Posts Tagged ‘cheese’

  1. sweet potato & black bean casserole

    July 3, 2015 by Angie

    I tried yet another casserole with Mexican flavors recently. This one is centered around chunks of sweet potato and a bunch of black beans. It’s this recipe from Kim’s Cravings. I followed the directions closely except for omitting the cinnamon and using just two low-carb tortillas. It was a resounding “Seconds, please!” from both halves of Robgeleen. Considering it was topped with magnificent avocado slices, I don’t know who could resist.

    a piece of casserole


  2. soy crumble and black bean taco casserole

    June 2, 2015 by Angie

    I haven’t cooked anything new in way too long. I saw this recipe for a one-pot taco casserole in an email I got from My Fitness Pal. I changed it up a little to make it vegetarian and eliminate the need for a packet of taco seasoning. Robbie and I both really liked it and, while it took two pots, it was worth it. In the future, I think I will add more veggies, possibly a bell pepper and some fresh spinach, and garnish with avocado slices.


    a little serving

    Ingredients

    safflower oil
    Two 12 oz bags of soy crumbles (I used Morningstar Farms Grillers Crumbles.)
    half of a 10 oz bag of frozen corn kernels (I used less because Robbie is not a corn fan.)
    One 15 oz can of black beans, drained (El Ebro is where it’s at.)
    One and half cups of salsa (I used Green Mountain Gringo brand in mild.)
    a yellow onion, diced
    about one and half tablespoons of homemade taco seasoning: equal(ish) parts garlic powder, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes, dried oregano; followed by a larger amount of paprika; an even larger amount of cumin; and a very large amount of chili powder (I really winged this and it tasted awesome. If you want to measure out a big batch and store it, more power to you.)
    salt and pepper to taste
    about one cup of shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese

    soy crumble and black bean taco casserole

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

    2. Heat a large pan and add a few drops of your favorite oil. I used safflower oil because it doesn’t impart a taste onto the soy crumbles the way olive oil can. Add the soy crumbles. Cook, stirring occasionally. When the crumbles are about half way through cooking, add the diced onion. Continue cooking until the crumbles are cooked through and slightly browned.

    3. Add the salsa, frozen corn kernels, and homemade taco seasoning to the soy crumbles mixture. Cook for about 2 more minutes.

    4. Pour the mixture into a large casserole or glass baking dish. Pour the drained black beans on top. Bake for about 20 minutes.

    5. Sprinkle a layer of cheese on top and baked for another five minutes.

    6. Serve with tortillas, chips, taco shells, avocado slices, cashew queso – whatever you’re into!

    Robbie made tiny burritos with his

    Robbie made adorable mini burritos with low carb tortillas!


  3. garlicky zucchini noodles with tomatoes and fresh mozzarella

    January 31, 2015 by Angie

    For dinner Friday night I tried a slightly altered version of a new-to-me recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Kalyn’s Kitchen. She calls it Garlicky Zucchini Noodles with Tomatoes and Burrata. It was extraordinary. We enjoyed it with a California Pinot Noir. It made for a wonderful Friday night at home.

    Garlicky Zucchini Noodles with Fresh Mozzarella

    Makes 2 servings.

    Ingredients

    olive oil
    5 medium zucchini
    2 tbsp minced garlic
    1.5 cups cherry tomatoes
    1/4 tsp dried basil
    1/4 tsp dried oregano
    1/4 tsp dried thyme
    1/4 tsp dried sage
    fresh basil
    3 balls of fresh Mozzarella

    Directions

    1. Wash the zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and fresh basil. Cut the ends off of the zucchini. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half. Cut the fresh basil into ribbons.

    2. Mix the dried spices together in a bowl.

    3. Make the zucchini noodles by using a vegetable peeler to slice wide but thin slices of zucchini all around each of the zucchini. When you get to the seeds, discard the rest and move to the next one. I piled these on a plate as I worked.

    4. Spray a deep pan with olive oil and heat on medium. Add the halved tomatoes and minced garlic. After cooking for about three minutes, add the mixed spices and stir. Cook for another three minutes.

