Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Simple delicious food

I love simple! I don't always do simple but I love it! When I was in culinary school we did far from simple. Everything seemed to be such a big production. I was thought if I ever opened a restaurant I'd still keep it simple. I guess that's why I don't work in someone else's kitchen, so complicated! As a mom, an employee, and someone who enjoys time with family, time is precious. So, simple...it's good!

We had a friend over for dinner last night. He's not so much into fancy food and vegan is like a planet or something. I decided on pasta with an artichoke mushroom sauce, salad, and a dessert. Dessert isn't necessarily simple but why not when you have guests, right?

The sauce I made was very simple!

1-2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup-3/4 cups chopped baby bella mushrooms
3 cups frozen artichokes (I used a whole bag from Trader Joe's, I wouldn't have known to use frozen had it not been for Dreena Burton, thanks Dreena!)
6 cloves of garlic, use a press or dice
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup white wine
2 cans diced tomatoes (I'm not a huge fan of tomato pieces so I used my immersion blender to break them up a bit)
1/2 Tablespoon dried oregano
1 Tablespoon dried basil
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/2 Teaspoon salt + some for the mushrooms
Pepper to taste

1 lb pasta. Any pasta is good. I used the organic vegetable pasta from Trader Joe's

Heat some the olive oil in a large saute pan. Once the oil has a shimmer to it, it's hot. Add the mushrooms and onions. Add a little salt to the mushrooms so they let go of some of their juices (eye ball it). Cook for 4 minutes. Add the pressed garlic and cook for about a minute. Add the frozen artichokes and the dried seasonings as well as the 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cover and cook for 7 minutes or until the artichokes start to cook. Add the wine and bring to a boil then simmer for 3 minutes. Add the cans of tomatoes and cook for 10-15 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to your liking. At the end, add your fresh basil.

Meanwhile start your pasta water. I like to salt my water but it's not necessary. Cook pasta according to package directions.

The dressing for the salad can be found in Let Them Eat Vegan!: 200 Deliciously Satisfying Plant-Powered Recipes for the Whole Family. You can also watch Dreena make this fantastic hummus salad dressing at http://vivelevegan.blogspot.com/2012/03/making-of-djs-hummus-salad-dressing.html#links, it's a very cute video! And the dressing is the bomb!! I think I would enjoy drinking it.

Okay, what you've been waiting for ...DESSERT!
Oh, it was so good. I actually forget to take a picture until after we already started eating it! Sorry!

Cheesecake brownies! Yum!! Can't even tell they are vegan. And you would never know they have raw cashews to make up the cheesecake part...oh, I just told you! No fake anything in this recipe. So good!!

This too is out of LTEV. You really should pick up a copy of this cookbook! It's not just a girl crush, Dreena knows how to cook! She knows how to make being vegan yummy!

The non-vegan who joined us for dinner loved dinner and dessert. This makes me very happy. I love cooking for others! I should do it more often. Anyone have some time I could borrow?

Cheers and happy eating!

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