Well Dined

15Jan/160

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Well Dined | Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

I actually made this Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie back in March for Pi Day with Melissa from Smells Like Brownies.  We made it with Irish Stout beer so that it would also be appropriate for St Patrick's Day.  But I was in the middle of moving, and so never actually posted about it.  The weather right now is making me crave warm comfort food, and I thought that this dish would be appreciated.  So here I am!

Well Dined | Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

One of the tricks to this recipe is to use grated tofu, which is accomplished by freezing the tofu, then thawing slightly so that it will be the right firmness.  So make sure to freeze your tofu at least a day ahead of when you want to cook.

Well Dined | Vegetarian Shepherd's Pie

Next, saute an onion, and add toasted walnuts and the shredded tofu.  Add soy sauce and lemon juice, and cook until the liquid is gone.

21May/152

Vegetable Alfredo Pasta

Well Dined | Vegetable Alfredo Pasta

I was looking for a dish to bring over to my friend, Melissa, who just had a baby.  This recipe immediately popped out at me - one dish, easy to transport, easy to reheat, and lot's of veggies (plus cheese and pasta, of course).  There's a reason people are always bringing casseroles!  I also liked that it uses a lot of frozen veggies, making it budget friendly and easy to make year-round.

I also may have used it as an excuse to buy this thing, which I have been wanting for a long time - so cute!

Well Dined | Vegetable Alfredo Pasta

This is actually enough for 2 casseroles - I made one for me, too!

So, we start out with ALL THE VEGETABLES.  Ever.  Just kidding... kind of.  Saute onion and garlic in olive oil, then add frozen broccoli, cauliflower, and spinach.  When those have thawed, add in shredded carrot and zucchini.

Well Dined | Vegetable Alfredo Pasta

I saw this and thought to myself, "not enough vegetables," so I added some frozen peas to the boiling pasta for the last 30 seconds.  You can use whatever shape of pasta you like, I thought bowties would be fun and cute.  I used Barilla protein plus pasta, because it boasts 17g of protein per 3.5oz serving and veggie dishes can always use some extra protein.  I also rinsed the pasta (and peas) in cold water to stop the cooking and get rid of the extra starch (something I only do for pasta salads, and pasta that is going to be cooked again in the oven).

13Nov/141

Roasted Autumn Vegetable Pot Pies

Well Dined | Roasted Autumn Vegetable Pot Pies

Melissa and I are back at it!  This time it is with a super delicious, and seasonally appropriate, roasted vegetable pot pie that is super comforting and filling.  I think even meat eaters will love it - seriously!  If you think about it, there isn't that much chicken in a regular pot pie, and it is in tiny cubes that sort of blend in with everything else.  So who's gonna miss it?  Not me!  Especially not when you top it with a killer rosemary and black pepper crust.  I'm not kidding, you guys, this crust is awesome.  I want to use it for all kinds of savory tart type things.  This recipe is labor intensive, so give yourself time.  Or make it with a buddy!

Well Dined | Roasted Autumn Vegetable Pot Pies

So, first step - make the dough for the crust.  This involves flour, butter, buttermilk, egg yolks, and (most importantly) rosemary and black pepper.  Crack that black pepper yourself, you want the flavor and the unevenly sized bits.  The crust is what makes this dish special, so don't skip it!

Well Dined | Roasted Autumn Vegetable Pot Pie

Next, cut up those veggies!  So, so many veggies.  We made a lot of editorial choices with this recipe - eliminate pumpkin (who needs it when there is also butternut squash?), boost the brussels, etc...  Afterwards we realized (per Melissa's husband) that replacing the carrots with parsnips would have added a nice pepperiness to balance the sweetness of the squash.  Good idea, Dave!

5May/142

Pea and Ricotta Tart

Well Dined | Pea and Ricotta Tart

 

Hello, Spring!  I am so glad that you have finally come to stay!  I'd like to welcome you with this lovely little tart made with fresh peas, creamy homemade ricotta, scallions, herbs, and lemon.  Please stick around for a bit.

Well Dined | Pea and Ricotta Tart

Well, Spring, I know that fresh English peas are kind of your thing, so I used them two ways just for you!  I pureed some peas and ricotta together with lemon juice, mint, and basil to make a creamy spread.  Then I mixed some whole peas with scallions, more mint and basil, and lemon zest.

Well Dined | Pea and Ricotta Tart

I baked some puff pastry until golden, puffed, and crispy; then I spread the creamy ricotta mixture over the top; and sprinkled the whole pea mixture over that.  Look at all that green!

