Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce and Mussels

I was ready for a beautiful simple spaghetti with tomato sauce dish for a while. 

Spaghetti marinara with mussels (2 servings):
  • 4 oz spaghetti, cooked to instructions, al dente
  • 1 white sweet onion, finely (!) chopped
  • 1 garlic glove, minced
  • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 anchovy filets
  • splash of red or white wine
  • salt, pepper
  • 1 small can chopped, no sodium added organic tomatoes (I used the Trader Joes brand)
  • 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 hot cherry pepper, finely diced
  • a few mussels (I used frozen, they are easier to portion)
  • fresh basil, chiffonade
  • handful baby spinach
  • 2 TB daiya mozzarella vegan cheese
In a skillet, heat the olive oil and add anchovy filets, and heat them until they melt into the oil. Add the finely chopped onion, and saute on medium-low until they are browned and caramelized. At this point add the garlic and saute only for 1-2min because it burns fast. Add the wine, mix it in and let it cook down until no liquid is left in the pan. Take the pan off the heat, and mix in the canned and fresh tomatoes. Pour the entire mixture in a food processor (I use a vitamix for an extra smooth, silky consistency), and puree until smooth. (Note: I do it at this point because the tomatoes cool down the mixture and I can actually process it in the food processor without risk of steam exploding out of it). Once pureed, the mixture goes back into the pan and is heated back up on medium-high heat. I add the basil and the mussels. Once the mussels are heated and cooked (and open), I removed the shells and leave the mussels in the sauce. Last I add some baby spinach and vegan daiya cheese to make the sauce extra creamy. Mix in the drained spaghetti, cook for about 1 min, and serve.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Moroccan Chickpea Salad

Browsing through the current Clean Eating magazine, the Moroccan chickpea salad caught my eye: bursting red and orange colors mixed with perly-white chickpeas, hints of green (mint) and bits of star-white (feta). Shortly, I had to make it. My version is slightly different but all Moroccan and a feast for the eyes, too.
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 small or 1 large carrot, peeled and with a julienne peeler sliced into thin strands
  • handful cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, small dice
  • a few spring of fresh thyme
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1 ts cumin
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • juice of 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 ts honey
  • 1/2 TB extra virgin olive oil (fruity type)
Place all the vegetables in a container. Remove the leaves from the thyme spring, chop (or not) and add to the salad. Add a slight bit of salt and pepper. In a cup, mix the cumin, cayenne, orange juice, honey and olive oil. Whisk, and pour over the salad. Let the flavors come together for about 1h in the fridge, and serve!