Spaghetti Cheese Balls

Spaghetti Cheese Balls | @HipVegetarianAs a replacement to meatballs, I use a recipe my Mom gave me that I’ve renamed to Spaghetti Cheese Balls. It really didn’t have a name, so I came up with one that seems to describe it best.

Made out of cream cheese, Ritz crackers, and pecans — well to say this recipe isn’t tasty, would be a lie.

Both boys and the husband like this. Even more importantly, this is a fun recipe to have the boys help me with in the kitchen. From crushing the crackers to scooping the “dough,” there is something for everyone to do.

Spaghetti Cheese Balls

8 oz. Cream Cheese, softened
1 1/2 sleeves, Ritz Crackers, crushed
1/16 – 1/8 cup Salted Pecans or Cashews, chopped
Dash, Seasoning Salt
Dash, Garlic Salt
1/8 – 1/4 cup, Bacon Bits
1/2 cup, Onions, chopped
1 Egg

Mix all the ingredients together. Use a 1 inch scoop, and place into a pan of oil. Fry until the cheese balls are golden brown.

Spaghetti Cheese Balls | @HipVegetarian

Advertisements

Crust-free Chicken Pot Pie (v) (gf)

Crust-Free Chicken Pot Pie (gluten free & vegan) | The Hip Vegetarian | @hipvegetarianThe other day I was looking at my round white potatoes and thought hmmm, they might work well as a crust replacement for a chicken pot pie.

So last night I fired up the stove, cut my potatoes in thin slices, fried them until they were golden and used them as the crust for one of my favorite entrees.

Inadvertently I made my pot pie vegan, because I was out of cream; and quite honestly, I didn’t miss the cream AT ALL. The pot pie still had great flavor for the gravy.

Usually I use flour as a thickener, but this can easily be converted to gluten-free by using corn starch.

To cut down on fat, I saute my onions, celery and garlic in water instead of oil or butter.

The great thing about a chicken pot pie is that you can use what ever you have on-hand in the refrigerator or freezer. Peas, pearl onions, mushrooms, carrots, green beans, corn — whatever little bit you need to use up — just throw in your stew.

Crustless Chicken Pot Pie

2 medium Round Potatoes, thinly sliced
1 bag, Morningstar Chicken Strips, Meal Starters
1/4 cup, Water
1 medium Onion, chopped
3 ribs Celery, diced
2 cloves Garlic, crushed
3 carrots, chopped
4 tablespoons, Cornstarch
1 cup Dry White Wine
2 cups, Broth
Salt, to taste
Freshly Ground Pepper, to taste
1 teaspoon, Thyme
1 cup, frozen Peas
2 cups, Mushrooms, sliced

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9×13 baking dish.

Slice potatoes into thin slices and lightly fry in a skillet until golden. Line the bottom of casserole dish with a layer of potatoes. Set the rest aside.

Fry chicken strips until golden. Set aside.

Saute onion, celery, garlic and carrots in 1/4 cup of water until soft. Add water add needed during sauteing. Stir occasionally.

Add wine and vegetable broth and season with salt and pepper. Mix corn starch in a little bit of cold water, until it’s disolved. Add to mixture on the stove and bring to boil for 2 minutes. Stir to prevent lumps from forming.

Bring to a boil. Add thyme, peas, mushrooms. Reduce heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, 5-9 minutes. Add chicken and remove from heat. Pour mixture in baking dish and layer the top with remaining potatoes.

Bake until bubbly; approximately 20-25 minutes.

Pasta Asiago with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Pasta Asiago with Spinich & Sun-Dried Tomatoes | @HipVegetarian

Pasta Asiago with Spinich & Sun-Dried Tomatoes | @HipVegetarian

During the Thanksgiving holiday, I was slightly tired of left overs; so I pulled out a recipe I recently found in the San Antonio Express-News.  Their Taste section is the main reason I subscribe to the Sunday paper, and I have a stack of recipes that I want to try, to prove it.

I made the reduced-fat version of the recipe, which is listed here. I also added chicken strips from Morning Star to give it a protein boost.

