Tag Archives: Vegetarian

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 I: Beets with Herb Dressing

29 May

Kicking off the summer with a summer salad series. I love salad and eat it almost everyday, sometimes twice a day. When I go to someone’s house and ask what I can bring, I am always asked to bring the salad because not only do I love to eat salad, I love to make salad. And apparently I’m very good at it!

It’s easy to get in rut and get salad boredem. So each week I will post a new recipe that will broaden your salad horizon and hopefully inspire you to be more creative in the kitchen.

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Ingredients:

3 lbs roasted medium beets, preferably a mix of colors

1 large shallot, minced

1/4 cup white wine vinegar

Salt

Fine grated zest of 1 orange

1/4 cup chopped, fresh flat leaf parsley

1 Tbs chopped, fresh tarragon

1/4 cup chopped, fresh chives

1/4 cup olive oil + 2 Tsb

1/4 cup finely chopped unsalted, roasted pistachios

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut tops off beets and rinse well. Place beets in a bowl, drizzle with  2 Tbs olive oil and toss till well coated. Place beets on a baking sheet lined with tin foil, cover tightly with tin foil. Bake for 1 hour until beets are tender.

Let beets cool.

In the meantime, in a bowl mix the shallots, vinegar and a large pinch of salt. Let stand for 10 minutes. Stir in orange zest, tarragon, parsley, chives and oil. Season with salt to taste, stir well.

Arrange the beets in overlapping rows on platter. Stir dressing and spoon it over the beets. Sprinkle with pistachios and serve!

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*Keep in mind that you can always roast the beets and make the dressing ahead of time and then you can assemble right before you’re ready to serve.

**If you’re like me and you like your salad closer to room temperature, take the beets and dressing out of fridge about an hour before serving so that it’s not too cold.

Recipe adapted from Food & Wine and Top Chef Masters star Naomi Pomeroy

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.

 

Not just any Slaw, Apple Slaw!

12 Jun

I love a good slaw and this is something I may not have tried it if it wasn’t for my friend and fellow blogger Kimbrough Daniels. This is no ordinary slaw; no mayonnaise and no celery seed but there is apple, red onion, shallots and cilantro. It is light and refreshing with lots great flavor.

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My husband loved it and I knew he would, he loves anything with apples. And this is a great salad to take to a picnic because you don’t have to worry about the mayo getting bad!

Dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

1 Tbs minced shallot

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

1/8 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 tsp mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp paprika

Slaw:

1 small head of cabbage, shredded

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1 or 2 apples, julienned (Honey Crisp or Pink Lady)

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

In a jar with a lid combine all dressing ingredients. With lid tight, shake well until combined. Place all the slaw ingredients in a large bowl, pour dressing over slaw and toss  until the slaw is well coated. Chill for at least 30 minutes and enjoy!

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*My husband suggested using Granny Smith apples to make it more tart…I think I’ll give it a try next time I make it because I will be making it again!

Rock’n Egg Rolls

28 Feb

Once again I decided to tackle something that seemed beyond my cooking skills, egg rolls. Frying is something that has always been scary to me, dangerous even. And guess what? So much easier than I imagined and super delicious!

I handed the plate to my husband and he reluctantly took a bite, looked up and said “Wow, I was skeptical but these are really, really good!” I can add the recipe to my list of keepers.

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These egg rolls are vegan but you can certainly added finely chopped cooked chicken or shrimp.

Ingredients:

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 to 3/4 head savoy cabbage (about 11 ounces), finely chopped

3 medium carrots, shredded

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

10 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded, thinly sliced

1 Tbsp cooking oil + more for frying

1 Tbsp Chinese rice wine

1 Tbsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp sesame oil

freshly ground black pepper

1 Tbsp cornstarch

1/4 cup cool water

1 package of egg roll wrappers

Directions:

Heat a wok or large sauce pan over high heat. Add the 1 Tbsp cooking oil.

Add the cabbage, carrots, mushrooms and ginger and stir-fry for a minute or two then add garlic and cook until vegetables start to soften.

Add rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil and salt and pepper. Continue to stir-fry for another minute.

Remove the filling and place on a baking sheet in a thin layer to cool. Raise one end of the tray to allow for the liquids to drain away from the filling.

Mix the cornstarch and water.

Fill the egg roll wrapper with a heaping Tbsp of vegetable mixture. Dip your finger in the cornstarch/water mixture and paint the edge of the wrapper, this will seal it. Roll the egg roll, making sure you roll it tightly.

Heat up about 1.5 inches of oil (I used vegetable oil) in a large fry pan. When the oil is hot enough, place the egg rolls in the hot oil carefully and fry in batches. Fry until golden brown about one minute each side.

When you remove the egg rolls place on a wire cooling rack over a baking sheet to let them drain.

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Serve with duck sauce and enjoy!

*Recipe courtesy of Detours in Life

 

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.

 

Chapter 3: The Best Mac n’ Cheese

17 Jan

I almost can’t believe it. I have been on the search for the best macaroni and cheese recipe for what seems, ever. And apparently it has been; my last blog post on my search for the best mac n’ cheese was on May 23, 2011! I started a 3 chapter post and chapter 2 was all the way back then….

Well, I have found it. This is the recipe that will be the base of all my future mac n’ cheese recipes. Thank you Martha Stewart. (Of course.) I did change it slightly after reading and researching what makes the best mac n’ cheese. (How many times can I say mac n’ cheese?!) I did use some cream instead of milk and I used dry mustard instead of nutmeg. I DO NOT like nutmeg in recipes that are supposed to savory but I do like it in desserts. My husband thinks I’m crazy but I can detect the slightest bit of nutmeg and it just grosses me out.

