Gastronomy and Life's Other Pleasures

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Posts tagged vegetarian

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Did anyone else in eastern Ontario/Ottawa give in to firing up your BBQ last night? With the temperature finally rising just above freezing, the husband and I couldn’t resist breaking out our BBQ. 

We didn’t have any fresh meat on hand, so instead we grilled up a whole bunch of veggies (potatoes, broccoli, bell peppers and mushrooms) and served them over a bed of brown rice with some feta cheese. Yum! You just can’t beat that grilled flavour!

Did anyone else in eastern Ontario/Ottawa give in to firing up your BBQ last night? With the temperature finally rising just above freezing, the husband and I couldn’t resist breaking out our BBQ.

We didn’t have any fresh meat on hand, so instead we grilled up a whole bunch of veggies (potatoes, broccoli, bell peppers and mushrooms) and served them over a bed of brown rice with some feta cheese. Yum! You just can’t beat that grilled flavour!

Filed under food dinner vegetarian bbq grilled veggies Ottawa potato broccoli mushrooms bell pepper supper

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Vegetable “lasagna”
What do you do when you are sitting up to your eyeballs in fresh eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes?  Well, you put on your thinking cap and create a dish that uses all three of these ingredients in a very delicious way!
My parent’s garden is overflowing with beautiful veggies which they brought to the cottage with us to share.  My sister came up with this idea for a veggie “lasagna,” and I put quotation marks around the word lasagna because there aren’t any noodles in this dish!  It made for a perfect side to the small rack of lamb that my Dad bbq’d that evening and we all thoroughly enjoyed it; in fact, my Mum liked it so much that she passed on the lamb and ate only the veggies!
The following recipe is a very rough estimation of the amount of veggies and other ingredients that we used.  To bake the dish, we used an 8x10 (and deep) aluminum roaster pan.
Veggie “lasagna” - serves 6-8 as a side dish
Ingredients
- one to two small zucchini, sliced into thin circular coins
- one to two small eggplant, sliced into thin circular coins
- half a small head of cauliflower, cut into small chunks/thin-ish slices
- small green bell pepper, diced
- 6-8 very large tomatoes, diced (keep juices)
- 1 medium sized onion, diced (we used a vidalia)
- small handful of regular white mushrooms, diced
- 2-4 cloves of garlic, minced
- dash of red wine of your choice
- 1 cup mozzarella, grated
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- a few teaspoons of dried oregano
- freshly ground salt and pepper
- a few slices of havarti cheese (thinly sliced, like you would use to make a sandwich)
Directions
- First, get your sauce going.  In a large saucepan, add a bit of olive oil and get your onions, mushrooms and bell pepper cooking.  Cook until softened and add your garlic and tomatoes.  Add a bit of salt, pepper, your oregano and the dash of wine and simmer, breaking down the tomatoes until you have a chunky sauce.  
- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Slice up your veggies and prepare your pan by oiling it lightly with some olive oil on a piece of paper towel.
- Once your sauce is cooked, you can start putting together your lasagna.  Put down a layer of eggplant, then zucchini, then some mozzarella.  Repeat, but this time, add a the layer of cauliflower, half of the tomato sauce and half the parmesan.  Repeat again with the zucchini and eggplant, mozzarella and now add the havarti.  Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan.
- Cover tightly and bake for 45 minutes or so.  Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes.  Broil the top for a few minutes if you like it extra crispy!
- After removing it from the oven, let it rest for 5-10 minutes and serve.  Ours was a bit liquidy, but it still tasted great!

Vegetable “lasagna”

What do you do when you are sitting up to your eyeballs in fresh eggplant, zucchini and tomatoes?  Well, you put on your thinking cap and create a dish that uses all three of these ingredients in a very delicious way!

My parent’s garden is overflowing with beautiful veggies which they brought to the cottage with us to share.  My sister came up with this idea for a veggie “lasagna,” and I put quotation marks around the word lasagna because there aren’t any noodles in this dish!  It made for a perfect side to the small rack of lamb that my Dad bbq’d that evening and we all thoroughly enjoyed it; in fact, my Mum liked it so much that she passed on the lamb and ate only the veggies!

