Saturday, March 27, 2010

Veggie Sophistication

A few weeks ago I realized how much my cooking style has changed, particularly since I've been cooking for three rather than two. Not only do I cook less often than I used to, but my cooking has lost a lot of sophistication. I used to make the occasional fancy meal for my hubby and I, sometimes even with multiple courses. Now. . .not so much.

There are several reasons for this change. My toddler's tastes influence my menu selection a great deal. I'm also super practical, so I'm always considering what things will taste like the next day for lunch. But the biggest reason for the current state of things is that I just have so little time.

I've been trying to elevate my style just the teensiest bit. I have tried to make a few meals that are a bit more "upscale," if you will. And the great thing is that I've found that it really doesn't take much to fancy things up a bit.

Perhaps you're wondering what makes a vegetarian meal more "upscale." Afterall, we don't get the benefit of filet mignon or other fancy cuts of meat. In my mind, there are three things that add sophistication to any meal.
  • Nice, flavorful cheeses
  • Exotic mushrooms
  • Any form of cooking with wine
With this tripartite in mind, I recently turned to an old favorite recipe that incorporates all three. It's a recipe from Rachael Ray for a spaghetti risotto. My toddler gets her spaghetti. I get my risotto. And we all get the cheese, mushroom, and wine combo.

I have barely adapted the original recipe, so I'm linking directly to it. I usually use fresh mushrooms if they're available (about 12 oz. of any combination), I use walnuts since I always have them on hand, and I skip the arugula and lemon juice part of the recipe. The result is always fantastic, so I'm so glad to have re-discovered this old {slightly} upscale favorite!

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