Posts tagged ‘Vegetarian’

Recipe – Sautéd broccoli with red pepper and garlic

Last night, I wanted to try a new side dish for our Teriyaki Salmon. So, I really started using my noggin to figure out something to do with what I had a lot of in the fridge. I settled on Broccoli. And while I really wanted to roast these florets, I settled for the sauté process for two reasons: time and control of the tenderness.

Sautéd broccoli with red pepper and garlic

This is a really simple side, but the combination of garlic, crushed red pepper and just the hint of olive oil is really wonderful. You’ll have some interesting aromas in the kitchen and it’s really a nice combination to the sweetness of the Teriyaki glaze on the strong salmon. I won’t bother to go over the fish recipe again. This quick post is really all about the star side!


  • 1/2 pound of broccoli crowns, cut into florets (about 2 or 3 cups)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of dried crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Place raw broccoli into a large bowl and toss with olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add red pepper.

Raw broccoli, red pepper and olive oil

2. Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic, broccoli and sauté for about 6 to 8 minutes, or until the broccoli reaches your desired tenderness. You may need to add a little more oil as you go.

3. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

It’s absolutely delicious and really fast. A batch takes no more than 7 or 8 minutes at the absolute most. Enjoy.


February 19, 2009 at 8:32 pm 1 comment

Recipe – Broiled and Stuffed Beefsteak Tomatoes

Last night, I didn’t make anything particularly exciting for dinner, but wanted to do something different for a side dish. More often than not, I often just wing it with my side dishes, using whatever I happen to have in the pantry or the fridge. One of the skills I’m trying hard to develop is pairing sides with meals properly and coming up with things that are different than sauteed veggies or the common side salad. So, when I found a recipe for “Blue Cheese Crusted Tomatoes” on Epicurious, I decided to modify it to something that sounded more interesting to me and came up with these Broiled and Stuffed Beefsteak Tomatoes (the stuffing is Danish Blue Cheese, Seasoned Bread Crumbs and Minced Garlic).

Broiled Stuffed Tomatoes

First of all, deepest apologies for the blurry photo of the finished product. I’m think my camera may have not been properly set on my manual macro settings and I got camera shake. Unfortunately, wifey and I had already eaten said tomatoes before I noticed the error. Rest assured, they look fairly appetizing upon exit from your oven. We had these guys with grilled spinach and feta chicken sausages and side salads. The creamy Danish Blue Cheese melted nicely with the breadcrumbs and the beefsteaks held up nicely to the broiling process. I always think I’ve found a winner when my wife says, “I’d order this in a restaurant.” Those words make for one happy would-be chef.

Beefsteak Tomatoes and Danish Bleu Cheese


  • 2 medium/large beefsteak tomatoes (buy them the day of to make sure you can get some reasonably firm specimens. If they’re too ripe, they’ll turn out stewed)
  • 1/4 cup of dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1.5 to 2 ounces of Danish Blue Cheese
  • 1 and 1/2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

1. Pre-heat your oven using your broiler setting. Low is fine, but if your oven forces a temperature on you, shoot for 350 to 400 tops.

2. Cut the top 1/4 of the tomatoes off. Use a pairing knife cut out a good portion of the ribs and seeds from the tomatoes and scoop them out with a spoon. Be sure to leave some of the seeds and juices so the breadcrumbs and cheese have some of those great tomato flavors to merry.

Beefsteak Tomatoes

3. Mix breadcrumbs, herbs and olive oil in small bowl, mashing to coat. Sprinkle tomatoes with salt and pepper and place in a small roasting pan.

4. Top each with 1 or 2 tablespoons of blue cheese and top it off with as much of the breadcrumb mixture as you’d like.

5. Toss it under your broiler and and cook tomatoes until slightly soft and cheese melts. Mine took about 10 to 11 minutes. Just be sure to check on them to be sure they don’t get too soft.

Tomorrow, I’ll talk about some of my new breakfast experiments, as I’ve found a chicken and turkey Chorizo that Vita can eat. That means breakfast burritos y’all.

February 17, 2009 at 10:31 am 1 comment

Recipe – Portobello Bruschetta Burgers

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m pining for end of summer and all her bombs of flavor. So, as I wrote yesterday’s post I was already racking my brain as to what to prepare for dinner (Vita and I didn’t quite have the time to meal plan this week due to an office reorganization project that took precedent).

