Saturday, June 28, 2008

Veg Head Carnival

So without further ado, here we have it. A collection of vegetarian related articles from some of my favorite blog authors. Make sure to leave comments on websites visited from this carnival. ENJOY!

Jasmine presents European style pickled eggplants ready in two days posted at Skill Clue.

valereee presents Strawberry Preserves (no-pectin recipe) posted at Cincinnati Locavore.

ilana eck presents Quinoa Salad with Orange, Cilantro & Golden Raisins posted at The Hip Hostess.

Lovelyn presents Raw Lasagna posted at The Art of Balanced Living.

Chef Tom presents Tomatoes… Scare Me Not! posted at Chef Tom Cooks - Recipe Blog.

Vera & Serge presents Eastern Zen Noodle Soup posted at Vegetarian Frugal Housewife.

Geoffrey presents The Philosophy of Vegetarianism posted at We Op-Ed - A Community for Political News and Civilized Debate.

Bobby presents Pineapple Salsa Recipe posted at Free Online Recipes.

Jen Carlile presents Hot and Spicy Pickled Eggs posted at Modern Beet.

My Epikorean presents Bebop for Kimbap... California Style (닭고기김밥) posted at My Epikorean - A Korean Recipe Journal.

vegoftheweek presents Mock Egg Salad Recipe: Look ma, no eggs! posted at vegoftheweek.

Libby presents Blueberry Muffins posted at The Allergic Kid.

Kalva presents Sweet Potato and Coconut Parathas / Flat Breads -- Gensigadda/ Chilakada dumpa Kobbari Roti and an Award!! posted at Curry In Kadai.

Alison presents Living la vida local: organic strawberry preserves by Green Me! posted at Green Me.

Sala presents Demystified! Lotus Root Fritters posted at Veggie Belly's Food Blog.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca

Spaghetti Squash Puttanesca
  • 2 cups marinara
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives
  • 1 tbs capers
  • 1 tsp rep pepper flakes
  • 1 tbs dried basil
  • 1 tbs dried parsley
  • 1/2 tbs dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat up the marinara, stir in the basil, parsley, and oregano. Let cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the olives, capers, and pepper flakes, season with salt and pepper. Using a fork scoop out the squash gently, season with salt and pepper. Plate the squash topped with the sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley. Go a little lite on the salt due to the capers and olives. I like it a little spicy, you can double up on the flakes if you want more kick. This is a great dish for anyone looking to have that pasta satisfaction without the guilt. Also great for any gluten free diets.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

VEG HEAD CARNIVAL

It's finally here! My very first Veg Head Carnival. I must admit, I was very nervous when I first decided to do a blog carnival. My main concern was if there would be enough substance to keep my readers satisfied. Well let me tell you something, the response has been amazing. Day after day the submissions kept pouring in. I could not be happier with the outcome.


So without further ado, here we have it. A collection of vegetarian related articles from some of my favorite blog authors. Make sure to leave comments on websites visited from this carnival. ENJOY!





Jade presents Very Best Vegetarian Lasagna posted at (cup)caketastrophe!. It's a must if you like lasagna. Jade's lasagna is a great way to fill the belly with some healthy ingredients. I made a double batch and froze the rest. Don't let this one pass you by.


Victoria presents Impress Your Friends with Mushroom Pate posted at feed yourself. This would make a great treat for your next party. The only thing I would change is the quantity, double the recipe, it'll go fast!



VeggieGirl presents Smooth Sailing posted at VeggieGirl. I could drink these smoothies every day for the rest of my life.



Khunying presents Spinach and Sun dried Tomatoes Quiche without Pie Shell posted at Gretchen's Pantry. This recipe looks outstanding. Now a days there's so many people with gluten diets, this recipe is a gem.



Jen Carlile presents Homemade Tofu posted at Modern Beet. Now this is what I call super cool. Now we can all make our own tofu at home. Home made tofu always taste better!






Courtney Lind presents Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles « Pip’s Plate posted at Pip's Plate.



Sangeeth Raghunathan presents Mango Lassi posted at Art of Cooking Indian Food.








Manjula Jain presents Aloo Gobi » Manjula’s Kitchen Indian Vegetarian Recipes posted at Manjula's Kitchen. Aloo Gobi is a delicious main dish made with potatoes, cauliflower, and a great blend of spices.






Courtney aka Glamah presents Red Pepper, Spinach,Mushroom and Asparagus Terrine posted at Coco Cooks.



