Fox and Broom

A mom's adventures in keeping healthy, keeping her sanity, and making stuff.

Archive for the tag “vegetarian”

Veggie Shish Kabobs

Healthy + cheap are two words that most people don’t seem to think can go together. I started my Healthy Eating For Poor People series in an effort to quash that thought process. Not all of us can afford the current trendy organic, free-range bison meat. BUT, most of us can afford simple vegetables, beans, learning how to shop smart, and learning how to make your food in healthier ways.

Fox & Broom|Veggie Shish Kabobs

Fox & Broom|Veggie Shish Kabobs

The veggies I bought for this meal cost me under $10.00. The receipt is a little misleading since I did not use ALL of the vegetables I bought. I will break down the actual cost at the end of this post.

A meal for 3 - 4 people for under $10!

A meal for 3 – 4 people for under $10!

This was one of the simplest recipes I could think of (aside from a salad).  The ingredients can vary, depending on what you like. I’m not a huge fan of tomatoes, so I didn’t use as many as my husband would have. Gotta say – these tomatoes really were spectacular.  Now, there are some additional costs involved with this recipe: marinade and skewers. I already had marinade in my fridge, so that is what I used. I also already had skewers from kabobs a few months before this recipe. I paid about $2.00 for the skewers and $4 for the marinade. A pack of skewers will last my family at least a year. Less if we eat more kabobs. The marinade I used in this recipe is also my favorite chicken and steak marinade. From the size bottle I used (I can sometimes get a bigger bottle at Costco), I get about two – three uses out of it.

Fox & Broom|Veggie Shish Kabobs

Ingredients:

2 Yellow Squash
1 Medium Onion
2 Small Tomatoes
2 Bell Peppers
2 Zucchini Squash
Marinade: enough to coat the kabobs and leave about 1/2 inch in the bottom of a cake pan. I think I used about 1 1/2 cups.

Items needed:

skewers
cake pan/dish to let kabobs sit
grill

Instructions:

Cut all the veggies into decent sized chunks. Not so big that they take up the whole stick, and not so little that they will just fall off. Approximately 2 inch cubes. The onion I cut into largish strips.

Slide the chunks on the skewers in any order you like. Since I had some veggies with really nice colors, I tried to display those colors as nicely as possible. I also made sure to add a bit of onion to add a little more flavor to the other vegetables.

Fox & Broom|Veggie Shish Kabobs

Place the skewered vegetables into a cake pan or deep dish. Pour marinade over the top of the veggies. Make sure they are all well-coated. Cover and let soak for at least an hour. I mixed mine around so all the skewers would have a chance to soak in the marinade on the bottom of the pan.

IMG_0013

Light up your grill and let it heat for about 10 minutes. If you do not have a grill, preheat your oven to about 425º F.

Fox & Broom|Veggie Shish Kabobs

Once the grill has warmed up, place the shish kabobs on it and let cook 10 – 20 minutes. Be sure to turn them over.
If you are using an oven, place the shish kabobs on a cookie sheet. I would spread the marinade left on the bottom of the pan on and around the shish kabobs. Check them about every 5 – 10 minutes. Be sure to turn them over.

Fox & Broom|Veggie Shish Kabobs

I like my veggies a bit crisp. If you want yours not so crisp, you may need to cook them longer.

This recipe made about 7 skewers and fed three adults and one child. It was surprisingly filling all on its own, though if you want to have more protein with your meal, you may want to finish it off with yogurt, have a side of cheese/quinoa/beans.

Fox & Broom|Veggie Shish Kabobs

Total cost:

2 Yellow Squash: $1.31
1 Onion: $0.28
2 Tomatoes: $0.82
2 Green Bell Peppers: $1.98
2 Zucchini Squash: $1.21
Marinade: Approx $2.00

Total: 7.60 ($1.90 per person for four people)

Nutritional Information (per serving for four people):

This is an approximate estimate. I have no idea exactly how much marinade stays on the kabobs. And, it turns it, my marinade is pretty high in sodium… I expected the fat, as it is an oil base. The salt did surprise me.

