Archive for ‘Vegetarian’

May 2, 2012

Stuffed Zucchini, Take 2

Just arrived in southern California where I’ll be living for the next 4 months or so! First thing on my agenda? Groceries.

There is a Whole Foods AND a Trader Joes, all within 1 mile of my apartment. I think I’m gonna like it here…

Here’s the original baked zucchini recipe. Although with this type of squash, the stuffing got a bit too runny. I think I may have to precook the shell and drain it before I stuff it.

February 3, 2012

Stir Fry Eggs and Tomato

A classic:

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 stalk of green onion
  • 1 small tomato, diced
  • 1 tbs rice wine
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • salt

Mix rice wine into beaten eggs. In a wok or frying pan, heat a bit more sesame oil or vegetable oil over medium heat. Scramble eggs until still a bit runny. Remove and set aside. Raise heat to medium high and add tomatoes to pan. Add a pinch of salt. Stir fry until soft and some of the liquid is reduced ~ 3 min. Add green onions and egg back in. Stir and mix, breaking up the larger pieces of egg. Salt to taste. Remove and plate.

February 1, 2012

Sweet Potato and Lentil Curry

Weeknight throw-together meal. Good for lunch for the rest of the week. Lots of fiber! Keeps you full. It’s really a make it up as you go kind of recipe…
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1.5 tbs curry powder
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 sweet potato, diced in small cubes
  • 1.5 cup lentil
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • chicken stock
  • 1 cup frozen veggies, roasted

Serve w/ yogurt.


  1. Heat 1 tbs oil in dutch oven/large pot on medium high. Saute onions. Salt and add the spices. Continue sauteing until onions are translucent and very soft.
  2. Add a dash of stock and deglaze pan. Add sweet potatoes, tomatoes, broth, and lentils. Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer for 45 min or until sweet potatoes are fork tender and lentils are soft.
  3. Preheat oven t0 400F or set on broiler. Line a baking pan with aluminum foil. Grease generously with olive oil. Toss in frozen veggies and spread out evenly across pan. Broil until edges just begin to brown.
  4. Stir in veggies.
  5. Top and serve with greek yogurt.
January 5, 2012

Kale Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

I found my new go-to salad recipe! Who would’ve thought raw kale could taste so good…I had a similar salad at Brooklyn Winery during my winter vacation in New York this December (awesome place, btw. we won trivia night last week!), and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since.

Solution? Some reverse engineering. Ok, so BKWinery’s salad still has some magical touch that makes it taste beyond amazing, but this recipe has passed my live-in New Yorker’s taste test, and he’s OK-ed it for our dinner rotation.


  • 1 batch of kale
  • 1/2 small butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup hulled barley or farro, cooked in chicken stock
  • 1/2 small apple, sliced
  • 1 cup candied walnuts* (adapted from SimplyRecipes)
  • ~1/2 cup of Apple Cider Vinaigrette**


  1. Soak barley over night or for several hours. Rinse and drain. Add to a small sauce pan with 1/2 to 1 cup of chicken stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until barley is cooked through. Stir when needed to prevent sticking. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Wash kale thoroughly. Pull stems off leaves and discard. Stack a few leaves on top of each other and roll like a cigarette. Slice from one end to the other. (aka chiffonade) This prevents bruising of the leaves. And it’s less messy and produces more uniform results than hacking at the leaves. Set aside in colander to drain.
  3. Peel skin off squash with a vegetable peeler. Dice into small cubes. Line a baking pan in aluminum foil. Add cubed squash and drizzle with olive oil. Toss. Spread out evenly across the pan, and bake on 400F until soft. ~2o min.
  4. Add kale into a large mixing bowl with the vinaigrette. With your hands, massage the kale until it soaks up the vinaigrette and softens a bit.
  5. Add apples, squash, grains, and nuts. Mix and serve! (I served it with a spicy pan seared white fish.)

*Candied Walnuts: 

Toast 3/4 cups of crushed walnuts in toaster oven on 350F, for about 5 minutes. In a small sauce pan, heat 2+ tbs brown sugar until it just begins to darken and caramelize.  Add a pinch of salt. Toss in walnuts, stir, turn off heat, and continue to stir, on and off the hot stovetop until walnuts are well coated and not sticking together. Spread out on a flat surface and let it cool. I like my walnuts to have little grains of crunchy sugar, so I dont wait for all of the sugar to melt. You can do that instead if you want glossy coated walnuts.

