Tag Archives: vegetarian

Roasted Carrots with Honey and Soy Sauce

As much as I’m mourning the loss of swimming, beaching and ice creaming weather, I’m also loving all the comfort foods that we get to indulge in this time of year.  I saw these brilliantly coloured carrots at the grocery store and picked them up based on their colour alone, I just couldn’t pass up such a pretty vegetable.  I decided to try roasting them in a honey and soy glaze because not only is this recipe extremely simple and showcases those colours, it just seemed like a very fall thing to do.

Carrots

Carrots

They’re even more vibrant when they’re peeled!

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I chopped them into 1 – 2 inch chunks in order to expose more beautiful colour contrasts.

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Boil them for a few minutes, just until they lose some of their firmness.  5 minutes or so.   Then you just have to drain them, toss with the honey-soy dressing and put them in the oven at 450 F for 15 minutes (or until totally cooked through). They will be nice and caramelized at this point, and your fork should glide right through them like butter 🙂

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Roasted Carrots with Honey and Soy Sauce Recipe

8 Carrots, peeled and cut into 1-2 inch lengths2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil2 tbsp honey2 tbsp soy sauce

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 F and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Place the carrots in the water and cook until they just begin to lose their bite but aren’t completely soft, 5-6 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the olive oil, honey and soy sauce in a large mixing bowl.  Drain the carrots thoroughly, add them to the bowl with the honey mixture and stir to coat them evenly.
  4. Transfer the carrots to the prepared sheet pan and roast, stirring now and then, until completely caramelized, about 15 minutes.  These are good served hot and at room temperature, too.

From:  It’s All Good

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Chimichurri

I believe this sauce has it’s roots in Argentina, but it doesn’t really matter where it comes from because I would eat this anywhere, anytime.  The combination of simple flavours is outstanding: the zipiness of the cilantro, fresh garlic, smokey cumin and red wine vinegar create such a delicious blend, this sauce could be used in many ways.  It keeps in the fridge up to a week or so, but I’m sure you could also freeze if it lasts that long!

Chimichurri Ingredients

Chimichurri Ingredients

Once you have all your ingredients, just throw everything into a food processor and blend until the mixture is smooth.  That’s it!

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It’s perfect with a nice grilled steak and homemade fries! I just love how vibrantly green it is.

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I also stirred some leftovers into a bit of  sautéed corn in my skillet and it was DYNAMITE.

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Chimichurri Recipe

1 cup packed Italian parsley
1/2 cup packed cilantro
2 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely minced
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp coarse sea salt

Pulse everything together in a food processor.  Let it sit for at least 20 minutes before serving.

From: It’s All Good

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Roasted Cauliflower and Chickepeas with Mustard and Parsley

Because I’m always on the lookout for new and delicious sounding recipes to entice me into healthy eating, I picked up Gwyneth Paltrow’s book in Chapter’s one day. After a few discreet iPhone shots of some especially mouth-wateringly good sounding recipes, I figured I should just go ahead and buy the whole thing.  I’ve tried a handful of recipes so far, and have really liked all of them.   This one for roasted cauliflower and chickpeas was the first one I tried, and will definitely be making it again.   We had it as a side for dinner one night, and it was so good that two people easily polished off an entire head of cauliflower in one sitting!  And the whole recipe involved about six ingredients, most of which you likely already have in your pantry.  Not complicated at all!

Cauliflower and chickpeas

Roasted cauliflower and chickpeas set-up

Mix up two kinds of mustard, add rice vinegar, parsley and kosher salt.  Dressing complete!

Two mustard dressing

Two-mustard dressing

Toss the cauliflower and chickpeas with a bit of olive oil and salt, and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes.  The dark brown pieces is where the flavour’s at 😉

Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower and chickpeas

Toss the cauliflower mix with some parsley and the mustard dressing, then revel in that gorgeous, golden colour!

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with mustard and parsley

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with mustard and parsley

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpeas with Mustard and Parsley Recipe

1 14 oz can chickpeas, rinsed
1 head cauliflower, cut into bite sized pieces
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp seeded mustard
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Toss the chickpeas and cauliflower together in a large roasting pan or cookie sheet with 3 tbsp olive oil and a big pinch of salt.  Roast, stirring occasionally, until everything is dark brown and the cauliflower is quite soft, about 45 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the mustards, vinegar and 1/4 olive oil with a big pinch of salt and fresh ground black pepper.  While the chickpeas and cauliflower are still warm, toss them with the mustard dressing and the parsley.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

From:  It’s All Good

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Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry

This is easily one of the most flavourful curries I’ve ever made.  I have my go-to curry recipe, but thought I’d spice it up a bit and try a curry recipe from Jamie Oliver.  I had some sweet potatoes that needed to be used up so his sweet potato and chick pea curry called to me.  I made a few minor adjustments based on what I had in the fridge, and man oh man, this turned out great!  What I loved most was how rich the curry tasted, and how the sweetness from the potatoes was a perfect balance.  Fresh cilantro, salty cashews and Greek yogurt really put this curry over the top.

