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Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Vegetarian recipes, as you might guess, do not contain any meat, including fish. They may contain eggs or other animal products. To earn the “vegetarian” tag on this website, a recipe must not require any substitutions to be meat-free.

Eggplant Parmasan

A traditional Italian entree, eggplant parmasan is one of my favorite meals. I was inspired to learn how to cook it when I first started dating my boyfriend Jason who is part-Italian and may like eggplant even more than I do. We often order eggplant parmasan when we go out to eat as well, so this dish has become a culinary theme in our relationship. 🙂 My BFF and former roommate Michelle taught me how to make it and her version beats many I have tasted in fancy restaurants.

The proportions below are for a casserole. If preparing one or two servings, I recommend using a small serving dish for each and cutting the ingredients in half. While this does take a long time and is very messy, it’s totally worth it! Serve with pasta and/or a green salad. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 16 oz. (2 large packages) shredded mozzarella cheese (I like Sargento brand the best)
  • Freshly shaved parmasan cheese (enough to cover the top of the casserole)
  • 2 large bottles of marinara sauce (you may make your own sauce from scratch or if short on time, buy a high quality one-I like Newman’s Own)
  • Extra virgin olive oil for frying
  • Salt (enough to sprinkle on eggplant)
  • 6-8 eggs
  • Flour (enough to coat eggplant)
  • Large box of breadcrumbs since you will run out of these faster than you expect (I like Italian breadcrumbs the best- do not use Panko breadcrumbs- although they are healthier, they do not fry well)

Instructions:

Preparing eggplant before cooking:

  • Remove skin from eggplants (optional)
  • Slice eggplants horizontally into very thin slices and lay the slices side-by-side on a cutting board.
  • Sprinkle salt on both sides of each slice and allow to sit for at least 10 minutes. Remove salt with paper towels. (The salt soaks the water out of the eggplant so that it doesn’t get soggy when you fry it later).
  • In 3 separate bowls, place flour, beaten eggs (start with 3) and breadcrumbs. You will coat each slice of eggplant with these ingredients in turn.

Frying eggplant:

  • Coat the first slice of eggplant in flour, then egg, and then breadcrumbs. Make sure you completely cover every corner of the eggplant. Place in a pan with olive oil and fry until each side is golden brown. (About 3-4 minutes per side). Repeat for each slice of eggplant. Depending on the size of your pan, you can probably fry up to 4 slices at once. Leave at least 1/2 inch between slices and move them toward the center of the pan so that they cook evenly.

Layering eggplant, sauce and cheese in casserole dish:

  • As you finish frying the first few slices, begin layering them with marinara sauce and cheese in a casserole size (9×13 inch) baking pan. Begin by coating the bottom of the pan with marinara sauce, then place a layer of eggplant slices and cover with cheese. Repeat until the pan is full. Your top layer should be marinara sauce covered with cheese.
  • Cover the top layer of mozarella with freshly shaved parmasan cheese.

Cooking time:

  • Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly and the top layer is golden brown.
  • Allow to cool before slicing and serving. (Otherwise it will be runny).

Did You Know?

The name of this recipe is deceptive because many eggplant parmasan recipes do not actually contain parmasan cheese, only mozzarella. My recipe is unique because I add freshly shaved paramsan on top of the casserole before baking it.

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Debi’s Gypsy Soup

(Original source: The Moosewood Cookbook, by Mollie Katzen)

My friend Debi makes this delicious soup for her family and often brings it to parties. One of the best things about Gypsy Soup is that it is gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian, so it may be enjoyed by people with a variety of dietary restrictions. Most importantly, it’s full of flavor and perfect for a cold winter evening.

Preparation Time: 20-25 minutes (if you use canned chickpeas as opposed to raw)
Cooking Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

Spices:

  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of cayenne
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbs tamari sauce (Gluten-free individuals may leave out the tamari or use a gluten-free brand).

Other Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped sweet potatoes or winter squash
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup chopped sweet peppers
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chick peas
    • If using raw chickpeas, begin soaking 3/4 cup at least 3 1/2 hours before making the soup, and allow 1 1/2 hours for them to cook. If you are short on time, canned chickpeas work too.
  • 3 cups stock or water (Debi always uses stock, but boxed organic vegetable broth is fine).  

