Monday, June 28, 2010

Tomato Zucchini Quesadillas

Jon actually gets full credit for this one.  He made these for me as a surprise.  They're your typical quesadilla but you put zucchini inside.  It was very delicious.  This recipe came from the simple vegetarian pleasures cookbook.  If you'd like the recipe, email me!

Sunday, June 27, 2010


When I lived in Japan, my friend Maria who lived about 4 hours away from me made this recipe, sorta.  Hers was a little bit different.  I tried to replicate it when I came back to the United States.  However, it was too difficult for me.  She add vegetables and sauce inside her orengini.  Our rice balls kept falling apart when we tried frying them with the stuff inside.  Since then, we removed this step to make it work.  I misunderstood the name of this traditional Italian dish.  I thought Maria said orengini, but in fact it's called "arancini'.  Since the recipe is slightly different from the true arancini recipe, we kept the name orengini.  I suppose this is a good representation of how things change in time!  Essentially, orengini is like risotto.

  • 2 cups uncooked sticky rice
  • 1-2 eggs
  • Bread crumbs (about one cup)
  • Marinara sauce (one full jar)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Cheddar or mozzarella cheese
1.  Cook rice  
2.  Beat up the eggs in a bowl that is convenient to roll around the rice ball
3.  Place one cup of bread crumbs into another bowl that is convenient to roll the rice ball in 
4.  Heat up the oil when rice is nearly done cooking. 

1.   After rice is done cooking, mix in cheddar cheese or mozzarella cheese (cheddar gives a better taste)
      *if using non-sticky rice, you definitely need to add  cheese to make the rice sticker to remain in ball shape
2.  Make the rice/cheese into a ball a little larger than a golf ball
3.  Roll balled rice around in beat-up egg
4.  Roll balled rice around carefully in bread crumbs.  Carefully take out the ball with a spoon.
5.  Place breaded balled rice into hot oil until bread crumbs are well cooked and remove from oil (about 2 minutes on each side)
6.  Heat marinara sauce

1.  Place rice ball on a plate
2. Place the heated marinara sauce over the ball
3.  Add mozzarella cheese on top


Friday, June 25, 2010


When living within and traveling around the great continent of Asia, a vegetarian finds the one or two dishes available to them within that region.  Bibimbap turned out to be my savior when I visited S.  Korea.  This turned into and remains one of my favorite dishes in the world.  Thanks definitely extends to my friend Corey who introduced me to it.  My favorite type of bibimbap (dolsot) is impossible to recreate without an expensive stone bowl.  This type comes with rice in the bottom, vegetables and a raw egg.  The stone bowl is so hot that as you mix around the ingredients, the eggs and vegetables cook and it becomes a sort of fried rice in a bowl.  The traditional bibimbap comes with beef, but that is easily left out for an amazing dish.  Finally, it's been impossible for me to find the red chili sauce that Koreans put with it.  This sauce pretty much makes the dish.  Instead, we use sriracha sauce.  I highly recommend you try making this OR get it the next time you're in a Korean restaurant.  Unfortunately, my source for this recipe can't be found.  It took me a long time to find this exact recipe well over a year ago.  I have no idea where I got it from off the internet.  I have modified it only to exclude the beef.  The recipe is a bit challenging at first, but is very easy for us now!

  • 3/4 to 11/2 cups rice (uncooked) ((use sticky rice))
  • 2-4 carrots
  • 10 oz. spinach, fresh
  • 8 oz. bean sprouts - with or without attached beans
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup ground sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic 
  • Sriracha
Start the rice cooking in a rice cooker or pot.  While the rice is cooking, make the namarus (side dishes).  Mince the garlic and grind the sesame seeds for all the namarus at once.  Sesame seeds expand when ground, 2 or 3 tablespoons of sesame seeds will make 1/4 cup of ground sesame seeds.

Carrot Namaru
  • 2-4 small carrots
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic
Cut the carrots into matchsticks.  Boil in water for a few minutes, covered.  Drain.  Put the carrots in a bowl.  Add the sesame oil, ground sesame seeds, and minced garlic.  Mix.

