Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Very Merry Sandwich

I had a wonderful Christmas, and looking over the pictures I couldn't help but feel blessed. I got to spend Christmas with a man that I love and two kids who make me smile and laugh every day. I can't think of anything that you could put under a tree that would even give me even a fraction of the joy that these people do, they, themselves, are a wonderful gift....but this is a vegetarian food blog right? So back to the vegetarian food...

I cook a big dinner on Christmas eve day, that way I can spend the entire Christmas day enjoying my family, playing games, watching my kids faces light up, and not worry about putting something in the oven or burning something on the stove top. We had acorn squash soup, cooked and served inside an acorn squash, cauliflower gratin, roasted potatoes (such a simple recipe and oh so tasty, I'll have to get around to posting that soon), biscuits, and gravy. Everything was delicious if I may say so, I will definitely be serving cauliflower again in the near future, I had forgotten how much I liked it....maybe in a stew or curry...hmmm. For Christmas breakfast we had cinnamon rolls, fresh fruit, and leftover biscuits and gravy. Lunch was tacos, though they didn't take long to make, and weren't fancy or fussy they were enjoyed by all.

...But you're here for the sandwich right?...ok...I'll get on with it then. This sandwich was oh soooo tasty, but don't take my word for it, you should really make it yourself. It also looked so festive I highly suspect it will show up in our house next December. I think it would even make a great appetizer on a smaller scale to serve at parties, I can almost guarantee you it would go over well with carnivores too.

The sandwich is simply ciabatta bread smeared with garlic aioli, roasted red pepper dressing, and stuffed with chopped hearts of romaine. So good...give it a try...just make sure you have breath mints handy.

I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday season.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Roma Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Sandwich

I have been craving a tomato sandwich ever since I saw this post over at Veg Obsession. I try not to make special shopping trips, so the sandwich had to be postponed until today....well worth the wait. I simply toasted two slices of whole wheat bread, and spread both slices with roasted red pepper and shallot dressing, and one slice with vegenaise (optional). For the filling I diced one roma tomato and tossed it with half a clove of chopped garlic, and a pinch of salt. Please don't be fooled by the cell phone picture, this was actually really tasty. I served it along side a wilted spinach salad. I can't wait to try this in the summer, I bet it will be killer with some freshly picked tomatoes and a little basil. I could also see this being really good on ciabatta bread with a little garlic butter spread on there before toasting....mmmmm

Friday, December 10, 2010

Black Bean Burgers with Green Chili Gravy, Avocado, and Cilantro

This was my lunch today. It was simply a couple of black bean burgers that I had in the freezer, topped with green chili gravy, some sliced avocado and cilantro....because I love cilantro deeply. Those of you on my facebook fan page know that I made a big pot of this last night. Or rather as close to the recipe as I could get with the ingredients I had on hand. I had no fresh tomatoes, so I used canned, and because I didn't want to waste I used the whole can. This made the sauce a little tomato heavy, but still very very tasty. Also, I didn't have to add any salt this way. I will be making it again when I have fresh tomatoes.

I'm using the leftovers (ha! if there are any) later this week for enchiladas. This sauce would also be excellent on polenta rancheros, or burritos. I also have a work in progress idea for a pizza involving this sauce. I know I won't be buying enchilada sauce in a can again any time soon.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Roasted Red Pepper and Shallot Dressing/Sauce

I made this yesterday long before dinner time so that when the kids woke up from nap all I had to do was throw dinner together and throw it in the oven....big was sooo good. I spread some on a slice of bread to make sure I got the flavors right, then I had another slice....and another...never adjusting the recipe one bit, just some good old fashioned stuffing my face with a savory sauce that was meant to be for dinner.

Now when my husband came home with a jar of roasted red peppers I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but when I saw portabella mushroom caps in the store I was inspired. I cleaned and degilled the mushroom caps then stuck them in a bag with a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, a tablespoon of oil, a little salt, and one tsp of sugar. I let this mixture marinate until dinner. If I'd had, a clove of garlic I would have crushed and tossed that in there as well. When dinner time rolled around I put the mushroom caps in a baking dish and stuffed them with quinoa that I had cooked in veggie broth, and seasoned with salt and pepper. I baked this covered (to keep the quinoa from drying out) at 350 for about 45 minutes. Then I pulled them out and served them with the red pepper sauce over the top. I have a horrifically bad photo of this somewhere on my cell phone, I'll see if I can't get a better one when I make this again*. I'll follow with more serving suggestions after the recipe.

What you need
3 cloves shallots peeled and thinly sliced
oil for sauteing
dash of salt
2/3 cups roasted red pepper strips (don't drain, but try not to get a lot of liquid in the mix)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp brown sugar
2 tbs coconut milk...or more for a creamier sauce

Heat the oil in a pan over medium low heat, add the shallots and salt and cook until transparent. You could probably caramelize these with tasty results, however I did not this time around.

Put the shallots and the rest of the ingredients in your food processor and process until smooth. Adjust to suit tastes.

This recipe doesn't make a lot of sauce, it was enough to cover our mushrooms (ehem...and a little extra), but if you are thinking of using it on a larger scale...say over a pasta dish, you may have to double the recipe.

