Archive for June, 2009


Big fan here of breakfast for dinner. I found this recipe on Eggs On Sunday blog. Perfect dinner tonight – we each had two. This recipe is modified from the original.

Breakfast crostini with poached egg, wilted spinach, and bacon

4 slices of crusty bread – ciabatta, sourdough, multigrain – you choose

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

pinch of crushed red pepper

2 teaspoons minced fresh herbs – your choice (I had thyme handy)

6 slices of turkey bacon

2 small shallots, minced

4 big handfuls of baby spinach

4 large eggs

1 tablespoon white vinegar

coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

grated soy parmesan

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Prep all your ingredients before your start.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in small saucepan over medium-high heat with the garlic, crushed red pepper and herbs until the garlic starts to sizzle. Saute about 30 seconds then remove from heat. Place the slices of bread on a sheet pan and brush them on top with this oil. Bake in oven for about 10 minutes, til they start to turn golden around the edges. Remove pan from oven and turn off oven.

While bread is browning, saute your bacon over medium-high heat until nicely browned. Set aside. In same skillet, with the remaining tablespoon olive oil, saute the shallot until it starts to brown. Then add the spinach along with pinch of salt and pepper and saute until spinach is bright green and wilted. Remove from heat.

Assemble the crostini: Lay two slices of bacon criss-cross across each slice of bread. Using a slotted spoon, divide the sauteed spinach between the crostini, on top of the bacon. Place baking sheet in the still warm oven, to keep warm.

Poach the eggs: Fill a skillet with 2-3″ of water and 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Bring to a simmer, covered. While it’s coming to a simmer, crack each egg into its own little cup, making sure the yolks stay intact. When the water is simmering, turn down heat so it’s barely bubbling and lower each egg into the water, one at a time. Simmer the eggs, uncovered, for about 3 minutes.

Place crostini on a plate. When the eggs are done, remove them from the water with a slotted spoon and carefully place them on top of the spinach. Top with coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, and a little soy parmesan. Makes 2 – 4 servings.

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Inspiration courtesy of the wonderfully delicious Closet Cooking blog, I decided to improvise a little and try this tasty looking dish out. I used cooked chicken instead of shrimp, and hadn’t realized that I was totally out of cashews, so I subbed sliced almonds instead. The spicy next to the tangy and sweet all worked very well together, and this meal was enjoyed – every single bite.

Thai pineapple fried rice, with chicken

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 shallots, sliced

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 chili, chopped

1 red pepper, diced

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons chicken broth

1 tablespoon fish sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 heaping teaspoon sugar

1/2 cup roasted cashews, or sliced almonds

2 cups cooked rice (I used brown)

1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into bite-sized pieces

1 cup cooked chicken, cut into bite-sized pieces

1/4 cup frozen peas

1/4 cup currants

2 green onions, sliced

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Have all your ingredients ready to use. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the shallots, garlic, chili, and red pepper. Stir fry until fragrant, about 1 minutes.

Add the egg and stir fry for a minute. Add the broth, fish sauce, soy sauce, curry powder, and sugar, and stir fry.

Add the nuts and stir fry for half a minute. Add the rice, and stir fry for a few minutes. Add the pineapple, chicken, peas, and raisins. Stir fry to mix them in.

Remove from heat and serve garnished with the green onions and cilantro. Makes 4 servings.

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With lactose intolerance, you can never order pasta with vodka sauce in restaurants. But making it at home is another story. Chef John at Foodwishes.com provided the recipe and the video, and I provided my own little modifications. It came out delicious.

Pasta with vodka sauce

1 14-ounce box Barilla multigrain pasta (I used spaghetti)

1 tablespoon olive oil

4 ounces chopped turkey bacon

1 small sprig fresh rosemary, whole1/2 cup vodka

1/2 cup nondairy creamer

3 cups prepared marinara sauce

3/4 cup water

salt and pepper, to taste

1/2 cup grated soy parmesan

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, and saute bacon til browned. Carefully add the vodka and rosemary. Cook and stir over high heat until vodka reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Add the creamer, salt and pepper. Stir and cook until it thickens up a little, about 5 minutes. Then add the marinara sauce and the water – simmer for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, boil pasta according to package instructions, drain. Return to pot, add the sauce and stir. Let it relax for about 5 minutes, lidded. Serve sprinkled with the soy parmesan. Makes 4 servings.

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Food&Wine suggested it, and it sounded like a good idea. It was great. Adding the pureed carrots really lightened the dish, and made it less stuffing. The carrots also imparted a lovely color. Instead of real cheese, I used soy cheese from Trader Joe’s. I thought I had elbow macaroni in the pantry, but I was wrong. Instead I used some thin egg noodles I had, and I loved the results. It was perfect with grape tomatoes on the side.

Carrot macaroni and “cheese”

3/4 pound carrots, peeled and thinly sliced

juice of 1 navel orange


3 cups penne rigate (9 ounces) (or any other pasta you have handy will do, too)

3 ounces shredded soy cheese (1 1/2 cups)

1 tablespoon chopped tarragon

freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In medium saucepan, combine the carrots with the juice and 1/4 cup water. Season with salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over medium heat until the carrots are very soft, about 30 minutes. Transfer the carrots and liquid to a blender and puree until very smooth.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking water.

Return the pasta to the pot. Add the reserved water and the carrot puree and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the pasta is coated with a thickened sauce, about 5 minutes. Stir in 3/4 of the cheese and cook, stirring, until very creamy, about 2 – 3 minutes longer. Stir in the tarragon and season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the pasta to a medium baking dish (sprayed) and top with remaining cheese. Bake until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 20 – 25 minutes. Makes 4 – 6 servings.


