When I was a kid, my Mom used to make Goulash for dinner on a regular basis and it was always one of my favorite meals. For some reason, I was thinking about it the other day and felt a little homesick (and nostalgic). Maybe it’s because I’ve not seen my parents since Christmas (sad face here:___). I asked my Mom about the recipe and the spices and I tweaked it to make it vegetarian. I think it’s very close to what she used to make. Maybe the next time I’m visiting them I’ll make it for them for dinner.
- 2-3 Tb Olive oil
- 1 small to medium red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pkg MorningStar Farms Grillers Crumbles
- 1 1/2C cooked macaroni (al denté)
- 1 28oz can diced tomatoes plus 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
- 1 14oz can tomato sauce
- Dried Basil, Oregano, or an Italian blend of spices (to taste)
- Hungarian (sweet) paprika, to taste
- 1 bay leaf
A note on the spices: adjust them to your tastebuds. I don’t want to give specific measures because, well, I don’t measure when I cook; I just eyeball it, taste and adjust.
In a large soup pot, over medium heat, add oil, and sauté the garlic and onion, when translucent, add the veggie crumbles and turn down the heat (follow the package directions to cook crumbles). Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and then incorporate the cooked macaroni. Add all your spices, stir, cover and turn down the heat to low. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t stick, stir often. This will be ready in 20 minutes.
It’s 61 degrees today in Brooklyn. In January. Ummm, oookaaaay. My apartment is a tad bit warm from roasting the spaghetti squash and then baking the “pasta” dish. But, hey, my dinner is done and I just need to reheat it later on this evening. I love it when a plan comes together. Also, I realized that there is a better way to cook spaghetti squash. My friend, Molly and I were just talking yesterday about struggling to cut the squash in half and how comical it was. Newsflash: pierce squash all over with a fork and cook in the microwave for 12-15 minutes, or, in a baking dish in the oven at 400 degrees for 60 minutes. SO. Much. Easier this way! Also, I used my favorite jarred Muir Glen pasta sauce because it’s Sunday and I’m feeling a little lazy.
- 1 cooked spaghetti squash
- 1/2 the jar of pasta sauce
- 1/2C panko bread crumbs
- 1/2C (or more) of grated pecorino
- Italian herb blend
- Crushed red pepper
Let the cooked squash cool (or be a doofus and burn your hand like I did earlier), then use a spoon to scoop out the innards and seeds, discard those. Then, use a fork to scrape out the squash, add it to a large mixing bowl. Add the sauce and stir until combined. Add mixture to an 8×8 baking dish. Combine the breadcrumbs, cheese and herbs, sprinkle on top of the spaghetti squash mixture. I added a bit more pecorino romanao cheese too Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, or, until the topping is browned and bit crispy.
As I was typing the headline for this post, I realized, “Damn, I’ve been eating a lot of black beans and tomatoes….” Sorry for the redundancy, but I’ve finally eaten my weight in summer tomatoes. (YAY!) I will surely miss them and think of them fondly when it’s December and I’m eating my fair share of roasted root vegetables and trying to not eat those gross, mealy, tasteless out-of-season tomatoes offered at my local grocery store.
This salad made a perfect meal and will pack up nicely when I take it to work for my lunches this week. It’s pretty adaptable. If you have limes and cilantro on hand, then by all means add some juice, zest and herbs. Yellow or red peppers or even jalapenos would add a nice crunch too. I used Pedon brand quick cooking (10 min) quinoa/bulghur, but if you have one or the other, that works just fine too.
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed, drained
- 1 package of quinoa & bulghur mix, cooked, drained
- 2-3 tomatoes, diced
- 1 avocado, cubed
- 2TB extra virgin olive oil
- 2-3 TB white balsamic vinegar
Cook the grains according to package directions. Set aside to cool a bit. Mix the black beans, tomato, avocado, oil and vinegar and add some salt and pepper. Let that sit for a few minutes so the salt brings out the water from the tomatoes. Add the quinoa to the vegetables and toss. I also added crushed red pepper flakes and a dash of chili powder in lieu of jalapenos. Enjoy!
Maybe it’s just me, but I prefer colder foods in the summer. And because I cannot live on coconut or raspberry sorbet every day…
This dish works as a side salad or possibly a salsa accompaniment to roasted mushroom soft tacos (oooh, I just gave myself an idea). I used fresh corn on the cob rather than frozen because I had leftover corn. (I just sliced it off the cob in large pieces. If you use frozen corn, sauté it first in a pan and let cool). It’s a quick and easy and made a nice lunch for my lazy Sunday afternoon. Hey, where’s my sangria?
- 1 can of black beans, rinsed, drained
- 1 ear of cooked corn on the cob, sliced off cob
- 1 medium/large tomato
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 1/2 avocado, cubed
- 1 small/medium zucchini, thinly sliced pieces
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 TB of olive oil
- 2TB of white balsamic vinegar, or to taste
- Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper to taste
Rinse and drain the black beans, add the diced tomatoes, pepper, corn, avocado, and zucchini. Add the juice of a lime (so the avocado doesn’t brown), olive oil and vinegar. You don’t have to add vinegar, but I did because it adds a different element of flavor and is a nice complement. Stir and then let the salad sit for 10 minutes, as the salt with draw out the water from the tomatoes and zucchini.
Sometimes vegetables intimidate me. I see them in the market but don’t buy them because I am not sure what to do with them, but it doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy eating them. I used to feel this way about jicama until I just bought one and made a salad one day. Then I wondered why I waited so long. It’s pretty light, even though it starchy. Hm, I bet it’d be quite good if it was pickled. Sometimes I like to mix it with apples, other times I like it with radishes and carrots as a side salad to a burrito. It’s also pretty tasty when paired with some chili powder and cilantro, lime and peppers. My point? Don’t be intimidated by “weird” fruits and vegetables. I swear, someday soon I will tackle artichokes.
Jicama, Carrot and Radish Salad
- 1 head of jicama
- 1 small bag of radishes, sliced thinly
- 1-2 carrots diced
- 2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 2TB white balsamic vinegar
- Juice of one lime
- Handful of cilantro chopped
- salt, pepper to taste.
Peel and dice jicama, add sliced radishes, carrot, and remainder of ingredients. I usually let it sit for a bit so the flavors can marinate.