Saturday, December 28, 2013

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas

Source: Vegetarian Times
Makes 12 enchiladas

Twelve 6-inch corn tortillas

  • 1 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced 
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • 1 10-oz. round queso fresco, divided
  • 8oz. can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1. To make Filling: Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft. Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, salsa, garlic, and 1/4 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 30 to 40 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft. Mash mixture with potato masher until combined. Add black beans, and cook 5 minutes. Stir in half of queso fresco, and remove from heat.
2. To make Sauce: Bring all ingredients to a simmer in saucepan over medium heat. Whisk to combine, then remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
3. To assemble Enchiladas: Preheat oven to 350ºF. Spread 1/2 cup Sauce in bottom of dish. Fill tortillas with Filling. Roll, and pack close together seam-side down in baking dish. Top with remaining Sauce and queso fresco. Cover with foil & bake 15 minutes.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Tree Pita Triangles

Source: Pampered Chef
Makes 18 appetizers

From this blog: 1/2 recipe spinach & olive tapenade (link below)

Other ingredients: 3 round pitas (each cut into sixths), hummus to spead under tapenade, pretzel stick trunk, red pepper star

Spinach & OliveTapenade

Source: Pampered Chef
Makes about 1 1/2 cups

One 6 oz. package baby spinach leaves (about 8 cups)
1/4 red pepper, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 TB capers
3/4 cup green olives
1/4 cup loosely packed basil leaves
1 TB lemon juice
2 TB grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup olive oil

1. Place spinach in large microwaveable bowl; cover & heat 2 minutes until leaves are wilted.
2. In food processor, place red pepper, garlic, capers, & olives.  Pulse until coarsely chopped.  Add spinach, basil, lemon juice, cheese, & oil; process until desired consistency is reached.
3. Cover & refrigerate until ready to use.  Serve with crackers or bread rounds.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mama Owl Cake with Baby Owl Cupcakes

Source: Better Homes & Gardens

From this blog (links below): 2 recipes chocolate avocado cake (1 sheet cake, 12 cupcakes) with 1 recipe frosting, buttercream frosting

Other ingredients:
Mama Owl- powdered donuts, buttercream frosting, & malt balls for mama eyes, orange gumdrops for beak & claws
Baby owls- life savers & mini chocolate chips for eyes, orange tic tacs for beak & claws
Slivered almonds for feathers

Tip: Cut ends of sheet cake for mama wings

Rainbow Cake

From this blog (links below): 1 recipe Maple Bundt Cake, 1 recipe honey-cream cheese frosting

Other ingredients: cloud cookies... use sugar cookie dough & form into clouds
Tips: Cut cake in half, divide frosting into the colors of the rainbow, use lots of food coloring to obtain the dark colors, dab plain frosting on the ends of the cake

Butterfly Cake

From this blog (links below): 1 recipe carrot cake (2 round cakes), 1 recipe honey-cream cheese frosting, 1 recipe chocolate-avocado cupcakes with frosting

Tips: cut each round cake into halves for wings (shape as wanted), candles for antennae, use red food coloring to make pink frosting, serve extra cupcakes on the side

Strawberry Mouse Snack

Ingredients: strawberries. ears cut from fruit strips, mini chocolate chip nose, black icing eyes, red licorice tail

Music Note Cake

From this blog (link below): 2 recipes carrot cake (2 round cakes, 12 cupcakes) & honey-cream cheese frosting

Hello Kitty Cake

From this blog (link below): 1 recipe carrot cake (2 round cakes), 1 recipe honey-cream cheese frosting

Other ingredients: large chocolate chips for eyes, grape for nose, cut fruit strips for whiskers
Tips: Cut second round cake into ears & a bow; use red food coloring to make pink frosting for the bow

Halloween Mouths

Ingredients: Thin apple slices (dipped in lemon juice/water to prevent browning), peanut butter, marshmallows.

Sunflower Cake

From this blog (links below): 1 recipe vanilla cake (2 round cakes), buttercream frosting

Other ingredients: green gumdrops, oval-shaped cookies, mini chocolate chip cookies
Tips: Cut 1 round cake into the bottom petals, mold green gumdrops into a stem, color half the frosting with red food coloring to make an orange color.

