Thursday, December 24, 2009

Eggplant Parmesean

Love it or hate it, eggplant shows up often in Vegetarian cuisine. Last weekend, while I was snowed in the house, I made EGGPLANT PARMESAN for Mr. Sexy Veggie and myself.

To start, you peel and slice two eggplants. Then you dip the slices in mayonnaise, and coat with bread crumbs. The slices are then put into the oven to broil until they are a deep golden brown. Once that step is completed, the slices are layered in a casserole dish with tomato sauce, Parmesan cheese and mozzarella cheese. The casserole bakes for 30 minutes, and is ready to enjoy-preferably along side some lightly buttered pasta!

This was a very tasty dish, and filling. The eggplant was a little tough, which could be my fault for slicing it too thickly. It was a great dinner, and Mr. Sexy Veggie really enjoyed it too. However, the leftovers were not very good. I probably will not make this recipe again.

Apple Cider Muffins with Streusel Topping

Muffins are quick, easy, and usually very yummy. This was the case for APPLE CIDER MUFFINS WITH STREUSEL TOPPING. I made these one Sunday morning for a breakfast treat.
This quick bread is made by combining flour, baking powder, spices, grated apple, and sugar, and then mixing in egg, oil, and apple cider. The batter is poured into muffin tins, and topped with a streusel made from flour, sugar, and butter. After baking for 20 minutes, these beautiful muffins are ready to enjoy.

Yum! These were fabulous. Tasty, tender, and warm. Mr. Sexy Veggie really enjoyed them as well!

Smoky Black Bean Enchiladas

In case you haven't figured it out already, I love Mexican food! Mr. Sexy Veggie really likes it too, so we eat lots of burritos, enchiladas, and quesadillas. So a couple of Saturdays ago, while Mr. Sexy Veggie was riding his bicycle on my indoor trainer, I made SMOKY BLACK BEAN ENCHILADAS for our dinner.

The spicy filling for these enchiladas was made by mixing diced chipotle pepper, onion, black beans and orange juice in a pan, and cooking them until soft. Once cooled, the filling is rolled inside corn tortillas, which are then placed into a baking dish. Topped with a sauce made from salsa, tomato sauce, and spices and covered with cheese, the enchiladas are put into the oven to bake for 30 minutes. I sprinkled cilantro on them one they came out of the oven.

The flavor of these enchiladas was very good, but the texture of the corn tortillas was not pleasing. I know I don't care for corn tortillas in these kind of recipes, and should have known to use flour ones instead. The filling was good, spicy and flavorful. But I had lots of leftovers that ended up getting thrown away-which I hate doing!!!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and Roasted Asparagus with Garlic Oil, Lemon, and Parmesean Cheese

Wednesday night Sister Veggie and myself got together to cook a festive holiday feast! I made two recipes out of the cookbook to accompany our meal, ROASTED RED PEPPER HUMMUS and ROASTED ASPARAGUS WITH GARLIC OIL, LEMON, AND PARMESEAN CHEESE.

First was the roasted red pepper hummus. A garlic clove and roasted red peppers are blended in a food processor until smooth, and then chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, salt, and water are added. All of this is blended until smooth, and then you let the mixture sit for at least an hour so the flavors can meld.

Next was the roasted asparagus with garlic oil, lemon, and parmesan cheese, a nice side item to our fancy pumpkin main course. Trimmed asparagus spears are rolled in garlic infused olive oil, and baked for fifteen minutes. Once out of the oven, the spears are sprinkled with lemon juice, salt, and parmesan cheese.

Both of these dishes were winners! The hummus was great-smooth, creamy, and delicious. We enjoyed them with homemade pita chips. The asparagus was also great-tender yet crisp, and very flavorful.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Egg Noodles with Garlic and Herbs

For a side item to my veggie burger this week, I made EGG NOODLES WITH GARLIC AND HERBS. This is a very easy recipe. While egg noodles are cooking, you sauté garlic in butter. Once the noodles are cooked and drained, you mix in the garlic butter and sprinkle with salt and parsley.

These are great! A very easily prepared side dish that has a flavorful taste.

Thick Corn and Vegetable Soup with Herb Dumplings

Soup is a great menu item for a cold and snowy day. Not only is it warm and filling to eat, it smells good while it is cooking and it helps warm up your kitchen! On Sunday night, I made THICK CORN AND VEGETABLE SOUP WITH HERB DUMPLINGS for Mr. Sexy Veggie and myself.

This soup is full of vegetables! Onion and garlic are sautéed in butter until tender, and then carrots, potatoes, and butternut squash are added to the pan. Also thrown in are vegetable broth, tomatoes, white beans, and seasoning. After simmering for 30 minutes, corn and parsley are stirred in.

To make the dumplings, flour, cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, salt, butter, and milk are mixed together with seasonings to form the dough. Once mixed, it is dropped by teaspoonfuls into the simmering soup. They are simmered, covered, for 15 minutes.

