January 3, 2014
vegan vegetable udon soup miso carrots mushrooms edamame bored vegetarian

I am now three days into my Vegan January challenge. As soon as I woke up on New Year’s Day, I realized I hadn’t done much preparation shopping-wise, so after lazing around for most of the morning, Chris and I walked over to the newish Greenpoint outpost of CHAMPS for some diner food. “I hope you realize that going vegan doesn’t mean that you get to only eat french fries all month” Chris said as I shoveled fries into my mouth. Whatever, Chris.

Yesterday was a bit better. I braved the cold during my lunch break to check out the newly opened Whole Foods on the disgusting beautiful Gowanus Canal. Have you visited yet? It reminds me of the sprawling suburban grocery stores of my youth, except four times more expensive and with three times the variety of kale. I was able to pick up some raw cashews to make cashew cream (more on that in another post) and a hearty salad with plenty of quinoa and nuts added for extra oomph.

For dinner, my stomach was craving warm comforting and fit for a snowstorm, so I created this miso soup with plenty of veggies and udon noodles. I didn’t use a vegetable stock, but if you have one, you could replace some or all of the water. You might also adjust the amount of miso and soy sauce in that case. As a rule, always adjust recipes to taste!

I want to mention that resources instruct not to boil miso and that it should be added only at the very end to preserve its health properties. I did not do that, I’m a little new to cooking with miso.

Ingredients

– 5 cups Water
– 4 Tbsp White Miso Paste
– 4-5 Tbsp Soy Sauce (more to taste)
– 2 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar
– 1 cup Mushrooms (I used beech mushrooms)
– 1/3 cup sliced Carrots
– 1 small Onion, chopped
– 1/4 cup Edamame, shelled
– 1/4 cup Scallions, chopped
– 2-3 ounces dry Udon Noodles
– Sriracha to taste

Directions

Bring water to a boil, add soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Add onions and turn down to a simmer until onions are translucent. Add in the miso paste, carrots, mushrooms, edamame and most of the scallions. Once the vegetables are tender, bring to a boil again and add noodles. After the water begins to boil again, turn down to a simmer until noodles are tender, about 5 minutes. Season to taste. Serve hot topped with some fresh scallions and Sriracha to taste.

I’d like to work on my vegetable broth-making skills. Do you have any suggestions?


December 13, 2013
Shiitake and Kale Grilled Cheese by The Bored Vegetarian

Have I mentioned that I’m going vegan for January? I have about two and a half more weeks to eat all of the cheese…

Ingredients

– 2/3 cup Shiitake Mushrooms, chopped
– 1 cup Dinosaur Kale, stems removed, greens chopped
– 2/3 Cup Fontina Cheese, shredded
– 2 sliced Bread
– 1-2 Tbls Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Butter
– Salt to taste

Heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add shiitake mushrooms and season with salt. Toss as the mushrooms begin to brown. Add kale and continue to saute until the kale wilts and starts to crisp. Set aside. Spread butter on one side of each slice of bread. Add half of the cheese to an unbuttered sides of one of the slices. Add the mushroom and kale mixture and top with the remainder of the cheese. Top with other slice of bread, butter-side up. Heat a pan over low/medium heat and add sandwich to the pan. Grill until golden brown on one side. Flip and grill the other side as well. Let rest for a minute or two and then cut and serve immediately.


December 5, 2013
indian food, vegetarian, saag paneer, food, recipe, cooking, indian cooking

A few weeks ago I attended Brooklyn Based’s Indie Media Camp for work. It was a full day of panels with awesome media sites (like Blondie & Brownie, Design Sponge and Eater to name a few) talking about what works and doesn’t in the world of blogging. Learning about some of the successes and failures of some of my favorite sites was really beneficial and got me thinking about where I might improve the reach to you all. One of the common messages was the effectiveness of Pinterest with audience outreach, so naturally I rushed home and starting updating all of my boards. Is it working? Are you here because you liked my “A Place in the Woods” board? Oh.

Anyway, I’ve been thinking about how to develop The Bored Vegetarian beyond the recipes I dream up during my G train commute to work, and I think Pinterest was a great place to start. I’ve been scouring other peoples boards for vegetarian recipes I can try and pinning away. I often get inspired when I’m eating at restaurants, but there’s such a wealth of ideas at my fingertips on the ole internet… I know I’ve been missing out! Last night I created my first recipe from my “Vegetarian Test Kitchen” board: Saag Paneer. Since I have the horrible belief that everything possible should be made from scratch, I even made the paneer from scratch. As I weighed down the fresh cheese with a heavy pot filled with liquor bottles, it crossed my mind that it might be easier to buy it next time. Live and learn I suppose.

