Tag Archives: recipe

Baked Mozzarella Bruschetta – Constable Odo’s Recipe

7 Apr

Who else celebrated First Contact Day on Sunday?! Not sure what it is? Why, it’s a Star Trek holiday, of course! April 5 is, in 48 years, the first instance an alien race makes contact with humans on earth. And it’s totally something to celebrate.

And party we did! Chris and I hosted a small Star Trek themed dinner party, featuring drinks, dishes and desserts you might find in some of the alien races’ cultures. We even “Trekked” up the apartment to display “Red Alert” on every possible device we own.

Baked Mozzarella Bruschetta - Constable Odo's Recipe | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Red lights, red candles, and RED ALERT!

We drank tea, Earl Grey, hot; Romulan Ale (phew, strong!) and Klingon Blood (aka berry) wine. And began our meal with an appetizer from Deep Space Nine’s changeling, Constable Odo, courtesy of Chris’s Star Trek Cookbook. Well, my version was slightly different, but don’t tell Odo – he’s not a fan of breaking the rules!

Baked Mozzarella Bruschetta - Constable Odo's Recipe | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Image courtesy of Fanpop.com

Make this cheesy, tomato-y bruschetta for your next dinner party, regardless the theme! Stay tuned for more Star Trek recipes from the party.

Baked Mozzarella Bruschetta - Constable Odo's Recipe | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Yellow tomatoes, because we all know the red tomatoes, err shirts, die first!

Baked Mozzarella Bruschetta

Makes 12 bruschetta

  • 1 day-old French baguette, at least 15 inches long
  • 4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 6 vine-ripened plum tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp basil olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt and fresh black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Slice 12 pieces off the baguette. They should be about 1 inch thick (discard ends of the baguette, or snack on them, or use them for breadcrumbs). Place slices on the lined baking sheet.

Sprinkle mozzarella on top of the slices.

Chop tomatoes and transfer to a bowl. Drizzle oil and vinegar on top, and season with salt and pepper. Mix well.

Spoon tomato mixture onto bread slices.

Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. The bread should look toasty and the tomatoes should be neatly the consistency of jam.

Serve hot with fresh basil if desired.

Vegan “Chicken” Noodle Soup

10 Feb

What’s a girl to do when her boyfriend is sick? Make him soup, of course! I’m no doctor, but I do know that a warm, hearty, healthy meal made with a bunch of love is a great cure for the common cold. I even replaced carrots with bell pepper because Chris isn’t a fan of the orange root vegetable. I sure do love him!

Vegan "Chicken" Noodle Soup | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Chickpeas easily replace chicken in this classic recipe, and it’s loaded with veggies, which translates to tons of vitamins! Boiling the pasta right into the soup gives it this thick, creamy quality without added fats. Oh, and it is SUPER quick to make! In less than a half hour, your home can be filled with the comforting smells of soup made from scratch, and your tummies will be happy too!

Vegan “Chicken” Noodle Soup, adapted from Willow & Thyme

Serves 6-8

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced (replace with 2 large carrots, diced if desired)
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 6 C vegetable broth (low-sodium preferred)
  • 1 C water (add another cup if you like really liquidy soup)
  • 1 C white wine (I used leftover chardonnay)
  • 12 oz whole wheat or vegetable rotini pasta
  • 1 28oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained (use less if you like)

In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion, pepper, celery and garlic until softened, but not browned.

Add the bay leaf and other seasonings and cook another minute.

Add all the liquids, cover and bring to a boil. Stir in the noodles and chickpeas and cook 7-9 minutes.

Ladle soup into bowls and if you’re not vegan, garnish with freshly shredded parmesan cheese. Store leftovers in the fridge up to 5 days.

Tomato Soup Biscuits

30 Sep

Tomorrow begins October #Unprocessed, but today…today we make biscuits with canned soup. Because I like to be a little weird sometimes.

The classic pairing of tomato soup and grilled cheese is one that takes me right back to childhood. These days, I opt for fresh tomatoes to make soup, and whole grain breads with melty artisanal cheeses for the sandwich. But my childhood was filled with Campbell’s tomato soup accompanied by American cheese oozing out of toasty white bread.

