February 4, 2013

Veg-Fest Images + Recipes!

In looking for a change in menu and diet, we went vegetarian for the majority of this past week.
I cheated Thursday night by eating shrimp on my salad...and then I had a tuna melt yesterday...but we came sooo close! 
We did this last year for a few months and it really exposed us to great new recipes, flavor profiles, colors and textures. We will have to keep doing this, as I really enjoy it.
Here are a few images of the yummy foods we made and ate. 
You can find the recipes for all of these dishes at the end of this post!

Portobello, Poblano and Swiss on Toasted Heidelberg French Country Bread
Grilled Swiss on Pumpernickel with Salt
(for The Little Guy)

Vegetable Stir-fry with Red Rice Noodles

Sweet-Potato + Pineapple Thai Red Curry

Cauliflower Puree "Pierogi" with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Black Bean + Poblano Soup with a load of sour cream......ahhha!
Tomato Noodle Soup 
(...for The Little Guy...and a secret leftover breakfast for mama.......)

Vegetarian Chili w/Blue Corn Chips

The Recipes:

Portobello, Poblano and Swiss Recipe
This recipe is so easy, so quick and so delicious. It even satisfies my meat-eating husband, and has become a regular item on our kitchen menu. The key is the Heidelberg bread; when toasted it becomes crispy deliciousness, that balances the textures of the mushrooms and peppers. If this bread is unavailable in your area, try to find a good quality homemade bread, sliced on the thinner side.

4 Large Portobello Mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
2 Poblano Peppers, roasted, pealed and sliced (or red bell pepper is good too)
4 slices of swiss cheese
4 pieces of Heidelberg French Peasant Bread

1. Prepare your poblano peppers (char over an open flame, seal in a paper bag until cool, peel and slice)
2. Saute mushrooms in oil and season with salt and pepper
3. Toast your bread in the oven and add the swiss cheese to each slice for the last minute to melt
4. Layer mushrooms and peppers and sandwich; salt and pepper to season
5. Cut in half and enjoy!

Vegetable Stir-fry with Red Rice Noodles
This recipe can be adapted to taste, and you can use almost any vegetables you have on hand. The red-rice noodles were something new that I fetched from Wegman's, and we loved them!  If you can not find them at your local store, regular rice noodles work with this recipe as well, however we found that the red rice noodles had more depth of flavor and texture, and add a really delicious earthy quality. Even our little man approved!

Assorted vegetables, cut into a variety of bite sized pieces (I used freshly chopped garlic, quartered mushrooms, sliced red bell pepper, sliced green onions, quartered broccoli crowns, carrot ribbons, and sweet peas). Approximately 3 cups worth.
3 tablespoons of vegetable oil + 3 tablespoons of Sesame Oil
Toasted Sesame Seeds
+- 2 tsp. Crushed red pepper, to preferred spice
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
Red Rice Noodles
3 tablespoons of Peanut Sauce
3 tablespoons of Teriyaki Sauce

1. Boil water
2. Simultaneously cut vegetables into a variety of bite sized shapes
3. Saute vegetables in a hot pan or a wok with oil. Add ginger + toss throughout.
4. Season vegetables with crushed red pepper
5. Soak rice noodles in water, removed from the burner, until tender and drain
6. Toss vegetables, noodles, peanut sauce and teriyaki sauce to coat (add a little more sesame oil if too dry)
7. Serve warm, topped with toasted sesame seeds

Sweet Potato and Pineapple Red Thai Curry
This is a recipe I adapted from Nigella Lawson. I love her cooking, but I cannot resist tinkering with recipes. Sometimes I fail miserably, and sometimes I end up creating something yummy. In this case, we were pretty satisfied. You can't beat Thai-styled curry on a cold winter's eve. 
It sure does warm the bones.

2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
3 tablespoons of sliced scallions
4 tablespoons of red Thai curry
1 14 ounce can of coconut milk
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
4 tablespoons fresh cilantro
2 cups of roasted, cubed sweet potato
1 cup of cubed pineapple
lime wedges

1. Make sauce by cooking 1/2 scallions in oil until fragrant. Add curry paste and stir. Add coconut milk and fish sauce. Simmer for a few minutes to blend flavors.
2. Add pineapple and roasted sweet potato and toss gently to warm, coat and season.
3. Serve warm, topped with cilantro and lime wedges. 
Optional: Serve over rice or noodles.

