Vegetarian

Pea Rangoons Appetizer with Blueberry Chutney

I’m absolutely OBSESSED with these pea rangoons! I know, pea rangoons? What’s the deal, McBooty? Bear with me.

I was feeling inspired the other day so I threw some ingredients together, cast my spell (“Double, double, toil and trouble!”) and popped my creations into the oven. To my surprise, these turned out to be tasty little morsels – perfect for an appetizer! This was one of those magical cooking moments that only exists in folklore. Okay, not really, but these pea rangoons are absolutely addicting – you’ve been warned!

I felt capable of anything. If my magical powers could create such an appetizer masterpiece, what else could I do? My thoughts reeled… I could end world hunger or help nations around the world find peace. Or I could create a sauce to dip these pea rangoons into. Baby steps, right?

First, I whipped up an Asian dumpling sauce (soy, vinegar, garlic, etc.) to dip these little guys in. The dumpling sauce ranked 3 out of 5 in my book – good, but not good enough. Then I blended up some buttery, lemony Hollandaise sauce because frankly, Hollandaise sauce tastes good on everything, right? FALSE! Hollandaise received a 1 out of 5 for these dumplings. Hmm… the wheels continued turning and then it hit me. {BAM!}  Spicy, fruity chutney.  Wait a second McBooty, fruit with peas? I don’t know about that combination, you’re weird. Trust me, in some absolutely wacky (and delicious) way, it works.

Try these for yourself and you might become a believer too. These are great for any get together where you want to impress your guests with your refined palate and cooking skills (yet these are very easy to make). Tell me your thoughts in the comments below.

I included a recipe to make your own blueberry chutney, but I used store-bought chutney (and it works just as well!)

Pea Rangoons with Blueberry Chutney

Pea Rangoons with Blueberry Chutney

Ingredients

    ---For the Pea Dumplings
  • Nonstick olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 cups cooked green peas, lightly mashed
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
  • zest of one large lemon
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 32 wonton wrappers
  • ---For the Blueberry Chutney
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger root or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice

Directions

    ---For the Pea Dumplings
  1. Saute the shallot in a bit of olive oil until transparent and fragrant. Remove from heat.
  2. Add the peas, cooked shallots, salt, garlic, Parmesan and lemon zest to a food processor and blend together. Plop the mixture into a large bowl and fold in the ricotta. Taste and add more salt or lemon for added brightness.
  3. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F and lightly grease a baking sheet with olive oil cooking spray.
  4. Set up your wonton assembly line; lay out five or six wonton wrappers on a clean counter top and keep a tiny bowl of water handy. Drop a teaspoon of filling into the center of each wonton wrapper. Fold the wontons however you wish, using the water as a "glue" to seal all of the edges. I lined one corner of each wonton wrapper with a bit of water, folded the wrapper in half and pressed the edges together. Then I folded each remaining side across the plump pea filling so it resembled an open envelope. Seal with a bit more water.
  5. Rub each dumpling with a bit of olive oil and arrange them in a single layer on your baking sheet (you can heavily spray them with the olive oil cooking spray too) and bake them for 4 minutes. At the 4 minute mark, flip them over and bake for another 3-4 minutes, until golden brown and crispy.
  6. ---For the Blueberry Chutney
  7. Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil 1 minute and remove cinnamon stick. Cool completely, place in tightly sealed containers and refrigerate for up to 3 weeks (or freeze).
http://foodiemcbooty.com/pea-rangoons-with-blueberry-chutney/

This is an original Foodie McBooty recipe.

Savory Pumpkin Ravioli {Vegetarian}

 savory pumpkin ravioli

Homemade pasta of any kind (especially ravioli) can be very intimidating to make. This recipe may sound complicated at first, but if you plan ahead and grab another pair of hands, homemade ravioli is well worth the hard work. Keep in mind that you can always freeze a good portion of these to easily pop into boiling water on those nights where standing in the kitchen is not on your TO DO list. Easy peasy.

If you haven’t made ravioli at home before, here are a few tips:

1.  It takes a lot of love to make homemade pasta (i.e. patience, elbow grease, a glass of wine, maybe a great album)

2.  You don’t need a pasta roller or a ravioli cutter to make ravioli (we used a rolling pin and one of our favorite Avery glasses to make these)

homemade ravioli

3. This is a project best made with a loved one. What better time to bond?

We stuffed our ravioli bites with a savory pumpkin filling because, well, we love pumpkin and it’s fall! What more can I say? Other than this pumpkin filling is to die for. I may or may not have licked my plate when I finished my portion. This is definitely a new favorite autumn recipe in our household!

