A Green Bean Casserole and an Onion Quiche

This green bean casserole is quite different.  It's red, for starters, because of the paprika.  And the sauce is pretty different, too, I think, because it's not just plain condensed cheese soup.  It's a bit more than just the average green bean casserole, with a unique look and flavour.  I also really liked the onions that covered the whole thing.  Gotta love those carmelized onions!
As for the pie- well, it doesn't have a lot of different flavours, and the yogurt really dominates the dish.  So, the quality of yogurt plays a really big role in how good this will taste.  I really liked how the pie turned out, probably because I really like that sort of thing.  It's simple enough to make, too, even with the extra work of making the pie crust.  I actually liked this one just as much as a different onion pie that I had made a few months back, which was also quite good.  The vanilla flavour is different from anything that I have ever eaten before, and the seasonings on top add a nice bit of flavour.

Red Green Bean Casserole

Serves 8
1 1/2 lb green beans
1 can reduced fat condensed broccoli cheese soup
1/4 c milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 tsp peanut oil

Preheat the oven to 350. Spread the green beans in the casserole dish. Mix together the condensed soup, milk, salt and pepper, paprika and soy sauce in a small container, and mix into the green beans. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan over medium heat with the oil, and sauté the onion until browned, about 10-15 minutes. Spread over the green beans.
Bake for 45 minutes, until beans are tender and heated through.

Yogurt Onion Pie

Adapted from Vegetarian 400

Serves 6-8

2 medium onions, thinly sliced
1 oatmeal-sesame pie crust or other pie crust
1 egg, beaten
6 oz fat free vanilla yogurt
1 1/2 tbsp thyme
Poppy seeds
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a frying pan over medium heat, and saute the onions for 10 minutes, until tender.  Put in the pie crust.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400.
Meanwhile, mix together the egg and yogurt, and pour over the onions.  Sprinkle with thyme, poppy seeds, nutmeg, and salt and pepper.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until heated through.  Cut into wedges and serve.


Quick Tomato Cheddar Soup

I went out to eat the other day (nothing spectacular), and had this soup.  Well, not this exact one, but it was tomato cheddar.  So that got me thinking, and that's how I ended up totally ab libbing what to put in this soup.  It turned out to be quite tasty, especially after it was blended.  Actually, this soup was the whole reason I went traipsing across town in order to find an immersion blender, which really did make all the difference in making this soup ten times better.  It's certainly not perfect yet, but I loved it enough so that I would be willing to make it again.

Cheddar Tomato Soup
Serve 6
1 onion, chopped
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
5 cups water
3 vegetable bullion cubes
2 cups vegetarian mutton (opt)
2 cups pasta, cooked
2 cups milk or Silk
2 tbsp corn starch mixed with 2 tbsp water
1 1/3 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Heat a Dutch oven over meduim high heat and add the onion.  Saute for 6 minutes, until tender.  Add in the tomato, water, and bullion, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add in the remaining ingredients except pasta and mutton, remove from heat, and blend.  Return to heat, add the pasta and mutton, heat through, and serve.

Obession With Potato Pizzas?

Here's yet another potato pizza recipe.  I love these things- they are so good for my lunches, and fun to eat and make.  I love how the broccoli on these shriveled up to practically nothing, and became a sort of cumbly thing on top.  But, oh, these did taste really good.  I loved the cheese in place of the tomato paste, as it made a nice change.  I cannot say enough that I am so grateful to have discovered potato pizzas.  They are such a useful thing.
BTW: That's asparagus in the picture.  Yum yum!!

Cheesy Broccoli Potato Pizzas

Adapted from Happy Healthy Life

Serves about 8

2 large russet potatoes, sliced longways, 1 cm thick
1 1/4 cups broccoli florets
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp Italian herbs, dried or fresh (thyme, basil, marjoram, oregano, rosemary, sage)
pinch of salt
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 415 degrees.
In a bowl, combine broccoli, vinegar, garlic powder, and herbs.
On a baking sheet, lay the potatoes out, and then top them with cheese. Add the broccoli on top of the cheese. Pop them in the oven for 35 minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender.

