Sunday, July 31, 2011

Coastal Mexi-Cali Bowls

Cilantro-lime rice, black beans and fajita veggies? Yes please! This bowl captures the quintessential flavor of coastal Californian cuisine, where taquerias abound and everyone has an opinion on which one is the best.

Make it vegan by using vegan sour cream, and make it salt-free by using rehydrated black beans instead of canned.

1 cup rice, cooked according to package directions
2 cups black beans, cooked and drained
1 bell pepper, sliced
1 onion, halved and then sliced
1 tsp cumin
juice of one lime
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Chopped fresh greens of your choice, like spinach or lettuce
1/4 cup chopped green onion
Cheese (optional)
Sour cream (optional)

After your rice is cooked, let it cool, covered, while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Simmer your beans with a tsp. of olive oil and 1 tsp cumin, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, saute your onion and bell pepper in a large skillet, over medium heat, until soft and slightly browned around the edges, about 10 minutes.

Stir into the rice the lime juice and cilantro, mixing well.

Next up, the fun part! Begin to layer your bowls: Cover the bottom of your bowl with rice and top with a generous helping of beans, fajita veggies, salsa and green onion, then cheese and/or sour cream if using, and finish it all off with a ginormous handful of chopped salad greens.

Then contemplate heading out to the beach and soaking up the sand and surf!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Soyrizo and Potato Breakfast Burritos

I'm married to a meat eater. It's true. Sometimes people ask me if it is difficult, but truth be told, it's actually pretty easy. We eat vegetarian at home, and he eats meat at work when he wants it. He's not on the road to becoming a vegetarian any time soon, but one thing he has given up is chorizo. Chorizo is a kind of sausage that is made up of so many disgusting animal parts, I can't even attempt to type them here.

Thankfully, there is a nice soy version, called Soyrizo, that is just plain tasty. Here is the Misters breakfast burrito, with vegan options noted.

Ingredients (serves 5)
6 small white potatoes, diced and roasted in olive oil at 400 degrees, for 30 minutes.
1/2 to 1 tube soyrizo
1 onion, diced
4 eggs (optional)
tortillas, one for each person

Saute the onion until soft, then add in the soyrizo and break up any large pieces. If using eggs, add them in and continue to cook until the eggs are done. Mix in your potatoes and serve the soyrizo mixture on warm tortillas with your favorite toppings.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Vegan Kale "Yummy Bowls" with Red Pepper Miso and Garlic Tahini.

Choose your favorite grain, bean and vegetables and make your own yummy bowl!

1.5 cups of grain, such as rice, quinoa, bulgur or couscous
2.5 cups water or broth
1 onion, chopped
1 cup mixed vegetables of your choice ( I used green beans and yellow squash)
1/2 cup beans, such as garbanzo, black bean, or lentil
2 tbsp miso paste

Combine all of the ingredients except the miso in a stockpot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until all of the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from heat and stir in 2 tbsp Red Pepper Miso paste such as:

Tahini Sauce:
Meanwhile, in a food processor combine: 1/2 cup tahini, 3 cloves garlic, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 2 tbsp olive oil. Blend until smooth.

Next assemble your bowl: ladle the grain and bean mixture into your bowl. Top with steamed kale, tahini sauce and a shake or two of hot chili oil. You might try this one:


Monday, July 18, 2011

"You're So Cheesy" Potato Squash Bake

I'll let you in on a little secret: I'm not that great at planning meals. I'm really not. For every post you get here, there are 5 other meals that we had, slung from the hip and none too exciting. But generally, here is how I come up with my recipes: I take whatever vegetable I bought at the store, whatever was on sale or looked particularly appetizing (or here, my friend gave us a gallon bag of fresh yellow squash) and I begin to Google recipes that contain that ingredient. I go through about 10 recipes for inspiration and then get into the kitchen and whip up my own ideas.

I should have called this bake "the great disappearing act" because as soon as it was out of the oven, it was gone!

