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

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Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Casserole

Who says eating healthy can’t taste good? This week’s recipe includes quinoa, a superfood that is both high in fiber and high-quality protein. Quinoa (KEEN-wah) is 100% whole grain, but is technically the ancient seed of a leafy plant related to spinach. It’s also gluten-free!

Without further ado, I would like to introduce you to Artichoke Spinach Dip’s healthy cousin, Spinach Artichoke Quinoa Casserole:
spinach artichoke quinoa casserole

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Vegetarian Banh Mi Pizza

Banh mi is a Vietnamese term for all kinds of bread. In the U.S. when people talk about banh mi, they are usually referring to a Vietnamese sandwich. I’ve been on the lookout for a good vegetarian option, so when I came across this Chickpea Banh Mi Pizza from Dishing Up the Dirt, I had to try it. This recipe is a little fussy because you have to make the sauce, pickle the veggies AND season the chickpeas, but it’s totally worth it.

chickpea banh mi pizza

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Breakfast at The Bad Waitress

We stopped in at The Bad Waitress last year but didn’t stay, it was busy that night and we weren’t sure what we were in the mood for. Over the weekend we were looking for a great breakfast joint in Minneapolis, so we finally headed back to give it a try. Their setup is simple. Each table has menus and an order pad. Simply write your table name on a slip, add your order and its specifications, then take it to the counter to pay. When your order is up, a waitress will bring it out to you! We were all hungry that morning and there were a lot of items that we wanted to try.

The Husband went for THE BAD WAITRESS BREAKFAST BURRITO. He ordered his three eggs scrambled with white cheddar cheese, chorizo and mushrooms; served with hashbrowns:
burrito

I had a craving for veggies, so I went with THE AMSTERDAM HASH. I ordered my eggs scrambled with red potatoes, broccoli, red onions, red peppers and mushrooms with their cheddar-mozzarella cheese blend:
breakfast hash

The Mom-In-Law treated herself to a mimosa in addition to THE OUT-OF-THIS-EARTH SCRAMBLE. The rosemary-seasoned scramble included organic eggs and hashbrowns with broccoli, oven-roasted tomatoes, and white cheddar cheese. She said that the tomatoes were fantastic and we all tried the sake-spiked mimosa:
mimosa and breakfast scramble

Our breakfast was really good, I’m ready to go back for more. They have several vegan and gluten-free options as well, so it’s a great Minneapolis breakfast spot for multiple diet types.

The Details:
The Bad Waitress Diner & Coffee Shop
http://thebadwaitress.com/
2 E. 26th St
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 872-7575

M-F: 7:00 am – 11:00 pm
Kitchen closes at 10:30 pm
Sa: 7:30 am – 11:00 pm
Kitchen closes at 10:30 pm
Su: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Kitchen closes at 9:30 pm

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!

Lotta Lentils Soup

I love making soup. It’s a great way to use up odds and ends in the refrigerator or pantry, and warm you up on cool evenings. And since I rarely follow a recipe, each one is always different.

This batch of lentil soup was ready in less than an hour and has fed me for a week:
lentil soup

Here’s how I did it:

3 TBS olive oil
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
3 carrots, sliced
5 Swiss chard leaves, chopped
2 cups green lentils, rinsed
8 cups of water

Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium flame. Add the onion and cook until soft. Add the garlic and remaining vegetables, cook for a few minutes to brighten their color. Add water and lentils along with 1-2 bay leaves and some branches of fresh thyme, cover and cook for 45 minutes or until lentils are tender. Remove bay leaves and thyme stems, salt and pepper to taste.

This makes a large batch of soup that freezes well and reheats beautifully.

Mexican Casserole

When the weather gets cold, I get hungry for comfort food. This Mexican Casserole recipe from Pinch of Yum is quick, easy, satisfying and makes great leftovers.

mexican casserole

I cut the recipe in half, used hot enchilada sauce, and topped it with fresh tomatoes and avocado – it was delish!

Click here for the recipe.

*Note: On her site, Pinch of Yum says that someone commented that this recipe ruined her pan. I did not have any problems cleaning my pan after following her instructions for roasting.

Crustless Quiches

This recipe is great for those times when the cupboards are bare. Using the most basic ingredients, Crustless Broccoli-Cheddar Quiches from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food collection is a great recipe for breakfast, lunch or even a light dinner. Very easily halved or doubled, it’s also a great recipe for experimenting! Try substituting different cheeses and vegetables, I used frozen kale after discovering that I was out of broccoli and it was delicious!
crustless quiche

I’ve made this recipe for simple brunch and dinner parties, it’s always a hit and couldn’t make things any easier.  Consider serving it with some crusty bread and a side salad or fruit, and the meal is complete.

Here’s the recipe:
– Butter, for ramekins
– Coarse salt
– 1 package (10 ounces) frozen broccoli florets
– 6 large eggs
– 1/2 cup half-and-half
– Ground pepper
– 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
– 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (3 ounces)

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter four 8-ounce ramekins (or a 9-inch pie dish); set aside. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil. Add broccoli; cook 1 minute. Drain well; transfer to a cutting board, and blot dry with paper towels. Chop coarsely.

2) In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half-and-half, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and nutmeg. Stir in broccoli and cheese.

3) Place ramekins on a rimmed baking sheet. Ladle broccoli mixture into ramekins, dividing evenly. Bake until golden brown, 35 to 40 minutes.

PREP: 10 MINS TOTAL / TIME: 50 MINS / SERVINGS:4