One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Soup · Vegan

So Save

Minestrone

minestrone_soup

Spring it starting to make it’s appearance, and with that soup season is slowly coming to an end.  We had a chilly blast this past weekend so I decided to do up a batch of minestrone – which is about as simple as it gets.  The ingredients are ones I almost always have on hand, if anything just have to buy the tomato juice.  Which makes it perfect for the “it came from a can” challenge over that /52weeksofcooking.  Instead of using frozen vegetables, just use a can of each: peas, corn, carrots, lima beans, etc – the point of this soup is to show that simple can be tasty.

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Nothing like a dish that comes together in record time and only requires one pot.  I know that some people aren’t a fan of cooking pasta in soups but I love how doing so gives the pasta some extra flavor.  Plus the smaller pasta holds it shape better than the larger guys and don’t get as mushy.  However, for those who want more of an al dente taste – cooking the pasta per instructions and then place in the bottom of a bowl before pouring the soup over top.  For a real protein punch, add some garbanzo or great northern beans when adding the pasta or use lentils in place of the pasta.

52Weeks · Appetizer · Gluten Free · Side Dish · Vegan

Wasted Time

Twice Baked Potatoes – Samosa Style

This recipe is probably one of the first ones I ever wrote down as a MUST DO and I’m finally getting to it – four years later! The original recipe that I saw oh so long ago featured a standard russet potato, but I knew from the beginning that I wanted to try a sweet potato.  While regular potatoes are rather awesome, sweet potatoes are the definition of perfection in my opinion.  Previous curry experience gave me the confidence needed to start experimenting which is why this recipe went from a standard baked potato to a glorious twice-baked potato.  Twice baking gave all the ingredients time to get acquainted with each other, something I was worried wouldn’t happen in just making a topping and pouring it on top.

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The real trick with this dish is cutting up the cauliflower as close to the same size as the peas as possible.   Not only does it insure everything fits inside the potato skin, it helps keep an even cooking time.  I’m also sending this potato-tastic dish over to /52weeksofcooking for their potato challenge – for while it’s a bit late it’s the perfect dish as it’s all about the potato!

Asian · Home Cooking · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Slow Cooker · Vegan

Couldn’t Escape

Aloo Matar

Aloo Matar

Well my UK adventure is drawing to a close – but that’s okay because I have so many recipes to try out once I get home plus some great Vegetarian on Vacation posts to work on.   Today’s dish is a vegan treat that Joe and I had on our honeymoon in London last year but so far hasn’t popped up on this journey.  Of all the Indian dishes out there this is probably one of the easiest to recreate at home as the primary ingredients are ones most people have at all times: potatoes and frozen peas.  While some of the spices are a little more out there, most grocery stores stateside seem to be increasing their foreign food sections making it easier and easier to locate these goodies.

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This dish can also be easily adapted for the slow cooker with just a bit of precooking.  After toasting the seeds, garlic, and shallots just toss everything in to the slow cooker on low heat for 6 hours.  I like to serve my aloo matar over coconut rice with poori but dal and/or naan would also be great options.  Next post should be made stateside – can’t wait to be home again!!!!

Slow Cooker · Soup · Vegan

Be Good

Minestrone Soup 

Minstrone Soup

Happy Valentines Day! This day is normally reserved for chocolates, candies, and all other sweet treats but this year I wanted to go with something that was heart healthy.   I also had a slight oven malfuction earlier this week so I needed to go with something that could be done either on the range or in a slow-cooker so this soup was the perfect fit.  I’ve been making various tomato soups for years, but normally stick to creamy variety which I am trying to get away from.  This minstrone soup is full of vegetables but no dairy and low on salt so somewhere out there my doctor is smiling.

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Joe likes to top his soup with fresh Parmesan cheese and Old Bay while I prefer mine on the naked side, though both of us agree that some fresh bread is the perfect companion for this good to the last drop soup.

