Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

9th April
2010
written by Steph

Peach Crisp

Despite a somewhat odd cold snap the past two days, the weather has rather balmy and warm (and sometimes downright hot!) the past week or so here in Nashville.  With the warmer weather of Spring in the air, I decided to whip up a lovely light dessert for dinner this past weekend when our friend Trisha was coming over to dine with us.  I toyed with the idea of doing a pear frangipane tart, but my fear of pastry is still somewhat high, so instead I decided to focus on a more rustic dessert: the peach crisp!  I used this recipe over at Une-Deux Senses as inspiration, but I found it needed some tweaking, so the following is my version of peach crisp. (more…)

25th March
2010
written by Steph

Lamb kofta & vegetable stew

When Tony and I were in New York back in November we ate a lot of amazing food. Obviously.  But hands down, our favorite thing we ate was a lamb kofta from a halal street meat vendor.  It was a taste sensation, and I rue that we only ate there once AND that Tony would shove as much of it as possible into his gaping maw while pushing me into oncoming traffic to prevent me from doing the same.  I know the man loves me, but I am no match for that kofta.

Since then, I have been having intermittent cravings for that delicious dish, but who knows when we’ll have a chance to head back to New York.  So I set out to try and recreate it at home.  And as with so many attempts to replicate dishes, I came nowhere close to that now-almost-mythical kofta… but thanks to this recipe over at TasteFood I did make a pretty damn good dish anyway.  It doesn’t really taste anything like the thing we had in New York, but it’s tasty, filling, and healthy, so try it out! (more…)
22nd February
2010
written by Steph

Celery & Stilton Soup! Yum!

What do you do when you have (for reasons that are somewhat confusing to you) a ton of celery in your fridge and a bunch of blue cheese?  I guess you’ve got the side fixins for some chicken wings, but if you’re me, you make soup!  And a really good one at that!  Of course, this is assuming that you enjoy blue cheese, but if not, what are you doing with it in your fridge? (more…)
10th November
2009
written by Steph
Homemade Tomato Soup with puff pastry croutons

Homemade Tomato Soup with puff pastry croutons

I don’t know about you, but to me there are few things more comforting than a bowl of tomato soup served with a grilled cheese sandwich.  Whenever it’s cold and dreary or I’m in a funk and need something warm and satisfying, this is the meal I like to have.  Normally I try to keep a few cans of Campbell’s condensed tomato soup around for that purpose, but then I finally had the brainwave that I could probably make the soup from scratch.  Don’t ask me why it’s taken me 26 years to get over the belief that tomato soup was one of those things that just couldn’t be done from home (hey, I just had my mind blown by the notion that you can make your own brown sugar… and it’s really easy too, to make it all the more embarrassing!)… For this soup, I mostly followed this Martha Stewart recipe (after years of loathing her, I have finally gone over to the darkside and am completely into all things Martha), but I did add a few things to boost up the potential flavor levels, as you’ll see. (more…)
25th October
2009
written by Steph

Spinach and Leek White Bean Soup... my way!

Spinach and Leek White Bean Soup... my way!

Until I started planning out our meals in detail, and vowed to cut out leftover dinners as lunches, I wasn’t a huge fan of soups.  They just never came across as very filling or very interesting to me, so I never really thought to make them.  BUT, I have since done a 180, and have come to see that soups can make a hearty and satisfying meal.  AND they’re cheap!  So cheap, I don’t have to feel bad about not getting up early to make sandwiches… I try to mix it up each week as to whether I’m making a thick, creamy soup, a lighter, brothy soup, or a soup with meat (or without).  To kick off the weekly cookalong, I decided to go with this spinach, leek and white bean soup, as it had relatively simple ingredients and managed to seem both light and hearty.  Of course, I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t deviate from the recipe, so here’s what I actually did: (more…)

19th May
2009
written by Steph
Cole slaw?  More like COOL slaw!

Cole slaw? More like COOL slaw!

For May, it’s colder in Nashville than it normally is (generally this is the time of year where I eschew jeans and any full-length trousers for the next 4 months), but our building has finally opened up the pool area which means we also have access to the grill!  When I lived with my parents I frequently experience “grill overload”, as my mother would pretty much char everything in the summer months, but now that I’m the chief overseer of daily meals, I’ve come to appreciate what a grill can bring to our dinner repertoire. I love barbecuing burgers, brats, and kebabs, but those in themselves don’t necessarily make an entire meal (well, maybe the kebabs do).  This coleslaw is a great side for your grill-centric meals – it’s chock full of flavor (that only improves with additional time in the fridge) and easy to whip together with ingredients you already have on hand!  Sure you could just chuck some premade, store-bought dressing onto a bag of chopped cabbage and call it a day, but this is soooo much better (but easy!  I promise); the blue cheese really makes this something special. It’s now my go-to slaw recipe, and I like to try to always have some in the fridge (I’ve been known to simply have a bowl for lunch).  I adapted it from a recipe by Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, so you know it’s good!  Prep time is only about 10 minutes, so this is really not a labor-intensive dish. Ingredients •    1 bag of pre-chopped coleslaw mix (contains red & green cabbage as well as carrots); alternatively you could buy those three things separately and shave them, but I know you’re busy, so the pre-prepared stuff is completely fine for this •    1 heaping cup of mayonnaise (not miracle whip… mayonnaise!) •    4 tbsp of Dijon mustard (we use a country blend made with white wine, which is sweeter and less sharp than the Grey Poupon kind) •    1 tbsp of dried mustard (optional.  I add it on a whim whenever I feel like making the dressing zippier) •    1 - 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar •    1 tbsp of honey •    1 tsp of salt •    ½ tsp of fresh ground black pepper •    1 cup of crumbled blue cheese (whatever kind makes you happy) •    ½ cup of coarsely chopped walnuts •    ½ cup of craisins or raisins •    bunch of fresh chopped parsley (if you have it handy… I rarely do, but I still love this slaw!) (more…)
2nd April
2009
written by Steph
Lemon-herb roast chicken, poached asparagus, and gorgonzola squash & apple bake

