Tag: vegetarian

Roasted Butternut Squash, Pears, and Onions with Blue Cheese

The bushel of butternut squash is now gone.  We’ve made a basic squash soup, a fancier soup with beans and ham, butternut hash, butternut butter, and a butternut squash and kale torte.  With the very last squash, I decided to make Roasted Butternut Squash, Pears, and Onions with Blue Cheese.

The title pretty much says it all, but this recipe takes plain roasted vegetables up a notch.  I loved the mix of squash, pears, and onions, and the strong-flavored blue cheese was a great touch.  This would be good as a side dish, or perhaps accompanied by a nice spinach salad.

I am a little sad that the squash is gone, but I am ready to move on to other vegetables.  It’s the end of January, and I haven’t roasted any beets yet!

 

 

 

Roasted Butternut Squash, Pears, and Onions with Blue Cheese

1 butternut squash, peeled, and cut into 1″ chunks
1 Bosc pear, peeled, cored, and sliced
1 Vidalia onion, peeled and sliced
2 T butter
1 T sage, chopped
1/2 t thyme
1 T mustard
1/3 c. crumbled blue cheese

Place squash, pear, and onion in a large bowl.  In a small pot, melt the butter on medium heat.  Add sage and thyme, and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in mustard.  Pour butter mixture over vegetables and toss to coat.

Place vegetables in a 13″x9″ dish.  Bake at 375F for 45-50 minutes, or until tender and brown.  Add cheese, and bake for an additional 5 minutes.

 

Spinach Pizza Pinwheels

I know at least some of you are very disappointed that the Patriots aren’t playing in the Superbowl.  And I understand, but you still have to eat during the game, right?  I saw these Pizza Pinwheels from Recipegirl and knew I had to make them – with my own twist of course.  Her recipe makes it look easy, and even has step-by-step photos!

There are so many possible variations on this recipe that my head was spinning.  But for my first attempt, I decided to try a spinach-garlic flavor.  The dough is pretty easy to work with, although I couldn’t roll it out quite as thin as intended.  It’s also a little tricky to transfer the pinwheels onto the baking sheet, but it’s OK if a couple fall apart.  The final product was still great; these pinwheels are both tasty and cute, which is exactly what you want for party food.

I am going to try other versions, but I couldn’t wait to share this one.  You might want to make a trial version of these before the big day.  My only regret was not having homemade sauce ready for dipping, and I won’t make that mistake again.

 

 

 

Spinach Pizza Pinwheels

1 c. self-rising flour (you don’t have to buy it; make your own here)
1/2 t sugar
2/3 c. 2% plain Greek yogurt
1 1/2 T garlic-flavored olive oil (such as Garlic Gold)
1/2 (10 oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
3/4 c. reduced fat cheddar and mozzarella blend, divided

Sift together flour and sugar. Add yogurt, and stir until blended.  Use your fingers if needed to mix the ingredients into a smooth dough.  Knead briefly on a floured surface.  Roll into a large 8″x12″ rectangle.

Spread oil onto dough.  Spread spinach on top of oil.  Sprinkle 1/2 c. of cheese on top of spinach.  Roll dough into a log.  Cut into approximately 10 equal slices.  Place each slice on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray or parchment paper.  Sprinkle remaining cheese onto pinwheels.

Bake at 350F for 20-24 minutes, until lightly browned.

-Lightly adapted from Recipegirl

Crockpot Hot and Sour Soup

It seems there are a lot of people coughing and sneezing these days.  I certainly hope that all of you stay healthy, but if you are unlucky enough to get a bad cold, this is the soup that will clear your head.  And your slow cooker can make the soup while you lounge on the couch catching up on bad TV.

This is a very basic version of the traditional Asian hot and sour soup.  If I were serving this to company, I’d add some shiitake mushrooms and use baby bok choy instead of spinach.  This is also a very mild version; I added quite a bit of vinegar and cayenne to each bowl to really bring out the hot and the sour flavors.  If you think your crowd can handle it, go ahead and double the amounts of each below.

