Archive for the ‘vegetarian’ Category

I love kale. I don’t know what it is about it, but I love it. I never would have tried it if it hadn’t been in my CSA box last year. And now I can’t seem to get enough of it.

What’s not to love about it? It’s a great anti-inflammatory food (something I need with all the running I’m doing). It’s also high in Vitamins A and K and low in calories.  I really love it in place of spinach in smoothies.

But this might be my new go-to recipe for kale. I saw a similar recipe in my CSA newsletter, but this one from 101 cookbooks just screamed my name. The goat cheese really makes this dish for me. I could not stop eating this right from the bowl.

winter kale 'pesto' with goat cheese

Winter kale ‘pesto’ with goat cheese
from 101 cookbooks

4 cloves of garlic, peeled
4 small shallots, peeled
1 small bunch of kale – 1/2 lb, stalks removed, washed well
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup goat cheese, plus more for topping
2 tablespoons + hot pasta water
fine grain sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
12 oz dried penne pasta

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the garlic and shallots. Boil for 2-3 minutes, stir in the kale and cook for another ten seconds. Don’t overcook. Working quickly, use a slotted spoon or strainer to fish the greens, garlic, and shallots from the water. Use a food processor to puree the ingredients along with the olive oil and goat cheese. Add a couple tablespoons of hot pasta water if needed to thin things out. Then season with a touch of salt and plenty of black pepper. Taste. Set aside.

Reheat the pot of water and boil the pasta per package instructions. Drain and toss immediately with the green sauce. Serve topped with more crumbled goat cheese.



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The wonderful thing about soup is that it’s hardly ever bad. You can throw just about any vegetable into a pot with some stock and come out with something pretty darn wonderful.

Which is exactly what I did this week. I had some CSA veggies wilting away in my fridge that I knew would be perfect in a soup. So, I got to chopping and ended up with some tasty vegetable soup.

vegetable soup with baked delicata squash

The sad looking veggies in my fridge included:

green peppers
green beans

Add to some vegetable or chicken stock (I used 3 32 oz. containers) and heat until vegetables are cooked through.

I was going to add the squash I had in the fridge, but realized that probably wasn’t going to work well. So I roasted it with a bit of olive oil andsome seasonings instead. And although I read you can eat the skin of a delicata squash, that was SO not happening. The skin was rock hard. Instead, I topped with butter and scooped the squash out.

Totally delicious and simple meal.

What are your favorite vegetables in soup?

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Eggplant parmesan

Eggplant has never really been one of my favorite vegetable (or is it a fruit?), so when I got a large eggplant in my CSA box, I had no idea what to do with it. Thankfully, my aunt recently made this dish and let me try some while I was visiting last weekend. I’m convinced it is the only way to eat eggplant now.

The tomato sauce is amazing. It makes quite a bit, but I’m sure it will freeze well and be a great topping for pasta.



eggplant parmesan


Eggplant parmesan w/ roasted red pepper tomato sauce
Adapted from Bobby Flay

Tomato sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers
  • 4 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 minute. Add the red peppers and cook for 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes and spices, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth. (You could leave it chunky if you like it that way.)

You will only use about half of this sauce. Freeze it for later!


  • dried seasoned breadcrumbs
  • Butter, for greasing the dish
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 medium eggplant,  cut into 1/2-inch-thick round slices
  • All-purpose flour, for dredging
  • Vegetable oil, for frying
  • Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Sauce
  • 1 package shredded Italian cheese blend

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly butter the bottom of rimmed baking sheet.

Place the bread crumbs into a large shallow bowl. In another medium shallow bowl, whisk the eggs and 2 tablespoons of water together. Put flour into separate bowl for dredging.

Season each eggplant slice on both sides with salt and pepper.Dredge each eggplant slice in the flour, tapping off excess, then dip it in the egg, and finally dredge it in the bread crumb mixture. Shake off any excess breading and transfer the egg plant to a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Working in small batches, pan fry a few of the eggplant slices, turning once, until golden brown, about 3 minutes per batch. Using tongs, transfer to a paper towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining eggplant.

