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Entries in Vegetarian (107)


Rajas Poblanas

Hello, Dear Readers. Please allow me to introduce myself. I'm Melissa's husband Joel, famous and noteworthy for many things- but most of all for appearing within posts on this very blog. I'll be your guest host this week, guiding you through recipe-land. I'll be filling in for my wife Melissa; who is currently resigned to sitting in the corner of the room, wearing a cone hat that reads "I shall not use so much butter."

I enjoy simple, rustic food. In my posts, you'll find minimal ingredients, and little prep work. I like to cook things from all over, but you'll be hard pressed to convince me that there is better food than a simple handmade pizza. Let's begin.

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These Rajas Poblanas caught my eye while browsing Bon Appetit on the Basil iPad App. Creamy, smoky, and vegetarian are qualities that require no second-guessing in this house.

1 pound fresh large poblano chiles
1 onion, quartered, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano, preferably Mexican
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack
1 package tortilla shells 
Kosher salt

Char the poblanos on a grill, turning over until fully charred and tender (15-20 minutes). Place the the charred chilies in a glass bowl, and cover with saran wrap for 15 minutes to steam. Peel, seed and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, cook the onion until slightly charred, about 6-7 minutes. Add garlic, and after about a minute, add oregano, and 1 cup water. Simmer until water evaporates, about 5-7 minutes.

Add chilies, cook another 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream and monterey jack cheese until melted. Season with salt if necessary.

Serve on Tortilla shells, and dress with lime and cilantro. A sweeter white wine like riesling pairs perfectly with the smoky spice.


Spicy Kale Stuffed Shells

Kale stuffed shells

Not that rain has ever stopped us from grilling in the past, but last week, rather than grill while it rained, we decided to make pasta. I know that pasta is a little on the heavy side, and it has been warm here, but sometimes, pasta is just the perfect comfort food on a rainy day. As soon as I saw this recipe posted on Pink Parsley, I was intrigued by the use of cottage cheese instead of ricotta. Until making this dish, I had never had cottage cheese. Once, I accidentally bought it, thinking that it was yogurt. When I opened it up for lunch at work, I saw the curds, and thinking that it was just yogurt that had gone bad, I threw it out. It was only after I got home and looked for the date on the other "yogurt" in the fridge that I realized it was actually cottage cheese. I think I was so grossed out by that whole experience, that I let it sit in the fridge until it was way past the expiration date, then threw it away. Now that I have tried cottage cheese, however, I realize that I actually enjoy it! These shells were delicious! I cooked up an entire box of shells, and it ended up being way too much. Next time, I plan to double the filling so that I can make a double batch and freeze some for later!

8 ounces Jumbo Shells
3/4-1 pound Kale, washed, stems removed, and roughly chopped
2 cups Cottage Cheese, low-fat
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 cup Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons Fresh Parsley or Basil, minced
2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
16 ounce can Crushed Tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon Dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper 

Boil the shells according to package directions, then drain and set aside. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the kale and a splash of water, stirring until the kale is wilted and softened, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the kale to a strainer, and set aside. Return the pan to the stove, add the oil, and heat over medium heat until shimmering. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, dried oregano, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, wrap the kale in a lint free kitchen towel or paper towels and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Chop into small pieces and set aside. Strain the cottage cheese through a strainer, pressing to remove as much liquid as possible (mine didn't have much liquid to strain out of it). Transfer the strained cheese to a medium bowl and stir in 1/3 cup of the parmesan cheese, 3/4 cup of the mozzarella, the herbs, and the kale. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and pepper, to taste. To assemble the shells, spread a thin layer of the tomato sauce in the bottom of a greased 9-inch pie plate or square baking dish. Use a spoon to fill each shell with the kale-cottage cheese mixture, then arrange them in a single layer in the dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the top, then sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and mozzarella. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is melted. Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes. Let stand for about 5-10 minutes before serving. 


Zucchini Frittata


This past Saturday was island planting day on our street. We couldn't have asked for a better weekend to do it, either! That morning, I woke up to the birds chirping outside my bedroom window, and a beautiful summer-like breeze blowing in. I got up about an hour before my alarm went off, went downstairs, and started chopping vegetables for this frittata, which I found on Steamy Kitchen. It came together quite nicely, and it was a great aroma for Joel to wake up to. I ate my frittata as a slice, while Joel chose to make this into a breakfast sandwich by putting his piece between a toasted bagel. Either way, we had a relaxing, hearty breakfast to give us energy to play in the dirt with our neighbors!