If you’re looking for a shortcut and don’t feel like rolling out your own pasta dough, try using wonton wrappers instead. You definitely save on the hard labor. The only trade-off is there is less chew to your ‘pasta.’ But in a bind, I bet everyone will be too busy gobbling up your ravioli that nobody will notice the difference. Your secret is safe with me.

Savory Pumpkin Ravioli

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 2 hours

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Yields: About 6 servings

Serving Size: 9 raviolis and 2 tablespoons sauce

Calories per serving: 670 calories

Fat per serving: 47g

Savory Pumpkin Ravioli

Ingredients

    For the Pasta:
  • 2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 egg (separately), lightly beaten
  • For the Filling:
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree
  • 4 teaspoons chopped shallot
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried sage)
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup parmesan/romano blend cheese
  • 1 small bay leaf, whole
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage (or 1 teaspoon dried sage)

Directions

  1. Place 2-1/2 cups flour in a large bowl; make a well in the center. Beat eggs and oil; pour into well. Stir together, forming a ball. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes, adding remaining flour if necessary to keep dough from sticking. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, saute pumpkin, shallot and garlic in butter until tender. Add the sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Transfer to a food processor; cover and process until blended. Return to the pan; stir in cream, cheese and bay leaf. Bring to a high heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes or until thickened. Discard bay leaf.
  3. Divide pasta dough into fourths; roll one portion as thin as you can (1/16-in. thickness). (Keep remaining dough covered until ready to use.) Cut circles of pasta by using a ravioli cutter or a small glass. Place a teaspoon of filling in the middle of a pasta circle then brush around filling with beaten egg. Place another pasta circle over the filling and press down firmly to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  4. Bring a stock pot of salted water to a boil. Add ravioli. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer; cook for 1-2 minutes or until ravioli float to the top and are tender. Drain and keep warm.
  5. In a small saucepan, bring cream to a boil; cook, uncovered, until reduced by half. Stir in butter and sage. Serve with ravioli.

Notes

If you wish to freeze any extra ravioli, lay completed ravioli in single lines on a floured cookie sheet and set in the freezer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, store the ravioli in a freezer bag for up to 3 months. When you are ready to cook these, pop them into salted boiling water just as you would if they were fresh. They are cooked when they float to the top of the water.

http://foodiemcbooty.com/savory-pumpkin-ravioli/

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Polish Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogorkowa) {Vegetarian}

pickle soup

Attention pickle lovers – you MUST try Pickle Soup!!

I am 50% Polish and 50% Filipino. Probably haven’t heard of that one before, huh? My unique heritage could explain why I love so many different types of food (or maybe I just like to eat good food?) Every time I visit my family in Wisconsin I have to indulge in the local European cuisine. The same goes with my Filipino family in California… lumpia and pancit all the way. Today, my Polish heritage won out.

The process of pickling has been used to preserve foods for decades. In Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe, pickled baby cucumbers in hot broth was the winter counterpart to the summer offering of cold cucumber soup. Fun fact for the day. So pickle soup might sound weird to us, but it’s a big dish in Eastern Europe.

When I first tried this soup, one spoonful in and BLAMMO!!! I was hooked. This recipe may not have started in my family, but I will pass it on to my friends and family! It’s so stinkin’ good!

Because soup is very easy to make, you have no excuse NOT to make this. My recipe uses a cream base where others use a tomato base. You could also make this soup vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. This is a good base recipe to work off of. I add carrots and celery to the broth when I have them on hand too. It’s a poor man’s soup, so anything goes really! Make it your own, just don’t forget the pickles!

