Tag Archives: vegetarian dinner

Zucchini Gratin with Goat Cheese

In French, that would be “Tian de courgettes au chevre.”  How Provencal, eh?  My friend Cirrue shared this recipe with me from one of her Provencal cookbooks, along with a couple others coming soon to a blog near you!  Cirrue knew about my zucchini…ahem…problem; that is, I have A LOT of zucchini this year, and shared some uber-gourmet ways to enjoy it. (Thanks, Cirrue!)

I also was able to brush off some of my zucchini abundance on a friend, with a copy of this recipe–something to think about if you, too, have tons and tons of zucchini.  Zucchini is better received with a yummy way to deal with it!  

Oh the cheesy, garlicky wonderfulness of this yummy gratin:

Did I mention this recipe uses up 2(!) medium-large zucchini? If you’re feeding a crowd, I’d double the recipe.  This was enough for dinner for 3 plus a wee bit leftover for my lunch the next day.  I ate it cold from the fridge; it was spectacular cold!  Ready to make some for yourself?  Run to the garden and get a couple zucchini before they get any bigger and some herbs.

  • 2 pounds zucchini, thinly sliced or coarsely grated (2 medium-large zucchini.  If you use a large, Moby-sized zucchini, seed it first.)
  • salt
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced or put through a press
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup slivered fresh basil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup (2 oz) fresh goat cheese (I used garlic oil-marinated goat feta.)
  • 2 TBSP fresh or dry bread crumbs (I used Panko.)

Preheat oven to 400F.  Oil a 2 qt gratin pan (or any shallow 2 qt oven-safe pan). 

Place the zucchini in a colander.  Add 1-2 TBSP salt, stir, and let sit for 15-20 minutes over a bowl or in a sink.  The salt will draw some of the water out of the zucchini.

Rinse and gently squeeze out the moisture. 

Heat 1 TBSP oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add the zucchini, salt and pepper to taste.  Cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes.  Add garlic and continue to saute, stirring, for an additional 5 minutes.

Stir in parsley and basil and remove from heat.

Beat together the eggs and goat cheese.

Add zucchini and stir to coat. Adjust seasonings if necessary.

Transfer to the gratin dish.  Sprinkle with bread crumbs and drizzle on the remaining oil.

Bake for 20-30 minutes until the top is browned and the mixture is sizzling.

Let stand a couple of minutes.  Serve hot or room temperature (or cold!).  I thought a slice of toast and some fresh tomatoes would be yummy accompaniments.

I found 6 more zucchini in the garden this morning.  I’m craving some more of this gratin!  Louise, the friend who was kind enough to take a couple zucchini off my hands, added more eggs, used gruyere instead of goat cheese, and turned this recipe into a breakfast frittata!  So, so yummy!

How do you say yummy in French?

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Filed under comfort food, dinner, Garden produce, lunch, recipe, Vegetarian

Heirloom Tomato Galette

I love growing heirloom tomatoes; partly to preserve plant diversity, but mostly because they’re so pretty and SO flavor-y!  Right now I have four different heirlooms ripening: Black Krim (dark purple with green shoulders), Hawaiian  Pineapple (light yellow, sometimes with pink patches), Green Zebra (green with darker green stripes) and Valencia (orange).  I found a recipe in a recent Prevention magazine that showcases both the pretty and the flavor of heirloom tomatoes–a super easy Galette!

  • 1 refrigerated store-bought pie crust (or if you’re feeling ambitious, use your favorite pastry recipe)
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
  • 1/4 cup goat cheese, room temperature
  • 2 TBSP pesto
  • 3/4 pound assorted heirloom tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten

Preheat oven to 425F with rack in the center position

Unfold/unroll the pie crust and roll it into a 13-14 inch circle.  Transfer to a baking sheet.

Mix cheeses together and carefully spread over crust, leaving a 1- to 1 1/2-inch border. 

Distribute pesto evenly over the cheeses.

Arrange the different colored tomato slices over the pesto to make your galette pretty!

Fold edges up and brush the dough with egg.

Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Cut into wedges and serve. 

This is the most amazingly yummy tomato dish I’ve ever eaten.  It’s right up there with eating a tomato fresh from the vine, still warm from the sun.  Really!  Roasting them with the basil pesto really brings out the sweetness and intensifies the flavors of the tomatoes.  

I pretty much knew I’d like this, and thought the boys would tolerate it….they loved it as much as I did!  I think I may try the same recipe using a puff pastry instead of the pie crust next time….mmmmmm….yummy!

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Roasted Garden Veggie Burritos

My garden is being very, very good to me!  It is providing me with all the fresh produce I need, which provides me with a lot of healthy options for meals.  I really enjoy the vegetarian burritos I’ve had at Mexican restaurants, so with all of my beautiful, fresh veggies, why not make them myself?  Have a look–doesn’t this look yummy?

