Cheese Tortellini in Creamy Marinara

Cheese tortellini makes the best quick dinner recipe! Serve it up in a creamy marinara sauce flavored with goat cheese and basil. Some meatless recipes stand a head above the rest, and this is one of them. In fact, I think we’d be happy eating this genius quick dinner every day of the week. Try this cheese tortellini in creamy marinara sauce! In just 15 minutes, you’ve got a pasta skillet that’s a literal symphony flavor. The fresh basil-infused marinara sauce is perfectly complimented with pillows of tangy goat cheese. (In fact, it’s our baked goat cheese dip made into a main dish, because we love it so much we needed a way to justify it as dinner.) This one is a huge hit in our house…and we hope it will be in yours too! Best cheese tortellini to buy Cheese tortellini often escapes our radar when it comes to pasta: usually we think of penne, spirals or macaroni. But there’s lots of high quality tortellini in grocery stores these days! Tortellini are traditional ring-shaped Italian filled pasta. In Italy you can get them freshly made at local shops. What to look for if you’re not in Italy? Fresh tortellini […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Cheese tortellini makes the best quick dinner recipe! Serve it up in a creamy marinara sauce flavored with goat cheese and basil.

Cheese tortellini

Some meatless recipes stand a head above the rest, and this is one of them. In fact, I think we’d be happy eating this genius quick dinner every day of the week. Try this cheese tortellini in creamy marinara sauce! In just 15 minutes, you’ve got a pasta skillet that’s a literal symphony flavor. The fresh basil-infused marinara sauce is perfectly complimented with pillows of tangy goat cheese. (In fact, it’s our baked goat cheese dip made into a main dish, because we love it so much we needed a way to justify it as dinner.) This one is a huge hit in our house…and we hope it will be in yours too!

Best cheese tortellini to buy

Cheese tortellini often escapes our radar when it comes to pasta: usually we think of penne, spirals or macaroni. But there’s lots of high quality tortellini in grocery stores these days! Tortellini are traditional ring-shaped Italian filled pasta. In Italy you can get them freshly made at local shops. What to look for if you’re not in Italy?

  • Fresh tortellini is sold refrigerated. This is usually the best quality when it comes to tortellini recipes. It boils up in just 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Frozen tortellini is also a good option. We like frozen because it saves well and you can pull it out at moments notice.
  • Avoid dried tortellini. Tortellini isn’t traditionally a dried pasta: and all the brands we’ve tried dried just haven’t measured up.
  • Look for any type of cheese tortellini for this recipe. Use 3 cheese, spinach ricotta, Parmesan: any type of cheese flavor will work.
Cheese tortellini

Secrets to the best creamy marinara sauce

This tasty cheese tortellini recipe is engineered by us to be two things: mega quick and mega delicious! This one’s like a cross between our famous baked goat cheese and our goat cheese pasta. It capitalizes on the best flavor pairing: a great tomato sauce that’s made creamy using soft goat cheese. Here are a few tips for the very best creamy marinara:

  • Use canned fire roasted tomatoes. This special type of tomato is becoming easy to find. It’s charred over an open flame, which gives them a beautifully sweet flavor right out of the can. Can’t find them? Use the best quality tomatoes you can find.
  • Use fresh basil. It’s a splurge in winter, but it’s absolutely worth it for the peppery flavor it imparts.
  • Use soft goat cheese (chevre). You might think a creamy marinara is good with heavy cream. But it’s great with soft goat cheese! None of those hard crumbles with the texture of feta: this sauce deserves a good chevre.

Why it works

Here you’ll use soft goat cheese to crumble into the marinara, and it adds a tang and a creamy body that makes it taste like a best-in-class gourmet meal. Add those beautifully boiled cheese tortellini, and every bite is velvety, heavenly goodness. You can save out a few goat cheese crumbles as a topping, too.

We like to add a little spinach into the mix too! It adds nutrients but the way it melds into the skillet, you can barely tell that it’s there.

Tortellini in skillet

Is goat cheese healthy? How does it compare to cow’s cheese?

You may have heard that when it comes to cheese, goat cheese can be a healthier option that other cheeses. You’re right! There are a few advantages to choosing this cheese vs a mozzarella or a Parmesan. Goat cheese has the following going for it (source: Prevention):

  • More vitamins and minerals than cow’s cheese. Goat’s milk is richer in essential nutrients than cow’s milk. It has more vitamin A & B, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Slightly less calories than cow’s cheese. Goat cheese has just 75 calories per ounce—less than cow cheeses like mozzarella (85 calories), Swiss (108 calories), and cheddar (115 calories).
  • May be easier to digest. Goat cheese has less lactose than cow’s milk and a slightly different protein structure, so people who are lactose intolerant many times can digest goat cheese.

Can you make it gluten-free?

Yes! There are actually some good brands of gluten free tortellini on the market these days. We don’t eat exclusively gluten-free, so we don’t have a preferred brand. But there are lots of great options in both refrigerated and frozen varieties. Again, we recommend steering away from dried. Do you have a brand to recommend? Let us know in the comments below.

