Bow Ties in Garlic Cream Sauce

Okay, one more from Chloe Coscarelli and her new cookbook! I am on the waiting list at the library to get it and I can’t wait! I had a few problems with the sauce being “grainy”. I have a Ninja food processor, and I just couldn’t get the sauce to become super smooth. Not sure if I need a Vitamix or some other beast to do that or what. But, this tasted great! Husband couldn’t believe it was vegan! The raw cashews I did soak in water overnight (she didn’t mention that, but maybe that’s why it was still grainy?). The sun-dried tomatoes really add a lot to this dish, so don’t leave them out!

rating: 9

Bow Ties in Garlic Cream Sauce
(Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen, Chloe Coscarelli)

serves 4-6

Ingredients:

1 pound farfalle (or gluten-free pasta)
1/2 cup finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup raw cashews or blanched almonds
*2 cups water
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 pound sliced mushrooms
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add farfalle and cook according to package directions. Right before draining, add sun-dried tomatoes to the boiling water. Then drain and return to the pot.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and let cook until soft. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat. In a blender, combine onion, cashews, water, lemon juice, and salt. Process on high until very smooth, about 2 minutes. Set aside.

In a large pot or skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft and lightly browned. If needed, add more olive oil. Add cream sauce and reduce heat to low. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add sauce to pasta and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.

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Italian Apple Cake

I don’t bake much, but my favorite apple cake is this. I wasn’t sure if I even wanted to try another apple cake, but I got an email from Chloe about her new cookbook coming out, and this recipe was posted. It was good! It wasn’t overly sweet. I wasn’t sure how big the apple slices were supposed to be, though, and I feel like maybe mine were too big. Anywho, this was still good, and hey, it’s vegan! My 7 year old (who isn’t too big on sweets- what???), wanted to take some of this to school in his lunchbox!

rating: 8

Italian Apple Cake
(Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen, Chloe Coscarelli)

Ingredients:

1½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup canola oil
¼ cup water
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon white or apple cider vinegar
3 apples, peeled and thinly sliced
Powdered sugar for serving

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch round pan and line with parchment paper. Grease again.
In a large bowl, whisk flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk oil, water, vanilla, and vinegar. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix with a large spoon until just combined. Do not overmix. Batter will be very thick, but the apples will release moisture as they bake.
Arrange some of the apples in a circular pattern to cover most of the bottom of the prepared cake pan. Then gently fold in the remaining apples into the batter. Spoon the batter into the pan, being careful not to disrupt the apple pattern on the bottom. Use a spatula or your fingertips to pat it evenly into the pan.
Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, or until the center is set and the cake is lightly browned on top. Rotate the cake halfway through baking time.
Once cooled, run a knife around the edges to loosen the cake, and gently unmold so that the apple design is on top. Peel off the parchment paper. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

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Product Review: Amy’s Pizza Bites

These are new from Amy’s Kitchen: Cheese Pizza Bites! They are already cut up into 3″ squares, and you can microwave them or bake them (which is what I did) and they are ready in a snap. Of course with a cheese pizza, you can add whatever toppings you want, but we decided to keep it plain and simple and stick with the cheese. These were good! My kids did like them, although my 4 year old got frustrated picking up the squares (they were a little messy). These are nice to have on hand for a quick snack or dinner!

rating: 9

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Hummus Pomodoro with Warm Pizza Crust

We let me say right off the bat that I didn’t attempt the warm pizza crust. I just didn’t have time. But, I did make the hummus, and it was really good! It had a good flavor and the tomatoes and oil on top added a little something something, but I am on the fence about the drizzle of balsamic at the end. We ate this with some garlic crostini I got at the grocery store.

rating: 8.5

Hummus Pomodoro with Warm Pizza Crust
(Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen, Chloe Coscarelli)

Ingredients:

Hummus:

1 can white beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 garlic clove
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 medium tomato, chopped
¼ cup fresh chopped basil
Balsamic vinegar for drizzling

Pizza Crust:

1 pound pizza dough
All-purpose flour for rolling
Olive oil for brushing
Sea salt

Directions:

For the hummus: Combine beans, oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper in a food processor and process until smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides with a spatula. Adjust seasoning to taste and transfer to a bowl. Top with chopped tomato and basil, and drizzle with oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and serve with warm pizza crust.

