Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category


September 20, 2011

Quinoa Taco Salad
Posted by Chammer

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Betsy actually had this on her Meal Plans document, which I look at from time to time for ideas, under the stuff to try section.  I made it a month ago or so and it was delish!  I’m putting it on here, in hopes that you will all make it.  Caution:  it makes quite a large amount!  You could almost halve the quinoa and do 1 bell pepper and a whole can of beans (can’t really halve a can of beans!), and halve everything else.  I like making ours with lots of chili powder and cayenne, because we like it with some kick!  Also, I cook the pepper for longer than she says to, but still leave them with some crunch.


This is a vegetarian meal, but apparently quinoa is one of the “grains” (actually, it’s a seed…) out there.  It’s full of complete protein, meaning it has all nine amino acids.  So what if Will and I get nerded up about these things? Anyway, you don’t miss the meat on this one at all!


  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • half a red bell pepper, chopped
  • half a green bell pepper, chopped
  • half a yellow bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili powder, depending heat preferences
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1 -15 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 3/4 cup diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)
  • 2 limes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6-8 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1/3 cup cheddar or feta cheese
  • 1 avocado, diced

Cook the quinoa according to package instructions.

Meanwhile, swirl a bit of olive oil in a saute pan. Heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and saute for 3-5 minutes, until translucent and tender. Add garlic, cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne and peppers and saute an additional 2 minutes.

Remove from heat. Stir in the black beans, tomatoes, and the juice of 1 lime. Stir in quinoa. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Chill.

Roughly cut baby spinach into strips like you would shred iceberg lettuce for tacos. Remove about 1 cup of cilantro leaves from the bunch, rinse and pat dry, and toss with the spinach. Divide spinach and cilantro mixture evenly among 4 salad plates. Top each plate with a scoop of the quinoa salad. Top each salad with your choice of cheese and diced avocado. Cut the remaining lime into slices to garnish the plates.

Main Dishes,Soup,Vegetarian

January 10, 2011

White Bean and Chard Stew
Posted by Chammer

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Stolen 100% from Smitten Kitchen.  This dish is fantastic and vegetarian.  I made bread last week, so we toasted it up in the oven with some garlic and had poached eggs on top.  So good.

1 pound Swiss chard (can also swap kale, spinach or another green), ribs and stems removed and cleaned
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup (5 1/4 ounces) chopped carrots
1 cup (5 ounces) chopped celery
1 cup (4 1/4 ounces) chopped shallots, about 4 medium
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup dry white wine
2 15-ounce cans (or about 3 3/4 cups) white beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups (or more to taste) vegetable broth
1 cup pureed tomatoes (from a can/carton/your jarred summer supply)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

Toasted bread slices, poached eggs (tutorial), chopped herbs such as tarragon, parsley or chives or grated Parmesan or Romano to serve (optional)

Bring medium pot of salted water to boil. Cook chard (or any heavier green; no need to precook baby spinach) for one minute, then drain and squeeze out as much extra water as possible. Coarsely chop chard.

Wipe out medium pot to dry it, and heat olive oil over medium. Add carrots, celery, shallots and garlic and saute for 15 minutes. Barber warns not to brown them but I didn’t mind a light golden color on them. Add wine (scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pot) and cook it until it reduced by three-fourths. Add beans, broth, tomatoes, a few pinches of salt, freshly ground black pepper, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes. Add chard and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove thyme and bay leaf. Add more broth if you’d like a thinner stew and adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Serve as is drizzled with sherry vinegar. Or you can ladle the stew over thick piece of toasted country bread or baguette that has been rubbed lightly with half a clove of garlic, top that with a poached egg and a few drops of sherry vinegar and/or some grated cheese.

Main Dishes,Vegetarian

January 5, 2011

Enchiladas Suizas
Posted by betsyjo

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I made these a couple weeks ago and they are good!  The green sauce is the keeper here.  I think it would go great on chicken enchiladas.  (So much for my foray into vegetarian cooking…)  I should note that we made these lasagna-style, and didn’t bother with microwaving and rolling the tortillas. 

I just looked up “suiza” and apparently it means “Swiss.”  I didn’t know the Swiss had enchiladas, but if Rick Bayless says it, I’ll buy it. 

