Category Archives: Vegetarian

Pasta with Red Sauce

The kosher link up for this month is “The One Food You Would Want If Stranded On An Island” (see below!)  It was actually not hardpasta 2 for me to pick the recipe.  My favorite food is easily Italian – pizza, pasta, ziti, lasagna.  I love it all!  The best part of Italian food is the red sauce.  I don’t know what it is about this sauce – the garlic, the tomatoes, the basil.  I am not sure but it is a combination that I love and crave.  It is also nice in that it is so, so easy to prepare.  Once I realized how simple it is to make this sauce I never went back to  jarred sauce (many have a lot of sugar, salt and/or preservatives).  That and my husband grew up in Brooklyn and eating jarred sauce is blasphemy.  Hopefully, once you try the recipe you will feel the same.

Being that I make this once a week I try to make it as healthy as possible and change it up.  I will use a high fiber/high protein pasta, a whole grain pasta or a vegetable fortified pasta.  I will make it with meatballs or add ground meat, onions, mushrooms, eggplant, or anything else I have in the fridge.  It is a great base sauce and is also delicious on its own.

The parsley is optional and if I do not have it in the house I will skip it.  I do think it adds a really nice freshness to the dish.  If you are going to use the parsley you will just want to be sure that it is very finely chopped.  I am more careful these days about using canned tomatoes because of BPA in the lining and have found some really nice tomato products in cartons.  All the more reason to eat this sauce often 🙂

 

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 20 Minutes

Yield: 4-8 servings

 

1 box of pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

4-5 large garlic cloves, chopped (but still chunky)

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

26 ounces of crushed tomatoes

5-6 large basil leaves, torn plus more for garnish

1 tablespoon finely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

 

In a large skillet add olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes.  Sauté over medium heat until the garlic has softened, but not browned about 2-3 minutes.

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Stir in the tomatoes and basil.  Season with salt and cracked pepper.  Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

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Cook the pasta in a pot of heavily salted boiling water according to the package directions, or to al dente.  Drain pasta.

Toss the pasta with the sauce.  Garnish with torn basil leaves and chopped parsley.

pasta 3

 

 

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Filed under Pareve, Pasta, Vegetarian

Spinach Artichoke Dip

I am doing something I have never done before on this blog.  I am posting a recipe that I have already posted once before.  The reason isSpinach Artichoke Dip Close 2 that the kosher link up for this month is Superbowl food (see below!).  There are two recipes that I think are essential for the big game, my game day chili and spinach artichoke dip.  Since I did the game day chili recipe last year for the Superbowl I decied that I would do the spinach and artichoke dip this year.  Plus it has been two years since I posted this last and there are a lot more readers on the blog now. This dish is so good and I want everyone to try it!

Who does not like spinach and artichoke dip? With tender artichokes surrounded by a hot, bubbly and creamy spinach mixture, what is not to love? Whenever I am at a restaurant and I see spinach and artichoke dip on the menu I HAVE to order it. My recipe is an attempt at re-creating the dip that I love, but making it a bit more health conscious. That way I don’t feel guilty making it for my family and friends all the time. It’s made with spinach and artichokes which are good for you, right?

I am not going to say this is a fat free recipe, but I did reduce some calories and fat. My version is made with low fat dairy products as opposed to full fat cheese, cream and mayonnaise which are the typical bases for the recipe. The best part is that there is absolutely no sacrifice to the flavor. I have made this many times for lots of different people and no one has ever been able to tell that this is made with reduced fat products. It is always a huge crowd pleaser and is great for game day or any other day!

You can make the dip a day ahead, keep it refrigerated and bake it before you want to serve it. It can be served with tortilla chips, pita chips, baguette slices or crudites for an even healthier alternative.

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

Yields: 6-8 servings

 

1 box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted

1 (14 ounce) can artichoke hearts packed in water (not oil)

8 ounces reduced fat cream cheese, softened

1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese

8 ounces low fat sour cream

2 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise (not fat free)

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

1-2 cloves garlic, pressed or very finely chopped (depending on how garlicky you like things)

Freshly ground black pepper

Cooking spray

 

Bring your cream cheese to room temperature. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Drain artichokes and rinse. Finely chop and let dry. Defrost spinach and squeeze ALL excess liquid from the spinach.