Jennifer Cote presents Hawaiian Rice Medley posted at PC Cuisine. This is an easy recipe that tastes awesome!



Melanie Rimmer presents Roasted Vegetables and Goats' Cheese Pasta posted at Bean Sprouts.






Katerina presents Spanakopita posted at Daily Unadventures in Cooking.









Lalaine Y. Manalo presents Deep-Fried Tofu posted at thecookmobile.com.
Tofu blocks are a great and economical source of protein...here is a delicious recipe showcasing tofu all on its own!



Jenny B(aka Mother Hen) presents Squash Eatin? Squid posted at Ship Full O' Pirates.






Muse presents The Potato Temptation posted at me-ander.




Lokendra Rathore presents A Rajasthani Curry Made With Aloe Vera posted at Karan's Guest House.










Veg Head Activism






Lane Wright presents More Reasons Not To Eat Meat posted at Vegan Bits.






Vihar Sheth presents Rethinking the Meat-Guzzler posted at green rising.




So that's all for this addition of the Veg Head Carnival. Thanks once again to everyone who submitted an article. You all made this very special.




If you have a vegetarian related article make sure to submit for the next addition of Veg Head Carnival.





Thursday, May 22, 2008

Forbidden Rice Stir Fry

Forbidden Rice Stir Fry
  • 1 cup day old forbidden rice
  • 1/4 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • 1/4 cup carrots diced
  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh corn
  • 1 tbs fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tbs scallion chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic minced
  • 2 tbs toasted sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat up your wok on super high. Add sesame oil, saute garlic, ginger, and scallion for 30 seconds. Toss in all the veggies, and saute for 3 minutes. Add rice and cook for 3 more minutes. Nice and simple. Using forbidden rice gives your meal that extra little wow factor. Try adding some soy sauce, sriracha (for some heat), tofu, tempeh, or edamame.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Sesame Soba Noodles with Seabeans

Sesame Soba Noodles with Sea beans
  • 1 lb soba noodles cooked
  • 1 cup blanched sea beans
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallion
  • 1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 1 tbs minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbs tamari

In a large bowl toss all the ingredients. Season with extra tamari if needed. I like to eat this salad cold. You can definitely warm it up. Try snow peas, tofu, peanuts, or shitake mushrooms.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thai Peanut Tofu

Thai Peanut Tofu
  • 1 block tofu diced
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup arrowroot
  • 1 cup of chunky peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 cup scallions chopped
  • enough oil to fry tofu
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbs black sesame seeds for garnish

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl mix flour, arrowroot, and a pinch of salt. Toss tofu with flour mixture being careful not to break up tofu. Let sit for 5 minutes and give it another toss. Add oil to frying pan and carefully place tofu in the pan. Once tofu is golden brown remove from pan and place on oven sheet pan. Bake tofu for 20 minutes or until crispy. Mix the peanut, teriyaki, and chili sauce in a food processor. Add hot water until mixture smooths out. Remove tofu from oven and drain excess oil. Toss with Thai peanut sauce, garnish with sesame seeds. Try this with soba noodles, and snow peas.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Kicked Up Texas Fries

Kicked Up Texas Fries
  • 2 lbs Yukon gold potatoes large fry cut
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbs brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Toss potatoes with oil, salt, and pepper. In separate bowl mix paprika, chili powder, garlic, and sugar. Toss potatoes with spice mixture. Roast for 35 minutes or until soft to the touch. These fries are my absolute favorite. Try the recipe with sweet potatoes as well.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tex Asian BBQ Tofu

Tex Asian BBQ Tofu
  • 1 block tofu diced
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup arrowroot
  • 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 1/4 cup scallions chopped
  • enough oil to fry tofu
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl mix flour, arrowroot, and a pinch of salt. Toss tofu with flour mixture being careful not to break up tofu. Let sit for 5 minutes and give it another toss. Add oil to frying pan and carefully place tofu in the pan. Once tofu is golden brown remove from pan and place on oven sheet pan. Bake tofu for 20 minutes or until crispy. Mix BBQ, teriyaki, scallion, salt, and pepper. Remove tofu from oven and drain excess oil. Toss with sauce mixture. Even those who do not like tofu will love this recipe. I like to make it with jasmine rice and grilled asparagus. Try it and let me know what you think.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Roasted Parsnip Fries

Roasted Parsnip Fries
  • 5 lg parsnips fry cut
  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs minces rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Toss parsnips with oil, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Roast on top rack for 25 minutes or until golden brown. This has to be one of my favorite recipes. I came up with this recipe for health reasons. Roasting, as we all know, is so much healthier for us than frying. Trust me when I tell you, you will not notice the difference. Your kids will love them as well.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Veg Head Carnival

