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!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Roasted Winter Squash Soup

Few things put me in the mood to cook seasonally more than the new chill in autumn air, and today definitely took me there. Here are my modifications to Roasted Pumpkin Soup from the Oct 2009 Martha Stewart Living. And feel free to make your own modifications, too! This soup is savory, but it definitely has a special sweet undertone from the squash. I feel so autumny!

2 and 3/4 lbs. butternut squash, peeled, halved, and seeded (Martha's recipe said you could alternatively use the same amount of sugar pumpkins. I haven't tried that.)
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms (note that Martha's recipe was for 2 shiitake mushrooms and 2 more cups of water...I haven't tried that way, but you can if you don't have or want to get dried porcinis)
2 cups boiling water
1 garlic clove, peeled
1/2 c. extra-virgin olive oil
2 t. salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 cups vegetable stock (I used 2 cups vegetable stock plus 1 cup of frozen tomato water I'd saved from another time when I'd reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes.)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the squash into 2-inch pieces. Put the olive oil and salt in a rimmed baking sheet, and toss the squash, onion, and garlic in it. (Martha's recipe had the 2 fresh mushrooms mentioned above included in the toss.) Spread the coated vegetables into a single layer, and roast them 15 minutes in the oven. (I noticed that the olive oil started bubbling and boiling.) Remove from the oven, toss the vegetables, and roast another 15 minutes or until the squash can be pierced with a fork.

While the vegetables are roasting, reconstitute the mushrooms in 2 cups boiling water. This can be cooling while the vegetables are roasting.

Working in batches, put vegetables in a blender with the stock, mushrooms, and mushroom water. Purée, and move the soup to a soup pot. Warm through, and serve with freshly ground black pepper.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Cherry Turnovers

These are super easy, but messy to make. You will not be disappointed in the results, though! They look and taste quite impressive! You could serve them for breakfast or at a party or shower. I used Williams-Sonoma's cherry pocket pies recipe as a jumping point for this one. (I like to give credit where it's due!)

2 cups fresh cherries, washed and pitted
1/2 c. sugar
1.5 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. almond extract
1 pinch salt
1 sheet puff pastry (I used Pepperidge Farms's puff pastry, which had no animal-derived ingredients. You have to thaw it 40 minutes before using.)
1 egg, beaten, mixed with 1 tsp. water (omit if preparing for vegan diners)
granulated sugar for sprinkling, optional

Whisk the sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Add cherries and almond extract, and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes. Although it starts off looking dry, it will quickly get gooey and gelatinous, and this is a good thing.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Once the cherries are cooked, set them aside to cool slightly. Roll the puff pastry sheet to a 12x12 square, and cut into 9 4-inch squares. Put a spoonful of cherries in the center of each square. Brush the egg wash (or just water for vegan preparation) around the edges of the square. Fold over into a triangle and crimp the edges with fork tines to seal. Move the turnover to the parchment paper on the baking sheet. Brush the top of the turnover with the egg wash (or just water for vegan preparation) and sprinkle with granulated sugar, if using.

Bake 20 minutes or until the pastry is browned. (It will brown less without the egg wash and more golden with the egg wash.) Enjoy!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Chocolate Coconut Pecan Pie

Happy Independence Day! This recipe comes from my friend Ginger, and I am not sure where she got it. I didn't change a thing about it, b/c it's so good already.

1/2 c. sugar
1/3 c. golden brown sugar
1/3 c. light corn syrup
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 tsp. almond extract
1 pinch salt
3 large eggs, beaten (I have used medium eggs with perfectly fine results.)
3/4 c. sweetened, shredded coconut
3/4 c. chocolate chips
3/4 c. whole pecans
1 frozen pie crust

Place a large baking sheet on the oven rack (middle of the oven), and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. With a fork, mix the sugar, brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter, almond extract, and salt in a 1.5-quart or larger bowl to blend. Mix in the beaten eggs. With a spoon, stir in the shredded coconut, chocolate chips, and pecans. Pour the filling into the frozen pie crust. Place the pie on the baking sheet in the oven. Bake until the crust is golden brown and the filling is set in the center (about 40 minutes). Transfer pie to rack, and cool before serving.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Granny's Potato Soup

My Granny was a no-nonsense kinda lady, and I totally loved that about her. I still adore thinking about it. This is her potato soup recipe, and it's no-nonsense. I hope you think it's as fun and easy as I do.

celery - washed and chopped - use whatever amount is right for you
onion - peeled and chopped - use whatever amount is right for you
potatoes - peeled and chopped - use whatever amount is right for you (Granny was so no-nonsense that she just used a bag of Ore-Ida frozen potatoes most of the time.)
garlic - peeled and minced - use whatever amount is right for you
salt and pepper, to taste

Naturally, most of us will want the potato to be the dominant ingredient and everything else is just seasoning. So, you put whatever combination of the above vegetables that you like (I usually use about 3 potatoes, 1/2 onion, 3 celery stalks, and 2 cloves of garlic. This serves about 4.) into a pot large enough to accommodate them. You cover them with water. You start boiling the water. Let it boil until the potatoes are kind of falling apart and making a sort of thick, starchy broth. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Add more water if you find you've let it boil down to be too thick, unless thick is what you like. (I usually find mine has gotten too thick and simply add water to the right consistency. Works like a charm.)

It's hard to believe that's all there is to it or that something that simple or that vegan could actually be delicious. But Granny was no vegan, believe me. She just liked simple food that was also good. Give it a whirl! If it does not taste right, it's only because the ratio of the ingredients is not right for you. Adjust, adjust, adjust. It CAN be right with just these ingredients, I promise!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Pasta and Potato Vegetable Soup

This is my version of a recipe I believe I got from "Vegetarian Times" several years ago. Perfect for the weather we've been having lately!

1 small onion, diced
1/3 - 1/2 c. chopped celery
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 c. dry red wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes with juice
1 T. dried parsley (or 1/3 c. chopped fresh parsley)
1 T. dried basil
1/2 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. salt
8 cups vegetable broth, water, or any combination of the two
1 medium potato, peeled and diced
3/4 c. dried pasta (macaroni, penne, or something like that)
1 15-oz. can pinto beans (or the bean of your choice), rinsed and drained
freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In a large soup pot, sauté onion, celery, and carrot in olive oil and wine over medium-high heat until onion is transparent. Add garlic, sauté another minute. Add tomatoes, herbs, salt, and water or broth, and bring to a boil. Add beans, pasta, and potatoes, and cook at a low boil until vegetables are soft, potatoes are fork-tender, and pasta is cooked. Adjust seasonings to taste.