Isa’s Goddess Pasta a/k/a Tahini Linguini

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I think I have a girl crush on Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Or I should say a goddess crush because she is a kitchen goddess extraordinaire. Every recipe of hers that I’ve tried, I’ve loved. Here’s the latest – Goddess Pasta or as I am calling it, tahini linguini because if that not the name of a new Muppet, I don’t know what is.

Anyway… about this recipe. Isa promises it’s so ridiculously easy that she almost left it out of her cookbook, “Isa Does it”.  I’m glad she didn’t. This recipe IS(a) fast and easy. And despite what I thought was a lot of garlic and green onion (or chives), the dish is mild yet flavourful and creamy, crunchy and satisfying. I ate this dish hot, but I think it would even be great cold. So, without further ado, here’s how I made Isa’s Goddess Pasta. If you want to make it the way Isa does it, buy the book!

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Ingredients

12 oz linguini

The juice of 1 lemon

1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (a 15 ounce can)

1 bunch broccoli cut into bite sized pieces. I also peeled the stem and sliced it up.

3-4 spring onions chopped finely

4 cloves garlic minced

2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 tsp salt (I don’t salt my pasta water)

A few grinds of pepper

½ to 2/3 cup tahini (I didn’t measure exactly!)

½ cup hot water (I used the water from the boiling pasta)

1 Tbsp olive oil

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Directions

Boil the pasta according to the package directions. While the pasta is boiling, prep the sauce and other ingredients.

In a large bowl, blend together the green onion, lemon juice, salt, tahini, nutritional yeast, hot water and ground pepper. You will have a thickly creamy dressing. If the dressing is too thick, add more water.

In a large wok or frying pan, heat ½ tablespoon olive oil and sauté the garlic until it’s golden. Add the garlic to the sauce mixture.

Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan and heat. Add the broccoli and stir fry until the broccoli is bright green but still very crunchy.  Add the broccoli to the sauce mixture and add the chickpeas.

Once your pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Toss everything to combine and serve up. Enjoy!

This recipe makes 4 servings.

p.s. I think next time I may even add some shredded carrot and julienned red pepper for extra colour.

 

 

 

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Moroccan lentil soup

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The LA Times reported that the top food trends for 2018 spotted on Pinterest include Moroccan cuisine, plant-based proteins and soup. So here’s an on trend recipe that’s easy to make and delicious. It’s also ridiculously good for you with garlic, ginger, turmeric and iron-and-fibre-rich lentils.

My first thought when I encountered this recipe, which is from Healthy Starts Here, was “This is just weird enough to work.” And it certainly does with a hint of tanginess, a touch of sweetness from the apricots and mellow spices.

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Ingredients

1 tbsp canola or peanut oil

2 onions diced

4 cloves garlic minced

1-2 inches of ginger root peeled and grated

3 stalks of celery sliced

1 cup of red lentils

1 cup of water

4 cups of vegetable broth

28 oz can diced tomatoes

8 dried apricots

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp turmeric

¼ tsp allspice

Optional but awesome – a cup of fresh kale, chard or spinach torn to bite sized pieces.

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You can add some fresh leafy greens for extra colour, texture and nutrition.

Directions

Measure out your spices and have the garlic and ginger prepped.

Sauté the onion and celery in a very large pot for about 5 minutes until the onion gets a bit golden. Add the spices, garlic and ginger and stir for another minute, heating everything through. Add all the other ingredients and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 45 minutes. Taste and add salt if needed.

If you’re adding any leafy greens, add them after the soup is done cooking, but while it’s still hot. You want to wilt, but not cook the greens.

This recipe makes 4-6 servings and freezes well. I love it with warm pita bread.

 

Garlic-lemon-basil spread

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So sometimes life gives us happy accidents…like when I discovered that with slight alterations, the sauce I love to serve on pasta also makes an amazing spread or dip for crackers and veggie sticks. This spread is flavourful, healthy and super easy to make.

Ingredients

1 ½ avocadoes – peeled and pitted

The juice and zest of ½ a lemon

1-2 cloves garlic (or more if you like garlic!)

A handful fresh basil leaves –about ½ cup packed

A handful fresh kale or spinach leaves (optional)

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

¼ cup pistachios or walnuts (optional)

 

Directions

Put everything in a food processor and whirl until you have a smooth spread. Serve on crackers or with veggie sticks. I especially love this dip on endive leaves and garlick-y crackers.

 

 

 

Linguini with lentils and vegetables in a lemon-garlic dressing (the nut-free version)

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I promised you a nut-free version of the creamy lemon-garlic dressing for pasta in my last post.

If green had a flavour, this would be it. Because you add the vegetables raw, this pasta dish is crunchy, flavourful and satisfying. It’s equally delicious hot or cold though, since I usually make it in the summer when all the garden veggies are at their best, I tend to eat this dish cold.

Try some other veggies too: zucchini, kale or spinach, red or yellow peppers.

I don’t have nut allergies so you’ll see in the photo that I have added toasted walnuts to my bowl. You can do the same by adding nuts at the time you’re serving the pasta. That way everyone can enjoy the dish the way that suits them best.

