Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pesto Pasta, Baked Cabbage Wedges, Creamed Spinach, and Tomato Bread

Saturday night was another easy dinner to put together. No theme for this night, just bookmarked recipes that needed testing.

I had in the pantry some Tinkyada brown rice pasta I had never tried, so I decided to make my version of “Shells with Beans and Broccoli” from Vegetariana. My pasta was corkscrews instead of shells, and the recipe doesn’t have a pasta “sauce.” I didn’t want dry noodles and veggies, so I made Sundried Tomato Pesto from VWAV to toss into the cooked pasta.

That idea was a winner.

The topping is basically a stirfry of broccoli, onions, garlic, red pepper, cannelini beans, olives, and fresh herbs. Crystal, I meant to make your parmesan, but I forgot! I still want to try it though. Even without the parmesan, it was quite good.

One of our sides was “Spinach with Peanut Sauce” from Peanut Butter Planet. It’s a creamy sauce of coconut milk and peanut butter over fresh spinach. This is a perfectly delicious way to add calories and fat to your healthful spinach!

The other side was “Baked Cabbage with Garlic” from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen. I asked Chase before I bought the cabbage if he thought he would like a wedge of cabbage for dinner, and he was understandably a little skeptical. But after tasting it, he said it was his favorite part of the meal. To prepare, you quarter and core the cabbage, then steam it for about 8 minutes. Transfer it to a baking dish and top it with garlic oil. Pour a little veggie broth in the bottom of the dish, cover, and bake for about 20 minutes. I used purple cabbage because it’s so pretty, and I also added potatoes and carrots to the platter as suggested in the recipe. It’s so easy and so delicious.

Saturday morning I baked a yeasted Tomato Bread. The flavor was spot on, made with tomato paste and a perfect combination of seasonings, but I thought it turned out way too dense. I had seen a tomato quick bread recipe in Vegetariana, so I made that too. It wasn’t near as tasty as the yeast bread, but it was good. I’ll work on the yeast bread so I can give you a recipe. You’ll love it with a bowl of chili this winter!

Tomato Bread – yeast type

Tomato Bread from Vegetariana

I tried to be healthy and fancy for dessert, but I wasn’t thrilled with the outcome. I diced a couple of peaches and added in a half cup of ground toasted almonds, a little sugar, and spices for a filling. I cut filo sheets into four strips, laid on some filling, rolled them up, topped with a few more almonds, and baked them.

I lost interest after a rolling up a dozen and put the rest of the filling into a tart – a few sheets prebaked on the bottom, filling, and then 2 sheets on top.

The problem with these - by the time we got around to eating the rolls, the filo was already soggy :(

Fortunately, Soy Delicious makes everything better.

I hope I'm not entering a baking slump. I think I’ll feel better when my two new inspirations arrive. I’ve preordered Veganomican and Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan! Not that I need more cookbooks, but honestly, is there anything better than getting a new vegan cookbook in the mail? I can’t wait!


Vegan_Noodle said...

Another awesome Saturday dinner! Sundried tomato pesto is my absolute favorite! And it sounds like I need to pick up that Peanut Butter Planet cookbook...

I can't wait for those cookbooks either! My amazon preorder says it'll be another month :-( I need those recipes!!

Sheree' said...

Hi Diann,
I am so behind. I want to make everything! I love the bread and can't wait to get your recipe. I am so into pasta right now. After living on humus for almost two weeks I want comfort food. Your dish is perfect. I am also in need of some greens. Spinach sounds delish right now. Just so you understand both fridges at our house were full of reception food for the wedding, which left us with nearly nothing. Then the kids went on their honeymoon and left us no room for us because of leftovers. I get to shop today and am so excited!

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

There's a cookbook devoted to peanut butter?! I must get my hands on that!

Anonymous said...

love everything!

i do think that getting a new vegan cookbook in the mail is one of the best thing in life!!

Anonymous said...

When I make things with phylo and they go soggy, it only takes a minute or two in the toaster oven or on broil in your regular oven to crisp them right up.

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

oh my goodness gracious, the pesto pasta, stir-fry, tomato bread, spinach w/peanut sauce, and baked cabbage w/garlic all look fantastic!! I've pre-ordered "Veganomican" and "Eat, Drink, and Be Vegan," as well, and I can't WAIT to start cooking/baking with those books. Don't worry, you'll be over your baking slump in no time (although, if you ask me, you definitely aren't hitting a slump - I think that the filo pastries look great!)

Anonymous said...

Diann -

Your food always is so colorful -- art on a plate really. The cabbage side sounds good but I love cabbage. I would never had mixed peanut butter and spinach together but if it came from one of Robin Robertson's cookbooks, I'm sure it was fantastic.

Your meal certainly doesn't seem slump-like but it's always fun to get new cookbooks!

bazu said...

Please, please, please teleport some of your food to me, Diann! Your posts make me drool...

Monika K said...

I'm with Bazu - it's hard to pick an item to single out and comment on because it all looks so good. I was just bemoaning the end of tomato season, but experimenting with sun dried tomatoes might be just the diversion I need!

JENNA said...

I love VwaV sun dried tomato pesto! You actually reminded me that I have some in my freezer! thanks! My favorite though is your spinach in peanut sauce. I would eat anything (vegan of course) smothered in peanut sauce, I need to get that peanut butter cookbook.

Jackie said...

Great food. I must try the peanut sauce as it is so useful to put on many things.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I have order from this place all the time and am very pleased to share. They have great kosher organic and natural food products including tinkyada pasta.
Here is a link
p.s. I used a code try if it works for you bldc08

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