Archive for the ‘vegetarian’ Category

Asparagus and Egg Pizzas

Friday, May 1st, 2015

An updated take on pizza for spring … fresh from the farmers market!

My kids, no surprise to anyone who knows my husband and I, are true night owls. The boy has suddenly become a voracious reader, thanks in great part to the Spirit Animal series he devoured over the past couple months. We’d just concluded our year in Hogwarts, reading the Harry Potter series aloud each night, and this was the first series he really got into reading on his own. Now, we have to pry the books out of his hand at least twice each night to get him to turn off the light and go to sleep. The upside of their pushing the limits on bedtime is that they tend to sleep in later, and we’ve reached that sweet spot of parenting where they don’t need our attention the second they wake up — at least on the weekends. On the downside, it means we were late getting to the market this past Sunday and my good mood at getting to sleep in was quickly turning sour at missing asparagus for the second week. After we made our other purchases and were walking out, I saw the vendor at the end had a huge cooler labeled “asparagus.” I leaned over to confirm it was, in fact, empty — only to have the vendor announce, “Oh, we still have some if you need it.” Hallelujah!

asparagus ramp and egg pizza | foodietots.com

I’ve written before about the fickleness with which the foodie tots approach asparagus each year, alternately loving and hating it. A few weeks ago, we’d gotten some (non-local) asparagus in a veggie delivery from our dairy farm and the boy declared it one of his top favorite vegetables. The girl, however, is on an off-year with it. Likely thanks to Instagram, I had pizza on the mind and decided to make asparagus and egg pizzas. Not wanting to go back out just for pizza dough, I had the revolutionary idea to make it from scratch. I followed Mark Bittman’s Basic Pizza Dough recipe and am now completely embarrassed that I’ve never made it before. It came out perfectly, after just an hour to rise, and handled beautifully — so much better than store bought. (If you’ve already mastered this simple bit of kitchen alchemy, indulge me.) The dough comes together quickly in a food processor, no kneading necessary. It can be frozen, so I plan to make another batch ASAP to keep on hand and ready to pull out the next time a pizza craving strikes.

homemade pizza dough | foodietots.com

Now about the eggs. We only buy cage-free eggs from free-range chickens from local farmers. I’ve done the side-by-side comparison of grocery store eggs and local eggs, and the yolks are visibly, shockingly bright orange next to the bland yellow of grocery store eggs. Pastured eggs have nutrition benefits too — “2 1/2 times more omega-3s and twice the vitamin E in the eggs of pasture-raised hens,” according to a Pennsylvania State University study. And I will never believe that confined chickens are happier than chickens with access to fresh air, no matter what the Big Chicken industry would have your believe.

But when it comes to eating eggs, the male half of our family doesn’t like runny yolks, only scrambled. Thankfully the girl is coming around to my side, although that often means she’s swiping the yolk off my plate if I’m not careful.

making asparagus and scrambled egg pizza | foodietots.com

Most of the egg-topped pizzas you see have the whole egg with runny yolk, but I knew that wouldn’t go over well. I was afraid the scrambled eggs would dry out in the oven, so I cooked them on the stove only until just beginning to set. For the kids’ pizzas, I put the eggs on the pizza before cooking — they came out well done but not dry. (The brown crust is from the parmiggiano on top.) For my and the husband’s pizza, I cooked it half-dressed (oil, cheese, asparagus, ramps and radish) for 10 minutes, then added his scrambled eggs and my whole egg to the already hot crust. After another 6 minutes, his eggs were still soft and my white was set.

asparagus and scrambled egg pizza | foodietots.com

And yes, the girl swiped a piece of my runny yolk pie.

asparagus egg and ramp pizza recipe | foodietots.com

For the recipe below, I’ve written it as prepared with scrambled eggs. If you want runny eggs, see the note at the end. I also added ramps, but I’ve omitted them from the recipe due to their fleeting availability. Thin slices of garlic or green onions will lend a similar flavor, if desired. (I plan to make this again with garlic scapes, when they’re available.) I also added a few thin slices of an early radish from our garden.

Recipe: Asparagus and Egg Pizza

Makes: 3 personal-sized pizzas, or 2 regular

Ingredients:

  • 1 batch pizza dough (“Basic Pizza Dough” recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 cup half and half (or whole milk)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound asparagus
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • sea salt and pepper

Instructions:

1. Prepare pizza crust as instructed. Divide dough into 2 or 3 balls and set aside to rest while preparing toppings.
2. Preheat oven (and pizza stone, if using) to 450 degrees.
3. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Wash asparagus and trim ends. Cut into about 2-inch pieces. Prepare a separate bowl half full with ice and water. When water boils, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and asparagus and cook for 2 minutes. Immediately remove asparagus and place into ice water for a minute, then drain and set aside.
4. Melt butter in a frying pan over medium low heat. Add eggs and half and half (or milk) and whisk together. Cook, stirring frequently, until eggs just begin to thicken. Turn off heat.
5. Roll out pizza crusts and place on baking sheet or parchment paper. Brush each with 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with a base layer of parmigiano cheese. Spoon scrambled eggs around the pizza, then arrange asparagus over. Sprinkle with another generous dose of cheese and a pinch of salt and pepper.
6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until crust is golden and eggs are thoroughly cooked (will be firm to the touch.)

