Category Archives: Vegetables

Curried Cauliflower with Tomatoes

Over the summer I ate at Trade and had the best side dish, curried cauliflower. I tried to recreate it, but it came out nothing like the one at Trade. It was still good, just very different.  I searched and searched the Internet for recipes and found dozens, all different. So I combined a few and made up my own recipe. This one was a bit drier and much spicier, but made a great side dish to the chicken I made for dinner. 
Ingredients:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 head cauliflower (about 1 pound) , cut into florets
2 Tablespoons curry powder (recipe follows or use store bought spice)
1 Tablespoon ginger
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
¼ cup raisins (I didn’t have any in the house)
¼ cup Greek yogurt, for dipping (optional)
Curry Powder:
2 tablespoons coriander
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 tablespoon cardamom
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon turmeric
1.     Mix the curry powder, ginger, lemon juice and red wine vinegar in a small bowl.
2.     Sauté the cauliflower over medium heat in olive oil, for about 10 minutes, until it begins to brown.
3.     Stir in the curry powder, lemon juice and red wine vinegar mixture. Mix well.
4.     Add the tomatoes.
5.     Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
6.     Serve warm or at room temperature with a side of Greek Yogurt. I used the Greek yogurt as a ‘dipping sauce’ because I found this recipe to be extremely spicy. I also added a little more lemon juice to the yogurt and the cauliflower on my plate. 
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Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes (aka Mashed Cauliflower)

 My Aunt Cindy makes these at Thanksgiving. It started a few years ago when she was on the Atkins diet and she continued to make both regular mashed potatoes and these, because we (mostly me) liked them so much! I don’t eat mashed potatoes, I’ve never liked them, but this mashed cauliflower has so much flavor and I just absolutely love them!
In order to keep them a little chunky use a potato masher instead of a blender. If you like your mashed potatoes smooth, use the blender. 
Ingredients:
Raw Cauliflower – a medium head makes about a pound of florets
1 Tablespoon cream cheese softened
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese  (I use a little less)
¼ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 teaspoon chicken base or bouillon, you may substitute
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 teaspoon Chives, chopped
1.     Separate the florets and chop the core finely
2.     Steam until tender (or microwave to save time). It is tender once you can easily pierce it with a fork, about 12-15 minutes. You can also boil the cauliflower for 6 minutes.
3.    Drain well but do not let cool.
4.    In a food processor, pulse the hot cauliflower with the cream cheese, Parmesan, garlic, chicken bouillon, and pepper until almost smooth. Pulse for even less time if you like your ”potatoes” chunkier.     
5.     Garnish with chives and serve warm.
This will make about 4 servings.

Garden Vegetable Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

So what is spaghetti squash and what does it taste like? Well, first off, don’t be fooled; it doesn’t taste anything like spaghetti. It tastes more like a mild, lighter flavored squash. The texture is not like spaghetti either; it is much ‘’stringier’’. But it makes a great substitute in almost every dish you would use spaghetti. It’s so easy to cook and you can virtually add anything to it – Parmesan and garlic, marinara, pesto, sauté it with vegetables, cumin and coriander  – you name it and you can do it.
Spaghetti squash is very inexpensive and easy to prepare. (The hardest part is cutting the squash in half.)
I’ve seen it in the grocery store year round, but it is in its peak season from early fall through winter.
 
1 spaghetti Squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 whole medium onion, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup carrots
1 ½ cups broccoli
1 ½ cups cauliflower
2 cups pasta or marinara sauce
1-2 tablespoons basil or parsley
1 teaspoon oregano
Black pepper to taste
½ cup mozzarella cheese
½ cup ricotta cheese
½ cups parmesan cheese
 
How to Cook Spaghetti Squash:
 
1.     Cut in half lengthwise.
2.     Scrape out the seeds and pulp (just like you would when carving a pumpkin)
3.     Prick holes in the spaghetti squash, using a fork or knife
4.     Bake: Face up (skin down) 30-40 minutes at 375F or Microwave: 8-10 minutes*
5.     Let cool a few minutes before separating the strands.
6.     Use a fork to separate the squash strands. The fork should very easily separate the squash strands. If there is any resistance, put back in the microwave another 1-2 minutes, or oven until it’s easy to fork through.
* I microwave it because it’s faster and easier.
Sauté the garlic and onions in olive oil for 2-3 minutes first, then add carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, zucchini, and cauliflower. Cook 3-4 minutes. Add in basil, oregano, and pepper. Cook another 1-2 minutes.
You can switch up the vegetables however you’d like; red, green or yellow peppers, different kinds of mushrooms, whatever you like!
In the bottom of a casserole dish spread pasta or marinara sauce. Layer spaghetti squashes from one half of the squash. Sprinkle a little less than half the cheese over the vegetables. Next, layer with all the vegetables. Next add the other half of the spaghetti squash. Then layer with pasta or marinara sauce. Top with the remaining cheese.
Update: Start with spaghetti squash on the bottom, it’s easy to serve.

