Tag Archives: vegetarian

Pinned: Red wine olive risotto

I’m a huge fan of cooking shows (particularly cooking reality shows like Top Chef and Next Iron Chef — I must admit, I was Team Falkner, but I’m fairly happy with Geoffrey Zakarian winning). If there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching them, it’s that risotto is scary and impossible to get right.

So I’ve avoided it for a long time, but when I came across this recipe from We Are Not Martha, I decided to put on my big girl panties and give it a go.

Totally worth it.

I’ll admit, the rice I used and the way I prepped it was a little different, but I’d still consider it a risotto-style dish, at least. Totally delicious.

Red wine olive risottoRed wine olive risotto, adapted from We Are Not Martha

Servings: 4

Ingredients:
1 cup long-grain rice
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup red wine (I used Rex Goliath Free-Range Red, so it was inexpensive but worked great. Five bucks at Target!)
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, chopped
1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped (I used kalamata olives with Mediterranean herbs, which I found at Target)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Directions:
Cook rice in 2 cups water for 20 minutes, adding salt and olive oil to water. Once rice is prepped, saute garlic in a pan until slightly brown, then add the chicken broth and rice. Allow rice to absorb most of the broth, then add the wine and olives. Cook, stirring occasionally, until wine is absorbed, adding shallots for last several minutes of cooking. Salt and pepper to taste.

As WANM suggests, you can also add Parmesan and a little fresh parsley. We didn’t try this, but we plan to next time! I especially think the Parmesan would be good. I also enjoyed the leftover wine with the meal!

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If you enjoyed this post, I’d love for you to follow my cooking boards on Pinterest! I have a board for general food, vegetarian options, desserts and party items.

Pinned: Tortellini and garden vegetable bake

Better Homes and Gardens Tortellini and Garden Vegetable BakeThis is probably one of the prettiest dishes I’ve ever made. At the very least, it’s the prettiest I’ve made in a while.

I saw the photo for it on Pinterest and immediately pinned it to my “Vegetarian” board. The original recipe actually calls for chicken, but it was really amazing without it — so amazing, in fact, that Bobby (who is a total carnivore, typically) said he thought it might have been better without the chicken.

Amazing. And he said it’s the best thing I’ve ever made. Better than the alfredo sauce.

So what does this amazing recipe entail? A whole bunch of veggies and some delicious pre-made tortellini! It’s actually a pretty easy dish, just a bit of prep work.

Vegetarian tortellini and garden vegetable bake (adapted from Better Homes & Gardens)

Ingredients:

1 9-oz. package of Buitoni Three-cheese Tortellini
Olive oil
1 small carrot, cut into thin slices
1 cup sugar snap peas, halved crosswise
1 tbsp butter
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup chicken broth
1 tbsp dried rosemary
1 tbsp dried basil
1/2 cup milk
Salt and pepper
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed and softened
1/2 cup quartered cherry or grape tomatoes

Directions:
Prep all your veggies before you start cooking! I tried to do a lot of stuff simultaneously, and it nearly got me in trouble! If you are a better multi-tasker than me, it might be OK, but I recommend getting the prep work out of the way first! I think the hoity-toity culinary term for that is mise en place. That’s right, folks. I watch a lot of Food Network.

Put tortellini on to boil (the Buitoni takes around 10 minutes), adding salt and olive oil to the water. With 5 minutes left, add the carrots. With 1 minute left, add the sugar snap peas.

While you are doing this, heat the butter in a sauce pan and saute the mushrooms in it, about 5 minutes. Remove the mushrooms from the pan and set them aside.

Whisk together the chicken broth, flour, rosemary, basil, salt and pepper. I just sort of eyeballed it on the rosemary, basil, salt and pepper.

Using the same sauce pan you sauteed the mushrooms in, combine the broth mixture with the milk. Heat and stir until the sauce has thickened a bit and is bubbling. Add the cream cheese and stir until smooth. Remove from heat.

Spray a glass baking dish with cooking spray. Combine all your ingredients in the cooking dish and mix everything together until it’s all well-coated by the sauce. Cover and cook at 350 for about 20 minutes.