Instructions:

  • In a soup kettle or large saucepan saute onions, garlic, celery and sweet potatoes in olive oil for about 5 minutes.
  • Add seasonings (except tamari sauce) and the stock or water.
  • Simmer, covered, 15 minutes.
  • Add remaining vegetables and chickpeas. Simmer another 10 minutes or so-until veggies are as tender as you like them.
  • Add tamari sauce.
Chef’s Note:
“This is the most forgiving soup I have ever made. The vegetables used in this soup are flexible.  Any combination of orange and green vegetables are fine. For example, peas or green beans could replace peppers.  Carrots can be used instead of or in addition to the squash or sweet potatoes, etc. I use lots of extra veggies and broth to make a bigger pot. The only thing I treat seriously are the spices. They are what make the soup!”
 
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Posted by on December 1, 2014 in Soups

 

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Breakfast Power Smoothie

Dad 

In an effort to get more vegetables in my diet, I started making breakfast smoothies with spinach and kale. Unfortunately, they tasted like cardboard and were barely palatable. Then, I remembered that Dad makes himself a healthy smoothie every morning, so I asked him what he puts in it. When I made this smoothie at home, it was delicious! The orange juice masks the bitter taste of the kale. This is a perfect smoothie to drink for breakfast because the protein will stave off your hunger until lunch time, preventing you from binge eating later in the day.

 

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: N/A

Ingredients:

Liquid base:

  • 16 ounces (2 cups) of fresh squeezed orange juice (NOT from concentrate)– Dad highly recommends OJ
  • You may substitute the orange juice for coconut milk OR coconut water, but the smoothie may be watered down

Fruit:

  • Add two of the following four frozen berries, depending on your tastes:
    • blueberries (10-12 berries)
    • strawberries (8 berries)
    • raspberries (8 berries)
    • pineapple (8 slices)
  • 1/2 of a banana (cut off the top stem of the banana to preserve the remaining half)
  • 1/2 of an avocado

Vegetables:

  • 3 leaves of kale (Dinosaur/Lacinato Kale is most nutritious)
  • 6 slices of cucumber
  • 6 cubed slices of carrot
  • 6-7 cubed slices of celery
  • 5 leaves (or more) of parseley

Other Ingredients:

  • 1 serving of whey protein powder
  • 6 Tbsp. of olive oil
  • Up to 5 Tbsp. of cereal (optional)

Instructions:

  • Pour orange juice into blender.
  • Add other ingredients, blending as you go.
  • Enjoy!
 
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Posted by on November 30, 2014 in Beverages, Smoothies

 

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Sinful Chocolate Cake with Frosting

If you are going to throw your diet out the window, this chocolate cake is worth the calories. The cake is unbelievably moist, almost to the point of having a fudge-like consistency. The best part is that it’s very simple to make- almost as easy as using a mix (but, that would truly be sinful)! 🙂 I baked this cake for an alumnae function and it was quickly devoured. One reviewer of the original AllRecipes.com recipe commented that the same recipe is on the back of the Hershey’s cocoa box. Regardless of where it came from, it’s amazing! Never again will I use another chocolate cake recipe. This one is staying for good.

The frosting recipe is courtesy of another reviewer of the cake recipe on AllRecipes.com.

Original Source: All Recipes.com: “One Bowl Chocolate Cake III”

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes two 9 inch cakes

CAKE:

Ingredients:Chocolate Cake

Dry:

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt

Wet:

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup boiling water

Instructions: 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two nine inch round pans.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the dry ingredients.
  • Add the wet ingredients. Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed of mixer.
  • Stir in the boiling water last. Batter will be thin. (Do not worry about the thin batter- this is what makes the cake so moist)!
  • Pour evenly into the prepared pans.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake tests done with a toothpick. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

FROSTING:

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup butter
  • 2/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup milk

Instructions:

  • Melt butter and stir in cocoa.
  • Alternately add sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. If necessary, thin with additional milk.
  • Add vanilla.

