Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash, Sage and Pine Nuts

Okay, I know this may seem more like a "fallish" type of recipe but I made this for my family just this past Sunday and it was AMAZING!!!! I was instantly taken back with the first bite. This pasta dish has so much flavor and I love how all of the ingredients balance each other out and I love how it's both sweet and savory. The original recipe calls for Parmesan cheese but since I try to eat more vegan like I left it out of the pasta and put it on the side for those who wanted it. Now on Sundays I am usually a little lax and will make my pasta dishes using just regular pasta (trying to appease the hubby who has to put up with my Sunday vegan meals) but I really wish I would have used whole wheat pasta on this one. I think it would have tasted just as good and would have been more filling. But nonetheless, this pasta will not disappoint and this is a recipe I am planning on using the next time we have company over... it's really that good! Oh, and I'm so sorry about this picture! I didn't have great lighting and this is the best that my camera could do at the time.


1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks
2 onions, peeled and chopped into 1 inch chunks
3 cloves garlic, minced (I love garlic so I always add a bit more)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup fresh sage leaves, minced
1 lb farfalle pasta (can totally use whole wheat penne or any other pasta)
3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted


Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Before you cut the butternut squash, place it in the microwave for about 30-40 seconds in order to soften the skin. This will make the squash much easier to cut into. Cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and strings. Then flip each half of the squash over and peel them. Cut the squash into 1 inch cubes. Toss with the onion, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper and half of the sage leaves. Spread the squash mixture in a large baking dish and roast for about 40 minutes or until the squash is soft.

Cook pasta in boiling water until al dente. Drain and set aside. Just before the squash is finished heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan. Drop the rest of the sage leaves in the heated oil and saute for about a minute.

Add the pasta to the pan along with the roasted squash mixture. Then add salt to taste... I love salt so I am pretty liberal when it comes to salting things. Cook, stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until the pasta starts getting crispy on some of the edges. Add the pine nuts and cook for another minute.

Now if you don't have a big enough pan just start with adding half of the pasta, half of the squash mixture and half of the rest of the ingredients. Then just repeat with the rest of the ingredients.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Tacos de Papa (Potato Tacos)

I've been on a little vegan kick for a while and with that I have had the opportunity to experiment with all interesting kinds of recipes. Now I am not doing this whole vegan thing because I am an animal rights activist or extremist in any way. I am more doing it for my own health and wellness. Just trying to get more fruits and veggies in me, that's all!

Anywho, I came across this recipe and I just had to try it. I LOVE both Mexican food and potatoes so I thought this was going to be a perfect combo... and it was! This was my first time EVER making or eating potato tacos and let me tell you I was pleasantly surprised. They exceeded my expectations and I will definitely be making these again. These tacos are really filling and flavorful. The veggie mixture is so delicious that you forget that these tacos are meat free!


5 small-medium size russet potatoes, washed and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1-2 onions, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon basil
1-2 teaspoons kosher salt (depending on taste, I think I might even usually add more)
Corn topping (recipe below)
Fresh avocado, diced
Corn tortillas


Preheat oven to 420 degrees.
Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and toss until vegetables are well coated with the oil and seasonings.
Pour the vegetable mixture into a 9x13 baking dish (I always add a little cooking spray to the dish even though the veggies are coated with oil).
Bake for 40-60 minutes, depending on your oven and how coarsely chopped your veggies are, stirring your veggies every 20 minutes.
Using a large skillet or griddle warm up the tortillas (about 15 seconds each side).
To assemble the tacos first place the potato mixture on the tortilla, corn topping and then add the diced avocado on top.

Corn Topping

1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
8 oz fresh or frozen white corn
4 oz can diced green chiles
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a skillet and saute the rest of the ingredients until heated trough (about 5 minutes).

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Lasagna with a Bang!

OK, so I'm the sister that annoys everyone with my vegan ways, but tonight is New Year's and I am quite due for a little cheat! My fam of five loves lasagna but tonight I decided to add a little bang in celebration of 2012 so PESTO CHANGO! And as always, made with hot mama love. OH! And a little bit of sass!

Pesto Lasagna

Trader Joe's no bake lasagna noodles
1 lb. ground hot Italian sausage or ground beef, browned and ready to go!
2 cans of tomato sauce
1 container of low fat small curd cottage cheese
chopped scallions and garlic to taste
1 tsp. or more crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1 Tb. dried basil
1 TB. dried oregano
1 container of Trader Joe's pesto (in the refrigerator section)
Parmesan cheese
mozzarella cheese

In your most beautiful 9x13 pan, spray a little bit of canola oil. In a large bowl, place tomato sauce, cottage cheese, all spices, ground meat, scallions and garlic. Stir well. Spread a portion on bottom of the pan. Lay down three noodles. Spread another heaping portion of sauce mixture over noodles. Top with 1/3 of the cheeses and dollop pesto over. Layer another three noodles and repeat the process until sauce is gone. Top with cheese and generous spoonfuls of pesto. Bake uncovered at 375 for 45-55 minutes. Voila!