Enchiladas Suizas

  • 1 pound tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed
  • 1 medium white onion, sliced ¼-inch thick
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 serranos, stemmed
  • 3 ½ tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • ½ cup Mexican crema (or creme fraiche)
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 2 cups cremini mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed, and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and seeds scooped out, flesh cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • ? cup chihuahua cheese (or other Mexican melting cheese)

For Garnish

  • ¼ White onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  1. Adjust oven racks to lower middle and upper middle positions and preheat broiler. Toss tomatillos, onion, garlic, and serranos on large baking sheet and place in oven. Roast for four to five minutes, or until tomatillos soften and start to turn black. Flip everything over with pair of 12-inch tongs. Return to oven and cook for another four to five minutes. Some black is okay, but adjust vegetables if they simply start to burn. Remove and let cool. Adjust heat in oven to 400 degrees.  
  2. Transfer all contents on baking sheet to a blender. Process until smooth. 
  3. Pour 1 ½ tablespoons canola oil into large dutch oven set over medium-high heat. When hot, dump contents of blender in. It should immediately start to sizzle and bubble. Cook, stirring often with wooden spoon, until darker, about three minutes. Pour in broth and crema, turn heat to medium-low, and stir until mixture is smooth. Partially cover dutch oven, and simmer for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt.  
  4. Toss carrots, red onion, mushrooms, and butternut squash with one tablespoon oil on a baking sheet. Season with a pinch of salt Place on the lower-middle rack in oven and cook for about 25 minutes. Toss with pair of 12-inch tongs after 10 minutes, and after 20. Vegetables, and especially carrots, should be tender. Return to oven for another five minutes if they are not.
  5. Pour remaining tablespoon of oil into a bowl. Using a brush, coat both sides of each tortilla with oil. Stack them up, and then place in a large plastic ziplock bag. Do not close bag. Place in microwave and cook for 1 minute.  
  6. Pour one cup of sauce into a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Scoop about two tablespoons of the roasted vegetables into each tortilla. Roll up, and place seam-side down in the sauce on the baking dish. Repeat 11 times. Pour remaining sauce over them, and then sprinkle cheese evenly on top.  
  7. Place baking dish in oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until warm. Remove from oven, and using a spatula, transfer three enchiladas to each dish. Garnish with onion rings and cilantro. Eat immediately.

Main Dishes,Vegetarian

December 6, 2010

Okra & Chickpea Tagine
Posted by Chammer

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This came from  Served it with rice.

  • 1 pound fresh or frozen okra, stem ends trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 10 sprigs fresh cilantro, plus more leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3 plum tomatoes, diced, or 1 cup drained canned diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon harissa, (see Ingredient Note) or hot sauce, or to taste


  1. Place a large bowl of ice water next to the stove. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add okra and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the okra with a slotted spoon to the ice water. Drain.
  2. Tie cilantro sprigs together with kitchen string.
  3. Heat oil in a tagine dish set over a heat diffuser or a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add bell pepper. Cook, stirring, until soft, 2 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon.
  4. Add onion, garlic, ginger and pepper to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the onion is soft, 3 to 6 minutes. Mix in tomatoes, broth, cumin, the okra, cilantro sprigs and half the bell pepper. Reduce heat to medium; partially cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the okra is soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in chickpeas and salt; cook for 4 minutes. Remove from the heat; discard the cilantro sprigs. Stir in harissa (or hot sauce). Serve sprinkled with the remaining bell pepper and cilantro leaves, if desired.

Main Dishes,Vegetarian

Gnocchi with Arrabiata Sauce and Spinach
Posted by Chammer

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I found this recipe on Eating Well’s website, but couldn’t find Watercress and wanted to adapt the recipe a bit.  Here it is!


  • 2 pounds Russet potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 ounces pancetta, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2-3 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons red-wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bunch of spinach (4-5 cups), cleaned and stems removed
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

For the Gnocchi:  Prick potatoes all over with a fork.  Bake the potatoes in the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour until they are fork tender.  Remove from oven and cool slightly.  Alternatively, cook potatoes in microwave until fork tender. Peel the potatoes. Grate potatoes on a box grater or push through a food mill.  DO NOT MASH (it breaks down the structure and releases the water from the potatoes, so the gnocchi do not turn out right).