Tortellini recipes

What to serve with cheese tortellini!

This cheese tortellini recipe is an ideal quick dinner: it takes less than 20 minutes to whip up! Pair it with a simple side dish or two and you’re in business. It’s ideal for Meatless Mondays or impressing friends with a tasty vegetarian dinner. Of course, it can be harder than you think to find side dishes that work with the flavors, compliments it nutritionally, and is easy enough to make while you tackle the main dish. Here are a few of our favorite sides to pair here:

This cheese tortellini recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free tortellini.

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Cheese tortellini

Cheese Tortellini in Creamy Marinara


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Cheese tortellini makes the best quick dinner recipe! Serve it up in a creamy marinara sauce flavored with goat cheese and basil. 


Ingredients

  • 12 to 16 ounces frozen or refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 28 ounce can crushed fire roasted tomatoes (or best quality crushed tomatoes)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 cups baby spinach leaves, tightly packed (or chopped spinach)
  • 8 fresh basil leaves
  • 4 ounce goat cheese log

Instructions

  1. Boil the tortellini according to the package instructions (fresh usually takes 2 to 3 minutes and frozen takes 2 to 5 minutes to boil). Then drain it. 
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, place the crushed tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic powder, oregano, kosher salt, spinach, and whole basil leaves. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer while the pasta cooks or at least 10 minutes.
  3. When the pasta is done and drained, add it to the skillet. Crumble in the goat cheese into the sauce and stir until a creamy sauce forms (if you’d like, save out a few crumbles for topping). Serve immediately.
  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Dinner

Keywords: Cheese tortellini, Tortellini recipes

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Epic Vegetarian Fajitas

Everyone loves this easy vegetarian fajitas recipe! This Tex Mex dinner is full of big flavor and beautiful colorful veggies. Here’s a Tex Mex favorite that no one can turn down…and it’s a great way to infuse loads of veggies without giving it a second thought. Try these Vegetarian Faijtas! These are so full flavored and satisfying, they please everyone around the table: even the meat lovers! This fajita recipe stars our favorite fajita veggies, blackened in the oven and finished on the stove, with pinto beans cooked in a flavorful fajita sauce. It’s so satisfying, you’ll promptly add it to your regular rotation. How to make vegetarian fajitas: an overview These vegetarian fajita recipe can come together in about 30 minutes, and the concepts are very simple. There’s a little back and forth between the cooking methods, so here’s a bit more about the why behind the what: Prep the veggies: There’s quite a bit of veggies here, so use your most efficient knife skills! Head to How to Cut a Pepper or How to Cut an Onion if you need to brush up. Broil the veggies (10 minutes): Throw the veggies in a broiler first. This gets them […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Everyone loves this easy vegetarian fajitas recipe! This Tex Mex dinner is full of big flavor and beautiful colorful veggies.

Vegetarian fajitas

Here’s a Tex Mex favorite that no one can turn down…and it’s a great way to infuse loads of veggies without giving it a second thought. Try these Vegetarian Faijtas! These are so full flavored and satisfying, they please everyone around the table: even the meat lovers! This fajita recipe stars our favorite fajita veggies, blackened in the oven and finished on the stove, with pinto beans cooked in a flavorful fajita sauce. It’s so satisfying, you’ll promptly add it to your regular rotation.

How to make vegetarian fajitas: an overview

These vegetarian fajita recipe can come together in about 30 minutes, and the concepts are very simple. There’s a little back and forth between the cooking methods, so here’s a bit more about the why behind the what:

  • Prep the veggies: There’s quite a bit of veggies here, so use your most efficient knife skills! Head to How to Cut a Pepper or How to Cut an Onion if you need to brush up.
  • Broil the veggies (10 minutes): Throw the veggies in a broiler first. This gets them to release their liquid so they’ll all fit in one saute pan, and gets them lightly charred. Why broil instead of baking? You don’t have to wait to preheat your oven, and it’s a quicker broil time.
  • Meanwhile, get the beans started: Make our homemade fajita sauce (more on that below) and throw it in a skillet with the beans.
  • Finish the veggies in a skillet: Finishing in the skillet gets them nice and tender. This makes it much quicker than roasting and gets that classic fajita skillet sizzle.
Vegetarian fajita recipe

Pinto beans add plant-based protein and flavor

The key to vegetarian fajitas is finding a stand in for meat that has great flavor and a good amount of protein. We’ve used portobello mushrooms in the vegetable mix to add big meaty flavor. But mushrooms don’t have protein, so on their own they’re not very filling.

Pinto beans are perfect for vegetarian fajitas! They’re savory with a robust flavor, and they taste incredible with homemade fajita sauce (we’ll get to that next). If you prefer, you can use black beans instead. Just don’t skimp on the beans, since they’re the major protein source.