It all starts with a solid base of onions, garlic and curry paste.

Onion and garlic curry base

Onion and garlic curry base

Then add your veggies and some coconut milk and let it simmer until the sweet potatoes are cooked through.

Veggie and coconut curry

Veggie and coconut curry

Once the sauce has thickened up and you are about to serve, throw in some spinach.  Stir, let sit for a few minutes until just wilted.

Spinach curry

Spinach curry

Then serve it up with cilantro, cashews and Greek yogurt. Prepare for your taste buds to rejoice!

Sweet Potato and Chick Pea Curry

Sweet Potato and Chick Pea Curry

Dang.  Just try this.  So good.

Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry Recipe

2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
3 tbsp curry paste
1 red chilli, finely chopped
3cm piece of ginger, grated
A bunch of cilantro, stalks chopped, leaves picked
1 cup cauliflower
2 sweet potatoes, cut into chunks
1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained
4 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped or 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
1 x 400ml tin light coconut milk
1/2 cup frozen peas (optional)
400g spinach, washed
Dollop Greek yogurt
1 tbsp chopped cashews
Poppadoms and rice, to serve

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and curry paste, mix well, then cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and golden.
  2. Add the chilli, ginger, cilantro stalks, cauliflower, sweet potato and chickpeas. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 200ml water (or broth) and bring to the boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to a simmer, then cover and cook for 10–15 minutes. Remove the lid, then cook for a further 15–20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potato is cooked through and the sauce thickened. Add more water/broth if necessary, 1/4 cup at a time.  Stir in the coconut milk and cook for a couple of minutes, then stir in the spinach and cook until wilted. Scatter over the coriander leaves, cashews, greek yogurt, then serve with poppadums and rice.
  4. To freeze the curry for another time, leave to cool in the pan, then spoon into portion-sized containers or freezer bags and freeze. The curry will keep there for up to 3 months.

From: Jamie Oliver

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Cuban Black Bean and Rice soup

Inspired by the marvelous soup from Havana Café, I attempted my own version of their black bean and rice soup.  What made the Havana soup so noticeably delicious was how the fresh lime tied everything toegther perfectly.  The soup was a bit thick because of the rice and bean base, and the lime just freshened everything up.  It was hearty but not heavy.  Everything you could want in a soup!

It turns out that my Cuban soup making skills need some work.  This soup isn’t exactly what I had imagined, but as I was perusing recipes, I was drawn to the idea of making a marinated rice and then adding the broth right before serving,  in order to avoid sometimes over soaked and mushy rice you find in soup.  As a result, this soup wasn’t all that thick, but it ended up being spicy, a bit zesty, and of course fresh because of the lime and cilantro garnishes.  I was very happy with it!

Line up your ingredients to get started:


I tried soaking dry beans this time because I’ve heard it’s better for you health-wise, aaaaand (mostly) because the grocery store didn’t have cans.  Anyways, I loved the soaked beans!  I’m going to make a real effort to plan ahead and soak them from now on.  They just taste so much more beany.

Soaked and Rinsed Black Beans

After you soak them, you have to boil them for a few hours too…

While the beans are boiling, start cooking up the broth.  Sautée the onions, garlic and peppers for a few minutes, then stir in the cumin and oregano.

Add some broth and the beans to the pepper mixture and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Then, add a few scoops of the marinated rice mixture (a bit of olive oil, green onion, diced tomatoes and rice vinegar, by the way) to your soup bowl.  Zesty!

Marinated rice soup base

Pour a few scoops of the simmering broth over the rice and top with cilantro, a dollop of sour cream and of course fresh lime.

