Category Archives: Veggie Dishes

>Ballpark Diet Recovery Day 3: Stir-Fry


After a week of nachos, soft pretzels, pizza, beer and hotdogs for The Husband, 
dietary rectification was in order.

  • I prefer brown or Jasmine rice and cook with low-sodium vegetable broth rather than water.  Remember, rice expands greatly during cooking; one cup of dry rice is more than enough for The Husband and I.
  1. Cook rice according to package instructions.  I omit salt and added fat that some packages recommend.
  • 1 package (16 oz) extra-firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup apple cider or rice vinegar (or combination of the two)
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • Ginger: either 1 tbsp of ginger paste or a hunk of ginger root (2-3″), peeled and sliced
  • Optional: 2 tsp of liquid smoke; highly recommended
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grab a 13″x9″ glass baking dish.
  2. Drain tofu and give the brick a squeeze to rid it of excess water.  Slice into 6-8 pieces (no thicker than 1/2 inch).  Can leave the slices this size, but I prefer to halve these or even cube them.  Place in baking dish in an even layer.  If using ginger root, add slices to the dish.
  3. Mix vinegar(s), soy sauce, ginger paste (if using) and liquid smoke (if using) well.  Spoon over tofu and give a light toss.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes, flip/toss and bake for 30 minutes more.  Discard ginger root slices before serving.
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms; stems removed, washed and thoroughly dried.  Any variety of mushroom should be fine; I tend to use Buttons because I’m not a huge fan of mushrooms in general
  • 2-3 carrots; diced small
  • 1 cup broccoli florets; if using frozen, bring to room temperature before using
  • 1 cup shelled edamame (soy beans); usually sold frozen, bring to room temperature before using
  • 1 large bell pepper; diced small
  • 2-3 small (or 1-2 large) yellow squash; sliced into half-moons
  • 2+ garlic cloves; minced
  • 2+ shallots; minced
  • 2 bunches baby bok choy (multiple spellings); pull apart, wash, trim stems, rough chop or tear leaves
  • 1 cup mung bean sprouts
  • Vegetable or canola oil
  • Sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds
  • 1 bunch scallions; thinly sliced
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Optional: bamboo shoots and water chestnuts.  I don’t use these in my stir-fries because I think they’re gross, but to each their own.
  • Optional: fresh baby corn.  Usually comes in a jar and very disgusting.  Use fresh if you can find it or not at all. 
Stir Fry

    Note: It’s very important to have 
    all of your veggies prepped/chopped; stir-fry cooks fast.  
    As you’re chopping, try keeping everything 
    a similar size/thickness so they will cook evenly.
    1. Over high heat, pour just enough vegetable or canola oil to coat your wok or largest skillet you own.
    2. When oil starts to smoke, add shallots and bell pepper.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently.
    3. Add the remaining vegetables, except garlic and cook until the bok choy has wilted (just a few minutes), stirring frequently.
    4. Add garlic and cook for another minute, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat.
    5. Serve stir-fry and tofu over rice.  Drizzle with sesame oil and soy sauce, if desired.  Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.  
    Bowl, chopsticks, tea cup and soy sauce decanter are souvenirs from Tokyo.


        Posted by on 12 March 2011 in Cooking, Recipes, Veggie Dishes


        >Ballpark Diet Recovery Day 2: Falafel & Tabouleh


        After a week of nachos, soft pretzels, pizza, beer and hotdogs for The Husband, 
        dietary rectification was in order.

