Saturday, December 31, 2011

Veggie-Cheese Triangles

Source: Better Homes & Gardens

makes 36 appetizers

2 tsp oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed & squeezed dry (or 6 cups chopped leaves)
6 oz. finely crumbled feta cheese
1/2 tsp oregano
24 sheets frozen phyllo dough (14 x 9), thawed
cooking spray
2 TB butter, melted

Aimee's option: use finely chopped broccoli instead of spinach, and cheddar instead of feta
Aimee's option: use finely chopped red pepper instead of spinach, and goat cheese instead of feta
Or use other veggie/cheese combos! (saute veggies with the onion/garlic)

1. Preheat oven to 375. Heat oil in small pan; saute onion & garlic a few minutes. Place in bowl with spinach, feta, & oregano; stir until combined.
2. Place one sheet of phyllo dough on a cutting board or other flat surface. Lightly spray with cooking oil. Place another sheet of phyllo on top; spray with oil. (Keep remaining phyllo covered with plastic wrap until needed.)
3. Cut the 2 layered sheets lengthwise into 3 equal strips, each 14 inches long. Spoon 1 well-rounded teaspoon of filling about 1 inch from an end of each dough strip. To fold into a triangle, bring a corner over filling so the short edge lines up with the side edge. Continue folding the triangular shape along the strip until the end is reached. Repeat with remaining phyllo, oil, and filling.
4. Place triangles on a baking sheet; brush with butter. Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden, turning once. Serve warm.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Egg Brunch Squares with Hashbrown Crust

Source: The Pampered Chef

22 ounces shredded potatoes
2 cups shredded cheese, divided
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
12 eggs
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup chopped vegetables (such as mushrooms & asparagus tips)
1 cup chopped green onions, divided
3 plum tomatoes, seeded & diced

1. Preheat oven to 450. Place potatoes in oiled 13 x 9 baking dish (or bar pan). Sprinkle 1 cup cheese evenly over the top. Bake 15 minutes or until crust starts to brown & cheese is melted. Remove from oven.
2. Meanwhile, place cream cheese in large bowl and whisk until smooth. Gradually add eggs & pepper, whisk until smooth.
3. If needed, saute veggies until crisp-tender; stir into egg mixture with 1/2 cup green onions. Pour egg mixture over baked crust. Bake 10 minutes more (bar pan) or 24 minutes more (13 x 9 dish) or until center is cooked through. Remove from oven & top with remaining cheese, green onions & tomatoes. Cut into squares & serve.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Vegetarian Stuffing

Source: friend of a friend

16 oz. loaf bread (ciabatta works well)
1 TB oil
2 carrots, diced
4 celery stalks, diced
1 cup chopped onion
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp crushed rosemary
salt & pepper to taste
8 oz. package Morningstar sausage patties (6 total)
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 can (15 oz) vegetable broth

1. Preheat oven to 350. Cut bread into 1 inch cubes; place on baking sheet & bake 7 minutes. Remove from oven to cool (leave oven on at 350).
2. Heat oil in large skillet. Saute carrots, celery, onion, mushrooms, garlic, & rosemary until softened. Put in large bowl & set aside to cool.
3. Cook patties according to package directions; cut into bite-sized pieces and stir into onion mixture along with eggs & cheese. Fold toasted bread cubes into mixture; add vegetable broth and stir until everything is moist. Transfer mixture to oiled 13 x 9 baking dish. Cover & bake 45 minutes.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Spiced Cranberry-Pear Sauce

Source: Clean Eating (slightly modified by Aimee)

This recipe can be made up to 5 days ahead (refrigerate in an airtight container).

1/4 cup water
12 oz. bag fresh cranberries
1 large pear, cored & cut into 1/4 inch pieces

1/2 cup honey
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg

In medium saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil, uncovered, on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring frequently, for 8-10 minutes or until cranberries break down & mixture thickens. Let cool in saucepan, then transfer to an airtight container & chill for at least 2 hours. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Seitan Hot Wings

Source: Vegetarian Times

Mayo & maple syrup tone down the spiciness, and a breadcrumb crust adds crispiness. These are pretty similar in taste to the Morningstar brand of buffalo wings!

