I made dinner last night from scratch, ya'll.

I did. And I'm so proud of myself! Woohoo for me!

I know, I know - a small accomplishment. But in this day and age of eating out all the time, I'm really happy that this year has marked my first in finding creative ways to cook at home. It's a super important aspect of my life - and it's funny, because it only really began for me once I went vegan. As I've said before, veganism has completely opened up my life to countless varieties of foods I didn't really acknowledge or know about prior to making the change. It has been a reawakening of sorts to discover amazingly versatile ways of eating and living. 

So, yesterday I ventured to Whole Foods and looked around for local, organic vegetables, bought a pasta I love, and used spices and flavors I have in my kitchen cupboard.

As much as I love following someone else's lovely recipe, I've really been wanting to be more bold in my cooking and baking. So, I've decided that at least once a week, I will try something completely on my own. Even if it's a disaster, I will commend myself at the end of the process for a job well done. Because it's the thought and effort that count in the end anyway. And of course, I will always blog about it!

I shall call my creation:

Creamy Lemony Quinoa Pasta
with Eggplant, Squash, and Mushrooms
This is a dish that is just as the name suggests: creamy, comforting, and full of flavor. Feel free to change the vegetables to your liking.

Makes 2-3 servings

3 c. Quinoa Pasta
(or Brown Rice or Whole Wheat -  your choice)
2 c. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 whole small eggplant, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1 whole small yellow squash, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
juice of 1 lemon
2-3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 1/2 tbsp. Earth Balance Margarine
(click on the link above if you're unsure what this is)
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. finely ground sea salt
salt to taste
paprika to garnish (optional)

1. Cook pasta as directed on box.
2. While pasta cooks, salt eggplant and place in a colander covered with a dish towel or paper towel for about 10-15 minutes (or until they start to become soft). 
3. Heat 2 tsbp. oil at medium heat in a medium-sized pan. After about 1-2 min, add mushrooms and sprinkle with some of the salt. Cover and allow mushrooms to cook for about 5-7 minutes on medium heat (occasionally check the mushrooms to make sure they don't burn). Add squash and 1 tbsp. margarine to mushrooms, cover, and cook for 4-5 more minutes. Add eggplant, juice of one lemon, 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast, onion powder, garlic powder, and the rest of the salt. Cover and cook about 4 more minutes. Uncover and add the rest of the nutritional yeast, margarine, and salt to taste. When pasta is done, toss pasta into vegetable mixture to coat. Sprinkle paprika on top of the dish to garnish. Enjoy!


Jeni Treehugger said…
WooHoo! Way to go you! And it looks totally delicious too.
Lindsay said…
Aw - thank you yet again Jeni! You're awesome! I love the comments!
Kelly said…
Yay! Congrats on being innovative. Going vegan has really helped me start experimenting in the kitchen, too... I actually just blogged about it the other day. :)