Friday, January 08, 2010

Cooking Vegetarian

I go through cycles. Some years I've eaten only vegetarian meals. Others I add in a bit of chicken/fish/meat especially in the winter when my thin body needs fuel. The year I cooked for Mom I cooked mostly meat/potato/veg meals for her. Now I want to return to 40% vegetarian.

Easier to do in the winter as I'm indoors a lot anyway. Vegetarian meals often entail a lot of chopping and cutting and layering and time. The above was a new recipe try for me and pretty good. I especially like the garlic. It is from Quick Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin.

Penne with Spinach and Chick-Peas in Garlic Sauce

10 oz package fresh spinach or one 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed
1 lb penne or mostaccioli
1/3 cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
2 medium tomatoes, cored, seeded and cut into 1/2" dice
2 cups freshly cooked chick-peas or one 15 oz can chick-peas, rinsed and drained
dash salt
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1) Rinse clean fresh spinach, discard stems. Place spinach in large skillet with just the water that clings to it. Cover and cook over medium heat until wilted. About 5 minutes. Drain, cool, squeeze dry with your hands. (If using frozen spinach squeeze dry with hands). Set aside

2)cook penne in large pot of boiling water. 12-15 minutes till al dente.

3)make sauce. In large frying pan heat olive oil, add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and chick-peas. Cook 2 minutes. Add spinach, salt and 1/4 cup of the boiling pasta water and stir well. Cook until heated through, about 3 minutes.

4)When pasta is done drain in colander. Return to pot or large serving bowl. Spoon on sauce and toss well. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Yum.


Annie said...

Thank you for this. I have been veggie since I was 13. I do eat eggs and dairy though. This looks yummy.

~Babs said...

Isn't that a good looking dish.
I think I could be vegetarian part time only.I love and eat a lot of vegetables,,but every now and then I really crave a good steak.
(or hamburger)

Blue Sky Dreaming said...

What a great close-up...the chick peas look like mushrooms...I'll give it a try. We eat some chicken, turkey or fish but rarely beef.
Love the new header!

Marion said...

Your dinner looks yummy! I'm part time vegetarian as well, but along with Babs, sometimes only a steak will do! And then I'm good for a long while...

Lynn said...

Your banner, the collagraph copy is a stunner! Wonderful!!!! Love it!

The food looks good too. Good enough to eat! ;-)

Suki,you are the first to respond affirmatively to the query about a next TRAVELING SKETCHBOOK. Might you put a query out on YOUR BLOG and see if you can get any takers, pershaps some people who don't read mine will read yours! Thanks.

Mary said...

looks great! and soothing on a cold winter night. we are eating vegetarian almost all the time now though i still crave a bit of chicken or fish from time to time. tried to go vegan....and am not really there yet. maybe never. am trying to be much more conscious, though. i think back to the old veggie recipes in the 70s and things have sure come a long way since then! i still have my old well worn vegetarian epicure books by anna thomas, though--made her onion herb bread this week ;-)

Leslie Avon Miller said...

Cooking lovely meals for ourselves is such a gift. Since I have gone vegan, I can say I miss cheese, but this recipe looks like it would be tasty even without the Parmesan. And yes, the chopping and dicing and shopping does take time. Occasionally I go to a grocery store that has things for omnivores and vegans to go. Its a help!
Beautiful image and great new header!

marianne said...

Wow this looks yummy and a lot healthier than what I had tonight.....
I will try this
Thanks for the idea and recipe.

I love the picture of you in the red beret! So cool!


sixty-five said...

This looks delicious and right in tune with the way I'm cooking these days. One departure: I don't like to cook a big vat of something and then have to eat it for days, so I cook "components" - the stuff that takes a long time - brown rice, various beans, caramelized onions - even mashed potatoes and w/w pasta - and freeze them FLAT in sandwich bags in individual portions, then put the flattened bags in a ziploc freezer bag. Amazing the number of "instant" meals you can produce this way.

katie jane said...

Ooo, this looks good! I'm going to try it. I'm printing it out as I write this. I want to lean more toward vegetables this year too. Meat is not agreeing with me very much lately. I need to lose a few pounds too, so this is right down my alley. Thanks.
Your new header looks very nice.

patti said...

I luv vegetarian food and this recipe looks very tasty!

I am a part-time vegetarian too. I think sometimes we need some meat, fish or chicken to bolster ourselves.

Last night it took me five minutes to chop some vegies for a stir fry, meanwhile some rice noodles were soaking in a bowl. Then five mins. to toss around in the pan, then throw it all together. It was so good to eat and quick n easy!

The banner art is truly a reflection of your style Suki. I love it!

layers said...

I have a killer black bean soup that is sooo easy:
vegetable broth in container
garlic, diced in jar
several cans of black beans, juice and all
one can of refried black beans
one can of diced tomatoes, juice added
hand full of packaged grated carrots
T. chili
tsp. cumin
salt-pepper to taste

Cris, Artist in Oregon said...

MMM looks tasty. Nice recipe to have. Thanks.

old pajamas said...


Ever since we stopped living together it's been soup out of a can. This meal of yours is worthy of a cover shot in the most exquisite food magazine around...

Julie said...

This really looks delicious!!! I adore chick peas!!! Nice for winter also! Thanks for showing.

m. heart said...

This looks yummy. I prefer to cook vegetarian meals when it's my turn in the kitchen (not that we take official "turns" which is far too structured a concept for this household!). The only red meat we eat comes from our friend's cattle.

Kim said...

Thank you so much, Suki for this. It looks wonderful, healthy and so fresh. I haven't eaten red meat in 20 years or poultry in 10 or so. The thoughts of it kind of make my stomach scream at me. I have not been able to give up the fish, though I don't have it but once or twice a week and then only wild. Lately, I have been really enjoying chard. Today I made a risotto with chard, mushrooms and leeks! It was yummy!

Thanks Again!