheese that just so happens to be mozzarella. I have used this same cheese to make tequeños a few months ago as well. Which reminds me, I need to make those again and show you lot what they are and how to make them.

So, how does one photograph lasagna in the best way? I mean once removing it from the pan you made it in? It comes out so sloppy! Anything within a deep dish comes out in the most unattractive way ever! So how do people photograph lasagna in the best way possible? I could only take a photo from within the dish.

Spinach and Arugula LasagnaHow messy is that! Ugh. Nevertheless the meal was great! And super healthy as there was a minimal amount of salt in it! Low sodium meals is a great way to eventually try and lower your high blood pressure. This being something I had most of my childhood due to my heart issue. Honestly, because of that I cannot handle the taste of super salty dishes anyway. I even buy low sodium soy sauce!

Anyhow, I hope you all enjoy this meal as much as we all have!

Happy eating!

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!