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Entries in Vegetarian (107)

Wednesday
Jan162013

Vegetarian Black Bean Chili

Black bean chili

We are forever on a quest to find the best chili. I'm pretty sure that every time we've had chili over the past 3 years, Joel and I have tried a different recipe; meaty chilis, bean-filled chilis, vegetable chilis, extra thick chilis, watery chilis, and chilis made with the help of a powdered mix or store-bought sauces, and still, nothing has really hit the spot. While we still have yet to find "the best", this black bean chili is delicious. The best part is that it only takes about a half an hour from the time it starts until the time it is in a bowl on the table. That has to win some points for quick, winter, weeknight meal!

1/4 cup Olive Oil (I used a little less)
2 cups Onion, chopped
2 Red Bell Peppers, chopped
6 Garlic Cloves, minced 
2 tablespoons Chili Powder (I only used 1 tablespoon)
2 teaspoons Dried Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons Cumin
3 (15-ounce) cans Black Beans
1 (16-ounce) can Tomato Sauce
1/2 cup Water (I swished it around the tomato sauce can to get every last drop) 

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the chili powder, oregano, cayenne, and cumin and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the black beans, sauce, and water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the flavors meld, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Ladle chili into bowls and garnish with sour cream, cilantro, and shredded cheese. 

SOURCE: Bon Appetit, September 2004 via epicurious

Thursday
Jan102013

Cheddar Ale Soup

Cheddar ale soup

Living in an area that is prone to freezing temperatures, a piping hot bowl of soup seems to make winter more bearable. Because of that, we are always looking for a new soup recipe to try. Homemade tomato soup with a side of grilled cheese usually reigns supreme in our house, with broth-based vegetable soup and a crusty loaf of bread being a close second. However, every once in a great while, we crave something more rich and filling. Tonight, I made the ultimate rich and creamy soup. This cheddar ale soup was incredibly rich and delicious. How could it not be? It is basically vegetables cooked in bacon fat, then doused in melted cheese and beer! Healthy? Not so much. But I would be alright with making this a once a year "regular" in our house. Rather than pairing this soup with a crusty bread, we decided to bake up a batch of jalapeño-cheddar scones…truly a match made in heaven!

4 slices Thick-Cut Bacon, cut into 3 inch strips
2 tablespoons Butter
1 Onion, diced
2 Carrots, peeled and diced
2 Celery Stalks, diced
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1/3 cup Flour
1 cup Pale Ale (we used Smuttynose)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
2 cups Milk
2 cups Vegetable Broth
1 1/4 pounds Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
Salt & Pepper, to taste
1 Scallion, sliced (for garnish)

In a 4 quart dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain. Discard all but 2 tablespoons of the bacon fat in the pot. Reduce the heat to medium and melt the butter in the pan with the bacon fat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery; cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, about 20 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the flour and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes. Add the beer and cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes. Add the Worcestershire, milk, and broth, increase the heat to medium-high, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10-12 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and puree the soup with an immersion blender until smooth. Once smooth, return the pot to medium-low heat and add the cheese, stirring constantly. Do not allow the soup to boil. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish with bacon and scallions.

SOURCE: Barely adapted from Williams-Sonoma

Thursday
Jan032013

Eggplant Cannelloni

Eggplant cannelloni

One of my favorite local restaurants has the best stuffed eggplant on their menu. Of course, it is filled with cheese, deep fried, and covered with even more cheese. While that is normally my kind of meal, I knew it was out of the question to recreate it in that way at home. Instead, I found a recipe that, while different, has the same concept: cheese inside eggplant, rolled up and served with sauce. In this recipe, broiling the eggplant slices rather than coating them in breadcrumbs and deep frying them saves on calories. While typical stuffed eggplant recipes have some sort of ricotta blend inside, this one has a mixture of tangy goat cheese, salty olives, and fresh parsley, which really makes this recipe stand out. This is yet another quick weeknight meal that is both healthy and delicious!

For the Sauce:
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 can (28 ounces) Crushed Tomatoes
1 Bay Leaf
1 teaspoon Oregano
Salt & Pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until golden. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, and bay leaf. Lower the temperature, stir, and simmer for about 15 minutes.  