Tomato Soup Biscuits | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Enjoying some fresh biscuits out in the sun!

But why can’t the soup and bread be one? Why can’t they be joined in perfect tomato-y bliss? Well, in these biscuits, they are! Hearty wheat flour, dried spices, and canned tomato soup come together to make one tasty biscuit. I always loved sprinkling black pepper into my tomato soup, so I do the same here – freshly cracked black pepper adorns the top of the biscuits before baking, just to give them that extra punch.

Red food coloring, although not necessary, spruces up the color of these biscuits. I did make these for my friends to enjoy during this past weekend’s Arsenal game (London is Red!) so how fitting to make something in the same color scheme. And they’re mini because…well, mini is cuter and allows you to eat more of them! Duh.

Anyway, make these biscuits the next time you need a fun little snack. Or make them to go with a hot bowl of soup (perhaps something other than tomato!). Sandwich them together with some smoked cheese in between. Whatever you do, get baking!

Tomato Soup Biscuits

Makes 24 mini biscuits

  • 1/2 C oat flour (grind old-fashioned oats in food processor, then measure)
  • 1.5 C whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh black pepper
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 1/2 C olive oil
  • 1/4 C non-dairy milk
  • 8 drops red food coloring
  • fresh black pepper, to top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly grease with PAM or olive oil.

In a large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and whisk together. Mix in soup, olive oil, milk and dye, being careful not to over mix! The dough should come together, but still be slightly sticky.

Use a standard-sized cookie scoop to create mini biscuits, placing an inch apart on prepared sheet. These won’t expand too much. Crack some fresh black pepper on top.

Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown on top. Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Enjoy on their own, with cheese in between like a sandwich, or paired with your favorite soup! Leftovers? Store in an air-tight container for a few days.

White Bean “Meat”balls with Creamy Lemon Pasta

24 Sep

Becoming vegetarian has made me soooo much more creative. Without meat as a crutch, I’m forced to devise other sources of proteins, and make them tasty and appealing to not only me, but my meat-eating boyfriend, family and friends. And that’s not always easy.

Sometimes you’re just plain lazy. It would be way easier to throw together a patty of beef, than it is to make a veggie and grain burger. It would be simple to roast some chicken in the oven, rather than a flavorful variety of beans and vegetables. And it’s certainly more of a hassle when you go out to eat – most restaurants that I’ve encountered don’t realize that “vegetarian” does not mean “must love mushroom caps.” (pssst, I HATE mushrooms – go ahead, try to find just one in an ingredient list on my blog!)

BUT this is not a complaint! I love being challenged, tested, forced into creativity. It awakens another part of the brain entirely. You have to think differently, react quickly, and learn what your options are.

White Bean "Meat"balls with Creamy Lemon Pasta | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Forgive the poor lighting and thus bad color. They’re really golden brown!

And that’s exactly how this recipe came about. Uncertain of what dinner would be, I happened to see Epicurious post a recipe for grilled chicken meatballs atop lemony pasta. “Well,” I thought, “I could easily replace the chicken with a mix of beans, and roast them in the oven instead of on a grill.” And alas! That’s what I did. And in a strange twist, I made this gluten free, too. For the first time ever I tried GF pasta. Honestly, it wasn’t great. It certainly didn’t ruin the dish, and I’ll gladly eat the leftovers, but I’m happy not to be forced to forgo gluten. I think I’ll stick with whole wheat pasta from now on. But at least I tried it!

What’s great about this recipe is that in addition to being vegetarian (with a vegan option), gluten free, and healthy, they’re SO FREAKING TASTY. Had I not been full from my first serving, I could’ve scarfed down 3 more after that. The flavor is well-packed into these “meat”balls, and are sure to impress vegetarians and carnivores alike.

