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!


Friday, August 19, 2011

Olive Oil and Black Pepper Toasts

This recipe is RIDICULOUSLY easy to be so delicious.  Perfect with an Italian meal...

I don't think I really got it from anywhere, but maybe I did.  I don't remember, but if I did, I'm glad I did!





Ingredients:
French bread
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

Method:
Preheat the broiler of your oven.

Slice the French bread to the desired width.  Pour extra-virgin olive oil into a plate.  Put one cut side of each slice into the oil, then place on a baking sheet, oil side up.  Grind black pepper over the oiled tops.

Broil until the toasts reach the desired brownness.  Watch them carefully, because once they start browning, they brown fast!

Oven-Baked Burritos

You guys know I've got a lot of tomatillo action going on these days, so I have the pleasant challenge of finding new ways of using tomatillos and tomatillo sauce.  Here's another:  tomatillo oven-baked burritos.  Now, even though these are vegetarian and not vegan, you could easily make them vegan by omitting the cheese and adding, say, chopped onions and/or chopped tomatoes and/or vegan cheese if you're into that sort of thing.  These are simple and delicious!  The recipe serves 2.





4 flour tortillas
1 can refried black beans
1 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
tomatillo salsa, to cover burritos (click here for recipe), probably 1 cup (ish)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.  Coat the bottom of a baking dish (large enough to hold 4 burritos) with tomatillo salsa.

Zap each tortilla in the microwave just enough to make it foldable (about 10 seconds).  Put 1/4 can refried black beans in a line, bisecting the tortilla.  Add 1/4 oz. goat cheese crumbles over the line of beans.  Fold the tortilla in half over the line of beans, and roll up.  Place the rolled burrito, seam side down, in the baking dish.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Pour salsa over the burritos to cover and to coat the ends.  Cover the dish with aluminum foil.  Bake about 15 minutes or until burritos are heated through.  Serve warm, and eat with a fork.

Serving suggestion:  Spanish rice as a side dish.

Strawberry Sorbet

A big thank-you to P. Allen Smith, whose television show featured this recipe.  It's simple, it's healthy, it's vegan.  What more can I ask for in a summer dessert?  Although I only made it as sorbet, I think it would make a boss popsicle for those of you who have popsicle molds.


This is best made the day before, because although P. Allen says it only takes 4 hours to freeze up properly, mine took much longer.




1 quart fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1/2 c. frozen apple juice concentrate


Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender and purée completely.  Pour the purée into a freezer-safe bowl, cover, and put in the freezer.  Wait 45 minutes, remove, and purée again.  Return to freezer.  Wait 45 minutes, remove, and purée again.  The multiple purées ensure a nice, smooth texture.  Return to freezer and allow to freeze completely.


Remove from freezer 25 minutes prior to serving to soften.  Scoop like ice cream.


Serving suggestion:  serve along side a home-baked brownie for a decadent dessert.  Brownies can be made with Ener-G Egg Replacer so that the entire naughty dessert can be vegan!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Blueberry Pancakes with Pan-Fried Potatoes

Here's a photo of my pancake recipe (found here) with the blueberry variation and served with pan-fried potatoes.  Just add syrup!:

Tomatillo Salsa

Yes, another tomatillo salsa.  I have to do something with those tomatillos and jalapenos in my garden, since I'm not canning this year!  This one came from Rick Bayless's Authentic Mexican cookbook, adapted to be vegetarian.  (His version is not.)  You could use this salsa in place of the canned enchilada sauce in Cheese Enchiladas (see below).  It is also fine as a condiment salsa, too, of course.  I served it over refried beans at my sister-in-law's birthday dinner last night.



Ingredients:
1 lb. (about 11 medium-sized) tomatillos, husked and washed
1 - 2 fresh jalapenos, stemmed
2 - 3 fresh sprigs of cilantro, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 large clove garlic, peeled and chopped
1 T. canola oil
1/2 t. salt, or to taste
juice from one lime (omit if using as an enchilada sauce)


Method:
In a 2-quart saucepan (or size appropriate for your produce), cover the tomatillos and jalapeno(s) in salted water.  Boil until the vegetables are tender, 10-15 minutes.  Drain the vegetables, reserving 1 c. of the used boiling water.


Place the tomatillos, jalapeno(s), cilantro, onion, and garlic in a food processor.  Process until smooth but retaining a little texture.


Heat the canola oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  When the oil is hot enough to make a drop of the tomatillo sauce sizzle, pour it all in at once.  Stir constantly 4-5 minutes until the sauce is thicker and darker.  Add the reserved cup of tomatillo boiling water.  Return to a boil, then reduce heat to medium.  Simmer until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, then remove from heat.  Stir in the salt and lime juice (if using).

