Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

Recipe: Parmesan-Crusted Veggies

I’ve had the ingredients on hand for this for a week but didn’t make it until today. Actually, I had not remembered that I needed two eggs for an unmade recipe and had only one egg left in the fridge, so I had to cut the sauce recipe in half. There was still sauce left over, so no worries.

I tried making my own breadcrumbs, and I have to tell ya, it was a pain. More difficult/time consuming than I expected. I have recently learned about panko breadcrumbs and plan to try those the next time I make this.

The original recipe calls for mayo in the sauce, but I’m not a big fan of mayo. We don’t have any on hand and we wouldn’t use it for anything else, so I just left it out (as you’ll see below), and the sauce was still quite tasty. It also called for asparagus and broccoli, but our broccoli went bad before I made these :( so we only used asparagus. After making the recipe as noted below, we had egg, breadcrumbs, and dipping sauce left, so this will easily make more than the dozen spears listed.

Parmesan-Crusted Veggies & Sweet Onion Sauce


  • 12 asparagus spears, washed and ends snapped off
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 3/4 cups of seasoned bread crumbs (if using plain crumbs, just season with salt and pepper, and italian spices, ie: onion, garlic, parsley, basil, paprika, etc.)
  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon oil or butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 tablespoon spicy mustard
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  1. Snap ends off of asparagus.
  2. In separate bowls, place beaten eggs and bread crumb/parmesan cheese mixture. I used the tray the asparagus came in for the egg and a dish for the breadcrumb mixture. Later I noticed that the recipe called for the stalks to be cut in half. Would have made this step simpler.
  3. Coat each stalk in the egg wash, transfer to the bread crumb mix and coat, then place on a cookie sheet. I didn’t spray or otherwise prepare the sheet and didn’t have issues with sticking.
  4. Bake in oven at 425 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until golden and crispy.
  5. While asparagus is baking, heat oil or butter in a pan on medium heat. Add the onions, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally until onions caramelize, 12-15 minutes.
  6. Transfer onions to a blender or food processor. Add the vinegar, honey, and mustard; blend until almost smooth.
  7. Transfer to a bowl, and mix in the yogurt.

Recipe: Shorba (Ethiopian soup)

You get two-for-one today!

There is an Ethiopian restaurant in town that The Big Man and I have long been fans of. They have soup called shorba that we both love. We have said for a long time that we need to find a recipe. We have tried a couple and they weren’t any good. Finally, we found a recipe that makes something pretty close to what we have when we’re out. But it called for berbere, an Ethiopian spice. That is not readily available, so we made that as well from a recipe on Epicurious. I didn’t note where the shorba recipe is from. If you recognize it, let me know — I’d like to attribute it.

Berbere (Ethiopian Spice Mix)

  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 1/2 cup ground dried New Mexico chiles
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

Finely grind fenugreek seeds in an electric coffee/spice grinder. Stir together with remaining ingredients until combined well.

Berbere keeps in an airtight container, chilled, 3 months.

We found the fenugreek and the ground dried New Mexico chiles at Sprouts, a local health food store.


  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp berbere or curry powder
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1½ cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ¼ cup brown or green lentils
  • 1 Yukon Gold potato, diced
  • ¼ cup whole wheat orzo pasta

Over medium-high heat, saute the onion until it is brown. Reduce the heat to medium.

Add the carrot, ginger, garlic, curry powder, and fenugreek, sauteing them for about 1 minute.

Add the veggie broth and tomato paste, stirring until the tomato paste is thoroughly combined with the broth. Bring the soup to a simmer. Stir in the lentils and potato. Once the soup comes back to a simmer, cover the pot and reduce the heat to low.

Cook the soup for 35 minutes.

Add the orzo; cook according to package directions.

Meatless Meals (I Wish) My Mother Made

(Today’s prompt is a “free writing day” — conveniently coinciding with recipe day :) )

A healthy sweet treat for you today!

I’ve made this twice now, and I can give you some advice: have everything prepared ahead of time — the sheet greased, the honey measured — before you start to toast the seeds. If you wait, the seeds will burn in the still-hot pan while you wait for honey to pour … and then you’ll learn that not all of the honey will come out so you’ll have too many seeds for the amount of honey you have and the end product, while not terrible, will be slightly burnt and not as sweet as it ought to be. Just sayin’.

