Sometimes inspiration comes in the form of ‘payday isn’t for 2 more days, so use what you have in the fridge’. This recipe comes from precisely that situation. Thank goodness Trillium Haven Farm CSA and Doorganics day was yesterday, so at least there were fresh veggies from which to create goodness. The result is Vegan Zucchini Pancakes not to be confused with a prior post, Zucchini Fritters which are definitely NOT vegan (goat cheese).
Vegan Zucchini Pancakes
Cucumber Salad (topping)
- 1 lb tomatoes
- 2 small cucumbers
- 1T balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp EVOO
- 1 1/2 zucchini or summer squash, shredded
- 1 medium, sweet yellow onion
- 1/4-1/2 tsp salt (to taste…err on the side of less)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 C egg substitute
- 1/8 tsp fresh ground nutmeg
- 3 T flour
- 2 T fresh basil, chiffonade
- 2 T Parmesan cheese (if Vegetarian, do not include for Vegan)
1. To create the cucumber salad chop the tomatoes and cucumbers coarsely and top with EVOO and balsamic vinegar. Set aside.
2. Grate the zucchini and onion, roll up in paper towel or cheesecloth and squeeze until it is fairly dry.
3. Combine the pressed zucchini and ionion with garlic, salt, basil, nutmeg, fake eggs, flour, salt and pepper.
4. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet. Pour 1/4 C of the batter into the oiled pan. The batter will be lumpy. Let the pancake completely brown on one side then flip to brown the other side. Remove from the pan and place on paper towels.
5. When you are ready to serve, top the pancakes with the cucumber salad and enjoy.
Thanks to a reader for writing in that the original recipe for these pancakes were too salty! I’ve changed the recipe to account for her feedback. If you are putting these on a bun or in a flatbread, you will need additional salt, but if just eating as a pancake, please follow the change in added salt. Thanks!
Posted in Recipes, Salad, Seasonal Ingredients, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tagged balsamic vinegar, Basil, CSA, cucumbers, Doorganics, egg substitute, EVOO, garlic, Nutmeg, onion, seasonal recipe, summer squash, tomatoes, vegan, vegetarian, zucchini, zucchini pancakes
My herbs are staging a coup d’état in the backyard.
I’m striking back with pesto.
One of my fave 101cookbooks.com blog posts is entitled “How to Make Pesto Like an Italian Grandmother”. She’s right. It’s a brilliant recipe; however, sometimes I do not have 1) pine nut cash allowance (so expensive!), 2) oh, I don’t know 1000 extra calories to inhale a 2 tablespoon mouthful of wonderfulness or 3) time to chop BY HAND (wtf?!) a zillion leaves into a paste-like substance-I guess that’s where the grandmother part comes in for Heidi Swanson’s recipe; grandmothers have lots of extra time for this stuff.
Tonight when I realized my parsley was about to FLOWER for goodness sake, I took it upon myself to hack it all down, grab some garlic and headed to the food processor to make, “Certainly not an Italian Grandmother’s Pesto” while muttering to myself, “it’s a damn good thing I like pesto.”
Pesto from the Fridge
- 2 lemons zested and juiced
- 2 large handfuls of something delish and green from your herb garden (could really be anything)
- 4 cloves of garlic, 2 if you are not interested in vampire protection (TrueBlood starts at the end of the month)
- 1/4 C good EVOO
**To make this real pesto, add 1/2 C toasted walnuts or pine nuts, sometimes called Pinons and 1/2 C grated parm cheese to the mix then increase your EVOO as needed to get a nice puree.
Hack down a bunch of your herbs you have been neglecting, use the tender leaf part for the pesto (wash and dry it) and the stems to clean out your garbage disposal, it will make it smell better after you grind them up in there and send them to their new water home.
In a food processor, take the peeled garlic cloves, lemon juice, lemon zest and all of that beautiful greenery and blend while slowly adding the EVOO. You might need less than 1/4 C depending on how liquidy you want the pesto. I like mine a little bit on the dry side.
