Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Roasted Vegetables with Basil and Chick Peas

Well I have a massive food hangover from last weeks festivities. Now it is time to eat healthy and rid myself of those holiday indulgences. After having salads for the last two days I thought it was time to make something a little more decadent. My sister Melissa had made a yummy roasted vegetable dish at a dinner party once and I thought I would take that idea and make it my own. Once again this is a vegan or vegetarian friendly dish that can be served alone, over pasta or with a grilled veggie patty as I did tonight. I also added chick peas for protein but cannellini beans would be delicious with this as well.


2-3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1-2 tsp salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup red onion chopped
1/2 cup white onion chopped
8 cloves of garlic halved
3 tomatoes chopped
1 cup broccoli chopped
1 cup asparagus chopped
1 cup basil chopped
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (optional)
1 can of chick peas or cannellini beans drained and rinsed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop all vegetable to roughly the same size, about 2 inches thick, so they cook evenly. Cut each garlic clove in half. Arrange all the vegetables on a baking sheet and drizzle olive oil and salt and pepper. Put in the oven for 35 minutes at 400 degrees. After 35 minutes add chick peas or cannellini beans and 1/2 a cup of basil. Put back into the oven for another 10 minutes. Once the vegetables are cooked arrange on a plate with a sprinkle of fresh basil and parmesan cheese if desired.

Yields 4 servings

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Vegetarian/Vegan Thanksgiving Stuffing

I have been a vegetarian for many Thanksgivings. I have never cared about eating turkey but I used to really miss eating the stuffing. The stuffing was always cooked inside the turkey or made with chicken broth which was out of the question for me. So a couple years ago I decided to make a vegetarian version and it has been a hit ever since. I now make the stuffing every year. This year I decided to cut out some of the butter and replace it with olive oil. The taste is just as yummy. In making this recipe I used real butter but it can easily be substituted for a Vegan butter as the rest of the ingredients are vegan. Happy thanksgiving!


4 tbs olive oil
1 cup butter or vegan substitute
2 onions chopped (roughly 5 cups)
4 cups celery chopped
1 cup chopped and cleaned leaks
1 tbs pepper
1 1/2 tbs salt to taste
5 tbs poultry seasoning
4 cups vegetable broth
2 loaves of whole wheat bread

The day before you make the stuffing tear the two loaves of bread and spread them out over a cookie sheet or cooling rack if you have one. Let the bread dry out for at least 15 hours. (Hint a bread with less preservatives will dry out better.)

To start the stuffing heat oil and butter in large pot. Add onion, celery and leaks. Sprinkle salt, pepper and poultry seasoning over vegetables saute and simmer on medium low for roughly 20 minutes. It will seem like there is more butter and oil than vegetables but this is necessary to cover two loaves of bread. After vegetable are softened add vegetable broth. Bring the pot to boil and then reduce to simmer for another 10 minutes.

Once mixture is ready pour the vegetables and broth over the bread slowly as some breads may absorb more than others, and mix well together. It may take a few different bowls and batches to accomplish this. Once the stuffing is to a desired texture (some people like it soggy others like it dry, I try to make it somewhere in the middle) pour in a baking dish and bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Cover the stuffing with foil for the first 15 minutes of baking. Then it is ready to serve.

yields 12 servings

Holiday Spiced Sangria

This is a fun drink that I love to make this time of year. It is delicious served hot or cold and super easy to make. With wine being full of anitoxidants and oranges packed with vitamin C you can actual feel good about this cocktail as long as you drink in moderation! Cheers!


1 bottle of your favorite red wine
5 cinnamon sticks
1 tbs whole cloves
1 tbs whole allspice
2 oranges

In a pitcher pour in bottle of wine and add cinnamon sticks. Cut the oranges into quarters. Squeeze two of the quarters into the wine and discard. With the remaining orange quarters stick about 5 or 6 cloves in the peel of each one and place into the pitcher. Using a cheese cloth make a sachet for the whole cloves and place into the pitcher as well. Put the pitcher into the refrigerator for at least two hours. When it is ready to serve remove allspice and heat if desired.

yields 4 servings

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Pasta with Leeks and Brussels Sprouts

Those poor brussels sprouts get such a bad wrap; I can never figure out why. They are so yummy and versatile. Tonight I combined them with some leeks and pasta and made a delicious elegant dinner. It is completely vegan, but vegetarians can add parmesan cheese, and if you are cooking for any meat eaters this would be perfect with bacon or pancetta.


8 brussels sprouts bottoms cut off and chopped into quarters
2 leeks chopped and rinsed thoroughly
5 green onions chopped
2 tbs olive oil
2 tsp of salt and pepper to taste
3 cloves of garlic chopped
1/2 cup white wine or starchy pasta water
1/2 lbs. of your favorite pasta

Cook your pasta in a salted pot of boiling water until pasta is al dente.

In a large pan saute brussels sprouts, leeks and green onion in olive oil. Add salt, pepper and garlic. Saute on low for about 20 minutes. Add white wine and saute for another 10 minutes. Once veggies are cooked and seasoned well, add pasta into saute pan and stir together well so that pasta absorbs the sauce. then it is ready to serve.

yield 2-4 servings

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Fajitas Tacos

I love tacos and I’m always looking for a good way to make veggie or vegan tacos. It dawned on me the other night that fajitas style veggies would be great mixed with pinto beans and put into corn tortillas. And it was. We have an authentic mexican market down the street that makes corn tortillas fresh daily so I was lucky to pick some up and use them with this recipe but you can use any corn tortillas you like.


1-2 tbs canola oil
1/2 of a yellow onion sliced
2 green peppers sliced
3 green onions chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1-2 tsp taco seasoning to taste
1 15 oz can of pinto beans
6-8 corn tortillas
1 tbs of cilantro chopped for topping

In a large pan saute yellow and green onion with peppers in canola oil. Add salt and pepper and taco seasoning and cover and let simmer on low for 5-10 minutes. Once onions are translucent and peppers are softened add pinto beans and stir together for another 5 minutes. Pour into corn tortillas and serve with your favorite toppings.

6-8 tacos

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Jalapeno and Cheese stuffed Tomatoes

I love doing a tapas night and I usually use those nights to experiment on my husband. Tonight I decided to put my own twist on stuffed tomatoes by adding a little kick of jalapeno. They were delicious and super easy to make. You can use these as an appetizer for holiday parties or just for your own tapas night.


3 tomatoes
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 jalapeno seeded and shopped finely
1 clove of garlic minced
1 pinch of salt to taste
1 tbs of olive oil

Cut tomatoes in half and scoop out the innards. Place them on a greased baking
sheet. In a bowl mix together mascarpone cheese, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs (leaving a little to top), jalapeno and garlic. If it become hard to mix add a small amount of water to help mix the ingredients together. Add a pinch of salt depending on how salty your parmesan cheese. Scoop a spoonful of cheese mixture into each tomato in equal amounts. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

Yield 6