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!

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Caribbean Black Beans with Quinoa

This is another good one from the now-defunct magazine Vegetarian Today.
 
Ingredients
4 t. canola oil, divided
1 c. quinoa
1 T. plus 1 t. minced fresh garlic, divided
1 c. vegetable broth/stock
1 1/2 c. water, divided
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 c. diced plus 1/4 c. minced red onion
1 T. ground cumin
1/4 t. cayenne pepper, rounded
2 T. white vinegar
3 cans black bans, drained and rinsed, separated
2 T. fresh oregano leaves
1/4 t. salt
1 c. diced Roma tomato
1 small jalapeno, seeds and veins removed, finely diced
lime wedges
 
Method:
Heat 2 t. oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat.  Toast the quinoa and 1 t. garlic in the oil for 1 minute.  Stir in the broth/stock, 1 c. water, and bay leaf, and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until all the liquid is absorbed, 15 - 20 minutes.  Fluff with a fork, and discard the bay leaf.

Meanwhile, heat 2 t. oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the 1/2 c. diced red onion, 1 T. garlic, cumin, and cayenne until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.  Deglaze the skillet with the vinegar, scraping up any browned bits, and reduce until the vinegar nearly evaporates.  Set aside.

Purée 1 can of black beans, 1/2 c. water, and the oregano leaves in a food processor or blender.  Stir the puréed bean mixture into the skillet with the onions.  Stir in the salt and the whole beans.  Heat until heated through, about 2 minutes.

Mix the tomato with the minced red onion and jalapeno.

Serve the quinoa topped with the warm beans, topped with the tomatoes, and with lime wedges.  Serves 4 - 5.

Thai Curry Noodles

This delicious recipe is modified from one published in the now defunct Vegetarian Today magazine.  It's a fun noodle dish for those who are avoiding gluten.
 

Ingredients
1 15-oz. can coconut milk
4 t. purchased red curry paste (check ingredients to ensure it meets your dietary restrictions)
2 T. canola oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 T. minced fresh garlic
1 T. minced fresh ginger
3/4 t. salt
6 oz. fresh green beans, trimmed and halved
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 bell pepper, any color, seeds and veins removed, sliced
juice of 1 lime
8 - 10 oz. dry rice noodles, prepared according to package directions
chopped dry-roasted peanuts, for garnish

Method
(NOTE:  You may need to begin boiling water for the rice noodles at the beginning.  Check noodle package directions.)

Whisk coconut milk and curry paste together in a bowl, and set aside.

Heat the canola oil in a large deep-sided skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the onion, garlic, and ginger until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the coconut milk mixture and salt, and bring to a simmer.

Add the green beans and cauliflower, and simmer 7 minutes.  Add the bell pepper.  Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the veggies soften (about 10 minutes).  Stir in the lime juice.

Add the cooked rice noodles to the pan and toss to coat the noodles in the sauce.  Garnish each serving with peanuts.

Serves 4.

Zucchini and White Bean Sautée with Polenta

Eating Well has a nice-looking polenta and ratatouille recipe, but I just don't like eggplant.  (Judge me if you so choose!)  Here's an eggplant-free version of theirs.
 
Ingredients
4 T. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 large bell pepper, seeds and veins removed, coarsely chopped
1/2 t. salt, divided
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 medium zucchini, sliced in half lengthwise, then sliced into half-moons
2 cans cannellini or Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, any color
1/4 c. sliced sun-dried tomatoes
1 t. dried thyme
freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
1 16-oz tube of prepared polenta, sliced into 1/2-inch slices
1 T. capers
1/4 c. pine nuts (toasted if you have time, raw if you don't)

Method
In a large, deep skillet, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat.  Sauté the onion, bell pepper, and 1/8 t. salt until the onion and pepper soften (5 - 7 minutes).  Add the garlic, and sauté another 1 - 2 minutes.  Transfer vegetables to a bowl.

