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!

Friday, April 26, 2013

White Bean Purée with Sauteed Greens

From one of my favorite cookbooks to look at: Truly Italian by Ursula Ferrigno. The photography in this vegetarian cookbook is absolutely gorgeous. I always serve this white bean purée with sautéed greens, as the author suggests, and some type of starch. It's a delicious and satisfying light supper, and leftover purée can be spread on toasted crusty bread for a gourmet snack!
 

 
Ingredients:
1 15-oz. can white beans, rinsed and drained
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
4 T. extra-virgin olive oil plus extra for serving
2 t. fresh oregano, leaves only
2 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
grated zest of 1 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 oz. pitted kalamata olives, halved

Method:
Heat the beans gently in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic, olive oil, oregano, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt to taste, and pepper to taste. Mash the beans in the pan with a potato masher. If the mixture is too dry, add a little more olive oil.

When everything is mashed and mixed and the right texture, and it's warmed through, serve with sautéed greens and the starch of your choice. On your fork, take some greens, add a little bean purée with a piece of olive, and bite into Italian loveliness!  Serves 2, but doubles easily.




 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Warm Kale Salad

This recipe is courtesy of Food Network Magazine, and it is quite rich and tasty.  It serves about 4.
 

 
Ingredients:
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
5 scallions, sliced (white and green parts separated)
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 t. Cajun seasoning
1 t. brown sugar
2 15-oz. cans kidney or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes
3 c. frozen or fresh kale (or other greens as you choose), chopped
Louisiana-style hot sauce
 
Method:
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the celery and scallion whites and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft (4 - 5 minutes).  Add the garlic, Cajun seasoning, and brown sugar and cook, stirring, 30 seconds.  Add the beans, tomatoes, and 3/4 c. water.  Bring to a simmer and cook until the liquid is slightly reduced, 10 - 12 minutes.  Stir in the kale and cook until tender.  Add the scallion greens and a hot sauce, to taste.  Serve warm.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Peepaw's Peach Cobbler

A most excellent dessert!  I don't know where my grandfather - who we always called "Peepaw" (don't ask me the origin of that...I don't really know) - got this recipe, but thank goodness he did!  Easy, delicious, perfect.
 

 
Ingredients:
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 t. baking powder (try to find aluminum-free baking powder)
3/4 c. sugar (unless you're using FRESH peaches, then use 1 c. sugar)
3/4 c. almond milk (OK, I admit that Peepaw used cow's milk, but making it dairy-free with almond milk is even more awesome.)
1 stick vegan margarine (ditto above)
1 large can sliced peaches in heavy syrup (or try it with an approximately equal amount of peeled, sliced fresh peaches)
 
Method:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Melt vegan margarine in a small casserole dish (I used a glass 8"x8" dish.) by putting the dish in the preheating oven.
 
In a medium bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar.  Stir in the almond milk.
 
Pour the flour and almond milk mixture into the dish over the melted butter.  Pour the peaches AND their syrup (if using canned peaches) over the flour mixture.  Bake for about 45 minutes, and serve warm.  Serves 4-6.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Pasta Primavera

 This is what I made for Easter dinner this year, and except for the sauce I just made it up.  It seemed a perfect way to celebrate the spring equinox.  The sauce is a part of a pasta dish published in Vegetarian Times some unknown number of years ago.  The end result was a hit with my guests.
 
 
 
 
Ingredients:
12-oz. pkg penne pasta (but use whatever shape suits you...I debated between this and miniature farfalle pasta.)
3 1/2 T. extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 onion, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, woody ends removed, remaining spears chopped into 1-inch pieces
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 c. frozen English peas
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
4-oz. log goat cheese
salt and freshly-ground pepper
3 scallions
 
Method:
Prepare pasta according to package instructions.
 
While the pasta is cooking, heat 1 1/2 T. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the chopped onion and carrots and sauté 2 or 3 minutes.  Add the asparagus and frozen peas, and sauté until the onion is transluscent and the carrots and asparagus are tender (or desired texture).  Remove vegetables from skillet to a bowl and set aside.
 
In the same skillet, heat another 1 T. olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add the garlic, and sauté 1 minute, or until fragrant.  Stir in the goat cheese and 1/3 c. water.  Cook 2-3 minutes or until a smooth sauce forms, stirring constantly.  Simmer 2 minutes more, then remove from heat and add remaining 1 T. olive oil and 1 t. salt.  Add additional salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste.  Return vegetables to the pan and heat through.
 
Drain the pasta, and return to pot.  Using kitchen shears, snip the scallions into the pasta (white and green parts).  Toss the pasta with the vegetables and goat cheese sauce, and serve immediately.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Lemony Asparagus Double-Cous

I used a recipe from Donna Klein's cookbook The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen as the springboard for this one.  It turned out tasty, light, and perfect for spring.  I served it with steamed carrot coins and was really satisfied with the combination.  See what you think!


