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!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Herbed Rice

I got this recipe from Martha Stewart's Living magazine.  Although the thought of putting that much cilantro on anything does not turn me on and the thought of putting peppermint on rice is about equal in its attractiveness to me, something told me to give it a whirl.  And, of course, it works.  This rice is very fresh tasting, and it goes well with Asian-inspired or Middle-Eastern-inspired foods.

1 2/3 c. water
1/2 c. packed fresh cilantro
1/4 c. packed fresh mint (I used peppermint.)
2 T. minced onion
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 T. olive or canola oil
1 c. jasmine rice
1 t. salt

Purée the water, cilantro, mint, onion, and garlic in a blender until smooth.

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over high heat.  Add the jasmine rice, and stir to coat.  Cook until slightly toasted, 1 - 2 minutes.  Add the herb purée and salt.  Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and let stand - still covered - for 10 minutes.  The herbs will have floated to the top of the rice.  Use a fork to evenly distribute the herbs into the rice and to fluff the rice.  Serve immediately.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Beth's Lentils

I got the original version of this recipe from Peta's cookbook The Compassionate Cook, which I highly recommend for great vegan food.  I don't know who Beth is, but her lentils are great!  And the ease of a one-pot meal is welcome on work nights.  Serve it with cornbread for a perfect cool-weather supper.

2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
between 1/2 and 1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and sliced
crushed red pepper, to taste (optional - This dish is good with and without this ingredient.  Decide whether you're in the mood for something spicy tonight!)
1/2 t. dried thyme
3 c. vegetable broth or water
1 c. lentils (I used the tiny black French lentils, which gave the dish an elegant feel, but the the plain green lentils work fine, too.)
1 t. salt (or to taste)
2 14-oz. cans of chopped tomatoes (or maybe even the fire-roasted type of tomatoes)
4 or 5 large sprigs of fresh oregano (You can substitute 1 T. dried oregano if fresh is not available.)

Heat the olive oil in a small Dutch oven or large pan over medium heat.  Sauté the onion, carrot, and crushed red pepper (if using) in the oil until the onion is transluscent, about 5 minutes.  Add the thyme and sauté one minute longer.

Add all remaining ingredients except oregano, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer.  Cook until the lentils are tender, about 50 minutes.  Add the oregano after simmering 40 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins

I've mentioned these muffins before but just gave you a link for the recipe on Ocean Spray's website.  Allow me to type it out for you here with my slight modifications.  These muffins are deliciously seasonal.  They're sweet in an earthy way, not a cloying way, because they're sweetened with brown sugar and molasses instead of refined white sugar.  I made them last weekend.  Maybe they would be a perfect breakfast for your family during the coming weekend!

2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 t. baking soda (not baking powder)
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg (OK in this recipe, even though I don't like it in savory recipes!)
1/2 t. salt
1 c. canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1 c. (or more or less - you decide) fresh cranberries (Ocean Spray suggests using 6 oz. sweetened dried cranberries.  I think that would be fine during those times when fresh ones aren't available, but I like the fresh ones better.  I buy them when they're available and freeze them for the coming year.)
1/2 c. canola oil
1/4 c. rice milk
1/4 c. molasses
1 egg (Vegans can use Ener-G's Egg Replacer.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 12-muffin tin or line the muffin cups with paper baking cups.

Combine the dry ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Combine the wet ingredients in a separate mixing bowl.  Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients, mixing until just moistened.  Fold in the cranberries.

Divide the batter equally between 12 muffin tins.  Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove muffins from tins and cool on a wire rack.

Makes 12 muffins.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Tempeh Sliders

Here's a delicious dinner:  tempeh sliders garnished with tomatoes, avocado, and onion with a side of waffle fries!  Recipe for the sliders here.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Homemade "Jalapeno Poppers"

Ok, I know there's nothing healthy or admirable about seeking out a recipe for homemade "jalapeno poppers."  I mean, they're fried, and they're full of cheese.  But I had a bunch of garden jalapenos that I needed to do something with since I didn't get around to pickling them, and a person can only eat so many fresh jalapenos the hard way.  So I submit to you, this recipe, which I adapted from one on www.allrecies.com by hlsands.  This made enough for Scott and I to eat them at 2 meals.

