Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mushroom and Asparagus Pizza

An easy sauceless roasted vegetable and three cheese pizza, very good combination of flavors and makes a lot of servings.

Other Pizza Wednesday recipes: Beet Green Pesto Pizza with Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese; Roasted Vegetable Wrap PizzaEggplant Parmesan Pizza with Crispy Capers; and Lemon Dandelion Green Pizza;

Inspired by Half Baked Harvest.

-1 pizza dough
-2 teaspoons minced garlic
-1 bunch asparagus
-6 oz mushrooms
-8 oz mozzarella cheese
-2 oz goat cheese
-2 oz shredded Parmesan cheese
-Balsamic vinegar
-salt, pepper and cayenne

Clean and chop the mushrooms and asparagus into small pieces, small enough that when you bite into a slice of pizza, you don't take the whole of the toppings with you. Roast the veggies at 425 for 10-15 minutes.

Spray your pizza pan lightly with cooking spray, then spread out the dough into a circle and form the crust edge. Spray the dough with oil, then top with garlic. Add salt, pepper and cayenne seasoning.

Distribute sliced mozzarella evenly over pizza, and do the same with the crumbled goat cheese. Fill in any gaps with shredded Parmesan. Cover the surface with roasted mushrooms and asparagus, then bake at 425 for close to twenty minutes, rotating the pizza at the halfway point for even baking.

In a shallow pan, pour a few teaspoons of balsamic vinegar and get it simmering to reduce. Drizzle the reduction on top and enjoy.

Nice flavors in this pizza, and visually appealing. Be sure to season well, though, and consider adding some Italian herbs, oregano or basil for example. Alternatively, it's also good with ranch dressing, as I found out while eating the leftovers.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Peanut Butter and Jam Muffins

We have several containers of jam taking up space in our fridge. Dave likes jam in his peanut butter sandwiches, but it's been a while since he's taken one. I've purchased some jam for recipes and then abandoned the rest of the jar in the fridge. This recipe used a good amount of one small jam jar that I had only used about 1/4 cup of jam from for a previous recipe.

Recipe from Smucker's

-Cooking Spray
-2 cups All Purpose Flour
-1 1/2 teaspoons salt
-1 tablespoon baking powder
-1 cup milk
-2 large eggs
-2/3 cup sugar
-1 cup natural creamy peanut butter, stirred
-1/3 cup vegetable oil
-1/2 cup seedless strawberry jam

Line a muffin tin with muffin cups. Stir together the flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. Then add milk, eggs, 2/3 cup sugar, peanut butter and oil to a slightly smaller bowl. Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix until just moistened.

Fill each muffin cup half-way with batter. Place two teaspoons of jam in the center of each muffin.

Divide the remaining batter among the twelve muffin cups to cover the jam. 

Bake at 375 for 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Cool in pan 5 minutes.


These muffins were pretty dense, but good. We ate them pretty soon after the came out of the oven and I think they're going to be best served warm. The peanut butter and jam combination was fun and it really didn't make me feel like I was eating a peanut butter sandwich. I think the peanut butter was a little mellowed by the other ingredients which helped to prevent this from being too "school lunch."

Monday, September 28, 2015

Vanilla Almond Overnight Quinoa

I've been interested in trying overnight quinoa for a while. I've never been big on oatmeal, so I missed the boat on the overnight oatmeal trend. Quinoa seemed a little more approachable and it's full or protein, so I thought it would help keep me full until lunch.

Adapted from Simply Quinoa.

-1 cup almond milk
-1/2 cup cooked quinoa
-2 tablespoons maple syrup
-1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
-Chopped almonds to garnish (optional)

Mix all of the ingredients together (except for the chopped almonds), divide into two containers and let sit overnight. 

I will be the first to admit that I adapted this recipe and that's what made it not live up to expectations. There was too much liquid in relation to the drier ingredients, I removed some of the ingredients that would have helped to soak up the liquid, since I didn't have those. I do want to try overnight quinoa again, I just need to find a more user friendly recipe. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

General Tso's Chickpeas

This is a quick weeknight dinner. I used some fresh vegetables from the garden, but you could pretty much incorporate whatever you have into the stir-fry. The ingredients list will look a little intimidating, but I had pretty much everything for the sauce and marinade in my pantry already.

