Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

The inspiration for this pizza came by way of my roommate eating at Otto’s pizzeria in Portland, Maine.  She noticed a squash pizza on the menu and thought it would be interesting.  However, she didn’t sample it that evening, as there were other items on the menu that caught her eye. 

What did end up happening was an at-home gourmet pizza night.  Using whole wheat crust from Portland Pie, we assembled our version of a butternut squash pizza.  It was amazing.

Butternut Squash Pizza

  • 1 pizza dough
  • 1 cup butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella

Assemble pizza to your liking. Cook at 450F for 10ish minutes.


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At the cocktail party hosted by Campbell’s/Swansons at BlogHer Food ’09, they served the most amazing butternut squash soup that I’ve ever encountered.  It was amazing. And, as my luck would have it (and I was quite lucky that weekend), I won a Campbell’s gift basket that contained a cookbook. And on page 71 of that cookbook, was my dearly beloved butternut squash soup.

Butternut Squash Soup

Now, I’m going to come right out and say it:  I didn’t like my soup. But, I’m not giving up on it.  For I made a few changes to the original recipe, because it was what I had available to me at the time. In the future, I will make certain that I have all the required ingredients on hand. Ok. End of disclaimer; on with the soup!

Butternut Squash Soup (with Sage Butter) – {adapted from Swanson Homemade Soups}

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-2.5 lb butternut squash: peeled, seeded and cubed (1″)
  • 2 md granny smith apples ( I had Mac’s in the house)
  • 1 lg onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander (I ground whole seeds; possibly too old)
  • 3 cups chicken broth

Squash cubes

Using a 6qt soup or stock pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Toss in squash, onion and apple; cook until the squash is almost fork tender. This took about 10 minutes or so.  Next, sprinkle in coriander; stir. Cook for 2 minutes.


 Add broth and heat to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until squash is tender.

*Recipe calls for removing squash with slotted spoon and processing in food processor until smooth. Then add liquid back into puree until desired consistency. I did not do this.  I used an immersion blender to puree the soup in situ. Then I wasn’t happy about the smoothness, so I then put it through the f/p anyhow.  So, this is me, telling you, to go ahead and listen to the recipe and not me. For next time,  I’ll do it the way I am told.

Finally, the recipe says to garnish with fresh sage leaves (which I didn’t have on hand). Also, in a side note, it recommends frying 12 sage leaves in 1 tbsp of butter until crisp. Then, drizzle each serving with fried sage leaves and sage butter. I’d really like to try this next time.

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It’s a Sunday night and my desire for cooking has been nil for the past week. Which seems counter-intuitive, after my foodie weekend in San Francisco. But, with a wok, you can’t go wrong with a stir-fry, right? And I’ve always tonnes of veggies in the fridge. So, veggie stir-fry it was tonight.Veggie Stir-Fry

It took me an hour to properly season the wok, according to the directions I received from the Wok Shop.  I just didn’t have the brain-power to think of something more incredible than just veggies.  And, truth be told, I’ve been lacking in my veggie consumption lately. In the fridge, I was able to scoop up 5 fresh veggies.


Once the veggies were all prepped, I heated the wok with some oil and started the stir-fry with cooking broccoli and carrots.  Using foot long chopsticks is fun! Then I added in the onions, green peppers and mushrooms.  Then I threw in my favourite ingredient into any stir-fry:


Water chestnuts are the bomb! I then finished the stir-fry off with a little teriyaki sauce. And that was my first experience with my new cast iron wok. I think I’m in love.

Veggie w sauce

Veggie Stir-fry

  • 1 cup broccoli, small florets
  • 2 carrots, diagonal slice
  • 1 cup red onion
  • 1/2 cup green pepper
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup water chestnuts, sliced
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce

P.S.  I realize now that I need a better oil dispenser. Using a big jug – not a clever idea!

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While my family experience a super long weekend (4 days for most Canadians), I suffered through a typical weekend in Maine. However, I was determined to have some resemblance of an Easter dinner that would remind me of home. And whats my favourite supper, Mom? That’s right, scalloped potatoes and ham. sigh.  So, my easter dinner menu is Mustard & Brown Sugar Glazed ham, scalloped potates and my Grandmother’s butterscotch pudding.

I picked up a 6 lb shank ham on Saturday morning and a bag of Maine potatoes. (PEI potatoes would have been optimal, but I’d have had to go to Shaws for those). I started dinner around 11:30am on Sunday and it was done to perfection by 6:30pm. This was my menu.

