The Best Vegetarian Sloppy Joes

I’ve never actually eaten a “real” Sloppy Joe. In the years before I stopped eating meat, they were never on our dinner table. I didn’t feel like I was missing anything because, honestly, their name and appearance kind of turned me off. But when a friend tells me that I absolutely have to try a recipe, I listen. And now I’m telling you, they may not look pretty but you absolutely have to try this recipe for Chickpea Sloppy Joes:
Squeaky Green Machine chickpea sloppy joe with tater tots

Continue reading

Peanut Butter Cookies… with Sriracha?

Remember when I told you I was in a food rut? Well, my quest for recipes to break out of this cycle led me to a strange little cookie that had me intrigued. With a raised eyebrow, I read through the ingredients; I admit that I was skeptical. Finally, I dug out my mixing bowl and set to work, I had to see what a peanut butter cookie with Sriracha tasted like.

sriracha peanut butter cookies

Continue reading

Waking Up With Breakfast Barley

I’ve been in a food rut lately and desperately needed to try something new. There were caveats though. Since I haven’t been to the grocery store this week, the recipe had to be made with ingredients in my pantry and it had to be easy. It sounded like it was time to drag out the crockpot! After flipping through my cookbooks, I landed on the perfect recipe to try – I had everything but the pecans!

Orange-Flavored Breakfast Barley with Cranberries and Pecans

breakfast barley with coconut milk

Breakfast Barley with Vanilla Coconut Milk

Continue reading

Healthy No-Bake Brownies

For those of you trying to reduce the refined sugar in your diets, this is the recipe for you! Straight from the test kitchen of the Best-Good Friend, she whipped up a batch of these No-Bake Brownies last weekend and gave them two thumbs up.  Not only are these little bites gluten-free and vegan – and they’re also ready in 10 minutes!
no-bake brownie bits

Continue reading

Easy Vegetarian Curry Cuisine

Sometimes what you need for cooking inspiration at home is a good meal out. After eating at Everest on Grand, all I could think about was Indian food, so I decided to whip up a little curry.
curry

The only thing this Vegetarian Times recipe for Curried Potatoes with Cauliflower and Peas was missing was the tofu, so I added some on the side (not pictured). For meat eaters, consider adding some roasted chicken.

Here’s their recipe:

  • 2 tsp. ghee or melted butter (I used butter)
  • 1 10-oz. pkg. diced onions, or 1 large onion, chopped (2 cups) (I used onion)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (4 tsp.)
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp. curry powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. brown mustard seeds (I used ½ tsp. ground mustard)
  • ½ tsp. ground turmeric
  • 6 Yukon gold potatoes, cut into ½-inch pieces (1½ lb.)
  • 1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces (1½ lb.)
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed

1. Heat ghee in pressure cooker* over medium heat. Add onions, and cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Stir in garlic, ginger, curry powder, cumin, mustard seeds, and turmeric, and sauté 2 minutes. Add potatoes, cauliflower, sugar, and ½ cup water.

2. Close pressure cooker, and bring up to high pressure. Cook 5 minutes.

3. Release pressure with quick-release button, or transfer pressure cooker to sink, and run cool water over rim to release pressure.

4. Stir peas into cauliflower mixture, and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Serves 6, ready in 30 minutes or less

* While I have a pressure cooker, I made mine on the stovetop. I followed the instructions above but simmered on low for 20-30 minutes.

** To make a vegan version of this vegetable curry, substitute vegetable oil for the ghee. Serve with rice and Cucumber Raita.

A Grand Evening at Everest

Sometimes despite my best efforts, my photos are an epic fail. Despite the bad photos, I hope that you will make a stop at Everest on Grand in St. Paul because the food will knock your socks off.

I had a real itch this week for non-American fare, so we headed out for Everest’s delicious Nepali, Tibetan and Indian options. We started with the Veggie Momos. Momos are steamed dumplings made with a mixture of vegetables and served with a house sauce of cilantro, tomato and spices – I would love to take this sauce home with me.

momo

Veggie Momos: Cabbage, spinach & onion mix.