3 oz. organic cream cheese, softened (I like Organic Valley brand for cheese products.)
2 oz. organic shredded cheddar cheese
1 T. minced onion or vegetarian bac'n bits (optional)
4 - 5 oz. fresh jalapeno peppers, halved, deseeded and deveined (NOTE:  Wear gloves to handle the jalapenos unless you want your fingers and under your fingernails to burn for days afterwards.  If you don't have gloves, try putting sandwich bags over your hands.)
1/2 c. rice milk (Well, we have to try to be healthy and reduce dairy consumption where we can, don't we?!)
1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. panko bread crumbs (maybe a little more)
canola oil for for frying
salt, to taste

In a small bowl, mix the cheeses and onion or bac'n bits, if using.  Spoon this into the jalapeno halves.

Put the rice milk, flour, and bread crumbs in separate bowls.  Dip each stuffed jalapeno first into the rice milk, then into the flour.  Roll it to coat well with flour.  Allow the peppers to dry for 10 minutes.

Now dip each jalapeno into the rice milk again, then roll it well in the bread crumbs.  Allow the peppers to dry again.  And then even though it seems like unnecessary trouble, dip them into the rice milk once more and roll them once more in the panko bread crumbs.  Failure to completely coat each pepper will create escape holes for the cheese during frying, and you could end up with a mostly empty fried pepper.

Heat a pan or skillet containing enough canola oil to cover a layer of jalapenos, and bring it to 365 degrees F.  (I used a saucepan, because it took less oil and had nice deep sides to prevent too much splattering.)  I'm sorry to say it, but deep fry the coated jalapenos in batches until they are golden brown.  Remove the jalapenos from the oil and allow them to drain on paper towels.

Salt the peppers as you would French fries, and enjoy your decadent treat.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Vegan Chili

Here's a photo of the vegan chili recipe (recipe here) that I have been using for years.  As I mentioned in the original post, my sister-in-law, who is a dedicated omnivore, told me this was the best chili she'd had in her life.  She has made it several times herself!

The weather we're having tonight in Memphis is definitely chili weather, so consider this easy and quick chili recipe for dinner tonight...

Potato-Leek Soup

A couple of nights ago I made a version of potato-leek soup adapted from Barbara Kafka and Christopher Styler's cookbook Vegetable Love.  I didn't expect much from it.  The recipe is simple, and I was really just trying to use some leeks I had in the fridge before they went bad.  But wow!  It turned out great!  Vegans, I'm sorry to say that, surprisingly, the cream made a fair difference, but you can certainly make this without it.

I didn't photograph it, because puréed potatoes don't make much of a photograph, but it was still quite delicious.  I served it with bruschetta (recipe and photo here), because we are still getting fresh tomatoes from the garden.  Here it is:

1 lb. white potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
2 leeks
3 c. water
1 pkg low-sodium miso soup mix (to prepare 8 oz. miso soup...I used Edward & Sons Miso-Cup brand.)
2 T. organic heavy cream (optional - As many of you know, I prefer Organic Valley brand.)
salt and pepper, to taste

Remove the green leafy end and 1 inch of the root-end of each leek, and compost the removed parts.  For the remaining leek stalks, cut them into ½-inch sections crosswise.  Wash them in a basin of water to remove any grit.
In a large saucepan, add the potatoes, leeks, water, and the miso soup mix.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer, covered, 20 minutes.  Remove from heat.
Working in batches of approximately 2 cups each, purée the prepared potato mixture in a blender.  Salt and pepper to taste.  (I used approximately 1 tsp. salt.)  Add the organic heavy cream, if using, and serve warm.