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OK – I have a bit of a confession to make. I cook all the time & make fancy recipes & get delivery of fresh produce from Farm Fresh to You and I spend a fortune on groceries – but when I get home from work – all I EVER want to eat is a tortilla pizza. So incredibly lame. Made stove-top so the tortilla invariably blackens before the cheese is fully melted. I give absolutely zero fucks. I just make two or three of these charred fuckers & shove them into my face, swilling wine & watching Luther. Don’t believe me? Here is my dinner for each night last week:
When Farm Fresh to You delivered an eggplant to me – I took a rare break from the tortillas & made an eggplant pizza tower. That is grilled eggplant with Rao’s Arrabbiata sauce (best jarred sauce on the market) on it & fresh mozzarella – baked at about 350 until the cheese melts (10-15 minutes) & topped with fresh basil. I recommend those eggplant towers with unbridled enthusiasm. I bought 5 eggplants today & I intend to eat those every night this week.
But my fresh produce box also held a few zucchinis. One night, I sliced them up, dredged them in Italian dressing & grilled them. I then promptly stored them in the fridge & made a tortilla pizza. Then – something awesome happened. I had the idea to top a tortilla pizza with chopped, grilled zucchini & fresh thyme & it was a revelation!
I have eaten thyme hundreds of times but that tortilla pizza with the subtle flavors of the zucchini & the fresh mozzarella really set the thyme off nicely & I fell a little in love with thyme.
Armed with additional grilled zucchini, fresh thyme & this crazy maitake mushroom (also in my Farm Fresh to You box) – I decided to make a pasta dish – and my Vegan Chicken, Lemon & Thyme Pasta with Grilled Zucchini & Maitake Mushrooms was born. No single flavor is crucial here so – if you hate mushrooms or zucchini or whatever – leave it out. It is more about the lemon & thyme. Light & clean & vegan – this is an easy & delicious dish.
Vegan Chicken, Lemon & Thyme Pasta with Grilled Zucchini & Maitake Mushrooms
1/2 lb pasta
9 oz Beyond Meat chicken – cubed or left whole
1 cup chopped mushrooms – any variety will do – except maybe portobello as they turn dark & might be overpowering & not as pretty
1 zucchini – sliced, dipped in an oil-based dressing & grilled – or simply chopped raw
4 garlic cloves – chopped
Zest of one lemon (save wedges for garnish)
1-2 TBS Fresh thyme (more or less – to taste) – removed from stems
Garnish – more thyme, pepper, lemon wedges
Cook the pasta as directed.
Meanwhile – grill the zucchini – if you are doing that step. If not, just cut the zucchini up.
Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the mushrooms & zucchini & vegan chicken. Saute until the veggies soften. Add the lemon zest, garlic & thyme & stir to combine – for about a minute. Season with salt & pepper.
Drain the pasta & add it to the chicken & veggies & stir to combine.
Serve with more thyme, fresh cracked pepper & the lemon wedges.