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!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Fried Green Tomato Biscuit Sandwiches


After bringing in all our green tomatoes last week to save them from the impending frost, I had this fantastic and fantastically Southern breakfast of fried green tomatoes (recipe here) and gravy (recipe here) on biscuit (recipe here) sandwiches.  Too delicious!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Hallowe'en!

Romeo would like to wish you all a very happy Hallowe'en!

His food lady's menu for tonight is sweet potato lasagna (recipe here), roasted Brussels sprouts (recipe here) for the Food Lady, steamed broccoli for the Litter Box Guy, rightly spiced cranberry beans, crusty loaf of bread, sparkling spiders (recipe here), and port.

Boo-yummy!

 
 Ghost-y Romeo

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Orzo with Cannellini Beans and Vegetables

This recipe is from a useful weeknight cookbook called Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home.  Most all of the recipes in this book are fast, easy, and vegetarian...necessary for today's busy cooks.

Ingredients:
2 quarts water
3 T. olive oil, separated
1 large onion, chopped (about 1.5 c.)
2 - 3 carrots, peeled and diced (about 2 c.)
1 bell pepper
2 garlic cloves
1 c. orzo
1 6-inch zucchini
2 T. fresh basil, chopped (The recipe calls for a mixture of 1 T. mint, 1 t. dill, 1/2 t. marjoram.  I had basil on hand, so that's what I used.)
14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
15-oz. can cannellini beans (or other white beans)
14.5-oz. can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Bring the water to a boil in a large covered saucepan.

While the water heats, heat 2 T. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Sauté the chopped onion and carrots in the hot oil.  In the meantime, seed and chop the bell pepper, and peel and mince the garlic.  Add the pepper and garlic to the onions and carrots and stir.

When the water boils, add the orzo and cook according to package directions.  When al dente, drain and stir in the remaining 1 T. olive oil.

With the orzo cooking, dice the zucchini and stir it into the skillet of vegetables.  Add the basil and artichoke hearts to the vegetables.  Gently stir in the beans and tomatoes.  Simmer for several minutes, stirring occasionally.

When the vegetables are hot, stir in the orzo, then season with salt and pepper.  If you final dish tastes bland, you probably need to add more salt.  I usually use around 1 t.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Roasted Vegetable Tacos

This is one I just threw together.  You could easily modify this...use smoked paprika instead of chipotles, stir in chopped fresh scallions instead of using onion, use refried beans instead of  black beans, add fresh jalapenos or minced garlic.  Use what you have on hand and what you like!




Ingredients:
2 ears fresh corn, shucked and washed
1 lb. baby bell peppers, seeds and veins removed, sliced
1 onion, halved and sliced
2 chipotles in adobo sauce, seeded if desired, finely chopped
3 T. olive oil
1/2 t. salt or to taste
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
non-stick spray
about 12 corn tortillas
1 lime, chopped into quarters
chopped lettuce

Method:
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
 
In a rimmed baking sheet, stand each ear of corn on its end, and cut the kernels away from the cob using a sharp knife.  Toss with the sliced bell peppers, onion, chipotles, olive oil, and salt until everything is coated.  Spread into an even layer, and roast in the preheated oven 20 - 30 minutes or until the vegetables are browning on the edges.  Remove from the oven and toss with the black beans while still hot.
 
While the vegetables are roasting, heat a skillet or griddle over medium-high heat.  Spray with non-stick spray, and add a corn tortilla to the skillet.  When lightly browned, flip, and cook until the second side is browned.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.
 
Top each tortilla with the roasted vegetable mixture, a generous squeeze of lime, and chopped lettuce.
 
Serves about 4.


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Mediterranean Lentil Salad

Here's another easy, healthy, and filling dish from the cookbook Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home by the Moosewood Collective.  Make this in advance, and you have an easy lunch to take to work that won't require you to stand in line for the microwave.


