Wednesday, December 30, 2009

White Chocolate Key Lime Fudge

I whipped up a batch of "Key Lime Fudge" for a Hawaiian potluck at work, and couldn't believe just how easy this recipe was. Best part was they tasted great too and appeared to be a hit at the potluck as they were gone before I had a chance to finish my lunch! Many thanks to Julia for another amazing recipe!
Note: No need to seek out Persian or key limes for this recipe, a regular lime will do the trick just fine.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Spaghetti Squash Galettes

I wasn't too keen on spaghetti squash until I tried these galettes. Now I think I will most definitely be cooking with spaghetti squash more then the occasional twice a year ordeal. My only complaint about this recipe was that it didn't yield enough for lunch the next day! I will most definitely be making this recipe again, and doubling the ingredients to yield a larger quantity.

Recipe adapted from Citrone & Vanille
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese
  • 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 pinch chili flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 375°. Cut squash in half and place cut side down in a glass baking dish with a half cup of water. Bake for 40 minutes and set aside to cool.
  2. Once squash is cool enough to handle, scrape out flesh into a bowl and set aside.
  3. In another mixing bowl, mix egg with flour, salt and pepper, to form a thick dough. Add a touch of water if dough becomes too thick.
  4. Add oregano, parsley, tomato paste, chili flakes and a dash of salt and pepper to the squash and stir until well mixed. Use your hands to incorporate the egg/flour mixture into the squash. Finish by adding feta to mixture, careful not to break up feta too much.
  5. Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat. Add heaping tablespoons of squash mixture to pan and cook until browned on each side. Keep galettes warm in a 200° oven while you continue to cook.
  6. Serve with a dollop of salsa or leftover hollandaise sauce like I did!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ricotta and Spinach Stuffed Shells

I have noticed that any type of “stuffed” food dish immediately get’s people’s attention. Throw in the ultimate comfort food (pasta & cheese) and you have yourself a real hit! I recommend that anyone who loves pasta and cheese should make this dish for the holidays. Unless of course you don’t want to be the holiday host next year!

Recipe adapted from (The Good Mood Food Blog)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1-796 ml can of diced tomatoes (no salt added)
  • 1-398 ml tomato sauce (no salt added)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (or 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped)
  • 1 tsp dried basil (or 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped)
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 250g large pasta shells
  • 1 bunch spinach, washed
  • 1 1/2 cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • fresh ground salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
  1. In a medium pot saute garlic in olive oil for 30-40 seconds. Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and red wine. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes, add water if sauce becomes too thick. Season with salt and pepper making sure to stir frequently.
  2. Meanwhile cook spinach in a frying pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow spinach to cool before using your hands to squeeze out liquid. Chop and set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to boil and cook pasta until al denté.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, mix ricotta, herbs, steamed spinach, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl until everything is combined.
  5. Spread half the tomato sauce in a medium baking dish.
  6. Once pasta is cooked drain and allow to cool in a colander.
  7. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of ricotta mixture into each shell and place in baking dish with tomato sauce. Once you have added all the stuffed shells to the baking dish, cover with the remaining tomato sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan over top and bake 25-30 minutes at 350°.
  8. Serve with crusty bread, steamed veggies or a tossed salad.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Stollen

Stollen is a traditional German cake also known as Christstollen which is similar to the well known fruitcake found in grocery stores during the Christmas season. This particular recipe was featured in last month’s Martha Stewart magazine and was passed down from her mother Martha Kostyra. I encourage you to watch the video as it is really quite cute and gives you a good idea of how to work in the fruit. I used apricot brandy to soak the currants in as I didn't have any cognac. The picture above shows the texture of the two breads prior to icing.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mushroom Melt

If you have leftover mushrooms here is a good way to use them up for lunch or a quick dinner. Serve mushrooms over toasted bread like sourdough or rye.

