Tag Archives: vegetarian

Moroccan Tomato Soup

12 Nov

It’s November in Toronto. No offense to the November babies out there, but it’s kind of a miserable month. It’s cold. It’s rainy. It’s generally kinda dreary. So what’s one to do to combat this downer of a month? Get in the kitchen and cook up something warming and delicious to make you forget about the blah-itude outside! This Moroccan tomato soup fits the bill and then some: it’s finished with creamy peanut butter that lends it a lovely richness.

This is a very balanced recipe, with no ingredient overwhelming another. If you like your food on the spicier side, add a little more cayenne than what’s called for here.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 280z can crushed tomatoes
1 pinch of cinnamon
2 tb brown sugar
2 tb chili powder
1 ts cumin
1/2 ts black pepper
1/2 ts salt
1/2 ts cayenne pepper
1/4c tomato paste
1 tb red wine vinegar
3/4 c creamy peanut butter

Directions

1. Toss the onions, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste and 2 cups of water into a slow cooker. (Or a big pot set on low on the stove. Whatever you’ve got!)
2. Stir in the cinnamon, sugar, chile powder, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper and red wine vinegar.


3. Cook on low for 5 – 8 hours.
4. Add in the peanut butter and, using an immersion blender, purée until smooth. (If it’s a bit thick, add in a little water and purée again.)

Easy, Fresh Asparagus & Corn Salad

20 Jul

We’ve made this tasty, simple salad at home a few times and it always goes down a treat. Now is the perfect time to make it, too, with fresh corn, asparagus and basil in abundance! (My mother-in-law happened to have both green and purple basil in her garden, so that’s what he used in this incarnation.) J made it as part of my birthday dinner last week for a few of us up at the cottage and everyone commented on how much they enjoyed it – I’m sure you and your guests will, too.

Serves 6.

Ingredients

4 ears corn, shucked
1 bunch asparagus, washed, trimmed
1 small red onion, diced
1 handful of basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade (very thin slices)

1/2 c sugar
1 c rice wine vinegar
1 ts salt
1 ts black pepper

Directions

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Toss in the corn and cook 3 minutes. Remove and place in an ice bath to halt cooking process.
2. With the water still boiling, add the asparagus spears. Blanch again, for 1 minute. Remove and place in an ice bath.
3. Carefully remove the corn kernels from the cobs and place in a large bowl.
4. Cut the asparagus into bite sized pieces and place in the bowl.
5. Add in the red onion and basil.
6. In a small, separate bowl, mix together the sugar, vinegar, salt & pepper. Pour on to the vegetables in the big bowl and mix thoroughly. Season to taste, if necessary.

Mango Basmati Rice

25 Jun

Let’s face it: rice is…well, it’s just rice. It’s not the most exciting ingredient. But what it lacks in flavour it makes up for in versatility, transforming from modest to extraordinary with a few extra steps. This is a modified version of Tyler Florence’s recipe: I used peanuts instead of cashews as that’s what I had around. He also calls for mint, but you could use cilantro or basil, too. I served this with lemon curry chicken, but it would go well with shrimp, pork or fish dishes.

Ingredients

1 c basmati rice
1 inch piece ginger, peeled and smashed w/ side of the knife
kosher salt
1/2 lb green beans
1/2 red onion, coarsely chopped
1/4 c cashews
1/4 c mint leaves, coarsely chopped
1 mango, peeled, pitted & chopped
2 tb extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lemon, juiced
black pepper

Directions

1. Put rice in a sauce pan with the ginger, 2 cups of water and 1 1/2 ts salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Stir, turn down the heat, cover and cook 12 minutes. (If serving cold, spread the rice on a baking sheet and bring to room temperature.) Discard ginger.
2. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil for the beans. Fill a large bowl with ice water and add just enough salt so that you can taste it. Boil the beans for three minutes and then place them in the ice water for another minute or so to stop the cooking and maintain their bright green colour.
3. Place the mango, red onion, mint and cashews in a large bowl. Stir together with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add in the rice and beans, seasoning with the lemon juice. Re-season with salt & pepper if necessary.

Sauteed Vegetables with Soba Noodles

1 Jun

Currently, I am addicted to soba noodles. In truth, I love any kind of noodle (carb queen!) but these are my latest obsession. They’re easy to make and can be used in all sorts of dishes from salads to stir-frys. Last night, I went on a vegetarian tear, cutting up all sorts of spring veggies and some tofu for an Asian-flavoured dish with a soy-rice wine vinegar-hoisin-Sriracha sauce. If I’d had some mirin, I’d have used that, too, but I just grabbed what I had in the cupboards.