Strawberry Santa Hats

Marshmallows for the top, strawberry in the middle, & either sliced banana (if serving right away so they don't brown) or a circle of white cheese on the bottom... held together by a toothpick.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Pesto & Roasted Tomato Brushetta

Source: Prevention magazine
Makes about 24 appetizers

24 grape tomatoes
1 baguette, sliced into rounds
3/4 cup pesto
12 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
pepper to top

1. Preheat oven to 425.  Arrange tomatoes in oiled baking dish; spay tops with cooking spray. Roast, shaking dish occasionally, until tomatoes are just wilted & slightly charred.  Let cool.
2. Place bread slices on baking sheet; broil until lightly toasted.  Remove from oven; spread pesto evenly among them.  Top each with mozzarella & tomatoes; sprinkle with pepper.
3.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes, until mozzarella is melted.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Herb Gravy

Source: Vegetarian Times 
Makes at least 3 cups

2 russet potatoes
12 button mushrooms
3 carrots, cut into chunks
3 celery stalks, cut into chunk
1 cup onion chunks
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 TB olive oil
1/4 cup red wine
1 TB tomato paste
1/4 cup fresh parsley springs
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp dried sage
2 bay leaves
12 peppercorns

1. Preheat oven to 425. Cut 1 potato into large chunks, and place in large baking dish with mushrooms, carrots, celery, onion, & garlic.  Toss with olive oil.  Roast at least 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes, until vegetables are browned.
2.  Transfer veggies to a large pot; stir in 8 cups water & remaining ingredients.  Simmer uncovered 30 minutes.  Let stand 10 minutes.
3. Strain liquid into another large pot.  Discard solids or keep to add to a soup.  Dice remaining potato into small chunks and add to liquid.  Simmer, uncovered, 30 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 3 cups.  Let cool a little.
4. Transfer mixture to food processor and puree until smooth, adding water if necessary to adjust consistency.  Season with salt, pepper, & extra parsley if desired.  Place in lidded container & refrigerate until ready to use.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Pumpkin Black Bean Soup

Source: magazine
Makes 6 servings

2 TB olive oil
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups vegetable broth (32 oz.)
2 cans black beans (14 oz each), drained & rinsed
1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
1 can pumpkin puree (15 oz)
1 tsp each: cumin, salt, cinnamon, allspice
1/2 tsp pepper
baked pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)

1. Heat oil in large pot; saute onion & garlic until fragrant.
2.  Place beans, tomatoes, & 2 cups broth in food processor; puree until smooth.  Stir into onion/garlic mixture.  Stir in pumpkin & spices.
3. Simmer uncovered 40 minutes until thick.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Turnip-Parsnip Gratin

Source: Cooking Light
6 side dish servings

1 parsnip, peeled & sliced into 1/8 inch rounds (2 cups)
1 turnip, peeled & sliced into 1/8 inch rounds
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 TB flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 oz. Gruyere cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 400.  Bring 6 cups water to a boil in large pot; add parsnips & turnips and cook 7 minutes until just tender.  Drain & transfer to oiled baking dish.
2. In small saucepan, combine milk, broth, flour, salt & pepper.  Bring to simmer & cook until thickened, stirring often.  Stir in cheese until melted.  Pour evenly over vegetable mixture.
3. Sprinkle Panko evenly over the top, and bake 15 minutes.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

White Bean Burgers

Source: Better Homes & Gardens
Makes 5 patties

19 oz. can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1 1/2 cups seasoned bread crumbs, divided
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 egg, beaten
3 TB olive oil, divided
1 TB parsley flakes
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400.  Place beans in mixing bowl & mash.  Stir in 3/4 cups bread crumbs, carrots, onion, egg, 1 TB olive oil, parsley, salt & pepper.
2. Shape mixture into 4 patties.  Coat in remaining 2 TB oil, then coat in bread crumbs.  Place on oiled baking sheet & bake 8 minutes per side.  Serve on buns with condiments, or a la carte.

Chickpea-Carrot Bites

Source: Favorite Brand Name Vegetarian, 3 Books in 1
Makes 30 appetizers

1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup shredded carrots
1/3 cup seasoned dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup creamy salad dressing (such as Ranch), plus extra for dipping
1 egg, beaten
salt to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375.  Place beans in food processor & pulse until mushy.  Transfer to bowl & stir in remaining ingredients.
2. Shape mixture into small patties, using 1 TB mixture for each.  Place on oiled baking sheets.
3. Bake ~8 minutes per side, until lightly browned.  Serve with extra salad dressing for dipping.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Easy Black Bean Soup

Makes 4 servings

3 TB olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
3 cans (15 oz. each) black beans, drained
3/4 TB cumin
salt & pepper to taste
Optional: cilantro sour cream to garnish

1. Heat oil in large saucepan & saute onions.  Add garlic & saute a little more.  Stir in vegetable broth, cumin, & 1 can beans; bring to boil & simmer until heated.
2.  Transfer soup to blender & puree until smooth.  Return to saucepan & stir in remaining beans.  Bring to simmer & heat through.  Season with salt & pepper.  Serve with garnish if desired.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cheesy Zucchini Quinoa Pilaf

Source: Running to the Kitchen (modified by Aimee)
Makes 8 side dish servings

1/2 cup cooked brown rice
3 TB olive oil
1 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups vegetable broth
2 cups shredded zuchhini (about 2 small)
1 cup shredded Parmesan
2 TB chopped basil

