Vegetable Fideua (but not really)


Where did this recipe go wrong?

– I should have used thinner noodles.
– I misunderstood what it meant to break the noodles – I didn’t interpret that as smaller pieces than how I broke it up. But afterwards, when I looked at other recipes for this dish, it’s obvious the noodles are supposed to be substantially smaller than I had them here.

The dish wasn’t bad, but I’m sure it’s nothing like what fideua is supposed to be like. For what it was though, it wasn’t bad. Nothing like a standard noodle dish.

And truly, that was the point. Rachel of Rachel Cotterill is hosting this month’s Pasta Please, a monthly blog round up of pasta dishes based around a certain theme. Rachel set the theme this month as fusion. She challenged us to make a vegetarian pasta dish that steps away from the Italian influences.

So what did I do? I googled “Spanish noodles” and I got this dish. I followed this recipe loosely in making the dish that wasn’t very Spanish nor like fideua, but still tasty.

So here’s my tips for you, future fideua makers: break your noodles A LOT smaller than mine are. And maybe use angel hair pasta instead or something thinner than a spaghetti noodle.

pasta please

Vegetable Fideua

8 oz thin noodles
1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
2/3 cup onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
6 oz frozen green peas
3 tomatoes, diced
1 1/3 cup vegetable broth
salt, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 400. Lay the noodles on a baking dish. Bake the noodles for 5 minutes, or until they start to brown. (mine got too brown)

2. In a large oven safe pan heat the vegetable oil. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Add the green bell pepper and cook until it softens. Add the green peas and cook for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for several more minutes.

3. Add the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil. Crush the noodles and sprinkle them over the vegetables. Stir the noodles into the dish. Simmer until the noodles are tender.

4. Place the pan in the oven set at 400 for a few minutes, so the remaining liquid can be cooked off.

* serves 4

Spicy Roasted Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese



This month’s Pasta Please theme was chilies and was hosted by Shaheen.

I’m looking at the picture of this dish, and I’m realizing there is way too many breadcrumbs on the dish. Once scooped out of the dish, they obviously got lost in the noodles – but oh my goodness – this picture looks like a breadcrumb dish.

Anyway, after poking around different corners of the internet and looking for something that would work for this challenge, I found a delicious looking mac and cheese. I didn’t venture out as much as I could have with this challenge. I should have bought a red chili to substitute the crushed red chili flakes – but alas, I did not. I like spicy food. I just really hate cutting chilies. Without a doubt, for as careful as I try to be, I touch my eyes or rub my nose or get the chili juices somewhere that just doesn’t feel great – and oh my goodness, it’s hard to get rid of it once you do it. Even when I wear gloves, I somehow manage to just create so much pain for myself. I love the taste, I just hate the process.

Because of this, I rely on red chili flakes to add the heat from a fresh chili (though.. obviously not the same, I know.)

Anyway, this was a yummy mac and cheese. It created a lot of dirty dishes, but was delicious!

Spicy Roasted Vegetable Macaroni and Cheese

1 cup broccoli florets, cut into pieces
1 yellow squash, diced
1 orange bellow pepper, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cups elbow pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups skim milk
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp dried chili flakes
2 tbsp bread crumbs


1. Preheat oven to 400. Set a medium pot of water to boil. Cook the noodles per package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil covering it. Toss the broccoli, squash, bell pepper, and carrots on a baking sheet. Coat with half the olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes.

3. Heat the remaining oil in a skillet. Once hot, add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk, stirring until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat. Stir in cheddar, allowing to melt. Add the red chili flakes and cayenne. Add the macaroni and vegetables.

4. Place the mixture in a casserole dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Place under the broiler for 4 minutes.

* serves 6
* Besides Pasta Please, this recipe is being shared with See Ya In The Gumbo

Sausage and Roasted Pepper Pasta



I have quite a collection of Cooking Light magazines from years ago. During my meal planning this week the Cooking Light from March 2009 made its way into my hands and after some looking I found this recipe which reminds me a lot of a dinner my old roommate Stephanie and I used to make. The Cooking Light version was better than what we used to do, because we used to saute the bell peppers instead of roasting them. I like the roasted pepper so much more.

But this dish did bring me back and make me feel nostalgic for the days before law school, the days of minimum wage jobs, time to hang out with friends, and to really do whatever I wanted. While I’m glad to be where I am now, it’s hard not to miss those days.

I served this pasta with garlic roasted asparagus. It was a nice dinner and a nice blast to the past.

