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.

Asian Broccoli Slaw

This Asian Broccoli Slaw is so addicting. My husband and I could sit down and eat this in one sitting — which isn’t good because this recipe makes a lot of slaw.

Nom. Nom.

Asian Broccoli Slaw

2 pkgs. (16 oz) Broccoli Slaw
4 Green Onions

Asian Broccoli Slaw

Almond Mixture:
1 cup sliced Almonds
1/2 cup Sesame Seeds
2 pkgs. Ramen Noodles (crushed)
1/2 cup Butter

Dressing:
3/4 cup Oil
1/3 cup Rice Vinegar
1/4 cup Splenda or Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper

Saute almonds, seeds and noodles in butter until lightly borwned. Set aside to cool, then store in refrigerator until ready to put the salad together.

Stir dressing ingredients together well.

Just before serving, combing all ingredients and toss lightly.

Macadamia Nut Butter

Such an easy recipe that can be added to potatoes, cauliflower and more.  I can’t wait to try this as a Macadamia Nut and Honey Sandwich.

I tried blending the nuts in my Vitamix, but I wasn’t using enough nuts for the blades to grab on to — they kept getting stuck. So I transferred over to my Cuisinart Hand Blender and they blended up perfectly.

Macadamia Nut Butter

1 cup of Macadamia Nuts

With a hand blender, blend nuts until smooth. Takes about 3 to 5 minutes.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

Recently I’ve been addicted to Pinterest and am finding I don’t have enough time/meals/days to make all the wonderful things my friends are discovering for me.  However I pushed this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower Soup to the top of my list; mostly because cauliflowers are in season at the farmer’s market, and secondly my sister-in-law gave this a huge thumbs up.

I probably used too much cauliflower because my soup turned out like a stew. However the flavor was oh, so good!  My husband gave this recipe his personal stamp of approval, so I think this will make it onto the family cookbook.

I must give @hailskitchen over at the Tasty Kitchen kudos for this recipe.  I used yellow sharp cheddar instead of white — only because that’s what I had available.

Roasted Cauliflower Soup

  • 1 head Cauliflower, Roughly Chopped
  • 2 whole Shallots, Roughly Chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Roughly Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 4 cups Chicken Broth
  • 1-½ cup White Cheddar Cheese, Shredded
  • 1 Tablespoon Fresh Thyme, Chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon Coarse Salt

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On a cookie sheet, drizzle the cauliflower, shallots and garlic with the olive oil and season with coarse salt. Roast for about 40 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork-tender.

Carefully place the vegetables in a food processor or blender and roughly puree. Texture is good, large chunks are not so good. Place the vegetables in a pot along with the chicken broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for about ten minutes. Add the cheese, thyme and a good dose of black pepper. Season to taste with salt. Serve with warm, crusty bread and enjoy!

Tropical Gazpacho

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It’s still hot here in South Central Texas. And if you’re still sweating away the days while waiting for fall to arrive, try this nice cool Tropical Gazpacho recipe I found in the Whole Foods‘ app.  It’s best made ahead of time and chilled overnight, giving the mixture a good opportunity to let its flavors seep together.

And though the original recipe says this serves 6, I must admit it serves more around 10-12. I’m never able to use all the pineapple juice, so I’ve learned to buy the juice in the large 16 oz cans and then freeze the extra juice.  The cans are much less expensive than the jarred pineapple juice.  Same suggestion for the tomato juice too.

Ingredients

2 cups tomato juice
1 1/2 cups pineapple juice
1 mango, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 1/4 cups chopped pineapple
1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/2 teaspoon lime zest
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon hot sauce

Method

Combine the tomato juice, pineapple juice, mango and pineapple in a blender and pulse 5 to 8 times, or until just combined; the mixture should be slightly chunky. Transfer pineapple mixture to a large non-metallic bowl. Stir in cucumbers, bell peppers, onions, cilantro, lime juice, zest, salt and hot sauce. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. Ladle gazpacho into bowls and serve.

Stovetop Chicken Pie

Stovetop Chicken Pie

I’m a sucker for good comfort food. So when Southern Living chose to feature chicken pot pie on the cover of its February 2011 issue, it wasn’t a hard sell. What I didn’t expect to find was one of the easiest stove top recipes that is easily one of the best pot pie variations — hands down.  Of course I’ve substituted  Morningstar Farms’ Chick’n Strips for the real thing.  And I love the super duper secret ingredients: cream cheese and Italian dressing mix.

