Here’s another recipe from Passionate Vegetarian. Again, with a few changes. Terribly delicious, this salad is a whole meal, and a very substantial one at that. Cheese and beans and vegetables, served in endive or romaine leaves. It’s called “Ebony and Ivory” because it is made with white and black beans, but it can be made with an equal amount of any bean or combination of beans and it will be just as good.
The dressing is a strong, sharp vinaigrette, strong enough to flavor the beans without drowning them. And it makes a lot, but it is a great dressing to have on hand for any bean/grain/vegetable mixed salad you might wish to make up.
1/2 C red wine vinegar
1/4 C good, grainy mustard
4-6 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tsp salt
5-6 grinds black pepper
3-6 leaves of basil
1 1/4 C good olive oil
Place the first 6 ingredients in a blender or food processor and puree. Then, drizzle in the olive oil while the machine is running until it is all combined. Refrigerate.
1 (15oz) can white beans, rinsed and drained very well(if the beans lave any of the canning liquid still clinging to them their colors will blend and the salad will look muddy)
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained very well
1/4 C of the dressing above
2 ribs celery, diced
1 red or orange bell pepper, diced
1/2 large red onion, minced
3 oz grated strong flavored cheese(I used extra sharp cheddar)
salt and black pepper. to taste
Combine all ingredients together and let sit for at least an hour. Serve in romaine leaves or endive spears.
Serves 4-6 as a main course, 6-10 as a side
This is one of the things I ate growing up. It’s still a fallback meal. Come home from a bad day? Cheesy bread pudding. Sick and nothing in the kitchen? Cheesy bread pudding. Cheesy bread pudding cures all ills. It’s delicious hot, cold or in between and all you need is a veggie or fruit to make it a meal, and can be eaten at any time of day.
I’m giving the basic recipe, but you can add whatever you want in the way of different cheeses, herbs and spices and so on and it will always turn out awesome. A little mustard powder is great to point up the cheesiness, but not essential. In the pudding pictured I used half cheddar and half swiss cheese, a small onion, chopped and sauteed, a touch of mustard powder and smoked paprika and topped it with a sprinkling of sesame and poppy seeds. Another good variation is swapping out some of the milk for tomato sauce, using parmesan cheese, basil, oregano, garlic, thyme and red pepper and topping it with a bit of shredded mozzarella.
Experimenting is encouraged!!
4C bread, stale or toasted, cubed(any fairly good bread works. Just stay away from anything exceptionally airy or dense)
2C milk, warmed slightly
1 tsp salt
a few grinds of black pepper
1 1/2 C grated cheese, any kind with a strong flavor
Preheat the oven to 350
Grease a pan. I used a deep dish pie pan, but a large cast iron skillet, 8×8 square pan, or anything with a similar volume will work equally well.(it’s also great baked in muffin tins) Layer in the bread cubes and cheese, and any other ingredients you would like to add.
In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg into the milk, and add the salt and pepper(and any other spices you choose). Pour this over the bread and cheese and let it sit for at least 5 minutes, up to overnight. You can add a topping, if you wish.
Bake until the custard is set and the top is nicely golden brown, 35-45 minutes.
Well, this isn’t that pot pie. This is something entirely different. Thick wedges of dough simmered in broth with some veggies. Not noodles, not dumplings, but something entirely their own.
This is one of the recipes my grandmother would make. It’s old. It’s what women would make on wash day(when wash day meant the whole day full of back breaking work). They’d simmer meat and bones(chicken, beef, pork, whatever they had on hand) all day, then remove the bones at the end of the day and add the vegetables and dough-presto, dinner!! It’s the kind of thing people are awed by, but it is cheap and takes very little effort. Oh, and did I mention it’s delicious? Seriously, wonderfully delicious.
You can add whatever veggies you want to this-I think peas and asparagus would be amazing. Or sweet potatoes. Use whatever you have on hand. Your ancestors will be proud
For the soup-
1 batch golden broth, or 6-8 cups of your preferred vegetable broth
1 onion, chopped
2 potatoes, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp poultry seasoning(like Bell’s)
For the dough-
4 cups flour(whole wheat tends to make these tough, sadly, so use a maximum of 1C whole wheat pastry flour), plus extra for dusting
4 tbsp(1/2 stick) butter
1 tsp salt
1.5-2 C milk. Occasionally a bit more or less.
