Cavatappi with Spinach, Garbanzo Beans, and Feta

Cavatappi with Spinach, Garbanzo Beans, and FetaHaving a dinner party and want to impress your guests? Or, are you looking to spice up your family’s dinner routine? Try this amazing Mediterranean recipe for any occasion. Filled with salty, savory, sour, bitter, and sweet, tastes, it will leave mouths wanting more!

Serving Information

  • Total time it will take to prepare the meal: 5 Minutes
  • Total time it will take to cook the meal: 27 Minutes
  • Total Time: Approximately 32 Minutes

The recipe below will make about 12 servings. Cavatappi with Spinach, Garbanzo Beans, and Feta is a great source of protein, as this dish offers 12.1 grams of protein. It is also rich in dietary fiber, with 6 grams. And, one serving is only about 328 calories.

What You Will Need to Make Cavatappi with Spinach, Garbanzo Beans, and Feta

  • 10 cups chopped spinach
  • 12 ounces uncooked cavatappi
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumpled
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 cans of garbanzo beans, or white beans (you can also add chick peas and/or white beans. It is your preference)
  • 5 garlic cloves

Directions: How To Make Cavatappi with Spinach, Garbanzo Beans, and Feta

  1. In a large pot, add 5 quarts of water.
  2. Turn heat on high.
  3. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of salt into pot of water.
  4. Bring water to a boil. (Hint: Covering the pot with a lid helps to bring the water to a boil faster.)
  5. Add the 12 ounces to cavatappi to the boiling pot of water.
  6. Do not rely on the back of the box for cook time. Most of the time Cavatappi will be cooked in 8-10 minutes, however you should begin taste testing the past after 4-5 minutes. Cook until pasta is at desired texture. Some people prefer pasta to be cooked “al dente,” where pasta is slightly chewy, but it will not have a hard center. However, other people prefer pasta to be more soft.
  7. Once pasta is at desired consistency, strain immediately.
  8. Put pasta back in the pot and add ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil.
  9. Add the 10 cups of chopped spinach.
  10. Then, add the two cans of garbanzo beans.
  11. Use a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients, making sure the beans and spinach are well dispersed with the pasta.
  12. Add the cup of feta cheese.
  13. Add the 3 tablespoons of lemon juice
  14. Add the 5 garlic cloves
  15. Add the ¼ teaspoon of fresh ground pepper.
  16. Mix pasta and ingredients well.
  17. Serve and enjoy!

This recipe is a favorite for many and suits many tastes. Try using chick peas instead of garbanzo beans for a different texture. Also, for those who a feta fans, feel free to add more feta to please you and your guests tastes! This dish can be served warm or cool, yet many seem to prefer warm.

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Vegetarian Recipes for a Week Long Meal Plan

Vegetarian Recipes for a Week Long Meal PlanMany people believe that being a vegetarian means a limited menu. Those that are vegitarians know that this is not always the case, especially if you know where the good restaurants are and how to cook great vegetarian meals at home. Here is a weeks worth of dinner ideas for any vegetarian.

Monday: Quinoa Salad

End Monday on a good note with a nourishing quinoa salad! Follow this recipe:

  1. Cook 2 cups of red or confetti quinoa.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator until cool.
  3. Add one cup of cooked black beans
  4. Add one cup of cilantro
  5. Add ¼ cup of chiffonaded basil leaves (fresh)
  6. Add 1 large red onion (chopped)
  7. Add three large nectarines, sliced or chopped into bite-sized chunks
  8. Add olive oil and salt
  9. Use a balsamic dressing or a vinaigrette

Taco Tuesday: Taco Bake

Have taco Tuesday at home with this great vegetarian recipe!

  1. Peel and pit 4 large avocados. Use a fork to mash into chunks, you do not want them completely mashed.
  2. Add 6 ounces of fresh salsa. (Mild, medium, or hot, your preference)
  3. Add 1 onion, chopped,
  4. Add taco seasoning (Trader Joes has vegan seasoning)
  5. Add 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  6. Add ½ teaspoon coriander
  7. Use this filling to fill 12 crunchy taco shells
  8. Put in a baking pan and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 minutes.
  9. Serve with sour cream

Wednesday: Vegetable Stir Fry:

In a greased non-stick sauce-pan add the following ingredients over medium/high heat.

  1. Red pepper sliced
  2. 1 Green pepper sliced
  3. 1 Orange pepper sliced (optional)
  4. 1 yellow onion chopped
  5. 4 cups broccoli
  6. 4 cups white mushrooms
  7. 1 can water chesnuts (optional)
  8. Put the lid on the pan and let cook over medium heat for 8 minutes.
  9. Meanwhile, cook 8 ounces of rice. This can be Uncle Ben’s 90 second rice, or if you prefer to make it yourself, feel free.
  10. Add 2 cups of no-cook teriyaki sauce to your vegetables.
  11. Serve vegetables over rice.

