Welcome to Romeo's Food Lady! This blog contains recipes for delicious vegetarian food. Most of these are not recipes authored by me. Rather, this is just a compilation of great veggie food I've found from all over the place, usually tweaked just a little. It's intended to be a reference FOR ME so I don't lose great food I've found nor the changes I've made to suit my tastes, but I'm happy for you to use it, too. After more than 25 years of being a vegetarian, I know what tastes good.
Romeo's Food Lady is named after my friend and cat, Romeo. Romeo is not a vegetarian, but his Food Lady is!

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Orange Tofu, Pepper, and Broccoli Stir-Fry

Another super yum recipe from Cooking Light magazine.  I added broccoli and sesame seeds and removed the sugar and cilantro, but the rest is mostly as they published it.
Be sure to take advance action on the tofu:  freezing it for 24 hours, then thawing before use, improves the texture.


1.5 c. white basmati rice (Other rices are fine, but you may need to follow the package directions.  Basmati is my favorite white rice, so that's what I use for everything.)
 2 1/4 c. water
1 1/4 t. salt, divided
1/4 c. + 1 T. + 1 t. canola oil, divided
1 14-oz. package extra-firm Chinese-style (not the silken type) tofu 
6 T. cornstarch, divided
1 c. fresh orange juice (from about 2 juicy oranges)
6 T. soy sauce, tamari, or shoyu (NOTE:  If it is important that this dish is gluten-free, check the sauce.)
2 T. unseasoned rice vinegar
1 thinly sliced onion
2 green bell peppers, seeded, de-veined, and sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded, de-veined, and sliced
1 orange bell pepper, seeded, de-veined, and sliced
20-oz. bag frozen broccoli
2 T. thinly sliced garlic
1 t. grated orange rind
1 t. crushed red pepper
2 T. sesame seeds 

Rinse the rice under cool water until the water runs clean.  In a large saucepan with a lid, bring the water, 1/4 t. salt, and 1 t. oil to a boil.  Add the rice, stir lightly, cover, and reduce heat to a low simmer.  Cook for 15 minutes, then turn off heat.  Let sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.

Meanwhile, squeeze as much water as possible out of the tofu block, and cut the tofu into 1/2-inch pieces.  Combine the tofu with 1/4 c. cornstarch in a medium bowl.  Toss so that the tofu is covered in the cornstarch.  Heat 3 T. oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet with deep sides.  Add tofu to the pan, and cook about 8 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from pan.

Combine remaining 2 T. cornstarch, orange juice, soy sauce, vinegar, and remaining 1 t. salt in a bowl.  Heat remaining 2 T. oil in the pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, bell peppers, and broccoli, and cook about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add the garlic, orange rind, and crushed red pepper and cook, still stirring, until everything is tender but with a slight crunch.  Add the orange juice mixture, and bring to a boil.  Stir in the tofu, and remove from heat.

Serve the tofu stir-fry over the cooked rice, topping each serving with 1/2 T. sesame seeds.

Serves 4.

Lentil Cakes with Salad and Yogurt

This delicious lentil cake recipe is from Cooking Light magazine. I only changed the oil a little and removed the dairy.

They suggested serving the cakes over a salad and topped with the minted yogurt sauce (as in the photo).  I like this combination of foods, but I enjoyed them more as 3 separate foods served together, not as one dish:  lentil cakes with a salad and raita-like yogurt both served on the side.  The lentil cakes would be fantastic stuffed into a pita, too! 

2 t. plus 1.5 T. canola oil
3/4 c. chopped onion
1.5 T. minced garlic
1 c. plus 2 T. old-fashioned oats (not the quick-cooking kind - If it is important for this dish to be gluten-free, be sure your oats fit the bill.)
3 T. red wine vinegar, divided
1.5 t. salt, divided
3/4 t. freshly ground black pepper (or more, to taste)
3 large eggs
2 15-oz cans lentils, rinsed and drained
1 c. plain, unsweetened coconut milk yogurt
3 T. fresh lemon juice
3 T. finely chopped fresh mint leaves
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 c. (packed) baby arugula (or more, as desired)
2 c. (packed) baby spinach (or more, as desired)

Heat 2t. canola oil in a large non-stick or seasoned cast-iron skillet over medium heat.  Add onion and garlic, and sauté until onion is translucent.

