All posts tagged: vegetarian

Shaved Asparagus and Parmesan Salad

I don’t know when shaved asparagus became a thing…oh, wait, I take that back. It was two months ago, on Serious Eats. There was a picture of was Jim Lahey’s Bird’s Nest Pizza, from his new book, and it looked amazing. A blistered crust, covered with shaved asparagus, eggs nestled in their green nests. I threw it in my ideas folder, and moved on. Suddenly, shaved asparagus was everywhere. It was topping other pizzas. It was covering coppa. When I saw it on the cover of Charred and Scruffed – a grilling cookbook, mind you – I knew that shaved asparagus was having its moment. So, here I go. I’m running with the in crowd, joining the new hip trend. Which surely means it already jumped the shark. That’s OK – this salad is worth it, even if it is no longer “of the moment”. Asparagus is in season, and it is time to celebrate. Pick some up at the farmers market this weekend and give this recipe a try.*And, sure enough, a quick google …

Weeknight Fried Rice

Fried rice is occasionally acceptable to my little rice monsters. They eat white rice without hesitation, which leaves me a lot of leftover rice. Fried rice is the perfect way to use those leftovers…but kids are fickle. Sometimes the bowl is scraped clean; other times they won’t go near it.*Now, when we go to our local Hibachi restaurant, they insist on having fried rice. Do I need a floor show? Flipping spatulas in the air, juggling eggs, causing large sake flare-ups in my wok? No way that can end badly, right? Pam Anderson’s fried rice formula in Cook Without a Book: Meatless Meals jumped out at me. It’s a great refrigerator velcro technique – I had rice, eggs, some Asian pantry items, and a bunch of fall vegetables from my CSA. Fennel and Carrot fried rice, here we come! Pam had an interesting technique in the recipe. Chinese restaurants keep a large pot of boiling water on the stove right next to their wok, to par-boil firm vegetables before finishing them in the wok. Pam’s insight …

Grilled Shitake Mushrooms, Yakitori Style

A vegetarian is coming to my cookout, and I’m grilling dinner. What do I do? Grab some mushrooms. Grilling is a great way to cook mushrooms; it enhances their “meaty” flavor. *My apologies to any vegetarians out there. I don’t know how else to describe the flavor. It’s the umami; mushrooms are loaded with umami, and the best way to describe umami is as a “meaty” taste. **At least, that’s what Wikipedia says, so I’m sticking with it. I usually grill portobello mushrooms; they are easy to grill (because they are so big) and the results are perfect to stuff a vegetarian burger. I had some shitake mushrooms lying around from my CSA, and needed to use them up. My sister, the vegetarian in the family, was coming for a cookout, so I grilled the shitakes for her. A few minutes after they came off the grill, she had cornered me, demanding the recipe for my brother-in-law. I tried one, and was amazed at the difference between the shitakes and the portobellos. Portobellos are thick, …

Sauteed Chickpeas

What do you do with chickpeas after you’ve made hummus? I love cooking my own chickpeas in the pressure cooker. Chickpeas have a sweet taste and a creamy, meaty feeling when you bite into them.*Tim, my youngest son, is addicted to them. When he saw me cooking for this post, he refused to eat his pepperoni sandwich, and insisted on chickpeas. Can you imagine? A kid turning down pepperoni for beans?I top salads with chickpeas, and stir them into soup. Of course, there’s lots and lots of hummus. But after that, I didn’t know what to do. How do I use up the batch of chickpeas stored in the freezer? Sauteed chickpeas are the answer.  They are the star of the show, not something to use as a topping. Sauteing chickpeas gives them a hint of crunch as you bite into them, before you get to the creamy interior. Toss them them in a vinaigrette to add a tart finish, and you have chickpeas that are good enough to stand on their own. As usual, …

Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers with Grilled Onions

As I’ve said a few times on this blog, I’m not a vegetarian. But I do have some sympathies with them – my sister is a vegetarian*, and eating lighter on the planet makes sense to me. I try to make a vegetarian dinner at least one day a week.** *Hi, Deb! **Yes, I know, you wouldn’t know it from reading this blog. I tried Mark Bittman’s “Vegan until six” approach from Food Matters, but I couldn’t make it work.  I count too much on intentional leftovers for my lunch.  I kept winding up with gladware containers of dinners that I wasn’t “allowed” to eat.  So I switched to being a part-time vegetarian.  I try to eat one or two vegetarian days a week. Portobello burgers are one of my regular vegetarian dishes. When I do a hamburger cookout for our kids’ parties, I always throw a few of these on the grill. That way, my sister has something she can eat, as does anyone who wants something healthier than regular burgers. *I’m not sure …

Lentil stew, Dal style

Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything was the first general purpose cookbook I bought. Unfortunately…I didn’t like it. The recipes are very stripped down, and I could tell. Some were simplified to the point of missing out on some of the flavors in the dish. That, and I’m obsessive. And since I’m obsessive, once I found Cooks Illustrated, I felt right at home. Years passed, and I stumbled across Bittman’s Minimalist column in the New York Times. It’s become one of my favorite food resources. Maybe it’s because I’ve learned enough about cooking to appreciate a recipe stripped down to its bare bones? Or where to fill in the blanks? Either way, I get my daily fix from his blog, Bitten. Once a week I find myself flagging a recipe for future use. This particular recipe has quickly become one of my favorites. It’s a weeknight meal that has an Indian flavor profile I really love. It’s a soupy, stewy mix of lentils (dal) and aromatic vegetables, with a hit of curry to give it …