Tag Archives: Recipes

Souper Easy Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

29 Oct

Now that soup weather is finally here I decided to make tomato soup. Growing up we always had Campbell’s and I always loved it but now that I rarely eat anything processed or pre-made I thought it was time I grew up and made my own tomato soup. I found a super easy recipe and it tasted great.

As far as what kind of tomatoes to use, you can really use any kind. I did a mixture of Roma and Compari. The recipe called for white onion, not sure I’d use that again, I think I’ll try a Spanish onion the next time I make it. Not crazy about the white onion flavor.

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Ingredients:

6 cups tomatoes, chopped

1 white onion, chopped

Salt

5 or 6 garlic cloves, peeled

2 large red peppers

Red pepper flakes, optional, to taste

2 tsp red wine vinegar

2 tsp olive oil, plus more for roasting

To do:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss tomatoes and onions in olive oil, spread evenly on baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. You may need 2 baking sheets, you don’t want them too close together.

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Peel garlic and place on tin foil, drizzle with olive oil, fold tin foil and secure edges, place in oven.

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Roast everything for 20 to 25 minutes, flipping tomatoes and onions half way through.

 

After removing the tomatoes and garlic from the oven, roast the red peppers under the broiler. Turn on the broiler, place red peppers whole on baking sheet. Put under broiler on the highest rack so they are close to the flames. Roast about 2 to 3 minutes each side turning as they get charred.

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Once they are well charred, remove and place in a bowl, cover bowl tightly to allow the steam to loosen the skin. At least 5 minutes. Remove the skins, just be careful, they are hot. You can leave some of the char as it adds a nice flavor to the soup.

Once the peppers are peeled; cut, core and remove seeds.

In batches add tomatoes, onions, red peppers, vinegar and olive oil to a blender, only till the blender is half full. Blend until smooth.

 

As you blend each batch, put the blended batch in a pot over low heat, once it is all blended and in the pot you can taste and adjust the seasoning. You may need to add more salt or red wine vinegar for a little more tang.

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Serve with a loaf of rustic bread and enjoy!

 

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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.

 

Summer Salad Series III: Hearty Roasted Veggie Salad

28 Jun

This is the perfect salad for a healthy summer meal, the potatoes and chick peas make it a bit heartier than a typical salad. For those of you who need protein you can always add chicken or salmon. And the balsamic dressing for this salad is super simple and really delicious, you should definitely keep it handy and use it for other salads!

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Ingredients-Salad:

12 asparagus spears, ends cut off and cut in half

1 cup red potatoes, quartered

1 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbs balsamic nectar or vinegar

Salt and pepper

2 cups arugula or baby spring greens (I’m not a fan of arugula)

1 avocado, sliced

1/2 cup canned artichoke hearts, halved

1/3 cup canned chick peas, drained and rinsed

Ingredients-Dressing:

4 Tbs extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbs balsamic nectar or vinegar

1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice

Pinch of dried oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the potatoes and asparagus in the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Roast the potatoes on a baking sheet for 20 minutes, tossing once or twice during that time. Add the asparagus to the potatoes and roast for another 10 minutes. Once the vegetables are done remove from oven, let cool for a bit.

While the vegetables are roasting, whisk together the dressing ingredients and set aside.

To assemble, grab a nice big bowl; add lettuces, then add the rest of vegetables and sprinkle with the chick peas. Whisk the dressing before drizzling it over the salad and there you have it! Super easy, super healthy and super yummy!

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*Napkin by Patio Fashions

Recipe from Pumpkin and Peanut Butter

Summer Salad Series II: A New Take an Old Stand By…Potato Salad with Green Beans

21 Jun

As much as I love traditional potato salad, it’s always nice to try something new. My husband loves green beans so when I was looking through potato salad recipes and saw this one with green beans I knew it would be a winner. It is so easy and so delicious! Thank you Sweet Little Bluebird for this great recipe!

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Ingredients:

4 cups cooked potatoes, cubed-I used red skinned but you can use whatever you prefer

1 pound green beans, cooked al dente and cut in half

3 green onions, chopped

1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped

1/2 tsp oregano

2 cloves pressed garlic

salt and pepper to taste

1/3 to 1/2 cup dressing-recipe calls for Newman’s Own Olive Oil & Vinegar Dressing, I personally like Ken’s Italian Dressing & Marinade

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a large bowl and toss with desired amount of dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste, toss well and refrigerate. Enjoy!

