I was excited to participate in the Recipe Redux and Libby’s Speedy Starters & Sides recipe challenge to use one of the brand’s soon-to-be-released* microwaveable veggie pouches to create a 10-minute-or-less starter, salad, or side dish.

*January 2015 (although I did spot them in Publix last week here in Alabama…)reciperedux_libbys

But I must admit I was a little skeptical when they arrived.IMG_4095 (1280x853)

While canned corn can work in a tasty chowder, beets taste great from a can, I love (Libby’s actually) canned sauerkraut, and even canned potatoes have their place in one of Stepmama Smart’s quick and easy soup dishes…given a choice, I prefer my preserved vegetables to be frozen. (Or pickled. But that’s another story.)

And these looked a lot like mushy canned vegetables to me.IMG_4074 (1280x853)

True, these pouches save space in the pantry, cook in less than a minute, and are environmentally friendly….but I remained hesitant.

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Until I made this Warm Caribbean-Spiced Apple & Corn Salad in all of 7 minutes. And then, Libby and her sweet, sweet corn totally won me over.IMG_4154 (1280x853)

Corn seems so summery, but pairing it with apples and warming Caribbean-inspired spices like cinnamon, ginger, and allspice helps it transition into fall.IMG_4127 (1280x853)The corn was crisp, not mushy at all, and tasted surprisingly fresh for having come out of a vacuum sealed bag.

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I used this Jamaican Jerk Seasoning recipe as inspiration, although you could substitute your own favorite Caribbean inspired seasoning if you so desired. It might seem like a lot of ingredients, but that’s really all just using one measuring spoon (or eyeballing) to dip into a whole lot of spices you’ve more than likely got on hand….and you’ll want to have them if you don’t already.

IMG_4099 (1280x853)

All you need is one microwaveable safe bowl, one knife, and a durable counter cutting board. Not only is prep easy, so is cleaning up. (And that’s saying something coming from the one-woman whirlwind with a knife that is me.)IMG_4110 (1280x853)

(Note: Make sure to use a crisp, tart apple, good for cooking, but NOT for applesauce. No McIntosh allowed. I used a locally grown Arkansas Black.)IMG_4120 (1280x853)

We know looks can be deceiving….perhaps its time to rethink our prejudice of the shelf-stable vegetable?IMG_4190 (1280x853)

Warm Caribbean-Spiced Apple & Corn Salad

[Makes 2 1/2 cups]

  • 1 pouch Libby’s microwaveable sweet corn (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup finely diced crisp, tart apple
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Caribbean Seasoning Blend: 

  • 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. curry powder (optional)
  • pinch of allspice
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  1. Combine all seasonings in the bottom of a microwave-safe mixing bowl.
  2. Add apple, stirring well to coat.
  3. Put both the Libby’s microwaveable veggie pouch of sweet corn kernels, and the bowl with apples and seasonings, into the microwave.
  4. Cook on HIGH for 50 seconds.
  5. Remove bowl and pouch from the microwave.
  6. Pinch corner of pouch and pour out liquid to drain. Pour corn (and any remaining liquid) directly into the bowl.
  7. Stir corn into seasoned apples.
  8. Add cilantro, stirring well to incorporate.
  9. Enjoy alone, or as an accompaniment to grilled meats or fish.

“I received free samples of Libby’s new Vegetable Pouches mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Libby’s and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”


Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery is releasing gluten-free ciabatta rolls, and they kindly asked if I would like to not only try them, but create a fabulous new recipe with them–IMG_4212 (1280x853)

—and THEN give away a prize pack including:

  • One bag of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery Rosemary Olive Oil Ciabatta Rolls
  • One bag of Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery Plain Ciabatta Rolls
  • Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery Apron
  • John Boos 18-by-12-Inch Reversible Maple Cutting Board
  • Spectrum Organic Mediterranean Olive Oil
  • Spectrum Organic Balsamic Vinegar
  • Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery Oven Mitt*

*Starting November 4th, Rudi’s is also giving away 100 oven mitts on their Facebook page.


I had 96 hours.

