Welcome!

Welcome to Romeo's Food Lady! This blog 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, usually tweaked just a little. 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.
Romeo's Food Lady is named after my friend and cat, Romeo. Romeo is not a vegetarian, but his Food Lady is. Enjoy!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Grace update



Thank you for all the good thoughts for our sweet Grace.  She's hanging in there!  Our biggest challenge with her condition is lack of appetite, but the vet said that is to be expected.  We're preparing homemade foods for her now to maintain some interest in eating.  As you can see in the photo, which was taken yesterday, she's gotten very thin, but she's still doing her regular doggie activities like hanging out in the sun with her buddy, Elvis.  Ears up, tail wagging is still very standard.  She still barks at passersby and often brings us a toy to impress us when we first return home from being out.  She is quite a girl!

Bruschetta

It's so hot recently that there are days I can barely stand to turn on the oven or stove to prepare a meal.  This bruschetta is the perfect answer on those days.  I do have to turn on the stove, but only briefly.  Plus, it uses the produce that is so perfectly in season right now.  It's easy to think of this is a light dinner (and I often do), but it's definitely not low-cal due to all the olive oil.  It does, however, have a lot of health benefits.  Check out the benefits of eating garlic, olive oil, and tomatoes when you get a chance.  You'll be impressed.  And now, on to the recipe, which was inspired by a scene in Julie and Julia where "Julie" is making some delicious-looking bruschetta for dinner.


Ingredients:
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil, plus approx. 1/4 c. more for frying the bread
1/4 c. onion or shallot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 - 5 fresh tomatoes, cored and chopped (I'd say 3 if you're using slicer tomatoes or 5 if you're using Roma-style tomatoes.)
1 T. fresh basil, minced
salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
1/2 baguette, sliced on a long diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices

Method:
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 T. olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion or shallot, and sauté until the onion is translucent (5 - 8 minutes, approximately).  Add the garlic, and sauté a minute more.  Add the tomatoes and sauté until heated through but still in chunks.  Stir in the basil, and add salt and pepper, to taste.  (I season generously.)  Remove the tomato mixture to a serving bowl.

In the same skillet, add 2 T. olive oil and maintain a medium flame.  Add a generous amount of freshly-ground black pepper, then arrange the slices of bread in the oil.  Allow the bread to brown on the lower side, then turn each slice over to brown the other side.  When you turn the bread over, it may be necessary to add more olive oil and pepper.

Remove the toasted bread to dinner plates.  (This usually serves 2 in our house, but that may be more or less in yours.  Hey, to each their own!)  Spoon the warm tomato mixture over the toasted bread, and enjoy.

NOTE:  If I have leftover tomato mixture after dinner, I might save it for a snack.  Spoon it over buttered (vegan-margarined, really) slices of baguette bread with extra black pepper.  Just stand over the sink to catch the juices, and delight in your messy, delicious snack!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cold Asian Noodle Salad

First, a big thank-you to my neighbor, Kim, who brought this noodle salad to a block party and was kind enough to share her recipe outline with me.  Kim's recipe is very flexible, so I'll give some basic measurements, but you can adjust to your taste.  I made a couple of minor tweaks, but you know how I cook...Really, unless you're baking, everything is flexible!


12 to 16 ounces of pasta (thin spaghetti, vermicelli, angel hair, or soba noodles)
soy sauce, tamari, or shoyu:  about 5 T., but flexible
rice wine vinegar:  about 4 t., but flexible
sesame oil (toasted or not):  about 1 T., but flexible
1 t. sugar
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
crushed red pepper, to taste
1 cucumber, chopped
2 scallions, chopped
a handful of shredded carrots, optional

Break the pasta noodles into thirds, then cook them according to package directions.  Once the noodles are cooked, drain in a colander and briefly blanch them in iced cold water (or rinse them with cold water while still in the colander).

Meanwhile, combine the soy sauce (or tamari or shoyu), rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, and both peppers in a small saucepan.  Heat over a low flame until just heated through.  (Kim noted for me that if one has not used sesame oil, it is is worth paying attention to the fact that it has a strong flavor.  She suggested I use sparingly and add a little at a time.  I was glad she did, because I was not very familiar with this ingredient other than knowing it is a volatile oil and should be kept in the fridge to prevent a quick rancidity.  Anyway, it's easy to add more, but you can't remove what's added, so use with care!)  Taste the sauce and adjust to your liking, adding more of whatever you feel is missing.

When the pasta is cooked, toss it with the sauce, cucumbers, scallions, and carrots (if using).  Store in the fridge until time to eat.

Thanks, Kim!