Wow!!! This was excellent! Warm, tasty, and satisfying. The dumplings were outstanding. They had a biscuit-like texture that held up very well in the soup. I look forward to making this many more times!! Mr. Sexy Veggie really enjoyed it as well.

Caramel Pecan Bars

Pecans and caramel on top of a shortbread crust. What’s not to love?

This easy dessert requires few ingredients. Butter and confectioners sugar are blended with an egg yolk, vanilla extract, and flour to form the dough for the crust. While this crust bakes, melted butter, brown sugar, eggs, baking powder, vanilla and pecans are mixed together to form the topping. The topping is spread on top of the prebaked crust, and put back into the oven until the topping is set.

D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! Need I say more?

Mixed Greens with Dried Cranberries and Toasted Pecans with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Last year, I received an Aerogarden as a Christmas gift from my parents. These indoor gardens are very neat. The first set I grew was gourmet herbs, and I loved it. Now I have salad greens growing, and they are beautiful and wonderful! I used these greens while making MIXED GREENS WITH DRIED CRANBERRIES AND TOASTED PECANS with BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE.

This is a very easy salad to prepare. First, the pecans are toasted in the oven until fragrant. Next you combine lettuce and chopped red onion in a salad bowl. Drizzle the leaves with the balsamic vinaigrette, and top with dried cranberries (mine were from the natural foods store, and they were wonderful) and the toasted pecans.

To make the Balsamic Vinaigrette, balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil are mixed together until blended.
This was easy, beautiful, and delicious. I loved the flavors of the vinaigrette combined with the pecans and dried cranberries. This is a dish that will be great for dinner parties. If you would like to come to a dinner party and enjoy this tasty salad, let me know!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Classic Vegetable Melts, Broccoli and Roasted Red Pepper Salad, and Classic Vinaigrette

Bread! Cheese! Veggies! Tuesday night I made CLASSIC VEGETABLE MELTS and BROCCOLI AND ROASTED RED PEPPER SALAD with CLASSIC VINAIGRETTE for Mr. Sexy Veggie and myself.

To make the sandwiches, mushrooms, onion, red bell pepper, and spinach are sautéed until tender, and then seasoned with soy sauce and salt. This mixture is placed on top of thick slices of toasted sourdough bread that has been coated with mayonnaise (yes, I used it), and topped with Monterey jack cheese. These are placed under the broiler for a few seconds, until the cheese is melted. They are served open face, and eaten with a knife and fork.

The salad is quick and easy. Broccoli florets are blanched in boiling water, and then immediately dumped in cold water to help keep their bright green color. Once cool, they are drained on a cotton dish towel, and mixed with chopped roasted red pepper. Toasted pine nuts are stirred in, and the whole salad is drizzled with CLASSIC VINAIGRETTE. The vinaigrette is made by mixing red wine vinegar, mustard, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper.

The sandwiches were great. Very hearty, warm, and filling. The salad was ok, the vinaigrette was a little too tangy for the broccoli, but the toasted pine nuts made up for that!!

Sweet Potato, White Bean, and Pepper Tian

For my veggie burger accompaniment this week, I chose SWEET POTATO, WHITE BEAN,

AND PEPPER TIAN. Unfortunately, I forgot to add the beans to the casserole, but I still enjoyed it. So this review is for a sweet potato and pepper tian.

Sweet potatoes shine in this recipe. The potatoes are peeled and diced, and mixed with diced red and green bell pepper, red onion, plum tomatoes, salt and pepper, and olive oil. This is all pressed into a casserole dish and baked for 45 minutes, and then is topped with fresh bread crumbs and baked for 15 more minutes.

This was a great casserole. It was fresh and flavorful, and beautiful. I will make this again soon, and will add the white beans to give it more substance!

Spaghettini with Spinach in Garlic-Cream Sauce

Quick and easy pasta meals make me happy. Therefore, the SPAGHETTINI WITH SPINACH IN GARLIC-CREAM SAUCE that I made on Sunday night made me very happy!!

This easy dish requires bringing water to a boil, boiling the spaghettini for 7 minutes, and then throwing in frozen chopped spinach for 2 minutes. You drain that mixture in a colander, and sauté garlic in oil in the pan. Pour in cream and milk, and mix in the drained pasta and spinach. Sprinkle with nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and you are ready to eat!

This was good, flavorful but not overly so. The cream made a filling dish, so the pasta with a couple of slices of bread was a good dinner. It was pretty too, a very nicely presented dish.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


You are probably asking, what are jammies? Pajama parties? Music session? The answer is muffins! I made JAMMIES for Mr. Sexy Veggie and I for breakfast this morning.

These were easy and delicious. A batter made from flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, egg, butter and milk is blended, and a little is put into each muffin cup. A teaspoon of jam is placed on top of the batter (I used jam from Mom Veggie!), and the remaining batter is put on top.

