Welcome!


Welcome to Romeo's Food Lady! This blog mainly contains recipes for delicious vegetarian food. Most of these are not MY recipes, just a compilation of great veggie food I've found from all over the place, sometimes tweaked to my taste. It's intended to be a reference you can consult again and again rather than a daily inspiration. After more than 25 years of being a vegetarian, I know what tastes good. In addition to recipes, you may occasionally have to tolerate musings and rants as well. Romeo's Food Lady is named after my friend and cat, Romeo. Romeo is not a vegetarian, but his Food Lady is. Enjoy!


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Farmer's Salad

 
This simple and delicious salad comes from Ursula Ferrigno's Truly Italian cookbook.  We served it over brown rice.
  
Ingredients:
2 10-oz. bags of frozen broccoli florets
4 T. extra-virgin olive oil
3 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
handful fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Method:
In a medium stockpot fitted with a steamer basket, steam broccoli until tender-crisp.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.  Add the steamed broccoli, pinto beans, and parsley, and toss to combine.

Serve warm, over a bed of grain such as brown rice if desired.

Serves 4.
 

Edamame Quinoa Salad

Here's a great recipe from the Eating Well website, which I have been LOVING this year.  I like a bigger ratio of dressing than they suggested, but if you like less dressing, I encourage the tweak.  This salad is good warm or cold.  We serve it over butter lettuce with a baked potato on the side.
 
Ingredients:

1.5 c. quinoa (I used the tri-color quinoa in the photo, but any color will do.)
3 c. vegetable broth
3 c. frozen shelled edamame
2 T. freshly grated lemon zest
4 T. lemon juice
4 T. extra-virgin olive oil
4 T. fresh tarragon, thyme, or basil, chopped (or substitute 4 t. if using dried herb)
1 t. salt
1 c. jarred roasted red peppers, drained and diced






Method:
Toast the quinoa in a large, dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes fragrant and begins to crackle, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly.

In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil over high heat.  Add the quinoa and return to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 8 minutes.  Lift the lid and, without disturbing the quinoa, add the edamame.  Replace the cover and cook until both the quinoa and the edamame are tender, about 7 - 8 more minutes.  Drain any extra liquid, if necessary.

Whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, herb, and salt in a large bowl.  Add the chopped peppers, quinoa, and edamame.  Toss to combine.

Serves 4 - 5.

Mulligatawny Risotto

Outstanding recipe from Vegetarian Today (formerly Vegetarian Times) magazine!  We had it with their coconut-crusted tofu on the side, but it would be perfectly fine with beans.
 
Ingredients:
2 c. vegetable broth
1 14-oz. can light coconut milk
1/2 c. diced bell pepper
1/4 c. diced onion
2 t. minced fresh garlic
2 t. minced fresh ginger
2 t. minced fresh jalapeno
3 T. olive oil
1.5 c. dry Arborio rice (Be sure to get this specific type of rice, which gives risotto its creamy texture.)
1 T. curry powder
1/8 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 c. fresh spinach, chopped
1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
1 T. vegan margarine
1/2 t. salt

Method:
Simmer broth and coconut milk in a saucepan over low heat.

Sauté bell pepper, onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno in oil over medium heat until soft, 3 - 4 minutes.  Stir in the rice, curry powder, and red pepper flakes.  Cook 1 - 2 minutes.

Add wine, and simmer, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed (about 2 minutes).  Stir in 1/2 cup of broth mixture, and simmer until completely absorbed.  Continue adding broth mixture in 1/2-cup increments, stirring frequently and adding more broth only after previous addition is absorbed.  This takes about 15 minutes.  The rice should be firm, but not chalky or chewy in the center of the grain.

Remove from heat.  Stir in spinach, tomatoes, apple, butter, and salt.

Serves 3 - 4.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Lemon-Pepper Tofu and Quinoa Salad

 
This dish was originally a non-vegetarian dish from The Food Network magazine, and it took me a couple of tries to work it into a satisfying vegetarian dish.  But it came together, and here we are!
 
