Meatless Mondays: Vegetable Pot Pie

Another Ina meal. What can I say, she has such fabulous recipes that are perfect just the way they are, but also really easy to tweak. This one needed some tweaking. A vegetarian recipe using chicken stock? What’s the point! So I used store-bought vegetable stock…don’t worry, all this chopping and peeling let me make 3 quarts of my own vegetable stock for next time.

I also switched around the vegetables (but of course kept the butternut squash, because it’s my favorite. Can you tell?) and omitted some ingredients that I didn’t have – Pernod? No thanks. The fennel gives enough anise flavor for me. And while I know saffron gives a great color and flavor, I can’t bring myself to spend the money on it. Maybe if someone buys it for me I’ll try it next time.

Recently I’ve been craving chicken pot pie. I see recipes in cookbooks and on TV and think it just sounds so good. With this cold weather here, a big bowl of steaming veggies covered with flaky pie crust is just what we need for a 1-bowl dinner. It’s also a hearty way to make a Meatless Monday meal!

Vegetable pot pie, adapted from Ina Garten:

  • 2 yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 1/2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 recipe flaky pie or tart dough, or your favorite pie crust

Directions:

1. Make sure all your vegetables are chopped to the same size.

2. Combine the butter and olive oil in a large pot and add onions and fennel. Saute over medium heat for ten minutes, until lightly browned.

3. While the onions are browning, bring a pot of water to a boil. Boil the potatoes for ten minutes and remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

4. Boil the butternut squash, carrots, and celery for five minutes. Drain and add to bowl.

5. Add flour and mix. Turn heat to low and cook for 5 minutes, until all the flour is absorbed. Mix occasionally.

6. Pour vegetable broth into pan and mix until thickens.

7. Add vegetables, including peas, into sauce.

8. Add parsley and mix.

9. Divide dough into six oven-proof bowls or two nine-inch pie plates.

10. Cut dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece flat. Wet edges of bowl, and place pie crust over the bowl.

11. Brush will egg wash, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

12. Bake at 375 degrees for an hour until the top is crispy and the vegetables are bubbly and hot. Let cool for about ten minutes, because it’s going to be very hot!

Basil Green Goddess Dressing

I don’t usually make creamy salad dressings. I usually make just a simple vinaigrette. While leafing through Barefoot Contessa at Home for the millionth time, this salad dressing really caught my eye, and I knew I had to try it. It has a wonderful basil flavor and a nice creamy texture. You don’t need many vegetables to make this salad extraordinary. Just lettuce, maybe some avocado and tomato. The dressing is enough to make just lettuce seem special.

I don’t have a blender. But don’t worry, this dressing was still easy to make, using my immersion blender and the measuring cup that comes with it. Actually, that might have made the task a bit easier. Not only was I able to measure the ingredients in the cup, I also stored the dressing in it and didn’t have to dirty an extra dish! Not owning a dishwasher makes you really think about that one extra cup, bowl, or spoon.

Ina’s recipe for this dressing suggests serving it with Bibb lettuce and a few tomatoes. I happened to have had some romaine lettuce in my fridge, so I just used that. I think a crispy lettuce is just perfect for this dressing, so don’t go pouring it over your baby arugula (or if you try it, let me know).

This is a perfect way to use up some of the basil in your summer garden if you’re sick of making pesto (or you just don’t have enough basil to make pesto). It’s also a good creamy salad dressing for the winter, though. Which is when I like it best.

I’ve actually never made regular Green Goddess dressing before, which is made with tarragon instead of basil. I’m not such a fan of that flavor, and I happen to love basil, so my guess is that I’d like Ina’s updated version better. She also added anchovy paste, something I don’t stock in my pantry. If you want to add it, add a teaspoon.

Not only is this a good salad dressing, but since it’s thick you can use it as a dipping sauce for veggies, a perfect mid-day snack!

Zeke, who usually doesn’t eat any salad, went back for seconds of this one.

Basil Green Goddess Dressing, adapted from Ina Garten. I halved the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions, white and light green parts only (6-7 scallions)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Directions:

1. Place the mayonnaise, scallions, basil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper in a blender and blend until smooth.

2. Add the sour cream and process until smooth.

3. Pour the dressing over salad and serve.

Meatless Mondays: Spanach Jibben

We just hate all those commercials about how gross vegetables are that they have to hide them in gross fruit drinks! We love vegetables, so here’s a traditional Syrian way to eat them. It’s an easy way to get spinach into your diet, even for those picky eaters, and a great Meatless Monday dinner! Continue reading

Meatless Monday: Roasted Corn Salad

Summer corn is here! That means that we eat lots of corn and get it stuck in our teeth. Yuck! This corn salad is a better way to eat that same corn without getting anything stuck in your teeth!

