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Potato and Onion Frittata

The baby is coming soon, so this may be my last post for a while. I had hoped I’d be a more active poster while on bed rest but I’ve ended up eating quite a bit of other people’s cooking, getting takeout, and eating recipes already on this blog over and over again. I cannot wait to be back in the kitchen and making new food with my own two hands again. I can’t thank my husband, our families, and our friends enough for feeding us these past several months; we wouldn’t have made it through without all of you!

Before I disappear for a bit, I had to post this recipe because my mom has made it for me so many times over the past few months at my request, and I love it. It’s perfect for my nutritional needs right now because it has protein from the eggs, vegetables, and carbs to fill me up and feed the baby! It’s great for any meal. My mom usually makes it for my lunch and I eat the leftovers for dinners. I hope you like it!

Potato and Onion Frittata

1 T. olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 large onion (or 2 small), diced

3 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 zucchini, washed and thinly sliced

6 eggs

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

1 T. parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

- Preheat oven to 350.

- Warm a nonstick saute pan over medium heat.

- When pan is warm, add olive oil. Swirl to coat pan.

- When olive oil is warm, add minced garlic and saute for 30 seconds until very light brown.

- Add diced onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.

- Add sliced potatoes to pan and turn heat up to medium high. Cook covered, stirring frequently. When potatoes are sizzling, turn heat back down to medium. Flip potatoes periodically so they cook on both sides. Cook until they are browned on both sides and a fork goes through them easily (about 15 minutes).

- When potatoes have about 5 minutes left to cook, add sliced zucchini and mix in.

- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk eggs, cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper.

- When potatoes are ready, pour off any excess oil from pan, turn heat to low, and add egg mixture, working eggs into potato mixture until evenly distributed. Cover and allow eggs to set, about 7 to 10 minutes on very low heat.

- Transfer pan to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes.

*photo courtesy of yummly.com

Zucchini, Tomato, and Fresh Mozzarella Pasta

While I’ve been on bed rest, my husband and I have tried several different meal delivery services. (He’s not huge into cooking, and there’s plenty else for us to do without thinking of new dinner ideas each night.) So far we’ve tried Blue Apron, Plated, and Hello Fresh, and we’ve been happy with most of the recipes and ingredients we’ve gotten through these services. All of them offer a vegetarian option, and Blue Apron even allows you to tailor your food in other ways (e.g., pescetarian, no shellfish, no red meat). The one thing we don’t love is all of the waste that goes into the delivery, as all the ingredients are individually packaged. So like I usually do, I’ve taken my favorites and tweaked them so we can make the recipes later on in our own way. I wanted to post the recipe shown here first because it is our favorite so far. It’s based on a Blue Apron recipe, and we asked my mom to remake it for us a second time with the tweaks you see here. It’s super fast, easy, and delicious!

Zucchini, Tomato, and Fresh Mozzarella Pasta

1 T. plus 1 tsp. olive oil, divided

2 small zucchini, washed, sliced lengthwise, and then sliced into thin half moons

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 tomatoes, washed and diced

1 T. capers

8 oz thick spaghetti (like bucatini or tonnarelli)

2 T. butter

1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated

8 oz fresh ball of mozzarella, torn into pieces

Salt and pepper

- Heat a medium pot of salted water on high to boiling.

- Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick pan on medium high. Add 2 tsp. olive oil and warm. Add the sliced zucchini in a single layer and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes, or until slightly softened and browned. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

- Turn heat down to medium. To the same pan, add 2 tsp. olive oil and warm. Add the garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until light brown. Add the diced tomatoes; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the tomatoes are saucy.

- Add the cooked zucchini and capers to the pan of tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

- Add the pasta to the pot of boiling water; cook 2 to 3 minutes, or until just before al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set aside. Drain the pasta and transfer it to the pan of vegetables.

- Turn heat under pan of pasta and vegetables to medium. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the pan and stir occasionally, 2 to 4 minutes, or until the pasta has absorbed some of the sauce. (If the sauce seems too dry, slowly add the remaining reserved pasta water for desired consistency.)

- Remove the pan from heat and add the butter and grated cheese; stir until well combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

- Divide the pasta between 2 bowls. Top with the mozzarella cheese and serve.

Vegetable Stew (Giambotta)

Several weeks ago, my doctors put me on strict bed rest, which means I basically have to remain horizontal for 24 hours a day. This is not an ideal scenario for someone who hates doing nothing and who has a never-ending list of things to do. And who needs to plan for a baby! But it has forced me to relax, give up all control, and let others help us, which are real changes for both me and my husband. Since I’m unable to cook (among everything else), we have had to call in a lot of mealtime help since my husband can’t do it all despite his best efforts. There are lot of hands on deck in our kitchen these days. One of the vegetarian dishes my mom has made for us a few times is this Italian vegetable stew, or Giambotta. It has a delicious tomato flavor and is loaded with fresh vegetables. It makes a great lunch or dinner and is fantastic heated up the next day or even week. It’s completely vegetarian and really filling. I hope you enjoy it.