Pasta Sauce

Here's something that a fan of pasta will fall head over heels in lve with.  This sauce is great; M was so excited about it, and I'm a big fan too.  This is certainly among the best pasta sauces that I have ever made, and is great for a hight ratio of sauce to pasta, which I like.  I had a sudden inspiration to toss in some molasses, and that seemed to really liven this recipe up.  I love the dark colour, and the lovely rich flavour.

"Beef" and Tomato Pasta Sauce

Adapted from A Dash of Flavour

Serves 8
2 cups vegetarian burger crumbles
1 onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
2 teaspoons garlic, pressed
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp vegetarian beef bullion
1/2 cup water
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Chili sauce to taste
2 tbsp molasses
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
Salt and pepper, taste
Cooked pasta (spirals work really well)

Heat a saucepan over medium high heat and add the onion and carrot with a bit of water.  Saute for a couple minutes and then add the bell pepper.  Saute for 5 more minutes, until tender, and then add the remaining ingredients except burger crumbles and pasta.  Bring to a soft boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer.  Simmer for about 45 minutes, uncovered. 
10 minutes before serving, add in the burger crumbles.  Heat through and serve over pasta.


Spring Rolls

I have not made spring rolls in ages, but here they are on the menu again.  And they are better than ever!  I spotted an interesting recipe in my cookbook, and though that it looked like a good way to use up some rice noodles that M and I got for a prize a while back when we spent $20 at the Asian Market.  Odd, I think, to win free noodles, but there you have it.  Anyway, I loved these spirng rolls, and they came in handy for my lunch and dinner.  The egg on the outside really gave them a nice coat, and baking them really created a nice cruncy outside.  The really amazing thing, though, was that they are about 35 calories each.  That's what I call low calorie, especially if you think about all the oil that goes into other spring rolls.

Thai Spring Rolls

Makes about 20

Adapted from Low-Fat No-Fat Thai

About 2 oz cellophane noodles
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 carrot, shredded
1 small bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1 1/2 cups cabbage, shredded
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 small can bamboo shoots, drained
4 oz frozen tofu, thawed and chopped
2 tbsp vegetarian oyster flavoured soy sauce
2 tsp agave nectar
2 tbsp chopped cilantro
20 spring roll wrappers
2 tbsp flour mixed with water to form a thick paste
1 egg white

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the noodles.  Remove from heat, and let sit for 20 minutes.  Drain, and roughly chop.
Meanwhile, for the filling, heat a wok over medium high heat.  Add a bit of water, and then the garlic.  Stir for a couple seconds, and toss in the bell pepper and cabbage.  After those are tender, about 3 minutes, add the carrot, green onions, bamboo, and tofu.  Heat through, and remove from heat.  Add in the cooked noodles, soy sauce, agave, and cilantro, and mix through.
Heat the oven to 425. 
To make the wraps:  Place about 2 tbsp of the filling in a line in the middle of a wrapper, horizontal to you.  Fold the edge farthest away from you over the filling to cover it, and then fold in the two sides.  With your finger, add a bit of the flour paste to the edge closest to you.  Roll the edge closest to you up to create a roll (it should seal with the flour paste).  Brush with the egg white, and place on a baking sheet coated with nonstick spray.  Repeat with remaining filling.
Bake for 10 minutes, until heated through.  Serve with a dipping sauce.

Another Potato Pizza

Here's something new to try: a potato pizza.  These are a lot healthier than normal pizzas, and, I think, a lot better.  Plus they are more fun to eat.  This version was better  than the first type that I tried, and I would totally try several different variations on these.  And they are quick to throw together.  I loved taking them for lunches, too, because they traveled well.  The addition of a few spices to the veggies made all the difference to make this dish stand out.
 Potato Pizzas #2

Adapted from A Dash of Flavour

Serves 8

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 large baking potatoes, sliced the long way into flat pieces about 2/3 cm thick
1 small can tomato paste
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
8 black olives, sliced
dried chilli flakes to taste
½ cup mozzarella cheese, grated

Preheat oven 350.
Heat a small, frying pan over medium heat, and add the onion.  Sauté for 3 minutes, and then add the mushrooms and bell pepper.  After those are tender, about 5 minutes, add the cumin, coriander, garlic powder, and chili flakes. 
Put the potato slices on a baking sheet coated with nonstick spray, and then top them with the tomato paste.  Add the veggies, and then olives and cheese.  Bake for 35 minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender.

