Pasta with Broccoli, Edamame & Walnuts

3/4 lb. chunky pasta (whole wheat preferred)
1/4 cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
3 cups bite-sized pieces of broccoli
1 cup frozen shelled edamame (peas work too)
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, oregano, thyme, or marjoram
1 cup chopped toasted walnuts
salt and pepper
grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese (optional)
Bring a large covered pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
Meanwhile, warm 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil in a large skillet on low heat. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds. Add the broccoli with about 1/2 cup of the hot pasta-cooking water, turn the heat to high, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the edamame, salt, and herbs. Continue to cook until the water evaporates and the broccoli is crisp-tender and bright green, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
When the pasta is done, drain it. In a serving bowl, toss the pasta with the vegetable mixture, the remaining 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, and the toasted chopped walnuts. Season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with grated cheese if you wish.

Pasta with Artichoke Hearts & Feta

1 lb. pasta
2 cups chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
2 tsp. dried oregano
3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 (14 oz.) cans of artichoke hearts, drained and quartered
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese

Bring a large covered pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.
Meanwhile, in a skillet on medium-high heat, cook the onions, garlic, and oregano in the oil, stirring frequently, until the onions soften and are turning brown at the edges, about 7 minutes. Add the artichoke hearts and cook until heated through, a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley.
When the pasta is done, drain it, reserving 1 1/2 cups of the pasta-cooking liquid. In a serving bowl, whisk the reserved liquid into the feta until smooth. Add the pasta and the artichoke mixture and toss.

INGREDIENT NOTE: Spinach fettuccine or linguine looks and tastes good in this dish, but any pasta is fine.

Sautes, Curries, and More

Jop Chai

4 oz. bean thread noodles
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups thinly sliced onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups thinly sliced green cabbage or coleslaw mix
1 cup thinly sliced red bell peppers
8 oz. veggie crumbles

1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar or cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. dark sesame oil

Soak the bean thread noodles in hot tap water to cover until softened, about 15 to 20 minutes. When soft, drain and cut into more easily eaten lengths, 4 to 5 inches (kitchen scissors are handy for this task). To keep the noodles from clumping, toss them with a little dark sesame oil or vegetable oil.
While the noodles are soaking, heat the oil in a large pan or wok, add the onions and garlic, and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the cabbage and saute for a couple of minutes. Stir in the peppers and continue to saute until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Add the veggie crumbles and cook for another minute or two. Combine the sauce ingredients and add them to the vegetables. Add the drained noodles and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the noodles have absorbed most of the sauce. Serve hot.

INGREDIENT NOTES: Bean thread noodles (also called cellophane or glass noodles) are available in most large supermarkets and in Asian groceries. They're made from green mung beans and become glossy and transparent when cooked.
Veggie crumbles are made of textured soy protein and textured wheat protein. Yves Ground Round and Lightlife Smart Ground are brands we recommend. Most packages are 12 ounces, more than this dish requires, but leftovers are good in sautes or in tomato sauce. If you can't find veggie crumbles, substitute grated tofu or seasoned tofu.

Navajo Stew

2 medium sweet potatoes
2 red or green bell peppers
1 large onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 (15 oz.) can of tomatoes
1 Tbsp. canned chipotles in adobo sauce
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 (15 oz.) can of butter beans of black beans, drained
flatbread (tortillas, lavash, or pita)
plain yogurt, sour cream, or Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet.
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Stem and seed the peppers and cut into 1-inch pieces. Peel the onion and cut it stem end to root end into thin wedges. In a bowl, toss the vegetables with the garlic, oil, cumin, salt, and pepper. Spread on the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Stir and continue to roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender but not mushy.
While the vegetables roast, puree the tomatoes, chipotles, and cilantro in a blender until smooth. Set aside. When the vegetables are tender, put them into a 2- to 3-quart baking dish, stir in the tomato-cilantro sauce and the beans, and return to the oven until hot, about 10 minutes.
A few minutes before serving, warm the bread in the oven. Serve the stew in bowls topped with yogurt or sour cream, with warm flatbread on the side.

Main Dish Salads

Potato Salad with Green & White Beans

5 red potatoes (about 1 1/2 lbs.)
1 lb. green beans
1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup thinly sliced red onions
1 (15 oz.) can of white beans, rinsed and drained

Bring a larget pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut each potato in half and then into 1/2 inch-thick slices. Add the potatoes to the boiling water and cook until just tender, about 10 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, cut the stem ends off the green beans and snap them in half. In a larger serving bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir in the basil and onions.
When the potatoes are done, lift them out of the water with a large slotted spoon or a mesh strainer and place them in the serving bowl. Return the water to a boil. Add the green beans and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
Drain the green beans and add them to the bowl. Add the white beans and gently toss everything together. Add more salt and pepper to taste. This salad is delicious warm, at room temperature, or chilled.


Old Bay Roasted Fish & Vegetables

2 large sweet potatoes
1 large onion
1 large bell pepper, preferably red
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 Tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning

4 fish fillets (about 6 oz. each), such as tilapia, cod, or halibut
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1 Tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Oil a baking sheet for the vegetables and a baking pan for the fish.
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them in half lengthwise and then crosswise into slices about 1/3 inch thick. Peel the onion and cut it in half and then into 1/2-inch slices. Stem and seed the pepper and cut it into 1 1/2-inch chunks. In a mixing bowl, toss the vegetables with the oil and the thyme and Old Bay Seasoning. Spread on a baking sheet. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and browned.
While the vegetables roast, place the fish fillets in a single layer in the baking pan. Whisk the oil with the lemon juice, garlic, and Old Bay Seasoning and drizzle over the fish.
When the vegetables have roasted for about 15 minutes, stir them with a spatula to prevent sticking. Put the pan of fish in the oven and bake until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about 10 minutes per inch of thickness.

Shrimp Curry with Snow Peas

1 lb. peeled and deveined large shrimp
1 large onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
2 Tbsp. Curry Powder
5 oz. snow peas, cut in half on the diagonal (about 2 cups)
3 tomatoes, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 (14 oz.) can of coconut milk
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. lemon or lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, basil, or Thai basil

If your shrimp is frozen, place it in cold water before you start. Because the shrimp cooks in the coconut milk, it does not have to be completely defrosted.
In a saucepan on medium-high heat, saute the onions in the oil for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the shrimp and Curry Powder and cook for a minute or two, stirring to prevent sticking. Add the snow peas and tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes, and turn the shrimp to cook on both sides. When the shrimp are mostly pink, pour in the coconut milk, salt, and lemon or lime juice and bring to a simmer. Stir in the cilantro or basil and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.