Note: To make with whole, runny eggs, skip step 4. Prepare pizzas and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully crack eggs onto the pizza (it helps contain the whites if you push asparagus to make a border on two sides). Return to oven and bake another 5 to 6 minutes, until eggs are white and mostly firm.

Spring Pea and Chevre Souffle {#SundaySupper}

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Anyone else wake up to snow on the first day of spring? Thankfully not enough for another snow day, but still. March is always full of crazy weather here in the mid-Atlantic; it was 70 degrees on Monday, before the snow! But as the weather eventually warms up, new fresh produce will soon be appearing at the farmers market. Peas may not be ready quite yet — we just planted them in the preschool garden this past week — but chickens are laying eggs! And it’s kidding season, which means fresh goat cheese (chèvre) from local farms, too.

peas egg goat cheese recipe | foodietots.com

My dish for this week’s Sunday Supper Spring Fling combines all three of these early spring foods in a light dish that’s the perfect counterpoint to all those months of braising and stews. A souffle takes just a little more effort than a quiche, but it is an impressive dish to serve guests or just enjoy around the family table. To make a standard souffle, you prepare a bechamel sauce (butter, flour, mustard, milk), add egg yolks and beaten egg whites. Cheese is standard, and I’ve double-down on the green here by mixing in both a pea and tarragon puree and whole peas.

pea and chevre souffle | foodietots.com

You could serve this springy souffle as a side to a roast chicken or even Easter ham (green eggs and ham, aha!), but I served it as a vegetarian main dish with a big salad. Divide it into four smaller ramekins to make individual servings, or use a souffle pan or large round baking dish.My foodie tot is the designated egg cracker in my kitchen so she’s always game to help me with a dish like this — getting to whisk those egg whites in the mixer is even better.

Recipe: Pea and Chèvre Souffle

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup peas (thawed, if using frozen)
  • 6 fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 5 ounces goat cheese
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 2 large egg whites
  • pinch sea salt

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter or oil baking dishes — either 4 10-ounce ramekins or a 2-quart souffle pan or round baking dish.

2. Boil peas in a small pan for 4 minutes. Drain and scoop out 1/2 cup peas, reserving for later. Place remaining cooked peas and tarragon leaves in small food processor and pulse until pureed. (May need to add up to a tablespoon of water to help smooth the puree.)

2. In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour, mustard powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a dash of black pepper and cook, stirring, until smooth and golden. Slowly whisk in milk and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until thick. Remove from heat and crumble goat cheese into pan, stirring. Add 3 egg yolks and stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in pea puree and reserved peas.

3. Beat egg whites at medium high speed until soft peaks form. Add a pinch of sea salt and beat until peaks become stiff.

4. Fold egg whites into the pea/bechamel mixture and scoop batter into prepared baking dish(es). Bake for 25 minutes for small ramekins or about 45 minutes for large souffle, until puffed, brown on top and set (if it jiggles a lot, continue baking for a few more minutes).  Serve immediately.

spring pea and goat cheese souffle recipe | foodietots.com

(PS Those daffodils were my taking a stand for spring despite the snow Friday. They sure brightened the kitchen!)

Read on for links to many more fantastic dishes to welcome spring from the Sunday Supper bloggers!

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Would you like to join the Sunday Supper Movement? It’s easy. You can sign up by clicking here: Sunday Supper Movement.

Squash Farro Salad {#MeatlessMonday}

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Have you been to the farmers market lately? So many colors and varieties of winter squash are on display at ours right now. When I came home with the Kabocha squash I used for tacos a few weeks ago, the boy was disappointed it was not an acorn squash. So we’ve been getting acorn squash once a week, and I decided to use this week’s in a warm grain salad. I discovered quick cooking grains at Trader Joe’s recently and wanted to give the farro a try. I simmered it in water with a pinch of salt and splash of olive oil and it was ready in just 15 minutes — not bad! If you have regular farro, though, be sure to cook according to the package directions.

Squash Farro Salad | FoodieTots.com

Recipe: Squash Farro Salad

This warm grain salad can be made with barley or rice if you prefer. We used acorn squash, which is easier to peel after cooking. If you’d rather use butternut, peel and cube it before roasting. And cranberries add a nice color contrast, but golden raisins are equally tasty in a pinch!

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked farro
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 acorn squash
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries or raisins
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds

Dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon champagne or cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions:

1. Prepare farro according to package instructions. If using quick-cooking farro, place farro and two cups of water in a medium saucepan. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off heat and let stand for another 5 minutes, then drain any excess water. Keep covered while preparing the remaining ingredients.

