All posts filed under: Vegetarian

Tales of Woe ~ The one with the Cauliflower

Since in this month’s Raw Spice Bar shipment I got an extra packet of Memphis Rub Dry Mix, I didn’t want it to go to waste… so I put on the thinking spurs. Jane and I have both seen wondrous, spiced, roasted cauliflowers on various media outlets and really wanted to give one a try… this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Slather on your spice mix – roast for 30 to 45 minutes – be rewarded with amazing roasted cauliflower deliciousness. It sounds easy… right? It sounds too easy to be true… right? Okay.. like everything else that sounds too good to be true… so was the cauliflower recipe. Here’s the thing. Cauliflower is dense. 30 minutes… 50 minutes… 1 hour in an oven just isn’t going to heat deep enough through all that bulk to do anything more than softening up the outer lobes a bit… and heat the center….maybe. All in all – cooking time was 1 hour and 20 minutes at 375. I then turned off the oven and let the head rest in there …

Baleful Bounty – Curry Glazed Carrots

Baby . Chantenay . Carrots You remember earlier in the season when I told you about my fantastic brainstorm to create these stunningly amazing growing baskets out of chicken wire, burlap, weed block and my 4-in-1 dirt (1 part hay mulch, 1 part sand, 1 part hummus, 1 part composted cow manure) high above the chomping incisors of marauding rabbits? Well, they were – and are – still stunning…. but I forgot a basic fact when I chose the vegetable to inhabit said stunning suspended medium. Carrots, like a great many other rooty-type vegetables, like a hot head. However – carrots (once again, like any other rooty thing) need cool bottoms in order to achieve maximum rootiness. Hot tops and hot bottoms gives you supreme stunted rootiness…. much like … say… a hot summer day and a 40 year old guy in a very cold swimming pool…. … I’ve got a bumper crop of short, stubby, diminutive chantenay carrots to deal with this year. Which if you’re someone like me that gets all gooey over baby vegetables …

Baleful Bounty ~ Sauce Rustica

With Summer in full swing, the garden should be producing to beat the drum. However, after the issues I had earlier in the season, I’ve played it safe on the tomatoes; I only planted one plant of a single variety ( Mountain Pride). And, since it’s a late season tomato… there isn’t anything resembling a ripe fruit on the vines yet.  Thankfully, friends are seeing to it that I have more than enough extra ripe tomatoes to go around. Here’s the thing with being gifted with a dozen tomatoes that are ready to eat NOW – like it or not, some are going to go bad. And the only way to combat all that spoilage is to either cook it down to sauce, or can them (which I don’t do), or zipper bag them up whole – and freeze them (as it happens, I’m all over that action.) Freezing and thawing fully ripe tomatoes allow you to keep that fresh picked flavor that you don’t get with a processed product. Granted, they can’t be used for …

Six, the Easy Way ~ Vegetable Tamales

Mexican Restaurants – Whether it’s the strength of the margaritas, the freshness of their chips, the scoville scale of their salsa, or just how “authentic” it all is; everyone has their own way of judging a good one. Me? I look at two things. 1). Chili Rellenos : Is it a charred poblano pepper? Does it have a light egg batter? And just exactly what have they stuffed it with? and 2). Tamales : This is a harder judging for me. Because I like them a lot of different ways. I’ve had them in banana leaves where the “dough” is a kind of yucca / masa mash. I’ve had them in Mexico where there was a little bean or olive surprise buried in the middle. There has been the random bad one where the dough was fluffy … like a biscuit – or dry as a powder keg and dense like hard tack. Suffice it to say, tamales are like that proverbial box of chocolates.. you never know what you’re going to get until you bite into it. …

Talkin’ Swede (Part 2) – Get in my Belly

Feasting on Neeps… We’ll dispense with all that background stuff from earlier and just get to the goods today. (Head back THIS WAY if you didnt read PART 1) And, while there are a lot of tasty, ingenious ways to prepare swede out there on the internettyweb-o-matic thingy, not everyone is going to be all that keen on eating Neep Crostini, or Candied Swede, or Rutabaga Sorbet… Although, Jane did inadvertently make a Rutabaga Pie quite by accident a couple of Thanksgivings ago when she  reached for the pureed butternut squash and snagged the  mashed rutabagas instead… …it was god-awful. You can read all about it at Bad Pie, Harbinger of Death in a Crust. No, Today were going to concentrate on good things on happy memories and good things to eat. First up – The Basics. The easiest way to introduce yourself to swede is the  way it comes in a can – diced and simmered…. only better than a can, you know. Swede with Butter and Parsley Serves 4 to 6 Ingredients 1 Rutabaga 3 …

