Showing posts with label vegetarian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label vegetarian. Show all posts

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pattypan Edamame Parmesan Pasta

Pan-roasted pattypan squash and edamame tossed with tiny pasta, olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan make a deliciously filling and nutritious main course or side dish.

My baby is having a big event tonight. The biggest since her graduation from high school and the biggest until exactly one month from today when she will graduate from university.

And I’m not there.

I was just with her last month when we spent her last spring break working and cooking and shopping and laughing and just hanging out. And I’ll be there next month for her graduation. I struggled, really struggled with the decision to miss her senior show, the culmination of four years of learning and one long, sleepless semester of laborious efforts on her clever design project.

So today I’m feeling guilty and tearful.

It comes over me, unbidden and at inopportune times. At the grocery store check out. While I toss a ball in our backyard for her furry brother. As I typed the blog post I was supposed to be writing. Because I want to be there and am not. But also, because in this place that I live, there are workers who haven’t been home for two years or, often, more. They’ve left children behind to be raised in their home countries by their wives who live as single mothers or with aged grandmothers who have already raised families of their own. They send every extra cent home to pay for food and schooling. What right have I to well up with tears over missing one big event when I’ve been there for most every other landmark over the last almost 22 years? When they have missed most of them. And don’t even mention the parents who are mourning the loss of their children from recent catastrophic events. I cannot go there. I give myself a firm talking to. “Graduation is one month away. It’ll be fine. Her sister will be there. It'll be fine. Suck it up!”

This post is me, sucking it up, by sharing.

My younger daughter loves to bake brownies and lately has added her roommate’s mother’s banana bread to her repertoire but she isn’t as fond of cooking. (I know, I know. Where did I go wrong?) Her meal planning is generally predicated on the question, will it go with pasta? She makes a lovely dish with Brussels sprouts that have been halved and roasted in a skillet until they are caramelized and golden. Then she tosses them with hot cooked pasta and an avocado scooped from its peel. If there’s Parmesan, some of that might get hummed in. But it’s not essential.

A couple of weeks ago, I was pan-roasting some pattypan squash and thought, “Will it go with pasta?” So I browsed around in the cupboard for a recently discovered pasta shape called pallettoni, which translates to buckshot, a name that amuses me and describes the pasta perfectly. Although she’d probably want me to trade in the squash for Brussels sprouts, she is a fan of edamame so I think my daughter would like this.

I may not be there, sweet thing, but you may rest assured that you and your sister are never far from my mind. And graduation is just a month away. And it will be fine. It will be fine. By which I mean, I will be fine. I never had any doubts about you.

9 1/2 oz or 270g pattypan squash
Olive oil
2/3 cup or 115g dried pallettoni pasta or another small pasta of your choice
1/2 cup or 80g frozen already peeled edamame, thawed
1⁄2 cup or 90g freshly grated Parmesan
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Cut the stem ends off of your pattypan squash and then slice them into two or three pieces.

Pop them in a skillet drizzled with a little olive oil, over a high fire, and cook until they have little brown spots all over.

On another burner of your stove, boil the pasta in well-salted water, according to manufacturer’s instructions. Add in the thawed edamame during the last minute or so.

Drain the pasta and edamame and add them to the squash pan, along with another drizzle of olive oil.

Sprinkle on most of the grated Parmesan, reserving about 1/4 of it to add to the top of the finished dish. Stir in the Parmesan and then taste and season with salt and pepper.

Sprinkle the balance of the Parmesan on top of the finished dish. Add a little more freshly ground black pepper, if you'd like.


Ever miss an important event in someone special's life? Tell me the tale and we can commiserate.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Beer Cheddar Fondue #BeerMonth

Beer Cheddar Fondue is made with sharp cheddar cheese mixed and melted with beer. You won't be able to stop dipping in till it's gone. Serve with lightly steamed vegetables and/or crusty bread. A great snack or, indeed, meal!

Food Lust People Love: Beer Cheddar Fondue is made with sharp cheddar cheese mixed and melted with beer. You won't be able to stop dipping in till it's gone. Serve with lightly steamed vegetables and/or crusty bread. A great snack or, indeed, meal!