Ingredients:
salad -
1 c. brown or green lentils (I like using the tiny black French lentils.)
4 c. water
2 bay leaves
1 t. fresh thyme or 1/2 t. dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/3 c. sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), chopped
boiling water
1/2 c. diced celery
1/2 c. diced yellow bell pepper
1/4 c. minced red onion

dressing -
1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil
3 T. red wine vinegar
salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Method:
Rinse the lentils.  In a medium saucepan, bring the lentils, water, bay leaves, thyme, and garlic to a boil.  Reduce the heat, and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

While the lentils simmer, cover the sun-dried tomatoes with boiling water in a heatproof bowl, soak for 2 minutes or until the tomatoes have softened but remain slightly chewy, and then drain.  Combine the tomatoes, celery, bell pepper, and onion in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, whisk the dressing ingredients together.  (Alternatively, shake them together in a jar.)

Drain the lentils and discard the bay leaves.  Remove the garlic, mash it with a fork, and mix it back into the lentils.  Toss the lentils with the vegetables and dressing, and adjust the seasonings if necessary.  Serve immediately or chill to serve later.  Serves 4.


Serving Notes:  We served this with washed baby lettuces, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, and crackers for a refreshing, light meal.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Tempeh Breakfast Sandwich

I am not really a huge fan of traditional breakfast fare.  Too starchy, meaty, eggy, or sweet, in general, for my tastes.  Don't get me wrong, I love homemade biscuits (I'm from the Southern U.S., so I have them nearly every weekend.  Recipe here.), and I definitely want pancakes or waffles every once in a while, but usually I'm looking for something off the beaten path.

One of my new favorites is this breakfast sandwich, which I guess you could really eat at any meal.  It's filling and tasty!  Fry up the whole package of tempeh, and you'll have sandwich fixin's for the week.

Ingredients:
canola oil
soy sauce
smoked paprika
tempeh (I love the Lightlife "Garden Veggie" variety.), cut into 1/4-inch strips
bagel
avocado slices
roasted red peppers (from a jar or from your grocer's olive bar)

Method:
In a non-stick skillet, heat the canola oil over medium heat.  Add soy sauce and smoked paprika to taste, then add the strips of tempeh.  Fry the tempeh until browned on the bottom, then flip and fry the other side until browned as well.  Remove from pain and drain on paper towels.
NOTE:  I usually fry up a whole 8-oz. package of tempeh at a time, which takes about 3 T. canola oil and maybe 1/2 t. of soy sauce and a heaping 1/4 t. smoked paprika.  I'm guessing, but the amounts are flexible.

Toast both halves of the bagel in a toaster.  Sandwich tempeh strips with avocado slices and roasted red pepper, and enjoy.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Southwestern Succotash with Barley

Years ago my good friend, Elaine, gave me a cookbook by Crescent Dragonwagon called Passionate Vegetarian, and I'm just getting around to exploring the recipes in this book.

This one is a great vegan main dish, perfect for impending autumn weather, and I believe it would lend itself well to experimentation.  Maybe chipotles or smoked paprika in the mix?  And this dish is easy enough for a weeknight meal.

Ingredients:
1/8 t. salt, plus more to taste
3/4 c. pearled barley
1 T. canola or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1.5 t. cumin seeds
large pinch cayenne pepper
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small can green chiles
1 10-oz. package frozen lima beans
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 1/2 c. frozen corn kernels
3 T. (fresh) or 1.5 t. (dried) parsley, minced if using fresh
3 T. (fresh) or 1.5 t. (dried) cilantro, minced if using fresh

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 7/8 c. water and 1/8 t. salt to a boil.  Add the pearled barley, reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes until the grains are tender but still chewy.

Meanwhile, heat the canola or olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cumin seeds, and sauté until the onion is softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the cayenne pepper, butternut squash, garlic, green chiles, lima beans, freshly ground pepper to taste, and salt to taste.  (I used about 1 t. salt.  If you final product tastes dull, you probably just need to add salt.)

Raise the heat on the lima bean mixture to high, heat everything through, then lower back to medium heat.  Cover, and let the vegetables steam until the squash and limas are fairly tender, about 10 - 12 minutes.  Add the corn, and cook for 5 minutes more.

Stir the herbs and cooked barley into the succotash, and serve hot for a warming one-dish meal.  Serves 4.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Romeo and his food lady would like to wish you all a very Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Scott and I are celebrating the holiday by listening to Irish bands and artists (Thin Lizzy, U2, and Donovan), cooking bubble and squeak, eating Irish potato cake that Scott made yesterday for the occasion (recipe here), and drinking snakebites.  How are you celebrating?