Polish Dill Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogorkowa)

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yields: 6 servings

Polish Dill Pickle Soup (Zupa Ogorkowa)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 3-4 dill pickles (about 1 cup), finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup liquid from pickle jar
  • 2 large russet potatoes (about a pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon dill
  • 1 tablespoon Old Bay seasoning
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Add olive oil and melt butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir the thick mixture constantly for 2 minutes.
  2. Add broth, potatoes and veggies. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Test and add salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. In a small bowl, temper sour cream mixture with a little hot soup and whisk together. Pour the sour cream into the hot soup, whisking until combined. Reduce heat to low and simmer until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Add dill, old bay, pickle liquid and pickles. Adjust seasoning if necessary. The soup can be left chunky or pureed to a velvety consistency. Serve immediately with your favorite crusty bread or croutons.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/polish-dill-pickle-soup/

Cheesy Polenta with Garlicky Spinach & Runny Egg

polenta cheesy spinach egg

Hello blog buddies,

2015 has already been such a busy year!  It’s amazing how little the weather affects life here in Colorado.  When there is snow, the people will play!  When it’s warm and the sun is shining, which is almost every day, Coloradans are outside and enjoying the outdoors.  I love being surrounded by people and places that are always hustling and bustling.

This is going to be a big year in regards to travel.  We were already saving up for a trip to London but now two friends have announced their wedding dates and we have an opportunity to visit family in Florida on the “cheap.”   That’s a lot of travel in one year for us (and a lot of $$$$ too)!  I’ve had an itch for awhile to travel internationally, but with everything else that is going, we are really going to have to pinch our pennies to make that happen.

Queue Salt-N-Pepa: “Puh-pinch ’em real good!”

Doing my best to prepare, I have been budgeting and saying no to things I want to do on the regular.  I know I need to nitpick and prioritize if I want to make every single one of my travel goals this year.  I plan to make more meals at home and eat the leftovers for lunch for as long as they last.  I will have to get creative with pantry ingredients too – like our very own series of Chopped!  This Cheesy Polenta dish is definitely on the cheap and tastes like a million bucks!

The polenta was super easy to make, just use a whisk and add plenty of liquid to make it smooth.  The Spinach adds a nice garlicky, spicy kick while adding some nutrients too.  And the runny egg on top really adds some richness to bring it all together.  Plus the egg adds some protein to help make this meal last longer.

When in doubt, put an egg on it!

I have always been good at budgeting, but this tight of a budget will be a challenge for me.  No useless shopping, no overspending when I go out for coffee, no nothing…

It’s London (and two weddings and maybe Florida too) or bust!

Wish me luck!

P.S. Sorry about the quality of the photo.  It’s off of my Instagram feed.  My laptop is still fighting with my camera. I’ve put them both in a time-out so here’s hoping that changes something.

Cheesy Polenta with Garlicky Spinach and Runny Egg

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yields: 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cornmeal and 2 cups water (or 1-lb pre made polenta)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cups fresh spinach or 1 cup frozen spinach, drained and roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes (or to taste)
  • 2 eggs
  • Romano or Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (optional)
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Prepare the polenta: Bring the water and salt to a boil in a medium-side pot, then turn the heat down to low and slowly pour in the polenta while stirring briskly with a wooden spoon or whisk (stirring while pouring is crutial to keep the polenta creamy and smooth - no lumps!) Once the cornmeal becomes smooth and thick, place a lid on the pot with the spoon still in it so the steam can escape. Allow to cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, add a bit of olive oil to a pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and chili flakes. Let them cook until you can smell them, about 1 minute. Add spinach and toss. Allow to cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted. Drain and place contents into a bowl. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.
  3. Wipe the spinach pan with a paper towel and add a bit of olive oil then put it back on medium heat. Crack the two eggs into the pan and cover with a lid. This will steam them, making sunny-side-up eggs with fully cooked whites. You can also flip if you'd prefer over-easy eggs.
  4. Add some romano and lots of salt and pepper to the polenta (to taste). Add the corn now if you are using it. Heat until the cheese is melted and scoop the polenta into a pair of bowls. Divide the spinach evenly between the two bowls and add an egg to each too. Enjoy!

Notes

Recipe adapted from Good and Cheap: http://bit.ly/1APscGu

http://foodiemcbooty.com/cheesy-polenta-with-garlicky-spinach-and-runny-egg/

Crispy Quinoa Burgers

quinoa burger

Blog warning:  This post is filled with extreme excitement.  Only food lovers should continue.

I am a huge veggie burger fan.  From Gardenburgers, to homemade Black Bean Burgers, I love veggie burgers of all shapes and sizes.  I have eaten many veggie burgers in my day, too many to count, but this quinoa burger takes the cake.

I have to say, I’ve made many dishes that I have enjoyed. Heck, I love food so that’s not too difficult to understand, but to be honest, I haven’t been this passionate about a meal in quite awhile.