The brewing of beer is one of the oldest arts of civilization. In fact, according to archaeologist Brian Hayden at Simon Fraser University in Canada, beer might well have been the motivating factor behind the sowing of grain which was the beginning of the end of our largely nomadic hunter-gatherer societies. And not a few millennia later, beer was being used as partial payment for workers building the pyramids. And, yet, here I am, for the very first time, taking part in the celebration of Beer Month, organized by Sophia of NYFoodgasm. What took me so long? After all, I’ve been a fan since way back.

One of my earliest memories of beer is sipping the foam, just the foam, mind you, off the top of my father’s freshly poured lager. The bubbles tickled my nose and the slightly hoppy taste was endured for the tickle, and because it was a privilege to be allowed that tiny sip of foam in the first place. My mother says that when she first met my father, he did not drink, but by the time I came along, or became conscious of such things, I do remember him manning the grill or a fishing pole or a crab net, not always with a beer in hand, but often.

Daddy taught me how to pour one properly, down the side of the glass, until almost the end of the bottle, to keep the foam from overflowing. No one wants a big head on his beer, says he. And he passed on his policy of drinking locally brewed beer, wherever he lives, a guideline that has proved valuable to me too. (Although I did draw the line at banana beer in Uganda. - It's a thing! - But the Bell Lager's not bad.) I take that a step farther and try to order what’s on tap when we are out as well. And I often incorporate beer into both sweet and savory recipes. With so many great beers out there, it seems a shame not to take advantage, doesn’t it?

Check out this map of the most popular beers of the world – I’ve supped 29 of these and many others not on the Most Popular list. (Most popular doesn't always mean the best.)

How are you celebrating Beer Month? Scroll down to the bottom of this post for some great recipes from my fellow bloggers and then some suggestions from my archives. But meanwhile, melt some cheese for fondue!

Beer Cheddar Fondue

The only thing better than a slice or two of extra sharp cheddar to nibble while you sip a cold beer, is extra sharp cheddar melted with that beer (and another for sipping!) in a cheesy fondue.

For the fondue:
8 3/4 oz or 250g extra sharp cheddar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2/3 cup or ml beer, plus possibly more to get to dipping consistency
3 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (We like things spicy. Reduce, if you must.)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

For garnish:
2-3 teaspoons chopped green onions

To serve:
Mixture of fresh vegetables and/or loaf of crusty bread

Depending on your vegetable, steam according to this chart on the lower end of the scale. If the veggies are too soft, they’ll likely fall off the fondue fork and get lost in the cheese. I set my timer and put the trimmed Brussels sprouts in first and added the rest as needed until finally the snow peas went in for barely any time at all.

Remove the steamer and immediately plunge into cool water. Drain.

If you aren’t serving immediately, you can refrigerate the vegetables but take them out in time for them to get to room temperature before serving. Or take the chill off in the microwave but do not overcook!

Grate your cheese and then toss it with the flour in a bowl.

Put about two inches or five centimeters of water in the bottom of a double boiler or in a pot with a metal bowl set on top. Bring the water to a boil and then turn the fire down to medium. Add the beer to the top of the double boiler or the metal bowl, then whisk in the dry mustard, cayenne and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for about one minute.

Add half the cheese to the beer mixture and cook until the cheese is melted, stirring constantly.

Add the remaining cheese a small amount at a time, stirring after each addition until the cheese is melted.

Add more beer, just a little at a time, if the mixture becomes too thick for dipping. If you finished off that first can thinking you wouldn't need the rest for the recipe, open another. It's Beer Month. Live large.

Pour into a warm fondue pot, garnish with chopped green onion tops, and keep warm over low heat.

Serve with your lightly steamed vegetables and/or cubes of crusty bread for dipping. And, of course, your favorite beer for drinking.

Food Lust People Love: Beer Cheddar Fondue is made with sharp cheddar cheese mixed and melted with beer. You won't be able to stop dipping in till it's gone. Serve with lightly steamed vegetables and/or crusty bread. A great snack or, indeed, meal!


#BeerMonth participants and MORE beer recipes!! Sending out a huge thank you to Sophia, chief Beer Month cheerleader and organizer extraordinaire!

Pin this Beer Cheddar Fondue!