For the pizza crust: Preheat the oven to broil. Divide dough into four equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and roll out on a lightly floured surface until about ¹⁄8 inch thick. Place on a baking sheet, brush both sides with oil, and season with salt. Broil for 2 to 5 minutes until lightly browned, then flip using tongs, and broil for another 1 to 2 minutes, or until puffed and lightly browned in spots. Cut into triangles and serve warm with hummus.

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“Meatball” Sliders

Oh. Em. Gee. These little sliders are incredible! If I had had some leftover, we would have eaten them (does that makes sense?)! These were easy to make, and they just tasted so meaty! My 7 year old LOVED them (even though he hates mushrooms- shhhh!). I opted to use jarred pasta sauce for the tomato sauce, to make things easy. Next time I make this I am doubling the recipe. And I can’t wait to get Chloe’s cookbook! If all the recipes in it are half as good as this one, it will be awesome!

rating: 9.9

Meatball Sliders
(Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen, Chloe Coscarellli)

made 10 sliders for me

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
1 onion, finely chopped
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, minced
1½ cups cooked brown rice, cooled
½ cup Italian bread crumbs
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon dried basil
1½ teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
Canola oil for frying
Slider buns or dinner rolls
1 cup tomato sauce, heated
Classic Pesto Sauce (page 233 from Chloe’s Vegan Italian Kitchen) – I used a jar of tomato basil spaghetti sauce
Fresh basil leaves for assembly – I omitted

Directions:

For the meatballs:
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and cook onion and mushrooms until soft and lightly browned. Add garlic and cook a few more minutes. Transfer to a food processor. Reserve skillet for later use.
Add cooled brown rice, bread crumbs, flour, basil, salt, pepper, and red pepper, if using, to the food processor. Pulse until the mixture just comes together. If necessary, transfer the mixture to a large bowl and mix with your hands. Season to taste and let cool slightly. Form the mixture into 1- or 2-inch balls to fit your bun size. Heat canola oil in the reserved nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and pan fry meatballs in batches, adding more oil as needed.
Slice slider buns in half and brush the insides with olive oil. Toast in a sauté pan over medium heat until lightly browned on the edges. Layer a spoonful of tomato sauce, a meatball, a spoonful of pesto sauce, and a basil leaf in each slider bun. Stick each slider with a party pick to hold it together. Serve immediately.

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Product Review: Amy’s Taquitos: Black Bean & Rice and Cheesy Ranchero

I love coming across new veggie products at stores! I was looking for a Gardein product at Target the other day (Beefless Tips- hard to find now for some reason!), and I saw several new products from Amy’s (Amy?). Last night for dinner we had Fesper (German for whatever is in the fridge, or lots of appetizers, kind of like tapas), and I included these. The Black Bean & Rice Taquitos are vegan (and I think I preferred them over the Cheesy Ranchero!). I baked mine in the oven for about 10-12 minutes, and then they are ready to be picked up and dipped in salsa or guacamole, or just eaten plain! These are nice because you don’t have to use a fork, just pick them up!

rating: 9

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Secret Garlic Mashed Potatoes

My 7 year old hates mashed potatoes (so weird!), but he LOVED these! He said they were the “best mashed potatoes ever!” I did have to use Parmesan instead of romano (couldn’t find any vegetarian romano). These were really good, and easy to make. Garlic!

rating: 9

Secret Garlic Mashed Potatoes
(All Recipes magazine, Oct./Nov. 2014)

serves 10
time needed: 1 hour

Ingredients:

5 pounds unpeeled red potatoes, quartered
13 ounces butter, room temperature
5 ounces Romano cheese, grated (I used Parmesan)
1/4 cup and 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
2-1/2 teaspoons salt
2-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 45 minutes; drain. Stir in butter, cheese, garlic, salt and oregano. Mash with a potato masher or with an electric mixer.

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