My favorite part about soups like this is that the vegetables can easily be switched up based on what you like and what you have available.  The only one I’ve ever had issue with is okra, at least when doing it in the slow cooker, but all others from peppers to celery to baby potatoes are perfect for making this your perfect soup.   So on this Valentines Day take care of your heart with this delicious tomato soup.

Secret Recipe Club · Vegan

Heart Lead

Daniel’s Tribute: Cauliflower, Potato, and Pea Curry

I am a creature of habit.  Every morning I wake up, feed the puppies, check email, shower/dress, and then check out my blogs while waiting for my hubby to finish up before carpooling out to the office.  A few Mondays ago I saw a blog post that caused me to double take, a post of remembrance for Daniel of Haggis and Herring.  I read the eulogy his loving wife wrote for him almost a dozen times before it finally sunk in.  I didn’t know Daniel in real-life, but had “met” him via the Secret Recipe Club.  Daniel was the person who always posted comments once everything went live, who was on the SRC Facebook page giving out advice and tips.   His blog posts were always some of the first ones I read, and I was always hoping that eventually I would be partnered with him for Secret Recipe Club.  For some reason whenever the linksy would post, I always wound up on H&H within the first three clicks.

 

 

In honor and remembrance of Daniel, the Secret Recipe Club has joined together across the four groups to pay tribute to such an active member of our family.  Each person was asked to pick one of the MANY recipes from Haggis and Herring.  When it came time to make a decision regarding the recipe I knew I wanted to do something that wouldn’t did any type of altering.  Luckily, there are many amazing vegetarian recipes on his blog to pick from.  In the end I went with an Indian recipe, after reading on his brother’s blog about Daniel’s passion for food coming out during his time working at an Indian restaurant.   Daniel’s recipe for Potato, Cauliflower, and Pea curry is better than any take-out I have ever had.  Maybe it’s the Amchur powder.  Or maybe it’s that passion his brother referenced.  My guess, it’s the passion he had for food.

Daniel, you will be greatly missed by everyone that had the privilege to know you.
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Uncategorized

Made for Love

Rigatoni with Seitan102710_1

Another week, another wonderful episode of GLEE! While last night was not one of my favorite ones (thank you Terri), it was still a great episode and I really enjoyed seeing GP.  I might be one of the few people who saw Duets. and thanks to my time serving at Macy’s I still know the words to the main song from that.  However even with the knowledge of her vocal chops I was still impressed with her version of Forget You.  I also enjoyed the Tots Rebellion…even though I can’t stand those things…even if they are in the form of Tatter Tot Casserole.  To me they are a form of potato abuse, but to be fair I’ve never had fresh tots so maybe that’s the problem.  If anyone has a recipe for this please send it my way because I would love to give them a go! Tonight’s recipe does not involve potatoes, but I’m sure there is a way to incorporate them.  This is one of those dishes that can be quickly tossed together which makes it great for this crazy time of year.  The ingredients are all easy to find, and most of them are probably already in your pantry/fridge so no need to venture near the grocery store, which is also great this time of year.
Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves
8 oz seitan
1/2 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 cup peas
1/2 cup Marsala
1 lb rigatoni (I used whole wheat)
1 cup half & half
1/2 cup grated Mozz.
Directions:

1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan.  Add the onion and garlic and stir over low heat until the onion is tender. Add the seitan and mushrooms, cook 10minutes.  Stir in the wine and bring to a boil, turn heat to low and simmer an additional 10minutes.

2. Meanwhile cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and return to pan.

3. Add the half & half and mozz. to the pasta along with the mushroom seitan mixture.  Toss well, season to taste and serve!

Nothing like a quick easy meal during a time period that can be anything but easy.  Tomorrow I’ll be posting one of my favorite Thanksgiving Side Dishes, and one that I hope to serve to Joe’s family next week.
Uncategorized

Say Something…Anything

Greetings! So after being a blog “stalker” for the past few years I’ve decided to add my own voice to this crazy internet world in the hope that maybe I’ll get a few stalkers of my own. So pull up a seat, preferably one close to your kitchen and enjoy.