Calories: 203
Carbs: 37
Fat: 5
Protein: 3
Sodium: 1981
Sugar: 27

Overall, very simple, fairly healthy (depending on your marinade…) and CHEAP.

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Cheesy Corn Muffins

I was looking for a yummy addition to our chili the other night and I came across this recipe from Vegetarian Cooking: A Common Sense GuideI’m not totally sure why this book claims to be the commonsense guide. The recipes are not at all common… It does have good recipes, just not ones we are used to seeing. I also took a few liberties with the recipe, which I will note in my directions.

CheesCornMuffin|Fox & Broom Blog

 

 

Cost: VERY inexpensive
Skill Level: Novice. This is a super easy recipe, with minimal clean-up.

 

Corn Muffins
Makes 12

Ingredients

  • 310 g (11 oz/2 1/2 cups) self-rising flour [I measured out 2 1/2 tsp baking powder + 1/2 tsp salt into a cup, topped it off with all-purpose flour, measured out the rest of the flour – so total would be 2 1/2 cups, whisked it all together]
  • 75 g (2 1/2 oz/1/2 cup) fine polenta [I just used my regular corn meal]
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) milk [I had to add an extra tbsp of milk to my recipe]
  • 125 g (4 1/2 oz) butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 130 g (4 1/2 oz) tin corn kernels, drained [I used about 1/2 cup of frozen corn]
  • 2 spring onions (scallions) finely chopped
  • 60 g (2 1/4 oz/ 1/2 cup) grated cheddar cheese
  • cream cheese or butter to top

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 210º C (415º F/Gas 6 – 7). Grease two six-hole muffin tins.
  • Sift flour and polenta into a large bowl and make a well in the center.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients and season with sea salt and pepper. Pour into the well in the flour mixture and gently fold using a metal spoon [I used a wooden spoon] until just combined. Do not over-mix – the batter should still be very lumpy.
  • Spoon the batter into the muffin holes and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and leave in the tins for 5 minutes before turning them out. Serve the muffin hot or at room temp, split in half and spread with cream cheese or butter.

You could easily add more things to these muffins (chives, dried tomatoes). They are NOT SWEET at all. Notice there is not sugar added. I really really liked them alot. My husband still put honey on them – he likes a little sweet with his chili – and said they were really yummy with the sweet added to them.

They also seem to last nicely. They are on day 4 and still quite tasty. They will probably be completely gone by the end of today.

I think I might play around with this recipe a bit and see if I can make a vegan version… If I am successful, I will post the recipe.

CheeseCornMuffin|Fox & Broom Blog

Crisp-Soft Noodles With A Broccoli, Mushroom, and Zucchini Topping

Crisp-Soft Noodles With A Broccoli, Mushroom, and Zucchini Topping
taken from Madhur Jaffrey’s World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey

Cooked on: October 16, 2011

Servings: serves 4

Cost: Somewhat Inexpensive

Skill level: Intermediate. Be sure to follow instructions.

Notes: Time consuming. I had a lot of trouble finding the lo mein noodles. I had no luck AT ALL finding fresh, so decided to buy the dried noodles. I also did not find shaohsing wine, but the dry sherry worked very well.

Ingredients

1/2 lb fresh Chinese lo mein egg noodles
1 medium zucchini
1 tsp salt
About half a bunch of broccoli (about 2 cups, when cut)
8 medium-sized mushrooms
2 tsp cornstarch
3/4 cup “Delicious Stock” (I used store-bought vegetable stock)
2 tbsp bean sauce (I am totally in love with this stuff now)
2 tsp sugar
1 tbsp sesame oil
7 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quarter-sized slice of fresh ginger, minced (I keep a root of ginger in my freezer and cut pieces off of it as I need it. Ginger is also good in a tea with honey.)
1 tbsp shaohsing wine or dry sherry

Procedure

Bring 13 cups of water to a rolling boil. Gently separate the noodle strands and drop them into the water. When the water comes to a second boil, pour in 1 cup of cold faucet water. When the water comes to a third boil, pour in another cup of cold water. When the water comes to a fourth boil, empty the contents of the pot into a colander set in the sink. Rinse the noodles under running water, washing off a lot of the starch. Leave to drain for at least half an hour.

