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Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian’

Thank you, Pioneer Woman, for yet another delicious recipe! These are a nice change from mashed or baked potatoes. They’re nice enough to serve to company, but simple enough that you don’t have to slave over them. They’re kind of a cross between a baked potato and a french fry – crispy and salty. I served them with a beef roast, and they were great.

PW suggests seasoning them with the herb of your choice, but I chose to use only salt and pepper, which turned out just fine. Whatever floats your boat!

Crash Hot Potatoes a la Pioneer Woman (Recipe found here)

  • 12 small round potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Rosemary or other herb of choice, to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.

On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.

With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.

Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and fresh chopped rosemary (or chives or thyme or whatever herb you have available.)

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

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Sincerest apologies for the terrible photo – but I figured a phone photo would be better than no photo at all.

This was SO good. I love muenster, and I have Annie of Annie’s Eats to thank for turning it into a scrumptious mac & cheese. Plus its near-ridiculous simplicity just made it that much better. It isn’t diet food by any means, with a cup of heavy cream, 8 oz of muenster cheese, and a buttery Ritz cracker topping, but it sure is worth the calorie splurge!

Muenster Macaroni and Cheese (Original recipe here)

  • 16 oz macaroni pasta
  • 5 Tbsp butter, divided
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz Muenster cheese, shredded
  • Salt and pepper to taste (Important – salt is hugely important in mac & cheese!)
  • ¼ cup Ritz cracker crumbs

Preheat the oven to 400˚ F.  In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta according to the package directions just until 1-2 minutes shy of al dente.

Meanwhile, dice 4 tablespoons of the butter and place in a large mixing bowl.  Warm the cream in a small saucepan or the microwave.  Cover to keep warm.

Once the pasta is cooked, add to the bowl with the butter and toss to coat well.  Stir in the warm cream and the Muenster until the cheese starts to melt.  Mix in salt and pepper to taste.

Pour the mixture into a buttered 2-quart casserole dish (or in my case, a regular ol’ 9×13).  In a small bowl, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter.  Mix in the cracker crumbs.  Toss with a fork to coat evenly with the butter.  Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture evenly over the pasta in the baking dish.

Bake until the sauce is bubbling and the topping turns golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.  Serve immediately.

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Eggs

I love eggs. Scrambled, hard boiled, over easy… doesn’t matter. We had breakfast for dinner the other night (one of my favorites), complete with biscuits, bacon, and scrambled eggs.

[Allow me to take a minute here and explain that YES that is a canned refrigerated biscuit you see in the photo… although I would have gladly made buttermilk biscuits from scratch, one of JW’s favorite things in the world is canned biscuits. So… every so often I oblige.]

Scrambled eggs are one of those things that should be easy that isn’t necessarily. Up until recently, I was always in the “low, slow heat, stirring frequently” camp. But I came across an article not too long ago that changed my thinking. They said no, in fact you should scramble eggs over a hotter temperature – medium to medium-high – and don’t stir too much, just every so often. I tried it and wow! SO much better! It’s not that the others were bad, per se, it’s just that the consistency was different. This way you actually end up with fluffy chunks of egg you can stab with a fork, instead of having to scoop up all the little egg bits.

Stabbable fluffy chunks are definitely preferable to scoopable little bits.

Maybe everyone else knew this but me. Maybe I’m slow to get on this wagon (this is very likely true). Either way, it sure has made a difference in breakfast time around here, regardless of whether that happens to be 7:00 AM or 7:00 PM.

On a different note, I have a new camera! It came in the mail yesterday… SO EXCITED!! I can’t wait to start using it. I just have to figure it out first… 😉

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I made this to go with our panko baked chicken, and I was pretty pleased with it. It’s kind of a take on that typical oriental salad you see with the Ramen noodles (which this one has too), but it is a little different. I thought it had some interesting flavors, but probably next time I will not add quite as much cabbage – just a personal preference. It’s a texture thing.

The original recipe includes mandarin oranges, but since those are almost (but not quite) up there with broccoli on my Foods-I-Don’t-Like list, I left them out.

For what it’s worth, JW thought it tasted better the second day.

Asian Pasta Salad (Recipe found here)

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad classic pasta mix
  • 1 pkg (3oz) Oriental flavored Ramen Soup Mix
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 bag coleslaw mix or broccoli slaw
  • 1 cup frozen peas (original calls for snow peas or sugar snap peas)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup slivered (or sliced) almonds

Empty the pasta mix into a pot of boiling water. Gently boil for 10 – 12 minutes. Drain, rinse with cold water and shake to drain again.

In a large bowl stir together the seasoning mixes from the pasta and the soup mix, sugar, oil, vinegar, water and soy sauce. Add the pasta and the remaining ingredients. Toss to combine.