 
Ingredients:
1 1/2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
1 bunch asparagus, washed and woody ends removed
2 c. vegetable broth
chopped zest of one large lemon
juice of one large lemon
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
1 1/2 c. instant couscous
 
Method:
Chop the asparagus into 1-inch pieces.
 
In a large skillet that has a well-fitting lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the chopped onion and sauté 2 or 3 minutes.  Add the chopped asparagus and continue to sauté until the onion is transparent and the asparagus is tender-crisp (or to the texture you like).
 
Add the broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, chickpeas, salt (I usually start at 1 t. salt.  If your end result is on the bland side, you haven't used enough salt.), and pepper.  Bring to a boil over high heat.  Stir in the couscous, cover, and remove from heat.  Let stand until all the liquids are absorbed, about 7 minutes.
 
Uncover and fluff the couscous with a fork.  (Do not do a spotty job with the fluffing, because it will not easily fluff later, and you'll have clumpy couscous.)  Serve warm or at room temperature (or, heck, even cold if you like!).  Serves 4 as a main dish.

 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Vegan Enchiladas

It did not take long for Scott's new cooking kick to lead him in the direction of Mexico, and he made these awesome vegan enchiladas by slightly modifying recipes from Rick Bayless's Authentic Mexican cookbook.  Well, we put cheese over the top, but that's easy to fix, eh?  The sauce is from scratch.  That's right!  From scratch!  This is definitely a weekend dish since it takes a bit of time to do everything.  But Scott's a beginner, so the dish is time-consuming but not difficult.  Enjoy!



 
Ingredients:
12 corn tortillas
non-stick cooking spray
1/4 c. canola oil, plus a little more if needed
sauce:
4 large cloves of garlic, unpeeled
4 medium dried guajillo peppers (about 1 oz. total), stemmed, seeded, and deveined
6 medium ancho peppers (about 3 oz. total), stemmed, seeded, and deveined
boiling water
1/4 t. black peppercorns
1/4 t. cumin seeds
2 c. vegetable broth (and maybe a little more)
1 t. salt
large pinch sugar
filling:
2 medium-small red potatoes, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
2 medium-large carrots, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch pieces
3 T. cider vinegar
1 t. salt
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 1/2 t. canola oil
 
Method:
If the tortillas are moist, lay them out in a single layer to dry a bit.  When dried, wrap in plastic wrap until ready to use.
 
Make the sauce, starting 2 to 4 hours in advance.  Heat a heavy skillet or griddle (cast iron is perfect) over medium heat, then lay the unpeeled garlic on one side to roast.  Tear the peppers into flat pieces and, a few at a time, press them against the hot surface with a metal spatula.  Flip them over and press again.  You will hear them crackle, and you'll see them blister and change color.  Remove to a bowl, cover with boiling water, weigh down with a plate to keep them submerged, and soak for at least one hour (preferably 2 or 3).
Turn the garlic frequently for 15 minutes or so, until blackened a little and soft within.  Remove, cool, peel, and place in a blender jar.  Grind the peppercorns and cumin seeds using a mortar and pestle or a spice grinder, then add to garlic.
Drain the peppers, squeezing gently.  Add to the blender jar and measure in 1 1/2 c. of the broth.  Blend until smooth, then strain into a large bowl through a medium-mesh sieve.  Season with 1 t. salt and one large pinch of sugar.  Add additional broth to thin to the consistency of a light tomato sauce.
 
Cook the vegetables.  Place the potatoes and carrots in a medium-size saucepan, cover with water, and add the vinegar and salt.  Simmer over medium heat until tender, about 15 minutes.  Drain thoroughly and set aside.  While the potatoes and carrots are simmering, heat the 1 1/2 t. canola oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the chopped onion until transluscent, about 8 minutes.  mix with the potato and carrot mixture that has been drained and set aside.
 

 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9-inch x 13-inch baking dish with non-stick spray.

Prepare the tortillas.  Heat 1/4 c. oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat.  When sizzingly hot, quick-fry the tortillas to soften them, one at a time, for 2-3 seconds on each side.  (I find this is difficult to do without tearing the tortillas, so I keep a-hold of each tortilla with my tongs, and I don't let the small section I'm holding get into the oil.  You may find something better, but that's how I prevent the tears that seem inevitable.)  Drain on paper towels.
Assemble the enchiladas:  Pour a cup of the sauce onto a plate, and lay the first tortilla in the sauce.  Flip it over so that both sides are now coated with sauce.  Lay a row of filling down the center (about 1/12 of the total amount, and roll it up.  Transfer to the baking dish, seam side down.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas.  Once the tortillas are all filled and in the baking dish, pour the remainder of the sauce over them paying special attention to the edges.  Cover with aluminum foil, and bake in the oven until just heated through, about 15 minutes.

Serve immediately with desired accompaniments like refried beans, tortilla chips, pico de gallo, salsa, and/or guacamole.  You could also try this recipe by adding chopped spinach to the filling.  Modify any way you like, and have a marvelous fiesta!