Cover the bottom of the prepared baking sheet with some of the tomato sauce and arrange eggplant  in single layer over the sauce. Cover the eggplant with some of the sauce and then grated cheese. Bake until hot and just beginning to brown, about 30 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.


eggplant parmesan


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Quinoa and edamame salad

I don’t have a good track record with making up my own recipes. Something always goes wrong and I end up throwing the whole thing out and ordering pizza. But …

I think I successfully recreated the quinoa and edamame salad from the Healthy Living Summit. I’ve been dreaming about this salad for the last week. I finally decided to try out a few ideas I had bouncing around in my head and, shockingly, it worked!

This is a pretty close replica, as far as I can remember. Bonus: It was actually really, really easy and quick.

Quinoa with edamame

Quinoa with edamame

1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup cooked edamame
1 tsp. mirin
1 tsp. rice wine vinegar
1 tsp.  sesame oil
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Cook quinoa in vegetable broth. Once cooked, mix with the rest of ingredients.

If any other HLS bloggers try this out, let me know if you think it’s right!

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NYC – day 1

I’m not sure how to even put this trip into words. I know it’s only day one, but I can already tell it’s going to be an epic trip. (And if you know me, you know I use that word VERY sparingly.)

I’m staying with my cousin Nicholas & his partner, Paul, and their furkid, Cooper Gizmo.

I totally made a new friend here. 🙂

They are the best hosts ever. We walked part of Central Park – stopping at The Ballfield’s Cafe for some sangria.

Then, they took me to Pure Food & Wine last night for dinner. Everything was fantabulous.

We started off with the special appetizer of the day: mango, asparagus, mushroom & avocado sushi. I think we all could have just eaten this by the plateful. The avocado was SOOOO smooth.

mango, asparagus, mushroom & avocado sushi

Then, we all ordered something different & shared – the BEST way to experience a new restaurant. I think we all agreed the tamales were the best part of the meal. Other than the company, of course!

zucchini, local roma & heirloom tomato lasagna

Three pizettes in the style of southern Italy

Sweet corn and cashew tamales

The best part of the night – this little surprise:

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Ever have one of those kitchen experiments where half-way through you’re looking at it and thinking “this is a total failure. I’m going to have to throw this out.” It usually happens to me when I try to make up my own recipes. But, this time, despite thinking that half-way through, it turned out pretty darn well.

See, I had this huge zucchini to use up. So, I shredded it thinking I’d make zucchini bread or something. But then, I remembered this recipe I made before for zucchini cakes with Old Bay seasoning. So, I kind of threw things together. Only I added one too many eggs. So when I started cooking them, it was more like a hash than a cake. So, I dumped it all in the pan and figured, what the hell – it just won’t be formed in a cake.

Then, I had the genius idea to add the leftover quinoa in the fridge. (Had I thought of this earlier, they may have stayed in cake-form.)  Either way, it was actually really, really good.

zucchini quinoa hash

Not sure I have a real “recipe” for this – especially since it was mostly a total screw up. 🙂 But, I’ll try.

1 large zucchini, grated
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 onion, shredded
1 cup cooked quinoa
a few shakes of Old Bay Seasoning

Mix everything together and form into patties and pan fry in olive oil or butter. Or throw entire mix into pan and cook like a hash.

I even put this on bread and had it as a sandwich – was SOOO good! I’m sure I won’t be able to recreate it.

Have you ever had a kitchen “failure” that really wasn’t?

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I love that whenever I talk to my sister, we share recipes. This is one of the ones she gave to me during a nice long chat yesterday. I had asked her how to cut a mango – which, I’m sure I royally bungled – and she gave a quick explanation, then said “oh, I have this recipe for quinoa, black beans & mango.” When she ran down the list of ingredients and it included cilantro, I was sold. Three of my favorite things in one dish – quinoa, black beans and cilantro. What could go wrong?

Well, other than my hack-job on the mango, this recipe is perfect. It’s super easy and quite delicious. I think it came from Veganomicon.

quinoa salad with black beans & mango

Quinoa salad with black beans & mango

1 mango, peeled & cut into small dice
1 red bell pepper, seeded & cut into small dice
1 cup chopped scallions
1 cup chopped cilantro
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. grapeseed oil
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
1 can black beans, drained & rinsedCombine all in bowl & let sit to allow flavors to meld. Serve at room temp.

So how DO you cut a mango?

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