Mmmmmm….so flavor-y and satisfying you won’t miss the meat!  Run out to your garden or farmer’s market or produce section and see what will be in YOUR burritos.  Here’s what I found in my garden, along with a few items from the pantry and fridge.

For the burritos:

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 yellow summer squash
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 3 small onions–these are large bunching onions
  • 1-2 TBSP olive oil
  • salt, pepper, red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup of uncooked rice
  • cheese of your choice, shredded
  • tortillas–the filling made enough for 8 burritos with the medium-sized tortillas I used
  • 1 can beans of your choice–I had pinto beans in my pantry

For the fresh salsa:

  • 3 tomatoes
  • 2 small jalepenos
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • salt, pepper, lime juice
  • cilantro if you like it or have it–mine has gone to seed, I’ll have more in the fall when the seeds sprout!

Preheat oven to 375.  Or, preheat your grill and grill the veggies!  Yum!

Cook rice according to package directions.

Chop burrito veggies into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces.  Place in a bowl and toss with 1-2 TBSP olive oil, salt, pepper and a pinch of red pepper flakes, making sure all veggies are coated.

Place in a roasting pan in the oven.  Roast, stirring occasionally, until tender and starting to brown–about 20-30 minutes.

While veggies roast, make a fresh salsa.  Chop the salsa veggies into a small dice, (hot peppers smaller–I minced mine!) add to a bowl with pressed or finely minced garlic, salt, pepper and a splash of lime juice.

Stir until combined; find a chip or spoon to taste the salsa.  Adjust seasonings as needed.

Warm the beans and tortillas.  Assemble the ingredients and build your burritos!  I like to put the cheese between two hot layers to get it melty.

Michael added more hot sauce to his, Zach skipped the beans, I added a small dollop of sour cream.  How will you have yours?

So colorful!  So fresh!  So yummy!  (And great left-over the next day!!!)

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Veggie Lasagne Pasta

I love vegetables and cook with them a lot, especially as the garden starts producing.  This pasta is a family favorite, adapted from a Rachel Ray recipe.  It’s lasagne, but not–all the flavors of lasagne without the layering and long cooking time.    

The ingredients are what I use to make a regular vegetarian lasagne with tomato sauce, with the exception of the type of pasta:

Use any combination of veggies you like.  Here’s what I have:

For the veggie sauce topping:

  • 2 small yellow squash, cut into half-moon slices
  • 2 small zucchini, cut into half-moon slices
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into a large dice  (These peppers looked better at the store than the green ones this time.  They also add pretty and healthy color!)
  • a quarter of a large red onion, chopped
  • a package of pre-sliced mushrooms  (Already cleaned and sliced is a real time-saver!)  
  • 1 TBSP of olive oil for saute
  • 1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce

For the pasta with cheese sauce:

  • 1 package of pasta, cooked according to package directions.  (I chose rotini because it reminds me of the curly edges of lasagne noodles!)
  • 6 oz package ricotta
  • about 1/4 cup plain yogurt or sour cream
  • 1 cup grated mixed Italian cheeses
  • 3 or 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2-1 cup pasta water–collect it from the pot just before draining the pasta.

Cook pasta according to package directions, retain 1 cup of cooking water and drain.

Place a large skillet over medium heat and add oil.  Prepare all the veggies.

(Aren’t these pretty?!  Lots of healthy colors!)

Add all the veggies except mushrooms to the skillet; season with salt and pepper.  Saute until they start getting soft, but are still crisp and vibrant.

Add mushrooms.  Continue sauteing until mushrooms start cooking–you’ll be able to smell them.

Stir in tomato sauce.  Simmer 10 minutes.

This will be smelling super good right about now….

Leave the pasta in the strainer for a sec while you assemble the cheese sauce in the same pot you used to cook the pasta.

Reduce heat to medium low.  Add yogurt, ricotta, grated Italian cheese, chopped green onions and 1/2 cup pasta water.  Stir to combine, season with salt and pepper.  Add more pasta water if needed for desired consistancy.

Stir the pasta into the sauce and heat through.

Spoon pasta into a bowl, top with veggie sauce and more grated cheese.  Close your eyes and take a bite…..tastes just like lasagne!

Oh yeah…it’s lasagne all right, for those times when you don’t have time to layer and bake.  Imagine all the different lasagnes you’ve had……now imagine them made using this method!  This pasta travels well–I’ve put it together in a large covered aluminum pan, making it perfect for potlucks.  Yummy!

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Music Fest Pitas

Years ago, I was part of a group fundraising by selling beer at a music festival.  Next to our booth was a food vendor, selling yummy, earthy, healthy vegetarian pita sandwiches.  We swapped beer for pitas, fell in love with them, and I’ve been making these pitas ever since.

