April 30, 2014

The Bored Vegetarian turns 4 years old on May 2nd. When I started the blog in 2010, I was working from home for a mobile tech company and needed a project to keep me a bit more creatively engaged. The Bored Vegetarian provided the perfect avenue for combining my love for food, photos and words (not to mention over-sharing on the internet) and get a bit better at all three. Looking at some of my first posts, it’s clear that practice does indeed make perfect, or at least much much better.

This weekend I did something I haven’t done in far too many months: made brunch. The swiss chard and leeks were flavorful and the cream added a rich fattiness to the dish, perfect for dipping bread.

Swiss Chard and Leek Baked Eggs The Bored Vegetarian

Ingredients

– 1 bunch Swiss Chard
– 3 Leeks
– 3 cloves Garlic, minced
– 3/4 cup Heavy Cream
– 2-3 Eggs
– 1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Salt & Pepper to taste
– Fresh baguette (optional)

Directions

Rinse swiss chard and remove large stems. Chop greens into 2 inch pieces. In a large pot, heat 1/2 inch of water over medium heat and add greens. Cover and stir until the leaves wilt and are tender. Remove from heat and drain remaining water. Slice off the root end of each leek and discard. Thinly chop each leek from the white until the light green part. In a large saute pan, saute chopped leeks in olive oil over low/medium heat. Once tender, add in chopped garlic and saute until fragrant. Add in wilted swiss chard and combine until mixed well. Add in cream and continue to stir over medium heat until it starts to thicken. Salt and pepper to taste. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a baking pan (I used a low ceramic dish), spread the chard and leek mixture. Make deep wells for the eggs. Carefully crack each egg into a well. Bake in the upper third of your oven for 15-30 minutes (check on them to see how they’re coming along), or until the white are the eggs are firm and the yolks still runny. Once they are close to being done, sprinkle with cheese before putting back in the oven to finish. Serve hot with bread.


April 16, 2014

This post feels a bit like an awkward first date. My inclination is to comment on the weather (which sucks) and how the seasons are finally changing (slowly), but in truth there have been heavier things weighing on me the last couple of months. It’s amazing to see how unhappiness in one area of your life can completely wipe away the joy you find in the others, but am happy that I’ve made the decision to choose to pursue joy, even if it means things are a bit up in the air at the moment. Spring is the season of rebirth & growth after all.

Roasted Asparagus Soup by The Bored Vegetarian

Ingredients

– 2 lbs Asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 2 inch pieces
– 4 cloves roasted garlic (learn to roast it here!)
– 1/2 Onion, chopped
– 1 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth
– 2 cups Milk
– Juice from 1 Lemon
– Salt & Pepper
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to coat and season with salt and pepper. Roast in oven until tender, about 25 minutes. While the asparagus is roasting, saute the chopped onion in a saute pan with a bit of olive oil and salt until tender. Combine the roasted asparagus and sauteed onion in a large sauce pan. Top with vegetable broth and using a hand blender, blend the broth with the asparagus and onion until it begins to liquify (you can also use a blender). Add the milk and continue to blend, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Finish with fresh lemon juice. Over low heat, bring the soup to a simmer for an additional 10-15 mins or so. Remove from heat and strain soup with a mesh cone strainer. Garnish with a bit of creme fraiche and toasted pinenuts and serve hot.


February 16, 2014
Red Beet Gnocchi with Sage Brown Butter Sauce and Walnuts The Bored Vegetarian

Vegan January has come and gone and though I have one more vegan post to make, I thought this beet gnocchi was a bit more fitting for the Valentine’s Day holiday (although a couple of days late!) I’m still perfecting my gnocchi-making technique, but I love the gorgeous color and hint of earthiness the beets bring to this recipe. You’ll likely have a bit of leftover beet puree with this, so I encourage you to make a Chocolate Beet Cake with the remainder.

Ingredients

(adapted from Food & Wine)
2 pounds medium-sized Beets, scrubbed, tops and bottoms cut off
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Sea Salt
Fresh Pepper
1 cup Ricotta
1 large Egg, beaten lightly
pinch of Nutmeg
3/4 cup Romano Cheese, shredded
3 cups Flour, plus extra
1/2 cup Walnuts, chopped and toasted
1 1/2 cups Unsalted Butter
1/2 cup fresh Sage, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
Fresh Lemon juice
Fresh Sage leaves (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a baking pan drizzle beets with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Add 1/4 cup of water to the pan and cover tightly with aluminum foil. Roast in the oven for about 1 hour or until beets are soft. Remove and allow to cool. Once you’re able to handle them, use your hands to peel away the skins. Use a vegetable peeler if needed. Cut beets into cubes and puree in a food processor. In a standing mixer (which I don’t own – I used my Cuisinart with a plastic paddle and pulsed to control the speed), combine 1 1/2 cups of the beet puree with ricotta, romano, egg, nutmeg and 1 Tablespoon of salt on low/medium speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl and slowly sprinkle in the flour with the mixer on low/medium speed until it just comes together. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until smooth and a little sticky. Don’t over-knead – you want the dough to feel light. Cover the dough and let it sit at room temp for about a half hour.

