Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Kale Ceasar Salad

As a follow up to my last post on Eataly and their love of vegetables- I wanted to post a recipe that highlights one of my favorite leafy greens that also happens to be one of the healthiest foods out there.  It is a great source of Vitamins A and C and also a delicious mouthful of potassium, calcium, iron and folate. The best part of this recipe is that the creaminess of the casear dressing makes this dish popular for those that would normally steer clear of anything so healthy sounding!

Recipe adapted from Tartine Bread (Chronicle Books)
Yield: 6 to 8 generous servings


Four 1-inch slices day-old country bread (ideally whole wheat), torn into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon herbes de Provence (optional)

Kale Caesar:
3 garlic cloves (freshly minced or from a jar of minced)
6 olive oil-packed anchovy fillets (or 1-2 Tbsp of anchovy paste)
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 large egg yolk ( I like to boil for 45 sec just to be safe first)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
1½ cups extra-virgin olive oil (I use half this but this is his recipe)
2 heads (about 1 pound) black kale, center stems removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
⅔ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


1. Make the croutons: Preheat the oven to 400°. In a medium bowl, toss the bread with the olive oil, a pinch of salt and the herbes de Provence, if using. Spread the bread on a baking sheet and bake, turning the croutons midway through, until golden brown and crisp, about 10 minutes.

2. Make the dressing: Place the garlic, anchovies and lemon zest in a mortar and pound with a pestle to make a thick paste. (Alternatively, pulse them together in a blender.) Add the egg yolk, a pinch of salt and a few drops of the lemon juice and mix thoroughly. While stirring, (or with the blender motor running), add ½ cup of the olive oil, one drop at a time, to create a smooth emulsion. Stir (or blend) in the remaining cup of olive oil in a slow stream. (The dressing will thicken.) Periodically add the remaining lemon juice. When all the oil is incorporated, season the dressing to taste with additional salt and lemon juice. Add water as needed to thin the dressing to desired consistency.

3. Make the salad: In a large bowl, toss the kale with the croutons. Add the dressing to taste, reserving any extra for another use. Add the Parmesan, toss again and serve immediately.

To download this recipe, click here.

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A while back while I was back in New York City for a week, I had the opportunity to visit Mario Batali’s new “Eataly” Food Emporium whose tagline is “We Sell What We Cook & We Cook What We Sell”.  Despite all the buzz, I was not prepared for the enormity of the space, the sights, sounds, smells and people that were packed in like finely cured sardines.

The 50,000 square foot space was originally the “Toy Center Building” housing various toy dealers and showroom as well as a private dining club deep in the bowels of the building.  The dining club, “200 5th Ave”, served elegant food to exclusive members with white glove waiter service.  Eataly was built in 2010 in NYC (but has several other stores around the world) to “taste and take home” delicious food and also to educate the public (they have an extensive class schedule as well).

You don’t need to be a member to dine here at one of the TWELVE food areas/mini-restaurants.  There is a coffee vendor, gelateria, pastries, a sandwich shop, pizza/pasta, fish place, salumi stop, rotisserie and even a vegetable restaurant (my favorite) which only serves vegetable dishes (some with grains, cheese but no meat anywhere) and serves them in high style (beautifully and with wine).

“Le Verdure” mini-restaurant gets its star-of-the-show vegetables from the produce section three feet away. Where tomatoes glisten and rub elbows with exotic neighbors like starfruit and buddha’s hand.   Sharing a corner of the kitchen space for Le Verdure and facing the produce area is a “Vegetable Butcher”.  This lovely person’s job is to prep vegetables in to easy to cook packets (sold at a premium of course) and to enthusiastically explain how to cook with these precious vegetable jewels.  While I was there Mr.Veggie Butcher was prepping baby artichokes (discard out leaves, chop down middle) and pontificating on how to cook them (in skillet with olive oil, salt/pepper and finish with a splash of lemon).

Additionally there are shopping areas for all sorts of other products (cheese, bread, meat, pastries, pasta etc) and the array is outstanding.

You might be wondering what I am doing talking about a high-end grocery/food shop, but I wanted to share the experience and especially the admiration for vegetables that this store has.

