Tag Archives: vegetarian

green pita

green pita

I do not know what inspired this recipe, but I can only assume it came from something divine. It was like I was in a trance. I wanted something green. I wanted something…a sandwich? Not quite? But like a sandwich. And twenty minutes later I was in the grocery store buying all of the ingredients for this magical pita.

So this is why it was divine inspiration. I didn’t have a single ingredient, which is usually a deterrent for making something. I have never in my life bought pita. I don’t really like it. Even in this sandwich, the bread was just a means to hold the filling together. And this recipe calls for shaved asparagus. I have never shaved asparagus. Do you think I’m that fancy?

Right, so I cheated. I threw some asparagus in my food processor. But in my defense, I think my veggie peeler is on its way out.

green pita

GREEN PITA
yields: 1
prep time:  5 minutes (longer if you hand shred your asparagus)
cook time: 8 minutes

ingredients:
1/2 tbsp. butter
-1 pita, cut in half
-10 stalks of thin asparagus
-1 green onion
-1 cup raw spinach
-mayonnaise
-2 slices muenster cheese

Do it!
-Heat a skillet on medium heat and melt the butter.
-Shred your asparagus using a food processor or a vegetable peeler.
-Chop your green onion
-In a small bowl, mix the shredded asparagus, green onion, and spinach until it’s combined.
-Spread a small amount of mayonnaise into your pita.
-Line the inside of your pita with the muenster cheese.
-Stuff your pita with the green mixture. It might overflow, but it will cook down.
-Place pita in the pan and press down with your spatula. Cook until both sides are golden brown. I kept them on each side for about two minutes, then flipped them back for another two minutes on each side.

Now what am I going to do with the rest of this pita?

avocado pie

avocado pie

Let’s just get right into why this is amazing:

It’s no bake!

Right? You know how exciting that is.

Also, it’s made with avocados. So, you can act like you have superior tastes and like this is a healthy pie. (It’s not.)

And it’s made in a blender. (Is that better or worse than a hand mixer? I can’t decide.)

avocado

I found this recipe over at How About Orange. It’s originally from the California Avocado Commission. See more amazing avocado recipes here!

Ingredients:
2 avocados, peeled
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
graham cracker pie crust

 Instructions:
I just plopped everything in the blender and let it rip until the engine almost burnt out. Looking back, the recipe says to blend the avocado and lemon juice first, then add the condensed milk last, after the avocado is well-blended. Maybe that’s why mine came out looking like funfetti. Or because the blender isn’t the best. Whatever it was, I just went with it. Sometimes baking is about the mistakes.

avocado pie

Pour the mixture into a pre-made graham pie crust (I’m not above it), and refrigerate for at least an hour.

 The taste? Sort of like key lime pie. Or at least you’re tricked into thinking you’re about to eat key lime pie, because it’s so green. It’s a little creamier and definitely has a hint of avocado. I served it with whipped cream.

zesty asian cabbage

I’ve had this dish two nights in a row and for lunch. Not because it’s intensely flavorful, cheap, and fast to make (although, it is all of these things), but it’s because cabbage is both a blessing and a curse.

How is it that I’m never out of cabbage? It always seems like a great idea to buy it at the store. How tasty! And for only $4 a head, you can count on it to feed you all week. But by day three, you have to get creative, or at least used to eating the same thing.

Fortunately, this recipe reheats well. And it’s delicious.

SPICY ASIAN CABBAGE
yields: too much
prep time: 10 minutes
cook time: 15 minutes

ingredients

ingredients:
-2 Tbsp sesame oil
-1/2 large onion, diced
-2 green onions, diced (not pictured)
-1 Tbsp minced garlic
-1 tsp. ground ginger
-3/4 cup shredded carrots
-2 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
– 4 cups shredded cabbage*
– 3 Tbsp soy sauce
-2 eggs

*I used napa cabbage. 4 cups of shredded cabbage was about 1/4 of the large head. Be forewarned, if you plan to use the whole cabbage, you’ll be eating this for days.