1. Heat 1 TB oil in medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the quinoa & toss to coat.  Toast for 2-3 minutes.
2.  Add vegetable broth, bring to boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer for 15-20 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
3.  Stir in zucchini, Parmesan, & basil.  Drizzle with remaining oil & toss to coat.  Serve at room temperature.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Moroccan Lentil Soup

Makes 6-8 servings

1 TB olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups water
1 cup red lentils
1 can (15 oz) garbanzo beans
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans
1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes
1/2 cup diced carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 tsp ginger
1 tsp garam masala
1/12 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp cumin

1. In large pot, heat oil; saute onion & garlic about 5 minutes.  Stir in the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, reduce heat & simmer at least 1 hour until lentils are soft.
2.  In batches, puree half the soup in a food processor.  Return pureed soup to the pot, stir, & enjoy!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Three-Bean Chili

Source: Clean Eating (slightly modified by Aimee)

3 TB olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 red bell peppers, chopped
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp paprika
salt to taste
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups cubed butternut squash*
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes
1 can (15 oz) pinto beans, drained & rinsed
1 can (15 oz) kidney beans, drained & rinsed
1 can (15 oz) cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
1/2 cup sliced green onion

1.Heat oil in large pot; saute onion & red pepper 10 minutes.  Stir in cumin, crushed red pepper, paprika, & garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
2.  Add broth, squah, & tomatoes; bring to a simmer.  Cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add beans; simmer 25 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring occasionally.  Sprinkle with green onions.

*to use squash that is already cooked, add in with the beans.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Aimee's Baked Jalapeno Poppers

Makes 24 appetizers

12 small-medium fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded & halved lengthwise
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup shredded cheddar
1 tsp minced onion
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp paprika
1 cup panko bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 425.  In medium bowl combine cream cheese, cheddar, onion, pepper, & paprika. Spray bottom of each pepper half with cooking spray, then roll bottom in bread crumbs.
2. Press cream cheese mixture into pepper & sprinkle with bread crumbs.  Repeat with remaining peppers.  Bake 10-15 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Three-Cheese Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Source: Clean Eating 
Makes 8 servings

1 spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise & seeded
2 tsp oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded & diced
1 clove garlic, minced
10 oz. cremini mushrooms, chopped (optional)
6 oz. grated pepper jack cheese
2 oz grated mozzarella
1/2 cup ricotta
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
salt to taste
2 TB bread crumbs

1. Preheat oven to 400.  Fill a 13x 9 dish with a little water.  Place squash halves cut sides down & cover with foil.  Bake 30 minutes or until tender. Let cool. Reduce oven temp to 375.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat oil.  Saute onion, pepper, & garlic until fragrant.  Add optional mushrooms & saute a few minutes more until they release their juices.
3. With a fork, scrape spaghetti squash into a large bowl.  In separate small bowl, stir together cheeses until well-blended.  Add to squash bowl along with onion mixture, paprika, pepper, & salt.  Spread into oiled baking dish & sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over the top.  Bake 25 minutes, until bubbly.

Fresh Herb Waffles

Source: Clean Eating (modified by Aimee)
Makes 4 waffles

2 cups chickpeas
1 clove garlic
1 whole egg plus 2 egg whites
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dill weed
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 cup chickpea flour (or whole wheat)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup water
optional toppings: salsa, sour cream, fresh chopped veggies

1. In food processor, place chickpeas, garlic, eggs, onion, cilantro, parsley, oregano, basil, dill, salt, & sage.  Process until almost smooth.  Add flour, baking powder, & water; pulse until just combined.    Add more water if necessary to adjust consistency.
2. Working in batches, add 1/2 cup batter to hot oiled waffle iron.  Cook until done (most irons have a timer).  Serve with optional toppings.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Aimee's Rice & Bean Stuffed Chile Peppers

Makes 2 dozen appetizers or side dish servings

1 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 cup salsa
1 cup black beans
1 cup shredded cheddar
12 medium chile peppers (Anaheim work well), halved & seeded with stems removed
sour cream to top

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  In bowl mix together rice, salsa, beans, and 1/2 cup cheddar.  Divide evenly among pepper halves; place in oiled baking dish.  Cover & bake 20 minutes.
2.  Remove from oven & top with remaining 1./2 cup cheese; bake 3 minutes more uncovered, or until cheese is melted.  Serve with sour cream.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Aimee's Kale Chips

1 large bunch kale, ripped from stem into bite sized pieces
1 TB olive oil
2 tsp nutritional yeast flakes
salt to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  Rinse kale pieces and dry well (usuing a salad spinner is ideal to remove most of the water).  Place in large bowl and toss with olive oil, yeast flakes, and salt.  Bake 12-15 minutes or until just starting to brown.  Chips should be slightly crispy when removed from oven.  Enjoy!