Simple Dinner Sunday – Mushroom & Eggplant Lasagna

I’ll readily admit it – I’m a carnivore. Meat, meat, meat makes my world go round. And, if this were only all about me, I’d probably only write about meaty food. But it’s not. I’ve got friends that are vegetarian, some that are vegan. There are the lactose, tree nut, gluten, casein, fungi, dairy, GMO, HFCS intolerant… so it takes more than a pile of hamburger meat to make a banquet. And, since the garden is kicking out the goods in high output these days – I’ve got a lot of produce to find ways to use. My thinking was – to finely chop eggplant and porcini mushrooms together, season them with fennel and seasonings (like Italian sausage and add it to a pasta sauce…. Taste-wise, it works. But, eh – textural wise, not the greatest mouth feel. So the next option was use it as the “meat” filling in a lasagna. Dinq! This recipe is Lactose Free, but not Dairy Free – I still haven’t been able to find a suitable substitution for Parmesan or sharper cheeses….yet. The Gluten Free …

The Beach Wedding (or the) Party with a Pretty Dress

The days are numbered, the accepts and regrets have all been counted, and the complete packing of my kitchen for the 6 hour drive to the gulf coast has begun…. When I agreed to do the wedding, I knew it was going to be a challenge to design a menu that: A. Could be prepped days in advance B. Would have all entree items essentially grilled to order on the beach C. Would be something very different than standard fare D. Would take into consideration the laundry list of special dietary restrictions of a good many of the guests. (Many of the party are Gluten Intolerant – some are Lactose Intolerant, the groom is allergic to corn, there will be a handful of pescatarians, and more than a few vegetarians.) And between a crisis in my own family and brewing health concerns with my clients, a couple of false starts with some of the entrees, and an ever-growing guest list – getting everything locked and loaded (so to speak) with the menu has been a roller coaster ride …

Rat Tat Tooie!

Normally, if someone says “Vegetable Stew”, my color palls, I get the shakes..and immediately lose my appetite. It’s not that I have some odd aversion to vegetables, far from it, it’s just the particular dish that is resident deep in my psyche that causes me ill. And I have Mama Fodder to thank for that. Four hungry kids, a tight food budget and a serious deficit in the meat purchasing department that week, prompted mom to chop up a HEAP of non complimentary vegetables, toss them in a pot, add some stock, cook it up and call it dinner. She meant well… And we all know about a particular road to hell… This one was paved with inedible vegetable stew. Bless her heart, we never let her live it down. It became the benchmark by which all her meals were judged. “Is it good? well… at least it’s better than the vegetable stew…” But I digress…. Back to the stew… I probably should admit at this point that I AM the target audience for subliminal …

Snow Day and the Winter Squash

I remember when I was a kid… And on the news, those venerable, gray-haired weather men would swear that we would awake to a White Christmas. It never happened. Christmas in Georgia is almost always – a rainy 47 degrees…. you can count on it. I’ve always considered it a very cruel joke that children in the South get sleds and toboggans for Christmas. “Here’s something for you that you can never ever use.. just look at it.. and be happy you got presents this year…. “ We even got those aluminum disc sled things one year. We used them once and it really wasn’t even snow… it was just that slushy glop covering the ground just enough to turn the underlying red clay into slick putty. It was probably just as well – the back yard was a 60 degree slope terminating at a perpetually icy, fresh-water spring…. We would have died of hypothermia. They mostly just hung in the garage. It became one of those things that never got used. I remember my …

Curb Market Crawl – White Eggplant

The nice thing about living in a rural area is there is always people selling “stuff” on the side of the road. We have an ample supply of curb markets, farm stands, egg sellers and jam hawkers.. We even have a woman up the road that has a nice selection of baby “pet” ( tasty! ) goats, and you can’t throw a rock without knocking some old guy off his lawn chair selling boiled peanuts. So, when I can’t stomach another trip to Mega-Walla-World, I hit the road and do the Curb Market Crawl. This last week I was out with mom and stopped in at the Tomato House on HWY 52 between Dahlonega and Cleveland. Great people, good selections and you can always find something there to buy. Seriously.. you can. Do you want  tomatoes – they got ’em.. always at least 6 varieties including some heirlooms. Need corn? … boatloads (and it’s Silver Queen, not that overly sweet – engineered – corn they sell at the market.) Heck, if the wall -o – …