Spinach Mushroom Pasta Sauce

The weather sure has turned in New York. I can still feel the summer heat of a few days ago, when I constantly had my A/C on and couldn’t step outside without breaking into a sweat. And now here I am, cuddled up in bed with a few blankets, listening to the rain fall, and craving some comfort food! Well, ok, to be exact, I was craving my comfort food earlier this evening which then in turn inspired my dinner, i.e. the recipe I am about to post. I think what really made this comfort food for me was the vast amount of mushrooms I used – but it was so worth it. This sauce works best with any type of thicker pasta (so penne, fusilli, bowties… pretty much anything that isn’t long and thing). It’s low effort, fairly healthy and just a great weeknight recipe (if I may say so myself)!

 

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • 2 hand-full (or more!) of spinach (remember, it cooks down like crazy)
  • olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • optional: red pepper flakes, basil


 

Recipe:

Heat up some olive oil (ca. 1 tsp) in a large pan (in the meantime, start boiling your pasta water). Once hot (you can test it by sprinkling water into the oil), add the mushrooms and cook for 3-5 minutes on medium heat. Remove the mushrooms, store in a bowl and, if the pan is dry, add more olive oil to it. Once hot again, add the red onion to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook for another 3-5 minutes. Pour in the white wine, add the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes, and reintroduce the mushrooms. Turn the heat to low, add the spinach and cover for about 5 minutes (during this time, it would be good to start cooking your pasta). Remove lid, stir and let simmer until the sauce has reached its desired consistency. If desired, add in some basil. Once your pasta has cooked, mix everything together and serve right away!!

I hope this quick and easy recipe inspired a few of my readers – I for one am so glad it’s finally cooling down enough that I can start cooking and baking on the regular again!

 

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Tahini Chocolate Bundt Cake

Before I even start… wow. This cake – so moist, so decadent. Not too sweet, not too heavy. SO YUMMY!

Ok, now that I got this out of the way, let’s  begin. Originally, I was going to make some roasted veggies with an avocado tahini dressing for dinner last night. However, after eating something that didn’t quite agree with me for lunch, I had to rethink my dinner strategy (which ended up being ordering delivery… Yes, I am ashamed. Just a little). I had already bought most of the ingredients and had this jar of tahini sitting around. I also knew I had to bring breakfast to my Thursday morning meeting, so I started googling things I could bake with tahini. And that’s when I stumbled across this fantastic recipe. I tweaked it a bit to make it dairy free (and also based on what else I had in my pantry), but I have no regrets. In fact, I will be baking this cake again this weekend for a friend’s birthday!

 

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 and 3/4 cups of light brown sugar
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 medium eggs (see here for vegan flax seed eggs)
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar, topped off with a little less than 1 cup of coconut milk (or other non-dairy milk)
  • 1 cup coffee
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup of tahini
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 package vanilla sugar (can substitute with another tsp vanilla extract)

Tahini Coating:

  • 1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1 package vanilla sugar (can substitute with 1 tsp vanilla extract)

 

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a large bundt pan with some of the coconut oil and lightly dust with a small amount of cocoa powder. Prepare the vegan buttermilk by combining the apple cider vinegar with coconut milk and let sit for approximately 5 minutes.

Mix the sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder and vanilla sugar in a large bowl. Combine well, avoiding any clumps. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, vegan buttermilk, coffee, coconut oil, tahini and vanilla extract. Mix well. Make a well in the dry mixture and pour in the wet ingredients. Mix until smooth. Pour into bundt pan and bake for about 45 minutes (or until a knife comes out clean).

Once the cake is baked, take it out of the oven and leave it in the pan for at least 10 minutes before cooling it on a cooling rack (without the pan). Wait at least half an hour before glazing the cake. Mix the tahini coating ingredients and slowly pour over the cooled cake.

I served the cake the next day and it tasted AMAZING. However, I am sure it will taste just as good (actually, probably even better) fresh out of the oven. It’s a pretty big cake and can easily feed 15 people!

Cardamom Cold Brew Coffee

Oh boy, I have so much catching up to do. But to prove that I’m still alive, I wanted to post a quick cold brew idea. I made it last night and had a cup this morning, and it sure changes my morning coffee game!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup ground coffee
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom
  • Maple syrup (optional)
  • Coconut milk (optional)

Mix the coffee with the cardamom in a large container (e.g. a glass pitcher). Pour cold water and mix well. Cover pitcher, put it in the refrigerator, and let it sit over night. Before serving, remove the coffee grounds by pouring it over a fine strainer. You can either drink it as is or sweeten it with some coconut milk and maple syrup (or your sweetener of choice, but I found this combo to taste really great).

Turkey Bolognese over Zucchini Noodles

Hello everyone!

I just got back from a college reunion and my diet did not do well. Back in New York, I am now starting a month-long no added-sugar diet and it’s really bringing out my creative cooking side. Well, at least I like to tell myself that.

