Posts Tagged Vegetarian

Mac & Cheese

The original recipe title was “spicy mac & cheese” but since I was making this for a 20-month old I left out the cayenne and the jalapenos.  Still very tasty though!  I also added some roasted veggies because I like my mac & cheese with roasted veggies.  I’m still going to count it as having made this from the book because I followed the recipe’s directions regarding the types and proportion of cheeses.  Also the cumin and coriander in the sauce, which was a nice touch that I think I’ll keep. Read the rest of this entry »


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Imperial Orange Tofu

This is a nice basic recipe for the kind of “orange [insert protein here]” you can get at any Chinese fast food lunch buffet.  It would work just as well with chicken as with tofu, but actually the tofu has a really nice texture once it’s been battered and fried.  It was sweeter than I normally like for dinner, but not overly so, and the crispiness of the tofu really balanced it well. Read the rest of this entry »


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Twice-baked Potatoes with Cheddar and Jalapenos

This was originally a mashed potato recipe – I changed it up a bit because I really, really really love twice-bakeds.  And because you eat the potato skin too, they’re marginally healthier than mashed.

The recipe is a bit of a no-brainer.  Potatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, a couple chopped jalapenos (I used jarred tonight because I couldn’t find fresh on my way home), just enough butter and milk to make them fluffy.  Salt and pepper. Read the rest of this entry »


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Spinach and Pine Nut Quiche

This was simple and delicious.  The only thing that would have improved it is (wait for it)….bacon.  Yes, as usual, a Whole Foods Market Cookbook recipe is sadly lacking in salt and umami.

The spinach filling can be made a couple of days in advance – I wouldn’t recommend assembling it in advance because the crust will get soggy.  Heat up some EVOO in a big skillet.  Add 1 leek (not in the original recipe, but I had an extra leek in the fridge), a couple cloves of minced garlic, and 1 tbsp fresh minced sage, and cook until softened.  Then add 1 package of fresh spinach (baby or regular) and cook over low heat until wilted.  Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.  Add 1 cup toasted pine nuts, and let cool.

In a separate bowl, mix together 1/2 cup each grated mozzarella and parmesan cheese.  In another separate bowl, whisk together 2 eggs and 1 cup milk (whatever milk you have on hand).

Slice 1 medium or 2 small red potatoes and microwave covered in water for 2-3 minutes, or until just tender.

Preheat the oven to 375.  Prebake a frozen pie crust for about 10 minutes or until just starting to brown.

To assemble the quiche, lay down alternating layers of spinach, potato, and cheese, then *very slowly* add the milk/egg mixture on top.  You should probably have the pie plate on a sheet pan at this point, because it WILL overflow in the oven.  Top with any remaining cheese and bake for about 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and delicious.  Yum!



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Eggplant and Orzo Casserole with Ricotta

Last week was orzo week, this week seems to be pine nuts week.  This recipe bridges the gap.  It was Teh Yum.  (Once, naturally, I’d tripled the salt.)

Saute in a large skillet with EVOO 3-5 minutes or until softened and beginning to brown:

1 medium onion, chopped

2 leeks, chopped (white parts only)

1 large eggplant, cubed

1 large red bell pepper

Add to a 9×13 baking dish along with:

2 large chopped tomatoes

4 cloves garlic, pressed

1/2 lb par-cooked orzo

1/2 c chopped fresh basil

1/2 c tomato juice


Top with dollops of ricotta cheese.  Then top THAT with a mixture of 1/2 cup each pine nuts, bread crumbs, and grated parmesan cheese.  Bake at 375F for about 15-20 minutes or until browned and bubbly.


There’s not a lot too this dish – pasta, vegetables, cheese.  But it’s got a good balance of ingredients, and was a nice twist on some familiar flavors.  Oh, and top each individual serving with some fresh chopped parsley.

Dylan Report: He mostly ate around the vegetables (in spite of happily snacking on some of the fresh chopped tomato while I was cooking), but otherwise this was a big hit.  It’s pasta and cheese – hard to go wrong!


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Lentil & Mushroom "Tagine"

Not much that’s “tagine” ish about this, really, except that we ate it over couscous.  The hot sauce should have been harissa, but was sriracha instead (it’s what I keep on hand).  The original recipe called for this to go in a dutch oven, I made it in the slow cooker instead.

In the food processor, make a mirepoix (onion, carrot, celery) and pulse until chopped fine (not pureed).  Also chop a couple of red bell peppers, 16 oz button or cremini mushrooms, and a few cloves of garlic.  Add to the slow cooker pot along with 16 oz additional sliced assorted wild mushrooms (I buy mine presliced).  Spicing: 2 tbsp tomato paste, 2 tbsp cider vinegar, 2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp cumin, 2 tsp fennel seed, salt/pepper.  Also add 1.5 cups of water, 2 cups dried lentils, 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes.  Slow cook on high 3-4 hours or until lentils are tender.  In the last hour of cooking, add 3 sliced red/yellow/orange bell peppers.