In the same skillet, heat 2 T. olive oil.  Add the zucchini and 1/4 t. salt.  Sauté until the zucchini begins to brown (about 5 minutes).

Add the beans, cherry/grape tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, thyme, freshly-ground pepper, and the onion mixture to the skillet with the zucchini.  Stir to combine, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes).

While the vegetables are cooking, heat the last 1 T. olive oil in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat.  Spread the polenta in a single layer in the oil, and cook until it becomes deep yellow on one side.  Flip the polenta slices and cook until it becomes deep yellow on the second side.

Stir the capers and pine nuts into the vegetables.  Serve vegetables immediately with polenta on the side.

Serves 4.

Peppers Stuffed With Mexi-Millet

 
Using prepared salsa and pre-shredded carrots makes this meal doable even with a busy schedule.  Using millet for the stuffing will satisfy both vegans and those following a gluten-free diet.
 
Ingredients
2 T. olive oil, divided
3/4 c. millet
3/4 t. salt, divided
1 1/2 c. boiling water
3 large-ish bell peppers (any color), sliced in half from top to bottom, seeds and veins removed
2 ears fresh corn, kernels cut away from the cob using a sharp knife (or use 1 15-oz can of corn, drained, in a pinch)
3/4 c. shredded carrots (I use packaged, pre-shredded carrot)
1 fresh poblano or Cubanelle pepper, seeds and veins removed, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 c. salsa

Method:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Heat 1 t. olive oil over medium-low heat in a heavy skillet.  Add the millet to the skillet (that rhymes!), and toast until the grains begin to darken.  Combine the toasted millet, 1/2 t. salt, 1 t. olive oil, and boiling water in a large saucepan.  Stir, cover, and simmer over low heat 25 - 30 minutes or until all water is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork.

While the millet is cooking, place the peppers, cut side up, in a 9" x 13" baking pan.  Bake uncovered for 10 - 15 minutes, then remove from oven.

Meanwhile, in the "millet skillet," heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat.  Sauté the fresh corn kernels (if using fresh), carrots, and poblano or Cubanelle pepper about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic and 1/4 t. salt, and sauté another 2 - 3 minutes.

Mix the cooked millet, canned corn (if using canned), and 1 1/2 c. salsa into the carrot mixture.  Divide the millet stuffing between the 6 bell pepper halves, top with the remaining 1/2 c. salsa, and return to oven.  Bake uncovered until the edges of the peppers begin to brown.  Serve immediately.

Serves 3 - 6.
 

Buddha Bowl

Another adaptation of a magnificent Eating Well recipe.  If you have leftovers, keep the avocado and tomatoes separate from everything else.  Once the main dish has been gently reheated, top with the fresh veggies.
 
Ingredients:
2 small-medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
6 T. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 1/4 t. salt, divided
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 c. quinoa
2 1/4 c. water, divided
1/4 c. tahini
juice of one lemon
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced (or 1/4 t. garlic powder)
2 15-oz. cans chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
2 avocados, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 c. grape tomatoes (optional)

Method
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the sweet potato chunks with 2 T. olive oil, 1/2 t. salt, and pepper to taste.  Spread potato chunks out to a single layer and roast, stirring halfway through, 20 minutes or until potato chunks are easily pierced with a fork.

Meanwhile, rinse the quinoa under cold water in a fine-mesh strainer.  In a medium saucepan, combine the quinoa, 2 c. water, and 1/4 t. salt.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 15 - 20 minutes or until all the water is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork.

Mix 4 T. olive oil, 1/2 t. salt, 1/4 c. water, tahini, lemon juice, garlic (or garlic powder), and pepper, to taste, in a medium bowl.

Serve quinoa topped with sweet potato, chickpeas, avocado, tomatoes (if using).  Drizzle each serving with tahini sauce.
 
Serves 4 to 6.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Mediterranean Roasted Broccoli

 
Another one based on a great Eating Well magazine recipe...serve over the "bed" of your choice.  We use brown rice and serve cannellini or pinto beans on the side.
 