The choice was obvious:IMG_4561 (1280x853)

Challenge accepted.

IMG_4574 (1280x853)

Luckily, The Professor and I were planning a little gathering which I thought of as a celebratory fall dinner and he thought of as a football-and-meat party. Regardless, I was going to also use it as a testing ground for my recipe creation.IMG_20141102_071221

Although I had toyed with a different idea–and may use the plain ciabatta rolls to bring to life later—reading the November issue of Cooking Light at the gym on Saturday morning inspired an apple stuffing-stuffed roll idea….cookinglightnovember_applestuffing

…and when you’ve got apple, you might as well add some delicious local pear to the mix, no?IMG_4499 (1280x853)

A little celery, a little onion, and a whole lot of dried herbs and seasonings…IMG_4507 (1280x853)

…what one of my guests referred to as “twice baked potatoes..but with stuffing, in rolls.”IMG_4568 (1280x853)

They smelled like Thanksgiving-so, delicious–and were greeted by an “Oh my goodness!” from one of the guys.IMG_4562 (1280x853)

(Hopefully he wasn’t referring to a great play in the game.)IMG_4581 (1280x853)

Gluten-Free Savory Apple & Pear Twice-Baked Ciabatta Rolls

  • 1 package frozen Rudi’s Gluten-Free Rosemary & Olive Oil Ciabatta Rolls
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced Granny Smith apple
  • 1/2 cup diced firm, ripe pear
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4 tsp. dried rubbed sage
  • salt + pepper (to taste)
  • 3/4 cup (gluten-free) vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a small pan over medium heat, saute onion and celery in olive oil for 2-3 minutes , until fragrant and beginning to soften.
  3. Add apples, pears, and dried herbs to the pan, stirring well.
  4. Cook 3-5 minutes, stirring regularly, until apples and pears are soft but not mushy.*
  5. Remove rolls from the freezer and place directly onto a baking sheet.
  6. Bake rolls four 4 minutes and remove pan from the oven.
  7. Use a serrated knife to cut the tops, lengthwise, off of the rolls. Use your fingers to scoop out the inside of each roll, tearing into pieces and putting in a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  8. Stir together bread, vegetable broth, and apple-pear mixture. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
  9. Scoop stuffing back into the bread ‘bowls.’ Sprinkle with walnuts if desired.
  10. Bake 6 more minutes, or until heated through.
  11. Serve immediately (to much applause).

*You may complete all steps until this one in advance. Just don’t preheat the oven!


Want to WIN that amazing prize pack?

Just tell me your favorite Thanksgiving side dish.

Mine is actually sweet potatoes….with no marshmallows, only pecan streusel.


What do you do when you come home to find half of a pumpkin on the floor of the kitchen?IMG_20141031_151229

First, you feel happy that the hard work has been done for you with regards to carving the same pumpkin* that you carve every year

*He’s just more of a mask is all.IMG_20141031_181129

Secondly, you realize that you probably should have asked yourself why there was half a pumpkin on the floor of the kitchen in the first place.

(Answer: The Professor has decided smoking a pumpkin will be a yearly tradition.)IMG_20141031_175542_335 (1280x720)

Third, in the name of preventing food waste–a cause for which you have somehow become the local torchbearer—you will remove all the seeds from the guts—

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—and go through the necessary rinsing, straining, drying procedures.IMG_4505 (1280x853)

I recommend toasting at 300 degrees for 45 minutes, and definitely don’t settle for one type when you could have two: salt and pepper* and a sweet, sugary pumpkin pie spice.**

*Nice nod to the 90s on that one.

**Actually apple pie spice plus ginger.IMG_4559 (1280x853)

Then you take those guts, puree them up with a whole bunch of curry powder, cumin, cooked onion, garlic, and some red pepper flakes (and some almond milk for consistency purposes)…IMG_4474 (1280x853)

…heat it up, top it with apples,* and serve it to your friends.

*Crucial to the success of the dish.IMG_4523 (1280x853) (2)

Please note, I did not say to The Professor, as he thinks eating pumpkin guts will kill you.

Guess what? I’m still alive.


