Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’


Bacon Cheddar Spirals

December 31, 2013

I love anything and everything wrapped in puff pastry. The simplest of ingredients become a delicate amuse bouche, delicate enough to ring in the New Year, and rugged enough to please your hungriest football fan.

1 sheet puff pastry , thawed and rolled to remove creases
1/2 C. very sharp cheddar, shredded
2 green onions, minced (about 1/4 cup)
5 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (I have used 6 strips of vegetarian bacon here)

Unfold the pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface.  Roll the pastry sheet lightly to remove the fold marks.

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Cover in cheese. add top with bacon and onion. Go all the way to the ends of the pastry, or your first and last cut will be empty!

Starting at a short side, roll up like a jelly roll.  Place the pastry, seam-side down, onto a baking sheet.  Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until the pastry is firm.


Cut the pastry crosswise into 1/2-inch slices.  Place the slices onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. (I used foil- don’t you do that!)

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Bake for 20 minutes or until the pastries are golden brown.  Let the pastries cool for 10 minutes.

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Pumpkin Chili

November 21, 2013

Yes, you read that  right. Chili made  with  pumpkin. I won’t lie  and tell you  this  is  a quickie  recipe. The prep is  fairly labor intensive.  I think I created a few new  cuss words  while  cutting the pumpkin. Next time I make it …and   there will be a next  time as  it was “that” good” , I will cook the pumpkin a little longer before attempting to cube it. I was  afraid it would lose it’s  shape and become  too soft, (like butternut squash can in soups and stews) but the pumpkin retained it’s shape  even  after being reheated several times. It definitely can  withstand a few more minutes in the microwave, or some roasting to make the prep easier. Once you have  everything roasted and cut, it becomes  simple. Into the crock and  done. It is also  optional to leave the peppers raw. I roasted them, which added  a little more time. Now about the taste… vegetarian wise, hands down this is  the best  chili you will ever make. Rich, earthy and filling. Vegetarian soul food. My carnivore devoured it, and  the next  day arriving home from Busch Gardens  asked for a  bowl..and wanted to  know if I had  enough so he could have it the NEXT day, as a  snack after school.  My daughter said.. “don’t  give me the big  container”, (she was  going back to school)” because I forget what I have and I hate throwing things  out.” (she lives with  7 people – I won’t  detail  the  refrigerator situation!). Two days later she texted “The chili is gone :(“. So…6 thumbs up in this family of three. I hope you  agree.

1 small pie pumpkin
1 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz. can plum tomatoes, rough chop
2 cans  black beans, drained and rinsed
2 C. Pacific Vegetable Broth
2 T. brown sugar
1 T. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
1 T. cinnamon
1 T. oregano
2 poblano peppers, roasted, chopped (or raw)
1 roasted red pepper, rough chop (I just tore the peppers by hand)
1 can corn


Pierce the pumpkin with a sharp knife in a few spots. Microwave it at least 5 minutes and set aside to cool. Roast peppers in
400 degree oven for  20 minutes. Put in a sealed container until you can handle them and peel the skin. Rip into small pieces.


Once cooled, Clean out the inside of the pumpkin.(Save the seeds and roast them!) cut the pumpkin in sections.
Score the sections as  shown.Carefully cut between the skin and the sectioned pieces, making cubes. Be careful!


Measure oil in pan, add onion and saute until just clear, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and pumpkin, and continue cooking for another 15 minutes. I added just a pinch of each of the spices to infuse them into the pumpkin. I can’t tell you how good the house  smelled!


While that is cooking, pour broth into your  crock and all the other ingredients except the corn. Add in the pumpkin and onions.


Cook on high for 3 hours. Add corn. Continue cooking  3-4 on low, depending on your crock.Pumpkinchili8

Serve  hot with your favorite chili garnishes – grated cheddar, sour cream, green onions and black olives and a sprinkle
of red pepper flakes is what you see here.


Since pumpkin is  seasonal, I plan on getting another, cubing and then freezing. This one is  a keeper and I want to make sure I can make it more than once  a season. I might  even  have to try growing my own! Enjoy!!


Cauliflower Crust Pizza

March 20, 2012

Don’t turn up your nose!!! You have to try this if you love pizza ,,and even if you don’t care for cauliflower you are going to love this.Low carb and missing pizza? This is for you too… another recipe from pinterest, combined with a recipe posted in a group I am in, along with my own tips to make sure “you” get it right the first time… My son said he liked it more than “real” pizza”, and at 13, I would say that is the best review one can get.I do apologize in advance for not having all the pics I normally have. We were leaving to take my daughter back  to  college,and I wanted to make this for her before she left again for school.I was in a bit of a rush, but hopefully you can follow along.

  • 1 medium cauliflower,grated
  • 1 large egg plus one egg white,beaten well
  • 1 C. shredded cheese,I used sharp cheddar this time ( I like to coordinate with the topping I am using)
  • 1 clove garlic,minced
  • 1 T. minced DRIED onion (no fresh- too much water)
  • 2 t. dried oregano
  • pepper to your liking
  • pinch cayenne (optional)


  • 3/4 C. any sauce
  • 3/4 C shredded cheese
  • 10 olives,1/2 C mushrooms,sauted, diced tomatos, again anything,just like a regular pizza

Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees and make sure rack is in the middle. Clean cauliflower and dry well.Cut in quarters.This will break into florets. If you use a prcessor,size does not matter. I grated it by hand- just as easy, and no worries of over processing. You do not want mush.It should look like grains of rice.

Microwave for about 8 minutes. While cooling stir the cauliflower so it dries instead of steaming more. You can lie it on a paper towel,but I find  this messy. Spreading it out on a cookie sheet and baking it for about 3 minutes in the pre heated oven is the best method. Many recipes tell you to use the cauliflower raw. Don’t! There is just too much moisture in it and you will be disappointed. Once cooled add your beaten eggs,cheese and seasonings.I use my hands.

Line a stone with parchement.You can lightly oil it too, and sprinkle some cornmeal on is as well if you like. A rectangle cookie sheet it fine too for square slices. The art of cooking is to never get locked into one mode. Drop the “dough” in the center of the pan, and using your fingers  form the crust. Try to get it as even as possible,and make sure there are no little gaps in it.

Bake until very brown and crusty. Due to my rushing I neglected to take a pic of the baked pie before I added the toppings(Crust right out of the oven pic added 4-22-12,,it was a little thinner but still needed 20 minutes))..Checked at 15 minutes this went to  20 minutes before I felt like it was firm enough to hold the topping. Worst case scenario is you eat it with a fork! No big deal.But if cooked  long enough and not overloaded with toppings, you should be able to pick this up like a regular slice of pizza. I highly recommend keeping an eye on it in the last 5 minutes.Add sauce and toppings as soon as pie comes out of oven.

Put back in the oven for 5 minutes,or you can broil  until cheese is bubbly. I however tend to burn things under the broiler, so I use the baking method.Cut in 8 slices..very filling…

Does this not look like the real deal?


Sorta Southern Pea Salad

February 5, 2012

With a few adaptations…so Southern Pea Salad made by a Northern city girl.If you’re sick of potato salad, tired of slaw and yes…you must like peas,this goes with just about everything.Ribs,wings or a nice switch  with a rare roast beef  and potatoes.  I prefer it room temperature, some like it cold,whichever way you eat it there’s no doubt this recipe gives this legume some love.

  • 1 bag frozen petite peas
  • 1 C. shredded cheddar or monteray jack cheese
  • 1 can water chestnuts , small cubes
  • 1/2  C. diced scallions
  • 1/2  C. diced dill pickles
  • 1/2  C. minced FRESH dill
  • 1/2 C.mayonaise
  • 1/2  C sour cream
  • 1 T. black pepper
  • 1 t.salt
  • 1/2 t. paprika
  • sprig of fresh dill for garnish
  • for non vegetarian – 6 pieces cooked,crumbled bacon,reserve 2 t. for garnish

Mix together:peas,water chestnuts,pickles,dill,pepper, salt and paprika.I prefer to blend the spices in before the wet ingredients so they are evenly distributed.

