Have you seen those lists of the new 2017 trends? You know, the ones that go around the internet this time of year predicting everything from the popularity of coconut oil to the color of pale pink we’ll all be wearing in the spring? One that caught my attention lately is that “they” are saying that staying in is the new going out. And I’m totally on board with that one. If you’ve had a busy holiday season how good does this sound: Stretchy pants, pasta, wine and and a nice dinner by the fire with twinkly Christmas tree lights in the background?
Ok, just kidding. We don’t have a fireplace and we haven’t even put up the Christmas tree because if you remember last year it was FEBRUARY before we got around to taking the thing down. But festivity aside, let’s make pasta, shall we?
I’m calling this a “Bolognese” although I realize that Italian grandmothers are shaking their heads right about now. A traditional bolognese has meat and other very specific ingredients. So while this is not exactly authentic, this pasta includes a delicious hearty mix of mushrooms and lentils that get all stewy with onions, carrots, tomatoes, and rosemary among other savory ingredients.
Hidden in this recipe are some unconventional ingredients. I find that balsamic vinegar and soy sauce brings out a rich flavor in the mushrooms. Sage (to me) has a sausage-like scent, so I used a bit of dried sage to bring a depth of flavor to the sauce. In addition to the lentils, I also added some finely crushed walnuts that you won’t detect but they add some richness to this no-meat situation.
I used canned tomatoes as the base of the sauce and tossed in some sliced fresh tomatoes near the end for no other reason except that I find brown foods exceptionally challenging to photograph 🙂
Aside from that whole not having a Christmas tree thing – Christmas came early because I got the chance to cook with KitchenAid’s new Stainless Steel Cookware set. The polished stainless steel is so fancy! The 12-inch skillet cooked my stewy sauce perfectly and these pieces were a breeze to clean. Plus, how pretty is this large pot (and Jack’s action-pasta drop shot!):
Cook your pasta until al dente, toss it with the sauce and serve it with steamed green veggies if you like!
Two things I’m obsessed with: vegetables (no surprise there), and Instagram. I love posting images of pretty vegetables, but I also look to my feed for fresh, colorful veggie inspiration. Which is why I’m excited to participate this week in #urwhatupost – a fruit and vegetable takeover movement by Bolthouse Farms. They’ve created this cool website that shows how many people are tagging healthy vs. unhealthy foods in real time. For example, as I type this, the scale is about 65% junk food, and 35% fresh produce, but today through March 6th, we’re trying to change that.
Things like #icecream (11 million tags) and #pie (14 million tags) are the top two socially shared foods. So here’s the goal: let’s all get together and start sharing gorgeous colorful veggies like #carrots (6 million), #kale (3.9m), #mushrooms (3.5m), #potatoes (7.2m), and #brussels sprouts (56K) and shift the dial this week toward the fresh foods we all love most. All you have to do is simply label your favorite fruits and vegetables as hashtags or keywords in your posts on Instagram and/orTwitter.
Here are 5 of my favorite seasonal vegetables along with some of my favorite recipes. (Also, a recipe for Carrot Top pesto at the bottom – don’t toss those tops!)
Roasted Carrot Turmeric Soup / Farmhouse Farro Salad / Spiced Carrot & Chickpea Salad / Carrot Muffins with Coconut Whip / Vegan Carrot Cake / Collard Wraps with Carrot Hummus
Brussels Sprout Recipes:
Brussels Sprout & Sunchoke Salad / Brussels Sprout, Broccoli & Avocado Rice / Sweet Potato & Brussels Skillet / Shredded Brussels Sprout & Apple Salad
Shiitake & Napa Cabbage Gyoza / Creamy Polenta & Mushrooms / Mushroom & Quinoa Lettuce Wraps / Walnut-Mushroom Veggie Burgers / Mushrooms & Wheatberries / Sesame & Shiitake Soba Noodles
Sweet Potato Recipes:
Sweet Potato Vegetarian Chili / Spicy Sweet Potato Tostadas / Healthy Loaded Sweet Potatoes / Sweet Potato Tahini Crostini / Curried Sweet Potato Soup / Sweet Potato Pomegranate Salad
Kale Walnut Pesto / Winter Roasted Kale Salad / Kale Egg & Avocado Toast / Matcha Kale Smoothies / Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Chickpeas & Kale / Butternut Squash, Kale & Quinoa Stew
Also, these fruits & veggies (not pictured in this post) also count toward the cause: #pomegranate, #berry, #potato, #avocado, #grapes, #beets, #vegetable. They can be typed in singular or plural form, with or without the hashtag.