White Bean Masala Sauce

by Sarah on October 29, 2014 · 0 comments

So, after the repeated success with making white bean gravy, I started to wonder if there was another way I could sneak beans into The Professor’s diet use white beans to make creamy non-dairy sauces.IMG_3959 (1280x853)

And after cooking up some local eggplant and zucchini, I discovered that white beans make a fabulous Indian curry.IMG_3996 (1280x853)

I actually never know what to call Indian-flavored “curries,” but apparently tikka masala is generally creamy, spicy, and orange…so I went with that.


Sadly,*I ate this without The Professor, so there is no way to know if an unknowing participant in your dinner would recognize the flavor of the white beans, but I didn’t. I just devoured it. :)

*Although maybe not for him.IMG_4022 (1280x853)

Vegetable Curry with White Bean Masala Sauce

(Serves 4-6)

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp, minced fresh ginger
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5-6 cups chopped vegetables (eggplant, zucchini, bell pepper, peas, roasted potatoes, etc.)
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz. can Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. curry powder, separated
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin (optional)
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • s +p
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  1. Saute onion, ginger, and garlic in oil over medium-low heat in a large, wide brimmed sauce pan.
  2. Once onions begin to soften, add chopped vegetables and cover, adding a smidge of water to the pan to help steam, if necessary.
  3. In a food processor, combine white beans, vegetable broth, and 2 tsp. curry powder. Process until smooth.
  4. Add 2 tsp. curry powder, 1/2 tsp. cumin, and 1/2 tsp. garam masala to the vegetables, stirring well to cover.
  5. Once vegetables are fork tender, stir in tomatoes.
  6. Poor white bean curry sauce into the pan, stirring well.
  7. Bring to a simmer. Cook 3-5 minutes.
  8. Stir in cilantro and add remaining seasoning, if desired.
  9. Serve over rice or with naan.

IMG_4014 (1280x853)


Smoky Roasted Corn Chowder (Vegan)

by Sarah on October 27, 2014 · 0 comments

Maybe it was the lingering memory of eating Panera’s Summer Corn Chowder on a porch in Boston with my family this summer?IMG_3972 (1280x853)

Maybe it was the printout of Whole Foods’ Monkfish Chowder recipe staring at me from the pile of random papers–you know you have one–stacked by my computer on my desk the dining table?monkfish chowder

Maybe it’s all the candy corn everywhere?IMG_20141019_165600

Either way, this girl was going to make some chowder.

And it was going to be corn(y).*

*You love me.IMG_4035 (1280x852)

Granted, in much the same way that “stir fry” in The Smart Kitchen really means sauteeing vegetables in some form of Asian-influence sauce, “chowder” just means “thick soup.”IMG_3930 (1280x853)

Sure, I could have tried to defrost the 18,000 pounds of local bacon The Professor has in the freezer for some meat emrgency he is apparently stocking up on…but I went with smoked paprika, cumin, and chili powder—IMG_3938 (1280x853)

—along with roasted (previously frozen) corn–to give me a somewhat smoky smokey smoky smokey smoky flavor instead.


Of course, in a weird, the universe is functioning in reverse kind of way, the smoky smokey smoky subtle heat from the spices actually mellowed over time, whereas usually soups stews chowders are begging for a few days in the fridge to intensify, it seems that sweet corn might just get sweeter.IMG_3941 (1280x853)

Like a small child trying to get away with something she was definitely NOT supposed to do?IMG_4038 (1280x853)

The only thing I covered up was the vegan-ness of this dish, but either The Professor didn’t notice, or he’s just begun to assume that–in another strange twist of cruel universal forces--the only time I cook meat is when he’s not hereIMG_4027 (1280x853)

…because this was the first time since the rice incident that he’s actually said “That was good,” without any prompting from me. Huzzah!IMG_4030 (1280x851)