I really enjoyed this soup, especially after I adjusted it to taste.  It’s filling, but not quite hearty enough for a main dish.  It would be perfect though with a side of homemade fried rice or maybe a cold noodle salad.

 

 

 

Crockpot Hot and Sour Soup

1 (16 oz.) package sliced mushrooms
1 (16 oz.) package frozen leaf spinach
1 (8 oz.) can bamboo shoots, drained
1 T minced garlic
1 (14 oz.) package lite firm tofu, cut into 1″ cubes
1 T fresh minced ginger
2 c. vegetable broth
4 c. water
2 T soy sauce
1 t sesame oil
2 dashes cayenne pepper, plus more for serving
2 T rice vinegar, plus more for serving

Add all ingredients to crockpot.  Cook on Low for 6-8 hours.  Add more pepper and/or vinegar to each bowl just prior to serving, depending on your tastes.

-Inspired by Fat Free Vegan’s Slow-Cooker Hot and Sour Soup

 

Stracciatella (Italian Egg Drop Soup)

Am I drowning you in soup recipes?  Sorry about that.  But is IS cold here.  And soup generally requires just one big pot which minimizes the dishes.  I’ll try to do something different this weekend.  Maybe I’ll make some bread to go with the soup?!  🙂

Stracciatella is a traditional Italian soup, although it’s not something that my Italian grandmother ever made.  I learned about the soup from this recipe in Eating Well, which inspired me to try my own.  My version includes broth, beans, pasta, and spinach, but traditionally you don’t need to include all of these.  The eggs are whisked in at the end, and create thin, white strands throughout the soup.  It’s very cool to watch!

It’s also very delicious, and the kind of soup that makes the perfect meal on a cold day.  I wasn’t sure how this would hold up as leftovers, but it reheated beautifully.  The second bowl was a little thicker because the pasta soaked up some of the broth, but it tasted just as good.  Now I’ll go work on some bread.

 

 

Stracciatella (Italian Egg Drop Soup)

6 c. vegetable broth
2 c. water
1 (14 oz.) can small red beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. pasta stars, or other small pasta
8 oz. frozen leaf spinach
4 eggs, beaten
Black Pepper
Freshly grated Parmesan

In a large pot, heat broth, water, beans, pasta, and spinach until boiling.  Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove cover and pour in eggs very slowly, whisking them into the hot soup.  Season with black pepper, and serve garnished with Parmesan.

-Adapted from Eating Well

Indian Spiced Spinach

On the night before Christmas Eve, after our big gingerbread project, my family sat down to some Indian food.  I made Chicken Tikka Masala (replacing eggplant with chicken), homemade naan, and a spinach dish inspired by this Saag recipe.  It certainly wasn’t a traditional meal for us, but it turned out to be a great way to kick off over 48 hours of non-stop Christmas activity!

Since the chicken was a bit spicy, I kept the spinach dish fairly mild.  The ginger provided a lot of the flavor here, and the yogurt made it creamy without any additional fat.  Using frozen chopped spinach saved a lot of time.  The original recipe provides a lot of variations for this dish and it could easily be a main course with the addition of tofu or legumes.  I usually have chopped spinach on hand, so I’ll try one of those variations soon and let you know how it goes!

 

Indian Spiced Spinach

1 T canola oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 T minced fresh ginger
2 t minced garlic
2 t coriander
1/2 t turmeric
1 (20 oz.) package frozen spinach, thawed
1 c. water
Dash salt
1 c. nonfat plain yogurt

Heat oil in a large frying pan.  Add onion, and saute for 15-20 minutes, until browned.  Add ginger and garlic, and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add spices, and saute for 1 minute.  Add spinach, water, and salt.  Simmer for 10 minutes, until spinach is cooked.  Add more water if necessary.  Add yogurt and stir to mix well.  Reduce heat, and cook just until heated through.

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Vegetables

I feel like I’ve been eating a lot of soup lately, and getting a little bored.  I am not really craving salads either.  But I have to bring more vegetables into my diet somehow to balance holiday indulgences.

