Archive for Vegetarian

Butternut Squash Stuffed Mushrooms

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

This healthy vegetarian dish is easy to make and makes a great side dish for your fall or holiday dinner.  Substitute with smaller mushrooms for the perfect appetizer.

Ingredients

  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoon sage (chopped)
  • 2 cups butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey or brown sugar
  • 4 Portobello mushrooms, stemmed
  • ¼ cup goat cheese
  • Optional garnish: Goat cheese, parmesan cheese or sage

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Heat butter in a saucepan Add in sage and stir for a couple of minutes over low – medium heat until butter has turned light brown and has a nutty aroma.  Set aside

In a large bowl, add the butternut squash, garlic, salt, pepper, pumpkin pie spice, honey and butter/sage mixture (reserving some to coat mushrooms) and toss well to combine.

Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake for 10-15 minutes, until slightly soft.

Brush the inside of the mushrooms with the remaining butter/sage mixture. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Fill with butternut squash and top with goat cheese. Bake until mushrooms are tender, about 10-15 minutes.

Garnish with goat cheese and sage. Serve immediately.

Cauliflower Pumpkin Risotto

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

By swapping cauliflower for rice and adding goat cheese, this recipe recreates the creamy texture for a healthier risotto option.

Bonus: You will be out of the kitchen in under 30 minutes as the cauliflower cooks quicker than rice.

Ingredients 

  • 1 head cauliflower (4-5 cups)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon sage (chopped)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup chicken broth (or more as needed)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree ( can or fresh)
  • ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ cup goat cheese or parmesan cheese
  • Optional garnish: sage, goat cheese, pumpkin seeds, et

Directions

Using a cheese grater, grate cauliflower until it resembles rice grains (or use a food processor)

Heat butter in a skillet or saucepan Add sage and stir for a couple of minutes over low – medium heat until butter has turned light brown and has a nutty aroma.

Add in onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes or until onions are translucent Add in cauliflower, half of the broth and stir for about 5 minutes until liquid is absorbed.  Add in remaining broth and continue to cook until cauliflower is softened.

Stir in pumpkin puree, pumpkin spice (if using), salt, pepper and goat cheese and stir until goat cheese is melted and cauliflower has a creamy texture.

Transfer to a serving dish and garnish as desired.

Quinoa Pizza Crust

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Quinoa pizza crust is a great gluten-free alternative to pizza dough. It has a nutty taste and holds together perfectly when sliced.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa (soaked for at least 8 hours)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon. salt
  • cooking spray
  • Toppings desired: tomato sauce, onions, mushrooms, tomato, meat, etc

Directions

Place quinoa in a bowl and cover with water. Let soak 8 hours or overnight. Drain and rinse with water.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place quinoa, water, garlic, baking powder, salt in a food processor and mix until smooth, scraping the sides as needed. 

Line a round cake pan or baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. 

Pour in batter and smooth with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 15 minutes. Flip crust over and bake for 10 more minutes ( you can remove parchment paper).  Add toppings desired and bake for 5 minutes (more or less depending on toppings) 

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Strawberry Gazpacho

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

As strawberries are in season,  try this refreshing version of the classic Spanish chilled vegetable soup.

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2  cucumber, peeled 
  • 1/2  red bell pepper, cored and seeded
  • 1 tomato 
  • 1 shallot or 1/4 red onion
  • 1 pound strawberries, hulled and halved
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic  vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lemon or lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt  
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional garnish:  diced strawberries and mint 

Directions

Roughly chop cucumber, bell pepper, tomato, red onion  and strawberries. 

Add  vegetables and strawberries into a food processor or blender and pulse a few times to mix. 

Add in balsamic vinegar, oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper  Process/blend mixture until pureed into desired consistency. 

Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.

Chill before serving. The longer the gazpacho sits, the more flavor it develops. Can be refrigerated overnight.

Before serving, garnish with diced strawberries and mint, if desired. 

Roasted Beets and Swiss Chard Salad

Friday, March 24th, 2017

On my recent trip to Tanaka Farms in Irvine, I picked up some beautiful Swiss Chard and Beets which was perfect for a colorful salad.

For this recipe, carrots and bean sprouts were added to the salad and topped with walnuts. Feel free to add other ingredients as desired.

Ingredients

  • 2-3 beets, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 1 Swiss chard, chopped ( or spinach, arugula, or kale)
  • Optional vegetables: carrots, celery, red onion, radish, tomatoes, avocado, etc
  • Optional: goat cheese, crumbled
  • Optional nuts: cashews, walnuts, almonds, etc

Dressing:

  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Peel beets and cut into 1 inch cubes. Add to prepared baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and  1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Toss together and spread evenly on the baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes or until soft.

To serve: add Swiss chard and any other vegetables into a salad bowl and toss together with dressing. Top with roasted beets, cheese or nuts.

 

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With the amazing produce spring brings, one of the best ways to enjoy it is in a fresh salad. From  asparagus to radishes to strawberries, this colorful and delicious salad can be served  as a meal or as side with  your Easter brunch.

Serves 2-4

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup  balsamic vinegar
  • 3-4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Pinch of  salt
  • 4-5 stalks asparagus, ends cut off and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 5-6 cups spinach, chopped or baby spinach
  • 4-5 radishes, sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, hulled and sliced, plus additional for garnish
  • 4 oz soft goat cheese

Directions:

To make the balsamic vinegar reduction: add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar in a small pan. Bring to a simmer and reduce until syrupy, about 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.

In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add asparagus and blanch for few minutes. Remove from boiling water and immerse in iced or cold water.  (This stops the cooking process to preserve the asparagus’ crisp texture and color). Once cooled, lay on a paper towel and pat dry. Set aside.

To make dressing:  whisk together balsamic vinegar reduction, extra virgin olive oil and salt.

In a large platter or bowl:  toss together all vegetables and strawberries. Top with goat cheese.  Drizzle dressing on top and garnish with more strawberries, if desired.

 

Pan-Fried Chickpeas

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

A snack that’s quick, delicious and healthier than potato chips.  What could be better?!  These addictive pan-fried chickpeas are crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside and will become one of your favorite go to snacks.

Ingredients

  • 1 (15 oz) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • 2 Tablespoons oil ( coconut, vegetable or canola)
  • Seasonings desired such as:
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Curry powder
    • Chili powder
    • Cumin
    • Paprika
    • Herbs

Directions

Drain chickpeas in a colander and rinse well with water.

Lay them out on a baking sheet lined with paper towel and pat dry with another paper towel on top. 

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Heat oil over medium high heat in a sauté pan.  Add chickpeas and cook for about 7-10 minutes, shaking the pan occasionally until all sides are browned.

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Remove from heat and transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to remove excess oil.

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While still hot, transfer to a serving bowl and toss with spices desired and serve.

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Lentil Vegetable Soup

Monday, January 19th, 2015

A warm and hearty soup is my ideal comfort food on a chilly day.  I love making soups as I use leftover ingredients in my fridge or what I can find in my pantry. And the best part…I only need to clean one pot! This soup is packed with protein and vegetables for a complete meal, perfect for Meatless Monday.

This recipe was based on what I had available in my fridge and pantry so some of the ingredients I listed as optional.  Feel free to add or omit any of the ingredients with your preferences.

Ingredients 

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced 
  • 1 zucchini, diced (optional)
  • 3 garlic cloves, mined
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (15 oz) can beans (optional)
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes   
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth) 
  • Kale or spinach leaves (optional)

Directions 

Heat oil in a large pot. Sauté onions, carrots and celery until vegetables are softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, zucchini, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and continue to sauté about 1 minute. Add in bay leaves,  beans, lentils, tomatoes, and broth and bring to a boil.

Lentil Vegetable Soup

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Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until lentils are cooked. Taste and add salt or pepper as needed. 

(Optional: Stir in kale or spinach and cook for a few minutes until wilted).  

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Quinoa and Spinach Bake

Monday, January 5th, 2015

This quinoa and spinach bake is not only easy to make but also gluten free and vegetarian if you’re looking for a healthier option.   What I love about this dish is that you can add whatever vegetables you have on hand and can make it as healthy, cheesy or creamy as you want by adjusting the ingredients to your preference. This can be served as a main dish or a side dish and makes great leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups quinoa, cooked according to directions ( 1 cup dry quinoa)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Optional vegetables such as peppers, zucchini, artichokes, broccoli, etc 
  • 1 lb fresh spinach leaves ( or  bag of frozen spinach, defrosted and liquid squeezed out)
  • 1-2 cups cheese ( parmesan, mozzarella, cheddar, etc)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt (can substitute with milk, almond milk, coconut milk, etc)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Directions 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook for a few minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute.  Add any other vegetables desired such as peppers, zucchini, artichokes,  etc and sauté for a few minutes. 

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Add spinach and cook until it shrinks down in size. 

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Turn off heat and add in cooked quinoa, cheese, yogurt (or milk)  salt and pepper and stir until combined.

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Place mixture into greased baking dish and sprinkle additional cheese on top, if desired. Bake for 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.

Quinoa Casserole

Holiday Yam Recipes (aka Sweet Potatoes)

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Every family has their signature yam dish and my family is no different. If there is one dish that is a must during the holidays for my daughter is my candied yam recipe.   I try to add different side dishes each year but I always know that this dish has to be included in our Thanksgiving and Christmas meal no matter what!

I included two yam recipes below, with one using canned yams.   I use  the word “yams” instead of “sweet potatoes” as what we use for these dishes are actually yams and not sweet potatoes.

When buying yams at the store  here is how you can tell if you’re buying yams or sweet potatoes.  These two look the same from the outside but as you can see, when I scrape the skin, the left is a orange color (yams) and the right is a white color (sweet potatoes). The store signs can be confusing so make sure you check the inside and not rely on how it looks outside It’s also doesn’t help that when you see items on a menu like sweet potato fries, it’s actually yams (orange color). I guess  “yam fries”  doesn’t sound so appealing 🙂

 

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And if you notice on the canned version, it states sweet potatoes but below, it’s description states yams.

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You can use either yams or canned yams for the two recipes below. Both of these recipes are so simple, requiring  few ingredients but so yummy!

 

Serves 6-8

Roasted Yams with Honey

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Ingredients

  • 4-5 yams,  peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 3-4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice ( or cinnamon  and nutmeg)
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons honey

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place yams on a baking sheet. Drizzle oil, pumpkin pie spice, salt and pepper and honey over yams. Toss with your hands and lay in a single layer. Roast 25 to 30 minutes or until tender.

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Candied Yams  

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Ingredients

  • 1 (29oz) can yams ( sweet potatoes)
  • 1 stick of butter, cut into cubes
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice ( or cinnamon and nutmeg)
  • 1/2  cup brown sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Place yams in a baking dish. Drop butter pieces evenly over the yams. Sprinkle brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice.

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Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until yams are tender.