 
Ingredients:
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 t. salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
20-oz. bag of frozen broccoli florets
1 pint cherry tomatoes
zest of one lemon
juice of 1/2 lemon
15 - 20 Kalamata olives, pitted and halved
3 springs fresh oregano, leaves only (or 2 t. dried oregano)
2 t. capers
 
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
 
Mix the olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.  Toss the broccoli in the olive oil mixture.  Remove the broccoli to an edged baking sheet, reserving the remaining oil mixture, and spread the broccoli into a single layer.  Bake for 5 minutes, then remove pan from oven.
 
Toss the tomatoes in the remaining oil mixture.  Pour the tomatoes and remaining oil onto the baking sheet with the broccoli and toss to combine.  Spread the vegetables back into a single layer, and continue cooking until the broccoli begins to brown on the edges, about 10 minutes.
 
While the broccoli is browning, toss the lemon zest, lemon juice, olives, oregano, and capers together in the bowl.  Add the roasted vegetables, and toss together.  Serve immediately.
 
Serves 3 - 4.
 
 

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup

I posted this one 5 years ago, but this is the gluten-free version that we're using these days at the Today Tomorrow household, still based on the recipe from Peta's The Compassionate Cook vegan cookbook.


Ingredients:
2 bunches (or about 2 lbs.) broccoli
2 medium onions, peeled and quartered
2 cloves garlic, peeled
4 c. vegetable broth
1.5 t. salt (or to taste)
1/3 c. unsweetened almond milk, or enough to achieve desired texture
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
smoked paprika, to taste
 
Method:
On each broccoli stalk, cut off about 1/2-inch from the bottom and discard.  Cut away the florets, and reserve to the side.  Cut away the woody, tough exterior from the stalk, and cut the stalk interior into pieces.
 
Place the broccoli florets, broccoli stalk interior pieces, onion, garlic cloves, vegetable broth, and salt into a stockpot.  Bring the broth to a boil, cover the pot, and reduce heat to medium.  Boil until the vegetables are soft, about 10 - 15 minutes.  Remove from heat.

Using an immersion blender, purée the vegetables and almond milk together.  (Alternatively, you can move the ingredients to a regular blender in batches and purée.  It's messier, but it works.)  If needed to achieve desired texture, add more almond milk.
 
Season with salt and pepper to taste, and ladle into soup bowls.  Sprinkle each bowl with smoked paprika.
 
Serves 4 - 5.

The Best-Ever Vegan Chocolate Sorbet

I previously published the following recipe about 8 years ago, and it still is really too good to be true...dangerously delicious. I make it every summer!
I got the original recipe from Southern Living magazine, and I've been making it so long I don't even know or remember if I do anything differently than they suggested.  I can't find it online anymore, so maybe they didn't love it as much as I do.
 

Ingredients:
5 c. water
2 ¼ c. sugar
1 c. cocoa
1 bag vegan chocolate chips

1. Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a stockpot. Boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved (about 1 minute). Whisk in cocoa until blended (no lumps). Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Gradually add the chocolate chips, whisking until smooth after each addition. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour.
2. Pour the chocolate mixture into a freezer-safe container (like popsicle molds!).
3. Move the ice cream to your kitchen freezer, and let it “cure” in the freezer for 24 hours.

Lettuce Tofu Wraps

This delicious recipe is slightly modified from Eating Well magazine's website.  It's a great meal with a side of fries when you're looking for something easy, fun, and delish.
 