**Apple Cider Vinaigrette (adapted from Martha Stewart)

  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4+ cup olive oil
  • salt/black pepper
January 5, 2012

Chorizo and Egg Breakfast Tacos

I promise I’m not under endorsement contracts, I just happen to be rather brand loyal. When I find something that works, I stick to it! Also, I promise I did not intend to create something with so many specific brands in the recipe, feel free to substitute. I just happen to particularly like the end result with this combination of flavors, so I’m including the brands for my own future reference.


  • 6 eggs
  • 1 package of Upton’s Naturals Chorizo Seitan
  • 1 medium potato, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 medium bell pepper, diced finely
  • paprika
  • chili powder (Mexene is my favorite brand)
  • cayenne pepper
  • 8 mini tomatoes (2 buches, still on the vine. )
  • 1 small avocado
  • 1 lime
  • salt/pepper
  • olive oil
  • 9-10 small corn/wheat tortillas


  1. In a skillet, heat plenty of olive oil on medium high. place tomatoes, still on the vine, flat on the skillet. Let them sit until charred on the bottom ~10 min. Flip and char other side.
  2. In a separate non-stick pan, heat another tbs or so of olive oil. Saute onions until soft ~5 min. Season with chili powder and a pinch of salt. Add bell peppers. Saute another 5 minutes. Remove and set aside.
  3. Add chorizo and break it up in the pan. Stir until heated through. Remove and set aside.
  4. Add another tbs of oil if needed, and brown potatoes, stirring frequently to avoid sticking. Season with a generous sprinkle of salt, lots of paprika, a pinch of cayenne, and another pinch of chili powder. OPTIONAL: add a dash of chicken stock and cover, letting the potatoes soften under the steam. This is my way of using less oil when the potatoes begin to dry out. Otherwise, add more oil and continue cooking until potatoes soften and brown on the outside. Remove and set aside.
  5. Toast tortillas.
  6. Beat eggs. Add onion/bell pepper mixture into eggs. Reduce heat to medium and pour eggs into pan and scramble. Set aside.
  7. Slice avocados and drizzle generously with lime to prevent browning.
  8. Serve everything in separate bowls/platters and let everyone make their own breakfast tacos.

I think the charred fresh tomatoes are rather paramount to this recipe. The taco is otherwise composed of rather dry ingredients. Other alterations to consider: keeping the eggs separate (or mixed with the potatoes) and making a sort of onion/bell pepper/tomato salsa. The reason i didn’t go with a salsa is because for some reason I had a very specific craving for charred tomatoes. On the vine. Drizzled in olive oil and with lots of black pepper. I think I’m gonna go open my left overs container now…

December 2, 2011

Vegetarian Lasagna Soup

WARNING: Incredibly healthy and delicious! So if you’re a skeptic and think all things healthy should taste like crap, go away. I’ll keep this secret to myself.

Makes a huge portion. Great for sharing. And giving to friends. Which I had to do because I ate it for 3 days straight, lunch and dinner, and still had plenty left over.

That’s ok. I’ll still make it again. It was that good.

Adapted from this recipe:


  • 8-12 oz package of italian sausage seitan/vegetarian sausage
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 cup egg plants, diced
  • 1+ cup yellow squash, diced
  • 1+ cup green squash, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes, w/ basil
  • 5- 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tbs oregano
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbs white sugar
  • fusilli pasta, cooked
  • low fat ricotta
  • mozzarella
  • shredded parmesan
  • cooking oil of your choice
  1. Heat oil in a 5qt dutch oven or pot. Brown sausage and break it up into small pieces with your spatula. Remove and set aside.
  2. In remaining oil (adding more if necessary), saute onions until just soft. Add garlic, eggplant, and squash and saute another ~3 min.
  3. Then add sausage back in along with all the spices, sugar, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Stir, cover, and let it simmer for ~1 hour.
  4. Spoon cooked pasta into a bowl, fill and cover with the soup, top with a big spoonful of ricotta, slices of mozzarella, and a generous sprinkle of parmesan. Set under broiler until cheese melts and browns. Serve.
November 30, 2011

Blueberry Muesli

I’ve been rather obsessed with muesli lately. Even in bulk, it’s been costing me quite a bit at whole foods (HEB stopped carrying it! wtf…).
Solution? make it yourself:
  • rolled oats
  • rice krispies
  • dried blueberries
  • raisins
  • sunflower seeds
  • flax seeds
  • almonds, raw whole unsalted

+ cold milk


November 25, 2011

Trial and Error: Macarons!