Smoky Roasted Corn Chowder

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 14.75-oz. can cream-style corn
  • 1 2/3 cup frozen sweet corn
  • s + p
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • dash of chili powder
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup unsweetened plain almond (or soy) milk
  • 2 Tbsp. masa corn flour (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 Tbsp. lime juice
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spread frozen corn in an even layer on a baking sheet. Spray with cooking spray and season with pepper. Roast for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.
  3. Saute onion, garlic, and bell pepper in olive oil over medium heat in a large soup pot or Dutch oven.
  4. Once onions begin to brown, stir cream-style corn into the pot.
  5. Add salt, pepper, smoked paprika, cumin, and chili powder. Stir well to mix.
  6. Cook until cream-style corn begins to simmer.
  7. Stir in vegetable broth and almond milk. Return to a simmer.
  8. Whisk in masa corn flour, if using.
  9. Stir 1 1/2 cups roasted corn (eyeball about 3/4 of the corn) into the chowder.
  10. Use an immersion blender until creamy, but still full of texture.
  11. Stir in remaining corn and cilantro.
  12. Return to a simmer and cook until thickened, stirring bottom of the pot regularly.



Creamy Ranch White Bean & Yogurt Dip

by Sarah on October 23, 2014 · 1 comment

 As a part of Siggi’s Culture Club, I not only get to share the love of Siggis yogurt with my friends–both real and virtual–I also have the opportunity to participate in monthly challenges (usually not promoted openly online).IMG_3891 (1280x853)

This month’s challenge was to Try a Siggi’s recipe! which, was obviously not something I could pass up.IMG_3831 (1280x853)

Of course, as I looked through the multitude of intriguing, tested recipes on their website, I realized that as much as I obviously wasn’t going to skip this challenge, I also obviously wasn’t going to be able to stick 100% to a recipe.

Can I ever do that?

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So instead, I combined the concept of a creamy ranch dressing with a creamy yogurt hummus…

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…which I think is just the best of all worlds.

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(Because really, how does one NOT find strange joy in Ranch dressing, even though you just know it can’t be doing good things to your veins. It just can’t. Especially when you pair it with cheesy breadsticks and consume it after midnight in a dorm room. Not that I ever did that as a first year in college or anything.)IMG_3868 (1280x853)If you aren’t using Ranch* to, you know, actually eat a salad (or dip pizza into?), then you probably will find it alongside carrots and celery sticks on a small (or bigger) child’s dinner plate, so, I guess it makes sense to pair Ranch-flavored white bean yogurt dip with those same crudite.

*Why does that seem to require capitalization?IMG_3902 (1280x853)

Although it tastes really good with roasted (white sweet) potatoes, too. Maybe because it tastes a bit like sour cream & onion potato chips?IMG_3920 (1280x845)

Creamy Ranch White Bean & Yogurt Dip

  • 1 15-oz. can Great Northern (or other white) beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/4 cup plain  Siggis Icelandic-style yogurt*
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-2 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. dried chives
  • 2 Tbsp. dried parsley leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. dried dill
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. salt

*May substitute plain Greek yogurt

Combine beans and yogurt in a food processor. Process until smooth.

Add garlic, vinegar, and seasonings. Process until well-blended.

Serve with carrots and celery…or get creative. (Potatoes?)IMG_3915 (1280x853)


Preparatory thoughts for this month’s Recipe Redux were perfectly timed with The Professor’s first (and let’s hope, last) cold-and-flu-like illness of the season.IMG_3712 (1280x853)

The theme for this month’s virtual recipe potluck was Spooky Spices, and, although two moves in two years had actually forced me to toss a lot of those spooktacular spices I never quite knew what to do with.recipereduxSPICES (960x479)

….there was one sitting up in the cabinet untouched, mostly still there because I’d inherited it from a roommate who used it once, after I convinced her to buy it, being so obsessed with my two other “You can only get them at TJMaxx” spice blends from Victoria Gourmet.

It wasn’t FEAR, but guilt that kept me holding on.

But I NEVER used it. EVER.IMG_3752 (1280x853)

So when The Professor took sick, it struck me that this was too eerie of a coincidence to ignore: after all, when you are sick and congested you need soup…and soup featuring sinus-clearing citrus and peppery spice can only be a boon to your recovery, no?IMG_3706 (1280x853)

Garlic, onion, and ginger, are all quite healing as well, of course. And I purposefully used chicken over veggie broth, since something in the chicken is good for curing what ails you.