In the bowl of a food processor, combine the onion mixture, oats, 1.5 T. vinegar, 1 1/8 t. salt, black pepper, eggs, and lentils.  Pulse 5 or 6 times.  (The mixture may seem wet, but it will firm up over the next few minutes.)  Shape the mixture into 3-inch patties.

Heat 1.5 t. canola oil in the same non-stick or cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 6 or 7 patties to the pan, and cook until browned on one side.  Flip the patties, and cook until browned on the second side.  Remove patties, and repeat with another 1.5 t. oil and 6 - 7 patties.  Remove patties, and repeat with the last 1.5 t. oil and patties.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, mix the yogurt with the remaining salt, the lemon juice, and mint.  Divide between 4 small ramekins.

Combine the remaining 1.5 T. vinegar with the olive oil in a large bowl.  Add the arugula and spinach, and toss to coat.

Serve the lentil cakes with the salad and ramekins of minted yogurt on the side.

Serves 4.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Cornbread Dressing

I know I'm posting this too late for Thanksgiving (this year), but here's something you can make for Christmas.  Vegans, I'm sorry this isn't vegan...it's got eggs.  However, I don't see why you couldn't use Ener-G's Egg Replacer in the cornbread recipe (here), and I KNOW you can skip the eggs in this recipe.  The dressing might not be as firm, but it will taste just fine.
The foundation of this recipe is from Irma Rombauer's Joy of Cooking with plenty of tweaks.  The cornbread recipe is from my sweet grandma.

1/4 c. plus 2 T. canola oil, separated
1 recipe of cornbread (recipe here)
1 T. plus 1.5 t. dried sage
2 c. chopped onions
1 c. finely chopped celery
3/4 t. salt
1/2 t. black pepper
 3 c. vegetable broth/stock, separated
2 eggs, beaten, optional

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Pour 2 T. canola oil into a 9" x 13" baking dish, and use a paper towel to coat the dish with the oil.

Using clean hands, crumble the cornbread in a large bowl to the desired texture. (I like mine very crumbly, so I have almost no chunks in it when I'm preparing it.)  Mix the sage into the crumbled cornbread so that it is evenly distributed.

In a large skillet, heat 1/4 c. canola oil over medium-high heat.  Sauté the onions and celery until the vegetables are soft.  Stir the salt and pepper into the vegetables, then stir the vegetables into the crumbled cornbread so that they are evenly distributed.

Mix 2 cups vegetable broth/stock and the eggs, if using, into the cornbread mixture, 1/2 c. at a time, so that the mixture is uniformly moistened.  Spread the mixture evenly in the oiled baking dish, and pour the remaining 1 cup vegetable broth/stock evenly over the top.  The pan will look very moist; this is normal.

Bake for 45 minutes, and serve hot.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Moroccan Bean Salad Over Millet

This addictive salad is adapted from the Eating Well's original.  In addition to being delicious, it's quick and easy...win, win, win.
2 t. + 3/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 c. millet
2 c. boiling water
2 small cloves garlic, peeled
1.5 t. salt, divided
6 T. lemon juice
3 T. ground cumin
1/4 + 1/8 t. ground cinnamon
2 15-oz. cans kidney beans, drained and rinsed
2 15-oz. cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 c. shredded carrot (I buy bags of pre-shredded carrot.)
1.5 c. chopped fresh parsley
In a large saucepan, heat 1 t. olive oil.  Add the millet and toast until the grain becomes tan-colored.  Cautiously add the 2 c. boiling water (It will boil violently once it hits the saucepan.) and another 1 t. oil.  Stir, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 25 - 30 minutes or until grains have desired texture or all water is absorbed.
While the millet is cooking, sprinkle the garlic with 3/4 t. salt, and mash with the side of a knife or with a fork to form a paste. Scrape the paste into a large bowl. Add the remaining 3/4 t. salt, remaining 3/4 c. olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, and cinnamon.  Whisk to combine.
Stir the kidney beans, chickpeas, carrot, and parsley into the lemon dressing. Serve at room temperature over the cooked millet.  Serves 4.
NOTE:  To make only the bean salad without the millet, make only 2/3 of the lemon dressing:  1/2 c. olive oil, 1 clove garlic, 1 t. salt, 1/4 c. lemon juice, 2 T. cumin, and 1/4 t. cinnamon.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Caribbean Black Beans with Quinoa