One of the recipes I will be cooking for sure is my turkey bolognese. I made it with Phil and he immediately fell in love with the recipe! We cheated a bit with the no-dairy part and added sheep’s feta cheese before serving it, but this is in no way required. It still tastes absolutely amazing, with the key ingredient being carrots (yes! carrots! they actually take away the acidity usually found in tomato sauces, so no sugar is necessary). If you want a cheesy flavor, sprinkle some nutritional yeast on top and it will be almost like you’re eating spaghetti with Parmesan!

 

Ingredients (serves two hungry people):

  • 1 lbs of ground turkey
  • ~10 cheery tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 carrot, grated
  • t tbsp olive oil
  • 1 can (16 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 large zucchini


Recipe:

  1. Heat up the oil in a large pan (I used a wok).
  2. Fry the onions for about a minute, then add the garlic and carrots. Cook for 3-4 minutes at medium heat.
  3. Add the cherry tomatoes to the pan and cook for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Remove the veggies from the pan, add the spices.
  5. Add the turkey to the pan. Sprinkle salt on the meat. Cook until no longer pink.
  6. Add the veggies to the turkey in the pan.
  7. Add the canned tomatoes and bay leaf and let simmer on low heat until desired consistency is reached.
  8. While the sauce is thickening, wash the zucchini and spiralize it (alternatively, you can buy pre-packaged zoodles). You can either eat the zucchini noodles raw or quickly heat them up in a pan.
  9. Remove the bay leaf and pour the sauce over the noodles. Serve with any extras you want!

 

Slow Cooker Rum Apple Butter

Wow, I think I’m on a slow cooker role! Last week the Slow Cooker Lime Pulled Pork, now this apple butter recipe… But it’s so easy and versatile!

I was invited to a bunch of pot-luck style things this weekend – a housewarming, a picnic, and then I hosted my own Eurovision Party (to which though nobody showed up… But that’s a different story!) – so I had to come up with something I could bring to all of these events. And thus the idea of making apple butter was born (fyi, I plan to make a crepe cake with apple butter layers soon. No idea how it’s going to turn out, but we shall see).

The only ~difficult~ part of this recipe was peeling and cutting all the apples. Everything else was just wait and stir!

 

Ingredients:

  • ~4.5 lbs apples (I used granny smith and… another kind that I don’t remember)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 packs of vanilla sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark rum

Recipe:

  1. Peel and cut the apples into cubes
  2. Mix with sugar, cinnamon, clove, salt and vanilla sugar in slow cooker
  3. Cover and cook for approx. 6 hours on high, stirring every hour or so
  4. Uncover the slow cooker, add the rum, stir, and cook for another hour uncovered while high
  5. Turn slow cooker off, let cool down some and store in refrigerator

I put my apple butter in little mason jars that are an AMAZING gift! The rum cooks off but adds to the flavor. So far, I’ve eaten the apple butter with bananas and toast, but I’m sure it would work great in a smoothie, oatmeal… you name it!


Hope you enjoy it and let me know how you used it 🙂

Slow Cooker Lime Pulled Pork

What do you do when you’re sick on Cinco de Mayo but still really want tacos? Yup, make your own the next day!

I was craving carnitas and have been meaning to make a fall-off-the-bone pork shoulder in my slow cooker for a while. Unfortunately, the smallest pork shoulder I could find was over 4 lbs, so my boyfriend and I decided to invite some friends over. The pressure for me to make the perfect dinner was on since I suddenly had 6 additional mouths to feed!

Luckily, after six hours of waiting, the pulled pork turned out juicy and perfectly spiced, and I’m super excited to share if with you guys! The recipe was mainly inspired by Recipe Tin Eats’ Carnitas, so head over to her blog for any substitutions and adjustments.

Ingredients (for a 4.5 lbs pork shoulder, bone included):

  • 4.5 lbs pork shoulder
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2.25 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • juice from 6 limes (should be about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 tsp chili
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

 

Recipe:

  1. Wash and dry the pork shoulder.
  2. Rub in the salt and pepper and place in the slow cooker.
  3. Combine the chili, oregano, cumin and olive juice and rub all over the pork shoulder.
  4. Place the shoulder fat side up and pour over the chopped onion, garlic, and lime juice.
  5. Cook on high for about 9 hours, or on low for 6 hours (which I did and it turned out tremendously).
  6. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and shred with two forks (it should be so juicy that it just falls off the bone).
  7. Add some of the juice that’s still in the slow cooker (and has some of the fat in it) to a pan and heat up. Once the juice sizzles, add some of the pulled pork and brown it.
  8. Repeat until all the pork has been seared.

I served the carnitas with corn taco shells, avocado and Spanish rice. The pork is so juicy and flavorful that I didn’t need anything else! And since most of the process is passive in the slow cooker, this is not only a super tasty, but also a super easy recipe!

Quick Rosemary Roasted Potatoes

Need a quick and easy side for your dinner tonight? Look no further and make these super tasty potatoes!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small bag of small fingerling potatoes
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp rosemary
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 1 tbsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 F. Wash the potatoes. Put into large bowl and pour oil over the potatoes. Add the rosemary, thyme and salt, and toss well. Grease a baking pan and add the potatoes (face down) to the pan. Bake in the oven for approximately 30 minutes. Enjoy!