Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Lentil Balls! (Vegetarian)

So this is a recipe I came up with "on the fly" and Brett has fallen in love with it. Though I am not usually one to try to emulate meat, I have found pasta with marinara to be rather lacking since becoming a vegetarian. This recipe has now become a staple in my kitchen and is something that my meat-loving hubby asks for regularly.

The lentil balls are super easy to make and can be used in a number of applications. You can use 'em with pasta and marinara for spaghetti and "meat"balls, or on a hoagie with cheese, mushrooms, or whatever else you want. You can also mash up the balls and use 'em as a filling for lasagne and other pasta dishes.

Baked Lentil Balls!

Lentil Balls
Makes about 10 lentil balls

2-2 1/2 cups lentils, cooked (brown or green work fine)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
8 whole wheat saltine crackers, crushed 
garlic powder (to taste)
onion powder (to taste)
paprika (to taste)
basil (to taste)
oregano (to taste)
salt and pepper (to taste)
1 egg

Preheat oven to 450.

Spray a cookie sheet with canola oil.

In a bowl, mash the lentil with a fork, leaving some whole lentils. Season to taste (easy on the salt, the crackers are salted). Add the parmesan and crackers. Mix until well combined.

Crack the egg into the mixture and combine thoroughly.

Using your hands, form mixture into golf ball sized balls.

Bake, uncovered for 15 minutes, flip balls and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes and enjoy!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

We Take Requests #1: Black Bean and Veggie Burritos with Sour Cream "Salad" for Selina

So, guess what? Wait for it...

This post includes a recipe! It has been far too long and I am stoked to be back in the kitchen and cooking like mad.

The inspiration for this recipe came from my best buddy Selina (who is also the author of the awesome blog Selindiana). I love creating recipes based off random ingredients, it sparks my creativity and sometimes ends up being a really good meal. So I mentioned that I was more than willing to take requests and she gave me a list of things she had on hand. I narrowed it down to things that I had on hand and this super tasty burrito and sour cream salad was the end result.

Have I mentioned I take requests? If you have something you want made veggie, or just have a bunch of ingredients lying around and you want me to try my hand at making a meal out of it, leave me a comment and I'll see what I can do. :-)

Anyways, onto the good stuff!

The tasty filling.

Sour cream salad.

The finished product.

Black Bean and Veggie Burritos
Makes enough filling for 3 large burritos.

2 tbsp. canola oil
1 medium potato, washed and cubed
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded and minced (you can use a milder chile like an Anaheim too)
1/2 cup sweet corn (fresh or frozen)
1 1/2 cups black beans, cooked
salt, to taste
Heat oil in a medium sized skillet on medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, onion, and zucchini. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the jalapeno, corn, and black beans and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until everything is cooked and heated through.

Sour Cream Salad
Makes enough to top 3 burritos.

1/2 cup sour cream
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 cup lettuce, shredded
1-2 tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. Mexican oregano
a pinch of salt

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and chill until needed.

Putting it all together

cheese (optional)
salsa (when I don't use homemade, I LOVE Mrs. Renfro's ghost pepper salsa)
3 tortillas, warmed

Layer cheese and bean/veggie mixture in warmed tortillas and top with salsa, roll up. Top the finished burritos with sour cream salad and enjoy!

Yummy, yummy, yummy! 


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Alive and Cooking!

After a flurry of activity, the hubby, kitties and I are finally settled in. We are back at home in Columbia, Missouri, the place we love. There really is no place like home.

Even better news is that I have more free time and spend more time in the kitchen, as well as pursuing other activities I enjoy. That means RECIPES COMING SOON. I've busted out my camera and am going to get back to blogging about FOOD.

AND BOOKS! I started a book review blog so I don't bore those out there looking for vegetarian recipes with my musings on the latest cozy mystery. If you are a fellow book fan, do check out The Eclectic Bookworm.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Over a Year? WTF?!

Howdy y'all! It has been a long time since I have blogged, and that makes me sad. Things in the Land 'o J&B have been quite hectic, but this veg*n is still cooking up yummy goodness whenever possible. For regular readers, there are a lot of things to catch up on. We are back in (and loving) Missouri, but during our brief stay in Illinois, we managed to add another kitty to our brood (or crowder as it is technically called).

He was a little stray whose Momma we called Gninja and were feeding. One blustery cold Illinois evening, there was this pathetic howling and outside was a little gray cat that we thought, at first, was Gninja. After a bit of coaxing, this little kitty came right up to us. We brought him inside to keep him out of the cold and he attached himself to me. We named him Mr. Lee (pronounced "Missaree") and he is a force to be reckoned with. He is part Russian Blue and part Siamese, so he has a really Asian look, hence the name. Upon moving back to Missouri, my parents cat Stanley (who's name has been changed to Stan Lee) adopted us as well. He's part Maine Coon and "mutt". So we are now kitty parents to five fuzzy little critters. I think we have met our critter limit, but I wouldn't trade one of them for the world. I will post pictures of Mr. Lee and Stan soon.

I just wanted to do a quick post, as I have an Asian-inspired tofu marinade going at this moment. I am hoping to improve upon my original Kung Pao Tofu recipe. It needs a bit more something. I decided to marinate the tofu to add flavor, I'm going to play around with the sauce, and I'm going to serve the mess over soba noodles instead of traditional rice. I have missed blogging and am ready to get back in the proverbial saddle. I'll be updating the "Books J's Read - 2011" section soon, and whittling the recipe index down to just the good stuff.

I hope any of those who are still reading this blog are doing well. I hope to begin to do more regular posting (have you heard that before?) but I am not going to make any promises I cannot keep. When I cook something worth talking about, I'll certainly share it. And I will post pictures of our adorable four-legged fur babies. In time, I hope to revamp my "blogroll" as I'm not even sure how many of my old blogger buddies are still at it. Drop a word if you are, I'm curious to see who is still rockin' the blogosphere.