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Oct 30, 2014
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Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Meatless Monday: Caprese Salad and Mushroom Ravioli at I Fratellini

Monday, September 8th, 2014



On a gorgeous Meatless Monday like this, we head to I Fratellini in Clayton, where large windows let in the cool late-summer breeze. This time of year, you can’t go wrong with a ginormous caprese salad. A huge slice of grilled, garlicky ciabatta bread is the base for thick discs of bright local tomatoes. These ruby-red gems are crowned with a slab of burrata and finished with a drizzle of pesto.




For your next course, order the mushroom ravioli. Five big ravioli stuffed with house-made ricotta and a medley of shiitake, portobello and button mushrooms arrive in a rich, brown butter sauce. Even more mushrooms are tucked underneath and scattered on top of the pasta, packing an abundance of rich flavor into each bite. Sprinkle your meal with reckless abandon from a cup of grated Parmesan served alongside the dish.



Meatless Monday: Navratan Korma

Monday, August 25th, 2014



This delicious Mughlai dish gets the name navratan, meaning “nine gems,” from its nine different veggies, fruit and nuts. Potatoes, French beans, carrots, green peas, cauliflower and bell pepper are parboiled to hold their texture and  crunchy cashews fried for a deep nutty flavor. But this dish really starts to sing when you toast the spices, perfuming your kitchen with heavenly aromas of garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, red chile powder and garam masala. The whole dish comes together with a few tablespoons of rich cream and sweet, plump raisins. Serve with warm naan or basmati rice for a hearty, veg-filled Meatless Monday. Get the recipe here, and learn more about curries here.

-photo by Carmen Troesser

Meatless Monday: Cucumber Avocado Soup

Monday, August 18th, 2014


On warm summer days, we’re just not up to making elaborate dishes. We need simple, refreshing flavors with little to no cooking involved. This Cucumber Avocado Soup is dual purpose: it fulfills our no-cook, Meatless Monday mandate, and it tackles up the overabundance of cucumbers currently swarming all over our gardens.

All you need is a cucumber, an avocado, some fresh mint, green onion and a jalapeno for kick. Blend it together with buttermilk and ice cold water until you achieve the perfect consistency and chill. At dinnertime, just pour it into a bowl, grab a spoon and kick back and relax. Get the recipe here.

-photo by Laura Miller

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Udon Noodles at Bobo Noodle House

Monday, August 11th, 2014



The vegetarian entrees may be few at Bobo Noodle House, but we could easily see ourselves slurping down a bowl of Vegetarian Udon every Meatless Monday. Handfuls of crunchy shredded carrots, edamame, bell peppers, onions and greens are seared in a wok before taking a tumble in a bed of springy udon noodles. The vegetables hold their crunch against the toothsome noodles, and the smoky seared flavor pops against the thick, savory sauce.

The hearty bowl can easily satisfy one hungry vegetarian, but we made it a meal for two, adding a starter and a side. The Vegetarian Pot Stickers hold a spoonful of bright spinach, crunchy cabbage, crisp carrots and tofu, all sealed in a pan-fried wonton. Dip them in a sesame soy sauce and try your best to share. A cool, refreshing side of Spicy Cucumber Salad rounds out the meal; long, thin strands of shredded cucumber hold their distinct crunch in a chili sauce that caught us by surprise between bites.

We finished our meal – though we barely had room for one more bite – with Bobo’s sesame ball, a table tennis ball-sized orb studded with sesame seeds and filled with thick red bean paste. This savory pop-able is complimentary with each entree.

-photo by Michelle Volanksy

Meatless Monday: Daikon, Apple and Edamame Slaw

Monday, August 4th, 2014



We can only take so much dressing-soaked cabbage at our picnics and barbecues. Shake up your dinner with a cool, refreshing summertime twist on slaw. Inspired by Diane Morgan’s recipe for daikon and apple slaw in Roots: The Definitive Compendium with more than 225 Recipes, we went a step further, turning her creative dish into a spicy meatless main event. We love this crunchy, flavorful slaw atop pulled pork, but make an extra big batch and scoop in into cereal bowls for a light, refreshing vegetarian meal tonight — no cooking required. Get the recipe for Daikon, Apple and Edamame Slaw here.

