December 15, 2014

I haven’t written a recipe post since July. JULY. With the career overhaul(s), life distractions and overall lack of inspiration (thought I have had some good meals), I just haven’t been in the kitchen as much. Things aren’t slowing down any time soon, with my event planning business in full swing and a move barreling its way towards us in about 6 months, but I promise I’ll try to be better.

With that, on to the salad.

Chris and I realized a few weeks ago (thanks Gothamist!) that there is a giant Food Bazaar about a 15 min drive from us. When I say giant, I mean it. Every produce imaginable; spices from all over the world; aisles of cheese; bags of sea salt. It’s almost overwhelming.

I’ve never worked with fava beans for whatever reason, so I was excited to see a barrel of them at the store, ripe for the picking (and boiling, and shelling and removing of skins). Add some bright nutty greens and some creamy goat cheese and you’ve got an easy week day lunch.

Watercress and Fave Bean Salad The Bored Vegetarian

Ingredients

– 2-3 cups of Watercress, chopped into 2-3 inch pieces, large stems removed
– 1/2 pound of Fava beans in the pod (also called long beans)
– 2-3 Tbsp Goat Cheese
– 1/8 cup chopped fresh Mint
– 1 Tbsp sliced Almonds, toasted
– 2 cloves Garlic, chopped
– 1 Tbsp fresh Lemon juice
– 1 Pinch Lemon Zest
– 2-3 Tbsp Olive Oil
– 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
– Salt & Pepper

Directions

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Prepare an ice bath for after you’ve cooked the beans. Add Fava beans to boiling water and cook for approx. 3 minutes. Drain and add to the ice bath until cool enough to handle (this stops them from cooking). Shell the fava beans and then carefully remove the tougher layer from around each bean (this is a little time consuming). In a saute pan, add some olive oil over low/medium heat. Add chopped garlic and being to soften. Add in fava bean and toss to coat, seasoning with salt and pepper. Continue to saute until beans get a little browned and are soft but not mushy. In a small mason jar, add lemon juice, 2 tbsp olive oil, zest, mustard, salt and pepper. Screw on the lid and shake rigorously until ingredients are incorporated. In a bowl, drizzle some of the dressing and then pile in the greens and mint. Toss with the greens with the dressing using tongs or your hand, adding more dressing as needed (you may not need it all). Add in warm fava beans and continue to toss ingredients together. Add crumbles of goat cheese, saving some for the top of the salad. Move the salad into a service dish, sprinkle with remaining goat cheese and top with toasted almonds. Season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.


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.


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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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.

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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 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!


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!