 
Ingredients:
juice and zest of one organic lemon
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, separated
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. soy sauce or to taste
1/4 t. smoked paprika or to taste
1 lb. extra-firm tofu, chopped into 1/2-in. or 1-in. pieces (Tofu has a more pleasant texture if it is frozen first, then thawed before use.  Plan ahead.)
1.5 c. quinoa
1/2 small red onion, halved and very thinly sliced (I think scallions could easily be substituted here if you like the milder, greener flavor.)
1.5 lb. heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1 Cubanelle chile pepper or other Italian frying pepper, seeded and chopped (A green bell pepper will work, too.)
3 Persian cucumbers, chopped
2 T. vinegar of your choice (I used an orange-vanilla white balsamic vinegar.)
1.5 T. chopped fresh parsley
 
Method:
The night before, mix the lemon juice, lemon zest, 1 T. olive oil, salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste (be very generous with the pepper), garlic, soy sauce, and smoked paprika in a wide, shallow container.  Toss the tofu with the mixture (the tofu will likely soak it up almost right away), and marinate overnight in the fridge.

On the day you plan to eat, rinse the quinoa. 

Heat 1/2 T. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the quinoa, and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted (about 4 minutes).  Add 4 c. water and 1/4 t. salt, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes.  Set skillet aside.

Soak the red onion slices in cold water for 10 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes, chile or bell pepper, cucumbers, vinegar, 1.5 T. olive oil, parsley, 1/4 t. salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste in a large bowl.  Add the onions, and toss to coat.

Heat the remaining 1 T. olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Toss the tofu and lemon zest in the warm olive oil, and allow to cook until browned on one side.  Toss again, and allow to cook until browned on another side.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork, divide among 4 bowls, top with the tomato mixture, then the tofu.  Serves 4.

8 Vegan Breakfast Smoothies

I have been having these incredible vegan smoothies for breakfast 5 or 6 days per week for the last 2 years.  The recipes are really flexible, so feel free to play around with them.  Don't have lime?  Use lemon.  Don't have chia seeds?  Use flax seeds or omit altogether.
 
I like my smoothies to be the texture of milkshakes, so I have a high frozen-to-fresh ratio, and I only use the amount of liquid necessary to get things moving in the blender.  This requires several blender stops to stir things so they will move again.
 
Each smoothie includes a frozen banana, which I feel is essential to the texture of the drink.  Every Sunday I peel bananas for the week, cut them into 4 pieces, and freeze them in a single layer.  Then they all go into a freezer storage bag for the week.  A lot of the smoothies have fresh pineapple in them, so I cut up one fresh pineapple at the beginning of the week, too.
 
I also make sure I have a variety of smoothie colors to cover the nutrient spectrum.  Every week I have red, green, orange, and purple, then I pick another smoothie or two to round out the week.  Have fun!

 
 
RED SMOOTHIE
handful of fresh pineapple chunks
1 carrot, chopped into a few large chunks
1 date, pitted
slight handful of frozen raspberries
slight handful of frozen cherries
2 or 3 large frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana (see intro)
juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
2 T. hemp hearts
 
Put everything in the blender with just enough water to get things moving.  Puree to a drinkable milkshake consistency.

GREEN SMOOTHIE
1/4 - 1/2 fresh avocado (peel and pit removed)
1/4 of a fresh cucumber, cut into a few large chunks
2 handfuls fresh spinach
1 date, pitted
1 handful frozen mango
1 frozen banana (see intro)
juice of 1/2 lime
2 T. brown flaxseeds
 
Put everything in the blender with just enough water to get things moving.  Puree to a drinkable milkshake consistency.
 
Option:  You can add a peeled kiwi to the list of ingredients, if desired.
 
ORANGE SMOOTHIE
handful of fresh pineapple chunks
1 carrot, chopped into a few large chunks
1 date, pitted
handful of frozen mango
handful of frozen peaches
1 frozen banana (see intro)
juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
2 T. golden flaxseeds
 
Put everything in the blender with just enough water to get things moving.  Puree to a drinkable milkshake consistency.
 