-photo by Greg Rannells

Wheatless Wednesday: Raw Zucchini ‘Pad Thai’

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014



Traditional pad Thai is one of Thailand’s national dishes and is also a mainstay in many countries outside Southeast Asia. This rice noodle dish commonly features eggs and tofu, sometimes meat, and a variety of saucy, often processed ingredients

As I mentioned in my most recent post, the last two weeks have seen me feasting on only raw, plant-based food. This could seem limiting to many people, but it’s been a great catalyst for creativity in my kitchen. I’ve swapped my toaster oven, microwave and oven for a dehydrator, and my recent Blendtec purchase has changed my perspective on smoothies, whole juices and sauces. If you’re really dedicated, you could even purchase a high-powered juicer to equip the kitchen for a variety of raw food meals and treats (think raw “ice cream”).

This recipe is my attempt to “raw-itize” a universally loved sweet-and-sour dish that could entice any street food-lover in Thailand. I used my Spiralizer to make simple zucchini noodles quickly, but if you don’t have one you can shred them with a food processor or box grater.

In place of soy sauce, I use coconut aminos, a gluten-free substitute made from the sap of a coconut tree. It is much higher in nutritional content than soy sauce, and since it’s a raw product, it contains active enzymes that aid in digestion. You can find coconut aminos at Whole Foods.

Raw Zucchini “Pad Thai”
4 servings

2 extra large zucchinis
½ cup chopped broccoli florets
1 large carrot, shredded
Half a red pepper, cut into matchsticks
3 green onions, chopped
5 basil leaves, plus more for garnish
5 Tbsp. raw almond butter
1 large garlic clove
3 Tbsp. lime juice
2 Tbsp. coconut aminos*
4 Tbsp. water
1 Tbsp. raw honey
½-inch piece peeled ginger
1 Tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil
½ cup sunflower sprouts (or bean sprouts), for garnish
½ cup chopped raw cashews, for garnish
Mint for garnish
4 lime wedges for garnish

• Use a Spiralizer to make zucchini noodles or shred the zucchini with box grater or food processor. If shredding, let the zucchini sit in a colander to drain excess water 1 to 2 hours.
• In a large bowl, toss together the zucchini, broccoli, carrot, red pepper and green onion. Set aside.
• In the bowl of a food processor, pulse together the basil, almond butter, garlic, lime, coconut aminos, water, honey, ginger and coconut oil until it becomes a very smooth sauce. Pour it over the vegetables and toss.
• Divide the pad Thai evenly among 4 plates. Garnish each with sprouts, cashews, mint, basil and a lime wedge.

*Coconut aminos are available at Whole Foods.

Meatless Monday: Smoked Portobello Sandwich at Sugarfire Smoke House

Monday, July 28th, 2014



Frequenting a barbecue joint and attempting to eat meatless can seem like an exercise in futility. But if there’s ever a time to start murmuring your vegetarian hosannas, it’s while tucking in to the smoked portobello sandwich at Sugarfire Smoke House. The lone meatless entree on the menu, the sandwich at first feels a little like a sheepish afterthought, something the kitchen came up after realizing how much meat it puts in everything. But take a bite and be changed.

It’s not far off the mark to call this a spiffed-up fungiform Big Mac; according to head pitmaster Casey Jovick, that’s more or less what Sugarfire is reaching for. Two balsamic-marinated, smoked portobello are layered between a double-decker bun fresh from Fazio’s Bakery on The Hill. Huge marinated onions, shredded lettuce and sliced pickles are stuffed in between, and slices of American cheese laid over the mushrooms melt and mingle with the house-made “special sauce,” Sugarfire’s knockout take on Thousand Island dressing.

