I spent this past weekend with my prettie/vegan best friend, Erin. Every year we try to see each other at *least* twice. She came down to visit this past weekend and we had loads of fun trying some vegan treats in the Bay Area! Of course we’re both really into food- so we did some damage at a few places…..
I started off by making Penne with Pesto, Asparagus & Roasted Pine-nuts (all vegan) for dinner on Thursday:
- 3 tablespoons Earth Balance Margarine
- 2 heaping tablespoons Better Than Cream Cheese
- 2 bunches asparagus cut into little pieces
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- juice of 1 lemon
- handful of pine nuts
- handful of walnuts
- a large batch of the pesto from the link below for recipe & ingredients
- 1 1lb package penne
To make the pesto part of this dish- follow my pesto recipe but omit the parmesan. I added more pine nuts and a handful of walnuts in this batch!
After you cut the asparagus, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a frying pan and cook the asparagus in the pan on medium heat. (It’s really good if you brown them a bit but do not over cook!) It should take about 5-7 minutes. Splash a teaspoon or two of the garlic powder in with the asparagus.
Once finished, set aside the asparagus and add the pine nuts to the pan. Toast them in the pan for about 5-8 minutes until they turn brown. Be sure to not over cook them as you don’t want nuts that look like coffee beans in your pasta! ack!
Once the pasta is cooked, drain into a strainer and reserve a little bit of the pasta water. Put the pasta back in the pot and drop the remaining 2 tablespoons of the margarine in. Mix until pasta is coated.
Add the Better Than Cream cheese to the penne and stir. The penne mixture might get really thick…so start adding a bit of the reserved pasta water. Now add your pesto (the more the merrier!!!!) Then add the asparagus and pine nuts. I saved a bit of each to garnish on top of the served pasta. Stir it up and add some fresh lemon juice!
***This pasta was excellent the second day! I even had some a few days later. Just add some more lemon juice to freshen it up! It’s sooo tasty. This recipe serves about 4-5 people. There were 3 of us who had second helpings and there was tons left over! It would be a great dish to make on a Sunday night and continue to eat for the next few days. ***
It’s really good if you add Parmesan on it….I’m just saying….
Back to the visit….
We spent the day shopping in the city on Friday with another good friend and had sushi at a place called Cha-Ya in the Mission.
Here’s our table & the sea vegetable salad I ordered:
next we had edamame & the best miso soup I’ve ever had:
we devoured avocado rolls/avocado tempura rolls & eggplant nigiri:
fell in love with veggie tempura & the vegan roll:
On Saturday, we went to Fraiche in Palo Alto to get some soy frozen yogurt:
And for the big blow out, we went to Millennium in SF on Saturday night with my parents for a fab meal!
here’s our table & the menu:
we HAD to order the mushroom flatbread pizza & garlic fries:
scarfed down some fried mushrooms & avocado grapefruit salad
I ordered wild cherry & chard roulade & Erin picked the smoked tempeh with sweet potato mash
Casey got the edamame & shiitake cakes & I drank a sparkling grape soda with mint
coconut rosewater panna cotta with strawberry sorbet & pecan orange cake with mint julep sorbet
And of course…the sweet indulgence plate & a ginger lemon digestive drink to end!
Also during the weekend we:
– binged on the first season of Carnivale (love!)
– stayed up til 3am chatting
– went to Target, Sephora, H&M, & GAP
– ate our weight in bagel chips
-snacked on some ginger almond cookies
-tried to do pedicures…but gave them the cold shoulder
-had a drink with a friend
-shared home ideas over coffee & vegan pastries
-found out our good friend is having a baby girl!
-met an illustrator who had a high strung dog that bit my finger
It was such a good weekend. Thank you woot! I love you!