Monthly Archives: August 2014

Pasta and Lentils (Pasta-e-Lenticchie)

This recipe came from our dear friend, Gary Mirabella.  As you can probably tell by his last name he’s Italian so, when he suggested I make this, I had no doubt it was going to taste amazing!  And, as with every recipe he has shared with us, it was.  So try this tonight for dinner and, for those of you with someone restricted to a pureed diet, don’t forget to save some to puree for them!

Pasta Lenticchie
Pasta Lenticchie

1 19oz can of Progresso Lentil soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic minced
¼ cup diced onions
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
¼ grated Romano cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
8 oz macaroni salad pasta

Directions: In a medium sauce pan sauté the onions until they are translucent. Add in the spinach and garlic and continue to sauté until the spinach is wilted. Over medium heat, add soup, cheeses and seasonings. Stir to combine. When the mixture begins to bubble and the cheeses begin to melt, reduce heat to low and continue to cook stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and add to soup mixture. Top with a sprinkle of Romano and/or Parmesan cheese and serve with a side of fresh steamed vegetables.

 Pureed Dinner

  1. Place 1 cup of Pasta Lenticchie and 1 cup of vegetables into the Vitamix and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and increase to Variable 4.
  4. Blend for 15-30 seconds using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades. Increase speed and liquid as needed to reach the desired texture.


Food tip: When preparing dinners, make sure there are no food allergies to the ingredients. Using canned soup is fine but making your own ensures only the freshest ingredients go into it.

Time Tip: Double the recipe and puree the leftovers in the proportions listed above and freeze in ice cube trays covered in plastic wrap. Store in labeled and dated freezer bags.

Money Tip: Making your own soup from dried lentils saves money. Shop in markets that sell beans in bulk bags or bins. Store dried lentils in airtight bins in a cool dry place.

The Vitamix Warranty

32oz container
32oz container

Yesterday felt like Christmas here at the Barton home.  My new 32oz Vitamix container was delivered!  The story begins like this:  Last week my daughter was making almond milk in the Vitamix and she heard a high pitched sound we don’t usually here when running the machine.  She let me know and I check it out right away.  I heard what she heard so I switched containers to see if it happened again.  When the sound didn’t return I turn my attention to the blade assembly on the 32oz container.  Sure enough the blade was not turning as freely as it usually does.  So we switched to using the 64oz container and called the company to let them know what was going on.

When we purchased the Deluxe Complete Kitchen it came with a 7 year warranty .  We added an extra year because we have a large family.  That gives us coverage until 2019!  I have never had any company back their product like that!   I ended up speaking to a very nice customer service representative who not only placed the order for my replacement container but also gave me great tips on nut butters easier to blend and remove from the container.  It was like talking to an old friend rather than a rep just trying to get off the phone to get to the next call.  This family owned company really knows how to take care of their customers. 

Now Their new machines come with an automatic 10 year warranty!  I know of no other company that stands behind their products like that.  I’m sticking with Vitamix!  For free shipping and handling, Shop Vitamix! here.

Nonfried Refried Beans

Non-fried Re-fried Beans
Non-fried Re-fried Beans

1 lb dried pinto beans
6 cups of water
2 tsp beef bouillon
Salt (to taste)

Quick soak- Place washed and sorted beans and the water into a 3 quart saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low for 1 hour. After 1 hour stir in the bouillon. Continue cooking the beans for 1-2 hours or until they are tender. Properly cooked beans should easily mash with the back of a spoon. Stir in salt to taste and let stand for 5 minutes. Drain the beans and reserve 1 cup of the broth.

  1. Place 3 cups of drained beans into the Vitamix.
  2. Select variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and quickly increase speed to Variable 10.
  4. Blend for 30 seconds using the tamper to press the beans into the beans. Add small amounts of the bean broth to reach the desired consistency.
  5. Repeat steps 1-3 until all the beans are pureed.

Food Tip: Use them as a side dish, to make burritos, tostadas or as a base for 9-layered dip. Add them to soups and stews as a natural thickener with the added benefit of adding extra protein.

Savings Tip: Because they are inexpensive, buy beans in bulk and store in a tightly sealed container in a cool, dry place. Under these conditions, dry beans can last up to a year. Also watch for sales in Mexican or farmer’s markets. These markets often have sales that are better than buying pre-packaged beans.

Time Tip: Cooked and pureed beans can keep for up to 6 months in the freezer. Double the recipe and freeze them in 1-3 cup size containers. When defrosted, use within 3 days. If using them as baby food, freeze them in standard ice cube trays covered in plastic wrap. Once frozen, put them into labeled and dated freezer bags for fast, fresh, individual portions.