Trim the zucchini ends and cut it in half, lengthwise. Cut the halves crosswise at 1/4 – inch intervals. Put the zucchini in a bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 tsp salt over it and mix. Set aside for half an hour. Drain and pat dry.

Cut the broccoli into slim flowerets, not more than 2 inches long. You can use some of the stems, too. Just peel and cut them into 1/4 – inch thick strips. In all, you should have about 2 cups.

Wipe off the mushrooms and then cut them, stem and all, into 1/4 – inch thick slices.

Put the cornstarch in a small bowl. Slowly add the stock, mixing as you do so. Add the bean sauce, sugar, and sesame oil. Mix well.

Heat 3 tbsp of the vegetable oil in a 7 to 8 inch non-stick skillet over a medium flame. When the oil is hot, put in the noodles, spreading them out evenly over the entire bottom of the skillet. Fry without stirring for about 4 minutes or until the bottom of the noodle patty is a reddish-golden color  and is crisp. Now slip one spatula under the noodles and hold the top of the patty with another spatula. Turn the patty over. Dribble another tablespoon of vegetable oil along the edges of the skillet, allowing it to slither downward. Cook the second side until it, too, has turned a reddish-golden color. Carefully lift up the patty and put it on a warm platter.

Heat 3 tbsp of vegetable oil in a wok or skillet over a medium flame. When hot, put in the garlic and ginger. Stir a couple of times. put in the mushrooms, broccoli, and 3/4 tsp salt. Stir and fry, turning the vegetables around briskly. Put in the zucchini. Stir and fry for another 30 seconds. Now add the wine, cover immediately and turn heat to low. Cook for 1 minute. Uncover, give the cornstarch mixture a quick stir and pour it over the vegetables. Turn heat up a bit and cook, stirring gently, until the sauce thickens. Spoon the vegetables and sauce over the noodles and serve immediately.

Final Notes

This was a very interesting recipe. Somehow, I only read it partway through before trying it out, so was not totally prepped for some of the steps. The turnout was very good and it turns out this is one of those recipes which age very well – leftovers were yummier than the fresh stuff. We also liked it with some teriyaki sauce over it. As mentioned above, I could not find fresh noodles, so I am sure that I wound up with waaaaay more noodles than are called for in the recipe. If you buy dry noodles, just be prepared to possibly use a bigger skillet for frying them.

Chickpea Soup

Chickpea Soup
taken from Madhur Jaffrey’s World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking by Madhur Jaffrey 

Cooked on: November 22, 2011

Servings: serves 6

Cost: Inexpensive

Skill level: Novice. Be sure to follow instructions.

This is a time-consuming recipe!

Ingredients

2 cups dried chickpeas, picked over, washed, and drained (I used 2 cans of chickpeas)
2 medium-sized onions, peeled, and chopped
2 medium-sized boiling potatoes, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch dice (I would use more potatoes the next time I make this)
1 tbsp salt or to taste
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp lemon juice

Procedure

Soak the chickpeas in 8 cups of water for 12 hours. (I would soak mine in a mix of water and vegetable stock). Drain and rinse thoroughly. Put the chickpeas, onions, and 8 cups water (stock) into a large pot and bring to a boil. Cover partially, turn heat to low, and simmer gently for 1 hour. Add potatoes, salt, turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne, and another 3/4 cup water. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer on very low heat for another 1 1/2 hours. Stir a few times during this period. Check seasonings. Add the black pepper and lemon juice. Stir to mix.