Stovetop Chicken Pie

Makes: 6-8 servings
Hands-On Time: 35 Min.

8 Buttermilk Biscuits, frozen
1 Sweet Onion, small, diced
1 Tbsp. Canola Oil
1 (8 oz.)  package sliced fresh Mushrooms
1 bag Morning Star Farms Chick’n Strips
1 (10 1/4oz.) can reduced-fat Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup low-sodium Vegetable Broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 (8 oz) package 1/3 less-fat Cream Cheese, cubed
1/2 (0.7 oz) envelope Italian Dressing Mix (about 2 tsp)
1 cup frozen baby Peas, thawed

1. Bake biscuits according to package directions.
2. Brown chicken strips in skillet until lightly golden.
3. Meanwhile, saute onion in in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until golden. Add mushrooms, and saute 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in chicken and next 5 ingredients; cook, stirring freguently, 5 minuts or until cheese is melted and mixture is thoroughly heated. Stir in peas, and cook 2 minutes. Spool chicken mixture over hot split biscuits.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Here’s a gem that’s been in the family for about 20 years. I love the secret ingredient — grape jelly.

Sweet & Sour Meatballs

Mix and bake in 9″x13″ pan in 1 inch balls:
1 cup Onion, grated
1 cup Pepperidge Farm Bread Crumbs (Herb)
1 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 cup Pecans, ground
3 Eggs

Simmer and cover meatballs with:
1 12 oz. jar Heinz Chili Sauce
1 10 oz. jar Grape Jelly

Heat and serve.

Savory Mediterranean Cheesecake

photo taken by thehipvegetarian

My mother-in-law made this cheesecake for Christmas dinner. The thought of a savory cheesecake has never occurred to me, so I was rather excited to try this appetizer.

Honestly this tasted like pizza.

This recipe comes out of the Paula Deen’s Christmas cookbook. Black olives in cheesecake; why am I not surprised?  After all Paula puts Velveeta cheese in her chocolate fudge.

Savory Mediterranean Cheesecake

1 1/3 cup Panko, (Japanese bread crumbs)
6 Tbl. Butter, melted
1/4 cup Butter
1/4 cup Green Onion, minced
1/4 cup Parsley, chopped, fresh
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 (10 oz) package Spinach, frozen & chopped, thawed & squeezed dry
3 (8 oz) packages Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 cup Heavy Whipping Cream
4 Eggs, large
1/2 tea. Oregano, dried
1/2 tea. Basil, dried
1/2 tea. Salt
1/2 tea. Ground Black Pepper
2 (2.5 oz) cans Black Olives, sliced & drained
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1 cup Feta Cheese, crumbled
Assorted Crackers for dipping
Garnish: Fresh Parsley, Fresh Oregano, Sliced Black Olives

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

In a small bowl, combine bread crumbs and melted butter. Press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 8 minutes.

In a medium skillet, melt 1/4 cup butter over medium-high heat. Add onion, parsley, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until tender. Add spinach, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat, and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, cream, and eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth. Beat in oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Divide mixture evenly into 2 medium bowls. Stir spinach mixture into one-half of cream cheese mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Sprinkle evenly with sliced olives.

Stir Parmesan cheese and feta cheese into remaining half of cream cheese mixture. Spread cheese mixture evenly over olives. Bake for 1 hour and 5 to 15 minutes, or until center is set. Let cool completely in pan. Gently run a knife around edges of pan to release sides. Cover and chill.

Serve cheesecake at room temperature with assorted crackers. Garnish with parsley, oregano, and black olives, if desired.

Note: Cheesecake can be made up to 1 month ahead. Wrap tightly in heavy-duty plastic wrap, and freeze. Let come to room temperature before serving.

Our Christmas Wreath

Chicken-Cranberry Wreath

Most of our extended family isn’t vegetarian, so we’ve made our own Christmas tradition to include along side their turkey.

Assembling the crescent rolls can be a little tricky.  Just make sure you alternate the triangle dough from inside, then outside.  Also line the small inside of the triangles to form a circle.

