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

Butternut Squash Stuffed Shells

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Y’all know I used to be president of the international Twilight fan club?

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I mean, not literally, but basically.

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I saw the first movie eight (!!!) times in theaters. Looking back, I’m not sure how I afforded this lifestyle considering I was 17 & made minimum wage working at a children’s shoe store……..I digress.

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This weekend, Garr & I took a trip to Forks, WA, the setting of my beloved Twilight. The entire three hours there I was like a combination of the emoji that is grinning really big & the one that is crying & the other that has his tongue out. So many emotions! I was going to see the town that spawned one of my 73 high school identities!!! It wasn’t until we arrived and cruised down main street that we realized there was nothing to do there and none of the movie scenes were actually filmed there………………………..This is what happens when you put me in charge of the adventure, OK?!

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Still introduced myself as Bella to everyone, haters say whatttttt.

 

 

Time: 1 1/2 hours (prep + cooking) | Serves: 3-4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 package of jumbo shells, about 18 shells
  • 1/2 lb. of butternut squash, cubed
  • 1/2 cups of raw cashews, soaked overnight
  • 1 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2-3 cups of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup firm tofu
  • 1/2 tsp. of lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. of crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp. of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. of italian seasoning
  • S+P, to taste
  • 3 tbsp. of olive oil

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Wrap tofu in a clean dishcloth + set a heavy pot on top, let water drain for at least 15 minutes
  • Toss squash with 1 tbsp. of olive oil + cinnamon + S+P
  • Arrange on a lined baking sheet in an even layer
  • Bake for 25 minutes
  • Meanwhile, combine cashews + garlic + lemon juice + 1 cup of water + 1/2 tsp. of crushed red pepper + S+P in a food processor until smooth, set aside
  • Heat another tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over low-medium heat
  • Add spinach + S+P, cook for 3-4 minutes or until wilted
  • Once cool, drain excess water from spinach + roughly chop
  • Crumble tofu + add to a bowl with chopped spinach + lemon zest + remaining crushed red pepper + italian seasoning + cup of the cashew cream + S+P
  • Cook pasta to al dente, drain
  • Once cool, stuff pasta with the spinach mix + some butternut squash
  • Repeat + arrange in a baking dish that has some cashew cream spread on it
  • Drizzle with remaining olive oil
  • Bake for 15 minutes
  • Drizzle remaining cashew cream on top
  • Serve hot
  • Fill up bath tub with water + place leftover pasta boats in tub + play battleship

 

This was Love & Lemons top recipe of 2016 & I had to try it! Original recipe here:

https://www.loveandlemons.com/vegan-butternut-squash-stuffed-shells/

Orzo + Cauliflower Salad

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I went to Chick-fil-A in my bathrobe last night. There were slippers involved.

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Technically, that’s why they invented drive throughs, right? To fuel our laziness?

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I just needed a milkshake, OK? It wasn’t a particularly tough day. In fact, it was downright pleasant. I couldn’t just end my perfectly pleasant day by going home and doing my yoga & self-loathing & calling it a day, could I? No! I deserved a sweet treat for going an entire day with a semi-positive attitude. It just wasn’t until after I bathed that I realized how desperately I needed one. So I just went. Terry cloth-clad and all.

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Seeing as I don’t eat chicken, it’s been a few moons since I’ve visited a good ole Chick-fil-A. Of course I choose cow night to make my grand entrance. You know, the night Chick-fil-A offers free nuggets if you show up dressed like an actual moo-cow. That place was a farm (get it?!). Screaming children with felt circles pinned to their white shirts just running a muck. It wasn’t just for kids, though. I saw one lady in a floor-length cow print dress. Another had fashioned some cow print flappy ears to her head. The level of commitment was truly impressive.

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So thank you, Chick-fil-A, for allowing us to all be our most free selves with you.

 

 

Time: 1 hour (prep + cooking) | Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of orzo
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut in florets
  • 1/2 of a red onion, sliced thin
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 4 cups of spinach
  • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup of feta cheese
  • 5 tbsp. of olive oil
  • 3 tbsp. of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. of honey
  • 1 tbsp. of dijon mustard
  • S+P, to taste

How to:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  • In a bowl, combine cauliflower + 3 tbsp. of olive oil + garlic + S+P
  • Arrange on a lined baking sheet + bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring once in the middle
  • Meanwhile, cook pasta until slightly under al dente
  • Drain + add to a bowl with a tbsp. of olive oil
  • Meanwhile, combine remaining olive oil + honey + dijon + lemon juice + S+P in a small bowl
  • To the orzo bowl, add roasted cauliflower + spinach + onion + cranberries + feta + dressing + extra S+P
  • Serve room temperature or cool
  • Shrink self + climb into serving bowl, you will want to roll around in this silkiness

Idea from my girl Chrissy!

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/recipe/roasted-cauliflower-feta-orzo-salad-chrissy-teigen-37229463