Posts filed under ‘Vegetarian’

Spring Green Risotto

Why is it when flipping through cookbooks there are certain recipes that just get overlooked for one reason or another? This was definitely the case for this recipe and I’m not sure why. I have flipped through Ina’s Back To Basics book countless times and I can’t say this recipe ever really stood out to me. Maybe because there are so many other wonderful recipes waiting to be tried? Whatever the reason, I’m glad this one finally caught my eye. I knew that this would be a definite winner in my book, but I wasn’t sure about my meat-loving husband. I was pleasantly surprised when he couldn’t stop raving about this risotto and immediately asked if he could take the leftovers for lunch the next day. This will be making more appearances in our home!

On another note, this was my first time cooking risotto with homemade chicken stock. I have been making a lot of it lately and have stockpiles in the freezer (recipe to come soon!). I really think it made a more flavorful risotto (and it saves money too!).
Spring Green Risotto
5 cups chicken broth or stock
1½ tbsp. olive oil
1½ tbsp. unsalted butter
1 small onion or two shallots, minced
3 cups chopped leeks, white and green parts (about 2 leeks)
1½ cups Arborio rice (medium grain rice)
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 lb. asparagus (thin spears preferable), cut into 1-inch pieces and tough ends discarded
10 oz. frozen peas (or 1½ cups shelled fresh peas)
1 tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese) 
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
3 tbsp. minced fresh chives

In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken broth or stock over medium heat until simmering.  Reduce the heat to medium-low, keeping the stock warm.

Heat the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat until the butter is melted.  Add the onions or shallots and leeks to the pan and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until tender.  Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat well with the oil and butter, cooking for about 1 minute.  Add the white wine and simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed.  Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more.

Meanwhile, blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse immediately with cold water to stop cooking.  (If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes as well.)

When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, add the asparagus and peas to the risotto.  Stir in the lemon zest, salt and pepper.  Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.  The entire process should take about 25-30 minutes.

When the risotto is done, remove the pan from the heat.  Mix in the lemon juice, mascarpone, Parmesan and chives.  Stir until the cheeses are melted in and the risotto is creamy.  Serve immediately with additional Parmesan, if desired.

Source: Ina Garten: Back to Basics


April 26, 2011 at 4:24 am 2 comments

Spinach, Green Onion, and Smoked Gouda Quiche

I was quite skeptical as I was making this quiche. The dough was quite crumbly and not perfect as the original recipe stated. I was very close to scraping the whole process and starting a new dough, but I decided to go with it and see what happened. I’m glad I did because the texture of this dough was spot on. It didn’t roll out beautifully and create a perfect crust, but the taste was phenomenal. After all, that’s what is really important, right?

The combination of green onions, spinach, and gouda is delightful and a welcomed change of pace in our home. As you can see from the photo above – my toddler approves!

Spinach, Green Onion, and Smoked Gouda Quiche

For the crust:

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons milk
heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 garlic clove, minced
3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
4 ounces (about 1 cup) shredded smoked Gouda cheese
3/4 teaspoon salt
pinch fresh grated nutmeg

for the crust

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until smooth and creamy.

In a small bowl, whisk together milk, salt and egg yolk. Add milk mixture to butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour and mix just until combined. Scoop mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap and press into a 4″ circle. Cover well and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Remove dough from the refrigerator and unwrap. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 10″ circle. Gently transfer and fit dough into a 9″ pie plate – place into the freezer and chill for 15 minutes. Place pie plate into the oven and bake until lightly browned, about 20 to 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool.

for the filling

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add onion and cook until softened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add spinach and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes.

In a medium bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, cheese, salt and nutmeg. Stir in spinach mixture. Pour filling into crust – place into the oven and bake until the center has set, about 30 to 35 minutes. Remove and allow to cool slightly before serving.