Variation (instead of 2 tsp yeast flakes): Spice it up by using 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp dried minced onion, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and 1/4 tsp garlic powder.

Or use any combination of seasonings to suit your taste!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Cheesecake Tartlets

Source: Clean Eating

6 TB fruit preserves (no sugar added)
36 fresh raspberries

Cheesecake Filling:
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
4 oz. goat cheese crumbles
3 TB honey
1/2 tsp vanilla

Lemon Shortbread:
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp grated lemon zest
2/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup honey

1.  Prepare cheesecake filling: In a food processor, blend cream cheese, goat cheese, honey, & vanilla.  Spoons mixture into a piping bag. (Alternatively, use a small plastic sandwich bag with a small piece snipped off one corner). Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare lemon shortbread: in large bowl, combine flour & lemon zest.  Cut in butter & stir in honey until well blended and a dough is formed.
3. Form dough into 36 tablespoon-size balls.  Place balls in cups of oiled mini-muffin pans.  Use the back of a teaspoon to press each ball onto bottom and partway up side of each cup (wet the back of the teaspoon if dough sticks).
4. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden and firm. Use the back of a teaspoon to press downthe middle of each tartlet again.  Let cool 5 minutes; remove tartlets from pans and cool 20 minutes more.
5. Spoon 1/2 tsp fruit preserves into each cup. Pipe about 1 1/2 tsp cheesecake filling into each tartlet, topping each with a raspberry (press a little into the filling).

Make cookies with any extra dough: place tablespoon-fuls on oiled baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes!

Fettuccine with Kale Pesto

Source: Prevention magazine

4 cups stemmed chopped kale (about 1 bunch, or 4 large leaves)
1 cup shredded Parmesan
6 TB olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
16 oz. fettuccine
1/2 cup hot water

1. Bring large pot of water to boil.  Fill large bowl with ice cubes and cold water.  Plunge kale into boiling water & cook 3 minutes.  Using tongs, transfer kale to ice water; submerge 3 minutes.  Drain into colander & squeeze to press out excess water.
2. Put kale, oil, 1/2 cup Parmesan, pine nuts, garlic, red pepper, & salt in bowl of food processor; puree until smooth.
3.  Cook pasta according to package directions. Just before pasta is done, scoop 1/2 cup of hot water & add to pesto & process a little more.  Drain pasta & toss with pesto and 1/2 cup Parmesan.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Poblano White Chili

Source: Vegetarian Times
Makes 8 servings

6 poblano chiles (1 pound)
2 tsp oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tsp oregano
(Rajas are often served as a side dish or as a condiment for soups & stews, but are also delicious over nachos).

2 cans white beans, rinsed & drained (~30 oz)- I like to use cannellini beans
2-3 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cumin
1 cup corn kernels
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped cilantro, plus extra for garnish
1 TB lime juice
roasted pumpkin seeds for garnish (optional)

Goat Cheese Sauce: (leave out for a vegan versian)
1/3 cup milk
3 oz. goat cheese crumbles

1. Roast chiles: Preheat oven to 425.  Rub whole poblanos with oil, and place on baking sheet.  Roast 30-45 minutes, or until charred on all sides, turning with tongs.  Transfer to bowl, cover, & let steam 15 minutes.  Rub off skins.
2.  Make rajas: Cut off tops of roasted poblanos and remove seeds. Slice into1/4 inch strips.  Heat oil in skillet over medium heat; add onion & garlic and cook ~5 minutes.  Add poblanos & oregano; cook until heated through.
3.  Meanwhile, make chili: Place 2 cups broth, rajas, beans, oregano, cumin, & corn in large pot (add more broth to adjust the consistency if needed).  Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer 15 minutes.  Season with salt & pepper. Stir in cilantro & lime juice & cook a few minutes more.
4. Make sauce: Warm milk in small saucepan.  Stir in goat cheese & cook until smooth.  Serve chili with sauce & garnish with extra cilantro & roasted pumpkin seeds if desired.

Hush Puppies (Corn Fritters)

Source: Hodgson Mill

1 1/2 cups corn meal
1/4 cup flour
2 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup buttermilk

Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl.  Stir in remaining ingredients until just moistened.  Let dough sit 5 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet or griddle.  Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls into hot oil & fry until dark golden brown (~2 minutes), turning once.  Drain on paper towels.

Whole Grain Pancakes

Source: Prevention magazine
Makes 16

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup oats
1/3 cup cornmeal
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 large egg white
2 TB brown sugar

1. In medium bowl, combine flour, oats, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, & salt.  In another larger bowl lightly beat eggs; stir in buttermilk & brown sugar.  Stir in dry ingredients.  Let stand 15 minutes.
2. Heat oiled griddle over medium heat.  Drop batter in scant 1/4 cup measurements for each pancake, onto hot griddle.  Cook until bubbles form on top & underside is golden, about 2 minutes.  Flip & cook 1-2 minutes more.

