Vegan Tomato Sauce for All Occasions

Vegan Tomato Sauce for All Occasions

A Versatile Vegan Tomato Sauce
I usually try to feature here recipes for tasty healthy versions of otherwise ordinary dishes or for extraordinary dishes that will wow your family and guests.  Although most people already know how to make an Italian-style tomato sauce to use on pasta, I’ve been asked several times to share my recipe for Vegan Tomato Sauce as it is as yummy as it is nourishing.

I often use this Vegan Tomato Sauce in my vegetarian lasagna or other pasta dishes that I bake in the oven. The tofu in this recipe makes it easier to reduce the amount of cheese used in my lasagna as…

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Dandelion Pesto

Dandelion Pesto

Why make Dandelion Pesto?
Dandelion pesto has brightened up many springtime dishes in past years.  In Belgium, I sometimes gathered the leaves of this wildflower from my backyard lawn to add to salads, soups and other dishes.

 
Dandelion greens grow wild
Picking dandelion greens are an annual tradition that marks the arrival of spring.  Although you can find dandelions all year long, the peak of their growth is during springtime.  Most dandelion greens go unnoticed, except to gardeners who get annoyed by the stubborn growth of this weed as it spreads across their lawn.  As quick as …

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Fresh Red Beet Pasta

Fresh Red Beet Pasta

Why Bother Making Fresh Red Beet Pasta?
Recently I developed a recipe for Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese, which was absolutely yummy.  Of course, I may be a bit biased.  So don’t rely on my word, try it yourself and see how delicious is this ravioli dish!

The red beets in the pasta make the dough a vibrant purple color, which will certainly make any plate look more attractive.  The red beets also add dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and nutrients that will help you and your family remain healthy.  Contrary to common belief, red beets are not high in sugar; sugar makes up on…

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Pumpkin Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese

Pumpkin Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese

Why Not a Pumpkin Variation for a New Family Favorite?
During a stay in Kosice, Slovakia at the end of my Journey to Greece, I fell in love with a vegetarian red beet pirohy (pierogi) dish served with fresh spinach and goat cheese.  To discover more about my love story with this delicious wholesome dish, read my recipe for Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese.

While I was testing out recipes for Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese with one of my Belgian sisters, she started harvesting pumpkins from her vegetable garden.

 

 

As I love pumpkin, espec…

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Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese

Red Beet Ravioli with Spinach and Goat Cheese

What Inspired this Soul-Fulfilling Red Beet Ravioli Dish?
Towards the end of my Journey to Greece, I spent a few days in Kosice, Slovakia, near the Hungarian, Polish and Ukrainian borders.   I initially planned on spending one night in Kosice, yet immediately fell in love with its old town.  I ended up staying three nights so I could leisurely visit the town, hang out in its cafes and restaurants, and spy on the hordes of people strolling on the main street, Hlavná ulica.

Hlavná ulica is such a vibrant street with a park, musical fountains, and loads of statues dividing the broad street in…

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Authentic Greek Pasticcio

Authentic Greek Pasticcio

What makes this Pasticcio Recipe Authentic?
Pasticcio is prepared in Greek restaurants all over the world.  Not surprisingly, it’s also made by families and in taverns all over Greece.  Most families follow a recipe passed on to them by a dear family member and then adjusted over time to satisfy personal taste.

 
What is Pasticcio?
Those unfamiliar with Pasticcio may wonder what is this romantic-sounding dish.  The easiest way to describe it would be as a Greek version of lasagna bolognese.   This is not entirely fair as a comparison.

In Greece Pasticcio is customarily prepared w…

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Tasty and Healthy Sesame Noodles

Tasty and Healthy Sesame Noodles

What makes these Sesame Noodles my go-to dish for lunch?
Working at home has several benefits, including an easy commute to work and dressing sporty casual every day of the week.  My favorite benefit, however, remains being able to prepare tasty healthy lunches in less than 30 minutes.

Over the years I’ve tried many variations of salads, soups and pasta dishes.   They make wonderful one-course meals that fill me up enough to hold until dinner time, with only a few apples in between.   If I am in a super hurry, I’ll make a sandwich, omelette or quesadilla.

One of my go-to lunch dishes is…

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Pasta with Fennel and Fresh Garlic

Pasta with Fennel and Fresh Garlic

Pasta with Fennel and Fresh Garlic Makes a Quick Yummy Meal
Not everyone enjoys the strong-licorice flavor of fresh fennel.  It can be a bit overwhelming if you eat a lot of it in one sitting.

Fennel offers many health benefits, making it worthwhile to find ways to include it in your diet.  Full of good intentions, I often buy fennel at the grocery store and farmers’ market, hoping to find a way during the coming days to use it.  Chopped fennel with some slices of orange and a vinaigrette dressing makes an easy salad.

However, when cooked fennel’s pronounced taste becomes more subdued a…

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Wild Garlic Pesto

Wild Garlic Pesto

Wild Garlic Pesto on Pasta is a Springtime Favorite
The sense of smell can trigger strong memories, no matter how faraway they may be.  Wild garlic, also known by many other names, such as ramps, spring onion, ramson, wild leek, bear’s garlic, and wood leek, is probably my most faithful olfactory trigger.  Wild garlic is not actually a variation of garlic, but rather a variation of leek.

At 16 years old I lived  on a farm in Belgium as an exchange student.  Farm life was different in almost every way from my life in Los Angeles.  After school I’d walk home to the farm, a few kilometers fro…

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Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Pumpkin Sage Pasta:  an Autumn Seasonal Favorite!
As the years pass, time seems to go by faster and faster.  Thankfully, a few dishes each season help mark the time and leave us with fond memories.  The past ten years, Pumpkin Sage Pasta (pasta with a pumpkin-sage sauce) has been one of my family’s favorite dishes each autumn.   It’s tasty, healthy and easy to make.  In short, a perfect combination.

I usually prepare this yummy dish with nests of De Cecco Pappardelle egg pasta.  One box of 500 g (18 oz approximately) feeds 3 adults with robust appetites.  However, the same portion can feed…

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Pasta with Arugula Pesto and Zucchini

Pasta with Arugula Pesto and Zucchini

How can you use Arugula Pesto this summer?
Summertime is ideal for creating pesto sauces since herbs and greens are at their freshest. I love experimenting with new combinations to tease my palate with a change from the more customary pesto made with basil, Parmesan cheese, pine nuts and garlic. For instance, recently I enjoyed a Pesto with Arugula, Basil and Fennel. Follow this link for the recipe and for more tips about making pesto sauces.

I prepared this summer pasta dish by mixing the Arugula Pesto sauce with some fettuccine pasta and sauteed green and yellow zucchini. The zucchini ca…

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Pasta with Salmon and Avocado

Pasta with Salmon and Avocado

Pasta with Salmon and Avocado is a Perfect Dinner for Two
Fresh Colored Pasta with Salmon, Avocado and Wild Garlic Sauce is a seasonal delight.  It is quick to make, satisfying and not a worry for your waistline.  Ready in minutes, Pasta with Salmon, Avocado and Wild Garlic Sauce is ideal for an impromptu or last-minute supper with a special someone tête-à-tête.  What a dream for a weeknight supper!

While the wild garlic makes this a seasonal dish, you can easily substitute a smaller dose of ordinary garlic or fresh garlic instead.  Wild garlic, also known as ramps, has a more subtle flavo…

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