In a large pot over medium heat, heat the oil and saute the onion for 2-3 minutes, or till it starts to go limp and a bit translucent. Add the rest of the soup ingredients, turn the heat up to medium-high and make the dough.
Combine the flour and salt, and cut in the butter. Slowly begin to stir in the milk-the amount will vary depending on the day, your flour, the weather, but what you want is a dough that is soft enough to roll out easily, but dry enough not to stick to everything. It’s not precise-if it gets too wet, add a bit more flour. If it’s too dry, add some more milk. It’s very forgiving.
Dust your counter and roll out your dough to about 1/4 inch thick, or a little thicker. Cut it into squares about 2×2 inches, sprinkle a little flour on top and rub it into the surface of the dough(this will thicken the broth and also help keep the noodles from sticking).
Now check your pot. Is it boiling? If not, wait til it is. If so, start adding the dough pieces one at a time while stirring(this is important. If you do not do this they will all stick together and be gross). Once all the dough pieces have been added reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pot. Let it cook for 25 minutes, then pull out a dough chunk and check for doneness(if you cut it open and can see a line in the middle, it’s not done yet)
Once they test done, you’re done! Time to eat!
Everyone knows that homemade broth is the best broth, right? Yep. It totally is. But so often, I don’t have enough different vegetables sitting around to make broth. And who wants to go to the store just to make broth? Not me.
This is why I love golden broth-All the ingredients are simple pantry staples. It is delicious and vaguely chicken-y and will work in any dish calling for broth or stock. Less than ten minutes of hands-on time, only two tablespoons of oil, and a great, mild flavor make this my favorite broth.
On Friday I will be posting the veggie-zation of an old family recipe that involves this broth. It will be delicious! Stay tuned
1 onion, very coarsely chopped(unpeeled will make a yellower broth)
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut in half
1/2C yellow split peas
2 Tbsp oil
1 bay leaf
1 stalk celery(with leaves), coarsely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 quarts(8 cups) water
salt(Lots!) and freshly ground pepper
In a large pot over medium high heat, heat the oil and saute the onion, garlic and split peas until the peas are starting to brown a bit, and everything smells nice. Add the celery, bay leaf, turmeric and water. Bring it to a boil, and reduce the heat. Simmer for 1/2 hour to an hour.
When it’s done simmering, strain out the solids and add salt(quite a lot-like any homemade broth) and black pepper. proceed with making it into something delicious, or store it in the fridge for later.
Less simmering time will result in a clear, golden colored broth. More simmering time produces a cloudy(the picture is of broth simmered a little over an hour) but richer tasting broth. Both are delicious.
Makes about 6 cups of broth
Have you had a pressed sandwich? Layers of ingredients on a loaf of bread, spread with tasty things and pressed for several hours to allow the flavors to meld. Delicious. Generally, they’re made with preserved meat(like salami or cappicola) and cheese. I’ve been making them with roasted vegetables for a while now, and I think this is my favourite combo by far.
This is an amazing thing to take on a picnic. Not only does it get better with age, if you want it hot you can just throw the whole thing on the grill-because it is pressed it will stay together just fine!
one loaf of bread, any rustic bakery type. I used an italian loaf fron my grocery store’s bakery
one sweet potato, peeled and sliced into slices approximately 1/4 inch
one zucchini, sliced
one onion, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch slices
3 portobello mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
6 slices provolone cheese
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
4 tbsp olive oil, divided use
1 tbsp prepared pesto
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper
Start by roasting the veggies. Preheat the oven to 450. Take two baking sheets, put the mushroom slices, zucchini and unpeeled garlic cloves on one, and the onion and sweet potatoes on the other. Drizzle them with 2 tbsp of the olive oil and salt and pepper them generously. Roast them in the oven-the mushrooms, garlic and zucchini will be done first, in about 10-15 minutes, and the onions and sweet potatoes 5-10 minutes later. Let the vegetables cool to room temperature.
