Potato and Nut Terrine

I’m always looking for different veggie “meatloaf” types of recipes. They are super easy and I can live off of the leftovers for the next week. My Aunt Judy’s Morningstar veggie loaf is always a big hit at church potlucks.

Lately, I’ve been trying several recipes from the cookbook “Favorite Vegetarian Dishes”. The recipe for Potato and Nut Terrine was slightly modified but it came from that book.

Ingredients: 1 1/2 c potatoes, 1 1/2 c pecan nuts, 1 1/2 c cashew nuts, 1 onion, 2 garlic cloves, 2 1/4 c mushrooms, 2 tbsp butter, 2 tsp herbs, 4 eggs, shredded cheese, salt, pepper, paprika, ketchup and sugar for the glaze

Dice the potatoes and boil until soft. Chop the onion and garlic and saute in butter in a pan. Then add diced mushrooms. You can chop the pecans and cashews in a food processor.

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Mix the nuts into the mushroom mixture. When the potatoes are ready, drain the pot and add the potatoes to a separate bowl and mash them together.

Add the beaten eggs and shredded cheese to the potatoes and then add the nut/mushroom mixture. I used shredded cheddar cheese and you can also use shredded Parmesan. Mix everything together and add any seasonings (salt, pepper, paprika, Tony Chachere). Grease a bread pan and pour the mixture inside.

Photo Oct 06, 7 50 13 PM Preheat oven to 375.

For the glaze, mix ketchup and brown sugar in a separate bowl and coat the top of the uncooked loaf like icing on a cake. Bake in the oven for 1 hour.

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When you take out of the oven, let it set for a little or else it will crumble when you try to cut it. I know my plate looks a little bare lol…I had short grain brown rice, broccoli, and a roll with it but I forgot to get the whole picture. Also, I’m not that great at photographing food as you can tell. The whole meal was delicious and so filling, I will definitely be making this again!

Side note: It’s Octobeerrrr! Best month ever! I might be biased since it also happens to be my birthday month. Got this cookie today..I’m totally on the fall pumpkin bandwagon. Shoutout to Panera 🙂

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Spinach and Nut Pasta

This recipe is very similar to the Spinach Puffs that I made in my last blog..in fact it has most of the same ingredients minus the puff pastry.

Quick question: why are pine nuts so expensive?? Up until this point, I’ve refused to use recipes that include pine nuts because 1. I wasn’t sure where to find them and 2. I’ve only had them in salads. Now I have a third reason because when I finally found some at Whole Foods, I found out that a small package was $10! They come from pine cones right? I guess I should have known since anything sold at Whole Foods is already expensive (hence the nickname Whole Paycheck)…I have a love/hate relationship with Whole Foods..mostly complicated by how much I love their fruits..they are just so good…and there’s one not far from my house as opposed to Trader Joes which is so far I would have to make a special trip to get there..Ok I digress, back to the recipe.

Spinach and Nut pasta: pine nuts, 1 c. any kind of pasta, 2 handfulls of baby spinach, mushrooms, 1/3 of a red onion, 1 chopped garlic clove, 1/2 c. olive oil

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Saute onion, spinach, mushroom, and garlic in pan with olive oil until soft. Add salt, pepper, and pine nuts. Cook the pasta in a separate pot.

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After pasta is done cooking, drain and put in a separate bowl. Add the spinach mixture and mix it all together.

This pasta is super easy and quick to make, I even had leftovers for lunch. Everything about this dish so good and I’m even happy about the pine nut addition!

Mushroom and Spinach Puffs

Summer travels have kept me away from the blog but now I’m back and ready to do more experimenting. For those who don’t know, you can find books at Goodwill for $1! All of my summer reading has been from random novels I’ve found at Goodwill..so far my favorite has been “Dying in the Wool” by Frances Brody and apparently it’s a part of a series about detective Kate Shackleton. I’m hooked! I kinda want to go back to the same Goodwill to see if the old owner gave away the rest of the series lol.

Amongst my Goodwill treasures, I scored a great vegetarian cookbook called “Favorite Vegetarian Dishes” (see pdf attached). There isn’t one author, it seems to be a compilation by the publishing company but it has several Indian dishes that I plan on trying in the coming months.

Mushroom and Spinach Puffs <—Click this link for the scanned copy of the recipe

I made some substitutes..I didn’t have heavy cream so I whisked soy milk and melted butter together after some googling. I also didn’t use poppy seeds.

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Saute the spinach, onion, garlic, salt, pepper and then add the “heavy cream”. I think I put too much liquid.

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The puff pastry was defrosted so I rolled it out and put the mixture inside. As you can see, I’m not great at wrapping pastry lol. Then, brush with the beaten egg.

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It turned out pretty good and kind of reminded me of Spankopita that I used to get from the freezer section except minus the cheese. If these were smaller, they would make great appetizers or side dishes.

Side note: I went to the beach a week ago by myself with my book and a Chipotle burrito bowl. Listen..it was the most relaxed I had been in a long time. I was so content that I stayed out there in my little beach chair for almost 4 hours just enjoying my food and the perfect weather. I had to take a pic to capture this sweet moment. I hope that whoever is reading this gets a little me-time this summer!

