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Sides, Salads and Soup

Spinach Salad with Crispy Veg Chicken, Avocado and Toasted Almonds

This salad is easy to make and tasty.

Crispy veggie chicken on spinach salad

3 cups baby spinach, pre-washed
2 Quorn veggie chicken patties
1 ripe avocado
¼ cup of toasted, sliced almonds
¼ of a purple onion, sliced very thin (optional)
½ cup Brianna’s Blush Wine Viniagrette dressing (or your choice)

1) Cook veggie chicken patties in the oven according to package directions.

2) Peel and slice avocado.

3) Slice veg chicken patties into slices, about 1 inch wide.

4) Mix all ingredients except veg chicken together in a large bowl. Add veg chicken strips on top.

Makes two servings.


Couscous with Olives and Capers

Try these savory toss-ins with couscous for an easy side dish.

Couscous with olives and capers

1 cup plain couscous
1 cup water or vegetable stock
¼ cup pitted calamata olives, cut in half
1 tbsp. capers
¼ tsp. grated dried garlic
6 or 7 basil leaves, torn

1) Boil water or stock. Add couscous and remove from heat. Stir and let set a couple of minutes.

2) Stir in olives, capers, basil and garlic.

4 side servings


Homemade Spring Rolls

The hardest thing about making these is chopping the vegetables. They are worth the effort!

Serving suggestion

¼ cup broccoli, chopped
¼ red pepper, diced
1 cup shredded cabbage, chopped
4 mushrooms, chopped
¼ cup of extra-firm tofu (approx), patted dry with a paper towel and cut in small pieces
¼ cup onion, chopped
½ large carrot, cut in small pieces
1 or 2 tbsp. canola oil (stir fry) plus
¼ cup canola oil (frying spring rolls)
2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
½ tsp crushed red pepper, if desired.
8 egg roll shells

Egg roll wraps. Available in produce section usually.

Place filling in center of eggroll shell

Roll up the sides.

They cook fast!

1) Heat 1 or 2 tbsp. canola oil and soy sauce and crushed red pepper (if desired) in wok on medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté a few minutes.

2) Add broccoli and cabbage and 1 or 2 tbsp. of water.

3) Add carrot and red pepper and stir fry together.

4) Add mushrooms and tofu last. Stir fry mixture together until vegetables are tender. Remove to bowl.

5) Heat remaining canola oil in large frying pan to medium heat. Place ¼ cup (approx) of filling in the center of each egg roll shell. Roll bottom up and then each side and then top portion up to form the roll. Place in hot oil seam side down. Fry until brown on the bottom (a couple of minutes). Flip with tongs and cook the other side.

6) Remove to paper towel to drain and dry. Serve with dipping sauce, if desired.

Makes 8 egg spring rolls.

Drain on paper towel



Vegetable Soup

This soup is delicious and a great way to use up vegetables in your fridge. The onion, leek and celery are key ingredients, but after that, you can pretty much add whatever you have on hand or like.

Vegetable Soup

1 medium-sized Vedalia or other sweet onion, sliced very thin
1 leek, wash and remove roots
2 celery stalks, leaves included, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
¾ cup chopped cabbage
½ green or red pepper, sliced thin
1 cup broccoli florets
½ cup shitake or button mushrooms
About 10 green beans, ends removed and cut in thirds
½ of a 12 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can stewed tomatoes
32 oz. low sodium vegetable stock or broth
1 cup water
½ cup orzo or other small pasta
1 tbsp. oregano
Olive oil
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
½ tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp. parsley
½ tsp. garlic powder
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper

1) Prepare onion and chop leek. It’s okay to use some of the dark green portion of the leek, just don’t use about the top 1/3 of the green part.

2) Heat 2-3 tbsp. olive oil in large pot on medium-high heat. Add onion first and sauté a few minutes. Then add leek and sauté both together about 5 more minutes or so. Add all spices (except red wine vinegar).

Virginia Wine Works makes great vinegar from Virginia wine3) Add celery, cabbage and carrots and sauté about 7 minutes.

4) Add broccoli, red or green pepper, green beans and mushrooms (mushrooms last) and sauté about 5 minutes more. Add more olive oil if needed.

5) Add chickpeas, stewed tomatoes and water. Then pour in vegetable broth. Add red wine vinegar.

6) Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Add pasta and boil about 6 or 7 minutes or until pasta is tender.

7) Reduce heat to low and simmer about 20 minutes more. Remove bay leaf before serving.

8) Serve with fresh bread or crackers. I broke okra crackers into the soup and that was delicious and gave it some crunch. These are hard to find though. A substitute might be a good quality crispy crouton.

Bowl of steaming vegetable soup. Yum!

Makes a big pot of soup.


Easy Stewed Apples

Perfect topping for waffles or delicious stirred into oatmeal or served with vanilla ice cream.

2 medium apples (local if possible)
1 tbsp. cinnamon
¼ tsp. nutmeg
¼ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. ginger
½ cup water
1) Peel and core apples. Cut into slices or chunks.
2) Mix apple pieces together with the other ingredients in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until tender (about 4 minutes).
3) Serve immediately or refrigerate and enjoy later. Spicy flavor gets more intense after the apples sit for a day or two.

Serves two.


Claire's Rice and Vegetable Salad

Substantial salad with lots of veggies for your next pot luck.

3 cups cooked rice
10 ounce pkg. frozen green peas
4 ounce jar diced pimiento, drained
½ cup chopped celery
½ cup grated carrots
1 cup chopped canned artichokes, drained
½ cup sliced toasted almonds
½ cup sliced pimiento stuffed olives
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup low-fat mayonnaise (or vegenaise)
¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 cup cherry tomatoes
Extra sliced toasted almonds
Extra grated carrots

1) Combine rice, peas pimiento, celery, carrots, artichokes, almonds olives and cheese.

2) Mix together mayo, olive oil and vinegar until well-blended.