Vegetarian fajitas

Homemade fajita sauce is key

We highly recommend our homemade fajita sauce for this recipe! It’s got a great zing from the lime juice, and a smoky body from the adobo sauce. Here’s a little breakdown of the ingredients, and make sure to head over to Homemade Fajita Sauce for the full recipe:

  • Lime juice
  • Cumin
  • Adobo sauce: from 1 can chipotle peppers
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Olive oil

What are chipotle peppers in adobo sauce? They’re easy to find at most grocery stores near the Mexican products. The can includes chipotle chiles: smoked and dried jalapeños that are rehydrated and canned, and adobo sauce, a purée of tomato, vinegar, garlic, and other spices. All you do is use a spoon to remove adobo sauce from the can. Refrigerate or freeze the remainder, and use it for more adobo sauce recipes, like tortilla soup or enchilada sauce.

Vegetarian fajitas

Toppings for vegetarian fajitas

Once you’ve made your veggies and pinto beans: let’s talk toppings! You can use any of your favorite fajita toppings here. In fact: the toppings are the only thing that make this vegetarian fajita recipe! Otherwise, all the ingredients are vegan. So you can make this a vegan fajitas recipe with plant-based toppings. Here are our must-have fajitas toppings (what are yours?):

  • Pico de gallo: It adds just the right zing
  • Sour cream: Always. For vegan, substitute Cashew Cream
  • Fresh cilantro: Another must! It’s the perfect contrast to the savory veggies
  • Guacamole: Optional — or use a mashed avocado
  • Cheese: Optional too! You can add shredded cheddar, feta, queso fresco or cotija cheese: but the flavor doesn’t need it! It’s ultra flavorful as is.
Vegetarian fajitas

Make it a meal: sides to add

These vegetarian fajitas are fantastic on their own: most nights we don’t even make a side to go with them! (Truth.) But here are a few easy side ideas for adding to make it a meal:

This vegetarian fajita recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free (with corn tortillas).

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Vegetarian fajitas

Epic Vegetarian Fajitas


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

Everyone loves this easy vegetarian fajitas recipe! This Tex Mex dinner is full of big flavor and beautiful colorful veggies. 


Ingredients

  • 3 bell peppers (red, yellow, green)
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 2 portobello mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 3 cloves smashed garlic
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 each teaspoon chili powder, garlic powder, and smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 15-ounce cans pinto beans
  • 1 recipe Homemade Fajita Sauce*
  • Small tortillas
  • For the toppings: Sour cream, pico de gallo, fresh cilantro, guacamole (optional), shredded cheese (optional)

Instructions

  1. Broil the veggies: Preheat a broiler. Thinly slice the bell peppers and thinly slice the onion. Remove the stems and slice the portobello mushrooms. Place them in a bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons oil and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Spread the veggies on a parchment lined sheet pan. Place in the broiler and broil 8 to 10 minutes, stirring halfway through, until softened and blackened on some edges. Then go right to Step 3. 
  2. Cook the beans: Meanwhile in a skillet, whisk together the ingredients for the Homemade Fajita Sauce. Drain and rinse the pinto beans and add them to the skillet. Heat over medium heat and cook until warmed through and the sauce is thickened, about 6 to 8 minutes. Taste and stir in another 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  3. Saute the veggies: Once the veggies are done in the broiler, finish them on the stove by heating the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a cast iron skillet or large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Add the broiled veggies, smashed garlic cloves, chili powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are tender. Remove and discard the garlic cloves before serving.
  4. Warm the tortillas: Warm and char the tortillas by placing them on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm. (See How to Warm Tortillas.)
  5. Serve: Place bowls of fajita veggies and pinto beans on the table, with tortillas, sour cream, pico de gallo, guacamole, and fresh cilantro. Let each person add their desired toppings and serve. 

Notes

*We highly recommend this homemade fajita sauce! Or you can substitute 1/2 cup store bought sauce. For the fajita sauce, mix together 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 to 2 tablespoons adobo sauce (from 1 can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce), 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 cup olive oil.

  • Category: Main DIsh
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Tex Mex

Keywords: Vegetarian fajitas, vegetarian fajita recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Smoky Shiitake Quesadillas with Avocado Cream.

These smoky shiitake mushroom quesadillas are the easiest meal you can make tonight!  Seriously, it doesn’t get much easier than this. Obviously you know that, given that you can see a photo of a quesadilla. But what you may not know if how good these taste!  These quesadillas are super hearty (thanks, shiitakes!), cheesy, crunchy […]

The post Smoky Shiitake Quesadillas with Avocado Cream. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

These smoky shiitake mushroom quesadillas are the easiest meal you can make tonight! 

smoky shiitake mushroom quesadillas with avocado cream

Seriously, it doesn’t get much easier than this. Obviously you know that, given that you can see a photo of a quesadilla. But what you may not know if how good these taste! 

These quesadillas are super hearty (thanks, shiitakes!), cheesy, crunchy on the outsides and melty on the insides. Serve with all the dips and toppings you want to make them fancy and you’re good.

sautéed shiitake mushrooms

My local grocery store carries these wonderful thinly sliced shiitake mushrooms (it’s just the store’s brand) and to say I’m obsessed would be an understatement. They are FANTASTIC. I discovered them in early 2020 and buy them every single week.

