Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Food Blog Summer Edition 2010: Garlic Basil Pasta

I've been having fun experimenting with different versions of mac 'n cheese. I like the recipe in 30 Minute Vegan that uses nutritional yeast and curry powder. I bought cheddar flavor Daiya vegan cheese, so used that to make my latest batch yesterday. I heated 1 1/2 cups of rice milk until it was steaming, then added 1/4 cup nutritional yeast and 2 tbsp of flour together. I whisked that in until the milk was bubbly and thick, then I added 1 cup of the Daiya cheese and stirred until melted. Prior to starting the cheese sauce I had pureed 1/2 cup of fresh basil and 3 cloves of garlic in the food processor. I added it to the cheese sauce and poured the sauce over the cooked whole wheat pasta shells. Here is the cheese sauce just before pouring. The mac n' cheese could have been eaten from the pot, but I put it in a baking dish and sprinkled bread crumbs on top and baked for 20 minutes. Half does not have bread crumbs because the kids don't like it.
The girls had theirs with a side of spinach salad. G could not stop raving about this dinner. She was so excited to try the newest version of mac n cheese with HER cheese. Any vegan cheese is her cheese. Only now big sister and I are having it too. G enjoyed her salad with Asian Miracle Dressing from Vegan Lunch Box. Every time she has it she explains that it's called miracle dressing because it's a miracle kids eat their salad. And it's true, she ate it all!

I enjoyed my bread crumb-topped pasta with a side of sweetened stewed tomatoes. YUM! I discovered I liked this combination when I had my first child. The first meal I ate in the hospital was mac n' cheese and stewed tomatoes. I was famished and didn't hesitate to eat everything on my plate. It was delicious! My midwife was still there and commented on how she could see I was a real Marylander by my liking the stewed tomatoes. I told her it was the first time I'd had it, but I loved it. I thicken them with cornstarch mixed with a little water and add a little brown sugar. So, so good. I don't like to add it on top of the mac n' cheese, but I eat some with every bite of it.

I went to Moms Organic Market recently and bought three heirloom tomatoes. I'd read about heirloom vegetables in Animal, Vegetable, Miracle and took the opportunity to try some. Here is my last one on my favorite "palette plate" a friend gave me a couple years ago. I use it for the produce I leave out of the fridge.

Today I ate two tomato sandwiches with mayo (not vegan), Dijon mustard, organic romaine lettuce and fresh basil. SO good. Then I had the last tomato a couple hours later with left-over mac n' cheese.

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