Just before serving, coarsely crush the dry noodles from the soup mix and stir into the pasta mixture. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

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I had never made corn casserole before last night. Eaten it? Sure. Enjoyed it? Absolutely. But never made it. And this one turned out great. What I like about it is that it is a nice starchy side that isn’t potatoes, pasta, or rice.

An added plus? JW, who does not like corn, cornbread, or sweet things, ate two helpings of this and said I should make it again. THAT, my friends, is success 🙂

I researched several recipes and this one kind of came together as a result of personal preferences and things that sounded good. Sorry… no picture… we ate it too fast.

Corn Casserole

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 (15-oz) can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (15-oz) can cream style corn
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 1 box (8.5 oz) Jiffy corn muffin mix
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (I used Colby Jack, but probably would be great with sharp Cheddar)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8×8 baking dish.

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl and spread into dish.

Bake 45-55 min. or until golden brown and set.

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If you’re a fan of goat cheese, you will LOVE this pasta. Goat cheese is milder and softer than feta, but is still “crumble-able.” It just melts in your mouth and has this tangy flavor that is just fantastic.

While I was standing at the deli counter yesterday looking at the packaged cheeses and eyeing the store brand of goat cheese, which was considerably cheaper than the others, an elderly woman with a German accent came up beside me.

“No, you don’t want that cheese,” she said, “I bought some a few weeks ago and it just had a terrible flavor. Try this kind instead.”

The log of cheese she handed me was more than I needed, but had a brand name I couldn’t pronounce – which meant it must be good, right? And after looking at my options for a while, I decided that since I wasn’t buying meat for this meal, I could splurge on the cheese. And it was well worth it! I highly recommend purchasing a good goat cheese, since it really is the star of this dish and there are so few other ingredients (and no meat, remember? Just think of how much you’re saving…)

I also realize (now, after looking everywhere for it last night) that asparagus might be difficult to come by at this time of year. Feel free to substitute whatever vegetables you prefer. Or you can leave them out altogether – JW said he actually would have preferred the asparagus separate from the pasta. But that’s JW, and he can be a bit anal different in his food preferences. I actually used about half the amount of asparagus called for in the recipe, and it was plenty for me.

I do recommend you let whoever is eating this know that it is not fettuccine alfredo. It tastes a bit similar because it’s creamy and cheesy, but it has a distinct goat cheese flavor that makes a bit more sense when you know what it is 🙂 This would be a great dish if you’re having “foodies” (especially vegetarians) over for dinner, or make the pasta sans vegetables as a gourmet side to a delicious steak, prime rib, whatever. Mmmm…

Many thanks to my friend Elizabeth at Freezer Gourmet for this dish! Be sure to pay a visit to her blog and check out her other recipes when you have some time. She has quite a variety of easy-to-prepare, and delicious, meals. I have several bookmarked, so I’m sure you’ll see her influence again!

Goat Cheese Pasta with Roasted Asparagus (Recipe found here, original recipe here)

  • 1-2 bunches asparagus (1-2 pounds total), tough ends removed
  • 4 Tbsp butter, cut into small pieces
  • 12 ounces cavatappi or other short pasta
  • 1 small log soft goat cheese (5 ounces), crumbled
  • 2-3 Tbsp snipped fresh chives, for garnish (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine goat cheese, remaining 3 tablespoons butter, and 1/2 cup pasta water. Season with salt and pepper, and whisk until smooth. Add goat-cheese mixture and asparagus to pasta; toss to combine, adding more pasta water if necessary for sauce to coat pasta. Serve pasta garnished with chives, if desired.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta. Place asparagus on a large rimmed baking sheet; dot with 1 tablespoon butter, and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, tossing occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes; cut into 2-inch lengths.

While asparagus is roasting, generously salt boiling water. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, according to package instructions. Set aside 1 1/2 cups pasta water; drain pasta and return to pot.

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What I loved about this macaroni and cheese is that it was quick, easy, delicious, and still homemade. I was in the mood for a creamy mac & cheese, so I used Velveeta, although in the future I may use a combination of Velveeta and cheddar, or something else, for a little stronger cheese flavor. That said, this was delicious and it will definitely be staying in my repertoire for future meals (although not too frequent as it’s not a dish for the super health conscious)!

Macaroni and Cheese (Recipe found here)

  • 16 oz elbow macaroni, cooked al dente
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 3 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 lb cheese, cut into cubes
  • Breadcrumbs, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a pan, cook butter, salt, pepper, and flour, and stir until smooth.

Remove from heat and stir as you gradually add milk. Return to heat and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Boil 1 minute.

Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir until melted.

Pour over macaroni noodles, sprinkle with breadcrumbs if desired, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cover with foil before baking if you do not use breadcrumbs and you do not want a crust to form on top.

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