Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A spicy, stick-to-your-ribs meal you can get on the table in a jiffy!

Here's another meal inspired by that Food Network standby, Rachael Ray. Her version featured chicken and all sorts of time-consuming toppings (a homemade olive-onion salsa and "guacamole cream"). I decided to change things up a bit to make things even easier. Take that Miss 30 Minute Meals!

Latin Sausage and Rice Pot

2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium white-skinned onion, chopped
2 cups white rice
3 cups vegetable stock
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 tablespoon Sazon seasoning blend
1 cup tomato sauce
4 links, vegetarian sausage (I use Tofurky brand Kielbasa), sliced into ½-inch pieces
** another possibility: cubed and fried tofu
1 cup Spanish olives with pimentos, drained and chopped
Sour cream (I use Tofutti brand Guacamole Sour Supreme)

Coat the bottom of a medium saucepan with the oil and then place over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened (3-5 minutes). Stir in the rice and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add vegetable stock, poultry seasoning, Sazon seasoning and tomato sauce. Bring to a quick boil, 2 or 3 minutes. When the liquid boils, reduce heat to low and cook 18-20 minutes, until rice is tender.

When rice is ready, take the pot off the heat and stir in the sausage/kielbasa/tofu. Cover and let sit for a few minutes.

Serve topped with chopped olives and sour cream.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Fettuccine Alfredo's wicked stepsister

This recipe comes from a cookbook (Vegan With a Vengence) that I bought my sister-in-law last Christmas. David had paged through it before it was all wrapped up, and this was one of the recipes that jumped out at him. It's become a staple in our home ever since (it's one of David's specialties) and it never fails to impress guests.

Just don't go in expecting that old stand-by, Fettuccine Alfredo. Although this dish is creamy, it isn't cloying or overtly cheesey like its namesake. I think you'll love this dish quite on its own, especially since it's far better for your waistline!

Fettuccine Alfreda

1 pound pasta of choice
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 1/2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1/2 cup pine nuts (almonds are a great substitute)
2 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons chili powder
3/4 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 head of broccoli, cut into florets
Meat of choice (David likes to toast a few Morningstar Farms chicken patties and then slice them into strips)

Coat the bottom of a medium saucepan with the olive oil, then bring up to meat heat. Add onion and cook for about three minutes. Season with a pinch or two of salt and pepper (note: you'll still need the salt and pepper mentioned above for later on in the recipe). Add the garlic and saute for two minutes more.

Meanwhile, toast the nuts in a small frying pan (no oil or grease needed) and cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Add the broccoli florets during the last two or three minutes to cook through.

In a blender, combine all ingredients except for the pasta, broccoli and meat, and blend until fairly smooth.

When the pasta and broccoli are done, drain and return to the pot they were cooked in. Pour sauce into pot and stir to combine. Serve topped with the sliced chicken patties (or whatever meat you decide to use).