Product Review: Sweet Earth Natural Foods Breakfast Sandwiches

Sweet Earth Natural Foods has a line of frozen breakfast sandwiches. My store carries three of the four. I bought two of them to try: Benevolent Bacon Egg and Cheddar and the Meatless Sausage Egg and Gouda. These are vegetarian sandwiches using real cheese and cage-free eggs. They come two to a package. I made all four for my family. I microwaved each one (per box instructions). I have to say, I didn’t like either one. The sausage one had something in it I don’t like, such as caraway seeds, maybe? Some kind of spice. With the other one, maybe it was the bread? I don’t know. Husband ended up eating three of them, and he really liked them. He said that he thought they were REALLY good. So, there you have it.

rating (me): 2
rating (husband): 9

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One-Pan Pasta with Ricotta and Artichokes

I had some problems with this recipe, but the end result was surprisingly good! I couldn’t find frozen artichokes so I used 1 can of artichokes and quartered them myself. I also couldn’t find refrigerated fettuccine, so I used dried. There wasn’t enough liquid in the pot for my dried pasta to cook, so I broke each piece in half. We all liked this, and the portion I had for lunch the next day was even better!

rating: 9

One-Pan Pasta with Ricotta and Artichokes
(Cooking Light, Dec. 2015)

serves 4

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 1/2 cups unsalted chicken stock (I used vegetarian “chicken” stock)
1 1/2 cups frozen artichoke quarters, thawed
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (14.5-ounce) can unsalted fire-roasted tomatoes (I used regular diced tomatoes)
1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated fresh fettuccine (I used dried fettuccine)
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
3 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into small pieces
1/4 cup torn fresh basil

Directions:

1. Preheat broiler to high.

2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic to pan; cook 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken stock, artichokes, salt, pepper, tomatoes, and pasta to pan, and bring to a boil. Stir to combine. Cover; reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or until pasta is tender. Dot pasta mixture evenly with ricotta and mozzarella cheeses.

3. Place pan under broiler. Broil mixture 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Sprinkle evenly with basil.

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Southern Fried Tofu with Sweet Potatoes

This was good! And surprise, my family liked the sweet potatoes! I am usually the only one that likes sweet potatoes in my family, so I was happy this recipe went over so well. The tofu was pretty good, even though I left off anything spicy. I made this slaw, and it all went together nicely. My 9 year old had 3 pieces of tofu!

rating: 9.4

Southern Fried Tofu with Sweet Potatoes
(Food Network magazines, April 2016)

serves 4
time needed: 40 min.

Ingredients:

2 sweet potatoes (about 1 pound), sliced 1/2 inch thick
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for frying
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon paprika
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1/4 cup hot sauce
1 14 -ounce package extra-firm tofu, drained, cut lengthwise into eight 1/2-inch-thick slices and patted dry
1/2 cup spicy ketchup
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Coleslaw, for serving

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Toss the sweet potatoes with the vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper on a baking sheet. Bake, flipping halfway through, until lightly browned and tender, about 30 minutes.
Whisk the buttermilk and hot sauce in a shallow dish. Add the tofu, turning to coat; marinate 10 minutes. Whisk the ketchup, brown sugar and vinegar in a bowl; set aside. Whisk the flour, the remaining 1 tablespoon paprika and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper in a large bowl; stir in 1 tablespoon of the marinade to make clumps.
Heat 2 inches vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat until a deep-fry thermometer registers 350 degrees F. Dip the tofu in the flour mixture, turning to coat, dip back in the marinade, then re-dip in the flour to coat with the clumpy bits; transfer to a plate. Fry the tofu in two batches, flipping halfway through, until golden brown and crisp, 3 minutes. Transfer to a rack; season with salt. Serve with the sweet potatoes, coleslaw and ketchup sauce.

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Black Bean and Salsa Soup

I don’t think you can make soup any easier than this! And, it was good! It wasn’t as good as this black bean soup, but it was good! Both kids liked it, and husband did, too! Thumbs up all around. Use vegan sour cream and this dish is vegan! I served mine with sliced avocados and tortilla chips.

rating: 9

Black Bean and Salsa Soup
(All Recipes magazine, Feb./March 2016)

Ingredients:

2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup chunky salsa
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 tablespoons sour cream
2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onion

Directions:

In an electric food processor or blender, combine beans, broth, salsa, and cumin. Blend until fairly smooth.
Heat the bean mixture in a saucepan over medium heat until thoroughly heated.
Ladle soup into 4 individual bowls, and top each bowl with 1 tablespoon of the sour cream and 1/2 tablespoon green onion.

