Tag Archives: vegetarian

Broccoli, Cherry Tomato, and Pesto Pasta Salad

17 Jul

 Are you suffering from a heat wave? Toronto had 4 consecutive days of high temperatures (+32C, humidex reaching to +42C). I kept close to a pool yesterday, and stayed out of a steamy kitchen 🙂  If you are suffering too, a cooling bowl of this pasta salad won’t go unnoticed!  It makes the perfect lunch or a light dinner on a hot summer day. Make this dish early in the day to allow time for the flavors to blend.  Enjoy and stay cool!

Another cooling tip:    used the same water to cook both pasta and a vegetable.  Additional bonus – it cuts down a pot to clean!

Adapted from the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook.

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz whole wheat rotini pasta
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup packed fresh parsley, chopped
  • ¼ cup pesto
  • 2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Add the rotini and cook per the package directions.
  2. Add the broccoli during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
  3. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain again.  Transfer to a large bowl.
  4. Add the tomatoes, onion and basil to the bowl with the pasta.  Stir the pesto and oil and toss well.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Cold Pasta Salad

How do you beat this heat?

Spinach Salad with Pears, Walnuts, and Blue Cheese

5 Jul

Spinach Salad with Pears, Walnuts, and Blue Cheese

This is one of my favourite salads, I have it at least 4 times a week 🙂

Blue Cheese goes very well with any nuts and berries or fruit.  Strawberries, melon, or peaches make suitable stand-in.  I’ve used different nuts  – almonds, pecans, and pistachios.

The combination of all ingredients is exquisite and just right for a festive table.

Adapted from the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup walnuts (or any other nuts you like)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 large red or green pear (quartered, cored, and cut into thin slices)
  • 2 tbsp golden raisins
  • 1 bag pre-washed baby spinach
  • 3 oz Blue cheese, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Toast the walnuts in a large skillet over medium heat until fragrant, no more than 4 minutes.l
  2. Whisk the oil, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a salad bowl.  Stir in the onion, then the pear and raisins.  Add the spinach and toss to coat.
  3. Divide the salad among plates and top each with the reserved walnuts and Blue cheese before serving.

Steamed Asparagus With Poached Egg and Pesto

18 Jun

Asparagus with Poached Egg

I had this one night as a light dinner when I hardly had anything in my fridge.  I wouldn’t even call it a recipe as it is very easy to make.  For a bit more flavour add some lightly grilled prosciutto and/or Parmesan cheese.  It will be equally good for either breakfast or light lunch.

Ingredients (Serves 1):

  1. 1/2 bunch asparagus, washed and trimmed
  2. 1 egg
  3. 1 tbsp pesto

Directions:

  • Fill a pot with water.  Make sure you don’t add too much water – you only need enough to create steam.  Place the asparagus in a steamer basket and put it inside the pot.  Cover with a lid a steam for a couple of minutes – your asparagus should look bright green.
  • Place it on a serving dish and top with a poached egg topped with pesto.  Salt and pepper to taste.

 

Thai-Style Soup with Corn and Seafood

10 Jun

Corn and eafood soup, Thai-style

I’ve made this recipe for a few years now and it’s always excellent.  I shared this recipe with my friend and her boyfriend proclaimed at first bite that this was by far the greatest soup she made! This soup makes great leftovers.

Adapted from the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag (16 oz) frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • ¼ canola oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into very thin strips
  • 1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 8 scallions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp reduced-sodium fish sauce
  • ¾ lb mixed seafood
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • ¼ tsp ground red pepper (optional)

Directions:

  1. Place 1 ½ cups of the corns and ½ cups of the broth in food processor or blender.  Process until smooth and set aside
  2. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat.  Add bell pepper and jalapeño pepper and cook for 3 minutes.  Add scallions and cook until vegetables are tender.
  3. Add fish sauce, reserved corn-broth mixture, and remaining corn and broth.  Cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until thickened.
  4. Stir in seafood, cilantro, and red pepper (if using).