The shiitakes are sliced so thin that they really get nice and crisp in a skillet – or even the oven. Or! Even on the grill – because I use these in my grilled vegetable orzo all the time. 

avocado cream

The shiitakes have become the staple to most of my meatless meals throughout the week. They cook up so quickly and nicely and our whole family (even the kids!) love them. You can mimic them by simply slicing a shiitake mushroom cap into thin slices and boom, there you go. I love their flavor.

The avocado cream is what really makes these. I’ve used this recipe for YEARS and it never fails to amaze me just how good it makes things taste. It’s like an avocado sour cream and just takes it over the top.

Yum.

Of course, I also do some shredded lettuce, pickled onions (fave for life!) and a sprinkle of cotija cheese. 

mushroom and cheese on tortilla

To take these quesadillas over the top, which is saying a lot because, um… hello – they are QUESADILLAS. Aka, the easiest meal ever known to man. Aka, the meal I survived on in high school when I’d get home and have as a snack (in the microwave, of course).

But yes, to take them over the top, I cook the shiitakes in a skillet with a touch of liquid smoke until they are crisp. This adds so much ridiculous, wonderful flavor that I can hardly stand it. It’s seriously one of my favorite things to make!

crispy, cheesy quesadilla

When it comes to making the quesadillas, I don’t think it’s a secret that these crispy sheet pan quesadillas are my fave. They are SO great to make for a family, because you can make multiples at once. Also great if you want some quesadilla leftovers.

If you prefer making them on the stovetop, or just not in the oven, I use this electric griddle all the time. We use it for breakfast things like pancakes and eggs a lot, but it’s always what I use for quesadillas too if we’re not doing the oven-crisp version. Works like a charm and I can do two or three at once! 

And now… dinner is served.

smoky shiitake mushroom quesadillas

Smoky Shiitake Mushroom Quesadillas

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Smoky Shiitake Quesadillas

These smoky shiitake mushroom quesadillas are so hearty, cheesy and crunchy. This is a great meatless meal served with avocado cream!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 2 to 4 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil or butter, plus more for toasting the quesadillas
  • 12 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 to 3 shakes of liquid smoke
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 4 flour tortillas
  • 6 ounces sharp or smoked cheddar, freshly grated
  • pickled onions, for topping
  • cotija cheese, for topping
  • shredded lettuce, for serving

avocado cream

  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add in the mushrooms and garlic and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms brown, about 5 to 6 minutes. Shake in the liquid smoke and toss. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and turn off the heat.
  • To make the quesadillas, place a sprinkling of cheese on a tortilla, then the mushrooms on a tortilla with another sprinkling of cheese. Top with another tortilla! You can use my oven-baked method above, or add another drop of butter or olive oil to a skillet and cook the quesadilla on both sides until golden and crispy.
  • Slice and serve immediately with the avocado cream, pickled onions, cotija cheese and shredded lettuce.

avocado cream

  • Add ingredients to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth and creamy.

smoky shiitake mushroom quesadillas

Crispy, crunchy, creamy! The best bite.

The post Smoky Shiitake Quesadillas with Avocado Cream. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Warm Winter Farro with Cranberry Cinnamon Vinaigrette.

This warm winter farro salad is so comforting and delish! Bowl meals like this are something I live for in the winter. They are so hearty and flavorful and you can make a big batch and eat it throughout the week. Sounds perfect right?!  Plus, you can always customize these to your preferences. Throw in […]

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This warm winter farro salad is so comforting and delish!

winter farro salad with cranberry cinnamon vinaigrette

Bowl meals like this are something I live for in the winter.

roasted butternut squash

They are so hearty and flavorful and you can make a big batch and eat it throughout the week. Sounds perfect right?! 

Plus, you can always customize these to your preferences. Throw in what you love, sub something else that you may have in your pantry. It’s perfect! 

maple toasted pecans

I’m absolutely obsessed with the flavors and textures in this salad. We have the caramely roasted squash – a nice hint of sweet and savory. 

The pecans are crunchy, but also have a hint of maple. The farro is chewy. The goat cheese is creamy with a bit of tanginess. And the cranberries are chewy and sweet!

Let me tell you a little secret about the cranberries too: I kind of prefer dried cherries more. I mean, I definitely do! So you can toss in either of those and it will work.

winter farro salad with cranberry cinnamon vinaigrette

The dressing is a DREAM! 

This cranberry cinnamon vinaigrette is originally from my thanksgiving kale salad. I never thought I’d enjoy cinnamon in a vinaigrette, but the slight hint of spice is wonderful. The cranberry adds a bit of holiday flavor and it’s still a classic, briney vinaigrette that dresses the salad so nicely.