3) Combine salad ingredients and dressing and mix well.

4) Decoarte with cherry tomatoes and the extra almonds and extra carrots.


Broccoli Raab with Garlic

Delicious accompaniment to an Italian meal.

Saute pan with garlic and olive oil.

1 large bunch of broccoli raab
5 or 6 cloves of garlic, minced
Several tbsp. olive oil
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper
Salt & pepper

1) Wash broccoli raab and trim off and discard about the bottom 2 inches of each stem.

2) Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add a little olive oil. Add the broccoli raab to the water and boil about 5 or 6 minutes.

3) Drain and place in icy cold water bath for a minute.

4) Add garlic and olive oil to large pan and sauté for a few minutes. Add broccoli raab and sauté about another 10 minutes.

Side dish or appetizer for two.

Broccoli Raab with garlic.


Quinoa with Spinach and Shitake Mushrooms

Quinoa is a gluten-free grain with great texture. It partners well with the spinach and garlic in this recipe.


1 cup quinoa
1 1/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
4 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup shitake mushrooms, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup water
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt & pepper

1) Pour the quinoa into 1 cup boiling broth or water. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 12 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes and fluff.

2) In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add diced garlic and sauté a minute. Add shitake mushrooms and saute a couple of minutes more.

3) Add the fresh spinach and ½ cup water. Stir together for a few minutes. Spinach will cook down. Remove from heat.

4) Place the spinach over the quinoa and serve together.

Quinoa with spinach and mushrooms.


Jro's Salad

My friend Jro made this salad for a dinner club. It was so good, I asked for the recipe.

Head of lettuce of your choice, torn into pieces
1/2 purple onion, slivered
1/2 cup soy beans, roasted and salted
1 avocado, sliced
1 pear, sliced
1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
3 tbsp. Braswells of Georgia Vedalia Onion & Poppyseed dressing

1) Prepare vegetables and stir together gently in large bowl.

2) Add dressing and mix well. Let set a few minutes before serving.


Spinach Salad with Orange peppers and Strawberries

With its vibrant colors, this salad is as pretty to look at as it is tasty to eat.

6 cups of washed baby spinach
1/2 orange pepper
About 15 strawberries
1/2 cup of toasted almonds
Dressing (I use Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette)

1) Slice orange pepper into thin 2 inch slices.Cut strawberries into quarters.

2) Purchase toasted almonds or toast them in preheated 400 degree oven for about 7 minutes. Watch carefully so they don't burn.

3) Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Add dressing. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.



Creamy Fried Corn

Kids can’t get enough of this dish.


6 ears of corn
2 tbsp. of butter (or New Balance or other butter substitute)
1 tsp. Salt

1) Shuck corn. Hold clean ear of corn over bowl and take a serrated knife and remove kernels from entire ear. Scrape corn cob with knife edge after removing kernels to get the “creamy” part of the corn.
2) Place butter in medium-sized kettle over medium heat. Once the butter is bubbling, add corn and stir.
3) Then add ½ cup of water and ½ tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Turn stove down to simmer and stir occasionally and add water as needed (to keep dish from burning) until corn is tender and creamy (about 15-20 minutes). Watch and make sure it doesn't burn.
4) Remove from heat and add salt to-taste.


Fried Green Tomatoes

This Southern classic is great as a side dish or appetizer.

2 large green tomatoes
¾ cup flour
1 organic egg, beaten, or equivalent egg beaters
2 tbsp. milk
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. pepper
½ cup canola oil

Choose firm, green tomatoes. The one on the right is actually not green enough.

Green tomatoes in the pan

1) Beat together egg and millk. In separate bowl, stir together flour, cayenne and pepper.
2) Heat canola oil over medium heat in large skillet. Slice tomatoes about ½ inch thick.
3) Once oil is hot, take each slice of tomato and dip it first in the egg and then the flour. Do both sides. Place in the hot oil. Depending on the size of your pan and your tomato, you can probably fry one tomato at a time. Fry on one side until it is brown and crispy (a few minutes). Flip and fry the other side.
4) Remove and set on a paper town to drain excess oil.

Four side servings.

The finished product


Salad with purple onions, mandarin oranges and toasted almonds

This salad is easy to make and tasty.

1 head of red leaf lettuce, washed and chopped
2/3 cup of canned mandarin oranges, drained and rinsed
1/2 medium purple onion, sliced very thin
1/2 cup of toasted almonds
1/2 cup of dressing (I use Brianna's Ginger Mandarin dressing)

1) Wash and chop red leaf lettuce.

2) Purchase toasted almonds or toast them in preheated 400 degree oven for about 7 minutes. Watch carefully so they don't burn.

3) Mix all ingredients together in large bowl. Add dressing. Let stand about 10 minutes before serving.


Easy Pasta Salad

When you need to bring a dish to your Summer party, this pasta salad is a good choice. You probably already have the ingredients on hand and it pulls together in minutes. Also, it’s great for tailgate parties and picnics because it’s mayo free.

Pasta Salad

2 ½ cups uncooked tri-colored Rotini pasta
¼ red bell pepper, chopped
¼ green bell pepper, chopped
¼ broccoli crown (just the florets), chopped
8 radishes, chopped
1 cup of your favorite Italian dressing
¼ cup Parmesan cheese (optional)

1) Cook the pasta according to package directions. Don’t overcook. Drain.
2) Wash and prepare vegetables.
3) Combine drained pasta, chopped vegetables and dressing in a medium-large bowl. Stir everything together.
4) Stir in Parmesan cheese, if desired.
5) Serve right away or refrigerate for about an hour before serving. Keeps for up to a week in the refrigerator. Okay to serve at room temperature.

Note: These are the veggies I used, but feel free to substitute your favorite veggies or whatever you have on hand.



Big Fries

My mom says everyone knows how to make these, but I didn’t know how until I asked her. My niece loves these. Try them with a veggie burger.