Loaded Veggie Vegan Lasagna


  • 9 whole grain lasagna noodles
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 small head of garlic, all cloves chopped or pressed
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • 1 package Silken Lite tofu (12 oz.)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • 12 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed
  • 6 roma tomatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 cup raw cashews, ground
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Cook noodles according to package directions.
2. Sauté the onion and garlic on high heat for 3 minutes in a wok or nonstick pan.
Add the mushrooms and cook until the onions are limp and the mushrooms give up their liquid.
Remove them to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Reserve the mushroom liquid in the pan.
3.  Sauté the broccoli and carrots for 5 minutes and add to the mushroom bowl.
4.  Sauté the peppers and corn until just beginning to soften. Add them to the vegetable bowl.
5.  Drain the silken tofu by wrapping in paper towels. Break it up directly in the towel and mix into the vegetable bowl. Add spices to the vegetable bowl and combine.
6.  To assemble the vegetable lasagna : Cover the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch casserole with a layer of sauce. Add a layer of noodles.Spread the vegetable mixture over the sauced noodles. Cover with a layer of noodles and another dressing of sauce. Add the spinach to the second layer of sauced noodles. Cover the spinach with the mashed sweet potatoes. Add the final layer of noodles, and a last topping of sauce. Cover the lasagna with thinly sliced roma tomatoes. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
7.  Remove the foil, sprinkle with the cashews, and return to the oven for 15 minutes. Let lasagna sit for 15 minutes before serving.

Crispy Creole Onion Rings

Source: Cooking with Paula Deen

1/4 tsp each: thyme, oregano, cayenne, black pepper
1/2 tsp each: garlic powder, paprika
3 TB flour
2 large egg whites
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 large sweet onion, sliced into rings

1. Preheat oven to 450.  Combine spices/herbs in small bowl.  Combine flour and 1 tsp seasoning in bowl.  Lightly beat egg whites in another bowl.  In a third bowl, combine panko with remaining 1 tsp seasoning.
2. Dredge onion rings in flour mixture, then dip in egg whites, then dredge in panko mixture to coat.  Place on oiled baking sheet & bake 6 minutes.  Flip over & bake 4 minutes more until browned & crispy.  Serve with ranch dressing if desired.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Fudge Brownies

Source: New Moosewood Cookbook

5 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
2 sticks butter, softened
1 3/4 cups packed brown sugar
5 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour (use 3/4 cup for fudgier brownies)
Optional: 1 cup walnuts or chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Slowly melt chocolate; let cool for about 10 minutes.
2. Cream the butter & sugar in large bowl with electric mixer, until light & fluffy.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.  Stir in vanilla.
3. Stir constantly as you drizzle in the melted chocolate.  Beat 1-2 minutes more with mixer.
4. Stir in flour & optional ingredients.  Mix just enough to blend thoroughly.
5.  Spread into oiled 13 x 9 pan.  Bake 25 minutes or until cooked in the middle.  Cut into squares while still hot, then cool at least 10 minutes.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Granola Bars

Source: Prevention 
Makes an 8 x 8 pan of bars

2 cups cereal, coarsely chopped (puffed rice or granola)
3/4 cup roasted nuts, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup dried fruit, coarsely chopped
2 TB whole wheat flour
optional ingredient: 1/2 cup chocolate chips, 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, 2 TB flaxseeds, 2 TB sesame seeds, or 2 TB sunflower seeds
1/3 cup honey or brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 large egg whites
1/2 tsp vanilla

1.  Preheat oven to 300.  In bowl mix together cereal, nuts, fruit, flour, & optional ingredients.
2.  Combine honey/sugar & salt in small bowl.  Whisk in egg whites & vanilla.  Pour mixture into dry ingredients & stir to combine.
3.  Using wet hands, press mixture into oiled 8 x 8 pan.  Bake 50 minutes or until dry to the touch.  Cool completely & cut into bars.  Wrap with saran wrap individually if desired.

Flatbread 3 Ways

Source: New Moosewood Cookbook
Makes six 7-inch diameter breads

1 cup flour plus extra
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
oil for cooking

1. Preheat oven to 325.  Place the flour & salt in bowl; slowly stir in water until a dough forms.
2.  Transfer the dough to a clean, floured surface and knead for a few minutes.  Add extra flour if necessary to keep it from becoming sticky.  Divide dough into 6 equal balls, and roll each one into a very thin circle.  Add flour as necessary to roll out.
3. Place the flatbread on an oiled baking sheet & brush tops with a little oil.  Bake 10-15 minutes until very lightly browned.  Remove from oven.  To reheat, wrap in foil and place in 300 degress oven 10-15 minutes.

