Archive for November, 2010

Farro is one of my favorite grains. Although it’s not cheap, it’s a necessary occasional indulgence. Here is another healthy, autumn-y salad. I added some grilled chicken. With or without, this salad is a pleaser. The roasted grapes (amazing flavor) added a rich sweetness that complemented the greens and chewy farro. The browned onions completed the flavor triad. Delicious.

Farro salad with oven roasted grapes and autumn greens (adapted from Martha Stewart)

3 cups seedless red grapes (about 1 pound), halved crosswise

coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

8 ounces farro

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh rosemary

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 small onions, sliced into 1/2″ thick rounds

1 tablespoon sherry or red-wine vinegar

4 cups mixed small greens, like baby kale, baby swiss chard, red mustard, red mizuna

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Arrange grapes in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Bake until grapes have shrunk to about half their size but are still juice, about 1 hour 30 minutes. Let cool.

Meanwhile, combine farro, 1 tablespoon rosemary, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a medium saucepan; cover with water by 1″. Bring to a simmer, and cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onions and remaining tablespoon rosemary for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until onions are golden brown, about 2minutes more. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Flip onions, and season with a pinch of salt. Cook, flipping, until onions are tender and browned on both sides, 8 – 10 minutes more. Remove from heat. Stir in vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Pour mixture over farro; toss. season with 1 teaspoon salt and some pepper. Stir in red grapes. Let stand for 20 minutes.

Gently stir in greens just before serving. Arrange salad on a platter. Recipe says makes 12 servings, but we think only 4! (maybe we gobbled a lot up, it was that good).


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This was sooo good that I think I will include it on our Thanksgiving dessert menu. Of course, that would mean eating the same dessert two weeks in a row. Lucky us.

Nantucket cranberry pie (slightly adapted from Pioneer Woman)

margarine, for greasing

2 heaping cups cranberries

3/4 cups pecans, chopped (measure, then chop)

2/3 cup sugar

1 cup flour

1 cup sugar

1 stick margarine, melted

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon pure almond extract

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon sugar for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a cake pan or pie pan. Add cranberries to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle on chopped pecans, then sprinkle on 2/3 cup sugar.

In a mixing bowl, combine flour, 1 cup sugar, melted butter, eggs, almond extract, and salt. Stir gently to combine.

Pour batter slowly over the top in large “ribbons” in order to evenly cover the surface. Spread gently if necessary.

Bake for 45 – 50 minutes. 5 minutes before removing from oven, sprinkle surface with 1 tablespoon sugar, for a little extra crunch.

Cut into wedges and serve with soy whipped cream or your favorite non-dairy ice cream.

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We ate this as a main dish, but it would also make a great side. I love vegetables where you can scoop up some meaty flesh with each biteful. There’s something very basic and satisfying about it. Great stuffing, too.

Stuffed acorn squash (adapted from The Tasty Kitchen blog)

1 whole acorn squash, cut in half lengthwise

2 teaspoons brown sugar

2 teaspoons margarine

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup celery, diced

1/2 yellow onion, diced

1 tart apple, peeled, cored, and diced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

2 whole cornbread muffins, cubed into bite-sized pieces

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup chicken broth

salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

sprinkle of soy parmesan

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Scrape seeds and stringy flesh from the squash. Place squash in a baking dish, cut sides upp. Pour about an inch of water in the bottom of the dish. Put one teaspoon margarine and one teaspoon brown sugar in each half. Place in the oven for 15 minutes. Baste squash with the butter and brown sugar mixture after the 15 minute mark to prevent drying. Put back in oven for another 30 – 45 minutes, or until fork tender.

Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet and add the celery, onion, apples, thyme, curry, and cinnamon. Cook until softened. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.

Place cubed cornbread on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes (next to the squash), or until golden and crunchy.

Add the cranberries and the toasted cornbread to the skillet mixture and gently stir to combine. While stirring, slowly add the chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper. Fill the fork-tender squash with cornbread stuffing, and place back into the oven until heat through, about 10 minutes. Serves 2. Easily doubled.

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A most festive and seasonal salad. The pomegranate seeds against the green herbs really made this sparkle. Tasted wonderful, and destined to be a favorite.

Quinoa tabouleh with roast cauliflower and herbs (from It Pleases Us blog)


3/4 cup quinoa

2 cups chicken broth

1 head of cauliflower

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1/3 cup raisins, roughly chopped

1/2 bunch chives, finely chopped

1 bunch coriander, shredded

1/2 bunch parsley, shredded

seeds from 1/2 of pomegranate

salt and pepper to taste


1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Finely slice the cauliflower into pieces, season with salt and pepper and toss in the olive oil. Spread the cauliflower in a single layer on a baking tray. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until the cauliflower is evenly browned. Stir once or twice while roasting so that it browns evenly. Set aside and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, wash and then cook the quinoa. You can cook it in a small saucepan with the broth or alternatively, put the stock and quinoa in a rice cooker. You want the quinoa to be tender and the liquid to have evaporated. Set aside and allow to cool.