 
Ingredients:
1/2 c. smooth natural peanut butter
1/4 c. soy sauce, tamari, or shoyu (If you need the dish to be gluten-free, check the ingredients.  Not all of these are gluten-free.), plus more for the tofu, to taste
1 T. rice vinegar
1 t. minced garlic
1/4 t. crushed red pepper
1 lb. Chinese tofu (Tofu's texture is greatly improved if it has been frozen for 24 hours and then thawed prior to use.  Plan ahead.)
2 T. canola oil
1 c. julienned Asian pear
1 c. julienned cucumber
8 large lettuce leaves, washed and dried

 
Method:
Whisk the peanut butter, 1/4 c. water, 1/4 c. soy sauce (or tamari or shoyu), rice vinegar, garlic, and red pepper together for the sauce.

Squeeze as much water from the tofu as possible, then cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes.  In a large, non-stick skillet, cook the tofu over medium-high heat until water is no longer sizzling out of the tofu.  Drizzle the tofu with soy sauce (or tamari or shoyu), to taste, then drizzle with the canola oil.  Toss the tofu to coat with the oil.  Cook until one side of the tofu is browned, toss again, and cook until a second side is browned.  Remove from heat.

Divide the tofu, pear, and cucumber between the 8 lettuce leaves, and drizzle the filling of each lettuce leaf with the sauce.  Use the lettuce leaf as a wrap, and eat taco-style.

Serves 3 - 4.



Turkish Lentil Stew

This delicious recipe is from the book Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant.  The book highlights cuisine from various countries and cultures around the world and is so worth your attention! 
 
 
Ingredients:
1 c. dried French lentils
5 c. vegetable broth/stock
1 t. salt (or to taste)
1/4 c. olive oil
2 c. chopped onions
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/4 t. cayenne
2 bay leaves
1/2 c. bulghur
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1 15-oz. can petite diced tomatoes (or 2 c. chopped fresh tomatoes)
1/4 c. tomato paste
pinch dried rosemary
freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
2 c. stemmed, cleaned, and coarsely chopped fresh spinach

Method:
Rinse the lentils.  In a large saucepan, bring the lentils to a boil in the salted broth/stock.  Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until tender (about 40 mins).
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a stock pot over medium heat.  Sauté the onions until transluscent. Add the garlic, cayenne, bay leaves, and bulghur.  Stir the mixture over the heat until the onions and bulghur are lightly browned.
Add the parsley and tomatoes to the stockpot with the onions and bulghur.  When the tomatoes begin to release their juices, stir in the tomato paste.
Pour the lentils and their stock into the pot with the tomatoes, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Add the rosemary and black pepper, to taste.  Remove the bay leaves.
Stir in the spinach to wilt, and serve warm.
Serves about 4 as a main dish.

Tofu Zoodle Salad

 
This is a slightly modified version of a super-healthy recipe I found on a fascinating and beautifully photographed blog called Scaling Back.  Check it out here.
NOTE:  This recipe requires a special tool called a spiralizer.
 

 
Ingredients:
1 lb. Chinese tofu  (Tofu has a more desirable texture if it has been frozen for 24 hours, then thawed.  Plan ahead.)
soy sauce (or shoyu or tamari), to taste  (If you need to avoid gluten, check ingredients.  Not all of these are gluten-free..)
2 T. canola oil
1 c. frozen mukimame (shelled edamame)
3 T. peanut butter
2 T. lime juice
2 t. sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 t. garlic chili paste
2 medium zucchini
1/2 c. shredded carrot (I buy the kind that is already shredded.  So convenient!)
1/2 avocado, peeled and cubed
1/2 c. chopped fresh parsley
1/4 c. chopped cashews (roasted but not salted)
1 T. toasted sesame seeds

Method:
Squeeze as much water out of the tofu as possible.  Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch cubes.  In a large non-stick skillet, cook the tofu over medium-high heat until water is no longer sizzling out of the tofu.  Drizzle the tofu with soy sauce, to taste.  Drizzle tofu with the canola oil.  Toss the tofu to coat in oil, and cook until browned on one side.  Toss again, and cook until browned on another side.  Remove from heat.

Cook the mukimame according to package directions.

Whisk the peanut butter, lime juice, 1 T. water, sesame oil, minced garlic, and chili paste in a small bowl to create the dressing.  Add water judiciously, if needed to thin the dressing.

