Freaking Felix, dudes. So, I missed April, pretty much just that whole glorious strawberry and asparagus filled month - there was a back thing and then a sick thing - but now I feel fantastic. I walked the kids to school this morning and planted corn and beans in the backyard. (The man at the nursery says there isn't room in my 18 inch border for the third sister. So, swiss chard and collards and some nasturtiums and zinnias are going to fill in. What do you think, garden experts? Ridiculous plan?) So, I just now sat down with every intention of catching you up on the stack of recipes and cookbooks that are beginning to teeter... and here's Felix, singing, with 2 1/2-year-old, supposed-to-be-napping gusto, "wild west music...wild west music" at 1:45. That's 45 minutes into nap time if you're keeping count. That's 45 minutes into my time. Now he's found some maracas to accompany...and he's using something as a drum.
I'm not going to investigate. I need to use this relative quiet. Top of the list of books I want to discuss? Chloe's Kitchen by youngin Chloe Coscarelli. Have you read it? Cooked from it? I'm loving it. Her fettucine alfredo has become an absolute staple in our house and actually in several other houses nearby. (I'm a bit evangelical about good recipes.) The sauce is so simple and decadent-tasting - I love having a jar in the fridge for super fast dinners or instant grown-up lunches.
That's my lunch up there. The sauce is smothering slithery fettucine and pan-seered broccoli and tempeh and slivers of garlic. It's good. I considered pouring a wine prop but stuck instead to my unphotographed pint of water for afternoon productivity's sake. I'm not one to let a good wine prop go to waste.
Paul and I also loved the spot-on Chinese restaurant-style vegetable moo shu. The homemade Chinese pancakes elevated the dinner to date night cuisine. The tempeh-based burgers are on the menu for dinner tonight, and then there are 15 pink sticky notes marking other recipes I've been meaning to try like the Artichoke Walnut Pesto Crostini and Jalapeno Cornbread Poppers with Whipped Maple Butter.
The cookbook is full of of super accessible recipes. They're easy, full of ingredients you've heard of, look like things you already eat, and have delicious results.
I totally recommend it.
Excerpted from the book Chloe's Kitchen: 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes for Making the Food You Love the Vegan Way by Chloe Coscarelli, published by Free Press, a division of Simon and Schuster, Inc. Copyright © 2012.
Serves 4 - 6
- 1 pound fettucine
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup raw cashews or blanched almonds*
- 2 cups water
- 2 teaspoons white miso paste, optional (Except I think this is totally not optional.)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Chopped fresh Italian parsley, for garnish
Bring a pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add fettucine and cook according to package directions. Drain and return to pot.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and let cook until soft. Add garlic and let cook a few more minutes. Remove from heat.
In a blender, combine onions and garlic, cashews, water, miso paste if desired (again, yes, add the miso), lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Process on high until very smooth, about 2 minutes.
Toss hot pasta with sauce until noodles are evenly coated. Adjust seasoning to taste. If sauce gets too thick, add a little water, 1 tablespoon at a time. Garnish with parsley and serve.
*If you are not using a high-powered blender, such as a Vitamix, soak cashews or almonds overnight or boil for 10 minutes and drain. This will soften them and ensure a silky smooth cream.