Cauliflower Puree Pierogi with Caramelized Onions and Roasted Brussel Sprouts
This was an adventure...
I recently ate at my friend's restaurant and they served the most delicious cauliflower puree. I left pleasantly full and inspired. Also, since I now live in the land of pierogi, and have wanted to try making them for awhile now, I had the novel idea to marry the two concepts. 
On my first attempt I totally messed up the dough (see recipe below), and they turned into a mushy, doughy, disgusting mess. 
It made me realize two things; one, I didn't have time to remake the dough for that night's dinner, and two, I had to add something with texture. 
Luckily, I found a package of wonton wrappers hiding in my bin (problem one solved); then I added the caramelized onions and the roasted brussel sprouts for texture (problem two solved). 
The recipe was good...would I make it again?! Maybe. 
But like Todd said, they would probably be better with a large pork chop....

Cauliflower (4 cups)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 stick butter
1/2 cup of milk

One large Onion, sliced + Caramelized (slice, saute in oil until golden brown; season with s/p)
Brussel sprouts, roasted (toss with olive oil, s/p in oven on 375 until browned)

Won-ton wrappers
Egg white
Butter for sauteing pierogi

1. Boil cauliflower until fork tender; blend until smooth with s/p, butter and milk. Adjust seasoning as necessary.
2. Caramelize onions and roast brussel sprouts
3. Assemble pierogi: add a dollop of puree to wonton wrapper. Seal edges with egg white, folding the wrapper over on itself.
*Here is a better recipe for pierogi dough with directions on how to do this the right way....

4. Saute the pierogies in butter, along with the onions until golden brown on both sides
5. Serve warm with brussel sprouts and onions.

Black Bean and Poblano Soup
This recipe is adapted from 'The Moosewood' cookbook; one of my favorites from college, and a go-to for anything vegetarian.
I included the link for the recipe, however I tinkered with the ingredients a bit...I encourage you to follow their recipe first, as they do not disappoint, then if you feel like it, follow the minor changes I made.
The only things I did differently are, 1. I used a red bell pepper instead of a green bell pepper (oooo...big change)! and 2. I used poblano peppers instead of chipotle peppers (ooo...another big change)!
I doubt either of these changes altered the flavors much, but my fridge called the shots on this one.

This is my go-to chili recipe. It seriously makes enough to feed a small village, so either adapt to your crowd, or be ready to eat chili for the next month. I usually do make it with meat, however I just omitted it from this week's batch. It still made our bellies happy, and even cut in half we had enough left over to make nachos for the big game. 
Of course, Todd would contend that it is better with the meat, so I'll include it in the recipe in case you are a meat lover too. Just feel free to skip it if you choose vegetarian.

2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. group veal/beef mix
1 lb. sirloin, cut into one inch cubes
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons, cumin
2 tablespoons, chili powder
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cayenne
18 ounces of tomato paste
2 tsp. sugar
3 cups of diced, fresh tomatoes (or canned san marzano tomatoes)
3 cups diced onion
3 cups diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced roasted poblano pepper
3 cups beans (3 cans, drained) 
*I added 2 more cans of beans since I omitted the meat in this batch
1 cups chopped cilantro
1 cup beef broth
Optional for serving: more chopped cilantro, garlic bread/chips, grated cheese, sour cream, jalapenos

1. Cook sirloin and garlic with olive oil. Add ground meat and cook until brown. Drain.
2. Add cumin, chili powder, oregano, salt and cayenne
3. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for +- 10 minutes
4. Add tomatos, tomato paste, onions, peppers and sugar and simmer an additional ten minutes
5. Add beans and cilantro
6. Simmer; add broth to desired consistency. Adjust spices if necessary.
7. Serve warm. 
Optional: Top with cheese and melt under a broiler. Serve with additional cilantro, garlic bread/chips, sour cream, jalapenos....

I hope you guys enjoy these recipes. 
It was a fun week, so stay tuned for more to come!

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