Ingredients

(adapted from Blue Apron and Veg Recipes of India)
1 liter Whole Milk
2 tsp Fresh Lemon Juice (plus more as needed)
1 lb Fresh Spinach, big stems removed
1/2-3/4 cup Plain Yogurt (I used full fat Greek Yogurt, which wasn’t the best choice!)
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1-2 tsp Fresh Ginger, minced
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp Tumeric
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
salt to taste
Cheese cloth

In a pot, bring milk to a boil. When the milk starts to rise, add the lemon juice. The milk should start to curdle. You may need to add another teaspoon to help it along. Stir the milk. Once it has all curdled, strain into a colander lined with cheese cloth to remove most of the liquid. Gather the ends of the cheese cloth together and twist, forcing out more liquid. Take the cheese cloth bundle and place on a plate with a paper towel underneath. Weigh down with something heavy (canned goods etc.) and allow to set for 30-40 minutes.

In a pan, heat a small amount of olive oil over low/medium heat and saute the spinach in batches until it’s wilted. Remove from heat and spoon spinach onto a cutting board. Chop the spinach (once it’s cool enough) into small pieces and set aside. Once paneer is set, cube and sear in a pan with a little olive oil. Once it has browned on all sides, add the tumeric, cumin, garam masala, ginger and garlic. Toss to coat the paneer. Add in the spinach and yogurt, season well with salt and toss until all the ingredients are mixed well and hot. Serve immediately with Basmati rice and warm naan.


November 18, 2013
Vegan Crispy Brussels Sprouts with Smoked Paprika

It is important to surround yourself with people who eat the same way you do, which is one of the reasons I love going to a restaurant with my friend Corry. After opening restaurants for godknowshowlong, Corry has rightly learned that the best way to get to know a menu is to order it all, an approach that I appreciate. Every time I’m at a restaurant that offers multiple vegetarian options, whether it be appetizers, entrees or sides, I want to sample as much as fiscally possible. Restaurants usually rely on decadent meat dishes, but if they can use kale in a new way or make me crave your quinoa, it shows that they think about every detail of what they’re offering. A prime example was our meal at Hundred Acres on Monday. We ordered nearly every veggie-friendly dish they had, and they did it all well. This dish is inspired by my favorite…

Ingredients

– 2 cups Brussels Sprouts, trimmed and cut in half (save the leaves that fall off – they get crispy and delicious!)
– 1-2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 3 Tsp Smoked Paprika
– 2 Tsp Garlic Powder
– Salt to taste
– 2-3 Tbsp Frying Oil (I used Canola)

Preheat oven to 350. Toss brussels sprouts in olive oil in a baking pan and season with salt. Roast on the bottom rack of the oven until al dente (about 15-20 mins depending on your oven). Mix together the paprika, garlic powder and some salt. In a pan, heat up frying oil until about 375 degrees (I just tested a couple of leaves once I thought it was hot enough). Add roasted Brussels Sprouts and begin to fry. Once they begin to brown, sprinkle with paprika mix and turn to get all sides. Once nicely browned, remove sprouts from pan and drain on a paper town or brown paper bag. Season to taste with salt. Serve hot.

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November 11, 2013
motel sign
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A few years back, my friend Kasey introduced me to Jauntsetter, a website/newsletter of well-curated travel tips for New Yorkers. One of the gems that I discovered through JS is the Silver Sands Motel in Greenport, Long Island. I fell in love on my first trip there a few years back and keep returning to introduce it to more friends (and my mom!). Their cozy bay-side cabins are perfectly suspended in 70’s and 80’s decor and the owners are incredibly hospitable. Last weekend, a group of 11 of us drove up for the night and took over several cabins and had an awesome night cooking, drinking and playing some intense rounds of Celebrity. If you’re ever in need of a quick escape, this is the place to go.

Check out my Jauntsetter of the Week tips from 2011 here and here!


October 28, 2013
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Ingredients

– 2 Eggs
– 1 cup Kale, stems removed, chopped small
– 1/4 cup Oil-Cured Olives, pitted and chopped
– 1/4 cup Walnuts, chopped
– 1/4 cup Roasted Red Peppers, chopped
– 1 Tbsp Mayonaise
– 1/2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for frying
– 2 Tsp Butter
– 2 Tbsp Milk
– 1 soft Roll
– Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread walnuts in a single layer in a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 8-10 minutes. In a food processor or blender, combine walnuts, olives and red peppers and pulse until loosely combined. Add olive oil as needed to bring the ingredients together. Set aside until you’re ready to assemble.

In a frying pan, add a thin layer of olive oil and heat over medium, being careful not to smoke the oil. Add kale and let it crisp up, tossing if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

In a bowl, beat eggs and milk with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Melt butter in a pan over medium/low heat until it starts to bubble. Add eggs and allow to set for a minute. Use a spatula, push the egg from the sides of the pan towards the center slowly, pausing between each push. Be careful not to overcook! At this point you can slice and toast your roll if you’d like.

To assemble, spread mayo on the bottom of the roll, then pile on kale and eggs. Spread the tapenade on the top part of the bun and place on top to make a sandwich.

