Tag Archives: pasta

Lentil Balls with Pasta and Marinara Sauce

1 cup green lentils; picked through and rinsed
2 1/4 cup water
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small (1/2 large) onion; minced
1 clove garlic; crushed
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1 egg
1/2 cup (gluten free as needed) oat flour (I grind my own in a coffee mill turned gf seed/grain grinder)

Bring clean lentils and water to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare remaining ingredients and place in a bowl. Strain and rinse lentils, add to the bowl with other ingredients and mash together to combine; I used a pastry knife but a fork or potato masher will work just fine. When well combined, set aside and let rest for 20 minutes.

Prepare marinara sauce (recipe below) and pasta (gluten free as needed).

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop 2 Tablespoons of the lentil ball mixture and form into a ball. It will be sticky (if it’s ridiculously sticky add more oat flour) so it will need to be rolled and otherwise manipulated into a ball. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake sheet in the oven for 25 minutes.

Top pasta with lentil balls and marinara sauce. Top with grated cheese or nutritional yeast if desired. I recommend serving with a salad on the side.image

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2-1 onion; minced
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt
3-4 cups boxed/canned crushed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
pinch thyme
3 cloves garlic; crushed

Preheat a wide bottomed stock pot over medium heat and chop the onions. Add olive oil, onions and salt and saute under cover until tender, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes to the sauted onions, put the cover on, bring to a boil, reduce heat, add herbs and spices and lightly simmer.


Barbecued Tofu and Gluten Free Pasta with Zucchini and Pesto

15 oz block extra firm tofu; use organic to avoid GMOs
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch fresh ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup fresh pressed lime juice (or apple cider vinegar)
1/4 cup maple syrup (or brown sugar)
1/4 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic; crushed

**Prepare several hours in advance or overnight to allow flavors to marinate into the tofu.**

Drain tofu and cut into desired shape and size. Place in a glass or ceramic container. Sprinkle the top of the tofu with herbs and spices. Combine the lime juice, maple syrup, ketchup, extra virgin olive oil and garlic in a small bowl and pour over the tofu pieces. Cover and refrigerate until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 375. Pour the tofu and marinade onto a small (9×10″) roasting pan or large cast iron skillet, arrange in a single layer and bake for 20 minutes. You may finish the baking under the broiler for a few minutes (I considered it but the rest of the meal was ready to go).

14-16 oz (gluten free) pasta
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 onion; quartered and thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 zucchini (I used 1 green and 1 yellow- a cross between summer squash and zucchini); cut into bite sized pieces
pinch-1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves
1 cup grated pecorino Romano (optional for vegans)

Preheat a wide bottom pot or large skillet with a lid over medium heat. Add olive oil and onion sprinkle with the sea salt and sauté for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.

Add the prepared zucchini to the sautéed onions, stir, cover and allow to cook over medium heat for 5-10 minutes until starting to get tender. Stir occasionally to cook evenly.

Meanwhile, Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Then place the garlic in a food processor and finely chop. Scrape down sides, add the basil and process till finely chopped.

Drain the pasta and return to the large pot. Add the grated Romano cheese, sautéed vegetables, black pepper and chopped garlic and basil. Mix well and serve.

No Cook Marinara Sauce (A.K.A. Lazy Marinara)

This is a tasty, quick and efficient recipe I have been making for years. It is a great shortcut when  wanting a homemade meal but not having time to make sauce from scratch. By the time the dough for pizza has risen, the pasta boiled or the first round of zucchini/eggplant fried the sauce is ready. Another tip, while waiting for pasta to boil, pizza to bake or zucchini/eggplant parmesan to cook- make a fresh salad to round off a healthy meal.
DSC_00061 box (26.46 oz/750g) Pomi brand tomato sauce *if using another brand of canned tomato check the salt content; Pomi has none
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1Tablespoon dried basil
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
1-4 cloves garlic; crushed (modify to your family’s taste- we go heavy as we love garlic)
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (if you are making zucchini or eggplant parmesan omit the oil as the vegetables soaks up so much when frying)

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Mix all ingredients together and continue preparing the rest of your meal. I usually mix right in the box; just peal the side tabs up and cut straight across.