2 medium sized russet potatoes (you can use any type of white potato actually)
¾ cup of canola oil

Potato wedges

Potatoes cooking

1) Pour oil in a deep kettle and heat to medium-high.
2) Wash and peel the potatoes and slice length-wise into long, but thick wedges.
3) Carefully drop each wedge into the hot oil. Turn with metal tongs after about 7 minutes or when one side is golden brown. Cook the other side until also golden brown.
4) Place on a paper towel to cool and drain off excess oil. Sprinkle with salt.

Veggie Cheeseburger in Paradise

Be careful when making these because it’s a lot of hot oil.



Vegetarian Hotdog Chili

Vegetarians don’t have to deprive themselves of delicious chili on their veg dogs.

1 cup ground veggie burger
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. onion, chopped fine
1 1/2 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
Salt & pepper

1) Heat olive oil in skillet on medium-high heat. Add chopped onions and sauté about 5 minutes, maybe a little longer, until translucent.
2) Add ground veggie burger and spices. Stir together and cook in the pan about another 5 minutes.
3) Add to your veggie burger.

Makes plenty of chili for two hot dogs. A nice topping of chili for four dogs.


Strawberry Pretzel Salad

This salad may sound unusual but it is a hit at our family gatherings. It combines sweet and salty and everyone loves it.

2 cups pretzels, crushed
½ cup sugar
¾ cup butter or butter substitute, melted
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
¾ cup sugar
10 ounces whipped topping
6 ounces vegetarian gelatin* substitute, preferably strawberry flavored
2 cups boiling water
20 ounces frozen strawberries, sliced, with juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1) Mix pretzels, ½ cup sugar and butter and spread in a 9 X 13 inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Let cool.
2) Mix cream cheese, ¾ cup sugar and whipped topping together. Spread on top of cooled pretzel layer.
3) Dissolve vegetarian gelatin in boiling water and add strawberries. Let it partially set. When gelatin mixture is partially firm, spread it on top of the cream cheese layer.
4) Chill thoroughly.
5) Cut into slices and serve.

*Jello is not vegetarian.




Lentil and Arugula Salad

Peppery arugula adds interest to lentils and peppers in this substantial salad.

1 cup lentils, your choice of color, rinsed
1 cup fresh arugula
½ cup diced cucumber
½ bell pepper, chopped or sliced very thin
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt & pepper

1) Cook the lentils according to package directions. Drain.
2) Combine vinegar, mustard, garlic, olive oil, salt & pepper. Whisk these ingredients together.
3) Add all remaining ingredients together with this dressing in a large bowl and stir.
4) Can be served refrigerated or at room temperature.


Alex’ Vegan Potato Salad

I had multiple servings of this at a recent picnic. Sometimes a change of potato salad will do you good.

1 package of fingerling potatoes
8 slices of soy bacon
1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
3/4 red peeper diced
1 avocado, diced
1/4 cup diced green olives
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
3/4 - 1 cup nanonayse
2 tablespoons yellow mustard

1) Cut potatoes into bite sized pieces; place in aluminum envelope; drizzle with olive oil; and bake 45-60 minutes at 350 degrees.
2) Bake soy bacon until crispy and but into small pieces.
3) Mix all ingredients together. Yum.


Susie's Baked Beans

Perfect for your Summer cookout.

2 cans (15 oz.) vegetarian baked beans
l can fat-free navy or great northern beans (drained)
1 can fat-free pinto beans (drained)
1 small onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped

2/3 cup catsup
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1/3 cup brown sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
1/4 cup molasses
1/2 tsp. Worstershire sauce
2 tblsps. barbecue sauce (Such as Sauers or Jack Daniel's)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1) Mix first five ingredients together in large oven-safe pot.
2) Add sauce ingredients and stir together.
3) Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, reduce heat in oven to 250 degrees. Bake uncovered for an additional one hour. Cover dish with foil and bake another 30 minutes.


Tangy Cole Slaw (no mayonaise)

A delightful vegan cole slaw.

3 cups chopped or grated cabbage
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1 tsp. grated onion
1 small carrot, grated

Dressing for Slaw
1/3 cup vinegar
3 tbsps. oil
2 tbsps. sugar
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. celery seed
1/2 tsp. dry mustard (optional)

1) Combine first four ingredients together in large bowl.

2) Mix dressing ingredients together and stir into vegetable mixture.

3) Chill well before serving.


Yellow Squash and Onion

Great, easy way to enjoy Summer vegetables.

2 yellow crookneck squashes, chopped or sliced
½ large sweet onion, roughly chopped
1 tomato, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt & pepper

1) Heat olive oil in medium sauce pan on medium high heat. Add onion and saute a minute or two.
2) Add squash and saute until both squash and onion are tender.
3) Reduce heat and add tomato, salt and pepper.

Yellow Squash and onion




Cuke Salad

Summer cucumbers taste great!

2 medium cucumbers, sliced or cut in chunks
1 cup red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
1 tomato, chopped (optional)
¼ of a sweet onion, chopped (optional)

1) Combine all ingredients and stir together.
2) Refrigerate one hour or overnight.



Mashed Potatoes

It took me a long time to figure out how to make good mashed potatoes.

2 large Russet or 3-4 smaller variety of potato like Yukon gold or red skin
½ cup milk or buttermilk
3 ½ tbsp. butter or butter substitute
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Potatoes ready for cooking

1) Fill medium-large pot ¾ full with water and bring to boil. Add ½ tbsp. butter and good dash of salt to water.
2) Wash and peel potatoes and cut into large chunks.
3) Add potatoes to boiling water and boil about 15 minutes or until fork tender.
4) Drain water from potatoes in colander and return drained potatoes to cooking pot. Add remaining butter and milk and salt and pepper. Mash with a potato masher until lumps are gone and potatoes are smooth and creamy.

