Best grilled cheese ever. Pesto, spinach, avocado, goat cheese and mozzarella.
Green goddess grilled cheese:
2 slices wheat bread
2 tbs pesto
2 slices mozzarella cheese
1/4 avocado, sliced
1 oz goat cheese, crumbled
Spread pesto on both slices of bread. Layer mozzarella, avocado, goat cheese, spinach and rest of mozzarella. Cook on medium heat for 2 minutes or until golden on each side.
Baked Pasta Shells Stuffed with Spinach, Squash, Ricotta & Basil, with Homemade Garlic Tomato Sauce
As I mentioned in my last post, my friends Patrice and Brittnee persuaded me to do a dinner/manicure trade this week.
Pasta Shells (for 3-4 people who are gluttons)
15 large Pasta Shells
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Bring water to boil in a pot with olive oil and a couple pinches of salt. Add pasta and boil until al dente. Set aside a cup of the pasta water and drain the pasta. Set pasta aside.
Garlic Tomato Sauce
6 Roma Tomatoes, stem end/core removed
4 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 yellow Onion, Chopped
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3/4 cup Red Wine
1 cup Water from boiled pasta
Salt to taste
Bring water to boil in a large pot. Add tomatoes and cook until the skins split. Run under cold water until cook enough to handle. Remove skins (should come off easily). Add tomatoes to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add olive oil to a saute pan and saute onions and garlic until soft. Add tomatoes, pasta water and begin to simmer. As the sauce begins to reduce, add wine and continue to cook down. Season with salt. Remove from heat once you have a nice consistency.
Spinach, Squash, Ricotta & Basil Filling
2 cups Spinach, stems removed, ripped into manageable pieces
1/2 cup Yellow Squash, chopped small
1/2 cup Green Squash, chopped small
2 cups Ricotta
Handful of Fresh Basil, stems removed, chopped
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper to Taste
In a saute pan, lightly saute squash & zucchini for a couple of minutes. In a bowl mix ricotta, squash, spinach and basil. Salt and pepper to taste.
2/3 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a square baking dish, layer the bottom with half of the tomato sauce. Spoon ricotta mixture into each shell and add to the pan, forming one layer. Top with remaining tomato sauce, covering the shells. Spread parmesan cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 3-5 minutes or until cheese on top has melted. Everything should be hot and bubbly. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly before serving.
It’s been a strange week, topped off with one of my best friends moving to Boston today. Sort of just feel like staring at a wall for the rest of the weekend…or at this bodega kitty (follow me on Instagram: boredvegetarian).
Ice Cream and Frosting Pie. Ice Cream. covered in buttercream frosting. all in a pie crust. with sprinkles.
Ice Cream and Frosting Pie.
This version could also be called “Queso Fresco, where have you been all my life? And please never leave me.” Because really, why have I waited this long to try queso fresco? It’s just so fresh (duh) and milk-y, in a good way! It works so well with this salad; it is not overpowering like cheddar sometimes can be, but it is distinguishable from the other elements. Also, why have I not moved to L.A. yet so I can have avocado every day of my life??
Taco Salad v 2.0
- shredded Romaine lettuce
- salsa of choice (I like Herdez medium)
- 1/2 avocado, diced
- 1 oz. queso fresco, crumbled
I like salads with warm and cold components, so I heat the beans before eating, but if you don’t like warm and cold at the same time, cold beans would be ok.
These are easily my favorite comfort food. I would have eaten these everyday as a kid if that were an option. Even before I was a vegetarian, my grandma’s (ok and maybe Taco Bell’s) bean burritos were my favorite things ever. There is probably a home video of me talking about how much I liked beans. I was a cool kid, ok?
Much to delight, pinto beans are very easy to make yourself - and you avoid that tin-y taste from canned beans! There are two methods for making them- 1, on the stove top (takes 4 hours, you have more control over cooking), or 2, in the slow cooker (takes 6-8 hours, less work). I prefer cooking over the stove top (because that’s how my mom makes them) but I’ve done both and been successful.
- 1 small bag dried pinto beans
- Water, enough to cover beans + 1 inch
- 1-2 tbs shortening
- salt, to taste
Method 1:Sort beans, discarding rocks and broken beans. Rinse, then place in large pot (3 qt?) along with shortening and salt and cover with water + 1 inch. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for about 4 hours, until soft. Check occasionally to make sure there is enough water so the beans don’t burn. Add water as necessary. When done, taste and add salt as necessary.For refried beans, mash beans and liquid!
Method 2:Same as Method 1 until place in a large pot. Place instead in slow cooker, set to low, cover and let cook! I would still check occasionally the water level and add water as necessary, but maybe adding more water at the start would eliminate this step.
Keep in air proof container in the refrigerator for 3-5 days.
Uses:burritos, bean tacos, tostadas, bean enchildas, taco salad, bean dip, side, etc… Eat them plain! They are so good!
Fish free Nicoise salad
Have I mentioned how much I love spring and summer? When strawberries (and all berries for that matter) are in season and not $5 a carton.. It is beautiful. But as much as I love having strawberries in my refrigerator, I tend to be very boring in how I use them - almost exclusively in smoothies.. Strawberries and bananas are my staples, they just complement so many other flavors!
Well, I decided to be adventurous and try and new salad. Usually spinach is my go-to for fruit+salad, but I was out so I used leaf lettuce instead. Mixed with some seed and cheese, it was lovely and spring-y and good!
Strawberry Spring Salad
- Leaf lettuce, or spinach, or other mild lettuce
- 4-5 strawberries, quartered
- 1/4 cup dried fruit of choice (I used blueberry craisins)
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 oz colby jack cheese, cubed (cheddar would also be good, or goat cheese mmm)
- Italian dressing (or a strawberry vinaigrette!)
*If making ahead of time and bringing to work or party or wherever, wait to put dressing on until right before eating, otherwise everything else can go in one container! :)
This was supposed to be my attempt at a Shamrock shake, but it ended up too chocolate-y so it is a Thin Mint smoothie instead!
Thin Mint Smoothie
- 5 Thin Mints, crushed
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 frozen avocado
- 1-1/2 cups soy milk (or milk of your choice)
- Blend all ingredients until desired consistency. Add more milk as needed. I like a thicker shake/smoothie so I probably used closer to 1 cup.