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, September 30, 2014

Summer Vegetable Tian

This recipe from The Commercial Appeal is by Carol Borchardt, a personal chef.  I almost always appreciate Ms. Borchardt's recipes published in our paper.

2 T. olive oil, plus more to coat baking dish
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
2 t. chopped fresh thyme (or 1 t. dried thyme), divided
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 c. grated cheese, divided (optional)
3 small Yukon gold or other potatoes (about 1/4 lb.), unpeeled
2 small zucchini (about 6 inches long)
3 Roma tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush a 9-x-9-inch baking dish with olive oil.

In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium-low heat.  Add the onion and cook 8-10 minutes or until transluscent but not browned.  Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more.  Add half the thyme and salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer to the prepared baking dish and allow to cool while preparing the other vegetables.  Sprinkle with cheese, if using.

Slice the potatoes, zucchini, and tomatoes into 1/4-inch slices.  Layer them alternately in the dish on top of the onions, fitting them tightly, making one layer.  If any vegetables slices are left over, tuck them in anywhere to use every last one.  Sprinkles with salt, pepper, and the remaining thyme.  Drizzle with the remaining olive oil.  Cover the dish with foil, and bake 40 - 45 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.  Uncover, sprinkles the remaining cheese on top (if using), and bake for another 10 - 12 minutes or until browned.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving.  Serves 2 - 3 if used as a main dish.

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.

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

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.

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.