Of course, when The Professor said, “Soup would be good, what I heard was, “Please feed me all the veggies.

I restrained myself.

A little bit.IMG_20141011_125710

And yes, I roasted the carrots and parsnips and onion separately. It probably didn’t make a flavor difference….but maybe it did.IMG_3709 (1280x853)

All I know is The Professor consumed at least 6 bowls of this….and he’s no longer sick.

So I guess this Halloween-themed spice magic worked?IMG_3714 (1280x853)

Healing Lemon Pepper Roots & Greens Soup

  • 2 cups sliced/chopped carrots
  • 2 cups sliced/chopped parsnips
  • 1 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
  • 4-6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 4-6 cups chopped fresh kale (or 2 cups frozen)
  • 1 Tbsp. no-salt lemon pepper
  • salt, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Toss together carrots, parsnips, and onion in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Roast carrots and parsnips for 30-45 minutes, just until fork tender. (May be longer depending on your chop size and oven calibration.)
  4. In a large Dutch oven or soup pot, heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil over medium heat.
  5. Cook garlic and ginger for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant.
  6. Add kale and 1 cup broth to the pot. Cook until wilted (or thawed, if using frozen).
  7. Add lemon pepper and remaining broth to pot. Bring to a boil.
  8. Stir in roasted root vegetables, and reduce heat to a simmer.
  9. Serve immediately, or allow flavors to develop for a few hours (with heat off) or overnight.


My New Favorite 5-Second Salad Dressing

by Sarah on October 16, 2014 · 1 comment

IMG_3758 (1280x853)1 part spicy brown mustard 


2-3 parts roasted pine nut hummus 


a splash of tamari (or liquid aminos) 


water to desired consistencyIMG_3760 (1280x853)

I’m not saying it’s fancy, or that it doesn’t probably end up having proportionally high sodium levels or some other nutritionally criminal quality…IMG_20141013_140806

….but I AM saying it tastes amazing on salad, and leftover salmon, and white sweet potatoes (which re actually yellow), and roasted veggies, and even one time this week I drizzled it on okra and then mixed it into a tomato bean soupy type concoction that was really ugly, but quite flavorful.IMG_20141015_133126_608 (1279x1280)

I just felt like I should share.IMG_3759 (1280x853)



North African Black Eyed Pea Stew

by Sarah on October 13, 2014 · 6 comments

My kitchen is a little excessively stocked with produce. For some reason I haven’t managed to accept the reality that many weeks I eat very few meals at home, and instead rely on chopped veggies, hummus, and crackers that I remembered to bring with me to the office, or handfuls of granola and trail mix that I keep stashed there.

Yet I keep stocking up on Costco-quantities of fruits and vegetables.IMG_20141006_165220

And how can I say no to the farmers’ market? I mean…really.IMG_20141011_074857

So when I found myself with two new eggplants, and a zucchini that I had never managed to cook from the week before, my mind flirted with ratatouille* but then recalled a dish I’d made in Austin but had never made again.

*See: Costco bag of bell peppers that is still unopened in my fridge.IMG_3812 (1280x853)

Not that I ever made many dishes again. Life as a constant blogger means you are constantly trying NEW things.IMG_3722 (1280x853)

But I’m no longer a constant blogger.IMG_3729 (1280x853)

So I no longer have that problem. :) IMG_3747 (1280x853)

This recipe was based on a tagine from the Tastes of Africa cookbook Papa Smart brought me back from Africa a few years ago.IMG_6571 (1280x854)

I left out the mushrooms this time to appease The Professor’s tastebuds.IMG_6575 (1280x854)

[I was already pushing my luck with a stew featuring cinnamon and the new inclusion of black-eyed peas.]IMG_3744 (1280x851)

The black-eyed pea fixation had appeared at some point this week, and I was determined to use the can I had in the pantry. Luckily, I found a recipe for Moroccan Ful Gnaoua that had the same spices…so I knew it had to work.IMG_3753 (1280x853)

And work it did.IMG_3814 (1280x854)

Now, I can’t 100% say the same about the cornbread I made to go with it. But when you substitute corn flour for corn meal, and bananas for applesauce, you’re bound to have slight texture issues.IMG_3807 (1280x852)

It didn’t really matter though, since the cornbread’s sole job was to soak up the subtly spicy stew beside it.

