Monday, July 30, 2012

Cro-quinoa-ettes with corn relish, parsley pesto, and zucchini

A fabulous farmer's market meal! Bonnie and I adapted this recipe from the amazing It is definitely a bit labor-intensive, but it's basically one of the most delicious things I've ever eaten. The cro-quinoa-ettes (get it?) are crispy and savory, and they get topped with spicy-and-sweet corn relish, zucchini that's pan-fried so it's sweet and caramelized, a lemony tomato-and-cuke salad, and a tart parsley pesto sauce.

For the parsley pesto: 
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 large garlic clove, peeled and chopped
2 cups parsley leaves, lightly packed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Combine all ingredients in a food processors and process until it forms a thin paste. Taste and add a little more olive oil and/or lemon juice if you need more liquid.
For the cucumber and tomato salad:
1 large cucumber, diced
1 large ripe tomato, diced
1-2 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste
Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

For the corn relish:
2-3 earns of corn, shucked and kernels sliced off
4 scallions, chopped
2 teaspoons red chili flakes (or less, if you don't like spicy foods)
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon canola oil
zest of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon of lemon juice.

Combine the scallions, chili flakes, corn, and salt in a bowl. Heat the canola oil in  a pan over medium high heat. Add the corn mixture and cook for about 3 minutes, until the corn is just cooked through. Remove from heat, add lemon zest and juice, and stir well to combine.

For the zucchini:
4 small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slabs
2 tablespoons canola oil
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large frying pan over a high flame. Lay the zucchini in a single layer (this part is important!). Cook until the side touching the pan starts to form dark brown spots, then flip and do the same with the other. Remove and season with salt and pepper.

For the cro-quinoa-ettes:
4 cups cooked quinoa (start with 2 cups dried)
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon cumin power
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1-2 teaspoons rice vinegar (or other vinegar)
1/4 tsp liquid smoke (Note: if you don't have this ingredient in your pantry, don't worry. There's so much flavor in all the other ingredients that it will be ok if you don't include it).
4 eggs
canola oil

Combine all ingredients except the oil. The mixture should feel almost like dough that you can form a wet ball with. (If it's dry, add another egg). Heat a large nonstick skillet, and add a few tablespoons of canola or other cooking oil. using about 1/4 cup of the quinoa mixture each time, form little balls and then smush them into thin patties with your hands. They should be about 1/4-inch thick. After you add them to the pan, smush them with a spatula to flatten them further. (The thinner they are, the crispier they'll be!). Cook on one side until golden brown, about 3-4 minutes. Flip, then do the same on the other.

To serve:
Spoon some parsley pesto into each bowl. Top with two of the cro-quinoa-ettes, and little piles of the zucchini, corn relish, and salad.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Red Lentil Soup with Coconut and Lime

This soup is amazing - savory from the veggie broth and lentils, spicy from the curry power, and THEN you end up with little bursts of sweetness from the golden raisins that have been simmering away in the broth. The squeeze of lime at the end gives it a hint of tartness, as well. Adapted from

(Note to raisin-averse readers: I usually hate raisins with a fiery passion, but they are delicious in this recipe. Don't let their presence here deter you!)

1 cup yellow split peas
1 cup red lentils
3 cups water
4 cups veggie broth
1 medium carrot, chopped
3-4 tablespoons fresh peeled and minced ginger
3-4 tablespoons curry powder (depending on how much you enjoy spiciness)
2 tablespoons butter
8 green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
1/3 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
Salt to taste
one small handful cilantro, chopped
1-2 limes
2 cups pre-cooked brown rice

Rinse the split peas and lentils. Place them in an extra-large soup pot, cover with the water and broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and add the carrot and 1/2 of the ginger. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the split peas are soft.  Place the butter in a pan over medium heat, add the green onions, the remaining ginger, and raisins. Saute for two minutes stirring constantly, then add the tomato paste and saute for another minute or two. Add the curry powder to the tomato paste mixture, mix well, and then add this to the simmering soup along with the coconut milk. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or so (or simmer longer for a thicker consistency). Taste and adjust the seasoning. I added some extra curry powder here for more flavor.

 Ladle the soup into bowls over the brown rice. Sprinkle cilantro over each bowl, then squeeze some lime on top.

Kale and Black Bean Enchiladas with Green Sauce

I'm not gonna lie - this recipe takes a little bit of time and effort. However, it's worth every minute, AND you can make a big tray of these enchiladas and enjoy them throughout the week. They're packed with good-for-you kale, and the creamy cilantro-scallion-coriander-cumin sauce is so good that I had to stop myself from eating it with a spoon! Adapted from epicurious.

