For those of you who know me, know that veggies aren’t really my thing. I’m not a big fan. But, as I am preggers and want to be sure the little chicken is getting all s/he needs nutritionally, I have to eat those veggies I tend to avoid.
Over the last few days, Jason and I have been scouring cookbooks, looking for veggie-rich or full-on vegetarian recipes. The prompt for this was Jason viewing a graphically horrifying video on YouTube about the poor treatment of pigs in slaughter houses. This, added to the affore mentioned baby-essential nutritional value of veggies, led to our experimenting with dinner tonight.
Years ago, even before I moved to Korea, I bought Jessica Seinfeld’s cookbook “Deceptively Delicious.” I had never used it before this evening.
Now, I didn’t actually use a recipe from the book, but I did use her puree techniques for two of the veggies I added to our pasta dish.
The purees I made were spinach and zucchini. To prep them for puree, I first steamed about 3.5 cups of baby spinach in a pan with about a tablespoon of water for just under two minutes (until wilted). Then, I put the wilted spinach into the blender. I cut up the zucchini into 1-inch chunks and set them to steam in a make-shift veggie steamer we made with part of our busted rice cooker and a big pot we received as part of a house-warming gift. The zucchini steamed for about 7 minutes. I put the zucchini into the blender with the spinach and set it to puree for roughly 2 minutes. The mixture should be creamy and smooth.
In a pan over medium-low heat, combine 4-5 tablespoons of tomato paste and about a half cup of water. Mix until the water has been fully absorbed into the paste and the constancy is creamy. Pour in a can of stewed sliced (or diced) tomatoes with liquid. Combine.
Season with 1 tbsp basil, 1 tbsp oregano, 2 tsp crushed pepper, and 1 tsp cayenne pepper. Originally, I added a dash of both onion and garlic salt, but adding a 1/4 to 1/2 an onion (include in the blender with the spinach and zucchini to puree) and 1-2 cloves of garlic (minced) will bring out a better flavor.
Pour the spinach-zucchini (and onion) puree into the tomato mixture and stir until well-combined. Don’t freak out when the mixture turns to a reddish-brown color.
I used the multicolored rotini–spinach, carrot, and plain flavored. I cooked it in a large pot of well-salted boiling water. After adding the noodles, I turned the heat down from high to medium and allowed the noodles to cook for about ten minutes or until the taste test confirmed readiness.
Finally, I added the noodles to the sauce and mixed the two together. Jason had requested that I include some chunks of zucchini, so I left out three from the puree and cut them smaller and added them at the end.
We made enough for four, and had two servings left over at the end. So tasty, and I even ingested more veggies than I’ve had in the last three days combined. This method of cooking, however “unoriginal,” is such a great way for ME to get my veggies.
In addition to our super pasta, Jason roasted us each two ears of corn. Hooray for nutrient-rich dinner!
**Question: How do you get YOUR veggies?**