    5. Add the zucchini noodles. Stir and cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally until the zucchini is heated through and the tomatoes start to create a sauce.

    6. Add the fresh basil.

    7. Serve the zucchini and tomato mixture. Cut the fresh Mozzarella balls into eight pieces. Top each serving with half of the Mozzarella pieces. Add salt and pepper to taste.


  4. cheesy artichoke dip

    January 31, 2015 by Angie

    I made this hot artichoke cheese dip from the Cooking Light website for my job’s dip eating/tailgate party on Friday. The first time I made it was as a Thanksgiving appetizer last year. Robbie and my parents and I think it’s awesome. Everyone at the tailgate party really liked it too. You should make it tomorrow and feed it to people while they watch football because it’s cheesy and delicious and not difficult to make.

    Tailgate star: cheesy artichoke dip

    I followed this recipe from Cooking Light with a couple of changes. This time I used about half of a small yellow onion instead of a green onion, Vegenaise instead of reduced fat mayonnaise, and skipped the lemon. I served it with a baguette at Thanksgiving, which I highly recommend, and with cracked pepper lentil chips at the tailgate party, also delicious.

    cheesy artichoke dip

    Eat cheesy artichoke dip and go team!


  5. California Wine Country

    January 18, 2015 by Angie

    I’m finally blogging the second half of our California trip. These photos are from Sonoma, Napa, and Santa Rosa.

    We were very impressed with our hotel, Inn at Sonoma, near the Sonoma square. We were a short walking distance to everything in town. Our room was beautiful with our own balcony. The complimentary wine and cheese hour and breakfasts were very good. We would definitely stay there again.

    Inn at Sonoma

    Our room at Inn at Sonoma.

    balcony at Inn at Sonoma

     Our private balcony.

    Rooftop hot tub at Inn at Sonoma

    Awesome rooftop jacuzzi.

    free wine and cheese hour

    Robbie enjoying a Sonoma red at the complimentary, nightly wine and cheese tasting.

    Hop Monk

    After checking in and enjoying the wine and cheese hour at Inn at Sonoma, we walked across the street to HopMonk for drinks. I had an awesome champagne drink. Robbie had a HopMonk IPA and did not like it at all. Sorry, HopMonk. I thought the outside seating area was really pretty.

    On our first full day in California Wine Country, we enjoyed the yummy and complimentary breakfast at our hotel, picked up a soy latte at Peet’s across the street, and drove to our first winery, Lancaster Estate in Healdsburg. The grounds are beautiful. We saw our first hummingbird ever while waiting outside for our guided tour to begin!

    Robbie at Lancaster Estate Winery

    Cheers to the hummingbird.

    Angie at Lancaster Estate Winery

    Angie and the grounds.

    Lancaster Estate Winery

    The vineyard.

    Home at Lancaster Estate Winery

    The estate. I wouldn’t mind living there.

    We got to tour two wine caves while were in California. The Lancaster Estate wine cave is so fancy, like the Bat Cave but with more wine.

    Inside the cave

    A tasting area inside the cave. This room reminds me of the Authority’s underground complex in True Blood.

    barrels in the cave

    barrels

    Many, many barrels of wine inside the cave.

    logo closeup

    A closeup of barrel. These are made specially for Lancaster Estate.

    egg

    This is a giant cement egg they use in the wine-making process.

    inside of a barrel

    Here is a look at what is going on inside the barrel as the wine is being made.

    cool lights

    Our tour guide and the very impressive design details inside the cave. A little A Game of Thrones-y.

    wine and cheese tasting in the cave

     This is where we sat for our wine and cheese tasting with another couple and our tour guide.

    Robgeleen drinking wine in a cave

    Robgeleen IN A CAVE.

    Because we love pinot noir so much, our tour guide at Lancaster Estate recommended that we stop by the Roth Estate Winery just down the road to try their award-winning pinot noir.

    Roth Estate Winery

    Roth Estate grounds.

