Category Archives: Vegetarian

Kimchi and Bacon Brussels Sprouts

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Ok so for Valentine’s Day I wanted to make heart-shaped brownies and sugary sugary cookies and drink wine and gab for hours. Well I did gab for hours on GALENTINE’S DAY! But for the amount that I’ve been baking lately, these brussels sprouts are a savory that really stands out. And it’s a secretly easy dish. Do you ever have those moments in your life where you stop breathing because you almost wonder if life could be that sweet…and you look over your shoulder to see if anyone else is going to burst your bubble? These brussels sprouts will make you look over your shoulder to see if anyone else is seeing just how simple the recipe is when it seems so exotic.

Usually I really like brussels sprouts with a sweet and salty hint, but these are more of a salty and tart combo, it’s complex! Sophisticated right?

 

Also, two things I realized this week that I hadn’t remembered: Joey Fatone is in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and that Butter Pecan is a way underrated ice cream flavor. Random side note aside, let’s explore these greenies.

Brussels Sprouts with Kimchi and Bacon, adapted from the New York Times

Ingredients:

3 slices turkey bacon

1 lb brussels sprouts

1-2 TBS butter

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 cup kimchi (they sell it at the grocery store it’s all pickle-y if you’re not familiar)

Turn on the oven to 400 degrees. I sliced up about 3 pieces of turkey bacon and fried them in a little bit of oil (due to their lack of a lot of fat they have been burning in the saute pan).

DSCF4586While chopping up the bacon, I sliced off the brussels sprouts’ “butts” and sliced them in half. The timing works out peeps, don’t be in a rush.

DSCF4587Ok, bacon’s cooked! Take it out with a slotted spoon and then add in your brussels sprouts. Add some oil to the pan if these guys are a little bit dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let them get a little golden browny in the pan then transfer to the oven. Here’s where I differ from the New York Times. I let them turn green and roast for around 15 minutes but I wanted them a little crispier, so I set the oven rack on the top rung and turned up the heat to broil for a minute or two. But if you don’t want them super crispy, I think 12-15 minutes is enough time.

While these are cooking, go ahead and puree your kimchi. Put it in a bowl and set aside for when the brussels sprouts are ready.

DSCF4591DSCF4589Bacon is added back in with some butter, mmmmm. Then off to the kimchi, hello Korean goodness!

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DSCF4593Serve aside this delicious slow-roasted salmon!

 

 

 

 

Unlikely ingredients meet: African-Style Stewed Kale

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Here’s the story about the pic. My sister decorated these apples for Thanksgiving and there wasn’t really any appropriate prop for the pic, so this apple is here to symbolize the opposites in this recipe. But then after I took this, we dubbed this “Snow White’s last meal.” If you are following me, thanks, if not, just focus on the yummy kale!!

Just go with me for a second. This is one of those times where you sit back, relax, and just go with the recipe. I really have ZERO familiarity with African food but have been wanting to experiment with the ever-popular-and-trendy harissa, try David Lebovitz’s tagine recipe and Cookie+Kate’s west African peanut soup. Here’s where we start, African stewed kale. More than anything, the odd mix of ingredients dared me to make this dish.

Found via Bon Appetit’s pinterest, this recipe is for those who enjoy complex spices, vegetarian Indian dishes, curries, Thai food and KALEEEE (it’s number 7 out of 11). Honestly, you really don’t need to be the biggest kale or dark greens lover though. As long as you love a curry-based sauce, I really think you’ll enjoy this hearty dish. AND, it’s easy! The chopping is minimal if you buy one of those big bags of kale from the grocery store, all you’ve got left is 1 onion and some garlic.

2013-12-11 18.33.28My camera was feeling emotional, sorry for the dark lighting.

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BFFs: 2 TBS butter, 1 chopped onion, 3 cloves minced garlic

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A hefty portion of coriander and cumin

2013-12-11 19.05.28Stewing away for 10-15 minutes in crushed tomatoes and a bit of water

Brace yourselves, here’s where it gets weird:

2013-12-11 19.07.13Yes, cilantro and peanut butter going in to thicken it up and GIVE IT SOME MYSTERY

2013-12-11 19.56.35You need some chili garlic sauce, Indian pickle, or sriracha at the end if you are from the spicier end of the gene pool

Then cook some quick couscous, I used roasted garlic and olive oil flavored kind that cooked up in 5 minutes from a package!! Be adventurous! I got my whole family to eat this and they had NO idea what was in it. The peanut butter has this way of making the sauce creamy without adding coconut milk, but you can’t necessarily identify it. Enjoy as a side or serve over couscous as a main!

