Posts tagged ‘vegetarian’

February 17, 2011

Cheesy Salsa Baked Eggs

quick breakfast that i made for R this…afternoon. at 3pm. yes. breakfast.

you like my new Rachel Ray ramekins?

adapted from this wonderful site.  i’ve been saving this recipe for months. i just never have salsa around the house. lo and behold, R comes to h-town and my pantry is now full of all sorts of crap i never allow myself to buy: chips, candy, sugary beverages, ice cream, and yes, salsa. so who better to make this for than the procurer of the ingredients?

let’s keep it short and simple:

  1. preheat oven to 350F
  2. butter and toast bread
  3. spoon several tbs of salsa into a ramekin (these are 10 oz)
  4. crack in one egg
  5. bake 15-20 min.
  6. top with cheese (i used a shredded mexican blend. just what i happened to have on hand.)
  7. bake additional ~5 min or until cheese melts.
  8. top with cilantro and serve!

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February 13, 2011

Sausage and White Bean “Cassoulet” w/ a Garlic Parmesan Gratin

mmmm… beans… i wanted something thick and hearty to fill my belly while i studied for exams. i needed the study break anyhow.

oh and interesting piece of knowledge that i gathered from researching beans (i research everything i make. i am a nerd). beans, although relatively high in carbs, is also really high in fiber (as i’m sure we’ve all experienced). and because fiber isn’t digested/absorbed by our systems, the “net carbs” in beans is actually much lower. or something to that effect. just look it up. i have enough to study as is.

anyway, all i know is that with a relatively small portion of beans, i feel fuller much faster and for much longer. a small cup is enough to satisfy me in the mornings for several hours until lunch time. also good night time snack as brain food. slow release of glucose etc etc…

so bring on the BEANS.

PS: Have you ever tried the Venison and White Bean Cassoulet from Brennan’s? amazing.

adapted from yet another amazing Epicurious recipe.


  • 4 links of Italian sausage. (I used Field Roast vegan sausages. ~12oz)
  • vegetable oil
  • 1 medium large onion, diced. (~ 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbs dried parsley
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • optional: 1/4 cup scallions
  • 1 can diced tomatoes including (most of) the juice
  • 2 cans white beans (1 cannellini, 1 navy)

For topping:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1-2 slices stale white bread, crusts discarded, diced finely.
  • ~1/2 cup panko bread crumbs.
  • 1 small garlic clove, chopped fine
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • grated parmesan


  1. heat dutch oven on medium. add 1 tbs vegetable oil and cook sausages (these are wrapped in plastic…please remove..), breaking them up with a flat spatula/wooden spoon as you cook. remove from heat and set aside.
  2. since these sausages aren’t quite as greasy as real pork sausages, you may need a bit more oil. saute onions and garlic until just soft ~5 min. mix in herbs then salt generously.
  3. add tomatoes and bring to a low boil on medium heat.
  4. reduce heat and add sausages back in, including 2 cans of beans. cook on medium heat until heated through.
  5. in a separate pan, heat oil. saute bread (i toasted them first ’cause they weren’t quite stale enough.) until golden. add garlic. remove from heat and mix with panko + parsley and a pinch of salt.
  6. remove bean mixture into cassarole dish. top with bread crumbs.
  7. grate cheese generously over top.
  8. pop in oven on high broil until golden crust forms.
  9. serve as side, entre, or straight out of the dish standing at the stove (:

i love the thick and creamy texture of “bean cassoulets”.  it’s so satisfyingly rich. plus i can always convince myself it’s healthy by using meat substitute sausages.

and why do i keep using quotation marks when i use cassoulet? wiki it. something about duck fat.

note to self: work on this crumb topping business. i need to chop the bread up finer. i’m also not sure how much oil i need when i “saute” said bread. sounds silly to me. perhaps i dont completely grasp the concept of sauteing bread yet. i think it just adds unnecessary oil into the recipe. perhaps i’ll stick to just toasting it in the future. or just use panko.

January 29, 2011

Anjou Pear + Bleu Cheese Salad

anjou pears + crumbled bleu cheese + walnuts + raisins + raspberry balsamic dressing.

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January 8, 2011

Brunch! – Oven Roasted Potatoes, Grilled Asparagus, and Poached Eggs w/ Hollandaise

Today was an experiment on technique.

I will never again complain that brunch costs too much. the sheer number of different cooking methods it took just to plate this one meal was ridiculous.

Oven Roasted Potatoes:

took the longest. prepare first!

