Deconstructed Pasta Florentine Recipe Vegan

Garlic pasta and a creamy spinach puree create a vegan italian epicurean delight. Spinach Puree Recipe
1/2 bag spinach
1/2 box silken tofu
3 cloves garlic
2 tbls olive oil
1 jalapeno
1 serrano
2 tsps salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

Steam the spinach in a covered pot with 1/4 water in the bottom.  

Cook for about 5 minutes or until dark green and wilted down. 

Puree all ingredients  in food processor until smooth. Let rest in the fridge to thicken. 

Garlic pasta recipe
1/2 box fettuccine, cooked al dente in heavily salted water
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsps italian seasoning
1 tsp crushed pepper flakes
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup frozen peas

Cook pasta and use tongs to remove from the water. Set aside in a medium sized heat safe bowl. Keep the pasta water in the pot. Drain off some until you're left with about 2/3 cup. 

Add remaining ingredients, except peas. Simmer for 3 minutes until fragrant. 

Pour hot oil/water/spice mixture over cooked pasta. Stir to coat. 

Stir in peas. 

Let rest 2 minutes. 


One Pot Wonder Lentils and Barley

This is what I refer to as a one pot wonder. Basically you throw everything into the pot and let it go. After a little while you have a something that tastes like you worked really hard on it. This is a method that's ideal for lentils and barley because they both will absorb all the wonderful flavors that are sharing the pot with them. Cooking lentils and barley together in one pot is also easy because of their near identical cooking times. About 20-25  minutes. So they also take long enough to cook that the flavors of the supporting ingredients have a chance to develop and marry.

 There's very little herbs/seasoning in this dish. It relies on and really focuses on the flavors that can be obtained from a generous variety of fresh vegetables and produce. This one really takes the let the ingredients  shine approach to new heights. If you're not a fan of lentils. If you think they're bland... this recipe will change your mind. If you already love lentils, this will only make you love them more.

3-4 vine tomatoes, about 1 lb., chunked small
1 pint white mushrooms, sliced thick
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced

1/3 cup white wine
3 3/4 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil

2 1/2 tsps salt
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
1 large bunch fresh basil, sliced small

Add all of the first group of ingredients, plus oil, salt and black pepper to a large pot or oversized high sides skillet. Cook down for 10 minutes. Add wine. Cook down 5 more minutes. Add lentils and barley. Cook 3 more minutes. Add water. Cover and simmer until lentils and barley are just barely tender. Stir in basil and an additional 1/4 cup more water. Turn off heat. Recover. Leave pan sit on stove for 5 more minutes.