A dressing on a grain salad is so perfect, because it basically marinates everything. Instead of wilting a salad as it sits, it essentially marinates everything in the bowl so all flavors are enhanced. Awesome, right? 

winter farro salad with cranberry cinnamon vinaigrette

My favorite thing about this salad is that you can technically enjoy it warm or cold! Yes, the title says it’s a warm salad. And it is so lovely to serve warm – it’s nourishing and satisfying and tastes fantastic.

But if you find yourself with leftovers in the fridge, they are just as excellent right out of the container! If not, better.

winter farro salad with cranberry cinnamon vinaigrette

It’s one of those dishes that even gets better as it sits – the farro and squash and goat cheese all marinate in the dressing and everything just had a boatload of flavor. The ingredients hold their textures well in the fridge too. 

It’s one of the reasons that I love serving this for lunch! You can have it as a bowl, over greens, on top of a salad or even as a side dish – really the options are endless.

winter farro salad with cranberry cinnamon vinaigrette

This bowl has everything you want in a cozy, weeknight meal.

warm winter farro with butternut squash, goat cheese, cranberries and pecans

Warm Winter Farro Salad

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Warm Winter Farro Salad

This warm winter farro salad is hearty and nourishing. Butternut squash, goat cheese, cranberries and pecans make this irresistible.
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 4 people (or more, as a side dish)
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked farro
  • 3 cups cubed butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • kosher salt and pepper
  • 1 cup whole pecans
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 cup dried cranberries or tart cherries
  • 2 to 3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

cranberry cinnamon vinaigrette

  • 3 tablespoons cranberry juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup olive oil

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Place the squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with a big pinch of salt and pepper. I also like to do a sprinkle of garlic powder!
  • Roast the squash for 20 minutes, or until slightly caramelized and fork tender. While the squash is roasting, you can make the farro too! Cook it according to the package directions. You can also make the vinaigrette during this time too!
  • To toast the pecans, heat the pecans in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Drizzle in the maple syrup. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often, as the maple syrup sizzles. Spread the pecans on a sheet of parchment paper until ready to use. You can chop them or leave them whole - your choice.
  • Place the farro in a large bowl. Toss in the roasted butternut squash cubes, the dried cranberries, goat cheese and pecans. Drizzle on a few tablespoons of the vinaigrette and toss the salad well.
  • Taste the farro and season with a pinch of salt and pepper if needed. Drizzle in more of the vinaigrette if desired. Top with the fresh parsley. Serve immediately!
  • Leftovers of this stay great in the fridge for a few days in a sealed container.

cranberry cinnamon vinaigrette

  • Whisk together the vinegar, juice, honey, mustard, garlic, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Whisk in the olive oil until emulsified. This keeps great in the fridge for a few days!

warm winter farro with butternut squash, goat cheese, cranberries and pecans

Hugs. Head to instagram to see my make this meal step by step!

The post Warm Winter Farro with Cranberry Cinnamon Vinaigrette. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

20 Minute Veggie Ramen Noodles with Sesame Fried Eggs.

20 minute ramen noodles are a must-make this week!  I mean, look at that. Easy. Delicious. Full of flavor! Dinner is on the table in minutes.  And that egg! Oh we are going to talk about that egg.  These noodles are a spin off of the my 15 minute sesame ramen noodles from my last […]

The post 20 Minute Veggie Ramen Noodles with Sesame Fried Eggs. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

20 minute ramen noodles are a must-make this week! 

20 minute ramen noodles with sesame fried eggs

I mean, look at that. Easy. Delicious. Full of flavor! (more…)

The post 20 Minute Veggie Ramen Noodles with Sesame Fried Eggs. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Cauliflower Stir Fry

This easy cauliflower stir fry is an ideal healthy and easy dinner idea! It’s full of nutrients and covered in a punchy sauce. Hands up if you love cauliflower! (All hands raise, over here.) This vegetable has star status among veggies these days: because there are endless creative ways to use it. Make it into tacos, use it as a plant based stand-in buffalo wings, or hide it in alfredo sauce. Here’s our new favorite way to use these tasty florets: in a cauliflower stir fry! Fry it until lightly charred and tender, then add bell peppers and a punchy stir fry sauce. It’s the best way to make eating your veggies irresistible! Try it as a healthy side dish or an easy plant based dinner (with the protein adders below). Ingredients in this cauliflower stir fry This cauliflower stir fry is fast and easy to make! On its own it works as a side dish, but eat it with a plant based protein (see below) and it’s an easy dinner. The main thing to note is that cauliflower requires much more time to stir fry than other veggies, so you’ll need to add it to the pan first. Here […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This easy cauliflower stir fry is an ideal healthy and easy dinner idea! It’s full of nutrients and covered in a punchy sauce.

Cauliflower stir fry

Hands up if you love cauliflower! (All hands raise, over here.) This vegetable has star status among veggies these days: because there are endless creative ways to use it. Make it into tacos, use it as a plant based stand-in buffalo wings, or hide it in alfredo sauce. Here’s our new favorite way to use these tasty florets: in a cauliflower stir fry! Fry it until lightly charred and tender, then add bell peppers and a punchy stir fry sauce. It’s the best way to make eating your veggies irresistible! Try it as a healthy side dish or an easy plant based dinner (with the protein adders below).