The following recipe is a very rough estimation of the amount of veggies and other ingredients that we used.  To bake the dish, we used an 8x10 (and deep) aluminum roaster pan.

Veggie “lasagna” - serves 6-8 as a side dish

Ingredients

- one to two small zucchini, sliced into thin circular coins

- one to two small eggplant, sliced into thin circular coins

- half a small head of cauliflower, cut into small chunks/thin-ish slices

- small green bell pepper, diced

- 6-8 very large tomatoes, diced (keep juices)

- 1 medium sized onion, diced (we used a vidalia)

- small handful of regular white mushrooms, diced

- 2-4 cloves of garlic, minced

- dash of red wine of your choice

- 1 cup mozzarella, grated

- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

- a few teaspoons of dried oregano

- freshly ground salt and pepper

- a few slices of havarti cheese (thinly sliced, like you would use to make a sandwich)

Directions

- First, get your sauce going.  In a large saucepan, add a bit of olive oil and get your onions, mushrooms and bell pepper cooking.  Cook until softened and add your garlic and tomatoes.  Add a bit of salt, pepper, your oregano and the dash of wine and simmer, breaking down the tomatoes until you have a chunky sauce.  

- Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Slice up your veggies and prepare your pan by oiling it lightly with some olive oil on a piece of paper towel.

- Once your sauce is cooked, you can start putting together your lasagna.  Put down a layer of eggplant, then zucchini, then some mozzarella.  Repeat, but this time, add a the layer of cauliflower, half of the tomato sauce and half the parmesan.  Repeat again with the zucchini and eggplant, mozzarella and now add the havarti.  Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan.

- Cover tightly and bake for 45 minutes or so.  Remove the foil and bake for another 20 minutes.  Broil the top for a few minutes if you like it extra crispy!

- After removing it from the oven, let it rest for 5-10 minutes and serve.  Ours was a bit liquidy, but it still tasted great!

Filed under food dinner vegetarian vegetable tomato zucchini eggplant aubergine mushroom side dish mozzarella parmesan cheese havarti oregano

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Beet rösti with rosemary
A while back I downloaded Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything” app from the Apple/iTunes store as it was on sale: free!!  I couldn’t resist.  So far, I’ve only made one thing using the app, which was this beet rösti with rosemary.  
After picking a bunch of fresh beets from my parents garden during our recent visit, I decided I wanted to do something different than steaming/roasting/shredding them raw for a salad.  That’s when I came across this recipe for rosemary beet rösti while perusing my new app!
This was quite easy (although obviously a bit messy) to make, and the result was delicious!  My rösti came out a bit soft; next time I would use a smaller frying pan and cook it on a slightly higher heat for a bit longer.
Beet rösti with rosemary - adapted slightly from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything” app
Ingredients
- 1 1/2 lbs fresh beets
- 1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary
- Scant 1 tsp salt (or use salted butter and omit the salt)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter (or use salted butter and omit the salt)
Directions
Clean, trim and shred beets using a box grater or food processor.  Put a medium size frying pan and heat on medium-high.
Toss the shredded beets in a bowl with the rosemary and salt, then half the flour.  Toss well.  Then add the rest of the flour and toss well again. 
Put butter in the heated frying pan and cook until it browns a little bit. Scrape in the beet mixture and press it down with a spatula so it fills the pan.  Adjust the heat so that the pancake cooks without burning, and cook until the bottom is nicely crisped, about 6-8 minutes.  Using two plates, slide the pancake out of the frying pan onto one plate.  Top with the other plate, and using two hands, flip and return the pancake to the pan to continue cooking for another 6-8 minutes.  
Slice into wedges and serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Beet rösti with rosemary

A while back I downloaded Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything” app from the Apple/iTunes store as it was on sale: free!!  I couldn’t resist.  So far, I’ve only made one thing using the app, which was this beet rösti with rosemary.  