Until now!

quinoa burger

I’ve absolutely fallen in love with this crispy quinoa burger!!  The combination of the sweet and tangy beer caramelized onions, gooey swiss cheese, runny egg and crunchy potato chips is extremely messy and completely SATISFYING!  This is a burger that even a meat-eater will love.
This is definitely my new ‘go to’ when I am craving something comforting and vegetarian.

SO YUMMY!  The egg comes highly recommended but whatever you do, don’t skimp on the potato chips.  This burger needs that extra crunch!!  Call these burgers QuinWOW burgers.

QuinWOW Burgers with Beer Caramelized Onions and Swiss

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yields: 4-5 Burgers

Serving Size: 1 Burger

Ingredients

    Quinoa Burgers
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (cooking your quinoa in vegetable broth will add a TON of flavor!)
  • 1 cup cannellini beans, mashed
  • 1/2 cup diced mushrooms, cooked (I used baby bellas)
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 of your favorite burger buns (I used brioche), toasted
  • 4 eggs cooked to your liking, optional but highly recommended
  • Potato chips, plain or salt and pepper chips are recommended
  • Beer caramelized onions
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 cup or so beer (I used a lager)

Directions

  1. In a bowl combine the quinoa, mashed cannellini beans, mushrooms, bread crumbs, egg, garlic, chile powder, salt and pepper. Mix well to moisten the ingredients and then mix in the shredded cheddar cheese. Mix well again and form into 4 or 5 equal burger patties. Place on a plate and put
  2. Caramelize the onions. Heat a large skillet. Add 1 tablespoon butter over medium-high heat. Add onions and salt and cook for a minute or two, stirring frequently.
  3. At this point you want to slowly add the beer, let it cook into the onions, add more and let it cook. Do this until the 1 cup of beer is gone or the onions are caramelized to your liking and the beer has mostly evaporated. Remove the onions from the skillet and keep warm.
  4. In the same onion skillet add 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil and heat to medium-high heat. Grab the quinoa burgers and smash them into the pan until they form a patties, about 1/2-inch in thickness. Cook until golden and crisp, about five minutes per side. During the last minute or so of cooking add the swiss cheese, cover the pan and cook 1-2 minutes or until the cheese has melted.
  5. To assemble the burgers, place each burger on a toasted bun, top with equal amounts of caramelized onions, the runny egg and crispy potato chips. Grab some napkins and DEVOUR!

Notes

Inspired by: http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/epic-crispy-quinoa-burgers-topped-sweet-potato-fries-beer-caramelized-onions-gruyere/

http://foodiemcbooty.com/crispy-quinoa-burgers-with-caramelized-onions-and-swiss-cheese/

Mexican Breakfast Casserole {Vegetarian}

mexican-bkfst-casserole

Do you ever find yourself with a huge pile of leftover tortillas?  Maybe it’s just me, but I have a tendency to purchase way too many tortillas at the grocery story.  I don’t know why I do this – heck, maybe my subconscious is preparing for a Mexican apocalypse.  At least tortillas are delicious, versatile rounds of flour and lard.  You can use them to make cheesy quesadillas, wrap them around burrito fillings, or fry them up and make a nacho plate or crispy tortilla strips.  You can even replace the bread chunks in your breakfast casserole with tortillas.

Brilliant!

Like many breakfast casseroles, I prepared this casserole the night before to allow time for the tortillas to soak up the egg mixture.  The mixture will seem very runny at first, but fear-not my friends, the casserole bakes to light, eggy perfection.  If you don’t want to wait to eat this, I would allow everything to soak for at least a couple of hours before baking.

I used flour tortillas because I prefer them.  I have not tried this recipe with corn tortillas.  Let me know if you do!

With the cold weather lately, casseroles just seem like the perfect meal to warm you up.   ‘Tis the season for casseroles and soups!

Stay warm out there!