Mix cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, cheeses and garlic in a large bowl. Add artichoke hearts, spinach, cracked pepper and stir until well combined.

Spray either a square 8 inch baking dish, or 9 inch round glass baking dish with cooking spray. Pour mixture into dish and bake until mixture is hot and bubbly, about 30-35 minutes.

Spinach Artichoke Dip with Chips - Rotated

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Filed under Dip, Vegetarian

Edamame Salad

I want to start off by wishing everyone a happy new year!   ‘Tis the time for new year’s resolutions.  This year I made the same two resolutionsedamame salad 2 that I make every year – to loose weight and to eat healthy.  That is why my first posting of the year is a fabulous recipe that can help accomplish both of these goals.

This salad is colorful, delicious and good for you too!  It has lots of healthy veggies – red pepper (which has more vitamin C than an orange), lettuce, carrots and cucumber.  It also has protein with the edamame.  For those of you who are not familiar with edamame you really must try it.  I love it steamed or dry roasted as a snack or salad topper.  It is low in calories and fat, and provides lean protein as an added bonus.

Another great thing about this salad is that it is very easy and quick to prepare.  I use pre-washed lettuce as well as pre-shredded carrots to save on time.  You just have to do a little chopping, make a quick dressing and voila!  A pretty, healthy and delicious salad that is ready in no time.   This can be a nice starter salad or even a main course.  If you are serving it as a main course it would be great with some grilled chicken or salmon.  When you are trying to keep a new year’s resolution this is exactly the kind of food that can help you stick to it!

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 0 Minutes
Yield: 4 – 6 servings

5 oz. bag of mixed salad greens (I like a sweet butter lettuce mix for this recipe)
1/2 cup of shredded carrots
1/2 red bell pepper, dicedIMG_0375
1/2 English cucumber, diced
4 scallions, chopped on a diagonal
1 cup shelled frozen edamame, defrosted
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Defrost the edamame (I usually defrost in the microwave for 2-3 minutes).

In a large bowl toss the lettuce, carrots, red pepper, cucumber and scallions. Pile the cooled edamame on top of the salad.

Combine the sugar, rice vinegar and soy sauce in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the sesame oil and sesame seeds and whisk some more. Slowly stream in the canola oil while whisking vigorously.

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Dress the salad right before serving.

edamame salad

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Filed under Pareve, Salads, Vegetarian

Carrot Ginger Soup

After long last – a new post!  For those of you who regularly follow this blog I must thank you for coming back to the site even thoughIMG_0283 I have not posted in months.  It is amazing that I am still getting traffic and that people are telling me to keep posting new recipes.  I actually really miss blogging, but my priority these days are taking care of my two little ones and my day job.  I have so many recipes that I am dying to put pen to paper, but alas, there are just not enough hours in the day!

So, why a new recipe now?  I have been making this dish a lot lately.  I love soups and the fall/winter time is the perfect time for it.   The reason I am finally getting around to writing this recipe up is because my mom is taking it to a  “Sweets, Snack and Soup Swap”.  Everyone at the party is supposed to bring either a sweet, snack or a soup for every person at the party and then they all get to take home the treats along with the recipes. Cute idea!  My mom loves this soup so I told her I would make it for the party.  Since she needs the written recipe I figured I might as well post it here.  I have been meaning to anyway….

I know I am not the first person to make carrot ginger soup.  However, I believe my recipe is unique and one of the best out there (at least I think so!).  There is a restaurant that I really like, and makes a great carrot ginger soup.  One day I had a craving for it, but did not have time to get to the said restaurant, and to be honest the place charges an arm and a leg for a bowl of soup.  So, I did what many people do and went to the internet to find a good recipe.  I found one that I thought fit my three criteria – it has to be easy, it has to be quick and has to be GOOD.  The recipes I found were quick and easy, but not really good.  In fact, most were pretty blah.  They just seemed to be missing something.  So, I started from scratch and came up with my own creation.

