Archive for the ‘vegetarian’ Category

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.

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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?

At Market: How to Fry Squash Blossoms

Monday, June 11th, 2012

This past weekend, the husband and tot hit up the new Westover Farmers Market in Arlington. It was near the end of the market so I didn’t have high hopes for too many goodies, but was pleasantly surprised when they brought home a basket of squash blossoms and sour cherries. Edible flowers are always fun to share with kids, but flowers that you stuff with cheese and fry? Talk about hitting the jackpot. The foodie tot had a lot of fun “helping” me prep them for frying. Of course, she was booted from the kitchen for the actual cooking.

foodie tot loves squash blossoms

Squash blossoms are best eaten the day you buy them. After your toddler holds up each one for its photo opp (or maybe that’s just mine…), gently pry open the petals, check for intruders,* and reach inside and pinch the base of the stamen to remove it. (*I’m no fan of insects on my supper, but this is a good time to mention to the kids that we buy organic foods that aren’t sprayed with bug-killing chemicals. You can’t blame a bug for being drawn to the same pretty, fragrant flowers that we are!)

how to fry squash blossoms

I mixed fresh Blue Ridge Dairy ricotta with a little nutmeg, salt and black pepper. You can use some finely chopped fresh herbs, like parsley or oregano, if you have them but I like to keep it simple. The batter is simply flour, milk and another pinch of salt. After gently spooning the filling into each flower, give the end a gentle twist to hold in the good stuff.

Frying them takes just a few minutes — then let them cool a little on a paper-towel lined plate to absorb the excess oil. Be sure to eat while still warm!

fried ricotta squash blossoms

Recipe: Fried Squash Blossoms
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 12 squash blossoms
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • kosher salt
  • pepper

Instructions:

  1. Fill high-walled frying pan with 1/4-inch of oil. Heat over medium high heat (to 350 degrees if you have a thermometer).
  2. Pick over and remove stamens from blossoms. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine ricotta, nutmeg, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
  4. In a larger bowl, whisk together flour, milk and another pinch of salt until smooth.
  5. Holding blossom by the stem end, gently fill with a teaspoon full of ricotta mixture. Give the petal ends a gentle twist to hold in the filling. Repeat until all are filled.
  6. Quickly swirl the stuffed blossoms through the batter and gently transfer to pan. Fry, turning occasionally, until golden brown — about 3-5 minutes, total. Remove with a slotted spoon to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool slightly before serving.

~

What’d the kids think? The boy took a bite, then paused to ask, “Did this use to be a plant?” The tot ate the middle section of hers. Have you ever eaten squash blossoms with your kids?

Aside from frying, you can also use squash blossoms in soup or my squash blossom succotash, or bake them for a healthier take. And if you’re in the Northeast, check out Narrangasett Creamery ricottas, reviewed over on Cheese and Champagne today.

Corn and Feta Quiche

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Welcome spring! Everything seems to be blooming early this year, with the first strawberries arriving at the markets in DC already. The kids and I have only just planted our garden, but it feels like corn season is already just around the corner. It *is* egg season, though — did you know that chickens raised naturally lay fewer eggs in the winter? Warmer days mean our favorite vendors will have more eggs at the farmers market — and that is definitely a good thing.

Eggs play a prominent role in both Passover and Easter holiday celebrations and my kids have been delighted to have hard boiled eggs on hand. Flavor magazine’s latest issue had a great article explaining the difference between commercial and farm-raised eggs and a guide to help you decode the labels on eggs at the grocery store. We prefer to buy our eggs directly from the farmer, but in a pinch, look for cage-free, organic/vegetarian-fed eggs at the grocery. In real life, chickens aren’t vegetarians; when you aren’t buying directly from a farmer and want to avoid animal by-products and genetically-engineered feed, it’s important to get organic-fed eggs.

I first learned to make quiche in high school, when volunteering as a kitchen aide at a school retreat. There, the leftover vegetables from the previous night’s dinner were recycled into breakfast — but now I typically use fresh vegetables and serve the quiche for dinner. It’s so fast to put together — especially if you keep a pie crust on hand in the freezer — and I can steal some time in the yard with the kids while it bakes. This quiche works just fine with frozen corn, so enjoy it now and then make it again when sweet corn is available this summer.

know your egg farmer

Recipe: Corn and Feta Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 1 crust for 9-inch pie
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup corn (if frozen, defrost)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch dried thyme
  • optional: green onion, thinly sliced

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and back chilled pie crust for 10 minutes. Remove and lower temperature to 325 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and salt. Gently stir in cheese, corn, and green onion if using. Pour into pie crust.
3. Bake for 40 minutes, until set through. Makes 6-8 servings.

Note: If your kids will go for it, you can add color and a little spice with diced green pepper, Hatch chilies or jalapeño.

corn and feta quiche

What’s your family’s favorite egg recipe?