Gently combine the potatoes with the lightly beaten egg and salt.  Gradually begin to add the flour, a quarter cup at a time, until the dough is not sticky.  Avoid over-mixing, again this will ruin the consistency of the gnocchi and they could come out chewy.  Put dough on lightly floured surface and need 3 to 4 times.  Divide dough into six parts, rolling each part into a rope.  Cut rope into desired gnocchi size (usually about 1/2-3/4 inch thickness).  Set aside.  You can add ridges to the gnocchi if you want, but I never do.

For the sauce:  Bring a large pot of water to boil.  Add salt to the boiling water.  Cook pancetta in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until it begins to brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until golden brown. Add tomatoes, sugar and crushed red pepper and cook, stirring, until the tomatoes are almost completely broken down, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar and salt. Remove from the heat.

Cook gnocchi in the boiling water until they float, 3 to 5 minutes. Place spinach in a colander and drain the gnocchi over the spinach.  This will wilt the spinach just enough for the pasta. Add the gnocchi and spinach to the sauce in the pan; toss to combine. Top with Parmesan.

Main Dishes,Vegetarian

Moroccan Stew
Posted by Chammer

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Here’s a good vegetarian meal that I recently made.  If I did it again, I would make half the recipe (it makes a lot).  We really enjoyed it!  Thank you, Tyler Florence!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 acorn squash, halved and roasted
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed and cleaned
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock, divided
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley and mint, for garnish


Halve the squash and remove the seeds and fibers. Brush the flesh with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with cinnamon, salt and pepper. Roast on a cookie sheet in a 350 degree F oven for about 25 minutes, until fork tender. Cool and set aside.

Combine lentils and rice in a medium saucepan; add coriander, bay leaf, curry powder, salt and pepper. Pour in 3 1/4 cups of broth to cover by at least 2 inches. Turn the heat to medium and cook 30 to 45 minutes, stirring frequently. If you need to add more liquid to keep the mixture wet do so, a little at a time.

Meanwhile, place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring until softened, about 5 minutes. Rehydrate the apricots with remaining 1/4 cup vegetable stock. Stir in the lentils and rice. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes. Bring the components together by spooning the mixture into the roasted acorn squash. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and mint.

Main Dishes,Vegetarian

May 29, 2010

How to Get Your Man to Eat Squash Part 2
Posted by Chammer

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Penne With Butternut Squash. Yum. Yet another recipe proving that squash is indeed good. Yes!

1 medium butternut squash (about 2 lbs), peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 large onion cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small head of garlic, separated and peeled
1 lb penne
8 oz goat cheese
1 c chopped, fresh basil
grated parmesan cheese
1 c chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 425
Put squash, onions and garlic cloves on greased baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until squash is fork tender.
Cook penne, reserving 2 c cooking liquid.
Put paste, goat cheese and 1 c of cooking liquid into bowl and toss until cheese is melted. If cheese is too thick add more of the reserved cooking liquid.
Add squash mixture and basil.
Top with parmesan cheese.

Main Dishes,Vegetarian

March 16, 2010

Hearty Chickpea Ragout
Posted by Mama


Dad made this over the weekend. The beans he used needed to be soaked overnight or at least soaked for 6-8 hours in hot water. After cooking the whole pot for about 1 1/2 additional hours the beans were less al dente!

1 1/2 C. dried chickpeas (or 2 cups canned, drained chickpeas)

2 T. olive oil

1 med. onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

1/2  t. thyme leaves

1/2 bunch kale, thicker stems removed and discarded, leaves coarsely choppe3d

Salt and pepper to taste

2 red bell peppers, cored and cut into 1/2 in. thick strips

2 T. red wine vinegar

2 C. tomato puree (sauce)

2 C. chicken, beef or vegetable broth

1/2 C. pearl barley, rinsed

Grated Parmesan or Pecorino cheese, to taste

If using dried chickpeas, soak in cold water to cover for 4 to 6 hours. (See note above.)

In a medium-size pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat and add the onion, garlic and thyme. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add the kale, stirring to coat it with the oil. Season the mixture with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes, until kale is somewhat softened. Stir in the red peppers, increase the heat to high, and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until the liquid is almost completely evaporated. Add the tomato puree and the stock or broth and bring to a boil.