Option:  You can add fresh peaches to the list of ingredients during the summer when they are in season.  SO good!
 
PURPLE SMOOTHIE
handful of fresh pineapple chunks
handful of fresh spinach OR 1 carrot, chopped into a few large chunks
1 date, pitted
slight handful of frozen blueberries
slight handful of frozen blackberries
slight handful of frozen raspberries
1 frozen banana (see intro)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 T. of black chia seeds
 
Put everything in the blender with just enough water to get things moving.  Puree to a drinkable milkshake consistency.
 
Option:  I buy a frozen mix of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, which makes this super convenient.  If you can find such a thing near you, just throw in a couple of handfuls of the mixed berries.
 
TROPICAL SMOOTHIE
generous handful of fresh pineapple chunks
1 date, pitted
handful of frozen mango
1 frozen banana (see intro)
1/2" - 1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 c. whole coconut milk (The fat and coconut water usually separate in the can, so stir them back together before pouring into your smoothie.)
juice of 1/2 lime (lemon will also work)
 
Put everything in the blender with just enough water to get things moving.  Puree to a drinkable milkshake consistency.
 
Option:  You can also add frozen (or fresh, when in season) peaches to this smoothie.
 
PEACH-COCONUT SMOOTHIE
1 fresh peach, pitted
1 date, pitted
handful of frozen peaches
1 frozen banana (see intro)
1/2 c. whole coconut milk (The fat and coconut water usually separate in the can, so stir them back together before pouring into your smoothie.)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 T. white chia seeds
 
Put everything in the blender with just enough water to get things moving.  Puree to a drinkable milkshake consistency.
 
PEACH-BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE
1 fresh peach, pitted (or use fresh pineapple chunks if peaches aren't in season)
1 date, pitted
handful of frozen peaches
handful of frozen blueberries
1 frozen banana (see intro)
1/2" - 1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled
juice of 1/2 lemon
 
Put everything in the blender with just enough water to get things moving.  Puree to a drinkable milkshake consistency.
 
PEANUT BUTTER-BANANA-COCOA SMOOTHIE
1 fresh banana, cut into chunks
3 large spoonfuls of freshly-ground peanut butter, or to taste
1 - 2 spoonfuls of cocoa powder, or to taste
1 - 2 frozen bananas (see intro)
almond milk
 
Put the first 4 ingredients in the blender with just enough ALMOND MILK to get things moving.  Puree to a drinkable milkshake consistency.


Friday, March 11, 2016

Hearty Irish Lager Stew

Here's an Irish recipe vegetarians can enjoy on St. Patrick's Day next week, courtesy of Vegetarian Times.  I made this for the holiday last year, and it was a hit!




Ingredients:
  • 1 T. vegetable oil, divided
  • 8 oz. button or shiitake mushrooms, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 t.)
  • 1 c. diced onion
  • 3 small red potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes (1 ½ cups)
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
  • 2 small parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 1 ½ t. tomato paste
  • 1 15-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 ½ c. vegetable broth
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, tied in bundle, plus 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme, divided
  • ½ cup lager beer
  • 1 ½ T. all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 2 Tbs. chopped parsley
Method:
1. Heat 1/2 T. oil in large pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms and garlic; sauté 8 minutes, or until mushrooms are browned. Remove from pan. Add remaining 1/2 T. oil to pot. Add onion, and cook 5 minutes or until translucent. Add potatoes, carrots, parsnips, and tomato paste. Cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, and thyme sprigs; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 40 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add lager, flour, and mushrooms. Simmer 10 to 15 minutes, or until thickened, stirring often. Remove thyme sprigs, stir in cabbage, and simmer 4 to 5 minutes, or until cabbage softens. Stir in chopped thyme and parsley, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. 

Serves 6.


Friday, September 11, 2015

Warm Kale and Potato Salad with Mustard-Lemon Dressing

It's been a while since we had this delicious, warm salad (recipe here).  I think it's time again!