Mexican Breakfast Casserole {Vegetarian}

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 8 hours

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 8 hours, 35 minutes

Yields: 6-8 servings

Calories per serving: 345

Fat per serving: 9.6g

Mexican Breakfast Casserole {Vegetarian}

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup canned corn, rinsed and drained
  • 8 or so large flour tortillas, cut in half
  • 1 cup (4-ounces) shredded Mexican blend or Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg whites
  • Cooking spray

Directions

  1. Combine the salsa, black beans and corn in a bowl. Line 1/3 of the tortillas along the bottom of an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with 1/3 cup shredded cheese and 1 cup of the salsa mixture. Repeat these layers (tortillas, cheese, salsa) and top with remaining tortilla strips.
  2. Combine sour cream, milk, salt, pepper and eggs; stir with a whisk. Pour over tortilla strips; sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or overnight (is best).
  3. Preheat oven to 350°.
  4. Remove dish from refrigerator. Let stand at room temperature 10 minutes. Cover and bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until lightly browned.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes before serving.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/mexican-breakfast-casserole/

Poached Eggs in Salsa

poachedeggssalsa

I imaginee folks in the southwest drench their eggs in salsa on a regular basis.  I didn’t attend the egg and salsa flavor-party until much later in life.  We had all sorts of egg dishes when I was growing up, but never anything with so much flavor and heat like salsa.  It seems like such a simple thing, but salsa just wasn’t on our breakfast table.  More and more I have been adding salsa to my breakfasts – spicing things up with salsa on the side… until now.

Recently, the Mister and I attended a holiday food and craft fair.  We sampled everything from fresh peach iced tea, delicious dips, to handmade toffee!  We loved it all, but this El Fuego salsa really hit us in the kisser.  It was so flavorful and fresh, we couldn’t say no and adopted our own container of it to bring home with us.

salsa

Yum.

We really like Eggs in Purgatory in this household, so I figured, why not try to cook eggs in salsa this time around?  Holy mackerel!  I feel like I should have been doing this since the day I learned how to toast a piece of bread.  This meal is so easy, it seems impossible that it tastes so good.  But it does.  And that’s the miracle that cooking is sometimes.  Because the eggs turn out perfectly and we used such a flavorful salsa, I would even serve this as a nice brunch for guests.  Heck, it makes a great weeknight meal too.

Now the key here is to get some pow-kisser salsa.  I’m not necessarily talking heat here.  I’m talking freshness and flavor.  You really don’t want to have a bland salsa.  So find your favorite salsa, add some eggs and enjoy!

Poached Eggs in Salsa

Rating: 51

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yields: Serves 4

Poached Eggs in Salsa

Ingredients

  • 1 jar of your favorite salsa (our favorite has black beans and corn in it too)
  • 4 eggs
  • Toast or warm tortillas, for serving

Directions

  1. Heat salsa in a shallow pan over medium heat until it simmers. Make four indentations in the salsa.
  2. Crack the eggs one by one in the indentations. Reduce the heat to low and cover with a tight-fitting lid.
  3. Once the eggs are done cooking, add an egg and a spoonful or two of the tomato sauce into a bowl. Serve hot with toast or warm tortillas.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/poached-eggs-in-salsa/

avocado tomato

Healthy Avocado and Tomato Omelette

avocado tomato omelette

After all of the devastation here in Colorado, we are still in clean up mode.  Areas in the foothills are still in a state of emergency.  A lot of the water around us has receded in our town, but many neighborhoods are still underwater.  We are very lucky.

There are ways you can help if you can.  There are many families left without homes who did not have flood insurance.  Colorado is a dry, wildfire-prone place.  Most insurance companies don’t mention flood insurance when you buy a home out here.  Due to vast burn areas, the land here wasn’t able to soak up the heavy rain we received and thus, flash floods.  You can see some amazing photos of this tragic event here.

As I said before, we are very lucky.  We didn’t have any damage and were able to continue safely drinking our tap water.  We were, however, stranded for a few days and ate whatever we had on hand to get by – mostly junk.  The highways are finally open and the grocery stores receiving shipments again.  I was able to buy some fresh produce.  This is one of the first things I made.

 

avocado tomato

I was craving fresh avocado and tomato – one of my favorite combination of flavors.  I had provolone on hand so I added it to my omelette but mozzarella would be a good, salty cheese to use too.  I have to say, it was extremely satisfying to eat something so light and fresh for a change.  Things are looking up.

It’s funny, this event has physically separated families and loved ones, but somehow has brought this community closer together.

We are Colorado Strong.

