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!


Monday, February 25, 2013

Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins

Yesterday I set out to make some muffins for breakfast, and I thought I'd make the cranberry pumpkin muffins I previously posted (recipe here).  However, when I started getting out all the ingredients and getting everything ready, I just felt like it was too heavy, too autumn if you will.  I was feeling more spring.  My eyes noticed the poppy seeds in my spice cabinet, and the thought of lemon poppy seed muffins really fit the bill:  I had a fridge full of lemons, my muffin papers are the colors of easter eggs, and the flavor had a spring-like profile.  Done!
 
This recipe is based on the one in the quintessential cookbook Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker.  They were totally delicious.
 
 
Ingredients:
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder (try to find aluminum-free baking powder)
1/2 t. salt
1/3 c. granulated sugar
1.5 T. poppy seeds
2 large eggs (vegans could use Ener-G Egg Replacer), lightly beaten
1 c. almond milk (although you could use rice milk or animal milk)
1/3 c. brown sugar, packed
1/4 c. plus 3 T. canola oil
1 t. almond extract
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 T. grated lemon zest
 
Method:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Either grease a 12-cup muffin tin or line the tins with muffin papers.
 
In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, salt, granulated sugar, and poppy seeds.
 
In another medium bowl, mix the eggs (or Egg Replacer), almond milk, brown sugar, canola oil, almond extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients.  Stir until JUST MIXED, keeping the stirring to a minimum.  Too much mixing will make the muffins heavy, so the batter will be (and should be) lumpy.
 
Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups.  Bake about 20 minutes or until muffins are golden.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Veggie-Tofu Pot Pie

Here's a FANTASTIC vegan vegetable and tofu pot pie.  I know it's wrong, but I reminisce about the little freezer pot pies of my childhood.  This is a healthier, more humane walk down memory lane.  This recipe is a compilation of ideas from The Joy of Cooking by Irma Rombauer and The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook edited by Louise Hagler and Dorothy Bates.  Both of these cookbooks are HIGHLY recommended by moi!

The recipe is more of a weekend dish as it takes a while to make the crust and all the filling, then you still have to cook it.  But it's SO WORTH IT on a cold weekend evening!  If you like, make the crust in advance up to the point of shaping into disks, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use.

Irma Rombauer's pie crust recipe for a double crust goes like this.
Ingredients:
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/4 t. salt
3 T. cold unsalted vegan margarine, cut into chunks (I like Earth Balance brand.)
3/4 c. chilled vegetable shortening cut into chunks (Again, I like Earth Balance brand.)
6 T. ice water plus 1t. - 1 T. more ice water, as needed

Method:
Mix the flour and salt.  Using a pastry blender or working it in with your fingers, cut the cold butter into the flour mixture.  Cut in half of the chilled shortening using the same method until the flour has the consistency of cornmeal.  Cut in the remaining chilled shortening until it is pea-sized.

Sprinkle the dough with 6 T. ice water.  Blend gently into the dough until it just holds together.  If necessary to hold the ingredients together, add up to another 1 T. ice water, but no more.

Divide the dough in half.  Shape each half into a disk, and wrap in plastic wrap.  Let it rest in the fridge for half an hour.



The rest of this recipe comes from The New Farm Vegetarian Cookbook.

Ingredients:
1/4 c. flour
1 T. nutritional yeast flakes (Note that nutritional yeast comes in FLAKES and POWDER.  This recipe calls for FLAKES.)
1 t. salt
1/2 t. garlic powder
1 lb. Chinese-style tofu, excess water squeezed out, cut into 1/2-inch cubes  (I like to freeze my tofu for 24 hours, then thaw it.  It improves the texture.)
2 T. canola oil
1 c. onions, chopped
1/2 c. celery, chopped
2 c. frozen mixed vegetables (I used a mix that had peas, carrots, green beans, and corn.)
1 batch of Golden Gravy (second recipe in the post linked here)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine flour, nutritional yeast, salt, and garlic poweder in a medium bowl.  Add the tofu and stir to coat the tofu in the powdered mixture.

Heat the oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the tofu and sauté until golden brown.  Add onions and celery to the pan, and continue to sauté until the onions are soft.  Add the frozen mixed vegetables and sauté until the vegetables are warm.  Stir in the Golden Gravy.

Using a cold rolling pin, roll out the first disk of dough for the bottom crust and fit it into a 9-inch deep dish pie pan.  Spoon the filling into the bottom crust.  Roll out the 2nd disk of dough for the top crust and fit over the pot pie filling.  Cinch the edges of the 2 crusts together with your fingers and trim off any excess dough.  Make an X in the middle of the pie and fold back the secions created by the X to make a vent for the pie.

Bake the pie on the middle rack of the oven for 30 - 40 minutes or until the top crust is lightly browned and the contents are bubbly in the vent.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before serving.  Serves 6 - 8 as a single-dish meal.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Cornmeal-Carrot Skillet Cakes

MMmmmmm!  We had Cornmeal-Carrot Skillet Cakes (recipe here) this week with mixed greens and chili sauced beans.  SO YUM!!!
 
 

 
Happy Groundhog Day!  We welcome Phil's prediction of an early spring!!!