Category Archives: Vegetarian Main Dishes
Yes, the pumpkin pie is a little late for Canadian thanksgiving but you Americans still have over a month away before your thanksgiving so store this pumpkin pie recipe in the safest place because it’s a weapon! Yes, it’s that good! My aunt took one bite and yelled, “OH MY GOD!” My grandma couldn’t get over it. I’ve been emailing it to the entire world. So yes, it’s that good!
Here is the recipe: (copied from an email I wrote a day ago…why store the same typed recipe twice when I can simplify?)
2/3 cup butter
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4-5 tbsp very cold water
Mix the flour, salt and sugar together. Cube the cold cold butter into the flour and kind of roll it between your finger tips until the butter and flour are an even crumble texture. Add the water and knead briefly until the dough has come together. Refrigerate for an hour.
2 cups canned pumpkin (one can)
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp molasses
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice (ground cloves would also work)
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/3 cup whipping cream
3 tbsp brandy or orange liquer
Whisk everything together.
This recipe makes one large 9 inch pie or two shallow 9 inch pies. So either roll the dough out once or cut it in two if you are making two pies. Roll the dough and place in the pie pan, pour the filling in and bake at 400 degrees F for 10 minutes, turn down the oven to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 40 minutes (or until the middle is cooked through…you can tell by the amount of jiggle)
And most importantly….eat the whole thing because you can’t help yourself because it tastes so darn good!!!
Roasted Acorn Squash
Here is another one that I made for thanksgiving dinner. My little cousin took a bite of one, spit it out and then rinced his mouth out. Hahaha. I thought it tasted great and so did the others! I guess squash is an acquired taste. It’s a great fall recipe, super warming and when you smell it, you can see the leaves changing colour in your minds eye. Did I mention that it’s super easy to make?
3 acorn squashes (I think also named pepper squash if you can’t find it. It’s shaped like an acorn and dark green)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon herbes de provence
1 teaspoon thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons cold butter
Peel the squash (this is an extremely difficult task and you can skip it if your guests won’t mind.) Cut them in half, scoop out all of the seeds with a large spoon and dice the sides into chunky pieces.
Toss the squash with the oil, salt, herbes de provence, thyme, fresh cracked black pepper (just a few twists of the grinder) and the bay leaved then place on a baking sheet. Dot the cold butter evenly on top of the squash pieces.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for around 25-30 minutes. Remove the bay leaves before serving
Sweet Potato Soup
This soup is yummy! You can freeze everything that you won’t eat in a couple of days and reheat it at anytime making this a great lunch idea for a few nights ahead into the future. It’s also packed with nutrients and tastes like fall.
Here is what you will need, and need to do:
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons coriander
2 teaspoons thyme
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons salt
8 cups water
Saute the onions and garlic in the olive oil on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring every minute or so and not allowing the garlic to burn. Add the carrots, potatoes, ground coriander, thyme, bay leaves, cayenne, salt and black pepper, stirring everything together. Saute this mixture for an additional 10 minutes or so. Add the water, cover the pot and bring the water to a boil by turning the heat on the stove to max (sigh*Max). As soon as you get a nice rolling boil (meaning that the water is non stop bubbling and big bubbles), turn the heat down to low and simmer the soup for an hour. In small bathces, place the soup in a blender and puree it until the entire soup is pureed.
Let’s Mexican-it up! This is a favourite of mine. There is a restaurant in Hamilton called the bean bar, and as much as I tried to choose something different every time I went, I couldn’t. It was always the sweet potato quesadilla and for good reason…Putting sweet potatoes in a quesadilla (p.s. I have no idea how to spell this word) is the best idea ever! I made my own version which only tastes better so give it a try!
The recipe is this (it makes three)…
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced finely
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
Plus olive oil for grilling
Boil or steam the potato until it is soft (you can easily poke a fork though it). Transfer the drained, soft potato to a mixing bowl. In a frying pan, saute the onion with the coriander and cumin until the onion is soft, give it three minutes at least. Add the sauteed onion to the potatos. With a masher (or hand mixer) mash the potatoes with the onions and oil. Taste the mixture. Season it with salt and pepper. Does it taste good? Okay, move on. Evenly divide the potato mixture among the three tortillas and spread it on only one half. Add a few sliced of the roasted red pepper and divide the cheese among the three. Remember, you build this quesadilla on only one half. Now fold over the empty half of the tortilla and grill it in some olive oil on the stove for a minute or two on either side. The cheese should be melty and the tortilla slightly browned.
Now eat it…
SEE WHAT I MEAN?!!!!
Enjoy these fall recipes and stay warm!
