Yard 2 Dinner Plate

It's only cool to take pictures of your food if you grow it !


2 way Penne Vegan and with Meatballs


One of the benefits of having a farmer for a father is every time we see my dad is that he sends us back home with a bunch of meat. He loads a bunch of frozen meat into a cooler which then goes inside a taped up box that we check as a bag before our flight. A key thing to note here is that airlines charge extra or require a permit for dry ice and will not accept things packed in wet ice . Since the meat is entirely frozen and the cooler is completely full everything stays completely frozen even on a very long flight. Because my dad sends us so much meat directly off his farm about 90% of the meat eaten in our household is from his farm. We actually get fish from him too as he fishes a lot also.

 I think people might be asking is why would a vegetarian care about shipping meat. Well, unlike a lot of vegans and vegetarians. I don’t not eat meat because of ethicality of how the meat is raised, for me that is not it at all. I choose not to eat meat because it’s just not appealing to me. Often times these were my pets and I’m not going to eat a dog or a cat either. While I do understand that in some cases animals are not treated humanely, in other cases they are and it’s incredibly offensive when people accuse you of something that you find awful also. I don’t know of any farm where calves are held still for months on end to make veal. On my dads farm all of his cattle are Grass feed which means they roam out in the pasture and eat primarily grass. Besides producing better tasting meat there are many health, and environmental benefits of grass feed beef.


“It would give us a more humane livestock system, a healthier human diet, less deadly E. coli, elimination of feedlots, a bonanza of wildlife habitat nationwide, enormous savings in energy, virtual elimination of pesticides and chemical fertilizers on those lands, elimination of catastrophic flooding that periodically plagues the Mississippi Basin, and most intriguingly, a dramatic reduction in global warming gases…Grass-fed beef and dairy products are leaner, but more importantly, lower in omega-6 fats that are linked to heart disease. Grass-fed meat and dairy products also are higher in beneficial omega-3 fats and conjugated linoleic acids. Both reduce the risk of heart disease.” Read more about this HERE


One of the challenges however of cooking in a house hold that has both vegetarian and meat eating people is you get stuck cooking multiple meals. So it’s quite a bit easier when you are able to create a meal in 2 ways so that you can feed everyone. This recipe uses 2 large portabella mushrooms caps sliced and then a whole container of “baby bello’s” chopped.

2-way Mushroom Penne Pasta and mushroom artichoke bruschetta on Toast


The base of this recipe if entirely Vegan however I will note that some of the ingredients were made in a environment that also works with eggs. The meat balls are a mixture of grass feed ground beef and sausage

1 box Mueller penne pasta ( Hidden Veggies)

1 jar Del Grosso Sunday Marinara

1 jar Gia Russa Artichoke Bruschetta topping

1 loaf French toast

Complete seasoning to taste

Portobello mushrooms ( I use large for in the sauce and “baby bello’s” for on the toast. )


1 cup Onions split

1 loaf French bread

Fresh basil and Oregano Chopped

½ cup fresh eggplant chopped

Crushed pepper

Olive oil

Additional ingredients for the meat balls

1 lb ground beef

1 lb ground sausage

2 eggs

First things first you want to cut your onion , mushroom and basil and oregano, I leave some of the pieces of the onion larger to sauté with the onions for thesauce. The rest I chop finely to go in the meat balls and with the baby mushrooms for the bruschetta. Also this is a good time to slice your French bread and set aside.


Next you will want to mix your meats 2 eggs olive oil and about 2 handfuls of onions and basil complete seasoning and about 1 table spoons of olive oil. Mix together well and create about 12 decent size balls place into a class pan cover with foil and cook at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes until cooked through.


Boil a pot of water with some of the fresh basil and a little olive oil once it reaches a boil add your penne noodles.

In a large pan take your sliced Portobello caps and about 2 handfuls of onions and sauté in olive oil. Add you jar of sauce and let simmer for a few minutes. After you have drained your noodles dump them in the sauce and toss.





In a separate pan sauté you baby bello’s and onions with some complete seasoning, olive oil and ground pepper. Once the mushrooms are well browned add 3 heaping spoonful’s of your artichoke bruschetta and mix well.

Take a cookie sheet lined with foil and apply a generous amount of olive oil to the bottom of the pan place the toast in one lawyer along the bottom making sure each piece soaks up some of the olive oil. Top with a large spoon full of your mushroom artichoke mixture. Bake at 400 degrees for about 12 minutes.

Once I’ve done this if you would like it would be a good time to brown the meatballs in your pan but feel free to skip is you want to save yourself the step.

































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