Just before serving, stir in 1 lb fresh baby spinach and 1 tbsp grated lemon zest.  Serve over couscous with a spritz of hot sauce.

I was apprehensive about this dish when I tasted it halfway through cooking, but it actually turned out pretty well.  To be honest, it was a little too healthy for my taste.  I generally like my lentils with a little more bacon.  (ALL the recipes in this book need more salt than is called for.  It’s so much easier to eat large amounts of vegetables when they’re properly seasoned!)

I was a flake yesterday and did not take a picture of this.

Dylan Report: He didn’t hate it, didn’t love it.  I was very proud of him for being willing to try such an unfamiliar food.  And go figure – he preferred the stuff off Mommy’s plate with the hot sauce in it to his own mild version.


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Bell Pepper Quesadillas w/ Salsa Verde

The only real difference between these and the regular quesadillas I always make is that I had a cookbook open on the counter while I was making these.  Otherwise, the recipe is pretty standard.  (Ditto the recipe for the salsa verde.)  Still, they were very tasty and came together from fridge to table in under half an hour.

Heat some veg oil in a large skillet.  While the oil is heating up, thinly slice 2 poblanos, 3 bell peppers, and 2 small onions.  Add veggies to skillet.  Season with salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and oregano.  Remove to a bowl.  Add 2 minced cloves of garlic (I use a garlic press) and 1 can of drained and rinsed white beans.  (The beans were not in the recipe, I added them because I like a little protein in my quesadillas.)

For the salsa verde, heat a little more oil in the same pan you used for the quesadilla filling.  Add 1 seeded & diced jalapeno, 1 diced onion, a few cloves of garlic, and 5-6 roughly chopped tomatillos (peeled and rinsed).  Don’t worry about getting a perfect dice on any of it since it’s all going in the food processor in a minute – the goal here is to soften the veggies and give them a little color.  Season them with salt & pepper while you’re at it.  Dump everything into the food processor with a big handful of cilantro and pulse several times until everything is nicely chopped and mixed together.  Chill in the fridge if you have time.

To assemble the quesadillas, spoon about 1/2 cup of the pepper & bean mixture onto a tortilla and top with monterrey jack cheese.  Fry in a skillet (more veg oil) until browned on both sides and the cheese is nice and gooey.  Serve topped with salsa verde and sour cream.


Dylan Report: He was in a very goofy mood tonight and not much interested in eating.  Once I convinced him that there really was nothing he hadn’t eaten (and liked) before on his plate he willingly scraped off and ate most of the cheese and beans.  My son the health nut.


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Whole Wheat Linguine with Broccoli

This is fairly similar to the kind of pasta dishes I make all the time so I’m not going to bother transcribing the recipe – heat EVOO in a skillet, add some kind of leafy green (broccoli in this case) + garlic/red pepper flakes/pine nuts and serve over whatever kind of pasta is on hand.  The wrinkle in the WF recipe, and one I really like, is the addition of a splash of soy sauce and lemon juice at the end just before you toss everything together.  I was a little dubious at first, but it really complements the flavor of the pine nuts.

Pasta DoughThe other wrinkle I added was that I made the whole wheat linguine myself, and it was NUMMY.  I tried the recipe that came with the pasta maker attachment and it was like trying to knead a brick.  So I threw out that batch and used Marcella Hazan as a guideline instead.  I also used half white and half wheat flour instead of 100% whole wheat.  It came out much better the second time.

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Algerian Eggplant Salad

I made several changes to this along the way – some intentional, some not.

Slice 2 medium eggplants into 1/2-inch thick slices. Seed and quarter 2 green peppers. Slice and seed 1 jalapeno.

Toss veggies with olive oil, turmeric, cumin, crushed red chiles, LOTS of pressed garlic, and a bunch of chopped cilantro. And salt. Let marinade 30 minutes while you preheat the broiler.

Broil about 5 minutes, or until nice and charred (but not burnt). Turn oven down to 450 and put in 2 sandwich-size parbaked frozen baguettes.

Chop “grilled” veggies into bits. Add about 8 campari or 6 plum tomatoes, quartered, and another big handful of fresh cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste.

Algerian Eggplant Salad

Scoop out the baguettes and spread with Sabra Greek Olive Hummus on both sides. Fill with salad. YUM.

Eggplant Salad Sandwich


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Roasted Corn Poblano Chowder

It’s late and I’m exhausted, so this will be a short one.

Liked this, didn’t love it. Really should be called “Corn Chowder With Roasted Poblanos” since there was no roasting of corn. Also, you know what vegetarian recipes are all missing? BACON. There’s a meaty, salty undertone I expect from chowder that this was completely missing. Still, the flavors that were there were all good.

I think if I make this again, I’ll add chorizo in the beginning and use the rendered fat for the roux instead of butter.Roasted Corn and Poblano Chowder


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