  1. preheat oven to 425F
  2. scrub 2 medium yukon gold potatoes clean. keep skins. (i like the extra crisp texture it provides)
  3. dice into medium small cubes.
  4. dump into ziplock
  5. pour in 1 or 2 tbs olive oil
  6. dump in about 2 tsp herbs de provence + garlic salt to taste.
  7. line baking pan with aluminum foil and using a paper towel, spread around olive oil on the bottom of the pan. dump in potatoes and spread evenly.
  8. bake in oven for 20-30 min. until slightly golden brown
  9. because i’m anal, i removed the pan and turned all the potatoes skin side up.
  10. crank up heat to 475F and finish off, 5 min more, until crisp on the outside.


you can prepare this any way you like. i normally blanch my veggies but i wanted different textures and blanching was just too similar to poaching. my intended approach was to grill them. buuuut i have no grill. so my compromise was to blanch, then broil in the toaster oven before serving.

  1. shave off outer skin w a potato peeler. cut tough ends off (i roll the asparagus back and forth while gently pressing the knife higher and higher up from the stem until it cuts cleanly through.)
  2. wash.
  3. boil water in wide mouth pan.
  4. blanch asparagus ~ 2-3 min.
  5. remove and immerse immediately in ice water bath.
  6. broil on 400F in a toaster oven for ~10 min. (honestly i dont remember how long i broiled it for. just wait for a nice browning to develop)

Poached Eggs:

thank you again, thomas keller. the swirl/vinegar technique works beautifully. god knows how i’ve been managing poached eggs in the past, but this was the first time i’ve ever achieved the perfect amount of runny yolk in the center. for better control, i like to do these one at a time:

  1. crack egg into little ramekins.
  2. boil enough water in pot to completely submerge egg.
  3. turn off heat.
  4. pour in 1 tsp- 1tbs rice vinegar (or white vinegar. whatever you have on hand.). amount varies depending on how much water you have in the pot.
  5. dip ramekin into water and slide the egg out.
  6. cover pot and keep on stove for 4 minutes.
  7. gently prod yolk center. it shouldn’t be obviously liquidy. should feel rather solid. if not, turn heat up a tad, lower than a simmer. (no bubbles!)
  8. remove egg carefully with a slotted spoon and into ice bath to stop cooking
  9. right before serving, immerse egg back into simmering water for 1 min to reheat.

Hollandaise Sauce:

in quite a pickle with this one. i have no small metal mixing bowls. or a blender. so i compromised with my magic bullet.

  1. in magic bullet, pulse 2 egg yolks and 1.5 tsp lemon juice until frothy.
  2. melt 1/4 cup butter in a small ramekin in the microwave until bubbling hot. (note: be picky on what butter you use because the flavor of the hollandaise will largely be determined by it. i used kerrygold pure irish butter and i found it to be a bit too cheesy..)
  3. add a tbs or two of hot butter into magic bullet, reassemble, and pulse until well incorporated.
  4. repeat, adding a tbs or two of hot butter each time.
  5. when all the butter is in, add a pinch or two of salt. blend one last time.
  6. if consistency is too thick, add a few tsp of warm water.
  7. spoon over reheated poached eggs and asparagus spears.
  8. top with a dash of paprika. (i didn’t have cayenne pepper and wanted the red -_-)

December 16, 2010

My new favorite snack:

plain greek yogurt + honey + fresh ground cardamom + cinnamon

it’s like kheer but healthier and so much faster to make.


November 25, 2010

The secret to fabulous fried rice:

Can I even call it a secret? I’ve probably only ever made fried rice twice in my life.

But I’ve eaten plenty. And I use to watch my mother make it all the time. So that counts, right?

Here’s some general tips and tricks:

  • use old left over rice. nobody likes soggy fried rice and that’s what you tend to end up with if you use fresh steamed. so you know that take out box full of hard, kernel-y left over rice you have in the back of your fridge? use it.
  • i dig a little whole in the center of the pan once i’m done frying the rice and pour the egg straight in. 1) because i’m lazy 2) because it coats the rice in lots of egg. makes for a more homogenous result.
  • do the same with green onion at the end. make a hole, add some oil, fry the minced green onion. mmm… smells good. then mix.
  • use salt instead of soy sauce. i like my flavors to come from my ingredients. not from a cup of soy sauce.
  • top with japanese sushi seasoning. this stuff is magical! i like the kind of pork sung in it.

terrible image, i know. you wanna buy me a camera?

anyway. if you don’t like it plain with just eggs and green onion (which is how my mother makes it most of the time) any sort of left over meat can be mixed in. i’m partial to salmon fried rice. i’ll even take away half your grilled salmon dinner and save it for my fried rice tomorrow and let you go hungry for the evening.

really. i will.

if you want an actual recipe, look it up online. the world wide web doesn’t need more How To’s on fried rice.