Serving suggestions

Try this on a sandwich (tomato and mozzarella maybe? Yum!)
On toasted bread (rubbed with garlic?)
Add more coconut milk to make it into a cream sauce and add to pasta
Over stuffed portabella mushrooms
On top of salad
As a dressing for pasta salad
A dip for raw veggies
Smeared onto puff pastry with some cream cheese and crushed garlic, then rolled up for a pesto pinwheel style appetizer
pour over grilled veggies

*I will be making this again

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Lentil "Stew", Chickpea Tagine, and Roasted Potatoes tossed with Chermoula...

....i.e. things I don't have a proper recipe for. This lentil "stew" was really more like potatoes, lentils, and noodles with a little bit of broth. It was really tasty no matter what you call it. I cooked one diced onion with three red potatoes, some salt, a bay leaf, a few cloves of chopped garlic, and a generous amount of red pepper flakes. It smelled fantastic, and I could have eaten it as was....but it wouldn't have been a very complete meal....not that that always stops me.

Yummy right? Next I added some rinsed lentils and stock and boiled it for about ten minutes before adding the macaroni noodles. I cooked it for about 9 minutes more and served it with whole wheat rosemary garlic bread. If I had some baby spinach I would have tossed it in at the end. I added extra red pepper flakes to mine and my husbands bowl. Everyone really liked it.

This lovely meal is a chickpea and carrot tagine that I made to suit what I had on hand. I added some frozen spinach to the mix for an extra veg, and I doubled the chickpeas and spices.
The potatoes were simply roasted and then tossed with chermoula. I liked both dishes, but felt they didn't go super well together. The next day I tossed the chermoula with rice and it was a much happier pairing. Don't get me wrong, the potatoes were fantastic, I just think they would have been better paired with something else. I am thinking it would make for a lovely lunch if I added some chickpeas and turned it into sort of a potato salad and stuffed the whole mess into a pita.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pasta Salad With a Kick, Another Eggless Cookie, and Night Feast

A few weeks ago my daughter came up to me and asked if we could have a "night feast". Of course my first question was "What is night feast?" She explained that it was a picnic held by the light of the tree. I thought that sounded like a fabulous idea. She then informed me that hot cocoa and cookies were essential to night feast......she always comes up with the best ideas.

I made these egg free candy cane cookies and they were fabulous! I skipped on the white chocolate as I couldn't find any allergen free, and we frosted them with home made mint frosting. The cookies themselves were very tasty, which I find is not always the case in novelty cookies. I've made these twice now and enjoyed them both each time. The first time I shaped them into the letter C as I am working on the alphabet with my youngest.....learning with food is always fun.

Back to night feast, we held our first annual night feast on the first day of Advent. We ate peanut free Chex Mix, cookies, hot cocoa, and pasta salad. I really liked the dressing on this pasta salad, I don't think the noodles were really necessary. Next time I will turn it into a chickpea salad.

Honey Mustard Wasabi Pasta Salad

1 cup honey mustard dressing (look for one without high fructose corn syrup, and obviously an egg free one)
1 clove crushed garlic
1-2 tsp prepared wasabi
1 tsp minced ginger
2 cups cooked chickpeas
2 cups cooked noodles

Whisk together the first four ingredients and add extra wasabi to taste. Stir in the chickpeas and noodles. Cover and refrigerate until ready to eat. Enjoy. I can't wait to try this recipe out again during the summer.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Creamy Cabbage and Mixed Veg Curry

This was very tasty (note the spoon, poised and ready to attack). I wish I had a better picture for you, but I was hungry, we all were. I served this over rice and everyone gobbled it up.* The hubster and I love cabbage, I realize that there are a great many people with the opposite opinion. As always though, I urge you..if you don't like a vegetable....make it into curry. :) I haven't found a vegetable yet that I didn't like in curry. This dish is also creamy due to the coconut milk in it, and for me that makes it a comfort food. I've made it in the crock pot before and the smell of it cooking on a cold night drives me nuts.

What you need
1 TBS oil

1/2 tsp turmric
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne

3 potatoes scrubbed and diced

1 tsp minced ginger
3 cloves chopped garlic

1 bag shredded cabbage (coleslaw mix)
1 cup mixed peas (or mixed frozen veggies, I prefer all peas)
1 cup chickpeas
1/4 cup of water

1 can of coconut milk
dash....or two of nutmeg

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the next six ingredients and cook for one or two minutes until fragrant, stirring to avoid burning.

Add the potatoes and cook for five minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger and cook another five minutes.

Add the cabbage, veggies, chickpeas, and 1/4 cup water. Lower heat to medium low and cook covered for 15 minutes. Stir and cook another 15 minutes.

Add the coconut milk and nutmeg and cook uncovered for about 5 minutes or until heated through. Taste and add more salt and cayenne as desired. Serve over rice.

*To be fair, my daughter only gobbled up her portion after throwing herself on the ground, covering her eyes and exclaiming that (horror of all horrors) there were cooked carrots in her dish........she doesn't like cooked carrots (obviously). We discussed the proper and improper (ehem...tantrum) way of dealing with foods we don't like. After picking out all of the carrots and trying a bite she declared the curried cabbage very tasty.
Why even mention it? Because, while my kids do eat a variety of foods, there are also foods they don't like, and I respect that. Can my daughter still get a very balanced diet without cooked carrots? Certainly! Now if she starts avoiding an entire food group I'll reevaluate our tactics. For now, the try a bite rule works very well. Also, I've heard it said before, "but your kids eat everything"....oh so far from the truth! My kids try everything, when it is healthy and they like it, I encourage them to eat more of it. It also encourages me to keep putting the healthy foods on the table that they actually like.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...