I feel like I should say a little about who I am, by first stating the obvious: I LOVE to cook. Italian, Indian, Creole, French, Thai…whatever! I have yet to find a type of dish or a cooking style that I don’t enjoy. However there is a catch: I’m also a vegetarian. Which means I have spent more then a fair amount of time converting meat-based recipes into vegetarian friendly deliciousness. I also try to pay attention to what I’m eating. I’ve had health issues in the past and some other “fun” issues run in my family most of which are related to diet. So not only will you find some new (and hopefully tasty) exciting vegetarian dishes, you will also find dishes that are friendly to the waist band as well.
I have been cooking since I was tall enough to reach the stovetop and have been a vegetarian for the better part of 10 years. I originally went vegetarian as part of a teenage rebelious stage, my parents decided to do the Atkins diet so in my attempt to be different I decided to go vegetarian. I had a lapse after college where I started eating meat once a month but found that not only do I prefer tofu to steak, my body tends to also prefer a nice Eggplant Curry more than Chicken Marsala. So now I’m back to veggies, with the occasional piece of fish tossed in. Lucky for me my partner in crime is also vegetarian so it works out very well!
As I mentioned earlier I have been cooking for many moons, but the one issue I found is that most meals required too much pre-planning and weren’t very practical for someone that doesn’t get home, or at least into the kitchen, until well after 6PM on most days. Once I get home I want to have dinner as fast as possible, and something with more than an hour of prep is just not practical. So I started doing my own recipes, converting things to make them slow cooker friendly or finding short cuts in order to get my food on the table as fast as possible while still keeping the same taste. Which brings me right into my first recipe: Risotto with Mushrooms in a Spring Pea Sauce. I found the original recipe on Food Network and was floored not only by the amount of butter used (almost 1 stick for 4 servings!) but also the fact that the original recipe had a cook time close to 2hrs. This new recipe uses a fraction of the butter and can also be done in well under an hour.
INGREDIENTS
Three quarters cup frozen peas
Two tablespoons butter (I used Smart Balance)
One vidalia onion, finely diced
Three cups vegetable broth
1/4 pound white mushrooms, cleaned and diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
Two tablespoons olive oil
One cup, risotto rice
1/2 cup white wine
Pepper and Cheese to taste
1. Cook frozen peas as directed, once finished rinse in cold water and set aside 2 1/2 cups.
2. Place one quarter of the onion in a saute pan, lightly sprayed with Olive Oil, and saute until transparent. Add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth and remaining 1/2 cup of peas. Bring to a light simmer and then puree. Place puree in the fridge until last step.
3. Using the same pan, saute the mushrooms for 5 minutes and then set aside.
4. While mushrooms are cooking, put the remaining vegetable broth into a small stock pot and simmer.
5. Add the remaining onion to a large stock pan along with the garlic, 2tbsp of olive oil and 2tbsp of butter (butter substitute) and cook until onions are transparent over medium heat.
6. Add the rice to the large stock pan and cook until the rice is firmly coated in the oil, about 3minutes. Add the white wine and bring the heat up to med-high (gentle boil).
7. Once the wine has been absorbed starting adding the vegetable broth 1 cup at a time, waiting until all the broth has been absorbed before adding the next cup. STIR CONSTANTLY! Risotto likes to stick, especially in the final stages (I found this out the hard way doing an Asparagus Rissoto and my pot has not forgiven me for what resulted).
8. Once all the broth has been added turn the heat down to low and add the mushrooms and peas (both whole and the sauce). Season to taste with pepper and fresh parmesan cheese and then serve.
This serves 3-4 people as a main course, unless one of those people eats like my better half in which case this serves 2-3 people.