Thursday: Spinach, tomato, grilled cheese (on a bagel)

  1. Grill an everything bagel
  2. Add 2 pieces of cheddar cheese, let melt
  3. Add desired amount of spinach
  4. Add 2 slices of tomato
  5. Serve open faced or eat as a sandwich.

Friday: Tomato, basil, and Mozzarella Pizza

On a premade crust or flatbread, use a brush to paint on extra virgin olive oil. Then add thinly sliced tomatoes and mozeralla cheese, in equal parts to pizza. Place in oven and cook at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 7 minutes. Drizzle with balsamic dressing and enjoy!

Saturday: Buffalo Chick Pea Wraps

Cook 2 cups of chickpeas in ¼ cup of Franks hot sauce. Spread vegan mayo on large romain lettuce leafs. Add chick peas onto lettuce leafs. Drizzle apple cider vinegar over leafs. Add desired about of celery and onion to leaves. Sprinkle with salt and enjoy!

Sunday: Tomato & Artichoke Lentil Soup

Sunday is the day of rest, so don’t spend the day cooking in the kitchen. Simply add these ingredients to your crockpot, let it cook on low heat for 4-6 hours, and enjoy for dinner time!

  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 4cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cans fire roasted whole tomatoes
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts
  • ½ bunch Tuscan kale

Serve with Parmesan cheese and enjoy!

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Quick Vegetarian Dinners

Quick Vegetarian Dinners

If you cringe at the words “vegetarian dinner” it’s OK.  Unfortunately, that term brings to mind foods one might consider less than savory.  Well don’t worry, you aren’t going to be subjected of a meal consisting solely of carrots.  And there is also a big difference between vegetarian and vegan, the latter being no consumption of any animal products at all.  So in preparing a vegetarian meal, you can utilize ingredients like eggs, milk, and cheese which can do wonders for adding depth and flavor to foods without meat.  So here are a few options for quick and satisfying vegetarian dinners.

Mexican Mac and Cheese

This is a spicy and savory take on a dish that most people love, it makes a lot of food, and it is oh so tasty.  Start off with boxed or homemade macaroni and cheese then give it a south of the border kick.  After you have mixed your cooked pasta and cheese together, transport this mix to a large skillet and add in your choice of ingredients.  This dish is particularly delicious with tomatoes, black beans, corn, finely minced chili peppers, queso blanco, and a healthy dose of hot Mexican-style chili powder.

Pasta Arrabbiata

“Arrabbiata” is Italian for “angry”, and one can see how that accurately describes the kick you get from this dish.  Usually made with penne that perfectly catches the spicy sauce, pasta arrabbiata is an Italian classic that tends to be a crowdpleaser.  Not only is this dish packed with flavor, it is extremely easy to make as it consists of just 5 ingredients:  pasta, olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, and chilies.  After you have cooked and drained the pasta, you can make the sauce as easy or as complex as you like.  You have your choice of using fresh tomatoes put through a food mill/processor, or using ones from a can.  If you do use canned tomatoes, please use good quality San Marzano tomatoes as they are considered a standard for excellent sauces.  Sauté just a bit of garlic in the olive oil then add in very finely minced red chilies.  After the garlic is translucent and the chilies have softened a bit, add in the tomato puree or just squeeze in the canned San Marzanos with your hands.  Let the sauce cook until it has somewhat reduced and thickened, then just pour it over your pasta.  One quick note, fresh shredded Parmesan cheese is delicious on this.

Pizza Margherita

As almost everyone loves pizza, this versatile food offers a wide array of vegetarian options.  One of the most famous choices is the classic pizza margherita which is simplicity itself thus has a good chance of attracting even picky eaters.  Once more this is a meal that calls for just a few ingredients:  pizza crust, olive oil, sauce, sliced tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil.  This creates a mild but beautiful blend of flavors accented by the sweetness of the basil.  Just like the pasta arrabbiata, you can pull out all of the stops when making this pizza or use canned and prepackaged ingredients.  Please keep in mind there are several very high-quality options when it comes to ready-made crusts and jarred pizza sauces.

 

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Vegetarian Lasagna

vegetarian lasagna with vegetables and cheese

This vegetarian lasagna is healthy and delicious. The recipe allows you to make ahead an extra one to freeze. Feel free to add any other favorite veggies you like.

Healthy Alfredo Cauliflower Sauce

Ingredients

• 10 large minced garlic cloves
• 2 Tablespoons butter
• 10 cups cauliflower florets
• 13 cups water or vegetable broth
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon pepper
• 1 cup milk
• Parmesan cheese (to taste)

Directions

Saute garlic and butter on low heat until soft. Boil cauliflower in broth until tender; seven minutes. Do not drain. Using a slotted spoon, remove the cauliflower and place in a blender. Add one cup broth, garlic, butter, salt, pepper, and milk. Blend until smooth.