Recipe from Yup It's Vegan.

For marinating the chickpeas:
-1 tablespoon soy sauce 
-1 tablespoon mirin
-1 15 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained

For the sauce:
-1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons vegetable broth
-1 and 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
-1/2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
-1 tablespoons soy sauce 
-1 tablespoon rice vinegar
-1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sugar 
-2 teaspoon sriracha
-1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
-1 teaspoon prepared mustard
-1 teaspoon cornstarch
-1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or white pepper

-A small amount of neutral cooking oil.
-1 large broccoli crown, cut into florets
-1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
-2 green bell pepper, cut into strips 
-1 tsp. minced ginger
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-General Tso's sauce (above)
-marinated chickpeas (above)
-Rice and sesame seeds for serving, optional

For marinating the chickpeas: Stir together the soy sauce and mirin in a bowl and add the chickpeas. Let sit while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

For the sauce: Whisk together all of the sauce ingredients and set aside.

Heat oil in a wok over high heat. When the oil is hot,  add the broccoli, bell pepper strips, ginger, and garlic.

Once the vegetables are crisp tender, drain the chickpeas and stir them in too. Add the General Tso's Sauce. Cook for 1-2 more minutes, continuing to stir frequently, or until the mixture is hot throughout and the sauce has coated the chickpeas and vegetables. Serve over rice if desired and garnish with sesame seeds.


Although the ingredients list for this looks a little intimidating, it was actually really easy to make. It didn't take a lot of prep work and there was also very little cook time. I didn't think that the sauce was quite on par with General Tso's sauce, but it tasted good. I think it needed to be served over rice to make it more substantial, but you can serve it however you'd like. It might also be nice tossed with already cooked quinoa. 

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sweet Potato Taquitos

These sweet potato taquitos make a fantastic appetizer or snack, they hit many notes for flavor but are small, so if shared they're not too filling. The richness brought out by roasting the sweet potatoes gives great depth to the recipe.

Recipe inspired by Beard and bonnet.

-3 small sweet potatoes
-1 tablespoon vegetable oil
-1 dash each of salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder
-2 teaspoons lime juice
-1/4 teaspoon each cinnamon and cumin
-12 corn tortillas
-Greek yogurt, sour cream or guacamole

Start off by cleaning, peeling and cutting the sweet potatoes into 3/4 inch cubes, then toss in oil, salt, pepper, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder. Roast the sweet potatoes in the oven at 425 for about twenty minutes, tossing after ten.

Mash the roasted sweet potatoes in a bowl with the lime juice, cinnamon and cumin, then set aside and prepare a small quantity of oil in a pan for shallow frying. I used a small frying pan, so I only made two taquitos at once, adjust accordingly -- microwave two corn tortillas at a time as needed for 7-10 seconds, then roll up carefully over about a tablespoon of mashed sweet potatoes.

Fry for a couple minutes on each side until golden and crisp, then remove to a plate with plenty of paper towels.

Serve with Greek yogurt, sour cream or guacamole to dip!

This delicious recipe is the one thousand one hundred fiftieth blog post on Vegetarian & Cooking!

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Friday, September 25, 2015

Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

This is one of those fairly easy to do, few ingredient Italian-style dinners, relatively healthy and quite tasty. Nothing too out of the ordinary with respect to flavor profiles, but in this case that's part of the allure of this delicious and satisfying lasagna with the light sweetness of spaghetti squash.

Recipe from I heart vegetables.

-1 medium spaghetti squash
-1/2 jar spaghetti sauce
-small container ricotta cheese
-3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
-1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
-2 basil leaves, chopped

Start by roasting the spaghetti squash at 425 degrees, cut in half longitudinally and upside-down and sprayed lightly with cooking spray, for a little bit longer than an hour. Let rest for a few minutes.

