Mar 21, 2012

pasta primavera

The first day of Spring was yesterday. We really enjoy celebrating the equinoxes and solstices at our house. What better way to ring in the spring (besides that annoying daylight savings time deal) than with Pasta Primavera, for which the dish is named after. 

Way back when I fell in love with this dish, my brother was the executive chef of a waterside restaurant. By that time I was already vegetarian. After a long day's work, he would make for me this dish - pasta with creamy sauce and lots of spring and summer vegetables. There are two ways to make Pasta Primavera: one is made using olive oil and garlic and the other is made using butter, cream and Parmesan cheese, essentially a la Alfredo.

Although there is no way to exactly mimic the flavor of butter and cream (at least none that I have come across), the creaminess of the original dish remains and the stars of the meal -the vegetables- still take center stage. 

My brother limited the pasta to summer squashes and cauliflower, but I kind of went overboard and added anything at all that looked good. When I presented my offering to the kids and went into the details of the name, my kids immediately piped up... "tomatoes aren't a spring plant"..."neither are summer squashes"... yeah, yeah. I loaded tons of spring (and summer) veggies and fruits onto this pasta plate, but you are welcome to be as finicky as my kids tend to be, omitting any at will. 

Cost Breakdown

pasta: $3
onion, garlic, carrot, peppers: $3
flour, milk: $1
cauliflower, asparagus, squash, mushrooms, kale: $9
Total to make 6 servings:

Mar 19, 2012

braised vegan sausage and cabbage with horseradish sauce

We had such an amazing time last weekend, but are so happy to finally be home. 

Our Homeschool Conference in the Chicagoland area was tons of fun for the kids, tons of work for David and me. Fortunately along with the work and fun, some of us even learned a  thing or two. We are now back at home and I am again free to blog according to my ability and allotted time.

Since we were away this weekend and since a Patty's Day feast a microwave does not make, I am posting a belated Irish meal - cook at will and worry not about it being St Pat's Day. Enjoy the dish whenever the urge strikes.

This is an easy and quick open-faced sandwich of sorts, Braised Sausage and Cabbage with Horseradish Sauce, a take-off of the Corned Cabbage that the family loves but for which I did not have a whole lot of time to prepare. In its stead, I used a lot of the flavors and ingredients that are in the Corned Cabbage and made them into a quick dish.

The whole process started as a simple Sausage and Cabbage dish and morphed into the Corned-idea after Kate mentioned that it was a too bad that it wasn't going to be Corned Cabbage. That is all it really takes for me - someone lamenting over something I am NOT making - and the original dish veers off in another direction.

I braised vegan sausage, onions, peppers and cabbage in a corned-broth and served it over toasted whole wheat slices, drizzled with horseradish sauce. I also baked up acorn squash, left over from the produce box before we took off for vacation. Spring is here, so enjoy those winter squash while you still can! And partake of this dish whenever you see a scrumptious head of cabbage and a few links of Field Roast sausage calling out to you.

Cost Breakdown

cabbage: $3
sausage: $5
onion, pepper: $3
spices, herbs: $2
bread, vegenaise, horseradish: $2
Total to make 5 servings: