Bring the Starlight

Very Beany Casserole

I think it’s finally safe to announce that spring, and warmer weather, is here to stay!   I am hoping that my herbs/vegetables will do better than last year, so far so good but it’s only been a week so can’t really judge.  This year I am attempting to grow: green bell peppers, red bell peppers, eggplant, heirloom tomatoes, thyme, cilantro, and basil.  Last year I attempted tomatoes, squash, eggplant, jalepenos, and basil of which only the basil survived.  Keeping fingers crossed that the new garden spots will be more fruitful!  Until then I am happy to (finally) see fresh local vegetables at the local stores again and with that I’m breaking out all of my spring recipes.  While most of these can be prepared using frozen vegetables there is an added spring-like taste added to the dish when the veggies are fresh.

Ingredients: (serves 5-6)

  • 1 lb green beans, ends cut
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn
  • 1/3 cup diced carrots
  • 2 15 oz cans white beans (I used Northern but have used cannellini before)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 4 oz sliced muenster cheese
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 375, lightly grease the bottom of a large casserole dish.
  2. Spread the green beans on the bottom of the casserole dish.
  3. Puree one can of the beans with the garlic, water, olive oil, and the seasonings.  Pour on top of the green beans and smooth out.  Top with the sliced muenster cheese then pour on the remaining can of beans.
  4. Mix the bread crumbs with the Parmesan cheese and evenly layer on top of the beans.  Cover and bake 25minutes then uncover and bake a remaining 15minutes or until the top is lightly brown.

This dish is high in fiber and protein which makes it the perfect dish for dinner after a day of working in the garden.   It also comes together quickly which makes it great for a busy weeknight when a million and one different things are going on.  Serve with sweet corn for a true spring feast.



Tell you all about it

Tofu and Green Beans in Marsala Sauce

I had a great food story to share, one that came to me in a moment of enlightenment while at work.  However somewhere between the beltway and my house that brilliant thought slipped my mind.  The good news is that I at least remembered to sign up for my first cooking challenge: the International Incident Party which is hosted by a trio of fabulous foodie ladies.  You can more information here which is also a highlight of their latest incident which was operation SCONES!  The next one is Egg themed which is going to be a slight challenge for me.  While I occasionally indulge in a yummy toad-in-the-hole for the most part I’m not really an egg girl.  However I am going to rise to the occasion and figure out some totally rockin egg recipe.  So don’t be surprised if some random egg recipes start showing up in the mean time as I test things out.  Although I think some egg disaster stories are a lot more likely since I’m not an eggs-pert…sorry I couldn’t resist!
In the mean time a nice vegan meal to pass the time.

12 oz tofu, cut into fillets
3 tbsp flour
2 tbsp parm. cheese
2 tbsp olive oil
3/4 cup marsala
1/2 cup soy milk
1 1b green beans
2 cloves garlic, minced

1. In a small bowl mix the flour and parm cheese.  Lightly coat the tofu fillets in the flour mixture.
2. Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium heat.  Add the tofu and cook until brown on all sides, about 5 minutes on each.  Remove to a plate covered in a paper towel in order to “degrease.” 
3. Return pan to stove and add the marsala sauce and soy milk.  Simmer over medium heat, stirring, until the sauce is glossy.  
3.  Meanwhile lightly spray a large saute pan with cooking oil.  Add the garlic and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes.  Add the green beans and cook 5-8minutes, until the green beans are tender or other desired firmness.  
4.  Plate the tofu and green beans on individual plates and cover with the marsala sauce.  

At the last minute I decided to add a starch to the dish in order to utilize this AMAZING sauce even more.  So I whipped up some mashed potatoes using some leftover potatoes but brown rice or egg noodles would have worked just as well.  I am not ashamed to say that I was seriously thinking about licking my plate in order to get all of the sauce.  Marsala sauces are one of my favorite sauces to whip up, with sherry sauces close behind.  Something about them adds just the right pop to almost every dish, plus they are easy to prepare and rather forgiving as well.


Is really Asparagus

Quinoa Vegetable Curry

So still no A/C but thankfully the temperature has dropped back below 80 so it’s actually not that bad inside today. However I don’t want to push my luck so hopefully that glorious coil will arrive sooner rather then later that way when the temperature decides to go all triple digit on me again I’ll be good to go.

However did get some good news last night, I’m going to see CATS!!! A commercial for a performance at WolfTrap came on last night while watching Glee (the most awesome show EVER!). Next thing I know Joe is asking me what night I prefer and ordering us tickets to go see CATS!!! I have wanted to see this since I was very little and when it left Broadway many moons ago I thought that was it. I had some hope when they did the revival of Les Mis but alas no indicator that CATS was coming back. While this is not Broadway, WolfTrap is still amazing and it’s actually where I was able to see Les Mis a few years ago. Hopefully at this point at least someone has figured out my title and thus realized I’m not completely insane.
Now on to last night’s AMAZING dinner. Up until a few months ago I had never heard of quinoa but since then I have been making it on a regular basis because it’s absolutly amazing! Last night I decided to curry it (something Joe had sort of done before thanks to the Amazing SusanV of FatFreeVegan) and add a ton of vegetables to make a Quinoa Vegetable Curry. The best part is that this recipe is super easy!
1 cup Quinoa
1 cup Green Beans, cut into 3in lengths
1tbsp EVOO
2 tbsp Curry Powder
1 large Onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups Cauliflower floret
3 Carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 in rings
8oz firm tofu, cubed
1 cup vegetable broth
1. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to a boil in a medium sauce pan and add the Quinoa. Quickly bring the water back to a boil and then turn to low and simmer for 5minutes.
2. Add the Green Beans to the Quinoa and stir, cook for an additional 5 minutes. The Green Beans should be tender and the quinoa should be tender but still a little crunchy.
3. While the Quinoa is cooking add oil to a large Dutch Oven or Wok; and heat over medium heat. Add curry and cook for 30seconds stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 3minutes. Add cauliflower, carrots, and tofu. Cook for 3minutes stirring frequently.
4. Turn heat to medium high and add the vegetable broth. Bring to a slow boil; cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer for 5minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
5. Fold in the Quinoa, and cook for an additional 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serve Hot!
This is probably one of the easiest dishes I have made in awhile and it was also very well received. According to Joe everything I make is great but that this is “really great.” Gotta love a compliment like that!