The Husband went for the curry. The Chicken Tikka Masala is marinated boneless chicken breast roasted and then cooked in house tikka sauce. He ordered it “hot” and lived to tell the tale.

chicken curry

Tikka sauce is specialty spices blended in heavy cream with herbs

chau chau

Eek!! BLURRY! #drat

I opted for the Tofu Chau-Chau “medium+” spicy and it was perfect. What isn’t to like about sautéed wheat noodles with veggies?

Not only does Everest on Grand have tons of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, they also do takeout and catering. They can feed every appetite, stop in today!

Fast Vietnamese Noodle Salad

Some weeks there is less healthy cooking in my life than I like to admit, this was one of those weeks. Fortunately, the one meal that I made was worth sharing! Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Chickpeas and Rainbow Carrots from Vegetarian Times:
vietnamese noodles

This gluten-free, vegan recipe is a cold noodle salad. After the cold blast of fall air we’d just had, I wanted something hot, hot, hot for dinner! I’d like to say that’s why I used chile garlic sauce instead of sweet chile sauce but I’d be lying. I didn’t have any sweet chile sauce, so I opted to go for a spicy substitution instead. The ruling? I really liked it. It was quick and simple, ready in less than 30 minutes and my spicy version was warming even though the dish was cool.

Here’s the recipe from Vegetarian Times (October 2013 p.29):

  • 4 oz. thin rice noodles
  • 6 Tbs. sweet chile sauce (I used red chile garlic sauce)
  • 2 Tbs. lime juice
  • 3 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage
  • 2 rainbow carrots, sliced into thin coins (1 cup) (I used regular carrots)
  • ¾ cup cooked chickpeas
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh mint
  • ¼ cup toasted unsalted cashews, chopped (I was so hungry, I didn’t chop the cashews)

1. Prepare rice noodles according to package directions. Drain in colander, and rinse under cold water until completely cooled.

2. Stir together sweet chile sauce and lime juice in measuring cup or small bowl.

3. Combine noodles, cabbage, carrots, chickpeas, cilantro, and mint in large bowl. Add chile sauce mixture, and toss to coat. Garnish with toasted cashews.

Serves 4, ready in less than 30 minutes.

Dinner Dates in French Meadows

Do you ever get so hungry that you just can’t figure out where or what to eat? That happened to us the other night. We ran through a list of restaurants that would feed us very respectable dinners, but we weren’t excited about any of them. That’s when inspiration struck, how about The French Meadow? It’s a favorite breakfast joint for us but we’ve never had their dinner before. Turned out to be just the ticket.

The Husband dug into the North Start Bison Burger. It comes with St. Pete’s Bleu Cheese (his favorite), bacon, and red onion marmalade on an organic brioche bun:
bison burger

I was having problems deciding but our server sold me on the vegan special: Chickpea Croquettes on Pita with Greens. She was right, the little croquettes were light and satisfying:chickpea croquettes

When you go to The French Meadow, you have get dessert. It took a lot of soul searching, but we finally landed on the Seasonal Berry Cake:
cake

Take a lesson from us. The next time you’re so hungry you can’t decide on where to eat, head to The French Meadow!

Let’s Get Curried Away!

I have always had a bit of a crush on Jamie Oliver. Not only does he have a great accent, but he works globally to educate people on food and healthy diets. What’s not to like about that? Well, if you need another reason, he gave us this week’s recipe:curry

Jamie Oliver’s recipe for Chickpea and Spinach Curry is fast and full of flavor, it’s also a pantry favorite of mine. It can be made with fresh, frozen or canned produce and takes less than 30 minutes to make.

I served mine with Jasmine rice made in 7 minutes thanks to the pressure cooker. A quick meal that makes great leftovers, you won’t find a recipe much simpler than this one.

The Recipes for a Great Weekend

Start with some people you love. Add some good food:

bbq

Gingery Quinoa Salad with Apples, Peas and Coconut; Jerk Pork Loin; Three Bean Salad

And don’t forget dessert:

strawberries

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Here are the recipes to get you started on your own great weekend:
Gingery Quinoa Salad with Apples, Peas and Coconut (vegan, gluten-free)
Jerk Pork Loin
Three Bean Salad (vegan, gluten-free)
Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries (vegetarian, gluten-free)