To store, I take an old ice cube container, spray a little oil in the bottom and on the sides then portion out my pesto in the little wells which happens to make a nice amount of sauce for 2 people when I decide I need a pasta fix; freeze and then pop out and store in a freezer bag.
I have also used this concoction as:
- Tofu marinade
- Combined with greek yogurt to make dip, or thinned with water to make salad dressing.
- Mixed with more EVOO and a dash of balsamic vinegar to create a quick and flavorful vinaigrette.
- Tossed with pasta and raw veggies for a quick lunch or dinner.
- Tossed with pasta, a little pasta water, goat cheese and toasted walnuts for a yummy dinner.
- On top of crusty bread for the base for bruschetta or plain as garlic bread.
- Tossed with saute’d mushrooms.
- Base for marinated olives and bocconcini (baby mozzarella balls) skewers.
- Base for tortillini soup.
Technically this recipe might be considered a Coulis due to lack of cheese; but whatever the case, it’s a flexible, cheap, quick and yummy way to put that herb garden to use and just about any herb or green will due. I’ve even used spinach with fantastic results. Pulling one of these little cubes out of the freezer in February makes my heart remember spring.
Posted in Fridge Finds, Make Ahead, Noodles, Quick Cooking, Recipes, Seasonal Ingredients, Vegan, Vegetarian
Tagged 101cookbooks.com, Basil, coulis, dip, dressing, EVOO, freezer, garlic, green, heidi swanson, herb garden, herbs, ice cube trays, parsley, pasta, pesto, spring, tofu marinade, vegan, vegetarian, Yummy
Some nights I just don’t feel like cooking. Really. Yes, even me. Which is why I’m thankful that I am competitive enough to make a game out of what I can scavenge from the fridge to pull dinner off. Mr. Wonderful loves anything in the family of pizza. So naan is a great quick pizza crust and Costco has the best deal on naan in the free world. Enter naan from freezer and let the creative juices flow. The most difficult part about this recipe is the patience it takes to caramelize the onions…chop them up and toss into a fry pan over very, very low, for a very long time. You can vacuum, do dishes, watch some YouTube videos in the mean time. Hell, get crazy and read a real book.
Here’s a quick flatbread recipe as rummaged from the fridge/freezer/pantry:
Grilled Asparagus, White Bean and Caramelized Onion Flatbread
- 1 very large onion, any type, chopped finely into half circles (approx 2 C raw)
- 1 bunch asparagus trimmed and washed
- 1 C Provolone cheese, grated (goat or gorgonzola cheese would be better here, but none in the fridge, alas)
- 4 C white beans, cooked or 2 cans, drained-reserve this liquid in case your hummus is too thick and you can drizzle some in (I pulled these from my freezer-reserve 3/4 C to sprinkle on TOP of flatbread, the rest will be used for “hummus” for the sauce on the flatbread)
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2-3 T Tahini (or just use a little of the juice from the beans if you don’t have this in your cupboard)
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano or a handful fresh
- 1/2 tsp dried cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried chipotle or red pepper flakes, omit if you are not pro-heat
- 2 T lemon juice, fresh squeezed preferred, but that little plastic lemon kind won’t kill you here
- salt to taste, this will take more than you think…white beans have little flavor
- 2 pieces commercial naan bread
Cut up onion, toss in hot frying pan with a swig of EVOO, then turn way, way down to low. Here is where the patience comes in…now, wait. Stirring every 15 minutes or so. Caramelized onions take TIME. Like, an hour or so. Good news, you don’t have to do anything to them except poke around at them every quarter hour….seriously quit your complaining.
Take the following ingredients and zap them in the food processor until smooth:
white beans (minus 3/4 C for topping of flatbread)
pinch of salt
You just made white bean hummus which is the “sauce” for the flatbread.
Asparagus should be washed, trimmed and tossed with a splash of EVOO, then turned out onto a hot grill, or in a grill pan until just warm, they should be crispy, semi-raw still, they will be cooked again in a hot second.
Fire the naan for a few minutes in a 400 degree oven to crisp it up just a little.
Apply “sauce” to naan bread, then onions, reserved white beans, asparagus and top with provolone cheese. Toss back into hot oven until cheese melts. Season with a bit of black pepper.