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I added about a tablespoon of red wine vinegar and you could also try adding some mustard, I think I may try that next time! I also added some tomato to my husbands and he loved it!

Stuffy Dressing or Dressy Stuffing?

13 Nov

So, which is it? I only just found out what the difference is between stuffing and dressing, perhaps you already know and it seems pretty obvious now that I do know. Dressing is stuffing that is not “stuffed” into the cavity of the bird and stuffing is dressing that is “stuffed” into the cavity of the bird! There you have it.

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I love traditional stuffing but came across a recipe that seemed too good not to try (which is why I love Pinterest)! Rosemary Mushroom Stuffing, which is ironic because the recipe is vegan so clearly it is dressing and not stuffing. For those of you who are not vegan of course you can use regular butter and chicken stock but I urge you to try it the way it is written, you will never the know the difference.

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Ingredients

half loaf rustic, artisan bread*

1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced

3 celery stalks, diced

1/2 cup currants (they are by the raisins)

1 small onion, chopped

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp dried rosemary

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp fennel seeds

pinch of sea salt

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

2 tbs vegan butter

2 tbs olive oil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cube and toast artisan bread in oven.

The rosemary and fennel seeds need to be ground up, you can use a mortar and pestle if you have one. I put mine in a small bowl and used the handle end of a large knife to crush them and it worked just fine. Put aside.

In a large saute pan, heat butter and oil over medium low heat. Add onions and celery, stir until onions become soft and translucent. Add mushrooms, cook for about 5 more minutes. Add the fennel and rosemary mixture, garlic powder, pepper and salt. Stir to cook for 3 or 4 minutes more then remove from heat.

Pour vegetable stock and currants into the pan and stir.

Add toasted bread cubes to pan and mix well. Transfer to medium size baking dish.

Bake dressing covered with foil for 45 minutes.

Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes.

Let dressing stand for 10 to 15 minutes before serving and enjoy!

*The original recipe calls for rosemary artisan bread, I used plain as I thought it might be too much rosemary but obviously you can use what you like.

**Recipe adapted from canned-time.com

 

 

 

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.

Rub-A-Dub-Dub a Brisket in the Oven

14 Jun

A brisket is one more thing I have always wanted to make and I finally did it. I really wanted to do it on the grill but I was making at my brothers house and his grill ran out of propane…ugh. But no worries, I did it in the oven and it was delicious; just the way it should be; tender, lots of flavor and moist. I looked up several ways to make it, from the rub recipes to how to cook it and this is what I came up with.

Brisket in a bag.

Brisket in a bag

Dry Rub

3 Tbs chili powder

1 Tbs sea salt

2 tsp black pepper

2 tsp brown sugar

2 tsp garlic powder

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp dried mustard

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp dried thyme

 

Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl.

I used a 3.5 lb brisket. Wash the brisket and dry with paper towels. Rub the dry ingredients on both sides of the meat. Put the brisket a plastic bag (squeezing out excess air as you seal it). I put mine in the fridge over night, you can do it for less time but I recommend at least 6 hours to let the meat soak in the flavors.

For cooking time plan for about 1 hour and 15 minutes for every pound at 250 degrees. Low and slow.

Take the brisket out of the fridge about 45 minutes before you want to cook it to bring it to room temperature. Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees, place the brisket fat side up in a shallow baking dish. I planned on cooking mine for 4 hours. Place in the oven and let it do it’s thing.

Now, I watched several BBQ shows on the Food Network and almost all of the award winning BBQ pit masters would wrap the meat in foil the last hour or so of cooking. So, I did that too and I really think that  is what kept it from drying out. After 3 hours I wrapped it in foil and put it back in the oven, let it cook for another hour.

When I took the meat out to wrap it in the foil there was a lot of wonderful juice in the pan, I saved this and put it on side to pour over the meat when it was served.

Perfectly sliced!

Perfectly sliced!

And in true Southern style I served it with macaroni & cheese and coleslaw. It was absolutely delicious and we had brisket sandwiches with the leftovers!

 

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