Spinach Namaru
  • 10 oz. spinach
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tsp ground sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp minced garlic 
Put the spinach in a large covered pot with an inch or two of water.  Bring to a boil and cook as usual.  Stir occasionally to keep the spinach from sticking to the pot.  The spinach is done when it's dark green and reduced to a fraction of its original volume.  Drain the cooked spinach.  Cool by adding cold water to the pot and drain again.  Squeeze the spinach in your hands to remove the water.  Slice the cooked spinach into 1 inch pieces.  Put the cooked spinach in a bowl with the sesame oil, ground sesame seeds, and grated garlic.  Mix.

Bean Sprout Namaru
  • 8 oz bean sprouts - preferably with beans
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp ground sesame seeds
  • 1/4 grated garlic
Put the bean sprouts in a pot and fill with water to cover the sprouts.  Cover and bring to a boil on high heat.  If the sprouts don't have beans, stop cooking them when the water boils.  If the sprouts do have beans, continue cooking until the beans are soft.  Drain and put the the cooked sprouts in a bwol.  Dress with sesame oil, ground sesame seeds, and grated garlic.

Fry up three eggs so that yolk is hardened.  When finished, cut the eggs into strips.

Place the rice in the bottom of a bowl, place the three namarus and egg over top of the rice.  mix in the spicy Korean sauce as desired.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Spicy Bow Ties

This was a random pick off the internet.  It turned out decently.  Jon enjoyed it and I thought it was okay.  It was definitely nothing phenomenal (unlike yesterday's post).  It's an interesting mix of ingredients to create the sauce over bow ties.  The creator did a great job of keeping it low fat for those weight-conscious readers. We doubled the recipe, if you're cooking for one, you definitely don't need to!  Check it out!

  • vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small sweet red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2/3 cup nonfat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons skim milk
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2-4 drops hot sauce
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 4 ounces farfalle pasta, uncooked (bow tie pasta) 
  1. Coat a large nonstick frypan with cooking spray, add oil.
  2. Place over medium high heat until hot.
  3. Add sweet red pepper and peas, saute 2 to 3 minutes or until veggies are crisp tender.
  4. Add green onions and saute 30 seconds or until onions are barely limp.
  5. Remove from heat, and keep warm.
  6. Combine sour cream and next 5 ingredients in a small bowl, stir well and set aside.
  7. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat, drain.
  8. Place in a serving bowl.
  9. Add veggie mixture and sour cream mixture, toss.
  10. Serve immediately.
Original recipe here

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cheese & Spinach Stuffed Portobellos and Roasted Asparagus & Garlic

Wow, I outdid myself tonight.  Jon and I went overboard at the grocery store this week.  We bought things that we usually don't purchase because it's so expensive.  I did this with some ideas in my mind.  My sister gave me this portobello recipe from her friend and I was craving asparagus so I bought some.  I told Jon that he was getting a surprise dinner tonight.  It was a hit!  I also combined it with some corn on the cob for the summer feel.  We ate it on our fancy schmancy china that was just given to us as a wedding gift from my mom.  I highly recommend this recipe!

4 servings | Active Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
  • 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped kalamata olives
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 cup prepared marinara sauce


    1. Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
    2. Place mushroom caps, gill-side up, on the prepared pan. Sprinkle with salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Roast until tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, mash ricotta, spinach, 1/4 cup Parmesan, olives, Italian seasoning and the remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Place marinara sauce in a small bowl, cover and microwave on High until hot, 30 seconds to 1 1/2 minutes.
    4. When the mushrooms are tender, carefully pour out any liquid accumulated in the caps. Return the caps to the pan gill-side up. Spread 1 tablespoon marinara into each cap; cover the remaining sauce to keep warm. Mound a generous 1/3 cup ricotta filling into each cap and sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan. Bake until hot, about 10 minutes. Serve with the remaining marinara sauce.