My Notes

This was a HUGE hit with my husband. It does require a bit of planning, but the end result was pretty fantastic. We were able to dine on this soup for almost a full week and it only got tastier the longer it aged.

 

Capsicum, Spinach, and Chickpea Soup

I really need to catch up on some of my recipes. I am embarrassingly behind. I only now thought to make time to write this one up because @onestarrynight requested healthy recipes. Now, on to the recipe:

Capsicum, Spinach, and Chickpea Soup
from Vegetarian Cooking: A Common Sense Guide by  Bay Books

Cooked on: October 16, 2011

Servings: supposedly 4. I would say more than that.

Cost: Inexpensive

Skill level: Novice. Be sure to follow instructions.
Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil
8 spring onions (scallions), finely sliced
1 red capsicum (pepper), finely diced (I used a medium fish pepper)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
375 ml (13 fl oz/1 1/2 cups) tomato passata (pureed tomatoes)
750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) vegetable stock
300 g (10 1/2 oz) tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 – 2 tsp sugar
100 g 3 1/2 oz/2 1/4 cups baby English spinach leaves

Procedure

Heat olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add the spring onion, cover and cook over medium heat for 2 – 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the capsicum, garlic, and cumin seeds, and cook for 1 minute.

Add the passata and stock and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chickpeas, vinegar, and sugar, and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in the baby spinach and season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook just until the spinach begins to wilt, then serve.

My Notes

I added the spinach as I served it into each bowl. It doesn’t take long for the spinach to get wilty and my husband reacts badly to spinach, so I served him without any.

This is a really awesome dish. It is very easy to make and would be easy to make it the way you prefer it to be. I used a medium pepper left over from my venture to the farmer’s market. Mmmm. It added just the right spiciness.

Tofu Pastries

Tofu Pastries from Vegetarian Cooking: A Common Sense Guide by Bay Books

Cooked on: May 26, 2011

Servings: Makes 8

Cost: Inexpensive

Skill level: Beginner. Be sure to follow instructions.

This recipe requires about 4 hours to prepare.

Ingredients

150 g (5 1/2 oz) firm tofu, drained

2 spring onions (scallions), chopped

3 tsp chopped coriander (cilantro)

1/2 tsp grated orange zest

2 tsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

1 tsp cornflour (cornstarch)

2 sheets of frozen puff pastry, thawed

1 egg lightly beaten

 

Dipping Sauce (I did NOT make this as I opted to use the sweet chilli sauce for dipping instead)

3 tbsp sugar

125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup rice vinegar

1 small Lebanese (short cucumber, finely diced

1 small red chilli, thinly sliced

1 spring onion (scallion, thinly sliced on the diagonal)

 

Procedure

1. Pat the tofu dry and dice. Place in a bowl with the spring onion, coriander, orange zest, soy and sweet chili sauces, ginger, and corn flour. Mix gently, then cover and refrigerate for 3 – 4 hours.

2. Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce. Put the sugar and vinegar in a small saucepan and stir over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Tip into a small bowl and add the cucumber, chilli, and spring onion. Allow to cool completely.

3. Preheat the oven to 220° C (425° F/Gas 7). Cut each pastry sheet into four squares. Drain the tofu filling and divide into eight portions. Place one portion in the center of each square and brush the edges with beaten egg. Fold each one into a triangle and seal the edges with a fork.

4. Place on two lined baking trays, brush with beaten egg and bake for 15 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed and golden. Serve hot, with the dipping sauce.

 

Verdict: This was a very tasty side dish. The tofu took on the chili sauce flavor mmmmm. The taste reminded me of an egg roll. I don’t remember why I didn’t just make the dipping sauce. I probably forgot to find a cucumber or something along those lines, but using the sweet chili sauce was perfect.

This pastry was a perfect side dish with the Pea & Asparagus Saffron Risotto. Both just slightly sweet, with a little savory added in.

Hey! How’s that running thing goin’ fer ya?