Mild "Chicken" and Rice Soup

Here's another soup.  One of about five thousand that I have made recently.  And this one is also really good.  What's different about it is that it's simple to make, and it's nice and mild.  So no spectacular burst of flavour, but it has a subtle taste that's unique, from the sage.  I loved the rice in it too, which doesn't really go in my soups all that often.  And no tomatoes for once, which seem to always end up in my soups.  I liked the chicken, for a change, too.

"Chicken" and Rice Soup with Cabbage

Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen

Serves 8
½ cup rice, cooked
1 onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, coined
1 tbsp. dried sage
6 cups water plus vegetarian chicken bullion
3 yukon gold potatoes, chopped
½ smallish cabbage, shredded
1 vegetarian chicken, chopped into bite-sized pieces
3 tbsp corn starch mixed with ¼ cup water
1/2 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
2 T balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium high heat, add a bit of water, and then the onion and carrots. After 2 minutes add in the cabbage. When it has mostly shrunken, about 5 minutes, add the sage, bullion, water, and potatoes. Bring to a boil, and then simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Add the remaining ingredients, heat through, and serve.

Japanese Pancake...

These pictures turned out aweful.  I guess my camera didn't like the okonomiyaki.  But I did.  This was really quite a weird dish,  mainly, I think, because I used whole wheat flour.  But it was also interesting, and a nice change from the norm.  What I thought was really funny when I was making the batter was that there was more egg that flour, and that seemed really unbalanced.  Again, the photos do not really do this dish justice, because it was quick, and good to eat.  A good dish to use up eggs, too, which I am really bad about.

Okonomiyaki (Japanese Pizza)

Serves 2

Adapted from eCurry
1 cup cabbage, finely shredded
3/4 cup finely chopped white and tender green leeks
1 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 tsp baking soda
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Egg, beaten
1/2 tsp peanut oil
2 tbsp bbq sauce
2 tbsp tamarind juice
Toasted almonds
Chopped green onions
Opt: cheese, fake meat, noodles

In a small bowl, mix together the bbq sauce, ketchup, and tamarind juice. Set aside.
Mix together the flour with the water, and add the baking soda with the salt and pepper. Whisk until smooth. Stir in the leeks, cabbage, and half the carrots.
Heat a large frying pan coated with nonstick spray over medium heat.  Add the oil, and then add the flour mixture and use a spatula or back of a spoon to press into a round shape. Cook for 4-5 minutes, until the bottom has become solid. Spray the top with nonstick spray and then flip it over. Flatten the other side with the spatula, and then cook for 3-5 more minutes. Remove from heat and spread some of the bbq sauce mixture on it. Top with remaining carrots, almonds, green onions, and whatever else floats your boat. Cut into wedges and serve.

A Mini Soup

This was just a quickly that I whipped up for lunch on of my numerous snow days, and I was really in the mood for soup, but I wanted to eat a differnet kind from that for dinner.  I reallly wasn't planning to post about this, but it actually turned out really good.  Plus it took me about 10 minutes to make, and then 10 to simmer while I got out to rest of my lunch things.
Quick Bean and Noodle Soup

Serves 1 generously

1/2 very small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 cup water
1 tsp vegetarian chicken bullion
1 tsp corn starch mixed with 2 tsp water
1/2 cup crushed or diced tomatoes
1/2 cup cooked white beans
1/2 cup-ish cooked spaghetti
A few shakes Spike seasoning
Salt and pepper, to taste
Opt: Spinach, parmesan cheese
In a small pot, heat a bit of water and saute the onion and garlic until tender, about 5 minutes.  Add in the water and bullion, bring to a light boil, and simmer for 5 minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients, heat through, and serve.

Coconut Rice and Veggie Stir Fry

So, I did not really read the recipe when I decided to make this dish.  I just skimmed the ingredients, and then thought "Ok, that's goog.  I'll just add more veggies."  Hah, and then when I realised that the tofu was supposed to cook with the rice in the original, I felt kind of stupid.  And this one turned into another stir fry, that was actually quite a nice change from other stir fries because of the cinnamon and other spices in the rice.  You really can't go wrong with cashews and cinnamon.