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup hot sauce
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp smoked paprika
16 oz. seitan, separated into big chunks
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350. Whisk together mayo, hot sauce, maple syrup, & paprika in bowl. Add seitan & stir until coated. Cover & marinate 2 hours.
2. Coat seitan with breadcrumbs & place on oiled baking sheet; coat with cooking spray. Bake 15 minutes, flip, coat again with cooking spray, & bake 15 minutes more. Spear with toothpicks to serve.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pumpkin Dip

3/4 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
2 tsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
apple slices

Place first 3 ingredients in a medium bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add syrup and cinnamon, and beat until smooth. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Serve with apple.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Three Cheese Macaroni with Butternut Squash

Source: Cooking Light (slightly modified by Aimee)

One 1-pound butternut squash, peeled & cubed
1 1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups milk
2 garlic cloves
16 o. uncooked cavatappi pasta (or other pasta)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 TB Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cups shredded Gruyere cheese
1 cup grated Romano cheese
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
1/2 cup seasoned Panko bread crumbs
1 TB olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 375. Combine squash, broth, milk, & garlic in medium saucepan; bring to boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer until squash is tender (about 25 minutes).
2. Meanwhile, cook pasta in large pot according to package directions. Drain & place back in pot.
3. Place squash mixture in food processor with salt, pepper, & yogurt; process until smooth. Add to pot along with Gruyere & Romano cheeses; stir until combined. Spread mixture into oiled 13 x 9 baking dish.
4. In small bowl, combine Parmesan, panko, & olive oil. Sprinkle evenly over pasta. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Slow Cooker Three-Bean & Barley Soup

Source: Eating Well (slightly modified by Aimee)

2 cups water
4 cups (32-ounce carton) vegetable broth
1/2 cup pearl barley
1/3 cup dried black beans
1/3 cup dried great northern beans
1/3 cup dried kidney beans
1/2 cup corn kernels
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon salt (plus extra to taste)
pepper to taste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 large stalk celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped

1. Soak beans overnight; drain & rinse.
2. In slow cooker, place water, broth, barley, black beans, great northern beans, kidney beans, corn, chili powder, cumin, oregano, & salt.
2. Heat oil in skillet. Add onion, celery, carrot, & garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add to slow cooker.
3. Cover & cook on high 4 hours; reduce to low and cook at least 2 hours more. Season with salt & pepper.

Dark Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread

Source: Clean Eating
Makes 1 large loaf or 3 mini loaves

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 TB cinnamon
1 TB ground flaxseeds
3 ripe bananas, mashed well
2 egg whites
1/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup chopped dark chocolate

1. Preheat oven to 350. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and flaxseed.
2. In large bowl, combine bananas, egg whites, applesauce, honey, & oil.
3. Stir dry ingredients into banana mixture; fold in chocolate.
4. Pour batter into oiled 9 x 5 loaf pan. Large loaf: Bake 55 minutes or until browned & cooked in middle. Mini loaves: Bake 40 minutes.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Crispy Quinoa Patties

Source: Vegetarian Times, slightly modified by Aimee
Makes 8 small patties

1 large egg

2 TB flour
1 1/2 TB tahini or nut butter
1 1/2 tsp red or white wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1/2 cup finely grated sweet potato
1/2 cup packed chopped spinach
2 TB sunflower seeds
1/4 cup finely chopped red pepper*
1/4 cup shredded cheddar*
2 TB finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp salt

1. If not done already, prepare cooked quinoa & let cool.
2. Preheat oven to 400. In large bowl, beat together egg, tahini, & vinegar; stir in flour. Stir in remaining ingredients, then mash together until mixture is firm enough to shape into patties (refrigerating the mixture for a short while may help).
3. Shape mixture into 1/4 cup patties with wet hands. Place on oiled baking sheet. Bake 25 minutes, turning once, or until patties are browned.

*For an alternative, use chopped sundried tomates instead of red pepper, and feta instead of cheddar.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sauteed Green Beans with Shallot Crisps

Source: Better Homes and Gardens
Makes 8 servings

1/3 cup cooking oil
6 shallots, thinly sliced into rings
2 pounds green beans, trimmed
1 TB butter
1 TB olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

1. In large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Fry shallots until crisp & golden brown. Remove from oil; drain on paper towels & set aside. (These taste crispier when they are allowed to sit for an hour or so).
2. Meanwhile, cook beans in a large pot of boiling water for 8 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and submerse in ice water to cool quickly; drain well.
3. Heat butter & olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add green beans & cook until lightly browned and heated through. Season with salt & pepper. Transfer to serving bowl & top with shallot crisps.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Pasta with Roasted Garlic Cream Sauce

Source: adapted from

1 large head garlic
2 TB olive oil
12 ounces pasta, such as angel hair
1 cup cream
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (plus extra to top)
1 tsp dried parsley
salt & pepper to taste
Protein option: tofu or chik'n strips to top

1. Preheat oven to 400. Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves (at the pointed top), exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Place on a piece of foil & drizzle 1 TB olive oil over the top. Seal & bake 45 minutes, or until the cloves are softened. Let cool, and then separate heads into cloves and squeeze each clove to extract the garlic. Place in food processor.
2. Add 1 TB remaining olive oil and 1/4 cup cream and whirl until garlic is pulverized. Add the rest of the cream, sour cream, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Puree to combine.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Transfer sauce to small saucepan & cook over low heat until heated through. Divide pasta among plates & ladle sauce over pasta. Top with protein & parmesan cheese if desired (picture above includes Morningstar chik'n strips).