Food Lust People Love: Beer Cheddar Fondue is made with sharp cheddar cheese mixed and melted with beer. You won't be able to stop dipping in till it's gone. Serve with lightly steamed vegetables and/or crusty bread. A great snack or, indeed, meal!

From my archives - click on titles to open recipe post

My recipes with beer in them

Slow Cooker Beef and Guinness Pie

Tangzhong Rye Bread
Mocha Porter Quinoa Loaf

London Porter Cake with Lemon Glaze

The Post Bender (Hangover Cure)

Spicy Cashew and Feta Beer Muffins

Best recipes to eat while eat while drinking beer

Spicy Georgia Sugared Peanuts

Cheese Stuffed Soft Pretzels

Spicy Keema Naan

Bak Kwa or Grilled Chili Pork Jerky

Ploughman's Lunch Muffins

Spicy Roasted Corn Shrimp Dip
Snorker and Spicy Slaw Sandwiches

Spicy Sticky Wings

And if you've scrolled down this far, pull up a chair and let my father pour you a cold one. This one's Pilsener on the beach near Salinas, Ecuador, brewed in nearby Guayaquil. And it's delicious.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Chickpea Veggie Soup #FoodieExtravaganza

This hearty chickpea veggie soup, full of vegetables and flavor, is thickened by a combination of nutritional yeast and steel-cut oats. It will stick to your ribs and keep you warm and your stomach satisfied for hours.

Food Lust People Love: This hearty chickpea veggie soup, full of vegetables and flavor, is thickened by a combination of nutritional yeast and steel-cut oats. It will stick to your ribs and keep you warm and your stomach satisfied for hours.

Soup is good food
Nothing warms a body more than a bowl of rich, thick soup filled with good stuff to scoop up with your spoon. Don’t get me wrong. I am also a fan of creamed soups and broths and consommés. In fact, in general, I am a fan of soup. But there is something special, and certainly more filling, about a chunky soup with stuff in it.

This lovely recipe comes from one of my favorite new cookbooks that has been mentioned in this space before: OATrageous Oatmeals: Delicious & Surprising Plant-Based Dishes From This Humble, Heart-Healthy Grain by +Kathy Hester. I gave away one copy a couple of months back when I was transformed into a lover of oats by all of the savory recipes in Kathy’s great book. I had always thought of oats as something to eat for breakfast or use in sweet baked treats, like our family's favorite chewy chocolate chip cookies. Kathy’s Mushroom Ginger Congee was truly a mind changer for me when it comes to oats.

National Oatmeal Month - Who knew?
This month my Foodie Extravaganza group is celebrating National Oatmeal month and Kathy and Page Street Publishing have generously agreed to supply a copy of her book for a giveaway. Make sure to scroll down to the bottom of this post to enter the drawing. You will not be sorry!

Recipe ©Kathy Hester from OATrageous Oatmeals: Delicious & Surprising Plant-Based Dishes From This Humble, Heart-Healthy Grain, printed here by permission from Page Street Publishing (My adaptations are in parentheses.)

2 tablespoons or 30ml olive oil
1⁄4 cup or 50g onion
3 cloves garlic
11⁄2 cups or 270g sweet potatoes
1 cup or 110g chopped carrots
1 can (15 oz or 425g) chickpeas, rinsed
6 cups or 1420ml water
1⁄2 cup or 40g steel-cut oats
4 tablespoons or 24g nutritional yeast, divided (I had never heard of this stuff but it’s actually quite wonderful and I was delighted to try it. I’m going to be sprinkling it on everything now! Read more here.)
1 teaspoon marjoram
1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1⁄2 teaspoon basil
1⁄4 teaspoon thyme
1⁄4 teaspoon ground rosemary (I used sprigs of fresh herbs in place of the basil, thyme and rosemary, chopped finely.)
1 1⁄2 cups or 270g chopped kale or other greens, like chard or collards
Salt and pepper, to taste (I used one vegetable broth cube in place of the salt.)

(Peel your vegetables and cube the sweet potatoes, dice the carrots and mince the onion and garlic.)

Add the olive oil to a soup pot and heat over medium heat. Once hot, add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, until translucent. Then add the garlic and cook for 3 more minutes.

Add the sweet potatoes, carrots, chickpeas and water, then turn the heat to high and bring to a boil.