I loved how this turned out, and it wasn’t really difficult to make, especially since the pasta is premade and just has to be boiled for a few minutes. I also like that it’s fairly adaptable depending on what you like or have on-hand. The original recipe actually calls for oregano, but I didn’t have any, so I substituted basil and rosemary! I used more or less of particular called-for veggies depending on what I know Bobby and I prefer.

The end result almost has a pot-pie quality, except with cheese-stuffed pasta instead of potatoes and a crust. This is a dish I will definitely make again!

Do you have any favorite recipes you’ve made recently? I love trying new stuff, so please share!

Vegetarian recipe: Black bean and corn alfredo pasta

Black bean and corn alfredo pastaEver since Bobby and I decided to go vegetarian for a few weeks (I first talked about that here), I’ve had to get a little more inventive with our meals. For me, not really being familiar with the ins and outs of a vegetarian diet, it’s a lot harder to build a meal around a vegetable than around a meat.

I’m sure that’s not the case for people who are full-time vegetarians, but it’s definitely a challenge for us to get into that mindset. So far the default seems to be black beans with either rice or pasta.

So this is a recipe that combines both of those. It happened that we already had a bag of dried black beans, so that played into the decision to use them, too. I should clarify that by vegetarian I mean no meat. We have been eating animal byproducts, like eggs or milk.

I’d been daydreaming about using this recipe for Olive Garden’s alfredo sauce that I found on Pinterest a while back. I had macaroni on-hand, so that’s what I  used for the pasta. I put the beans on to soak yesterday morning before I went to work, so they were ready to be cooked when I got home. I added salt and boiled them for probably about 30 minutes, then sauteed them in olive oil with a can of sweet corn kernel corn. I stirred in about 1/4 cup of cilantro at the end.

The beans were a bit al dente, which is how I like them, but Bobby opted for just the pasta and sauce and said he loved it.

I was a little hesitant about this combination of items, since the beans and corn are more Mexican or southwestern, and the sauce and pasta are Italian. But I ended up really liking how everything came together, enough that I will probably make this again. I think, for a non-vegetarian version, that I would add ham of some sort, or maybe prosciutto.

I’m obviously not a chef, but I definitely enjoyed the combo of flavors, and I think the dish was really successful overall!

Recipe: Southwestern-style vegetarian chili

So Bobby and I have been talking lately about wanting to eat a little healthier, and one of the ideas he had was to try going vegetarian for a week or two. I’ve sort of thought before that I could do it, and now’s really as good a time as any. Our plan is to get through this week and reevaluate; we’re hoping to make it to Christmas eating a primarily vegetarian menu. We may allow ourselves one night per week to have meat, since we already have some meat in the freezer.

One of our big challenges is what to cook, which makes sense, I guess. Tonight I decided to make up something based on what we had in the house by putting a spin on a recipe we’ve used before. The weather was perfect for chili, so I set out to make a veggie chili. And I really thought it turned out great, so I’m going to share my recipe! On the seasonings, I didn’t really measure while I was cooking it, so my estimations below may be a little off — season to taste!

Southwestern vegetarian chili

Ingredients:
3 tbsp olive oil
One large can crushed tomatoes
One small can black beans, drained
One small can dark red kidney beans, drained
One small can corn, drained
One small can diced tomatoes with chilis and lime, drained
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1/2 packet taco seasoning
2 tsp cumin
2 handfuls (real scientific, I know) corn flour (Masa)
1 tbsp Slap Ya Mama seasoning (or a mixture of white pepper, red pepper and garlic powder)
Salt to taste
1 cup white rice, uncooked

Directions:
It’s so easy! The white rice will take the longest (about 20 minutes for non-instant rice), so go ahead and put it on (2 cups of water, bring to a boil, add rice, reduce head and cover for 20 minutes). Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pot. Add the tomatoes, beans and corn. Mix in taco seasoning, cumin, corn flour, Slap Ya Mama seasoning and salt. Taste test to see what you think and add seasoning if it needs it! While this is simmering, heat the other tbsp of olive oil in a small frying pan and saute the onions. When they are ready, add them to the chili mixture. If the consistency is too soupy, add more corn flour to thicken it, tasting to ensure the chili doesn’t get too corny. Allow chili to simmer until rice is done. Serve the chili over the rice in bowls.

Hope you enjoy the recipe! It was definitely a great first venture into vegetarianism for us. Let me know how it turns out if you give it a try!