  • white mushrooms, sliced
  • garlic, minced
  • thyme 1-2 tsp fresh or dried
  • cooking Sherry 1-2 tsp
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • toasted bread
  • Havarti, Mozzarella or Gruyere , sliced
  1. Heat olive oil in frying pan over high heat. Once the oil is heated through add garlic and stir for about 30 seconds. Throw in mushrooms and saute until they release their juices and begin to brown on both sides about 8-12 minutes.
  2. Stir in thyme, salt and pepper and deglaze pan with sherry. Cook until mushrooms have soaked up sherry about 2-5 minutes.
  3. Evenly spread mushrooms over toast and top with cheese slices.
  4. Broil in oven until cheese is bubbly and golden brown.
  5. Serve with parsley and fresh pepper.
Tip: You can vary this recipe by using different mushrooms, cheeses or bread.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Vegan Gingerbread Cookies

I think I might actually prefer this recipe found in "La Dolce Vegan!" - Sarah Kramer's third vegan cookbook, to traditional gingerbread. Instead of margarine this recipe calls for vegetable shortening and a perfect array of spices.

What's neat about "La Dolce Vegan!" is that most of the recipes are submitted from people all over the world who have tried, tested and true methods for cooking vegan. Sarah Kramer is from Victoria, BC and her vegan cookbooks can be found at most bookstores and libraries or you can follow her website/blog at

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Asparagus with Vegan Hollandaise

For those of you out there looking for a low fat way to make Hollandaise sauce I highly recommend this recipe. My only suggestion would be to add 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice and taste before adding remaining lemon juice 1 tsp at a time, until you reach your preferred tanginess.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Three Sisters Casserole

This recipe yields enough to serve 6-8 people. I used local pumpkin cut into chunks instead of kabocha squash and kidney beans as I didn't have any pinto beans. Although this recipe was unique and quite flavorful I don't think I would make it again.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Cheater Apple Pie

I am yet to master the fine art of making pastry so until I do I have discovered a shortcut to making the "perfect pastry". Pillsbury now offers ready to use, unroll-and-fill pie crusts making it easy to make perfect pie in a pinch. This recipe features Grandpa's homegrown Okanagan apples!

  • Pillsbury double-crust pastry
  • 6 cups peeled, sliced cooking apples
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 450°.
  2. Place one pastry crust inside a 9-inch pieplate; set aside.
  3. Combine apple and lemon juice in a large bowl. Combine 1/2 cup sugar and next 4 ingredients, mixing well. Spoon over apple mixture, tossing gently. Spoon filling evenly into pastry shell, and dot with butter.
  4. Place the second pastry crust on top of pie. Trim off excess pastry along edges. Fold edges under and crimp with a fork.
  5. Cut three slits in top of crust for steam to escape.
  6. Bake at 450° for 15 minutes; reduce heat to 350°, and bake 50 more minutes.
  7. Let pie cool for 1 hour. Serve with vanilla ice cream.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Broccoli Pizza Roll

So I asked Mike what he wanted for dinner the other night and of course he requested pizza yet again! Since I wanted to make something different I sought out a recipe that had the properties of a pizza without actually being a pizza. I found a recipe that I adapted slightly to make vegetarian and opted to use my bread machine to make pizza dough instead of making dough from scratch. I served this bread with marinara dipping sauce. I will without a doubt be making this recipe again probably with different variations of vegetables and cheese.

Filling (adapted from flamingobear)
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 6 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 large onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup roasted peppers, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • sea salt
  • pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup Parmesan
  • 1 cup Mozzarella
  • 1 medium bread machine pizza dough recipe (or make your own pizza dough if you prefer)
  1. If using bread machine dough start dough about 45 minutes before you begin cooking the filling.
  2. Cook onion in olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat until onions turn translucent. Add broccoli florets and roasted peppers and saute, stirring constantly, just until broccoli changes color, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, salt, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring often, until broccoli is tender-crisp.
  3. Grease a cookie sheet and preheat oven to 475°. Once dough is ready begin to roll out into an 18x16 inch rectangle.
  4. Sprinkle broccoli filling and cheeses evenly over dough and begin to roll up from the longer side jelly-roll style. Pinch the edge of the dough firmly to make a tight seam. Turn the dough so that the seam is underneath. Pinch the ends of the dough firmly together and tuck them under.
  5. Lift the roll with both hands at each end and place on greased sheet. Bake for 10 minutes at 475°. Lower heat to 400° and bake for another 10 minutes. Rotate pan and bake for another 7-10 minutes or until the loaf is golden brown all over.
  6. Brush loaf with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Roasted Soy, Lime, Chile and Garlic Eggplant

There are so many different ways to cook with eggplant. This particular recipe is very full of flavor with out the need to marinade. I opted to roast this eggplant in a 400° oven for 20-25 minutes.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Orange Bran Muffins

These are honestly the best Bran Muffins I have ever tasted! The only step I skipped in this recipe was the toasting of the bran (I used bran flakes instead). I love the added flavor from the orange zest. You would be putting this recipe to shame if you skipped the orange zest in this recipe. I think in the near future I will try to revise this recipe to cut out most of the oil but otherwise this recipe is golden.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cheddar and Leek Soup

Even though I don't think I would ever make this recipe again I believe that anyone who appreciates the flavor of ale would really enjoy this soup. There is a very unique and rich flavor that separates this recipe apart from traditional leek soup. I imagine the flavor will vary depending on the cheddar and ale you use.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Linguine with Balsamic Roasted Tomatoes

Recipes like this capture me in a dream where I am featured in last months Style at Home - Kitchen Special. I pull out one of those super shiny heavy bottomed skillets that are worth more then my entire kitchen set and place it on a beautiful gas stove. I can hear the tink, tink, tink of the gas flame coming to life and the sizzle of olive oil and garlic. It would be a dream come true to experience the sound, smell and sight of red wine and garlic simmering on a gas stove! Anyways, for a short moment this recipe takes everyday cooking to a gourmet level.

Recipe adapted from Luna Cafe
  • 8 vine ripened tomatoes
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • fine sea salt
  • freshly grated black pepper
  • 1 pound dried whole wheat linguine
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano or basil
  1. Arrange tomatoes and red onions in a greased baking dish.
  2. Top the tomatoes as evenly as possible with garlic, basil, and oregano. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
  3. Roast tomatoes at 400° for about 30 minutes, until roasted but not dried out.
  4. While tomatoes are roasting, in a medium skillet heat up 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté garlic until slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and wine and bring to a simmer. Reduce to 1½ cups.
  5. While sauce is reducing, fill a large pot with cold water and add 1 tablespoon salt. Cover and bring to a rolling boil.
  6. When water is boiling rapidly, add pasta. Boil until just tender, about 6-7 minutes.
  7. Quickly drain and add to the sauce in the sauté pan, along with fresh parsley and oregano or basil. Toss to coat with the sauce.
  8. Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl, top with roasted tomatoes and onions and drizzle with balsamic reduction from the roasted tomatoes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  9. Garnish with shaved Parmesan.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pumpkin Pancakes

I picked up a locally grown sugar pie pumpkin at the market for $1.49 and decided to make pumpkin puree for pancakes. The pumpkin would have yielded about 5 cups of puree so I cut it in half and wrapped up one part for another recipe. What I forgot to mention is the decision to make pumpkin pancakes took place at about 10:00am Saturday morning and based on my hunger level I was forced to find a quick method for making pumpkin puree. I am happy to report that things worked out perfectly and this recipe will blow your socks off especially if you love pumpkin pie like me!

Method for making quick pumpkin puree:

Peel pumpkin and chop into 1x1" cubes. Steam on stove top until soft, about 10 minutes. Puree with a food processor or hand held blender in a bowl. Set aside until you are ready to use. You can freeze the puree until you are ready to use or if your pumpkin yields more then your recipe requires. 

The traditional method for making pumpkin puree is to cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out seeds and stringy fiber. Roast in oven cut side down in water until soft about 90 minutes. Scoop out flesh and puree with a food processor or hand held blender.

Recipe adapted from "First Look, Then Cook"
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup coffee cream + 1/2 cup water (or 1 cup whole milk)
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree (fresh or canned)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  1. Sift together first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. 
  2. Whisk milk, pumpkin, eggs, oil and vanilla in a medium bowl. Add pumpkin mixture to dry ingredients; whisk just until smooth (batter will be thick).
  3. Preheat oven to 200°
  4. Heat a non-stick pan over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. Spray with cooking oil or butter. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls into hot skillet. Cook until bubbles form on surface of pancakes and bottoms are brown, about 2-5 minutes. Flip over and cook for another 2-5 minutes or until they are cooked and nicely browned.
  5. Stack pancakes on a oven safe plate and keep warm in the oven while you finish cooking up the remaining pancakes. 
  6. Serve with maple syrup. 
Tip: This recipe yields about 14 pancakes so if there are only 2 of you like Mike and I you can save half of the batter in the fridge to cook up the next day.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Mint Chocolate Truffle Cake

If you like mint chocolate then I guarantee you will love this cake!

This cake was made especially for a colleagues birthday and I can't think of a better reason than that. Special thanks to everyone at work for being my guinea pigs and for the opportunity to practice my baking skills and experiment with yet another fantastic recipe.

As there is only a 6 hour life span for the icing from the original recipe I opted to revise the recipe so I could make this the night before.  I know this cake would be been exceptionally good with the original cream icing!

Mint Icing (revised)
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup icing sugar
  • 3 cups thawed Cool Whip
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
  1. To make icing simply mix together sour cream, icing sugar, Cool Whip and peppermint extract in a medium bowl.
Link to Mint Chocolate Truffle Cake

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Honey-Glazed Tofu on Pumpkin Seed Couscous

Looking for a quick, simple recipe with a lot of flavor? You will be hard-pressed to find a recipe better then this one. My only advice is to have all your ingredients ready before hand as this dish cooks up in 10 minutes flat.

I made one small edition to this recipe by adding a 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro to the couscous.

Honey-Glazed Tofu on Pumpkin Seed Couscous

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Hearty Lentil Soup

If you were to ask me off the top of my head what my favorite dish was I would have to say lentil soup. Mainly because I have tried so many amazing lentil soup recipes and partly because I crave lentil soup more then any other food (besides chocolate of course). I can't quite put my finger on it but I think that I just love the rich full flavor that lentils posses. There is no guilt involved in eating lentils as they are healthy for you and require very little preparation. As I mentioned in one of my past posts lentils have the third highest level of protein of any plant-based foods next to the soybean and hemp, making them very valuable to a vegetarian diet.
I buy lentils in bulk (1-2kg bags, not from the bulk aisle) for three reasons. The first reason being that they add color to my kitchen and look great in glass jars! The second because you save money and the last and most important reason being that I use them so often it saves me the panic attack when I realize I don't have enough to make my favorite food!
As I have the utmost respect for Deborah Madison and her fantastic cookbooks and because I will never alter this perfect recipe you will have to defer to the library or book store and seek out "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" to score this life changing recipe. I will however advise that there are people that have gone against the copyright laws and posted this recipe online....but that is all I am going to say.
One more important fact you should know about lentils - like a chili or tomato sauce they get better with time. This particular recipe is at it's fullest and best flavor served the second or even third day. So never cut this recipe in half and always reheat for lunch the next day!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream

It's not very often that I find a recipe that I am inclined to make as often as this one.  I am truly amazed by the perfect flavors in this dish.  I have to admit that this recipe uses just about every pot, dish and pan you have in your kitchen but it's well worth the effort and clean up!  There are three simple layers to this recipe - roasted zucchini, eggplant and potatoes followed by a rich tomato sauce with lots of shallots and a hint of cinnamon. Topped with the lemony pine nut cream (silken tofu), I know you could fool non-vegans into thinking there is no tofu in this recipe.

As I would never attempt to alter a single ingredient in this perfect recipe I urge you to at the very least take a boo at this fantastic recipe book next time your in the library or your local book store. You will notice over time that I have tried almost every recipe in this book and very rarely make any changes.  Isa and Terry you are my idols!

