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Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

Thai Inspired Butternut Squash Soup

Thai Inspired Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4-5 cups Butternut squash (1-2 squashes), cubed (I usually use I container of pre-cut squash form whole foods)
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, halved
  • salt and pepper
  • scallops (optional)

Directions

  1. Add squash, both coconut milks, lemon grass, salt and pepper to your crock pot. Cook on low 8-10 hours.
  2. Let cool for 10-15 minutes. Remove the lemongrass stalk and the using an immersion blender blend until creamy. (Or cream in batches in a regular blender.)
  3. Sear scallops in butter or olive oil on high heat. (Optional)
  4. Serve in a bowl with scallops on top.

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This broccoli has become a staple in my house, we make it at least once a week, and no matter how much gets made there is never any leftover. You don’t have to make it with all the ingredients, for instance sometimes we realize we don’t have cheese or lemon and make it with just garlic. Or make it with out garlic and just lemon, it’s really versatile. My quick cheat for when I am in a rush is buying a package of pre-cut broccoli at Whole Foods and pairing this with a roasted chicken, a fast yet wonderful meal!

The Best Broccoli, Ever

Serves 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 large head of broccoli, cut into bite sized florets (or one bag/container pre-cut broccoli)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced (more if you really like garlic, less if you don’t)
  • 1 T Olive Oil
  • 1 lemon
  • Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Place oven rack on second slot down from broiler (ie, about 1/3 of the space from the top of the oven) and turn on broiler.
  2. Toss cut broccoli and garlic with olive oil. Spread on an oiled baking sheet. Place baking sheet under broiler
  3. After 5 minutes remove baking sheet from the oven and flip the broccoli. Return baking sheet to the oven. Repeat this process every 5-7 min until broccoli is crispy and brown on the outer portions.
  4. Gather broccoli in a pile in the middle of the tray. Grate Parmesan on top of pile (about 3-4T worth.)* Zest about half the lemon peel onto the pile. Toss so that the lemon and Parmesan are incorporated.
  5. Serve and eat immediately.

*You can easily skip the Parmesan if you don’t eat cheese/don’t have any. It still tastes delicious ūüôā

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This is a great¬†appetizer¬†that is¬†relatively¬†easy to make and really impresses people I got the idea from Trader Joe’s feta cheese puff pastry cups my friend Kaitlyn served at a pumpkin carving gathering (I think I might have single-handedly put down half of those). I went home thinking that I might have found a use for the 5 jars of plum jam I had made a few weeks before. I tinkered in the kitchen and this is what I came up with, though I used raspberry jam here since that is readily available¬†in the grocery store. I plan on making this dish as an¬†appetizer¬†for our family’s Christmas gathering.

Savory Feta Pastry Puffs

Makes 24 Servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 package phyllo dough (usually¬†contains 2 sheets of many layers)
  • 3 onions, sliced
  • 1 large jar¬†raspberry¬†jam, or any jam you prefer (I actually prefer plum jam)
  • 16 – 24 ounces crumbled feta (depends on how much you like cheese)
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to as instructed on the phyllo dough package. Spray the cups of 2 muffin tins so that phyllo dough does not stick and set aside.
  2. Spread out one sheet, cut into 4 squares. For each square divide the layer sheets into 3 and mold each division into a cupcake tin. (Before dividing the sheets into layers you can cut them into a large circle if desired to make them look slightly neater.) Repeat this process with the second sheet of phyllo dough. Now all your muffin tins should be lined with phyllo dough cups.
  3. Add about a table spoon of feta to each cup (make sure there is a little left over.) Divide all the onions between the cup and then add about 2 teaspoons of jam. Sprinkle the remaining feta on top.
  4. Bake for at least as long as the phyllo dough package indicates. Then continue baking until the dough has crisped and the contents of the cup are bubbling.
  5. Let rest at least 10 minutes before trying to remove from muffin tins. They will be very hot (I know from personal, tongue burning, experience.)

