Tag Archives: vegetarian

Cream of Tomato Soup with Sherry and Chives

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I have been fully converted to tomato soup since discovering this one, but the version below might be my new favorite. The sherry adds a nice kick, reminiscent of the way that vodka makes vodka sauce so special.  I didn’t think that I could like tomato soup that doesn’t involve roasted tomatoes, but I stand corrected!

Cream of Tomato Soup with Sherry and Chives

3 T butter
1/2 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
kosher salt
black pepper
3 T flour
10 roma tomatoes, diced
1 c chicken stock
2 T sugar
1 c dry sherry
1/2 c half-and-half
chives, finely chopped

Melt the butter in a medium-sized saucepan. Add the onion and garlic, and saute until slightly softened. Season with salt and pepper. Add the flour and saute in the butter for two minutes to form a roux.

Add the tomatoes, chicken stock, and sugar. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring every few minutes.

Turn off the stove, and allow to cool for a few minutes. Carefully puree the soup in a blender.

Add the pureed soup back to the pot. Heat until warm, then turn off the stove. Add the half-and-half and sherry, then stir to combine. Reheat again if necessary.

Garnish with chives.

Macaroni salad

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I love macaroni salad, but I consider it to be a guilty pleasure, based on the mayonnaise-heavy versions at Hawaiian barbeque restaurants and delis. By making it at home it doesn’t exactly become health food, but it certainly a lot lighter than the deli version!

Macaroni Salad
(serves 8)

3 c uncooked macaroni
1/2 c mayo
1 T red wine vinegar
1 T pickle juice
2 T sugar
1 T dijon mustard
3/4 tsp kosher salt
a few grinds of black pepper
6 scallions, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 c bread and butter pickles, finely chopped

Prepare the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water.

Combine the mayo, vinegar, pickle juice, sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper in a medium-sized bowl. Stir to create a dressing.

In a large bowl, combine the macaroni, scallions, bell pepper, and pickles. Add the dressing and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.

(Almost) Vegetarian Monday

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I love meat. Obviously. Some of my favorite dishes are meatballs, steak, carnitas, and salads with bacon.

By now we all know that consuming meat is not good for the environment, so I try to do my part in balancing out the universe by eating vegetarian meals a few times a week.  On Monday, I inadvertently had an almost meat-free day.

Here’s what I had:

Breakfast – Eggs scrambled with spinach

Lunch – Broccoli Parmesan Fritters from Smitten Kitchen, with apple sauce.  The savoriness of the fritters was perfect with apple sauce.

Dinner – Portobello mushroom sandwiches and macaroni salad. The slice prosciutto on the sandwich could be omitted to make the meal vegetarian, but I really enjoy the hint of salt it brings to the sandwich.

Do you ever deliberately eat vegetarian meals?

Stuffed Summer Squash

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When I lived in Guatemala, I cooked with a lot of vegetables. My favorite was “guicoy,” which is a little round zucchini.  Whenever I see them at the farmer’s market here, I have to buy them. You can saute them just like regular zucchini, or you can stuff them! Their shape makes them the perfect vessel for cheese, rice, nuts, meat, or anything else that sounds good to you. With a little bit of meat for protein, they become an entrée.

I added mint to mine because it looked great at the farmer’s market, and coriander because it goes well with mint. You could use parsley and cheese, or any other herbs that you prefer.

Stuffed Summer Squash

5-6 small round summer squash
2 tsp olive oil
1/4 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 lb ground beef (substitute cooked rice to make this vegetarian)
1/2 tsp ground coriander
2 T mint, finely chopped
1/4 c breadcrumbs
1 egg
kosher salt
black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Cut the summer squash in half horizontally. Use a small spoon to scoop out the inside of the squash so that they form a little bowl, and set aside the insides of the squash. If necessary, cut off the stems of the squash so that they lay flat. Season them lightly with salt.

In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and ground beef to the skillet. Season with salt, pepper, and coriander. When the meat has browned, add the reserved squash insides and mint to the skillet. Saute for another minute.

Remove the meat mixture from the skillet and cool for five minutes. Combine with egg and breadcrumbs. Stuff the squash halves with the filling.

Place the stuffed squash in a casserole dish. Bake for 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your squash. They are finished when the squash is tender.

Serve with brown rice or cous cous.

Macaroni with roasted eggplant and cherry tomato sauce

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I am trying to cook meat-free meals this week, in honor of our upcoming vacation!  I know we will be eating a lot of delicious meat and seafood in Vietnam, so I thought I would try to balance everything out by eating a few vegetarian meals before we go.

Paco worked late last night, so I made a roasted vegetable pasta sauce for myself.  I have made Giada De Laurentiis’s Rigatoni with Eggplant Puree before, so this is my modified version of that.  You could incorporate whatever vegetables you have on hand, but I happened to have eggplant and cherry tomatoes, which are used in the original recipe.

Pasta with Roasted Eggplant and Cherry Tomato Sauce (for one!)
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis

1/3 medium-sized eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/2 c cherry tomatoes
1 T olive oil
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
kosher salt
10 leaves basil
1/4 lb of short pasta (I used elbow macaroni)
parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the eggplant and cherry tomatoes with olive oil on a baking sheet or in a casserole dish. Season with red pepper flakes and kosher salt. Roast for 35 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the pasta according to the directions on the package. Cook until al dente, then drain, reserving a cup of the salted pasta water.

When the vegetables have been roasted, puree them in a food processor with the basil and some extra olive oil, if necessary. Taste to make sure that the sauce is adequately seasoned. (You will probably need to add additional salt.)

Add the sauce to the drained pasta. Add some of the hot pasta water, a little bit at the time, until the pasta is the right consistency. Top with grated parmesan.