Ingredients in this cauliflower stir fry

This cauliflower stir fry is fast and easy to make! On its own it works as a side dish, but eat it with a plant based protein (see below) and it’s an easy dinner. The main thing to note is that cauliflower requires much more time to stir fry than other veggies, so you’ll need to add it to the pan first. Here are the basic ingredients you’ll need for this stir fry:

Nutrition note: This recipe uses 2 bell peppers along with the cauliflower. 1 medium red bell pepper provides 169% of your daily vitamin C, so using 2 knocks this vitamin off the charts (Source)!

Cauliflower stir fry

Notes on the stir fry sauce

This cauliflower stir fry has an incredible stir fry sauce that brings in lots of savory, salty and sweet flavor! Use the recipe as printed, or another option is our Go To Stir Fry Sauce. It’s just as good and is an oil free option. Here are a few notes on the ingredients in the stir fry sauce:

  • Soy sauce: Use regular sodium to get the full seasoning. Tamari is a gluten free soy substitute, or use coconut aminos for a soy free gluten free substitute. You may need to add a pinch more salt in both cases.
  • Cornstarch: Arrow root powder is an effective substitute for cornstarch in stir fry sauces!
  • Miso: Miso is a Japanese fermented soybean paste that’s full of nutrients and savory flavor. It’s a must in this sauce and can’t be replicated. You can find miso in the international foods aisle near the Japanese ingredients. There are lots of types of miso: we used yellow or light miso here.
  • Gochujang (optional): Want to add a little spicy funkiness to your sauce? This Korean chili paste steps it up a notch.
How to make a cauliflower stir fry

How to make a cauliflower stir fry: some tips!

The overall process for this cauliflower stir fry is easy: but there are a few things to note to make it come out perfectly. Here’s what to know:

  • Stir fry the cauliflower about 5 minutes before adding other veggies. Here’s the kicker: cauliflower takes much longer than other veggies to stir fry. If you add them all at once, it will come out too tough. Make sure to follow the instructions exactly.
  • Use medium high heat. The point of a stir fry is to cook at high heat: quickly. This will get nice char marks onto your cauliflower.
  • Don’t double the recipe. The biggest tip for a stir fry: you can’t crowd the pan! If there are too many veggies, they’ll steam instead of stir fry. If you want to increase quantities, cook the veggies in batches then re-warm everything together.
Cauliflower stir fry

Add protein to make it a main dish!

Are you serving this cauliflower stir fry as a main dish? It’s a perfect healthy meal or fast and easy dinner idea. Just make sure to serve with a whole grain and consider adding protein to keep it filling. Here are some ideas:

  • Serve with Rice: Rice has protein (about 10% of your daily needs in 1 cup cooked) and fiber, which helps to make a filling meal. Try our White RiceBrown Rice, or Instant Pot Rice.
  • Cashews: Throw 3/4 cup cashews into this stir fry when you add the cauliflower. This makes a main dish of about 2 to 3 servings.
  • Edamame: Add 1 cup shelled, frozen edamame in the last 2 to 3 minutes of the cook time. Or eat edamame in the shell as a side: try Easy Edamame or Spicy Edamame.
  • Tofu: Cook Marinated Tofu or Pan Fried Tofu, then add it once the stir fry is done.
  • Shrimp: Make Garlic Shrimp but use sesame oil instead of butter and omit the lemon.
Cauliflower stir fry

Or serve cauliflower stir fry as a side dish

You also can serve this cauliflower stir fry as a side dish instead! It would be fantastic with the following main dish options:

This cauliflower stir fry recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Cauliflower stir fry

Easy Cauliflower Stir Fry


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 3 to 4 as a main with added protein, 4 as a side
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This easy cauliflower stir fry is an ideal healthy and easy dinner idea! It’s full of nutrients and covered in a punchy sauce. 


Ingredients

  • 1 medium head cauliflower (2 pounds)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 3 green onions
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar*
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce (or tamari or coconut aminos)
  • 1 tablespoon light miso
  • 1/2 tablespoon gochujang (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (or maple syrup)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil (regular, not toasted)
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
  • 3 tablespoons neutral oil for stir frying, divided
  • To serve as a main dish: Add 3/4 cup cashews with cauliflower**, add 1 cup shelled frozen edamame in the last 2 to 3 minutes, or add Marinated Tofu, Pan Fried Tofu, or Sauteed Shrimp and serve with rice

Instructions

  1. Chop the cauliflower into small florets. Thinly slice the bell peppers. Thinly slice the white onion. Thinly slice the green onion.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, soy sauce, miso, gochujang, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch (or make the Go To Stir Fry Sauce). 
  3. In large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons neutral oil over medium high heat. Add the cauliflower and a pinch of salt and cook unstirring, for 3 to 4 minutes until charred. Flip the florets and continue cooking for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the bell peppers, white onion, a pinch of salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and cook 4 to 6 minutes until tender.
  5. Turn off the heat. Pour in the sauce and add the green onions. Stir until the sauce coats everything and thickens. Serve immediately. 