Once the soup is boiling, turn to low and add the oats, 2 tablespoons (30 g) of the nutritional yeast, marjoram, smoked paprika, basil, thyme and ground rosemary. Cover and simmer until the oats are thoroughly cooked, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Those are the golden flakes of nutritional yeast.

Add in the kale and the other 2 tablespoons (30 g) of nutritional yeast.

Cook about 5 to 10 minutes until the kale is tender. Add salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Food Lust People Love: This hearty chickpea veggie soup, full of vegetables and flavor, is thickened by a combination of nutritional yeast and steel-cut oats. It will stick to your ribs and keep you warm and your stomach satisfied for hours.

Per serving: Calories 177.6, protein 8.1 g, total fat 5.3 g, carbohydrates 24.2 g, sodium 41.9 mg, fiber 6.1 g

One more word about the nutritional yeast: It took me quite a few stops to find it in Dubai so I wrote the cookbook author, Kathy, to ask for substitution suggestions. If you don’t mind it no longer being vegetarian, she said to use chicken stock instead of the water, which would also give the desired umami to the soup.


Food Lust People Love: This hearty chickpea veggie soup, full of vegetables and flavor, is thickened by a combination of nutritional yeast and steel-cut oats. It will stick to your ribs and keep you warm and your stomach satisfied for hours.

We are a group of bloggers who love to blog about food! Each month we will decide on a food holiday to base our recipes around. This month's the ingredient is oatmeal. Yes, January is National Oatmeal Month along with a whole array of other delightful things! We hope you all enjoy our delicious oatmeal treats this month and come back to see what we bring for you next month. Many thanks to our fabulous oatmeal host, Lauren of From Gate to Plate.

If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you're a reader looking for delicious recipes, check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board!

Pin this Chickpea Veggie Soup! 

Food Lust People Love: This hearty chickpea veggie soup, full of vegetables and flavor, is thickened by a combination of nutritional yeast and steel-cut oats. It will stick to your ribs and keep you warm and your stomach satisfied for hours.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Baked Zucchini with Spicy Tomatoes

The application of a little caramelizing heat brings out the best in these tender baby zucchini making sure they can still compete with the spicy tomatoes and feta cheese baked on top.  This dish is great as a vegetarian main or as a side dish. 

What’s your weakness?
I love a Cheeto or Dorito as much as the next person. Okay, okay, you’ve got me. I probably love them more. I’m not a big sweet eater so fatty and salty are definitely my dietary weak spots. That said, if I can add cheese to a vegetable dish – everybody saw my Sunday Supper potato chard bake a couple of weeks ago, right? – then my needs are satisfied in a much healthier manner.

This dish of baby zucchini topped with spicy tomatoes, feta cheese and crunchy pumpkin seeds was so good that we had it as a main course one night and delighted in it as a side dish the very next night. I was sad when it was gone.

The “unprocessed” challenge
This week Sunday Supper is featuring recipes that forgo the weird chemical ingredients that no one can pronounce, using just whole foods in their mostly natural state, if you don’t count things like pasteurizing milk to kill the harmful bacteria or making cheese out of it. I guess technically those are “processed” but, as far as I’m concerned, that’s in a good way. Our host this week is DB from Crazy Foodie Stunts and he got his inspiration for this theme from Andrew Wilder’s October Unprocessed Challenge. Whether you are willing to take the challenge or not, I'm sure we can all agree that if we can't say the ingredient or spell it, we probably shouldn't be eating very much of it!

These zucchini with spicy tomatoes, on the other hand, we will be eating more often.

1 lb 2 oz or 510g baby zucchini
1 lb 2 oz or 510g ripe tomatoes
1 small onion (about 3 oz or 85g)
2 red chilies
4 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sugar
3 1/2 oz or 100g feta (I like one that is made with sheep’s milk but use your favorite.)
1/4 cup or 20g pumpkin seeds

Cut the stems off of your little zucchini and then halve them lengthwise.

Chop your onions and tomatoes and mince the chilies and garlic.

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Heat one tablespoon of the olive oil in a non-stick skillet and fry the zucchini halves until they are browned nicely on both sides.

Put them in a baking dish in a single layer.

Add the other tablespoon of olive oil to the pan along with the onion, garlic and chilies. Sauté for a few minutes until they soften.