 

Swiss-chard wrapped Black bean Bell pepper Quinoa Burritos

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Good news, swiss-chard can be a substitute for collard greens! Maybe not the best green to wrap into burritos, but they’ll work! I very slightly adapted this recipe (literally only swapped swiss chard for collard greens bc they didn’t have it at Publix) and served two of them with a burr and some salsaaa. Goes perfect with some chips on the side but you know, I pretty much ate those as my appetizer and “protein powder” for getting me through the cooking process. For the record, I do realize there is no protein in tortilla chips.

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My sister stopped by and although she wasn’t the biggest fan of the green leaves, she gave another stamp of approval for this flavor-rich filling. When to serve this? I’d suggest it for a low-key dinner for you and one other friend. Jill says you can make the filling a day in advance, and it’s not the kind of meal you really want to prep for a big dinner or party. All that leaf-wrapping-and-stuffing-flying is not the mood you’re going for on an entertainment night, right?

I ended up with some leftover quinoa great for lunch the next day, and I made a few without cheese that ended up great as well! One problem with using swiss chard is when you try and cut open the burrito, the tough red center of the chard is difficult to cut without a steak knife. So, get in your steakiest mood and whip out the big guns!

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Start by blanching your chard or collard greens in a boiling bath of salty water. Takes a bit of the toughness out of the greens. Meanwhile get your quinoa going on a smaller burner.

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Quick peek! See ya soon!

photo (95)Got my quinoa going, time to make the filling. Shred up the carrots and scallions (I used 4 instead of 3)

photo (94)Garlic is in the pan cooking with the cumin+coriander+oil

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Filling infusing with spices! I added some salsa to make it more saucy

photo (91)Set up your station. Don’t forget to put potholders underneath hot pans. Key step here is to slice the chard’s stem so it can wrap easily over the filling.

Here’s how I went…quinoa, filling, cheese, roll, REPEAT (I am now a military chef)

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photo (88)Little guys before going in the oven, covered at 350 for 20 mins.

photo (86)MMMMMMMMM helllooo

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The cut open pic wasn’t as cute, so I’ll spare you 🙂

Mushroom Spinach Wheat Crepes with Dill and Sherry

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I’m not sure if I’d try crepes again, BUT, I am so glad I made these, because the filling was bomb. Although this was a rich dish, I strayed away from adding cream because I wanted to really test a healthier version. The problem was, every single recipe I could find was either so creamy or it was super vegan. Always somewhere in the middle, what can you do.

So, I mushed some together and here’s what I came up with. Ingredients:

– 4-5 shitake mushrooms

– 1 lb button mushroom, sliced thinly

– 1 onion, thinly sliced

– a big ole handful of dill, chopped roughly

– 1/4 cup sherry

– 1/2 cup white wine

– 3/4 cup chicken stock

– 1-2 TBS butter

– 1/2 tsp dried thyme

– A whole bag of fresh spinach

– 1 TBS flour

– a few cloves of minced garlic

Steep the shitake mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. Strain and reserve liquid.

Make this recipe according to Alton Brown’s recipe, substituting white wheat for All Purpose if you have it. Set aside in the fridge while you whip up the filling.

Sautee your thinly sliced onion in butter on medium heat until the onions soften. Sprinkle with salt and pepp. Add garlic but cook only for a minute before adding mushrooms, as they can burn easily. Add sliced mushrooms and let them get a little brown and soft. Remember, mushrooms like their space so spread them out! Slice up your shitake too. Again, season with a bit of salt and pepp. Once the mushrooms are soft, add in your sherry and turn up the heat to high, cooking off the ALCH. Then add in your wine. These ingredients are based on what flavor you like, but I added a lot since I thought that without the cream it needed a big boost of flavor.

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At this point I added the dried thyme, and let everything meld together before adding in the chicken stock. In addition to the chicken stock, I added a bit of the shitake mushroom cooking liquid. I let it boil, then wilted in the spinach and returned the heat to low. Simmer for around 15 minutes, and I added flour because I thought the sauce needed some more thickener. If you’d like to add cream, that’s an option as well! At the very end, with a few minutes left, add in the dill.

Get your bad self on with the crepes. After I had the sauce all simmering and bubbly, I set up the crepes right before eating. Ugh, I don’t think I can provide any advice on how to do this, but follow Alton’s directions!! I added in some chopped dill to my crepes to give them flavor. Serve with a big ole salad and some vino! Big point here is have everything ready with the filling so you can focus entirely on making the crepes that cook really quickly. If any other bloggers/experimenters/crepe lovers out there have any recommendations to help me in the future, share your crepe recommendations below s’il vous plait!!

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