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Stuffed Bell Peppers

I’ve met a lot of wonderful people since I’ve moved to Connecticut; it’s almost been surprising. It’s not easy making new friends at my age because most people already have their well-established cliques or group of friends and aren’t looking to include anyone new in their circle. Anyway, the person who gave me today’s recipe is one of my closest friends here and I am grateful that we found each other 🙂

Ingredients: 3 bell peppers (doesn’t matter what color), 1 c. short grain brown rice, 1 can of black beans, 1/2 can of corn, 1/2 onion, garlic, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1 tblsp olive oil, shredded cheese, 1 cup Morningstar Griller crumbles (optional), salt and pepper

This dish took longer than I expected. It was mostly the rice which is one of the reasons that I’m not a huge fan of rice because it takes so long to cook. At first, I had the rice cooking separately in a small pot while the other ingredients simmered in a large pan but I ended up transferring the rice and cooking everything together. Altogether, it took about an hour for the rice to cook; and if you follow the directions on the bag, it says around 45 min to an hour.

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First, saute the onion, garlic, and Griller crumbles with a little olive oil in a pan. After the crumbles are cooked, add the rice. For 1 cup of brown rice, add 2 cups of water. After that has boiled for a while, add the diced tomatoes, black beans, and corn (drained). Let it all simmer on the stove for about an hour covered. Keep checking and stirring periodically, add water if needed to finish cooking the rice. Also, add the salt and pepper to taste and whatever other seasonings you feel are needed.

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For the bell peppers, I used one of each color. I cut the green and red pepper horizontally (just cut the top with the stem off) and cut out the insides that way. I cut the yellow pepper vertically just to see which one I would prefer…I think I like the way I cut the green and red peppers best.

After cutting the peppers and removing the insides, grab an extra pot and put them in boiling water for a few minutes. This makes them softer while the rice mixture is cooking. Preheat the oven to 350.

When the rice mixture is finished, fill the bell pepper cups with it and place them in a pan. Put them in the oven for about 15 to 20 min.

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After taking out of the oven, sprinkle cheese and enjoy. The bell pepper cups make the presentation so pretty and makes me feel like a contestant on Chopped or something. I had two and it was really filling and delicious!

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Sweet Potato Fries

I was a fan of sweet potato fries way before they became a cool trendy substitute for french fries. Even though I’ve always loved them, it wasn’t until recently that I started to make my own. Its so much easier than I thought and it doesn’t take that long.

All you need is 1 or 2 sweet potatoes and some salt and/or season salt. Yall know how much I love my Tony Chacheres so I used that.

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I boiled one sweet potato just for a few minutes so that the skin would peel off easily. Preheat the oven at 450. After peeling, cut the potato in half and then in quarters. Then, I cut the quarters in thin slices.

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Spray or grease the foil with olive oil or vegetable oil before spreading the fries on (I have an olive oil spray). Then I sprayed the fries and sprinkled with salt and seasoning.

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I put them in the oven for about 15 to 20 min (it might have been less).

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They came out great! I apologize for not getting a proper photo, I forgot to take a picture of them on the plate. Serve with ketchup or whatever you like on sweet potato fries  and enjoy!

Simple Breaded Tofu

This month’s recipe is so easy I debated posting because it seems pretty self-explanatory..Breaded tofu. But I realized that some people think tofu is this mysterious/weird food that is impossible to make taste edible. It’s not that complicated yall, and this is coming from someone who was never a huge tofu fan. However, I realized tofu can be really great if it’s seasoned well (which is true for most foods). I use regular seasoning like Tony Chachere’s and Season Salt but if you are more of a professional, just use whatever you usually season chicken (or whatever meat) with.

Ingredients: Italian bread crumbs, 1 egg, 1/2 chopped red onion (or yellow onion), olive oil, seasoning (salt, black pepper, Tony Chacheres, and a little Season Salt), and extra firm tofu.

Heat a frying pan with olive oil (or vegetable oil). Slice the tofu into squares and sprinkle some salt and pepper on it.

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Have two bowls ready: the first bowl has 1 beaten egg in it and the second has the Italian bread crumbs with the seasonings in it. Dip the squares in the first bowl with the egg. Then, cover it in the bread crumbs and seasoning from the second bowl.

Place tofu in the heated frying pan and flip over until both sides are golden brown. Then place fried tofu on sheet of foil. As you can see from the pic below, some of the squares got broken up lol.

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When I finished frying all the tofu squares, I put them in the oven for a little bit just to make sure they were cooked thoroughly. I’m not that good at frying things…I should probably buy a deep fryer.

Separately or together, you can saute the chopped onion and put on top when time to serve.

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I had my tofu with mashed potatoes and broccoli. It’s a quick and easy dinner and really filling!

Chickpea Patties

This simple recipe for Chickpea Patties is something I came up with while trying to make falafel. So essentially this is my version of a falafel lol.

Ingredients: 1 can of chickpeas, chopped red onion, Italian breadcrumbs, 1 egg, feta cheese crumbles, garlic powder, salt, pepper, season salt

First, I put the onion and chickpeas in the food processor.

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Beat the egg and mix it with the chickpea mixture in a bowl. Add the breadcrumbs, feta cheese, and seasonings.

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Take portions of the mixture and roll into balls or patty shapes. Heat olive oil in a frying pan and fry the patties in the pan. Also, preheat the oven to 350.

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When each side is golden brown, place the patties on a sheet of foil. When all of them are on the sheet, put it in the oven to finish baking the inside. I don’t remember how long I had them in the oven, but it wasn’t more than 20 min.

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I had the patties with yellow rice and spinach. Also ranch dressing was the sauce of choice since I don’t have tzatziki sauce on hand 🙂

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I wish I had some pita bread..but all in all it was really good and really easy to make! Maybe I’ll try to make real authentic falafel sometime.