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!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Roasted Root Vegetables

I don't even remember what magazine I cut this out of...maybe an old Vegetarian Times. This is a perfect earthy, autumn dish. Try serving it with a big salad or sauteed kale, crusty European bread, and glasses of red wine.

2 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch pieces
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
2 turnips (or rutabagas), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (I sometimes skip this ingredient.)
4 beets, peeled and cut into halves or quarters, depending on size
2 onions, peeled and cut into quarters
6 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly mashed with the side of a knife
extra-virgin olive oil for drizzling

salt and pepper, to taste
fresh or dried herbs (like rosemary!)

Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Put all root vegetables and the garlic cloves in an uncovered 9" x 13" roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil over all and sprinkle with 1/2 t. salt (or to taste) and pepper to taste; mix to distribute oil, then sprinkle with herbs. Cook in the lower 1/3 of the oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until browned. (A fork should easily pierce the white potatoes.)  Don't be alarmed if the beets turn almost black...it's normal. Every 20 minutes or so during cooking, remove the pan from the oven and use a spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan to loosen the starchy vegetables.  Adjust salt and pepper if needed, and serve.

Szechuan Tofu

The original version of this recipe is from Molly Katzen's The Enchanted Broccoli Forest cookbook. This is my version. It is perfect over steamed white rice, so start cooking the rice when you start this. I always forget to and have to do it at the end!
Also, feel free to use whatever vegetables suit you - add bell peppers, baby corn, snow peas, etc.

lb. Chinese tofu - NOT the silken kind  (Tofu's texture improves if it has been frozen for 24 hours, then thawed.  Plan ahead.)
1/4 c. canola oil, separated
1/3 c. sherry or rice wine
soy sauce, shoyu, or tamari sauce (see step 4 for amount...If your food needs to be gluten-free, check ingredients.  Not all of these are gluten-free.)
1.5 c. water

2 T. cornstarch
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper

20-oz. bag of frozen broccoli
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
1 c. sliced celery

Squeeze as much water as possible from the tofu, then cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes.  In a large nonstick skillet, cook the tofu over medium-high heat until water is no longer sizzling out of the cubes.  Drizzle with 2 T. canola oil, and toss to coat.  Continue cooking until 1 side is browned, toss again, and cook until a second side is browned.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a 1-cup measuring cup, pour the sherry or rice wine up to the 1/3 c. mark. Add enough soy sauce, shoyu, or tamari to make 1/2 c. of liquid. Add the water.  Put the corn starch into a medium bowl. Whisk in the tamari mixture. Add the garlic, crushed red pepper, and black pepper.  Set aside.

Heat the canola oil in the skillet or a wok. Saute the broccoli, onion, carrots and celery until crisp-tender. Pour in the sauce, turn the heat up a little, and stir-fry/mix/whatever about 5 - 8 more minutes. The sauce will begin to thicken. Stir in the tofu Serve over your steamed white rice.

Garlic Pasta

This recipe came from Peta's The Compassionate Cook cookbook. This dish is deceptively easy, and it's perfect when there's almost nothing in the pantry. But you will be surprised at how tasty it is! The drawback, NOT low-cal!

1 lb. spaghetti, vermicelli, angel hair, or some other long narrow noodle
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 t. salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 c. toasted bread crumbs (And you can really do without these. I make this without the crumbs all the time.)

Prepare pasta according to package directions.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper.
Drain the pasta, reserving 1/3 c. of the cooking water. Pour the cooking water into the oil sauce, and cook over low heat 1 minute.

Toss the pasta with the oil sauce. Serve each portion sprinkled with bread crumbs, if using.

Vegetable Lo Mein

I got this vegan recipe from www.cdkitchen.com and tweaked it...always got to put my own spin on them, but give proper credit where it's due!
1 large bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, julienned
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. FRESH (not dried) peeled and grated ginger (This is so imperative, as it really makes the dish something special. You can substitute whatever you like for the veggies, but don't mess with the fresh ginger.)
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
2 T. canola oil
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 T. water
1 T. sesame seeds
1 pkg udon noodles, prepared according to package directions

Heat the canola oil to be hot in a large nonstick skillet or wok. Stir fry the bell pepper, carrot, and onion in the hot canola oil for 2 - 3 minutes, until vegetables are tender-crisp. Add garlic, ginger, and sesame seeds and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat. Combine soy sauce and water, and stir into vegetables. Toss cooked udon noodles into vegetable mixture and serve hot.

Pasta with Corn Sauce

This is a vegan recipe from Peta...You want to serve this warm right after cooking it if you have guests, b/c the sauce is very starchy and will sort of gum up after it starts to cool. That is not to say it's not good that way, too.  It does not look as pretty, but I have been known to eat this cold right out of the fridge.

