Category Archives: vegetarian

Corn and Tomato Soup – no cream

DSCN0358DSCN0382DSCN0381The corn is so delicious right now that I had to make this soup. I was going to save this recipe for the Fall but I used the fresh Olathe corn at the market now and couldn’t wait to share. When the corn is not as fresh and sweet you can definitely use frozen . I used fresh tomatoes from the farmers market and fresh Olathe corn ( local in Colorado) but I happen to know Long Island has particularly good sweet local corn. So while the getting is good and you can get fresh vegetables please do so. Farm to Table here we go again.

I made this soup for dinner as an appetizer. I think it would be good cold but I prefer it warm.

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots , coarsely chopped or 1 large one

1 teaspoon kosher salt ( more to taste)

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ( more to taste)

3 1/4 cups corn, or 1 lb. bag of frozen corn thawed it’s approximately 5 – 6 ears of fresh corn

3 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth to keep it vegetarian

2 beautiful medium size tomatoes, seeded and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces*

1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped or torn

Directions:

In a large dutch oven ( Le Creuset) type of pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, salt and pepper, cook stirring occasionally until shallots are soft, app. 5 minutes. While this is going on cook up the corn as follows.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and just cook corn till it turns yellow for 1-2 minutes, then I throw into an ice bath to stop the cooking. When corn is cooled down cut kernels off cobs.

Place the cooked shallots, corn and chicken stock into the blender.

Pour the corn mixture back into the pot. Bring the mixture to a low simmer , cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, just to heat through.  Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the tomatoes and basil, let it cook for another 10 minutes or so.  Taste for Salt and Pepper.

Ladle into soup bowls and serve!

*to seed the tomatoes, cut them in 1/2 horizontally and using a small dessert spoon, scoop out the seed and discard. The seeds make the soup too watery.

Farmers Market to Table Gazpacho

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Delicious fresh vegetables from the local farmers market went into this gazpacho. This time of year you must take advantage of the awesome selection of fruit and vegetables at your local farmers market. In Colorado there is so much local produce it would be a pity not to . I bought the tomatoes , cucumbers, peppers, garlic and red onion all from our local farmers market. Whole Foods also sells many local products which is so amazing. I don’t want to preach and there are so very many foods that I am particularly fond of that come from very foreign shores ( shrimp for one) . It’s just quite the thing to put food on your table from your own garden or at least from one within 100 miles of where you live. Farm to Table . Simply put it’s the best .

Ingredients:

1 cucumber or 2 – 3 Kirby size cukes, halved and seeded , but don’t peel . If not Kirby cukes you can use a hothouse cucumber. Go organic, because you are eating the peel.

2 yellow bell peppers, cored and seeded. Of course you can use red bell peppers, but not green.

4 tomatoes , use what you can find. I went to local farmers market for mine . If you use plum tomatoes use 4.

1 red onion

3 garlic cloves, minced or throw them into the food processor along with vegetables

3 cups Spicy V8 or use regular tomato juice

1/4 cup champagne vinegar or white wine vinegar

1/4 cup good olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

*1/2 to 1 whole jalapeno depending on how spicy you like it, remove seeds from jalapeno

* cilantro, chopped is a nice touch for garnish

*avocado cut up is also nice garnish

*shrimp is also a nice garnish

Directions:

I cut up cukes, tomatoes, bell peppers and red onions into app. 1 inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor with steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not make baby food, don’t over process.

After each vegetable is chopped up combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic ( if you haven’t already) , juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. It’s a good idea to chill for a while, the longer it sits the more the taste develops.

The second night I added shrimp and avocado.

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Yellow Tomato Gazpacho

photo 4 (3)photo 4 (2)I had purchased the most beautiful yellow  tomatoes and figured I would make gazpacho. Gazpacho is by far one of my most favorite summer time soups.  This one is fairly smooth.  Before serving I added  avocado and served with tortilla chips for a wonderful most satisfying meal. This is also super easy and you’ll look like a pro if you just follow these easy directions. You’ll need a decent blender and a few easy to obtain ingredients and you have a wonderful additional to any meal or a nice light lunch. This time I used beautiful yellow tomatoes, you can use any color you’d like and you can use any kind of tomato from the small grape or cherry tomatoes to the larger ones.  The yellow tomatoes with the flecks of jalapeno made a strikingly beautiful soup.photo 2 (3) photo 2I have another recipe titled “Farm to Table Gazpacho” it’s more of a traditional gazpacho! I am going to re-post it as well.