I decided to roast a big batch of vegetables this week, and luckily found some good sales on produce.  I bought an onion, zucchini, carrots, baby bella mushrooms, trimmed green beans, and grape tomatoes.  Most of these aren’t seasonal or local, but some days you just do the best you can.

 

 

Sometimes I use a soup mix packet to season the vegetables prior to roasting.  But that seemed silly since I have a well-stocked spice cabinet.  I did some Internet research, found a few good recipes, compared the ingredients to the spices I had on hand, and ended up with the recipe below.  I was able to use at least one local ingredient; the honey is from a beekeeper that I know personally!

After being roasted for almost an hour, the vegetables had a very rich flavor, and the juice from the mushrooms and tomatoes created a sauce.  Although the recipe contains a touch of cinnamon and honey, the sweet taste is very faint, and just offsets the spiciness of the chili powder and cayenne.

You can serve the vegetables (with a slotted spoon!) alongside any meal, or you could mix them into a dish of whole wheat pasta.  I am sure they would also be good on top of whole wheat pizza dough, or perhaps a baked potato.  The possibilities are endless, and it feels good to have a dish of vegetables that I’ll be happy to dig into all week long.

 

 

Sweet and Spicy Roasted Vegetables

1 Vidalia onion, peeled and sliced
2 zucchini, cut into 1″ cubes
1 (8 oz.) package baby bella mushrooms, cleaned
2 pints grape tomatoes
8 oz. baby carrots
2 T olive oil
1 T honey
1 t chili powder
1/2 t coriander
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t cinnamon
1/8 t cayenne pepper

Place vegetables in a large bowl.  Add oil and honey, and stir to coat.  In a small bowl, mix spices.  Toss spices with vegetables, and stir to coat.

Place in a large baking dish coated with cooking spray, and bake at 400F for 50-60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes.   (The best way to roast vegetables is in a single layer; inevitably I always have too many vegetables for that though!)

Eggplant Tikka Masala

One of my favorite non-vegetarian Indian dishes is chicken tikka masala.  I saw this recipe on Pinterest and was drooling.  But why should chicken have all the fun?  I wanted to modify the recipe and make a vegetarian version that was even better.

There are some recipes that substitute Greek yogurt for the heavy cream in a traditional masala.  The reason that heavy cream works best is because it has a high fat content, and doesn’t break down as easily when heated.  So I kept the heavy cream and used a smaller amount to reduce the amount of saturated fat in the final dish.

In the end, the eggplant was fantastic, and I didn’t miss the chicken one bit.  The marinade really does infuse the eggplant with a lot of flavor.  The masala sauce had a beautiful color and a rich taste, but it was a little too thick.  Next time, I would add some vegetarian broth to the tomato sauce for a thinner consistency.    But overall, I am calling this recipe a success!

 

 

 

Eggplant Tikka Masala

2 lb. eggplant, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
6 oz. plain nonfat yogurt
2 T lemon juice
3 t cumin, divided
1/8 t cayenne pepper
1 t cinnamon
1 t ground ginger
2 T oil, divided
2 t minced garlic
1 jalapeno pepper, deseeded and minced
2 t coriander
1 t paprika
1 t garam masala
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
1/2 c. heavy cream

Place eggplant pieces in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, mix yogurt, lemon juice, 2 t cumin, cayenne, cinnamon, and ginger.  Pour marinade on eggplant and stir to coat all pieces.  Place in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.

Remove eggplant from refrigerator.   Heat 1 T oil in a large pan.  Add eggplant, and cook on medium heat until soft, about 20-25 minutes.  (In the summer, you might try to grill the eggplant in a basket.)

Heat remaining 1 T oil in a separate frying pan.  Add garlic and jalapeno, and saute for 1-2 minutes.  Add remaining 1 t cumin, coriander, paprika, and garam masala to pan, and stir. Add tomato sauce, stir well, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Add heavy cream and stir.  Remove from heat, and mix sauce with cooked eggplant. Serve over rice, or with naan.

-Recipe inspired by Mattawa Mum