Welcome to Romeo's Food Lady! This blog contains recipes for delicious vegetarian food. Most of these are not recipes authored by me. Rather, this is 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 FOR ME so I don't lose great food I've found nor the changes I've made to suit my tastes, but I'm happy for you to use it, too. 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!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Red Beans and Rice

This refreshingly interesting but still vegetarian version of red beans and rice came from none other than Southern Living magazine, so you know it's tasty!  Serve the dish with a pot of greens, and you're good to go.

1 lb. dried red kidney beans
1 T. Creole seasoning
1 t. smoked paprika
1 vegetable boullion cube
salt, to taste
3 c. uncooked long-grain rice
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T. olive oil
garnish:  sliced green onions

Place the beans in a Dutch oven, add water to cover 2 inches above the beans.  Bring to a boil.  Boil 1 minute, cover, remove from heat, and soak 1 hour.  Drain.

Stir the Creole seasoning, smoked paprika, boullion cube, and beans into 7 c. water in a Dutch oven.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 1 - 1.5 hours or until the beans are tender.  Season with salt to taste.  (I usually use a scant tablespoon for a pound of beans.)

While the beans are cooking:
1.  Cook the rice according to package directions.
2. Saute the celery, bell peppers, onion, and garlic in the olive oil 6 - 8 minutes or until tender.

Stir the sauteed vegetables into the beans, and serve over the cooked rice.  Garnish with sliced green onions.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sugar Awareness

At the Today Tomorrow household, we've been trying to cut a lot of added sugar out of our diet this year.  Unbelievably, we found sugar in everything from peanut butter to spaghetti sauce to bread and even pickles.  These days when we eat sugar, it's "on purpose"...a conscious decision. 
Breakfast has been the biggest challenge, with lots of breakfast foods not just including sugar (muffins, for example), but many even featuring sugar (pancakes and waffles).  These days we just cover our pumpkin waffles (recipe here) or pancakes with fresh, in-season fruit.  It really works!  Add chopped walnuts to the batter, and you're all set.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pasta with Cauliflower

This wonderfully different recipe is barely modified from Donna Klein's book The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen.  Great the first day, better the next.
3 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets then finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/8 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1 14-oz. can petite-diced tomatoes with liquid
1/4 c. drained capers
1/2 c. vegetable broth or water, separated
2 T. tomato paste
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/8 t. turmeric
1/2 t. sweet paprika
1 lb. small tubular pasta (I used a small penne.)
1/4 c. chopped fresh basil
1 c. panko bread crumbs
Add the oil to a deep-sided skillet with a lid, and heat over medium heat.  Add the cauliflower and cook, stirring, until the cauliflower is just softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and their juices, capers, 1/4 c. broth (or water), tomato paste, salt (I used 1 teaspoon.), and freshly ground pepper.  Bring to a brisk simmer over medium-high heat, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the turmeric, paprika, and remaining 1/4 c. broth (or water).  Increase the heat to medium, and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally until the liquids are greatly reduced.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to package directions.  Drain well, add to the cauliflower mixture, add the basil, and stir to combine.
Serve immediately, topped with bread crumbs.  Serves 6.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Vegetarian-Friendly Asheville, NC

Scott and I recently visited Asheville, NC, and I swear it has to be the most vegetarian-friendly city I've been to.
The highlight, really, was a restaurant called Plant where everything is vegan.  It's casually sophisticated, and the food is outrageously delicious.  We tried three of the available entrees:  black pepper tofu, fried wild oyster mushrooms, and lemongrass seitan.  They were all fantastic.  I am salivating just thinking about it, and we were so busy loving the perfect atmosphere, vegan food as it should be, and great company that no photos were taken.  Just trust me, and go there!
We also went many times to a super great healthy grocer called Earth Fare.  This store has healthy groceries, a selection of wines, yummy vegan chocolate truffles, a prepared food cafe with coffees and smoothies, heavenly-smelling soaps, and decent prices.  Recommended!
Other great vegetarian experiences:
Biscuit Head - Yummy fried green tomato on an enormous biscuit with a side of coconut-milk collard greens.
French Broad Chocolate Lounge - Check out the Buddha collection:  Vegan ice cream!  A huge selection of vegan chocolate truffles and candies!
Early Girl Eatery - Biscuits and gravy (vegetarian and vegan), tempeh, grits, vegan tofu scramble, and more.

On top of there being plenty of delicious vegetarian food, Asheville's just a pretty cool town anyway.  Lots of art, lots of local, lots of beautiful scenery.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Cherry and Peach Galette

This incredible dessert recipe came from Food Network Magazine.  Cherry season is short, and this is a delicious way to "spend" your cherries in that brief time.

2 T. vegan margarine (I like Earth Balance.)
2 sheets vegan frozen puff pastry, thawed (one 17-oz. or 18-oz. package)
3 T. AP flour, plus more for dusting
1 large egg (ovo-vegetarians) or 2 T. soymilk (vegans)
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 t. ground allspice
2 t. almond extract
1/2 t. finely grated lemon zest
2 t. fresh lemon juice
2.5 c. cherries (about 1 lb.), pitted and halved
2 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges

Position a rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.  "Butter" a baking sheet with 1 T. vegan margarine.

Unfold 1 sheet puff pastry on a floured surface.  Beat the egg or soymilk with 1 T. water and brush over the dough.  Unfold the other sheet of puff pastry and lay it on top; press the sheets together with a rolling pin, then roll out a 14-inch square.  Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.  (Refrigerate the leftover egg wash/soymilk wash for brushing the galette later.)

Combine the sugar, allspice, almond, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a large bowl.; transfer 2 T. of the mixture to a small bowl and set aside for sprinkling.  Add the cherries, peaches, and 3 T. flour to the remaining sugar mixture and toss.
Spoon the cherry mixture onto the pastry and spread, leaving a 2-inch border.  Cut the remaining 1 T. vegan margarine into small pieces and scatter on top.  Fold in the pastry edges over the filling, pleating as needed.

Bake the galette on the positioned rack until puffed and golden, about 20 minutes.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.  Remove the galette from the oven, brush the crust with the reserved egg wash/soymilk wash, and sprinkle with the reserved sugar mixture.  Return the galette to the oven and bake until the juices thicken and the pastry is cooked through, 30 - 45 minutes more (depending on the juiciness of the cherries).  Transfer to a rack and cool at least 10 minutes before cutting to allow the filling time to set.

Serves 6.