Tag Archives: vegetarian

I love when this happens!

How often have you looked through your fridge or cupboard, and come to the realization that you have ALL the ingredients on hand for a meal that you hadn’t even planned?

It's not the sexiest -looking soup, but it felt so fresh and yummy. And no weird chemicals or additives!

It’s not the sexiest -looking soup, but it felt so fresh and yummy. And no weird chemicals or additives!

I mean, you scan through your dry goods, fruit & veg, and whatnot and your smart little brain takes those ingredients, and swiftly calculates them into a total dish you can actually cook? That’s awesome!

That is awesome, and it happened to me last week. I had kale, veg meatballs, tomatoes, garlic, veggie stock, carrots, celery and tortellini on hand. Brain threw those items into the calculator, and came up with: ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP

So, excited, I set right to it. We’ve been having unholy amounts of rain lately, and soup has seemed like a good idea – yes, even with the humidity.

My house quickly filled with the scent of garlic, tomatoes, celery and carrots gently sauteeing in olive oil…and later, in went the veggie Italian meatballs (courtesy Gardein). As you may (or may not) have read in my earlier posts, I ALWAYS have homemade veggie stock on hand for the base of any kind of soup.

Fast forward about an hour, and I added the veggies, tortellini, meatballs and a generous handful of kale to the stock and let it simmer. Of course, I added freshly cracked black pepper and sea salt to top it off.

I love when a non-plan comes together!

Coronation street

Have you ever heard of “Coronation chicken’? If you’re one of Her Majesty’s subjects, then most certainly you have.

BeFunky_2010-10-04 04.jpgBeing the Anglophile that I am, I read of Coronation chicken a long while ago whilst reading a book of British recipes. It sounded simple but lovely: the Brit version of our good old all-American cold chicken salad (or a distant cousin of the Waldorf salad). It incorporates chopped chicken, curry powder, raisins (or sultanas, as they say over the pond), celery, onions, and whatnot.

It wasn’t until much later after I became veggie that I found a recipe for Coronation Chickpeas – a meat-free version of the original. Now, I love anything to do with chickpeas and curry – so this was a no-brainer for me. And you know what? It does make a lovely, light lunch on a hot summer day – I sometimes scoop the mixture into butter or red lettuce leaves and make a little wrap. You could also pile it onto some raw baby leafy greens or in a tortilla and call it a wrap. Or, do as I did the first time and just eat it plain with a fork.

Coronation chickpeas – healthful, quick to prepare, and a nice change from your usual sandwich stuffings or salad toppings. I used Vegenaise as my mayo of choice (as ever).

There are loads of recipes for Coronation chickpeas out there – feel free to experiment with any of them.

Magic mushrooms!

In the previous post, you read about how I discovered a new local market and purchased a humongous portobella mushrooom for dinner. Well, have a gander at the final result: that darn ‘shroom, stuffed to its gills with freshly chopped garlic and feta cheese and topped with a from-the-garden basil leaf, then broiled in a 380 degree oven for 15 minutes. The result? Bliss. Sheer, cheesy, mushroomy bliss.


  • Portabello mushroom(s)
  • Chopped garlic
  • Feta cheese

Clean out the underside and stem of the portabello with a spoon. Be certain not to gouge the mushroom or scrape too much out. Chop fresh garlic. Fill mushroom with as much crumbled feta as it can hold, then sprinkle the chopped garlic on top. Spray a baking dish and place the mushroom in the dish. Bake at 380-385 degrees F for about 15 minutes or until the mushroom is soft and beginning to release its juices, and the feta is becoming slightly browned on top. Garnish with a fresh basil leaf (optional) and cracked black pepper. Enjoy!

I falafel for you

This is the vegetarian falafel pita sandwich at the Healthy Hut Market on St Pete Beach. It just had its Grand Opening last month to much fanfare, and for good reason. St Pete Beach needed a healthful alternative to the glut of seafood joints and fast food stops along Gulf Blvd. While not 100% vegan/vegetarian, the menu is chock full of items that are easily customizable to your dietary needs. Healthy Hut serves breakfast (tofu scramble, yay!) as well as lunch and supper. Eat it at your table or take it  away. I won’t even go into the variety of beautiful organic fresh veggies, wines, bulk foods  and supermarket items they carry, because it’s just too intense. Run and check it out for yourself!

I used to hate them…

…artichokes. But now…yum. Why? Maybe it was a kid thing. But I find myself buying jars and jars of marinated ‘chokes, and throwing them into delicious one-pan dishes such as my Garlicky Artichoke Mafalde. How subtly in color and taste the artichokes blend in with the pasta – but how simple and satisfying.


Olive oil, for sauteeing
One half of a white onion, diced
Three garlic cloves, minced
1/2 pound of Mafalde, or similar long pasta
1/2 jar of marinated artichokes
Water, for boiling pasta

Boil mafalde until it’s al dente. In large saucepan, lightly sautee garlic and onions (don’t overcook). Drain pasta well. Add artichokes to saute pan, and cook gently with the onions and garlic, about 5 minutes. If mixture seems dry, add a tablespoon of the artichoke marinade to pan. Lower heat and add the pasta to pan, stirring constantly until all ingredients are mixed. Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, sea salt, and chopped parsley, if desired. Serve immediately. (Vegan)

This recipe can easily be doubled.

Mmm, Thanksgiving

I love to cook. No, really, I do. Give me a full cupboard and some pans, and set me loose. I spent 6 hours in the kitchen yesterday doing things I don’t normally do, like peel apples and fold artichokes into beaten eggs. But here are some of my vainglorious efforts:

Vegan green bean casserole. Modified slightly from the original recipe, which you can find here.

Artichoke torta, a lovely brunch dish!

But…I am so not cooking today. That’s what leftovers are for. 🙂