Sausage and Roasted Pepper Sausage

2 green bell peppers
4 oz rotini noodles (or other noodle of choice)
2 sweet Italian sausages
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
a pinch of salt
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese


1. Preheat the broiler.

2. Cut bell peppers in half lengthwise. Clean out the seeds and the membrane. Place each half on a broiler dish, skin side up. Flatten them with your hand. Broil for 10 minutes. Place the bell pepper in a ziplock bag for 15 minutes, sealed  Once the 15 minutes have passed, peel the skin off the peppers. Chop the peppers and set aside.

3. While the peppers are broiling, cook the noodles per the package directions.

4. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Remove the sausage from its casing. Add to the pan and cook until browned, stirring to crumble. Add the bell peppers to the pan. Move the sausage mixture to the sides of the pan. Add the tomato paste to the middle of the pan and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir the tomato paste into the sausage. Stir in the pasta and 1/2 cup of water and cook for 3 minutes. Season with pepper, salt, and cheese.

* serves 2
* shared with Wednesday Whatsits, Cast Party Wednesday, & Catch A Glimpse Party

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto



Like I said in my last post, I need to make more pestos. They are just SO good!
This pesto was made to share with Tinned Tomatoes pasta please. The theme this month was peppers and is hosted by We Don’t Eat Anything With A Face.

I actually don’t really like bell peppers. If I can get them sauteed enough they’re tolerable, but for the most part I really just don’t enjoy them. This use of the bell peppers was so good. I got the taste of the peppers, but I didn’t get that weird crunch that turns me off so much.

What kind of pesto should I make next?

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

2 red bell peppers
2 tbsp basil leaves
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp olive oil
8 oz spaghetti noodles


1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook the spaghetti noodles according to the package directions. Drain and set aside.

2. Cover the bell peppers in aluminum foil. Over an open flame roast for about 15 minutes. Remove the foil, cut the pepper, and seed and vein them.

3. In a food processor grind the walnuts. Remove them and set aside.

4. Add the roasted peppers, basil leaves, and garlic to the food processor and processor until well chopped. Add the walnuts, cheese, and olive oil. Process more until you have a pesto consistency.

5. Mix the pesto into the noodles.

* serves 2
* Besides Pasta Please, this is shared with Mix It Up Monday & Mealtime Monday

Slow Cooker Machaca


Every Tuesday this semester it’s looking like I’m going to have to rely on my slow cooker. I work from 9 – 5 and then have class from 6:15-8:15. Wednesdays and Thursdays also have night classes, but I’ve been able to cook dinner at lunch time and just heat it up when I get home. This week’s slow cooker dinner was great and is going to make some lunches and breakfasts also.

This is absolutely not a traditional machaca preparation. Machaca typically is dried pork or beef which has been reconstituted. It can be used in a variety of dishes: tacos, flautas, burritos, con juevos, and more. I decided to serve this slow cooker version of the popular Mexican dish over a very Americanized Spanish rice.

My only issue was that I didn’t chop the chipotle peppers up enough. Whoops.

It also is nice that this month Cooking Around The World is cooking Mexican food. This dish is definitely getting shared!

Bloggers Around the World Logo

Slow Cooker Machaca

2 tbsp vegetable oil
3 – 4 lbs chuck roast, cut into large pieces
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined, and minced
1 small can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
4 cups beef broth
2 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp ground cumin


1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet. Place the pieces of beef into the skillet, browning the outsides. Place the meat into the slow cooker.

2. In the same skillet, add the onion, bell pepper, and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes. Add to the slow cooker.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients into the slow cooker. Cook on low for 8 hours.

* serves about 12
* Besides Cooking round The World, this dish is being shared with Wednesday Whatsits & Cast Party Wednesday

Around The World in 52 Weeks: Black-eyed Pea Fritters

This week my kitchen took my to the Republic of Congo. Unfortunately it seems the Republic of Congo and my kitchen really didn’t mesh very well.


I planned this week to make a peanut chicken and these fritters. However, during the middle of my cooking process for the chicken I dropped it on the floor, peanut side down. I just really wasn’t in the mood to defrost more chicken and start over, so I decided to just make these fritters. These fritters were far from the easiest things I’ve made.

I first attempted to make them in a deep skillet filled with oil. However, the batter was so sticky I couldn’t get them to flip over. I decided instead to use the deep fryer. I took my black-eyed pea batter, made a sticky ball out of it, dredged it in flour, and deep fried them for 5 minutes.

It worked, but it was a struggle.