Mashing potatoes

Mashed potatoes

Feel free to add roasted garlic, sour cream, chives, cheese, or whatever you like. Leave the potato skins on if you like them that way. I don’t like skins in my mashed potatoes.


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Charlotte’s Potato Cakes

These are delicious. Great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Try them as the main course with a large salad on the side.

Potato cakes in pan

Flipping potato cakes

1 cup plain mashed potatoes (see recipe from yesterday)
2 tbsp. onion, finely diced
1 ½ tbsp. flour
1 tsp. butter or butter substitute
Salt & generous shake of pepper
2 tbsp. canola oil

1) Heat oil to medium-high heat in skillet.
2) Combine mashed potatoes, onion, flour and salt & pepper.
3) Using your hands, form potato mixture into small patties.
4) Place patties into hot oil. Fray a few minutes on one side. Flip and cook the other side. Should be golden brown and crispy on both sides.

Potato cakes and salad

Makes about 3 potato cakes.


Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Salad
(Caprese Salad)

Delicious with Hanover tomatoes or local tomatoes anywhere!

10 slices of tomato, about 1/2 inch thick (about 2 tomatoes)
10 slices of fresh mozzarella, about 1/4 inch thick
10 fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp. olive oil

1) Alternate layers of tomato, mozzarella and basil in two rows on a nice dish.
2) Drizzle with olive oil.


Potato Soup

Great soup for a cold winter evening. Inexpensive and easy to make.

1 stick butter (or 1/2 cup butter substitute)
1 medium-sized sweet or yellow onion, chopped
6 or 7 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and diced
3 cups milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup low-fat cheddar cheese (optional)
2 cups water

1) Saute onion in butter or butter substitute in cooking pot on medium high heat for a few minutes (until onion is translucent).
2) Add potatoes and water. Cook and stir until done (10-15 minutes).
3) Add milk, salt and pepper, and heat through.
4) Add to bowls and top with cheese, if desired.

This recipe makes 4 or 5 servings.
Estimate 1 ½ potatoes per person when fixing this soup.


Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

A delicious way to eat one of the super foods.

2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
2 tbsp. reduced fat cream cheese
1 tbsp. new balance or butter
splash of milk
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. allspice
¼ tsp. ginger

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes1) Prick sweet potatoes with a fork and bake in microwave. (One sweet potato takes about 4 minutes on high in my microwave.)
2) When baked, cut sweet potatoes in half and scoop out the insides with a spoon and place in a medium-sized bowl. Add other ingredients and mash together.
3) Scoop the mixture back into the sweet potato peels and cook in microwave for about 30 seconds. Serve.

Makes 2-4 servings.
Takes about 8 minutes to prepare, including cooking time.



Broccoli Casserole

This casserole is a hit at family get-togethers.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 large bunches of fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
5 or 6 large mushrooms, sliced
½ cup diced onion
1 cup of cream of mushroom soup
½ cup of milk
¾ can French fried onion rings
1 can water chestnuts, drained
1 cup cheddar cheese

1. Saute onion, broccoli and mushrooms in large sauce pan or wok in olive oil or butter until slightly tender. (Add the mushrooms last.)
2. Mix the soup and milk together
3. Place 1/3 of all ingredients in a casserole dish. Continue layering and top with cheese and onion rings.
4. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese begins to brown on top.


Roasted Asparagus

asparagusA lot of people wonder the best way to cook asparagus. Roasting asparagus is incredibly easy, enhances the flavor and preserves the texture.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Fresh asparagus spears (allow 6 - 10 spears per person)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper

1) Break off the bottom 3 inches of the asparagus spear and place on a cooking sheet greased with olive oil.
2) Pour about one tablespoon of olive oil for each 10 spears of olive oil right onto the asparagus and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3) Use clean hands to toss the asparagus with the oil.
4) Bake for 10-20 minutes depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Should be tender when tested with a fork.



Tomato Dumplings

My mom, who is from Southwest Virginia, invented these. Delicious alternative to pasta.

2 cans (14.5 ounces each) diced tomatoes
1 can water (use empty diced tomato can)
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
½ tsp. sugar
Salt and pepper
2 ¼ cup Bisquick
2/3 cup milk

1) Add the first five ingredients to a large, wide pot and bring them to a boil.
2) Stir the Bisquick and milk together until a soft dough forms.
3) Drop the Bisquick mixture by spoonfuls into the boiling tomato mixture. Then reduce heat and cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Reduce heat a little more, put a lid on the pot, and cook 10 minutes more.

Dumplings should be fluffy and light.


Fried Cabbage

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, here is a recipe that consists of an Irish staple. It is also inexpensive, easy to make and healthy.

½ of a head of cabbage
3 tbsp. of olive oil
¾ cup of water
Salt and pepper, to tasteFried Cabbage

1) Cut the cabbage into thin strips.
2) In a large skillet, heat the olive oil on medium high heat.
3) Add the cabbage into the hot oil and stir fry for a couple of minutes.
4) Add the water, salt and pepper and reduce heat to medium. Continue to stir fry until cabbage is tender, about 10 minutes. It should be tender, but not limp.

Makes enough for four side servings.


Cheddar Cabbage Casserole

My aunt shares this recipe. She made it with visiting friends one year for Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone loved it and fought for the last bit in the dish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2 and ½ cups coarsely crushed cornflakes
½ cup butter or margarine melted
4 and ½ cups shredded cabbage
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 (10 oz.) can cream of celery soup, undiluted
1 cup milk
½ cup mayo
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

1) Toss ½ the cornflakes and butter together. Sprinkle half of the mixture into a greased 13 inch X 9 inch casserole dish.
2) Layer the cabbage, onion, salt, pepper.
3) In a bowl mix together the soup, milk and mayo until smooth. Spoon mixture over top.
4) Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and remaining cornflake mixture.
5) Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for approx. 45 minutes, or until golden brown.


Fried Sweet Potatoes

This was my grandmother’s favorite dish!