Note:

  • This dish can be taken to the next level by adding bacon or using bacon jam.
  • These are great reheated, just pop back into the oven for about 15 min (or even the microwave if you don’t have the time.)
  • 2 paired with a salad makes a great lunch, it has that quiche-y sort of vibe

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Pumpkin Soup with a Kick

On a cold fall day sometimes there is nothing better than a nice hot soup. This soup is thick and rich, and with the addition of jalapenos it also packs a bit of a kick to warm you up. This soup is hearty enough to be eaten on its own, with a slice of bread and a side salad, or serve it in smaller portions as a starter.  For extra kick leave the seeds in, if you prefer a milder soup seed the jalapenos  and/or just use one.

Pumpkin Soup with a Kick

Makes 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2¬†jalapenos, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh¬†thyme, diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage, diced
  • 1 1/2 lbs winter squash (like a pie pumpkin), peeled and cut into 1/2 inch peiced
  • 2 cups¬†vegetable¬†stock
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/4 cup manchego cheese
Directions:
  1. Melt butter and sauté onions until soft and golden.
  2. Add tomato, onion, garlic, jalapeno, thyme, sage and salt. Saute another minute or two, until fragrant.
  3. Add squash, stock and wine. Simmer for about 40 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat. Transfer to a blender, or use an immersion blender, to puree until smooth.
  5. Return to pot, add milk and bring back to a simmer. Add cheese, when it melts serve immediately.

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These granola bars make a great quick snack on the run or a fast and tasty breakfast. Out of all the recipes I have found for granola bars this one has the least amount of sugar (and whole wants mounds of sugar for breakfast!?!) They are very easy and you can substitute different dried fruits or nuts, and even add mini chocolate chips, to suit your taste.

Fruit and Nut Granola Bars

Makes 20 bars

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup almond silvers
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup dried cranberries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9×13 pan or cookie sheet.
  2. Combine oats, flour, baking soda, vanilla, butter, honey and brown sugar. Then stir in almonds, raisins and cranberries.
  3. Press mixture into pan using wax paper, you finger tips and palms to
  4. Bake 25-30 min, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 min then cut into squares and remove from pan to continue cooling. (Note, you wan to cut while still warm as the granola hardens while it cools.)

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Nothing beats a ¬†juicy burger, except a juicy burger on a fresh bun. This bun is not only delicious, it holds up to an extremely succulent burger, sopping up the juices and not falling apart. These buns aren’t just limited to burgers, they are great in the morning with a fried egg, toasted with jam or just toasted with plain butter.

Oh, and in case you want to know what’s on the burger below; it’s a homemade patty, saut√©ed mushroom and onions in butter and olive oil, and a sauce made from plain yogurt, diced jalapeno and shallots mixed with¬†chipotle sauce.

French Brioche Buns

Makes 6 Buns

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks (reserve whites, but don’t add to the dough)
  • 3/4 cups butter, softened
  • 3 1/3 cups (432 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon active dry yeast

Directions

  1. Combine ingredients, in order, in a bread machine. Set to the dough setting.
  2. Preheat oven to 350¬įF, spray a cookie sheet with oil
  3. Place dough on a lightly floured surface, and knead (use flour so it doesn’t stick to your hands or the board.)
  4. Divide dough into 6 parts and roll each into a ball, use more flour if necessary so that dough is not sticky. Flatten the dough and place on baking sheet. Brush with egg whites.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.

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I have¬†to admit it, I am obsessed with this salad. It combines everything I love about spring; strawberries, avocado and crisp lettuce! It’s super easy to throw together and people always go back for seconds. I love making this with dinner, then¬†taking the leftovers in for¬†lunch (either as a side or with a roll and some grilled chicken.)

The photo below is the salad without the dressing, I usually serve the dressing separately so that people can decide how much they want. Also serving the dressing separately makes it easier to serve this the next day as leftovers since salad that sits with dressing is not as appealing.

Spring Salad with Avocado, Strawberries and Almonds

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Red Leaf Lettuce or Spinach
  • 1 Ripe avocado
  • 1 pint Strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers or slices

Directions:

  1. Add Lettuce to serving bowl
  2. Add avocado, strawberries and the almonds

Shallot and Mustard Dressing:

In a small bowl whisk together

  • 3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Sea Salt
  • 1 teaspoon stone ground mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon finely diced shallot

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