Semolina dumplings with tomato vodka sauce

This past Friday night I was in the mood to try something new. I had read about these semolina dumplings in Bon Appetite (though under the much fancier name Frascatelli), and wanted to try them out. I decided to pair them with a vegan version of tomato vodka sauce, which involved trekking around downtown collecting vodka and coconut creamer!

The semolina dumplings were extremely easy to make, though surprisingly time consuming…basically you just dribble water into a pan of semolina flour and then fish out the dumplings. Good thing I had some interesting podcasts going to keep me entertained!

After all the dumplings were made, I started the sauce by sautéing minced onion, adding in garlic and chili flakes after the onion was nicely caramelized. Once this mixture was nicely fragrant, I added In the diced tomatoes and the vodka. This all simmered together while I cooked the semolina dumplings, which went onto a plate as they came out of the simmering water. After the sauce was nicely flavorful, I added in the coconut cream, and then the semolina dumplings. It was a fun dinner to cook, and a fun start to the weekend!

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Gnocchi in Tomato Sauce

Yummmm….gnocchi! Sunday night after getting home from a fun weekend in the mountains, I was glad to have some gnocchi and tomatoes already in the house that I could whip up into a fast and yummy dinner.

I started off by finely dicing and caramelizing an onion (yes, all my dishes really do start with onions–maybe that’s why I can’t bake?). Once the onion was brown, I added some minced garlic, basil, and red pepper flakes. Next went in a lot of diced tomatoes and a little red wine.

While the sauce was simmering away, I started cooking all the gnocchi. After they floated to the top of the water, I spooned the gnocchi into the sauce to cook for a few minutes. It was super yummy, and made for a great lunch the next day too!

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Veggie Pot Pie

Yeah! It is fall which means soup season! One of Jon’s favorites is veggie pot pie. I started off the soup filling by sautéing some onions, then adding potatoes and minced garlic. After everything had softened a bit, I added lots of veggie broth, thyme, and, fresh ground pepper. When the soup came to a low boil, I then added the peas and corn, and covered everything to simmer for a while.

While the soup was cooking, I made the pie topping. Normally, I bake the pot pies in the oven with the topping on my mini soup crocks, but I decided to go for a slightly more elegant (and less messy) approach. I mixed up a vegan version of drop biscuits from Joy of Cooking, but made larger versions that would perch on top of the soup.

Once the biscuits were done, the soup was also almost ready. I added some cornstarch to thicken it, plus a little red wine vinegar to add a little sharpness. I ladled the soup into bowls, then perched the biscuits on the top. What a great and comforting fall meal!

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Panini sandwiches with corn fritters

I had lots of fresh corn from the farmers market, so decided to make panini sandwiches with corn fritters.

I started off by slicing the corn kernels off 5 ears of corn. This all went into a bowl (at least, what didn’t fall onto the floor!). Then, I mixed in a little flour, corn meal, almond milk, and baking soda to make a dough. I seasoned the dough with paprika, Aleppo pepper, and salt. The recipe said to fry them, but frying and I don’t get along for several reasons. Instead, I formed the fritters on a baking sheet and placed them all in the oven.

While the fritters were baking, I sliced and grilled all the veggies for the sandwiches–onion, red peppers, and zucchini. When the veggies were done, I assembled and grilled the panini sandwiches. Jon’s also got a slice of vegan cheese and a veggie patty.

The sandwiches got hot and crispy on the outside and were great served with the corn fritters. I love summer and its abundance of veggies!

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Quesadillas with tomatillo salsa

At the farmers market last weekend, Jon and I had a great quesadilla from one of the stands. Even better, the stand was selling their tortillas. Of course, I couldn’t resist buying some and using them to make my own quesadillas this week.

I started off by making a tomatillo salsa. I chopped up lots of tomatillos (also from the farmers market), some fresh corn, and jalapeños. I mixed all this together with tabasco sauce, lime juice, and red chili flakes, then let it sit so all the flavors would mix together.

Next, I sautéed onions, peppers, jalapeños, and garlic with oregano, chili pepper flakes, salt and pepper. I also added in some veggie “chicken” chunks, then added a little vinegar to add some nice sharpness to the mix. After the veggies were soft and flavorful, I was ready to assemble the quesadillas.

I heated up my cast iron skillet, then placed a tortilla in it to heat up. Each tortilla was topped with a small amount of vegan cheese, fresh corn, and the veggie mixture. The outside of each tortilla got brown and crispy (no extra fat added!), the vegan cheese melted, and all the flavors combined together.

After all the quesadillas were finished, I served them topped with the tomatillo salsa. Even though they weren’t quite as good as our farmers market quesadilla, they were still delicious!

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Orecchiette with pesto and peas

When I saw a bag of basil at the farmer’s market labeled “perfect for pesto”, I couldn’t resist!

I started off by caramelizing some onions. While the onions were working away, I prepared the pesto. I started off with garlic, pine nuts, salt, and pepper. After letting my Cuisinart mince everything together, I added lots of fresh basil leaves, and then some yummy olive oil.

Next I added the peas to the caramelized onions, and then spooned in the cooked orecchiette. I put the pesto sauce in the pan, and mixed it all together. After adding a little of the pasta water to thin the sauce, the pasta was ready to serve. Yum!

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Zucchini panzanella

For a recent potluck at work, I decided to make panzanella. I bought tomatoes and everything, but since the potluck was on Friday, the tomatoes got used up in other meals earlier in the week. Late Thursday night after Jon and I got home, I realized that I needed to make something but didn’t have all the ingredients for what I had been planning. One of the only downsides of our new place is that grocery stores are not nearly as convenient–at our old house we had 2 within a 3 minute drive. Well, at 9pm I was not about to go to the store, so creativity had to take over!

I still had the bread and basil that I had originally planned to use, and of course I had onions and olive oil. I also had some zucchini left over, so I decided to try making my salad with zucchini instead of tomatoes.

I chopped everything up, making sure to chop the onions finely. Then, I mixed up a dressing with red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, olive oil, salt and pepper. I didn’t want the bread to get soggy overnight so I mixed everything together an hour before the potluck. It was unique and pretty tasty!

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