July 19, 2015

I was wandering in Carroll Gardens after a marathon of a meeting last week, when I stopped in Avlee for a quick lunch. Their Stafele salad was so simple and tasty that decided to recreate it at home. I’m not always a fan of fruit in salad (I blame the warm tangerines that we ate on salads during holidays growing up, sorry family!!), but the grapes add a nice sweetness to the savory gouda and crunch of the walnuts. In theory you could try this fruit-cheese-nuts combo a million different ways and really impress your friends… In fact, I did just that last week!

It’s so hot that I can’t imagine turning on the oven, so it might be salad every meal until September.

Bba

Ingredients

– 4 cups Baby Kale
– 1 cup Red Seedless Grapes, halved
– 1/8 Cup Toasted Walnuts
– 3 ounces Aged Gouda, chopped up
– 3 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 1-2 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
– 1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
– Salt & Pepper

Directions

In a bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil and mustard until combined. Drizzle dressing over baby kale in a bowl, tossing until the leaves are well coated. Season with salt & pepper. Add in grapes, cheese and nuts and combine with kale. Plate and seaons again with salt & pepper to taste.


January 18, 2015

Every December my best friends and I make a shared spreadsheet of goals for the new year. We try to update it as the months pass and we’re able to check things off the list (or in some cases, not). Some goals get transferred from year to year without being completed, some we have the satisfaction of knowing we did it(!) Last year was a tough one for me – there were lots of transitions in my career and feeling a bit like I wasn’t getting anything done that I’d laid out for myself. When I decided to start working for myself at the end of 2014, my biggest promise to myself was that I would start taking better care of myself and prioritize the things that help me do that. Many of those things go hand in hand. Cooking makes me feel good, creative projects make me feel great, and eating healthy is key. When I can do all three things at once, it’s the best!

I’ve been working on a inspiration photoshoot with some talented local ladies Michelle Bablo and Katie Osgood, and when Michelle and I decided to have a brainstorming session, I took the opportunity to do my take on this Thai Curried Butternut Squash Soup from Cookie & Kate. The soup is rich and spicy with a nice balance from the fresh lime juice. Serve it with some toasted bread for dipping.

Vegan Curried Butternut Squash Soup The Bored Vegetarian

Ingredients

– 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
– 2 lbs of Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces
– 1 medium Yellow Onion, chopped
– 4 cloves Garlic, minced
– 3 Tbsp Thai Red Curry paste
– 2 tsp ground Coriander
– 1 tsp ground Cumin
– 1 Tbsp fresh Lime juice
– 1/2 tsp fresh ginger (preferably micro-planed)
– 4 cups Vegetable Stock
– 1/2 cup Coconut Milk
– Unsalted roasted Peanuts, chopped well for garnish
– Cilantro for garnish
– Salt to taste

Directions

In a large pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat and add onion. Saute for a few minutes before adding the garlic. Once the onions are translucent, add in the squash, red curry, ginger cumin and coriander. Season with a pinch of salt. Combine ingredients together and cook over low/medium for about 10 minutes. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a simmer for approx. 20 mins or until squash is soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Using a hand blender, blend soup until smooth. Add coconut milk and lime juice and blend until ingredients are well combined. Serve hot with cilantro and crushed peanuts as garnish.


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.


July 16, 2014
Grilled Peach Salad the Bored Vegetarian

Ingredients

– 1 Ripe Yellow Peach
– 1 Small Ball of Burrata Cheese
– Fresh Bibb Lettuce
– 1 Ear of Sweet Corn, husk removed
– 1 Handful of Fresh Basil
– 1/8 of Fresh Baguette, sliced thin
– 1/4 cup Roasted Cashews (unsalted)
– 1-2 Tbsp Balsamic Reduction
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Salt & Pepper to Taste

Directions

Brush corn with canola oil and grill on a stovetop or charcoal grill on each side until slightly charred. Allow to cool and then slice off kernels into a bowl. Cut peach in half and remove pit of peach. Cut into large wedges (they don’t have to be perfect). Brush the sides of the peach with canola oil and grill on all sides until tender. Remove from heat and set aside. Brush sliced baguette with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toast in the oven until lightly browned and crunchy. To assemble salad, layer lettuce leaves and drizzle with olive oil. Add pieces of basil and chard corn. Tear Burrata and place around leaves. Layer with grilled peaches and add cashews and “croutons”. Drizzle with more olive oil and the balsamic reduction. Season to taste with salt and pepper.