I will be hosting the Veg Head Carnival on May 31st. A blog carnival is a collection of articles with a theme. I choose to host a vegetarian carnival because I see so many of us popping up everyday. Even if your not a vegetarian but have a great post on the subject make sure to submit it. Feel free to submit your best vegetarian recipes, or anything to do with vegetarianism. I look forward to posting all of your posts. Click here to submit your article for review. Make sure to stop by on May 31st and check out all the great articles. Thanks in advance.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Garden Vegetable Orzo Salad

Garden Vegetable Orzo Salad
  • 2 cups cooked orzo
  • 1 cup sweet cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup sliced celery
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/3 cup diced cucumber
  • 1/3 cup fresh corn
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl toss all the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper. Simple as it gets. I'm a big fan of orzo. Make sure to cook it with vegetable stock. Try diced red bell pepper, jalapeno, avocado, or black beans. Great as a side for some grilled tofu.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Thank You!

Thank You
  • 1 cups recipe
  • 2 cups blog
  • 2 cups Chef Erik
  • 10 cups visitors

Mix all ingredients in large bowl and serve immediately. Ha ha! I just want to take a moment and thank everyone who has visited my blog. I started blogging March 1st, 2008. As of today I have 60 subscribers, and 14 email subscribers. I'm so glad my site has helped everyone cook up some healthy vegetarian recipes. The response I am receiving has been great. I love coming home, from a long day of cooking, and reading my comments. So to everyone who visits and comments on my blog I bid you a HUGE THANK YOU!!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Asparagus

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Asparagus
  • 2 cups Brussels sprouts cut in half and quick blanch
  • 2 cups asparagus cut into 3 inch pieces
  • 1 red bell pepper sliced
  • 1 zucchini large julienne cut
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. Toss Brussels sprouts, asparagus, bell pepper, and zucchini with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast on top shelf of oven for 25 minutes or until golden in colour. Make sure to blanch Brussels sprouts, this will make sure they cook evenly with the other vegetables. Try adding parsnips, carrots, pearl onions or shallots to kick it up a notch. Let me know how they come out.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Vegetarian Jade Pearl Sushi Rice

Vegetarian Jade Pearl Sushi Rice

Cook the rice according to the directions. While still warm, mix rice with oil, dulse, tamari, and ginger. Let sit for 10 minutes. Fold in the edamame, sesame seeds and scallion. Serve it with your best teriyaki tofu or spicy chili ginger tofu. You must try it. All my customers went crazy for it today, I hope you do too.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Vegetarian Blog Carnival

Welcome to the April 23rd addition of the Vegetarian Blog Carnival. My name is Erik, and I will be hosting on behalf of Veggie Chic. Go to the Veggie Chic Carnival to submit an article for the next addition.


Lets get started with some great recipes!


  • Alex @ Home Life Weekly submits Free Weekly Menu Planner. Now we can plan weeks in advance. Helpful to plan and eat healthy, stay one step ahead.

  • Marilyn Terrell @ Intelligent Travel submits Veg Out in New York City. A great guide for vegetarian dining in The Big Apple. Marilyn's making it easy for us to just get in a cab and get a great meal. I have to get to Angelica's Kitchen again, they have the best vegan dishes.

I hope you all enjoyed this episode of the Vegetarian Carnival. Make sure to leave comments on the recipes you visit. I had a great time putting this together, and I hope it gets you in the kitchen cooking it up!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Southwest Style Quinoa Salad

Southwest Style Quinoa Salad
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup fresh corn (frozen will do)
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallion
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (Meyer lemon is possible)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together, season with salt and pepper. It doesn't get any easier than that! There's so many options for this salad. Try jalapeno, cumin, mango, or tomatillo.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Sunburst Salad with Sea beans

Sunburst Salad with Sea beans

  • 1 golden beet grated
  • 1 cup sea bean
  • 1 cup carrots shredded
  • 1/4 cup red onion
  • 2 tbs ginger grated
  • 1 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbs honey
  • pepper to taste

Soak sea beans over night to remove some of it's salt taste. Mix onion, sesame oil, vinegar, and key lime juice. Let marinade for 10 minutes. In a large bowl toss sea beans, carrots, beets, and dressing. Season with pepper. The dressing is one of my all time favorites. Sea beans tend to be on the salty side so make sure to soak them overnight. Your going to absolutely love this salad! What do you think of it's cool name I came up with?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Snow Peas with Ginger and Garlic

Snow Peas with Ginger and Garlic
  • 1 lb snow peas
  • 1 inch ginger minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • 2 tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tbs sesame seeds
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat sesame oil, add ginger, garlic, and scallion. Saute for 5 minutes, add snow peas, season with salt and pepper. I like my snow peas al dente, if you like them softer cook for 5 minutes longer. Garnish with sesame seeds. I love snow peas with Asian style tofu, and jasmine rice.