The muffin tin is put in the preheated oven, and baked for 20 minutes. After cooling for a couple minutes, they are ready to enjoy.

These were very good. The batter was sweet and tasty, and the strawberry jam in the middle was a lovely treat.

Stir-Fried Szechuan Tofu, Broccoli, and Mushrooms

The local natural foods store carries wonderful tofu in bulk, and I jump at any chance I get to use it in a recipe. Last night I used fresh veggies and tofu in STIR-FRIED SZECHUAN TOFU, BROCCOLI, AND MUSHROOMS.

This is a very easy recipe! Before starting to cook the ingredients, the recipe calls to prep all the ingredients. This includes dicing the tofu, chopping the broccoli, slicing the mushrooms, and cutting the carrots. The tofu is sauteed in oil until golden brown, and then removed from the pan. The mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli are cooked until tender, and then a sauce made from cornstarch, water, chili paste, soy sauce, sherry and sugar is stirred in. This warm mixture is served over rice.

This was so good! The flavors were fresh and bright, and the sauce was a little spicy. The leftovers were equally as good. I will make this again--many times!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Butternut Squash and Cider Soup

For the starter course for Thanksgiving, I decided to make BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND CIDER SOUP. I thought this warm dish would be a great start for a special meal.

It is a very easy soup to make. You peel and dice one butternut squash, saute garlic and leeks in butter until tender, then add the squash, water, apple cider and curry powder to the pot. The mixture is simmered for thirty minutes. At this point, the mixture is transferred to a food processor and pureed until smooth and creamy. Reheat a little, and it is ready to eat!

I did not care for this. It tasted too much like apple cider, and very little like butternut squash. I really liked the idea of the soup, and might try it again with a smaller amount of apple cider. It was very pretty, at least!!

Flaky Pie Crust

Yes, I know it is not very fair to show a picture of a chocolate pie and talk only about the crust, but that is the recipe this post is about. For Thanksgiving, Mr. Sexy Veggie likes a chocolate pie, and I made a FLAKY PIE CRUST to hold the delicious chocolate filling!
The process begins by mixing flour in sugar in a food processor, and blending in flour until it is crumbly. Oil, cold water, and cider vinegar are added, and it is blended until the dough becomes pliable.

The dough is then wrapped and plastic wrap and chilled for 20 minutes. At that point, it is ready to be rolled out into the appropriate size. Once rolled, the dough is wrapped around the rolling pin and transferred to the pie plate. It goes back into the refrigerator for 30 minutes, and then is ready to bake!!

This crust was great!! I will admit I am not good with pie crust, and usually go for one that requires no rolling. I was very pleased with the ease of this one, the consistency and workability of the dough was nice. The flavor was nice, crispy and flavorful. I will be making this again!

Baked Mexican Style Rice and Beans

I'm back! After a fun trip to New York City and a little bit of recovery time, I am back into my cooking groove. Tuesday night I made BAKED MEXICAN STYLE RICE AND BEANS!
I wanted an easy and flavorful meal to make, and I picked this filling casserole. Basmati rice is cooked until tender, and then mixed with tomato sauce, chilies, beans, and chili powder. The filling is layered in a casserole dish with monetary jack cheese and sour cream, and baked for 30 minutes until the cheese is bubbly!!

This was a very favorable, comforting, and filling dish. The flavors melded together very well, and the cheese gave it a nice and creamy consistency. Served with corn on the cob and tortilla chips, it was a great dinner!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Ten-Minute Chilaquiles

I love Mexican-style recipes. They usually incorporate 3 of my favorite ingredients.........tomato sauce, beans, and cheese. This recipe used all three!!
TEN-MINUTE CHILAQUILES (Layered Tortilla Casserole) is a very easy and satisfying dish. For the sauce, salsa, tomato sauce, water and kidney beans are mixed together. This is poured on the bottom of a casserole dish, and topped with crumbled tortilla chips. The chips are covered with sour cream and Monterey Jack cheese. The layers are repeated, and then the casserole is baked for 35 minutes.

Yum! This was so easy, and delicious. It was warm, spicy, and flavorful. The leftovers were even better the next day!! I will be making this again-Mr. Sexy Veggie will love it!

Ravioli with Broccoli and Red Peppers

On Sunday evenings, I usually take ingredients for dinner to Mr. Sexy Veggie's house. I prefer quick and tasty recipes, and many pasta recipes fall into this category.

This Sunday I made RAVIOLI WITH BROCCOLI AND RED PEPPERS. This meal is easy to prep and cook. One red pepper, sliced, is sauteed in oil with garlic until tender. Meanwhile, frozen ravioli is cooked in water until done. Broccoli is added to the boiling water for 3 minutes. All of these ingredients are mixed together, and sprinkled with Parmesan before serving.

This was great! Very easy to prepare, and pleasurable to eat. Leftovers were great for lunch the next day too!