Pasta Asiago with Spinach & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Makes 6 servings

12 ounces whole-grain pasta
1 bag, Morningstar Chicken Strips
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
11/2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup Vegetable broth, divided use
2 cups fat-free half-and-half
1/2 cup grated Asiago cheese
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (not oil-packed)
1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach

Instructions: Boil pasta according to package directions; drain, set aside and keep warm.

Saute chicken strips in a nonstick skillet. Set aside.

In a separate skillet, add olive oil and the red onion. Sauté onion, using broth if necessary to prevent scorching, until soft. Add garlic.

Combine cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of the vegetable broth to dissolve. Add the rest of the broth to the dissolved cornstarch and pour the mixture into the skillet. Bring to a boil. Add half-and-half and return to a boil. Add Asiago cheese and stir. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes.

In a large bowl or pan, combine chicken or shrimp, pasta, sauce and spinach, and stir until the spinach is slightly wilted.

There is a nice tasty, original fattening version of this recipe at http://www.mysanantonio.com/life/food/article/Reduced-Fat-Pasta-with-Spinach-Asiago-and-3982289.php#ixzz2EEn7Ukp7.

Raw Cranberry Sauce

Raw Cranberry Sauce | @HipVegetarian

Raw Cranberry Sauce | @HipVegetarian

Here’s a quick Thanksgiving Recipe gift for you all: Raw Cranberry Sauce.

I made this recipe a few years ago and never could find it again. Then just this morning I realized it was the same cooked Recipe from Williams Sonoma, just slightly modified.  This sauce is a heavenly twist on the traditional cranberry sauce out of a can.

Raw Apple-Orange Cranberry Sauce

1/2 Orange
2 Tbls Orange Juice
1 Tart Apple (Granny Smith / McInstoch / Pippin)
3 cups, Fresh Cranberries (12 oz)
1 1/4 cup, Sugar
1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1/4 tsp. Ground Cloves

Remove skin from the apple, and core in to 8ths. Remove stem from orange on the outside. Rinse and check cranberries for firmness.

Throw everything into a food processer and blend untill you have the consistancy you like. And yes, that even include the orange peel!

Nosh

I went to Nosh for the first time last night with my friend Emily over at Defining Delicious to celebrate her birthday. Nosh was recommended as the place to celebrate, because Chef Luca Della Casa (formerly Il Sogno) is now housing out of the Silo’s stylish sister restaurant.

I was really impressed with the vegetarian options on their menu. We order several dishes during each course, and were not disappointed. We had a fantastic evening sharing stories and bonding over food.

Happy Birthday Emily!

First Course @ Nosh

First Course: Tuffle Fries; Fried Chickpeas: cumin, fennel seeds, curry; Four Cheese Macaroni

nosh_course2

Second Course (Clockwise): House Salad: arugula, carrots, pickled radish, house dressing; Butternut Squash Ravioli; Risotto and Beef Meatballs; Veggie Pizza: veggie: pesto sauce, sweet potato, mozzarella, mushroom, white onion, pine nuts

Third Course: Tiramisu; House Dessert, milk chocolate, pears, chocolate ganache; Fried Sweet Potato Gnoochi

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

Thanksgiving is upon us and if you’re like me, you haven’t even made a menu yet.  So this morning, I’ve been hastedly collecting ideas off the net and creating a Pinterest Thanksgiving Board for collecting.

So far my narrowed list below is still too long. So what do you think I should keep or delete for the big day of Thanks?

Honeycrisp Apple and Parsnip Soup

Honeycrisp Apple and Parsnip Soup

Apple Orange Relish from Williams Sonoma

Apple Orange Relish from Williams Sonoma

Mashed Cauliflower with Macadamia Nuts

Mashed Cauliflower with Macadamia Nuts

Pear, Gorgonzola & Candied Pumpkin Seed Salad via @HipVegetarian

Pear, Gorgonzola & Candied Pumpkin Seed Salad via @HipVegetarian

Butternut Mac-n-Cheese. Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2012

Butternut Mac-n-Cheese. Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2012

Honey Roasted Squash via Oprah.com

Honey Roasted Squash via Oprah.com

The Best Brussels Sprouts via @HipVegetarian

The Best Brussels Sprouts via @HipVegetarian

Squash and Spinach Lasagna. Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2012

Squash and Spinach Lasagna. Well’s Vegetarian Thanksgiving 2012

Roasted butternut & feta Wellington via BBC Good Food.