Using a spiralizer, spiralize the zucchini on the most narrow setting so that it is about the diameter of spaghetti noodles.  Toss the zucchini, carrot, avocado, and parsley together with the dressing to coat.  Toss in the tofu and mukimame.  Top with cashews and sesame seeds, and serve immediately.

Serves 3 as a main dish.
 

Southwestern Stew with Coconut Quinoa

This special-tasting stew is slightly modified from Anna Lappé and Bryant Terry's (He's from Memphis!) recipe in their cookbook named deliciously Grub.
This is definitely a weekend dish, because it takes a while to make, but it's not difficult...and it's very tasty!
 
 
Ingredients:
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 c. sliced red onion
1 (or try 2 for more smoke and spice) chipotle chile in adobo sauce, finely chopped (Remove the seeds if you want to tame the heat.  Leave them if you want to keep it spicy.  They'll be puréed anyway.)
10 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped  (Yes:  10!)
one 28-oz can whole tomatoes, drained, juice reserved
2 bay leaves
up to 4 c. vegetable broth/stock
salt, to taste
2 medium white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/3-inch chunks
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 15-oz can coconut milk
1.5 c. quinoa, rinsed
3 T. dried unsweetened coconut
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn kernels, drained
 
Method:
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep skillet that has a lid.  Add the onion and chipotle, and cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add the garlic, and cook uncovered for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat.

In a blender, puree the drained tomatoes along with the onion and chipotle until smooth.  Pour the mixture back into the large skillet.  Add the bay leaves and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it reaches a thick consistency (about 10 mins).

Add enough vegetable broth/stock to the reserved tomato juice to make 4 cups, then add to the puréed tomato mixture with 1 t. salt (or to taste).  Add the potato chunks, bring to a boil, cover the pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer until potatoes are softened (about 40-45 minutes).

While the potatoes are cooking, combine the coconut milk with 1.5 cups water and 3/4 t. salt in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil.  Add the quinoa and dried coconut, return to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Allow the quinoa to rest, covered, for another 5 minutes, then uncover and fluff with a fork.

When the potatoes are soft, remove the bay leaves from the stew and stir in the black beans and corn.  Serve the stew over the quinoa.  Serves 4 - 5.
 

Barley Hoppin' John

Not surprisingly, this is another slightly tweaked recipe from Eating Well magazine's website, which has supplied us with lots of great meals this year.
 
Ingredients:
1 T. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
1 bell pepper (any color), seeded and chopped
6 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
3 3/4 c. vegetable broth
1.5 c. pearled barley
1.5 t. dried thyme (or 1.5 T. fresh thyme)
juice from 1/2 lemon
1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 t. Cajun seasoning, or to taste
1/4 t. (rounded) salt, or to taste
2 cans black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed

Method:
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper and celery. Cook until the vegetables soften, about 4-5 minutes.
Add garlic and cook 1 minute.
Add broth, barley, thyme, lemon juice, crushed red pepper, Cajun seasoning, and salt.  Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until the barley is done, 40 to 25 minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in black-eyed peas. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve hot.
Serves 3-4 as a main dish. 

Asian Vegetable Stir-Fry with Soy Sauce Tofu

This recipe is slightly adapted from the Cooking Light Annual Recipes 2001 cookbook.  I serve this over white rice, but choose the "bed" of your preference.

 
Ingredients:
3 T. tomato paste
1.5 T. rice vinegar
1.5 T. soy sauce (or shoyu or tamari), plus additional sauce, to taste, for the tofu
1.5 t. curry powder
1/2 t. salt
scant 1/4 t. freshly-ground black pepper
1 lb. Chinese-style tofu (NOTE:  Tofu has a more desirable texture if it has been frozen for 24 hours, then thawed before use.  Plan ahead.)
1/4 c. canola oil, separated
1 large onion, peeled and sliced into wedges
1 c. chopped celery
2 bell peppers, chopped (any color)
1 c. frozen sugar snap peas in their pods or snow peas
1/2 head cabbage, thinly sliced (any kind - green, red, Savoy, or Napa)
1/2 c. water
 
If desired, choose a "bed" (e.g. I use white rice.) for the stir-fry, and prepare that food according to package instructions.
 