Posted in Bread, Leftovers, Less is more, Quick Cooking, Recipes
Tagged caramelized onions, cheese, chipotle, cook, create, delish, EVOO, flatbread pizza, food processor, freezer, garlic, grilled asparagus, lemon juice, lemon zest, Mr. Wonderful, mr. wonderful approved, naan, oregano, Provolone, recipe, red epper flakes, salt, seasonal cooking, tahini, vegetarian, white beans, yum
Some like it HOT. I for one, basically drink Frank’s Red Hot. It has some kind of hold on me. A sale on red peppers is like hitting 3 or 4 numbers in the lotto, not the full monty, but you still get an excellent monetary reward…especially at D & W. So when I saw red bell peppers, 10 for $10 dollars and sprinted to the produce shelf, leaving poor Mr. Wonderful in the dust returning with 20 red bell peppers, he had no idea what had just happened. Since he knows better than to actually ask about such things, he agreed to just wait for the finished product which we lapped up 2 days in a row and several lunch servings later.
This recipe was adapted from the klutzychef at her blog; check her out she is cute and honest…and talks about burning Rice Krispie treats, my kind of gal.
Roasted Red Pepper Soup
serves 4 people as a main meal
- 8 red bell peppers, roasted (no, it does NOT taste the same if you use canned-just roast them in your oven..super easy)
- 1 baked medium russet potato, smashed
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 2 medium chopped onions
- 6 garlic cloves peeled and left whole
- 2 tsp roasted red pepper flakes (half of this for a milder soup)
- 1 tsp chipotle powder (omit for mild soup, I like to hurt myself eating soup like this…)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 2 cups crushed tomatoes (16 oz)
- 1 3/4 cups reduced-fat coconut milk (or whole fat, whatever)
- 2 cups veggie broth or water
- Bake your potato, set aside to cool. Roast your peppers, whole, washed and then coated lightly with EVOO or canola oil on a foil-lined (you will thank me later for this step) jelly roll pan at 400 or so until they are black, yes, black. Set them aside in a tightly covered bowl to cool and then stem, seed, and peel them. This is not hard, suck it up and do it. Seriously, the taste is worth it.
- In a covered non-reactive pot, heat oil in a dutch oven on medium-high heat.
- Add onions, carrots, salt, pepper flakes, chipotle powder, and garlic. Sauté on medium heat for 15 minutes or until onions are soft and translucent. DO NOT INHALE DEEPLY when you put the flakes and powder to the oil. You might want to turn on the fan for a few minutes or suffer for about an hour.
- Remove the pot from heat and add canned tomatoes, red peppers, coconut milk, smashed potato guts, half/half and broth/water.
- Mix together so ingredients are fully integrated.
- Now, in batches, add the soup to a blender or food processor to mix all together. An immersion blender works beautifully here as well since you can just throw it right into the pot. If you have a dish towel to spare and are using a standing blender, you may want to put the towel under the cover to prevent hot soup from spilling out the top.
- Keep warm until ready to serve on stove over low.
- Top with Frank’s Red Hot (I know it’s too much, but it’s soooooo good).
Posted in Leftovers, Make Ahead, Recipes, Soup
Tagged coconut milk, cook, create, delish, EVOO, Frank's Red Hot, recipe, red pepper, roasting red peppers, sale, seasonal cooking, Soup, vegetarian, yum
You know it has been too long since last you blogged, when you can’t remember the login or password to your WordPress account. Sorry friends. I have a few backlogged items to share with you in the next few days and then hopefully next week some new cooking (I have a few new cookbooks, shocker).
This easy and super cheap soup comes to use via my fave Heidi Swanson of 101cookbooks.com. You can pre-order her newest and greatest cookbook on Amazon right now SuperNatural Every Day. If not for the recipes buy it for the food porn pics. She is as good a photog as she is a veggie chef.
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (I used Fustini’s Meyer Lemon)
- 2 large onions, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 1 1/2 cups dried split green peas, AND 1/2 cup dried split yellow peas, picked over and rinsed.