Cuban Black Bean and Rice Soup

Cuban Black Bean and Rice Soup Recipe

5 green onions, thinly sliced
3 cups cooked brown rice ( from 1 cup dry)
1 1/2 tomatoes, diced
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar ( or white wine vinegar)
2 (15 ounce) cans black beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large red onions, diced
2 jalapenos, with seeds, minced
2 red bell peppers, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 quart chicken broth or 1 quart vegetable broth
1 tablespoons apple cider vinegar ( or white wine vinegar)
cayenne pepper
cilantro
nonfat plain yogurt (optional) or sour cream (optional)
cayenne pepper (optional)
  1. Prepare marinated rice by mixing cooked rice with green onion, diced tomatoes, olive oil and cider vinegar. Let the mixture marinate at room temperature, if making soup right away. Otherwise, cover, refrigerate, and marinate up to 1 day. Let rice come to room temperature before serving.
  2. Rinse beans in a strainer until canning juices run clear, or soak and boil dry beans if you prefer.
  3. Heat olive oil over medium high, and add onions. Saute for a few minutes.
  4. Add jalapenos, bell peppers and garlic; cook until softened.
  5. Stir in spices.
  6. Add broth, vinegar and beans.
  7. Cover and simmer 30 minutes (or longer, if desired), stirring occasionally.
  8. Taste for salt and spiciness. Add cayenne pepper, if more heat is desired.
  9. Serve soup in bowls over a scoop of rice. Top with cilantro and yogurt, if desired.
  10. Store left-over rice separately from soup, so liquid will not all be absorbed.

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Awesome Twice Baked Potatoes

These potatoes really are awesome – they’re a smooth and cheesy good time.   What makes them especially awesome is the cheese, sour cream, chives and garlic mixture that gets stuffed back inside a scooped out once-baked potato.  Think mashed potatoes stuffed into baked potatoes.  Hence,  awesome. An excellent side dish for a cool fall or winter (yes, sadly it’s on its way) dinner.

Start by scrubbing and baking a bunch of potatoes for about 25 minutes, until they’re tender and their skin is flakey :).  Then cut them in half and scoop out the center.

Scooped out potatoes

Then comes the part where you mix the potatoes with cream cheese and other magical ingredients.

Potato Filling

Then stuff the mixture in the potato bowls…

Stuffed Potatoes

and bake ’em up….smooth, savoury, creamy, potatoes!

Twice Baked Potatoes

Serve with roasted chicken and some sautéed peas 🙂

Lemon Herb Roasted Chicken, Twice Baked Potatoes, Sautéed Snow Peas

Heck yes!

Twice-Baked Potatoes Recipe

12 New potatoes, scrubbed clean
2 tbsp olive oil
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1 1/2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese
1 tbsp minced chives
1 clove garlic, finely minced
Salt and black pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Drizzle the potatoes with the olive oil and toss them to coat.
  3. Roast the potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are tender and the skin is slightly crisp.
  4. Halve the potatoes.  Use a spoon or small scoop to remove the insides, leaving a small margin of potato intact.
  5. To the scooped-out potatoes, add the cream cheese, sour cream, monterey jack cheese, chives, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste.  Mash until the potato mixture is totally smooth, and adjust seasoning as needed.
  6. Scoop the mixture into the potato shells.  At this point, you can cover and refrigerate them until dinner time.
  7. Bake the potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown on top.  Serve with steaks, chicken, or just a nice green salad and a glass of wine.  Enjoy!

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Red Lentil Dal

I learned long ago not to fight the food cravings when they arrive.   They don’t go away, they only intensify.  Even when that craving is for spicy Indian food when it’s 40 degrees outside.  So when this particular craving came knocking, I welcomed it by trying out a recipe for Red Lentil Dal I’d had bookmarked for a while.  Served alongside some Chicken Tikka and some rice, this Indian feast hit the spot.

I love the variety of spices used in Indian food.  Cumin, chili powder, tumeric, coriander, ginger etc. etc. etc.  For this recipe, line up a few select spices alongside some onions and garlic, jalapeno and red lentils.  Very few ingredients – all totally healthy by the way – doesn’t mean it’s lacking in any way.  Just in case you were wondering.

Red Lentil Dal Ingredients

Soften the lentils in some boiling water…

Boiling Lentils

…and get the onion, garlic and spice base going…

Onion, garlic and jalapeno base

…mix the softened lentils into the spice mixture…

Lentil and onion mixture

…and serve with Basmati rice and chicken tikka masala.  A feast!

Red Lentil Dahl and Chicken Tikka

Red Lentil Dal Recipe

3 cups water
1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and drained
1 tsp canola oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, chopped
1 hot chili pepper, seeded and chopped (I usually go with a Jalapeno)
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp kosher salt
Fresh cilantro leaves

  1. In medium saucepan, combine water and lentils.  Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until lentils are tender.
  2. Heat oil in non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat.  Cook garlic and onion for 10 minutes or until softened and turning golden brown.  Add chili pepper, ginger, cumin, coriander, turmeric and salt; cook for 2 minutes.  Stir in lentils and cook for 5 minutes or until thickened and liquid is evaporated.  Garnish with cilantro before serving.

From:  The G.I. Diet Cookbook

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