Ingredients:

2 lbs. yellow tomatoes, I used regular sized tomatoes. You can use yellow or orange cherry tomatoes and get the same effect. I washed and dried tomatoes and cut into quarters or halves for easier blending. Heirlooms are amazingly delicious when in season which they are right now! My sister makes this recipe by parboiling the tomatoes, removing the skin and cutting core out of tomatoes. This is an other option. I opted for the easier method but both are delicious and work well.

1 garlic clove (average sized)–you can use 2 cloves if you like a bit more bite of garlic

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 jalapeno, seeded and minced ( be careful handling jalapenos always, I use rubber gloves and be very careful not to get seeds on my hands) wash carefully after cutting up jalapenos, seriously. If you like more kick keep a few seeds from jalapenos. You can use Serrano Chiles also but I still think Jalapenos have the most bang for the buck.

app. 1 tsp. kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste , you may need to add salt and pepper at the end

Diced avocado and tortilla chips for serving.

Directions:

In a blender, puree the halved tomatoes and garlic with 1/4 cup of water. While the machine is on I gradually add the olive oil until fully incorporated. Transfer to a bowl then stir in the jalapeno and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until chilled, at least an hour or so, better overnight.

When you’re ready to serve ladle the gazpacho into bowls and top with diced avocado. Serve with tortilla chips. If you leftover shrimp it is also delicious to add and makes it more of a meal!

Broccoli Salad–no cooking involved here

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Brocccoli Slaw with same dressing

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Original Broccoli Recipe made with whole florets

I had this broccoli salad recently at a friend’s house and completely fell in love with it. It was so delicious.  Mind you I don’t even love raw broccoli , I usually prefer it cooked. This was really good and I even broke my own rule and made a new recipe for company. It is so simple to make and ingredients are easily obtainable.  So give this a try and Thanks to Huddy for this wonderful recipe which I will use again and again . No fuss and no muss here.

I put it together in the morning but you can definitely put together the night before. I would suggest making it at least 8 hours ahead of time so broccoli softens and soaks up some of the delicious marinade. Mix bowl throughout the day .  I left it out for 2 hours before serving to bring it to room temperature. It’s a great summer salad that you can make ahead of time and doesn’t require any cooking!

I also made it with broccoli slaw ( you can shred yourself or buy bags already made) Pre-made broccoli slaw is available almost everywhere now. If using the slaw I would use 3- 12 oz. bags . Just keep mixing it and make ahead so it can absorb, it was equally as yummy. I put photos of both salads on here.

Great recipe for those of you who don’t want to turn on the oven!!!!

Ingredients:

1 Large Bunch of Broccoli, broken up into florets

1/2 cup Red Grapes, I sliced them in half

1 cup chopped celery

1 bunch of scallions greens and whites only , sliced thinly

1/2 cup pignolli nuts or sunflower seeds

Dressing:

1 cup mayonnaise ( you can use light but not fat-free please)

1/3 cup light brown sugar

1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice , I used the juice of one small lemon.

Directions:

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients for the salad.

In a small bowl whisk together the mayo, sugar and lemon juice.

When dressing comes together and has a nice consistency pour over the broccoli give it a good mix and refrigerate. Give it a few mixes during the day and that’s it!

 

Chopped Vegetable Salad

FullSizeRender (2)FullSizeRenderI was having a dinner party and thought this would be a perfect addition to my menu. It contained fresh  vegetables and a salad all in one! Perfect side dish served right along with dinner. Of course you can add a protein and make this the meal which would be ever so perfect. Perfection in a bowl. This is what I did and what veggies I used, feel free to use the vegetables you would love. These were the quantities that worked perfectly though. I won’t lie it took some prep for this and a good idea would be to chop a lot of the veggies ahead of time and have them ready. Avocado and lettuce must be added right before serving though. Dressing and veggies can be made ahead of time .

*I served as a side dish and it was generous for about 6 -8 servings , if you’re using for a main probably 4-6.

*Original Recipe from O Magazine–I made a few changes

Ingredients:

Dressing:

2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 Tbsp. Dijon Mustard

1 garlic clove–minced

1/2 tsp. kosher salt plus a little more to taste at the end

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper plus more to taste at the end

1/4 cup good extra-virgin olive oil

Salad:

1/2 lb. green beans, trimmed and cut into small pieces — about 1/2″

2 medium carrots, cut into small pieces

3 ears of corn, cut kernels off cobs

1/2 pint small cherry or grape tomatoes cut in 1/2

2 ribs celery, cut into small pieces , about 1/2″ pieces

1 red bell pepper, cored and cut into small pieces , also about 1/2″ size

1/3 cup finely chopped red onion

1 head romaine , chopped

1 large ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and diced

1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, 1/2 tsp. kosher salt, garlic, and 1/4 tsp. black pepper. Lastly, whisk in the oil slowly. Set aside.

