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!

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.