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Buckwheat Crepes with Mushrooms & Swiss We've made these delicious crepes for dinner at least 4 times now, so it's time they are properly recorded. A perfect light summer dinner with a green salad on the side, these crepes cook up quickly with ingredients that are easy to have on hand. One of my favorite vegetarian meals. Crepes:
3 large eggs
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
2 cups milk
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1.5-3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
1 tsp. olive oil
16 oz. mushrooms, sliced
one sweet or yellow onion, chopped roughly
1/4 c. sweet Marsala wine or other white wine
thyme, salt, and pepper to taste
Swiss cheese, sliced or shredded

Sauce:
apricot jam + spicy brown mustard

For the crepes:
In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Then whisk in all of the remaining ingredients. Cover bowl and chill overnight (or 15-30min at room temp).
Set the batter out to come to room temperature for an hour before cooking. Preheat a large 10” skillet over medium-high heat. Add a small pat of butter and use a paper towel to quickly spread the butter around the pan. Add 1/4 cup of batter and tilt the pan so that the batter spreads into a circle. Cook each side for 1 – 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Unused crepes can easily be stored wrapped in the fridge for a couple of days, or frozen for several months.

For the filling:
Heat the oil in a pan without nonstick coating. Add onions, season with salt, and cook until softened. Add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms have shrunk and begun to turn golden. De-glaze pan with the wine and add seasoning.

Makes 20 or so crepes. The recipe halves well.
Original recipe
Green salad with Dates, Smoked Almonds, and Goat Cheese This salad has a lot of ingredients, but it is well worth the work. Smoked almonds and chopped dates add strong smoky/salty/sweet flavors to the crunchy lettuce, cabbage, and celery mix. Beans, chickpeas, and shredded precooked chicken provide protein, and crumbled goat cheese acts as a creamy accent. A simple red wine vinaigrette is included in the recipe, but feel free to improvise - just about any vinaigrette will do. Made ahead of time on Sunday, it makes for a easy, healthy work lunch and will last for nearly a week properly stored in the fridge. For a vegetarian version, just omit the chicken. Salad:

1 head romaine lettuce, shredded
1 head leaf lettuce, shredded
1/2 small head red cabbage, shredded very fine
3-4 stalks celery, chopped

Toppings:

Cooked chicken, shredded
1/2 cup dried dates, pitted and chopped in quarters
1/2 cup smoked salted almonds, roughly chopped
1 12-ounce can chickpeas and/or 1 12-ounce can kidney beans, rinsed and well drained
4 ounces goat cheese crumbled
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Optional: 6 shallots OR 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
Avocado

Dressing:

1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. mustard
1/2 Tbs. honey or fruit jam
1 tsp garlic powder
2 Tbs. olive oil


To make ahead: Mix the salad ingredients (washed and thoroughly dried) together. Store in large plastic containers lined with paper towels. Top with the finely chopped shallots or red onion, dates, almonds, and legumes.

Per serving: Toss with the goat cheese, top with chicken and/or avocado, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add dressing to taste

Whisk the jam/honey, mustard, and seasoning together. Add vinegar, stir well, and slowly add oil while whisking until emulsified.

Original Recipe


1. Scrub your potatoes well.

2. Bring (heavily) salted water to a boil and drop in your potatoes. Cook until tender - do not over cook. You can rinse the cooked potatoes in ice water to halt cooking. Halve and quarter them.

3. There are two options now. You can chill your cooked potatoes first - then fold your ingredients directly into the potatoes and serve or chill. This prevents the mayo and other creamy ingredients from 'melting' into the hot potatoes. The other option is to simply toss all the ingredients into the warm potatoes - and then chill until ready to serve (this is what I did). The last option is to fold all the ingredients into the potatoes and serve warm.

4. Chill your salad until ready to be served - or serve warm. We served it wrap-style in grilled flatbread - highly recommended. Season to taste with salt and fresh black pepper over top.

Original recipe

Veggie Peanut Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Collard Greens A hearty, satisfying vegetarian curry with tons of vegetables - red pepper, potato, sweet potato, tomatoes, chickpeas, and (a new one for me) collard greens. All in a wonderful not-from-a-mix peanut curry sauce that tastes kind of Thai, kind of Indian. Can be served over rice or as a stew with pita or naan bread.