Serves 3 – 4

Ingredients

2 packages soba noodles, cooked
2 tb vegetable oil
1 2-inch piece of ginger, grated or finely diced
1 shallot, finely diced
4-5 stalks asparagus, ends trimmed, cut to bite-sized pieces
1 c broccoli
1 – 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
2 tb soy sauce
1 tb hoisin
1 1/2 c firm tofu, drained and cubed
4 – 5 handfuls of spinach leaves
1 c peas
2 tb rice wine vinegar
Sriracha to taste

Directions

1. In a large pan, heat the oil to medium heat. Add the ginger and shallot and sauté for 3 minutes.
2. Add the asparagus, broccoli and carrots along with the soy and hoisin. Sauté another 3-4 minutes.
3. Toss the spinach in next and allow to wilt a little before adding the tofu and peas. Salt and pepper to taste.
4. Add in the rice wine vinegar and Sriracha to taste.
5. Serve over the cooked soba noodles. Garnish with sesame seeds and scallions if you like!

Braised & Curried Tofu in Coconut Milk

14 May

A few months ago, we decided to implement Meatless Mondays at our place. We already had a good variety of Latin American recipes from which to pick that were vegetarian but after a couple of months, we’d pretty thoroughly exhausted them and wanted to try something new. I really enjoy coconut curry but hadn’t tried many – okay, any – recipes with tofu. J came across this recipe and made it with much success. The original recipe did not call for the soy sauce, but I would certainly recommend you use it.

Ingredients

1 16oz carton of firm tofu, packed in water
1 tb vegetable oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tb ginger, finely chopped
1 15oz can coconut milk
1 ts Thai curry paste (or to taste)
1 ts soy sauce
1 ts hot sauce, optional
1/2 ts salt
3 tb cilantro stems, chopped + leaves for garnish
1 c frozen peas
Juice of 1 lime
4 c cooked rice
2 tb roasted peanuts or cashews, optional

Directions

1. Drain tofu and set on a cutting board while you assemble the rest of the ingredients.
2. Heat the oil in a sauté pan. Add onion, cooking over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger; add coconut milk, curry paste, salt, soy sauce and cilantro stems. Simmer gently. (If you’re using the hot sauce, add it here.)
3. Cut tofu into cubes or triangles. Add to sauce, raising heat to medium. Cook until heated through, approximately 5 minutes. Add peas and cook for a few minutes until hot. Season with lime juice.
4. Serve tofu and sauce over rice and garnish with roasted nuts and reserved cilantro leaves.

Quick, Healthy Vegetarian Curry

6 Mar

Back from vacation, it’s my turn to cook and…there’s just about nothing in the fridge. I have the chance to go the grocery store, but won’t be home for a while nor near a fridge so meat and cheese are out. What’s a girl to do? Make a simple, healthy, flavourful curry, that’s what!

I’ve made a number of curries before but they tend to be coconut milk-based and require a number of ingredients. This time, I wanted to try something that was a little healthier but just as delicious. Enter: simple veggie curry. Lots of healthy ingredients and it only takes about 20 minutes total to make. I topped mine with a spicy mango chutney that balanced out all the flavours nicely.

Serves 2.

Ingredients

1 tb canola oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tb fresh ginger, minced or grated
2 ts curry powder
1 ts garam masala
1/2 head cauliflower florets
15 oz can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
15 oz can of diced tomatoes, including juice
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 c frozen peas

Directions

1. Heat the canola oil in a large saucepan to medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger,  curry powder and masala. Stir and cook til fragrant, 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the cauliflower florets to the pan and toss to coat. Then add chick peas and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Place a lid on the pan and simmer til cauliflower is tender, stirring occasionally, 10-15 minutes.

Cooking away...

4. Add in frozen peas and stir. Cook til they’re warmed through, 2-3 minutes.
5. Serve on basmati rice. If you desire, top with yogurt and/or mango chutney.

Spicy Sauteed Rapini w/ Pine Nuts & Raisins

25 Jan

Apparently, I’ve become a grown up. I am now voluntarily eating not just Brussels sprouts but now rapini! Traditionally not  a big fan of bitter greens, I have warmed to them in the last year so long as they are balanced with other flavours to cut through the bitterness. Cue J making Giada de Laurentiis’  sautéed rapini that has a nice kick with some chili flakes and sweetness from a handful raisins.  This side dish looked fantastic served in our colourful casserole dishes!

Serves 2.

