Saturday, December 31, 2016

Most Popular Blogs of 2016

As always the new year will bring exciting changes both to my personal life and to this blog. Thanks for following Vegetarian and Cooking throughout the year of 2016. These ten recipes represent the most popular posts during the past year. Next year I'll continue searching for more interesting vegetarian and vegan recipes to send your way.

Happy new year!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Sugar Cookie Truffles

Merry Christmas!! The month of December is usually filled with parties that involve plenty of cookies. These truffles make a great addition to any cookie plate and only take a few extra steps once you have all of the Christmas cookies already made.

Recipe from If You Give A Blonde A Kitchen.

-10 sugar cookies
-3 tablespoons neufchatel cheese, room temperature
-2 cups white chocolate for melting (or candy melts)
-Sprinkles for decoration

Smash the sugar cookies until they are fine crumbs -- you can do with with a food processor or by placing the sugar cookies in a ziplock bag and then smashing them with a rolling pin. Add the neufchatel cheese to the crumbs and mix together until a dough forms.
Shape cookies into balls about 1-inch to 1 1/2-inches in diameter. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the freezer for 15 minutes

Near the end of the 15 minutes, melt the white chocolate in a medium bowl and then remove the sugar cookie balls from freezer.

Coat one frozen sugar cookie balls in the melted chocolate, place them back on the parchment paper, and immediately top with sprinkles. Repeat for the remaining sugar cookies and once the chocolate has hardened, store in the fridge.

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Mushroom + Camembert Wellingtons

I wanted to make something extra special for Christmas this year and I came across several mushroom Wellington recipes and thought that the Wellingtons would make for a nice presentation and meal. I used some ingredients from my local grocery store in this one -- a mushroom blend and a small wheel of Camembert, but you can use whatever mushroom blend you would like and as much cheese as you can fit in your Wellington. 

Pair With: Hassleback Potatoes with Goat Cheese + Gorgonzola; Vanilla Cranberry Mimosas; and Honey Roasted Carrots with Pomegranate and Goat Cheese.

Recipe adapted from the Tesco RealFood blog

-One package frozen puff pastry, thawed
-4 ounces of a mushroom blend (mine had baby portabellas, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms)
-4 ounces button mushrooms
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 large shallot, finely diced
-few sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
-8 ounces of spinach, steamed
-squeeze lemon juice
-4 ounces Camembert cheese, sliced. 
-1 small egg, beaten

Don't forget to thaw your puff pastry!!

Preheat the oven to 425°F. And then use something circular, I used a small bowl, to cut out four 5-in circles of one unfolded and thawed puff pastry. Place the circles on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Use the same round cutter to cut four pastry circles from the other pastry and lightly roll those pastries thinner, then set aside. Use the leftover scraps of puff pastry trimmings to cut out 12 leaves as decoration for the Wellingtons.

While the Wellington bases are baking, give the mushrooms a rough chop, and then heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Saute the mushrooms until they have reduced by half, then add in the garlic and saute until fragrant.

Put the spinach into a colander, pour boiling water over to wilt it, and squeeze out the excess water by pressing with a wooden spoon. Place on a cutting board, squeeze over some lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

Remove the pastry circles from the oven, if you haven't already, and then divide the chopped spinach between the cooked circles of pastry, making sure you leave a small border of pastry spinach free. Then divide the chopped mushroom mixture and carefully spoon over the spinach, then top each with a slice of Camembert.

Brush the border of each bottom circle with beaten egg, then gently stretch the larger circle of pastry over the whole thing, making sure not to push a hole in it or trap any air under it. Press the pastry edges together with your fingers and chill the Wellingtons for 10 minutes.

Once chilled, press the edges firmly with a fork, brush the Wellingtons all over with beaten egg, and decorate each one with 3 pastry leaves.***
Bake for 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown and puffed up, then allow to cool for a few minutes. 

***At this point chill the Wellingtons until you're ready to bake  -- you can keep them in the fridge for up to two days, which is highly recommended if you're serving this on Christmas since they're a little work intensive.


Friday, December 23, 2016

Honey Roasted Carrots with Pomegranate and Goat Cheese

I initially selected this recipe, because I had seen rainbow carrots at our grocery store before and thought that would make for a beautiful presentation. My grocery store didn't have the rainbow carrots, but with the pomegrante seeds and goat cheese this still turned out pretty.

This recipe goes very nicely with the main dish I'll post tomorrow.

Recipe from The Vintage Mixer.

