Evergreen Grub

In the eternal quest to live a healthy lifestyle, last September I became vegetarian. I had dabbled in it for several years, but as my health worsened, I sought out new ways to become healthy. Since then, my world of food has become a plethora of taste explosion. I am trying new herbs and spices that I never would have before, eating lots of fruits and veggies, and encouraging my family to do the same. I love going to buy fresh produce, subscribe to veggie magazines, read cookbooks, and even search for new ways to enjoy old favorites or revamp tradiitionally ethnic foods. Becoming vegetarian has been on of the greatest adventures of my adult life. I enjoy eating, carefully preparing meals with love, and tempting my family with delicious dishes that are made without harming anything else. It has improved my health, my outlook, my weight, my skin, and my life.

Ultimate Veggie Fried Rice (Vegetarian Times Magazine) – Vegan

Serves 4

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped (1 cup)
  • 1 small carrot, diced (1/4 cup)
  • 1 stalk celery, diced (1/4 cup)
  • 1 tsp. herbes de Provence
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice, crumbled or broken up
  • 2 cups leftover vegetables, beans, etc., optional

(I include 1/2 cup Thompson seedless raisins and 1/4 cup sunflower seeds as well.)

Directions

1. Heat skillet over medium-high heat, and add oil. Sauté onion, carrot, celery, herbes de Provence, and salt 10 to 15 minutes, or until well browned. Add a little more oil if pan seems dry. Add rice, and stir-fry 5 minutes, or until mixture is hot and well combined.

2. Rice is now ready to be served, but if you have some time before your meal, turn heat to low, add a little more oil to pan, and let rice sit undisturbed 7 to 10 minutes, or until browned. If it begins to stick, scrape it up, stir tasty brown bits in, and continue browning with a little more oil. The more time and energy you spend at this stage, the tastier the rice will be. If using leftovers, add them just before serving and continue to heat thoroughly.

Granola Base (Body and Soul Magazine)

Ingredients

  • 6 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 1/4 cups nuts, such as almonds, pistachios, walnuts, etc., coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup seeds, such as sunflower, pepitas, etc.
  • 1/3 cup flaxseed meal, wheat germ, or a mixture of the two
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup sweetener, such as honey, agave syrup, or molasses
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dried fruit, such as sour cherries, cranberries, currants, raisins, apricots, figs, or pineapple, coarsely chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Combine the oats, nuts, seeds, flax and/or wheat germ, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and the salt until frothy. Whisk in the sweetener and the olive oil. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients, and stir until the oats are evenly coated.
  3. Transfer mixture to two rimmed baking sheets and spread flat.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, then gently flip with a spatula, moving granola from the outer edges to the center of the sheet. Continue to cook until golden, about 10 minutes more. (If the granola starts to brown too much at the edges, gently stir those parts into the middle.)
  5. Cool completely on pan, then transfer to a bowl and gently stir in the dried fruit.

Grilled Cheese with Fig and Basil (Vegetarian Times, Jan. 1, 2006 Issue)

I will preface this recipe by stating that it is by far the best grilled cheese I have ever tasted.  I substituted Challah bread and fresh basil from my herb garden.  This is going to be a staple in my diet and will be written into my recipe book.  Luckily, a local goat dairy farm sell honey and fig chevre which I used instead of separate ingredients.  Truly delightful!

Ingredient list

Serves 4

  • 4 oz. chèvre (soft goat cheese)
  • 1 Tbs. honey, optional
  • 8 thin slices cinnamon-raisin bread
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh basil
  • 2 Tbs. fig preserves

Directions

  1. Combine chèvre and honey, if using, in bowl, and mix until well blended. Spread about 1 Tbs. mixture on each of 4 bread slices; top with 1/2 tsp. basil each. Spread remaining slices of bread with 1 1/2 tsp. fig preserves. Close sandwiches, and lightly coat both sides with cooking spray.
  2. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 sandwiches to skillet. Place heavy skillet or pot on top of sandwiches; press gently to flatten. Cook 3 minutes on each side, or until bread is lightly toasted (leave skillet or pot on sandwiches while they cook). Repeat with remaining sandwiches. Serve warm.

Basmati and Wild Rice Stuffed Acorn Squash (Vegetarian Times Magazine)

Ingredient list

Serves 8

Acorn Squash

  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. low-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 medium acorn squash, quartered and seeded

Basmati and Wild Rice

  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • 1½ cups basmati-wild rice mix, such as Lundberg Farms
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, diced (¾ cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp.)

Braised Vegetables

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 head fennel, cut into chunks (1½ cups)
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 cups sugar snap peas
  • 1 Tbs. capers, drained
  • ¹⁄3 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Cranberry sauce for garnish, optional

Directions

1. To make Acorn Squash: Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray, or line with parchment paper. Whisk together olive oil, maple syrup, soy sauce, cinnamon, and 2 Tbs. water in small bowl. Brush inside and edges of acorn squash wedges; place on prepared baking sheet. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, or until squash is soft enough to prick with tip of knife. Keep warm.

2. To make Basmati and Wild Rice: Toast pine nuts in small skillet over medium-low heat 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned and fragrant, shaking pan often. Set aside. Cook rice according to package directions. Set aside. Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil 3 to 5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in rice and pine nuts, and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

3. To make Braised Vegetables: Heat olive oil in Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat. Sauté fennel in oil 10 minutes, or until softened. Add carrots, and sauté 5 minutes more, or until carrots begin to brown. Add 2 cups water, cover, and steam vegetables 10 to 15 minutes, or until soft. Add snap peas, and steam 2 to 3 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in capers.

4. To serve: Place 1 Acorn Squash wedge on each plate. Spoon Basmati and Wild Rice into center of each squash quarter, and top with Braised Vegetables. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, and add a dollop of cranberry sauce, if desired.

Oatmeal Raisin Muffins ( Deceptively Delicious Cookbook)

I have altered this recipe slightly from the cookbook Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. I omitted some of her suggestions and changed some of her other suggestions. This is an amazing cookbook – if you are able, you should grab one today!

Ingredients

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar (light)
  • 6 tablespoons margarine, chilled
  • 1/2 cup banana puree
  • 1/2 cup zucchini puree
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two making sheets with cooking spray.
  2. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in bowl. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, cut sugar and margarine together, until just combined – do not overmix ( do not use an electric mixer!). Add bananas and zucchini purees and egg white; stir to just blend. Add flour mixture – mix. Add raisins – mix.
  4. Drop the dough by heaping tablespoonsful onto well-oiled mini muffin tin. Bake until golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Let the muffins cool on the baking sheets for 4 to 5 minutes, just until they are firm enough to handle, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely.

Makes 24 mini muffins

Roasted Vegetables (www.wholeliving.com)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup red or sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ wedges
  • 1 small Butternut squash peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 cup carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 cup parsnips, cut into 2-inch lengths
  • 1 small rutabaga (1 pound), pared, halved, and cut into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 1 cup red onions or  shallots, peeled, halved if large
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper

Directions

Put veggies and herbs in a tin foil wrap and drizzle with olive oil.  I roasted at 450 F for 1 hour, then reduced heat to around 350-400 F for another half hour. Uncovered, and roasted 10-15 minutes more while I prepared quinoa as a side. Delicious. Beautiful presentation and aroma. Perfect for holidays in autumn and winter. Slice veggies smaller for shorter roasting time.

 

 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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