Friday, December 31, 2010

Butternut Squash Shells

During one of the many times Brad and I have visited my brother in Denver, we went to a restaurant called Shells and Sauce and enjoyed a fantastic dinner on the patio. I had gigantic stuffed shells filled with tangy ricotta cheese, sage, thyme, and sweet cubes of squash.  Since I unfortunately live more than an hour away from Denver I had to create this dish in my 9X10 foot apartment kitchen and came up with this delicious version. 

Monday, December 27, 2010

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dark Chocolate Pudding

I have made my share of custards, pastry cream, mousses, anglaise sauce, lemon curd, creme caramels, pot de cremes, and creme brulees. No...I am not trying to make you all envy my pastry prowess, I am telling you this to give you some perspective when I tell you...I have never made pudding! So, in the holiday spirit, I decided this was something I absolutely needed to do. 

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blog Love

I would very much like to thank Surly Kitchen for this award (my first one too)! I am so glad to have received it and I appreciate it a lot. I am so happy I found your blog and that you found mine, I look forward to reading more of your recipes!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Veggie Tacos

 When I decided to stop eating meat tacos were obviously off the list of meals I would be enjoying, right? Nope...I like this delicious taco filler even more than I ever enjoyed the real stuff. It is an incredibly simple meal that is very tasty, colorful, and filling.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sauteed Baby Bok Choy

I found this recipe on Simply Recipes and I absolutely love it. I adjusted the measurements to fit my taste, added some red pepper flakes for spice and ended up with a perfect lunch. 

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Curried Couscous

The beauty of this dish is in how perfectly all of the ingredients meld into a warm, hearty, perfect-for-the-holidays meal or side.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Jerk Spiced Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Mine was perfect: family, food, and food...I am quite certain nothing is better than that.

A long, long time ago my family and I visited my brother in Oregon and at one of the restaurants we went to my Mom had Jamaican Jerk Spiced chicken on top of a giant sweet potato. I thought it was wonderful and vowed to recreate it. Since my decision to go meatless greatly affected the chicken part I decided to make it with black beans. The jerk seasoning was perfectly spicy and the cinnamon and allspice really brought out the flavor of the sweet potato. As soon as I finished eating I started asking Brad when was too soon to have it again.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Crunchy Baked Tofu

I can honestly say this is not only one of my favorite tofu meals but it is now just one my favorite meals period. I was in the mood for something "fried" and this flavor and texture combination was just right. 

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Black Bean Brownies

Black bean brownies have been around for awhile but I had never made them (I was rather skeptical that beans could be made into dessert). Let me tell you, I wish I had been making these forever. I got this recipe from Busy But Healthy and added flax seeds for some crunch. These are seriously delicious straight out of the oven but the flavor and fudge-y texture improve everyday, if there are any leftover! To make a perfect snack spread peanut butter on top or serve with fresh berries for dessert. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Elbow Lasagna

Due to a massive lack of motivation and inspiration, the past two week's dinners have consisted of things  like grilled cheese, hot dogs (I made the horrible mistake of eating vegetarian "hot dogs" and am still recovering), breakfast for dinner, and pizza. Overall not my proudest "I went to culinary school and am trying to live a healthful lifestyle" moments. On that note I decided to make a dinner that took more effort than slapping cheese and butter on bread, albeit only slightly more as this took 15 minutes to toss together and one effortless hour to bake.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Chickpea Burgers

I was seriously tired of black bean burgers and decided I had to change things up a bit. I loved this combination of mexican and mediterranean flavors. The outside of these burgers gets nice and crispy while the inside stays smooth and creamy but definitely does not get gummy. I ate the leftovers for a week and never got tired of them!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sweet Potato Slices Two-Ways

I love sweet potatoes...they are highly nutritious and, let's face it, way tastier than white potatoes.  Topped with rosemary and sea salt they can be the star of your meal or a simple savory side. Sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar and you've got dessert. No matter what you decide these are incredibly easy and super delicious.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Spicy Teriyaki Vegetables and Cashews

There is something about the combination of sweet, spicy, and salty that is somewhat addicting. Achieving the perfect balance between the three can be challenging but this certainly fits the bill for me! 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Open-Face Mushroom Sandwiches

I found myself standing in front of the fridge staring at a few mushrooms, a handful of cheese, and an awkward amount of leftover marinara sauce. I was in the mood for something I could pick up with my hands and eat and I remembered I had leftover hamburger buns. Brad had a real hamburger for dinner (a rare treat for him due to my state of vegetarianism) and I had these wonderful open faced sandwiches.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Chocolate and Almond Mini Bananas

Look at these bananas, how could I not buy them?! I assumed these miniature versions would be exactly the same as every other banana I had ever eaten, let me tell you...I was happily mistaken

Monday, October 25, 2010

Green Beans

Sick of plain green beans? Yeah, me too...
 I tried a few varieties of new flavors and found four that were just right. I opted for Mexican flare when I made them which lends itself to an especially pretty side dish. All of the seasoning options stray just far enough from the ordinary to bring new life to a worn-out standby.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Panini with Marinara Sauce

