Tag Archives: Vegetarian Friendly

A Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Pasta

27 Mar

Whole wheat penne in a creamy spinach and mushroom sauce.

  • 100 grams whole wheat penne (can easily substitute with any type of short pasta), cook as instructed and also save some (1 cup should be sufficient) of the hot pasta water
  • 250g baby spinach, cut chiffonade style
  • 2 portobello mushrooms cut into bit-size pieces (any type of mushroom would work too)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 to 2 cups of skim milk
  • 2 tbsps flour
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 1 large egg

Two Portobello mushrooms and baby spinach.

Heat a sauce pan on high. Once hot, add in olive oil and garlic. When the garlic begins to brown, add in the flour. Cook the flour for 20 to 30 seconds, then gradually add in 1 cup of milk while stirring continuously.

Garlic, flour, olive oil and milk simmering to make base of sauce.

When the sauce begins to thicken, add in the spinach. If the mixture appears dry, add in a little more milk. Mix well and turn down heat to medium.

Spinach in a creamy milk sauce.

Add in the portobello mushrooms. Mix well. Season generously with salt and pepper.  Add in the parmesan cheese.

Creamy spinach and mushroom sauce.

Once the mushrooms are soft, add in the pasta. Combine well.

Creamy spinach and mushroom sauce with penne.

In a large bowl, beat the egg. While beating, gradually add in a few spoonfuls of the hot pasta water to increase the temperature of the egg without scrambling it. Add enough water such that the egg is hot to the touch. This is known as tempering. It is important to continuously whisk the egg while the water is gradually being added, otherwise the egg may scramble.

Remove the pasta and sauce from the direct heat. Add in the warm beaten egg. Combine well. Add more grated parmesan if deserved. Serve immediately.


Banana Pancakes

2 Jun

Three banana pancakes with syrup.

The following banana pancakes recipe produces approximately 12 medium sized pancakes.
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tbsp of honey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup of skim milk
  • 2 tbsps of melted unsalted butter (TIP: melt the butter in the same pan you plan to cook the banana pancakes in.  This way you don’t need to butter your pan once you start cooking your pancakes.)
  • 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of baking soda (or baking powder)
  • 1 tsp of cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, combine the mashed bananas, honey, egg, milk, butter and vanilla.  Mix well.  In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda (or powder) and cinnamon. Mix well.  Gradually add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredient bowl.  Combine well.

Two ripe bananas in the process of being mashed.

All the wet ingredients (milk, egg, melted butter, honey, vanilla extract and mashed bananas) combined together.

Dry ingredients (flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda) in a small mixing bowl.

Pancake batter (after combining the dry and wet ingredients).

Pancake batter portioned into a 1/4 cup.

Heat a buttered pan on high.  Once it’s hot, scoop about 1/4 cup of pancake batter and place it into the pan.  Repeat until the pan is full but do not overcrowd.  Turn down the heat to medium.

Three pancakes each portioned into 1/4 cups of batter. They turned out more oval than circular but I promise they taste just the same.

Once the batter begins to bubble (about one to two minutes), it’s time to flip them over.  After flipping, I like to spread a little butter on top of each pancake.

Pancakes flipped after cooking for about one minute.

After another minute or so, flip the pancake again and place a little more butter on each pancake.  The pancake should be done, if not leave on the heat for about another minute but be watchful as they burn easily.  Serve warm and if desired, add syrup.