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    Slow Cooker Vegetarian Baked Beans

      One vegetarian food that I’ve never thought matches or exceeds its meat counterpart is baked beans. They don’t seem to have the depth of flavor and I think that’s because of the lack of one ingredient- bacon. The result is an absence of the smoky undertone that is a must for baked beans. So last week I set out to try and make what I hoped was something close to the real thing. I opted to use a slow cooker partly because of a little laziness on my part, but mostly to give the beans a chance to get soaked in all the flavors, and my second trick; vegetarian…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Potato, Leek and ‘Bacon’ Pizza

    I’ve been experimenting with making my own pizza crusts for my cookbook and had one leftover so thought I’d rummage through the fridge to find some toppings. I had lots of potatoes, some cream cheese, and one of my favorite veggies, leeks. If you ever get tired of onions in a recipe, opt for leeks. They have a distinct but subtle flavor that pairs beautifully with potatoes and yes, anything with a smoky flavor. I thought about adding smoked paprika but then opted to use some of the bacon bits I had on hand…remember the container I purchased a while back? Combine all of them together and I think you…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Spicy Sweet Potato Soup with Potato Ribbons

    Last week sweet potatoes were on sale for 88 cents a pound. Besides being inexpensive, they’re powerhouses of nutrition too. I think their sweetness pairs well with something spicy. Soups can be filling and even more so when you garnish them with an ingredient other than croutons. For this recipe I decide to bake the potatoes rather than simply add them to the soup pot and put everything to get use by using the skins as a garnish. 3 medium to large sweet potatoes 2 cups vegetable stock 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped 1 tablespoon chili powder 1 ½ teaspoons cumin ½ teaspoon coriander 1 tablespoon chipotle pepper in…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Cheese Ravioli with Mushroom Stroganoff Sauce

    Sometimes recipes are created after a case of sticker shock. A few weeks ago I spotted a new line of ravioli and pasta sauces at the supermarket. These ready-made meals looked inviting but the $8 price tag didn’t. I walked away, shopping cart empty, but in the back of my mind thought about creating my own combo of delicious pasta and sauce. While I don’t have a pasta machine, or the patience and time to make my own, I had seen lots of recipes for ravioli using won ton wrappers. So this is what I came up with. Cheese ravioli with a mushroom stroganoff sauce. Any leftover sauce…should you have…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Smoky Black Bean and Red Pepper Burger with Tomato and Corn Relish

    One thing that budget and vegetarian recipes have in common is the need for something to give them a little more pizzazz. So on each visit to the supermarket, one of my goals is to find a new ingredient that will do just that. My latest find was smoked cumin. It’s sat on the pantry shelf for a few weeks but I’ve been itching to give it a test drive. Last week I thought I’d add it to this recipe. Don’t worry if you can’t find the smoked variety, regular cumin is fine too. The relish part of this recipe was inspired by the cherry tomatoes, cilantro, and ears of…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-‘Steak’ and Onion Tacos with Coriander and Lime Sour Cream

    One important thing I’ve learned from using vegetables as the star of a meal is they need lots of slow cooking to enhance their flavor. And while I’ll tell you this dish is quick to put together, if you’re willing to spend an extra ten or fifteen minutes cooking the onions and mushrooms, the payoff is a tasty treat. Once again Portobello mushrooms take the place of steak in these tacos, slow cooked until they’re golden. The topping is sour cream with coriander and lime which I think adds a touch of sharpness to the sweet taste of the caramelized onions, and a little coolness to calm the heat of…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-Rice and Mushroom Salad with Blue Cheese

    It’s not quite summer but a few weeks ago I thought about meals I’d like to create when the weather turns hot and humid. During those days the last thing I want to do is spend lots of time in the kitchen, yet eating something delicious is still a must. I thought about a rice salad but that didn’t sound very exciting. So I came up with this recipe where marinated mushrooms and blue cheese give bland tasting rice the needed kick. 1 1/2 cups washed and sliced mushrooms (I used baby bellas) 1/3 cup oil 1/3 cup rice vinegar 2 teaspoons brown sugar 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped…

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    It’s Meatless Monday-The Ideal Day for Chili

    It’s snowing but I can’t complain because so far…she says with fingers crossed, it’s been a mild and snowfree winter. I looked out the window and thought today would be perfect for making soup or a stew. As it’s Meatless Monday I decided to check the offical Meatless Monday site to see what they suggested. This chili seemed perfect. Best thing is it uses quinoa and I had some thanks to the folks at truRoots who sent me three of their products to try.  Someone told me that this grain is even more tasty if you toast it before you add it to recipe. So I did that by heating it in a skillet for couple of minutes while the onions…

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