Crunchy bread, melty cheese, meaty mushrooms, and garlicky tomato sauce...this is comfort food if I've ever had it. Paninis have quickly become one of my go-to meals when I am lacking any motivation to cook but want a seriously satisfying and delicious meal.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Avocado with Chili and Lime

Avocado seems to be one of those foods people either love or hate, there doesn't seem to be a lot of middle ground. My position on the matter? 
I could live off perfectly ripened avocados for the rest of my life and be seriously content. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Easy Marinara

I love good marinara sauce (who doesn't!) but most gourmet and homemade versions have large chunks of tomato and onion and a strong red wine flavor, all of which disagree with my palate greatly. So Brad and I have developed an incredibly easy and rather cheap way to get the best marinara sauce we've ever had.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Roasted Golden Vegetables with Salted Walnuts

Inspired by a "small plate" my family and I shared at Barolo Grill in Denver (one of my favorite restaurants) I decided to roast golden beets but found a few more vegetables destined for my roasting pan than I planned...

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Vegetable Minestrone Stew

Nothing welcomes Fall quite like a bowl of hearty vegetable stew. When Brad and I were discussing how I was going to go about making this we both agreed that our favorite part of Minestrone is the noodles, thus Vegetable Minestrone Stew was created.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Roasted Carrots

I recently read something...somewhere that said roasting can be a seasoning all it's own and I couldn't agree more. Roasting carrots and topping them with a pinch of sea salt turns something ordinary into a complex and surprisingly elegant side dish. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

BBQ Tofu

So you bought tofu for that one special recipe and now looming in a tupperware container in your fridge is the rest of that brick and you have nowhere for it to go...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew with Lemon Parsley Couscous

This easy to prepare, hearty stew is a great meal to make when you are low on time and in the mood for a big bowl of something warm and comforting.

Friday, October 1, 2010


Happy Vegetarian Day!!!
Start off October (which just so happens to be Vegetarian Awareness Month) with an easy to make veggie pizza. 

During my lengthy quest for the ideal combination of a perfectly chewy, crispy-on-the-edges light crust, tangy but not too sweet tomato sauce, melty cheese, and just the right medley of vegetables to top it all off I found these specific products fit my bill for a "perfect pizza" quite well. So next time you take a trip to your local WalMart pick these ingredients up and discover why Domino's won't be getting a call from you anytime soon.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Baked Zucchini

This is an incredibly easy side dish that I like to make when the main meal is a little more complicated. Baking zucchini brings out their unique earthy flavor and natural sweetness.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Quinoa Chili

Summer is officially over so I welcomed Fall by making a pot of chili.  This wonderful comfort food is given a nutritional boost with the addition of quinoa. Finely chopped mushrooms stand in for ground meat and beautiful yellow corn lends a perfect amount of sweetness to balance the spice.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cajun Veggie Pot

I am having a lot of fun taking recipes I originally made with meat (i.e. Cajun Shrimp Boil) and turning them into vegetarian meals. So far I have prevailed and I hope for the success to continue!  Serve with crusty french bread to soak up the broth and you have a perfect summer or winter meal.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Stuffed Zucchini

I went home to visit my parents one weekend and my mom bought a huge zucchini at the Farmer's Market and stuffed it with a wonderful medley of vegetables, tomato sauce, and rice. When we ate it, all we managed to do was say "mmm...", smile, and nod our heads, eyes closed, at each other. It was fantastic to say the least and I knew I had to make it again.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tofu Picatta

Once again inspired by a meal from the majestic town of Crested Butte, CO I decided to make my favorite Chicken Picatta recipe using tofu. Good news for you meat-eaters out there this meal can be easily adjusted by replacing the tofu with chicken and cooking it a few minutes longer on each side. Piquant capers top this zesty white wine lemon sauce that is a perfect compliment to the pasta and lightly "fried" tofu pieces.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Vegetarian Pot Pie

This pot pie alternative is sure to become a new favorite in your recipe repertoire. Using fresh vegetables instead of canned takes the flavor to a whole new level. Preparing this meal is incredibly easy and requires only one pot! It may not be your grandma's chicken pot pie but it doesn't get much healthier, easier, or delicious than this when it comes to this down home favorite.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Thai Red Curry

I had a dish very similar to this at a Thai Fusion restaurant in Crested Butte, CO and have been craving it ever since. The combination of sweet coconut, carrots, and peas spiced with red curry is addictive to say the least. This makes 4 perfect lunch servings or 2 hearty dinner portions.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Squash Lasagna

This veggie lasagna is so satisfying you won't notice it doesn't have noodles or profuse amounts of cheese. The preparation time is short but cooking time is about 2 hrs so start early or bake it a day in advance and just reheat before serving. We had the leftovers for lunch and they were delicious! Make it a complete meal and serve with toasted slices of french bread to soak up the extra sauce.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Asparagus Bruschetta

I had a version of this dish while visiting my Grandma in Arizona and I can honestly say it was one of the tastiest things I have ever had. The contrasting textures and flavors are sophisticated and complex but also manage to be rustic and simple. It is a surprisingly easy recipe and could be served as an appetizer or as a meal. If goat cheese just isn't your "cup of tea" use skim ricotta, a thin slice of white cheddar, or shaved parmesan in its place.