Trail Mix Cookies

(slightly modified by Aimee)
Makes about 30 cookies

1 cup coconut flakes
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped dates
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sunflower seed butter (or other seed/nut butter)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, mix together coconut, chocolate chips, sugar, cranberries, dates, seeds, baking soda, & salt. Stir in seed butter, maple syrup, egg, & vanilla; mix until well-combined. drop by rounded spoonfuls on oiled baking sheets. Bake 10-12 minutes or until brown around the edges.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Blueberry Cobbler

Source: (modified by Aimee)

4-5 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (thawed)
1/2 cup maple syrup
3 TB cornstarch
2 TB lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
4 tsp grated lemon peel
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
6 TB cold butter
1 1/2 cups buttermilk

1. Preheat oven to 375. Combine blueberries, syrup, cornstarch, lemon juice, cinnamon, & nutmeg. Transfer to oiled 13 x 9 baking dish.
2. Combine flour, lemon peel, baking powder, salt, & baking soda. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in buttermilk until just moistened. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto blueberry mixture. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Pasta Bake with Cauliflower & Peas

Source: Prevention magazine (modified by Aimee)
Makes 8 servings

12-14 oz. whole wheat pasta, such as shells or penne
1 small head cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
2 cups frozen peas
2 carrots, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup milk
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350. In large pot, cook pasta according to package directions. When 5 minutes of cooking remains, add cauliflower, peas, & carrots to water. Drain pasta & vegetables; return to pot & stir in olive oil, parsley, garlic, milk, cheeses, salt & pepper.
2. Spread in large oiled baking dish & sprinkle with walnuts. Bake 30 minutes & serve hot.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Shells with Beans in Lemon Butter Sauce

Source: New Complete Vegetarian
Makes 4-6 servings

12 ounces whole wheat pasta shells
15 oz can red kidney beans (undrained)
15 oz can cannellini beans (undrained)
4 TB butter
2 TB lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley 
black pepper to taste
grated parmesan to top

1. In large pot, cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain & place back in pot.
2. Melt butter in medium saucepan. Stir in lemon juice and parsley & cook a little more. Add beans with their liquid; heat through gently & stir into pasta. Season with pepper & additional parsley, if desired. Divide onto plates and top with parmesan.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Corn Chowder

Source: Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker (modified by Aimee)
Makes 4 servings

oil for frying
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
4 cups (32 oz) vegetable broth (no MSG)
1 large Yukon Gold potato, diced
3 cups frozen corn
1 small green pepper, seeded & chopped
salt & pepper to taste
optional: chopped tomato to top
optional: fresh herbs to top (chives, parsley, etc)

1. Heat oil in skillet. Add onion & celery; saute about 5 minutes & transfer to slow cooker. Add broth, potato, corn, & green pepper. Cover & cook on low 6 hours.
2. Ladle batches of soup into food processor & blend until smooth; transfer to large pot. Repeat until all of the soup is pureed. Stir together, season with salt & pepper, & simmer on low until ready to serve. Ladle into bowls & tops with optional ingredients.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Split Pea Soup with Barley

Source: Nava Atlas (modified by Aimee)
Makes 8 servings

The combination of split peas & barley makes a complete protein, so this soup is perfect for vegetarians!