Also, in this recipe Martha does a bread crumb topping which I omitted, just not a fan.

6 Tbs unsalted butter

3 1/2 cups milk

2 cups heavy cream (yup!)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp dried mustard

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

4 1/2 cups (about 18 ounces) grated sharp white cheddar

2 cups (about 8 ounces) grated Gruyere

1 pound elbow macaroni (I used shells, holds the sauce better)

1/4 cup pecorino Romano cheese

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Fill a large pot with water. Bring to a boil. Cook macaroni according to package instructions but about 3 minutes less, until it is just underdone. Drain in colander, rinse and set aside.

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 3-quart casserole dish;set aside. In a medium saucepan set over medium heat, heat milk and cream. Melt remaining 6 Tsp butter in a high-sided skillet or large saucepan over medium heat. When butter is completed melted, add flour. Cook, stirring 1 minute.

Slowly pour hot milk into flour-butter mixture while whisking. Continue cooking, whisking constantly, until mixture bubbles and becomes thick.

Remove the pan from heat. Stir in salt, black pepper, mustard, cayenne pepper, 4 cups cheddar, 1 1/2 cups Gruyere; mix well. Stir the macaroni into the cheese sauce and then pour into prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top. Bake until browned on top, about 30 minutes. Let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving….Enjoy!

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I have big plans for future mac n’ cheese recipes….

 

 

 

Eggs Benedict turned Florentine

29 Nov

Eggs Benedict was one of my favorite breakfast/brunch foods but now that I am no longer eating meat I am just as satisfied with eggs florentine. And as far as I’m concerned there is only one way to make them and that is with English muffins, Thomas’ English muffins, they are crispy and crunchy and just the right size for the poached eggs. And don’t let poaching eggs intimidate you, it’s actually pretty easy.

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The trick with something like this is keeping everything hot so that when you put it together and serve it that it is still hot. I like to put the English muffins in the toaster, ready to go. I put the pot of water on for poaching the eggs and then I make the hollandaise sauce. Once the sauce is made I sauté the spinach and turn on the water for the eggs. Once the eggs are in, start the toaster with the English muffins. And viola when the eggs are done you put it all together and it’s nice and hot!

Hollandaise Sauce

4 Tbsp butter

4 egg yolks

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 Tbsp heavy cream

Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Do not let it boil or burn.

In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks. And the lemon juice, heavy cream and salt and pepper. Add the melted butter a little at time and stir well. Repeat until all the butter is added making sure you don’t add it too quickly or the egg yolk will cook.

Once all the butter is added, place the mixture back into the saucepan. Cook on low heat, stirring constantly for about 30 t0 60 seconds. Remove from heat and set aside.

I keep mine on the stove, just not on direct heat to keep it hot.

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Eggs Florentine

2 English muffins, split

4 eggs

1 tsp vinegar

1 tomato, sliced into 4

2 cups spinach

Hollandaise sauce

In a small saute pan add about a tsp of vegetable oil and heat, add spinach and saute until wilted. Turn off heat and keep warm.

Fill a medium size saucepan half way. Bring the water to a boil and just as it starts to boil to turn the heat down so it is just a nice, slow boil. Add a tsp of vinegar.

Crack an egg into a small bowl or dish. Slowly pour the egg into the hot water. The time of cooking depends on how well you like your eggs cooked. I like about 3 minutes so the yolk is nice and runny.  A white foam may form on top of the water, you can scoop that off, it is normal.

I do all 4 eggs at the once, adding them slowly one at a time.

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Turn on the toaster and toast until desired.

Plate the toasted English muffin, top with tomato slice and wilted spinach.

When eggs are done cooking, remove from water with slotted spoon and place on top of the spinach. Top each egg with hollandaise sauce and enjoy!

*As with most recipes you can adjust to your taste, I don’t like tomatoes but my husband does so I just put the spinach on mine. I have also made them with hash browns instead of English muffins. You can use asparagus instead of spinach…the options are limitless!

 

Part II: Eggplant Rollatini

25 Oct

Hands down one of my all time favorite meals ever! And this is the first time I have ever made it and to make it with my homemade sauce made it even better. Thank you to Vodka and Biscuits for the great recipe, the only thing I changed was using fresh spinach versus frozen.

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Ingredients:

2 medium eggplants

kosher salt, as needed

pepper, as needed

15 oz. part skim ricotta cheese

1/2 package fresh, organic baby spinach-torn into pieces

1 egg, beaten

1 T chopped parsley

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 cloves garlic, minced

pinch red pepper flakes

2 cups tomato sauce (homemade or jarred)

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

To make:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the the stem end of the eggplant, I also like mine peeled but it is up to you. Using a meat slicer, mandolin or chef’s knife , cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/4″ inch slices. Generously sprinkle both sides with kosher salt and to “sweat” for 15 to 20 minutes.

Rinse each slice with water and pat dry. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Lay slices on a baking sheet and bake 10 -12 minutes.

In a bowl combine ricotta cheese, parsley, Parmesan cheese, garlic, salt, pepper, torn spinach and red pepper flakes. Taste for flavor before adding egg. Once you like the flavor, add egg and mix well.

Cover bottom of baking dish with a thin layer of sauce.

To roll the eggplant, place a heaping spoonful of ricotta mix on a slice of eggplant, roll and place in the sauce. Continue making the eggplant rolls and place them in the baking dish.

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Cover the eggplant rolls with the remaining sauce and top with shredded mozzarella. Reduce oven heat to 350 degrees. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

I served mine with spaghetti of course…just had to have the carbs. My husband said it was the best dish I had ever made, can’t beat that!

*Sorry about the crappy photos, one of my New Years’s resolutions for the coming year is better blog photos.

 

 

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