Saturday, February 15, 2014

Pasta with a Creamy Sauce, Spicy Vegan Chicken, Green Salad

Hope everyone had a nice Valentine's Day.  I definitely did.  I worked in the morning, preparing fun and beautiful pink vegan baked goods.  Then ran around doing errands, bought Hubbs some last minute V-Day gifts and figuring out a place for us to have dinner.  Yes, I know I am super last minute.  Hubbs decided that since he is usually the one that decides where we're going and what we're doing, that I would be in charge of where we went for V-Day.  I checked into a couple places but wasn't super into their menu.  Don't get me wrong - several places had specifically vegan options listed on their Valentine's Day Menu which I could have chosen from, right alongside fois gras.  Um, yuck and no thanks.  So I looked, but not really super interestedly.  I found a place in the afternoon and while browsing on Facebook, found out that one of my old high school classmates was going to be playing live at a bar downtown, and being as I've recently discovered that I love the live music scene here, we decided to check it out.  I wasn't super into the style of the music - all covers - but the group was very talented.  I ended up running into another classmate and got caught up with his life (which is funny, because he was one of the most popular kids when we were in school, and we've never actually even spoken before).  Then off to dinner with my Hubbs.  A great night!  And now some simple, tasty food.
Pasta with a tasty creamy sauce, crispy vegan chicken.  Yum!

Serves 2-3

8 oz. fettuccini, broken in half, cooked until al dente

2 vegan breaded frozen spicky chicken patties

Creamy Sauce:
3 tablespoons earth balance
4 tablespoons unbleached flour
3-4 cups unsweetened almond milk
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons unchicken boullion
1 teaspoon dried parsley

Green Salad:
1 small head romaine lettuce
1 carrot, shredded
desired dressing

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Place the frozen "chicken" patties on a baking tray and place in the oven.  Bake for about 20 minutes, turning halfway through, or until the patties are crispy and firm.  You could certainly also cook them in a small amount of oil until crispy.
2.  While the patties are baking, prepare the creamy sauce.  In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, add the earth balance and allow it to melt.  Once it is melted, add the flour and whisk to combine.  Keep whisking this mixture for severeal minutes, until golden and the flour no longer smells raw.  Add all of the milk at once, immediately whisking until a smooth sauce forms.  It will be very thin at this point.  Add the black pepper, boullion powder and parsley.  Whisk together.  Continue whisking periodically until the sauce has thickened.  Season to taste, adding salt if desired.  Keep warm.
3.  Prepare the green salad:  in a medium bowl, add all of the ingredients, including the dressing, and toss to coat.  
4.  Once the chicken patties are fully cooked, chop into bite sized pieces.
5.  To serve, place a portion of the pasta on your plate, followed by a helping of the creamy sauce and several pieces of the chopped baked chicken patties.  Serve a portion of the salad on the side.


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