TORTILLAS: Make as directed above.

CHAPPATIS (Indian flatbread): Substitute 1/2 cup whole wheat flour for 1/2 cup of the white flour.
For variety, add minced garlic or other flavoring, and/or sprinkle with garlic salt.

CHINESE GREEN ONION PANCAKES: Add 3 chopped green onions to the flour mixture before kneading.  Sprinkle with a little salt.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Basil-Ricotta Penne with Crispy Pine Nut Topping

Source: Vegetarian Times (modified by Aimee)
Makes 6-8 servings

I added more pasta to this recipe to increase serving sizes, and also turned it into a casserole rather than individual ramekins.

8 oz. penne pasta (preferable whole wheat)
5 tsp olive oil, divided
1 shallot, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp flour
3/4 cup milk
15 oz. ricotta
1/2 cup + 2 TB Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
salt & pepper to taste
2 TB pine nuts
2 TB panko bread crumbs
1/2 tsp basil

1.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Drain, drizzle with 2 tsp olive oil, stir, & set aside.
2.  Meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 tsp oil in large saucepan over medium heat.  Add shallot & saute 3 minutes; add garlic & saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Stir in flour until paste forms.  Gradually whisk in milk.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, & cook until sauce thickens, 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in ricotta & 1/2 cup Parmesan.  Remove sauce from heat; stir in fresh basil, salt & pepper.  Stir penne into sauce. Spread mixture into oiled casserole dish.
3.  In small bowl combine 2 TB Paremesan, pine nuts, panko, dried basil, & 1 1/2 tsp oil.  Sprinkle evenly over casserole.  Bake 30 minutes or until crispy & browned on top.

Apricot-Almond Bread

Source: The New Moosewood Cookbook

1 1/2 cups chopped dried apricots
1 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 TB softened butter
1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated orange or lemon rind
1 cup finely chopped almonds

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  Place apricots & water in small saucepan and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover & simmer 10 minutes.  Transfer to a large bowl, and allow to cool at least 15 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in separate bowl stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, & salt.
3. Stir butter & honey/syrup into cooled apricot mixture.  Stir in the egg, vanilla, & orange rind.  Add dry ingredients & almonds; stir to combine.  Spread into oiled loaf pan; bake about 50 minutes or until browned on top & cooked in the middle.  Let cool 10 minutes in the pan & remove; let cool at least 15 minutes more before slicing.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Cuban Black Beans & Rice

Source: adapted by savvy vegetarian from Cooks Illustrated, slightly modified by Aimee
Makes 8 servings

1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
2 cans black beans (15 oz each), liquid reserved
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 TB soy sauce
1 TB tomato paste (or ketchup)
1 TB oil
1 large stalk celery, chopped
1 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
hot sauce. fresh cilantro & lime wedges for garnish

1. Place rice and 3 cups water in pot.  Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer 40 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed; set aside.
2. Meanwhile, place liquid from beans in 2 cup measuring cup, and add enough water to make 1 1/2 cups.  place in saucepan along with cube, soy sauce, & tomato paste.  Simmer 10 minutes; stir in black beans & simmer 5 minutes more.  Set aside.
3.  Preheat oven to 350.  Heat oil in skillet; saute celery, green pepper, onion, & garlic until softened.  Add in spices & saute a little more.
4.  Place rice in large bowl.  Stir in bean sauce & veggie mixture.  Spread in oiled 13 x 9 dish, cover & bake 30 minutes.  Serve with garnishes.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

Source: Ellie Krieger (Food Network)

2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
garlic salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
2. Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the oil. In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and a few turns of pepper. Dip each round into the Parmesan mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, pressing the coating on to stick, and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
3. Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, about 12 minutes per side. Remove with spatula. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Chickpea Pancakes with White Bean & Basil Tapenade

Source: Clean Eating

Called socca in France or farinata in Italy, this savory pancake is a traditional street food among the locals of both regions.  
After realizing I didn't have a cast iron skillet for the oven (what the original recipe called for), I experimented and made mini pancakes & crepes on a regular griddle.  
Breakfast idea: serve with jelly or syrup instead of the tapenade!

1 cup garbanzo bean flour
3 TB olive oil, divided
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup cooked or canned cannellini beans
2 TB chopped fresh basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper to taste

Make tapenade:
Place beans, 1 TB olive oil, 3 TB water, basil, & garlic in food processor; puree until smooth.  Transfer to lidded bowl & refrigerate until ready to use.

Make pancake batter:
Pour 1 1/3 cups water into medium bowl.  Add flour to bowl slowly, whisking in until smooth.  Allow mixture to stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour.  Stir in 2 TB olive oil & salt.