Not so well at the moment. I will be going tomorrow morning. In fact, I will be heading to the animal shelter to pick up a running buddy for my 30 min jog. I’m looking forward to that. I have completed Week 1 of C25K (again) and will be starting in on Week 2 tomorrow. On Friday, I think I will do a BodyPump class. It’s been a while, so I will most likely be unable to move for the rest of the weekend hehe. Too bad for my body that I will be forcing myself to get out and run on Saturday as a way of celebrating Day 1 of the Get Off Your Broom Fitness Challenge.

I was trying to prepare myself for the fitness challenge this week by getting back into the habit of eating healthier. I failed last night with ice cream and today with a candy bar. Ugh. However, I did discover that ice cream, while it is one of my weaknesses, really makes me feel like crap afterwards. I don’t mean that as in I am berating myself for losing willpower. I mean I really feel yucky. I get headaches, lose energy, and start to feel sluggish. So, I have told my family to not buy me anymore ice cream. I can control myself if the ice cream belongs to someone else, but once I am told that a pint (or 2) was purchased just for me… forget willpower.

The reactions to ice cream actually really bother me. If I could find my blood sugar testing kit, I would start testing myself regularly again. I am starting to suspect that I am type 2.

Oh! I have found my vegetarian cookbook! I can now finish posting the recipes I had made from it. I will also start making and posting recipes from another cookbook, Madhur Jaffrey’s World-of-the-East Vegetarian Cooking as soon as my oven is fixed. Or replaced. Whatever. The landlady needs to get on that. I keep having to remember that I can’t just pop things in the oven. It’s frustrating. Today was supposed to have been a bread baking day… Oh well. Patience is a virtue. Or so they say.

Arancini

Arancini from Vegetarian Cooking: A Common Sense Guide by Bay Books

I also call this recipe “Fried Cheesy Rice Balls,” which I know seems like a mouthful, but I could not for the life of me remember the actual name. A note before beginning: This recipe is time-consuming as the mix needs to be refrigerated. It actually worked out well as it complemented my leftover Chickpea Curry perfectly. I also discovered that it can be reheated in the oven and be even better than it was freshly fried. My cheese did not get very melty with the frying, but melted to perfect melty goodness after some time in the oven (approx 15 minutes at 425 F).

This would also be a very easy recipe to transform into a vegan dish. I think it would be super nommers if a garbanzo bean were in the center. Or garlic. Maybe both. Mmmm.

Cooked on: May 7, 2011

Servings: Makes 20

Cost: Inexpensive – I already had saffron on hand, so this was super in expensive.

Skill level: Intermediate. Be sure to follow instructions.

Ingredients

a large pinch of saffron threads
250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) dry white wine
750 ml (26 fl oz/3 cups) vegetable stock
100 g (3 1/2 oz) butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 large garlic clove, crushed
2 tbsp thyme
220 g (7 3/4 oz/1 cup) risotto rice
50 g (1 3/4 oz/1/2 cup)grated parmesan cheese
100 g (3 1/2 oz/2/3 cup diced mozzarella or fontina cheese (I think a stronger cheese would be better – feta or some sort of goat cheese)
70 g (2 1/2 oz/3/4) dry breadcrumbs
vegetable oil, for deep-frying

1. Soak the saffron in the wine and leave to infuse. Pour the stock into a saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and keep at a gentle simmer.

2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Saute the onion and garlic over low heat for 3 – 4 minutes, or until softened. Add the thyme and rice and stir until the rice is translucent. Add the saffron wine and stir until all the wine is absorbed. Add 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) hot stock and stir constantly over medium heat until absorbed. Continue adding more stock, 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) at a time, stirring constantly for 20 – 25 minutes, or until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender and creamy. (It doesn’t matter if the rice becomes a little glutinous – it will actually stick together better.)

3. Remove from the heat, stir in the parmesan, then spread out on a tray covered with plastic wrap. Leave to cool, the refrigerate overnight to firm up.

