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!

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!

French bread
extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

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

tomatillo salsa, to cover burritos (click here for recipe), probably 1 cup (ish)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.  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 fold-able (about 10 seconds).  Put 1/4 can refried black beans in a line, bisecting the tortilla.  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

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.

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)

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).

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...

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

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.