Penne with butternut squash sauce

Penne with butternut squash sauce

Penne with butternut squash sauce

We are leaving for vacation tomorrow, so I have been trying to use up what is in the house. One thing I had on hand was a butternut squash. One of our favorite recipes is corn, bean, and squash soup, but we have had that several times recently, so I decided to try something different. I thought it might make a good sauce for pasta, so I went with that. I mostly stuck to this recipe from the nourishing gourmet, but I added some cannellini beans and some whole milk at the end, since I also needed to use that up. The result was ok. Adding more salt helped a lot, but I think that it was too thick, too squashy, and too much sauce for the amount of pasta. So next time I would probably use either more millk and pasta, or less squash (and more salt). It was a nice way to use my new immersion blender though, and I have been looking for tomato-less pasta sauces recently, since I keep hearing how canned tomatoes are bad for me.

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Mjadra sandwich

Mjadra sandwich

Mjadra sandwich

While we were in Michigan over Thanksgiving we stopped at our favorite Middle Eastern restaurant in Ann Arbor, Jerusalem Garden, for a tasty mjadra sandwich. Mjadra is basically just lentils, caramelized onions, and either rice or bulgar. I haven’t been able to find it at restaurants in Colorado, so I decided to try to make it myself. I found quite a few recipes online, some with rice, and some with bulgar. Some had almost no spices, and some had many. I decided to use a cup each of brown lentils and brown rice, 2 large onions, a little cinnamon and some cumin. I also added about a half cup of bulgar at the end to soak up the remaining water. It was pretty good, though I think next time I will cook it a little longer, use less cinnamon, and add garlic.

I put the mjadra in a pita, along with some baba ghanoush, lettuce, a pickle, feta cheese crumbles, and a little Red Hot.

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Curried spinach pea soup

Curried spinach pea soup

Curried spinach pea soup

Yet another soup recipe from the Moosewood New Classics cookbook. I modified this one a fair amount, since it wanted me to use 2 pots, which is against my theory of soup. So I did everything in one pot. I also used frozen spinach instead of fresh, which was fine. Finally, I didn’t purée all of the soup because I thought it would be nice to have some chunks. I later decided that it would be better all smooth, since the spinach was kind of stringy. I also think I would use more spinach and less peas. Other than that, it turned out very nicely. I am hoping for an immersion blender for Christmas to make puréeing soup easier

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Spanish bean soup

Spanish bean soup

Spanish bean soup

This is yet another soup recipe from the Moosewood New Classics cookbook. I thought Clare would really like it because it called for soy sausage. I used our favorite – Morningstar sausage crumbles. It also called for greens, like swiss chard, kale, or collard greens. I chose kale. We don’t eat kale very often, so I wasn’t sure how good it would be, but it turned out great. It was quite spicy, and had plenty of flavor.

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Artichoke soup provençal

Arctichoke soup provençal

Arctichoke soup provençal

This is another recipe I tried from The Moosewood New Classics. The combination of artichokes, dry sherry, and orange and lime lime juice sounded appealing. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that great. I found it was lacking flavor, but I can’t really figure out what I would add to it to make it better.

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