Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon and Pepper



Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, you name it – just about any vegetable is great roasted.  In The Art of Simple Food, Alice Waters sings the praises of roasted vegetables when she explains her guests’ astonishment that all she did was “toss them with a bit of oil and salt and throw them in the oven.”


A couple years ago, Husband and I ate dinner at some friends’ house we had just met (shout out to JW!).  I was pregnant with my son, and they made Indian food – a reliable indicator that we would get along well.  Roasted cauliflower was one of the side dishes, and it made such an impression that now my preferred method of preparing cauliflower is roasting.  I wish I could remember how theirs was seasoned, but (unfortunately) the pregnancy fog takes over from there.  Some kind of curry?  I wonder if she remembers. J


I usually go Alice Waters’ route when roasting vegetables – tossing them in olive oil and seasoning with sea salt.  Really, it’s a foolproof method for veggie success.  Tonight I mixed things up a bit with fresh lemon and pepper, but this is still so simple that I shouldn’t even be calling it a recipe.  If you try it, though, you will enjoy it.  Because roasting is the formula for gustatory awesomeness.


Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon and Pepper


1 head of cauliflower, washed

Olive oil to coat

Lemon wedges

Freshly ground pepper

Sea salt


1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Chop the cauliflower into equal bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl.  Toss in enough olive oil to coat, but not so much that it pools up at the bottom.  Squeeze a couple of lemon wedges on the cauliflower, add in some freshly ground pepper and sea salt to taste, and toss again.


2. Spread the cauliflower out on a baking sheet and roast until the edges start browning (20 minutes? I’m terrible about timing).


3.  Serve as a side dish with salmon and millet pilaf if your toddler doesn’t eat it all first!




Part of Fight Back Fridays and the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.


Buckwheat Pancakes



Alas, the long-awaited buckwheat pancake recipe!  I really wanted to post a gluten-free pancake recipe, but this is all I’ve got.  Maybe next time I’ll try coconut flour instead, since I’ve had good results with it so far.  Meanwhile, no pancakes for me. L


The flour is soaked overnight with milk, sweetener, and yeast to form a sponge.  We had this batch for dinner, though, so it only sat around for about six hours.  Strangely enough, we usually only have pancakes at dinner.  Do you love breakfast for dinner as much as I do?


Buckwheat Pancakes


Start with the sponge:


2 tsp active dry yeast

2 cups warm milk (I used almond milk)

1 tsp sucanat or honey

½ tsp salt

1 ½ cups freshly ground wheat flour (I used hard white)

1 cup buckwheat flour


1.  Pour ½ cup of milk into a cup and stir in yeast and sweetener.  Let stand until it is foamy (about 15 minutes). 


2.  Combine the yeast mixture, the remaining 1 ½ cups of milk, salt, and flours in a large bowl until everything is well-mixed.  It should look like this:




Let sit on the counter overnight for breakfast, or start the sponge first thing in the morning to have for dinner.  You want it to look sort of like this:




3.  When it’s time to eat, add to the sponge:


2 tbsp sucanat or honey

3 tbsp melted coconut oil or butter

2 eggs

½ tsp baking soda


Here’s my little tip: melt the coconut oil in the skillet you plan on using, then pour it into the batter.  This way, you’ve already greased your pan!  Now you’re ready to make the pancakes.  You already know how to make pancakes, right?  Just in case you don’t…


4.  Pour a full ladle of batter in the center of a hot skillet.  (The heat, however, should be at medium.)  Turn when it’s nice and bubbly and cook until slightly crispy on the other side.  Enjoy with your favorite toppings!  We’re simple maple syrup or fruit kind of people.




And do you see those blueberries in the picture?  Those are the VERY LAST of my freezer stash.  I’m pretty sure I said I was using these up like a month ago, but I love my blueberries, so I held onto them as long as possible.  I guess I’ll have to wait 3-4 months to get some more!


Do you have a favorite pancake recipe?  If it’s gluten-free, please share!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Just so you know, this is one of my all-time favorite soups.  It can be modified to be completely vegan (although I prefer it with cheese on top) or loaded with lots of chicken.  I will start with a recipe for how I made mine last night, detailing other substitutions I’ve made below.


Chicken Tortilla Soup


1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, diced

1 jalapeno, finely diced (seeds = heat, so remove seeds if you don’t like it hot)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tsp chili powder

2 quarts vegetable broth

2 cups crushed tomatoes

3 cups black beans, cooked

1 cup chicken, cooked and shredded

2 cups corn, frozen (use fresh when in season)

¼ cup fresh cilantro


Suggested toppings:


Tortilla chips

Grated cheese (I like pepper jack – adds even more spice!) or crème fraîche

Sliced avocado

Chopped scallions


1.  In a dutch oven/stock pot/whatever you make soup in, heat the olive oil on medium.  When hot, add onion and jalapeno, sautéing until onion changes color.  Add garlic and sauté a little longer, being sure not to burn garlic.  Then add broth and crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil.


2.  Once it comes to a boil, add beans, chicken, corn and cilantro and heat through.  Since I used precooked ingredients (all leftovers!), this was all quick and easy.


3.  Top with your choice of toppings and serve!




This batch is on the brothier side because I don’t measure.


Now here are my copious notes – I have been making this for a long time, so I kind of have a lot to say. J


         I make at least one large batch of beans every week for various meals.  Often I have a little more than I need, so I freeze the cooked beans in three cup portions so I can just thaw them in the refrigerator as needed.  You could also use canned beans or turn this into a slow cooker meal to cook it from dried beans and uncooked chicken.  Just don’t add the corn until close to the end or it will get mushy.