Bake at 350F uncovered for 3-405 minutes; or until cheese is completely melted and starts to bubble. Let stand for a while before you cut into it. I’d say 5-8 minutes.
This time I made half with cheese and half without (I prefer with cheese). I also topped it off with a little cheddar cheese I had leftover from the other night, and it tasted just as good; it had an extra little kick to it from the cheddar.
It’s hard to cut into nice square pieces, as it breaks apart. But as long as you aren’t too concerned with its presentation and how it looks, then you’ll be all set.

Spinach-Quinoa Salad with Cherries and Almonds

I think this is one of the best dishes I have ever made!!
The sweetness of the craisins mixed with the tartness of the lemon juice and yogurt combined with the pungent flavor of the garlic is just amazing, it’s like an explosion of flavors in my mouth!
Not only is it delicious, it looks beautiful too. If you want to impress guests at your next dinner party or are going to picnic or pot luck, this is without a doubt the best dish to make. 
I can not take credit for coming up with this recipe. I found the original recipe in Vegetarian Times, but I did tweak it just a bit and my recipe is the one below.
Ingredients
¼ cup sliced almonds
1 ½ cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
3 cups water or vegetable stock
2 cups spinach leaves
2 cups chopped dried cherries or craisins (or fresh cherries, pitted and halved, when in season)
½ cup chopped snow peas
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
 ½ cup red onion, finely chopped
¼ cup Greek yogurt
2 ½ tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon or lime juce
1 ½ – 2 teaspoons garlic, depending on your love of garlic
15 ounces edamame or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained (optional, I prefer edamame)
salt and pepper to taste
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread almonds on a baking sheet and toast 7-8 minutes, shaking pan occasionally, until golden brown. Cool.
2. Bring 3 cups water – or vegetable stock to add a little more flavor (not that you need it) – to a boil in a pot over medium high heat. Sir in quinoa. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer 15-20 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed.
3. Remove from heat and cool.
4. Lay 5 or 6 spinach leaves flat on top of one another on a cutting board. Roll tightly into a cylinder and then slice into slivers. Repeat with the remaining spinach.
5. Whisk together yogurt, olive oil, lime juice and garlic in a small bowl.
6. In a separate bowl toss together the quinoa, almonds, spinach, pea pods, craisins, cucumber, red onion and chickpeas or edamame if using these.
7. Pour dressing over vegetable and quinoa salad, and toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. I never use salt when I cook but in this dish I did add a dash of salt and a few dashes of pepper.
8. Chill for 30 minutes to allow all the flavors to fully develop, then serve. 
It can easily be tweaked to your own liking. I always like to make a little extra dressing and keep it on the side for leftovers. The dish does not get soggy in the fridge over night, but do not add extra dressing and let it sit over night, it will get soggy. This is why I make extra and add it as I eat it.

Apple Glazed Vegetables and Edamame

I came across this recipe in my search of how I could use up some of my apples and frozen edamame. This recipe sounded good and the pictures looked even better, fresh veggies, bright colors, I just had to make it. The original recipe is here.
It was tangy yet sweet and I loved the infused apple flavor.  This dish has just the right amount of sweetness and spice. No one flavor overpowered the others.  
My version did not come out looking anything like the original one but it was so delicious! I used fresh apples, which I pureed in a food processor with a little water and apple cider vinegar until it was applesauce consistency. I also omitted the optional sugar, it was plenty sweet from the apples and I’m glad I did this.
This was more than enough for my sister and I. I ended up enough left overs for almost 2 whole meals.
Ingredients:

4 cups diced vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, celery, onions are what I used.  Or try any veggie you have on hand)
1/2 cup applesauce (or puree an apple, with skin, in a food processor)
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoon garlic powder (or 1/2 garlic clove)
1 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar (I used both)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup edamame beans

Directions:
1. Cook edamame in a saucepan according to package directions

2. Spray non-stick skillet with cooking spray and add the vegetables.  Cook, covered on high heat, for about 5-6 minutes. * If using potatoes I recommend putting those in first, before the other veggies for 2 or 3 minutes.

3. While the vegetables are cooking, combine all remaining ingredients (except edamame) in a bowl and stir. 
4. Add the mixture to the vegetables and stir to coat.  

5. Reduce the heat to medium-low or low heat and allow vegetables to simmer for another 5-10 minutes or until tender.  (I let mine cook for 10-12 minutes) The sauce will reduce and thicken. 
6. Add in edamame, stir, and serve warm plain or over rice.

I used whole apples and pureed them in a food processor. The dish came out a little ‘heavy’ on the applesauce, but that is because we ‘’accidentally’’ used more than ½ of the apple puree. 
You could easily substitute the edamame for tofu, which I would add into the dish at the same time as you add the mixture, chicken or beef.