Black-eyed Pea Fritters

8 1/2 oz frozen black-eyed peas, thawed
1 egg, beaten
1/2 onion
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 habenero
1/2 green bell pepper
cayenne pepper, to taste
1/4 tsp fresh ginger, peeled
oil for frying
flour for dredging


 1. Combine the black-eyed peas, egg, onion, salt, habenero, green bell pepper, cayenne, and ginger in a food processor. Pulse until a paste is created.

2. The batter is sticky, but create balls out of the batter with your hands. Dredge each ball in flour.

3. Fry the fritters in a deep fryer for 5 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

* I’ve shared these fritters with KB and Whitesnake‘s Simply Delish Saturday.

I’d like to see people travel the globe with me.
Every Saturday I will be posting my recipe, as well as pictures to ethnic cuisines you have made and want to share.

– You must mention The Law Student’s Cookbook‘s Around The World In 52 Weeks in the entry you link. You can either use a link or use the banner.
– In your post you must  at least mention what cuisine the dish is.
– Email me your recipe at Make sure to include:

* Your name or blog name
* The direct link to your post
* A picture of the dish or permission to pull a picture from the post

– Make sure to email me by Saturday at 12noon Pacific Standard Time

Chicken and Shrimp Stew

Awhile back my mom gave me this decrepit looking cookbook called the Low Calorie Diet Cookbook. I actually can’t even find a picture of it online, which shocks me. This book was published in the ’70s by Success Publications. When I first decided I wanted to lose weight my mom gave me a bunch of books which she had purchased previously for low-cal recipes. Some of the cookbooks she gave me flat out sucked. I was convinced this one was going to also, but tonight’s meal was just one of many that came from the cookbook.

I did end up making some variations from the original recipe, but that had to do with what I actually had to work with in the house.

This was a delicious meal for a cold night.

Chicken and Shrimp Stew

8 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
8 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 tbsp Brummel&Brown
3 cups diced potato
2 14-oz cans fire-roasted diced tomato
1 small onion, chopped
1/4 cup red bell pepper, chopped


 1. In a pot over medium heat, melt the Brummel&Brown spread. Add the potatoes until brown. In the pot add the onion, tomato, and bell pepper. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until the potatoes are tender.

2. Add some water or chicken broth if it seems too thick. Add the chicken. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the shrimp and cook for 5 minutes more.

* serves 4
* 380 calories per serving
* shared with Cookbook Sundays over at Couscous & Consciousness 

Easy Jambalaya

Jambalaya, a-crawfish pie and-a file gumbo
‘Cause tonight I’m gonna see my ma cher amio
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-oh
Son of a gun, we’ll have big fun on the bayou.
Hank Williams Jr.

While this obviously isn’t a traditional jambalaya, it was tasty and it was easy.

Easy Jambalaya

1 tbsp canola oil
3 stalks celery, chopped
2 small red bell peppers, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 cups dried rice
2 cups water
15 oz fire roasted petite diced tomatoes
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 chicken sausage, sliced
15 oz boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
5 oz raw shrimp, deveined and peeled


1. Heat the oil in a pot. Once hot add in the vegetables and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the spices and saute for a minute.

2. Add the rice and saute for a few minutes to toast. Add the tomatoes, water, chicken, salt, and pepper. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the rice is tender.

3. Remove the bay leaf. Add the sausage, shrimp, and parsley. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the shrimp are pink.

* serves 4
* 550 calories per serving

Ground Pork and Bacon Wraps

I told you in my last post that after making the Swedish Meatballs I had excess thawed ground beef and ground pork. Rather than get out more meat to use, I decided to alter the recipes I had upcoming in my meal plan to make sure everything got used up. This meal initially was supposed to be chicken and bacon fajita. Since the ground beef was used in the tetrazzini, it only followed that the ground pork was going into the next dish: the fajitas, which I am going to call wraps instead since I did not use fajita sized tortillas.

The flavor of the ground pork plus the… more pork (bacon) was delicious. This was such an easy recipe, but still had a ton of flavor packed into the tortilla.

Ground Pork and Bacon Wraps

12 oz ground pork
3 slices bacon, diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4 multi-grain tortillas (I used La Tortilla Factory tortillas)


1. Heat a large skillet over medium-heat. Cook the pork until it is no longer pink in the middle. Set aside.

2. Cook the bacon until the bacon begins to release some oil.  Stir in the onion and bell peppers. Cook until the onions are translucent and the bacon is crispy. Stir in the tomatoes and mushrooms and continue to cook until the mushrooms are soft.

3. Warm the tortillas. Scoop 1/4 of the mixture into each tortilla. Roll and enjoy!

* serves 4
* 1 wrap per serving
* 413 calories per serving