Tag Archives: Meat-free

Lemon Rosemary Risotto, Roasted Glazed Beets, and Beefless Tips in a Garlic and Thyme White Wine Sauce

3 Apr

This past week I had the luxury and ever-so beautiful blessing that comes with having your very own kitchen to work in. I know, it sounds a little weird, right? But when you think about food and creating recipes as much as I do, having your own kitchen–meaning one in which there will be no interruptions (save for the occasional dog begging for scraps) and one that’s always clean and thus, always ready to use–is the equivalent of an artist having their own studio in which to paint, or play music, or write. Now that I live with three other folks, the tranquility required for the process isn’t always there and so, in these moments when it is, I take on “projects,” otherwise known as “outrageously awesome whole meals that take more than 30 minutes to put together.”  So, today, I come to you with not one, not two, but three recipes! Each recipe can be made separately if you have limited time to devote to the whole meal or want to pair them with different entrees/sides, or you can combine them to create this exact marriage of tart, sweet, and savory!

I visited my mother recently and she, like I, doesn’t like to send anyone out her door without food. Especially her children. She gave me beets and she gave me Gardein Beefless Tips. The Arborio rice was on sale at the grocery store. So, this meal was serendipitous, really.  I’ll be brief about it because the pictures speak for themselves. The risotto is wonderfully creamy, lemony, and savory. I wanted to make something that tasted “clean” and savory all at once. A pairing of lemon and rosemary seemed fitting. I suggest using only as much lemon zest (grated lemon peel) as you can handle. I originally used 1 tablespoon and realized it needed to be taken back so, I’ve made a correction here for a suggested amount. The roasted beets are to die for, that is, if you like beets. They took the longest to cook so, I got started on those first and saved the glaze for last.

The beefless tips were utterly delicious. They came about from the memory of this meal, using white wine and mushrooms and the rest was improvised on cobwebbed memories of how to cook meat. I was so amazed at how well they took to the wine sauce, how savory they were, and how well they stood up to my memory of steak tips. In fact, they did this so well that, if you’re a vegan who simply never liked the taste of meat or who is easily put off by things that taste a lot like meat, I would forgo making these. But, if you want something incredibly delicious and something with which to impress non-vegans who swear on their lives that they “could ‘never’ be vegan because they like meat too much,” here’s your rebuttal. You’re welcome.

Buon appetito! Continue reading

Baked Lemon Herb Tofu

15 Jul

Here’s a recipe inspired by my nearly vegan friend’s inquiry about it being possible to marinade tofu. Yes, you can marinade tofu. The result is wonderful! Tofu, like tempeh, is a blank canvas which you can basically use to exploit any flavor you want. The longer you marinade tofu, the better it will take up the flavor of your marinade and the stronger that flavor will be. I marinaded these tofu “steaks” overnight, but a few hours will also do the trick. I served these with a mixture of brown rice spinach spaghetti and whole wheat spaghetti tossed with my Mint Basil Pesto and some blanched asparagus. It was delicious and very summer-y. In fact, one of the reasons I’m typing this up now and sharing it with you is because I’ve been asked for the recipe. I bet this would also go well with roasted or mashed potatoes, or even on a nice summer salad. However you eat it, I hope you like it! Continue reading

“Beef” and Barley Stuffed Peppers

27 Apr


I have a confession to make: I’ve never had a stuffed pepper before. Ever. I know, I know, it’s practically crazy, but it’s very, very true. That being said, I took matters into my own hands two weeks ago and figured out the basics. First you take a pepper, then you stuff it, then you bake it, then you eat it. Simple enough. I think the hardest part was figuring out what I wanted to stuff it with. Rice was too conventional and polenta was too mushy. Barley seemed like the right choice. And heck, why not through in some soy crumbles and Daiya for the “beefy/cheesy” effect?

This was delicious. In fact, it was probably my favorite of my own recipes so far, besides my lasagna. I basically love anything you can cook in an oven, obviously. My only regret was that I only made two; one for me, one for mom. These peppers were really big though, even for organic ones. The good thing is that there was plenty of beef and barley stuffing left over so, I ate some of that. If you’re serving more than two people, you will have enough stuffing for about 4 large peppers.

Trust me, you’re going to want to make this. Continue reading

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