    Best favorite Pinot Noir at Roth

    THE pinot noir.

    It was so good! We bought a bottle to drink back at home. This was a much more laid-back experience. The tasting room is pretty but relaxed with board games for people to play while they enjoy their wine. We each had a glass of the pinot noir then headed on to Napa County.

    Our friend said her favorite winery from her visit to Wine Country was Sequoia Grove in Napa so we drove out to see it. The grounds are so beautiful but different from the other vineyards we visited. This one has tons of Sequoia trees so it has more of a forest feeling to it. I agree with our friend – you don’t want to miss this one. The wine is very good, the staff are all nice and knowledgeable, and I loved being back in a redwood forest.

    Outside Sequoia Grove

    A seating area outside.

    Robbie inside Sequoia Grove

    Robbie inside talking with the very helpful staff.

    Angie hugging a redwood tree at Sequoia Groves

    I love these trees so much I had to hug one.

    fountain at Sequoia Grove

    It doesn’t get much more scenic than this.

    grapes on the vine

     A closeup of their grapes on the vine.

    After Sequoia Grove, we drove back to our hotel and walked over to the Red Grape for more wine and delicious pizza. Regrettably, I didn’t get a photo of the pizza but here is Robbie in their lovely outdoor area.

    Robbie at The Red Grape

    Robbie at The Red Grape.

    On our last day before heading back to San Francisco we woke up crazy early again. The hotel wasn’t serving breakfast yet and we had been starving for a couple of hours already so we walked over to the Basque Boulangerie Cafe. We got a giant baguette, a soy latte for me (a trend?), and a green tea for Robbie. The bread was so fresh and good that we started eating it as we walked back to our hotel.

    mmm, bread

     Mouth full of bread.

    We had reservations for an early tram wine tour and tasting at Benziger Family Winery so we checked out of our awesome hotel and started our drive out to Glen Ellen. This winery is biodynamic, meaning they use only natural farming methods. We learned a lot from the tour. It was interesting to learn about the process and how they manage everything without chemicals. They have the second cave we visited, which was cool, but not nearly as fancy as the Lancaster Estate cave. The grounds are breathtakingly beautiful. Gotta admit though, neither of us cared much for their wines.

    Benziger grounds

    Woah.

    tour guide

    Our tour guide pouring a tasting for us at the top of the hill in the vineyard.

    Benziger vineyard

     The vineyard.

    Benziger cave

     Barrels inside the cave.

    Robgeleen kiss in a vineyard

    Robgeleen selfie with the pretty vineyard.

    After our tour, we drove out to Russian River Brewing, a.k.a. Robbie’s heaven on Earth, in Santa Rosa. Santa Rosa is a precious little city. Anybody want to give us jobs there?

    Robbie & Pliny sitting in a tree

     The big moment! Robbie drinking the best IPA in the world, Pliny the Elder, on tap at Russian River Brewing. He’s so happy!

    really good pizza

    Their pizza was fantastic. Some of the best pizza we’ve had, and we’ve had a lot of pizza. I wish we could go to Russian River Brewing all the time  🙁

    We then drove back over the Golden Gate Bridge (which is pretty scary really – there’s nothing in between your lane and the lane going the opposite direction) for our last night in San Francisco and the last night of our trip.

    It was a successful trip. We saw redwoods and the Golden Gate Bridge, ate lots of delicious food, drank lots of delicious wine, had Pliny the Elder on tap – all goals accomplished! If only California were a lot closer…

    See the blog post on the San Francisco part of our trip here.


  6. grilled eggplant parmesan

    December 7, 2014 by Angie

    Eggplant parmesan is my best favorite food. After pizza. I haven’t had much success making the breaded version but I saw a recipe on the Food and Wine website that seemed doable and yummy so I tried it. I am happy to report that I pulled it off and it was really good! Robbie made the garlic bread – also phenomenal!

    with garlic bread

    Grilled eggplant parmesan is best with garlic bread made by Robbie – he never skimps on the garlic.