Friday, February 28, 2014

Barley and Sprouts Salad

This amazing salad came from Food Network magazine, and it's equally delicious served warm or cold.  I served it warm with dinner, then ate leftovers cold for a snack at work the next day.  I'm nuts for Brussels sprouts anyway, and I was happy to find an interesting way to incorporate barely into my diet.  I'm always looking to make friends with new, healthy vegetarian foods!




Ingredients:
2 c. vegetable broth
1 c. barley
1/2 t. salt, separated
2 t. olive oil
12 oz. Brussels sprouts, thinly sliced (about 3 c.)
grated lemon zest of one lemon

Method:
Bring the vegetable broth and 1/4 c. water to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Stir in the barley and 1/4 t. salt.  Cover and cook over medium heat until the liquid is absorbed.  (Check the barley package for times.)

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil  in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the Brussels sprouts, lemon zest, and 1/4 t. salt to the skillet.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts are the texture you like them.  (The recipe calls for "crisp-tender", but I like mine kind of soft so I cooked them longer.)

Toss the cooked barley with the cooked Brussels sprouts, and serve warm, room temperature, or even cold.  Serves 4 as a side dish.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Apricot Oatmeal Muffins

I found this healthy recipe online at the Betty Crocker website while looking for something to do with the dried apricots I'd bought as a snack for Scott.  He didn't like them as much as the dried mangoes we had previously.  But after I chopped them up in muffins, everyone likes them!



 Ingredients:
3/4 c. AP flour
1/2 c. plus 1 T. old-fashioned oats, separated
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 egg (Vegans can use Ener-G's Egg Replacer product.)
1/2 c. packed brown sugar (I love brown sugar!)
1/3 c. almond milk
3 T. canola oil
1/2 t. almond extract
1/3 c. finely chopped dried apricots

Method:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease only the bottoms of SIX regular-sized muffin cups OR line them with paper baking cups.

In a medium bowl, mix the flour, 1/2 c. oats, baking powder, and salt.  In a small bowl, beat the egg (or replacer).  Mix the brown sugar, almond milk, canola oil, and almond extract together with the egg (or replacer).  Stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture until the flour is just moistened.  Fold in the apricots.

Divide the muffin mixture evenly between the SIX muffin cups.  Sprinkle each with 1/2 t. oats.

Bake 23 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean.  Remove from pan to cooling rack.  Serve warm.  Makes six healthy muffins.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Chocolate Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

Looking for something special for St. Valentine's Day next month?  Scott made this beautiful and delicious dessert for our St. Valentine's Day dinner last year.  The cake recipe came from a package of Baker's Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate (and is, of course, slightly modified for health, humane, and personal taste reasons), and the sauce came from Deborah Madison's award-winning cookbook titled Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone.

How sweet it is!


For the cake -
Ingredients:
18 Oreo chocolate sandwich cookies, finely crushed (about 1 1/2 c.)
2 T. vegan margarine (I like Earth Balance.), melted
3 8-oz. packages organic cream cheese, softened (I like Organic Valley.)
3/4 c. sugar
1 t. almond extract
1 8-oz. package of semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted, cooled slightly (Let me take this opportunity to advise you that baking chocolate can be DEADLY for your pets.  Don't let them get to even a taste of it.)
3 free-range eggs
Method:
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F if using a silver 9-inch springform pan or to 300 degrees F if using a dark non-stick 9-inch springform pan.  Mix cookie crumbs and melted vegan margarine; press firmly into the bottom of the pan.
Beat the cream cheese, sugar, and almond extract in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.  Add chocolate; mix well.  Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition just until blended.  Pour over crust.
Bake 55 minutes - 1 hour or until the center is almost set.  Run a knife around the rim of the pan to loosen the cake.  Cool before removing the rim.  Refrigerate at least 4 hours or preferably overnight.  Store in the refrigerator.  Makes 12 servings.
For the sauce -
Ingredients: 
1/4 - 1/2 c. sugar, to taste
2 c. fresh or frozen raspberries (you can also use strawberries or a mix of the 2 berries)
1 t. Chambord liqueur (or kirsch or framboise), or to taste
Method:
Boil 1/4 c. water and the sugar, using the larger amount of sugar if the berries are tart, in a small saucepan until no graininess remains when you rub a drop between your fingers.  Set aside to cool.
Crush or purée the berries, then press them through a fine sieve with a soft rubber scraper until all the juice is forced out and only the seeds remain.  Stir in the cooled syrup, then add the Chambord to taste.  
Serve each slice of cheesecake sitting in a pool of the sauce or, alternatively, drizzle each slice of cake with the sauce when serving.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mexican Slaw

