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Red Lentil Marinara Sauce

Red Lentil Marinara Sauce

Posted on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 in Veggie Dishes Everyone Loves

It’s the most-asked question for vegetarians: “How do you get enough protein?”

The fact is, it’s easy to get enough protein in your diet – human protein requirements are not as crazy-complicated as many folks believe.

That said, I’ve come to the recent realization that, for me, I need more. It helps me feel satisfied; it keeps me full for longer. And thus, I eat less overall. Which, for a gal who’s always fought her weight, is a pretty big deal.

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Cheesy Baked Tortellini with Optional Ground Beef

Cheesy Baked Tortellini with Optional Ground Beef

Posted on Thursday, February 20, 2014 in One Dish Two Ways

Ahh, comfort food. How I love you so. Even better when you’re easy. Wait, that sounded a little … lewd. Or maybe I’m the only one who is mentally 12 years of age and went there.

Let’s start again. Hey! Have I got a great recipe for you today! It’s total comfort food (hellooo pasta) and it’s easy (like, super simple to make).

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Jalapeno Mac & Cheese

Jalapeno Mac & Cheese

Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 in Veggie Dishes Everyone Loves

I used to despise super-spicy foods. I would say that food shouldn’t hurt. I was a sissy.

Now, I say: Bring it on! I mean, within reason, and with a glass of milk nearby to tame the fire if it gets too out of control. I may not be totally wimpy about heat any longer, but a reformed sissy’s still gotta be prepared.

Especially when said sissy can’t help but stuff a ginormous bite of Jalapeno Mac & Cheese into her gullet.

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Brown Butter Parmesan Spaghetti

Brown Butter Parmesan Spaghetti

Posted on Tuesday, August 20, 2013 in Popular, Veggie Dishes Everyone Loves

Have you heard of Cacio e Pepe? Other than not really knowing how to pronounce it, it’s also a dish that, strangely, until now, I’ve never been able to prepare it successfully.

I say that’s strange because it’s the simplest of simple pasta dishes, supposedly. Spaghetti noodles tossed with Pecorino Romano, black pepper, and a little pasta water. That’s it. And it’s heaven. I’ve enjoyed it when prepared elsewhere by people who know more than me, and it’s just absolutely perfect.

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Southwest Mac & Cheese with Optional Chicken

Southwest Mac & Cheese with Optional Chicken

Posted on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 in One Dish Two Ways

I really wasn’t sure if I should call this “Tex-Mex” or “southwestern” or just “mac and cheese with black beans, corn, chilies, and a bit of a spicy twist with optional chicken if you want.”  The first felt too generic, the last clearly too long and too, well, dumb … and so the middle-of-the-road it was: southwest mac and cheese.

Which is not to say this recipe is middle of the road. I think it’s … well, there’s really no place in the road to describe something as being better than middle of the road, is there? It’s better than middle of the road.

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Easy Cheesy Veggie Skillet Lasagna

Easy Cheesy Veggie Skillet Lasagna

Posted on Wednesday, April 24, 2013 in Veggie Dishes Everyone Loves

Where has skillet lasagna been all my life?

Oh. It’s been right there, all along? If only I’d opened my eyes? Well, I guess I have to admit that sounds about right. I spend my time being blissfully oblivious a little more often than I should.

But thankfully, I’m oblivious-no-more when it comes to skillet lasagna. Only blissful.

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Creamy Lemon Pasta with Peas and Optional Ham

Creamy Lemon Pasta with Peas and Optional Ham

Posted on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 in One Dish Two Ways

This pasta dish has been on my mind for some time. And, yeah, it’s been in my stomach more than a few times, too. First, I had to get the recipe just right. Then, I had a heckuva time getting decent photos of the stuff, so I had to keep making it. Over and over and over.

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Easy Individual Ravioli Lasagnas

Easy Individual Ravioli Lasagnas

Posted on Wednesday, March 20, 2013 in One Dish Two Ways

Merry Ravioli Day! National Ravioli Greetings! Happy National Ravioli Day and many happy returns of the day!

Yes, it’s National Ravioli Day. Did you remember a gift for your loved ones? I mean, it’s a big day. But no worries if you didn’t. Just make them this dish and they’ll be talking about National Ravioli Day 2013 for many years to come.