In a 9x9 glass baking dish, spread out a spoonful of tomato sauce on the bottom. Scoop spaghetti squash with a spoon from one half and spread this evenly across the dish. People say to use a fork, but a spoon in my opinion is the tool for this job. Top the squash with ricotta cheese, about four "dollops" will do to cover it. Spread more sauce, the second half of the squash, more ricotta, yet more sauce, and lastly an even and thorough sprinkling of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Allowing a few minutes to solidify, the lasagna should be divisible into pieces. Serve with fresh basil.

The spaghetti squash in this dish is not like pasta, but the resulting layers held up well, and are a fantastic vehicle for the classic flavors and richness of a lasagna.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tofu and Peach Stir-Fry

This companion recipe uses sauce leftover from two recent recipes and creates a brand new stir fry dish that is delicious and filling.

A Vegetarian & Cooking! original.

-1-2 tablespoons Hollandaise sauce, or butter
-12 ounces extra firm tofu
-1/4 head of chopped cabbage
-1 carrot, shaved
-1 bunch diced scallions
-1 teaspoon minced garlic
-1 tomato, diced
-2 peaches, chopped

Melt the Hollandaise sauce in the wok over medium-high heat. Though probably not considered high cuisine, occasionally cooking with Hollandaise sauce I think is alright, and seems like a good use for it if you don't want to just, eat it.

Squeeze and pat the tofu dry, cut into cubes and brown in the wok, turning from time to time to distribute color. When the tofu is cooked, remove from the wok, reincorporate the peanut butter-hoisin sauce (which may have separated during storage), and add the tofu to the sauce.

With the wok back on the burner over medium-high heat, and with a little additional oil if needed, cook the cabbage and carrots, then the garlic and scallions, and lastly the tomato and peaches, stirring frequently. When the vegetables are cooked but still toothsome, stir in the tofu and sauce, and keep it warm until you are ready to serve.

Serve proudly over a bed of rice, for a dish that is easy to prepare, that clears those old sauces out of the refrigerator (unless you made the peanut butter-hoisin sauce fresh for this recipe!), and that tastes delicious, a colorful blend of savory and sweet flavors with a little tang.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lemon Dandelion Green Pizza

This was a simple pizza with some interesting flavors, which made a good dinner for me as well as leftovers for lunch one day the next week.

Other Pizza Wednesday recipes: Beet Green Pesto Pizza with Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese; Roasted Vegetable Wrap Pizza; and Eggplant Parmesan Pizza with Crispy Capers.

Inspired by Two Peas & Their Pod.

-1 pizza crust
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1-3 teaspoons minced garlic
-1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
-1/4 cup shredded parmesan
-1 bunch dandelion greens
-1 tablespoon lemon juice
-salt and pepper

Spray the pizza pan with cooking spray, then spread the pizza dough out evenly. Brush the top lightly in olive oil, then distribute minced garlic. Top with both kinds of cheese, then bake at 425 degrees for fifteen minutes, rotating the pan half-way through.

The cheese will be golden brown -- chop up and top with a salad of dandelion greens, a splash of lemon juice, and a dash of salt and pepper for a beautiful, fresh and light pizza.

This pizza was salty and tangy like garlic bread, but we didn't love the dandelion green salad. The inspiration pizza had an arugula topping, and I could not for the life of me find arugula in the store, except only in an arugula-spinach blend that was 90% spinach, so I got something that I thought would be close. It was interesting, but Alecia ended up removing the greens and enjoying the garlic bread pizza underneath.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Spicy Summer Rolls with Peanut Dipping Sauce

My brother's girlfriend recommended this recipe. Christen and Dylan had made the peanut dipping sauce and used it in another recipe -- Dave and I both enjoy summer rolls, so I decided to tackle the entire recipe. A summer roll is a cousin to the spring roll, sometimes summer rolls are referred to as salad rolls. Summer rolls are incredibly easy to make and result in a nice light dinner.

Recipe from Epicurious.

