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Saturday
Jul162011

Day 2, Week 1: pasta with tomato sauce, green beans, pudding & peach!

We're picking up momentum already today. Set out the Vinaigrette you made yesterday so the oil will warm up and soften. Make a double recipe of Noodles Cooked in Very Little Water (page 170 in Wildly Affordable Organic), Tomato Sauce with Bell Peppers and Onions (page 172), and Green Beans (page 204), half of which you'll save to serve as Marinated Green Beans (page 204).

Today's key Cook for Good concepts:

  • Don't throw good food down the drain.
  • Cook a double batch at dinner so you'll have enough for lunch later.

2012 Plant Strong update: Use whole-wheat rotini instead of the Barilla Plus and top each serving with a tablespoon of nooch (nutritional yeast). Make sure to use nooch fortified with vitamin B12, which is originally created by bacteria and is passed along in animal products. Find nutritional yeast in the bulk section or in shaker containers like the ones for Parmesan cheese.

WAO! Check out these advantages of the plant-strong path:

  • Nooch costs $6.69 a pound, Parmesan cheese costs about $20 a pound.
  • Whole-wheat pasta costs $1.39 a pound, Barilla Plus costs more: $2.64 a pound ($2.39 for 14.5 ounces).
  • It's easy to find store-brand, organic pasta. Barilla Plus is not organic, although I'm pleased to see that they are treating their chickens better.

When the pasta, sauce, and green beans are all cooking, sort two pounds of black beans and soak them overnight in a slow cooker or pot.

Swish the water you used to boil the pasta and green beans around in the pans and tomato can and then save that broth in a jar to make rice tomorrow. You'll be amazed at the rich, favorful broth you "made" by just not pouring it down the drain. I think it's better than the organic broth you can buy for 11 cents an ounce. Bonus: your pots will be much easier to wash!

 

For dinner, have pasta with tomato sauce and green beans with the Vinaigrette you made yesterday.

pasta with homemade sauce and hot green beans

 

For dessert, have the pudding you made yesterday:

  • Plant-strong: chilled Chocolate Coldocado pudding. Optionally, turn the pudding into Chocolate Coldocado sorbet by processing it in your ice-cream freezer. Freezing it will take a few extra minutes, but it was faster to make than Vanilla Pudding in the first place.

    cocoa avocado sorbet

  • Classic: chilled Vanilla Pudding topped with a fresh peach pieces.

    fresh peaches on homemade low-fat vanilla pudding

Reader Comments (11)

sauce was fantastic! pudding/peaches a big hit too. Love the ease and down-homeness (is that a word?) of these recipes - so practical and so very good. These fit my farm living - hope you have more coming for every season!

Jul 17, 2011 | Registered Commentergreg

So happy you enjoyed the sauce, Greg! It's one of my favorites. Yes, there are sauces for every season! I'm thinking about doing a Challenge every season, too. What do you all think?

Jul 18, 2011 | Registered CommenterLinda Watson

I agree - every season!

Jul 19, 2011 | Registered Commentergreg

Family not a big fan on the Pasta/Tomato Sauce...............maybe tomorrow will be a better day.

Jul 27, 2011 | Registered Commenterorganix4me

Tasty dinner, and impressively filling! The sauce was quite nice, though I was uncertain how much basil to add and when. Do I let the basil ribbons stand in for the basil that wasn't in the tomatoes, or should I be adding basil at the same time as the tomatoes in addition to any basil ribbons I might decide to use?

Chopping the green beans boosted today well over 20 minutes. I have also learned that I should not try to cook for the Challenge at the same time as watching my 1-year-old. Oof. Also discovered that I need a much bigger broth jar and many more tupperware-style containers.

My husband preferred the pudding today because of its increased texture compared to when it was warm (last night). Apparently, he does not find it too sweet at all, so I guess it's just my pregnancy taste buds playing tricks on me.

Aug 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

i agree for every season! and if your doing a mini challenge that would be great too!

is your grocery list quantities set for 2 people or how many?

Jul 15, 2012 | Registered Commenterrunnerteacher78

Runnertearcher78 -- The menus are for four people on the site and in the book. At home, I cut them in half and cook for two most nights. They actually work well even when you're cooking for one. Just put your freezer to good use and cook less often. Even the bread dough keeps for two weeks in the fridge, so you can cook small loafs or rolls for smaller families.

Jul 15, 2012 | Registered CommenterLinda Watson

Linda,
I just made challenge days part 1 & 2 today. Got your DVD in the mail yesterday, thank you! Since we do not drink cows milk, I used organic soy for your chocolate pudding recipe.... It came out FABULOUS! I doubled the recipe like you suggested, so one half gallon carton did the trick. Pasta and sauce turned out wonderful. I did add diced & browned eggplant to my sauce, as well as balsamic vinegar....which made it rich and meaty. I used organic frozen green beans (steamed) and added your vinegrette .... Yum! Going to make bread tomorrow.

Jul 16, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterShannon Christensen

Yaaay, Shannon! Thanks for sharing your tips and kind words. I love eggplant but my Taster doesn't, so it hasn't appeared in a Cook for Good recipe yet.

I used to use Vitasoy Classic to make the pudding and it was delicious. Now we're making the Chocolate Coldocado pudding using avocados for a dairy-free, soy-free treat. Summer Challenge subscribers get the recipe. I'll send it to you if you aren't subscribing.

Glad you are enjoying the 20 Minute a Day class DVD, too! I loved teaching that class at the launch of a new community kitchen just north of Sacramento.

Jul 16, 2012 | Registered CommenterLinda Watson

Been cooking along and enjoying the wonderful recipes! The chick pea, beets, quinona is very good! If you use the red beets it is all pink...even the chick peas...kind of wild looking :)....I was so proud that I was able to nuke beets without them exploding...and the clean up was easy as I chopped everything on my plexi hard glass cutting board in my sink...then I sit down to dinner and drop a piece of beet on my yellow shirt....the stain came out as I caught it fast....Made some peach ice cream today with my ice cream maker but it is the first time I had a problem....I don't know if the shell was frozen enough or what the problem is as I also used soy milk instead of milk or cream...the ice cream never got thick so that was sort of a flop. It was too expensive to chuck so I put the liquid in an ice cube tray and will make slushy's with my blender...oh well....Every thing can't always be perfect! I love the vinegarette over beans....it really brings out the taste of the green beans...I make something a little like this but never used mustard...really good!

Jul 28, 2012 | Registered Commenterfrann

Frann, love your description of the "wild looking" pink chickpeas with beets! Isn't in fun playing with colorful food!

Sorry about your ice cream not freezing up & glad you thought of a smart way to use it anyway. For my Donvier ice cream freezer, I need to freeze the cylinder at least 24 hours in advance. Sometimes even then I turn the handle every few minutes until the ice cream sets up, then pop the whole thing back in the freezer to harden up more. Thirty minutes usually does the trick. Full fat soy milk should freeze like cows' milk, but skim milk of any kind takes a little longer.

You're making me hungry! ... Linda

Jul 29, 2012 | Registered CommenterLinda Watson
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