Rachel's Recipes

Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian

Leave it to Cook’s Illustrated to figure out how you can make mac and cheese using just one pot by cooking the pasta in a skillet! (Although I cheated and used my dutch oven because I didn’t trust myself not to splash things everwhere.) This is a really tasty, creamy, easy, and quick recipe to put together! Eric said next time he wants to try just sharp cheddar cheese, but I thought it was pretty tasty as is.

3 1/2 cups water
12 oz can evaporated milk, divided
12 ounces (about 3 cups) elbow macaroni
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small chunks
Ground black pepper to taste

Bring the water, 1 cup of evaporated milk, macaroni, and salt to a simmer in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over high heat. Cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, until the macaroni is tender and the liquid has thickened, 9 to 12 minutes.

In a small bowl (or in your measuring cup), whisk the remaining 1/2 cup evaporated milk, cornstarch, mustard, and hot sauce together. Stir into the pasta and continue to simmer slightly thickened, about 1 minute.

Turn off the heat and slowly stir in the cheeses a little at a time until the cheese is fully incorporated. Stir in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Source: Mel’s Kitchen Cafe (adapted from The Best Skillet Recipes)


These were a tasty appetizer that Eric and I both enjoyed. What’s not to love about puff pastry and cream cheese? The lemon and asparagus also pair nicely together. When I make them again, I will cut them a bit smaller since they were a little difficult to eat. Also, the original recipe used fresh herbs, but I did not have any on hand so used dried instead.

8 oz cream cheese, softened (I used neufchatal)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
2 sheets frozen puff pastry (1 box), thawed
1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed and then cut to just shorter than the length of puff pastry
olive oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, mix together the cheeses, lemon and herbs.

Unfold the pastry, which typically comes folded in thirds and fold in half. Cut into four rectangles. (I used puff pastry from Trader Joe’s, which is not folded and cut it into quarters.)

Evenly distribute the cheese mixture onto each piece of puff pastry and spread to almost the edge. Press in aspargus spears to your liking, alternating directions. Drizzle each piece with a little olive oil.

Bake 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Cut each piece into thirds and serve.

Slightly adapted from: The Cutting Edge of Ordinary

This recipe was inspired by Bethenny Frankel’s “Healthier Baked Ziti.” If you don’t have a dutch oven, or oven safe pot, you can cook the pasta on the stove and transfer to a casserole dish.

16 oz whole wheat ziti
1 egg
15 oz part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
28 oz can diced tomatoes with garlic and oregano
2 cups mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a dutch oven, cook the ziti until al dente. Drain and return to the pot to cool.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg. Mix in the ricotta, Parmesan, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir into the pot with the ziti.

Puree the diced tomatoes in a food processor or blender. Stir into the pot with the mozzarella cheese.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes.

2 cups elbow macaroni
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
3/4 cup milk
1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan-Reggiano cheese, grated
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
garlic powder, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Boil a pot of water and cook the macaroni about one minute less than the directions on the box for al dente. Drain.

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook over medium high for a couple minutes. Slowly whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened, about five minutes. Slowly stir in the cheeses until melted. Turn off the heat and mix in the egg and spices. Fold in the macaroni.

Spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick spray. Spoon around a tablespoon of mac and cheese into each hole. Pack the pasta down with the back of the spoon. Top with parmesan or breadcrumbs, if desired.

Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before taking the bites out with a small spoon.

Makes about 36 bites.

Note: Food and Wine said these can be baked ahead of time and reheated on a baking sheet. I served mine hot from the oven so I haven’t tested that method out yet.

Adapted from: Food and Wine

This is a nice variation to your pasta routine and pretty quick to throw together with pantry ingredients. I served it over gnocchi, but the original recipe used Orecchiette.

7 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained and patted dry with paper towels
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup half and half

Puree red peppers in a blender or food processor.

Heat olive oil over medium heat and cook onion and garlic until soft. Add pepper puree and season with salt. Stir in heavy cream. Taste and season with salt as needed.

From: The Pioneer Woman

1 box jumbo shell pasta
15 oz. part skim ricotta (You can also make your own!)
4 oz. shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup basil pesto
1 large egg
2 cups fresh spinach (this can be adjusted according to taste)
1 jar pasta sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place a bot of water on the stove to boil. When boiling, add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the box. Once pasta has finished cooking, drain and rinse with cold water.

Mix the cheeses with the pesto and the egg. Tear or roughly chop the spinach and stir it into the cheese mixture. Filling can be prepared ahead of time and refridgerated until ready to use.

Spoon the cheese mixture into the center of each shell. You may have some leftover shells.

Spread pasta sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Pack the shells into the dish tightly in a single layer. Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the shells. Bake for 30 minutes until bubbly.

Source: Budget Bytes

The goat cheese makes this unlike most quiches. Instead of a traditional crust, toasted bread crumbs line the bottom of the pan. I prefer crustless quiches and this was definitely a keeper!

1 1/2 pounds medium zucchini or a mixture of summer squashes
Kosher salt
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups 1-inch, day-old bread cubes, preferably sourdough
1 medium white onion, chopped, about 1 cup
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill (I omitted this)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh marjoram or oregano
2 cups half-and-half (I only had 1 3/4 cup so I added 1/4 cup skim milk)
2 large eggs
2 egg yolks
Freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces young goat cheese, such as Montrachet.
2 ounces grated Swiss or Gruyere cheese, about 1/2 cup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Shred the squash on the large holes of a box grater, and place into a colander. Sprinkle with a heaping tablespoon salt and toss well. Place in the sink and drain for 15 minutes. Rinse and the squeeze firmly, by the handful or using a tea towel, to remove excess water. Set aside.

Meanwhile, pulse bread into crumbs in a food processor. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add bread crumbs and stir until evenly toasted, about 5 minutes. Evenly spread crumbs in a 9-inch glass or ceramic pie pan.

Wipe out the skillet, add remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the onions and garlic and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, cook over medium-high heat, until onions are start to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in parsley, dill, and marjoram or oregano. Remove from heat, cool slightly.

Whisk half-and-half, eggs, and egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the zucchini mixture in the prepared pan. Crumble the goat cheese and evenly scatter on the vegetables. Sprinkle Gruyere on top and pour the custard over the fillings.

Bake until the quiche is just set in the center, about 40 to 50 minutes. Cool completely on a rack before serving.

Source: Food Network Kitchens


This blog is a way for me to keep track of all the recipes I have tried and want to make again, and a few I've come up with myself.