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2014 in Cakes, Desserts

 

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Lemon Meringue Pie

After much research, my search is over for the perfect lemon meringue pie recipe! I have baked this several times for family and friends. Each time, people go back for seconds and there are no leftovers. Southern in origin, lemon meringue is a great year-round pie and ideal for any occasion. It is traditional while still adding an element of surprise for your dinner guests.

(Original Source: AllRecipes.com: “Grandma’s Lemon Meringue Pie”)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 Tblp. all-purpose flour
  • 3 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 egg yolks, beaten
  • 1 (9 inch) pie crust, baked
  • 4 egg whites
  • 6 Tbsp. white sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla for meringue

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Lemon Filling:

  • In a medium saucepan, whisk together 1 cup sugar, flour, cornstarch and salt.
  • Stir in water, lemon juice and lemon zest.
  • Cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until mixture comes to a boil.
  • Stir in butter.
  • Place egg yolks in a small bowl and gradually mix in 1/2 cup of hot sugar mixture.
  • Bring to a boil and continue to stir constantly until thick.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Pour into baked pastry shell.

Meringue:

  • In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites until foamy.
  • Add sugar and vanilla gradually, and continue to whip until soft peaks form.
  • Spread meringue over pie, sealing the edges at the crust.
  • Bake in pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, or until meringue is golden brown.

Chef’s Tips:

  • Do NOT over-cook lemon filling! The filling should be thick, but pourable. If the filling boils too long, the water will evaporate and you will lose liquid and volume. I learned this the hard way.
 
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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Desserts, Pies, Southern Pies, Summer Pies

 

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Twice Baked Potatoes

Nana

Twice baked potatoes were a delicious treat my mother made for dinner when I was growing up. Mom used her father’s recipe, but this recipe from my maternal great-grandmother seems very similar. Mom added melted cheddar cheese to her potatoes. Twice baked potatoes are very filling, so they can be an entree or side dish depending on how hungry you are.

Ingredients:

  • Large white baking potatoes (1 potato per serving), or if very large, 1 potato per 2 servings
  • Butter or margarine to taste
  • Salt to taste
  • Milk as needed

Instructions:

  • Scrub potatoes and bake until soft when pinched (about 1 hour at 400 degrees, depending on size).
  • Cut off top of potatoes (at least 1/4 inch) and carefully scoop out insides.
  • Add considerable amount of butter or margarine and salt and mash until bumps are gone. Add milk as needed, but keep on the dry side.
  • Heap mashed potatoes into shells (skins).
  • Dot with butter and sprinkle with paprika for color.
  • Re-bake for 30 minutes.

Chef’s Tips:

  • A slicer is very helpful for mashing potatoes.
  • These can be made well in advance.
 
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Posted by on September 20, 2013 in Potatoes, Potatoes

 

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Baked Sherry Fruit Casserole

Grandmama

I found this recipe in Aunt Jaymie’s recipe box on a notecard in Grandmama’s handwriting. I don’t remember her ever making a fruit casserole for us, but it looked delicious, so I copied it down. The recipe calls for Queen Anne cherries, but you can substitute regular cherries if the Queen Anne variety is not available. Just remember to remove the pits!

On the notecard, my grandmother wrote:

“This was served to me at a luncheon that included creamed chicken in patty shells, tomato bisque, chilled asparagus, and rolls. We’ve also served it with ham and chilis rellenos for brunch; ham or chicken for dinner. I’ve never used the cherries as I couldn’t find any.”

Ingredients:

Drain and save 3/4 cup mixed juice:

  • 1 – 29 oz. can peach halves
  • 1- 29 oz. can pear halves
  • 1- 1 lb. can Queen Anne cherries

Pour over these 2 cups boiling water. Cover and simmer about 20 minutes. Drain and discard water:

  • 1/2 cup seedless raisins
  • 2 medium oranges cut in thin slices

Mix with 3/4 cup reserved fruit juice, cook until thickened. Cool and add sherry:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup sherry

Instructions:

  • Arrange fruit in 2 quart oblong baking dish, making a pattern of peaches, pears, orange slices, raisins, (and cherries if you have them), and cover with the sauce.
  • Refrigerate, covered, overnight.
  • Bake uncovered in preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour,
 

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