Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tomato & Spinach Fettuccine Bake

Making dinner for J. can be a perpetual challenge since he is so picky about vegetables. Onion, tomato and spinach are things that he actually likes so this recipe was a perfect match.

This recipe is adapted from BevCook's Penne Bake with Spinach and Tomatoes.

- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 Tbs. butter
- 1 pinch crushed red pepper
- 1 Tbs smoked paprika
- 3 small tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1/2 pound fettuccine pasta, cooked
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- pinch of salt and pepper

Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet, add the diced onions. 
Saute for five minutes.
Add the garlic, red pepper and paprika.
Saute for a minute.  

Add the tomatoes and marinara sauce, simmer 5-10 minutes.

Add in the spinach. 
Stir into the sauce and cook until wilted. 
Pour the sauce into a pan, add the fettuccine. 
Stir until the pasta is covered in sauce. 
Top with breadcrumbs. 

Add cheese and bake at 400 for 20 minutes. 

Cook until the cheese is melted. 


I thought this pasta was just okay, it wasn't bad, but I didn't love it. J. felt the same way, the ingredients were all things that we liked, but neither of us loved the sauce. If I made this again, I would try to adjust the ingredients.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Black Bean and Rice Soup

This is the final Soup Wednesday post! Thanks for hanging-out with us every Wednesday for the past twenty weeks. It will hopefully be warming up soon so we're going to start working on some great salad's for Wednesday's instead of soup recipes. This won't be your average salads though, these will be spectacular salads that will make you so happy to be eating vegetables! 

If you are looking for a good filling soup to eat as a meal this is it. The rice on the bottom of the soup was really a great touch from other bean soups I have had before. The lime gave it a good twist and it was a pretty simple soup to make. I got the inspiration for this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats.

You can also see our earlier soup Wednesday blogs: Week 19Week 18Week 17, Week 16, Week 15, Week 14, Week 13, Week 12, Week 11, Week 10, Week 9, Week 8, Week 7, Week 6, Week 5, Week 4,Week 3, Week 2, Week 1

(This makes 2 servings)
-1 garlic clove
-1 teaspoon chili powder
-1 can black beans
-3/4 cup water
-1/2 cup vegetable broth

-1/2 cup long grain white rice
-1 cups water
-juice from half a lime

You can add some salt and pepper or seasoned black beans instead of plain if you want, but I thought this was really flavorful without it. The chili powder, lime, and vegetable broth made gave it enough flavor alone.

Heat garlic for about 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add the chili powder.
Add the black beans, vegetable broth, and water.
Heat for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the rice, according to package directions.
Add the lime juice and mix in.
Mix with an immersion blender, or add half
the soup to a blender, blend and return.
It seemed a little thin to me at first, but when
I put it in the bowl with the rice it was a good consistency.
Put the rice on the bottom of the bowl, then fill with soup.

This would be a great soup to make at any time of the year. It was easy, had only a few ingredients, and was great as a meal on its own.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

S'mores Cake

Today we're celebrating the one year anniversary of Vegetarian & Cooking!

(Edit 3/20/2013) If you're visiting us from Tastespotting or The Berry, welcome! Learn more about us here.

What started out as an occasional pastime in my college kitchen has turned into something much larger than I could have ever hoped. I work really hard to keep Vegetarian & Cooking! going, but this blog wouldn't be possible without the love and support I receive from J. and all of the help I receive from Becky. Lastly, none of this would be possible without our readers. 

Today's blog is a recipe that was featured in Food Network magazine. This was not only a collaborative effort between Becky and I, but this is the final blog for the month of February featuring the beautiful photography of Kayla. Check out Kayla's blog here.

Other blogs featuring Kayla: Twice Baked Red PotatoesCorn Risotto and King Cake Cocktail.


1/2 cup heavy cream
4 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
Pinch of salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

8 whole graham crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt
Vegetable oil, for the spatula
1 16-ounce container marshmallow cream

Chocolate Cake Mix, prepared 

Bake the cake according to package directions.
Gather the rest of the ingredients. 

Allow the cakes to cool. 

Combine all of the ingredients for the ganache in a heatproof bowl.

Heat over a double boil. 

Stir occasionally. 

This process won't take too long, but you need to cool the ganache.
FoodNetwork recommends cooling the ganache for 1 hour.
We just popped it into the freezer for about 10 minutes. 
While the ganache is cooling, bake the graham crackers which have been covered in melted butter.
350 for 8-10 minutes.
Using a long, sharp knife, carefully slice each cake in half. 

You'll end up with four pieces, keep track of them because you need to stack them carefully. 
With the first two layers.
Add a layer of marshmallow fluff, add some graham crackers. 

Then stack the top of the first cake onto the layer of marshmallow fluff and graham crackers.
Make sure to put the top of the layer is on the inside that way the flattest layer is on top.
Spread more marshmallow fluff onto that layer.

The marshmallow fluff is difficult to spread, oil your spatula  if needed.
I found it was easier to work with the marshmallow cream after I microwaved it.
I think we put it in for about thirty seconds.  
Top with more graham crackers.  
You're halfway to deliciousness. 
Add the third layer, put this layer cut side down, it will be so much easier  to spread the marshmallow fluff onto the smooth underside of the cake.
Top with more graham crackers. 
Add the top layer to your cake.
See? That was easy, now for the fun part. 
Stir up the ganache. 
Pour over the cake. 

Chocolate deliciousness. 

Make sure the top of the cake is covered well, and that the ganache is going down the sides. 
Ready for more toppings. 
Top with the remaining graham crackers. 
Happy one year anniversary to Vegetarian & Cooking!


This cake was delicious, I could not have been happier with how it turned out. It looks like a lot of steps, but it was really not that difficult to put together and everything was worth the time it took to put the cake together. This cake is great way to bring summer inside during the cold winter weather.

Thank you for all of the support over the past year and thanks for being with us throughout the first year. I promise only bigger and better things from here.