Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

Pasta with Zucchini, Potato Wedges, and Sautéed Garlic-Spinach

Here’s yet another dinner that’s finally getting documented.  This dinner was a slight challenge to put together because the stipulation was no onions, as my friend is allergic to them.  If you check out my other posts, you’ll notice I rarely have recipes that lack onions.  So I pondered this and came up with, Pasta with sautéed zucchini in a garlic marinara sauce, crispy garlic potato wedges and sautéed garlic-spinach.

Sautéed Garlic-Spinach

  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Garlic, 3-4 cloves minced
  • Spinach – I used the cup of spinach leaves I had left, but if you’re making more than that, just increase the amount of garlic you’re using.
  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan.
  2. Toss in the minced garlic and fry it until the garlic starts turning golden brown.
  3. Add the spinach and sautée until the leaves go limp.
  4. Add salt to taste.



Pasta with Sautéed Zucchini in a Garlic Marinara Sauce

  • Half a box of medium or large shell pasta
  • Marinara Sauce (or you can make it yourself)
  • Garlic – 5-6 cloves, sliced thinly lengthwise
  • 1 large zucchini, sliced in half circles
  • Dried basil
  1. Heat water in a large sauce pan and bring to a boil.
  2. Add pasta and cook for 10 -12 minutes or according to the package until it is al dente.
  3. When cooked, remove pasta from flame and strain in a colander. Leave the pasta there.
  4. In the saucepan, start heating the marinara sauce on low heat.
  5. Next, heat oil on a pan.  Add the garlic and cook until it is golden brown. Add this to the marinara sauce.
  6. If needed, add more oil to the pan and let it heat up.
  7. Place zucchini on the pan in a single layer.
  8. Flip the zucchini over, and sprinkle with dried basil. Don’t let it over cook, and make sure to cook each side evenly.
  9. Add this to the marinara sauce and pour in the strained pasta.
  10. Mix, let it cook for a couple more minutes and remove from the flame.



Crispy Garlic Potato Wedges

  • 1 large potato
  • 2 tsp. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Cut the potato into approximately 12 wedges and place in a medium-sized bowl.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients, and toss to coat.
  4. Arrange the potatoes  in a single layer in a large baking pan coated with nonstick cooking spray (or olive oil if you don’t have cooking spray).
  5. Bake at 425°F for 25 minutes.
  6. Flip all the wedges over, then bake 20-35 minutes longer or until crisp.

This dish should be started first as it takes the longest time to prepare.



And when it’s all done, you’ve got a delicious meal:


Stuffed Mushrooms

I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms – sometimes I’ll eat them (occasionally on pizza, occasionally in a pasta dish).  Mostly I avoid them like the plague.  However, a friend of mine was feeling sick and needed some comfort food and was looking for a good recipe for stuffed mushrooms, so I checked in with my friends who love to cook, and Christina sent me this recipe.  The recipe originally comes from a cookbook produced by women of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Parish in Seattle.

I figured that some of you probably DO like mushrooms so it wouldn’t hurt to post this one.  It’s simple, the ingredients are easily found in a grocery store, and it doesn’t take too long to make.  And it has feta cheese.  Which is delicious.

Stuffed Mushrooms

  • 15 large, fresh, white mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsps. butter
  • 3 tbsps. chopped green onions
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tbsps. finely chopped parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 3 tbsps crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated kasseri cheese
  • 2 tbsps. butter
  1. Brush the mushrooms clean.  Remove the stems and reserve them.
  2. Brush caps with melted butter, and arrange hollow side up in a baking dish.
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Mince reserved mushroom stems.
  5. Heat small frying pan and add the butter.  Add stems and onions and sauté until the liquid has been absorbed.
  6. To the frying pan, add flour and mix well.  Add the milk, stirring until thickened a bit.  Add the parsley, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well.
  7. Add feta cheese to mixture in the frying pan and fill the mushroom caps.
  8. Top with kasseri and a few dots of butter.
  9. Bake at 375° for 15 – 20 minutes, or until stuffing has browned lightly and cheese has melted.


Let me know – Have any of you ever stuffed mushrooms? What about other vegetables? I’m thinking of stuffing jalapeño peppers soon.

A little somethin’ sweet…Sweet Cherry Pie!