Notes

*Or substitute the Go To Stir Fry Sauce for the sauce ingredients (oil free).

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stir Fry
  • Cuisine: Asian inspired

Keywords: Cauliflower stir fry

More great cauliflower recipes

There are so many tasty cauliflower recipes to try if you love this healthy veggie! Here are a few of our favorites:

  • Buffalo Cauliflower Wings They’re crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and tossed with spicy buffalo sauce.
  • Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower No one can resist this roasted cauliflower with Parmesan! It’s as irresistible as French fries, baked in a hot oven until browned and crisp.
  • Creamy Cauliflower Sauce Like a healthy alfredo sauce using cauliflower as a base! It has less calories and all the benefits of this healthy veggie.

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Melon Mosaic Salad with Hot Honey Vinaigrette.

The melon mosaic is everything I want on a plate in summer. Seriously, I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  It’s light and refreshing on a super hot day. It’s easy to serve to friends and family (… if we can ever see them again) and the combination of melon + cheese tastes […]

The post Melon Mosaic Salad with Hot Honey Vinaigrette. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

The melon mosaic is everything I want on a plate in summer.

melon mosaic salad with hot honey vinaigrette

Seriously, I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 

It’s light and refreshing on a super hot day. It’s easy to serve to friends and family (… if we can ever see them again) and the combination of melon + cheese tastes wonderful. And it’s a great starter “salad” for a heartier dish and it’s also a really delish lunch if you aren’t in the mood for something more filling. 

chopped feta, cucumber, watermelon, cantaloupe and tomatoes

I used to make a version of this salad all the time back when Max was two years old. He actually loved it because he could pick up the chunks and eat them. He also loved playing melon tetris with the cubes and it was so cute. I actually forgot about that until I made this last week and Emilia started grabbing for bites. 

She loves spicy stuff, so she even went in with the hot honey. How is she my child?! It’s amazing. 

melon mosaic salad with hot honey vinaigrette

In the past, I also made this melon mozzarella salad with watermelon and cucumber. I love using the cucumber instead of the honeydew. It’s unexpected, a little more savory and refreshing and adds a pop of freshness without the sweet.  

melon mosaic salad with hot honey vinaigrette

For this version, I threw in some avocado, huge feta chunks and cherry tomatoes! 

The dressing is simple and amazing. Lemon, hot honey, champagne vinegar – all flavors that I love so much. Tons of herbs like fresh mint and basil and get showered all over the salad taking the flavor up another notch. It’s no secret I’m obsessed with hot honey. I usually make my own but you can even buy it now

It’s easy. Almost embarrassingly so.

But the flavors together are JUST SO GOOD.

close up melon mosaic salad with hot honey vinaigrette

The other great thing?! You can make this ahead of time and marinate it all. I actually threw the chunks in a bag to marinate them with the dressing while testing this. It also makes it easily transportable! I would just skip the avocado and add it once you’re ready to serve the whole thing. 

melon mosaic salad with hot honey vinaigrette

Definitely considering making a small batch melon mosaic for lunch every week.

melon mosaic salad with hot honey vinaigrette

Melon Mosaic with Hot Honey Vinaigrette

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Melon Mosaic Salad

My favorite summer salad treat! This melon mosaic is refreshing and an easy salad to make. Drizzle with hot honey vinaigrette and you're good to go!
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 to 6 people (or more, depending on how many dishes you serve!)
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 cups watermelon cubes
  • 2 cups cantaloupe cubes
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
  • 1 to 2 seedless cucumbers, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 1 to 2 avocados, chopped
  • 1 8 ounce block feta, cut into cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs, like mint, basil and chives

hot honey vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons hot honey
  • 1 garlic clove, freshly grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

Instructions

  • If you’re chopping everything yourself, be sure to chop the cubes roughly the same size. If you’re buying something pre-chopped, use that as the guide to size and chop everything else to size. Use the most of what you love! For instance, I like to use watermelon and cantaloupe the most, then cucumber, then fill in with avocado and tomato.
  • As a note, you can also crumble the feta or do smaller cubes. You can also leave the cherry tomatoes whole and not slice them.
  • Assemble the cantaloupe, watermelon, cucumber and feta cubes on a dish. Make the dressing as directed. Chop the tomatoes and the avocado, stick them in between a few of the cubes. There is no right way to do this! You can throw everything in a bowl, spread it out on a plate or layer it. Whatever you’d like.
  • Sprinkle everything with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the dressing and cover with the fresh herbs. Serve!
  • Leftovers of this are delicious.

hot honey vinaigrette

  • Whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, hot honey, garlic, salt and pepper until combined. Stream in the olive oil while whisking the entire time. This dressing stays great in the fridge for up to a week.

melon mosaic salad with hot honey vinaigrette

Bonus points for colorful food!