This recipe is adapted from The Pampered Chef and it’s been a tradition for us during every holiday for the past 10 years.

Chicken-Cranberry Wreath

STEP ONE
2 pkg. (8oz.) refrigerated Crescent Rolls
1/2 cup Mayonnaise
2 T. Honey Dijon Mustard
1 bag Morningstar Chicken Strips OR 2 cans Worthington Fri-Chik, shredded
1/2 tea. Black Pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup Celery,  sliced
3 T. Parsley, fresh, snipped
1/2 cup Cranberries, dried
1 cup Swiss Cheese, shredded

STEP TWO
1/4 cup Walnuts, chopped
1 Egg, separated

Oven 375 degrees
Arrange crescent rolls so the inside edge forms a circle. Alternate roll points to point inside then out.

Mix Step One ingredients together.

Using medium scoop, scoop filling over seams of dough.  Sprinkle nuts over filling. Fold strips of rolls over (alternating inside and ouside pieces of rolls). Tuck last end under first. Beat egg white lightly — brush over dough. Bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.

Still Searching…

I’ve been craving Mushroom Stroganoff.  You know the kind that has that perfect gravy texture, slightly salty, slightly sweet, yet tart — a perfect balance.  Here are a couple of Stroganoff recipes that I’ve tried recently, though these are good, they still don’t quite hit the sweet spot that I’m looking for in my Stroganoff.  So I’m still searching…

However if you want a nice heartly meal, I do suggest one of the following recipes.

First off, the Beef Stroganoff recipe is adapted from the San Antonio Express-News Taste section.  For beef I tried Gardein Homestyle Beefless Tips.  This was the first time I’ve used them, and they weren’t bad. My husband thought they had a Boga Burger taste to them. I really liked the appearance of these veggie beef tips once they sizzled in the pan.

I couldn’t find cornichons in my grocery store so I substituted dill pickles.  My family is odd, we liked this

addition.  The thought of adding pickles to stroganoff would have never occurred to me.

If you haven’t picked up this recurring them yet in my blogs, you should start to notice that I substitute a lot when I don’t have the ingredients in-house.  For this occasion I didn’t have pasta noodles, however I did have rice noodles in my cupboard.  This is a good substitute for anyone who is gluten intolerant.

Beef Stroganoff

  • 16 oz. Beef Substitute
  • 1 Tbl Sweet or Hot Paprika
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper to Taste
  • 2 Tbl Butter
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Dry White Wine
  • 1 Cup Sour Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Cornichons (small tart pickles), cut into small strips

Sprinkle meat with paprika, slat and pepper; blend well.

Heat butter in a skillet over high heat; add meat. Cook as directed by meat packaging, stirring occastionally; remove meat with slotted spoon.

Add onion to skillet; cook, stirring about 1 minute.

Pour in wine and reduce by half, cooking about 5 minutes.

Lower the heat; stir in sour cream.

Warm the sauce, but do not let it boil.

Return the meat to the skillet; stir to blend.

Stir in cornichons.

The next recipe I tried included yogurt. I recently had a friend tell me that yogurt is the success to a nice tart stroganoff.  My husband also declared this recipe good and went back for seconds — twice.  I found this recipe at Bake Space.

 

 

Mushroom Stroganoff

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 large Onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 3/4 pound Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups Vegetable Stock
  • 3/4 cup low-fat Sour Cream
  • 3/4 cup non-fat Yogurt (Note: You can use a combination of low or non-fat Greek yogurt (such as Fage) and light sour cream, or use one exclusively)
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon low sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Parsley and a lttle extra for garnish
  • 8 ounces Farfalle Pasta (Note: Feel free to use whatever pasta you prefer, or even brown or white rice)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Add noodles, and cook according to your desired level of doneness.

Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.

While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat.

Add onions and garlic, and cook, stirring until softened.

Add the sliced mushrooms, cooking until they are softened and lightly browned.

Next add the stock, soy and Worcestershire sauces.

Bring the sauce to a boil, and cook until the mixture has reduced by 1/3.

In a small bowl combine the sour cream and flour and parsley.

Add this mixture to the pan and stir.

Continue cooking over low heat, just until the sauce thickens.

Pour the pasta into the sauce and cook until the dish is evenly heated through.

Serve, seasoning with salt and pepper and garnish with additional parsley and a dollop of sour cream.