4 Sweet Potatoes, sliced
½ stick butter (or butter substitute)
¼ cup sugar
½ cup water

1) Heat butter in large skillet. Add sweet potatoes and sugar.

2) Sauté sweet potatoes on medium-high heat for a few minutes; flip, and sauté on the other side.

3) Add ½ cup water, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 20-30 minutes.


Grandma’s Buttermilk Biscuits

Great hot. These biscuits will make any meal better.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2 cups self rising flour (White Lilly if you can find it)
½ cup Crisco* shortening
¾ cup buttermilk

1) Measure flour into mixing bowl.
2) Work shortening into flour until it begins to form dough.
Add buttermilk as needed to form a soft dough.
3) Turn onto a floured board. Roll out to about 1/2 “ thick. Cut out biscuits and place on greased baking sheet. Bake for about 10 to 12 minutes or until brown on both sides.

*Contrary to popular belief, Crisco is 100% vegetable shortening and is suitable for Vegans.


Fingerling Potato Fries

These are easy and tasty. They go great with veggie burgers.

Preheat oven to 400.

20 fingerling potatoes (I used purple, red and white)
3 tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. paprika
Salt and pepper

1) Slice fingerling potatoes into thin slices.
2) Grease pizza pan or cookie sheet with olive oil.
3) Spread potato slices onto pan and pour additional olive oil onto them. Sprinkle on paprika and salt and pepper and, using your hands, roll the potatoes to coat them in olive oil and spices.
4) Bake for about 10 minutes. Turn using spatula and bake about another 5 minutes.


Frozen Fruit Salad

This is yummy and refreshing.

1 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened (I use 1/3 less fat cream cheese)
½ cup sugar
1 10 oz. frozen strawberries, thawed1 can bing cherries, drained
1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
3 small bananas, diced
½ cup chopped pecans
1 8 oz. container Lite Cool Whip, thawed

1) Beat together cream cheese and sugar. Add strawberries, pineapple, cherries, bananas and pecans. Mix thoroughly, but gently.
2) Fold in Cool Whip.
3) Pour into cupcake liners in muffin pan and freeze.
4) Remove from freezer 15 minutes before serving. Makes about 12 to 16 depends on how full you fill each cup.


Greek Salad

Calamata olives add punch to this salad.

Red leaf lettuce, one bunch, torn into fork-size pieces
½ cup of low-fat feta cheese, crumbled
½ cup of calamata olives, pitted and sliced in half

½ cup of olive oil
1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp. sugar
Salt and pepper

1) Mix dressing ingredients together and whisk for about 30 seconds.
2) Toss first three ingredients together in a large bowl.
3) Pour dressing over salad and toss. Let sit about 30 minutes before serving.



Hot Rolls

Does anything compare to the smell of hot bread baking? A friend from work tells me these rolls are lip smacking delicious.

3/4 c. Crisco* shortening (not butter flavored)
2 1/2 c. water (1 c. boiling, 1 c. cold, 1/2 c. tepid)
2 eggs beaten well
1/2 c. sugar
1 tbsp. salt
2 yeast packets (Rapid Rise)
7 to 8 c. flour sifted

1) Melt shortening in boiling water until it becomes a clear liquid and add then add the cold water. Let cool for maybe 10 minutes. (If you add the yeast into too hot water it kills the yeast.) Dissolve yeast in tepid water.

2) Mix together eggs, sugar, salt, yeast and shortening. Add flour. Use mixer, if you like, through the 4th cup of flour and then mix by hand. Cover mixture with a wet towel. Put aluminum foil over the top of bowl and secure tightly (rubber band if necessary). Place in the refrigerator immediately. (If you prepare in the evening, the dough will double by morning. If that is not convenient, punch down every 12 hours and keep in refrigerator.)

3) When ready to use, knead with flour (just so it is not sticky) into a "rope" and pinch off and knead with fingers to form rolls. Place onto pan lined with aluminum foil--grease lightly with Crisco. Let rise about 2-3 hours.

4) Bake in very hot oven (450 degrees) for 7 minutes or until brown. Brush tops with melted butter if desired. Makes about 3 dozen rolls--depending on size!

Tip: You can refrigerate part of the dough if you do not want to cook the rolls all at once.Punch down any remaining dough each day so that it will not sour. Also, keep the towel wet.

* Crisco is suitable for Vegans.



Thursday, April 9, 2009

Nacho Potato Soup

A friend of mine who is a new mom provides this spicy twist on potato soup

1 pkg au gratin potatoes
1 can (11ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies, undrained
2 cups water
2 cups milk
2 cups cubed process american cheese
dash hot pepper sauce, optional
minced fresh parsley, optional

1) In a 3-qt saucepan, combine the contents of the potato package, corn, tomatoes and water; mix well.

2) Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 13-18 min. or until potatoes are tender.

3) Add milk; cheese and hot pepper sauce if desired; cook and stir until the cheese is melted. Garnish with parsley if desired.


Baked Polenta with Mushrooms and Swiss Chard

Try this with a side salad of red leaf lettuce, toasted sliced almonds and chickpeas for added protein. Vegans may omit cheese and substitute olive oil for butter and it will still be delicious.

Baked Polenta with Mushrooms and Swiss Chard

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

4 cups water
2 cups instant polenta mix
2 cups mushrooms, sliced thin (I used a combo of white button, shitake, crimini and oyster)
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 large Swiss chard fronds, sliced or torn into strips
2/3 cup mozzarella cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp butter or butter substitute
Salt & pepper

1) Boil water and slowly add polenta, stirring until it thickens, about 4 – 5 minutes.
2) In large saucepan, heat 1 tbsp. butter or butter substitute on medium heat. Add 2 cloves of the minced garlic and sliced mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes. Remove to a bowl.
3) Add olive oil to the same saucepan used to cook mushrooms and heat on medium-high heat. Add one clove of minced garlic and the Swiss chard and sauté about 5 minutes (may need to add a splash of water).
4) In a medium casserole, layer ½ of the polenta and add ½ of the remaining butter (cut into small pieces). Then add ½ of the mushrooms, ½ the chard and ½ the cheese. Repeat with a second layer.
5) Bake at 375 degrees for 7 or 8 minutes. Serve.