The post Melon Mosaic Salad with Hot Honey Vinaigrette. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Lentil Veggie Bolognese.

Forgive me for serving you lentil bolognese in spring!  I promise it will be worth it. It is the weirdest thing ever to me that I’m sharing a lentil bolognese recipe with you in May. To me, this is a serious fall or winter meal. And I am such a seasonal cook and eater and […]

The post Lentil Veggie Bolognese. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.

Forgive me for serving you lentil bolognese in spring! 

This lentil bolognese is incredible! Super hearty, loaded with vegetables, saucy, rich and decadent. You won't even miss the meat!

I promise it will be worth it.

zucchini, mushrooms and onions in a skillet

It is the weirdest thing ever to me that I’m sharing a lentil bolognese recipe with you in May. To me, this is a serious fall or winter meal. And I am such a seasonal cook and eater and by now, I’d be really starting to bring out all the early summer recipes. 

And while this isn’t a recipe I’d make weekly in the warmer months, it is still a fantastic recipe that can be made year round! I figured that while we’re still quarantining at home and now with a possible meat shortage looming, there could not be a better time to share this recipe. Plus, it’s an ideal pantry meal

spices with zucchini and mushrooms in a skillet

So.

If you’re familiar with our favorite bolognese recipe from The Pretty Dish, this is a version of that. But an all veggie version! YES. No meat whatsoever.

My original version already has mushrooms in it, which is one of the reasons I think we all love it so much – it is so hearty! I added some more veggies here and removed the meat and it is just as good. Maybe better?!

lentils with zucchini and mushrooms in a skillet

It’s not a simple recipe. In fact, it’s not really simplified whatsoever! But it’s not difficult either and it doesn’t take a super long time. 

I would give yourself around an hour to make this and frankly gets better as it sits. Most of it is hands off time while you wait for it to simmer and all those flavors to develop.

Like a traditional bolognese, it’s hearty and rich and wonderful. It’s still made with red wine (of course!) and even a splash of cream. The filling would totally work in lasagna too. 

lentil bolognese in a skillet

Okay, so it’s absolutely to die for.

It’s fabulous over pasta of course, really good over zucchini noodles and surprising good over (regular or cauliflower) rice.

I find it to be a very versatile dish! And it’s easily one of the most made recipes in my kitchen. If not theeee most made.

This lentil bolognese is incredible! Super hearty, loaded with vegetables, saucy, rich and decadent. You won't even miss the meat!

Now, I must tell you the best part of this recipe.

If you’ve been lurking around this blog for the last decade plus, you know that Eddie is a major carnivore. He likes/enjoys/wants meat at every single meal. If there isn’t meat, he hopes there are eggs. A true meat and potatoes guy.

And on top of that… you probably also know that I like to trick him into eating things that he thinks he doesn’t like. Not in a MEAN way, of course, but this is well documented here on the blog. Like how he swore he didn’t like ricotta but now some of his favorite dishes use ricotta. That sort of thing.

lentil bolognese on a plate

ANYWAY. 

All rambles aside, I made this one day for dinner, testing it out. I tossed the pasta noodles right into the sauce. And I covered it and let it simmer for a little until Eddie got home. I wondered if he would be able to tell that it was a meatless meal. Then I started putting the kids to bed and totally forgot about it.

By the time I remembered, I had watched him eat two plates. It wasn’t until an hour later when I told him. He.was.stunned. First, I think he thought that I fed him something weird. Then, his mind was blown that it was actually meatless. 

I am here to tell you that it is nearly impossible to tell that this is a meatless bolognese. If he didn’t know? Wow. I don’t know who will!

There is so much texture. So much flavor! 

Best.dinner.ever.

up close lentil bolognese with a fork

Lentil Bolognese

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Lentil Bolognese

This lentil bolognese is incredible! Super hearty, loaded with vegetables, saucy, rich and decadent. You won't even miss the meat!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 6 to 8 people
Author How Sweet Eats

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms chopped
  • 2 medium zucchini squash, diced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 (14 ounce) cans cooked lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 (14 ounce) can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
  • cup half and half

Instructions

  • Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the olive oil.
  • Add in the onions with the salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 to 6 minutes. Add in the garlic and mushrooms. Stir and cook for another 5 or 6 minutes, until the mushrooms soften.
  • Stir in the zucchini and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomato paste, dried basil, oregano, pepper flakes and brown sugar. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the lentils and stir to combine.
  • Add in the wine and tomatoes. Stir in the parmesan and half and half. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cover, cooking for at least 20 minutes (or even longer if you wish!). Taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. This is important! Taste and season to your liking! It will differ depending on the brand of tomatoes you use, etc.
  • You can make this ahead of time. It reheats wonderfully. You can also freeze it for up to 6 months!
  • Serve with your favorite pasta.

This lentil bolognese is incredible! Super hearty, loaded with vegetables, saucy, rich and decadent. You won't even miss the meat!

This is the epitome of comfort food.

The post Lentil Veggie Bolognese. appeared first on How Sweet Eats.