Add mayonaise,sour crean and cheese. Stir well. If you are using bacon, add that now. Chill for an hour or more. Top with additional paprika, and dill garnish.Bacon as well if you are using it.



Spring Rolls (Filipino Lumpia)

January 23, 2011

These are so simple to make and come out as good or better than restaurant versions. Because I take the time to drain the excess water from the cabbage the result is a drier filling and a crunchier wrapper.  The wrappers are spring roll wrappers- not wonton wrappers.They are thinner and don’t bubble like a wonton wrapper does. I get mine from where we get take out,but can be found in Asian supermarkets,or supermarkets that carry a diverse amount of ethnic foods.(Much less $$ if you ask the restuarant you frequent- I paid 1.99 for a package of 25-and when they only had an open package with about 20 in them- they gave them to me for free – so ask !)

  • 1 package Spring roll wraps
  • 1 package slaw mix(I use the one with carrots)
  • 1 t. Kosher salt
  • 6 oz package rice vermicelli noodles
  • 1 T toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • 1/c can diced water chestnuts (optional)
  • 1 T. ginger
  • 1/2 t. pepper

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 C. Apricot or Peach preserves
  • 1 T. hot water
  • 2 T. soy sauce
  • 1 small garlic clove,mashed or pressed
  • 1/8 t cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 t. ginger
  • 1/2 t. sesame oil

Pour half of the slaw mix into a strainer and sprinkle 1/4 t. kosher salt over it.Add other half and sprinkle another 1/4 t. kosher salt on top.Rinse lightly with cold water and toss a bit to distribute salt.Put over a bowl with a heavy can on top.Let sit for an hour. (In a rush- skip this step entirely and just use your slaw straight from the bag – it will cook  enough and be a little more crunchy) Boil 2 cups of water.Add package of noodles and let them sit until soft and clear.Drain and cut them into small pieces.

Rinse your slaw mix well and squeeze as much water out of it as possible. Then combine cut, drained noodles with slaw mix.Add ginger and pepper.

Make dipping sauce by combining all ingredients. Heat 15 seconds in microwave. Stir and heat another 15 seconds. Let sit while you are rolling and frying rolls. Now to get rolling!! Set out 3 skins with the corner facing you. Using about 3 tablespoons of filling,lie at a diagonal across wrapper.Fold point over filling. Fold left and right sides over,and roll,ending seam side down. Heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large frying pan. When oil is hot but not smoking,put 3-4 rolls in, seam side down. Don’t walk away from them as they cook fast and will burn. Turn when nicely browned,about 4 minutes. Brown on the other side.

Drain on paper towels.Re- heat dipping sauce. Cut rolls in half  on the diagonal, and serve with apricot soy dipping sauce.


Saged Brussel Sprouts and Pasta

December 28, 2010

What? You don’t like Brussel Sprouts? Honestly,you don’t hear many nice words about these mini cabbages. A few I asked said they like cabbage, but ewwww, no brussel sprouts. Ok. They aren’t in my top ten either-or my kids. I somehow feel an obligation to keep trying a vegetable until I have exhausted all ways to make it taste good. Try this recipe- just try it.I promise it will change your mind. The quick dip in the boiling water (blanching) takes the bitterness out that most people dislike.Your house will not smell for days either!  The addition of fresh sage and a tiny bit of nutmeg is a marriage made for the most particular taste bud.

  • 2 thick slices of bread,toasted well,and crushed into crumbs
  • 1 pint Brussel Sprouts (I used 14-next time I will use more)
  • 8 oz. pasta
  • 4 T. butter
  • 3 cloves garlic,grated
  • 12 leaves fresh sage
  • salt &pepper to taste
  • dash of nutmeg,1/4 t. at most
  • 1 C. freshly grated parmesean cheese

Toast your bread and make your crumbs.If you want to kick up the calories you can butter the bread,but it is not necessary.I crushed the crumbs in a plastic bag,and left them rather large rather than “bread dust”!!!

Prepare your sprouts. Cut out the core and peel the  leaves. Warning: This takes some time!! It took me about 15 minutes to core and separate 14 sprouts. It’s worth it- I just wasn’t expecting it to be so labor intensive! (plus- I told the kids this was a really quick meal and they were starving – so allow a little extra time to get these little guys apart -or don’t tell anyone dinner will be ready in 15 minutes!) After the sprout prep-the rest of the recipe goes very fast.

Boil your salted water and cook your pasta to al dente.Remove pasta from  water with a slotted spoon and put in your serving bowl.(don’t drain so you can use the boiled water to cook sprouts)

Blanch the brussel sprouts in the pasta water for two minutes. Remove and drain on a paper towel.

In a saute pan,melt 1 T. of the butter and 1 garlic clove on LOW heat.Do not burn the garlic.If you do THROW IT AWAY! It is never worth the loss of some butter and garlic if you burn the garlic.There is no fixing this bitter taste.Saute the blanched sprouts for about 5 -7  minutes in the garlic butter. Pour them over the pasta in your bowl.

Using  the same saute pan you used for the sprouts,heat the remaining 3 T. butter and garlic with the sage leaves.(again on low so as not to burn the garlic.) Stir the leaves to cover with butter, and saute for about 8 minutes.

Pour the butter and sage over the Brussel Sprouts and pasta.Season with salt,pepper and nutmeg.Add half of the grated cheese and toss well. Taste a piece of pasta and adjust salt and pepper. If the pasta is too tight – meaning stuck together- not light and easily separated, add a splash or two of the pasta water.

Top with rest of cheese and bread crumbs. Soooo pretty and soooo good.Our new favorite pasta recipe!



Spaghetti Squash with Red Cherry Pepper Sauce

December 11, 2010

You have to try this! Spaghetti squash has to be one of the coolest vegetables.  It starts out looking like a butternut squash and the end result are slightly sweet strands of flesh, that hold their shape and stand up to rich tomato sauces. As filling as a dish of pasta, without the carb count!  This is a Rachael Ray-ish recipe with my adaptations.

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 1/2 C. Parmesean of Asiago,grated
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 T. olive oil to rub on squash before putting in oven
  • 1/2 onion, large chop
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 large carrot, finely grated
  • 1 cherry pepper,diced finely seeds and veins removed for mild, left for hot
  • 1 28 oz. can whole or crushed tomatoes (as always I use what is in the pantry- this time it was crushed)
  • 1 C. vegetable broth
  • 1/2 C. red wine
  • 1 T. Italian seasoning

Split squash evenly in half. Scoop seeds out carefully. Lightly oil with a few drops of  olive oil. Roast skin side up in 400 degree oven, 45 minutes.

Heat  2 T. olive oil. Add onions,carrots,garlic, and chili pepper. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.Cook for 8- 10 minutes on low- medium heat.

Add wine first to deglaze. Add tomatoes. Pour broth into tomato can to “rinse” and pour into sauce.Crush or cut the tomatoes if you’ve used whole into chunks. Add seasoning, and simmer 30 minutes on low heat. Stir once or twice. Easy!

Gently shred squash into strands with a long tined fork.Leave skin intact as you are going to use it as your serving vessel! At this time you can add 1 T of butter per squash half, and a tablespoon or two of grated cheese (reserve some cheese to top). I think a bit of butter is enough, and just use all the cheese on top as this made the strands too sticky.

A heaping ladle of sauce over the strands, some grated cheese and you have a satisfying and different take on pasta. Feel free to have that bread since you are being carb conscious with your meal! A smaller squash would make an equally yummy side to chicken,or perhaps add cubes of cooked chicken over squash, and then topping with sauce and cheese!