Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Popeye Pasta

"I'm strong to the finish, 'cause I eats me spinach..."

This new Popeye Pasta Sauce is chock full of fresh spinach goodness. The sauce is delicately sweet rather than spicy which works nicely with the spinach!

I barely cook the spinach in this sauce. In fact, I merely toss it through the heated sauce before I'm read to top the pasta. I don't like spinach - or any greens - overcooked, particularly when they are a key ingredient as with sauce.

What you see on top of the pasta is a julienne of yellow summer squash, zucchini, and cucumber (seeds removed), since I always like a little something raw with dinner. Having our usual green salad with this meal just doesn't work for me with all the spinach in the sauce. Instead, I quickly julienned these veg, tossed with a little vinaigrette, and topped the pasta.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, this spinach was locally grown organic... fre'e'-coli spinach! :)

24 comments:

dollydlux said...

I was wondering about the spinach! I am really missing it. Can't wait for the new cookbook. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my copy of VLV! Just made Sunflower-Lentil Loaf last night and My fav greek basmati rice and lemon herb tofu the night before. I followed your suggestion and smashed the leftovers with veganaise. YUMMY! I need to make a double batch just to have enough left for sandwiches. BTW-my son is very picky and doesn't usually like tofu. He grubs down on the lemon herb though. Thanks!

*a* said...

Oh, how I am missing spinach! Even though the word on the street is that it's fine now, I'm not willing to trust that! On the plus side, I have been eating more Kale! I've never thought to put raw veg on top of pasta in that way. What a great idea! I usually put lots of cooked veggies in my pasta sauce and agree that a raw salad is sometimes a bit much with it! Thanks for that tip!
I'm so looking forward to your new cookbook. Will it have more "menu" ideas in it? I love the ideas you have in TEV, especially for your holiday meal. I'm not great at putting together menus (especially when I am trying to "wow" my omni friends!) and could use all the help I can get!
Aimee

Melissa West said...

OOOoooh I love spinach in pasta! I love your idea of juliening fresh veggies on top of the pasta in place of a salad. You are right, who needs a huge salad with all that spinach in the pasta sauce. Can't wait until the spinach is back in stores! Can't wait for your new cook book.

bazu said...

Dreena, that looks really good! And thanks for reminding people that it's ok to eat spinach, for crying out loud!
I always have to have a raw crispy thing with whatever I eat. Sometimes if there's nothing else, I just slice an apple to have with whatever the entree is. I love your idea of squash, though!

Kim said...

I love the different textures!!

Julie said...

I love pasta, that's for sure...and this looks great! I love the idea of putting raw veggies on top. I eat a good amount of cooked veggies, but not enough raw ones. When is this book coming out again?! All of the recipes look so good...even though it looks worth buying simply for the Sun Dried Tomato Pesto itself!

Eat Peace Please said...

Ooh, I can't wait to have this one! I love how colorful it is plus the raw veggies on top. This is totally my type of pasta dish. I really can't wait for your book.

I've been eating spinach, sneaking it when I can. It is way over the top still. Trader Joes specifically has labels that say spinach-free and or no spinach. I had some spinach ravoili as well as some frozen I had around.

jess (of Get Sconed!) said...

Dreena, it's gorgeous! Tossing fresh spinach into a hot fire roasted tomato sauce was the first dish I ever made successfully! And then I made it hundreds of times : )

maybepigscanfly said...

Glad to hear you were using fre'e'coli spinach... haha, you are a funny one. Spinach in pasta sauce is such a great thing that many people would not think to try (well mostly non-veg people like my family). I also love the raw veggie mix on top of the pasta. It always good to have a mix of raw and cooked veggies. I can't wait for the book, so that I can get started on trying out all these recipes you've been teasing us with.

-Teresa

edgeofnormal said...

It's good with kale or rabe too. I don't really like the leafy greens (cept spinach) so this is how I sneak them into my own diet!

--SweetPotatoPatti

Dreena said...

Dollydlux, thank you a bunch for that! :) What a treat to hear you are enjoying some of my recipes so much - and how great that your son will inhale the tofu - hurray for that one!

Thanks Aimee... I think I will be putting some menu plans together for the next book. When I test recipes I think to myself "ok, what else would go well with this". I often find there are so many variations on what can be combined, because eating vegan can be eating a main entree with a salad for instance, or having an assortment of 'side' dishes. I have a hard time deciding on what to pair up, but I think I will do so because people seem to like the concept.

Hi Melissa! Thanks, I know, it's almost redundant to have a green salad when you are eating about 1/3 a bunch of spinach in the sauce (it wilts down SO much). But the touch of fresh veg on top works just enough for that 'crunch' that I like and something raw to add to the meal.

Bazu, I'm the same - I really crave salad if I haven't had one in the day, and my sandwiches are always heaped with lots of raw veg too!!

Thanks Kim. :)

Julie, sounds like Leslie has completely sold you on that pesto... :) I should send her a few more recipes to test - ha! The book is out next fall - '07.

Leslie, that is nuts! (I mean about labels with 'spinach-free'), But I guess it's created such a scare for everyone. Man, it's annoying to hear all the talk about 'tainted spinach' when people are eating tainted food everyday and it is so adversely affecting their health. Oh my. This sauce has some chopped onion in it, btw - do you eat onion that way, if it is diced (I think you mentioned once before you are okay with it that way - it's just chunks/sliced in stirfries and such you don't like)???