There are a couple of elements that make my version of this dish easy, quick and GOOD.  Using baby carrots is key.  They save time on peeling carrots and I also find them to be sweeter.  Another big time saver is using already pureed ginger.  You can find this in a jar or tube in most grocery stores.  Another alternative is to use frozen crushed ginger.   Dorot is a brand that I like and can be found in the freezer section of the grocery store.  The easiest way to puree the soup is to use one of my favorite kitchen tools, the immersion blender.  If you do not have an immersion blender you can use a blender or food processor.

I have a few ingredients in this recipe that are not typical to carrot ginger soup, but I think make a big difference.  I love the sherry in this soup as it adds a certain warmth.  I have made it without, and it is still a delicious soup, but is even better with the sherry.  The sweet potato is not traditional in this recipe, but I think it makes a big difference to the texture and layering of flavors.  At this point I even like this soup better than the one I had at the restaurant!  Another perk is that it is low in fat, high in vitamins (actually good for you!) and pretty filling.  It makes an excellent starter dish or main course with a piece of crusty whole grain bread.  I am so happy to finally be able to share this recipe as I have been making it so often.  Stay tuned next week as I am planning a new posting so that I can participate in the kosher link up for December – comfort food – yum!

 

Prep Time: 15 Minutes

Cook Time:  25 Minutes

Yield:  4 – 8 servings

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 clove of garlic, choppedIMG_0273

1 lb. baby carrots, chopped

2 tablespoons of ginger puree or grated ginger (if using frozen ginger cubes you need 6)

1 tablespoon sherry (optional)

1 small sweet potato, peeled and cubedIMG_0277

32 oz. of vegetable broth (I like the Imagine brand)

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Ground black pepper

 

Heat the olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat.  Add the onions and garlic, and cook until they just begin to soften (about 5 minutes) stirring often.  Lower the heat if the onions begin sticking to the pot.  Add the ginger and sherry and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onions are translucent, but not brown.

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Add the chopped baby carrots and sweet potato, salt and ground black pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often and then add the vegetable stock.  Raise the heat to high and bring to a boil.

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After the soup has come to a boil, give the soup a good stir, lower the heat to medium and cover the pot.  Cook covered for 20 minutes.  You want to be sure that the soup is still simmering, but not at a rolling boil.

Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until it is a smooth consistency.  Serve hot.

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Filed under Pareve, Soups, Vegetarian

Lemon Ginger Stir Fry

This post was supposed to be published last week.  Unfortunately, it was derailed by my son getting sick.  For all you parents out stir fry done in panthere, I think you will agree that there is nothing more stressful than your child getting sick.  You can have stress in your job, your relationship, or any area in your life, but there is nothing as stressful as watching your little one ill.  Last week was my son.  This week is my 6 month old baby.  To say I am at my wits end is an understatement!

Since I have both kids in bed right now I decided to go ahead and write this post.  This is actually one of the first recipes that I created back in college.  I used to make lots and lots of stir fries in college and this one became a favorite.  I remember a visit to London where I was staying with a friend who lived in a flat with several roommates.  As a thank you for letting us stay I made this for everyone for dinner.  It was such a hit that people were literally licking their plate clean.  I knew I had a winner at that point!  Recently I gave this recipe to my sister and her husband.  They liked it so much they decided to make it again and photograph it for me – thanks Ro and Bill! (notice the adorable dog in the picture – that’s Wrigley)

My original version of this recipe was made with chicken so that is how I always make it.  However, you can leave the chicken out for a vegetarian dish.  You can also change up the vegetables for whatever looks good, or you happen to really like.  Different colored peppers and zucchini are also great in here.  With all the veggies, little fat and lean protein this is as healthy as it is tasty.  I like to serve this over white or brown rice.  Delicious!