GREENS BEAN ALMONDINE

GREENS BEAN ALMONDINE
  • 1 lb green beans
  • 1 cup almond slivers
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Bring water to boil in a large pot. Make sure to salt your water. Blanch to green beans to your liking, I like them al dente. Heat the oil with almonds until they become golden in colour, set aside. Drain your beans, toss with oil and almonds. Season with salt and pepper. I love green beans with almost ant meal. Try it and let me know what you think!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes with Pesto


Roasted Yukon Gold Potatoes with Pesto
  • 1 lb rinsed and diced Yukon potatoes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup your favorite pesto sauce

Preheat oven to 375. Toss potatoes with olive oil, season with salt and pepper. Place on sheet pan and roast on top rack for 20 minutes or until tender to the touch. Toss with pesto and serve immediately. For a little twist you can add pine nuts, diced Roma tomatoes, or field greens.




Thursday, April 10, 2008

Watercress Salad with Blue Cheese

Watercress Salad with Blue Cheese
  • 1 granny smith apple
  • 1/2 red onion sliced thin
  • 1 cup your favorite blue cheese
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl mix lemon juice, olive oil, and onion. Let marinade for 10 minutes. Toss watercress, and apple with dressing. Season with salt and pepper. Top with blue cheese. Serve with toasted baguette.

Fresh Fennel and Baby Spinach Salad



Fresh Fennel and Baby Spinach Salad

  • 1 fennel bulb sliced thin
  • 1 lb baby spinach
  • 1/2 red onion sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl mix onion, olive oil, and vinegar. Let marinade for 10 minutes. Mix with spinach, fennel, salt, and pepper. This salad can be served immediately or let it marinade for 24 hours so that the flavors infuse together. Make sure to let the onions sit with dressing. This will mellow out the strong raw onion flavor and also turn onions a bright red color. Great for hot summer BBQ!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Vegetable Fried Rice

Vegetable Fried Rice
  • 2 cups day old short grain brown rice
  • 1/2 cup broccoli
  • 1/4 cup sting beans
  • 1/4 cup diced carrot
  • 1/4 cup garden peas
  • 1/4 cup fresh corn
  • 2 garlic cloves smashed
  • 1 inch fresh ginger minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallion
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a hot frying pan add sesame oil, ginger, garlic, and scallion. Saute for 3 minutes or until garlic begins to brown. Add broccoli, carrot, string beans, corn, and peas, saute for 3 minutes. Add brown rice, saute for 5 minutes. Seson with salt and pepper. You can add 1 tbs of tamari for more traditional flavor. Try scrambling an egg for a little more pizzazz. Make sure you use day old rice. It will be dry, that will make it possible for frying.


Quinoa with Yams and Cranberries


Quinoa with Yams and Cranberries
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa cooled
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallion
  • 1 cup roasted yams small dice
  • 1 tbs orange zest
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This makes a great side dish for a number of meals. For a little twist you can add golden raisins, toasted almonds, or roasted pear. Let me know how it turns out.


Thursday, April 3, 2008

"Hey Mom! Look At Me!"


"As a health food store with a fairly large deli, we wanted people to be able to experience many different types of foods and still keep it healthy," Kralyevich said. "Thanks to our chef, Erik, he is the creative genius when it comes to inventing many varieties of foods. And it sure seems like the customers really enjoy it because they keep coming back, so he must be doing something right."
Erik Laracuente, the chef, also has had a hand in the health food business for many years. For seven years he was the chef at Café Metro in Denville. Prior to that he worked as a chef in two different health food places in Ridgewood and had his own business cooking health foods for families.
"All I have ever cooked is health foods since I was 18 years old," Laracuente said. "I love it here, and I have the freedom to be very creative and to create an endless variety of dishes." Click here to read the whole article.