Brown Sugar & Mustard Glazed Ham

  • cooked ham
  • 3 tbsp mustard (mix of yellow and spicy brown)
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey

I slow cooked the ham at 300F for 4 hours.  Once cooked, I carved the ham for 6 portions. Layer ham slices in a casserole dish, drizzle with glaze and put back into the oven for 10 minutes. 

Mom’s Scalloped Potatoes

  • 2 lbs sliced potatoes (yukon or russets)
  • 3 cups milk
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp corn starch
  • salt and pepper

I peeled and rinsed 2 lbs of potatoes and then sliced them with a mandolin.  Toss potatoes loosely into a dutch oven.  Warm milk and butter on stove top, pour over potatoes. Bake in oven at 325 for 1 hour.  My grandmother always topped her potatoes with onions and strips of bacon – I didn’t have either on hand, but wish I did.

Spring Aspargus

  • 1 lb thin asparagus
  • lemon zest
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper

I grilled the asparagus in my cast iron skillet for 4 mins, then removed the pan from the stove.  I misted with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper and then zested one lemon. Cover with foil and let rest for 5 mins.

Nanny’s Butterscotch Custard

  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 7 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp butter

Warm liquids on stove, and mix in dry ingredients. Cook for 1 minute.  Add 1/3 cup of liquid to egg, beat well.  Return egg mix to pan and continue to cook while stirring, about 2 minutes.  Once custard comes together and thickens, remove from heat.  Stir in vanilla and butter.  Use for either a pie filling, or individual pudding cups.

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So, I’m going to make a really shocking statement – maybe two.  First,  I don’t like fresh tomatoes. Second, tomato soup is one of my favourites.  And with that, I will explain that I require my tomatoes cooked or even warmed before I can eat them.  Thus, when I came across the post in Slashfood about roasted tomato soup… I surely had a smile on my face and a growling in my tummy.

Spicy Roasted Tomato Soup:

  • 2 pound ripe plum potatoes
  • drizzle olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 c. chicken stock (or veggie stock)
  • 1/4 c. fresh basil
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper

Slice tomatoes in half and place on baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil.  Roast at 375 F for an hour.

In a soup pot, saute garlic til lightly golden.  Add soup stock and tomatoes.  Puree (I have an immersion blender for this task) until desired consistency.  Add basil, red pepper, salt, pepper, and vinegar.  Simmer for 10 mins. Serve. 

I found this great as cold soup for lunch.

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My soup of the week for the last week of March/first of April is a Hungarian Mushroom Soup inspired by the recipe found at Allrecipes.com.   A month ago, the gang was at the local pub for Triva night.  T had the soup special that night, which was a Hungarian mushroom.  She loved it and told me to try to make it at home.   The only recipe I could find online, was the one mentioned above, which is different than the one she had, but still full of flavour.   Next time around (and there will be a next time) I will make some modifications and post the update.

 Hungarian Mushroom Soup:

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 2 c. chopped onions
  • 1 lbs mushrooms, sliced (I used button, but also had some leftover dried porcini)
  • 2 tsp dried dill
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 4 c. broth (chicken or veggie)
  • 1 c. milk
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour (or white whole wheat) 
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/3 c. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 c. sour cream

Melt butter in a soup pot or skillet and saute onions for 5 mins or so – until slightly tender.  Add mushrooms and cook for another 5 mins. Add dill (if using), paprika, soy sauce and broth and simmer for 15 mins.

In separate bowl, whisk milk and flour.  Add it to the soup and cook for another 15 mins, stirring occasionally.

When soup has reached desired consistency, add salt, pepper, parsley, lemon and sour cream.  Warm but do not boil.  Serve immediately.

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So I’m heading home for the holidays soon and as such, not heading for the grocery store.  Two nights ago I was in need of something yummy and filling for supper, but really didnt have much to work with. 

Or so I thought!

Homemade Greek Pasta:

  • Veggie tri-colour pasta 
  • 1/2 c. olives
  • 2 oz. feta
  • 1/2 c. fresh parsley
  • 1/4 c. sundried tomatoes
  • 1/2 juice of lemon

I tossed it all together with a bit of olive oil and some freshly squeezed (1/2) lemon juice.  YUM! 

This is similar to a cold pasta salad I’ve made before, with the added bonus of the s/d tomatoes.   It tasted wonderful hot..  and just as good the next day cold!

I wish I took a picture – it was pretty.

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