-2/3 cup hoisin sauce
-1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
-1/3 cup water
-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
-1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

-3 ounces dried rice-stick noodles, cooked according to package directions
-2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
-1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
-2 3/4 cups coarsely grated carrot
-3 tablespoons finely chopped serrano chiles
-12 (8-inch) rice-paper rounds, plus more in case some tear
-4 cups thinly sliced cabbage, coarsely chopped
-1 cup finely chopped cocktail peanuts
-1 cup fresh basil leaves

To make the sauce combine the first five ingredients: hoisin sauce, peanut butter, water, lime juice and soy sauce. Stir to the ingredients together, it will take quite a bit of stirring to combine the hoisin and peanut butter into the other ingredients.

Toss the cooked noodles with one tablespoon of lime juice. Use scissors to cut the noodles into a smaller length. About five or six cuts will leave you with short enough pieces. Stir together sugar and remaining tablespoon lime juice in another bowl until sugar is dissolved, then toss with carrots and chiles.

Gently immerse 1 rice-paper round in a large bowl of water and let stand until pliable (15 seconds). Lay on a large cutting board.

Arrange about 1/4 cup cabbage across center of round. Top the cabbage with three tablespoons carrot mixture, then sprinkle with one tablespoon peanuts. Cover the vegetables with a layer each of  basil leaves. Top it all off with about two tablespoons noodles.

Fold edge of wrapper nearest you over filling, tucking in filling as tightly as possible, until it touches other side of wrapper, then fold in sides and continue to tightly roll until sealed.

Repeat for the next eleven rolls -- the rolls will stick together, so store them on a plate or tray not touching.

I always forget to wear gloves when I chop serrano peppers -- aside from my burning finger tips and spicy contact lenses, I was happy with this recipe. The peanut dipping sauce has a nice balance of ingredients, the hoisin helps to add a little spice and a nice amount of savory to the sauce. The peanuts in the rolls add a necessary crunch, their not too spicy, but there is certainly heat from the serrano chile. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Guacamole with Cherry Habanero Jelly

I've been on the hunt for some habanero jelly so that I can replicate one of our favorite appetizers from an Akron Mexican Restaurant. Although I haven't found pure habanero jelly yet, this cherry habanero jelly was too good not to purchase. The vendor said it's good on ice cream also, we haven't tried that yet.

A Vegetarian & Cooking! original.

-2 avocados
-1 tomato, diced
-1 shallot, diced
-Lime juice
-Salt, to taste
-Cherry Habanero Jelly (or really any other habanero jelly, you want there to be some heat)
-Tortilla chips

Remove the avocados from their shells and mash with a fork until smooth. Stir in the diced tomato and shallot, lime juice and salt. Stir to combine. Make a depression in the guacamole and add as much cherry habanero jelly as you'd like. Serve with tortilla chips.

I really liked the sweet heat that came from this dish. I think that jelly lends itself well to guacamole, because it helps to give extra flavor without overpowering the delicate flavor of the avocado. The heat from the habanero is tempered by the cherry and avocado and adds a nice level of heat without being too aggressive. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Strawberry Barbecue Sauce Baked Beans

I first saw this recipe in Food Network magazine and thought it was too weird to pass up. I would have never thought to incorporate strawberries into BBQ sauce or baked beans. I thought I would give it a try while strawberries are still relatively cheap, you could use

Recipe from Food Network.


-4 cups strawberries (about 1 pound), hulled
-4 teaspoons vegetable oil
-1/2 cup ketchup
-1/4 cup strawberry jam
-1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
-2 tablespoons blackstrap molasses
-2 tablespoons soy sauce
-2 teaspoons dijon mustard
-1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, chopped
-1 clove garlic, grated
-1 15 -ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
-1 15 -ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed

In a medium saucepan, combine the strawberries, ketchup, jam, balsamic vinegar, molasses, soy sauce, mustard, chile and garlic. Cook over medium-low heat until the strawberries start breaking down, about 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Using an immersion blender, blend the strawberry mixture until smooth. Continue to cook until the sauce is reduced by one-third, about 15 minutes.

In an 8x8 pan, add the pinto and black beans and the barbecue sauce. Put the skillet in the oven and cook until the sauce thickens, about 25 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.