 

 

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time: 15 – 20 Minutes

Yield: 4 – 6 servings

 

 

2 tablespoons canola oilStir Fry Prep 2

2 scallions, chopped

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger

Juice of 1 large lemon, or 2 small lemons

1/4 cup soy sauce (I prefer low sodium)

2 large chicken breasts, cut into chunksStir fry wrigly

1 head of bok choy, washed well and chopped

2 cups chopped broccoli

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1 cup and a half snap peas, halved

Sesame seeds (optional)

 

 

Put up water for whatever rice you plan to make.  Prepare the rice.

In a large skillet heat the canola oil over medium heat.  Place the ginger and scallions in the pan and sauté until the scallions just begin to soften, about 2 minutes.  Add the lemon juice and soy sauce and stir.

Stir fry scallions and ginger

Place the chicken into the pan and let cook for four to five minutes.

stir fry chicken in pan

Add the broccoli and let cook for two or three minutes, until it begins to soften.  Add the bok choy and stir. Once that softens a bit add the snap peas and mushrooms.  The idea is to add the vegetables in order of which will take the longest to cook.

stir fry in pan2

Sauté over medium heat until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Garnish with sesame seeds and serve over whatever rice you like best.

stir fry in bowl

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Filed under Meat, Poultry, Vegetarian

Carrot Slaw

In my previous post I mentioned that I was working on some summer time recipes.  This is one of them.  When the weather is hot slaw 4outside I love easy and no-cook recipes.  This is a nice dish to take on the go, for a picnic or outside party as it does not have any mayonnaise and can sit out for a while.

This recipe came about when I was really wanting salad one night, but was out of lettuce.  I did have a bag of grated carrots in the fridge. I started looking through my pantry, putting things into a bowl and Wallah!

 

 

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Cook Time:  0 Minutes

Yield: 4 – 8 servings

 

 

10 oz package of pre-shredded carrots

½ cup cashew nuts

½ cup dried cranberries

5 scallions, chopped

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

3 tablespoons canola oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Ground black pepper

 

 

Place the carrots, nuts, cranberries and scallions into a large bowl.

slaw raw

Dissolve the honey and salt into the vinegar in a smaller bowl.  Add the pepper and whisk in the canola oil.

slaw dressing 2

Add the dressing to the carrot mixture and mix well.

slaw 3

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Filed under Pareve, Salads, Vegetarian

Pea and Mint Soup

The kosher link up this month is cold soup (see below).  At first this theme gave me pause as I LOVE soup, but seldom eat cold soup, unless it is gazpacho.  I could have done a gazpacho recipe, but thought about my mint and pea soup which I have made hot, and wondered if  it would be good cold.  So, I tried it and found that it is still really good cold and very refreshing as well.  Phew!

Now that summer is here and the heat is on it is nice to have some cold recipes that do not require much time in front of a stove.  I am working on a few “summery” recipes and cold soup fits right in.  Stay tuned for a few salad and slaw recipes that I hope to post this summer.

A nice thing about this recipe is that it is so easy and quick to make.  There are really only 3 ingredients so it is easy to shop for.  You can find some great vegetable broths on the market which also make this soup a cinch to make. I prefer to use one with low sodium so that I can control the amount of salt in the recipe, and there are a few organic ones which make a nice base for this soup.  It is a perfect make ahead dish and as I said before it can be served cold or hot.  If you happen to have an immersion blender (one of my all time favorite kitchen gadgets) then this recipe is a total breeze.  If you do not then you can use a blender, but I highly recommend  investing in an immersion blender.  My one just died after 8 years and I purchased a new one for only $30.  Totally worth it!

 

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Cook Time:  10 Minutes

Yield: 4 – 6 servings

 

32 oz. vegetable broth

16 oz. frozen peas

1 tablespoon fresh mint finely chopped

Plain Greek yogurt or sour cream for garnish (optional)

1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt

Ground black pepper

 

Pour the vegetable broth into a pot and heat over medium heat.  Stir in frozen peas and chopped mint.  Bring to boil and simmer for five minutes.

Pea Soup - Pot

Puree the soup with an immersion blender or in a blender.

Pea soup - immersion

Serve hot or cold and garnish with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.

Pea Soup - finished

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Filed under Pareve, Soups, Vegetarian