Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Someone's in the Kitchen...

So I decided to be extra productive this evening: I went to the gym, made soup, made chicken salad, scrubbed the stovetop and countertops in the kitchen, cleaned part of the bathroom, and mopped the floors. However, for normalcy's sake (is normalcy a word?) I'm going to tell you about the cooking and spare you the cleaning details.

My roommate gave me a Cooking Light Pasta cookbook for Christmas, and I finally got around to making one of the recipes tonight: Red Bean Stew with Ditalini.

Here is their picture:

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1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups presliced mushrooms
1 cup diced carrot
1 1/2 cups water
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 15oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 14oz can less-sodium beef broth
4 oz uncooked ditalini (short tube-shaped pasta)
2 tablespoons commercial pesto (such as Alessi)
1/4 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and carrot; saute 4 minutes. Stir in water and next 4 ingredients. Cover; bring to a boil. Stir in pasta; cook, uncovered, 11 minutes or until pasta is done. Stir in pesto; sprinkle each serving with cheese. Yield: 4 servings

My modifications:

1. I've been having trouble seasoning my Dutch oven (I need Crisco) so I used a soup pot instead
2. I used almost double the amount of mushrooms
3. I used penne instead of ditalini
4. Because of the higher quantity of vegetables and bigger pasta, I added two more cups of water
5. I didn't have beef broth, so I just used water and added chicken base
6. I was generous with the pesto

I'm saving this dish for lunches this week, so I only tried a couple of spoonfuls, but it tastes great! The pesto is a BRILLIANT addition to the soup and gives it tons of flavor. The soup was really easy to make so I recommend this recipe.

I also made my own chicken salad tonight! In an earlier post I mentioned wanting to get rid of that certain food item in your kitchen that always seems to get passed over. I have a jar of vegan light canola mayo that hasn't made it onto every sandwich recently. I bought it on a whim back in the Fall just to see what it was like. It tastes like a mix between mayonnaise and Miracle Whip. It's main ingredients are: water, expeller pressed canola oil, cornstarch, distilled white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, etc. etc. Now that I'm actually looking at the ingredients, it does not seem appealing. Oh well, I better suck it up because I've got a boatload of chicken salad to eat!

I bought some chicken breasts and cooked them in a grill pan. Let me go ahead and say that cooking chicken freaks me out. I already have Mono and I don't need Salmonella poisoning on top of that. While the chicken was cooking, I chopped up celery, crumbled up walnuts, and threw those along with around 1.5 cups of the vegan mayo in mixing bowl. Once the chicken was cooked thoroughly (maybe a little too thoroughly?) I cut it into small pieces and mixed it all together. Bam. As Ina Garten says, "How easy is that?"

This day has been Go Go Go since 6:45 am so I'm off to prop up my feet!

1 comment:

  1. That stew sounds great! It would work beautifully up here in the cold NE! Brrr.
    Hope your feet are feeling refreshed :)