And it did that very, very well. :)

IMG_3808 (1280x853)

North African Black Eyed Pea Stew

(Serves 6-8)

  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. minced ginger
  • 2 cups chopped onion (1 medium)
  • 4 cups chopped eggplant (1 medium)
  • 3 cups chopped zucchini (1 large)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 15-oz. can black eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 14.5-oz can no salt added diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika + 2 tsp. sweet paprika (or 1 Tbsp. paprika)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic, ginger, and onion. Cook until beginning to soften.
  3. Add eggplant, zucchini, and 1/4 cup vegetable broth to the pot. Cover and cook 3-5 minutes.
  4. Add remaining broth, black eyed peas, tomatoes, and all seasonings, except cilantro.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer until everything is cooked through. (Flavor only gets better over the afternoon…so go ahead and turn off the heat and just let it SIT until dinner if you like.)
  7. Stir in cilantro before serving.

When I saw that the theme of the latest Recipe Redux contest, sponsored with the National Pasta Association to celebrate National Pasta Month, was “Pasta Fits,” I knew I had to enter.recipereduxNPA

After all, the one thing I can make that I know The Professor will happily eat–and what only a few days earlier, I can be quoted as saying I’d forgotten how much I loved–is pasta.IMG_3676 (1280x852)

Pasta really DOES fit-–not only into a busy schedule, but into the lives of two people of differing food natures–one adventurous and vegetarian-leaning, the other more satisfied by something hearty, simple, and familiar.Pasta-Fits

Inspired by the idea of combining these two outlooks into one, healthy, comforting dish, I took an old favorite from my vegan days–white bean gravy–and made a twist on traditional pot pie:IMG_3698 (1280x853)

I kept the flavors the same, but changed the mode of delivery.IMG_3638 (1280x853)

After all, making biscuits from scratch requires a whole lot of time I don’t have, and whole wheat pasta is a quicker and healthier (!) base for a myriad of toppings and sauces…IMG_3660 (1280x853)

….so why not pot pie?IMG_3642 (1280x853)

Or should I say….pot pasta?IMG_3702 (1280x853)

[Don't be scared by the list of ingredients for the gravy. It takes all of 10 minutes to make, and can be made in advance and stored in the fridge for a day or two (or probably three). The flavor just gets better with time.]IMG_3619 (1280x853)

White Bean Gravy

(Makes about 2 cups)

  • 1 15.5-oz can great northern (or other white) beans
  • 1 cup vegetable broth*
  • 1 tsp. liquid aminos, soy sauce, or tamari
  • 3 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 Tbsp. dried rubbed sage
  • 1/2 Tbsp. dried whole thyme
  • 1 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. seasoned salt
  • 3/4 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin

*For a thicker gravy, reduce the amount of broth to 1/2 cup and add more if desired. However, if you use it for the full recipe, it will thicken as it cooks.

IMG_3626 (1280x853)

  1. Combine beans, broth, and liquid aminos/soy sauce in a food processor or blender.
  2. Process until smooth.
  3. Add remaining ingredients. Blend well.
  4. Adjust seasonings to taste.IMG_3704 (1280x853)

Pot Pie Pasta

(Serves 4)

  • 1 recipe White Bean Gravy
  • 1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1  1/2 cups finely diced button or baby bella mushroms (may substitute 1 8-oz. can sliced mushrooms, drained)
  • s + p
  • 8 oz. whole wheat farfalle (or other wheat pasta of your choice)
  1. Spray carrots and onion with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Roast at 400 degrees until fork tender (about 20 minutes depending on the size of your slices).
  3. Put white bean gravy into a sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Stir in mushrooms, peas, and carrots.
  4. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
  5. Toss drained pasta in gravy vegetable mixture.
  6. Dig in!