Aimee's Mini Pancakes or Crepes (great as an appetizer):
Coat griddle with nonstick cooking spray & heat to medium high.  Ladle small amounts of batter onto griddle, forming pancakes about 2 inches in diameter.  Cook 5-10 minutes; flip & cook a few minutes more. Serve with tapenade.

Large pancake:
Preheat oven to 450.  Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet on medium-high.  Add 2 TB oil, pour in all of batter, & cook about 1 minute (until edges of pancake begin to turn golden brown).  Do not flip; place skillet in oven & bake about 25 minutes, until crisp around the edges & light golden brown.  Slide pancake onto cutting board & slice into 8 equal wedges.

Aimee's Brown Rice Risotto Pilaf

This recipe started as a pilaf, but I had a hard time getting the rice to absorb the broth so I kept adding more, making it have a risotto type texture.  

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 TB olive oil
1 1/4 cups brown rice, uncooked
15 oz. can vegetable broth
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp pepper

1. Heat oil in medium saucepan; saute onion & garlic until fragrant. Stir in rice & cook a few minutes, stirring until lightly browned.  Stir in 1 cup broth, 1 1/2 cups water, thyme, & pepper.  Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer 40 minutes or until water is absorbed.
2. Stir in rest of broth; bring to boil again, reduce heat, cover & cook 10 minutes more or until broth is absorbed.  Add 1 cup water, bring to boil again, reduce heat, cover & cook 10 minutes more or until broth is absorbed.  Check to see if rice is tender & slightly mushy; if not, add water as necessary & continue to cook.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Eggplant Patties

Source: Better Homes & Gardens? (slightly modified by Aimee)
Makes 6 patties

1 medium eggplant, peeled & cut into quarters (about 3/4 pound)
3/4 cup breadcrumbs, plus extra for coating
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried parsley
1 large egg, beaten
salt & pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400.  Bring large pot of water to a boil; place eggplant quarters in, cover & boil 15 minutes.  Drain & cool.
2. Remove most seeds from the eggplant.  Place in food processor & puree until mush; transfer to large bowl.  Stir in breadcrumbs, baking powder, onion, cheese, parsley, egg, salt & pepper.  Shape into patties, coat in bread crumbs, & place on oiled baking sheet.  Bake 10 minutes per side.

Serving suggestion: top with tomato sauce & mozzarella; broil until cheese is melted.  Serve with spaghetti.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Quinoa-Black Bean Casserole

    Source: Spark Recipes (modified by Aimee)
    Makes 8 servings

    1 cup quinoa, uncooked
    3 cups cooked black beans (or two15-ounce cans, drained and rinsed)
    1 large sweet potato, shredded
    1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    1/2 tsp ground cumin
    salt & pepper to taste
    2 eggs, beaten
    1 cup salsa
    fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish (optional)
    sour cream to top (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 350° Place quinoa in saucepan with 2 cups water; bring to boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer 15 minutes or until all water is absorbed.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix together the black beans, sweet potato, 1⁄2 cup of the cheese, salsa, and the cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir in cooked quinoa & eggs.  Spread into an oiled 13” x 9” casserole dish. 
3. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup cheese over the top and bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro & serve with sour cream if desired.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Breakfast Cookies

Makes about 3 dozen

¼ cup milk powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup protein powder
1 ½ TB cinnamon
1 cup Grape-Nuts cereal or granola
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup white flour
2 cups rolled oats
½ cup wheat germ
1 cup (packed) brown sugar
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips
2 eggs
½ cup plain yogurt
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
½ cup softened butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup honey

1. Preheat oven to 350.  In a large bowl, mix together milk powder, baking soda, baking powder, protein powder, cinnamon, cereal, flours, oats, wheat germ, & brown sugar.  Stir in raisins, nuts, & chocolate chips. 
2. In medium bowl, beat eggs.  Stir in yogurt, applesauce, butter, vanilla, & honey.  Add to dry ingredients & mix until dough forms.  
3.  Using wet hands, press onto oiled cookie sheets (2 inches diameter). Bake 10-12 minutes or until cooked through. Wrap individually or sandwich peanut butter between two cookies. Freeze extras.  

For variety and to boost protein, spoon 2 tablespoons of peanut butter between two cookies.

Nutrient Content: (for about 3 cookies)
214.5 calories, 5.6 g protein, 1.9 g fat, 47.8 g carbohydrate, 4.3 g fibre, 328.1 mg sodium, 308.8 mg potassium, 3.0 g iron.
Excellent source of iron, thiamin, vitamin B6, magnesium, niacin, zinc, riboflavin, vitamin B12, calcium and folate.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Blueberry Cheesecake-Stuffed French Toast Casserole

Source: Clean Eating
Makes 12 servings 
You can also prepare this recipe ahead through step 2, then cover & refrigerate overnight.  Simple continue with step 3 when you're ready to bake!

