Category: Vegetarian

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Orange Cranberry Muffins

To make these muffins you need to find sun-dried cranberries, not the fresh ones sold for cranberry sauce. The dried berries, like raisins, make a nice snack all by themselves, and they are a great addition to cookies, muffins, and sweetbreads. Combining them with orange juice makes for a festive muffin, something you might want to serve for breakfast on Christmas morning; if you have the right muffin tin, you can also make little one-inch muffins to serve with big roast beef or turkey dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp. low sodium baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 tbsps. vegetable oil
  • 4 tbsps. honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup orange juice

Directions: Put the cranberries in a small bowl, cover them with water and allow them to soak until softened (at least an hour; more if possible). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sift together the flours, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl. Combine the oil, honey, eggs and orange juice and stir to blend. Add the cranberries and the water in which they have soaked and stir. Pour this mixture over the flour mixture and stir gently only until all the dry ingredients are moistened. Spoon the mixture into cups of a muffin tin lightly greased with butter, oil or vegetable shortening; the cups should be nearly full. Bake on the middle rack of the oven until a toothpick or knife blade inserted in a muffin comes out clean; this should take about 15 minutes. Turn the muffins out onto a rack to cool a bit before serving.

Couscous Salad with Carrots and Raisins

Cool couscous creates the basis for a hearty salad to serve as a side dish or a vegetarian main course.

Ingredients:

  • 1 10-oz. box quick-cooking couscous prepared according to directions, omitting salt.
  • 3 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 1 cup yellow raisins
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup red onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsps. olive oil1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Directions: Allow the couscous to cool off completely, then add the carrots, raisins, parsley and red onion and toss to distribute. Sprinkle with the oil and vinegar and toss again. If the salad seems too dry, add a bit more oil and vinegar.

Spinach Salad with Cranberries and Pine Nuts

The cranberries and toasted pine nuts add flavor that elevates spinach to a memorable plane.

Ingredients:

  • 4 to 6 cups fresh spinach washed
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup alfalfa sprouts

Directions: Rinse and dry the spinach and add to a large salad bowl. Heat a skillet to medium heat and add the pine nuts. Cook, shaking and stirring, for several minutes, until the nuts begin to brown. Remove the nuts from the skillet and add to the greens, followed by the cranberries and toss to distribute. Combine 1/2 cup of oil, vinegar, and pepper in a bowl and stir vigorously to combine. Pour this mixture over the salad and toss; then sprinkle with the sprouts.

Salad with Tomatoes, Chick Peas and Mozzarella

This hearty, tasty salad is a meal in itself and makes a great contribution to a church or community pot luck dinner.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups seeded, diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup peeled, diced (1/2 – inch pieces) cucumber
  • 2 cups diced (1/2-inch pieces) salt-free mozzarella cheese
  • 1 15-oz. can salt-free chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup flat parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon

Directions: Combine the tomatoes, cucumber, mozzarella cheese, chickpeas and parsley leaves in a bowl and toss until all the ingredients are well distributed. Combine the oil, vinegar, chili powder, garlic, and pepper in a separate bowl and stir until well blended. Pour this mixture over the tomato mixture and toss again. Sprinkle with a bit more black pepper and lemon juice. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand for at least half an hour before serving.

Carrot Salad with Cilantro

A great combination of flavors turns the humble carrot into something special.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups carrots peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt-free curry powder
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion for garnish

Directions: Combine the carrot and cilantro in a large bowl and stir so that the cilantro is evenly distributed. In a small bowl, stir together the oil, lemon juice, curry powder and pepper. Pour this mixture over the carrots and stir to blend. Sprinkle the grated onion over the top. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to stand for at least 1/2 an hour before serving.

Acorn Squash

Honey and allspice bring out the sweetness of this autumn favorite, a natural holiday tradition.

Ingredients:

  • 2 acorn squash
  • 2 tsp. honey
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 thin slices of unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the squash in half lengthwise (from stem to tip) and remove the seeds and stringy pulp from the centers of the two halves. Place the halves on a baking sheet, flesh side up. Spread 1 tsp. of honey on each piece of squash, followed by grinding of pepper, two slices of butter a pinch of allspice. Put the baking sheet in the oven and bake until the squash gets very soft and begins to brown. This should take about 45 minutes to an hour. Allow the squash to cool slightly before serving.

Risotto

Use arborio rice, a delicious large-grained Italian variety, for this tasty dish. You’ll find it in on the rice shelf of most supermarkets.

Ingredients:

  • 1 and 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 4 cups of low sodium chicken stock, store bought or homemade 
  • 3 garlic cloves, whole
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 6 medium mushrooms
  • freshly ground pepper

Directions: Put the butter, garlic, shallot, and mushrooms into a deep pot and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or so. Add the rice and 2 cups of the stock and stir to combine. As the stock cooks down add a cup at a time of the remaining stock until the rice is done. This will take about 30 minutes. When the rice is cooked, add the cheese and stir until smooth. Add freshly ground pepper to taste.

Oven Roasted Salmon Fillets with Herbed Butter

This recipe takes a good piece of salmon in a rich direction.

Ingredients:

  • 4 salmon fillets, about 6 ounces each
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions: Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees. Put the butter in a bowl, add the herbs, lemon juice and pepper and stir to blend. Coat each steak liberally with the herbed butter. Allow to marinate while your oven heats up. When the oven reaches temperature , put the steaks on a baking dish and place in the oven. Roast the fillets for about 15 minutes or until cooked to desired temperature.

Roasted Garlic Hummus

This tasty variation emphasizes sweet, creamy roasted garlic rather than tahini, with a marvelous result.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dried chickpeas or 2 14 oz. cans unsalted canned chickpeas
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 whole head of garlic
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup unsalted chicken stock or broth
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon

Directions: If using dried beans, soak them overnight, simmer until tender and drain. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees, put the head of garlic, whole, in a small baking dish and roast it until the cloves are soft; this should take about an hour. Remove the garlic from the oven and slice off the top, then squeeze the head over a small dish to extract the cooked garlic flesh from the papery skin. Add the drained beans, the cooked garlic and the rest of the ingredients to the canister of a food processor and process to a smooth puree. Chill for one hour before serving.

Fresh Mozzarella and Tomato Napoleon

Tomatoes served with fresh mozzarella and basil are a great Italian tradition.

Ingredients:

  • 4 vine ripe tomatoes cut into 1/4- inch slices
  • 1 large ball fresh unsalted mozzarella, sliced thin about a pound
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, washed
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • balsamic vinegar as needed
  • olive oil as needed

 Directions: Place four plates on a table. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of oil on each plate, followed by 1 tablespoon of vinegar. Place a slice of the cheese on each plate, then a basil leaf and then a slice of tomato. Repeat this process until all the cheese and tomatoes are gone. Top each plate with another small drizzle of oil and vinegar season with pepper and serve.