This is another good one from the now-defunct magazine Vegetarian Today.
4 t. canola oil, divided
1 c. quinoa
1 T. plus 1 t. minced fresh garlic, divided
1 c. vegetable broth/stock
1 1/2 c. water, divided
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 c. diced plus 1/4 c. minced red onion
1 T. ground cumin
1/4 t. cayenne pepper, rounded
2 T. white vinegar
3 cans black bans, drained and rinsed, separated
2 T. fresh oregano leaves
1/4 t. salt
1 c. diced Roma tomato
1 small jalapeno, seeds and veins removed, finely diced
lime wedges

Heat 2 t. oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Toast the quinoa and 1 t. garlic in the oil for 1 minute.  Stir in the broth/stock, 1 c. water, and bay leaf, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, 15 - 20 minutes.  Fluff with a fork, and discard the bay leaf.

Meanwhile, heat 2 t. oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the 1/2 c. diced red onion, 1 T. garlic, cumin, and cayenne until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.  Deglaze the skillet with the vinegar, scraping up any browned bits, and reduce until the vinegar nearly evaporates.  Set aside.

Purée 1 can of black beans, 1/2 c. water, and the oregano leaves in a food processor or blender.  Stir the puréed bean mixture into the skillet with the onions.  Stir in the salt and the whole beans.  Heat until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Mix the tomato with the minced red onion and jalapeno.

Serve the quinoa topped with the warm beans, topped with the tomatoes, and with lime wedges.  Serves 3-4.

Thai Curry Noodles

This delicious recipe is modified from one published in the now defunct Vegetarian Today magazine.  It's a fun noodle dish for those who are avoiding gluten.

1 15-oz. can coconut milk
4 t. purchased red curry paste (check ingredients to ensure it meets your dietary restrictions)
2 T. canola oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 T. minced fresh garlic
1 T. minced fresh ginger
3/4 t. salt
6 oz. fresh green beans, trimmed and halved
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 bell pepper, any color, seeds and veins removed, sliced
juice of 1 lime
8 - 10 oz. dry rice noodles, prepared according to package directions
chopped dry-roasted peanuts, for garnish

(NOTE:  You may need to begin boiling water for the rice noodles at the beginning.  Check noodle package directions.)

Whisk coconut milk and curry paste together in a bowl, and set aside.

Heat the canola oil in a large deep-sided skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the coconut milk mixture and salt, and bring to a simmer.

Add the green beans and cauliflower, and simmer 7 minutes.  Add the bell pepper.  Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the veggies soften (about 10 minutes).  Stir in the lime juice.

Add the cooked rice noodles to the pan and toss to coat the noodles in the sauce.  Garnish each serving with peanuts.

Serves 4.

Zucchini and White Bean Sautée with Polenta

Eating Well has a nice-looking polenta and ratatouille recipe, but I just don't like eggplant.  (Judge me if you so choose!)  Here's an eggplant-free version of theirs.
4 T. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 large bell pepper, seeds and veins removed, coarsely chopped
1/2 t. salt, divided
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 medium zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise, then sliced into half-moons
2 cans cannellini or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, any color
1/4 c. sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1 t. dried thyme
freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1 16-oz tube of prepared polenta, sliced into 1/2-inch slices
1 T. capers
1/4 c. pine nuts (toasted if you have time, raw if you don't)

In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat.  Sauté the onion, bell pepper, and 1/8 t. salt until the onion and pepper soften (5 - 7 minutes).  Add the garlic, and sauté another 1 - 2 minutes.  Transfer vegetables to a bowl.

In the same skillet, heat 2 T. olive oil.  Add the zucchini and 1/4 t. salt.  Sauté until the zucchini begins to brown (about 5 minutes).

Add the beans, cherry/grape tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, freshly-ground pepper, and the onion mixture to the skillet with the zucchini.  Stir to combine, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes).

While the vegetables are cooking, heat the last 1 T. olive oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat.  Spread the polenta in a single layer in the oil, and cook until it becomes deep yellow on one side.  Flip the polenta slices and cook until it becomes deep yellow on the second side.

Stir the capers and pine nuts into the vegetables.  Serve vegetables immediately with polenta on the side.

Serves 4.