When water comes to a boil, add cut up green beans and carrots to boiling water and cook until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Add corn and cook a couple of minutes more. Drain in a colander and rinse under cold water, let veggies completely cool down. I let them sit till they were completely cool. Give vinaigrette a quick whisk, and add veggies to the bowl. Add in the tomatoes, celery , bell pepper and onion and toss well. Set aside and let marinate for at least 1/2 hour. I probably let it sit in marinade for about an hour.

Right before serving, add chopped romaine, avocado and parmesan . Taste for salt and pepper and add as needed. Toss gently to combine.

Serve immediately.

Summertime Fresh Tomato Sauce–no cook sauce

IMG_7930 (2)FullSizeRender (3)Nothing better than a really fresh tomato sauce , so fresh that you don’t even have to cook it. Just let the tomatoes marinate for a few hours with some olive oil , basil and a few spices and you’re good to go. So very easy and delicious. A must go-to for summertime and why not anytime? The only down side to making this sauce is that I really feel it needs to marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours and really 4 hours is best. You can taste for salt and pepper during this period.

The other delicious thing to do with this is to add small balls of mozzarella and make a wonderful Caprese salad. I also love this tomato sauce on grilled chicken. And on grilled bread as bruschetta!!!

This recipe is sort of thrown together so there will be a lot of tasting as you go along, depending on the tomatoes you may or may not need extra salt and pepper. I made this for my grandson so I left out the crushed red pepper, if I were making for us I would have thrown in at least 1/2 teaspoon.  Crushed red pepper can always be added at the table.

*This should make about 6 servings, you can adjust to any amount you need, I used 1/2 for the 2 of us .

Ingredients:

app. 3 pints of grape tomatoes ( the little ones), you can use any beautiful fresh tomatoes especially in the summer months.  You’ll just have to eyeball the amounts of tomatoes. I like the pieces cut small but you can just roughly chop up larger tomatoes. If you’re using cherry or plum tomatoes you can cut in half or quarters. It’s not an exact science.

1/2 cup olive oil

app. 4 cloves garlic , minced ( you can adjust this to your liking, a little more or less)

app. 18 basil leaves plus extra for serving. Nothing beats the taste of fresh basil in this so don’t omit. You’ll want extra for serving. I roll up the basil and use a kitchen shear to slice it.

*this is optional –1/2 teaspoon of crushed red pepper–we love it but adjust to your liking or just serve on the table

Kosher Salt–app. 1 teaspoon and then you’ll taste for more

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper–again you’ll have to taste and adjust to your own liking

1 pound pasta of your liking , I like a thin spaghetti best with this sauce. Angel Hair, Cappelini, any of these.

1 cup Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese, plus extra for serving.

Directions:

Combine the tomatoes, 1/2 cup olive oil, garlic, basil leaves, red pepper, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and just let it sit out on the countertop . The longer it sits the better, at least 2 hours to macerate and 4 hours would be ideal.

Just before you are ready to serve, cook pasta. Cook al dente according to the box directions. Angel Hair cooks up in under 5 minutes.

Drain the pasta and add to the bowl with the tomatoes. Add in 1 cup of parmesan cheese and some more fresh basil if you’d like and toss well. Serve in big bowls with extra cheese on the side . Cheese will melt, so keep giving it some good tosses to integrate tomatoes and sauce.

Yum!

Farro Salad

IMG_5507I made this last night combining my recipe which is on my blog “Summer Salad-Farm Fresh Farro” and Charlie Bird’s Famous Farro Salad. My blog post was from a few years ago long before I ever saw Charlie Birds version.  Please feel free to add veggies at your own discretion. It’s a loose recipe but this is what I did. This would make a great addition to any BBQ and perfect for Fathers Day 2017.

