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Kabocha Stuffed Shells, Picante!

This is a really fun dish.

It’s creamy, crunchy, spicy, and fresh at the same time.

The creamy filling was made with Kabocha squash mixed with cashews.

Then I topped them off with panko bread crumbs and cooked them until they got crunchy.

When it’s pasta, you automatically think “Italian”, but I decided to play a bit with Mexican flavors for this dish.

So the tomato sauce was spiced up with chipotole.

Finally, they were served with cilantro and scallion.

The green color was perfect to brighten up the dish.

I almost believe that the colors of each country’s flag represent their food colors!

Mushroom Strogarbanzoff

Even when you are on a plant-based diet, you can still enjoy classic flavors.

I would typically use pureed/creamed cashews or the traditional roux to thicken this type of sauce.

But this time I experimented with garbanzo beans (pureed and creamed); I also used some corn starch.

I wanted fettucini for this dish, but I was not able to find any made of whole wheat.

Linguine was the closest, so that’s what I brought home.

It tasted and looked great.

This dish was elegant and earthy at the same time.

I hope everyone had a great start of the week!

Bistro Sloppy Joes

I almost didn’t want to name this “sloppy joe”, because it’s so different from the regular one.

Sloppy joes taste so much better when you use crusty bread instead of soft buns.

The “soft meat x soft bun” combination simply doesn’t work for me.

So first, I go get the right bread.

Lunch is served!

The main ingredients of the filling are tofu and eggplant.

But I also snuck in some other things, like a lot of veggies (garlic, onion, red pepper, celery).

Isn’t it what moms do to make their kids eat veggies?

This works at our house, too (not with kids, but with hubby, though (lol)).

With the baguette and everything, this sandwich is somewhat an adult version, but it’s still “sloppy”, so it gets messy.

But it’s delicious, and definitely approved by both my husband and I.

By the way, I finally had hair cut a few weeks ago after waiting too long, like 9 months!

I’m happy that I found a salon nearby and the stylist did a great job.

As per her recommendation, I bought this oil and I absolutely love it.

My hair is thick and often looked heavy, but with this oil my hair looks dimensional and better than ever.

Plus, it smells great.

Happy Saturday evening.

Stay warm.

I’ts snowing and super foggy here in MN today.

Potato Broccoli Manicotti with Basil Cream

There is something about stuffed pasta.

It’s fun to make and fun to eat.

I like shells.

But this time I decided to go with manicotti.

I know cheese is usually used for stuffing and also for finishing the dish.

But my manicotti was stuffed with delicious garlicky potatoes, broccoli, and mushrooms.

I like to cook them until the pasta gets slightly brown and crunchy.

They were finished with basil cream.

Served with tomato sauce.

As you can see, I cut the pasta in half so that they stand nicely and look nice.

Or you can place them like these too.

I loved them so much.

The combination of tomato and basil is nothing new, but when presented and matched with other interesting items like this one, the dish becomes pretty awesome.

Veggie Bento Box

Bento Box.

Made with lots of veggies.

Miso Konjac.

Curry Teriyaki Renkon Lotus Slices.

These are just a few dishes you will find in this bento box.

You can have them on a plate.

But it’s just so much fun to put them in a bento box.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Valentine’s Sushi Cupcakes

Yes, you read it right.

These look like sweet cupcakes decorated with pink frosting.

But these are savory “SUSHI” cupcakes!

I know, I should just make regular cupcakes.

But you know me.

I always want to do something a bit different when it comes to a big event like this.

The brown rice was colored and flavored with pickled radish and its juice.

The “frosting” was mainly made of pureed garbanzo beans and pickled beet.

Isn’t this just lovely?!

How about a little drizzle of extra love?

It’s wasabi teriyaki sauce, and is perfect for these “cakes”.

By the way these sushi cupcakes are DELICIOUS!!

Terry and I both devoured them.

One of the good things about these sushi cupcakes is that you can still have a dessert (even a cupcake if you want to) after this (lol)!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone.

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