    Ingredients

    1 large eggplant
    3 tomatoes on the vine
    olive oil
    sea salt
    jar of spaghetti sauce (Gia Russa Tomato Basil is preferred in our house.)
    minced garlic
    dried basil
    dried oregano
    garlic powder
    mozzarella cheese, sliced into thin chunks
    shredded parmesan cheese

    closeup

    Right out of the oven.

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

    2. Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Spray with olive oil.

    3. Wash and peel the eggplant. Slice it into 1/4″ slices.

    4. Slice the tomatoes into thin slices.

    5. Spray the eggplant with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Place them on the grill pan in batches, flipping after about 2 minutes. Repeat with the tomato slices.

    6. Arrange the grilled eggplant on the cookie sheet so that they are slightly overlapping. Top with the grilled tomato slices.

    7. Spoon some of the spaghetti sauce over the tomatoes. Sprinkle the minced garlic, dried basil, dried oregano, and garlic powder to taste.

    8. Strategically place chunks of mozzarella cheese for optimal cheese coverage. Sprinkle with the shredded parmesan.

    9. Bake for about 15 minutes.

    10. Serve with garlic bread.

    on the cookie sheet

    Less work, fewer carbs, and almost as delicious as the original!


  7. stove-top tempeh chili

    December 7, 2014 by Angie

    This is the fourth chili recipe I have blogged. I didn’t realize how much I like to cook and eat chili until I saw that this is the fourth time I’ve told you guys that I like to cook and eat chili.

    Missing the chili cook off!

    This one is quick, easy, and delicious. Definitely a keeper. I based it off of this recipe from vegetarian.about.com. Recipe verdict: way good.

    Stovetop tempeh chili

    Ingredients

    olive oil
    1 package of tempeh, crumbled (I wouldn’t have been sad if I had used two.)
    soy sauce
    yellow onion, diced
    red bell pepper, chopped
    green bell pepper, chopped
    garlic, minced
    2 15 ounce cans of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
    8 ounce can of fire roasted tomatoes
    1 tbsp chili powder
    1 tsp cumin
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
    3/4 – 1 cup vegetable broth
    salt and pepper to taste
    shredded reduced fat Mexican cheese to put on top, optional

    Directions

    1. Heat a little olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Crumble the tempeh into the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown. Add roughly 2 tsp of soy sauce, stir, and set aside.

    2. Heat a little more olive oil in a stock pot. Add the diced onion, chopped bell peppers, and minced garlic. Cook just until they start to soften.

    3. Add the rinsed kidney beans, can of fire roasted tomatoes (with juice), cooked tempeh, chili powder, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Stir, reduce heat, and cover.

    4. I had to add vegetable broth to get the right consistency. I think I used about 3/4 of a cup. I suggest adding a little to start and adjusting based on the look and taste. Same thing for the salt and pepper.

    5. Cook for about 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.

    6. Ladle into bowls and top with shredded cheese, if you’re into that.

    stovetop tempeh chili with shredded cheese


  8. chicken-style seitan fajitas

    September 10, 2014 by Angie

    Mmmmm, mmmmm! This one is a winner! Robbie and I both loved these chicken-style seitan, onion, and green bell pepper fajitas. Not only is this delicious, it was easy to make and easy to clean up. The lime juice/soy sauce/spice mixture is what takes to the ridiculously good level.

    seitan and veggie fajita mixture

    All mixed up in the pan.

    Ingredients

    olive oil (spray)
    1 package of West Soy chicken-style seitan
    1 yellow onion, sliced into strips
    1 bell pepper (your favorite color), sliced into strips
    juice of 1 lime
    1 teaspoon minced garlic
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon paprika
    1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
    1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
    low carb tortillas
    1 avocado, sliced
    other toppings of your choice like low-fat shredded Mexican cheese, salsa, chopped cilantro

    seitan fajita

    Assembling a fajita with avocado slices, salsa, and (optional) cheese toppings.