Source: Culinary in the Desert

March 30, 2011 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Whiskey Glazed Carrots

These carrots are delicious! We don’t eat them too often because I think eating carrots this way negates the health of the vegetable, but a little treat once in awhile is a good thing. I usually reduce the amount of butter in these because I think 1 stick is a little too much. They always taste delicious and I have converted many carrot haters with this recipe. If you have someone that won’t eat vegetables – give these a shot!

Whiskey Glazed Carrots
1 stick Butter, Divided (sometimes I reduce this)
2 pounds (to 3 Pounds) Carrots, Peeled And Cut Into Thick Circles
½ cups Jack Daniels Or Other Whiskey
¾ cups (to 1 Cup) Brown Sugar
½ teaspoons (to 1 Teaspoon) Salt
Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste


Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over high heat. Add carrots in two batches, cooking for 60-90 seconds each batch. Remove from skillet.

Pour in whiskey and allow to evaporate 30 seconds. Reduce heat to medium, and add remaining butter. When butter melts, sprinkle brown sugar over the top. Stir together, then add carrots to skillet. Cover, and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

Remove lid and add salt and pepper. Continue cooking until carrots are done and glaze is thick, about 5 more minutes.

Pour onto a platter and serve immediately. Sprinkle with chopped chives if desired.

Source: Pioneer Woman

February 21, 2011 at 5:00 am 1 comment

Bean Salad

Before Alana was born my friend Jenn gave me a wonderful baby shower. Several people that attended brought dishes to share and Adrian brought this bean salad. While I was pregnant I couldn’t eat beans due to the horrible heart burn that I sufferred so I initially passed right by this salad. After several people told me I had to try it I finally did and it was delicious! I was really sad I couldn’t eat more of it, but you better believe that it is now a staple in our house. We eat it as a snack, served over fish, in taco salads, and just by itself. You name it we’ve probably tried it. This recipe makes a lot, but it keeps well in the fridge. My 13 month old is even crazy about this salad!

Bean Salad
1 can white shoepeg corn
1 can red kidney beans
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can black beans
1 can black eyed peas
6 green onions, chopped
2 bell peppers (any color)
3 large tomatoes, diced
1 medium red onion, diced
broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 packages Good Seasons italian salad dressing
vegetable or canola oil
red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 package of taco seasoning or 3-4 Tbps homemade
tobasco or other hot sauce, to taste

Rinse and drain the beans and corn. Place into a large bowl. Add green onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, red onion, and broccoli florets to the bean mixture.

In a 2 cup measuring cup mix up the Good Seasons Italian dressing  per directions (using oil, vinegar, and water) add 1 pkg taco seasoning, and tobasco to taste. Mix dressing well and pour over veggie mix. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. Serve with tortilla chips, over fish, in a salad, etc.

Source: my friend Adrian T.

February 16, 2011 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Tomato Mozzarella Tart with Garlic Basil Crust

Please make this as soon as possible. I have made this several times since discovering this tart last summer. I originally made it with big beefsteak tomatoes and then tried making it with grape tomatoes. Both were equally delicious which means that this can even be made in the winter when tomatoes aren’t as plentiful. The crust was out of this world. The combination of the garlic and basil in the buttery dough is absolutely delicious.

Tomato Mozzarella Tart with Garlic Basil Crust

For the Basil-Garlic Crust

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves
1 medium garlic clove
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 8 to 10 pieces
4-5 tablespoons ice water

For the tart:
8 ounces sliced fresh mozzarella
2 large, ripe tomatoes (about 1 pound), cored and cut crosswise into thin slices (or 1 pint grape tomatoes cute in half lengthwise)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tablespoon fresh minced basil
3 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Place the basil and garlic in the work bowl of a food processor. Process, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed, until finely chopped. Add flour and salt; pulse to combine.

Add butter. Pulse about 10 times, or until the mixture resembles pea-sized crumbs. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing several times after each addition. After 4 tablespoons water have been added, process the dough for several seconds to see if the mixture forms a ball. If not, add remaining water. Process until dough forms into a ball. Remove dough from processor.