4. Roll a small amount of the rice mixture into a walnut-sized ball. Press a hole in the middle with your thumb, push a cube of mozzarella inside and press the rice around it to enclose it in a ball. Repeat with the remaining rice and cheese, then roll each ball in the breadcrumbs, pressing down to coat well.

5. Heat enough oil in a deep-fryer or large heavy-based saucepan to fully cover the rice balls. Heat the oil to 180 C (350 F), or until a cube of bread dropped into the oil browns in 15 seconds. Cook the rice balls in batches, without crowding, for 3 – 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and leave for a few minutes before eating.
(3 – 4 minutes seemed too long to me as they started to blacken if left in that long. This is why my inner cheese did not melt, but I wanted them to look appetizing as well as taste appetizing. It is possible my oil was too hot. I did not have a thermometer that went up that high.)

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Final verdict: This is a delicious recipe. It takes patience and time, but is great if you have both. I reheated these for a Mother’s Day brunch and they went over extremely well.

Chickpea Curry

Chickpea Curry from Vegetarian Cooking: A Common Sense Guide by Bay Books

Cooked on: May 6, 2011

Serves: 4 (I think it would serve more than 4)

Cost: Inexpensive.

Skill level: Novice. Be sure to follow instructions.

Ingredients

1 tbsp ghee or vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
2 onions, finely sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp paprika
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
2 cans (15 oz/425 g each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
400 g/14 oz can chopped tomatoes
1 tsp garam masala (this took me a little while to find, but definitely add this to your spice rack!)

  1. Heat the ghee in a saucepan. Saute the onion and garlic over medium heat for 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened.
  2. Add the chili powder, salt, turmeric, paprika, cumin, and coriander, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in the chickpeas and tomato, then cover and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in the garam masala. Cover and simmer for a further 10 minutes. Serve hot.

I think a curry recipe is a must in any diet. They are usually very easy and require cheap and simple ingredients. This particular recipe is absolutely delicious. It was perfectly spicy in the sense that while you could taste some slight heat, it was not overpowering. It was really very easy to make and probably cost under $15. The recipe claims it has 4 servings, but this fed my husband and me for a week.

Chickpea Curry with a side of Arancini:

Mixed Berry Couscous

Mixed Berry Couscous from Vegetarian Cooking: A Common Sense Guide by Bay Books

Cooked on April 27, 2011

Serves: 4 (I think it would serve more than 4)

Cost: Inexpensive.

Skill level: Novice. Be sure to follow instructions.

Ingredients

185 g (6 1/2 ox/1 cup) plain couscous
500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) apple and cranberry juice {I used Treetop Apple Berry juice}
1 cinnamon stick
2 tspn orange zest
250 g (9 oz/2 cups) raspberries {I used 1 small plastic container which I think is 1 pint}
250 g (9 oz/1 2/3 cups) blueberries {I used strawberries}
250 g (9 oz/ 1 2/3 cups) strawberries, halved
200 g (7 oz) Greek-style yoghurt {I just used plain yogurt}
Golden syrup or maple syrup, for drizzling {I omitted this}
4 mint leaves {I omitted this}

  1. Put the couscous in a bowl. Pour the apple and cranberry juice into a saucepan and add the cinnamon stick. Cover and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat and pour over the couscous. Cover with plastic wrap and leave for 5 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove the cinnamon stick.
  2. Separate the couscous grains with a fork, then gently fold the orange zest and most of the berries through. Spoon the mixture into four serving bowls and sprinkle with the remaining berries.
  3. Top each bowl with a dollop of yoghurt, then drizzle with golden or maple syrup. Garnish with a mint leaf and serve.
Final Verdict: The yogurt really adds an interesting flavor to the sweetness of the berries. I can’t eat blueberries, so I made up for the lack by adding in more strawberries. Next time I think I will put in blackberries. Or maybe more raspberries. This was a really delicious and different kind of breakfast. I had never thought of using pasta as a breakfast item, but this works.

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