Updating an Old Favorite

Before I went away to college, I was fairly hopeless when it came to cooking.  No joke, I had to ask my mom how to boil an egg.  Safe to say that the kitchen was not my domain.

For my Junior year, I moved off campus and into an apartment with an actual kitchen.  Gone were my days of dining hall food, only to be replaced by my concoctions.  Not everything was a success, which is weird since the majority of my meals were pre-made items that you only had to add a few ingredients (like pancakes or those Knorr (Lipton) side dishes).  Like I said, I was not a natural-born chef.

The year I moved off campus was also the year Joe and I got together.  He and I ended up cooking together often (which is one reason why I ended up being a decent cook).  This was also the year I got my first cookbook: Everyday Italian by Giada De Laurentiis (which is the other reason why I got it together in the kitchen).

One of our favorite recipes from the book was the farfalle with turkey sausage, peas, and mushrooms – which you can check out here.  I highly recommend it.  Not only is it delicious, but it’s a quick and easy meal to make that’ll give you plenty of leftovers.

Sadly, I won’t eat this anymore since I don’t eat turkey but the other night, Joe was able to create something very similar.  Instead of using sausage, he used tofu ricotta (recipe found here).  I loved it so much that I ate it for dinner, brought some in for lunch, and ate the rest at dinner.

20130306_pasta http://popcornonthestove.com

If you’re interested in making the vegan version, it’s pretty simple.  All you need to do is chop the mushrooms and cook them in olive oil until the water has evaporated, add the frozen peas and let them cook together.  When that’s done, add the tofu ricotta mix in and then mix it in with the cooked pasta.

Next time, Joe and I are going to play around with different seasonings, like fennel, in hopes of giving it the same flavor as the original recipe.  Either way, it’s nice being able to add a new updated recipe to our repertoire.

Have you played around with recipes as your tastes change?  And when did you learn your way around the kitchen??

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  • http://www.mailboxjourney.com Melanie

    When did you become vegan?

    • http://popcornonthestove.com Kristen

      I was having stomach issues so shortly after college (2008-2009) I gave up red meat. That lead to me giving up poultry, then seafood, and then dairy so in 2010 I was a legit vegan for a while. It wasn’t the easiest lifestyle to keep so I ended up incorporating seafood back into my diet. While I’m no longer a true vegan, most of my meals are just that since seafood is not an everyday thing.
      Perhaps I’ll write a post one day :)

      • http://www.mailboxjourney.com Melanie

        So no milk or eggs!? I don’t think I could survive :P

        • http://popcornonthestove.com Kristen

          No to milk and rarely for eggs (I’m allergic to the egg protein so they either have to be hard boiled or baked into something so that’s a once in a blue moon thing). The longer I’ve eaten this way, the easier it gets. I don’t even remember what cheese tastes like!

  • http://www.ourhomefromscratch.com John @ Our Home from Scratch

    Love the farfalle.. this recipe looks really good.

    I took a cooking class when I was a senior at Drexel. I knew I’d be on my own after school (our fraternity had a cook). Really helped. I was in the same boat you were. I knew how to make instant oatmeal and that was about it. I also took a wine and spirits course. Good times.

    • http://popcornonthestove.com Kristen

      I’ve always wanted to take a wine class! PS – I am extremely jealous that you had a cook at your frat!

  • http://www.colortransformedfamily.com Krystle @ Color Transformed Family

    My college cooking skills sound extremely similar to yours. I love that you share vegan/vegetarian recipes here. I’m slowly becoming a pescatarian. I don’t think I will ever be fully vegetarian but it’s been cool to see my diet slowly transition. I hope you share your story someday of how you became a vegan. My diet has slowly evolved as a way to prevent my migraines. Be eliminating all my food triggers I don’t have any migraines any more and don’t need to take preventives either. It never ceases to amaze me how powerful your diet can be.

  • http://www.decorandthedog.blogspot.com michelle@decorandthedog

    I’m 31 and just starting to get good at cooking. Oops. I have recipe cards for things like “scrambled eggs” and “mashed potatoes”.

    • http://popcornonthestove.com Kristen

      Before Joe, my recipe for mashed potatoes involved adding ingredients to a box mix :)

  • http://attemptsatdomestication.com Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication

    This looks really yummy!

    I’m always in awe of vegans/vegitarians/paleo eaters because I have zero self control when it comes to food. But I guess if it affects your health you have no choice. We try to not eat too much gluten now, because we know we may have to give it up for our kids one day.

  • http://littlehousebigheart.com Jess @ Little House. Big Heart.

    That looks amazing!

    There is no way I could ever be vegetarian, let alone vegan. Kudos to you for being healthy (and feeling good) though!

  • http://www.alittlebiteofeverything.com Ainhoa

    I feel like I could be a vegetarian (although I’d miss fish) but vegan would be impossible for me! I love cheese & baked goods way too much. Although we definitely have our share of vegan/vegetarian meals, especially salads and soups.

  • http://www.cornerofmain.com Kelly @ Corner of Main

    Looks great! As a single person i was all about cans, boxes and bags of food! Actually, I still am when Kevin isn’t home (he works overnights every 3 days). When he is home I try to make nice meals. I love cooking, but have trouble finding the time these days!

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