The original recipe calls these “Sesame Honey Candy” and I suppose that some folks (generally not in the US) would consider these to be candy. Regardless of that detail, they are tasty but not in a “I’m going to eat this whole batch right now” kind of way — which is good :)

A few things that the linked recipe didn’t address that I haven’t figured out (so I can’t help you, but if you figure it out, let me know): how thick should these be on the cookie sheet? I have cookie sheets in a few different sizes. It’s also a pet peeve of mine when an ingredient should be added “to taste.” I’ve never made this before. How can I possibly know how much I should add? Give me a starting figure and let me add or subtract from there.

Anyway, next time I make these, I’m going to add some crushed nuts. Haven’t decided yet what sort of nuts. Or maybe finely chopped dried cranberries. Mmmmm.

Sesame Honey Candy

  • olive oil
  • 3 cups sesame seeds
  • 1 cup honey
  • sea salt to taste
  1. Grease a baking sheet with olive oil. Measure out your honey.
  2. Heat a skillet on medium-high heat until it becomes hot to the touch.
  3. Pour sesame seeds into the hot pan and stir them continuously until they’re well-toasted and golden-brown in color – about four to six minutes. (A cast iron skillet and wooden spoon were recommended. I don’t have a cast iron skillet but I did use a wooden spoon. Not sure if/why it matters.)
  4. Stir honey and a generous dash of unrefined sea salt into the toasted sesame seeds until they become well-coated and the mixture stiffens.
  5. Pour the mixture onto your baking sheet and pat down and smooth out the mixture with a spoon.
If you’re just munching at home and don’t care about eating right out of the pan, you can stop there, wait for it to cool, and cut off pieces as you want to eat them. Otherwise:
  1. Score the candy into pieces of 1/4-inch by 1-inch and set the pan aside until the candy is cool enough to handle comfortably.
  2. When cool to the touch, but still warm enough to be malleable, grease your fingers with olive oil and roll the pieces of honey candy into small, round logs.
  3. Allow to cool completely before serving.

Meatless Meals (I Wish) My Mother Made

I have been having a tough time coming up with something to eat between teaching and dinner. I get home at about 1:30 (I teach part time) and have been grazing all morning at school but that is not enough to tide me over until dinner. I saw this recipe and thought it would be great to try — and it was! Easy to make, easy to store, easy to eat, tasty, filling. Win-win-win-win-win!

Take care, though — they are very calorie-dense, so you don’t want to eat a whole mess of them at once.

Pictures on food blogs = food porn. Pictures of food on my blog = gives you a general idea of what it looks like.

Peanut Butter and Oat Energy Bites from The Cilantropist

  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup unsalted, roasted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 cup (or more) dried cranberries
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, making sure to evenly distribute all the ingredients.

Once mixed, if it is not sufficiently sticky, add a bit more peanut butter or honey. If it’s too wet, add oats or flax.

Once it’s just right, take a bit and roll it into a ball.

That’s all!

You could, of course, change up the ingredients — different seeds, different fruits. You could also make them sweeter with chocolate, carob, or yogurt chips.

They’ll keep in the fridge for a week or two in an airtight container, but I don’t think they’ll last that long!

Meatless Meals (I Wish) My Mother Made

This recipe floated through Pinterest. It intrigued me, though I have to admit, I had no hope that it would actually taste like brownies. Really? Black bean brownies??

Pleasant surprise! It was tasty!

We didn’t have many chocolate chips on hand (what you see is all we had) — these would have been better with chips. Also, beans that were slightly overcooked probably would have been better (canned would be fine), as would a tiny bit more time in the food processor … but I was impatient :)

And so, from Lynn’s Recipe Adventures comes …

Flourless Black Bean Brownies

  • 1- 15 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup cocoa
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a food processor or blender puree the black beans, eggs, butter, cocoa, vanilla, and sugar until smooth.
  3. Stir chocolate chips into the batter and spread into a greased 8×8 pan.
  4. Bake for 30-33 minutes.

Meatless Meals (I Wish) My Mother Made

In reading about Greek yogurt, I saw a suggestion to use it in place of mayo in sandwich salads. I decided to give this a try, and it worked really well!

I am not a big fan of plain Greek yogurt at all, but this didn’t taste yogurt-y.

Egg Salad

  • 2 hardboiled eggs
  • 2 baby carrots, diced (I used babies because that’s what I had on hand; this made roughly 2 tbsp of diced carrot; shredded would also work)
  • ½ celery stalk, diced
  • 1 dollop plain Greek yogurt

Mix all ingredients. Serve on your favorite bread. I had mine with a slice of tomato as well.

You could, of course, add whatever else you usually add to this type of thing. In the past, I’ve added a bit of honey mustard which is also pretty good.