        Tabouleh (one of many spellings):
        • 2 cups quinoa
        • 4 cups vegetable broth
        • 1 cucumber; finely diced
        • 1 onion or a few shallots; finely diced
        • 2 large tomatoes; chopped, seeds & juice discarded
        • A few garlic cloves; whole roasted cloves are best, but if using raw, mince them
        • Handful of fresh parsley; roughly chopped
        • Juice from 1-2 lemons
        • Salt & pepper
        1. In a large pot bring broth to a boil, add quinoa and simmer until liquid has been absorbed (15-20 minutes).  
        2. Add everything else to the pot, stir, season with salt and pepper then leave in the fridge for a few hours because this is served cold.
        Tzatziki Sauce:
        • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
        • 1 cucumber; peeled, seeded and finely diced
        • 2-3 garlic cloves; minced
        • 1 tbsp olive oil
        • Salt and white pepper to taste
        1. Mix everything well and chill in the fridge.
        • 3 cups cooked garbanzo beans; if using canned, drain and rinse well
        • Juice from a large lemon
        • 1 large onion; finely diced
        • A few cloves of garlic; minced
        • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
        • 2+ tsp ground cumin
        • 1+ tsp salt
        • 1+ tsp ground black pepper
        • 1+ tsp paprika
        • 2+ tsp red pepper flakes
        • Handful of fresh parsley; finely chopped
        • Sesame oil; if desired
        • Olive oil
        1. Preheat oven to 350°F.  Spread a thin layer of olive oil on a baking sheet.
        2. Put everything except the oils in a food processor.  Blend until a thick paste forms, adding scant amount of water and sesame or olive oil to achieve desired consistency.  Adjust seasonings to your liking.
        3. Roll mixture into balls, about the size of a golf ball.  Mixture will be sticky, may need to wet your hands.  Or, use an appropriately sized ice cream scoop.  Place balls on oiled baking sheet.
        4. Baked Falafel
          Going into the oven.
        5. Bake for 15 minutes, then roll them around/flip to other side and bake for another 10 minutes.
        I like to serve falafels family-style, by placing them on a platter with sliced cucumbers, tomatoes and onions.  Grab a pita, store bought or home made (I use this recipe) and build your sandwich.  Top with tahini, tzatziki and/or feta.  Serve tabouleh on the side.

        Dinner is served.  Baked falafel will not come out as dark as the fried version.

          Posted by on 11 March 2011 in Cooking, Recipes, Veggie Dishes


          >Ballpark Diet Recovery Day 1: Kale & Quinoa


          After a week of nachos, soft pretzels, pizza, beer and hotdogs for The Husband, 
          dietary rectification was in order.
          Dinner last night:
          •  Large bunch of kale (spinach or chard would also work); stems removed and torn into pieces
          • 1 cup quinoa
          • 2 cups vegetable broth
          • 2 large bell peppers; halved, stems, seeds and veins removed
          • 1 can garbanzo beans; rinsed well
          • 2 leeks; white parts only sliced thin and rinsed well
          • A few cloves of garlic; minced
          • Olive oil
          • Salt and pepper
          • Optional: goat cheese
          1. Roast the peppers.  This can be done a number of ways and I’m not going to list them all here.  You’re smart.  You can roast peppers. After they’ve cooled, remove and discard skins, roughly chop and set aside.  Or you can cheat and used bottled roasted peppers.
          2. In a large pot bring the vegetable broth to a boil and add the quinoa.  Simmer until all the liquid has been absorbed (about 15-20 minutes).
          3. While the quinoa is cooking, drizzle some olive oil in a large skillet.  Cook the leeks over medium heat until soft and start to brown.  Add kale, garbanzo beans and peppers.  Once kale has completely wilted add garlic and cook for another minute or so.
          4. Add kale mixture to cooked quinoa, stir well.  Add salt and pepper to taste, top with goat cheese if desired.

          Posted by on 10 March 2011 in Cooking, Recipes, Veggie Dishes


          >Dinner: French Onion Soup


          Only a billion years since I’ve posted a recipe or anything about my going-ons in the kitchen.

          Somehow I’ve come into possession of nothing short of 10,000 pounds of onions. Ok. I lie. But, my pantry is going to start sprouting if I do not use these bad boys.

          * Onions, a lot of ’em. Sliced thin. When you think you’ve sliced too many, add a few more.
          * Butter
          * Flour
          * Dry Vermouth (or dry white wine)
          * Broth (vegetable or beef)
          * Water
          * Thyme (preferably fresh sprigs)
          * Bay Leaves
          * Salt and Pepper
          * French Bread
          * Gruyère

          Get to it:
          → Toss a few tablespoons of butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add onions. Don’t ask me how many, I’m not the type of cook.
          → Caramelize onions. Not sweat the onions. Not cook until translucent. Caramelize. This takes time, plan ahead.
          → Sprinkle in a small amount of flour; stir frequently for a few minutes.
          → De-glaze the pot with dry vermouth/white wine. Don’t be an idiot and use any ol’ white wine. Your soup will suck and no one will love you.
          → Add 50/50 mix of broth and water (or other pleasing ratio. Whatever.) until it looks like soup.
          → Turn heat up to medium and bring to a boil.
          → Add a bay leaf or two and some thyme. Feel free to get your French Housewife on and make a bouquet garni.
          → Season with salt and pepper.
          → Cover and reduce heat; simmer for 30 minutes-ish.
          → Ladle into oven-proof bowls, float a thick slice of bread and top with cheese.
          For love of God, remember to remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaves! If you did not already know this, get the hell out of the kitchen. You sicken me.
          → Brown under the broiler and enjoy.