Special thanks to Charlie Bird’s Farro Salad @nytimes cooking site by Melissa Clark

cooking@nytimes.com – one of the best cooking sites I know

Ingredients:

1 cup Farro

1 cup apple cider

2 cups of water

2 teaspoons kosher salt, and more to your own liking

2 bay leaves

8 Tablespoons extra -virgin olive oil

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice- I used 1 large lemon

app. 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan Cheese , I used a vegetable peeler but I do know you can buy Parmesan Cheese shaved this way ( time and mess saver)

app. 1/2 cup shelled Pistachios–I used salted pistachios and chopped them myself. You can use raw pistachios but they’re a tad tasteless. Just check for salt when salad is finished.

app. 2 cups Arugula

app. 1 cup torn Basil Leaves

app. 1 cup Mint leaves-cut up into smaller pieces

2 large radishes sliced thinly or rough chopped

Directions:

Farro:

In a medium saucepan, bring farro,  apple cider, bay leaves,  salt , and 2 cups of water to a simmer. Simmer until farro is tender and liquid evaporates, about 30 minutes. If farro is cooked but there is still water I put in a colander/strainer and leave it till it cools down. If on the other hand the water evaporates before the farro is done, you’ll have to add a little more water. You can always strain it so no worries–but don’t overcook. Let farro cool down and discard the 2 bay leaves.

Salad:

In a salad bowl (large enough to fold in arugula and mix) whisk together the olive oil and lemon juice, I use a wire whisk, it’s an amazing kitchen tool. Add the cooled down farro, parmesan cheese and chopped pistachio nuts, mix well.

This salad base will sit for a few hours at room temperature. I made it that afternoon for that evening and never put it in fridge. Salad is always best at room temperature so if you do refrigerate, just bring to room temperature before serving.

Just before serving, fold in the arugula, herbs, radishes and taste for salt. If not salty enough sprinkle a little flaky sea salt or kosher salt. You’ll thank me for this recipe.IMG_1779IMG_1780

 

 

 

Avocado Salad with Corn and Tomatoes and Lots of Good Stuff – Vegan

DSCN0190 DSCN0195 DSCN0194 DSCN0199Most perfect summer salad and it is a vegetarian delight. totally vegan. I am not a vegan so I was grilling steaks for dinner and wanted to do a cold salad on the side. I had 2 beautiful ripe avocados on hand and all the ingredients for this yummy salad.  I had some fresh corn so I just brought the water to a boil threw it in and when it turned yellow took it out and threw it in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.   Of course I love  jalapenos , use your own discretion and this would be amazing without as well but it was kick ass with them.  You can make the salad ahead and let juices meld but don’t add the avocados till you’re ready to serve.  You can give them a little squeeze of fresh lime juice so they won’t turn brown so fast.  I like to serve salad at room temperature, you just don’t get the flavors when it’s too cold. It will keep in fridge for a few days, but you’ll have to take out the leftover avocado since it will turn brown. I cut this salad in 1/2 for the 2 of us. This easily will serve 6 as a side. By the way Joel took a bite but too much healthy stuff going on in here for his liking, although he’s gotten better he’s not quite up to this yet, it’s OK because there was more for me with leftovers.

Enjoy Memorial Day Weekend and be safe!

I was inspired for this recipe from the Barefoot Contessa recipe for Guacamole Salad. The corn was my idea.

Ingredients:

2 cobs of fresh corn ( cook and then shuck corn off the cob) if no fresh corn available use frozen . I use frozen when I have to and 1 small bag is usually sufficient. The frozen corn will defrost very quickly so just take it out and when you mix in with other ingredients it will start to completely thaw by the time you’re ready to serve. You want to serve at room temperature anyway.

1 pint grape tomatoes , halved

1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and diced into small pieces ( app. 1/2 “)

1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup small diced red onion

2 tablespoons minced fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded ( app. 2 small jalapenos) use at your own discretion . Remove Seeds

1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice ( 2 limes)

1/4 cup good olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh garlic

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

2 ripe Hass avocados, seeded, peeled and cut into small cubes.

Directions:

Place the tomatoes, yellow pepper, black beans, red onion, jalapeno peppers, and lime zest in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, garlic and cayenne pepper. Pour over the vegetables. Toss well. In the meanwhile cook the corn , bring water to a boil throw in for a few minutes to turn bright yellow, then I throw in a bowl of ice water for a few minutes to stop the cooking and lock in flavor and color. Then remove corn from cob. I let the salad sit for about an hour before adding avocados into the salad. Just fold avocados into the salad when you’re ready to serve. Check for seasoning and serve at room temperature.

Cinco de Mayo Salad and Green Goddess Dressing

photo (2)photo (5)photo (2) photo May is here and it brings warm weather and beautiful flowers and springtime has finally arrived. This is a perfect way to bring a little Cinco de Mayo into your home in a pretty healthy way.