So maybe it was a bit overzealous to try macarons after just learning how to bake cookies last week, but what’s Thanksgiving without a bit of a challenge, no? I must say though, it was quite a humbling experience. The results of Take 1 are laughable:

Check out the monster on the left. (And that would be take 3 on the right…) Oh, and never underestimate the power of food coloring! Same filling in both cookies. No joke.

This recipe is the result of intense research and recipe combining! Props to my little researcher/photographer, Angeline. (:

Feel free to do your own research and come up with your own recipe. Trial and error is the best way to learn what works for you and your oven. There are a plethora of blog posts out there on troubleshooting and tips. Also, feel free to use those creative juices to come up with flavors combos. Things I want to try in the future: cardamom with orange white chocolate filling, macha green tea and red bean filling, classic pistachio with buttercream filling, coffee and chocolate, mint and chocolate, the list goes on…

MACARON SHELLS (makes ~20 sandwiches)

  • 3/4 cups almond flour
  • 1 cup icing sugar (aka confectioner’s, icing, etc)
  • 1/4 cup fine granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup egg whites (about 2 eggs)
  •  baking sheets and a pencil


  1. Preheat oven to 315F (too low heat = cracks, too high heat = bottoms will burn)
  2. On the paper side of the baking sheet, trace out 1 inch diameter circles, 2 inches apart. Flip over in a baking pan, waxy side up.
  3. Sift and measure out almond flour and powdered sugar into a separate bowl.
  4. In a stand mixer, beat egg whites on medium until foamy. Increase to high, and beat in granulated sugar slowly. Keep whipping until the mixture turns white, thickens, and forms stiff shiny peaks. Add food coloring while you whip.
  5. Remove bowl from stand mixer and SLOWLY fold in flour mixture into meringue. Sift in some flour mixture, and fold, sift in more flour, then fold, etc. Do NOT overmix. Should be about 50 folds total. Resulting mixture will be shiny, magma-like, and drop off spatula in a slow, viscous manner. Over beating will create a thinner consistency. Under beating will be too thick and paste-y. To be honest, I actually didn’t use all the flour. I simply added most of it until it reached the consistency I liked.
  6. Spoon into a plastic bag and cut off the tip, ~1/2 inch diameter. When piping, the mixture should flow out on its own without pressure.
  7. Bake for 11 minutes, rotating after 5 min, and occasionally propping the oven door open just a crack to let out any steam. Err on the side of a tad overcooked instead of undercooked. A crisp macaron shell will soften the next day as it melds with the filling.
  8. Set aside to cool, then fill. Now LEAVE THEM ALONE! Eat it the next day. I promise. It’s 10x better. Keep them in an airtight container at room temperature. Preferably somewhere out of sight. (:

(Berry + White Chocolate Ganache) 

  • 4 oz white chocolate
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 tsp jam (strawberry, mixed berry, raspberry, what have you.)

Place chocolate piece in a small glass or metal and place over a small sauce pan of water. Heat water slowly up to a simmer and melt chocolate. Add cream slowly as it melts and mix in jam. Optional: add 1 drop of red food coloring for aesthetic effect. Set aside until shells are ready to be filled.

(Salted Caramel) 

  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 stick of butter
  • 1 pinch of salt

You will need two small sauce pans. In one pan, heat milk over medium low heat, just before it boils. In another pan, add sugar and melt over medium high heat. Let sugar caramelize into a deep brown color tehn remove from heat. Slowly pour in hot milk while mixing continuously. Let it cool a bit, then add butter in pieces while still mixing. Place in fridge and let it cool a bit. Remove from fridge then beat until mixture is smooth and creamy. Set aside until macaron shells are ready to be filled. Don’t re-refrigerate fillings. They get too cold and hard to use…

Props to Angeline the researcher/photographer, Gloria the architect, and Rich the dish-washer (and stand mixer contributor?)