I'm excited to share this utterly simple, utterly healthy, utterly delish side dish recipe with you from Rick Bayless's Authentic Mexican cookbook.  This goes perfectly with oven-baked burritos, but I know you'll find many other perfect combinations for it, too. 




Ingredients:
1/2 small head cabbage (about 10 ounces)
2 thin slices of onion, broken into rings
3 T. cider vinegar
2 T. canola oil
1/2 t. salt

Method:
Core the cabbage and slice it very thinly.  Place it in a bowl with the onion.
Mix the vinegar, oil, and salt, then toss with the cabbage and onions.
Voila!  Refrigerate until ready to use.
Serves 4 - 6.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Mexican Rice

Here's a tasty Mexican rice dish from Rick Bayless's seminal cookbook Authentic Mexican, which I bought because I loved Mr. Bayless's PBS series "Mexico:  One Plate At A Time".

This recipe is easy enough for Scott to make.  I know, because he's the one who made it!  Of course, we made a slight modification (which we usually do) to suit my vegetarian diet and our busy lives.
Enjoy! 

 

Ingredients:
1.5 T. canola oil
1 c. long- or medium-grain rice (We use whatever we have at the time.  The dish in the photo was made with basmati rice.)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 ripe, medium-small tomato
1.5 c. vegetable broth
salt (about 1/2 t. if using salted broth or 1 t. if using unsalted broth)
1.5 c. frozen mixed vegetables, thawed (We used one with peas, carrots, corn, and green beans.)

Method:
About 40 minutes before serving, heat the oil in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat.  Add the rice and onion, and cook, stirring regularly, until both are lightly browned (7 - 10 minutes).  Mix in the garlic and cook another minute longer.

While the rice is frying, puree the tomato in a blender or food processor.  Also, pour the broth into a small pan, add the salt, and bring just to a simmer.

Add the pureed tomato to the browned rice and cook for a minute, stirring several times.  Add the simmering broth, stir the rice, and scrape down the sides of the pot.  Cover and reduce the heat to medium low.  Cook 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and let the rice stand, covered, 5 - 10 minutes until the grains are tender but not splayed.

While the rice is cooking, warm the mixed vegetables with a small amount of water in a separate small pan.

When the rice is ready, fluff the grains with a fork.  Drain the vegetables, and stir into the rice.  Serve warm.

Serves 4.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Lemony Orzo with Vegetables


Here's yet another Food Network magazine recipe for a quick, light weeknight dinner.  As you can tell, I've found lots of vegetarian inspiration from that magazine lately!

This recipe originally called for the addition of a can of tuna at the end, which Scott added to his portions only (and enjoyed), but it is perfectly tasty without it.

Ingredients:
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 14-oz. can petite-diced tomatoes
1/4 t. dried oregano (or 1 t. fresh)
1.5 c. orzo (This is a rice-shaped pasta.)
salt and freshly-ground pepper
1 14-oz. can cannellini beans (or other white beans...I used Great Northern.)
1 small bell pepper, chopped (The recipe calls for sliced, which you'll see in the photo, but you end up cutting these to eat them anyway.)
juice of 1 lemon
2 T. chopped fresh parsley

Method: 
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the garlic and half of the scallions.  Cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Add the tomatoes and oregano.  Cook, stirring, 3 minutes.  Stir in 2.5 c. water, the orzo, 1/2 t. salt, and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and stir in the beans.  Cover and simmer until  most of the liquid is absorbed and the orzo is tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the bell pepper and continue cooking, covered, until tender, about 3 minutes.  Stir in the lemon juice and parsley.  Season with salt and pepper.  Top with the remaining scallions.

Serves 4.