Tag Archives: vegetarian

Pizza Party


We have really enjoyed making pizza lately. There is something so relaxing about making homemade pizza, drinking wine, and watching a movie (or catching up on one-hour dramas) on a lazy Saturday evening. Last weekend we went to Las Vegas for our anniversary, so it’s especially nice to have some down time this weekend!

I use the Pioneer Woman’s pizza crust recipe, because it rises really well for me.  Once you have your dough of choice, preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Roll out your dough to be very thin, then brush with olive oil and place on a baking tray (or pizza stone).  Use a very light hand with your toppings so that the dough can crisp up without being weighed down. Bake for 10-13 minutes. Enjoy!

Here are some of the variations we’ve tried:

Calabrese, mushroom, and red onion:


Roasted eggplant, cherry tomato, and mozzarella, from the Pioneer Woman:


Calabrese, pineapple, and jalapeno:



Whole Wheat Penne with Butternut Squash and Broccoli Rabe


On Sunday it was freezing by L.A. standards, so I wanted to make something comforting and fall-inspired. However, I also wanted to make something on the lighter side, since we’re about to enter the holiday season and there will be plenty of opportunities to indulge.

Anne Burrell’s recipe for Whole Wheat Pappardelle with Roasted Butternut Squash, Broccoli Rabe, and Pumpkin Seeds sounded perfect, but I modified it to reduce the prep time.  The result was very delicious and autumn-appropriate!

Whole Wheat Penne with Butternut Squash and Broccoli Rabe
Adapted from Cook Like a Rock Star

1 package of peeled and diced butternut squash (1/2-inch cubes)
1 bunch of broccoli rabe, bottoms of stems removed
2 T olive oil
kosher salt
black pepper
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and smashed
1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes
3/4 c chicken stock
1/2 lb of whole wheat penne
1/2 c of grated parmesan
1/4 c of pine nuts, toasted

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the squash in a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 25 minutes or until tender.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously. Using tongs, swish the broccoli rabe around in the hot water, then remove it and set it aside to cool. Once it’s cool, chop it into 1-inch pieces.

Heat 1 T of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Once the garlic has browned, remove it from the oil. Add the squash and stock to a pan, and simmer until the stock has reduced by about half. Add the broccoli rabe.

Cook the pasta in the pot of boiling water until it’s cooked but very al dente.  Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta.  Toss the pasta in the pan with the vegetables, add the reserved pasta water, and then allow the dish to cook until the pasta water has evaporated/been absorbed by the other ingredients. Remove the pan from the heat, then toss in the parmesan, some black pepper, and the pine nuts.

Korean Tofu Stew with Chicken and Mushrooms


This is the perfect quick meal for a cold night. I used ground chicken because I had it on hand, but thinly sliced beef would be more traditional.  This could easily be vegetarian, as well, just add some extra mushrooms.

Korean Tofu Stew with Chicken and Mushrooms
Adapted from The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook

1 T vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground chicken (or thinly sliced beef, ground beef, ground pork)
kosher salt
black pepper
4 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms (about 10)
4 oz crimini mushrooms
2 T red chili flakes (or Korean chili flakes)
1 T soy sauce
4 c chicken or beef broth
1 block (14 oz.) silken tofu, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 tsp sesame oil
4 eggs
2 green onions, sliced

Heat the oil in a pot over medium-high heat. Brown the meat and season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and mushrooms, and saute for a minute or two. Add the chili flakes, soy sauce, and broth. Bring a boil, reduce to a simmer, and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste for seasoning.

Add the tofu and stir.

Gently crack the eggs into the pot, lightly basting each with hot broth. When the whites are cooked, gently ladle the stew out into individual portions over rice. Drizzle with sesame oil and sprinkle green onions over the top.

Caprese Skewers


These are a cute, refreshing little appetizer. Someone brought them to a barbeque over Labor Day weekend, and I thought they would be perfect to make for my book club.

Caprese Skewers

8 oz. bocconcini (small balls of fresh mozzarella), drained
8 oz. cherry tomatoes
20-30 leaves of basil
1 clove garlic
2 T olive oil
2 T balsamic
kosher salt

On a toothpick or small skewer, thread a cherry tomato, a basil leaf (rip in half if the leaves are huge), then a bocconcini. Continue for the rest of the tomatoes and bocconicini.

To make the dressing, smash a clove of garlic with a knife, then place in a microwaveable bowl. Add the olive oil, then heat in the microwave for 20 seconds. Remove the garlic clove and allow the oil to cool. Add the balsamic vinegar, then season generously with salt and pepper.

Drizzle over the skewers before serving.

Mango Salsa


My dad has been giving us a lot of mangoes lately, and Paco recently decided they are his favorite fruit. With the surplus of mangoes, we’ve been making mango salsa! It is great on quesadillas or tostadas, as shown here.

Mango Salsa

1 very ripe large mango (or two small ones)
1/2 jalapeno, finely chopped
1/4 c red onion, finely chopped
1/4 c cilantro, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
juice of one lime
kosher salt

Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl. For best results, prepare the salsa about 30 minutes before serving so that the flavors have a chance to meld together.