Tag Archives: Foodie

Cacciatore, Hold the Chicken!

16 Aug

Since becoming a vegetarian I learned how to make all kinds of recipes without meat, and this has become a favorite. Summer time in New Jersey means lots of fresh local vegetables including eggplant, peppers and the famous Jersey tomatoes all of which I used in this recipe. Now I know most of you think of New Jersey as crowded and dirty, with bad drivers but in fact, there is a lot of farmland and beautiful rolling hills. We have lots of local farmers markets where we can get everything from local produce to homemade pies. (We are called the Garden State for a reason.)

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This is the perfect summer time pasta dish that is light, has lots of taste and loaded with healthy veggies!

eggplant-cacciatore

Just a few notes-I peeled the eggplant, I don’t like the skin but it’s up to you. You can use your favorite mushrooms, I used baby Portobello, just about any kind will do. Finally, instead of the 14 oz can of diced tomatoes I used fresh Jersey tomatoes.

 

Ingredients:

1 lb eggplant, sliced into 1/4 thick slabs

3 Tbsp olive oil, divided

6 oz dried penne pasta

1 lb cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stemmed and sliced

1 small onion, chopped

1 bell pepper, any color, sliced into strips

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup crushed tomatoes

2 Tbsp capers

1 Tbsp fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dry

1/2 tsp dry oregano

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Rub eggplant slabs with olive oil and arrange on a baking sheet. Bake until eggplant are slightly browned and tender, but not falling apart, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.

 

While eggplant is baking, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta and cook according to instructions. Drain when done and return pot, toss with a bit of olive oil. Set aside.

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While eggplant bakes and pasta cooks, coat the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil and  place over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes more. Add garlic and sauté’ for another minute. Add wine and bring to a simmer. Allow to cook until liquid is reduced by about half, 3 to 4 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, capers, rosemary, oregano and red pepper flakes to skillet and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and add eggplant, simmer 5 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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Serve over pasta with a salad, crusty bread and a glass of delicious wine!

Thank you to Connoisseurusveg.com for this recipe and the photo of the final dish, mine didn’t look quite as good.

 

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Tastes Like Take Out Chow Mein

12 Oct

I’m always looking for new ideas for vegetarian meals that will be satisfying and that my husband will like…this is a great one! It is easy to make and you can be creative with the types of vegetables you use. I only suggest you stick with veggies that won’t get soggy (like squash and zucchini), I would stick with hardier types like string beans and peas.

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Ingredients:

4 medium carrots, sliced into 1/2″ pieces

3 ribs of celery, slices into 1/2″ pieces

5 or 6 large mushroom, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 can mung bean sprouts

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbs vegetable oil

5 green onions, chopped (keep some aside for garnish)

3/4 cup vegetable broth

1/4 cup Bragg’s Liquid Aminos

1 Tbs corn starch

salt to taste

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Directions:

Mix vegetable broth, Bragg’s and corn starch; set aside.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, add onions and saute until transparent. Add carrots and celery; cook for about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until desired tenderness. Then add garlic and cook until fragrant, add mung bean sprouts and green onions, stir well. Add broth mixture and stir until well combined. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat as sauce thickens. Season with salt to taste.

Serve with rice and garnish with green onions…enjoy!

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*I like my vegetables to be tender so I boil the carrots and celery for a few minutes, you may or may not want to do this.

Buffalo What? Potato Wedges!

2 Oct

Football season is in full swing which means that in our house Sundays are devoted to football watching and eating. This is the one day of the week that we eat what we want; no calorie counting and I call it football food. My husbands favorite is buffalo chicken wings, not mine. I don’t like the skin and all the icky veiny stuff and I’m also a vegetarian now. But I do love the taste of the wing sauce, blue cheese and celery,so what to do? After being inspired by Libbie Summers, the amazing food guru, I decided to make buffalo potato wedges. The result was absolutely delicious, John may never eat chicken wings again!

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Ingredients

2 to 3 Tbs vegetable oil

4 or 5 medium Russet potatoes, cleaned well and cut into thin wedges

1/3 cup hot sauce (I like Cholula, but I know Frank’s is a favorite of many, use what you like)

few dashes of Tabasco

1/3 cup butter

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

1/4 cup scallions, thinly chopped

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put potato wedges in a bowl, drizzle the vegetable oil over the potatoes and toss to coat evenly. Spread wedges on a jelly roll pan. Bake in oven for 25 minutes or until tender, turning after 15 minutes.

2. While potatoes are cooking, melt butter in small saucepan and add hot sauce and tabasco. When the potatoes are cooked to your liking (tenderness/crispiness) transfer them to a baking dish and toss with the hot sauce mixture. Sprinkle with the blue cheese and bake for another 5 or 6 minutes until cheese is melty.

3. Remove from oven and sprinkle with the celery and scallions….serve and enjoy!

*this is totally mine in terms of ingredients and amounts, I’m not famous for measuring so amounts are approximate, you may have to adjust to your liking.

 

Lazy Hot Days call for a Easy Cold Summa Salad!

13 Aug

Here in the Northeast we are experiencing a hotter than hot heat wave. It is too hot, even for me. So who wants to cook on day like today? No one. (And that includes grilling, especially grilling.) I give you a super tasty, really easy shrimp salad that is perfect for a day like today; cool and delicious!