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Pots and Plots blog is the host of this week’s Presto Pasta Nights. I can’t look at any of these yummy pasta dishes without fighting the urge to try everything there. Get your munch on and check it out.

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I found this recipe on Chowhound after searching on the net for nondairy creme brulee. This one intrigued me, and it was perfect. It is not vegan, but it does come together easily. Next time I make it, though, I invest in a hand torch. This was the best I could brown it under the broiler without burning.

Coconut creme brulee

1 can coconut milk

4 egg yolks

1/2 cup sugar

Over a double boiler, stir 4 egg yolks and most of the sugar until the mixture gets light colored, gooey, and not crystalline anymore. Add in the coconut milk, and stir until mixed.

Pour into 4 ramekins that are sitting in a 1/2″ bath of hot water. Cook in 325 degree F. oven for about 50 – 60 minutes, or until set. Cool and then place in fridge overnight. When ready to serve, sprinkle with remaining sugar and torch. (if you broil, make sure you refrigerate again for about an hour, or the creme will be runny). Serves 4.

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Here’s a very good dish with three different kinds of onions – white, leeks, and scallions – all sauteed together til caramelized. The dish is studded with currants and threaded with arugula, then softened with soy mozzarella. What a great combination. From Cooking Light. Served in my new dish from my dear sister-in-law. Thanks, Wendy, I love it!

Pasta with Caramelized Onion Trio

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cups coarsely chopped leek

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped white onion

1/4 cup coarsely chopped green onion

8 ounces uncooked pasta

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

1/4 cup dried currants

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/4 cup nondairy creamer

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups coarsely chopped arugula

1/2 cup shredded soy mozzarella

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium/high heat. Add leek, white onion and green onion. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, then cover and reduce heat. Cook for 20 minutes or until mixture is golden brown, stirring frequently.

While onion mixture cooks, prepare the pasta according to package directions (omit salt).

Bring the broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the dried currants and vinegar. Add broth mixture, cream, and salt to onion mixture. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in arugula, soy mozzarella, and thyme. Add pasta; toss gently and serve. Makes 4 servings.

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From Cooking Light, this is a fantastic felafel recipe, full of flavor and low on fat. Makes the perfect lunch or light dinner. The tahini sauce is thinned enough to use liberally without guilt, and adds a great zing to the salad components. I modified this recipe only slightly.

Open-faced falafel burgers


1 cup hot water

1/4 cup tahini

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 garlic cloves, minced


1 cup chopped red onion

1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs, divided

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided

Remaining ingredients:

6 mini pitas

3 cups chopped romaine lettuce

2 cups chopped tomato

2 cups sliced peeled cucumber

To prepare sauce, combine the first 5 ingredients in a blender, and process til smooth.

To prepare the patties, combine the onion with the next 7 ingredients (through the 4 garlic cloves) in a food processor, and process til smooth. Place bean mixture in a large bowl; stir in 1/4 cup breadcrumbs. Divide bean mixture into 6 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2″ thick patty. Place remaining 1/4 cup breadcrumbs in a shallow dish. Dredge the patties in the breadcrumbs.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 3 patties to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining 2 teaspoons oil and patties.

Warm pitas according to package instructions. Place 1 pita on each of 6 plates. Top each serving with 1/2 cup lettuce, 1/3 cup tomato, 1/3 cup cucumber. Drizzle each serving with sauce. Top each serving with 1 patty.

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I found this recipe over at The Noshery blog. It’s really a brilliant idea to stuff an eggroll wrapper with different fillings. These are baked instead of fried, so they’re healthy, too. I used soy sour cream in the dip as a sub for the real thing. I think you could play with this recipe and use a variety of fillings and flavorings, according to your tastes. Really really good eating, great recipe.

Southwest eggrolls

1/8 cup fresh lime juice

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1/8 cup olive oil

2 chipotle chilies (I used 1), roughly chopped

1 heaping tablespoon honey

3 medium cloves minced garlic

1/4 cup chopped scallions

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 boneless chicken breasts, diced

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup roasted red pepper, sliced thin

1/2 cup spinach

1/2 ripe avocado

3 tablespoons soy sour cream

1 package eggroll wrappers

1 egg, beaten, with 1 tablespoon water

Whisk lime juice, cilantro, oil, chile, honey, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper together in small bowl. Toss chicken in with this lime juice mixture.

In a large hot skillet, drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil and then add chicken mixture. Brown the chicken, then add the black beans, red pepper, and spinach. Simmer for about 10 minutes, then remove from heat and let it cool.

While cooling, make the dip. In a small food processor or in the blender, combine the avocado, soy sour cream, and maybe 1/4 teaspoon chopped chile. Blend til smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper.

Roll your eggrolls: Take a sheet and place it like a diamond in front of you. Take 2 tablespoons of chicken mixture and place it a third of the way on the sheet, spread across. Fold the bottom corner over the filling.

Brush the left and right corner with egg wash and fold to the center, then roll up once. Brush the remaining corner with egg wash and fold over. Make sure the seams are nicely sealed.

Place the egg rolls on a baking sheet sprayed with non-stick spray, then spray the eggrolls lightly with spray. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12 minutes. If the tops are not browned, place under the broiler for 1 – 2 minutes, til lightly browned (watch carefully). Serve with the avocado cream. Makes about 16 eggrolls.


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More Than Words blog is hosting this week’s best pasta carnival on the internet, Presto Pasta Nights. I get all revved up looking at all those great pasta dishes. Check it out.

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