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Place cut side down on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet. Cook 25 to 30 minutes, until tender when pricked with a fork. Remove and let cool slightly before cutting off peel and cutting into small pieces.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together salt, maple syrup and vinegar. Drizzle olive oil, whisking until smooth. Set aside.

4. Combine farro, squash, cranberries or raisins and dressing in a large bowl, stirring to evenly distribute dressing. Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and serve warm.

squash at Homestead Farm | FoodieTots.com

Looking for more squash inspiration? Savory Simple has a round-up of dozens of food blogger recipes using all types of squash. I can’t wait to try these three, in particular:

cheesy pumpkin quinoa stuffed peppers from What Jew Wanna Eat
Asian peanut spaghetti squash stir-fry
from Snappy Gourmet
winter squash pies
from Adventures in Cooking

This post has also been shared with Meatless Monday blog hops hosted by Recipe Renovator and The Midnight Baker.

Kabocha Squash Apple Tacos with Chèvre {#MeatlessMonday}

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Did you know the Meatless Monday campaign celebrates its 10th anniversary this fall? To celebrate, I wanted to make some vegetarian tacos — and I just happened to have a beautiful Kabocha squash on hand. I spiced and roasted the squash for a warm, fall flavor and then added a sweet apple to balance the spicy squash. This roasted squash and apple combo is a great kid-friendly side dish on its own, but it was especially delicious atop warmed corn tortillas with cilantro and crumbled chèvre. This will make a repeat appearance on our Taco Tuesday menu very soon!

Kabocha Squash Apple Tacos with Chevre by FoodieTots

You can use butternut or acorn squash if you prefer, but I loved the green-orange hues and rich flavor of the Kabocha. I went a little lighter on the spices for the kids, so I’ve given a range below — cumin is a great early spice for babies and toddlers as it adds flavor without too much heat, so you could even mash up the roasted squash and (peeled) apples for your littlest eaters.

Recipe: Roasted Squash Apple Tacos with Chèvre
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 Kabocha squash (approximately 2 1/2 cups peeled and diced)
  • 1 apple, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • fresh cilantro to garnish
  • 4 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • salsa verde and/or Sriracha, optional if you prefer your tacos hot

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Place diced squash in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add cumin, paprika and salt and toss to coat evenly. Spread in an even layer on baking sheet and roast 15 minutes.
3. Stir squash gently and add apple. Return to oven and roast an additional 10 to 15 minutes, until squash is tender and apples are lightly browned.
4. Warm tortillas and serve with a spoonful of squash-apple filling, pinch of cilantro and tablespoon of chèvre.

This recipe is linked to the Meatless Monday blog hop at Recipe Renovator.

To commemorate the 10th anniversary, a Meatless Monday Scientific Symposium will be held Thursday, Oct. 17, at 4 pm — get details and watch the live stream from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health here.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Pomegranate

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

It always warms my heart to see traffic pick up on my Best Ever Roasted Turnips post as Thanksgiving approaches. Before that, I posted my alternative to the traditional green bean casserole. I tend to be a traditionalist when it comes to my Thanksgiving menu — but I do like to experiment with the vegetable side dishes. What can I say, I have a passion for giving misunderstood produce new life on your holiday table. So this year I turned my attention to Brussels sprouts. I can’t remember really eating them as a child, so I don’t have the baggage of a childhood filled with soggy, limp boiled sprouts to overcome. But for those of you who may have experienced such a travesty, I’m here to tell you: it doesn’t have to be that way. There are two schools of thought when it comes to preparing Brussels — cook ‘em in/with/on/under bacon (never a bad approach), or roast ‘em. Either way, the objective is to cook them until just tender inside and a little crisp outside. For this Thanksgiving side, I roasted them and combined them with roasted butternut squash and fresh pomegranate arils to add some contrasting sweet and tart notes and a bit of color.

pomegranate brussels sprouts with butternut squash

Recipe: Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash and Pomegranate
Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (arils)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
  • Kosher salt
  • black pepper

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel butternut squash, remove seeds, and cut into small 1/2-inch cubes. Place on rimmed baking sheet, toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place in oven and roast 10 minutes before adding Brussels sprouts.

2. Meanwhile, trim Brussels sprouts stems, remove outer leaves, and cut into quarters. Spread on a second rimmed baking sheet and gently toss with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place in oven and roast 25 to 30 minutes, stirring midway through. (Stir squash at the same time.) Brussels and squash should both be tender and browned.

3. Place cooked Brussels sprouts and squash in serving bowl. Drizzle with pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper to taste, then top with pomegranate seeds. Serve warm or at room temperature.

~

More Brussels love from around the food blogs:

If you’re still not completely sold on the virtues of Brussels sprouts, take a look at my friend Domenica’s recent find — Kaleidoscope sprouts.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving vegetable?