Hello everyone! Finally I am posting again and I am back in Canada doing so. I did say that I would post a recipe on Monday, it’s just not the same Monday I originally expected to post it on. Sorry folks, but this recipe was made in the South of France at the small family apartment and my step-by-step photos didn’t turn out in the dark kitchen…so just the recipe you will get. P.s. An apero is a party type thing where drinks and little snack foods are served, usually before the meal.
In other news, I am feeling quite a reverse culture shock now that I’m back. I cannot exactly describe what this means except that I want to go back to France because it feels funny to me that the people here aren’t dresses impeccably all the time and that everyone is speaking a language that I understand and that there are no 80 cent baguettes within 50 metres of me right now. Sigh. And that Max isn’t with me.
Anyways, it does feel so good to be back on the blog so without further ado, here is this pizza recipe with homemade tomato sauce and all.
You will need…
For the sauce:
- 10 very, very ripe tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 clove of garlic, minced
- Salt and pepper
For the assembly:
- Prepared pizza dough, or even better, puff pastry
- Shredded gruyere cheese (swiss)
- 10 or so slices of goats cheese
- black olives
- Prepare the tomatoes: Peel them with a peeler, cut them in half and squeeze out all of their seeds and then chop them into small pieces. Set them in a colander to drain out the excess liquid as you prepare the onions and such.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onions and garlic. Saute until they are translucent and slightly golden or for about 5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes and a good pinch of salt, stir everything around and cover.
- Simmer the tomatoes on medium-low for 40 minutes to an hour. For a pasta sauce, a little liquid is good but for this pizza made the sauce really thick to spread on the dough.
- Roll out the dough EXTREMELY thin, spread the sauce on it, then sprinkle the gruyere, then add the olives and goats cheese.
- Bake at 375 degrees F for 20 minutes.
Et voila! A French apero pizza! Serve it with Champagne to be ultra classy!
Chana Masala in an Indian Chickpea Curry. I used to make the “real” version of it with 5 or 6 different spices and a slow simmer for 45 minutes but when I moved out of my parents house, and was cooking only for myself, I wanted a quicker way to that same satisfaction. I have made this a million times and it still remains one of my all time favourite dishes!
Begin by slicing 4 shallots…
You definitely want them to be chunky. Or at least I want them to be that way…
Throw them into some oil in a heated saucepan…
Give them a nice saute for only a minute or so…
And then take out these!
Add 1 teaspoon of each into the sauteing onions. The spices need to be cooked before the other ingredients are added so that they begin to release their intense aromas! Seriously. You can quote me on that one…
Then take out these…
Add both 14oz cans (diced tomatoes and chickpeas) into the onions and spices (but only after you have let the spices cook for a minute or so!)…
Also add one more can of water…
I boiled this pretty rapidly for 20 minutes or so. Just remember that if you are boiling the mixture like me, stir it every five minutes or so to ensure that it doesn’t burn. If you don’t want to watch it so intensely, just simmer it for 45 minutes UNCOVERED…
Then taste it. Does it need seasoning? Mine needed a teaspoon or so of salt. It should look like this when it is done, the consistency of a thick stew…
Just serve it with rice and you are through! Curry satisfaction in a simpler fashion…
I wanted pizza…so I invented this one! It’s so good. Take my word for it because it is so good. It is so good…did I mention that already?
My aunt hates pesto but her eyes lit up when she took her first bite of a slice. She loves this pizza!
I put in as much love into this recipe as will come out of it when you try it.
After your first bite you will feel a tight, warm invisible hug of love around you…that’s not creepy, right?
Please make it, please! It’s so good.
There are a few steps involve but less than an even more complicated pizza recipe, naturally. And I’ll tell you, I have seen some pretty complicated pizza recipes out there!
I cheated too! I bought the dough, yet to be baked. I am not great at making doughs and I’m hoping France will change this and anyways, I totally saved a billion hours by letting other bakers make some fresh pizza dough and then buying it from them.
The ingredients and recipe are listed in full at the end of this post.
Here are the ingredients you will need:
Start by roasting the red peppers. I am showing you the method available to me. There are other methods to roast red pepper’s as well, involving gas burners which I do not own so read on…
First, set your oven to broil. Place 2 red peppers on a piece of foil…
Fold up the edges of the foil to make it kind of look like some sort of weird tray like thingy…
Now pour some olive oil on them and give those babies a good rub down…
Now put them in the oven. Close the oven door. I know so many people (I actually don’t know, I am just making this fact up) leave their oven doors open a crack when they broil stuff so they don’t start a fire. You won’t start a fire! These things take a while!
When one side looks black…and I mean black! Turn them over and wait for the other side to turn black. Then take them out. They should take 15 minutes or so and look like this…
I told you they were black!