-2 lbs carrots, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
-2 tablespoons butter, melted
-2 tablespoons honey
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
-1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-1/8 teaspoon cumin
-2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
-1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1/2 pomegranate)

Preheat oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with foil. In a medium bowl toss sliced carrots with melted butter, honey, and seasonings. Spread carrots out on the prepared baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes, flipping after 15 minutes. Transfer the carrots to a serving dish and top with goat cheese, and pomegranate seeds.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Vanilla Cranberry Mimosa

I love mimosas and this holiday twist is just as easy to make as the original. I chose not to add a vanilla bean garnish because a container of three vanilla beans was $15.00 at my local grocery store -- no thank you. If you already have some on hand, then go for the garnish.

Recipe from Honey and Birch.

-1 1/2 ounces of vanilla flavored vodka
-1 1/2 ounces of cranberry juice
-sparkling wine 
-fresh cranberries
-whole vanilla beans, optional garnish

In a cocktail shaker, combine the vanilla vodka, cranberry juice and ice. Shake vigorously, then strain into a champagne flute. Fill the glass to the top with sparkling wine. Garnish with cranberries and whole vanilla beans if desired.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Hassleback Potatoes with Goat Cheese + Honey

I can't believe that it's already time to be posting the 2016 Christmas recipes. There's snow on the ground, but for some reason it doesn't really feel like Christmas to me yet. Last year I remember sitting on an outdoor patio on the 23rd, because it was 60 degrees in Ohio -- so that didn't really feel like Christmas either. Maybe I say this every year?

This recipe is super easy to put together, it just looks fancy. The original is in metric measurements, so I did some conversions and tweaked the recipe a little. Additionally, rather than gorgonzoloa, I used goat cheese, because it

Recipe slightly adapted from Jaime Oliver.

-1 pound mini yukon gold potatoes
-1/2 a bunch of fresh rosemary
-5 tablespoons unsalted butter , (cold)
-olive oil
-runny honey
-3 ounces goat cheese

Preheat the oven to 425º. Then make cuts across the width of each potato, 1 to 2mm apart, all the way along -- remember to only slice about two-thirds of the way into the potato. Stuff the cuts with rosemary leaves.

Cube the butter and then dot over the base of a parchment paper lined 8x8 pan and drizzle in the oil. Pop the tray into the oven for a few minutes so that the butter melts, then place the potatoes carefully into the tray.

Roast for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the potatoes are golden and cooked through. You'll want to bast the potatoes with the melted butter in the pan a few times during cooking and turning regularly until they are golden and crisp all over.

Drizzle all the potatoes lightly with the honey, then return to the oven or another 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and place the potatoes on a board or platter. Crumble the goat cheese over top and serve while still warm.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Moroccan Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Soup with Coconut Ginger Cream

Living in snowy, cold Ohio has done few things except further my love for soup on a chilly day. There are so many wonderful vegetarian and vegan soup recipes out there, and I love finding recipes on the blog Half Baked Harvest -- blogger Tieghan is so creative and puts together food combinations that I would have never dreamed of putting together in a recipe.

This soup recipe is thick and heavily spiced making it perfect for a weekend lunch or dinner now that the temperature has dropped. Serve with a salad and naan for a more filling dinner. On the day we made this soup we ate it twice in one day -- once for lunch and once for a quick dinner before friends came over.

Slightly adapted from Half Baked Harvest

-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 red bell pepper, chopped
-4 cups butternut squash, peeled + cubed
-2 teaspoons red curry paste
-1 teaspoon smoked paprika
-1/2 teaspoon cumin
-1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
-2 teaspoons garlic
-1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
-2 cups veggie broth
-salt and pepper, to taste
-4 ounces goat cheese, softened + more for topping
-roughly chopped pistachios, for topping
-arils from one pomegranate, for topping
-naan, for serving
Coconut Ginger Cream
-1/2 cup cooled canned coconut milk
-1-2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced

In a large soup pot heat the olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the red pepper and cook for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Next add the cubed butternut squash, red curry paste, smoked paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne. Cook for 3-5 minutes then pour in the coconut milk and veggie broth. Add the minced garlic at this time and season with salt and pepper. Bring the soup to boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the butternut squash is fork tender.

While the soup is simmering, make the ginger cream that will be drizzled on top of the soup. Combine the cold coconut milk and 1 tablespoon ginger to a small bowl. Add more ginger to taste and set aside.

Once the butternut squash is fork tender, remove the pot from the stove and allow to cool slightly, then puree the soup using an immersion blender.

Serve drizzled with coconut ginger cream and topped with chopped pistachios, crumbled goat cheese, and pomegranate arils. Serve with a side of naan.