Thanks Jess. :) I love the fire roasted flavor... do you use the Muir Glen fire roasted tomatoes, or did you get very ambitious and actually fire roast your own tomatoes? - wow, that would be something!

Thank you Teresa, and you know I will need testers here and there for recipes as I finish them, so if you have been eyeing one or two recipes on my blog and think you'd like to give them a test-whirl, let me know. :)

Hey Sweetpotatopatti, nice to hear from you again. Yeah, kale is definitely a nice green to add to a sauce, and it softens it up some to tenderize it a little - can be a bit chewy, but still good!!

Eat Peace Please said...

Dreena, wow you really remember a lot about me (especially eating stuff!). I don't like big chunks of onions but something has happened to me over the last 6 months or so, I've been eating and cooking with onion almost every day! I think I like it, super small though. Must be run through a food processor.

Oh, and I would be HAPPY to test more recipes. I just had the pesto (again for the 30th time now!) two nights ago and then leftover for lunch yesterday. I love this stuff. Bring more recipes on please!

raising_kahne said...

Fre'e' coli! haha This seruiously looks so delicious! I love the spinach in it too, I wouldve never thought of that! Oh, and the name is definately a keeper!

kris said...

Looks great Dreena! I love spinach with pasta. I love the idea of the raw squash on top, normally I'd just mix it into the sauce, but who needs to do that?

SDGvegan said...

Mmmm looks good

Urban Vegan said...

Spinach & pasta--two of my favorite things. Yum.

raising_kahne said...

I have a question, Dreena. We are going to dinner at my parent's friend's house this saturday. I usually try and avoid these types of things(and eating out) because I want to know exactly what Im biting into. The mom said "Oh well, dont worry. Ill just have some vegetables for her to eat." But I really dont want to go to dinner and eat just veggies(and Im pretty strict about eating organic veggies/fruits). I said I would just bring something to eat. Do you have any ideas?? Something easy for me, but nothing boring. I would hate for then to think veganism is boring. Of course, Ill just be bringing food for me, but Id still like to bring something that looks really yummy. If it gets too hatd, Ill just bring some veggies and a pb sandwhich.

Vicki said...

this looks delicious -- i miss spinach - it's slowly making it's way back to the shelves. cute name, too!

Candi said...

Looks beautiful! I agree that it's such a relief to see spinach again! Popeye pasta is a great name!

Oh, I finally made apple-hemp muffins from VLV. I cannot believe how delicious they are!!!! The hempseeds are perfect in this, and I left the applesauce chunky. YUM! I will definitely make these..a lot! lol!

Dreena said...

Wow, Les, you've had an onion breakthrough!! I remember a ton about food... other stuff, well, just don't ask my husband how awful my memory is! I really remember some dialogue between you and Get Sconed Jess - I think she dislikes slices/pieces of onion like that too? Anyhow, it stuck out to me, because I'd never heard that before - though I'm not fond of raw onions at all myself. I can't believe how much you've made that pesto!! Yes, you need a few more things to try out now. :)

Thanks Savanna (hmm, maybe I've got a knack for recipe naming afterall?? - um, no!) About your dinner Sat night - man, we've all been THERE - 'she can have the veggies' - like that will satisfy your hunger for very long. Plus, sometimes they are cooked in butter or with cheese or something. I suggest either bringing a simple frozen entree like a veg pizza you like, or a veggie burrito, and then you can pair it with a salad. If you bring a burrito, you can make some guac for yourself and have a good salad alongside. Or, if you want to make something, I can recommend a few things from my books. The Lemon-Herb Tofu from Vive is EASY. You can make it ahead of time and bake it at the dinner party. Bring a couple of small potatoes to bake there too. Then, pair them both with salad, and you have an okay meal. I think the Chickpea Ratatouille from Vive is also pretty easy, and you could make it in advance, and either bake it there (will take an hour though) OR bake it at home, and then reheat it when you get there. This is a big casserole, and you can share it with others at the party. Finally, you can make your own pita pizza, with toppings you like, and spread on some pesto or hummus if you like that on pizza. Do a couple and bake them there. Do any of these ideas help? E-mail me if I can help some more. :)

Thanks Kris... hey, how was your grand opening party night?!

Hi Sdgvegan! Thanks...

Urban Vegan, we love pasta too (who doesn't - well, maybe some folks don't like pasta - is that possible??!)... anyhow, I don't make it all that often lately even though we all love it - kids especially!

Thanks Vicki - I'm glad to hear the spinach is starting to reappear for you. I've been buying local organic all through the summer and into the fall at our farmers' market, so I've been lucky!

Hi Candi, thanks... and hurray!!! I'm super pleased that you like those muffins... thanks for letting me know too. :)

b36Kitchen said...

The pasta looks so delicious..I miss spinach so much...I went looking for it the other day in the stores up here and couldn't even find fresh non baged spinach. Everything has a NO SPINACH sticker on it. :( Also raw squash is one of my favorite things to put on top of meals. In the summer i dice it and throw it into my beans and rice right before i turn off the heat. It adds a nice texture to things. ~JENNA

Danielle said...

Dreena, re: recipe testing, I know that I've mentioned it before, but I thought that I would mention again that if you need anyone to test your gluten free recipes, I am available.

funwithyourfood said...

I'm glad that spinach is in the green again. Not eating it seemed like such a waste

teddy

Heidi said...

"Popeye Pasta"! Love that!!