Gluten Free Cake with Almonds and Polenta

10 Mar

Gluten Free CakeI am not much of a baker and don’t have a major sweet tooth.  But once a in while I am craving something sweet and if I come across a recipe that  doesn’t require fancy ingredients it always makes me want to bake.

Couple of weeks ago, Rachel on Rachel Eats wrote about baking this cake.  It looked absolutely perfect!  The process didn’t seem  intimidating which is always a plus in my books 🙂 I’ve substituted some all of the ingredients so I didn’t have to run to the store.

The cake is not cloyingly sweet, very aromatic and goes well with a cup of coffee or tea.

Adapted from Rachel’s recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup raw organic sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal (polenta)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp ground cardamom

for the glaze: juice of 1 large grapefruit

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  2. Mix all of the ingredients and transfer to a greased pan.
  3. Bake for 30 minutes, turn down the heat to 325 F and bake for another 25-30 min.
  4. Spike holes into the top of the cake while it still warm and in its pan and pour over freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.
  5. Let it cool, take out of the pan and serve.

 

 

 

Mad for Peanut Butter? Try this soup!

11 Feb

Peanut Butter Soup

As you may have noticed in my previous posts, we eat a lot of soup through the cold late Fall and Winter months (Click here and  here).  Some soups served as a first course, while others, more substantial versions, are the meal itself (click here and here).  This delicious soup is one of those soups that is hearty enough to stand alone.  The soup has a bisque-like consistency without the cream – the peanut butter melts into the broth!

This robust and creamy vegetarian soup is very satisfying. You may think you’re cheating by eating such an indulgent dish, but fear not– it’s full of good-for-you mono-saturated fatty acids.  Another reason to love this soup is that it comes together in a snap and cooks up in little time. I’ve tried this wonderful soup three years ago and it has become one of our favorites.

Adapted from the Flat Belly Diet Cookbook:

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs of selery, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 3 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup natural unsalted peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
  • fresh cilantro, chopped (I used dill)

Directions:

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, celery, and carrots; cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and 2 cups of water.  
  3. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes over low heat until vegetable are very tender.
  4. Transfer the vegetable to a food processor or a blender and process until smooth.
  5. Return to the pot and stir in the peanut butter, lime juice and remaining 1 cup of water.
  6. Cook for another 5 minutes until the peanut butter melts.
  7. Garnish with chopped cilantro or any other fresh herb and serve.

How To Make The Best Meatless Cabbage Rolls (Holybtsi)

21 Jan

Cabbage rolls aka Holybtsi (“Голубці”)

I don’t even have a picture of the finished product – they were gone as soon as I served them.

My mom was a cabbage rolls queen and she used to make amazing cabbage rolls for the holidays.  They always bring great memories of my childhood.  They are usually made with meat and are full of flavour.  It doesn’t get more Ukrainian than that!

If you wish to make tradition cabbage rolls with meat you will need a pound of ground pork (or beef, or turkey) and 1/2 cup of rice.  These cabbage rolls freeze well; do so before baking.  Recipe can be doubled.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small head Savoy cabbage (regular green cabbage stays tough)
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, grated
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice (arborio, short grain or sticky rice work well too; basmati rice – not so much)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh dill
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1 can tomato juice (low sodium)

Directions:

  • Using a sharp knife, cut around the core and remove it.  Separate the outer leaves  – Savoy cabbage works best.
  • Bring a pot of water to to a simmer over high heat.  Place 2-3 leaves at a time into the water and cook for up to 2 minutes, just until they are pliable.  Remove and set aside.

  • Heat oil in a pan over medium heat.  Add onions and carrots and cook for 10 minutes until they are tender.  

  • Stir in tomato paste, salt and pepper.  

  • Add this mixture to rice and mix it well with dill.

  • Trim large centre vein of each leaf.  

  • Place the rice mixture in the centre of each leaf.  

  • Fold bottom of of each leaf up over the filling, then fold each side up and over.  Roll up snugly 🙂

  • Transfer rolls to pot and add tomato juice.  

  • Cover and cook over low heat for about 40 minutes.
  • Serve with sour cream.
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