Flatten the dough into a 5-inch disk. Wrap it in plastic, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle. Lay the dough over the tart pan, and press it into the pan. Trim the dough so that no dough hangs over the edge.

Line the bottom of the tart pan with the sliced mozzarella. Arrange the tomatoes on top of the cheese. Top with salt, pepper, and parmesan. Drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with basil.

Bake 30-35 minutes, or until dough is golden brown and cheese is bubbly and browned in spots. Allow to rest at least 5 minutes before slicing.

Source: Pink Parsley

February 14, 2011 at 6:00 am 2 comments

Tortilla and Black Bean Pie

Sometimes I try recipes even though I think I might not like them. This is one of those recipes. I wasn’t sure I liked black beans. I decided to try the recipe anyways because I had heard such wonderful things about it. Well, it turns out I do like black beans. This dish was fantastic! I was afraid Joe wouldn’t like it since it was meatless, but he raved about it. So, if you’re looking for a great meat-less dinner this is sure to be a winner.

The only thing I changed from the original recipe is that I used corn tortillas because that’s what I had on hand. They don’t fit nicely in a springform so they do have to be trimmed. I put one in the center and cut two tortillas in half and placed the around the center tortilla. I much prefer the taste of corn tortillas and this worked out perfectly.


Tortilla and Black Bean Pie
4 (10-inch) flour tortillas or about 12 corn tortillas
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 large onion, diced
1 jalapeno chile, minced (remove seeds and ribs for less heat)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained and rinsed
12 ounces beer, or 1 1/2 cups water
1 package (10 ounces) frozen corn
4 scallions, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish
2 1/2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream and salsa, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a paring knife, trim tortillas to fit a 9-inch springform pan, using the bottom of the pan as a guide. Set aside.

Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeno, garlic, and cumin; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 5 to 7 minutes.

Add beans and beer to skillet, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until liquid has almost evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in corn and scallions, and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.

Fit a trimmed tortilla in bottom of springform pan; layer with 1/4 of the beans and 1/2 cup cheese. Repeat three times, using 1 cup cheese on top layer. Bake until hot and cheese is melted, 20 to 25 minutes. Unmold pie; sprinkle with scallions. To serve, slice into wedges and serve with sour cream and salsa.

Source: Liz’s Cooking Blog

May 2, 2009 at 9:24 am 7 comments

Eggplant Parmesan

Last week I was reminded of this recipe when Joelen posted on her blog. I made this recipe a couple years ago (or so it seems) and really enjoyed it then. The problem is — I forgot about it. I love this version because it isn’t fried, but it doesn’t taste like its missing anything. I’m starting to see eggplant on sale too so I will definitely be making this again very soon. I used my own marinara sauce that I have stashed in the freezer, but you could easily use store-bought. Also, the recipe can easily be doubled and made in a 9×13 pan. 


Eggplant Parmesan
2-3 Cups marinara sauce
1 (1 pound) eggplant, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch slices
1/4 cup water
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/4 Cup italian style breadcrumbs
1/4 Cup grated parmesan cheese
cooking spray
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese

Place eggplant in a large bowl; add water to cover, and let stand 30 minutes. Drain well; blot dry with paper towels. Combine 1/4 cup water and egg whites in a shallow bowl for the eggwash. Combine breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese for the breading; stir well. Dip eggplant in egg white mixture, and dredge in breadcrumb mixture.

Place eggplant on a baking sheet coated lined with parchment paper, and broil 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Set eggplant aside.

Spread half of tomato mixture in bottom of a 8 x 8-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange half of eggplant over sauce; top with half of mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers with remaining sauce, eggplant, and cheese.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh oregano sprigs or basil, if desired.

Source: Joelen’s Culinary Adventures

February 8, 2009 at 8:37 am Leave a comment

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