Easy Charred Cherry Tomato Jam

Homemade. Tomato. Jam. Amazing.

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If your garden tomatoes have gone crazy this year, this is the recipe to the rescue. I do not have that problem. Continue reading

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Summer Stonefruit and Arugula Salad with Lemon Honey Vinaigrette

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It seems all I want to eat in the summer is salads. That and fresh fruit.

It’s only natural that I eat a lot of salads that feature fresh fruits. 😉

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Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 4 cups fresh arugula
  • 1 ripe peach or necta rine
  • 1 cup cherries (any type will work)
  • 2 oz goat cheese (about a scant 1/4 cup crumbled)
  • 1-2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1-2 tsp honey
  • salt to taste
  • lemon pepper (optional; can use black pepper too)

Directions

Chop the peaches and cherries and arrange them on top of a bed of arugula. Crumble the goat cheese on top. To prepare the vinaigrette, whisk together the oil, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper until smooth. (You may need to heat the honey slightly until it whisks smooth). Drizzle the dressing over the salad and enjoy!

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Thai Peanut Cabbage Wraps with Tofu and Veggies

Happy Friday everyone! I’ve been looking forward to sharing these with you. Based loosely on my chard veggie wraps, these little wraps are really filling (thanks to the tofu) and versatile (you can use any veggies you have on hand).

I can’t take any credit for the sauce (the best part!). It’s from my favorite cookbook, Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone. That book is definitely a great investment if you haven’t discovered it already.

I made the sauce thin, like a dip. You could also use less water and make it thicker, like a spread, and slather it inside

Ingredients

  • 1 block extra firm tofu, drained
  • 2 tsp cooking oil
  • several whole cabbage leaves (I used red cabbage, but I bet any type would do)
  • Miscellaneous chopped veggies (I used bean sprouts, kale, iceberg lettuce, and carrots)

Peanut Sauce (adapted slightly from Deborah Madison’s “Quick Peanut Sauce”, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone)

 

  • 3 Tbsp peanut butter (unsweetened)
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp brown sugar or agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup water (or a little less)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes

Directions

Chop the tofu. Saute in a saute pan with the oil until golden.

Meanwhile, whisk all the sauce ingredients except the water together. Add the water little by little until you reach your desired consistency.

Chop the veggies into a julienne-style cut. Slice the cabbage leaves lengthwise, forming strips. The tofu should be done by now too.

On a cabbage leaf strip, line up some veggies and tofu slices.

Roll it up!

Dip into that sauce. YUM!

Simple and Elegant Vegetarian Dinner for Two

Garlic-roasted acorn squash stuffed with quinoa and orange balsamic pan-glazed tempeh, topped with cranberries and fresh basil. Mmm, easy weeknight gourmet!

This lovely little meal would be a nice, easy vegetarian (or vegan!) date night dinner, or just a fancy-ish entree for no occasion at all. I’m so happy with the way this turned out. All the flavors blend just beautifully, and it just has that “special meal” feel to it. It makes great leftovers for lunch the next day too!

Note: The glaze was inspired by my favorite salad dressing, orange balsamic vinaigrette. However, here the vinegar and soy sauce seemed to overpower the orange flavor a little, so I added a few drops of orange oil to bring out that flavor. If you don’t have that on hand, try adding orange zest or a tablespoon or so of orange juice concentrate.

Ingredients

  • 1 package tempeh – sliced, cubed, or crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, coursely chopped
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp olive oil + more for brushing
  • 2-3 drops orange oil (see note above)
  • Pinch of cumin (I used a little less than 1/8 tsp)
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa (or other grain such as brown rice, millet, or spelt berries. Or no grain at all, even)
  • 1 small acorn squash
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Directions

First, get that squash roasting. Halve it, scoop out the seeds, pierce the flesh with a knife, brush with olive oil, top with coarsely chopped garlic, place in a baking dish with 1/4 inch of water, and roast until soft and golden at 400 F, about 30-40 min. (Whew, sorry about the long sentence! 😉 )

Meanwhile, sauté the onion in oil until soft. Add the tempeh, orange juice, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, cumin, black pepper, and orange oil. Bring to a boil. Turn the heat down a bit, and let it simmer until all the liquid has disappeared. (About 10 minutes) The tempeh and onions should have a nice glaze. Stir in the cranberries.