Combine the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
 
Squeeze as much water as possible from the tofu, then cut it into 1/2-inch cubes.  Place the cubes in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and cook until water is no longer sizzling out of the tofu.  Drizzle soy sauce, to taste, over the tofu cubes.  Drizzle 2 T. canola oil around the edge of the pan, and stir the tofu to coat.  Cook until the tofu is browned on one side, toss again, and cook until the tofu is browned on a second side.  Remove from heat and set aside.
 
In a large stir-fry pan, heat the remaining 2 T. canola oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and stir-fry for a minute or two.  Add the celery, bell pepper, and peas, and stir-fry for another 5 minutes.  Add the cabbage, and stir-fry until crisp-tender.  Add water and tomato paste mixture, and stir to coat the vegetables.  Remove from heat, stir in the tofu, and serve over the "bed" of your choice (e.g. rice).


Saturday, April 22, 2017

Farmer's Salad

 
This simple and delicious salad comes from Ursula Ferrigno's Truly Italian cookbook.  We served it over brown rice.
  
Ingredients:
2 10-oz. bags of frozen broccoli florets
4 T. extra-virgin olive oil
3 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. red pepper flakes
salt and freshly-ground pepper, to taste
2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
handful fresh Italian parsley, chopped

Method:
In a medium stockpot fitted with a steamer basket, steam broccoli until tender-crisp.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the olive oil, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.  Add the steamed broccoli, pinto beans, and parsley, and toss to combine.

Serve warm, over a bed of grain such as brown rice if desired.

Serves 4.
 

Edamame Quinoa Salad

Here's a great recipe from the Eating Well website, which I have been LOVING this year.  I like a bigger ratio of dressing than they suggested, but if you like less dressing, I encourage the tweak.  This salad is good warm or cold.  We serve it over butter lettuce with a baked potato on the side.
 
Ingredients:

1.5 c. quinoa (I used the tri-color quinoa in the photo, but any color will do.)
3 c. vegetable broth
3 c. frozen shelled edamame
2 T. freshly grated lemon zest
4 T. lemon juice
4 T. extra-virgin olive oil
4 T. fresh tarragon, thyme, or basil, chopped (or substitute 4 t. if using dried herb)
1 t. salt
1 c. jarred roasted red peppers, drained and diced






Method:
Toast the quinoa in a large, dry skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until it becomes fragrant and begins to crackle, about 5 minutes.  Transfer to a fine mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly.

In a large saucepan, bring the broth to a boil over high heat.  Add the quinoa and return to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 8 minutes.  Lift the lid and, without disturbing the quinoa, add the edamame.  Replace the cover and cook until both the quinoa and the edamame are tender, about 7 - 8 more minutes.  Drain any extra liquid, if necessary.

Whisk lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, herb, and salt in a large bowl.  Add the chopped peppers, quinoa, and edamame.  Toss to combine.

Serves 4 - 5.

Mulligatawny Risotto

Outstanding recipe from Vegetarian Today (formerly Vegetarian Times) magazine!  We had it with their coconut-crusted tofu on the side, but it would be perfectly fine with beans.
 
Ingredients:
2 c. vegetable broth
1 14-oz. can light coconut milk
1/2 c. diced bell pepper
1/4 c. diced onion
2 t. minced fresh garlic
2 t. minced fresh ginger
2 t. minced fresh jalapeno
3 T. olive oil
1.5 c. dry Arborio rice (Be sure to get this specific type of rice, which gives risotto its creamy texture.)
1 T. curry powder
1/8 t. red pepper flakes
1/2 c. dry white wine
1 c. fresh spinach, chopped
1 c. grape tomatoes, halved
1 Granny Smith apple, diced
1 T. vegan margarine
1/2 t. salt

Method:
Simmer broth and coconut milk in a saucepan over low heat.