Vegetable Stew (Giambotta)

Olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 large onions, sliced and cut in quarters

3 narrow zucchini, washed, sliced lengthwise, and then sliced into half moons

1 large eggplant or two small eggplants, peeled, sliced, and cut into quarters

5-6 fresh tomatoes, chopped

1⁄2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

2 potatoes, peeled, cut into large cubes, and parboiled for 10 minutes

Provolone cheese, for grating

Italian bread

- Turn heat under a large pot or dutch oven to medium. Drizzle bottom with olive oil and warm.

- To the warm pan, add crushed garlic and onions. When onion is browned, add sliced zucchini. Stir and cover, then stir often until zucchini is somewhat softened. Add eggplant pieces and repeat, stirring frequently and cooking covered.

- When vegetables are somewhat soft but not mushy, add the chopped tomatoes and parmigiano-reggiano cheese and season with salt and pepper. Stir and then gently add potatoes. Cook uncovered.

- Stir again, cover, and reduce heat to simmer for at least 30 minutes. Tomatoes will form the liquid for the stew.

- Before serving, remove cover and simmer for about 10-15 minutes to heat and thicken.

- Serve with Italian bread and grated provolone cheese over the top.

Multicolored Quinoa

My new favorite way to prepare quinoa!

Multicolored Quinoa

1/2 cup quinoa

Salt

Lemon

Olive oil

- Put half a cup of quinoa in boiling salted water.

- Cook for 15 to 18 minutes, then drain.

- Mix cooked quinoa with a squirt of lemon and a bit of olive oil.

Asparagus, Tomato, and Egg Salad

This salad recipe is based on one I found in Food and Wine. That recipe wasn’t vegetarian as it used anchovies in the dressing, which I wouldn’t have likely used even if I wasn’t serving it to my husband! It also called for the asparagus to be raw, which just didn’t sound right to me. I made a few other tweaks, and both my husband and I loved the result.

For a full vegetarian dinner, I made multicolored quinoa on the side. My new favorite way to prepare it is just a half a cup of quinoa in boiling salted water, cooked for 15 to 18 minutes, drained, and mixed with a squirt of lemon and a bit of olive oil. So easy and so good.

Asparagus, Tomato, and Egg Salad

For the salad:

4 whole eggs

1 large tomato, washed and diced

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and discarded

For the dressing:

1/2 cup olive oil

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1/3 cup green onions, washed and chopped

2 small garlic cloves, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

- Place the eggs into a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Once water boils, cook for 3 more minutes.

- Remove saucepan from heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Cool cooked eggs in ice water. Once cool, peel the eggs. Chop roughly.

- Meanwhile, place the asparagus in a frying pan on the stove and cover with a little water. Cook over medium heat (water should simmer) for 5-7 minutes, until asparagus is cooked. Remove from pan and dice the asparagus.

- In a large bowl, add the diced tomato, diced asparagus, and eggs. Season with salt and pepper.

- Make the dressing by adding lemon juice, chopped green onions, and minced garlic to a food processor. As the mixture blends, add the olive oil slowly and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

- Add about 1/3 of the dressing into the vegetables and mix gently. Serve the rest on the side.

Hearty Breakfast Toasts

I have gone from a person who skips breakfast to a person who gets very angry if I don’t eat soon after I wake up. I apologize in advance if my posts lean toward breakfast in the near future! This recipe was inspired by a recent trip my husband and I took to Charlottesville, Virginia – one of my favorite places in the world. We stayed at the Cedar Spring Inn, a lovely bed and breakfast with gorgeous views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and wonderful homemade breakfasts cooked to order every morning. While there, we also discovered one of our new favorite wineries, Early Mountain Vineyards. If you’re ever in the area, it’s a must-try. The tasting room is warm and inviting, especially in winter when they have a huge fire going, and they serve delicious wines from their vineyards as well as from other local wineries.

A dish similar to this recipe was my favorite of all those we had at Cedar Spring Inn. So simple, but so delicious when made with perfectly ripe and wholesome ingredients. At the Inn, they used arugula to top the toasts, but I didn’t have any on hand when I made these.

Hearty Breakfast Toasts

2 slices multi-grain bread

2 eggs

1 vine-ripened tomato

1 avocado

2 slices Swiss cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

- Lightly toast the bread, slice the tomato, and cut the avocado into chunks.

- When the bread is done toasting, add a slice of cheese to each piece and put back into the toaster oven for a minute to melt it.

- Meanwhile, cook eggs to over-easy.

- Assemble toasts by adding the sliced tomatoes on top of the cheese, followed by the cooked eggs, and then the avocado. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve with a fork and knife!

 

Power Breakfast Smoothie

Ever since I found out I was pregnant, I’ve been trying to consume more protein, calcium, and omega-3s. We’ve started buying dairy milk, I increased my calcium supplement, and I snack on yogurt and almonds, homemade peanut butter on whole wheat toast, and cheese nearly every day. I also buy whole flaxseeds and throw them in the food processor so I can sprinkle ground flax on anything. To get a lot of what I need in one easy snack, I created this breakfast smoothie. It’s also nice to have something to look forward to in place of my coffee in the morning!