I wanted to make something for my wife that would tickle all the vegetarian atoms left floating around in her body, while playing off my current passion for summer tomatoes. So, with my brain now fully fixed on mushrooms, tomatoes and fresh bread, I was off to Randazzo’s Fresh Market on my lunch break to pick up the freshly baked Kaiser rolls to make Portobello Bruschetta Burgers.


  • 2 Kaiser Rolls
  • 4 medium to large Portobello Mushroom Caps
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup of Bruschetta (I usually use this recipe, but used pre-made in these photos)
  • 4 slices of fresh Buffalo Mozzarella

1. Using a pestle and mortar grind salt, peppercorns, oregano, rosemary and basil together until peppercorns are thoroughly broken up. Once you’ve done this, transfer your herbs and spices to a small bowl and mix in the extra virgin olive oil to create a spice paste.

2. Do NOT rinse the mushrooms. Just brush off any of the excess dirt to preserve the flavor of the caps. Then remove the stems using a pairing knife and the gills from the underside of the caps using a spoon. This will create a better surface area for your Bruschetta filling when you hit the grill.

3. Rub both sides of the mushrooms with the herb mixture, giving each a generous coating of the mixture. The provided amounts should be good for four mushrooms.

4. Place the mushrooms on a pre-heated grill. Be sure you place STEM SIDE DOWN first. You’ll flip only once, and you want the side you removed the gills from to cook first so that you can spoon on Bruschetta to warm as you cook the other side. Cook the stem side for about 4 minutes then flip.

5. After flipping your Portobellos, spoon Bruschetta into your caps, cook for an additional four minutes. Remove from grill and place it on your bun.

6. I like to add fresh mozzarella to the top, but it’s up to you. I think it adds a creamy flavor to the tart Bruschetta and compliments the bold flavor of Portobello in a really great way with all the Italian Herbs.

Don’t they look amazing? I was treated to a double delight last night… a beautiful sunset (I love shooting during the “golden hour” in the evening!) and these powerful little flavor bombs. You can be a true carnivore through-and-through, but I’d be willing to bet even the most die-hard tyrannosauruses would enjoy this burger. I think fresh bread is key, especially a bigger roll like a Kaiser. It’s large enough to hold all the fixins in it, and it soaks up all the Bruschetta goodness.


August 28, 2008 at 10:29 am 6 comments

Recipe – Tomato, Bean and Mozzarella Salad

It became incredibly apparent to me last night as I was walking the dog … the stiff breeze raising goose bumps along my arms and a sun hanging ominously low at 8 p.m. Summer is coming to an end.

I take a little joy in knowing that fall (my favorite time of year) is just around the corner, but am admittedly a little sad to know that warm days lounging in polo shirts (and the best tasting tomatoes of the year!) are almost behind us here in Michigan.

To celebrate the ending of summer, I plan on grilling and whipping up as many cool refreshing salads as I can before the daily temperature continuously drops into the 70s and 60s. One such salad is Vita’s concoction. We eat it almost twice a week. It’s that good, and that easy.

Recipe – Tomato, Green Bean and Mozzarella Salad


  • 15 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 and a half cups of fresh green beans
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil (or use 3/4 tablespoon Gourmet Garden Basil because it works great in applications like this and is a wonderful substitute if you don’t have fresh)
  • 10 halved fresh Mozzarella balls
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (only use if you opt for fresh basil instead of tubed)

1. Clean and snap ends from green beans. If need be, halve the beans with a pairing knife if they’re particularly long.
2. Salt and boil a large pot of water. Toss in your beans and simmer at a light rolling boil for approximately 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Immediately drain beans in a colander and transfer your beans to an ice bath to stop the cooking process (this keeps your beens crunchy in the salad, and cools them off, which is refreshing!).
4. Place your beans in a large serving bowl.

5. Add tomatoes, mozzarella, salt, pepper and basil to the beans and toss lightly in olive oil.

There you have it. Couldn’t be easier or more delicious. The cherry tomatoes ooze their delicious flavor over the beans in the tossing process and mingles ever so nicely with the flavors of the mozzarella and the cool green beans. It really is one of my favorite dishes that Vita has ever made me. We always make plentiful amounts, because it’s nice, light and healthy. Hopefully, you’ll give it a shot and enjoy some of summer’s parting shots of flavor.

August 27, 2008 at 10:37 am 8 comments

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