2 tsp. canola or vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped
One 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated (optional: I omitted it)
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. whole mustard seeds
2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground tumeric
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
2 large tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 14-ounce can lite coconut milk, or more to taste
2 tbsp. smooth peanut butter
1 large bunch collard greens, stemmed and coarsely chopped
1 14-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  When it's hot, add the onion and cook until softened and starting to brown, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and ginger and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add all the spices and cook for another minute, then add the red pepper, the potatoes, the sweet potato, and the tomatoes.  Cover and let simmer over medium-low, until the potatoes have cooked through, about 15 minutes.

Stir in the coconut milk and peanut butter.  Add the collard greens and the chickpeas and stir well to combine.  Cook until the collard greens have wilted down enough to be soft, about 15 minutes.  If the curry seems to thick, add more coconut milk or water to thin it. Great with: pita or naan.

Original recipe
This is one of those recipes that is easy, delicious and can be done without a lot of forethought. I've started keeping cans of chickpeas and tomatoes around just so I can make this dish (and others like homemade falafel) when we run out of groceries and don't want to make another run. Of course that means that we usually make this when we don't have a lot of time. So even though I've made this at least twice, no pictures yet. But take my word for it - it's worth a try.

olive oil
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin seeds (or coriander seeds)
½ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground ginger (I usually omit)
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cardamon (or 3 cardamom pods, lightly crushed)
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1 Tbs cilantro leaves, roughly torn, plus more for garnish
A pinch of cayenne, or to taste
2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
6-8 Tbs plain yogurt, optional
A few lemon wedges, optional

Film the bottom of a large saucepan or Dutch oven--preferably not nonstick--with olive oil, and place the pan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring frequently, until it is deeply caramelized and even charred in some spots. Be patient. The more color, the more full-flavored the final dish will be.

Reduce the heat to low. Add the garlic, stirring, and add a bit more oil if the pan seems dry. Add the cumin seeds, coriander, ginger, garam masala, and cardamom pods, and fry them, stirring constantly, until fragrant and toasty, about 30 seconds. Add ¼ cup water, and stir to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook until the water has evaporated away completely. Pour in the juice from can of tomatoes, followed by the tomatoes themselves, using your hands to break them apart as you add them; alternatively, add them whole and crush them in the pot with a potato masher. Add the salt.

Raise the heat to medium, and bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, add the cilantro and cayenne, and simmer the sauce gently, stirring occasionally, until it reduces a bit and begins to thicken. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Add the chickpeas, stirring well, and cook over low heat for about five minutes. Add 2 Tbs water, and cook for another five minutes. Add another 2 Tbs water, and cook until the water is absorbed, a few minutes more. This process of adding and cooking off water helps to concentrate the sauce's flavor and makes the chickpeas more tender and toothsome. Taste, and adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Stir in the yogurt, if you like, or garnish with lemon wedges and cilantro. Serve.

Yield: About four servings

Original Recipe

kale_brown_rice_gratin.jpgI upped the greens and added chicken to this warming casserole to make it a one-dish meal, but you can of course omit the chicken and use vegetable broth to make it vegetarian. The flavors are simple but delicious - a little dijon and hint of nutmeg add interest, but the main focus is the creamy texture of the rice and greens.

1 large shallot, minced
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups short grain brown rice
3 cups milk
3 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth if vegetarian)
1 cup chopped cooked chicken breast (optional)
2 large bunches kale
1/4-1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
6-8 ounces of extremely sharp cheddar-style cheese
1/2 cup of bread crumbs

Melt butter in a heavy bottomed 3.5 - 6 quart pan. Add shallot and saute until brown.

Add brown rice and saute with shallot for about 5 minutes, until it starts to get a little toasted.

Add milk, stock concentrate, spices and dijon. Bring to a boil. Once at a boil, lower heat to a simmer and cover for 45 minutes - 1 hour. You can peek and stir occasionally without problem. Note: the milk will curdle here if you boil it very long, but this doesn't really affect the final product.

Preheat your oven to 350º.

At the end of the rice's cooking time, add in the finely chopped kale. Cook an additional 5 minutes of so to help soften the kale.

At this point it should be rather thick. If it is not, put two tablespoons flour in a small bowl and add some of the remaining liquid from the rice mix. Stir to make a roux and add back to pan to thicken. Once thick enough to be like a wet paste, spoon into 9×13 casserole dish. Top with grated cheese and breadcrumbs (cheese first!) and put into preheated oven for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown and bubbly.