Now put them in a bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. This is called “sweating” the peppers…
Wait a few minutes…(I am not showing you the recipe in chronological order as to how I actually made it. I want to keep this roasting red peppers thing in one section to show you. So please, go ahead and make the pizza in between the roasting peppers thingy)…
They were sweating buckets in there.
Why did I sweat the peppers? The moisture from the sweating kind of lifts the skin away from the bulk of the pepper making it easier to peel. Oh ya, we are peeling these things. I don’t want to eat that black stuff!
Peel the peppers by lifting the skin away. It is that easy…
Now scrape the seeds out and slice them thinly…
Moving on to the next part of the recipe…the pesto!!
I do not own a food processor so I used a blender to make it. It was a little chunkier and I used a little more olive oil then if I used a food processor but in the end, I wouldn’t change a thing! It was perfect for this pizza!
In a blender, combine a large handful of basil (probably around a loose cup)…
Add a handful of pine nuts. These things are expensive!! I paid $8 for 3/4 cup. This is a pizza for a good wallet day!! Or a bad wallet day depending on how you look at it…what? Wallet days? I don’t want to explain myself…
Sprinkle in salt and pepper…
Now drizzle (or pour like I did) olive oil in the top of the blender with the blender on. Pour until it blends nicely…
Oh yum, look at the stuff! Even better…taste it! Then munch on those pine nuts the price of gold…
Now let us prepare the other 2 ingredients…
Take 4 leaves of basil and roll them up…
Now slice it thinly…
And to prepare the cheese. Take have the package of mozzarella (about 5 oz) and slice it…
Beautiful people, meet ingredients. Ingredients, meet beautiful people…
Now that we got the introductions out of the way, lets build this thing!
Take that pizza dough and plop it onto a floured pizza stone. Kind of coat the dough in flour so you can play with it and it won’t stick to your hands…
Now feel free to roll it out with a rolling pin but sadly, I do not own a rolling pin so I did it the old-fashioned way…I hand tossed it! Well, it was less a toss and more a stretch. I just held it by its edges and kept pulling it in a circle making sure that no tears occurred and there were no areas with a huge bulk of dough. Then I pinch up the sides. I love crust!
Next, spread all of that pesto out on the dough. Get riiiiiight to the edges…
Evenly place those roasted red peppers, the cheese and sprinkle the basil over top. I also add a few drops of olive oil over the whole thing to get the cheese nice and brown and crusty…
Look at my creation!!
Now bake it at 400 degrees (F) for 20-25 minutes. This is what you get…
Now slice it and eat it…Yum!
I am leaving for the cruise in just a couple of days so I am not grocery shopping. What does this mean? It means I need to make dishes using ingredients I already have. I also need to use up those ingredients with a long shelf life before I go to France.
Well tonight when I was going through my cupboards, I didn’t have much of an option but I did see some spices and some mug beans and rice. I also had celery, onion and carrot in the fridge and a recipe that would suit all these ingredients. This recipe is Kitarchi. I used to make it a lot but haven’t in a while so it was a nice treat that these were the ingredients left on hand.
This recipe leaves you feeling great after you eat it. It is supposed to balance you out a bunch (whatever that means)! It also has enough veggies, grains and proteins to make it a complete meal in itself. And it tastes so, so yummy! It is full of spice but it is not spicey even one bit. The spices I use are for the aroma, not for the heat.
Oh, and p.s. This recipe is super simple to make. You just throw everything in a pot (in the method I describe below) and let it sit for less than an hour!
Also…I added this awesome new recipe plugin that allows me to write out a full printable version of the recipe.
You will need:
- 1/2 onion
- 1 tablespoon chopped ginger
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 5-10 cardamom seeds
- 5-10 whole cloves
- 1 cup rice
- 3/4 cup mug beans
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup or so of chopped carrots
- 3 or 4 stalks of celery
Start by chopping your onion and ginger. I diced mine but you can chop it in any fashion you want (a mince maybe?)…
Heat up olive oil in a saucepan…
Now add your onion and ginger…
Measure out your spices. 1 teaspoon turmeric…
1 teaspoon of mustard seed…
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon…
1 teaspoon of salt…
And your seeds and cloves…
Now add them to the onion and ginger…
Measure out your rice…
When the mustard seeds start popping in the saucepan (you will hear little pop, pop, pop noises) add the rice and stir it all around…
Now add your mug beans…
And your water…
Now chop up your celery and carrot pretty small…
Now add them to the saucepan…
Now, while your saucepan is at medium heat, bring the mixture to a simmer while it is covered (it should take 5 minutes or so) then reduce the heat to low…
Just let it do its thing for 50 minutes or until all the water is absorbed and the rice, beans and veggies are soft.
Eh, voila! An easy, delicious, healthy, complete meal in one!