Sauté bell pepper, onion, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno in oil over medium heat until soft, 3 - 4 minutes.  Stir in the rice, curry powder, and red pepper flakes.  Cook 1 - 2 minutes.

Add wine, and simmer, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed (about 2 minutes).  Stir in 1/2 cup of broth mixture, and simmer until completely absorbed.  Continue adding broth mixture in 1/2-cup increments, stirring frequently and adding more broth only after previous addition is absorbed.  This takes about 15 minutes.  The rice should be firm, but not chalky or chewy in the center of the grain.

Remove from heat.  Stir in spinach, tomatoes, apple, butter, and salt.

Serves 3 - 4.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Lemon-Pepper Tofu and Quinoa Salad

 
This dish was originally a non-vegetarian dish from The Food Network magazine, and it took me a couple of tries to work it into a satisfying vegetarian dish.  But it came together, and here we are!
 
 
Ingredients:
juice and zest of one organic lemon
1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil, separated
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. soy sauce or to taste
1/4 t. smoked paprika or to taste
1 lb. extra-firm tofu, chopped into 1/2-in. or 1-in. pieces (Tofu has a more pleasant texture if it is frozen first, then thawed before use.  Plan ahead.)
1.5 c. quinoa
1/2 small red onion, halved and very thinly sliced (I think scallions could easily be substituted here if you like the milder, greener flavor.)
1.5 lb. heirloom tomatoes, chopped
1 Cubanelle chile pepper or other Italian frying pepper, seeded and chopped (A green bell pepper will work, too.)
3 Persian cucumbers, chopped
2 T. vinegar of your choice (I used an orange-vanilla white balsamic vinegar.)
1.5 T. chopped fresh parsley
 
Method:
The night before, mix the lemon juice, lemon zest, 1 T. olive oil, salt and freshly-ground pepper to taste (be very generous with the pepper), garlic, soy sauce, and smoked paprika in a wide, shallow container.  Toss the tofu with the mixture (the tofu will likely soak it up almost right away), and marinate overnight in the fridge.

On the day you plan to eat, rinse the quinoa. 

Heat 1/2 T. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the quinoa, and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted (about 4 minutes).  Add 4 c. water and 1/4 t. salt, and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes.  Set skillet aside.

Soak the red onion slices in cold water for 10 minutes, then drain.

Meanwhile, toss the tomatoes, chile or bell pepper, cucumbers, vinegar, 1.5 T. olive oil, parsley, 1/4 t. salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste in a large bowl.  Add the onions, and toss to coat.

Heat the remaining 1 T. olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat.  Toss the tofu and lemon zest in the warm olive oil, and allow to cook until browned on one side.  Toss again, and allow to cook until browned on another side.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork, divide among 4 bowls, top with the tomato mixture, then the tofu.  Serves 4.

8 Vegan Breakfast Smoothies

I have been having these incredible vegan smoothies for breakfast 5 or 6 days per week for the last 2 years.  The recipes are really flexible, so feel free to play around with them.  Don't have lime?  Use lemon.  Don't have chia seeds?  Use flax seeds or omit altogether.
 
I like my smoothies to be the texture of milkshakes, so I have a high frozen-to-fresh ratio, and I only use the amount of liquid necessary to get things moving in the blender.  This requires several blender stops to stir things so they will move again.
 
Each smoothie includes a frozen banana, which I feel is essential to the texture of the drink.  Every Sunday I peel bananas for the week, cut them into 4 pieces, and freeze them in a single layer.  Then they all go into a freezer storage bag for the week.  A lot of the smoothies have fresh pineapple in them, so I cut up one fresh pineapple at the beginning of the week, too.
 