Coconut Rice with Tofu and Veggies
Serves 4

Adapted from Happy Healthy Life

1 cup long grain brown rice
1/4 cup light coconut milk
1 ¼ cups water
A few drops coconut extract
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg and cloves
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 Tbsp agave nectar
2 Tbsp rice vinegar

14 oz fried tofu, cut into bite sized pieces
½ cup light coconut milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp mirin
Dash of nutmeg and cloves
2 tbsp agave nectar
3 carrots cut on the diagonal
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 heads broccoli, chopped into florets
1 onion, sliced
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
Cashew pieces, to taste (about 1/3 cup)

In a pot, add the rice, coconut milk, salt, coconut or regular water, nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon.  Bring to a boil and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.
Add the agave, vinegar, coconut flakes, and vanilla extract.  Cook until the rice is done, about 30 more minutes. 
Mix together the coconut milk, through agave, and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat a wok over medium high heat.  Add the carrots, onion, and ginger with a bit of water.  Sauté for 3 minutes, and then add in the broccoli and bell pepper.  Sauté until almost tender, and then add in the coconut milk mixture.  Add the tofu, heat through, and then serve over the rice topped with cashews.


Easy Baked Mix with BBQ Sauce

Hah!  This is one of the easiest recipes known to mankind.  It just requires some patience once it's in the oven.  But I seriously think that I put this together in five minutes.  Which is incredible, especially since it makes four fairly large servings.  I love it!  And it's a really warm, fillign dish too.  I had the urge to eat the leftovers with chopsticks last night, and that was really fun too.  No clue why... At first I was worried about the dish beign too oniony, but then the onions did mellow out nicely, and developed that baked onion taste that I love.  I haven't made a dish like this one in such a long time, and I am certain to make this one again, no changes!

BBQ Bake

Adapted from Karma Free Cooking

Serves 3-4

4 medium-small red potatoes, chopped
2 vegetarian hot dogs, sliced on the diagonal
1 medium sweet yellow onion,, peeled, cut into half, and then into quarters, and somewhat separated
6 tbsp bbq sauce, or more to taste
2 tbsp molasses
Cooking sherry, opt.
1 tsp caraway seeds
Sprinkling of garlic salt

Preheat the oven to 400.
In a large bowl combine the potatoes, hot dogs, and onion with the bbq sauce and molasses. Stir to coat, adding cooking sherry if needed to make the sauce less thick. Add the remaining ingredients, and stir well. Pour into a casserole dish coated with nonstick spray, and bake for 45 minutes or so, until the potatoes are tender, stirring every 15 minutes.


Two Simple Recipes

Once again, I feel like I am struggling to keep up with my huge appettie, and no matter how much cooking I do, it always disappears.  Whatever.  That just means that I can cook more, which is, of course, no problem with me.  However, that does mean that simple recipes are starting to become more appealing to me, and these two fit the bill.  I have to say, as time marches on I am becoming less and less fond of mushrooms, probably because I was eating so many for days for a while.  So I was not too big on this soup.  But it was still really good, and I would absolutely love it without the mushrooms.  And simple roasted veggies have risen on my list of favourites.  This simple cauliflower thing is so simple, and tastes beyond amazing.  I mean, it's blow your socks off good.   Maybe I'm just weird or something, but I could eat this every week for months on end, and still like it.  I just wish that the heads of cauliflower weren't so small right now, because it get rather pricey.  The leftovers are not as good as the first day, but they still reheat just fine, and I would not hesitate to say that leftovers are still excellent.

Porky, Mushroomy Soup

Serves 8

Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen

1 onion, finely chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 lb crimini mushrooms, washed and cut into thick slices
3 cups cabbage, chopped
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp caraway
1 28 oz can petite dice tomatoes
3-4 yukon potatoes, diced
1 ½ tbsp smoked paprika
3 cups water plus vegetarian chicken bullion
1 lb vegetarian pork, cut into bite sized pieces
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat a Dutch oven over medium high heat with a bit of water. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and garlic, cook for another minute, and add the mushrooms and cabbage. Sauté for 5 more minutes, until the cabbage has shrunken, and then add the seasonings, tomatoes, potatoes, water, and broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Add in the pork, and cook until heated through.
Serve with salt and pepper.