Do it!
-Shred the cabbage lengthwise, so you have thin long pieces.
-In a large skillet, heat the sesame oil, add onions, garlic, and ginger and sauté until they’re tender – about five minutes. Add the carrots and sauté for another two minutes. Mix in nutritional yeast.
-Cook in cabbage a few scoops at a time and let it cook down. Continue until you’ve cooked down all of the cabbage. This works best in a bigger pan. It cuts down the cooking time, which keeps your cabbage from getting too soggy.

cabbage

-While your cabbage is cooking, whisk together the two eggs.
-Create an opening in the skillet. Pour the whisked eggs into the opening and let them cook for a few minutes (like scrambling an egg).

pour egg

-Once the eggs begin to cook, scramble the mixture into the rest of the dish until all of the egg has cooked.

Let it cool, then eat! Which is my favorite part.

zesty-asian-cabbage

 

I had so much cabbage left over, I had to use it as a prop.

 

vegetarian pineapple chili

I got a slow cooker for Christmas and wanted to give it a go. This pineapple chili and it was a hit with the non-vegetarian crowd.  It’s probably one of my favorite chilis I’ve ever made.

I like to sauté the onion, garlic, and pepper before I throw it in the slow cooker all day, but this part is optional.

vegetarian-pineapple-chili-Final

Adding a bit of sweet to a spicy chili is one of my “tricks” with winning over the meat eaters and convincing them that a vegetarian chili is the way to go.  This citrus in the pineapple gives the chili a bit of coolness, even though when you’re biting into it, it creates a juicy, hot explosion in your mouth.

ingredients:
1 1/2 cups dry red beans
1 1/2 cups dry black beans
2 tsp salt
2 tsp cumin
red pepper flakes (to taste)
1/4 tsp cayenne powder
4 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp hot sauce
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 medium green bell pepper
1 medium red bell pepper
1 small can crushed pineapple

directions:
1. In a colander, rinse your beans and pick out any debris, broken beans, or beans without skins.
2. Boil the red beans first. red beans contain a toxin that isn’t destroyed in a slow cooker. Boil your red beans for 10 minutes before putting them in a cooker.
3. After you’ve prepped your beans, add them to the slow cooker with two teaspoons of salt.
4. Cover the beans with water. Make sure there are two inches of water covering the beans. Turn your slow cooker on high and let it cook for four hours. Stir every hour.
5. After four hours, the beans should be softening. Add the cumin, chili powder, cayenne, red pepper, chili powder, hot sauce, and tomatoes.
6. Turn your slow cooker on Low.
7. Prep your other ingredients. Chop your onion, red pepper, and green pepper. Heat some oil in a cast iron skillet and sauté the ingredients with the garlic until they’re tender. Add to slow cooker.
8. Cook on low for another two hours.
9. Before you serve, pour in the can of crushed pineapple. Garnish with sour cream and cheddar.

slow cooker

Black Bean Taco Pizza [Vegetarian]

My biggest food regret about living in Tallahassee is the absence of a California Pizza Kitchen. So when the Pioneer Woman claimed that her version of Taco Pizza tasted just like CPK’s, I was skeptical. But I tried it anyway, because I missed it. Thank God, she was right. Isn’t she always?

taco pizza

I love this pizza. I love any pizza that breaks out of the tomato sauce, cheese, and pepperoni box.

taco pizza

For the bulk of the pizza I followed TPW’s recipe – Seasoned black beans, cheddar, lettuce, tomato, fried tortilla.

fried tortilla I left the boyfriend in charge of frying the tortilla. I hate frying. Also, he helps me cook most things you see on this blog. True story. <3 I have a pretty sweet life. So does he. Each day he helps me cook is a day without Chick-fil-a dinner.

lettuce and tomatoLettuce on a pizza has got to be one of the best things.

Instead of covering it with sour cream, I drizzled ranch dressing over it. I’m pretty sure that’s how CPK did it, but it’s been years since I’ve been there.

pizza crust

I made my own crust. I’ve officially transitioned. The days of store-bought crust are gone forever. I’m even getting pretty good at throwing it up in the air and catching it.

Pizza Crust (for a  large pizza):

3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
3/4 – 1 cup lukewarm water
2 Tbs olive oil

Mix all of your dry ingredients together. I like to rub the yeast in between my fingers. I’ve heard it helps activate them.

Add water and oil slowly, mixing ingredients with a wooden spoon. I was zealous and may have added too much water. My dough was soggy (see air pocket above) and I had to add a lot more flour. Start with 3/4 a cup and work your way up.