         I’ve made this using boneless, skinless breasts before, but it’s more expensive that way – which is why I just cook a whole chicken now and portion out the meat.  Just sauté the chicken with the onion and jalapeno if using uncooked chicken.


         Fire-roasted corn is great in here, too.  Many months from now, when fresh corn is easy to come by locally, just roast some on your grill and cut it off the cob to add in.


         For a milder flavor, use a milder pepper than the jalapeno.  Or use a 4 ounce can of chopped green chiles.


         For a beanier soup, omit the chicken and substitute the chicken for some pinto beans.  I would switch to bone broth for more nutrition, too.


         In the summer, roasted red bell peppers are a great addition, too.


I’m sure there’s more, but I’ll have to add to it later.  Let me know if you make any fun substitutions!


This recipe was submitted to the Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap.

Easy Split Pea Soup

My first split pea soup recipe came from Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, but I’ve made so many changes from my own experience and from similar recipes that I feel like this one is my own.  Not that this one is overly elaborate, but this seems to be the magic formula for us.  I hope you enjoy it, too!


Easy Split Pea Soup


2 tbsp. olive oil

1 small onion, diced

3 carrots, chopped

1 celery rib, chopped

Salt, pepper, marjoram, thyme, parsley, and paprika – all to taste

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

2 quarts bone broth (I used one made from my pork roast last week, but I usually use chicken broth. Vegetable stock could also be used.)

1 lb. dry split peas, sorted and rinsed


1.     In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil at medium heat.  You want the oil to be hot enough that when you drop a piece of onion in, it sizzles, but not so hot that it’s starting to smoke.  When the oil is hot, add the onion, carrots, and celery.  Saute until it starts caramelizing, then add the spices and the garlic.  (NEVER add garlic at the beginning, as it can burn.)  Saute for another two minutes.


2.     Add the broth and bring to a boil, then add the split peas.  Let it cook at a slow boil until a split pea tested is tender and not too starchy (? not sure how to better describe this).  When the peas are tender enough, use a stick blender to make the soup smooth.  (A regular blender will work, too, but make sure you cool the soup before putting it in or it will explode. That’s not based on experience or anything. 🙂


This is about four servings – it fed my family of four, anyway, with enough leftover for Husband’s lunch.  Also, I don’t soak my split peas like I would other things because they are low in phytic acid.  You can add croutons (Deborah Madison’s suggestion), serve with some kind of bread, or just add a green salad.  I hope you enjoy it!

Menu Plan Monday: December 8, 2008

Not too exciting this week; we’re trying to eat what we have on hand to save some money for Christmas!  (That’s right — we’re not cool enough to put money aside throughout the year.)  Lots of dairy-optional, meat-optional, as usual!


Monday:  leftovers/DIY


Tuesday: Pinto bean and rice burritos, spicy carrots


Wednesday: Turkey Pumpkin Chili, cornbread


Thursday: Ahi steaks, millet, sauteed green beans


Friday: Make-your-own pizza


Saturday: Burgers and root vegetable fries


Sunday:  Turkey, amaranth, and pomegranate soup


Next week, I’m going to eliminate gluten from my daughter’s meals to see if that is part of her bathroom issue.  So I’ve got a lot of research to do between now and then! 


For more menu plans, visit Organizing Junkie.

White Chili on Just Another Manic Monday

So much didn’t get done today (what’s new around here?), but at least dinner turned out well.  Even if I didn’t have time to make the cornbread.  Which I somehow haven’t had time to do for about a week now.  But enough about my busy life…here’s how I pulled off dinner:


Having never made a White Chili, I found one at All Recipes that seemed like the one I’ve had before.  I halved the recipe, substituted dried beans, and only used one small chicken breast.  Then I proceeded like this:


1) Sauteed the diced onion, garlic, green chiles, and seasonings (which, by the way, I added way more of — maybe double the amount) until tender, then added the chicken breast (which I cubed), plus some salt and pepper, and cooked until no longer pink. 


2) Next, I added a whole box of chicken stock, brought it to a boil, then added the beans.  Normally I cook beans by themselves before adding anything else to them, but I just threw them in and let the whole thing cook for almost three hours, when the beans were tender enough to eat.  I finished it off by pureeing some of it in the pot with my stick blender (to add some creaminess), and that was it!  We didn’t even add the cheese, and it was flavorful and hardy. 


Just some notes for my vegan friends:


– This chili would have been JUST AS GOOD without the chicken, since I used so little chicken you could barely detect it anyway.


– Cheese is totally unnecessary — there’s enough “creaminess” from the beans.


Next time, I’ll probably completely omit the chicken (better for the budget!) and add more green chiles.  I tried to gussy it up with some colorful radishes and a bay leaf for the picture, but the combination of my dying camera and lack of photography skills still makes it look pretty bland:




The lighting is my fault, but the fuzziness isn’t.  I should have a new camera by the end of the month, though.

Menu Plan Monday: November 10, 2008



In an effort to reign in the food spending, we’re trying to eat out of the cupboards this week.  I have just about everything on hand, excepting fresh fruits and veggies.  I hope you enjoy everything, and I should be more on top of the picture-taking and food journaling this week!


Monday: White Chili (omit chicken and/or cheese for vegan/dairy-free), cornbread


Tuesday: Citrus Black Bean Soup


Wednesday: DIY/Leftovers


Thursday: Tacos (beef for Husband, bean for the girls)


Friday: Burgers and root vegetable fries (whatever is on sale)


Saturday:  Roasted Chicken (from a local farm), mashed potatoes, green beans


Sunday:  Mediterranean Chicken 


For more menu plans, visit Organizing Junkie.


For more veggie-ful menu plans, visit Geek, Poet, Housewife Wannabe.