This recipe is from Veganomicon - The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Mean Green, Bean and Barley Salad

When I first told my Dad I was going to become a vegetarian he was sure that meant I would be eating nothing but carrot sticks and salads. It took many late night chats and vegetarian dinners to convince him otherwise. Nowadays he not only embraces the vegetarian diet but looks forward to trying out my new recipes. Check out this hearty salad; there are so many different flavors that it's sure to catch everyone's attention! You can add and remove ingredients as you see fit.

  • salad greens, rinsed and spun dry
  • 1 cup cooked pear barley or wheat berries
  • 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced (I used yellow this time around)
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/4 cup red or green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced
  • 1 cup mixed beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup feta or other cubed cheese of your choice
  • 1/2 cup apple or pear, diced (optional)
Cilantro Vinaigrette
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp shallot, minced
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • dash red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Whisk together all ingredients for cilantro vinaigrette and set aside.
  2. Once barley is cooked you can begin to assemble your salad by dispensing the salad greens onto plates and arranging the veggies, cheese, beans and barley on top.
  3. Serve salad with vinaigrette drizzled on top.
Tip: This salad makes for a great lunch, just make sure to keep the vinaigrette in a separate container otherwise your greens will go soggy!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Sweet Potato Tofu Burger

One of my fondest memories from my childhood is TGIF Fridays which consisted of movies, root bear floats and pizza or burgers. To this day I still carry on the tradition of TGIF Fridays by dedicating one day out of the week to indulge in traditional comfort food (a.k.a finger food) like pizza or burgers. I pulled together this quick recipe for a Friday and was pleasantly surprised when these burgers not only tasted great but yielded more then I expected. This recipe made about 8 good size patties 4 of which I was able to freeze for a quick dinner.

Sweet Potato Tofu Burger

Tip: You can serve your burgers with a tossed salad, baked yam fries or plantain chips.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Peanut Butter Fudge Brownies

These brownies were well received by friends and colleagues. The ratio of chocolate to peanut butter was perfect and the added crunch of the peanuts keeps you coming back for more!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Roasted Honey Balsamic Brussels

I recently discovered a very interesting fact about Brussels sprouts and why most people don't like them. If Brussels are overcooked then they develop a sulfurous odor known as sinigrin. If you have only ever eaten overcooked Brussels then it's now wonder you don't like them! As the most common method of cooking Brussels is boiling or steaming a good tip to keep in mind is to never cook longer then 6-7 minutes unless roasting of course. When choosing Brussels try to select those of a similar size or cut larger ones in half so they cook evenly. For this recipe I used local Brussels sprouts from the stalk.

Roasted Honey Balsamic Brussels

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Apple, Pear and Walnut Salad

I'm not much for pears but I did enjoy this recipe.  I served this salad as a side to go along with some veggie wraps but I think it would also make a good appetizer or nutritious dessert.  For this recipe I used local pears and apples but I would suggest using different color pears and apples for more appeal.

  • 1 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 orange, zested
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 2 apples, preferably use 2 different kinds
  • 1 pear
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. In a large bowl whisk together vinegar, orange juice, zest, and raisins.
  2. Core and cube apples and pear.
  3. Add fruit and walnuts to a bowl and drizzle with oil. Toss well to combine. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Refrigerate 1 hour before serving.
Tip: You can use dried cranberries in place of the raisins or add chunks of cheese such as Feta, Gouda or Aged Cheddar.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas

I personally find it a lot easier to bake quesadillas opposed to the traditional grilling method. You can pretty much add any kind of vegetable you like to these quesadillas. In this variation I used sweet potato and black beans with sautéed white mushrooms.

