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Cookbooks, plus Spinach Linguine and Cauliflower with Mustard Sauce

September 3, 2012

I enjoy the process of spending Sunday evening looking through recipes, making a meal schedule for the week, then creating a grocery list. I particularly try to find dishes that will finish food from our pantry and/or will compliment other meals. I plan three dinners, leaving the other two open for our easy dinner favorites of burritos or pasta.

Below are a few that I use regularly, and would recommend

The dinner below is an adaptation of a recipe from The Green’s Cookbook.  Deborah Madison cooks from a different perspective than myself. She often combines ingredients in a way I wouldn’t, and for that I appreciate her books and restaurant. This recipe caught my eye because it is pasta in a mustard butter, something I would never do. After looking at the recipe, I decided to make some changes. She makes the pasta from scratch, which I would love to do, but never seem to have time, so I bought DeCecco’s Spinach Linguine. The recipe calls for 8 tablespoons of butter, which does not mesh with our low cholesterol diet. There are tasty low cholesterol substitutes for butter, most are vegan creamed oils, like Earth’s Best. We didn’t have any in the house, so I swapped olive oil for the butter and it worked fine. Bonus? The simple change made the meal vegan, and no one would know the better.  We also swapped capers for lemon, and took out the parsley, cheese, and broccoli. The result was a perfectly light dinner for weeknights during the Fall or Winter.

Spinach Linguine and Cauliflower with Mustard Sauce

  • 1 lb of spinach linguine
  • 7 T olive oil, or butter substitute like Earth’s Balance
  • 2 T dijon mustard
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 t balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup of arugula, chopped
  • 2/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 cups cauliflower florets, broken up
  • 2 tb capers
  • salt
  • pepper

1. Stir 4 tablespoons of olive oil with the mustard, shallots, garlic, vinegar and arugula over low heat.

2. Meanwhile, stir together the remaining olive oil and bread crumbs. Fry until they are crisp and brown.

3. Boil a large pot of water. Throw the cauliflower into the boiling water and cook for about 1 minute.  Scoop the cauliflower out and add it the mustard butter.  Cook the pasta according to directions.  Drain the pasta and return to pot, stir in the mustard sauce, sun dried tomatoes, capers, bread crumbs, salt and pepper.

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