Friday, February 12, 2010

Southwestern Vegetarian Pasta

I love pasta. It is one of my favorite things to eat. However, the word is out that white pasta may not be so good for you. :-( About a year ago, my parents made the switch over to wheat pasta on the advice of their doctors. I have to admit when I have pasta at their house it is not the same.

So I have been trying out different brands and sizes of wheat pasta and so far the curly rotoni from Shaws Harvest brand (pictured above) is my favorite. For some reason, the typical pasta shapes like penne I don't like in wheat. I also decided that I am not crazy about wheat pasta with marinara sauce and when using that type of sauce (my favorite), I will stick with white pasta. But I thought other sauces might disguise or go better with the wheat flavored pasta...

I found this recipe on AllRecipes. It is not my original recipe, and if you click on the AllRecipes link, you can check out the cook who posted this recipe there. I did change a couple of things as I will note:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 1 (12 ounce) package uncooked elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet. Saute onion, green pepper, garlic, chili powder and cumin. Stir in tomatoes, chickpeas and corn. Reduce heat to low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, or until thickened and heated through.

2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.

3. Combine pasta and sauce. S
prinkle each serving with Monterey Jack cheese.

My slight changes: used wheat pasta (rotini) instead of white elbow macaroni and a little less pasta. I also used garbanzo beans instead of chick peas, which are pretty much the same thing I think. This is an easy recipe to tweak. Add more spices if you want more of a kick and less pasta if you want it saucier.

I had it the next day for lunch too. It does pretty well as leftovers too!

So I have found so far one recipe/sauce I like with wheat pasta, and I plan to look for more. However, I don't plan on switching completely over to wheat.

I think of how we were all taught to switch over to margarine and then were told years later that the trans fat in them were not good. I also think of all the people who have developed wheat allergies, and then I think moderation is best.

I still plan on enjoying my marinara sauce with white pasta. Yum! Yum!

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oatmeal Cookies with M & Ms

The Cookie Dough:

A tablespoon amount of dough on cookie sheets:

After cooking, placed on wire racks to cool:

The finished product ready for eating:

Here was my little helper:

The contrast between chocolate and oatmeal is really quite yummy. My niece really likes these cookies and they disappear pretty quickly around my house too. I usually, I admit, eat most of them.

Interested in the recipe, Click on this link

and substitute M&Ms for chocolate covered raisins.