Ingredients

2 bunches rapini, stems trimmed
3 tb olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 ts red pepper flakes
1/4 c raisins
salt
2 tb pine nuts, toasted

Directions

1. Blanch the rapini by dropping it in a pot of boiling water for 1 minute, then transferring it to an ice bath. Reserve roughly 1/4 of the cooking liquid.
2.  Heat the oil in a heavy large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté  about 1 minute.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the rapini. Toss to coat.
4. Add half the the reserved cooking water, the raisins, and cook until the rapini is heated through and the stems are tender, about 4 minutes. Season with salt, to taste.
5. Right before you’re ready to serve, add the pine nuts and toss so that all the ingredients have combined.

Honey Garlic Sweet Potato Wedges

12 Oct

In discussing what we’d have for our family Thanksgiving dinner this year, my dad made a specific request for sweet potatoes. Since my dad, really, never asks for anything I certainly couldn’t let this request fall by the wayside. Thing is, I haven’t made anything with sweet potatoes in years. I’ve made shoestring fries with them before, but they tended to come out a little, um, crispier than I’d have liked. I wasn’t going to let my dad down, though, so I scoured til I found something that looked easy enough to do while also making up the rest of the Thanksgiving fixings. Came across a great recipe that I tweaked just a smidge. In the end, the potatoes turned out very well: a little crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside with a pungent bite from the garlic mellowed out by the sweetness of the honey.

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Serves 4.

Ingredients

4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into wedges
2 tb extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper
1/3 c ketchup
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4  c honey
1 lime, juice & zest
6 garlic cloves, minced

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
2. Place the wedges skin-side down on a foil-lined baking sheet. Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, combine the ketchup, soy, honey, lime juice & zest and garlic in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer, stirring frequently. Allow to reduce and thicken for 10 minutes.
4. When the 25 minutes elapse, remove the potatoes from the oven and turn on the broiler. Ensure the oven rack is in the middle.
5. Brush the sauce on to the sweet potato wedges and put them back in the oven for 10 minutes, brushing on the sauce at least one more time.

Quinoa Tabouleh

2 Aug

I came across this recipe while doing some research for a friend and sent it on to a few others that I thought would enjoy it. One of those fabulous ladies made it for a group of us and it was a huge hit. It’s not your typical tabouleh; but, to me, flavor is more important than tradition and accuracy in this case. It has feta – how can you argue with a healthy, whole grain dish that incorporates such salty, lovely goodness?

Additionally, this is somewhat of a quinoa redemption dish for me. My first try at making quinoa yielded less than wonderful results. I suspect that I didn’t cook the quinoa enough my first go ‘round and instead of a light, fluffy side dish that pops a little when you bite into it, I took a bite and…well, it was crunchy. Like I said, less than ideal. With this dish, though, it came out exactly as it should have. Just remember: rinse the quinoa first and use a 2:1 ratio of liquid to grain. Once you’ve added the quinoa to the boiling liquid, let the entire thing come back up to a boil before you put the lid on and let it simmer for at least 15 minutes (or until the liquid has evaporated).

Serves 4 (with leftovers)

Ingredients

1 c quinoa
2 c water or vegetable broth
½ ts salt
½ red onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 c cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cucumber, cut to bite-sized pieces
1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
8 oz feta, crumbled
juice 1 lemon
black pepper to taste

Directions
1. Rinse the quinoa and cook according to the instructions on the package. When finished, transfer the quinoa to a bowl and put in the fridge to cool for 30-45 minutes.
2. Cover the diced onion with a pinch of salt and water. Leave the onion to soak while the rest of the ingredients are prepped.
3. In a bowl, combine the garlic, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley and feta. Drain the onions and add to the mixture.
4. Combine all the ingredients. Add the lemon juice and black pepper to taste.

Optional – you can add a little sesame oil to the salad for a nutty flavor.

Sunshine Salad

22 Jun

This recipe comes from a little Mexican cookbook that’s been kicking around the apartment for years, but we really only started using it recently. I sent this recipe to a friend of mine a couple of months ago and she raved about it.  We decided to make it for Father’s Day and after a couple of bites, I understood why she’d liked it so much: it’s fresh, it’s simple and it’s kind of addictive. So much so that we made it again the next day…

Serves 4, as a side dish.

Ingredients

1 c pineapple (1 can)
1 avocado, diced
1 1/2 c corn (or 1 14oz can)
1/4 c cilantro, chopped
1 – 2 green onions, sliced
2 oranges, peeled & sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 ts black pepper

Directions

1. Assemble all ingredients in medium-large bowl.
2. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
3. …Eat.

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