Fake Fettuccine with Lemon Sauce and Spinach and Cherry Tomatoes

I’ve been trying to use up a giant container of meyer lemons that I bought at costco last week. I had timed the purchase wrong, forgetting that we had a bunch of evening events preventing cooking. So, when I HAVE been cooking, I am all lemon lemon LEMON!  There has been some lemon chicken, and some larb-ish thai chicken (with lemon), a lemon buerre blanc sauce over fish.

One of my resolutions this year has been to eat vegetarian at least one dinner a week (I have plenty of vegetarian lunches; dinner has been the hard change) so I thought this was the perfect opportunity. Though some rotisserie chicken meat or spicy sausage would have been spectacular in this, too.

A few weeks ago I bought an alternative to my favorite black bean pasta…mung bean fettuccine: a green and more textured flat noodle. And so when I saw these recipes yesterday, I knew I wanted to do something similar. Hubs doesn’t like food that is too rich, too creamy or too cheesy…so this was going to be all about the balance.

And I forgot to take pictures…like a doof. And it was beautiful!

Ingredients:

  • half package of mung bean fettuccine
  • juice of two meyer lemons (and the zest)
  • one tablespoon butter
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
  • 3/4 cup of fresh grated parmesan
  • hefty pinch of red pepper flakes
  • teaspoon olive oil
  • large red shallot, sliced
  • cup of cherry tomatoes
  • packed cup of fresh spinach leaves

Prepare the fake fettuccine according to package. Add a good amount of salt and pepper to the water as the mung bean can be a bit bland without it.

In a large pan, heat the oil and add sliced shallots. We like our shallots a bit crispy. Cook yours to taste. Put the butter into the pan and, once melted, add the lemon juice, zest, salt, pepper and pepper flakes. Mix this with the cooked onions. Add the tomatoes and let them warm and soften, stirring often. Grate the cheese over the mixture in the pan and mix. Take the pan off of the heat and add the yogurt. Mix thoroughly. Using tongs, gently put the fettuccine into the pan allowing some of the pasta water (a few drips per bunch) to join the sauce. Add the spinach and use the heat from the pasta to gently wilt the spinach. Divide into bowls and add more of the parmesan and red pepper flakes. Serve.

I devoured this. It was a powerhouse of lemon-y goodness tempered with the smoothness and tang of the yogurt and the saltiness of the cheese. Hubs was drinking the sauce once his pasta was gone. I highly recommend this.

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Quick and Easy Broccoli Soup

I’m not feeling so hot today and, despite the heat, I really wanted something warm and packed with good stuff for lunch. The soups I had on hand were just not doing it for me…and all I could think about was broccoli soup. Considering I wasn’t going out and was hungry NOW, I decided to make up a quick and easy broccoli soup recipe.

  • 1 12 oz. bag of frozen, steam in the bag broccoli florets (I like Birds Eye)
  • half of a yellow onion loosely chopped
  • 1 cup of chicken stock (I used one Pacific Natural Foods 8 oz carton)
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax
  • shredded mozzarella cheese to taste
  • dash of paprika to finish

This takes about 10 minutes total, maybe less. This recipe serves two.

Put broccoli in microwave for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, chop onion and add to a teaspoon of hot olive oil in heavy bottomed pot. Salt and pepper the onion while it cooks until soft. Once soft, add the stock, yogurt, chia seeds, flax and stir. The broccoli will finish right about then. Tear open the bag and add it to the pot, liquids and all. Turn off the heat. With a hand blender, turning the pot at an angle, puree the mixture until blended to your desired consistency. I don’t mind a little bit of chunk so this went very quickly for me. Dish it into bowls and then top with the mozzarella and paprika. Very satisfying, healthy and it took about as much time as it would take to make a sandwich.

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