Spicy Ginger Miso Tofu

Spicy Ginger Miso Tofu
  • 1 block tofu diced
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot
  • 1 cup Sweet Ginger Chili sauce by Ginger People
  • 1/2 cup miso paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 tbs. sesame seeds
  • enough oil to fry tofu
  • salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl mix flour, arrowroot, and a pinch of salt. Toss tofu with flour mixture being careful not to break up tofu. Let sit for 5 minutes and give it another toss. Add oil to frying pan and carefully place tofu in the pan. Once tofu is golden brown remove from pan and place on oven sheet pan. Bake tofu for 20 minutes or until crispy. In large bowl mix sauce, scallion, sesame seeds, salt, and pepper. Remove tofu from oven and drain excess oil. Toss with sauce mixture. I like to eat this tofu with basmati rice and steamed broccoli. Put enough oil to fry tofu without submerging. There's so many way to make this dish. Try teriyaki, general Tso, vindaloo curry or your favorite tomato sauce.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Grassroots Natural Market



This is where I work. I've been the chef at Grassroots for 2 years. I've been cooking organic health food for 15 years and enjoy every moment. For me there's nothing more satisfying than cooking healthy food for people looking to better their lives.
Organic produce has made such a leap in the last 10 years. When I first started at my first health conscious eatery it was looked upon as something for hippies only. Now I see everything from athletes to big shot business folks chowing down on healthy eats.

At Grassroots we have something for everyone. Gluten free, vegetarian, vegan, raw foodies and carnivores. We do caterings for any size party from 4 to 200. We have a great variety of veggie juices, wheat grass, and coming soon a smoothie bar.
I love to cook food from many different cultures, specializing in Asian, Latin, and Italian. Our customers are very open to new and classic flavor profiles. If you're ever in Denville, NJ stop in and say hello.

Moroccan Basmati Pilaf



Moroccan Basmati Pilaf
  • 2 cups basmati rice
  • 1 diced small onion
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tbs curry powder
  • 1/4 cup garam masala
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup garden peas
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • salt and pepper to taste

Saute onions and garlic for 5 minutes. Add curry and garam masala and cook for 2 minutes. Add rice and stir for 3 minutes and add stock. Bring to a boil and lower your heat until rice is cooked, about 25 minutes. Fold in the rest of the ingredients and serve warm. I sometimes add cilantro, ginger or golden raisins.

Vegetarian Carnival

I joined my first recipe carnival and will have one of my recipes posted on Apr 2, 2008 via Veggie Chic. There will be many other great recipes from vegetarian bloggers to enjoy. Make sure you stop by and show support. Thanks!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Quinoa with Shitake Mushrooms and Snow Peas


Quinoa with Shitake Mushrooms and Snow Peas
  • 2 cups cooked and cooled quinoa
  • 6 sliced shitake mushroom caps
  • 1 cup sliced snow peas
  • 1 cup edamame
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds roasted with tamari
  • 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil

Saute the snow peas and shitake mushrooms for 5 minutes, set aside to cool. In a large bowl toss all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper. It can be served cold or hot. It's up to you. Quinoa is my all time favorite grain. It's considered the mother of all grains due to it's amazing benefits. Let me know what you think.


Caribbean Black Bean Salad


Caribbean Black Bean Salad
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • 1 zucchini diced
  • 1 red bell pepper diced
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 bunch scallion chopped thin
  • 1 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice (key lime is great)
  • 1 tbs cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place all the ingredients in a large bowl and give it a good mix. Be careful not to mix too vigorously, you don't want the beans to mash up. This can be served as a dip for chips, toss it with field greens, or throw it into a burrito. Corn, jalapeno, and tomatilloes go very nice with this salad.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts


Roasted Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Steam the Brussels sprouts first in a large pot of salted water. Drain and toss with all the ingredients. Preheat oven to 350. Place veggies on a sheet pan and roast for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure not to skip the steaming step, I noticed the Brussels sprouts tend to get too dried out if not steamed. You can also mix with parsnips, yams, potatoes, or any other root vegetables for a more exotic side dish. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Allspice Roasted Miniature Carrots


Miniature carrots are one of my favorite vegetables. I just can't make enough of this dish at work. Miniature carrots cook up fast, evenly, and caramelize perfectly. Everyone is going to love you for this one!
Allspice Roasted Miniature Carrots
  • 1 bunch miniature carrots washed thoroughly
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder (please use organic, such a better product)
  • 1/2 tbs brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • pinch of sea salt

Preheat oven to 350. Mix dry spices in a small bowl. In a large bowl toss the carrots with oil. Sprinkle spice mix over carrots making sure to give a good toss so that all the carrots have some spice. Roast on a oven sheet pan for 20 minutes or until tender to the touch. If allspice is not for you try substituting curry, Italian herds, or southwestern spices. Let me know how they turn out!