Create a dough ball with your mixture and place it on a floured surface to knead for one or two minutes.

Roll back into a ball and cover it with a few sprays of cooking spray. Place back into the bowl and let it sit for about an hour or two until it doubles in size.

I do a mixture of tossing it around and rolling it out. It seems to work well enough.

Lately, I’ve been eating a lot of pizza. Admittedly, too much. I have two more pizza recipes in my queue, but I didn’t want my readers to think I ate pizza all the time, but let’s just be honest…

But it’s cheap. It produces leftovers. It doesn’t take much time at all. I wake up and make the dough. I come home from work, top the pizza and in 13 minutes, it’s done and I have dinner.

green food: healthy spinach dip

I feel like I only have a three-day period to cash in on the whole green food thing. This is a nourishing appetizer to chase away the green-beer hangover.

It’s a non-mayonnaise based spinach dip. I love dip. So does my boyfriend. Since our consumption of dip is at least weekly, I’ve had to resort to healthier options.

Healthy Spinach Dip

Ingredients

1 10 oz package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 medium tomato
1/2 cup basil
1/4 cup part-skim ricotta
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 tsp minced garlic
salt & pepper
Cavender’s Greek Seasoning

1. Defrost the frozen spinach in the microwave. If you want a cold dish, keep it a little icy. If you want a hot dip, heat it up.
2. Combine all ingredients in food processor or blender.
3. I added a few dashes of salt & pepper, and a little bit of Cavender’s Greek Seasoning.
4. Turn on food processor and blend until you receive a desired consistency. This can get really creamy or you can prepare it a little chunky. The one above was lazily done and is pretty chunky. I recommending processing it longer for a more creamier and dip-able consistency.

I ate it with cucumber slices. It tastes great with chips.

vegetarian tofu butter chicken

I was feeling a little inspired last night and decided to make one of my boyfriend’s favorite Indian dishes – butter chicken. Except I made a vegetarian version.

It turned out so great. I barely remembered to snap a picture right before he had seconds.

butter-tofu

 

I used The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for Butter Chicken, but made some changes.

The most obvious change was marinated tofu and some gardein vegetarian chicken patties. Honestly, I preferred the taste of the tofu to the veggie chicken anyway [although gardein products are fantastic]. I added a lot more spice, basically tripled whatever spices she recommended. I also added a lot of curry and turmeric. Her recipe also called for a pint of cream, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. So I only used like 1/2 a cup. It turned out fantastic, and highly recommend the recipe. I still think one of the most important parts of cooking is a good recipe. Also, this is very easy. I’d even suggest it for beginners.

Happy cooking.

spaghetti squash toss

There are some things you cook, and after your first bite you realize that they’re probably going to be a kitchen staple food. That happened tonight. After our first bite, we realized that we were in love with this colorful and tasty bit.

Spaghetti Squash Toss
The biggest thing to fear with spaghetti squash is a bland taste. You will not find that here.

Ingredients:
1 spaghetti squash
2 Tbsp butter
1 tsp minced garlic
1 small onion, diced
1 can of diced tomatoes (fresh would be perfect, unfortunately, I was out. If you use fresh tomatoes, probably two would do. You also might want to add some salt to the recipe.)
3 cups fresh spinach
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
shredded Parmesan to taste
1/4 cup of feta cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Prepare the spaghetti squash but cutting it lengthwise and spooning out the seeds. Once gutted, place the two sides flat face down in a baking dish with about 1/4 inch of water. Baker for 30 minutes. Then pull it out of the oven, and turn the squash face-up, and cook for an additional 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a large pan, sautee the onion and garlic until soft and aromatic. Then add the can of drained tomatoes, sautee for a minute. Then add the spinach, basil, oregano, and parsley. Stir until it is cooked down.

Once the squash is finished, take it out, drain the water, and spoon out all of the spaghetti-like goodness into a big bowl. I let my boyfriend do this part. I’m teaching him how to cook.

Toss in the sauteed mixture. At this point you can also add a little Parmesan, and about 1/4 cup of feta cheese. Or you can opt out of this.

prep: 10 min.
cook: 45 min.

Enjoy!