After picking a bunch of fresh beets from my parents garden during our recent visit, I decided I wanted to do something different than steaming/roasting/shredding them raw for a salad.  That’s when I came across this recipe for rosemary beet rösti while perusing my new app!

This was quite easy (although obviously a bit messy) to make, and the result was delicious!  My rösti came out a bit soft; next time I would use a smaller frying pan and cook it on a slightly higher heat for a bit longer.

Beet rösti with rosemary - adapted slightly from Mark Bittman’s “How to Cook Everything” app

Ingredients

- 1 1/2 lbs fresh beets

- 1 tsp freshly chopped rosemary

- Scant 1 tsp salt (or use salted butter and omit the salt)

- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

- 2 tbsp unsalted butter (or use salted butter and omit the salt)

Directions

Clean, trim and shred beets using a box grater or food processor.  Put a medium size frying pan and heat on medium-high.

Toss the shredded beets in a bowl with the rosemary and salt, then half the flour.  Toss well.  Then add the rest of the flour and toss well again. 

Put butter in the heated frying pan and cook until it browns a little bit. Scrape in the beet mixture and press it down with a spatula so it fills the pan.  Adjust the heat so that the pancake cooks without burning, and cook until the bottom is nicely crisped, about 6-8 minutes.  Using two plates, slide the pancake out of the frying pan onto one plate.  Top with the other plate, and using two hands, flip and return the pancake to the pan to continue cooking for another 6-8 minutes.  

Slice into wedges and serve with a dollop of sour cream.

Filed under food beet rösti vegetarian snack dinner lunch rosemary Mark Bittman app How to cook everything recipe

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Weekend brunch: quinoa-crusted asparagus, pesto and goat cheese quiche
As I’ve mentioned before, I follow many food blogs and I’m always looking for new recipes to try on all of these blogs.  I often come across interesting and unique recipes on the Closet Cooking blog, which is where I found the recipe for this quiche (click on the photo to link to the original recipe).
I really liked the idea of a quinoa crust to make a healthier version of a quiche; it turned out to be delicious, and incredibly easy to do.  I only made one modification to the original recipe (which was to delete the addition of artichoke) and I loved this! It was so delicious! I think it would be a great dish to serve for brunch, or, in my case, to bring for my work lunches!  

Weekend brunch: quinoa-crusted asparagus, pesto and goat cheese quiche

As I’ve mentioned before, I follow many food blogs and I’m always looking for new recipes to try on all of these blogs.  I often come across interesting and unique recipes on the Closet Cooking blog, which is where I found the recipe for this quiche (click on the photo to link to the original recipe).

I really liked the idea of a quinoa crust to make a healthier version of a quiche; it turned out to be delicious, and incredibly easy to do.  I only made one modification to the original recipe (which was to delete the addition of artichoke) and I loved this! It was so delicious! I think it would be a great dish to serve for brunch, or, in my case, to bring for my work lunches!  

Filed under food quiche recipe lunch brunch supper dinner quinoa asparagus vegetarian pesto goat cheese Closet Cooking blog

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Lemon chickpea quinoa burgers
When I saw the recipe for these burgers in Sobey’s Inspired magazine, I thought, what the heck? Why not give them a try?  But since there was no way that the husband would be eating these, I grilled them along side a couple of rib eye steaks that we were having for dinner. I thought they might be better utilized in my weekday lunches as a source of protein for a salad, or in a wrap.  
Since I didn’t get the chance to dress these burgers up like they’re supposed to be, I decided to take a photo of the page of the magazine to show you what they should look like!
Click on my photo above to link to the recipe. I made two small changes to the recipe: I used fresh cilantro instead of parsley, and curry powder instead of coriander.  But I did everything else as stated.  I tried a few small bites of one of the burgers as it came off the bbq, and it was tasty! I think they would make a delicious vegetarian alternative for a summer bbq.