This recipe has quite a few steps, but ones that you can skip and have the store do for you, like roasting peppers and shucking corn. I did it all myself, but no one will know if you buy roasted peppers and use canned or frozen corn that you just roast in the oven for a while. Actually, what a great way to make this recipe in the winter when fresh corn isn’t available. As long as you don’t skimp on the fresh cilantro, I won’t tell anyone.

The flavors just get better when this sits, so make this ahead of time. Having company? Make it the day before and let it sit in the fridge. It’ll make your life much easier and it will make the salad taste better. I was going to add some black beans to this, but didn’t have any in the pantry. Turns out, I think it was perfect this way, but add the beans if you want to (a great Meatless Monday way to get some protein). Then let me know how it is. Maybe I’ll add those next time.

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 ears white corn
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chili powder
  • About 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro.

Directions:

1. Season the corn with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Roast or grill the corn for about 15 minutes. Let cool.

2. Roast the red pepper over an open fire, rotating when the skin is black. When blackened, place in plastic bag and let steam for about ten minutes. Remove from bag, peel the black skin off, and cut into strips. Cut the strips into small pieces (about the same size as the shallots).

3. Combine the shallots, roasted peppers, salt, pepper, chili powder, and cilantro in a bowl.

4. Remove the corn kernels from the cob – using a sharp knife, hold the corn so that it is standing, and cut downwards. Don’t worry about all the kernels separating from each other, that’s part of the fun of homemade corn salad!

5. Add the corn to the bowl, and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste. If you like cilantro as much as I do, add more!

See the bowl I used? It’s my favorite! I have it in three sizes. They make it in red, too, but I haven’t seen it since Adelaide’s closed.

Meatless Mondays: Fettuccine with Peas and Asparagus

Here is a meatless yet satisfying dinner for Meatless Monday:

This was the first time we’d ever cooked with fresh peas; we usually use the frozen variety. But since peas (as well as asparagus) are in season, this recipe from the Williams-Sonoma Bride & Groom Cookbook seemed like a perfect recipe to try. We used Alton’s recipe for the pasta.

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Red Hot Roasted Asparagus

It’s spring time and that means that asparagus is popping up on New York City’s fruit stands! These guys not only have the best produce, they also have the best prices; I can buy three or four bananas for a dollar from the stand on my corner or one for 90 cents at Starbucks! I even once found a five-for-a-dollar stand, but that’s rare. I digress. So I bought a bunch of asparagus this week. It cost me $2.

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Baked Caulifower

baked cauliflower

I had to use up the leftover cauliflower from the Italian Style Cauliflower last week, but I wanted a recipe that was completely different. Too much of that white vegetable is boring! The first step? Make it in the oven instead of the stove. Oh, and I just got a steamer basket, so I wanted to use that too. If you like creamy foods, you’ll love this! It’s pretty much mac and cheese with cauliflower instead of pasta. It would probably be delicious with an assortment of vegetables, or with purple cauliflower and pasta together (again, too much white bores me).

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Spicy Italian-Style Cauliflower

I have never cooked cauliflower before. I didn’t even know if I liked it when it wasn’t breaded and fried. Turns out I do.

When I got the Williams-Sonoma Bride and Groom Cookbook and flipped through the pages, I knew I had to try their recipe for cauliflower. It seemed really easy and I already had most of the ingredients in my kitchen. I picked up a head of cauliflower on my way home from work and in a half hour, this dish was ready. Continue reading

Mini Shells with Mushrooms

I used to think I didn’t like mushrooms, but here I am posting yet another mushroom recipe. I’ll admit it, I hate raw mushrooms. But when cooked, they have an amazing flavor that goes really well with pasta.

On my birthday I went for dinner and ordered a pasta with portobello mushroom sauce. It was delicious, but way too creamy and rich. I decided to recreate the intense mushroom flavor in my own pasta dish, without adding loads of cream. Here’s what I came up with.

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“Meat” and Dairy Lasagna

When it comes to lasagna, we Kosher Foodies always have to make a choice: dairy or meat. Well, I bought some Morningstar Farms Meal Starters to use as meat, and so I could have “meat” and cheese together! Layers of pasta, tomato, meat, cheese, and vegetables made for a very heavy and delicious dinner, the perfect comfort food for a winter night. Whatever you don’t eat can easily be frozen and reheated.

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