          Posted by on 8 April 2010 in Cooking, Recipes, Veggie Dishes


          >The Vegetarian One-Hundred


          As I am not one to turn away from a reasonable food challenge, I give you The Vegetarian One-Hundred.

          I have been reading a lot about The Omnivore 100, a post by Andrew from Very Good Taste. This list is supposed to be the 100 foods every omnivore should at least try. I found a similar list by Barbara of Tigers & Strawberries catered to vegetarians. The rules state to cross out any foods you would absolutely not try and to highlight the others you have tried until the list is complete.

          1. Real Macaroni & Cheese; made from scratch and baked.
          2. Tabouleh.
          3. Freshly baked bread, straight from the oven.
          4. Fresh figs. Thanks to the coevolutional relationship between wasps and figs, I will never eat a fig, raw or otherwise. What’s the coevolutional relationship between wasps and figs you ask? Why it’s wasps laying eggs in figs! You’re welcome!
          5. Fresh pomegranate.
          6. Indian dal of any sort
          7. Imam bayildi.
          8. Pressed spiced Chinese tofu.
          9. Freshly made hummus. Life is not worth living without hummus.
          10. Tahini.
          11. Kimchi.
          12. Miso.
          13. Falafel. Where can a girl get a decent falafel sandwich in the South?
          14. Potato and pea samosas.
          15. Homemade yogurt. Thanks, Martha!
          16. Muhammara.
          17. Brie en croute.
          18. Spanikopita.
          19. Fresh, vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes.
          20. Insalata caprese.
          21. Stir-fried greens (gai lan, bok choi, pea shoots, kale, chard or collards).
          22. Freshly made salsa.
          23. Freshly made guacamole.
          24. Crème brûlée. The one dessert I cannot pass up.
          25. Fava beans.
          26. Chinese cold sesame peanut noodles.
          27. Fattoush.
          28. New potatoes.
          29. Coleslaw.
          30. Ratatouille. A favorite comfort food.
          31. Baba ganoush.
          32. Winter squash.
          33. Roasted beets.
          34. Baked sweet potatoes.
          35. Plantains.
          36. Chocolate truffles.
          37. Garlic mashed potatoes.
          38. Fresh water chestnuts.
          39. Steel cut oats.
          40. Quinoa.
          41. Grilled portabello mushrooms.
          42. Chipotle en adobo.
          43. Stone ground whole grain cornmeal.
          44. Freshly made corn or wheat tortillas.
          45. Frittata.
          46. Basil pesto.
          47. Roasted garlic.
          48. Raita of any type.
          49. Mango lassi.
          50. Jasmine rice; white or brown.
          51. Thai vegetarian coconut milk curry.
          52. Pumpkin in any form other than pie.
          53. Fresh apple pear or plum gallette.
          54. Quince in any form.
          55. Escarole, endive or arugula.
          56. Sprouts other than mung bean.
          57. Naturally brewed soy sauce.
          58. Dried shiitake mushrooms.
          59. Unusually colored vegetables; purple cauliflower, blue potatoes, chocolate bell peppers, etc.
          60. Fresh peach ice cream.
          61. Chevre.
          62. Medjool dates.
          63. Kheer.
          64. Flourless chocolate cake.
          65. Grilled corn on the cob.
          66. Black bean (or any other bean) vegetarian chili.
          67. Tempeh.
          68. Seitan or wheat gluten.
          69. Gorgonzola or any other blue veined cheese.
          70. Sweet potato fries.
          71. Homemade au gratin potatoes.
          72. Cream of asparagus soup.
          73. Artichoke-Parmesan dip.
          74. Mushroom risotto.
          75. Fermented black beans.
          76. Garlic scapes.
          77. Fresh new baby peas.
          78. Kalamata olives.
          79. Preserved lemons.
          80. Fried green tomatoes.
          81. Chinese scallion pancakes.
          82. Cheese souffle.
          83. Fried apples.
          84. Homemade frijoles refritos.
          85. Pasta fagiole.
          86. Macadamia nuts in any form.
          87. Paw paw in any form.
          88. Grilled cheese sandwich of any kind.
          89. Paneer cheese.
          90. Ma Po Tofu.
          91. Fresh pasta in any form.
          92. Grilled leeks, scallions or ramps.
          93. Green papaya salad.
          94. Baked grain and vegetable stuffed tomatoes.
          95. Pickled ginger.
          96. Methi greens.
          97. Aloo paratha.
          98. Kedgeree.
          99. Okra.
          100. Roasted brussels sprouts. Never again! This is the one of the few veggies that absolutely disgust me!