November 13, 2010

Moroccan Spiced Chickpeas

i know, i know. i go through phases. apparently i’m in a chickpea phase.

or a chard phase.

or perhaps a curry phase. but this isn’t a curry. so hA!

yea whatever. i’ll get more creative when school stops kicking my ass.

adapted from i wanted something chunky and hearty, not soupy, but the spices and flavors of this dish intrigued me. so here’s my take on it:


  • 1/2 yellow onion, minced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 -1/3 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbs paprika
  • 1/2 tbs coriander
  • 1 tbs brown sugar  (there’s a lot of acidity in this dish. may need more)
  • chili powder (to your level of spicy tolerance)
  • 1/2 tbs cumin
  • 1/2 tbs tumeric (mostly for the color)
  • 1/2 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • pepper
  • salt
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 batch rainbow chard


  1. heat oil in dutch oven.
  2. saute onions and garlic until translucent – 5-10 min
  3. combine cinnamon, coriander, paprika, cumin, tumeric, and chili powder  in a small bowl, add half to the onions. mix well to distribute.
  4. add tomatoes and chickpeas, along with about a cup of chicken stock, then the rest of the spices.
  5. cover and reduce heat to simmer – 30 min.
  6. rinse and clean chard. remove stems and cut leaves into 2 or 3 inch pieces.
  7. in a separate pot, boil water and blanch chard for a few seconds until just wilted. remove from water and set aside.
  8. check on chickpeas. once they’re soft and cooked through, squeeze in juice from one lemon. if too soupy, simmer uncovered until liquid reduces.
  9. mix in chard
  10. top with several grinds of pepper and salt to taste if needed.

October 23, 2010

Pumpkin and Spinach Pasta

yea. this is me putting off studying for pharmacology.


  • 1/4 small kabocha squash (japanese pumpkin)
  • 1 shallot
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • ~1 tsp cinnamon
  • ~1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 handful of baby spinach
  • 1 serving spinach linguini
  • 1 tbs goat cheese
  • salt, pepper
  • fresh sage
  • 1/4 cup of milk or cream


  • preheat oven 400F
  • cut squash in half, scoop out seeds (roast these in the toaster oven with some cinnamon, salt, pepper, and nutmeg! mmmm…makes the house smell reeeally good). halve again lengthwise, then once more to form 8 wedges. then halve the wedges width-wise (?) into triangles. i used 8 wedges for this recipe and found it more than enough for a one person serving.
  • bake squash in oven for 20-30 min.
  • mince and saute shallots in butter. season with cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, pepper. remove from heat and set aside.
  • in a small pot, boil water, cook linguini.
  • while linguini cooks, remove squash from oven (a fork should pierce wedges easily, but not sink into a mushy mass.) cut flesh off of skins (i used a paring knife), cut into cubes, and add to blender. add a dash of milk/cream, sautéed shallots, a couple leaves of fresh sage, and pulse until blended smooth. add more cream if you prefer a thinner consistency sauce. salt to taste. (but not too salty because goat cheese will add another layer of saltiness.)
  • reboil hot pasta water (yea i’m lazy) and cook a handful of spinach. remove when just wilting and plate on top of pasta.
  • spoon pumpkin puree over spinach.
  • add a tbs of goat cheese on top of puree (you can use any other type of cheese. mascarpone blended into the puree. grated hard cheese. be creative. i just always happen to have goat cheese in my fridge).
  • sprinkle on some toasted pine nuts and/or toasted pumpkin seeds.
  • i had a couple of extra wedges of roasted pumpkin so i added that to the plate too. you can also dump them into the blender with the rest of the pureed pumpkin, pulse a couple times, and have some nice chunks in the sauce.

now back to my drug list…

October 17, 2010

Oven Roasted Aloo Gobi

I’ve been meaning to try this dish for many months now. glad i finally got around to it.

so from my research (and by research i mean wikipedia, bugging my indian/pakistani friends, and eating lots of aloo gobi), there  are two versions of this dish: 1) dry and 2) curry style.

personally, i kinda felt that i’ve gone curry overkill lately so i wanted to try the dry version. however, i was a bit concerned that because potatoes and cauliflower both have the potential to be rather mushy, i would have a soppy mess by the time it was ready to plate (i am rather stir crazy when i cook. just cant keep my spatula away.) my solution? dry roast. i wanted to give the potatoes and cauliflower a toasty texture to offset their innate mushiness. but because i am a masochist and wanted to make things complicated for myself, i also wanted the flavor of sweet onions and bay leaves but wasn’t sure how to incorporate those flavors via a dry roast. solution addendum? season and caramelize some onions, puree said onions, then mix with roasted veggies. this would give a nice even flavor coating without sacrificing the crisp oven roasted texture of the veggies. overall, this hodgepodge of cooking styles turned out surprisingly well. i can confidently say that i was thoroughly pleased with the result. as with all my recipes, i’m sure i’ll continue to tweak and adjust each time i try this again in the future, but for now, here’s what i’ve got so far:


  • 1 head of cauliflower (anyone else think this looks freakishly brain-like?)
  • 2 medium yukon potatoes
  • 2 tbs trader joe’s curry powder
  • 1/2 tbs tumeric
  • salt
  • 1 small yellow onion, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tbs dry parsley
  • garlic salt


  1. preset oven to 400F
  2. dice potatoes into small cubes, skins on (gets nice and crispy in the oven.)
  3. cut cauliflower into small florets, wash and set aside.
  4. shake and bake time: dump potatoes into a large plastic ziplock bag. add 1 tbs olive oil, 1 heaping tbs curry powder, 1 tsp salt. (i also added and extra half tsp tumeric for extra color).
  5. line a pan with aluminum foil. pour potatoes and spread them out so they lie flat, cover and seal with another layer of aluminum and bake ~ 10 min. (potatoes need a head start as they take longer to bake.)
  6. transfer cauliflower into the same plastic bag and repeat shake and bake process: add oil, 1 tbs curry powder, salt. set aside.
  7. heat dutch oven. melt a small pat of butter and caramelize onions. season with salt, parsley, 1 bay leaf. set aside to cool.
  8. remove potatoes from oven. stick a fork through one of the bigger pieces. should be slightly tender but NOT soft. if fork is having trouble piercing potato pieces, cover and bake a couple more minutes.
  9. add cauliflower into roasting pan. stir evenly. if you’re anal like me, turn potato pieces skin side up. (for added crispiness.). return to oven UNCOVERED. bake 30 minutes.
  10. take onions, now cooled, and pulse in a blender to a smooth paste. once potato and cauliflower is done roasting, reheat dutch oven over med heat and return onion paste into pot.
  11. remove veggies from oven (should be nice and toasty. cauliflower should have a nice browning on the edges) and add to onion paste in pot. mix. salt to taste with garlic salt.
  12. remove bay leaf, sprinkle on some more parsley, and serve!

tip: after mixing in the onions, found potatoes to be a weeeee bit undercooked. too late to return to the oven (and too lazy to), so i simply kept it in the dutch oven, lid on, and let it steam in its own heat ~ 5 min. voila! problem solved.

October 14, 2010

Sautéed Chard w Toasted Pine Nuts and Cranberries

my first time making chard. my first time eating chard. it’s like a buttery, more tender version of spinach. according to the wonderful world wide web, it’s some sort of super food, with ridiculous amounts of vitamin K (something like 400% daily value per cup), iron, vitamin C, antioxidants, etc etc. i’m sure if i didn’t use a whole tablespoon of butter while making this it would be a rather guiltless addition to my diet…

lesson learned for next time: white stalked varieties have more tender stems. the pink stalks are kinda fibrous…(but they’re prettier. so i probably won’t follow my own advice..)

also, i don’t know what all this talk about chard being bitter is. perhaps you need a better grocery store…

anyway, here’s my take on CHARD:


  • 1/4 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 batch swiss chard
  • 2 tbs pine nuts
  • 2 tbs dried cranberries
  • 1 pat of butter
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar.
  • soup stock
  • salt and pepper


  1. cut chard, separating stalks and leaves.
  2. melt butter in hot pan. caramelize onions on med heat. ~10 min.
  3. in toaster oven, spread aluminum foil on a pan and toast pine nuts at 400F until golden (don’t remember how long this took. just check on it.)
  4. once onions are caramelized, add stalks of chard.
  5. pour in a few oz of chicken/vegetable stock (just for moisture), cover 2 min.
  6. remove cover, add chard leaves, balsamic vinegar, a few pinches of salt, and saute until just wilting.
  7. add pine nuts and cranberries. stir, remove from heat. top with plenty of pepper and serve.

i read up on several recipes before i threw this together. one had toasted pine nuts, so i added that to my version. i figure it’ll add some texture. another had balsamic vinegar, so i added that too. gives it a unique, punctuating flavor. and cranberries? i just had a bunch in my pantry and thought i’d need something sweet to offset the vinegar. oh, and i love pepper with balsamic. so bring on the pepper. sweet yellow onions were just to round out the sweet/savory combo (ok. and i also just had half a left over onion sitting in my fridge begging to be used.).

that is all.