- 5 cups water
- juice of 1/2 lemon (reserve the zest)
- a few pinches of smoked paprika
- more Meyer Lemon olive oil to drizzle
Add olive oil to a big pot over med-high heat. Stir in onions and salt and cook until the onions soften, just a minute or two. Add the split peas and water. Bring to a boil, dial down the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the peas are cooked through (but still a touch al dente). Using a large cup or mug ladle half of the soup into a bowl and set aside. Using a hand blender (or regular blender) puree the soup that is still remaining in the pot. Stir the reserved (still chunky) soup back into the puree – you should have a soup that is nicely textured. If you need to thin the soup out with more water (or stock) do so a bit at a time. Stir in the lemon juice and taste. If the soup needs more salt, add more a bit at a time until the flavor of the soup really pops.
Ladle into bowls or cups, and serve each drizzled with olive oil and topped with a good pinch of smoked paprika and a touch of lemon zest.
Serves 4 to 6.
This froze well, and all my work friends were jealous when it was beef on noodles day again in the cafe’ and I was eating a bowl of spring yum. Also pictured with the soup was home-baked (from a freezer loaf) bread topped with chili sea salt and Meyer Lemon EVOO.
Posted in Less is more, Make Ahead, Recipes, Soup
Tagged 101 cookbooks, cook, create, delish, EVOO, freezer, heidi swanson, Soup, vegetarian, yum
I’m terrible when it comes to leftovers. They typically end up in the garbage. This dish however, began as stragglers, so not technically leftovers as in cooked and saved, this was mostly the stuff that didn’t get made and that would normally rot in my fridge. As there isn’t really a recipe, here is what I did:
1. Roasted the squash (in cubes) and brussels sprouts in a few teaspoons of EVOO at 400 until sprouts were caramelized and squash was done.
2. Warmed up some leftover Basmati (my fave) rice from a previous stir fry.
3. Stir fried extra firm tofu with lemon juice, orange juice and the zests of both until the tofu was caramelized and the juice made a little sauce. Then I tossed in a little soy for salt, it created a little glaze.
4. To assemble: tofu on rice, with side helping of veggies roasted and topped with pom seeds from the fridge. We enjoyed this with some leftover French bread and smoked cheddar cheese.
Nom nom. :)
Posted in Leftovers, Less is more, Seasonal Ingredients, Stir Fry
Tagged asian, cook, create, delish, eating well, EVOO, Mr. Wonderful, seasonal cooking, Stir Fry, vegetarian, yum
On the veggie menu:
- Cranberry Crostini
- Apricot Crostini
- TLT Open Faced Baby Sammies
- Sweet Potato Chipotle Gratin/Casserole
- Brussels Sprouts with Cranberries
- Chocolate Mallow Fondue with Dippers
Cranberry and Apricot crostini are this simple: toast a French baguette, slather a little goat cheese on it, top with dried fruit and honey if you so desire. For the cranberry crostini, I used cinnamon/cranberry goat cheese, topped with whole dried cranberries, and for the apricot crostini, I used honey goat cheese, topped with chopped apricots and lavender honey drizzle.
The TLT sammy recipe was adapted from Heidi over at 101cookbooks.com.
- 2 ripe avocados
- 2 pints tomatoes
- 2 packages fakin’ bacon tempeh
- 1 clamshell mixed baby lettuce leaves
- 1 small package regular plain goat cheese
- 1 French baguette, sliced and toasted
- Juice of 2 limes
The night before, preheat the oven to 400, toss the tomatoes with EVOO and roast until sweet and caramelized. Save these for the next day in the fridge. Day of, mash the avocado with the lime juice to make a make-shift-guac, this will go on the crostini at assembly. Prep the fakin’ bacon per the package instructions. To cook a bunch of it at a time, I cut the strips in half, put on a baking sheet and tossed into the oven for a few minutes until warm and crispy. Next, assembly is easy: take a crostini, top with a schmear of goat cheese, lettuce, avocado numminess, fakin’ bacon, and tomatoes. Or whatever order your OCD compells you to assemble this tasty bite.
So as not to lull you into submission or boredom with the length of this post here are the other recipes I made.