Original recipe



eggplant_mushroombake_sm.jpgThis dish was a huge surprise. The ingredients seem simple, but the combination of broiled eggplant, browned mushrooms and onions, simple tomato sauce, and melted cheese is outstanding. It has all the great flavor of really good authentic Italian food, but without swimming in olive oil. As my one-and-only critic said, "I would go to a restaurant just to order this." Definitely one of my favorite dishes of the year. Serve over pasta.

1  peeled eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1  cup  chopped onion
1/2 tbs fresh oregano and 1/2 tsp dried basil or 1 tsp Italian seasoning
2  garlic cloves, chopped
8 oz white mushrooms, sliced
1  (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce, divided
2/3  cup  (about 3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
1/4  cup  (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper
Olive oil cooking spray

Pasta, cooked according to directions

Preheat broiler.

Arrange the eggplant slices on a baking sheet coated with olive oil cooking spray, spray the tops as well and sprinkle lightly with coarse ground salt and pepper; broil 3 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat; add onion and next 4 ingredients (onion through mushrooms). Salt lightly. Cook until onions are browned, and mushrooms are turning golden, stirring mixture occasionally (about 10 minutes).

Spread half of mushroom mixture in bottom of a 1 1/2-quart round baking dish coated with cooking spray (I used a cake pan). Arrange half of eggplant slices over mushroom mixture; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Top with 1/2 cup tomato sauce and 1/3 cup mozzarella. Spread remaining mushroom mixture over mozzarella; top with remaining eggplant slices. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon pepper; top with remaining tomato sauce. Cover and bake at 375° for 40 minutes to 1 hour. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, 5 minutes or until cheese melts. Let stand 10 minutes. Serve over pasta.

yield: 4 servings
Per serving (not including pasta)
Calories:168 (30% from fat)
Fat: 5.6g (sat 3.2g,mono 1.5g,poly 0.5g)
Original recipe

crustlessquiches_sm.jpgRich, cheesy little quiches with gruyere, zucchini, and basil. The best thing about them - other than the taste - is they can be made ahead of time and either frozen or refrigerated until needed. A few minutes in the oven gets them toasty and ready for a party. 

1/4 c. cornstarch or 1/3 c. flour
1 1/4 c. milk
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1 c. half and half
1/2 t. salt
1/8 tsp nutmeg
fresh ground pepper
oil for the pan

1 T. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
2 zucchini, grated
1/4 cup gruyere or parmesan, grated
fresh basil, finely chopped

Heat oven to 450 degrees.

Prepare Batter: Put the cornstarch in a medium bowl. Whisking steadily, slowly pour in 1/2 cup of the milk, mixing until quite smooth. Whisk in the whole eggs and egg yolks, mixing again until smooth, then gradually whisk in the rest of the milk, the cream, salt, and nutmeg. Use immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to one day. If using the next day, be sure to re-whisk.

Prepare Zucchini Mixture: In a nonstick pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and shallots and stir until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add grated zucchini, and stir until just softened, another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat.

Oil mini muffin tins well. Put a pinch grated cheese into each muffin cup, a teaspoon of zucchini mixture, and pinch of chopped fresh basil. Pour 1 tablespoon of the batter into each muffin cup.

Bake until the quiches puff and start to turn golden, 15-18 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and then carefully run a paring knife around the rim of each muffin cup. Carefully lift each quiche out of its cup.

Mini quiches freeze very well. Let cool, then freeze in a single layer in a covered container. Reheat on a cookie sheet in a 400 degree oven for about 5-10 minutes.

makes ~48

Original recipe


chard_tart_sm.jpgAn elegant savory tart full of chard, onion and thyme held together by eggs and Parmesan on an oregano whole wheat crust. Perfect for a tea or brunch. Can made ahead and served warm or cold.

Crust:

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp dried oregano or thyme
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 c. cold water (I used less)

Makes enough to line a 28- to 30-cm (11- to 12-inch) tart pan.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease the pan lightly if it doesn't have a nonstick coating.

Combine the flour, salt, and herbs in a medium mixing bowl. Add the oil and mix it in with a fork. Add the water, mix with the fork until it is absorbed, then knead lightly (with just one hand, in the bowl) until the dough comes together into a ball.

