Thursday, October 25, 2007
Pasta Bolognaise, Field Greens Salad With Orange & Apple
I kinda threw this together yesterday lunchtime, a quick pasta sauce (since my freezer was bare of any at all - catastrophe!) with quinoa pasta, preceded by a Field Greens Salad With Orange & Apple.
About the quinoa pasta: this is really really good! For those who know quinoa, you know how nutritious and tasty it is, and those who don't, well you need to discover it soon! It's usually seen as a tiny grain, and comes usually in white. I discovered the red quinoa recently, and that is a real treat! The pasta I bought is macaroni, made from both red and white quinoa - not together, but half of them are the red quinoa noodles and half made from white. It's delicately pretty to look at and delicious in taste!
The package says to cook for 13 to 15 minutes, but that's far too long imho. I give it around 8 or 9 and find it's good.
Now the sauce:
1/2 cup tvp granules and equal boiling water to rehydrate them
1 small rib of celery, chopped very finely
1/2 carrot, chopped very finely
1 small onion, minced
1 large clove garlic, minced
4 or 5 medium mushrooms, chopped
12 or 14 ounces canned plum tomatoes (and a little of their juice)
Oregano to taste (or an Italian mix of herbs, if you prefer)
black (or mixed, your choice) pepper, freshly ground
pinch of crushed chilies, again to taste
1 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
1-1/2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
I boiled the kettle, poured the required water on the tvp granules and chopped the vegetables.
I put the celery, carrot, onion and garlic into a skillet with enough water to soften them.
While the veggies were cooking, I crushed the plum tomatoes and then used the wand blender to puree around 2/3 or so of them - your choice as to how chunky you want it to be.
When the veggies were softened I added the mushrooms, tomatoes, oregano, pepper, chilies, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. After stirring these simmered until they had blended nicely - it depends how much time you have. We were hungry, but not desperately so, so I guess they got around half an hour in the pan. Part way through cooking I realized it was going to be a bit watery, so I thickened with tomato paste. That worked just fine.
We had the salad (see below) as a first course, so I put those to cook while we had that.
When the pasta was cooked, I drained and tossed it with the sauce and garnished it with cilantro (not trad but we like it!). I used a sprinkle of my own cheezy crumby mixture on top, but vegan parmezan-type cheez would be fine.
And here it is:
About the salad:
FIELD GREENS, ORANGE & APPLE SALAD
This doesn't really have - or need - a recipe, but I figure that I pick up ideas from other people's books and websites and maybe someone who sees this who isn't keen on salads might be attracted to trying some of our combinations. Besides, we all oughta eat more salads, and here I am being a good girl and eating mine and I'm taking their photos and posting them, by golly!
One salad looks pretty much like another once you get it reduced to a tiny photo, and if you eat salad as often as we do, then the trick isn't so much in the mix of things (although variety and a few surprise elements help a lot!) but in the dressing. Not using oil in dressings, I find that the lighter the better, but sometimes I break out. This one took a little sweetener - mirin - and orange juice along with some seasoned rice vinegar. Otherwise, you can see that we love to mix fruit into our salads (and match the dressing to it - or even just use a squeeze of lemon juice or a sprinkle of one of the vinegars we keep in.