So don’t be shy, try a new vegetable today. Even if you don’t have the Veggie Butcher to talk you through it…I am sure you can find something on YouTube.

See a map of Eataly NY here.

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As a follow up to my Pantry post, I wanted to add this simple “Pantry Pasta” recipe to your healthy home-cooking repertoire.  You can throw it together with only ingredients in your pantry (white beans, artichoke hearts,stock, wine and sun-dried tomatoes) as long as you have a lemon.  Ideally serve it with something fresh too, like a simple arugula and tomato salad or a heap of garlic spinach.

Serves 8


  • 1 (16 ounce) package whole wheat linguine pasta
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh or dried thyme
  • 1 can white beans
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (drain as much oil as possible first and then blot with a paper towel after chopping)
  • 3/4 cup sliced marinated artichoke hearts
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add linguine pasta, cook for 8 to 10 minutes, until al dente, and drain.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, and cook the onion 4 minutes, until tender. Mix in the thyme, and continue cooking 2 minutes, until onion is golden brown.
  3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the saucepan. Return the onion and thyme to saucepan, and stir in the white wine. Cook until reduced by about 1 tablespoon. Mix in the stock, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking 10 minutes, until reduced to about 3/4 cup.
  4. Mix the sun-dried tomatoes, white beans and artichoke hearts into the saucepan, and cook just until heated through. Toss the cooked pasta into the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper.

Adapted this recipe from All Recipes, but they use fresh tuna instead of white beans and I lowered the amount of oil a bit.

Let me know what you think!

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Finally a vegetarian dish you will be proud to bring to the party!  This nutritious dish is packed with protein and iron from the Quinoa (an ancient grain that is great for everyone from the gluten sensitive to the picky toddler).

Serves 8ish

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Butternut Squash (about 1.5 lbs), peeled, halved crosswise, and de-seeded
18 Fresh Sage Leaves, plus 1 tsp finely chopped sage
½ Onion, cute into ¼” dice (about 3/4C)
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1 C Quinoa
2 C low sodium Vegetable Stock
1 ½ Ounces Parmesan Cheese, finely grated
1 tsp Coarse Salt
1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper
Vegetable Oil cooking spray

1.    Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 baking sheets with 1 tsp oil.
2.    Cut five ¼” thick rings of butternut squash, dice remainder of squash into ¼” pieces. Toss with 1 teaspoon oil. Place squash rings on one sheet and diced pieces on the other sheet. Sprinkle all squash with 12 sage leaves. Bake until tender and just golden, 15-20 minutes.  Let cool completely. Keep oven on.
3.    Heat remaining teaspoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook, stirring, until translucent (3-5 minutes). Add quinoa and stock and bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat. Simmer until liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes.  Remove from heat. Let stand covered for 2 minutes.
4.    Stir together quinoa, diced squash, chopped sage, parmesan, salt and pepper in a medium bowl.
5.    Coat a 9” plate pie plate with cooking spray. Arrange 6 sage leaves face down in plate; top with squash rings. Press quinoa mixture on top.
6.    Bake 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then invert onto a serving platter. Serve wedges warm or at room temperature.

Recipe from Martha Stewart.

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I was inspired by my last post on fiber to make this warm hearty soup with roasted carrots and onions and green lentils.  It is from the cookbook “Love Soup” by Anna Thomas and is fairly straight forward.  Green lentils (aka “Le Puy”) get tender in under half an hour but keep their shape and are still firm to the bite. Don’t forget to make enough to have for a few days.  You can also freeze this soup.

Did you know…a  cup of lentils have about 15 grams of fiber (~half your daily rec) and about 18grams of protein.

Serves 6-8


1 1/2 lbs carrots

1 1/2 onions

4 Tbs Olive Oil

1 1/2 tsp sea salt (more to taste)

freshly ground pepper

1 generous cup French green lentils (1/2 lb)

4 Cups vegetable broth

1 generous Tbs chopped fresh mint (or 1 1/2 tsp dried mint)

1-2 Tbs fresh lemon juice

1-2 tsp Harissa/Chipotle Sauce or red chile salsa

Garnishes (optional): feta cheese or light sour cream


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees

2. Cut the carrots and onions into 1/2-1″ pieces, toss in 1 Tbsp of olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper and lay on two separate baking sheets/ pyrex dishes and roast till tender and browning, about an hour.  Onions will likely be ready before carrots. When ready, allow to cool and chop coarsely.

