Entries in vegetarian (6)


quinoa with roasted vegetables


I made this recipe for our annual New Year's Eve party so it is big enough to serve a crowd, but it can be cut down easily since the amounts do not need to be precise. I wanted to try something new and since I love all the winter squash and root vegetabes at this time of year I decided to start there. The experimental part was the dressing: I made a vinaigrette flavored with garam masala and cardamom and sweetened slightly with maple syrup. A little fresh mint stirred in at the end added some brightness to the dish.


When you cut all the vegetables, make them small enough to be bitesize, but not so small that they get shriveled when roasted. I roasted the beets separately because I find it so much easier to slip the peels off once roasted than to peel them raw. Roasting them in their skins also keeps them nice and moist. You can substitute delicata squash for the butternut of you like - this would be a good idea if you want to do a smaller batch since delicata are much smaller than butternut. Another great thing about delicata squash is that you do not need to peel it - the skin is quite tender once it is cooked. If you use delicata, cut the squash into rings and use a spoon to scoop out the seeds before roasting.



1 bunch chiogga beets

1 bunch yellow beets

1 small butternut squash

6 purple carrots (regular carrots can be substituted)

6 small shallots

olive oil

coarse sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1 package red quinoa

a handful of mint leaves, finely chopped


for the dressing:

1/3 cup white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon dijon mustard

1 teaspoon garam masala

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

pinch cayenne

pinch ground cloves

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil


Heat over to 425°. Scrub beets and trim stems. Wrap in aluminum foil (I did 2 packets with 6 beets in each) and place on a sheet pan. Roast in the oven for about an hour, or until beets are easily pierced with a knife. Set aside until cool enough to handle. Using a paper towel wipe skins from beets. This step may be done the day before if desired but bring to room temperature before adding to the quinoa.


Remove peel and seeds from butternut squash and cut into small chunks. Scrub carrots and cut into small chunks. Remove papery skins from shallots and cut into halves or quarters. Toss the vegetables with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and tender. The exact cooking time will vary depending on the size of your veggies.


While the vegetables are roasting, cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Make the dressing by combining all the ingredients except the olive oil in a blender and whir to combine. While the blender is running slowly add the olive oil in a steady stream until emulsified. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt if needed. Cut the roasted beets into bitesize pieces and add to the quinoa. Add the roasted carrots, squash and shallots to the bowl and toss with half the dressing. Continue adding dressing until the salad is moist and flavorful -- I had about 1/4 left over for another day. Stir in finely chopped mint just before serving. This salad may be serve hot or at room temperature.


green soup


This soup is a perfect antidote to too much Halloween candy. It started out as a simple pea soup but I had the urge to fortify it a bit. The leeks and kale add flavor as well as lots of nutritional benefits and the potatoes give the soup a nice texture.


2 cups thinly sliced leeks (white and pale green parts only)

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped

4 cups finely chopped kale (1small bunch)

4 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch dice

8 cups chicken stock  (use vegetable stock for vegetarian soup)

2 bags frozen peas

1 tablespoon fresh mint (optional)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Soak leeks (after slicing) in a bowl of cold water to remove any dirt. Lift leeks out of water and if there is grit in the bowl repeat process until the water is clean.


Heat olive oil in a large pot and add leeks. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until leeks start to soften, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add kale and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until kale is wilted. Add potatoes and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes more. Add peas, mint (if using), salt and pepper, and cook another 5 minutes. Puree using a submersion blender (or working in batches in a regular blender). Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.



green salad with fresh figs


If you have not developed a love for figs this is the time of year to try. When ripe they are juicy and sweet, but it is their unique texture that makes them extra special.  This salad is simple enough for everyday but so pretty that it would also be great for a dinner party. I used butter lettuce from the farmer's market as the base. Add figs (cut into halves or quarters), grapefruit sections, and some chopped pistachios. For the dressing I drizzled the salad with extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of grapefruit juice, balsamic glaze, and a little fleur de sel.


To see if figs are ripe press very gently - they should be soft but not be mushy. You will find several varieties at this time of year as well...the most familiar are black mission figs, but the rounder green calimyrna figs are also very delicious. There are several classic ways to eat them as well: paired with prosciutto, or on a crostini with mascarpone and a drizzle of honey, are among my favorites. I also love to eat them alone, or mixed into fruit salads for a little unexpected crunch.


swiss chard pie


My aunt and uncle visited us from California this June and at one of the many dinners we all had together my uncle brought this swiss chard pie. He has been eating vegan for the last few years and this recipe from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food has become one of his staples. He bakes this one at my parents house and brought it to us wrapped in newspaper, still warm. It was delicious! 




For my kids quesadillas are right up there with mac & cheese and pizza on the list of favorite foods. We usually make plain cheese quesadillas and add on a variety of toppings at the table: fresh salsas, guacamole, sour cream, and sauteed zucchini and corn are among the favorites. You can also add beans, leftover roasted chicken or any leftover meat.


As an alternative you can fill the qusadillas with the extras but I find that more stuffed quesadillas are much harder to flip (you loose half the filling in the pan) and the kids love to make their own at the table. 





4 ripe avocados

juice of one lime

1/4-1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro

Sea salt, to taste


Peel and chop avocados and place in a bowl. Add lime juice and mash until well combined but still chunky. Stir in cilantro and salt.



1 large ripe tomato or 3 ripe plum tomatoes

1 small onion (or half medium onion)

finely chopped cilantro

green tobasco 

salt and pepper


Finely chop tomatoes and onion.

Stir together in a bowl.

Add cilantro, salt and pepper, and tobasco to taste.



1 or 2 small zucchini

4 ears corn on cob

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon minced garlic


salt and pepper


Chop zucchini into small dice.

Cut corn from cob.

Heat olive oil in a skillet and onion and garlic. Saute until translucent.

Add corn and zucchini and stir. Season with salt, pepper, and a dash of oregano.

Cook, stirring occasionally until zucchini is starting to brown.



lentil salad


I first started making vats of these lentils when I was pregnant with my twins and hungry all the time! Now I make it for just about every school potluck meal. It’s perfect for grownups just out of the refrigerator, as well as at room temp in the kids’ lunch boxes.


Cook 2 cups french lentils with enough water to cover generously (an inch or two above the lentils).


Add 2 peeled cloves of garlic, a bay leaf, a few sprigs of thyme, and 1 teaspoon salt. If you tie the thyme into a bundle it makes it easier to fish out the stems after cooking.


Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 12-25 minutes or until tender. If the liquid evaporates before the lentils are done just add a bit more water. Once the lentils are tender drain any remaining liquid and transfer lentils to a bowl.


Remove the garlic cloves and save for use in the vinaigrette. Discard the bay leaf and thyme stems.


While lentils are cooking dice about 6 carrots and 6 stalks of celery. Add to the bowl with the lentils.


For the dressing, mash the garlic and chop it into a paste. Add 1/4 cup of red wine vinegar and 1/2 cup olive oil, 1 teaspoon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Whisk to combine and add to lentil salad. Chop a bunch of fresh parsley leaves and stir into salad. Refrigerate until ready to serve.