10-14 slices whole wheat sandwich bread, crusts removed
1 cup ricotta
1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
4 large eggs, divided
5 TB brown sugar (or evaporated cane juice)
2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup milk
2 egg whites
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup sliced almonds, slightly crushed

2.5 cups frozen blueberries
1/3 cup maple syrup

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Place half of the bread slices in an oiled 13 x 9 baking dish, trimming as necessary to fit in a single snug layer.
2. In food processor, combine ricotta, cream cheese, 1 whole egg, & 1 TB brown sugar.  Process until smooth.  Spread mixture over bread layer; top with fresh blueberries.  Cover with remaining bread, trimming to fit a single layer.
3. In a large bowl, whisk remaining 3 whole eggs, 1 TB brown sugar, milk, egg whites, vanilla, & cinnamon.  Pour evenly over bread.  Combine almonds with 2 TB brown sugar and sprinkle evenly over the top.  Cover with foil & bake 40 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes, or until center is slightly puffed & set.  Broil for 2-3 minutes until top is lightly browned.  Removed from oven & let cool 10 minutes.
4.  Meanwhile, make sauce: in medium saucepan, combine frozen blueberries & maple syrup.  Bring to boil, reduce heat, cover & simmer until blueberries become mushy (at least 10 minutes).
To serve, divide casserole into 12 portions and top each with blueberry sauce.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Rosemary Potato Soup with Crispy Carrots

Source: Better Homes & Gardens
Makes 6 servings

1 TB oil
1 cup chopped onion
4 medium russet or white potatoes, diced
4 cups water
1 tsp dried (crushed) or 1 TB fresh rosemary
1/3 cup oil
salt & pepper to taste
2 medium carrots, peeled then cut in ribbons with a vegetable peeler

1. In a large pot heat 1 TB oil over medium heat.  Add onion & saute until translucent.  Add potatoes & 2 cups water (add more if needed so potatoes are just covered).  Stir in rosemary.  Bring to boiling, reduce heat, cover & simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.  Remove from heat  & cool a little.
2.  Meanwhile, heat 1/3 cup oil in skillet over medium-high heat.  Add carrot ribbons to hot oil; cook about 5 minutes or until browned & crisp.  Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.  
3. Transfer soup, one portion at a time, to a food processor; blend until smooth and return to pot.  Add 1-2 cups water and stir in salt & pepper; simmer & stir 10 minutes or until soup has desired consistency.
4. Spoon soup into serving bowls and top with crispy carrots.


Friday, April 12, 2013

Buttercream Frosting

Source: Better Homes & Gardens
Makes about 3 cups
The picture of this cake took 2 recipes of this buttercream frosting.  The color of the frosting is a light yellow, the same as the small petals in the picture. See below for how to make chocolate buttercream frosting!

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
6 egg yolks, lightly beaten
2 TB water or desired liqueur
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened

1. In a heavy medium saucepan combine sugar & 1/4 cup water.  Bring to boiling; remove from heat.  Gradually whisk about half the hot sugar mixture into egg yolks. Gradually whisk yolk mixture into the remaining sugar mixture in saucepan; bring to a gentle boil.  Reduce heat; cook & stir for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in liqueur & vanilla.
2.  Transfer yolk mixture to a bowl.  Fill a larger bowl with cold water & ice.  Place the smaller bowl into the large bowl.  Stir frequently for about 15 minutes or until mixture is cooled to room temperature.
3.  In a large mixing bowl beat butter with an electric mixer on high speed until fluffy.  Add colled sugar mixture, beating until combined.  If necessary, chill until mixture reaches spreading consistency. 

Chocolate Buttercream frosting: Prepare as directed, except melt 1/2 cup chocolate chips & add to butter with sugar mixture.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Aimee's Whole Wheat Vanilla Cake

Makes 1 sheet cake or 2 round cakes (layer) or 24 cupcakes

3 cups whole wheat flour
3 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp salt
6 eggs
1 cup oil
3/4 stick butter, melted
1 1/2 cups honey
1 3/4 cups apple sauce
3 TB vanilla

Preheat oven to 325. In medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, cinnamon, & salt. In large bowl, beat together eggs & honey; stir in oil, butter, apple sauce, & vanilla.  Add flour mixture to honey mixture & stir until smooth.

For sheet cake: spread batter into an oiled 13 x 9 baking dish; bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven, cool & frost.

For 2 round cakes: spread batter into 2 oiled 8 or 9 inch cake pans; bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, cool, & frost (spread frosting on top of one of the cakes; place other cake on top and frost the sides & top)

For cupcakes: spoon batter into baking cups; bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, cool & frost.