2 TB oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 celery stalks, diced
3 carrots, peeled & diced
8 cups water
2 cups split peas
1/2 cup pearl barley
2 bay leaves
1 tsp each: parsley & garlic powder
1/2 tsp each: sage, thyme, & cumin
30 oz. vegetable broth
salt & pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in large pot. Add onion, garlic, celery, & carrots; saute over medium heat about 10 minutes or until onions are soft.
2. Add 8 cups water, split peas, barley, bay leaves, & spices. Stir together, bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat, cover, & simmer 30 minutes.
3. Stir in broth, cover, & simmer 45 minutes longer, or until barley is tender & peas are mushy. Remove bay leaves & season with salt & pepper.
Note: this soup thickens considerably as it stands. Add more water as needed, then heat through as needed.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Cucumber Yogurt Dip

½ large cucumber, peeled
1 tsp salt
1 clove garlic, minced
1 TB dried parsley

1 TB dried cilantro

¼ tsp cumin
6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
1 TB olive oil
½ TB lemon juice

Grate cucumber into colander and sprinkle with salt; let stand 1 hour. Place in food processor with rest of ingredients; puree until smooth. Serve with veggies and/or falafel balls.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Maple Bundt Cake

Source: Vegetarian Times

3 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups pure maple syrup
2/3 cup oil (or use 1/3 cup oil, 1/3 cup apple sauce)
2 TB vanilla
1 TB apple cider vinegar
2 tsp maple extract
1 1/3 cups water
powdered sugar for dusting, optional

1. Preheat oven to 325. In medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon & salt.
2. In large bowl combine syrup, oil, applesauce, vanilla, vinegar, maple extract, and water. Stir in flour mixture until just blended.
3. Pour batter into oiled 10-inch bundt pan. Bake 55 minutes, or until cooked in the middle & cake begins to pull away from sides of pan. Cool in pan 20 minutes; unmold onto serving platter & cool completely. If desired, dust with sugar just before serving.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New labels: Vegan & Gluten Free

I added 2 new labels to my recipe blog: "Vegan" and "Gluten Free"!
There are different levels of veganism; my vegan label will exclude recipes with dairy, eggs, and/or honey.

For gluten free recipes, I did include those that use soy sauce or tamari, since there are gluten-free brands.

Many recipes on this blog can be modified (subsitituting soy cheese or rice noodles, for example), so these labels will only include recipes where no substitutions are required, or recipes where cheese, etc. are optional. I hope these new labels will make my blog more accessible!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Is losing weight one of your goals? Or perhaps incorporating more fresh veggies into your diet? Something my family tries to do every at every dinner is eat a salad beforehand. Our favorite blend: Romaine lettuce and/or baby spinach, carrots, red pepper, and cucumber. The variety of colors ensures a wider array of nutrients, and darker leafy greens (rather than iceberg lettuce) are loaded with vitamins & minerals. Eating salad before a meal allows you to load up on fiber, so you feel fuller and will eat less during dinner. I keep all our salad ingredients stocked and make a fresh salad each day. I'm more likely to eat something that I've recently put effort in to make, plus the veggies are crisper this way. And the best part: trying out different yummy salad dressings!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Macaroni Florentine with Nutty Bean Sauce

Source: Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker
Makes 6 servings

Note: I prefer to bake this in the oven rather than the slow cooker, as it is much less "mushy." This is a great protein-rich dish for vegans!

12 oz. elbow macaroni
2 cups baby spinach
2 TB olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup cashews
1/4 tsp dry mustard
1/4 tsp cayenne
15 oz. can white beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup water
2 tsp lemon juice
salt to taste
1/2 cup bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 350. In large pot, cook macaroni according to package directions. Place spinach in colander and drain macaroni on top. Return to pot & set aside.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in small skillet & cook onion until softened.
3. Grind cashews in food processor. Add mustard, cayenne, cooked onion, beans, water, & lemon juice. Season with salt & blend until smooth. Pour sauce over macaroni mixture & stir to combine.
4. Transfer mixture to oiled baking dish & top with bread crumbs. Cover & bake 45 minutes.

Aimee's Szechuan Tofu

Makes 6-8 servings

2 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
24 oz. firm tofu, drained & pressed
1 large crown broccoli, chopped into florets with long stems
2 TB oil
2 large carrots, peeled & sliced diagonally
1 bunch green onions, sliced in 1 inch bits
3 TB cornstarch
1 TB dry mustard
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 cup water
1/4 cup sherry
1/2 cup tamari
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 TB minced garlic

1. Place rice & 5 cups water together in pot; bring to boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer 45 minutes. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400. Cut tofu into triangles & place on oiled baking sheet. Bake about 10 minutes per side until browned & a little crispy; remove from oven & put on plate.
3. Heat oil in skillet; add carrots and broccoli & saute until broccoli turns bright green. Add green onion & saute a little more.
4. Place cornstarch, dry mustard, & peppers in medium saucepan; wisk in water. Stir in sherry, soy sauce, rice vinegar, & garlic. Bring to slow boil & stir until thickened.
5. Place veggies & tofu in large bowl, add sauce, & stir gently to combine. Serve hot over cooked rice.