2 yellow squash, cut into thin circles
1 onion, halved and cut into half moons
about 5 small yellow potatoes, thinly sliced
Italian seasoning
2 big handfuls of shredded cheese of your choice
salt and pepper to taste

Oil a pie pan and preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Then layer your potatoes around the bottom of the pie pan, overlapping. Then layer on the squash, followed by the onion and sprinkle with seasoning, salt and pepper, and one handful of cheese.

Repeat the layering one more time: Potatoes, squash, onion, seasoning, cheese.

Cook, covered for 30 minutes. Then remove cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes. Top with sliced green onion and serve with a nice big salad!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Creamy Zucchini Soup

This soup has wow-zappeal! Very green and fresh, perfect for a summer evening.


2 cups zucchini, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cups celery, chopped
2.5 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup freshly shaved parmesan cheese
1 cup soy milk
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
salt and pepper to taste

sour cream and parsleyfor garnish


Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large stock pot. Add in celery and onion, and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini and Italian seasoning, and saute another five minutes. Next add broth and simmer over low heat for about 20 minutes.

Remove 1/2 of the soup and puree in a blender until smooth, then combine it back into the stockpot, mixing well. Add the soymilk and parmesan, stirring constantly, until the cheese is melted. Salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and fresh parsley, and a nice baguette.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Flatbread Pizza

Perfect little individual pizzas with a very fresh taste.

flat bread, 1 for each person
mozzarella, sliced
1 jar of roasted red peppers in brine
1 tomato, seeded and sliced thinly
Fresh spinach leaves
fresh parmesan cheese
pepper and dried parsley to garnish

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Layer on to each flat bread: sliced, drained red pepper, spinach, then tomato and finally the mozzarella. Bake directly on the rack, with a cookie sheet on the rack below to catch drippings, until the mozzarella is bubbly. Top with parmesan, parsley and pepper.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Grownup Grilled Cheese

One of the challenges of being a vegetarian, and a mom, is that half of my cooking is done for little ones with picky palates. Most of my culinary accomplishments happen around dinner time and lunch tends to be a fend-for-yourself ordeal.  But today, while making grilled cheese for the kiddos, I realized I could
grown-up-atize this a little bit, and very easily.

I don't use butter in my grilled cheese sandwiches, if you have a cast iron skillet, it will provide enough non-stickiness that you can cut out all the unneeded fat and calories from the traditional, butter-slathered sammie.


Cheese of your choice: pepperjack is a favorite of mine!
tomato, sliced
fresh spinach
Italian dressing

Put 2 slices of cheese between 2 slices of bread and toast, covered,  in a cast iron skillet.  Turn when the bottom is browned and repeat on the other side.

When done, remove from heat, peel apart the sandwich and add in 2 slices of tomato, a layer of fresh spinach and a tsp of Italian dressing. Put sandwich back together and cut in half. Serve immediately.

Friday, July 8, 2011

East Meets West Fusion Burrito

Sweet and savory at the same time, my husband was extremely skeptical that this recipe would come together. But oh boy, did it ever. Veggie-full and delicious!

3/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar (or to taste)
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
salt and pepper to taste

Get the above ingredients into a large skillet and simmering. Then add:

1 each: carrot, zucchini, green onion and red bell pepper, cut into thin sticks
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 small head of broccoli, cut into small florets
2 cups pinto beans

Simmer for twenty minutes. Then strain out the liquid and discard. Serve in warm tortillas, with a fresh tomato salsa and maybe some fat-free sour cream.

Eggs Benedict

Good for breakfast or dinner, we love eggs benedict! The trickiest part is to learn how to poach eggs. Here is an easy tutorial for this. There are many different ways to poach eggs, some use vinegar (I do not), some use fancy poaching pans. But the easiest way is to use a pot and plain water. It takes about 3 minutes for the eggs to cook. Then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drain. Serve immediately.

eggs, 1 for each person
English muffins, toasted
hollandaise sauce (I usually buy it premade, it saves time)

Poach the eggs, one at a time.

Top your English muffin with spinach, tomato, egg and hollandaise sauce. Then sprinkle on chili powder and dried parsley. Bon appetit!