Lemon chickpea quinoa burgers

When I saw the recipe for these burgers in Sobey’s Inspired magazine, I thought, what the heck? Why not give them a try?  But since there was no way that the husband would be eating these, I grilled them along side a couple of rib eye steaks that we were having for dinner. I thought they might be better utilized in my weekday lunches as a source of protein for a salad, or in a wrap.  

Since I didn’t get the chance to dress these burgers up like they’re supposed to be, I decided to take a photo of the page of the magazine to show you what they should look like!

Click on my photo above to link to the recipe. I made two small changes to the recipe: I used fresh cilantro instead of parsley, and curry powder instead of coriander.  But I did everything else as stated.  I tried a few small bites of one of the burgers as it came off the bbq, and it was tasty! I think they would make a delicious vegetarian alternative for a summer bbq.

Filed under food quinoa chickpea burger bbq vegetarian recipe Sobeys Inspired magazine lemon dinner

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Lunch at The Table

I feel a great deal of satisfaction and happiness after trying new restaurants, even those that I may not usually consider due to the nature of the cuisine. This was the case for The Table, a vegetarian restaurant that some work colleagues and I decided to try one recent lunch hour.

I have nothing against vegetarian or vegan cuisine, but, full disclosure here, I am a true lover of meat and fish/seafood, so when I treat myself to a lunch, I want something that I’ll love. I had experienced this type of meal only once before, quite a few years ago in Montreal at Le Commensal.

Well, you can imagine my surprise when, after perusing the dishes in the buffet at the Table (the food is served cafeteria/buffet-style, and you pay by weight), I was quite excited to sit down and get a taste of it all! I chose a little bit of a few of the hot dishes, with some salad and a tomato slice topped with pesto on the side. I think my favourite item was the bean loaf, which I topped with the lentil curry for some moisture and added flavour. I also really loved the tofu ball; it had so much flavour! My conclusion? I would definitely go to the Table again and again; the food was fast, fresh, wholesome and delicious!

For dessert, which is also served buffet-style, I chose a slice of the flourless chocolate cake. It was so soft, light and moist - I practically licked the plate clean!

Filed under Ottawa The Table delicious food healthy restaurant review vegetarian buffet fresh

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Lunch at Milagro Grill

Whenever planning any sort of work party lunches, we are lucky to have so many restaurant options from which to choose.  Most recently, we all went out to Milagro Grill to wish a fellow coworker good luck as she departs to return to school.

I’d been to Milagro for drinks before, but never to eat, so I was very excited to try one of their many lunch options.  I chose the Milagro sandwich, which features grilled shrimp, pancetta, roasted red peppers, avocado, sundried tomatoes and hearts of palm, all tossed in a roasted garlic aioli and cilantro pumpkin seed vinaigrette.  Served with a side salad, this sandwich was to die for!  Bursting with so many flavours, I thoroughly enjoyed every bite!

My bff had the vegetarian chimichangas, which came with rice, refried beans and salad, and she also loved her meal.  

The service and atmosphere were all great; I’ll definitely be back to Milagro Grill to try more of their delicious dishes!

Filed under food lunch dinner Mexican Milagro Grill Ottawa sandwich shrimp Chimichanga vegetarian refried beans rice

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Lunch at Hintonburger

I’m not really big on burgers so I wasn’t really in a huge rush to try out the offerings at the famous Hintonburger.  But I finally became intrigued enough to check it out when I heard about their “Parkdale” Burger, which is an in-house made falafel-style vegetarian patty.  

Probably the most ridiculous thing about Hintonburger is that, now having been around long enough to have moved to a larger location, its housed in the old Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant.  Even more interesting?  They have retained all of the KFC signage on the exterior, and just added their own!

Anyway, back to the food!  You line up and order old school style, and the order is written down in a receipt notebook and you’re given an order number.  As I wait, I notice that the lunch crowd is totally made up of office workers.  But what I think is interesting is that the closest office buildings are still a brisk 15 minute walk away (or 5 minute drive).