Lemon-herb roast chicken, poached asparagus, and gorgonzola squash & apple bake

I don’t know about you, but to me, Sunday nights always mean a slightly more elaborate dinner.  Generally I devote the time on Sunday to prepare a meal I wouldn’t necessarily have time to prepare during the week, one that might involve a little more effort and care.  The bonus with these kinds of meals is that they not only taste delicious, but they also tend to lend themselves to plenty of leftovers, which makes preparing lunch on Monday morning just a little less painful. One of the best things to make for Sunday dinner, in my opinion, is a roast (whether it be chicken, lamb, pork, or beef).  These tend not to be all that difficult to prepare (even if they sound daunting, they’re not!); the issue with roasting meats is simply that it tends to take a fair deal of time.  Sometimes we circumvent the cooking process by purchasing a pre-roasted chicken at Sam’s Club, but roasting your own chicken is super simple, not too expensive (you get a lot of meat for about $7), and delicious!  A few Sundays back, I did a roast dinner where I prepared a lemon-herb roast chicken, accompanied by two sides: poached asparagus, and something of my own creation, a gorgonzola squash & apple bake.  The chicken was heavenly, but rather than focusing on that portion of the meal (it was simple: I sprinkled the cavity of my chicken with various dried herbs (rosemary, thyme, oregano, salt, parsley), and then I stuffed it with many cloves of garlic and a lemon cut in half.  Then I rubbed it with olive oil, seasoned the outside with salt and pepper, and set it to cook at 400°F for about 1.5 hours, when a thermometer in the breast reached 170°F.  Voila!  Perfect, easy, juicy roast chicken!), I’m going to go through the special side I, Tony was absolutely over the moon for.  Without question, it was his favorite part of the meal.  It was savory and sweet, and completely thrown together, so it’s practically fool proof! Ingredients
  • 1 butternut/acorn squash, peeled and cut into medium-sized cubes (maybe 1.5 inch cubes?  Not too small, but not so big they won’t fit in your mouth!); I used an acorn squash BUT I would highly recommend you use a butternut squash, because acorn squashes are all bumpy and grooved and are hell to peel!
  • 1 – 2 apples, cored, and cut into comparable size (maybe slightly smaller?) chunks; we always have Fuji apples on hand, and they worked well enough, but you might prefer something a little tarter like a Granny Smith, and that’s fine too!
  • 3 tbsp of brown sugar
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup of gorgonzola cheese (or thereabouts… I didn’t measure)
(more…)
22nd March
2009
written by Steph
Pasta alla Vodka

Pasta alla Vodka

Warning!  The following recipe (which I adapted from one posted over at The Pioneer Woman Cooks) is SO good that I cannot be held accountable if you should find yourself eating three times your regular portion size, simply because you can’t bear to stop tasting it, luxuriating in the tangy, creamy, slightly sweet sauce.  This recipe is quick, easy and oh so delicious… but it is quite rich, so while moderation is the key, I defy you to resist going back for seconds… or thirds!  [Simona, I fully expect you to try this recipe.  If anyone can be guaranteed to have vodka on hand, I am betting it is you! 😉 ] Ingredients
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 – 3 cloves (or tablespoons!) of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of vodka
  • 1 can of tomato puree (or crushed tomatoes, or even tomato sauce)
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • salt & pepper
  • pinch of red pepper flakes  (they’re HOT, so add as many shakes as your mouth can take… we’re wusses, so I tend to just shake it 2 – 3 times over the pan, and call it a day)
  • ½ tsp of dried tarragon
  • ½ tsp of dried oregano
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan/Romano/Asiago (i.e., firm Italian cheese)
  • lots of pasta… probably the entire package/box (I finished off many boxes, using penne, rigatoni (or was it rotini?), and some spinach-stuffed ravioli)
(more…)
4th March
2009
written by Steph
Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Penne with Roasted Vegetables

Do you want to cook a meal that’s not only good tasting but good for you as well?  Give this roasted veggie pasta a whirl!  It’s pretty easy to bang together, is teeming with lovely, rich flavors (it tastes better than it photographs... something I probably didn't help with my excessively liberal cheese sprinkling), and is pretty darn healthy, too!  We’re pretty omnivorous over here at Steph & Tony Investigate, but every so often I’m able to come up with a dish that is sufficiently hearty and satisfying that Tony doesn’t notice (or at least complain about) the absence of meat.  The sauce here is kind of a quickie, less effortful version of ratatouille (a recipe I will one day share here, but not just yet), and is really very delicious.  It takes about 40 minutes to pull this dish together, but I’d still say it’s worthy of weeknight status, as it’s not at all stressful or difficult. Ingredients
  • 1 white onion, cut into coarse eighths
  • 1 zucchini, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium eggplant, cut into chunks
  • 1 red pepper, cut into chunks (not slivers)
  • 3  - 4 yellow summer squash, cut into chunks
  • 1 quart of cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
  • 2 – 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled and separated into individual cloves
  • Italian seasoning (or combination of basil, thyme, oregano)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Penne pasta (or other “robust” pasta of your choice… probably something like a spiral pasta or a rigatoni, stay away from the tangly pastas here, I think)
(more…)