Slice the loaf of bread in half lengthwise. Squeeze the cooled garlic cloves out of their skins and mash them with 1 tbsp of the olive oil, the balsamic vinegar and salt and pepper. spread it on the top bread slice. Mix the pesto and remaining tbsp of olive oil and spread it on the bottom piece of bread.
Now layer on the vegetables. Layer the mushrooms on the bottom slice of bread, and the onions over that. Layer the cheese in next. Next layer is the sweet potatoes, then the tomatoes and the zucchini last. Top with the other piece of bread.
Wrap up the whole thing tightly in plastic wrap. Put a weight on top (I used a cast iron skillet) for an hour or so. Remove the weight, and serve within 24 hours.
It’s big, bright, full of veggies, it works equally well as a side or a main dish, and is tasty enough to keep everyone happy!
Feel free to substitute equal amounts of whatever vegetables and fresh herbs happen to be in season and easily available–it will be equally good. Green veggies start to lose their color after a bit-the vinegar saps it out of them-but they will still taste good.
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white basalmic vinegar(red wine vinegar, or any good salad vinegar, is a fine substitute)
1/4 cup each fresh basil and parsley
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 small red onion, minced
1 lb baby potatoes, halved, or regular(waxy, not russet type) potatoes in bite size pieces
1 lb baby carrots, halved
1 lb snow peas
1 lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into bite size pieces
1lb cherry tomatoes, halved
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. cook the potatoes until they’re tender-about 15 minutes- and fish them out with a slotted spoon. Put them in a large mixing bowl.
Now add the carrots to the boiling water-cook them until they are crisp-tender, about 7 minutes, and remove them with a slotted spoon to the bowl with the potatoes.
Next, add the asparagus, which will need to cook for 2-4 minutes. Remove that to the bowl and add the snow peas. They only need to blanch, so take them out after barely a minute. Dump the pot of boiling water, you’re done with it. And add the cherry tomatoes and the chickpeas to the vegetables in the bowl.
Whisk the dressing ingredients together and pour over the salad. Allow it to marinate 2-24 hours, and serve.
Serves a crowd.
Potatoes and broccoli-a match made in heaven if there ever was one. Add some cheese and it’s pretty much the best thing ever! There’s not really much to say about this. It’s pretty straighforward. Broccoli and two cheeses, a few spices, and a bit of oven time and you have something delicious and healthy for dinner.
Leftovers are just as good. I had one for breakfast!!
6 large potatoes, scrubbed
1.5 C ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350. Bakr the potatoes for one hour.
While the potatoes are baking, chop the broccoli and blanch it in the microwave-put it in a bowl with 1/4 C water and a bit of salt and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high for 2-4 minutes(depending on your microwave), until they get a bright, cooked color but are still crisp and raw inside. Drain and place in a bowl.
Heat the tablespoon of oil in a skillet and add the onion and garlic. Saute 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is beginning to become limp. Add to the bowl with the broccoli.
Add the mustard and ricotta to the broccoli and onions and mix thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste. This is your potato filling.
Once the potatoes are done, cut them in half and scoop out the centers, leaving a layer of potato flesh 1/4-ish inch thick(save the insides! Recipes for those coming later this week! ). Lay them on a baking sheet and fill them with the broccoli mixture and top with the cheddar. Bake in the oven which is conveniently already at 350 for 20-30 minutes-until the tops are bubbly and beginning to brown. Eat with enthusiasm!
I’ve been vegetarian since i was 6. I have no memory of what meat is like(apart from Arby’s roast beef sandwiches, for some reason), and I don’t have any desire to eat actual meat. However some meat dishes just sound so good that I really want to try them.
Like chicken salad-nuts, fruit, celery and nuggets of protein all in a creamy delicious dressing. Piled on lettuce or inside a ripe tomato, it’s a great substantial meal. This version is loaded with dried fruit and nuts, with a yogurt dressing and is a great sweet/savory combination meal.
I really try not to use processed meat substitutes for the most part, but i do keep Quorn “chikn” tenders in my freezer for quick fix meals. You could use any commercial chicken substitute, or tempeh or seitan or even firm tofu. Or real chicken, if you swing that way.
