Vegetarian recipes!

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So I dabbled with chicken over the last 3 months or so. I hadn’t eaten it for at least 3 years and after re-reading some pretty disturbing articles on our farming and production practices - I’m resorting back to my vegetarian ways.

Here are a few new vegetarian recipes I’ve enjoyed the last couple weeks.

Sweet Potato, Green Bean, Smoked Paprika salad

This one from one of my favorite blogs - designsponge.com. I ate this for dinner then lunch the next day and it was even better the second time around!

Here’s what you need.

  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into thick wedges about 5 cm long
  • 2 potatoes, cut into thick wedges about 5 cm long
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • large handful of green beans, topped and tailed, cut in half on the diagonal
  • 3 ripe tomatoes, cut into wedges
  • handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • sour cream or natural yogurt to serve (optional - but soooo good!)

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat around 3 tablespoons of oil in an ovenproof frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion, sweet potato and potato and pan-fry for 5–10 minutes, tossing occasionally, until lightly colored. 

Stir in the garlic, paprika, 1 teaspoon of salt and generous black pepper, coating well. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the vegetables are tender (around 15 minutes).

Meanwhile, bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add the beans and simmer for a few minutes, then drain. Put the hot beans into a large bowl along with the tomato and parsley.

Add the hot roasted vegetables, lemon juice and another good splash of oil and toss to combine. Add extra salt and pepper to taste. Serve with dollops of sour cream or natural yogurt if desired. Use the sour cream … it’s perfect! Use vegan sour cream if you need to.


Ligurian Pesto with Spaghetti

I have made a few different types of pesto this last year ranging from spinach and walnuts to kale and pecan. All were really yummy, but there is something about the classic basil and pine nut that keeps you coming back for more. Pesto is Jersey’s favorite!

This recipe was in the bon appetit’s May Travel issue. 

Here’s what you need. 

  • Kosher salt
  • 10 cups (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves (about 2 bunches)
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan plus more
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup mild extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 1 pound spaghetti
Blanching basil was new to me. What this means is boil it, ice it, drain it, then dry it (sort of). So bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil - I used my steamer so I could grab the basil out of the pot easier. Set a colander in a large bowl of ice water (this will make it easier to strain the basil later). Working in batches, blanch (boil) basil for 10 seconds. Using a large slotted spoon, transfer basil to colander in ice water; let cool completely. Set aside 1/2 cup blanching water. Reserve pot with blanching water.

Drain basil by lifting colander from ice water. Using your hands, squeeze excess water from basil; transfer basil to paper towels. (You should have about 1/2 cup.)


Place blanched basil, 1/2 cup Parmesan, pine nuts, and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until well combined, adding blanching water by tablespoonfuls to thin if needed, and stopping occasionally to scrape down sides. Process until a smooth, thick purée forms, about 1 minute.

Transfer basil mixture to a medium bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup oil. Season to taste with salt.

Return water in pot to a boil; add more salt. Cook spaghetti, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Spoon 1/2 cup pesto and 1/4 cup pasta cooking liquid into a large bowl. Using tongs, transfer spaghetti (we like our pesto rich - so I always have a little noodle left) to bowl and toss vigorously, drizzling with oil and adding more pesto and cheese as you continue to toss, until spaghetti is glossy and well coated with sauce. Season with salt. Divide among bowls; sprinkle with cheese.


Veggie Burgers
My first blog post had a version of veggie burgers that was pretty involved. This is a super simple recipe from Gwyneth’s cookbook (yes I’m addicted). I had these for dinner every night this week. These are also vegan.

Here’s what you need.
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (I always use more garlic)
  • 1/4 tsp  each: ground cumin, coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper
  • 14-oz  can black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice (hot or cold)
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 tbsp safflower or other vegetable oil

Heat olive oil in medium skillet over medium. Add onion, garlic and cumin. Cook, stirring, 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add beans and rice. Cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in cilantro. Mash with potato masher until just combined.

When cool enough to handle, divide into 4 portions. Pat into 4 patties, each about 4-inch (10-cm) wide. Refrigerate, covered, until ready to cook - this is an important step that I have skipped before. Refrigerating them allows them to get sticky and hold together. 

To cook, dust patties on each side with flour.

Heat safflower oil in large skillet on medium-high. Add patties. Cook until browned and warmed through, about 90 seconds per side, reducing heat to medium if needed.

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TOPS!

A day spent at the pool with a girlfriend. Best. Day. Ever.

RUBBISH!

It’s Monday …back to work!

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"Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it." Albert Einstein

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