  • 1/2 16-ounce package frozen chopped kale, available at Whole Foods. You could also use fresh kale for this - just wash and chop it into small pieces first. Alternately, you can easily sub in other green ingredients, like spinach.
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  •  2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 green onions, minced (I included the white parts)
  • About 2-3 tablespoons sliced jalapenos from a jar. (Can be upped or decreased based on your spice preferences)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 1/2 16-ounce package of frozen kale or spinach (again, it's fine to use fresh - just wash and chop first)
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 green onion, minced
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt, or extra milk
For sauce:
Warm the frozen kale or spinach until it's just melted, but not hot. (I usually dump it in a pan with a little water, heat it for a few minutes, then drain it well. If you're using fresh, you can use the same method - just stir it around in a pan with a little bit of water over medium heat until it wilts). Set aside. Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add flour and stir mixture 2 minutes; do not brown. Gradually whisk in milk. Simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in half the kale/spinach, the 1/2 cup cilantro, 2 green onions, chilies, cumin, coriander and red pepper. Puree in batches in processor until almost smooth. (If it's a little dry, you can add more milk at this stage). Season with salt and pepper. 

For enchiladas:
Combine the rest of the kale or spinach with the black beans, cheddar, and the rest of the cilantro, green onion, cumin, and coriander. Warm the tortillas so they're a little more flexible (I stuck mine in the microwave). Place a few spoonfuls of the filling (about 1/4 cup) in the middle of each tortilla, then roll it up. Place seam side down in large glass baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Stir sour cream into sauce, and pour over enchiladas. Bake until cheese melts and enchiladas are heated through, about 25 minutes.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Guest Post: Bonnie's Sweet Potato Faux-Rizo Stew


Hello fellow lovers of vegetarian food! Since Lisa and Laurel are busy doing other things, I've snuck in to give you all a fabulous guest post. You've seen my recipes on here before, but this time I've fully commandeered the rig. So let's get to it.

This recipe is one of my Grammy's favorites, albeit I tweaked it a bit to fit my particular taste profile, which is spicier and more robust. I call it faux-rizo sweet potato stew. I hope you like it!

2 Tbs olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped or pressed
1 tsp ground ginger (original recipe calls for fresh. I also used more.)
1 1/2 C sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
2 bell peppers (I used red and yellow), chopped
1 tsp garam masala (I used more)
Cayenne or your favorite powdered heat, to taste
1/2 C vegetable broth
1 can black beans, drained
1 package soy chorizo (I used tofurky's just to try it, but trader joe's is just as good and much cheaper)
Salt and pepper
Lime for garnish, as you like

In a soup pot or large skillet you can cover, saute onion, garlic, ginger, and bell peppers in oil for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add sweet potatoes, garam masala, and cayenne and mix well. Add veggie broth, then cover and cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are tender. Add beans and soyrizo and cook another 5 minutes until heated through. Add salt and pepper and adjust other seasonings to your liking. Serve immediately with hot tortillas, garnished with lime. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Roasted Vegetables with Walnut Gremolata, a la Bonnie

As most of us vegetable fiends already know, roasted veggies are amazing. However, when you top them with this delicious walnut-lemon zest-parsley-parmesan paste, the amazingness gets upped significantly! Also, the leftovers are fabulous served cold. Adapted from

4 carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch rectangles
4 parsnips, peeled, cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise
2 medium turnips, peeled, halved, cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
1 pound brussels sprouts, trimmed, halved
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
About 4 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh parsley
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
zest of one lemon
1 small garlic clove

Preheat oven to 425°F. Toss carrots, parsnips, turnips, brussels sprouts, and cauliflower in a large bowl with 3 tablespoons oil, or however much you need to make them slightly shiny. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet (or to multiple baking sheets, as it's best if all your veggies have at least one side touching the pan); sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast until vegetables are tender, shaking the pan every 15 minutes so they don't stick. It'll be about 1 hour. Basically, you want them to be soft, and for at least one side of each veggie to be browned - that means that they'll be sweet and delicious.

Now, for the gremolata! Pile the walnuts, parmesan, parsley, garlic, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and lemon zest into the food processor. Add some fresh pepper. Process for just a few seconds, until everything is coarsely ground together. The paste should be fairly dry; if it's wet, add some more walnuts.

Drizzle vegetables with remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and toss. Sprinkle gremolata over vegetables just before serving.