Make the dressing by whisking all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, combine the cooled cauliflower and quinoa. Mix in the balance of the tabouleh ingredients (almonds, raisins, chives, coriander, parsley, and pomegranate). When ready to serve, toss the tabouleh in the dressing. Makes 4 – 6 servings.


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I found this recipe in the NYTimes’ Recipes For Health section. Mighty fine stuff. I subbed soy mozzarella for the Gruyere cheese. Unfortunately, there is no soy Gruyere. But this tasted really good, just the same. Disclaimer – it’s supposed to serve 6 as a main dish, but we (the two of us) gobbled the whole thing up in one sitting. That good.

Spaghetti squash gratin with basil

1 spaghetti squash, about 3 pounds

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

salt and freshly ground pepper

3 large eggs

1/2 cup nondairy creamer

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/2 cup shredded soy mozzarella

2 tablespoons grated soy parmesan

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Pierce the squash in several places with a sharp knife. Cover a baking sheet with foil, and place the squash on top. Bake for one hour, turning the squash every 20 minutes until it is soft and easy to cut into with a knife. Remove from the heat, and allow the squash to cool until you can handle it. Cut in half lengthwise, and allow to cool further. Remove the seeds and discard. Scoop out the flesh, and place in a bowl. Run a fork through the flesh to separate the spaghetti-like strands, then chop coarsely. Measure out 4 cups squash, and use whatever remains for another dish, or freeze.

Oil a 2 quart gratin or baking dish. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring, for another 30 seconds to a minute until fragrant. Add the squash. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes until the strands of squash are a little more tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and remove from heat.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the creamer, salt (about 1/2 teaspoon), pepper, and basil. Stir in the squash mixture and the soy mozzarella and combine well. Scrape into the baking dish. Sprinkle the soy parmesan over the top and gently press down to moisten.

Bake 40 – 45 minutes until nicely browned and sizzling. Remove from the heat, and allow to cool for 10 – 15 minutes before serving. Makes 6 servings.

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Adding this one to my comfort food list. I just love hearty vegetarian dishes. Great flavors, and we never missed the meat.

Vegetable cobbler (adapted to be nondairy by me, from Handle the Heat blog)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onion

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon salt

1 – 2 teaspoons dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

4 – 5 cups sliced mushrooms

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

2 cups peeled and chopped butternut squash

2 cups chopped potatoes

2 cups peeled and chopped carrots

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 cups vegetable broth

3 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup water

1 cup frozen green peas

1 cup frozen corn kernels

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

Biscuit topping:

2 cups unbleached AP flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

6 tablespoons melted margarine

1 cup plain soy yogurt

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9 x 13″ baking dish. Warm the oil in a soup pot. Add the onions and garlic and cook on medium heat for 10 – 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the salt, thyme, crushed red pepper flakes, mushrooms, and mustard. Cook until the mushrooms start to release their juices, about 5 minutes. Add the butternut squash, potato, carrot, black pepper, and broth, and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, until the vegetables are just tender.

Stir the dissolved cornstarch mixture into the simmering vegetables, stirring constantly. When the liquid starts to thicken, mix in the peas, corn, soy sauce, and salt. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Pour the vegetables into the prepared baking dish, and set aside.

In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. In a separate bowl, mix together the melted margarine and the yogurt. Combine the wet and dry ingredients with as few strokes as possible to make a soft dough.

Drop the biscuit batter over the vegetables in the dish in six equal mounds. Sprinkle the fresh thyme over the dough. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of a biscuit comes out clean. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

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Fresh ingredients in a warm soup. From Williams-Sonoma. Nice to make after work on a chilly evening.

Zucchini soup (nondairy by me)

1 cup boiling water

4 sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)

2 1/2 pounds red-skinned potatoes, cut into cubes

3 cups water

2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

3 zucchini, coarsely grated

1/3 cup nondairy creamer

1/3 cup chopped fresh basil

salt, to taste

In a small bowl, pour the boiling water over the tomatoes. Let stand until the tomatoes are soft, about 5 minutes. Drain, then chop the tomatoes finely.

In a large pot over high heat, bring the potatoes, water, stock, and pepper to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer about half the potatoes to a medium bowl. Using a potato masher, mash until almost smooth. Return the mashed potatoes to the saucepan. Add the zucchini and stir to blend.

Return the pot to medium heat, cover and simmer, stirring once or twice, until the zucchini are tender and wilted, 5 – 7 minutes. Stir in the creamer, basil, and chopped tomatoes. Serves 8.

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