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October 6, 2013
September 21, 2013

Ingredients

– 2 1/2 cups fresh Figs, stems removed, figs quartered
– 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 1/8 cup Balsamic Vinegar
– 1/8 cup Sugar
– 1 clove Garlic, minced
– 1 tbsp fresh Thyme

Directions

Preheat oven to 325. In a bowl, whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sugar and garlic. Add figs and toss together. Spread the figs in a baking pan, and roast for 20-25 minutes. Check on the figs every ten minutes or so to toss in the pan. The figs should be soft with a nice amount of liquid in the dish. Add to a serving bowl. Spread on crostini with goat cheese or use as a filling for a fancy grilled cheese sandwich. 


August 23, 2013

The Drink and The Bored Vegetarian Present… 2nd Annual Gala Gala Hey!
An Apple Festival Featuring Kate Lebo of Pie Stand and author of A Commonplace Book of Pie

3:00pm – 10:00pm Sunday, September 15, 2013 at The Drink

FREE

Check out the FB invite

We had such a blast last year, so Gala Gala Hey! is back for more! Kate Lebo will be slinging her delicious fresh baked pies by the slice, as well as reading from her book A Commonplace Book of Pie. We’ll be celebrating the almighty apple all day long with fresh pie from Pie Stand, bobbing for apples, old timey music, cider on tap, apple pairings, corn hole and the return of the creepy masks!

Kate Lebo of Pie Stand will be baking up five varieties to be sold by the slice for Gala Gala Hey!

Cheddar-Crusted Apple Pie
Whiskey Crumble Apple Pie
Honey-Ginger Apple Pie
Brandied Apple Cardamom Pie
Apple Pear Pie

Gala Gala Hey! is free and open to the public.

About Kate Lebo

Kate Lebo is an award-winning baker and poet from Seattle, Washington. Lebo’s first book A Commonplace Book of Pie is a quirky collage of fact and fiction that combines humor, art, recipes, pop culture, and poetry to redefine America’s favorite dessert. Pie is a medium for conversation in this debut book from Chin Music Press, balancing Lebo’s technical baker know-how with lyrical ruminations on the real and imagined relationships between pie and those who love it.

Kate’s writing has appeared in Best New Poets, Gastronomica, and Poetry Northwest among other journals, and she’s currently at work on a pie cookbook for Sasquatch Books, forthcoming in 2014. She teaches creative writing at Richard Hugo House and pie making at Pie School, her cliche-busting pastry academy. She also hosts Pie Stand, a social that uses pie to create conversations across communities. For more tasty treats, visit katelebo.com.


July 12, 2013

Do you keep running to-do lists? I have ones for karaoke, restaurants, NYC, books, wine, art & photography. Any time I check something off a list, I feel a bit more productive. My Things to Learn to Make list is growing slowly and I thought I’d cross one off tonight. At my work I’m constantly asking the chefs how they’re cooking something, why they’re doing something a certain way etc. and it blows my mind that they can remember so many different techniques without constantly messing up like I do. There are so many basics and classics I feel like I should know.. so I hope to explore some here. It’s like classical music – ones you have the melody down, you can create all sorts of variations on the theme, right? 

Ingredients

– 1 lb Pasta (I used Bucatini)
– 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 1 small Onion, chopped
– 1 clove Garlic, minced
– 2/3 cup dry White Wine
– 2 Eggs
– 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese (brands like BelGioioso have rennet/enzyme free versions)
– 3/4 cup Peas, cooked 
– 1/4 fresh Parsley, chopped
– Salt to taste
– Fresh Cracked Pepper

Directions

In a sauce pan, heat up olive oil. Add chopped onion and minced garlic. Season with salt and saute until soft. Add white wine and simmer until it thickens slightly. Set aside. In a bowl, whisk together egg and cheese. Set aside. In a large pot, bring salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 7-9 minutes). Reserve about 1/4 cup of pasta liquid and then drain pasta. Add pasta to a clean bowl and toss with onion and garlic mixture. While the pasta is still hot, add egg mixture slowly, stirring into the pasta constantly. The heat from the pasta will cook the egg mixture. Add in peas and parsley and toss together until incorporated. Salt to taste and add a generous amount of fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately with more grated cheese on top. 

I must admit this didn’t go as smoothly for me as I hoped. When I’m researching a dish like this, I’ll usually read a bunch of different versions and then pull ideas for each one. I should have picked one and stuck with it! I will need to give this another run in the future. In the words of Aaliyah, if at first you don’t succeed, then dust yourself off and try again. 

I’m headed to WA next week (with Chris!) to see my family and meet my new nephew Killian. After these last uhhh 5 months of crazy amounts of work (btw check out these INCREDIBLE pics that Seattle-based photographer shot for a wedding I planned last month), I’m excited to have a long break and regroup. A redesign is coming soon as are hopefully more things.. Special shout out to Joan Y for your patience – sorry it’s taken so long for a new post!