Couscous with Toasted Almonds and Golden Raisins

Couscous has got to be the easiest side dish to make on the Planet.

1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 cup plain couscous
½ cup toasted, sliced almonds (I use unsalted)
½ cup golden raisins

1) Boil water or broth in medium saucepan.
2) Add couscous and stir once or twice. Remove from heat and cover for a few minutes.
3) Stir in almonds and raisins and fluff with fork.




Tait’s Spinach Balls

These spinach balls make a yummy appetizer.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3 boxes frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained well
2 cups Pepperidge Farm herbed stuffing mix
2 onions, chopped
5 organic, free range eggs, beaten
¾ cup melted butter or butter substitute
½ cup parmesan cheese
2 cloves garlic, diced

1) Combine all ingredients.
2) Make into balls, about the size of a golf ball.
3) Bake at 350 degrees for 15 or 20 minutes.



Roasted Red Peppers

These are delicious as part of a sandwich or as the sandwich’s main ingredient. Easy to make and better than their cousin that comes in a jar.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

1 red pepper
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt and Pepper

1) Slice red pepper into long strips and spread onto a baking sheet.
2) Pour olive oil over red pepper strips and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3) Using your hands, toss the strips to coat evenly.
4) Bake at 425 degrees for about 10 minutes. Red pepper should be fork tender.

Makes enough for three sandwiches. Stores well for several days in the refrigerator.


Curry Lentils

Healthy and delicious side dish or main dish.

Curry Lentils

1 cup lentils
2 ½ cups vegetable broth
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. hot curry powder
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cumin
½ tsp. turmeric
¼ tsp. paprika
Dash of cayenne pepper
Salt and Pepper

1) In sauce pan, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté a few minutes. Add garlic and sauté an additional minute.
2) Add all spices and stir.
3) Add lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes until lentils are tender.
4) Serve with Basmati rice or as a side dish for your favorite entree.


Thursday, April 23, 2009

Waldorf Salad

A simple, refreshing, old-fashioned salad

1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced Granny Smith apples
1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
2/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise

1) Combine all ingredients and stir.
2) Serve!


Crunchy Cole Slaw

Asian twist on cole slaw.

2 packages ramen noodles (pick a flavor that is vegetarian)
1 cup sliced almonds
1 package shredded tricolor cole slaw
1 cup olive oil
1/3 cup white vinegar
½ cup super fine sugar
1 cup of sunflower seeds

1) Crunch up the ramen noodles (save the flavor packets) and place them on a cookie sheet with 1 cup of sliced almonds and toast them at 375 degrees for about 5-8 mins (watch them so they don’t burn). Cool.
2) Mix together the olive oil, white vinegar, sugar and one of the flavor packages from the ramen noodles. (This is the dressing).
3) Stir together the bag of the cole slaw and the noodle mixture. Add dressing and sunflower seeds and stir. Serve.



Pear Salad

This makes an elegant, tasty salad.

1 head of red leaf lettuce, torn or cut into pieces
2 pears, sliced very thin
½ cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
½ cup toasted sliced almonds
2/3 cup of your favorite vinaigrette (I like Brianna’s blush wine vinaigrette)

1) Combine all ingredients except dressing.
2) Add dressing about 15 minutes before serving and toss.

Pre-dinner salads for 6.



Barley and Mushroom Soup

Cozy meal for a rainy Spring evening.

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 red pepper, chopped
6 shitake mushrooms, sliced
6 button mushrooms, sliced
1 can of diced tomatoes
½ cup pearl barley
2 cups vegetable broth
½ tsp. thyme
½ tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. parsley
1 cup water
Salt & pepper

1) In a large pot, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add onions and stir a few minutes, until onions start to soften.
2) Add carrots, red pepper and garlic and stir fry about 5 minutes. Stir in mushrooms.
3) Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 45 minutes.

Makes a big pot of soup.



Cold Broccoli Salad

Interesting way to get more broccoli into your diet. Nice side dish for a Summer supper.

¾ cup of light mayo
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. vinegar
1 bunch of broccoli, chopped
½ cup of raisins
½ cup of sliced almonds
1 medium purple onion, sliced thin
6 strips of veggie bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled

1) Combine mayo, sugar and vinegar together. Place in fridge for an 1-3 hours.
2) Mix together broccoli and remaining ingredients.
3) Pour dressing on broccoli mixture a few minutes before serving.



Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are considered to be a super food. They can take the place of a starch in a balanced meal, but are healthier than white potatoes, white rice or pasta.

Mashed sweet potatoes

3 medium sweet potatoes
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. butter or butter substitute (I use New Balance)
1 tbsp. cream cheese
1 tsp. of either honey or brown sugar
Dash of Nutmeg
1 tbsp. low-fat milk
Salt & pepper

1) Peel sweet potatoes and cut into large chunks.
2) Heat kettle of water to boiling, add tsp of butter to water. Add sweet potato chunks and boil uncovered about 10 minutes or until fork tender. Please check the potatoes after about 5 minutes because cooking time will vary depending on how big the chunks are.
3) Drain sweet potatoes and return to the kettle you cooked them in. Add remaining ingredients and mash with a potato masher until creamy and smooth.

Allow one sweet potato for each person. Make extra for leftovers.




Sweet Potato Croquettes

These are a tasty treat! A yummy side dish to a meal or fabulous appetizer. They are crispy and golden on the outside and smooth and creamy in the middle. My suggestion: make extra Mashed Sweet Potatoes one night and the next night use the leftovers for Sweet Potato Croquettes!