Once the liquid boils, add barley and soaked, drained chickpeas. (Do not add canned chickpeas at this point). Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes. If using canned chickpeas, stir them into the mixture and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes, checking the tenderness of the barley and the chickpeas, both of which should be al dente. Ladle the ragout into warmed soup bowls and top each serving with grated cheese if desired.

Serves 8.

Main Dishes,Vegetarian

February 20, 2010

How to Get Your Man to Eat Squash
Posted by Chammer

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I married Will, knowing full well that he had one major flaw (okay, maybe more, but I won’t throw him under the bus too much…slow Wilbur). His flaw: adamant claims, “squash is the most inedible vegetable known to man.”  So I made this recipe, which is now one of our favorites (take note of the first two ingredients):

Garden Full of Goodness Lasagna

Recipe courtesy Paula Deen,


  • 2 cups thinly sliced zucchini
  • 2 cups thinly sliced yellow squash
  • 1 cup thinly sliced carrot
  • 1 cup thinly sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 (14 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1/2 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup sliced fresh basil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cups small cottage cheese
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 8 oven-ready, “no cook,” lasagna noodles
  • 12 slices provolone cheese, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella


Combine zucchini, squash, carrot, mushrooms, onion and peppers with water to cover. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Drain well, and reserve.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Combine crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, basil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, cottage cheese, and eggs. Stir together.

Spread 1/3 of the sauce evenly over bottom of a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish. Place 4 uncooked lasagna noodles on top of sauce. Do not overlap noodles. Spread 1/2 of cream cheese mixture over noodles. Cover cheese mixture with 1/2 the vegetable mixture, more sauce, and top evenly with 6 slices provolone cheese and 1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers with 4 noodles, rest of the cream cheese mixture, vegetables, sauce, and remaining cheeses. Place in oven for 35 minutes or until lasagna is hot and bubbling

Let lasagna stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Now we eat squash often prepared just about any way you can think…except Zucchini Nachos…yuck!!! So last week I had a craving for Spaghetti Squash (strange, I know). I convined Will I thought I could make it really yummy…guess what? He liked it! He even ate seconds! When you doctor it up with a lot of goodness, it can taste really good:

Spaghetti Squash Goodness

Modified from a recipe at


  • 1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


  1. To microwave squash, cut in half and seed. Place 1/4-inch water in a microwave safe dish. Place squash in dish, cut sides down — sides will overlap. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high power 13 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic, and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, and cook only until tomatoes are warm.
  3. Use a large spoon to scoop the stringy pulp from the squash, and place in a medium bowl. Toss with the sauteed vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil. Serve warm.

My next quest, butternut squash…

Main Dishes,Vegetarian

February 3, 2010

Greek Croustade
Posted by Mama

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Greek Croustade

1 10 oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach

1/4 C. onion

3 T. butter or margarine

3 T. flour

1/4 t. dried tarragon, crushed

1 C. milk

2 beaten eggs

1 C. cream-style cottage cheese

1/2 C. crumbled feta cheese

10 sheets frozen phyllo dough (17X12-inch rectangles), thawed

1/2 C. butter or margarine, melted

Cook spinach according to package directions; drain well, pressing out excess liquid. In saucepan cook onion in the 3 T. butter till tender. Stir in flour, tarragon, and 1/8 t. pepper. Add milk all at once. Cook and stir till mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir a bit of the hot mixture into the eggs and keep adding until all mixed. Stir in cheeses and set aside.

Unroll the phyllo dough; cover with dampened towel (or work quickly!). Remove 1 sheet of dough; brush lightly with some of the 1/2 c. butter. Fold in thirds lengthwise; brush the top with butter. Place one end of the folded sheet in center of a 12 or 14-inch pizza pan extending it over side of pan. Repeat buttering and folding with the remaining phyllo dough and butter; arrange strips spoke-fashion evenly around pan. (The ends of each sheet will overlap in center and be about 3 inches apart at outer ends.) Spread spinach mixture in an 8-inch circle in center of pastry. Starting with the last phyllo leaf placed in the pan, lift end of leaf up and bring toward center of filling. Holding end with both hands, twist end several times; coil and tuck end under to form a rosette. Lay rosette over filling, leaving a 3-inch circle in center (filling should be visible). Repeat with remaining strips in the reverse order they were placed. Drizzle any remaining butter over all. Bake in 375 degree oven 35-40 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or cool. Cut into wedges to serve. Makes 8 side-dish servings.