1 can corn kernels
1.5 c. soy milk
2 T. tahini (Tahini is to sesame seeds what peanut butter is to peanuts.)
1 T. onion, chopped (or dried onion granules)
1 t. salt
1 lb. pasta
freshly ground black pepper
fresh parsley, chopped, or dried parsley (optional)

Put the corn, soy milk, tahini, onion, and salt in a blender and process until completely smooth. (It may take several minutes to completely pulverize the corn.) Pour the blended mixture into a medium saucepan, and warm over medium-low heat. Stir often.

While the sauce is heating, cook the pasta according to package directions. Add the hot sauce to the pasta, and toss until evenly coated. Serve immediately, topping each portion with freshly ground black pepper and parsley (if you're using it). SO YUM!

Cornmeal-Carrot Skillet Cakes

This is a vegetarian recipe that I tweaked from "Vegetarian Times". You can go two ways with this savory pancake-like entree. I like to go soul-food with it and serve it with beans and sautéed kale, but Scott likes it when we go Latin with it and serve it with beans, topped with salsa and avocado. It has cornmeal, onions, and cheese, so it makes sense both ways. Your pick!

3/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 T. yellow cornmeal
1/2 t. dry mustard powder (optional)
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
2 carrots, grated (about 1 cup...Please use a food processor for the grating if you have one. It's exhausting doing it by hand!  Or better yet, buy pre-grated carrots.)
4 small green onions, thinly sliced

1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 c. plant-based milk (almond, soy, rice, whatever)

Combine flour, cornmeal, mustard (if using), salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add carrots, green onions, egg, and milk, and mix well.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. (Be sure the skillet is hot before you put batter in. I tried doing otherwise, and the cakes got gummy and stuck to the skillet.) Scoop about 1 - 2 T. of batter into the pan, and spread it flat with the back of your spoon to about 3 inches in diameter. Cook cakes 2.5 - 3 minutes per side, or until golden brown. Transfer to a plate.  Repeat with remaining batter.

Serves 2 - 3.

Vegetarian Paella

(This is a vegan dish I tweaked from a Peta's The Compassionate Cook cookbook...Is that how you spell tweak? Anyway...) This dish has a long list of ingredients, but it's very easy to make, and the result looks more wow-y than you expect. It's a rich yellow color!
I usually serve it with refried beans and tortilla chips.


1 cup white rice
2 cups boiling water
1 T. canola or olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 green bell pepper, sliced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 cups vegetable broth (or water if need be)
1 t. salt
1 T. paprika
1 t. turmeric

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved (although I have just dumped a drained can of chopped tomatoes in when I didn't have any fresh)
1 can quartered artichoke hearts
1 small jar chopped or sliced pimentos (optional)


Mix the rice and boiling water, and let stand for 20 minutes. Then, pour off the water.

In the meantime, heat the oil in a large skillet (that has a lid) over medium heat. Saute the onion and bell pepper until the onion is transparent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and sauté another 3 minutes. Add the rice and broth (or water), bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in the salt, paprika, and turmeric. Cover and simmer until the rice is tender, about 20 minutes (but check after about 15...different varieties of rice cook at different speeds).

Once the rice is tender, stir in the tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Turn out onto a serving dish and garnish with pimentos, if using.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Black Forest Cookies

Hello all! I made a new cookie recipe yesterday that I thought I'd share. I even like to think of it as somewhat healthy, since it has nuts and dried berries in it. It's super easy to make. Just a warning that the batter does not look like normal cookie dough. It just looks like melted chocolate. I was afraid it would not cook up into a cookie, but it did! Here it is:

Black Forest Cookies (I got this online at, I think, the Ocean Spray cranberry website .)

1 11.5-oz. bag chocolate morsels (I used a 12 oz. bag Ghiradelli semi-sweet with good results.)
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/4 c. butter (I used Earth Balance vegan margarine with good results.)
2 eggs
1 t. almond extract
3/4 c. flour
1/4 t. baking powder (There is no salt called for in the recipe, which worried me. I thought that was needed to "activate" the baking powder. Worked fine with no salt.)
1 6-oz. package Craisins (dried, sweetened cranberries)
1 c. coarsely chopped pecans or walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pour 3/4 c. chocolate morsels into an uncovered large microwave-safe bowl. Set remaining morsels aside. Microwave morsels 2 - 3 minutes on high. Stir until chocolate is smooth.

Stir in brown sugar, butter/margarine, eggs, and almond. Add flour and baking powder, mixing thoroughly until combined. Stir in remaining morsels (You may want to let it cool a little. If it is still hot, it will melt these as well.), Craisins, and nuts.

Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 - 15 minutes (depending on how firm you like your cookies) or until cookies are puffed and set to the touch. Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and cool completely.

Makes about 2.5 dozen cookies.

The calories are listed as 140 per cookie, but I made them bigger than 1 tablespoonful each, so I know mine were more! It actually also has a little protein, vitamin A, and calcium, per the recipe specs from online. I hope you enjoy it!

***Note: Use egg substitute to convert to a vegan recipe. :) I've used Egg Replacer in other recipes in the past. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!