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, 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.