Vegetarian


Whenever I hear those words I always think of one thing.

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But that’s not what’s on the menu today!

When Gaye suggested that theme I know she was thinking of veggies instead.  Green veggies!  Or maybe lime! Or maybe Pistachios!

Whatever she was thinking I went with asparagus!

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asparagus ‘pasta’

Ellie calls this pasta because the stalks of asparagus are shaved into thin strips.  Not an easy task if your stalks are rather thin.  But quite tasty when quickly sauteed with garlic, onions, and lemon then topped with some Parmesan.

I will definitely make this again but maybe not as ‘pasta’.

The recipe is from Ellie’s weeknight wonders (page 246) and it is a very quick side – less than 15 minutes (not counting the shaving!).

More green on the Eating with Ellie site.

 

 

 

 

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There is just something about risotto. It’s not easy to make. Well, it’s easy, it just takes a while. All the stirring and adding broth and stirring. But with the right combination of flavors it is well worth the effort. And this risotto was well worth the effort.

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This is Julie Shafer’s Risotto with Lemon and Asparagus

Julie says she learned to make risotto as a small girl cooking with her mother, grandmother, and aunts.  While we think of risotto as something fancy, she says it is just a staple of Italian cooking.  She also suggests that this is just a basic recipe and any local, seasonal veggie can be used.

    2 lemons
    2 small bundles asparagus
    1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
    2 tsp unsalted butter
    2 Tbl olive oil
    2 cups Arboio or Carnaroli rice
    2 – 3 quarts homemade or low-sodium store bought chicken broth, heated.

Zest the lemons then juice them and strain the juice.

Prepare the asparagus by peeling {which I did not do} and cutting off the tough ends.  Cut into 1″ pieces and steam to crisp.  {I am not a fan of steamed asparagus so I sauteed mine lightly in a little butter until just done.}

Sautee the onion in butter and olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  The onions should be fragrant and transparent.  Add in the rice and stir until the rice is well coated.  Season with salt and pepper.  {Salt and pepper are NOT in the recipe so I seasoned lightly and then later seasoned to taste.} Cook until the grains are almost clear.

Add the hot broth in to the rice/onion mix one ladle at at time and stir until it is absorbed. Continue this process until the rice is ALMOST creamy.

Add in the lemon juice, zest, steamed asparagus and one last addition of broth.  Cook for one additional minute.

Remove from the heat and add in the Parmesan to taste.  Add additional Salt and Pepper if needed. Let sit, covered, for about 5 minutes then serve.

Garnish with shaved Parmesan (optional)

This was really good.  I think I would use a little less lemon juice next time because I think it tended to overpower the asparagus.  You many not need a full 3 quarts of the broth.  I made 1/2 of the recipe and did not used a full 4 cups.

This is definitely a repeat.  I can imagine how it good it will be with different mushrooms, or maybe some spinach, or even just different cheeses.  It is very adaptable.

The recipe is on page 639 of O’Niel’s One Big Table,  an eclectic  collection of recipes from home cooks around the United States.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

These are tricky little devils, but well worth the watchful work.  Temp too high = burnt. Temp too low = soggy.  Chips too thin = burn quickly.  Chips to thick = soggy.  If you don’t get it JUST right…

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I much prefer Sweet Potato Fries or Chips to regular potatoes..  They are sweet, lower in carbs, and better for you  Even if you fry them…..

All you have to do is slice a sweet potato – thin but not too thin – and fry them quickly.  Then sprinkle with Kosher salt.  DONE!!

My first batch burned quickly because I used the thinest setting on the Mandolin.  Way too thin.  The next setting was perfect but I had to cook them a little longer and really watch the heat because if it’s too hot…… cause if you fry them too long in too low heat they get greasy.

But I finally got it right.  And they were worth it.

The recipe is on page 232 of Keller’s ad hoc.

 “I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

Spring is HERE!!  And that means planting gardens, harvesting fresh veggies.  RAIN!!!  We have had our share and hve only just had enough dry days to plant part of our garden.  The corn is in.  The watermelon is in.  The ‘maters are planted.  The cucumbers, squash, and eggplant are in the wings.  Fortunately, for this week’s EwE choice my veggie is available year round (as are most these days).

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How about Oven-Baked Onion Rings?  Crunchy without all the grease and all the mess of frying.  If I have a choice to go with a burger or sammie when we eat out it IS onion rings.  I love them.  And now I am happy to have a way to enjoy them and not feel guilty.

Ellie used baked potato chips for her crunch but I don’t buy them so I used some baked tortilla chips instead.  Yes, they were GOOD!!!  And easy to make so I don’t have to wait for a special occasion.  AS if…?

The recipe called for 1/2 cup + 2Tbl of flour.  The 2 Tbl goes in the batter.  I used a little more for the batter because I didn’t need the full 1/2 cup to coat the rings.  The batter was a little thin until I added the extra flour and stuck to the onions better.  I didn’t use any MORE flour than called for.

In case you are also a lover of onion rings one serving is ONLY 205 calories.which I know is LOTS less than the fried ones.

The recipe is from The Food You Crave – page 269.

More veggies?  Then visit Eating with Ellie.

We are definitely meat eaters. It is seldom we have meatless meals. Even our soups usually have some kind of meat – beef, venison, chicken, fish.

So I was excited to see Peggy’s choice for this week’s Eating with Ellie – sloppy joes with out the beef.

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I liked these but I did’t love them. I think I may have chopped my mushrooms a little too tiny. The flavor was very intense.  Chili powder, molasses, cider vinegar, and mustard powder all come together with tomato sauce to give the mushrooms that basic spicy sloppy joes flavor.

I left out the pinto beans Ellie called for because I am just NOT a bean eater.  I think some cheese would be good on these.

So much better, though, than the canned.  Thanks Peggy.  I’ll try these again with bigger pieces.

Who else made these this week?  Check out Eating with Ellie to see.

I have a good friend, Tanya, who teaches me how to cook different Asian dishes. Sometimes we cook together. Sometimes she cooks and then explains how it’s made. Sometimes she just gives me a recipe and suggests I try it. This was one of those recipes. It is from her brother who submitted it to his local cookbook. And it is delicious.

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    5 – 6 Tbl salt
    5 – 6 Asian Eggplants peeled and cubed
    5 Tbl oil
    6 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
    4 – 5 Tbl Basil leaves, chopped
    2 Tbl sugar {I would use less next time – very sweet!}
    1/2 cup soy sauce
    4 – 5 Tbl cilantro, chopped

Soak the eggplant in water with the 5-6 Tbl salt for about 15 minutes. Strain and rinse.
Heat the oil. Add the eggplant and fry for about 5 minutes. Flip them over and continue to fry until crispy with soft centers.
Add the sugar, garlic, and basil. Stir fry about 2 minutes.
Add the sugar and soy sauce. Stir fry an additional 3 minutes or so.
Serve over rice.

I’m always looking for new ways to cook eggplant especially when the garden gives us a great bounty – or someone else’s garden. And frying is not always an option.

Thanks, Tanya, for another good recipe.

Now! About that deconstructed wonton soup…..

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