1 C cooked chicken substitute
1/3C assorted dried fruit(I used cranberries, golden raisins and diced apricots, but use whatever sounds good to you)
1/4 C chopped almonds
2 stalks celery, diced
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 C greek yogurt
1/4 C sour cream
This is the simplest recipe ever-mix everything together and let it sit for half an hour to let the flavors marry. That’s it!
Serve on a roll, on a bed of lettuce, or (my favorite!) inside a hollowed out tomato.
Serves 2-4, depending on what you have with it
This is a recipe from my childhood. Something my mom came up with that became a family favorite. It is lightening fast-you can have the sauce done from beginning to end in the time it takes to cook dry pasta. It’s also very healthful and absolutely delicious. It sounds a bit odd, but just try it-you’ll be a convert!
I hate the texture of cooked greens, but love the flavor of spinach, so this is a favourite of mine. It can also be done with an equal amount of pretty much any relatively tender green, like chard. Use whatever type of pasta you prefer, we always had it on spaghetti growing up, but I put it on anything. This batch we had with gorgonzola medaglioni, which was really super.
2 6oz bags spinach, baby or mature, it doesn’t matter
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
3/4 C milk
Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste
1lb dry pasta
Put a pot of salted water on to boil for the pasta. meanwhile, make the sauce.
In a large skillet, saute the onion and garlic until it’s translucent. Add the spinach and cook until it has completely wilted. (add the pasta to the pot whenever it starts boiling)
Transfer the veggies to a blender and blend with the milk. Check the pasta, and when it’s done drain it and put it back in the pot.
Toss sauce with the hot pasta and add Parmesan, salt and pepper to taste.
Pies are one of those infinitely versatile things. sweet or savory, healthy or not, any ingredients you wish, pie can do it! This is a slightly french inspired spring vegetable pie with a mildly creamy gravy. It’s a perfect meal for those days when it feels like spring, but the weather is still chilly enough to want something substantial.
The pie crust here is the culmination of years of trying to figure out the secret to a really good whole wheat pie crust. All too often whole wheat pastry tends to be soggy, or rock hard, or tough, or any number of fatal pastry flaws. This crust, however, is nutty tasting, light and flaky, and BONUS-stays delicious even after the pie has sat for several days in the fridge. You can substitute shortening for the butter and have an equally good crust-even flakier than the butter crust-but with the whole wheat flour I prefer the flavor that butter adds. If you have a food processor, you’ll want to use it here. It’s not hard to make a pie crust by hand, but the food processor does it so much better.
2 leeks, rinsed and sliced
1 potato, scrubbed and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
2 C vegetable broth
1.5tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp flour
8 stalks asparagus, cut into bite size pieces
1 C frozen peas
2 green onions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
1/4 C minced parsley
salt to taste
2C whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 C butter
1 tsp salt
1/2-1C cold water
Preheat the oven to 350.
First, make the crust. If you have a food processor, put the flour, salt and butter in and pulse till it resembles coarse crumbs. Slowly drizzle in the water while continuing to pulse, stopping when the dough comes together into a ball. If you do not have a food processor, cut the butter into the flour and salt with a fork or a pastry cutter, and then stir the water in tablespoon by tablespoon, until it is a dough.
Cover the dough and set aside to rest while you make the filling.
In a small to medium pot, saute the leeks in the butter until they’re just beginning to soften. Then add the potatoes, carrots, thyme, white pepper and broth. cover and simmer for 15 min or until the potatoes are almost done. Whisk the flour into the milk and add to the pot. Cook until it thickens, stirring to prevent lumps. Once the liquid has thickened, turn off the heat and stir in the asparagus, peas, parsley and green onion. Taste, and add however much salt you think it needs.
Now back to the crust. Cut it into two equal pieces and roll the first one out on parchment paper or a floured countertop. Line the bottom of an 8 or 9 inch standard pie pan and trim the excess from the edges. Pour in the filling from the pot, roll out the other crust, and lay it on top. Trim off the excess crust and pinch the edges of the top and bottom crusts together. Cut some vent holes in the top and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until it is golden brown and delicious looking. Let it cool for about 10 minutes before cutting.
Makes 1 8 or 9 inch pie. Serves 4-6