    Original Recipe found here:


    • 9 cloves garlic
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 1/4 cup white wine
    • 3 cups diagonally sliced asparagus
    • 6 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme


    1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

    2.  Tear off 6 large pieces of foil. Divide garlic, olive oil, wine, asparagus, and thyme and arrange them on each piece of foil. Fold over each foil packet to seal. Place the packets on a baking sheet and roast for 20 to 25 minutes until the asparagus is tender, but still a little crisp. Carefully open packets and serve asparagus with juices poured on top.

    I slightly modified the asparagus recipe, please click here for the original recipe.

    Tuesday, June 22, 2010

    White Pizza with Broccoli and Mushrooms

    This is a recipe that I found in my Vegetarian Times magazine.  It was my first time attempting a pizza that you don't just throw into the oven.  I am SO pleased with the results.  It is a delicious recipe that I will most certainly be making again.  By the way, I am moved into a new apartment with a phenomenal kitchen.  I will be happily cooking in here!  It's like heaven compared to our old place!

    • 2 tablespoons margarine or butter, divided
    • 6 oz. mushrooms sliced (2 cups)
    • 8 oz. broccoli florets (3 cups)
    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup low-fat milk
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella, divided
    • 1/4 cup grated parmesan, divided
    • 1 13.8 oz pkg. refrigerated pizza dough

    1. Place pizza stone or baking sheet in center of oven and heat to 425 F
    2. Melt 11/4 tsp. margarine in skillet over medium-heat.  Add mushrooms, and cook 4 to 7 minutes, or until beginning to brown.  stirring frequently.  Add broccoli and 1/3 cup water.  Cover tightly, and steam broccoli in skillet 3-4 minutes or until tender.
    3. Meanwhile, heat remaining 11/2 Tbs. margarine in saucepan over medium high heat.  Add flour and cook 2 minutes, or until pale golden, stirring constantly.  Stir in milk, garlic, and salt.  Cook 3-4 minutes, or until mixture thickens and begins to boil, stirring constantly.
    4. Remove from heat. Stir in 1/4 cup mozzarella and 2 Tbs. Parmesan until sauce is smooth and cheese is melted.
     *If you like extra-crispy pizza, prebake the dough 3-4 minutes before adding the toppings* 
    5.  Spread white sauce over dough to within 1/2 inch of edge, and top with broccoli mixture.  Sprinkle remaining mozzarella and Parmesan over top.
    6. Place the pizza in the oven and bake 18-20 minutes, or until edges are golden and the center is hot and bubbly.  Cool slightly before slicing and serving.

    Notes: This should be enough for 6 slices.

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Spicy Potato and Carrot Soup

    This recipe was a random try out of the Easy Vegetarian Dinners book.  Jon and I were surprisingly pleased with the outcome.  It calls for a spice called "Jamaican Jerk".  We were unable to find this, but found "Caribbean Jerk" instead.  I believe it's the same thing.  While, I can't share this recipe here, I would be happy to send it by email or facebook, if you ask.  It's very simple.  Essentially, you boil up some carrots and potatoes with vegetable broth.  Then, add the jerk seasoning.  After boiling, you puree the carrots and potatoes and add cooked pasta noodles and evaporated milk.

    The results are amazing, especially in winter.

    Friday, June 11, 2010

    Vegetable Lasagne

    Over four years ago, my sister Lisa gave me this recipe.  I don't even know where she got it from, so I can't credit the source.  The first time I made it was for Jon's twentieth birthday as a surprise.  He absolutely loved it.  It got lost over the years and it resurfaced in my gmail account in March.  I surprised Jon again by making it.  We have been making it quite regularly since March.  It's a little bit more expensive of a dish with all the ingredients, but it's well worth it.  It leaves us with alot of leftovers, so it feels like although the ingredients cost alot, we get quite a few meals out of it.  I highly recommend you try this recipe.  I promise you won't be disappointed!

