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LifestyleColumnistsMarge Perry

3 Simple plant-based dinner recipes

Bucatini Pasta with black pepper and parmigiana cheese

Bucatini Pasta with black pepper and parmigiana cheese topped with an egg. Credit: Marge Perry

CACIO E PEPE WITH EGG

12 ounces bucatini

1 tablespoon butter

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

1/2 cup finely grated parmigiana cheese

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook 8 minutes, or until slightly undercooked.

2. While the pasta cooks, melt the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add the eggs and cook until the whites are just set and the yolks still runny, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium; add the pepper and cook 30 seconds. Scoop out 1/2 cup of the pasta water and carefully add it to the skillet. When the water stops spitting, use tongs to transfer the pasta to the skillet and toss. Add the cheese and toss thoroughly. Add about another 1/4 cup of the pasta water; toss and add a final 1/4 cup of the water. Toss until creamy. Add salt and additional pepper to taste.

4. Serve the pasta into four shallow bowls or plates and top each with an egg. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 515 calories, 20 g protein, 63 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 19 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 0 added sugar, 252 mg sodium

TIP: Pasta water gives the cacio e pepe sauce extra body and creaminess.

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LENTIL SCALLION PANCAKES

1/4 cup lentils

4 tablespoons canola oil, divided

8 scallions, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoons baking powder

1/8 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon sugar

3/4 teaspoons salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt

1. Combine lentils and 3/4 cups of water in a small saucepan: bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 13 — 15 minutes until lentils are tender. Drain.

2. Puree the lentils in a food processor.

3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the canola in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the scallions and the curry and cook, stirring, until the scallions are slightly softened, about 2-3 minutes.

4. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. In a second bowl, combine the egg, yogurt, 2 tablespoons of the oil and the pureed lentils. Combine the two mixes and stir in the scallions.

5. Brush a 9-inch nonstick skillet lightly with some of the remaining oil and heat over medium high. Scoop about 1/2 cup of the batter into the pan and spread it evenly. Cook until the top is bubbly and partially set and the edges browned, about 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook until golden on the underside, about 1-2 minutes. Repeat with the remaining oil and batter. To serve, cut each pancake in wedges. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 268 calories, 8 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 16 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 1 g added sugar, 516 mg sodium

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MAPLE-CHILI GLAZED BRUSSELS SPROUTS, BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND TOFU

1/4 cup maple syrup

2 tablespoons lower sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1 pound extra firm tofu, drained and cut in 1-inch cubes

2 cups (1-inch) butternut squash cubes (yield from a 1 1/4 pound squash)

3/4 cup no-salt vegetable broth or water

1 cup chopped onion (1 medium)

12 ounces Brussels sprouts, quartered

3 garlic cloves, finely minced

1. Combine the maple syrup, soy sauce, vinegar and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the tofu and cook, turning occasionally, until it is lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3. Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to the skillet; when it shimmers, add the squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Add the broth (or water) and cook until it evaporates and the squash is tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the plate with the tofu.

4. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet; add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the Brussels sprouts and garlic and cook until they just begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Pour in 1/3 cup water and cook until evaporated, about 2 minutes.

5. Gently stir in the tofu and squash. Add the maple syrup mixture, bring to a boil and cook 1 minute until heated through. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 352 calories, 16 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 17 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 12 g added sugar, 321 mg sodium

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