Hello all!  Let me first apologize to you for not being the wonderful and talented Vieshnavi, and then I will introduce myself: I am sorry for the lack of Vieshnavi around these parts of late, and I am her friend, Karen.  As a fellow vegetarian and former roommate of Vieshnavi, we’ve been on many veggie adventures together (what?! Panera?! You betrayed us! Why is your broccoli cheddar soup *not* vegetarian?!), have had many fine cooking experiments together (“Do you like this?” “Yeah.” “Let’s stir fry it.” “Wait…can you do that?!” “Why not….?”), and have oft lamented the lack of real vegetarian food out there.  To the world out there: we don’t just eat lettuce!

Sometimes, we eat pie.

Which is the subject of this guest-blog, which Vieshnavi has so kindly allowed me to write.  Pie is pretty much one of the most excellent foods on the planet.  You can put almost anything into a pastry, bake it for a bit, and call it pie.  According to a history of pie website out there, this dates back to the ancient Egyptians but really only came into its own when the British got hold of the idea and, in true British fashion, decided to be the absolute very best at it.  Which they were, at least until the United States declared independence and took their pie with them.  (To paraphrase the New Hampshire state motto: “Live free for pie!”)  Apple pie is probably the most popular, as it is cheap and easy to make.  Having grown up in New England, apple pie is a delicacy most decidedly not served at 4th of July celebrations, as apples are out of season and who wants old apples in their pie, but that has not stopped the rest of the country from believing it’s summery and perfect for the most American of American holidays.  We tend to serve blueberry pie for that occasion, as that fruit is in season.  Anyway, let’s move on.  There’s a recipe here, I promise.

So now that I have made you want summer and pie (apple or blueberry or what-have-you), let me remind you that it is winter and there aren’t too many winter-specific pies out there.  Though pumpkin and sweet potato are definitely in fine form this time of year.  However, there are traditional winter pies whose ingredients have nothing to do with what’s in season and a lot to do with being delicious and sweet and warming up from the winter chill!  One of these is cherry pie, which is traditionally served in honor of George Washington’s birthday in February.  This post is a bit early for that, but it’s delicious nonetheless.  And if you start now, you can perfect your pie-making technique just in time for the first big pie-centric holiday of the year.

I bet you never had a reason to get excited about Washington’s birthday before now.  😉

Sweet Cherry Pie


– pie pastry, enough for to be rolled out to line the bottom of an 8″ pie dish and to cover the top

– 4 cups fresh or canned sweet cherries (“Bing” cherries are pretty common, if you’re in the US).  If you are using fresh cherries (which I highly recommend), you’ll need to pit them.  More on that later.

– 1/4 cup of sugar

– 2 1/2 tablespoons of quick-cooking tapioca (Picture of it here.  It’s not pudding.  You will, however, find it in the baking section near the pudding.)

– 2 teaspoons of butter


1. Preheat the oven to 425 F.

2. Line a pie pan with 1/2 of the pastry dough.  If you’re cramming and need to make pie fast, or if you just don’t particularly feel like making pastry dough, kneading it, rolling it out, and trying not to break it, I recommend grabbing the premade frozen variety.  Pillsbury makes an especially delicious variety.

3. Drain the canned cherries, saving 1/2 the juice.  If you’re using natural cherries, don’t worry about all that.  You get to worry about pitting them, which I am pretty sure they make a tool for.  However, I do not own this tool and I don’t know anyone who does (unless they received it as a gift or really like olives), and I do not have the patience to take a paring knife to every little cherry and squeeze the pits out of the halved fruit.  I prefer the more organic method of squeezing the cherry until the pit shoots out.  My father taught me that.  It’s a lot of fun and well-worth looking Dexter on a bad day when you’re done.

4. Mix the juice (if you’re a canned cherry person), sugar, and tapioca in a bowl.  Add the cherries.  Toss well.

5. Pile the mixture into the lined pie pan and dot with it with the butter, by which I mean make very tiny slices of butter and put them on top.

6. Roll out the top crust and drape it over the pie (you can get fancy here and make a lattice if you’d like).  Crimp the edges and put several holes in the top, or use a pie bird (ceramic hollow bird that you put in the center of the pie before you put the filling in; lets out the steam).

7. Bake at 425 F for only 10 minutes!  After 10 minutes, reduce the oven heat to 350 F, and continue baking for another 30-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.

Easy as pie. 😉  I like this pie warm or cool, and my mother likes it only warm.  It’s delicious both ways, but begins to firm up after it has cooled down.  It’s quite delicious, not too sweet, and the perfect reminder of summer during the cold winter months.

Oh, and George Washington’s honesty.

Tell me what you think!  Fan of cherry pie?  Fan of pie in general?  Have a great pie story or an awesome recipe or know the best place to get the best piece of pie served up?  Let us know!

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