Smokey Chili Scalloped Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Cranberry Brown Butter
Chocolate Marshmallow Creme Fondue (use the creme so it’s veg friendly, sans gelatin)
Posted in Less is more, Make Ahead, Recipes, Seasonal Ingredients
Tagged 101 cookbooks, apricots, baguette, bobby flay, brussels sprouts, casserole, chili, chipotle, chocolate, cook, cranberries, cranberry, create, crostini, delish, EVOO, fakin' bacon tempeh, fondue, food network, goat cheese, mallow creme, Mr. Wonderful, orange, recipe, sweet potato, sweet potatoes, veg, vegetarian, yum
Turns out you can make bread that tastes good, without much time, yeast or overloading your very busy napping, I mean working, schedule on a Sunday afternoon. I forget that I own this cookbook until I see that someone else has dug out a keeper of a recipe from it. I made more potato soup this afternoon in the crock pot from basically what we had in the fridge, 6 baking potatoes, 2 small yellow onions, a handful of baby carrots, 4 dried chiles, fresh thyme, a little half and half, and some skim milk while we were busy with grading, laundry, cleaning, etc and this quick savory bread was the perfect compliment to that delish dish.
Olive Oil and Salt Quick Bread
Adapted from Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything Vegetarian
- 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cups all purpose flour (I used whole wheat flour)
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt, preferably sea salt
- 1 cup of warm water
- Heat the oven to 375 and grease an oven proof dish or skillet – 8-9″ is probably best.
- Put the flour, baking powder, and salt in a food processor. Turn on the machine and slowly add the olive oil and most of the water.
- Process for 30 seconds. The dough should roll into a ball and barely sticky. If it hasn’t come together yet, add remaining water a tablespoon at a time, processing for 5 seconds each time. If you want to add herbs, cheese, whatever, to the dough, do it now.
- Put the dough into the pan and flatten it until the dough fits to the edges. Flip and press again. Cover tightly with foil and bake.
- After 20 minutes, remove the foil and sprinkle the top with coarse seat salt and herbs (if you like). Bake for another 20 minutes. The top will be golden and it will spring back when touched.
Posted in Fall Food, Less is more, Make Ahead, Recipes, Soup
Tagged baking, bread, cook, create, delish, EVOO, mark bittman, ny times, olive oil, recipe, salt, seasonal cooking, snack, Soup, vegan mo fo, veganmofo, vegetarian, yum
I purchased 8 huge, I mean HUGE butternut squash from the orchard last week. I began processing them this weekend in an effort to eat them, or store them before they go bad. I cut up two of the bad boys and baked them, then I pureed them to an astonishing 13 cups of golden deliciousness. They now are secure in 1 cup measurements in the freezer ready to use in a pinch. So awesome!
I reorganized my recipe heap, yes, heap this weekend and came across this one from an old Rachael Ray magazine-so what if it’s from 2007, I mean I’m getting to it at least!
Penne with Squash Cream Sauce
- 1 pound whole wheat penne pasta
- 2T butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- salt & pepper
- 2 C squash puree (butternut, pumpkin, etc)
- 1 cup half and half
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for topping
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley or thyme (sage might be good here too)
Cook pasta until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking water.
In the same pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring until softened, about 6 minutes. Stir in the squash and cream and bring to a boil. Return the pasta to the pot, along with the reserved pasta water, and toss. Stir in the parmesan; season with salt & pepper.
Top pasta with herbs and more parmesan to serve.
I know that so many people have such a love/hate relationship with Rachael Ray. I admit, I don’t watch her shows, nor do I like a lot of her recipes but this one is YUM-O (okay, that was sarcastic, sorry).
Oh, I almost forgot, the side dish pictured is my fave way to eat cauliflower. Break into smallish pieces, toss with EVOO (another Rach-ism) some kosher salt and bake until browned at 400 degrees. Here is my second fave way to eat cauliflower.
Posted in Fall Food, Recipes, Seasonal Ingredients
Tagged cauliflower, EVOO, freezer, mac-n-cheese, make ahead, pasta, Rachael Ray, recipe, save, squash, vegetarian, yum