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Veggie Pot Pie Pasta with Optional Chicken Add-In

Veggie Pot Pie Pasta with Optional Chicken Add-In

Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2013 in One Dish Two Ways

I’m a freak for vegetarian comfort food. Unfortunately, vegetarian comfort food generally isn’t much less fattening than its meat-laden brethren. Bummer!

This pot pie pasta, though, is much healthier than anything labeled “pot pie” would seem. It isn’t packed with loads of butter and gobs of cheese. It’s inspired by one of the most classic comfort food recipes of all time – chicken pot pie – minus a huge quantity of heavy gravy, and no pastry in sight.

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Creamy Pumpkin Baked Rigatoni

Creamy Pumpkin Baked Rigatoni

Posted on Monday, October 8, 2012 in Veggie Dishes Everyone Loves

Sometimes it strikes me how odd it is that going to a pumpkin patch is a “thing” these days. A big thing. A “must go EVERY SINGLE OCTOBER and pose the kids in front of some pumpkins and take a photo and post it on Facebook immediately” big thing.

Where were pumpkin patches when I was a kid? And corn mazes? And haunted corn mazes?! Not that I would have wanted any more photo evidence of the legendary buck teeth I sported back in the day, but dang, these farms are wicked fun. Pun intended.

Ever since we had Miss Thing this past winter, I must admit I’ve been dreaming of her first trip to the pumpkin patch. We would dress her in orange, probably, and wander through a corn maze, and and we’d warm up with hot spiced cider in front of her (poor kid isn’t on juice yet), and, of course, snap photo after baby-sitting-on-pumpkin photo. So when we decided on a whim check out a local pumpkin patch one sunny afternoon this past weekend, I realized on the way there that, hey wait! This was not supposed to be an impromptu thing! It was supposed to be an event!

She loved it, and so did we. I did snap the obligatory photos, but I resolved that this was simply a trial run. Our official pumpkin patch visit will be later this month.

I’m one of them, one of them.

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Baked Spaghetti & Spaghetti Squash with Optional Ground Beef

Baked Spaghetti & Spaghetti Squash with Optional Ground Beef

Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2012 in One Dish Two Ways

It took me a long, long time to “get” spaghetti squash. It was a case of misguided expectations. I wanted spaghetti squash to have the taste and texture of spaghetti noodles – the perfect low-calorie pasta substitute! – and when it didn’t? Ewww.

When I started thinking of spaghetti squash as, well, squash, my relationship with the vegetable took a turn for the better. In fact, now I love the stuff. My favorite way to enjoy spaghetti squash is cooked up simply (either roasted with a little olive oil and kosher salt or via the microwave express), then scraped into a bowl and tossed with coarse salt, fresh-ground black pepper and a good amount of parmesan.

This, however – a version of baked spaghetti with half of the noodles replaced with spaghetti squash – is pretty darn delicious, too.

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Orzo Salad with Chickpeas & Cherry Tomatoes

Orzo Salad with Chickpeas & Cherry Tomatoes

Posted on Monday, August 27, 2012 in Veggie Dishes Everyone Loves

This salad became a fast favorite when I dug into the first batch a couple of years ago, and it remains a fave – especially this time of year when tomatoes are in season, sweet onions are plentiful, and the garden overflows with basil and mint.

Protein-rich chickpeas (also known as garbanzo beans) and hearty orzo pasta provide the basis for this delicious meal-in-a-bowl. Sprinkle in fresh halved cherry tomatoes, sweet onion, chopped mint and basil, then dress with a lemon vinaigrette and you’ve got a simple – and simply winning – salad.

(Wow. The word “winning” just really doesn’t work anymore, does it? Thanks a lot, Charlie!)

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The Best Macaroni & Cheese Ever

The Best Macaroni & Cheese Ever

Posted on Wednesday, August 8, 2012 in Popular, Veggie Dishes Everyone Loves

This recipe for classic baked macaroni and cheese is far and away the  most popular on my previous blog, The Hazel Bloom. It’s super creamy – not dry like some homemade mac and cheese can get. It’s cheesy. Oh yes. Very cheesy. It’s rich, ooey, gooey, and, yeah – in my humble opinion – the best macaroni and cheese recipe ever.

I say it’s the best macaroni and cheese recipe ever not because I have tried every single macaroni and cheese recipe in the world (though I have tried many) (and wouldn’t it be an incredibly noble cause to try every single one?!). It’s because whenever I take a glorious melty bite, I simply cannot imagine a better classic mac and cheese.

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