While the dough is sitting, melt the butter over low/medium heat. Bring melted butter to a golden brown color and remove from heat. Strain through cheese cloth to remove the solids. Set aside. In a saute pan, fry the whole sage leaves in a bit of olive oil until they crisp up. Remove and allow to cool on a paper towel. Bring salted water to a boil in a large pot. Prepare an ice bath and keep nearby. Divide the dough into 8-10 pieces and roll each one into 1/2 inch thick ropes. Cut each rope into 1/2 inch pieces. Boil in batches, letting the gnocchi simmer about 1 minute past when they float. Remove with a slotted spoon and put into ice bath to chill while you cook the remaining.

Once you’ve finished with the gnocchi, saute the garlic in a bit of olive oil over low heat until fragrant. Add the brown butter and chopped fresh sage and stir for a minute or so. Stir in fresh lemon juice. Add gnocchi and combine until the gnocchi turns a rich red. Season well with salt and pepper. Toss in walnuts. Serve hot garnished with crispy sage leaves.


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.

Comments

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October 28, 2013
IMG_9345

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.

Comments

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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.


August 18, 2013

My mom used to make a similar pie growing up, but with walnuts in the crust. You could also do a filling with peaches or other berries if you’d like.

– 3 large Egg Whites
– 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
– 3/4 cup Sugar
– 3/4 cup unsalted Pistachios, toasted and chopped small
– Canola Oil
– 2 tsp Vanilla 
– 2 cups fresh Strawberries, chopped
– 1 1/2 cup Whipping Cream

I left out the sugar for the whipped cream since the meringue is already so sweet.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Use a small amount of oil to lightly coat the inside of a pie pan. In a bowl, use a handmixer with a whisk attachment to whip together the eggs, vanilla and cream of tartar until frothy. Slowly stream in sugar as you continue to beat on a high speed. The meringue is ready when it’s glossy and forms stiff peaks. Add in 1/2 cup of the pistachios and gently fold them into the meringue. Spread the meringue into the pan. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool completely, about one hour.

For the strawberries and cream, whip the whipping cream and vanilla in a bowl until stick peaks form. Fold in strawberries. Spread over the cooled meringue crust.

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over. I love Fall and everything, but considering that I only made it to the beach here ONCE, it seems a little too soon for it to be over. The good news is that the 2nd annual Gala Gala Hey! is coming up next month at The Drink.
Details coming soon!

As always, you should like you should like The Bored Vegetarian!


August 4, 2013

I am always amused with the diligence in which Gothamist covers New York’s neurotic (and absurd) food trends. As of late, there has been extensive coverage of the Cronut, but on Friday they mentioned the Ramen Burger being sold at Smorgasburg this weekend. I was intrigued, but as the Ramen Burger is quite a meaty item (not to mention I am terrible at successfully eating at Smorgasburg. It starts to remind me of the food court of my hometown mall but with bigger lines and more attractive people), I decided to create my own crispy ramen bun at home. Instead of using the ramen as a sandwich, I used it as a base on which to pile other delicious things.  

For the Bun

– 4 cups cooked Ramen Noodles
– Frying Oil

Note: I used Chinese Noodles from China Bowl select. There is a proper Ramen Burger recipe which suggests using an egg to bind, but these noodles stay together fairly well and I liked having the loose noodles ones you broke through the outside crispiness. If you are making an actual burger, the egg will help it stay together better. Also, the recipe suggests using sesame oil to fry, but I found that it smoked too much before I could get the crisp I wanted. I had canola oil on hand but next time I might use something like peanut oil.)

Divide the ramen into four and fit down into a ramekin or other round container. Use your hands to push down on the noodles and shape them. Cover and chill in the fridge while you prepare your other components.

When you’re ready to fry, heat up an inch or two of oil in a pan. Remove the noodles from the ramekins (they may not hold their shape perfectly, that’s ok) and fry in the pan, flipping to crisp both sides. Remove from pan and drain on a brown paper bag.

For the Carrots

– 1 large Carrot, julienned
– 1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar 
– 1/2 cup Sugar
– 1/2 Tsp Salt

Whisk together the cider, sugar and salt in a bowl. Add carrots and toss. Cover and set aside until you’re ready to assemble.

For the Cabbage & Cilantro Slaw

– 2 cups Red Cabbage (chopped thin)
– 1/3 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped
– 1/2 cup Mayonnaise
– 2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar

Whisk together mayonnaise and vinegar in a bowl. You may need to add more vinegar if it seems too thick. Add in cabbage and cilantro and toss to coat. Set aside until ready to assemble.

For the Mushrooms

– 4 cups Shiitake Mushrooms, chopped
– 1 Tbsp Miso Paste
– 2 Tbsp White Wine Vinegar (or rice wine vinegar)
– 2 Tbsp Honey
– 1 Tsp Sesame Oil
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Salt

In a bowl, whisk together miso paste, vinegar, honey and sesame oil. It should be a nice consistency (not too thick). In a saute pan, saute the mushrooms in a bit of olive oil and season with salt. Once they begin to brown up, add in the miso mixture a spoonful at a time and toss to coat. Continue to saute until the glaze has nicely covered the mushrooms.

For the Egg

– 4 eggs
– Butter
– Salt

Butter a pan on low/medium heat. Add the egg (or eggs if you do all at once). Once the whites start to firm up, season with salt, remove from heat and cover. Keep an eye on the eggs. When the white is firm, they’re ready.

To assemble

Place a ramen noodle round on a place. Spoon a generous amount of miso mushrooms on top. Add the sunny-side up egg. Spoon on a fourth of the cabbage slaw and some of the pickled carrots. Top with more fresh cilantro if you’d like. Serve immediately.

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