    Directions

    1. Mix the listed ingredients from juice of 1 lime to garlic powder together in a bowl. Set aside.
    2. Cut the onion and bell pepper into thin strips – fajita style.
    3. Cut any large chunks of seitan into smaller pieces.
    4. Saute the onion and bell pepper in a pan sprayed with olive oil until there are some nice brown areas. Set aside.
    5. Spray the same pan again with olive oil. Saute the seitan until it is slightly browned on all sides.
    6. Add the onion and bell pepper strips back into the pan with the seitan. Stir. Pour the lime juice mixture over everything and stir.
    7. Place the tortillas between damp paper towels and microwave for about thirty seconds.
    8. Slice the avocado and get the rest of your toppings ready to go.
    9. Assemble your fajitas using the toppings of your choice.
    10. Enjoy!


  9. sautéed Brussels sprouts with garlic and pecorino

    July 6, 2014 by Angie

    I’m still trying out new side dishes to add to the repertoire and really love this one. It’s this recipe for Brussels sprouts sautéed in vegetable broth with garlic, onion, and thyme. Because it’s sautéed instead of baked, it takes a lot less time to make. Once it’s finished, serve and sprinkle with some shaved Pecorino Romano cheese (or leave it off to enjoy a vegan version).

    Sauteed Brussels sprouts with garlic and pecorino

    I think this would make a great Thanksgiving side. It cooks up pretty quickly and won’t be taking up any precious oven real estate. The Brussels sprouts are so tender and flavorful when prepared this way and the fancy cheese on top takes everything to another level. Sookie could smell the cheese from the living room and, the way she was acting, you’d think there was doggie crack in our kitchen. I’ve never seen her so motivated to eat something before. Sadly, I can kinda understand where she’s coming from.


  10. Maria’s French onion soup

    June 14, 2014 by Angie

    I’ve been on a quest for really fantastic homemade vegetarian French onion soup. This slow cooker version I made a few weeks ago was pretty great but I thought I could do better. My friend’s mom, Maria, makes an amazingly delicious soup that I have been fortunate enough to eat. Here is my slightly altered rendition of Maria’s recipe. Let’s just say: Mission Accomplished.

    a bowl of French onion soup

    Makes 4-5 servings

    Ingredients

    1-2 tbs olive oil
    5 medium to large sweet onions, cut in thin rounds
    64 oz of vegetarian beef stock made by dissolving 3 tbs Vegetarian Better than Bouillon No Beef Base in 2 quarts of boiling water
    1/4 cup cooking sherry
    3/4-1 tsp thyme, to taste
    salt and pepper, to taste
    1 loaf of French bread
    1 oz of shredded Swiss cheese per serving (or Daiya shreds to make it vegan)

    Instructions

    1. Caramelize the onions. I used the slow cooker to do this so that I didn’t have to babysit. I put about a tablespoon of olive oil in the slow cooker, added the sliced onions, put the lid on, and cooked on low for about six and a half hours. My slow cooker cooks hot so other crocks may require eight hours of cooking. Stir every few hours, if you’re home.

    2. Boil two quarts of water in a large stock pot. Stir in 3 tbs of Vegetarian Better than Bouillon No Beef Base.

    3. Once the bouillon is dissolved, turn the burner down to low. Add the sherry, thyme, salt, and pepper. Transfer the caramelized onions to the stock pot. Let the soup simmer while you do the next steps.

    French onion soup

    Simmering French onion soup

    4. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Shred your cheese if you haven’t already.

    French bread in bowls

    Two servings of French onion soup coming right up!

    5. Cut slices of French bread about 3/4 inch thick. Place one or two pieces in the bottom of an oven-safe bowl for each serving.

    6. After the soup has simmered for 10-15 minutes, add seasoning to taste. Ladle the soup into each bowl and top with the shredded cheese. Move the bowls to the oven (on a baking sheet to avoid a mess) and bake until the cheese is bubbly and melted.

    just out of the oven

     Just out of the oven

    7. Pour some wine to drink with your ridiculously good French onion soup.

    yummy

    OMG French onion soup