Meatless Meals (I Wish) My Mother Made

I love sweet potatoes. I’ll buy them, boil and mash them, and eat them just like that, no additions needed.

So when I see a recipe for something delicious with added sweet potatoes, I have to assume that it will be even more delicious.

In this case, I was correct. This is some really tasty hummus.

It’s spicy and also a bit sweet, and it pairs really well with apple slices.

I already had two mashed sweet potatoes on hand. The original recipe calls for roasting and peeling them; I did neither. The food processor took care of the skins with no trouble. Oh, and we didn’t have tahini on hand, so we left it out. Did need a bit of extra water.

Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus


  • 2 large sweet potatoes (or 2 cups mashed sweet potato)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you like a really spicy dip)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

If your sweet potatoes aren’t already cooked, roast them in the oven for 45 minutes at 400 degrees, individually wrapped in foil.

In a large food processor, puree garlic cloves and chickpeas. Add everything except sweet potatoes. Puree until smooth. Add sweet potatoes and puree until completely combined.

Serve immediately or store in an airtight container in the fridge until ready to serve.

According to The Novice Chef, this can be stored in the freezer for up to three months in an airtight container.

Meatless Meals (I Wish) My Mother Made

I mentioned recently that I joined Pinterest. One of the main things I’ve gotten from it is recipes. Tons of them. Some of the recipes will happen some time and some that look really good but realistically aren’t ever going to see the light of day in my kitchen (whether because they’re complicated or sugar/flour-laden).

This one was from a list of many ways you could use Greek yogurt. I’m not a fan of Greek yogurt, but some of the ideas intrigued me, so I clicked through. So glad I did!

The post to the original recipe can be found here, where there is also a recipe for blackberry sauce. Looks good. We didn’t have blackberries on hand and I hate hate hate zesting citrus.

I’d like to try this with other flours and see how the pancakes turn out.

Make sure you make these little buggers pretty small — they’re hard to flip over (even relative to normal pancakes).

Without further ado…

(OK… I think I will never go into food photography… But that’s a salad plate to give you a reference for size.)

Yogurt Pancakes

  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking soda
  • coconut oil
  • butter

Beat eggs in large bowl with whisk.

Add in the rest of the ingredients, whisking to combine. Heat a large skillet or stove-top griddle to medium heat. Add a slick of coconut oil to lightly cover bottom of pan and a smidge of butter, swirling to combine with the oil. Once the butter has finished foaming add the batter. Make sure the batter is spread fairly thin so the pancakes are easier to flip.

Cook until small bubbles begin to form, then flip.

Add a bit more oil and butter as needed. The original calls for butter before every batch. I found those pancakes to be a bit too greasy.

Regardless, these moist little pancakes were delicious!

Meatless Meals I’m Glad No One Has Made

Just letting y’all know … I’ve tried quite a few recipes in the last two weeks, and none of them were tasty at all.

I made almond milk a couple of different ways but haven’t gotten it to a taste and texture that I like.

I made cookies from the almond meal left over after making the milk and they were about as bland as cookies could be. (They’re now dog treats; he doesn’t care!)

I made chai from whole ingredients and from teabags/powdered ingredients, and dumped all of it down the sink.

I did make a birthday dessert for a friend that seems to have turned out pretty well. Not posting it today, as I haven’t given it to her yet and I don’t want her inadvertently to find out what it is here. If she likes it, I’ll post it next week.

I have quite a few more new recipes on the list to try. Hopefully, I’ll have one (or more!) to share with you soon!

Meatless Meals (I Wish) My Mother Made

There is a local restaurant chain here called Pita Jungle; they have really excellent food. I tried one of their specials a few weeks ago, called Couscous Salad, and loved it! I made a mental note of all of the ingredients and recreated it. While it wasn’t exactly the same, it was still quite tasty!

I didn’t measure anything, so this is more a list than anything. While this does have spinach in it, the base of the salad was the couscous, with all of the other ingredients mixed in. Also, at Pita Jungle, it comes with bell pepper and jalapeño pepper in it as well, but I opted out of both.

A few notes: I like onions a lot, but too much really overpowers the rest of the salad. I learned (the second time) that mixing up the couscous and tabouleh first and then mixing in the other ingredients makes for easier mixing and better-distributed tabouleh. The tomatoes and pineapple keep it nice and moist.

Couscous Salad

  • couscous
  • tabouleh (also spelled tabbouleh or tabouli)
  • baby spinach
  • grape tomatoes
  • diced red onion
  • golden raisins
  • diced pineapple
  • chick peas

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