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Salad Ingredients

1 lb cleaned, cooked shrimp

6 oz heart of palm, cut in bite size pieces

1 ripe avocado, diced

1 Tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice, toss with avocado

3 oz crumbled feta cheese

1/4 cup sliced green onions

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients

1 1/2 Tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 Tbs olive oil

1/2 tsp greek oregano

1/2 tsp dill

1/2 tsp celery seed

freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions:

Whisk together dressing ingredients. Place the salad ingredients into a salad bowl, except the feta, pour the dressing over the salad. Toss the salad gently so you don’t mess up the avocado. Sprinkle with the feta cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve, enjoy and stay cool!

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*Adapted from kalynskitchen.com

** Beautiful seersucker napkin by Dot & Army

 

Blueberries + Custard = Yummy Pie!

4 Jul

It is blueberry season which means blueberry pie! Blueberry pie is one of my favorites but I was on mission to find a recipe that was a little different and I found it. I found it on the blog The Girl Who Ate Everything; it has custard which I love and and a streusel topping, what could be better than that?!

The only thing that I changed was that I made my crust from scratch, she uses a store bought which makes it super easy. You can find the recipe for the crust on the blog The Gracious Wife. Either way, it is delicious and a big hit with pie lovers.

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Ok, so my crust needs work….I have a shrinkage problem that I can’t seem to figure out. Any suggestions people?

Ingredients:

1 cup sour cream

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

2 Tbs flour

2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups blueberries

1 (9 inch) pie crust

Streusel topping:

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 flour

1/4 cup softened butter

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl mix sour cream, sugar, flour, egg, vanilla and salt until combined. Add blueberries and stir gently until coated. Spoon filling into unbaked pie crust.

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Bake for 25 minutes.

While pie is baking prepare topping by putting the brown sugar and flour into a medium bowl, add butter. Mix (you can use your hands) together until it resembles coarse sand. Add the pecans.

After the pie has baked for 25 minutes sprinkle the streusel topping all over the top of the pie, bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes until pie is set and nicely browned. To avoid the crust burning use a crust shield or tin foil for the last several minutes.

Remove from oven and let sit for at least 15 to 20 minutes and then enjoy! And of course with ice cream or fresh whipped cream it is even better!

Vegetable Soup Mexican Style

29 Jan

Two things I love combined together to make something really great and tasty-Mexican food and soup. It is souper easy, tastes souper and it is vegan! It has lots of healthy vegetables and plenty of flavor, my husband ate 3 bowls of it, that says it all.

Ingredients:

1 tbs olive oil

3 bell peppers-1 green, 1 red, 1 yellow-all seeded and diced

1/2 red onion, diced

1 jalapeño, seeded and diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tbs cumin

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes

2 (4 oz) cans mild diced green chili peppers

8 cups vegetable broth (I used 6, it would’t all fit in my pot and it was fine)

1 can corn, drained

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1 zucchini, diced

salt to taste

Suggest serving it with:

lime juice, fresh squeezed

avocado

cilantro

tortilla strips

chopped scallions

shredded cheese

sour cream

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Directions:

Heat oil over medium heat in a large soup pot. Add diced bell peppers, red onion, jalapeño and a bit of salt. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally.

Add minced garlic and spices-cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper. Stir and cook for another minute.

Add diced tomatoes, green chilies and vegetable broth. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Add beans, corn and zucchini. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes until zucchini is tender. Add more salt to taste if needed (mine did).

Soup is ready to eat! Ole!

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*Recipe courtesy of Show Me the Yummy blog.

**Obviously adding sour cream or cheese makes this dish non-vegan.

 

It’s National Soup Month

10 Jan

Who knew?! I had no idea until I saw a post on Instagram the other day that January is National Soup Month. And how appropriate. It is cold and dreary, perfect for a hot, yummy bowl of soup. So to honor Soup Month here is one of my husbands favorite soups that I make, Manhattan Clam Chowder.

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The original version is not vegetarian so I modified it by using olive oil instead of bacon.

2 Tbs olive oil

1 large yellow onion, diced

1 small red pepper, diced

1 carrot, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

4 garlic cloves,minced

1 tsp oregano

1/2 cup dry white wine

3-8 oz bottles of clam juice

5-61/2 oz cans chopped clams, juice drained and reserved

1 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4″ dice

1 bay leaf

1-28 oz can diced tomatoes

salt and pepper

2 Tbs fresh, chopped parsley

In a large pot or Dutch oven heat the olive oil on medium heat and add onion, red pepper, carrot and celery. Reduce heat to low and cover, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and oregano and saute for 1 minute.

Add wine and increase heat to high, boil until it reduces by half, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the 3 bottles of clam juice, reserved canned clam juices, potatoes and bay leaf. Bring to boil then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer till potatoes are tender, about 10 minutes. Using a wooden spoon smash some of the potatoes against the side of the pot, then simmer for 5 more minutes.

Add diced tomatoes, bring back to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Add clams. Turn off the heat, add salt and pepper to taste and add parsley.

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Serve and enjoy!

 

 

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