20Apr/140

Spring Vegetable and Tortellini Salad

Well Dined | Spring Vegetable and Tortellini Salad

Happy Easter!  It has been a long, crazy winter.  We had just a hint of spring before a cold snap hit again, but it looks like we are on our way back and hopefully it will last this time!

herbs

I took advantage of the nice weather to plant my container herb garden.  I've got chives, French thyme, English thyme, lemon thyme, and oregano thyme in one pot.  The big one has common sage, purple sage, rosemary, spearmint, tarragon, Greek and Italian oregano, and dill.  And the last one has sweet basil, thai basil, amethyst basil, lemon basil, and parsley.

bunnies

I also cleared out and cleaned up my tiny backyard, and while I was removing dead leaves, I accidentally uncovered a nest full of baby rabbits!  I was totally shocked and didn't know what to do.  I yelled for my husband to bring me a box to put them in while I hit the internet for advice.  Leave them alone and put them back was the unanimous decision.  Mama rabbits only visit the babies 2 times a day to feed very quickly (1-2 minutes) so that predators won't know where they are.  So baby rabbits have not been abandoned and they don't need to be rescued (unless injured by lawnmower, dog, cat, etc...).  In fact, trying to take care of them yourself will likely kill them!

30Dec/130

2013 Wrap Up

Well Dined | 2013 Wrap-Up

Well, Folks - it's been a great year!  I look forward to keep sharing delicious and (sometimes) healthy recipes with you in the years to come.  Until then - here are my most pinned recipes of 2013!

Well Dined | Sweet Potato and Turkey Shepard's Pie

#1 - This healthy version of Shepard's Pie with Sweet Potato and Turkey.  I find this funny because the photos from this post are so bad!

Well Dined | Homemade Meat Ravioli

#2 - Homemade Meat Ravioli - yum!

Well Dined | Homemade Spinach Ravioli

#3 - Homemade Spinach Ravioli.  The raviolis are popular!

8Jul/132

Garlic Scapes

Well Dined | Garlic Scapes

I saw these guys at the Farmers Market and though, "What the heck are those?"  So out came the phone and Google searching commenced.  Garlic Scapes, as it turns out, are a shoot that grows out of the top of the garlic plant.  They need to be removed so that the plant can focus on growing the bulb instead of flowering.  This is fortunate, because the also happen to be insanely delicious.  They taste like garlic, but without the bite, and can be used like scallions.

Well Dined | Garlic Scapes

I bought myself a big handful and set about looking up recipes.  The most common way to use them is in a pesto, so of course I did not make that... because I'm weird.

Well Dined | Garlic Scape Carbonara

Instead, I made carbonara - with guanciale (cuz I'm legit) and peas (which put an end to my legit-ness, but I don't care cuz I love peas).  You are probably wondering what the heck I am talking about, I don't blame you.  Here is a link to a great article about the do's and dont's of real carbonara.  TLDR (too long, didn't read for all you non-techies) - while bacon and pancetta are acceptable, guanciale is the best; peas are a definite don't.

Well Dined | Garlic Scape and Gruyere Biscuits with Goat Butter

I also made biscuits - with garlic scapes, Gruyere, and goat butter (another new obsession of mine).

27Jun/130

Lemon Ricotta Pasta with Seared Scallops

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You guys know how much I love homemade ricotta.  In case you don't - it's A LOT.  I've also been kind of obsessed with peas lately.  So I was super excited to try out this recipe.

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I had never made scallops at home before, so I was pretty nervous.  But as it turns out, it's pretty easy!  Just make sure that you buy them no more than 1 day before you want to cook them, keep them on ice if you aren't going straight home, and store them in the coldest part of the fridge.  Also, be warned that your house will smell like seafood after you cook them.

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As for the pasta - whole wheat linguine, lemon, peas, thyme, and of course - fresh ricotta.  Fresh and light and creamy deliciousness!

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Eat me!

Here's one more shot to tide you over...

25Jun/130

Peas and Carrots

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You know that Forrest Gump quote, "Jenny and me was like peas and carrots."?  I could not stop saying that while making and eating this dinner.  The classic duo of peas and carrots, back together again in the form of soup and risotto.

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This pea soup has a base of English peas, sugar snap peas, and leeks.  So much green!

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But more importantly, it has bacon.  You start by crisping the bacon and removing it.  Then, in the same pan, you cook celery, onion, and leek in the bacon fat before adding chicken stock and rosemary.  Meanwhile, blanch the peas.

3Jun/130

Farro with Scallions, Peas, and Goat Cheese

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It's time for another vegetarian lunch with Melissa!  This time we made a warm and creamy grain salad with veggies (kind of our favorite thing).  This salad has farro, arugula, scallions, split peas, English peas, goat cheese, and chives in a citrusy dressing with orange, shallot, and Parmesan.  So basically every delicious ingredient there is.

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We made things easy by precooking the farro and split peas (you can do this a day in advance) and using frozen peas.

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We tossed the farro mixture with a citrusy dressing, then folded in arugula and charred scallions, and topped with goat cheese and chives.  Let me tell you about charred scallions - they are awesome.  Super awesome.  We were worried that the onion flavor would be overwhelming, but charring them takes a lot of that sharpness out and replaces it with sweetness.