          I admit, this is not the most interesting list, but I think it’s a good way to experiment a bit with cooking techniques. Currently seeking a list of raw/whole foods to try – any suggestions gladly welcomed.

          What’s on your list?

          Leave a comment

          Posted by on 31 August 2009 in Eating, Fruit, To-Do List, Veggie Dishes


          >The First R


          So. Very. Hungry.

          But, I was going to wait to cook a proper meal and not devour whatever packaging I could shred first. With a few potatoes and fresh peas that needed to be used, I decided to make myself a Shepherd’s Pie. This is one of my favorite things to put together using soy ground “beef” by BOCA.

          SO. VERY. HUNGRY.

          I was starting to shake as I spread the layers out, but it was going to be worth the wait. Fluffy mashed potatoes, corn, peas, “beef”, caramelized onions, roasted garlic and the final layer of mashed potatoes.

          SO! VERY! HUNGRY!

          I placed the dish under the broiler and began to drool. Once the potato topping was perfectly browned, I almost reached into the oven with my bare hands to retrieve the dish. I helped myself to a large serving and shoveled some of the piping hot goodness into my mouth before making it to the table.


          Seems during my hunger-induced hysteria I blended the potatoes with French vanilla coffee cream. Not the type of culinary experimentation I would recommend.


          >Whisk Wednesdays: Oeufs Mollets Florentine


          Oeufs Mollets Florentine translates to Soft-Boiled Eggs with Spinach and Mornay Sauce, or how Jessica lost her mind and 19 eggs in the process.

          This was supposed to be such a simple dish. Boil water. Peel eggs. Wilt spinach. Melt cheese.

          “Nothing is as simple as we hope it would be”
          – Jim Horning

          * Eggs 1 and 2 must have had tiny shell fractures as they exploded in the pot of boiling water.
          * Egg 3 was dropped on the kitchen floor while I was yelling at Henry, Fierce Defender of Eastover Ridge, to remove himself from the bag of cat food and eat what was in the bowl.
          * Eggs 4 through 7 ruptured in my hands while peeling the shells.
          * Egg 8 accidentally fell down the garbage disposal.
          * Egg 9 was thrown into the garbage disposal to “Keep his little !@#$%^& friend company!”
          * Eggs 10 through 12 became hard-boiled eggs while I was trying to get rid of a creepy salesman at the door.
          * Eggs 13 through 15 suffered the same fate as 4 through 7. I was under the impression that transferring cooked eggs (in shells) to cold water not only stopped the cooking process, but helped pull the white part away from the shell, making them easier to peel. Apparently I have rebel eggs – the whites were firmly attached to the shell and kept ripping the egg apart.
          * And then there was glorious Egg 16. It practically slipped out of its shell without me doing anything. I stood there in awe for a bit and then noticed my Mornay sauce was starting to burn. While attempting to save the cheese sauce, Egg 16 disappeared. At this point I began questioning the existence of Egg 16 and poured a glass of wine.
          * Egg 17 was poached. And it was perfect.

          “Seek simplicity, and distrust it.”
          – Alfred North Whitehead

          At this point I have a poached egg, burnt cheese and an incredible amount of wilted spinach. I put my precious egg on a bed of spinach and poured spooned chunky cheese “sauce” around said egg. The broiler took the cheese to a new level of disgrace, but I didn’t care because this was delicious.

          I also vow never to order a soft-boiled egg in a restaurant again. Scrambled eggs. That’s the way to go.

          Oeufs Mollets Florentine:
          * Eggs
          * Salt & Pepper
          * Spinach
          * Butter
          * Flour
          * Milk
          * Crème Fraîche
          * Gruyère Cheese

          While photographing my dish, I came across the elusive Egg 16. Seems Henry, Fierce Defender of Eastover Ridge, felt he has been lacking protein in his diet. I followed the yolk trail to find him batting the empty carcass of Egg 16 around my bedroom.

          Refusing to feel defeated by the easiest recipe in the book, I took to the kitchen and said a silent prayer to Martha, Patron Saint of Cooks. Eggs 18 and 19 were enjoyed over spicy polenta and fresh spinach.

          The complete recipe can be found on page 69 of Le Cordon Bleu at Home. For information on joining Whisk Wednesdays, please visit Whisk: A Food Blog hosted by Shari. To see how the other Whiskers fared with this recipe, please visit the blog roll and click on the individual blogs. You may have to go back a week, because not only do I fail egg peeling, I cannot post on time.

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