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.