Cheese Enchiladas

Dangit, dangit, dangit!  I forgot to take a photo of this recipe before we ate it!  Anyhoo, after I made the Swiss chard tacos (see below), I had a bunch of leftover white corn tortillas.  The package was very inexpensive, but it had a LOT of tortillas in it.  I abhor the thought of wasted food, so I needed to find another use for them.  I immediately thought of enchiladas.  I'd never made them before, but with some ideas from Rick Bayless's cookbook Authentic Mexican, I was able to put some together.  They turned out so well that I made them again last night (That's right:  I forgot to take photos TWICE.) for my sister-in-law's birthday.  Here's how it went (The recipe serves 2.  Multiply as necessary.):

Ingredients:
4 oz. organic cheddar cheese, shredded (As you may know, I like to use Organic Valley cheese whenever possible.  The animals are raised on family farms and tend to be treated much better than most dairy cattle.)
2 oz. organic goat cheese (Maybe you have some left over from Swiss chard tacos?), crumbled
1/4 c. onion, finely chopped
1 leaf Swiss chard, washed (optional - I told you I need to find uses for that Swiss chard that's going so well in my garden!)
1/4 c. canola oil
6 white corn tortillas
2 14.5-oz cans enchilada sauce

Method:
If using the Swiss chard, remove and chop the stem.  Roll the leaf into a cigar shape, and cut slices from the "cigar."  This should make julienned-type pieces.  Combine the cheeses, onion, and, if using, the Swiss chard leaf and stem pieces.  Mix well.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat the canola oil until sizzlingly hot in a medium nonstick skillet.  Using tongs, add a tortilla to the oil and fry, 3 or 4 seconds on each side.  This softens the tortilla.  It should not get crisp at all - quite the opposite.  Remove the tortilla from the oil and drain on paper towels.  Repeat with each tortilla, adding oil if necessary.

Pour 1 c. enchilada sauce onto a plate.  Coat each side of the first tortilla in the enchilada sauce.  Put 1/6 of the cheese filling in a line down the center of the tortilla.  Fold the tortilla over the filling, and roll it up.  Place the filled enchilada, seam side down, into a baking dish that is large enough to hold all 6 enchiladas.  Repeat with each tortilla until all are filled.

Pour all remaining sauce over the enchiladas, being careful to coat the end edges.  Bake for 10 minutes in the oven.  Serve warm.

NOTE:  These are right at home with refried beans, Spanish rice, and chips and salsa for a complete, delicious meal!

Swiss Chard Tacos

If you're not familiar with Swiss chard, this is a leafy green vegetable with thick, edible celery-textured stems that is related to the beet family.  One can use it like spinach in general cooking, although it can be slightly "wetter" when cooked.  We've had a very successful year with the Swiss chard in our garden, as you can see from the photo below, so I've been looking for new things to do with it.  I'd seen Rick Bayless do Swiss chard tacos on his PBS show Mexico: One Plate At A Time before and had made a mental note of it just because it was a vegetarian recipe.  However, I didn't have an immediate use for it.  Later, I was unable to remember exactly what he did.  You can imagine my delight when I found this recipe for Swiss chard tacos in Martha Stewart's Living magazine.  As usual, I have adapted the recipe, if only slightly, to suit my tastes and needs.  And as always, you can definitely do the same!



Ingredients:
1 T. plus 1.5 t. extra-virgin olive oil
1 small red onion, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds and separated into rings
3 small cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
5 large leaves Swiss chard (stems removed and composted), washed and coarsely chopped
1 c. cooked pinto beans (canned is fine), drained and rinsed
1/4 t. coarse salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper
6 taco-sized corn tortillas (I haven't considered myself a fan of corn tortillas in the past, but I enjoyed them in this recipe.)
1 oz. organic goat cheese, crumbled (optional - omit if preparing a vegan meal)

Method:
In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Cook the onion rings until soft.  Add garlic slices, and cook 1 minute more.  Stir in the chard, and sauté until the greens are wilted.  Add the beans, and cook until warmed through.  Season with the salt and pepper.

Using tongs, hold each tortilla directly over a gas flame, turning, until heated through with slightly charred edges.  (Alternatively, heat tortillas on a hot cast-iron griddle, turning so that each side is warmed and slightly browned.)

Spoon chard filling into corn tortillas.  Top with crumbled goat cheese.  If desired, also top with Tomatillo and Chipotle Salsa.  Serves 2.

Tomatillo and Chipotle Salsa

Two plants have been extremely successful in our food garden this year:  tomatillos and Swiss chard.  It's been fun and challenging thinking of different things to do with these 2 foods, neither of which are usually a staple of our diet.  I found this great salsa recipe in Martha Stewart's Living magazine.  It's different, delicious, and uses tomatillos!  Tomatillos are a distant cousin to the tomato.  They look like a small green tomato with a papery husk.  I've adapted the recipe slightly, but it's mostly as I found it.  Here we go...



Ingredients:
6 or 7 tomatillos, husked, washed, and quartered
3 unpeeled garlic cloves
2 - 4 chipotles that have been canned in adobe sauce, seeded and coarsely chopped  (Chipotles are smoked jalapenos, and they give this salsa a smoky flavor.  The more you use, the spicier your salsa will be.  You can find chipotles at some grocery stores.  If you can't find them there, try the local international market.  I found them at Whole Foods.)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/2 t. salt, or to taste

Process:
Cook tomatillos and unpeeled garlic cloves in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat.  Turn the pieces occassionally, and continue cooking until they are charred on all sides.  Remove from heat and allow to cool enough to handle.  Peel the garlic, then finely chop the tomatillos and garlic.

Mix the tomatillos, garlic, chipotles, sugar, and salt together.  Serve as a dip with tortilla chips, as a sauce on burritos or tacos, as a condiment on veggie burgers, or as desired.

NOTE:  For those of you who are not vegan, this salsa is also excellent mixed with plain cheese dip.