7 Vegetarian Dinners in 30 Minutes or Less!

When I posted Five 20 minute meals, I got a lot of great feedback because many people get home from work late and just don’t have time to spend hours cooking a meal… but just because you are busy or work late doesn’t mean you can’t end the day with healthful wholesome meals. So here is a week’s worth of meals you can make in 30 minutes or less :). And the good news is you’ll probably have left overs to take with you for lunch!

1. Delicata Squash and Tofu Curry

Delicata Squash and Tofu Curry

2. Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Quinoa Salad… 

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Fourth of July Fruit Flag

Fourth of July Fruit Platter

This post is particularly special to me because it was a year ago on Fourth of July that I was flying home from an incredible trip to Turkey where I learned about how amazing feta and watermelon can be together. Not only is this recipe cute, but it is healthy compared to many of the patriotic treats that are bound to be around AND super easy if you are strapped for time. Feel free to sprinkle with some mint or basil for an added touch. I’ll be wishing a happy Fourth to you and yours from Portland!… 

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Roasted Baby Artichokes

Roasted Baby ArtichokesI got some feedback from a friend and colleague of mine that my Stuffed Artichokes didn’t work for her…I got to the bottom of it and realized it is important that you used homemade breadcrumbs. Also, you  should be able to stick a knife easily through and the outer leaves should be almost falling off (as you should have removed the firm outer leaves prior to cooking). I have made the update but just wanted you all to know that all feedback is welcome.

Anyway, if that all sounds like too much for you, this is a much simpler and easier way to cook artichokes but you’ve got to use those adorable little ones that are all over the place right now. These are delicious and crispy and remind me almost of artichoke chips, yum!!!!

Roasted Baby Artichokes
 
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Serves: 2-4
Ingredients
  • 9 baby artichokes (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 lemons, cut in half
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons good-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (omit for vegan version)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Prepare artichokes. Cut stem and remove the tough outer leaves of the artichokes (until it starts to look a lighter green). Cut off the top third of the head to remove the tough ends of the leaves, then split it down the middle. Rub with lemon as you work so they don’t turn brown.
  3. Mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and garlic. Lay the artichoke halves cut-side up in a roasting dish and drizzle or brush with the olive oil mixture. Roast in the oven until the artichokes are tender, about 20 minutes.
  4. Top with the cheese and garnish with the parsley.

Serving Suggestion: Throw in some sweet potatoes and roast together for double yum!

Photo Credit: My Man’s Belly

 

Top 7 Summer Salads

As we move from Spring towards Summer, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite Summer salads. These are a perfect starter or a side dish for those hot summer nights. Click on the link below the photo to take you to the recipe.

Corn, Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad

Corn, Cherry Tomato and Asparagus Salad

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

Avocado and Grapefruit Salad

Tabbouleh (cracked wheat salad)

Arugula Salad with Peaches

Arugula Salad with Peaches and Goat Cheese

Quinoa Salad

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Watermelon with Feta and Mint

Watermelon with Feta and Mint

Caesar Dressing

Homemade Caesar

Stuffed Artichokes

Stuffed ArtichokesI have shared recipes and/or inspirations from this Classy Broad before but this simple dish is worth yet another shout out. She hosted our monthly Supper Club last week – this is where four of us get together once a month to experiment with our cooking and entertaining skills. We generally have a key ingredient or a theme of sorts and I just loved Alli’s answer when she told us how she came up with her menu. She said she was at the farmers market and everything just looked so good and fresh that instead of having an idea and shopping for the ingredients, she bought what looked good and then looked for recipes around that. Talk about seasonal cooking, I just love it! This was our main course (we always do somewhere between 4-5 courses to really make it classy!) and let’s just say I was shocked when I heard how few ingredients were in this – it definitely tasted like it should have been a bit more naughty than it actually is.  My mouth is watering as I post this….

Stuffed Artichokes
 
Cook time
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Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 large, full-size artichokes
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1½ cups home made bread crumbs – may not need to use them all depending on your preference
  • 1 cup grated pecorino – can use a dairy free cheese as a vegan option
  • ⅓ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Instructions
  1. Using a serrated knife, cut off artichoke stems to create a flat bottom. Cut top thirds off artichokes, pull off tough outermost leaves, and trim tips of leaves with kitchen shears. Rub cut parts with lemon halves. Open artichoke leaves with your thumbs to make room for stuffing; set aside.
  2. Heat oven to 425°. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, ¾ cup pecorino, parsley, salt, pepper, and garlic. Working with one artichoke at a time over bowl, sprinkle one-quarter of bread crumb mixture over the artichoke and work it in between leaves. Transfer stuffed artichoke to a shallow baking dish. Drizzle each artichoke with 1 tbsp. oil. Pour in boiling water to a depth of 1″. Rub 1 tbsp. olive oil on a sheet of aluminum foil, cover artichokes with foil (oiled side down), and secure foil tightly around dish with kitchen twine.
  3. Bake until a knife easily slides into the base of an artichoke, about 45 minutes. Remove foil, sprinkle tops with remaining cheese, and switch oven to broil. Broil until tops of artichokes are golden brown, about 3 minutes.

Serving Suggestion: Throw any finely chopped veggies of your choice in the stuffing mixture to add an extra punch!

