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

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Cranberry Holiday Tea

This recipe comes from my mother’s cookbook. It’s one of the few things I can remember her making for the holidays. With 2 cups of sugar and orange juice, the cranberry tartness fades away in this warm smooth tea.

This original recipe gave me the inspiration for a mocktail version I posted over at The Bloom Blog, turning it into a sparkling cold drink. So be sure to pop over there and say hello.

Cranberry Holiday Tea | The Hip VegetarianCranberry Holiday Tea

1 quart Cranberries (3 12 oz. bags)
2 cups Sugar
2 quarts Water
2 cups Orange Juice (fresh)

3 tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 sticks, Cinnamon

Mix and boil cranberries, sugar and water until cranberries pop open. Strain cranberries from the juice and discard.

Add Orange Juice, lemon juice and cinnamon sticks. Simmer on the stove for about 10 minutes.

Serve warm.

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.