Israeli Couscous with Roasted Tomatoes and Marinated Artichokes

I've cooked with couscous for a long time and will for even longer time. It's versatile can very fulfilling. Israeli couscous is larger than regular couscous, therefor has more texture. Great for soups, salads, and side dishes.

Israeli Couscous with Roasted Tomatoes and Marinated Artichokes

  • 2 cups cooked Israeli couscous (4 cups water,pinch of salt, cook until water is absorbed)
  • 4 sliced roasted tomatoes
  • 4 sliced marinated artichokes
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup steamed spinach cooled
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients and season with salt and pepper. This dish lends itself to many options. Try a cup of flat leaf parsley, keep it whole, it'll taste better and look great. Capers, olives, feta or some grilled haulloumi cheese would kick it up. Have fun with it!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Forbidden Rice Salad


I love to cook with forbidden rice, and when you try this recipe you will too. Forbidden rice has a nutty flavor, soft texture, and awesome purple color. My customers are lucky that I don't eat it all.
  • 5 oz. forbidden rice cooked and cooled
  • 1 bunch chopped scallion
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 2 cups thinly sliced green cabbage
  • 2cups golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup toasted sesame oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients, season with salt and pepper, and serve in your favorite bowl. It doesn't get any easier than that! Forbidden rice can be found in Whole Foods , gormet food stores, or ordered directly from Lotus.com. What, if anything, would you do different?

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Rigatoni with Broccoli and Vegetarian Steak

This one is for my fellow vegetarians looking for a great pasta with a great meat substitute. I've made this salad with and without cheese, it's up to you. Try it, and I promise you'll be thanking me. Good luck, and remember to let me know what you think!

Rigatoni with Broccoli and Vegetarian Steak
  • 2 Lb. cooked and cooled rigatoni pasta
  • 1 bunch chopped and blanched broccoli
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 small thinly sliced red onion
  • 1 pkg dices tempeh steak (can be substitute with fakin bacon)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • optional: 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese

Saute onions for five minutes or until caramelized, add garlic and saute for 2 more minutes. Set aside to cool. Saute veggie steak for 5 minutes or until browned, be careful not to burn (I have so many times). In a large bowl mix all the ingredients and serve. You can make this a hot dinner item as well. You can throw some spinach, kale, Swiss chard, or collards and it will be delish.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Grilled Portobello Mushroom and Asparagus Salad

This salad has the best of both worlds. There's a level of fresh salad taste along with warming grilled flavors. The caramelized red onions and grumbled goat cheese bring it all together. You'll be the talk of the town with this one. Try it and let me know what you think.

Grilled Portobello and Asparagus Salad
  • 1 bunch grilled asparagus chopped into 2 inch pieces
  • 3 grilled portobello mushrooms sliced thin
  • 1 lg caramelized red onion
  • 1 cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 4oz bag organic spring mix
  • 1/2 cup your favorite balsamic dressing

Toss all the asparagus, portobello, onion, spring mix, and balsamic dressing together in a large bowl. Top with goat cheese. Can be served with your favorite crusty bread or grilled pita bread. I've made this salad with the veggies still warm and cold and both ways worked out fantastic. This is definitely one of my favorite salads. You can substitute feta or fresh mozzarella for the goat cheese. Let me know how it worked out for you.

Golden Beet Salad

This recipe is easy, quick, and so tasty. Awesome for a BBQ side dish or as a refreshing snack. You can make this a day ahead so that the flavors have time to blend together.

Golden Beet Salad

  • 5 golden beets peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup peeled and shredded carrots
  • salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl toss all the ingredients together. Season with salt and pepper to taste. For best results serve cold or room temperature. You can substitute red beets if golden are not available. Bon appetite!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Grilled Asparagus


In my opinion there is no better way to eat asparagus other than throwing it on the grill. Whether it's on your outside grill or a Foreman. Asparagus takes on a nutty savory flavor when grilled. Makes a great vegetable for all occasion and what a way to impress your family and friends. Enjoy!


GRILLED ASPARAGUS


  • 1 bunch asparagus washed and stems cut

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (can also use sesame oil)

  • salt and pepper to taste

Toss asparagus with olive oil in large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Make sure your grill is very hot, you want to cook the outer part fast so that the inside stays al dente. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes or until nice grill marks appear.