Healthy Avocado and Tomato Omelette

Healthy Avocado and Tomato Omelette

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs (1 whole, 2 egg whites)
  • 1 small roma tomato, cut into chunks
  • 1 thin slice of provolone cheese
  • 1/2 avocado, sliced
  • salt and pepper
  • dashes of dry mustard and cayenne (optional)

Directions

  1. Spray a small non-stick pan with non-stick spray and heat it over medium heat. In the mean time, whisk the eggs, salt and pepper, and dry mustard and cayenne (optional) in a small bowl. Add the egg mixture to the pan and turn the pan so the egg coats the bottom of the pan and part of the sides. After you see the edges turn from yellow to white (cooked egg), sprinkle tomatoes around the egg, and add the cheese. Fold the omelette in half, cover with a lid, and lower the temperature to low. Continue to cook until the inside of the omelette is cooked and the cheese is melted, about two minutes. Remove from heat. Top with fresh avocado slices and sprinkle a couple more tomatoes on top and serve.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/healthy-avocado-and-tomato-omelette/

Hoisin Grilled Tofu Skewers {Vegan}

tofuskewers

Summer may be “officially” over but that doesn’t mean the BBQing has to stop!  I’ve been on a skewer kick lately.  For me, skewers are always a favorite at a party because they are simple to put together and are hand held so guests can simply grab one and go.

This was the first time I had grilled tofu on a skewer before and it turned out really well!  The marinade is packed with so much flavor, you don’t need to do anything else with your vegetables except add a bit of salt and pepper.  The tofu really is the star here. Because tofu is basically a blank slate protein, the longer you marinate the tofu the better.  Keep that in mind as you prepare these.

Have you ever grilled tofu?

I hope you have a great week!

Hoisin Grilled Tofu Skewers {Vegan}

Ingredients

  • 1 block extra firm tofu, well pressed
  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 Tablespoon red chili sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Vegetables (we used peppers, onion, mushrooms and zucchini), cut into large chunks
  • Skewers (soaked, if you are using wooden skewers)
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Slice tofu into one to one and a half inch thick cubes.
  2. Whisk together all the ingredients for the marinade and place in a medium sized ziplock bag. Place the tofu in the the bag and tightly close the bag. Allow the tofu to marinade for at least one hour (the longer the better), turning at least once.
  3. Preheat your grill to medium heat and grease the grate. In the mean time, carefully slide the vegetables and the tofu onto your skewers. Lightly salt and pepper the skewers then grill them for 5-6 minutes on each side. Baste with extra marinade if desired.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/hoisin-grilled-tofu-skewers-vegan/

Grilled Vegetable Skewers

grilled vegetable skewers

Vegetable skewers are a great way to showcase the best of your summer bounty.  Whether your vegetables are from your own garden, from the local farmer’s market, or they were on sale at your grocery store, grilled vegetables are my favorite way to accomplish crisp, tender vegetables.

Skewers are such an easy meal!  Just skewer, grill and eat.  You can get creative with marinades or keep it simple with a little drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper.  You can feature these as an entree or as a side dish.  Aren’t they beautiful?

grilled vegetables

If you decide to marinate your vegetables, my favorite base marinade is olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, a citrus of some kind and any herbs I have on hand.  Just add everything into a large ziplock bag, toss and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.  Then skewer the veggies onto metal or soaked wooden skewers (alternating your veggies) and grill.  This is a nice alternative for the vegetarians in your life at your next BBQ.

Easy Grilled Vegetable Skewers

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yields: Serves 2-4

Easy Grilled Vegetable Skewers

Ingredients

  • 1 small yellow or zucchini squash (or both!)
  • 1/2 onion (we used red)
  • 1 package of mushrooms
  • peppers (any color)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Cut the vegetables into bite-sized pieces and skewer them onto metal or soaked wooden skewers, alternating vegetables as you go. Preheat grill to medium heat. Brush the vegetables with olive oil and salt and pepper them to taste. Place kebobs over the heat and cover. Cook for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through the cooking time. Remove from grill when the vegetables have grill marks and are tender. Serve as is or with warm tortillas.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/grilled-vegetable-skewers/

tofu parmesan sandwich sub italian

Tofu Parmesan Subs {Vegetarian}

tofu parmesan sandwich sub italian

Okay, it’s not the prettiest sandwich you’ll ever see, but as I like to say…

If it’s messy, it has to be delicious!

This sandwich is oozing with basil tomato sauce and melty mozzarella.  You may need some napkins for this one, if you can put it down.

I crisped up the tofu in the oven before I added it to this sandwich, like you would with a chicken parmesan sandwich.  Overall, I am not sure if it made a huge difference since the tofu didn’t stay crispy very long after adding the tomato sauce and cheese.  A personal choice I suppose.

