Vegetarian Experiment: Recipe Recap #3
April 3rd, 2010

Confession time.  My energy for new recipes waned in the final days of my vegetarian experiment.  Here’s the thing about new reipces: they are work.  Not that the dish itself is that much more work.  It’s the learning curve.  There’s something about cooking something for the first time that is more draining than each subsequent preparation.  Pre-Veggie Month, I tried to make one new thing each week.  I didn’t always succeed, but I tried.  Anyway, I kicked this month off with a bang – many new recipes.  Things slowed down though and I’ve shot from the hip a little bit during the last couple of weeks.  Today I come to you with only two recipes, both of which I made up, but both of which were pretty good. 

Orichiette with Goat Cheese Sauce
Source: My own head
Difficulty: Easy.  Nothing major here.  I made this up as I went along one evening.
Labor: Low.  The only real work is the chopping, which doesn’t take much time. 
Overall Results:  For it being an experiment, I was really pleased with the way this turned out.  Light but flavorful.  The sauce was creamy without being heavy, and the veggies perked it up quite a bit.  The only drawback was that it was a little dry when reheated.  This one is best the first time around.

½ lb orichiette pasta (could also use small or medium shells, penne, etc)
1 Tbs olive oil and unsalted butter
½ cup yellow onion, small dice
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ red bell pepper, small dice
1 can low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
4 oz. bleu cheese crumbles
6 scallions, white and light green parts, coarsely chopped


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook pasta until al dente, according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile in a large skillet over medium high heat, melt the butter and olive oil.  Add the onion, garlic and bell pepper and sauté until translucent – about 5 minutes.  Add the broth and wine and simmer until reduced by half – 6 or 7 minutes.  Stir in goat cheese crumbles and mix until cheese has melted throughout the sauce.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
  3. Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat.  Top each serving with a sprinkling of the chopped scallions.


Gnocchi with Greens and Mushrooms
Source: Inspired by a meal I had in a restaurant recently
Difficulty: Easy.  Making gnocchi from scratch is not actually all that hard.  It’s actually kind of fun; you should try it sometime.  Here, though, I use the packaged stuff which isn’t quite as fluffy as homemade, but much less work.
Labor: Low.  Very similar in method to the recipe above. 
Overall Results: I think this could have benefitted from some fresh herbs – dill maybe? – but overall I was really happy with it.  I ate it while watching the sneak preview of Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution on ABC and felt quite good about myself in the face of so much pizza…  Also, it reheated quite nicely.

1, 16-oz package gnocchi (on pasta aisle)
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
½ lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced
¼ lb Brussels sprouts, base cut off and outer leaves discarded
1 can low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper
½ cup roasted red peppers, finely chopped
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Drop in gnocchi and cook according to package directions.  Drain, cover, and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile in a large skillet over medium high heat sauté the shallots until slightly softened, about 2 minutes.  Add the mushrooms and continue to sauté until most liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes more. 
  3. While the shallots and mushrooms are cooking peel the inner leaves off of each Brussels sprout.  At some point you’ll get close enough to the heart that no more leaves will peel away.  Discard the hearts.  Add the Brussels sprouts leaves to the shallot and mushroom mixture and sauté 1 to 2 minutes more. 
  4. Add the wine and broth, bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by half.  Season with salt and pepper according to taste.  Stir in chopped roasted red peppers.  Add gnocchi to sauce and stir to combine.  Top each serving with a sprinkling of grated parmesan cheese.    

3 Responses to “Vegetarian Experiment: Recipe Recap #3”

  1. Kristen @ Motherese Says:

    I know you’re mostly glad to have your vegetarian experiment behind you, but I will miss this weekly source of great recipes!

  2. Gale Says:

    Thanks, Kristen. I may not be 100% vegetarian anymore, but I’ll still be trying new recipes. And I’ll be sure to post the good ones every now and then. I have a southwest styled quinoa on tap for this week. I’ll let you know how it turns out!

  3. Nicki Says:

    OOOh, I can’t wait for the SW quinoa. I have a huge bag of red quinoa in my pantry and no clue why. LOL!