Spring Pasta Salad

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I have the music in me.

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In that, it’s trapped inside of me & I can’t help but belt tunes at the top of my lungs at all hours of the day despite sharing walls with neighbors.

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So I’m channeling my energy into a new hobby: I am going to teach myself to play the guitar.

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Turns out it’s like really difficult. I was trying to learn some v basic chords the other day and thought I was going to break my fingers. I went to yoga the next morning and my left hand cramped so badly I almost collapsed. Is this normal? Anyways, I really suck. First, my guitar needs to be tuned. Having less than no experience, I do not know how to fix this on my own. I just keep twisting the knobby things and plucking and I stop when my ears stop bleeding. Second, I think I should chop off my fingernails??? They seem to inhibit me. Third, I need a kewl strap and a microphone stand so I can stand in front of the mirror and strum while performing for myself. This is all I really want to do tbh. Put on concerts for myself and keep the delusion alive that I am jam packed full of hidden talent and at any moment an agent will walk into my bedroom (if this happened, I should prob be concerned for my safety) and whisk me to Hollywood and I will grace the cover of a couple of major magazines and have a sitcom written around my life. I digress.

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If all else fails, I’ll just dramatically bust the guitar and crowd surf off the stage and into my imaginary audience.

 

 

Time: 30 minutes (prep + cooking) | Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of pasta
  • 1 can of chickpeas, rinsed + drained
  • 1 english cucumber, sliced thin
  • 6 mini sweet peppers, sliced thin
  • 8 mini multi-colored carrots, sliced thin
  • 3 radishes, peeled + sliced thin
  • 4 cups of arugula
  • 5 tbsp. of olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. of dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp. of agave
  • S+P, to taste
  • Hemp seeds, for serving

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • Arrange chickpeas on a lined baking sheet, bake 15 minutes
  • Remove from oven + drizzle with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + some S+P, bake another 15 minutes
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente, drain
  • Meanwhile, meanwhile, whisk together remaining olive oil + lemon juice + dijon + agave + S+P
  • To serve, combine arugula + pasta + chickpeas + cucumber + peppers + carrots + radishes + drizzle with vinaigrette
  • Serve chilled or room temp
  • Take a small broom + brush plate contents into mouth to avoid leaving any crumbs behind

 

Adapted from here!

Eggplant Rollatini

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I’m dreaming in a British accent.

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And I blame my Great British Baking Show addiction.

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I’m convinced there has never been a happier show.

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Who knew the whole of the UK was filled with genius amateur bakers that can design giant towers of caramel in the shape of dinosaurs? And they are all just like normal blokes (see what I did there). Like, when did they find the time to do this? Do English folk not spend the entirety of their evenings watching Netflix like the rest of us? They must actually work to better themselves or something in their free time. They all just have the purest personalities. Just sweet cherub angel babies making their ginormous meat pies. I just love how they say every single word. Like how their r’s are so soft and their th’s sound like f’s and they add an r after words that end in a. Oh, and how they use “brilliant” to describe the really good bakes. And don’t act like you don’t tear up a little every time Paul Hollywood sticks out his hand for one of his infamous handshakes!!

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It’s also inspired me to think I, too, can create a lion out of various freshly baked breads.

 

 

Time: 1.5 hours (prep + cooking) | Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggplants, peeled + cut into thin strips
  • 1 cup of whole wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp. of flaxseed meal
  • 1 package of extra firm tofu, drained of water
  • 1/2 cup of roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • Zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil
  • Jar of your favie pasta sauce
  • Basil, for serving

How to:

  • Arrange eggplant slices in a colander + sprinkle with some S, let sit for about 15-20 minutes + let the water drain
  • Meanwhile, make a flax egg by combining flax meal + 3 tbsp. of warm water, stir + let sit in the fridge for 15 minutes
  • Meanwhile, pulse the sunflower seeds in a food processor until ground
  • Add tofu + process until combined
  • Pour that in a bowl + add lemon juice + zest + garlic + nutritional yeast +crushed red pepper + S+P, mix well + put in fridge until you’re ready to use
  • Pour your breadcrumbs in a bowl
  • Dunk an eggplant slice in the flax egg, then the breadcrumbs + coat on both sides, arrange on a lined baking sheet
  • Repeat with remaining eggplant slices
  • Bake 20 minutes or until crisp to your desire, flipping once
  • Let cool for a few minutes until you can handle your slices
  • Add a scoop of your tofu cheese to one end of your eggplant slice + roll, arrange in a greased baking dish
  • Repeat
  • Pour sauce on top + bake for 15 minutes
  • Serve warm with basil
  • Put on your cargo pants + pop a rollatini in all your compartments for convenient snacking

Weeknight Pasta

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Y’all know who Gomer Pyle is?

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Not the lovable simpleton from Andy Griffith, I mean the Full Metal Jacket one.

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Well, I have the esteemed privilege of waking up next to him each morning.

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You see, Garrett had to shave his head for work. That perfectly sculpted head of lettuce he’s worked on for the last 5 years is no more. As the locks fell to the ground, so too did my tears. For in its place, stands the biggest bald head you ever did see. I obviously love him not matter how he looks, but it’s just a little shocking. He quickly came around a corner the other day and I screamed. The truth is, we met and fell in love when he was bald so I should really look at this as an opportunity to reminisce on the early years of Garrett and Rachel. Like when I introduced Garr to my father whose first response was, “The man looks like Gomer Pyle.”

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And that was the moment I knew he was the one.

 

 

Time: 30 minutes (prep + cooking) | Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of your favorite pasta
  • 1 can of cannellini beans, rinsed + drained
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 1 package of cherry or grape tomatoes, rinsed + halved
  • 1/4 cup of sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. of capers
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 2 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • S+P, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. of olive oil

How to:

  • Cook pasta to al dente, drain
  • Meanwhile heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat
  • Add cannellini beans + S+P, cook 3-4 minutes,
  • Add garlic, cook another minute
  • Add cherry tomatoes + S+P, cook 3-4 minutes until starting to soften slightly
  • Add sundried tomatoes + capers, cook another 2 minutes
  • Turn heat down, add spinach + crushed red pepper + S+P, cook down about 1-2 minutes
  • Add pasta + 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water, toss + cook 2-3 minutes
  • Serve warm
  • Put on sweats + a face mask + plop your behind down on favie spot on the couch + devour two bowls of pasta before retiring to your chambers by 8pm