Category: Vegetarian/Veg Option


Zucchini Kielbasa Pasta

Zucchini Kielbasa Pasta

Zucchini Kielbasa Pasta is one of those recipes that I started out using years ago and which slowly morphed into something that fits my family a bit better. This happens pretty often and usually results in a family favorite.

And though this is a family favorite, I actually forgot about it for a while. A year or so ago I went through and tried to organize all of my recipes. Most of them are just full-sized sheets of printer paper, and I figured the easiest way to reign them in was to put them in all sheet protectors in a binder.

However, a few seemed to have been lost along the way and this was one of them, and I didn’t realize it until Mike was going through our external hard-drive this week and came across some pictures of it that I’d taken for some reason (I had to double check to see if I’ve already posted it and hadn’t, so I don’t know what the pictures were for). I have no idea what happened to the original print-out with all of my notes, but I’d made it often enough that even after so long I remembered the changes I’d made.

Anyway, this is a great dinner for summer. There is no oven involved, and if you end up with an abundance of zucchini it’s a great way to use them up. You can also easily make it vegetarian by leaving out the kielbasa.

Zucchini Kielbasa Pasta

3 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound turkey kielbasa, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 can (14 oz) whole kernel corn, drained
2 cans (8 ounces each) tomato sauce
1 can (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried parsley
salt and pepper to taste
1 lb tube pasta (I used rigatoni, but penne, ziti, etc, works fine)

In a large skillet, saute the zucchini, onion and red bell pepper in the olive oil until zucchini is tender (I usually put a lid on it for a few minutes to let the steam help it cook).

Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook until heated through.

Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pot. Pour the zucchini kielbasa mixture on top and serve.

Makes 8 servings.


Soba with Sesame Sauce

Soba with Sesame Sauce

Long time, no see! The holidays always leave me feeling like I have to play catch-up with everything for weeks afterward, and, unfortunately, finding new meals to make tends to take a back seat!

Anyway, over Christmas break we took the girls to a local Las Vegas restaurant called Anime Ramen, and being the teen and pre-teens that they are, they absolutely loved it. The food was good, too, and we decided that once things calmed down we were going to try playing with some homemade Japanese food ourselves. So last week we ordered soba noodles on Amazon and I got to work.

Soba with Sesame Sauce

This recipe for Soba with Sesame Sauce originally came from AllRecipes, but I’ve adapted it a bit below.

The original recipe called for raw broccoli, but not everyone likes it raw, so I blanched it first: put it in a pot of boiling water for just a couple of minutes and then dunk it in ice water to stop the cooking. It gets rid of the rawness without losing all of the crunch. You can also use a bag of frozen broccoli, boiled for just a few minutes. I scooped the broccoli out with a spider so I could use the same boiling water for the noodles.

I also added chicken breast to make it a bit more substantial for dinner. Make sure you cook it all the way through since it’s not going back into the heat (unlike a stir-fry, for example). If you want to make this vegetarian, just leave out the chicken.

We were a little wary about eating it at room temperature (it felt like it should be piping hot!) but it was good, and this will be perfect for summer!

Soba with Sesame Sauce

Soba with Sesame Sauce
serves 5

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
1 package (9.5 oz) dried soba noodles
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons white sugar
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
8 green onions, chopped
3 cups broccoli florets, blanched

Cut chicken breasts in one-inch strips and saute in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until cooked through. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook them for 4 minutes, or until just tender. Drain and rinse with cold water, and drain them again.

In a large mixing bowl, mix together the vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, green onions, and chicken. Add the noodles, and the toasted sesame seeds. Toss well and stir in the broccoli. Let the dish sit for 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.


Asian-Style Quinoa

Asian Quinoa

Quinoa is another food I’ve stumbled onto late in the game (much like the kale chips). I only bought my first package of it last spring, but since then it’s been a staple in my pantry and used for everything from side dishes to an ingredient in main dishes.

This one, however, is my favorite. Quinoa has a slightly nutty flavor by itself, but when you add other flavors to it it just makes it that much better, and is a great low-carb substitution for rice dishes.

This one goes particularly well with eggrolls and short ribs, and you can even toss it all into a big pan and scramble up an egg with it, similar to fried rice.

You can also make it vegetarian by substituting vegetable broth for the chicken broth.

Asian Style Quinoa

1 cup quinoa
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup frozen peas and carrots (add more or less to taste)

Put quinoa, chicken broth, soy sauce, ginger and garlic in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer until all liquid has been absorbed, about 25 minutes. Right before quinoa is ready to be served, gently stir in the frozen vegetables and allow to heat through. Fluff quinoa with a fork and serve.