Friday, February 18, 2011

Mushroom Broccoli Pasta

The poor meatatarian has been inadvertedly foiled again. I emailed him a copy of this recipe earlier in the week to see if he'd be willing to eat it if I made it. He said yes and I finally had time to cook tonight. Just as we were serving ourselves to eat, he asked me if the dinner had any meat in it. I replied that it didn't, and he just kind of stared at me. Later, I was informed that I could be arrested for serving meatless meals in the province of Alberta. Lucky for me, I'm still on grace time as I haven't yet lived here a year. Viva la vegetarian meals!

The only real problem I had while shopping for this meal was the mushroom measurement: 3 cups, yes, but is that before or after being chopped? BE SPECIFIC, Canadian Living! Some of your anal recipe users need to know stuff like that. I opted for 3-4 large handfuls of uncut mushrooms which translated to about 2.5 cups once chopped. I used reduced-sodium beef broth because I already had some, and I can never be bothered trying to measure the pepper. I just grind a bunch in and stir a lot, repeat if necessary. The only place I added salt was to the pasta water. My parsley was from the squeeze tube and it ended up being about 3/4 of the 1/4 cup. After the two weeks I've just survived at school, you'll have to do that math yourself if you want it measured differently. I also added ~1/4 tsp of italian spices to the mushroom pot for a bit of flavour. I happened to use whole wheat pasta (entire 300g box) although the meatatarian said he doesn't really like the whole wheat pasta because it tastes gritty. Something to keep in mind perhaps?

The recipe tells you to reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta water to add to the mushroom pot with the pasta. However, whether it was because my mushroom mix didn't simmer very well (I had to simmer it longer than the suggested 4 minutes to get the broccoli to soften) or some other reason, I already had plenty of liquid left by the time I added the pasta so I didn't end up using the extra water.

Overall, while the recipe lacks meat, it is tasty and filling. It's got lots of healthy stuff like calcium and vitamin C from the broccoli along with fibre from the whole wheat pasta. I'd make it again, but first I need to finish my last assignment before I can enjoy my Reading Week!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Taco Soup

I'm not really sure why Kraft refers to this recipe as "Taco Soup". Personally, I wouldn't put any of the ingredients (except the cheese and beef, and regular chopped tomato) in a taco. I'd call this soup more of a "runny chili", especially with the Superbowl looming on the horizon this weekend. I guess their title sounds more appealing or something.

I did a few alterations with this recipe. I used up the last of the beef stock (with 25% less sodium, huzzah!) that was in the fridge (just shy of 2.25 cups in total) in lieu of water, the cheese is marble because I already had it, I used a can of corn instead of frozen, my taco seasoning was some mexican stuff meant for eggs that I got for free from an egg farmer at the Stampede last summer, and my tomato products both came with fancy spices and such things in them.

My version turned out pretty well. If I could remember not to rub my eyes before washing my hands while chopping onions, it would probably be even better. It's got good flavour (I was a bit worried the Stampede mexican stuff would overpower everything) and it's hearty to fill me up. High in fibre too! I recommend that on a regular basis. I don't, however, recommend editing an assignment due tomorrow morning while cooking dinner...