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle a little flour on the ball of dough and on the rolling pin, and roll the dough out into a circle large enough to fit your tart pan. Turn the dough by 45 degrees (a quarter of a circle) every time you roll the pin and back, adding a little more flour underneath and on the dough when it seems on the verge of becoming sticky. The trick is to do this in quick, assertive gestures to avoid overworking the dough.

Transfer the dough carefully into the prepared pan and line it neatly. Trim the excess dough (re-roll it and cut into decorative shapes to top the tart), and place the pan in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

You can then blind-bake the crust (prick with a fork first, cover with foil, and cook at 400°F for 12 minutes), or garnish it straight away, depending on the filling. Either way, it will take 20 to 25 minutes at 200°C (400°F) to bake thoroughly.

Filling:

1 bunch of rainbow chard, stems and leaves chopped
1 onion, diced
1 big garlic clove minced
4 large eggs
2 Tb. half and half or milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2-1 tsp dried thyme
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan
aged balsamic vinegar for garnish

Heat olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the chard stems (you will add the leaves later) and thyme. Cook for 7-10 minutes until the stems are tender. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Add the chard leaves. Cook until the leaves are wilted and soft and any liquid has evaporated, 7-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.

Beat together the eggs and season with salt and a pinch of pepper. Add the chard mixture and parmesan. Mix well and scrape the filling into the prepared shell.

Bake for 10-20 minutes, or until set. Let cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan and serve warm with a drizzle of balsamic.

Original recipe (filling)

Original recipe (crust)


pizza_crust_sm.jpgWith no rise-and-wait time, this is the fastest homemade pizza crust I've found. The finished product is a perfect thin crust pizza: crisp and crackerlike but sturdy enough to support mounds of toppings without getting soggy. The technique of rolling out the crust on parchment paper and then transferring it directly to the pizza stone saves a lot of hassle (and burned fingers!).

3/4 cups (6 ounces) of water
1/2 teaspoon of active-dry yeast (if using instant yeast, you don't need to dissolve it during the first step)
2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt

Makes 2 pizzas

About 30 minutes to 1 hour before baking, pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees. If you have a baking stone, put it on a rack in the lower-middle part of the oven.

In a small bowl or liquid measuring cup, heat the water until it feels barely lukewarm when you test it with your finger (if the water is so hot that you can't leave your finger in it, wait for it to cool down). Add the yeast to the water and use a fork or whisk to stir it into the water. Set this aside for a few minutes and allow the yeast to dissolve.

Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the water-yeast mixture. Use your fingers or a wooden spoon to combine everything together. When it comes together into a cohesive ball (see image below), turn it out onto the counter along with any extra flour in the bowl that hasn't yet gotten worked in.

Knead the dough until all the flour is incorporated and the dough is smooth and elastic to the touch--about five minutes.The dough should still feel moist and slightly tacky. If it's sticking to your hands and counter-top like bubble gum, work in more flour one tablespoon at a time until it's smooth and silky (below).
Use a bench scraper to divide the dough in two.

Tear off two pieces of parchment paper roughly 12-inches wide. Work one piece of the dough in your hands and form it into a large disk. Lay the disk of dough on the parchment paper.

Working from the middle of the dough outwards, use the heel of your hand to gently press the dough outward until it's about 1/4 of an inch thick or less. You can also use a rolling pin for this part. Repeat with the second piece of dough.

Note: The dough will stick to the parchment paper, making it easier for you to roll out. You'll bake the pizza right on the parchment paper. As it cooks, the dough will release from the parchment, and you can slide the paper out before serving.

Topping and Baking the Dough:

Spoon a few tablespoons of sauce into the center of each pizza and use the back of a spoon to spread it out to the edges. Pile on all of your toppings except the cheese.

Using a bread peel or the backside of a baking sheet, slide your pizza (still on the parchment) onto the baking stone in the oven. If you don't have a baking stone, just bake it right on the baking sheet.

Bake for about 5 minutes and then rotate the pizza 180-degrees (most ovens have 'hot spots' your pizza will bake unevenly if it's not rotated). Bake for another 3 minutes and then sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake for another 2-3 minutes until the edges are golden brown and crispy.

Remove your pizza from oven and let it cool on a wire rack. At this point, you can slide the parchment paper out from under the pizza. Repeat with second pizza.

Let both pizzas cool for about five minutes and serve.

Original recipe


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