Almost every meal I make, my husband says: “This should go in a cook book!” Flattering, of course, but I think there are already so many cookbooks out there. Having said that, I thought it would be nice to share some of my favorite recipes I’ve been making on repeat this summer. I hope you like them as much as he (and I!) does.
Breakfast smoothie (vegan)
For a very nutritious, yet decadent tasting, start of your day!
- 1 banana
- ½ avocado
- 1 tsp. instant espresso coffee (decaf, if desired)
- 1 scoop vegan protein powder of your choice (my preferred brand is Vega)
- 1 cup almond milk (or other plant-based “milk”)
Put all ingredients in a high-speed blender until blended well. Add more or less almond milk for desired thickness (I like it thick, so I can eat it with a spoon!)
Super Simple Kale Salad (vegan)
We are growing kale in our yard, so we eat it in all kinds of ways. I love the bitter taste of kale, but eating it raw can be hard to digest. My favorite way prepare the kale, therefore, is to gently squeeze it with olive oil. This makes the kale soft and much easier to digest.
- 4 big leaves of kale (or 6 small ones), washed
- olive oil
- chipotle pepper
- garlic powder
Cut the hard spines out of the kale leaves. Tear the leaves in bite-size pieces. Add to salad bowl. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil over the kale and gently squeeze the oil in it, using your hands. Add more oil to taste. Sprinkle the kale with chipotle pepper and garlic powder to taste.
High Protein Summer Pasta (vegan and gluten-free)
I love pasta. I also sometimes find it to be heavy on a summer evening, and the nutritional value isn’t very high. I recently discovered a great alternative: lentil pasta! It is made of lentils and quinoa, and is therefore very high in protein. For this dish I use grilled corn on the cob that is leftover from a previous night of grilling. You can use canned corn instead, but it won’t have that nice roasted flavor. And kale, of course. The mix of different flavors makes this a favorite.
- 4 oz. (115 gr.) Ancient Harvest Green Lentil Penne (see here, or use equivalent)
- 8 oz. (250 gr.) mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- 2 cobs of corn, grilled and kernels sliced off
- 4 big leaves of kale, spines removed and torn into bite-size pieces
- ½ fresh jalapeño pepper, finely minced (add more or less, according to taste)
- Vegan parmesan cheese (see here for recipe)
- Olive oil
Cook the pasta as per the instructions on the packaging. Save the cooking water when draining the pasta. Put the pasta back in the pan and add a generous pour of olive oil.
In the meantime, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan. Add the mushrooms with a pinch of salt, and fry them on high heat. After a minute, add the garlic and the jalapeño pepper. When the mushrooms are soft and have released their moisture, add the corn, the kale, and 3 tablespoons of the cooking water. Gently stir the mixture on medium heat till kale starts to wilt (you may need a little more cooking water). Add pasta to the mixture and carefully fold it in. Serve immediately.
Serve with vegan parmesan cheese.
Besides kale and jalapeño peppers, we also have tomatoes in our yard. Lots of them! They are delicious to eat by themselves, and also in this one-pasta dish (adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe). The starch in the pasta is used to make the sauce thick and creamy, so gluten-free pasta is not a good substitute here. If you indulge in eating pasta, do it with this recipe!
- 6 oz. (170 gr.) linguine pasta
- 12 oz. (340 gr.) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 small onion, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
- ¼ tsp. dried crushed red pepper (or leave out if you don’t like spicy)
- 2 sprigs of fresh basil
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 ¼ cups of water
- kosher salt
Heat the olive oil and fry the onion and garlic, with 1 tsp. kosher salt, on low heat until soft and translucent. Add dried red pepper and tomatoes, and stir for 2 minutes. Add the uncooked pasta, the water, and 1 sprig of basil. Bring to a boil over high heat. Boil mixture, stirring and turning the pasta frequently with tongs, until the pasta is al denteand the water has nearly evaporated. This takes about 9 minutes.
Serve in bowls, garnished with the remaining basil. Add olive oil and (vegan) parmesan cheese to taste.
Let me know when you make any of these recipes! If you have Instagram, post your pictures and tag @marijepaternotte. I’d love to see!