Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Vegan Ranch Dressing

I'm cooking vegan at home now and needed ranch dressing for tonight's dinner of Gardein chicken wraps.  So, one quick search online and I found the perfect dairy-free ranch dressing:

1/2c vegan mayonnaise (Vegenaise is great!)
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/8 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. chopped parsley
1/4c unsweetened soy milk

1.  Combine everything in a small bowl.  Chill until ready to serve.

They'll never know it's vegan! ;)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Happy Birthday to Me!!!

Yesterday was my birthday and we celebrated by dining at a fabulous new Indian restaurant.  It was one of those meals that was so crazy good, I'm still thinking about it today.

When we got home, it was time for cake and presents.  The packages had been sitting in the living room all day, just teasing me.  I first spotted them in the morning and immediately recognized the Williams Sonoma wrapping paper. 
I am so easy. My husband knows he can walk in that store and buy anything and I will be thrilled. I had no idea what was in those boxes but I knew it was good!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Pesto, Spinach, Tomato Naan Pizzas

Last night, I made personal pizzas using garlic naan bread.  It was so simple and so good:

garlic naan flatbread (I found these perfectly-sized breads at Trader Joe's)
fresh spinach, a handful for each pizza
basil pesto, 2 TBSP for each
roma tomatoes, chopped, about 1/8c for each
Parmesan cheese, to taste

1.  Preheat the oven to 425*  Put the pizza stone in also so it will get nice and hot.  If you don't have a pizza stone - get one!  In the meantime though, a baking sheet would do just fine.

2.  Top each naan bread piece with 2 TBSP pesto, some spinach, tomatoes, and Parmesan.

3.  Place on preheated stone and cook for about 7 minutes.
 Served with Pasta e Olio .

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Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pasta with Mushrooms and Goat Cheese

I woke up this morning still thinking about how yummy this was last night! 

2 TBSP butter
4 TBSP olive oil
1/2c shallots, chopped
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 lb. baby bella mushrooms, rough chopped
3 TBSP fresh parsley, plus additional for garnish
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 lb. bowtie pasta, or whatever you have on hand
5 oz. herbed goat cheese, crumbled
3 TBSP grated Parmesan cheese

1.  In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 1 TBSP butter with 2 TBSP olive oil.

2.  Add onions, 1/2 tsp. salt, and sugar.  Stir until browned and fragrant, about 10 minutes.  Remove from pan and set aside.

3.  Add the remaining 1 TBSP butter and 1 TBSP olive oil to the skillet.

4.  Stir in the mushrooms and 1/4 tsp. salt.  Continue cooking over medium heat until mushrooms are tender and browned, about 5 minutes.

5.  Add the cooked onions, parsley, 1/4 tsp. salt, and pepper.  Keep warm until the pasta is ready.

6.  Prepare the pasta in a  large pot, according to package directions.  Drain, reserving 3/4c of the water, and return to pot.

7.  To the pasta pot, add 1/2c of the pasta water, the mushroom mixture, 1 TBSP olive oil, goat cheese, and Parmesan.  Add extra pasta water, if necessary.

8.  Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese and parsley. 
This is best while it's hot, so serve immediately!
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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Slow Cooked Pulled Pork BBQ over Sweet Potatoes

Why I have never tried this before, I don't know.  Because the flavor combination is brilliant.

2 - 2 1/2 lb. pork butt roast
salt, pepper, and garlic powder, to taste
1c beef broth
1/4c brewed coffee
olive oil
4 sweet potatoes

1.  Rub pork roast with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.  Place in slow cooker.

2.  Add beef broth and coffee.

3.  Cook on Low for approximately 6 hours, or until cooked through.

4.  During the last hour, preheat the oven to 400*.

5.  Prick sweet potatoes with a fork and coat with olive oil (I just do this with my hands).

6.  Bake potatoes for around 30 minutes, or until a fork stuck into the potatoes tells you they're done.

7.  Get back to the pork:  Dump the liquid and remove pork to a cutting board.

8.  Shred the pork and return it to the slow cooker.

9.  Add as little or as much BBQ sauce as you like (I usually end up using the entire bottle).

10.  To serve:  Slice open each potato and top with the BBQ pork.

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