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Curried Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Oh, where to start with this one? My potatoes took a LONG time to cook. Not sure why. I should have tested them with a fork before I started mashing them. It was nice eating veggies we don’t normally eat, like rutabagas and turnips, but this dish was just not worth all of this effort. I feel cheated. And husband announced that he “is over leeks”.

rating: 5

Curried Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie
(Food Network magazine, March 2016)

serves 6
time needed: 1 hour 15 min.

Ingredients:

2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and quartered
Kosher salt
2 bay leaves
3 sprigs thyme
2 carrots, chopped
1 small rutabaga, peeled and chopped
1 medium turnip, peeled and chopped
2 leeks (white and light green parts only), sliced 1/2 inch thick, rinsed well
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 ounces button mushrooms, quartered
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
1 cup frozen peas
Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons curry powder

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with cold water by 1 inch and season with salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, fill a separate large saucepan with 6 cups water; add the bay leaves, thyme sprigs and 2 teaspoons salt. Bring to a boil. Add the carrots, rutabaga, turnip and leeks; reduce the heat to medium low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1 1/2 cups cooking liquid, then drain the vegetables. Discard the bay leaves and thyme. Pat the vegetables dry; set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the mushrooms; cook until they release their liquid, 3 minutes. Increase the heat to medium; cook until the liquid is evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour, coriander and nutmeg; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Whisk in the reserved cooking liquid and 3/4 cup half-and-half. Bring to a simmer; cook until thickened, 3 minutes. Stir in the carrot mixture, peas and lemon zest and juice. Return to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Season with salt and stir in the parsley.
Drain the potatoes and let cool slightly. Return to the pot and add the curry powder and the remaining 4 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup half-and-half. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and mash well.
Spread the mushroom mixture in a 3-quart baking dish. Dollop the mashed potatoes on top; spread with the back of a spoon. Bake until bubbling around the edges and the topping is browned in spots, about 20 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

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Tomato and Garlic Pasta

This was okay. It was good, and we all ate it, and I ate the leftovers for lunch. But would I make it again? Probably not.

rating: 8

Tomato and Garlic Pasta
(All Recipes magazine, April/May 2016)

serves 4
time needed: 15 min.

Ingredients:

1 (8 ounce) package angel hair pasta
4 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes
2 tsp sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (I omitted)

Directions:

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 4 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp oil in a large (12″) skillet over med-high heat. Saute garlic, stirring, until softened and fragrant but not brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste, diced tomatoes (including juice), sugar (if using), salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring, about 2 minutes. Stir in basil.
3. Drain pasta (do not rinse under cold water). Toss pasta with remaining 2 tbsp oil in a bowl, then add to skillet with sauce. Cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Divide pasta among 4 bowls and sprinkle each with 1 tbsp parmesan.

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Avgolemono with Orzo

This is an easy soup! EASY! And it was good! Although my two kids didn’t care for it. But husband and I really liked it! I used Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips for the chicken, vegetarian “chicken” broth, and I left off the dill (can’t stand dill right now). I hardly ever use orzo, and I don’t know why. I love it!

rating: 9

Avgolemono with Orzo
(Real Simple, March 2016)

time needed: 40 min.
serves 6

Ingredients:

1 cup orzo
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
¾ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I used vegetarian “chicken” broth)
3 cups cooked chicken (from 1 rotisserie chicken)- I used 1 bag of Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips
2 large eggs, at room temperature
⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
¼ cup chopped dill – I omitted
Sliced lemons, for serving – I omitted

Directions:

Cook the orzo according to the package directions. Drain and reserve. Meanwhile, cook the shallots, garlic, salt, and pepper in 
the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are softened, 10 minutes. Add the broth and chicken. Simmer 10 minutes. Remove 1 cup of hot broth in a heatproof measuring cup.
Beat the eggs and lemon juice in a bowl. Slowly add the reserved broth, whisking constantly. Stir into the soup.
Stir in the orzo and chopped dill and serve immediately, garnished with sliced lemon.

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