I also make sure I have a variety of smoothie colors to cover the nutrient spectrum.  Every week I have red, green, orange, and purple, then I pick another smoothie or two to round out the week.  Have fun!

 
 
RED SMOOTHIE
handful of fresh pineapple chunks
1 carrot, chopped into a few large chunks
1 date, pitted
slight handful of frozen raspberries
slight handful of frozen cherries
2 or 3 large frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana (see intro)
juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
2 T. hemp hearts
 
Put everything in the blender with just enough water to get things moving.  Puree to a drinkable milkshake consistency.

GREEN SMOOTHIE
1/4 - 1/2 fresh avocado (peel and pit removed)
1/4 of a fresh cucumber, cut into a few large chunks
2 handfuls fresh spinach
1 date, pitted
1 handful frozen mango
1 frozen banana (see intro)
juice of 1/2 lime
2 T. brown flaxseeds
 
Put everything in the blender with just enough water to get things moving.  Puree to a drinkable milkshake consistency.
 
Option:  You can add a peeled kiwi to the list of ingredients, if desired.
 
ORANGE SMOOTHIE
handful of fresh pineapple chunks
1 carrot, chopped into a few large chunks
1 date, pitted
handful of frozen mango
handful of frozen peaches
1 frozen banana (see intro)
juice of 1/2 lemon or lime
2 T. golden flaxseeds
 
Put everything in the blender with just enough water to get things moving.  Puree to a drinkable milkshake consistency.
 
Option:  You can add fresh peaches to the list of ingredients during the summer when they are in season.  SO good!
 
PURPLE SMOOTHIE
handful of fresh pineapple chunks
handful of fresh spinach OR 1 carrot, chopped into a few large chunks
1 date, pitted
slight handful of frozen blueberries
slight handful of frozen blackberries
slight handful of frozen raspberries
1 frozen banana (see intro)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 T. of black chia seeds
 
Put everything in the blender with just enough water to get things moving.  Puree to a drinkable milkshake consistency.
 
Option:  I buy a frozen mix of blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, which makes this super convenient.  If you can find such a thing near you, just throw in a couple of handfuls of the mixed berries.
 
TROPICAL SMOOTHIE
generous handful of fresh pineapple chunks
1 date, pitted
handful of frozen mango
1 frozen banana (see intro)
1/2" - 1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 c. whole coconut milk (The fat and coconut water usually separate in the can, so stir them back together before pouring into your smoothie.)
juice of 1/2 lime (lemon will also work)
 
Put everything in the blender with just enough water to get things moving.  Puree to a drinkable milkshake consistency.
 
Option:  You can also add frozen (or fresh, when in season) peaches to this smoothie.
 
PEACH-COCONUT SMOOTHIE
1 fresh peach, pitted
1 date, pitted
handful of frozen peaches
1 frozen banana (see intro)
1/2 c. whole coconut milk (The fat and coconut water usually separate in the can, so stir them back together before pouring into your smoothie.)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 T. white chia seeds
 
Put everything in the blender with just enough water to get things moving.  Puree to a drinkable milkshake consistency.
 
PEACH-BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE
1 fresh peach, pitted (or use fresh pineapple chunks if peaches aren't in season)
1 date, pitted
handful of frozen peaches
handful of frozen blueberries
1 frozen banana (see intro)
1/2" - 1" piece of fresh ginger, peeled
juice of 1/2 lemon
 
Put everything in the blender with just enough water to get things moving.  Puree to a drinkable milkshake consistency.
 
PEANUT BUTTER-BANANA-COCOA SMOOTHIE
1 fresh banana, cut into chunks
3 large spoonfuls of freshly-ground peanut butter, or to taste
1 - 2 spoonfuls of cocoa powder, or to taste
1 - 2 frozen bananas (see intro)
almond milk
 
Put the first 4 ingredients in the blender with just enough ALMOND MILK to get things moving.  Puree to a drinkable milkshake consistency.