Tag Archives: spinach

Quinoa linguine with butternut squash, spinach, shallots and artichoke hearts

I have been thinking about a lot of things as usual. One of which is going veg again.

Also, Lent is coming up and traditionally Christians fast from animal products (meat, dairy, eggs, fish, etc.) during this time (this Sunday is meat fare Sunday, the last time traditional practicing Christians can have meat and I think next Sunday is cheese fare Sunday, the last Sunday for dairy products before Easter). We still aren’t sure if we are participating in this, this particular year, but we are thinking about it.

Doing more research on the food industry just really has me bummed out about meat especially. I have been watching YouTube video interviews with Jonathan Saffron Foer, author of Eating Animals, and I really like some of the stuff he says like, how it doesn’t have to be all or nothing and how vegetarians need not be on some extreme end of the spectrum. How reducing the amount of meat we eat, even if just one meal a week, can make a big impact on the industry.

Plus, eating meat, touching it, and all that has been really hard for me much of this pregnancy. Often the texture just really turns me off. In the case of red meat, I feel like I can often taste the blood (that is the only way I know to describe it, hope it makes sense). Meat just leaves me feeling so gross most of the time.

But consequently there is the whole importance of protein during pregnancy and how it is really, really hard to get up to Dr. Bradley’s recommended 80g or more per day even when you are eating meat. I know I feel better when I get close and really focus on it, but focusing on it can be a little maddening.

Then there is the frustration in week after week seeing a lot of our CSA produce going to waste or building to seemingly insurmountable levels in our fridge. I was thankful that our mini-vacation meant not getting more produce this week.

I still don’t know all the answers to these questions and thoughts, but here is a recipe that is vegetarian, gluten-free, yummy, uses produce currently in season and is filling.

Quinoa linguine with butternut squash, spinach, shallots and artichoke hearts

Ingredients:
-2 small butternut squash peeled and chopped
-a bunch of spinach, stems removed
-2 large shallots, chopped
-2 baby artichokes, trimmed and chopped (I also think marinated artichoke hearts might work well in this recipe, but you’d obviously skip the step of boiling them)
-1/2 box of Ancient Harvest Quinoa linguine
-handful of fresh parsley, chopped
-salt and black pepper to taste
-dash of red pepper flakes
-a dribble of apple cider vinegar
-olive oil
-cheddar or Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Preheat oven to 400. Chop and peel your butternut squash. Place in a bowl and toss to coat with olive oil, salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast in oven for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile start a small pot of water boiling. Trim and chop your artichokes then place in boiling water. Boil until tender.

While that is going remove the stems from the spinach and rinse it. Once the artichoke hearts are done pour the boiling water and artichokes over the spinach to wilt it. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste.

Start a large pot of salted water to boil for your pasta. When it comes to a boil add pasta and cook according to package directions.

The squash should finish soon. Add that in with the spinach and artichoke hearts.

After draining pasta, return the empty pot to the burner, reduce it slightly. Add a couple gluts of olive oil to the pot along with the shallots, more salt and pepper, the red pepper and the apple cider vinegar. Stir occasionally and sauté the shallots until tender.

While the shallots are cooking, cut up the parsley. Toss it in right at the end along with the other vegetables and the pasta. Add more olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, if necessary.

Serve and grate cheese over the top if desired.

This made enough for all four of us with leftovers for one tomorrow. An easy way to have it make more would be to use the whole box of pasta, add in more artichokes, etc.

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Sausage, spinach, and artichokes

When we moved into our house in Bakersfield we got this little welcome package from the builder that included a copy of Food & Wine’s Best of the Best Vol. 9 which is basically a compilation of recipes from 25 cookbooks they thought were the best. One of the books featured is Tyler Florence’s Eat This Book . The way he describes every recipe makes you want to cook. It makes it seems so interesting and fun.

When trying to come up with a not so ordinary use for our CSA box artichokes I came across his recipe for Artichokes with Lemon Sausage and Sage (side note: who needs recipe books anymore when all the chef recipes are on the Food Network website?). This has become one of my favorite recipes so much so that I don’t even really have to look at the recipe to make it, but just in case I do, I even have the page number in the book that it is on memorized (that’s p. 97 for any of you who are curious).

I’ve also gotten comfortable enough with it to tweak it to our likes/dislikes and what we have available or need to use in our CSA box. Last week I made a version using my homemade chicken stock, CSA spinach and artichokes.

Ingredients
For the artichokes:
-1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley
-4 garlic cloves, pressed
-2 bay leaves
-1/4 cup white wine
-1/2 lemon cut into paper-thin slices
-salt and pepper to taste
-4 baby artichokes
-1 cup chicken stock

For the rest of the dish:
-olive oil
-1 package sweet Italian pork sausage
-1 bunch spinach, rinsed and chopped
-1/2 onion, diced
-2 cloves garlic, pressed
-1/2 lemon, cut into paper-thin slices
-1/2 cup chicken stock

Directions
Place parsley, garlic, bay leaves, wine, lemon slices, salt, pepper, and chicken stock in pot and bring to a boil. Rinse artichokes and trim them. Place artichokes in pot, cover and reduce heat to simmer for about 20 minutes.

Heat olive oil in pan and then add sausages. Cook until brown on both sides and done through. Remove sausages from pan and keep warm. Add more olive oil, onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Stir in chicken stock, spinach and lemon slices. Add artichokes and sausage to the pan to warm and bring all the flavors together. Dish is ready when spinach is slightly wilted.

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