Roasted butternut & feta Wellington via BBC Good Food

Honey-Almond Tart with Orange Mascarpone via Vegetarian Times

Honey-Almond Tart with Orange Mascarpone via Vegetarian Times

Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding via @vegnews

Sinless Sticky Toffee Pecan Pudding via @vegnews

For more menu ideas for Thanksgiving 2012, visit my Pinterest Board, or follow me on Facebook and Twitter to see what’s happening in the Hip Vegetarian’s kitchen as the big day approaches. You never know when disaster might strike!

Enchilada Casserole with Way Better Snacks

Enchilada CasseroleThis recipe comes from my Mom’s book. I’m not sure where she ever picked this up — probably from someone at church, after they brought the dish to potluck. Anyway it became a family staple.

The great thing about this Enchilada Recipe, is that it’s a good way to use up the rest of the tortilla chips in the bag.  You know, the ones that are too crumbled to scoop up salsa. Though I don’t have that problem with Way Better Snacks Chips — they are pretty think and don’t crumble easily.

Enchilada Casserole

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Saute:
1 Onion, chopped
1 Green Pepper, chopped

Add & Simmer for 5 minutes:
1 can Evaporated Milk
2 cans Cream of Mushroom Soup
3/4 cup Rotel Tomatoes (or hot sauce)

  1. Pour over crushed Way Better Snacks’ chips (2-3 handfuls).
  2. Stir chips in.
  3. Bake 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes
  4. Let cool 15 minutes before serving.

Avocado-Lemon Herb Appetizer with Way Better Snacks

Avacado-Lemon Herb Appetizer

Need a quick appetizer for a dinner party — or perhaps you just need to use up that avocado sitting on the counter that will soon expire.

Here’s an easy recipe using Way Better Snack Tortilla chips.

Thanks to my friend Kim over at The Feminest, she suggested using the Lemon Herb spice to top off this simple recipe. She stated that when they lived in Florida that they would pull avocados straight off the trees, rip them apart and devour them with this delicious herb.

  1. Place the Way Better Snack Tortillas on a plate.
  2. Using a 1/2 inch scoop, place a the avocado on top.
  3. Next, place 1/2 Cherry Tomato to the side.
  4. Sprinkle with McCormick’s Lemon Herb Spice.

Voila! You’re ready for your next dinner party. Enjoy.

Rosemary Mashed Cauliflower

This recipe in Nom Nom!

Have you ever tried substituting mashed potatoes with cauliflower? The results are delicious. I think I first discovered this idea when I tried the South Beach diet once. However add some macadamia nut butter and rosemary to the dish, and this little recipe rocks!

I originally stumbled across this recipe in the Get Naked Fast cookbook by Diane Stabos. Which by the way, is a must buy if you’d like to move toward a vegan diet.

Rosemary Mashed Cauliflower

1 head Cauliflower, chopped
1/2 cup Macadamia Nut Butter
2 tbsps Olive Oil
1 teaspoon fresh Rosemary, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Garlic
1/2 teaspoon Salt
Rosemary for Garnish

Steam Cauliflower in hot water for 3-5 minutes. Blend in food processor until grainy — but don’t over process until it’s liquidy. Add into the food processor the macadamia butter, rosemary, olive oil and salt. Process until fluffy.

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower

Here’s an easy recipe to use up any cauliflower that you may have sitting in the refrigerator.

This garlic, lemon juice and salt/pepper combination turns this sometime unpopular vegetable into a tasty side dish for the family.

Easy and quick to make. Even the children can help assemble the dish together.

Roasted Cauliflower

  • 5 to 6 cups cauliflower florets
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sliced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Place the cauliflower on a cookie sheet or large casserole dish.  Drizzle cauliflower with olive oil and sprinkle the garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper over top. Place in the oven and cook for 15 minutes. Occasionally stir. Bake for 15 minutes.