  • 1 medium sweet potato, steamed and mashed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 2 cups sliced white mushrooms
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella
  • 6-8 whole wheat tortillas
  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Heat 3tbsp of olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Once heated add garlic and stir frequently for about 1 minute. Add mushrooms and stir frequently until mushrooms release juices and are browned on both sides. 
  3. Combine mashed sweet potato, black beans, cumin, lime juice, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Lay out two tortillas side by side on a cookie sheet and spoon on about 1/3 or 1/4 (depending on whether you are making 3 or 4 quesadillas) of the sweet potato mixture on each shell and top with 1/3 or 1/4 of sautéed mushrooms. Finish with a handful of mozzarella. Cover with another tortilla.
  5. You will probably end up using 2 cookie sheets and depending on how much sweet potato mix you have you may end up with either 3 or 4 quesadillas.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes. Transfer bottom cookie sheet to top half way through so they cook evenly.
  7. Serve with salsa and sour cream
Tip: Some other suggestions for your quesadilla filling is bell peppers, corn, spinach, kale, roasted red peppers, zucchini, yams, different types of beans or lentils just to name a few.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Miso Soup with Tofu and Kale

This recipe was adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. I made minor changes to this recipe by using brown rice miso instead of a white miso and substituting the firm tofu with extra-firm.

  • 5 cups water
  • 2 scallions, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 tablespoons brown rice miso
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 bunch kale, trimmed and shredded
  • 6 ounces  extra-firm tofu, drained, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  1. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add scallions, ginger, and garlic. Reduce heat; cover, and simmer 10 minutes.
  2. Add miso, and stir to dissolve. Add soy sauce, kale, and tofu; return to a simmer, and continue cooking until kale is tender, about 5 minutes.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Roasted Cauliflower a.k.a. Popcorn Cauliflower

I try to buy local produce as often as I can. This week I was drawn to the big display of beautiful local cauliflower at my neighborhood farmers market. If you like popcorn this is a healthy alternative.  I would also consider using this recipe when cooking for friends as it's sure to impress and takes no effort at all.

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • salt 
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. In a large bowl toss the cauliflower with olive oil and a sprinkling of salt.
  3. Pour cauliflower into a greased dish and roast for 1 hour, turning periodically until golden brown.
Tip:  The browner the cauliflower pieces turn, the more caramelization occurs and the sweeter they'll taste.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cabbage and Potato Gratin with Sage

I found this recipe on Deborah Madison's blog. Deborah just happens to be one of my favorite vegetarian cooking authors. I own two of her cookbooks - Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (my very first vegetarian cookbook) and The Greens Cookbook. I confess that I study her cooking methods religiously and heavily rely on her recipes for my weekly meal plans. Thanks Mike for the best Valentine's gift ever!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini Cookies

I took a box of these cookies to work and was amazed by how fast they disappeared!  I'm happy to report that they were a hit and according to my co-workers these cookies are extremely moist and delicious!

Zucchini Cookies
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, softened
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups finely grated zucchini
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 350°, and grease two cookie sheets. 
  2. Combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in large bowl. Set aside.
  3. Beat sugar and butter in bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Beat in zucchini until well combined. Stir in flour mixture.
  4. Drop cookie dough into 2-inch balls roughly 1 1/2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until tops of cookies look dry.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ceddar Berry Melt a,k,a. Lyndsay's Signature Sandwich

The "Cheddar Berry Melt" is my signature sandwich. I love the combination of sweet and salty. Under normal circumstances I wouldn't be willing to share my favorite recipe but I feel as if it the time has come to share my creation with the world!
  • 2 slices of your favorite bread (I used sourdough)
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Spinach, washed and spun dry
  • Mayonnaise
  • Whole cranberry sauce
  1. Preheat frying pan to medium-high heat.
  2. Simply spread mayo on one slice of bread and cranberry sauce on the other. Stack cheese on top of cranberry sauce followed by as many avocado slices as you can fit on the one slice of bread and place second slice of bread on top. Unlike traditional grill cheese sandwiches, I do not butter the outside of my bread....EVER!!! You can achieve beautifully toasted bread without the unnecessary fat.
  3. Place sandwich in frying pan and cook until golden brown on each side (cheese should also be melted).
  4. Stuff with spinach and cut in half. Enjoy!
Note: I make a variation of this sandwich with slivered almonds and omit the avocado.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Roasted Fall Vegetable and Ricotta Pizza

One of Mike's favorite foods is pizza which is why I am constantly seeking out different and unique ways to make pizza. We revised this recipe by using a tomato sauce base and using delicata squash instead of butternut.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Zucchini Stuffed with Mushrooms

I found this recipe on the Vegetarian Times website. The finished product tastes a lot better then it looks and was very easy to whip up! The Vegetarian Times website has a huge database of recipes which you can search by using keywords like "Zucchini".