Quick Purple Pesto Pasta Salad

DSC_00018 oz whole wheat pasta (or gluten free)
florets of 1 head of broccoli; cut into bite sized pieces
2 cups cherry (or regular) tomatoes; cut into bite sized pieces
1 small onion; quartered and sliced
3 cloves garlic
1/2-1 teaspoon sea salt
pinch-1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup purple basil leaves (any will do but the purple is in great abundance in our garden now)
1 cup shredded pecorino romano (optional)

Bring 2 quarts water to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables and place in a large colander and set aside. Cook the pasta according to package directions.
Prepare the purple pesto; place garlic and salt in a food processor and blend till finely minced. Scrape down sides and add pepper, olive oil and basil to the food processor and blend until basil is finely minced.
Strain the pasta over the vegetables (this is a “quick steam” technique I picked up along the way of making hurried meals). Pour the vegetables and pasta into a bowl, add the pesto and toss together. Add the cheese and mix or serve the cheese on the side. Eat warm or chill then serve.

Quick Bean Salad with Fresh Garlic Scapes and Herbs

DSC_00081 12-15 oz can black beans; drained and rinsed
1 12-15 oz can white beans; drained and rinsed
*see note below for using dry beans
2 1/2 cups mixed frozen vegetables (I used a corn, green bean, pea and carrot combo); defrosted or **see note below if cooking dry beans
6-8 garlic scapes; rinsed and thinly sliced (I used only the stem because the flower and the “tip” was tough and fibrous)
1 cup fresh Italian/flat parsley (optional, I had some on hand that I needed to use)
2 Tablespoons fresh oregano; leaves removed from stem and minced or 1Tablespoon dried
1 teaspoon fresh thyme; leaves removed from stem or 1/2 teaspoon dried
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/8-1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil




Optional cooked pasta, rice, quinoa to make a meal

Optional, toss in some shredded parmesan/romano cheese

*soak 1 cup white beans for 6-8 hours, drain, rinse, add 4 cups water, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer till tender (about 1 hour)
*soak 1 cup black beans for 6-8 hours, drain, rinse, add 4 cups water, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer till tender (about 1 1/4 hours)
**place frozen vegetables in a colander, pour cooked beans and hot water over the frozen vegetables, rinse with cold water, drain and place in a large serving bowl.

Place drained and rinsed beans and defrosted vegetables in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well to coat with the dressing. If you have a house hold like ours that is gluten sensitive and gluten friendly divide the bean salad and toss in the desired starch of making a pasta salad.

Sautéd Kale and Salad Turnips over Pasta

The slowly sautéd vegetables are surprisingly sweet and the tangy salt from the cheese is a nice compliment. To make this as a vegan dish eliminate the butter and cheese and increase the salt by 1/8-1/4 teaspoon.


7-8 (3/4 cup) shallots; thinly sliced
9 (2 1/2 cups) salad turnips; thinly sliced
1 large bunch (12 cups) kale; stem removed and coarsely chopped
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt
dash fresh ground black pepper
1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese; shredded

3/4 lb (12 oz) pasta (I used whole wheat penne for Xav and brown rice fusilli for myself)

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Put water on for pasta. Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet or wide bottom stock pot over medium heat. Add shallots, stirring occasionally and sauté until golden, about 10 minutes. Add turnips and kale and cover, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and leave covered. Finish with salt, pepper and cheese stir and serve over pasta.
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Vegan Brown Rice Taco Salad and Vegetarian Pasta Salad with Tomato, Cucumber and Basil

DSC_0007I threw together a couple of quick salads for my family before heading out to the farmers market to restock the refrigerator with locally grown produce.

The magic of grabbing everything available, throwing it on the counter and seeing a meal.
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brown rice
vegan taco filling
peppers, onions, cilantro
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients and mix to create a vegan brown rice taco salad.


sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
red wine vinegar
extra virgin olive oil
whole wheat pasta

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Boil the whole wheat pasta (if you don’t have left over pasta) while preparing the remaining ingredients. Chop the tomato and cucumber into bite size pieces, crush the garlic, chop the basil, add vinegar and olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Then I found some more ingredients that would fit in nicely-

pecorino Romano cheese
pine nuts

Shred the cheese and add a handful of pine nuts.

Drain the cooked pasta and toss in with the salad ingredients to make a pasta salad with an essence of pest.