Roasted Cauliflower with Cheese

Serves 4

Adapted from Kalyn’s Kitchen

1 head cauliflower, core cut away and cut into bite-sized flowerets
1 tbsp olive oil (enough to coat all the cauliflower)
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
2-3 tbsp cheese – I used parmesan, and then mozzarella

Preheat the oven to 400. In a bowl combine the cauliflower and oil, and stir to coat. Or shake the two in a container with a lid or plastic bag. Put on a baking sheet coated with nonstick spray. Bake for 20-30 minutes, stirring once or twice, until nice and browned. They should smell lovely too.
Serve, topped with cheese.

Deja Vu Soup? Not So Much

 I seriously feel like I am making the same soups over and over and over again, because they all have the same ingredients.  Onion.  Garlic.  Potatoes.  Tomatoes.  Carrots.  Broth.  And those things seem to go in every soup that I have ever made.  I felt like that when I was chucking ingredients in the pot last night, and got the feeling "here we go again".  But actually, this soup did turn out quite different, and that was due to the tomato sauce.  It's really funny that something as simple as that would change the whole soup, but it did make it quite different from any other soup that I have made recently.  And I have made a LOT of soup in the past few months.  I find that when I'm not in school that I eat two bowls a day, of the same kind.  Which, in most cases, I really don't mind one little bit.  So here's the very tomatoy soup that makes a huge batch.  And it's already half gone in a day and a half, because M and I have already eaten two bowls a piece.  Cause it's just that good.

TOH Veggie Tomato Soup

Serves 8

Adapted from Taste of Home

1 ½ cups whole wheat penne pasta
3 monster-sized carrots, chopped
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 bay leaves
3 yukon gold potatoes, cubed
28 oz can tomato puree
3 cups water plus “beef” bullion
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp rosemary
1 tbsp chili powder
1/2 cup cooking sherry
2 tbsp corn starch mixed with 2 tbsp water
1 cup frozen peas
1 lb vegetarian beef, chopped (opt’l)
Bring a pot of water to a boil, and cook the pasta until just under tender, about 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium high heat, and sauté the carrots and onions in a bit of water for 3 minutes. Add the bell pepper and garlic, and sauté until tender, about 5 more minutes. Add the water through chili powder, and bring to a boil. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes, until potatoes are tender. Add the remaining ingredients and pasta, and cook until heated through. Serve (don't forget to take out the bay leaves).

Another Stir Fry

Here's another quick stir  fry with the very typical long list of ingredients in the sauce.  It's really good, just life every other stir fry that has come along recently here.  M really likes it, because of the chicken and peanuts, which are among her favorite ingredients.  Mine too, but I like a lot of things.  I was very pleased with how this turned out.  Plus, I actually managed to not under or over cook the rice this time, so that was a really nice change. Yay!  Go me.

Coconut “Chicken” Curry

Adapted from Chinese and Thai 400

Serve 6

½ cup tamarind juice
1 tbsp vegetarian chicken bullion1 tbsp agave nectar
¾ cup reduced fat coconut milk
Chili sauce, to taste
Juice of 1 lime
1 tbsp corn starch
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, pressed
2 cups broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup frozen peas (I used snow peas when I made this, but it would be better with peas)
1 vegetarian chicken, about 3 cups, chopped
12 oz fingerling potatoes, cut in half if large and boiled until tender
Rice and peanuts, to serve

Mix together the tamarind juice through corn starch in a bowl, and set aside.
Heat a wok over high heat with a bit of water. Sauté the onion for 2 minutes, and then add the garlic. Sauté for another minute and add the broccoli and bell pepper. Sauté for another 4 minutes, and then add the sauce. Add the peas and “chicken”, and simmer for 2 minutes. Add in the potatoes, and simmer for another 2 minutes, until heated through. Serve over rice, topped with peanuts.