Monday, October 17, 2011

Baked Goat Cheese & Roasted Winter Squash over Garlicky Fettuccine

Last week was a complete roller coaster of emotions. Tuesday was my 27th birthday. Wednesday, I had a really tough hospital situation (boo), a haircut (yay!), a flu shot (boo), and a random woman come up to me and tell me that I was very pretty (yay!).

With all of those emotions, my goal this year is to try not to mindlessly eat when I’m sad, tired, or stressed. If I’m going to do it, I’m going to be intentional about it. Like on Wednesday night, I went to the Thai place next door to my hair salon, bought a big plate of vegetable pad Thai, and ate the whole thing. Healthy? Not exactly. Comforting? Oh yes.


Carbs are my comfort food. Throw in some roasted vegetables and baked goat cheese in a recipe from Cooking Light, and I might not even feel bad about it. Erin and her husband came over the night I was preparing this to pick up her share of our CSA and said, “I hope that makes it on the blog because it smells delicious!” It tasted pretty good too.

The pasta doesn’t have much of a traditional sauce, but the melty goat cheese can be broken up to kind of coat the noodles a bit more. I particularly liked the caramelized bits of squash.


Baked Goat Cheese & Roasted Winter Squash over Garlicky Fettuccine
source: Cooking Light as seen on Prevention, RD
Yields 4-6 servings


6 cups kabocha or butternut squash (about 3 pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp salt, divided
1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, minced (or 1 tsp dried)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1 lb uncooked fettuccine
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced


Preheat oven to 425 F.

Place squash and bell pepper in a large bowl. Add 1 tablespoon oil; toss well. Arrange vegetables in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt, rosemary and black pepper. Bake at 425 F for 40 mins, stirring once.

Place goat cheese in freezer for 10 minutes. Cut cheese crosswise into 16 equal rounds. Place breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl. Dredge each round in breadcrumbs; place on baking sheet. Bake at 425 F for 6 minutes.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Return pasta to pan; add reserved pasta cooking water, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, red pepper, and garlic, tossing to coat. Place 1 cup pasta in each of 4-6 shallow bowls; top each serving with about 1/2 cup squash mixture and 2 goat cheese rounds. Garnish with rosemary or thyme sprigs, if desired.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Chorizo and Sweet Potato Hash

Occasionally, I hit the jackpot by making something that I’m willing to eat on a regular basis (reasonably healthy and easy to make on a weeknight) and something that is equally appealing to Joe. Without getting too much into gender essentialism as it relates to food, Joe does tend to prefer heartier meals. Arguably, this is about as meat-and-potatoes as you can get with vegetarian food.

Soy chorizo is perhaps not the most “natural” food that I eat, but it is so gosh-darn tasty that I try not to give that too much mind. I’m a big fan of sweet potatoes, but the mix of sweet and regular moderates the flavor. And while there isn’t a lot of green in this meal, I could see serving it with a side or bed of kale chips. Lord knows I’ll be making this one again and again so I’ll have plenty of opportunity to experiment.


Chorizo and Sweet Potato Hash
source: Cate’s World Kitchen
2 servings


2 tbsp olive oil
2 small sweet potatoes, peeled
1 medium potato, peeled
1 red onion, chopped
4 ounces soy chorizo
2 eggs
queso fresco and fresh cilantro, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Cut the sweet potatoes and potato into small cubes (you should have about 3 cups).

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-low. Add the potato and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. If anything begins to brown excessively, turn down the heat. Add more oil if things are sticking.

Once the potatoes are tender, stir in the chorizo. Cook for about 5 minutes.

Crack 2 eggs over the hash, then put the pan in the oven. Cook in the oven for about 5-10 minutes, or until the whites are set.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cilantro and queso fresco.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Italian-Style Meatless Meatloaf Muffins

(I ran another half marathon recently. Check out my race re-cap over at Run, Rev, Run.)

I haven’t been a very good food blogger. Oh, I’ve been cooking now and again, even trying new recipes, but I haven’t been sharing them. And I’m not going to the Food Blog Forum here in Nashville this coming weekend, even though some of my favorite people & bloggers are running the show.

I’m cheating on blogging with my job. I love, love, love my job. I’ve never been so exhausted and so happy to be doing something. But a few things have had to give, namely being connected to my various online communities. Even Joe noted, “You’re working as much as I do.” Um, yeah.


As I began to adjust to my new schedule, posting might be light for a little while. I’m still here though!

It’s evident I haven’t been as experimental in the kitchen as I used to be. Joe has re-developed his wariness at new things like these meatloaf muffins. I also didn’t go to great lengths to point out that they’re vegan, but he gobbled them up even after I named “nutritional yeast” as one of the ingredients. He preferred the mashed pinto beans to the tempeh in this recipe. They didn’t hold together quite as much as I would’ve liked, but they did make for pretty decent leftovers.


Italian-Style Meatless Meatloaf Muffins
source: Peas and Thank You
4 servings


  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce, jarred or homemade, divided
  • 1/4 c. flax seed, ground
  • Two 14 oz cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 of a large onion, chopped
  • 3/4 c. oats
  • 1 t. minced garlic
  • 1T. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 t. olive oil
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 t. dried oregano
  • 1 t. dried parsley
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. cracked black pepper


  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine 1/4 c. of the marinara sauce and the ground flax. Stir to combine and set aside to thicken.
  • In a large bowl, mash pinto beans with a fork or potato masher. Do not over mash, we aren’t looking for refried beans, but a nice chunky texture.
  • Add onion, oats, garlic, Worcestershire, olive oil, nutritional yeast, oregano, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Add in marinara-flax mixture and stir until fully incorporated.
  • Scoop bean mixture into a muffin tin that has been lightly greased or sprayed with cooking spray.
  • Bake for 15-17 minutes, until edges are starting to brown. Top each muffin with a spoonful of marinara. Return to oven for another 10-12 minutes, until muffins are firm and set.
  • Allow muffins to cool for several minutes, as they will firm up even more, before serving.