*shrug*

At any rate, if you’re a fan of tomatoes and mozzarella, you will love this sandwich!  Not a word was spoken while Mister and I ate ours.  Heck, it took every bone in our body to not make seconds for ourselves.   A new favorite tofu recipe in our household.

Tofu Parmesan Subs {Vegetarian}

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • Crispy, Oven-Fried Tofu
  • 1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 cup water
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 pound (about 8 cups) baby spinach
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 whole grain hoagie rolls
  • 8 slices of mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Combine the tomatoes, garlic, basil and 1 cup water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper and simmer until slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
  2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in the empty skillet over medium-high heat. Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper and let wilt, about 1 minute. Set aside.
  3. Place the bread cut-side up on a broiler pan. Spread the bottom halves with sauce, then top with crispy tofu, more sauce, slices of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Broil until the cheese melts and the bread is toasted, about 2-3 minutes.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/tofu-parmesan-subs/

Recipe adapted from the Food Network magazine.

Crispy Tofu with Beans and Edamame {Vegan}

crispy tofu green beans edamame

You’ve seen tofu at restaurants.  You may have already eaten tofu yourself.  Tofu is just about everywhere these days.  Tofu is a soy product that is one of the easiest and healthiest food to cook.  It’s packed with protein and has such a mild flavor that you can influence it’s flavor profile however you want.  If you want to make restaurant-quality (a.k.a. really tasty) crispy tofu at home, there are a few steps you need to take.

1.  Purchase extra-firm tofu

Slice open the package and cut the tofu into thick rectangles or cubes.  Lay each piece on a dish towel or layers of paper towels, then place another dish towel or paper towels on top of the tofu.  Set a cookie sheet on top to squeeze some of the moisture out.  You shouldn’t have to go to extremes here, because you purchased extra-firm tofu.

2.  Make the surface of your tofu as dry as possible

Like anything you cook in hot oil, you want to make sure you’re not adding any unwanted moisture to the pan.  Dry, dry, dry your tofu.  Wipe it dry, or better yet toss your tofu in corn starch.  I’ve cooked tofu both ways and to me the only difference between the two are that adding corn starch to your tofu prevents dangerous and unpleasant sputtering.

3.  Use a cast-iron skillet to pan fry your tofu

If you want crispy tofu, you really need a pan that has an evenly heated surface area.  For me, that is my seasoned cast-iron skillet.  Add a layer of oil, heat it up, and gently drop your tofu in.  Fry all sides of the tofu until golden brown and crispy.

crispy tofu green beans edamame

Boom!  Extra crispy tofu.  Just remember, if you plan to use your tofu in a stir-fry or with something saucy, set the tofu aside first.  Then cook all of the remaining ingredients and add the tofu back in at the last minute so it remains crispy as long as possible.

Crispy Tofu with Beans and Edamame

Crispy Tofu with Beans and Edamame

Ingredients

  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup shelled edamame
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste or ketchup
  • 1 Tablespoon Sri Racha (or to taste)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons red chilli powder
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
  • salt, to taste
  • Green onions, garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. Cut the tofu into 1/2-inch thick rectangles and pat dry with a kitchen towel or paper towel. Toss the tofu in cornstarch until coated. Heat oil in a skillet over medium to medium-high heat, until the oil is just shimmering. Carefully place the tofu pieces into the oil. Lightly fry the tofu until golden brown on one side, then flip with a slotted spatula. Once golden brown on both sides, drain the tofu on a paper towel and set aside. Lower the heat of the pan to low and wait a few minutes.
  2. In the same oil, add the onions. Fry lightly until the onions turn soft and transparent. Take care not to burn them by maintaining the heat at low to medium-low. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring to prevent burning.
  3. Add the turmeric, coriander, chilli, salt, and tamarind paste and fry for about a minute. Then add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, sri racha (if using), beans and edamame and cook until the tomatoes break down and the oil separates from the sauce, about 5 minutes. Taste the beans, the beans should be more than half cooked at this stage. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning as needed.
  4. Finally add the fried tofu and mix well. Simmer for a minute to reheat the tofu, remove from the heat, garnish wtih green onions and serve warm with rice or rice noodles.
http://foodiemcbooty.com/crispy-tofu-with-beans-and-edamame/

Recipe adapted from Cooking and Me.

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