A squirt of any of the house’s menu of bottled sauces would be worth your while, but the coffee barbecue sauce is your best bet. It complements the sandwich’s sharp, vinegary tones with the sweet, earthy notes of coffee. The whole affair is a hot mess – bread, mushroom and fixings toppling everywhere – but catch it all in your tray, wipe your fingers with a paper towel, and scoop up the remnants with a fork.

With a bit of luck, you’ll find crazy corn on the menu, one of several daily rotating side options displayed on butcher paper. The side usually makes a weekly appearance and slings together corn, Sugarfire’s house rub, five cheeses, green chiles, masa and other ingredients (sometimes sausage; vegetarians, keep a watchful eye out) for a piquant, Southwestern-style side. You never knew the meat-free masses could be so at home in the land of barbecue.



Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Tuna Salad

Monday, July 21st, 2014


Like so many culinary “aha” moments, the idea for the base of this recipe came to me during what I like to call a “college kitchen” day. I needed something for lunch but hadn’t gone grocery shopping in more than a week. My ingredient options were either in can form or sitting in the freezer in unmarked plastic bags (with an ominous layer of ice, I might add).

I opted out of rediscovering the frozen tundra of past cooking adventures and stood in the pantry, staring at the shelves, willing something to jump into my hands and reveal a brilliant plan. After several scans, I settled on a can of garbanzo beans, thinking I’d whip up some hummus. Then I remembered our food processor went kaput earlier that week. Drat.

Undeterred, I decided it was nothing my good ol’ potato masher couldn’t handle, so I set to work draining the beans and adding some salt, pepper, garlic powder and olive oil to get things going. About halfway through the mashing process, I realized I had the beginning of tuna salad.

Find out how Beth Styles went from half-smashed beans to a spot-on vegetarian version of this picnic staple here, and get the recipe here.

-photo by Carmen Troesser


Meatless Monday: Seitan Gyro at Frida’s Deli

Monday, July 14th, 2014



Since I went vegetarian seven years ago, I’ve been on the hunt for an authentic-tasting, satisfying meat-free gyro. I grew up eating my grandmother’s Greek food, but my picky childhood palate limited me to french fries, chicken fingers and pasta Alfredo. I only became adventurous enough to try a traditional gyro – sliced meat, tomatoes and onions slathered in thick, tangy tzatziki – just one year before I chose to eschew meat altogether. Now that I’m vegan to boot, finding a delicious substitute is harder still, but Frida’s Deli helped me take one step closer to veggie gyro nirvana.

Frida’s vegan seitan gyro comes in a warmed pita (not oiled and grilled like many traditional sandwiches – it’s a health-conscious restaurant after all) with plenty of crunchy lettuce, tomatoes and red onions. A hefty handful of shredded, chicken-style seitan serves as the gyro “meat,” dotted with flavorful dried oregano and other herbs. Everything is tossed in a light “tzatziki” sauce, which is tough to get right without thick Greek yogurt. Since Frida’s vegan tzatziki is a little on the thin side, I recommend slathering your pita with the side of hummus, adding moisture and an extra hit of flavor for a satisfying vegan meal.

Meatless Monday: Summer Lasagna

Monday, July 7th, 2014


Lasagna has something for everyone. Cheese. Starch. More cheese. But vegetarian lasagna? Well that’s usually just Mom’s recipe without the meat. Bo-ring. (Nothing against your mom. She’s lovely.) Since it’s too hot to turn on the oven and my farmers market produce overfloweth, it’s time to find a new twist on this old favorite.

Ready for a vegetarian lasagna that doesn’t require gallons of tomato sauce or even pasta? Click here for the recipe and click here to read more about how a friend’s love affair with polenta inspired Kellie Hynes to create this vibrant vegetarian dish.

-photo by Carmen Troesser

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