3. Meanwhile, combine the washed lentils in a large soup pot with 4 cups broth and a tsp on salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer, covered, for about 25 minutes or until lentils are tender but still firm.

4. Add the chopped roasted vegetables, mint, 1 Tbsp lemon juice and harissa/chipotle/salsa to taste a small amount at a time for a little kick but not so much as to overwhelm the other flavors. If you want a more soupy soup add water or more broth, otherwise this should be a rather hearty stew.

5. Simmer stew for about 10 minutes to marry the flavors then taste and adjust as necessary (more lemon? salt? spice?)

6. Serve with garnish of your choice and thick slabs of crusty whole wheat bread.

To download this recipe go here or my resource section. For more recipes from Anna check out her website.

I added Romanesco to the roast pan to serve as a side

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For me, wintertime means lots of things in the oven and while I was roasting up some root vegetables last night I decided to make these baked stuffed zucchini with some leftover brown rice thrown in as well.  The recipe is very easy and customizable to what you have (or don’t have) in the fridge.  Try it with carrots/celery, tomatoes, green onion, nuts (pine nuts sound nice), breadcrumbs, brown rice, kasha, barley etc.  I didn’t have mushrooms last night but like it that way best (but I am a mushroom lover). You can cover them with cheese or leave that off.  Kids especially love these zucchini “boats” or if you have a round zucchini that’s fun too!

Serves 4
* 2 medium zucchini (or 4 small round zucchini)
* 12 large fresh mushrooms, finely chopped (or substitute with other vegetable)
* 1 small onion, finely chopped
* 1 tablespoons olive oil
* Splash of white wine or low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
*  1 Cup Grain of choice (optional)
* Salt & Pepper to taste
* 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese or other cheese (optional) per zucchini

1. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, or cut off top if using a round zucchini.
2. Scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-in. shell. Chop pulp; set shells aside.
3. In a skillet, saute the zucchini pulp, mushrooms and onion in olive oil for 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add grain ,wine or broth. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10-12 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Stir in salt and pepper.
4. Fill shells with mixture. Sprinkle with cheese.  Bake for 20 min and the then broil 3-4 in. from the heat for 3-4 minutes or until cheese on top is lightly browned.


To download a copy of this recipe click here (also posted on our Resources page)

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A cozy hearty dish which provides 18g of protein per serving (see last blog post on how much protein you need a day) and has a meaty feel because of the bulgur. Double the recipe (that’s what we did here) for a gathering or to freeze for easy lunch/dinners.

Serves: 6
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 onion, chopped
* 2 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced
* 1 red bell pepper, seeded, chopped
* 3 large jalapeño chilies, seeded, minced (about 4 1/2 tablespoons)
* 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes with added puree (ideally with no added salt)
* 3 cups water
* 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained (or soak dry beans the night before)
* 2 15-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed, drained (or soak dry beans the night before)
* 1/2 cup bulgur**
* 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
* 5 garlic cloves, minced
* 2 tablespoons chili powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
* 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
* 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

* salt to taste (we used “smoked salt”, my new favorite for adding a subtle richness)

** Also called cracked wheat; available at natural foods stores and supermarkets.


1. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat.
2. Add onion, carrots, red bell pepper, and jalapeños and sauté until onion and carrots are almost tender, about 8 minutes

3. Add tomatoes, 3 cups water, beans, bulgur, white wine vinegar, garlic, and spices.

4. Bring to boil.
5. Reduce heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, until bulgur is tender and mixture thickens, stirring often, about 20 minutes.
6. Ladle chili into bowls and serve. Can add low-fat cheese (cheddar is nice) or low-fat sour cream and/or chopped scallions

I made up a batch of home-made corn bread to serve with it also and if I had been serving this for a smaller affair I would have included a big leafy green salad as well.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious

Click here to download a paper copy, and I always post my downloadable recipes in the resource section too.

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