This is my attempt to update one of my classic go-to recipes, Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes.
Lately I’ve been splurging on all the different varieties of tomatoes available in the market so I mix the best, most colorful tomatoes I can find and marinate them with arugula and even sometimes baby fresh spinach to make for a great un cooked, wilted salad pasta that’s a whole meal in one bowl.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I do…
PASTA WITH MARINATED TOMATO ARUGULA SALAD
2-3 cups of tomatoes – cherry, grape, zebra, any kind of tomato you prefer…
3 tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed
6-8 fresh basil leaves or 1 tbs freeze-fried basil leaves
3-4 handfuls of baby arugula or baby spinach – or a combination of the two – somewhat chopped
2 ounces of goat cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper to taste
3 cups of dried pasta – I use quinoa penne pasta, and the amount should be enough for 4 people
- In a large bowl, add the tomatoes either halved or quartered, depending on their original size. I halve the small ones and quarter the larger ones. Add the smashed garlic cloves, drizzle olive oil and season with salt, pepper and basil leaves. Mix well to combine. Add the arugula leaves and toss again. The olive oil and juices of tomatoes will wilt the arugula a bit… that’s our goal.
2. While the tomatoes and arugula marinate and wilt, cook the pasta according to the packages direction. Remember to salt the water well before adding the pasta to the water.
3. Toss the tomatoes and arugula once in while the pasta cooks… it should take about 10-12 minutes. I usually turn the stove off after 12 minutes, cover the pot and leave it covered for about 5 minutes more. The pasta will turn out perfect every time and you save 5 minutes of electricity each time you make pasta…
4. When pasta is done to your liking, drain the water saving a bit of pasta water. I usually just don’t drain it completely… and leave some water in the bottom of the pot. Return the pasta to the pot you cooked it in.
5. Remove the garlic cloves from the marinated tomatoes/arugula mixture and add it to the pasta. Toss well to combine. Add the goat cheese in small pieces to help it melt with the heat of the pasta and pot. Season with grated parmesan cheese and a small drizzle of olive oil, if you prefer…
To me this is one of the most satisfying lunches… and it’s great to eat on the days when I train. It has complex carbs and delicious veggies with some protein from the quinoa pasta and cheeses. Mmmmmmm… I might make myself this today again.
This was the smoothie recipe we shared at the 3rd KarmaFree Cooking Class recently. I just wanted to share with the class how easy it is to add nutrition to a fruit smoothie by adding fresh spinach. The green flecks might be a bit strange, but the vegetable flavor is masked with the sweetness of the banana and berries.
If you prefer not to see any green flecks at all, you can try my Stealth Shake which has darker berries and the spinach is completely masked.
Also, you can boost the power of your smoothie by adding chia seeds, flaxseeds, maca all together or any of them individually.
FRUIT SMOOTHIE WITH FRESH BABY SPINACH
A handful of fresh baby spinach leaves
½ cup plain yogurt or kefir
1 cup passion fruit juice
A squirt of honey or agave nectar
1 tbs ground flaxseeds
1 tbs chia seeds
1 tbs maca powder
3 ice cubes
- Blend all the ingredients in a blender.
- Serve ice cold.
This was one of the main dishes we created for our 3rd KarmaFree Cooking class recently. We were super excited because we got picked up by the local newspaper El Nuevo Día and we received tons of calls from people interested. We hosted 7 students who are not vegetarian, but are very interested in following a more natural and meat-free diet. I was thrilled!!
Angie is the expert among us making tofu scramble… but I made sure the ingredients were colorful, vibrant and easy to find in any supermarket.
1 package of extra-firm tofu
1 vegetable bouillon cube with seas salt and herbs
½ red onion, chopped
1 orange bell pepper, chopped
1 package of fresh baby spinach
2 cups of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
Butter or Dairy-free alternative like Earth Balance
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
½ tsp turmeric
- In a large skillet over medium high heat, add the olive oil, a pat of butter and add the onions and peppers to soften. Add the bouillon cube too and dissolve it in the mixture.
- Drain the tofu as much as you can. In a bowl, pat it with a few paper towels. Mash the tofu and add to the onions and peppers in the skillet. Miox it well so the tofu starts infusing itself with the flavors in the skillet.
- Season with black pepper and turmeric. Mix well.
- Add the tomatoes and spinach to the mixture. Mix it all well and cover for a few minutes so the spinach wilts .
- Uncover and raise the heat a bit so the liquid that most probably accumulated at the bottom can evaporate a bit.
Serve alongside these Double Mustard Roasted Potatoes and your favorite toast.
Last month we celebrated our 3rd KarmaFree Cooking Class. The theme was Breakfast in Bed for Mom…
We were honored to be featured in El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico’s largest newspaper. The turnout was great – many people who do not consider themselves vegetarian yet wanting to learn about a more natural and meat-free lifestyle. To me that reads SUCCESS because that’s exactly the goal of KarmaFree Cooking… teaching people that a vegetarian lifestyle is doable and delicious.
I want to share a recap of the recipes shared at the class. Some are new, some are KarmaFree classics and some are updates on favorites of all of us.
Tofu Scramble with Tomatoes, Peppers and Baby Spinach
Double Mustard Roasted Potatoes
Papaya Mango Fruit Salad
Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Yogurt Frosting
Fruit Smoothie featuring Fresh Baby Spinach
We also talked about how to best combine fruits for your fruit salads and juices
If you live in Puerto Rico, hope you can join us for our next KarmaFree Cooking class. If you are not so lucky to live in Puerto Rico, rest assured we’ll be sharing the recipes here on the blog. But doing it in person, as part of our group and then tasting the results of your labor is a whole different experience.
Thanks a lot to Angie and my mom who always help and thanks a bunch to the class attendants who always make giving these courses a whole lotta fun.
Last week we had our 2nd KarmaFree Cooking class and our theme was Loving ourselves first thru our Food. Sometimes, we only cook nice things when we’re cooking for others. But why not cook something nice even if it’s just us in the house??
The recipes we shared are old and new KarmaFree Cooking recipes that work well made just for one person, for two or for a crowd. These are simple, quick and delicious recipes that work well to make just for you on a solo movie night at home and just the same are not much more effort making for a large dinner party.
Here was our class menu:
Pasta with Marinated Tomatoes over Brown Rice Pasta
Quinoa Pasta with Fresh Baby Spinach and Lemon Vinaigrette
Spinach Salad with Macerated Strawberries
Baked Sweet Plantains with Cinnamon and Vanilla
Poached Pears with Blue Cheese and Almond Praline
Even though these were all recipes we had shared in the blog before, it’s never the same reading and making them on your own as seeing how I make them, after I have made them over and over and over again. Your words… not mine.
The class is not only about sharing recipes and techniques. We also talked about alternative pastas… we talked about my favorite olive oils and vinegars. We also talked about microplanes and rasps to grate lemon zest and how I do not like to rinse pasta after I drain it. We also shared how the same ingredients for the Marinated Tomates can be used in a bruschetta as an appetizer or skewered to make for a fancier passed hors d’oeuvre.
I am so grateful for all of those who attended… we had a larger class this time around. Some repeats and some new students. I want to give a great shout out to Adriana from Great Food 360 who attended once again and contributed with the wonderful pictures. She rocks!!!
Again to my lovely assistants Angie and Mom… who help me with the little things that keep the class rolling smoothly.
Hope you can join us for the next installment… Late April. Mark your calendars – Recipes to celebrate Mom. I am already planning the menu.