Sweet Potato Croquettes

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (see recipe from yesterday, May 14. Each sweet potato makes about 1 cup of mashed sweet potato.)
4 tbsp. flour
2/3 cup Panko* Japanese bread crumbs
2/3 cup Canola oil

Croquettes in the Pan

Turn the croquettes with tongs til golden brown all over

1) Refrigerate mashed sweet potatoes over night or a couple of hours.
2) Add flour to mashed sweet potatoes in medium-sized bowl and stir til blended.
3) Put Panko into small bowl.
4) Heat Canola oil in large, deep frying pan on medium-high heat.
5) Form sweet potato dough into small balls, a little smaller than a golf ball. Roll each ball in the Panko. Place each ball into the hot oil. Fry a couple of minutes until golden brown, then turn with tongs and fry the opposite side. Continue turning until each part of ball is equally brown.
6) Remove to plate covered with paper towel to absorb any extra oil. Serve warm.

*Panko breadcrumbs are available in almost every grocery store. Use Panko rather than regular breadcrumbs because they give it a light crunchy coating on the outside.



Audrey’s Cornbread

If you like cornbread, this is the real deal, honed over decades of practice in the mountains of southwest Virginia

1 ½ cups self-rising cornmeal
¼ cup flour
¾ cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

1) Pour oil in iron skillet (preferably seasoned) and place empty skillet in 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes.
2) In large bowl, combine cornmeal and flour. Add buttermilk slowly until all is combined and batter is thick but pourable.
3) Remove skillet from oven and pour in the batter.
4) Return skillet to oven and bake cornbread at 450 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until golden and set in the middle.



Cool Citrus Salad

This refreshing salad whips up quickly and is welcome at any Summer picnic

1 15 oz. can Mandarin oranges (drained)
1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple in juice (drained)
1 small container (8 oz.) cottage cheese
1 small container (8 oz.) of cool whip

1) Blend all ingredients together.
2) Refrigerate for an hour or overnight.





Scalloped Potatoes

Soul food.

3 medium potatoes, sliced thin
½ cup chopped onion
2 tbsp. butter or butter substitute
2 tbsp. flour
1 ¼ cups milk
¼ tsp. pepper
Dash of salt

1) Grease a medium casserole dish and set aside.
2) Heat butter in sauce pan on medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until tender. Add milk, flour, salt and pepper, and stir over medium heat until thick and bubbly.
3) Place half of the thinly sliced potatoes in the bottom of the casserole dish. Cover with ½ of sauce. Repeat for another layer.
4) Cover casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
5) Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

4 1/2 Cups Salad

This refreshing and easy to make salad is welcome at any Summer party.

1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup sour cream
1 cup mandarin oranges in juice, drained
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
½ cup pecan halves

1) Combine all ingredients in large bowl.
2) Refrigerate. Serve chilled.



Harvard Beets

These beets make a spicy and different side dish.

Two 15 ounce cans or jars of sliced beets
1/3 cup vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
1 tbsp. butter or butter substitute

1) Drain beets and reserve about ½ cup of the beet liquid.
2) In a medium-size sauce pan, mix the vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, salt and the ½ cup of beet liquid until smooth.
3) Add the butter and cook the mixture over medium heat until thickened, stirring continuously.
4) Add the beets and heat until just heated through (a few minutes). Keep stirring.

Makes about 6 side servings.



Mary’s Watermelon Rind Pickles

Don’t throw away those watermelon rinds, recycle them into delicious pickles.

4 quarts peeled and cubed watermelon rind
1 lemon, deseeded and thinly sliced
3 tbsp. pickling lime
2 quarts cold water
2 tbsp. whole cloves
3 sticks cinnamon
7 cups sugar
1 quart white vinegar
1 quart water
2 pieces ginger root

1) Trim dark skin and pink flesh from thick watermelon rind and cut rind into 1 inch pieces.
2) Dissolve lime in 2 quarts of water; pour over rind. If needed, add more water to cover rind.
3) Let stand 2 hours. Drain, rinse and cover rind with cold water.
4) Cook until tender and drain.
5) Tie spices in a cheesecloth bag. Combine spices with remaining ingredients and simmer until transparent. Add boiling water if syrup becomes too thick before rind is clear.
6) Remove spice bag. Pack, boiling hot, into sterilized canning jars, leaving 1/8 inch space at the top.
7) Remove air bubbles, wipe jar rims. Cover jars with metal lids and scre on metal bands.

Yields about 7 pints. Pickles will be sweet and crispy.



Jalapeno Cornbread

This cornbread is spicy and savory. Serve as either an appetizer or as bread with a meal.

1 1/2 cups self-rising cornmeal mix
2 eggs
4 tblsps. self-rising flour
1 tsp. soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup oil
1 cup milk

1 onion (grated)
1 small can cream-style corn
1/2 lb. cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped Jalapeno peppers

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1) Mix together the first 7 ingredients. Then stir in the onion, corn, cheese and jalapeno peppers.
2) Method one: To make as an appetizer: Slightly grease a miniature muffin pan. Pour batter into muffin cups (about half-full) and bake in a 375 degree oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
Method two: To make as bread: Pour half the batter in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan. Spread the peppers and cheese on this layer and then pour the second half of the batter on top. Bake in 375 degree oven for approximately 30 minutes.


Patti’s Squash Casserole

Yellow squash is a vegetable that is plentiful in Summer. Try it in this tasty casserole.

2 pounds summer squash, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
1 large chopped yellow onion
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chiles
1 (4.5 ounce) can chopped jalapenos, drained
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 1/4 cups grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup mild salsa
4 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Combine squash, onion, chiles, jalapenos, salt and 3/4 cup cheese in a large bowl. Sprinkle with flour; toss to coat. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish and cover with foil.

3. Bake the casserole until it is bubbling and the squash is tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Spoon salsa over the casserole and sprinkle with the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheese. Bake, uncovered, until golden and heated through, 20 to 30 minutes. Sprinkle with scallions and red onion.