November 17, 2011

Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

I love Martha Stewart.

This is my first batch of cookies since high school. That was the first and only time I tried to make cookies. They came out as chocolate chip biscuits. I never attempted cookies again after that.

Cookies take two?

(Look, Ma! Homemade frosting!)

Much more successful. The cookies are light and cakey with a very distinctive carrot cake spice. I had some trouble with the cream cheese frosting and it came out a bit lumpy (didn’t wait for everything to come to room temperature) and liquidy. Ok. I probably could’ve avoided those problems easily, but I was lazy. I used granulated sugar instead of powdered, and simply blasted it in a food processor to make it into a powder. Sounds like a reasonable substitute, right? HOWEVER,… I realized too late that I had measured 1 cup before I processed it. The resulting powder was actually less than a cup, and I was too lazy to measure more out.

In all honesty, sandwiched between two jumbo cookies, no one will notice what the frosting looks liked. Although next time, I’ll just listen to Martha and follow the damn recipe.

Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart:


  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into pieces
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 heaping tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 whole clove, ground
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated carrots, (about 3 large carrots)
  • 3/4 cups raisins
  • 3/4 cups chopped walnuts


  • 16oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 sticks of butter, room temperature, cut in pieces
  • 2 cup confectioner’s/powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Grate carrots. Set aside in a large bowl with measured out oats, raisins, walnuts.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugars and butter; beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla, and beat on medium speed until well combined.
  3. In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger; stir to combine.
  4. Gradually add flour to butter mixture; mix on a low speed until just blended.
  5. Mix in oats, carrots, walnuts, and raisins. Chill dough in refrigerator until firm, at least 1 hour. This is important to prevent runny dough and flat cookies.
  6. Make frosting:
    1. Beat cream cheese gently until softened.
    2. Add butter and vanilla extract and mix on medium speed until well incorporated (no more lumps).
    3. Slowly add powdered sugar until all two cups are in, adding more if frosting is still too runny.
  7. Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper, and set aside. (use the butter wrappers to grease up the parchment paper. Quick trick.)
  8. Using a 1/2-ounce ice-cream scoop, scoop dough onto prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between cookies. A 1tbs measuring spoon makes a good substitute. (***important! If you make the scoops too big or too close, you will get a sheet cookie. Trust me. I learned the hard way.) Transfer to oven, and bake until edges are JUST browned and crisped, 12 to 15 minutes. (Cookie will continue to cook and darken in color once removed.)
  9. Transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat baking process with remaining dough. Once cooled completely, use an offset spatula to spread cream-cheese filling onto a cookie. Sandwich together with a second cookie. Repeat with remaining cookies. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.

Some tips:

  1. Between batches, cool the baking pan completely by running it under some water in the sink. This keeps the dough from deflating upon contact on a hot pan…
  2. If you don’t have an ice cream scooper (I do not), use a 1tbs measuring spoon. 1 heaping spoonful will do. Just be consistent as you want the cookies to fit together for the sandwich.
  3. Chilling the dough is paramount. The dough is actually rather runny. Put the dough back in the fridge between baking batches to keep it firm.
  4. If the icing is too runny, add more powdered sugar! You may need more sugar than the icing recipe calls for.

EDIT: 3 years later, I’m getting pretty good at this recipe. Here’s the new and improved version. Smaller cookies, thicker and creamier frosting.

carrot cake

I also wasn’t instagram-ing 3 years ago. I’m sure that makes a difference in the photo quality. (: carrot cake2

November 6, 2011

Kimchee Burgers

My new favorite snack:

  • 1 Sandwich Thins round, toasted
  • 1 Gardenburger Portabella patty*
  • Kimchee

*I find the Original flavor is too herby and clashes rather badly with kimchee…

Takes 2 minutes, and is only ~200 calories. And for a little perspective: a sugar loaded granola bar is ~180. A bag of SunChips is ~210. A cup of Raisin Bran cereal with 2% milk is 265. And come on, who eats only 1 cup of cereal?

I always have a jar of kimchee in my fridge. Tastes good with everything. Especially a hot bowl of ramen. Mmm…. ramen…

I’m on a diet this week. Can you tell? Too bad I’m baking zucchini bread right now. I swear I’m gonna give the rest away after one slice! I swear!