While the tempeh simmers, cook the quinoa or grain of your choice. I combined the quinoa with 1 cup water in a pot with a dash of salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and let simmer until the water is absorbed and the quinoa is soft, about 15 minutes.

When everything is done, fill the acorn squash cavity with quinoa, then top with the tempeh and basil.

This would be lovely with a green salad or steamed asparagus, and glass of red wine. Enjoy!

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Flatbread Appetizers with Garlic-Roasted Butternut Squash, Rosemary, and Walnuts

There was much deliberation about titling this one. I don’t actually even know what they are. Appetizers? Tartines? Flatbreads? Topped crackers? Mini pizzas, even? Call them what you will. They are delicious.

I know it’s not quite the season for squashes anymore, but I’ll post this one and one more delicious squash recipe before they disappear from the produce markets for summer. If you don’t have squash, try carrots or sweet potato instead!

Also, I didn’t really measure anything — amounts are approximate. I used some of my rosemary olive oil flatbreads, and some store-bought. Both worked great, although I liked my rosemary flatbreads better 😉

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 3 large round flatbreads, or about 6 rosemary olive oil flatbreads
  • 2 tbs dried rosemary, or 1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/3 cup walnuts
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 3 cloves garlic, coursely chopped
  • A little olive oil for brushing
  • Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Directions

First, roast the butternut squash.

I halve it, scoop out the seeds, pierce the flesh with a knife, brush with olive oil, and put in a baking dish with about 1/4 inch of water (I’ve heard it prevents the skin from burning.) Sprinkle the chopped garlic on top and roast at 400 F until soft and brown around the edges. Or you can “cheat” and microwave the squash for 10 min, though it doesn’t get that nice roasted taste.

Meanwhile, toss the walnuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the 400 F oven until browned, about 10 minutes. (They do burn quickly!) Also, steam the spinach while you are waiting. Place the fresh spinach in a steamer or colander above boiling water just until it brightens up a bit and begins to soften.

When the squash is done, assemble the flatbreads! Put a thin layer of steamed spinach on the bottom (not too much or the spinach will overwhelm the other flavors), add a few slices of butternut squash (keep the roasted garlic on top too!) and top with toasted walnuts. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt, and pepper.

I also added some feta cheese on a whim, and it turned out well!

Serve as a side dish, an appetizer, a light entree, or as tapas style finger foods. Enjoy! 🙂

Chard Veggie Wraps with Garlic Dijon Spread

Happy Memorial Day weekend everyone! For me, the best part about this weekend is that it signifies the beginning of summer.

And one of the many wonderful things about summer is the produce at farmer’s markets. Here’s the colorful armful with which I left my neighborhood farmer’s market this morning:

Of course, the fun part was coming up with ways to use the veggies! My solution — wrapping vegetables in vegetables and making it delicious. 🙂

Ingredients

  • 1-2 leaves swiss or rainbow chard, washed
  • your choice of chopped, washed veggies (I used 1 zucchini, 2 carrots, 1/4 cup chopped onion, and 1 red bell pepper)
  • 2 tbs mayonnaise or non-dairy mayo
  • 1 tbs dijon mustard, or to taste
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried onion flakes
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Combine the mayo, mustard, garlic, onion flakes, salt and pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Cut the chard into strips. At the point on the leaf when the stem gets too big, discard it and use the leaves around it.

Chop the veggies into strips.

Spread the garlic mayo on a chard leave, and pile up with about 1/4 cup chopped veggies arranged vertically.

Wrap up the chard leave, and enjoy!

You could also add a little olive oil or lemon juice to the mayo spread, to make it more liquidy, and use it as a dip!

Can you tell that they were really fun to take pictures of? 😉