The recipe and photo are courtesy of Saveur.

Valentine’s Day Beet Salad

Valentine's Day Beet Salad

You cannot ‘beet’ giving your loved one the gift of health this Valentine’s day, so here is a fun little idea to help you out :). Beets contain fiber and potassium and are an excellent source of folate, which is necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells. Researchers believe the red pigment (called betacyanin) in beets could protect against the development of cancerous cells and may play a role in reducing the inflammation associated with heart disease. And on top of all of that, one of the first known uses of beets was by the ancient Romans, who used them medicinally as an aphrodisiac… soooooo, Happy Valentines Day to you and yours <3!

Valentine’s Day Beet Salad
 
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Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 Tbsp chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 lb beets (red, golden or a combination of both), roasted and sliced – check out a great tutorial here
  • 3 cups arugula or mixed salad greens
  • ¼ cup fennel, sliced
  • Prepared Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing
  • ¼ cup feta cheese, cubed or crumbled – goat cheese is great too!
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off ends and green of beets and roast (wrapped in foil) for 45 minutes. Roast longer if needed. You should be able to easily pierce a knife through the center of the beet.
  2. Remove beets to let them cool. Lay walnuts on a baking sheet (you can line it with foil or parchment paper for easy clean-up). Roast walnuts until they start to brown and smell toasted, 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, once beets are cooled enough to handle, rinse under cool water to peel off skin and then thinly slice. Use a heart shaped cookie cutter create heart shaped beets and set aside.
  4. Combine arugula (or mixed greens), fennel and walnuts. Mix with dressing.
  5. Place the mixed ingredients onto the serving dish & set the heart shaped beets around the dish. Top with cheese of choice.
  6. Serve with lots of LOVE!

Notes:

Dressing recipe can be found here.
More detailed instructions on how to roast beets can be found here.

Here is another fun little idea of how to serve your beets, courtesy of NoBiggie.

Cupid Beets

Reindeer Cheese Appetizers

What can I say, I am a total sucker for adorable food (one of the many reasons I love the holidays so much)! This one is super easy to make and is a nice way to liven up your cheese platter. Happy holidays to you and yours, ho ho ho!

Reindeer Cheese Appetizers
 
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Ingredients
  • 2 cheese wedges
  • 4 pretzels
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into circles
  • Whole black peppercorns
Instructions
  1. Arrange cheese wedges on your serving platter.
  2. Add pretzels for ears, pepper circle for nose and black peppercorns for eyes.
  3. Serve and enjoy!

Photo Credit: Cute food for kids

Strawberry Santas

Strawberry SantasA big thank you to my friend Amy for passing this one along to me. She loves my Straw-boo-ries as much as I do so she knew I would go crazy over Strawberry Santas.  I made these for my holiday party last weekend and they were such a hit they were gone before all of my guests even arrived. Given the fact that strawberries are not in season, do your best to find some good quality strawberries and just work with what you can find. These little crowd pleasers are also quite yummy.

Strawberry Santas
 
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 lb large strawberries
  • 1 (8oz) package of cream cheese
  • 3-4 Tbsp powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • Black Sesame seeds, to decorate
Instructions
  1. Rinse strawberries and cut around the top of the strawberry. Remove the top, (enough for a hat). Prep all of the strawberries and set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla until creamy. Add cream cheese mix to a piping bag or Ziploc with the corner snipped off. Top the strawberries with cheese mixture.
  3. Once strawberries have cheese mixture on top, add the hats and decorate according to photo.
  4. If not serving immediately, refrigerate until serving.

Photo Credit: Savvy Housekeeping

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

Eggplant Parmesan CasseroleI had been eyeballing this dish for a while and given the fact that I just had some delicious leftovers for lunch, I am happy I tried it!!!

This gives you the feel of a lasagna but is lighter as it has less cheese and no noodles. I got the original recipe from Martha but of course modified it to add a few extra veggies in :).

I hope that you enjoy it!

Eggplant Parmesan Casserole
 
Cook time
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Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • Olive oil, for baking sheets
  • 2 large eggs (can use egg replacer for a vegan version)
  • ¾ cup plain dry breadcrumbs, more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 large eggplants (2½ pounds total), peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds
  • 6 cups (48 ounces) homemade or store-bought chunky tomato sauce
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 10 oz mushrooms, sliced (approximately 2 cups)
  • 10 oz kale or spinach or combination of both
  • 4 tablespoons basil, chopped
  • 1½ cups shredded mozzarella or parmesan or a combination (can use non dairy cheese for a vegan version)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 baking sheets with oil; set aside. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tablespoons water. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, oregano, and basil; season with salt and pepper.
  2. Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well; place on baking sheets. Bake until golden brown on bottom, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn slices; continue baking until browned on other side, 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove from oven; raise oven heat to 400 degrees.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a small amount of oil in a pan, add onion and cook until fragrant. Add mushrooms and kale or spinach and cook until greens wilt. Set aside.
  4. One eggplant is done, spread 2 cups sauce in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange half the eggplant in dish; cover with 2 cups sauce, then the mushroom mixture. Add 2 more cups of sauce. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, then sprinkle with basil and mozzarella. Bake until sauce is bubbling and cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.