Brussel Sprout Casserole

If you think you don’t like brussel sprouts, you have never tasted this dish!

About 28 Brussel sprouts, cut in half or thirds (allow about 7 per person)
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan/Romano cheese blend
1/3 cup olive oil
Salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees
1) Mix ½ of cheese and all other ingredients together in medium casserole dish
2) Top with remaining cheese.
3) Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and cheese is browning on top.

Serves 4.


Cindy’s Marinated Green Beans

Cindy used to serve this marinated salad at Gourmet Delights (formerly of Carytown in Richmond)

2 cans canned green beans, whole, not cut
½ red onion, sliced
1 small can water chestnuts
1/3 cup Canola oil
¼ cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp. sugar
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 ½ tsp. dill weed

1) Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, salt, pepper and dill. Set aside. Drain and rinse green beans.
2) Place about ¼ of green beans in a medium-sized glass or ceramic bowl. Top with ¼ of the onions and sprinkle with water chestnuts. Pour ¼ of the vinegar mixture over it. Continue layering until you’ve used everything.
3) Refrigerate overnight before stirring and serving.


Sweet Potato Soup

This sweet potato soup is seasoned with curry and cumin. It is really savory and tasty.

1 carrot, sliced
1 onion, diced
2 sweet potatoes
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. hot curry
1 tsp. curry
1 tbsp. cumin
1 tsp. cilantro
1 tsp. coriander
½ tsp. nutmeg
½ tsp. oregano
Salt & pepper, to taste
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. almond butter
2 or 3 tbsp. olive oil

Cooking the sweet potatoes and onion

1) In large kettle, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Add onion and sauté a few minutes til tender.
2) Soften sweet potatoes by cooking in the microwave a few minutes. Peel and cut into chunks and add to pot. Also add garlic. Saute a few minutes.
3) Add all spices (don’t add honey or almond butter yet). Stir.
4) Add vegetable broth and water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat.
5) Spoon soup mixture to blender. Do about half of the blender-full at a time. Blend a few minutes. Then pour into a new kettle. Repeat until all soup is processed in this way.
6) Add honey and almond butter and stir. Cook about 10 more minutes. Then serve.

Originally I made this soup with chard. That is the green in this picture.



Green Beans

When I found out how easy it was to make green beans, I started making them a lot. They are especially tasty and healthy when made this way.

About 1 cup of green beans
2 tbsp. olive oil

1) Wash beans. Cut of the ends and cut into two or three pieces, depending on size.
2) Heat water to boiling in a large kettle. Add olive oil to water.
3) Add beans to boiling water and cook for 5 minutes.
4) Drain.


Elizabeth's Ramen Noodle Cole Slaw

If the economy is making you tighten your belt, try this cost-conscious, but delicious slaw. A package of ramen noodles only costs pennies.

1 - 16 oz. package of mixed cole slaw
1 - pkg. Ramen Noodles (choose a vegetarian variety) (smashed)
3 - scallions (chopped)
1/2 cup sliced and toasted almonds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds or sesame seeds (toasted)

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup canola oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 of the flavor packet from Ramen Noodles

1) Toss all ingredients together.

2) Pour dressing on top and mix.

Obviously the longer you wait to serve this slaw the less crunchy the noodles will be, but it is good either way.

It will keep in the fridge for several days, but best to make 4 hours prior to serving.



Broccoli Cornbread

Yummy twist on cornbread. Your kids won't know there's broccoli in this tasty treat.

1 box chopped broccoli
2 pouches (6.5 oz. size) Betty Crocker cornbread mix
2 eggs
6 oz. light cottage cheese
1/2 stick butter or margarine, melted
Chopped onion to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

1) Mix all ingredients and pour in greased 8 or 9 inch square pan.

2) Bake at 400 degrees for 35 minutes or until lightly browned.



Fried Eggplant

Fried eggplant can be used in eggplant parmesan, as a tasty side dish with any meal, or as an appetizer with a dip.

2 medium-sized eggplants
¾ cup of flour
2 organic eggs, beaten or ½ cup of eggbeaters
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
Salt & pepper, to taste
¼ cup Canola oil

Frying eggplant

Fried eggplant

1) Slice eggplant. Slice a larger eggplant in about 1 inch circles. Slice a smaller eggplant length-wise. Leave the skins on
2) Mix flour together with all seasonings.
3) Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.
4) Dip each slice of eggplant first in the egg mixture and then in the flour mixture. Do both sides. Place in hot oil.
5) Fry for about 5 minutes until crispy on one side. Flip and cook the other side.
6) Remove to plate with a paper towel on it and allow excess oil to drain into the paper towel.
7) Serve as desired.

Fried eggplant with pasta (serving suggestion)



Spinach Casserole

My mom makes this casserole for family parties.

2 pkgs. Frozen chopped spinach (cooked and drained)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 organic, free range egg
1 cup herbed stuffing mix
½ cup parmesan cheese
½ cup grated Monterey jack cheese
½ cup low fat sour cream
Salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

1) Saute onion in olive oil for a few minutes. Add garlic and sauté a minute more.
2) Add spinach and stir.
3) In separate large bowl, stir together egg, stuffing mix, cheeses, sour cream, salt & pepper.
4) Bake at 350 degrees in a 9 X 13 inch glass baking dish for about 30 minutes.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

White Bean and Arugula Salad

This good-for-you salad is easy to make.

¼ cup olive oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
Salt & pepper, to taste
1 can Canellini (or other white bean) beans, drained & rinsed
2 cups arugula, torn
½ cucumber, cut in cubes
1 small tomato, cut in cubes, seeds removed

White Bean and Arugula Salad

1) Mix together olive oil, garlic, salt & pepper.
2) Stir together other ingredients except arugula. Pour dressing over the mixture and stir. Add arugula and stir together.
3) Let sit 30 minutes before serving.



















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