Monday, June 24, 2013

The Veggies are Back

Hey there Veggie Heads! I've been missing in action for a few months with LOTS going on. A lot of things have changed...but fear not, my love of veggies remains the same :) Among the biggest changes are that I started at a new job and I no longer have a Man Friend... I have a fiance!! That's right folks, this veggie lovin' bride-to-be is looking for a caterer in the Bangor area and I need suggestions! Any advice would be greatly appreciated! But let's not get ahead of ourselves, let's focus on today and what we had for dinner.


Like many woman (I like to think I'm not alone in this), I'm afraid of the grill and am quite content with not learning how to use it. Call it silly, lazy, or a shameless attempt to get some help cooking dinner but I'm pretty sure I will always ask for assistance with firing it up.





...and fire it up we did with this grilled pizza! Portland Pie's Beer dough, garlic, olive oil, tomato, rainbow chard from our farm share, vidalia onion, basil from my small ( and frankly pathetic) basil plant and some cheese.  





We got off to a shaky start with the dough as it shrunk way down when I first put it onto the grill. Things don't always go as planned but you have to ADAPT in the kitchen, at the grill and I guess in life! I ran to the kitchen got a big spatula and smooshed it back into the full size pizza it was destined to be. Voila! 


 


 


Grilled pizza will be added to the summer menu rotation for sure. It was fab! I plan to pick blogging back up slowly and hope to get a couple posts up a week. Stay tuned!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Peppers Stuffed with Lots of Stuff


I always like stuffed peppers when I was young and still ate meat. I have been a vegetarian/ pescatarian (fish and dairy but no meat) since I was 16. Holy cow! I just realized it's been TEN YEARS! Yep, you guessed it, I am 26... Anyway, this is my first attempt at veggie stuffed peppers! I could have easily made them without a meat substitute but I think my Man-friend enjoys the addition of at least a meat-like ingredient. 
I stuffed four large green peppers (even though there are only three in this picture) halved. Make sure you thoroughly wash you peppers! They top the dirty dozen list of foods with the most pesticides on them!
Inside the peppers:
Sauteed onions, garlic, carrots and celery (1 medium onion, 3 large carrots, 4 stalks of celery, one clove of garlic)
1 bag of Morning Star Farm Grillers Crumbles (a ground beef replacement in the frozen section)
1 cup quinoa cooked (about two cups cooked)
1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes (chopped up and including the liquid. You could use a can of diced but whole is what was in my pantry)
Salt and pepper
a sprinkle of parmesan cheese
a sprinkle of bread crumbs on top for some crunch
After your veggies are softened add all your ingredient to the pan and combine thoroughly and get to stuffing those peppers! Cook on 375* for about 30 minutes. It may take more or less time depending on how big your peppers are.
When my peppers started to curl up on the edges I pulled them out to add a bit of jack cheese to the top. 
Mmmm check out that ooey gooey cheesy goodness :)
I whipped up this corn, cherry tomato and basil salad for the side. Tossed in olive oil, balsamic vinegar and s&p to taste. Easy and delightful. 
I guarantee you could sneak these faux meat crumbles into you family's dinner and they would never know! Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Banan-cakes


If you haven't noticed, I'm pretty into these three ingredient pancakes (1 banana, 2 eggs, 1/4 cup oats). Strangely enough I've never really been a pancake kind of person, I'm more of a french toast girl :)
But hey, anyway to disguise protein, fruit and my beloved oats into a killer breakfast, makes me happy. If you haven't tried these yet you're seriously missing out! 
Top with all the good stuff- strawberries, peanut butter, coconut and syrup.
Hey, maybe I'll be having this again tomorrow morning :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Be My Galentine/ Valentine


Back from vacation and back to normal! We went to Florida last week and it always takes me a little while to get back into the swing of things. I'll be making a Florida post later this week but first things first, Valentines day! I kicked things off with a lovely Galentines day (get it, valentines with your gals?!) earlier in the week. We did what we do best eat, drink and gab. We made a cheesy Martha (Stewart) fondue recipe that we dove in too fast to catch a shot of... 
We did take our time with these beauties though! Is it just me or are they pretty Barbie-ish?
I just love decorating cookies, definitely more fun than baking them. 
Thanks for the fun time girls! Valentines Day doesn't have to be just about a significant other! Just show people you love you care about them by making time and doing something fun :)
                                                              *  *  *
I had valentines day off and decided to channel my inner mom (I am not a mother, maybe someday!) and make heart shape pancakes for my Man-friend before he left for work. The first one came out great but it was all down hill from there...(must hone mom skills).
I made my now favorite three ingredient pancakes from this post. Topped with strawberry sauce (just frozen strawberries heated up and smushed (is that a word?) with a splash of OJ), peanut butter and coconut. Delightful way to start the day of love.
After breakfast I broke out my double boiler and got to work making some chocolate covered strawberries (is there anything better?!) when a package of chocolate covered strawberries arrived at the door. YUM now we have a ton...no problem there. 
In an effort to avoid the crowds we have always (except last year when we were out of town) made an elaborate dinner at home on Valentines Day. We cook slowly, eat and sip prosecco slowly and just enjoy our time together :)
We got lobsters and mussels, rolls from Rosemont Bakery, and made a spinach salad. 
and ate millions o' strawberries for dessert :) I hope everyone had a wonderful V-Day!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Peas and Thank You