When I get my order, it is neatly packed in the classic checkered wax paper of an old-school hamburger, and tucked into a silver thermal bag.  I unwrap it to find a large, flat round patty, sticking way out from the bun, and loaded with my requested veggie toppings (lettuce, tomatoes, pickled turnip, hummus, ketchup, mustard, relish).    I was really excited to try this patty, and I was delighted at first bite!  The herbs and spices used to flavour the patty were delicious, and, although deep-fried, it wasn’t as greasy as I had expected.  Everything was fresh, hot and all-around delicious!  I will definitely be back for another!

Filed under food burger vegetarian Hintonburger Ottawa falafel

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TruRoots Organic Quinoa
I’ve written about my adventures making quinoa many times, including here, here, here and here.  Every time I post something with quinoa, you guys all seem to love it!
Which is why I’m finally taking the opportunity to show you what I use to create all these lovely and delicious dishes!  My first foray into using quinoa was a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa, which was good but quite expensive.  So when I first came across this 4lb sack of Tru Roots Organic Quinoa at Costco a few years ago (and used many since), I was completely ecstatic, as the price is amazing for such a large amount of this healthy grain.  I store my bag in the freezer for optimum freshness and take a bit out as needed.  It keeps perfectly!
What’s your favourite brand of quinoa?

TruRoots Organic Quinoa

I’ve written about my adventures making quinoa many times, including here, here, here and here.  Every time I post something with quinoa, you guys all seem to love it!

Which is why I’m finally taking the opportunity to show you what I use to create all these lovely and delicious dishes!  My first foray into using quinoa was a bag of Bob’s Red Mill Quinoa, which was good but quite expensive.  So when I first came across this 4lb sack of Tru Roots Organic Quinoa at Costco a few years ago (and used many since), I was completely ecstatic, as the price is amazing for such a large amount of this healthy grain.  I store my bag in the freezer for optimum freshness and take a bit out as needed.  It keeps perfectly!

What’s your favourite brand of quinoa?

Filed under TruRoots favourite food healthy quinoa whole grain organic vegetarian

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Potato salad from the SmoQue Shack
Ok, so, this photo doesn’t do it the justice it deserves, but if you could just taste it…..
To go along with my pulled pork sandwich (see previous post here), I ordered the SmoQue Shack’s potato salad.  I love a good potato salad, and this was a GREAT potato salad! It had so much flavour, I almost ordered a second helping!  It was creamy, but with bite, and loaded with peas and crunchy celery, it packed a flavourful punch!  A perfect accompaniment to my sandwich.

Potato salad from the SmoQue Shack

Ok, so, this photo doesn’t do it the justice it deserves, but if you could just taste it…..

To go along with my pulled pork sandwich (see previous post here), I ordered the SmoQue Shack’s potato salad.  I love a good potato salad, and this was a GREAT potato salad! It had so much flavour, I almost ordered a second helping!  It was creamy, but with bite, and loaded with peas and crunchy celery, it packed a flavourful punch!  A perfect accompaniment to my sandwich.

Filed under food side salad potato salad SmoQue Shack Ottawa dinner vegetarian

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Martha Stewart’s Muffin-Pan Potato Gratin
Last year, the boyfriend got me a subscription to Everyday Food.  I was excited to find some great, simple recipes in the mag and I wasn’t disappointed.
I recently decided to thumb through the November and December 2010 issues to flag some recipes that I could use for the holidays, and I came across this one (click on the photo for a link to the recipe).  We were making a roast beef for dinner, so I thought these were perfect.
They were extremely simple to make, but they stuck to my muffin pan like crazy, even though I thoroughly greased it.  I also added some smoked paprika to the seasoning layers for a kick.
They were tasty, but I wouldn’t use my muffin pan again - let’s just say I spent way too much time scrubbing it afterwards!!

