10-Minute Meal?

6 Jun

We had a wonderful family day today down at the Old West End Festival. Garage sales, live music and dancing, children's activities, art show and more. We've been so busy working on our landscaping, new screen room and preparing for Brady's birthday party, that this was a much-needed break.

Of course, the festival had all the usual food fare — bratwurst with all the toppings, barbecued ribs, super-size steak fries, funnel cakes, fresh-squeezed lemonade, etc. The kids cooled off with ice cream, but Jason and I behaved ourselves and passed on all of it. 
Boy, am I glad we did. We left there and headed back to our neighborhood for a graduation party. My good friend, Rosie, had a beautiful buffet of food for her daughter's celebration. She made pulled pork sandwiches, potato salad, pasta salad, relish trays, and bowls of fresh fruit. But the best part? A SALAD BAR! Yes, a huge bowl of mixed greens and a bunch of smaller bowls of toppings — carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, pickled beets, chickpeas, dried berries, sunflower seeds, broccoli, cauliflower, red and orange bell peppers, bacon bits, shredded cheese, chopped hard-boiled eggs, diced ham, croutons…I can't remember all the rest! I made a big salad with everything but the meat, cheese and eggs. It was the perfect dinner, with some fresh fruit on the side. No problem being vegan at this party.
And, to top it off, I didn't have to cook after an activity-filled day.

I mean, let's be honest. A busy day doesn't always end with a party where someone else has done all the cooking! So, who doesn't want a meal you can throw together in a matter of minutes? Life is crazy and sometimes spending 30 minutes or more getting dinner on the table just isn't possible.

Here's a quick, easy, delicious entree I made a few days ago with miscellaneous items I had in my fridge. You can use other vegetables you may have on hand, but this was a wonderful combination. Putting this together only takes about as long as it takes for the pasta to cook. While it's in the boiling water, make the Alfredo sauce and slice the onions and mushrooms.
CREAMY PASTA WITH BABY 'BELLOS AND SPINACH
serves 6
12 oz. box of whole wheat pasta
Best Ever Vegan Alfredo from Vegan Dad's website*
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 an onion, halved and sliced thin
8 oz. baby portobello mushrooms, sliced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 cups fresh baby spinach leaves, sliced
salt substitute and freshly-ground black pepper to taste
chopped fresh basil for garnish (optional)
Cook pasta in boiling water per package directions.
Meanwhile, make one recipe of Best Ever Vegan Alfredo sauce from Vegan Dad's website. Reserve 1/2 cup of sauce. Toss cooked pasta in remaining Alfredo sauce and set aside.
In a large skillet or saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute garlic and onions for two minutes. Stir in mushrooms and saute until onions are translucent and mushrooms are lightly browned. Add red pepper flakes, pasta and spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes. Toss mixture with remaining Alfredo sauce and season with salt substitute and pepper to taste. Garnish with basil. Enjoy!
*You can substitute cornstarch for the arrowroot.

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