Power Breakfast Smoothie
8 oz mango juice (I like Odwalla Mango Tango)

4 oz whole or 2% milk

1 container Activia yogurt (I like peach or strawberry)

2 T. ground flaxseeds

Handful frozen pineapple

Handful frozen strawberries

- Add everything but strawberries to a blender and mix on high until thoroughly combined. Add strawberries and continue blending until smooth.

I’m Back

I want to start out by saying HELLO and I’m sorry it has been so long since I’ve posted. My last post was in mid-April, and my life has changed so much since then. I had to step away from my blog (and often, from cooking) to deal with some very personal life changes, but I’m ready to be here again. The changes in my life only reinforced my desire to bring easy, healthy, vegetarian-friendly recipes to the masses, and I want to continue doing that for all of you.

In the span of a month, my husband and I found out that we’re expecting our first baby, and my dear, funny, strong, brilliant father passed away after a 4-year battle with cancer. For so many, many reasons, these events have instilled a determination in me and my husband to live as healthy a life as possible. Of course I want the baby inside me to receive all of the nutrients he needs at this pivotal time, and I want to teach him how to make smart, healthy choices from a very young age. As for my father, I’d like to think my husband and I introduced him to some foods he never would have otherwise tried (eggplant meatballs for one), and I know he listened and considered our reasons when we talked about our choice to maintain a vegetarian diet. I’m proud that we opened his eyes to a lot of foods he might have scoffed at 10 years ago. He was proud of us and loved us both so much.

Again, I am sorry I disappeared, but I hope you understand and I hope I can make up for it with new recipes and a lot of new information on maintaining a healthy diet. I hope to even include information on pregnancy-friendly foods. And if you’re interested in fertility-friendly eating, send me a private email at meatlessmatrimony@gmail.com. I’m happy to talk about those too. These days, even more than ever, food is my favorite topic!

Asian Noodle Bowl With Steamed Vegetables

I realize it has been ages since I’ve posted. My husband and I have had a LOT going on, and I have had zero time to think about new recipes or to cook anything that takes longer than 10 minutes. I promise this is temporary and I will get back on track with yummy new things to share! In the meantime, this light noodle bowl will satisfy any carb cravings you have without the guilt. I used my favorite Asian flavors to come up with the sauce, and you can vary the veggies however you like.

Asian Noodle Bowl With Steamed Vegetables (serves 4)

2 T. hoisin sauce

3 T. low-sodium soy sauce

1 tsp. mirin (rice cooking wine)

2 T. sesame oil

1 clove garlic, minced

Juice of 1 lime

1 1/2 tsp. sriracha

9 oz. edamame

2 small heads broccoli, washed and cut into florets

3 handfuls kale, washed

8 oz. whole-grain udon noodles (I used Eden Organic)

Roasted peanuts, optional

- To make the sauce, combine hoisin, soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil, garlic, lime juice, and sriracha in a medium bowl. Whisk with a fork until smooth. Set aside.

- Prepare edamame according to package instructions. Shell edamame and set aside.

- Cook noodles according to package instructions. Drain.

- Meanwhile, turn on a steamer basket over boiling water. Add broccoli and cover. Steam for 3 minutes.

- Rinse steamed broccoli with cold water and drain. Set broccoli aside.

- Add kale to steamer basket and cover. Steam 3 minutes. Set kale aside.

- In a large pot or bowl, mix cooked noodles, steamed broccoli, steamed kale, shelled edamame, and sauce. Combine thoroughly. Serve in bowls topped with roasted peanuts, if desired.

Broccoli, Kale, and Bell Pepper Salad With Peanut Sauce

I like when my husband does the grocery shopping because he always comes home with vegetables I wouldn’t necessarily buy. For example, he absolutely loves broccoli, which has never been my favorite. I like it fine, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not something I gravitate to at the store or dream of creating recipes around. I remember watching him cook himself broccoli at his old bachelor pad when we were dating, just a huge plate of broccoli and some other vegetables mixed in. I was very impressed, and kind of amused, that this man liked broccoli that much. Fast forward to today, when I find broccoli in our refrigerator every few weeks. This week I wanted to make something super fast and of course, delicious, with it. I came up with this warm salad incorporating fresh vegetables and my favorite Peanut Sauce, which I featured on my blog a long time ago. It turned out amazing!

Broccoli, Kale, and Bell Pepper Salad With Peanut Sauce (serves 2)

1 small head broccoli, washed and cut into florets

1 red bell pepper, washed and diced

6 handfuls of kale, washed and chopped

1 batch Peanut Sauce

Sesame seeds, for garnish

- Make Peanut Sauce and set aside.

- Turn on a steamer basket over boiling water. Add broccoli and bell pepper and cover. Steam for 3 minutes.

- Rinse steamed vegetables with cold water and drain. Place vegetables in a large bowl.

- Add kale to steamer basket and cover. Steam 3 minutes.

- Add steamed kale to bowl with vegetables. Add Peanut Sauce (you might not need to use all of it) and mix gently until the vegetables are coated. Taste and add more sauce if desired.

- Serve vegetable salad over rice if desired. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.