Martha Stewart’s Muffin-Pan Potato Gratin

Last year, the boyfriend got me a subscription to Everyday Food.  I was excited to find some great, simple recipes in the mag and I wasn’t disappointed.

I recently decided to thumb through the November and December 2010 issues to flag some recipes that I could use for the holidays, and I came across this one (click on the photo for a link to the recipe).  We were making a roast beef for dinner, so I thought these were perfect.

They were extremely simple to make, but they stuck to my muffin pan like crazy, even though I thoroughly greased it.  I also added some smoked paprika to the seasoning layers for a kick.

They were tasty, but I wouldn’t use my muffin pan again - let’s just say I spent way too much time scrubbing it afterwards!!

Filed under food side vegetarian potato gratin dinner Martha Stewart recipe

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A little cooking club for two
One of my bffs and I decided to start a little cooking club for just the two of us.  The purpose of our little club is to a) hang out, of course and b) try new recipes! 
We had our first ‘meeting’ the other night, and our inaugural recipe was quinoa cakes with poached egg from Annie’s Eats (click on the photo for a link to the website and recipe).
I’ve never attempted to make any sort of savoury cake, so this was a new challenge for me.  The cakes didn’t come together as beautifully as I had hoped, but I think with more practice, they will turn out successfully. We served our supper with a spinach salad on the side, with my homemade maple balsamic dressing.
All in all, we enjoyed a lovely evening of cooking, and the meal turned out deliciously, although I’d add a little something more next time to the cakes…perhaps some fresh chopped cilantro?  Hmmm…we’ll see.  I also froze the leftover cakes, so I’m curious to see what they’re like after having been frozen.

A little cooking club for two

One of my bffs and I decided to start a little cooking club for just the two of us.  The purpose of our little club is to a) hang out, of course and b) try new recipes! 

We had our first ‘meeting’ the other night, and our inaugural recipe was quinoa cakes with poached egg from Annie’s Eats (click on the photo for a link to the website and recipe).

I’ve never attempted to make any sort of savoury cake, so this was a new challenge for me.  The cakes didn’t come together as beautifully as I had hoped, but I think with more practice, they will turn out successfully. We served our supper with a spinach salad on the side, with my homemade maple balsamic dressing.

All in all, we enjoyed a lovely evening of cooking, and the meal turned out deliciously, although I’d add a little something more next time to the cakes…perhaps some fresh chopped cilantro?  Hmmm…we’ll see.  I also froze the leftover cakes, so I’m curious to see what they’re like after having been frozen.

Filed under food dinner quinoa egg poached egg spinach Annie's Eats healthy natural brunch main vegetarian

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Colourful vegetarian pasta
My amazing girlfriends put together this incredibly delicious vegetarian pasta during one of our girls’ weekends last year.  I have to say, the whole roasted tomato that we each received atop our plates was such a lovely treat.  Filled with a variety of roasted veggies, this is one home made pasta meal that I certainly will remember for a long time. 
There’s something about a home cooked meal that’s made by someone else that is so satisfying.  Strange, right?  This meal reminds me why it makes me sad to live so far away from my parent’s house - I can’t pop over for Mum’s cooking any time I like!  On the bright side, it makes me want to whip up many a home cooked meal for myself and the boyfriend, and for friends.

Colourful vegetarian pasta

My amazing girlfriends put together this incredibly delicious vegetarian pasta during one of our girls’ weekends last year.  I have to say, the whole roasted tomato that we each received atop our plates was such a lovely treat.  Filled with a variety of roasted veggies, this is one home made pasta meal that I certainly will remember for a long time. 

There’s something about a home cooked meal that’s made by someone else that is so satisfying.  Strange, right?  This meal reminds me why it makes me sad to live so far away from my parent’s house - I can’t pop over for Mum’s cooking any time I like!  On the bright side, it makes me want to whip up many a home cooked meal for myself and the boyfriend, and for friends.

Filed under food dinner pasta vegetarian comfort food roasted vegetables tomato