I thought this was interesting. The barbecue sauce didn't turn out quite how I thought it would, you really could taste a hint of the strawberries, but it was still pretty much like traditional barbecue sauce. Dave thought this was neat, because strawberries aren't something traditionally in barbecue sauce. This would be fun for a summer picnic, because it's a traditional recipe with a summery twist.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

CousCous Pizza Stuffed Peppers

It's bell pepper season, this easy recipe won't take too long to make and will help use some peppers from your garden. You can do this with any color bell pepper and can easily adapt the recipe. The flavors of pizza are all throughout the filling, but the recipe is still pretty light and won't leave you feeling guilty like some pizzas will.

Recipe from Blue Ridge Babe.

-1/2 cup uncooked couscous
-4 large green peppers, hollowed out
-16 oz mushrooms, diced
-1 cup diced onion
-1 head of garlic (around 10-12 large cloves), minced or finely diced
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 teaspoon sea salt
-1/2 teaspoon pepper
-15 oz can of pizza sauce
-1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, plus more for topping
-2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

Cook the couscous according to package directions. Then combine mushrooms, onion, garlic, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and ½ teaspoon of pepper in a large skillet. Cook on medium high heat for 10 minutes, or until mushrooms cook off their liquid

Add cooked couscous, pizza sauce, 2 tablespoons of shredded Parmesan, and 1 cup of mozzarella to the mushroom mixture, stir well.
Stuff each pepper full of the couscous mixture. Top with some additional mozzarella cheese. Place peppers up right in a pan and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes

Stuffed peppers are a classic and it's something that a lot of people have tried before. I liked this version, I thought it was nice and light, but still filling. It was enough for me to eat for lunch and feel full until dinner without feeling stuffed. The mushrooms were a nice touch and helped elevate this from a simple stuffed pepper.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Open Faced Roasted Beet Hummus Sandwich

To make the hummus for this recipe more vibrant, use traditional beets. I've been using candy cane beets, because I'm getting them for free from my parent's garden. These open faced sandwiches are easy to make and can be topped with a variety of ingredients.

Recipe from Eat, Thrive, Glow

-2 beets
-2 garlic cloves
-1 inch of ginger
-3 tbsp tahini
-juice of half a lime
-half of one lime zest
-1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
-1 can chickpeas
-1/2 tsp salt or to taste
-1/4 tsp paprika
-1/4 tsp cumin
-English muffins
-Goat cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel and dice both beets, spray with cooking spray and place on a baking sheet and then roast in the oven for about 45-50 minutes.

Add the beets, ginger, garlic, lime juice, lime zest, and chickpeas to the food processor and pulse until minced. Scrape down the bowl and then add the tahini. Process the mixture with the tahini and then slowly add the olive oil into the bowl and process until smooth. Stir in the spices and salt.
Toast the English muffins and top them with roasted beet hummus, a little bit of goat cheese and pesto.

I like how versatile this open faced sandwich was. You could easily add some avocado or roasted red peppers to this instead of the pesto and goat cheese. Blue cheese would even be nice to add a little tang. Overall, the beet hummus was light, but needed a little oomph from the goat cheese and pesto to help tie this together. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Caprese Pesto Garlic Bread

I've had this on my Pinterest for a while, but I didn't realize there was no recipe attached. I figured that it was a pretty simple concept and would be easy to make, so this is my version. I served this as a side dish with  Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles and Spaghetti

Inspired by this Tumblr Picture.

-Loaf of garlic bread (my grocery store sells fresh garlic bread that just needs baked)
-1/4 cup pesto
-4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
-1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced

Cook the garlic bread for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. Once the bread is slightly cooked, top with the pesto, thinly sliced mozzarella and sliced cherry tomatoes. Put the bread back in the oven and turn up the heat on the oven in order to broil the bread for 3-4 minutes. 


This was amazing! I love the traditional flavors of caprese and adding them to garlic bread was ingenious. The pesto + melted cheese + fresh tomatoes were all perfection. Dave was incredibly happy with this, he ate most of it, so I'm not sure how well it would keep because we had no leftovers.