Cheezy Garlic Shells Pasta Florentine Vegan Recipe

It's a little spicy. It's a lot garlicky. It's a little cheezy. It's totally delicious. 

Very easy to make. One pot does it all. 

1/2 box small shells pasta
1 shallot, thinly sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 inch ginger, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
2 tbls nutritional yeast
2 tbls olive oil
1/2 an 8 ounce bag of spinach
1 tsp crushed pepper flakes
1 tsp dry basil
2 tsps black pepper
1 tbl salt
Cook the pasta in water seasoned with the 1 tbl salt. 

I use Alton Brown's cold water pasta method. Add pasta to medium large pot. Cover with water an inch over the pasta. Add salt. Bring to  boil and then simmer until al dente. 

When pasta is al dente, remove it from the water into a heat safe storage container. Retain approximately 2/3 cup of the pasta water in the pot and discard the rest. 

Return pot with pasta water to stove. Medium high heat. Add olive oil, garlic, shallot, jalapeno, ginger, yeast, crushed pepper flakes, basil, spinach and black pepper. 

Simmer uncovered for 7 minutes. 


Red Robin Veggie and Regular Burger

Red Robin opened in my hometown just recently. Actually, it opened in the beginning of February, but their website said it was still coming soon. But I was nearby and decided to check and see if it had opened yet. It had. I was only a month behind.

Had been eagerly awaiting this. I am always eager to sample new veggie burgers. I love a good veggie burger. And I know it's a much bigger achievement than a good regular burger.

Their website boasts that you can customize your burger any way that you want. However, when you get to the restaurant, the actual menu doesn't really provide any way to do so. There's no list of toppings from which to choose. I found myself scanning the various 'gourmet burgers' trying to figure out what add ons were available. What I needed desperately was a list of things I can add or subtract from my 'burger', like they have on their website.

The DGB burger looked good. With arugula, roasted tomatoes and spicy aioli. So I got that, but with a non dead animal patty.

I want to stress that our server was congenial and helpful and all around good at her job. This is not a critique of her. She was tipped handsomely.

My faux burger was drenched in olive oil. It literally oozed a pool of it onto my plate. The arugula had no flavor. The aoili was mainly mayo. On the plus side, the southwest black beans were fabulously spicy. The garlic fries were extremely salty, but really good. But all that grease, I found myself wishing there was a baked potato option.

The veggie patty itself, which is a boca burger, which I've had before, was fine. Nothing special. The Ruby Tuesday veggie patty still holds my top spot. It impresses me both with flavor and texture. It's something I actually crave.

My dining companion had a black and bleu burger sans the bleu. Well done. Ugh. I know. I mostly shun meat, but if you're going to eat it, do it right.

I tried it to see. It was soooo dry. I understand well done can be dry. I've eaten many well done burgers in a large assortment of restaurants, but I've never had a burger quite this dry before. It crumbled in my mouth like stale cheerios.

After only a month, I understand there can be some growing pains. I'll probably give them another shot. But overall, I was thoroughly unimpressed.