Make Ahead Veggie Lasagna

Ingredients

• 2 packages frozen spinach, chopped (20 ounces)
• Alfredo cauliflower sauce (recipe above)
• 1 cup skim milk
• 2 packages of lasagna noodles (16 ounces)
• 2 pints cauliflower puree
• 2 eggs
• 16 ounces shredded carrots
• 16 ounces fresh sliced zucchini
• 2 cups shredded mozzarella

Directions

1. Spray two 10 x 15 inch pans with cooking spray. Preheat oven to 350° F.

2. Put spinach in large bowl. Microwave on high for four minutes uncovered. Mix in the cauliflower puree. Beat the eggs with whisk and then add. Stir until well blended.

3. Combine Alfredo Cauliflower Sauce with milk in separate bowl. Mix well.

4. Spread ½ cup of Cauliflower Sauce mixture on the bottom of each pan. Place three uncooked noodles over sauce. Spread ¼ of the spinach mixture over each pan. Sprinkle each with ¼ of the carrots and ¼ of the zucchini. Place three more noodles on top of each. Cover both with more sauce. Divide the remaining spinach mixture between the two pans and spread evenly. Do the same with the remaining carrots and zucchini. Add three more noodles to each. Reserve a small amount of sauce and divide the remaining between the two lasagnas and spread evenly over the top. Sprinkle both dishes with mozzarella cheese. Spray two sheets of aluminum foil with cooking spray. Place one sheet over each pan with the sprayed side down. Tightly cover.

5. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. Uncover and spread the last of the sauce over exposed top noodles. With the oven off, return the lasagnas to the warm oven uncovered for 15 minutes. Serve one vegetarian lasagna for dinner (allow to set up 30 minutes) and freeze the other for another evening. All left overs can also be frozen for later.

 

Buttnernut Squash Lasagna

13-04-22 butternut lasagna 535x535

Butternut squash has a unique and robust flavor which plays well with other vegetables. It has a deep, starchy taste with a very mild hint of sweetness. Butternut is a great dish by itself, but it can be used creatively to add a deeper dimension of flavor to common dishes. This recipe for a vegetarian butternut pasta dish can be made with several variations depending on your preferences and the amount of time you wish to spend cooking this vegetarian dish.

First you should select your ingredients. Whenever possible, fresh, high quality, locally grown ingredients should be selected. A local farmers market can be a great place to find a wide selection of fresh vegetables. When selecting a butternut, you should find one that is very firm to the touch and which feels heavy for its size. This dish can be made with regular or whole wheat noodles in order to take a traditional pasta dish to an entirely new level, or you can use fresh vegetables to create an entirely new take on lasagna. Replacing traditional semolina noodles with fresh vegetables will create a dish which is lower in carbohydrates and gluten-free.

Ingredients:
1 butternut squash
2 cups ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup frozen spinach (thawed and drained)
1 cup chopped baby Portobello mushrooms
Olive oil
Salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
5-7 fresh basil leaves (shredded)
1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
Dry lasagna noodles or fresh vegetables (1 pound eggplant and 1 pound zucchini)

Once you have your ingredients, begin by prepping your butternut. Place it firmly on the cutting board, and split it in half lengthwise with the chef's knife. Use a large spoon to scoop out the seeds and discard them. Rub olive oil on the squash halves and sprinkle them with salt. Place them in a 400° oven for 15 minutes.

While your butternut is cooking, boil your noodles in 1 gallon of salted water. Drain them and set them aside. If you have chosen to use fresh vegetables in place of noodles, slice your eggplant and zucchini into 1/4 inch thick slices. Set the zucchini aside and liberally salt the eggplant slices on both sides. Leave them on paper towels or cooling racks for about 30 minutes. The salt will draw excess water out of the eggplant. Squeeze them slightly and rinse off the excess salt, patting dry.

The next step is to prepare the filling. Sauté the chopped mushrooms in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until they feel spongy. Allow them to cool and add them to the ricotta cheese. Scoop the squash from one of your butternut halves out of its skin and add it to the ricotta. Add the spinach and oregano, then stir the filling thoroughly.

Chop the other half of the butternut squash into small cubes and mix them into a bowl with the jar of pasta sauce. In a large baking dish, alternate layers of the pasta sauce, noodles or vegetables, and ricotta filling. Finish with a final layer of pasta sauce and top with mozzarella cheese. Cover and keep in the refrigerator overnight if you're making it a day ahead, and allow it to warm up for an hour. Place in a 350° oven for 45 minutes (or up to an hour if still cool from the refrigerator). After removing from the oven, allow to cool for at least 15-20 minutes before serving.