After all, food is meant to be shared, and it’s even better when said food complies with everyone’s diets! Get to your kitchen, and get cooking. You’ll be happy you did 🙂

White Bean “Meat”balls with Creamy Pasta, adapted from Epicurious

Serves 4 with leftovers

  • 1/4 C chia seeds
  • 1/2 C water
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned oats, (use gluten free oats if gf)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/3 C plus 1/4 C Parmesan cheese, grated (or use nutritional yeast to make this vegan)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 12 ounces whole grain linguine or spaghetti (use gluten free if gf)
  • 3/4 C pasta water
  • 1/3 C milk or yogurt (use a dairy-free variety if vegan)
  • Juice and zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1 tbsp dried basil (or use fresh!)

For the “meat”balls:

In a small bowl, combine chia seeds with water. Stir well and let sit at least 20 minutes. This will create a thick gel, to replace eggs that are normally in meatballs.

Preheat oven to 400. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, spray with PAM, and set aside.

In a food processor, combine chia gel, oats, chopped onion, 1/4 C cheese (you can just cut a few chunks off your block of Parmesan), 2 tbsp olive oil, parsley, oregano, minced garlic, half the salt, half the pepper, and the red pepper flakes. Process until completely combined. You may need to pulse several times to blend fully. Transfer this mixture to a large bowl.

Now process the beans together. Use the “puree” setting and pulse until most of the beans are broken down – some whole beans are ok! Add this to the mixture in the bowl. Stir everything together to combine completely.

Using a spoon, make golf-ball sized balls of the mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet. You should get about 14 of them. Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Remove and let sit while the pasta finishes.

For the pasta:

White Bean "Meat"balls with Creamy Lemon Pasta | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.comWhile your “meat”balls are in the oven, start your pasta! Bring a big pot of water to bowl, and cook pasta according to package directions, to al dente. Reserve 3/4 C of the pasta water before draining.

In a large saucepan, bring the reserved pasta water, one tbsp olive oil, and the milk or yogurt to a bowl. Add the drained pasta and toss to combine. Add the lemon zest and juice, basil, and the rest of the salt, pepper, and 1/3 C Parmesan. Toss again to combine.

Serve pasta onto bowls or plates. Top with 2 “meat”balls each. Enjoy while it’s hot!

You’ll undoubtedly have leftover “meat”balls. I would suggest you pan-fry these the next day, to make a marvelous meatball sandwich, with some tomato sauce.

Corn Pasta Sauce with Marinated Fresh Veggies

3 Sep

Summer might be “over” with September here, but gardens and markets still have much to offer in the way of summer produce! And this dish is perfect for using up some of your collection.

Corn Pasta Sauce with Marinated Fresh Veggies | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

A vegan pasta sauce made from corn and dairy free soy milk, delicately coats whole wheat spaghetti, and acts as a tasty bed for a medley of marinated fresh vegetables. This meal is packed with protein, fiber, and vitamins…and flavor! You’ll have your family gobbling it down in no time. And it’s super easy to prepare. Embrace the end of summer and get to it!

Corn Pasta Sauce with Marinated Fresh Veggies | xtinaluvspink.wordpress.com

Corn Pasta Sauce with Marinated Fresh Veggies, adapted from Scaling Back

Serves 6

Corn Pasta Sauce

  • 3 ears fresh corn, shaved off
  • 1.5 C plain soymilk
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp each of sea salt and black pepper

Marinated Veggies

  • 1 C cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and diced (or use half, if spicy isn’t for you)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 C fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp each of sea salt and black pepper

Pasta Dish

  • 10 oz whole wheat spaghetti (or use a GF variety)
  • 1 C corn pasta sauce
  • 1/2 C pasta water
  • 1 ear fresh corn, shaved off

Begin by making the corn pasta sauce. Combine all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.

Chop veggies and combine all of the marinade ingredients with the veggies into a bowl. Set aside.

Bring pasta to a boil in a large pot. Cook to al dente.

Before draining the cooked pasta, reserve a half cup of the pasta water. Let the rest drain.

Heat a large pan over medium-high. Pour in one cup of the corn pasta sauce, the extra shaved corn, and the cooked pasta. Mix together and heat through. Add pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce.

Keep remaining corn pasta sauce in a container in the fridge for later use – perhaps to blend with mashed potatoes?

Serve pasta into bowls. Top with the marinated veggies. Enjoy with a nice cold beer 🙂

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