My Man-friend is a huge fan of pea soup... I've made it only once before and didn't really love it, it was pretty bland. I think it's the ham in traditional split pea soup that makes it flavorful. I was dead set on making a delicious vegetarian version!
I consulted Martha (Stewart of course) for some guidelines. I branched out on my own though after the "add ham bone to pot" part though. Sauté carrots, onions, and celery with salt pepper and thyme until they are tender. Add in two cartons of vegetable stock and two cups of water as well as a bag of split peas. Bring to a boil. Now here's the trick! Liquid smoke, to replace the dimension added from the ham bone. I used about six dashes. Cover and let simmer until the peas are soft. 
I stuck my submersion blender right into the pan to blend it until it was smooth. You could use a regular blender in small batches though. 
Crusty bread for dipping :)
This pea soup was MUCH better and very flavorful! The Man-friend was very thankful and practically licked his bowl clean :)

New Toys, New Recipes


I got this submersion blender for Christmas this year and I've tried it a couple times but have been trying to find more ways to use it (because it's awesome). Enter PANCAKES. These aren't your normal pancakes though, I read about them on Blogilates (a pilates blog/vlog). My version of these pancakes are a spin off her flourless version. 
To serve two:
2 bananas (I used brown ones from my freezer)
4 eggs
1/2 cup rolled oats
pinch salt
sprinkle of cinnamon 
Blend it all together! I opted to add oats to this recipe (the Blogilates version is just 1 banana and 2 eggs) because the thawed bananas were pretty soggy and I thought the mixture would be too runny. Heat up a hot skillet and make just like regular pancakes, flipping when the batter starts to bubble in the middle. This mixture is much looser than regular pancake batter so be sure to pour slowly. 
Look normal right??
Topped with yogurt butter, PB, almonds and of course SYRUP. 
They were delicious and I'll be making these again! Lovely Sunday morning :)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Baby Cabbages?


Are brussel sprouts baby cabbages or are they a different vegetable? I've always wondered this. Maybe I'll google that later... 
Last night I roasted these puppies up with some olive oil and salt and pepper. 400* for about 20 minutes. 
Mmmm brussels roasted to perfection. 
Garlic shrimp! I really like shrimp but hadn't had it in a while, I was delighted when the Man-friend came home from the grocery store with a big bag of it. YUM. We also had rice pilaf on the side (another of his picks). I haven't had this in AGES, and forgot how good it was. 
Lots of shrimp left, you'll be seeing more soon!

Baby It's Cold Outside


I might as well jump on the 'HOLY COW IT'S SO COLD OUT' bandwagon :) Every year we have a cold spell like this but I don't think any Mainer ever really gets used to it! We've just got to find ways to feel warm! In an attempt to pretend like my toes and nose weren't freezing even in my house, I made a big pot of vegetable soup at the beginning of the week. I've been eating it ever since. 
Ingredients:
2 boxes of low sodium vegetable stock
1 large can of diced tomatoes
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
s&p
1 bay leaf 
ANY vegetables you like! I used celery, carrots, potatoes, kale, and kidney beans (1 can)
Directions:
Sautee diced onion and minced garlic in a little olive oil. Dice up the hard veggies and add to the pot. When the veggies are softened add in your liquids and season to taste. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Add in the kidney beans and kale (easily over cooked). Eat whenever the veggies are cooked to your liking. 
I love to eat my veggie soup with feta cheese and a big squeeze of sriracha... shocking I know...
Orange on the side! We'll be heading to the land of oranges next week (Florida) and I'll be thinking warm thoughts until then!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Oaty Goodness


It's been a while since an oatmeal post!
1/3 cup oats, 1/3 cup vanilla almond milk, 1/3 cup water and a pinch of salt simmered to perfection. When the oats were almost ready I added in a handful of frozen berries. Maple syrup, almond butter and a bit of granola (thanks Aunt Nina!) for crunch.
No better way to start the day!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bowl Full of Sketti


The other day I saw this idea on Pinterest and just had to try it. By the way if you aren't already on Pinterest what are you waiting for?? Ok, so I sound like a spokesperson but seriously, it's a great resource to get new ideas and compile things you like or would like to try into one place. I love spaghetti squash especially as bathing suit season approaches, so this seemed like a way easier way to prepare it.
To be honest I didn't read the recipe attached to the picture so I just did what I thought would work best. Cut squash in half length wise and place cut side up on a baking dish. I added in a couple tablespoons of water into the squash "bowls" and a teaspoon of olive oil. I diced a clove of garlic and tossed it in the liquid mixture along with s&p and red pepper flakes. Top the squash bowls off with the marinara of your choice. I baked uncovered at 375* for close to an hour before deciding to cover them with tin foil and putting some water in the bottom of the baking dish so they would steam (I should have done this from the beginning!) This sped up the cooking process and when they were fork tender I sprinkled with cheese and placed back in the oven for it to melt. Top with basil and enjoy! This is definitely going my new favorite way to prepare this! So easy! 
Delicious! You've got to try this! 

Date Night with Ramen


No, not the 5 for a dollar dried packs! Friday night we hit Pai men Miyake in Portland for Japanese noodles! We had recently watched a show on the Food Network about authentic ramen and it got both of us in the mood for a big spicy bowl of broth and noodles. 
I was immediately pleased by the drink menu and this sake bloody mary with wasabi. There aren't many beverages I prefer over a bloody mary, having one with dinner was a treat! My date had a small carafe of sake and a beer. 
We picked a couple apps to share like this tuna sashimi salad and vegetable dumplings. I love loved the dumplings. Most places only have meat varieties and I was please to see this veggie option!
Check out that crisp!
My ramen had tofu, veggies and nori. 
The Man Friend's had egg and a big piece of pork belly under there somewhere...We spent dinner gabbing and raving about how much we loved the noodles. If you're into ramen you've got to try the real deal! Next time I want to add a big squeeze of sriracha in mine :)