Add in the chopped tomatoes, the smoked paprika and the sugar. Cook for about seven or eight minutes over a medium heat until the tomatoes start breaking down.

Spoon the spicy tomatoes over the zucchini in the ovenproof dish.

Crumble the feta over the tomatoes and sprinkle everything with the pumpkin seeds.

Bake in your preheated oven for about half an hour.

It’s done with the feta is nicely browning and the dish is bubbling hot and brown all around the edges.


Check out all the great “unprocessed” recipes we have for you today!

Alluring Appetizers and Snacks
Stunning Sides
Enticing Entreés
Decadent Desserts

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Cheesy Potato Chard Bake

This casserole of potatoes, chard and two cheeses is a great vegetarian main course option. It’s deliciously rich so it’s very filling and, best of all, you can easily double or treble the ingredients to feed a crowd. Add a green salad, tomato salad or some grilled asparagus to round out the meal.

Last spring I was in Providence visiting my girls and, as usual, they invited their friends over for dinner. I miss a full house now that they are living away but those evenings make up for it a little bit. Such a delightful group of young people, almost all students or recent graduates of Rhode Island School of Design! We had taken advantage of the farmers’ market that morning and had a couple of big bunches of fresh chard and some locally made goat cheese in hand, so we adapted a recipe from Bountiful for creamed Swiss chard that is supposed to be served over baked potatoes, and made it into a casserole. It turned out gorgeously! One of the talented friends (Debora V. Fulop!) who helped to cook the meal has promised to illustrate some of the steps, since we didn’t take many photos and as soon as she gets around to it, I’ll share that recipe. Right now Deb is busy designing jewelry but she also takes commissions for other illustration and design work.

Meanwhile, this version is much healthier, with no cream in sight. I did use a mix of feta and mozzarella that makes this just as fulfilling to eat.

This week, our Sunday Supper group is celebrating the official start of autumn in the northern hemisphere with cozy dishes that fit the season. As temperatures start to cool down and you are looking for comfort food, it doesn’t get more comforting, in my opinion, than something made with potatoes and melted cheese. Make sure you scroll on down to see all the beautiful seasonal recipes we have for you today and find out how to join Sunday Supper on our mission to get folks back around the family table.

3 1/2 oz or 100g (without the hard stems) Swiss chard or other local greens - Kale also works great!
1 lb 6 oz or 635g new potatoes
2 cloves garlic
About 4 1/2 oz or 125g feta (I like to use sheep's milk feta for stronger flavor.)
About 4 1/2 oz or 125g fresh mozzarella
Olive oil
Black pepper – freshly ground
Cayenne pepper or paprika- optional

Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.

Cut the new potatoes into chunks and chop your garlic. (If you can't find new potatoes, by all means, use regular ones but peel them first. I even peeled some of my new potatoes because they had some funny bits.)

Wash your Swiss chard or other greens really well and cut out and discard any hard middle stems. Chop the leaves roughly.

Slice the mozzarella and crumble the feta. Set aside.

In an ovenproof pan that is big enough to hold all of the potatoes, sauté the garlic with a good drizzle of olive oil. Add the potato chunks into the garlic pan and cook for a few minutes, stirring them around so they are coated with the olive oil. Drizzle in a little more olive oil, if the pan is too dry.

Add the Swiss chard, cover the pot and allow the chard to wilt.

Sprinkle everything with some generous grinds of fresh black pepper and stir the pot so that the chard and potatoes are evenly distributed.

Top with the crumbled feta and sliced mozzarella.

Sprinkle with a little bit of cayenne or paprika for color, if desired. Drizzle with olive oil.

Bake, uncovered, in your preheated oven until the potatoes are tender and the cheesy top is golden and bubbling. Mine took about 30 minutes.


Many thanks to our host for this week’s Fabulous Fall Foods Sunday Supper, Coleen of The Redhead Baker and, her host mentor, Conni of The Foodie Army Wife. Is summer still hanging on where you live or are you ready to celebrate autumn with seasonal fruit and vegetables and warming dishes for cold nights?

Appetizers and Drinks
Soups, Stews, Chili, and Casserole
Salads and Side Dishes
Main Dishes
Desserts and Baked Goods

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