For the Eggplant:
2 medium Eggplants, cut lengthwise into 1/2 inch slices
Olive Oil
4 ounces Goat Cheese
4 Kalamata Olives, pitted and minced
1 teaspoon Capers, chopped (I omitted)
2 tablespoons Parsley, chopped

Coat the eggplant slices in olive oil (or cooking spray) and broil on a baking sheet until golden brown on both sides, about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the goat cheese, olives, capers, and 1 tablespoon of the parsley in a bowl. When the eggplants have been browned, remove them from the broiler. Place about 1 tablespoon of the cheese filling at the end of each eggplant slice; roll up.

Spread sauce along the bottom of a 9x13 inch glass baking dish. Lay the rolled eggplant seam side down in the dish and bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Top with the remaining sauce and garnish with remaining parsley.

SOURCES: Sauce-adapted from Skinnytaste, Eggplant-adapted from Shape

Saturday
Nov102012

Cheesy Spinach Soup

Spinach Cheese Soup

When I first saw this recipe, my original intention was to make it for dinner on Halloween (I'm sure it had nothing to do with the alternative name of Witches' Brew Soup…). However, because of my procrastination, I had to make soufflé instead, which was delicious, but not exactly festive. Instead, this soup got pushed back a few days. While I was intrigued enough to try this recipe, I had some hesitations. With such a short ingredient list, I figured that this soup could either be incredibly delicious or incredibly bland. Lucky for us, it was delicious! We served it with some baked brie sandwiches (our "fancier" version of grilled cheese). This is the perfect weeknight soup for a chilly night. I foresee it becoming a staple in our house as the weather gets colder!

2 tablespoons Butter
1 medium Onion, chopped
2-3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 medium Russet Potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cups Vegetable Broth
Salt and Pepper
8 ounces Baby Spinach Leaves, washed and dried
4 ounces Gruyere Cheese, shredded

In a dutch oven over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions and sauté until tender, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the garlic and potato and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook for about 15 minutes, or until the potato chunks are fork-tender. Stir in the spinach leaves, cover once more, and let cook until the leaves are wilted, about 1-2 minutes. Using an immersion blender (or food processor or blender), puree the soup to a smooth consistency. Stir in the shredded cheese until completely melted. Serve warm.

SOURCE: Annie's Eats 

Monday
Aug132012

Spiced Black Bean, Grilled Avocado, and Goat Cheese Tacos

Black bean vocado goat cheese tacos

Oh, hi! Did you miss me? Joel and I took a little vacation to the beautiful coastal New England cities of Portsmouth, New Hampshire and Portland, Maine. Even though we had to drive 9 hours to get there, both were wonderful cities to relax and enjoy some down-time in. We stayed at two pretty awesome hotels while there, and did some touristy things like taking a boat cruise and learning about the colonial history of the city. Of course, as with most vacations, we also ate some amazing food! I quickly learned that there are very few things better than enjoying a fresh lobster roll while sitting on an outdoor patio overlooking the water and drinking a great local beer! However, as delicious as all of the food and beer were, eating out three meals a day for 4 days made us feel a bit pudgy! Now that we are home, we want to make a solid effort to eat at home more often, and to eat a bit lighter. These tacos were the perfect way to transition back into home cooking. They have very few ingredients and take very little time to put together, but they have a big flavor! We paired these tacos with a fresh corn salad (recipe to come) and both found one taco to be more than enough to satisfy our hunger. 

1 tablespoon Coriander Seeds
1/2 tablespoon Cumin Seeds
Pinch Dried Pepper Flakes
1/2 cup Black Beans, with liquids
1 Avocado
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
Juice and Zest from 1/2 Lime
2 teaspoons Honey (I used agave nectar)
1/4 cup Goat Cheese
4 Corn or Flour Tortillas

In a dry skillet over medium-low heat, toast the coriander and cumin seeds for 2-3 minutes, until they are fragrant and beginning to brown. Remove from the heat and grind the seeds and the dried pepper flakes with a mortar and pestle or in a spice grinder. Return the spices to the skillet and add the black beans and liquids. Heat over medium-low heat and let cook until the liquids have cooked out, between 5-10 minutes. Cut the avocado in half and brush with the olive oil. Place the cut side down on a preheated grill and cook until slightly charred. Remove and carefully slice the avocado out of the skin. In a small bowl, whisk together the lime juice and zest along with the honey. To assemble the tacos, place 1/4 cup of the black bean mixture in the center of the tortilla, layer avocado and goat cheese on top. Drizzle the lime-honey mixture over the filling and serve.

SOURCE: Naturally Ella