Ingredients

9 ounces uncooked linguini

1 big head broccoli – cut into bite size pieces

2 cups snow peas – cleaned and with stems cut off. ½ cup beluga lentils (uncooked)

Dressing

Juice from one lemon (about a scant ¼ cup)

2 tsp salt

1 tsp chili paste (like sambal oelek) – optional

3 cloves garlic minced

3 Tbsp olive oil

Directions

Cook the linguine according to package directions and place the cooked pasta in a large bowl.

Cook the lentils by adding 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer with the lid on for 15 minutes. Let the lentils cool. You can even make them the day before and leave them in the fridge.

Add the broccoli, snow peas and lentils to the pasta. Mix all the dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid or a small bowl. Pour the dressing over the pasta and veggies and toss to combine. Chow down!

Linguini with lentils and fresh vegetables in a creamy lemon-garlic sauce

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Ahhhh… I’ve been on a bit of vacation and it was so nice to get back into the kitchen and creating. This recipe for linguini with a creamy lemon-garlic sauce is fast, easy, fresh and tangy. Use whatever blend of veggies you like. I used what arrived in my weekly organic farm box, but broccoli, zucchini, chard, corn kernels, even water chestnuts, would all make excellent additions or substitutions.

Next post, I’ll include a variation of this recipe that leaves out the almond butter. It’s ideal for people who have nut allergies but still want the zing of lemon-garlic dressing.

Ingredients

10 oz uncooked linguini

½ cup uncooked black (a/k/a beluga) lentils

1 red pepper diced

2 cups snow peas cleaned and cut in half

½ cup slivered almonds toasted (optional)

For the sauce

Juice of 1 lemon (about ¼ cup)

2 Tbsp almond butter

3 cloves garlic – minced

2 Tbsp olive oil or other light-tasting oil

1 Tbsp soya sauce

1 tsp sea salt (or to taste)

1 tsp hot chili paste (I use sambal oelek)

Directions

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain and place in a large bowl.

Place the lentils in a small pot with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and simmer for about 15 minutes until the lentils are cooked and the water is absorbed. When cooked, add to the bowl with the pasta. Add the snow peas and red pepper and any other vegetables you’re using.

To make the dressing, combine all the ingredients in a small glass or bowl and mix well. Pour over the pasta, lentils and vegetables and toss to combine. Sprinkle with the toasted almonds if using.

Serve up and enjoy. This dish makes 3-4 large servings and is equally delicious hot, cold or at room temperatures. Do store it in the fridge though!

Avocado pasta – creamy, garlicky, lemony and delicious

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This pasta surprised me with its simplicity and deliciousness. It’s easy to make, no fail and will be ready in the time it takes to cook the pasta.

Make this. That’s all I can say. Just make this.

You will need a food processor for this recipe.

Ingredients

1 avocado

The juice and zest of ½ a lemon

1-2 cloves garlic

A handful fresh basil leaves –about ½ cup

1 cup of fresh kale or spinach leaves

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

¼ cup pistachios (optional)

10 ounces of uncooked pasta – any shape or kind

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Directions

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

While the pasta is cooking, place all the other ingredients in a food processor and whiz until you have a creamy sauce. You might need to add up to 2 tablespoons water to get a creamy consistency. The more you whiz the sauce, the smoother it will be. Spinach also makes a smoother sauce than kale.

Place the hot, cooked pasta in a large bowl and spoon the sauce over it. Toss to blend and serve. This recipe makes 2-3 servings.

If you have leftovers, this dish is great at room temperature as a cold pasta salad.

 

Classic hummus – the elevation of the chickpea!

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I really love chickpeas and hummus is the expression of all that is right and good about this humble, adorable legume. This savoury dip is great spread in sandwiches or served up with veggies and pita bread. It’s packed with fibre, protein, iron and magnesium.

My Lebanese pal, Roger, taught me how to take my hummus from good to great. Thank you, Roger!

You will need a food processor for this recipe (or the patience of a saint to mash and grind all your ingredients by hand). Okay, let’s go. You could have hummus in 5 minutes.

Ingredients

1 ½ cups chickpeas (that’s one 15 oz can drained and rinsed or ½ cup dried chickpeas cooked).

Juice of one lemon

1-2 cloves garlic cut in pieces

1 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup tahini

¼ to ½ tsp cumin

5-10 drops hot sauce (I use a chipotle hot sauce).

Directions

If you really want to show some love and have an extra 15 minutes, pop the skins off the chickpeas – just pinch the chickpea and the skin will come off. Removing the skins creates the most silky, smooth hummus you’ve ever had. Yes, it’s kind of tedious work but put on some great tunes and shed that skin (and discard them).

If you take the time to discard the skins you’ll have hummus in 20 minutes. If you skip this step, you’ll have hummus in 5!

If you leave the skins on, that’s cool too. You’ll have a more “rustic” texture. Roger confesses he far prefers the skinned chickpea version of hummus but rarely has the patience to do this step.

Put everything in your food processor and blend and blend and blend. You can add up to 1/3 cup water to make a creamier dip. Do NOT add olive oil at this stage. It can actually make the hummus a bit bitter.

Serve your hummus with a drizzle of good olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika.

Enjoy!