BBQ Mushroom Sandwich

When I decided to stop eating meat I made a mental list of the meals I would probably miss the most so I could begin thinking of ways to make them meatless. Among the many dishes my mom makes like pot roast, corned beef, chicken picatta, etc, the pulled pork sandwiches I love so much came to mind. I think this is equally delicious, if not better, than my original recipe containing pork. Plus it is ten times healthier and actually easier. Make it on the weekend and have leftovers for lunch or quick dinners for the rest of the week.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Black Bean Burger Sliders

This black bean burger recipe is simply delicious and can be adjusted to any level of spiciness you prefer. It is not dry like some veggie burger recipes tend to be (nor does it taste like cardboard, which can be a characteristic of the aforementioned as well).

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto

This delicious creamy risotto takes some time and attention like any other risotto but the flavors in this dish cannot be matched. The addition of salty parmesan adds a depth of flavor that goes perfectly with the vegetables. Fresh asparagus and rich vegetable stock give this dish beautiful color, and I can't say enough about the flavor combination of thyme, rosemary, and basil.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Chickpea and Sweet Potato Curry

In my search for new recipes I have come to find the most exciting and interesting meatless meals come from a wide array of ethnic backgrounds. Indian food is something I have never made before and this is a wonderfully easy and delicious recipe. The curry powder lends spiciness to this dish while the sweetness of the potatoes contrasts very well. Adding lemon juice at the end makes all of the wonderful spices in the curry powder pop.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Veggie Quinoa Paella

I have recently been surfing the internet quite a bit to find new, and as you may have noticed, meatless recipes. I found some really great blogs and this recipe happened to catch my eye as I love traditional paella and have been wanting to crack open my new box of red quinoa for some time now. While there is a long list of ingredients  it turned out to be a very simple one pan meal that made enough for a very hearty dinner for two. Not to mention it was delicious!

Blueberry "Pie"

I had a surplus of fresh blueberries in my fridge and a lone tortilla leftover from quesadilla night. It was also time to put my new mini casserole dish to use and so, I decided to make a dessert for the first time in a long time! If you prefer a more cobbler like crust you could use some refrigerated biscuit dough and plop it on top instead of the tortilla and sprinkle with sugar before baking.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Summer Tostadas

This delicious and colorful mexican dish is perfect to split between two people for a hearty dinner or to serve as an appetizer or side at a get together. A crunchy tortilla topped with sweet corn, tender zucchini, and black beans with the bright flavors of cilantro, green chiles and fresh jalapeno is a seriously tasty way to utilize the best of summer's seasonal offerings.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mango Salsa

This refreshing recipe combines the light fruity flavor of mango, spicy jalapeno, creamy avocado pieces, crunchy red pepper, and ties them all together with the bright flavors of lime juice and fresh cilantro. Mangoes are in season (they peak in June) and this recipe just shouts summer. It is wonderful served on top of rice and beans or scooped up with tortilla chips.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Stuffed Poblano Peppers

On my weekend excursion to Sprouts I saw beautiful dark green poblano peppers and decided I had to make something with them. It needed to be vegetarian for Meatless Monday and I had a fresh container of my favorite salsa in the fridge, a can of refried beans in the pantry and voila this idea was born/ remembered from a recipe I had recently seen. Poblano peppers are very mild and serve as a perfect vessel for this delicious cheesy filling. If you like mexican flavors this dish is for you!

Creole Shrimp Boil - On the Grill

Summer is here (YAY)! so fire up the grill and start the warm months off with this delicious spicy dish. Bradford and I tossed this pouch on the grill next to some asparagus and played some Gin Rummy while it cooked. Once it was done we sat in the sun and ate it straight from the tinfoil, this couldn't be a more perfect meal for a summer night. It could easily be doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled for a big backyard BBQ.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Chickpea and Barley Salad

This is one of my favorite vegetarian lunches and it is an especially good way to use the vegetables you have in your fridge. The light lemon dressing and crunchy vegetables makes it a perfect meal for warm weather. You'll have plenty of leftovers which is good because they just get better each day.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Asparagus, Mushroom, and Spinach Frittata

This vegetable filled frittata is a wonderful way to start spring by celebrating asparagus, which is now in season and tastier than ever. It will satisfy even the hungriest of appetites and is a delicious, simple, and cost friendly meal. It is a perfect dinner for two on Meatless Monday or a nice addition to a brunch for 4 or more. Sautéed red pepper, zucchini, or onion would make fantastic additions to this dish and if asparagus just isn't your favorite, steamed broccoli would be a good substitution.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Teriyaki Salmon Rice Bowl

Spicy and sweet salmon on top of delicious, nutritious, and flavor packed brown rice and edamame.
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