In spite of yesterday’s rain, today is all sunshine and lollipops. And with that bit of good news, I’m heading off on my bike to explore the city and get a few errands done. But I’ll leave you with a couple of recipes that reared their lovely little heads this past week.
The first is such an old standby that I can’t believe I hadn’t posted it before now. Pasta e Fagioli was pretty much my standby during those lean years when I worked in a record store earning not much more than the $8 minimum wage and all my money went into seeing shows, getting cds & records and buying vintage dresses. I meticulously cut my own bangs and scrimped on groceries, but always managed to make incredible vegetarian feasts that would last me for days for as little as $4. There was a simple kidney bean and lentil casserole that sounds humble but was truely a delight and then there was this soupy/stewy concoction that worked wonders on a cold, damp evening. And years later, this dinner still satisfies many a belly for less than $4. Nice.
pasta e fagioli
1 T olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
1 celery, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 c uncooked macaroni
1 large can of tomatoes
1 t dried oregano
1 t crushed dried chili peppers (more of less to taste)
2 T ketchup
1 t worchestershire sauce
1 T hot sauce
2 cans worth of water or vegetable stock
1 can of kidney beans, drained & rinsed
a few leaves of fresh basil, torn
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, celery and green peppers and saute for a few minutes until somewhat softened. Add the macaroni and stir until well coated with the oil and vegetables.
2. Add the can of tomatoes, breaking up tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon. Add the oregano, chili peppers, ketchup, worchestershire sauce and the hot sauce and stir. Add in 2 cans of water or stock until everything is covered. Cover pot with lid and turn down heat to medium-low, stirring occassionally. Add more water or stock if necessary.
3. When pasta is cooked and sauce has thickened, ladle out into bowls and top with fresh basil. Serve with crusty bread and parmesan cheese, if desired.
Lately, I’ve been on the lookout for low-fat desserts. And although my snacking desires lead me closer to the wonderful world of salty treats, I still have a very strong sweet tooth that rears it’s head once in a while. Last week, I made the very yummy low fat chocolate zucchini muffins and I was looking for more recipes that used applesauce as a fat replacement. Instead, I found these cocoa fudge cookies on Nic’s blog, Baking Sheet. They looked too good to pass up and they were low fat-ish, so I whipped them up and didn’t regret a thing! Plus, I made them vegan. They were the right amount of chewy on the inside and had a nice crispy outside and they were bursting with an intense chocolate flavour. I still have a whole jar of homemade applesauce sitting in the fridge, so if anyone has any good low fat dessert recipes using applesauce, I’m all ears!
cocoa fudge cookies
(adapted from Baking Sheet)
1 c flour
1/4 t baking soda
1/8 t salt
1/4 c Earth Balance, melted
7 T cocoa powder
2/3 c white sugar
1/3 c brown sugar
1/3 c soy vanilla yogurt
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 c semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Whisk together flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. In a large bowl, mix together the melted margerine, sugars, and cocoa. Stir in the yogurt and vanilla extract. Slowly, add in the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Add the chocolate chips and blend.
2. Drop spoonfuls of batter onto cookie tray. Press down slightly to flatten; cookies do not spread a lot. Bake at 350F for 9-12 minutes or until set and slightly firm at the edges. Do not overcook. Allow to cool on the pan for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 2 dozen.