Any excuse to celebrate a holiday with a new recipe! Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone and here is a new salad and salad dressing to help celebrate with. While I am not a vegan and don’t always cook that way,  I tried this salad dressing which I found in Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook, “It’s All Good”, and I have to say it is all good! All good ingredients. I am not talking diet food–just good, healthy food, that when eaten in moderation, yields very good results. I used * Vegenaise in making this and highly recommend it in the place of mayonnaise. You can also use yogurt in its place. This is low salt and low sugar. Delicious, fresh ingredients. I made it with the delicious salad listed below. I love love cilantro, and I have to say that if you don’t love cilantro, this one’s not for you. I used half of a jalapeno and it was not hot at all, next time I will use a little more.  I scraped the seeds out. Be very careful handling jalapenos and their seeds–make sure to wash your hands well afterwards and maybe wear gloves to prevent any problems.

This dressing will keep well in a jar for up to a week.

*a little story about Vegenaise, which is lighter than mayonnaise and contains no eggs, milk or animal products. No GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms). Mix it with Dijon for great flavor in the place of real mayo. Extra added bonus is a great jar to store future salad dressings in.

Ingredients:

*this will be vegan if you use Vegenaise

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

2/3 cup of Vegenaise, yogurt, or mayonnaise

2 scallions, white and light green parts only, chopped

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 4 limes)

1/2 green jalapeno, roughly chopped (you can use more or less, whatever level of heat you like)

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon honey

DRESSING DIRECTIONS:

Blend all ingredients in a blender except for olive oil (I open the top and pour oil in after all other ingredients are combined.) It is a beautiful light green color with specks of dark green. Joel was definitely suspicious of the color but he really loved it! Gave it a big thumbs up!

This should serve 4 nicely as a salad but adjust quantities based on how many people you are feeding.

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

About two hearts of romaine Lettuce, shredded

1/2 can of yellow corn (or 2 fresh ears of corn, shucked)

1/2 can black beans (I use organic canned beans and rinse and drain them)

4 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks

approx. 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes (I used delicious cherry tomatoes, halved)

1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro

Green Goddess Dressing (see above)

If you’re using fresh corn, you’ll have to cook it first. I used the canned version this time. Place the lettuce in a large bowl and dress it with about 1/4 cup of the dressing, just so it’s nicely coated. I then added beans, tomatoes, scallions, avocado, cilantro and corn. Add a little more salad dressing, and serve immediately. Joel likes a lot more dressing on his salad so I served with dressing on the side. And no he didn’t eat all that stuff in the salad; he just ate lettuce and tomatoes…he really doesn’t know what he’s missing!

Ranch Dressing – BLT Salad

photo (2)DSCN0290photoDSCN0292One of the best things to come out of writing this blog is being in touch with so very many different people and getting inspired by their ideas as well as my own. Bree emailed me to tell me about this dressing that she made from Ina Garten. I was so happy for the email and a new dressing to make. I followed the salad dressing recipe decreasing the salt and changing the salad to a Bacon Lettuce and Tomato salad. So yum, and thanks again Bree for thinking of me and writing to me, I love that you thought of me and that you inspired me to make this new dressing.  This is one helluva great dressing and it would make one helluva great dip. Another perfect anytime salad. Thanks!

Ingredients:

3 scallions, white and green parts , chopped

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 – 1 teaspoon kosher salt to taste

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 cup good mayonnaise ( you can use light but not fat free please)

1/2 cup Greek style yogurt , I used 2%

1/2 cup buttermilk, shaken ( you can use lowfat)

Salad Greens:

for 6 people you will use 3 small Bibb Lettuces, or Boston Lettuce or Romaine. Whichever you prefer. I could only find Romaine so that’s what we had. We like our lettuce chopped so that’s what I did.

2 large ripe tomatoes or small grape ones, whichever you prefer.

6 slices of Bacon ( I used microwave Bacon) it’s awesome–no fuss no muss

*1 red onion thinly sliced ( optional)

*avocado cut into chunks ( also optional)

I made all the salad dressing because it will keep in fridge for a few days , I used less lettuce and less other ingredients just for the two of us. I used the red onion and avocado for my 1/2 of the salad.

Directions:

Place the scallions, basil, lemon juice, mustard, olive oil, garlic , salt and pepper in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Puree for about 20 seconds till smooth. Add the mayo, yogurt, and buttermilk and blend till smooth. Transfer the dressing to a container and refrigerate for at least an hour till flavors blend together . Put together salad ingredients and pour dressing on it. So delish! Great with protein on it, and this salad dressing would make a great dip for raw veggies! I love this dressing, we ate it 3 nights in a row!