Zucchini Stuffed

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Parmesan Potato-Stuffed Cabbage Leaves

This recipe is from the Canadian Living magazine and is one of my all time favorite recipes. Serve with a red wine based tomato sauce.
  • 16 cabbage leaves
  • 4 baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • salt and pepper
  • Pinch nutmeg
  • 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock
  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook cabbage leaves until softened, 5 minutes. With slotted spoon, transfer to cool water to chill; drain and pat try. Set aside.
  2. In same pot, cover and cook potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes; drain and return to pot. Add eggs, half of the cheese, the parsley, butter, salt, pepper and nutmeg; mash until smooth. Spoon about 2-4 tbsp onto center of each leaf.  Fold 1 end and sides over filling and roll up.
  3. Place, seam side down, in greased 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour vegetable stock over top. Cover and bake in 375° oven until tender, about 30 minutes.
  4. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese; bake until cheese is golden, 25-30 minutes.
Tip:  When you make stuffed cabbage, instead of boiling the whole cabbage head, freeze it! Remove the tough outer leaves, rinse and core the cabbage. Place it in a zip-top plastic bag and freeze. When ready to use, defrost the cabbage and the leaves will peel off easily.  You can find many other methods by searching Google.  Here is a link to a different method from "How to seperate Cabbage Leaves".

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Orzo Stuffed Tomatoes

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 small green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 6 oz cooked orzo
  • 4 large tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup Edam cheese, grated
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup boiling water
  1. Cook onions and bell pepper in olive oil until onions turn translucent.  Add corn and cook until corn is heated through.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in orzo.
  3. Preheat oven to 375°.
  4. Cut the top off the tomatoes and scoop out tomato pulp and seeds. Chop up the flesh and add to the orzo mixture. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Place the tomato shells into a shallow baking dish and fill with orzo mixture. Sprinkle cheese over top.
  6. Mix together the tomato paste and boiling water. Pour into dish.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Thai Pumpkin Soup

  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 6 cups vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger root
  • 1 tsp garam marsala
  • 1 15 ounce can coconut milk
  1. Preheat oven to 425°.
  2. Slice pumpkin in half and core.  Scoop out seeds and membrane.  
  3. Glaze sides of pumpkin with olive oil and roast in a greased pan cut side up for 35-40 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Meanwhile heat up olive oil in a large pot and begin to cook onions, celery, carrots, ginger, garam marsala and garlic over medium heat.
  5. Peel off pumpkin skin and dice up the flesh.  Add pumpkin and stock to pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until vegetables are tender about 20 minutes.
  6. Using a hand blender, purée soup until smooth.  Stir in coconut milk and simmer for another 5 minutes.
Tip:  This soup would be the perfect base for steamed bok choy, tofu and rice noodles.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Edam Avacado Sandwich with Honey Mustard Dressing

Grilled cheese sandwiches will always be considered traditional comfort food.  I like to jazz my grilled cheese up with different dressing, cheese, salad greens and bread.
  • 4 slices sourdough bread
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • 4 slices Edam cheese
  •  Dill pickles, sliced
  • Spinach
Honey Mustard Dressing
  • 2-4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 heaping tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
  1. Combine all ingredients in dressing and stir until mixed.
  2. Heat up a large frying pan to medium-high heat.  
  3. Spread an even amount of dressing on all four slices of bread.  
  4. Assemble your sandwiches starting with avocado, cheese and finishing with dill pickles.
  5. Toast sandwiches until golden brown on both sides.
  6. Add spinach to sandwiches before serving.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Chocolate Nut Cookies