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.


January 15, 2014
Vegan Vegetable and Sausage Tofu Scramble by the Bored Vegetarian

When I first moved to New York, brunch was an event, with a lot of thought put into who had the best mimosa deal, breakfast potato option (hello Cameo tater tots) and best chance of getting a table right away. These days I prefer making brunch at home after a quick trip to the grocery store and grabbing coffees from Cafe Grumpy. Chris will throw on some reggae and draw at the table while I get to work in the kitchen. It’s one of my favorite times of the week and most weekends I wouldn’t trade it for the hour-long waits and overpriced omelets of the past.

This scramble recipe can be modified to include whichever vegetables you have on hand.

Ingredients

– 1 container Soft Tofu, drained and crumbled into small pieces (I left mine on the bigger side)
– 1 small Onion, chopped
– 1 clove Garlic, minced
– 1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
– 2 Vegan Breakfast Sausage Patties, chopped up (I used Gardein)
– 1 cup Kale, chopped, big stems removed
– small handful of Basil, cut into ribbons
– 3-4 Tbsp Nutritional Yeast
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions

In a large saute pan, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil over low/medium heat. Add onion, season with salt and saute until nearly translucent. Add in the bell pepper and continue to saute. Next add the garlic and the chopped sausage patties. The sausage will take a bit to brown up, but they’ll take on some of the flavor of the other ingredients as you do so. After about 5 minutes of sauteeing the sausage, add the tofu and mix together. The heat will help evaporate some of the liquid in the tofu. Add in kale and basil and season with Nutritional Yeast and salt & pepper. Continue to saute until all ingredients have been incorporated well into the scramble and the tofu has firmed up from the evaporated liquid. Serve hot.


January 8, 2014
vegan cashew cream basil lemon pasta

I learned how to make a rich Alfredo sauce from a chef named Rose while in college at WWU. I was working at Sadighi’s, an outdated “fine dining” restaurant ran by Mr. Sadighi and his 70 year-old chef Rose. If you’ve lived Bellingham, you know which place I’m talking about. I was the hostess/busser/official napkin folder, but we never had more than six tables (total) on a Friday or Saturday night. Evenings were spent in the kitchen with just the three of us, and if I was lucky, Rose would make me dinner. She made the sauce from scratch with just a pan, spatula, fresh cream, garlic and a touch of dijon. The result was heavy, coma-inducing and delicious. When I took the first bite of this vegan version, it immediately took me back to that small kitchen and those weekend nights spent with Rose and Mr. Sadighi. It’s that kind of rich.

Ingredients

– 1 cup Raw Whole Cashews
– Water
– 8 ounces Dry Pasta (I used Bucatini)
– 1 Shallot, minced
– 2 cloves Garlic, minced
– 1 handful Basil, washed and chopped
– 1/2 handful Italian Parsley, washed and chopped
– Juice from 1/2 Lemon
– Salt & Pepper to taste
– Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Directions

In a bowl, cover cashews with cold water, cover and place in the fridge to soak over night. Drain and rinse the cashews once softened. In a Cuisinart or Vitamix, add cashews and cover with fresh water, about an inch above the cashews. Blend until very smooth. Set aside.

In a large pot, boil pasta in salted water until just al dente. Set aside 2 cups of pasta water and drain. In a large saute pan, saute shallot in olive oil over low/medium heat until tender. Add garlic and continue to saute. Add 1 cup of pasta water and stir. Add pasta and add an additional cup of pasta water. Add cashew cream (I used about 1/2 cup and an extra 1 Tbsp, but add more/less based on your taste). Stir the pasta with the cashew cream until coated. Salt and pepper to taste. Add fresh basil and parsley, continuing to stir over low/medium heat. Feel free to add more pasta water if the sauce seems too thick for your liking. Once the pasta is well incorporated with the sauce, season again to taste and squeeze lemon juice over the top of the dish. Don’t be too heavy handed – you can always add more lemon to taste. Serve immediately.

You’ll have leftover cashew cream. Explore the different ways you can use it!

Comments

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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?