Monday, April 16, 2007

Mandarin Pasta Salad

Okay, here is one that my sister-in-law, Lizz, made for us when we were in Grand Junction, that came from Pampered Chef. I made it the other night, forgot how good it was. Again, no complaints from a single family member and it got eaten up! The recipe actually calls for chicken but we just leave that out so I won't put it in the ingredient list.

1 tsp finely chipped and peeled fresh ginger
1 garlic clove, pressed
1/3 c. rice vinegar
1/4 c. orange juice (I used the juice of one fresh orange)
1/4 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1 envelope Lipton Recipe Secrets Onion Soup Mix
2 tsp sugar

8 oz. uncooked bow-tie pasta (I couldn't find any so I used a different shape pasta)
1/2 sliced cucumber
1/2 c. diced red bell pepper
1/2 c. coursely chopped red onion
1 pckg. fresh baby spinach leaves (6 oz)
1 can mandarin orange segments, drained
1/2 c. sliced almonds, toasted

1. For dressing, mix all ingredients together and stir
2. For salad, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and rinse under cold running water. Place in large bowl.
3. Meanwhile, slice cucumber, dice red bell pepper, coursely chop onion and add to salad along with rest of ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and toss.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Tuscan Bean Soup

Okay, I am such a liar, lol! I haven't been on the computer much but I have a chance now to post a scrumptious recipe. As I said before, our family loves soup, so here is another winner. I didn't have a single complaint on this one and the ENTIRE pot was gone when dinner was over, and it is packed with nutrition.

Tuscan Bean Soup

3 tbsp olive oil
2 small- medium onions or one large one, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 celery sticks
1 fennel bulb, trimmed and chopped
2 large zucchini, sliced
14 oz. can diced or crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp pesto
3 3/4 C. vegetable stock
14 oz. can of navy beans, or any white bean, drained
salt and ground pepper to taste
For the base:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb fresh spinach

1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the chopped onions, carrots, crushed garlic, celery and fennel and fry gently for about 10 minutes. Add the zucchini and fry for a further 2 min.
2. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, pesto, stock and beans and bring to the boil. Lower the heat, cover and simmer gently for 25-30 min., until the vegetables are completely tender. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
3. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the spinach for 2 min., or until wilted. Spoon the spinach into heated soup bowls, then ladle the soup over the spinach. Just before serving, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with ground pepper.

When I made this I used a little bit more pesto than it called for. The fennel really gives it a nice flavor too. I also served mine with multi-colored spiral noodles, per Calista's request. She ate hers with the noodles instead of the spinach. I also made multi-grain bread with it, yummy!! Everyone asked me to make this a LOT more!

Oh, and it only took me about 15 minutes to make this one and about ten minutes of just simmering before we ate it, a HUGE plus for busy families!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Wow, I haven't blogged on here for a while, maybe because I haven't been doing much cooking lately:)

I give up trying to make this a completely vegan blog. Maybe it is like when I went vegetarian and my entire family wasn't entirely on board; I found it hard to cook for both a vegetarian and the meat lovers. Eventually, my family went vegetarian at home so it made it really easy. Once in a while my husband will cook a steak at home but he doesn't expect me to handle and cook the meat. Well now I am finding it hard to cook completely vegan when there are too many dishes that my family LOVES that have cheese in them. So I will commit to cooking 2-3 vegan meals a week and the rest lacto vegetarian meals. I will mostly post vegan recipes but once in a while don't be alarmed if there is cheese or milk in the recipe. I don't do eggs so there won't be any of those.

I promise to post at least two recipes by Sunday :)