Today was the start of the Colorado West Music Festival, an annual event that features school bands, choirs, and orchestras from all over the Western Slope.  Mr16 will be performing with three concert bands and two jazz bands over the next few days.  Making  Music Fest Pitas for dinner today seemed fitting, even though they contain refried beans–Mr16 doesn’t do beans.  🙂

Pick, choose, and substitute ingredients to match your taste.

 I like to get in as many colors in as possible!

  • Whole wheat pita pockets
  • green onions
  • tomato
  • yellow pepper
  • cucumber
  • broccoli sprouts
  • refried beans
  • grated cheese
  • avocado (not pictured, but so yummy)

Prepare the veggies, heat the refried beans and pitas.

Spread beans inside a pita, layer in cheese, avocado, yellow pepper, cucumber, tomato, green onions and sprouts.  Grasp firmly in two hands, take a bite.  Mmmmmm…yummy!

Healthy yumminess.  In anticipation of these pitas, I dug out my sprouting lids (yup, proof of the hippie in me!) and grew my own broccoli sprouts.  Broccoli sprouts are uber-healthy, super yummy and hard to find in a grocery store.  I also made refries from my mom’s recipe–I’ll post that soon.  Any sprouts will do of course, and hummus would be a yummy substitute for the refries.  Add veggies you like, subtract any you don’t.  Serve them assembly-line style and let each family member customize their own pita.    

On a random note, I got my new copy of Everyday Food today!  I’m looking forward to finding some more new recipes to share with my family and YOU!

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Basic Quiche (YOU make it yummy!)

My good friend Carol messaged me the other day, suggesting this blog needed a quiche recipe.  Quiche tends to be a spring menu item for me, and now that it’s spring…..well, quiche is definitely somethin’ yummy! 

A quiche is basically an egg and cream custard baked in a pastry crust.  The custard can welcome an almost endless array of meats, veggies and cheeses.  Learn the basic recipe, check what’s in the garden, fridge or freezer, and you’ve got dinner!  Or lunch!  Or breakfast!

Asparagus is coming up in the fields around here and I was able to harvest enough today to inspire a ham and asparagus quiche!

Before we get started, have a look at how pretty these eggs are!  I have a new local, fresh farm egg connection.  The eggs are variable in size, shape and color, with bright orange-yellow yolks.  The difference in flavor between the pale-yolked grocery store eggs and these eggs is like the difference between an Egg McMuffin and Eggs Benedict.  Definitely worth finding your own fresh egg connection!  Also check out the beautiful pottery tray the asparagus are resting in–made by a former student–now a friend, Marie.  I love pottery, especially when I know the potter!   

For one 8-9 inch quiche:

  • 3 large eggs 
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream  (Really worth it for the yummy factor!)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg  (I grate mine fresh using the little grater in the photo.)
  • 1/2-1 cup grated gruyere  (Gruyere gives you a classic quiche flavor, but any cheese is yummy, especially a cheese that pairs well with other flavors you add.)
  • 1 pre-made pie crust–I like the store-brand rolled up kind.  Making your own crust would be uber-yummy, but pre-made makes a quiche do-able after work on a week night!
  • 1 cup add-ins if desired–I used 1/2 cup diced pre-cooked ham and 1/2 cup chopped, steamed asparagus.  (Always steam or parboil any veggies used in a quiche before adding them, and pre-cook any meat.) 

Leave a wrapped, rolled pre-made pie crust out on the counter for 1/2 hour prior to starting your quiche.  Preheat oven to 375 F. 

Gently unroll pie crust over the top of a 8-9 inch pie or quiche pan.  (The pan in the picture is an actual quiche pan–a gift from when quiche was popular in the eighties!)  Center the crust, roll the edges down and crimp them along the edge for a pretty quiche.

Place half of the gruyere in the bottom–on top of the crust.

Add a TBSP of flour to any add-ins and lightly combine.  (This will help your add-ins stay evenly dispersed in the quiche, rather than sinking to the bottom.)  Add them to the quiche.

Whisk cream, eggs, pepper and nutmeg together until eggs are completely broken up and well blended.  Pour into quiche shell, over any add-ins.

to

Top with remaining cheese.  Bake 45 minutes–until quiche is golden brown and a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Let rest for 5 minutes, cut into 6 or 8 wedges and serve!

A package of pre-made pie crusts usually has two rolls.  I decided to make a second quiche so we’d have leftovers for breakfast tomorrow.  It only took me 10 minutes to cut up and steam a cup of broccoli and assemble a second quiche.  I added it to the oven with the first quiche, re-setting the timer for an additional 10 minutes when the first quiche was finished.

Both were yummy, no one could pick a favorite–even though one was vegetarian!  These are a couple of our favorite flavors for quiche, but there are so many other possibilities as spring moves to summer and the garden has more options–“everything in the garden” quiche is a summer favorite around here.  BFF Becky makes a killer quiche with cooked chorizo, green chili and cheese.  I’ve stolen the recipe and made it myself–yummy!  What flavor will YOUR quiche be?

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