1 Onion, sliced
3 tablespoons Butter
1/8 teaspoon Sugar
12 ounces Zucchini (I used 1 large)
Salt and Pepper
5 Eggs
1/4 teaspoon Dried Thyme
1 Tomato, sliced
4 ounces Goat Cheese

Add the butter to a nonstick pan over medium heat. When it starts to bubble, add the onion and sugar. Saute the onion until it is caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. While the onion is sautéing, slice the zucchini very thinly (1/8" thick). Cut the tomato into 1/4" thick slices. When the onion is ready, add the zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is tender and has just started to brown. In a large bowl, beat the eggs along with the thyme. Once the zucchini is cooked, pour the eggs into the pan. Top with the sliced tomatoes and dot with crumbles of goat cheese. Cook for 6 minutes. Place the pan under a preheated broiler (with the rack set 8-10 inches below the heating element). Broil for 2-3 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Let the frittata cool for about 10 minutes before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature. 


Pasta Primavera

Pasta Primavera

It's no secret that we are carb lovers! I could eat pasta just about every night and I don't think I'd ever get sick of it, as long as the toppings were switched up every so often. Now that spring has sprung, the thought of light pasta dishes have begun to entice me. When I came across this recipe on Elly Says Opa, I knew it was the perfect pasta dish for this time of the year. The addition of mounds of roasted vegetables makes me feel less guilty about eating the pasta itself. I look forward to the day I can make this again using only vegetables grown in my garden rather than having to use all store-bought produce!

1 Carrot, peeled and cut into thin strips
1 Zucchini, cut into thin strips
1 Summer Squash, cut into thin strips
1 Red Bell Pepper, cut into thin strips
1 Yellow Pepper, cut into thin strips
1 small Onion, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence
1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
8 ounces Pasta
15 Grape Tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, grated

Toss the carrot, zucchini, squash, peppers, and onion onto a baking sheet along with the herbs de Provence and olive oil. Roast at 450 degrees for about 8 minutes, then stir in the garlic and roast for an additional 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and begin to brown. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Toss the pasta, vegetables, and tomatoes to combine. Stir in as much reserved pasta water as necessary to moisten the pasta. Add the cheese, as well as the salt and pepper, to taste. 


Veggie Enchiladas

Veggie enchiladas

This past weekend, I went out of town to a conference for my teaching sorority, where I received an award and was inducted as the new state treasurer. I had a good time, but I didn't sleep well on Friday night. The bed at the hotel felt like a pile of rocks! Though I was only gone for a total of about 36 hours, when I got home on Saturday night, I was just too exhausted to cook. We had hoped to catch up with the local taco truck for a Cinco de Mayo feast, but I checked their schedule and they weren't going to be around until after 11pm. Instead, we met up with a friend, ate gyro wraps on his porch, then stopped in to his girlfriend's "Derby de Mayo" party. It seemed like a fun party, but I was pretty much good for 1 beer and I was ready for bed. We were home and in bed by 10pm! I guess that's what happens when you don't get a good night's sleep! Anyway, on to the food. As soon as Nicole from Prevention RD posted this recipe, I couldn't wait to make it. I figured that since I missed out on a Mexican feast on Cinco de Mayo, I'd celebrate by eating these enchiladas on Seis de Mayo! They totally topped the taco truck meal I had planned on eating! For some reason, as I was getting ready to publish this post, I double checked my archives and noticed that I have already posted a vegetable enchilada recipe. However, this is slightly different, and way too delicious to not share, so here you go, a second vegetable enchilada recipe for you! 

For the Enchilada Sauce:
1 teaspoon Canola Oil
1/2 small Onion, finely chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 1/2 tablespoon Chili Powder
1/2 tablespoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 (8 ounce) can Tomato Sauce
1/4 cup Water
Black Pepper, to taste

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, approximately 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Whisk in the tomato sauce and water, bring to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. 

For the Filling:
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
1/2 small Onion, chopped
1/2 cup Corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 Red or Yellow Bell Pepper, seeded and chopped
1 small Zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeded, and chopped
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
7 ounces (1/2 can) Black Beans, drained and rinsed 
1/3 cup Enchilada Sauce (see above)
1/4 cup Fresh Cilantro, minced
1 (4 ounce) can Diced Green Chiles, optional

Add oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and corn, and cook until slightly softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook until tender, 3-5 minutes. Add in the garlic and black beans and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Take off of the heat and stir in 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, cilantro, and green chiles.

To Assemble:
12 (6 inch) Tortillas (I used flour, but corn was recommended)
1 cup Cheddar, Pepper Jack, or Mexican Blend Cheese, shredded

Spread about 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce around the bottom of a 9x13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Place 1/3 cup of the filling mixture down the center of a tortilla. Tightly roll up the tortilla and place in the baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas. Evenly pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the top of the sauce. Cover with foil and bake at 450 degrees until the enchiladas are heated through, about 10 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the cheese has melted, 3-5 more minutes. I also put mine under the broiler for about 2 minutes to brown the cheese. Serve immediately.  

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