You can pretty much add anything you like to this cookie base.  My favorite combination is walnuts and chocolate chips!
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp toasted walnut oil (or any preferred nut oil)
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 375°
  2. Cream butter, oil, sugar, egg, vanilla and salt.
  3. Stir in flour, nuts and chocolate chips.
  4. Drop dough by the tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet about 2 inches apart.  
  5. Bake until lightly browned on top about 10-12 minutes.
Tip:  You can experiment with these cookies by using different nut oils and substituting the walnuts for almonds or pecans.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Butternut Squash Roll-ups with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce

This recipe rooted from another recipe headed for disaster.  I am happy to report that it all worked out in the end and a new and fabulous recipe was born!
  • 1 butternut squash, diced, steamed and mashed
  • 3 tbsp minced shallots
  • 3 tbsp heavy cream
  • 3 tbsp Parmesan, grated
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • salt
  • 6-8 whole wheat or brown rice lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella
Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 3 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped
  • salt and white pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.  Rinse with cold water and set aside.
  2. Begin making your cream sauce by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and sauté for about 1 minute.  Add flour and stir constantly for 2 minutes.  
  3. Slowly add milk to the roux (butter and flour) and whisk constantly over medium-low heat until thickened.  Add the roasted peppers, salt and pepper.  You may wish to blend the sauce to achieve a smoother texture.  Stir in the Parmesan last.
  4. While your cream sauce is thickening melt 1-2 tablespoons butter in a small frying pan and sauté shallots until translucent.  Add to mashed squash along with heavy cream, parmesan, nutmeg and salt.
  5. Preheat oven to 350°.
  6. Begin making your roll-ups by cutting your lasagna noodles in half and spooning about 2-3 tablespoons of squash mixture into center of noodle.  Roll up and place in a greased casserole dish seam down.  Continue making roll-ups until you have used up all of the squash filling. 
  7. Pour cream sauce over top of roll-ups and sprinkle Mozzarella on top.  Cover with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove tin foil and bake uncovered for another 10 minutes.
Tip:  You may wish to add fresh Italian parsley or other fresh herbs to your cream sauce or squash filling.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Witch Fingers

Happy Halloween! Check out these classic spooky witch finger cookies.
  • 1/2 cup room temperature butter
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar
  • 1 medium size egg
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 15-20 blanched almonds
  • 1 tube red decorator gel
  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Cream butter, icing sugar, egg and extract.
  3. Stir in flour, baking powder and salt.
  4. Cover and refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.
  5. Roll dough into finger shaped cookies, press almond firmly into one end to make a nail.  Use  a fork to press into the middle of the cookie to make knuckle creases.  Squeeze red decorator gel around the crease of the almond.
  6. Place cookies on slightly greased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes until golden brown. Yields 15-20 cookies.

Grilled Eggplant and Apple Pizza with Toasted Walnuts and Roasted Red Peppers

There are many methods to grilling vegetables depending on the season.  I used a cast iron pan as I didn't feel like firing up the barbeque.  I use my bread machine to make pizza dough.  Works perfectly every time!
  • dough for 1 large pizza
  • 1 eggplant, sliced into rounds and grilled
  • 1 apple, sliced thin and grilled
  • 1 large, red onion sliced in rounds and grilled
  • 1 cup roasted red peppers, drained
  • 1 cup toasted walnuts
  • Feta
  • Mozzarella cheese
Smokey BBQ Tomato Sauce
  • 213 ml can of tomato sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1-2 tbsp BBQ Sauce
  1. Preheat oven to 500°.  
  2. Combine all ingredients for the "Smokey BBQ Tomato Sauce" into a small food processor and blend until smooth. 
  3. Cut dough in half and roll out until you have achieved 2 medium size pizza shells about 1/4 inch thick.
  4. Spread sauce over each shell and begin to add your toppings.  Finish with walnuts, Feta and finally the Mozzarella.
  5. Bake both pizza's in oven for 7 minutes then move the bottom pizza to the top and bake another 7 minutes.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Stargazer Pie

I recently made this pie for a very special birthday boy! If you want to wow your friends with a decadent treat this will do the trick. Recipe was very easy to follow and turned out perfectly.