    8oz dried lasagna noodles (9-10) OR one box of no boil lasagne
    2 beaten eggs
    2 cups cottage cheese
    1 15oz. carton ricotta cheese
    2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
    2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
    1 cup chopped onion
    4 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tablespoons olive oil or cooking oil
    2 tablespoons all purpose flour
    ½ to 1 teaspoon black pepper
    1 ¼ cups milk
    1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and thoroughly drained
    1 10 oz package frozen broccoli, thawed and thoroughly drained
    1 cup shredded carrots
    ¾ cup shredded parmesan cheese (3oz)
    1 8oz. package shredded mozzarella chesse

    1.  Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Drain, set aside. (unless using no boil noodles)

    2.  In a bowl combine beaten eggs, cottage cheese, ricotta cheese and Italian seasoning. Set aside.

    3.  In a large skillet cook mushrooms, onions and garlic in hot oil until tender. Stir in flour and pepper; add milk all at once. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in spinach, broccoli, carrot and only ½ cup of parmesan cheese.

    4.  To assemble, in a greased 3 quart (13X9 pan) rectangular baking dish layer 1/3 of the noodles, folding or cutting to fit, if necessary. Spread with 1/3 of the cottage cheese mixture. Then with 1/3 of the vegetable mixture. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the mozzarella. Repeat the layers twice. Sprinkle with ¼ cup remaining parmesan cheese.

    5.  Bake uncovered in oven 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

    Thursday, June 10, 2010

    Italian Flavored Tempeh

    What in the world is tempeh?  That's the question that I am most often asked when I bring it up.  I have been a vegetarian for twenty years.  My first experience with tempeh was about 2 years ago.  I am not sure if this a recent invention for vegetarians...or if I've been missing out for years.  I first tried a tempeh reuben at a local restaurant.  It was phenomenal and I usually get it when I eat there.  Then about one year ago, I discovered how to make BBQ tempeh (recipe to come another post).  The BBQ tempeh was even better.  Now, I have a new recipe, thanks to an old roommate who has gone vegetarian.  It is simple.  What's even better, I had all the ingredients ready to go.  So, what is tempeh, you ask?  I never answered that question did I.  It's because I can't.  It's a soy product that takes on the taste and flavor of whatever you put with it.  This recipe marinates the tempeh in soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and olive oil with other spices.  I LOVED it and so did three of my colleagues.  Jon, on the other hand, wasn't overly impressed.  Too bad.  I ate it by itself and then ate it in my salad.  Other suggestions include serving it over rice or couscous.  Thanks go to Sam, for the delicious recipe (see below):

    1¼ hours | 1 hour prep
    SERVES 4
    • 8 ounces tempeh

    For the marinade

    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste)
    • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon dried basil
    • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed between fingers
    1. Cut tempeh into 1/2 inch wide cubes.
    2. Combine the marinade ingredients in a container with a lid, stir to combine.
    3. Add tempeh, cover and shake well until all pieces are coated.
    4. Place in refrigerator for one hour or overnight.
    5. Shake container every now and again (when you think of it) to coat all pieces. The tempeh will begin to absorb all the marinade.
    6. When ready to cook, heat a non stick skillet over medium low heat.
    7. Add tempeh and any liquid and cook for about 10 minutes, turning pieces until they begin to caramelize.
    8. Serve immediately or keep in a covered container in fridge.
    Link: from Recipezaar

    Thursday, June 3, 2010

    Mushroom and Artichoke Casserole

    ....and I'm back for a little while.  I will take the weekend off, though.  I'm blogging as much as I am cooking and these days I'm not cooking much.  With a wedding pending in 5 weeks, a move in 10 days along with my typical daily obligations - I'm finding myself eating out way too much for my good.

    This recipe is simple.  I got it out of the The Vegetarian Gourmet's Easy International Recipes book.  It's basically just mushrooms and artichokes tossed around in butter, parmesan cheese and bread crumbs and tossed into the oven for 30 minutes.  I used canned mushrooms because it's all we had.  It was okay, but I think freshly cut mushrooms would have made a world of difference.  Jon loved it either way.  I'm lucky because he's so easy to please!  Here it is, Mushroom and Artichoke Casserole: