Pasta with Romanesco Cauliflower (Broccoli), Lemon & Chili Flakes (Vegetarian or Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or just print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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Every two weeks, I get a box of mixed veggies from Farm Fresh To You.  I enjoy it because they are locally grown but also because they send me things I have never used before – like this Romanesco Cauliflower (or Romanesco broccoli).   It is striking to look at & almost looks other-worldly.  It has the texture of cauliflower but is described as tasting slightly nutty & earthy.  I found the flavor to be very mild – much like cauliflower – so you can use it any way you would use cauliflower.  I chose this light pasta dish.  I used real cheese in it but that is not necessary.  You can omit it with little loss to overall flavor or use a bit of nutritional yeast or vegan hard cheese – grated.

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Pasta with Romanesco Cauliflower (Broccoli), Lemon & Chili Flakes (Vegetarian or Vegan)

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1-2 heads of Romanesco cauliflower – cut into florets (or one bunch broccoli or head of cauliflower – cut into bite-sized pieces)

1 lemon (zest & juice)

Olive oil

Crushed red pepper to taste (I used a lot – like – 2 TBS – but use it at your own discretion)

1-4 garlic cloves – chopped

1/2 lb pasta (cooked)

S&P

Cheese (grated Parmesan or other hard cheese or vegan alternative or a TBS or so of nutritional yeast) – quantity totally up to you

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DIRECTIONS

Cook pasta according to directions, drain & set aside.

Meanwhile – boil the Romanesco florets for about 3 minutes.  Scoop out about 1 cup of the hot veggie water & set aside.  Drain & plunge the Romanesco into cold water to stop it from cooking too much.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the crushed red pepper, garlic & lemon zest.  Cook for about a minute & then add the Romanesco.  Heat through.

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Add some cheese & some of the hot veggie water.  Stir to combine.  Season with S&P.  Add more cheese if you like.

Add the pasta & some of the lemon juice.  Stir to combine & then adjust seasonings – maybe adding more cheese (or nutritional yeast) or S&P or lemon or crushed red pepper.

Serve!  Add more cheese if you desire.

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Simple Salt & Pepper Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I love Brussels sprouts.  They can be cooked lots of ways & go great in pasta or on pizza.  They are also wonderful, raw & shredded, in salads.  Here are some of my posts using these babies.

Vegan Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Spicy Candied Walnuts

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Rustic Pizza with Vegan Sausage, Broccolette (Broccolini), Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Mushrooms, Farmers Cheese, Goat Cheese and Micro Arugula

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Mixed Vegetable Risotto with Fennel and Roasted Brussels Sprouts (Vegan – Vegetarian)

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Tricolore Salad with Shaved Brussels Sprouts, Belgian Endive and Radicchio

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Orecchiette Pasta with Creamy Blue Cheese, Shaved Brussels Sprouts & Arugula (Vegan or Not)

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Pasta with Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Creamy Gorgonzola and Pear

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Brussels Sprouts & Burrata Pizza with Pecorino & Dried Meyer Lemon Zest

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Pizza with Roasted Red & Golden Beets, Garlic Fried Brussels Sprouts, Pistachios, Feta & Honey

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Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Toasted Pistachios, Dried Cranberries & Pomegranate Seeds

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Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Brussels Sprouts, Carrots & Jalapeno Mashed Potatoes

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Raw Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Toasted Pecans & Feta Cheese

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So – today – I just cut a bunch of these guys up – tossed them with a little olive oil and S&P.  They were delicious, as is, and could be served as a side dish or – as I did – served as an appetizer with some dipping sauce of your choice.  I happened to have truffle aioli by Stonewall Kitchen (I am helpless against their packaging which makes all their products almost irresistible to me) & it was a perfect, if very rich, flavor with the Brussels sprouts.  You could make your own aioli or use a dressing – like ranch or something.  The best part was the crispy outer leaves.  Mmmm!

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Simple Salt & Pepper Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Feeds as many as you like – depending on how many you make

INGREDIENTS

Brussels sprouts – halved or quartered if they are very large

Olive oil

S&P

And your choice of dipping sauce – optional

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Toss the sprouts in a drizzle of olive oil & some salt & pepper.  Roast 15-20 minutes or until they are done to your liking.  Bust out the dip & go to town!

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3 Meat, 3 Bean & 3 Pepper Vegan Chili for the Slow Cooker

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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I’m not gonna lie – I haven’t posted in a while because I have been living – almost exclusively – on my Easy Crispy Oven Baked French Fries – seen above.  They are crispy & yummy & nearly guiltless.  Still – I had to bring some vegan food to a BBQ this weekend so I made a fuckton of vegan chili – THIS chili – 3 Meat, 3 Bean & 3 Pepper Vegan Chili for the Slow Cooker.  It makes enough to fill a 7-quart Crockpot – which can feed a LOT of people (ten or more).  I brought some to the BBQ & used some for work lunches & froze some.  The ingredients are actually pretty random & very forgiving so – feel free to reduce the overall recipe or to tweak the ingredients.

I used Beyond Meat Feisty crumbles,

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Tofurky Chick’n & Apple sausages (which my meat-eating friend kept plucking out of the recipe & eating – shocked at how good it was),

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and whatever brand of soyrizo (meatless chorizo) they had at my supermarket.  Trader Joe’s usually carries soyrizo.  You can use whatever combo sounds good to you.

My bean to bean to bean ratio is simply the result of what I had around.  Dividing the quantities more evenly might be nice but once it is chili – a bean is a bean is a bean.  No?

My peppers were both red & green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers & chipotle peppers.  You can mix this up or change it to suit your tolerance for heat.

I also topped mine with this new brand of vegan cheese I found.  It melts into the chili nicely & tastes great.

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3 Meat, 3 Bean & 3 Pepper Vegan Chili for the Slow Cooker

Feeds a small community

INGREDIENTS

1 lb dry white beans (soaked overnight or quick-soaked)

1 (15 oz) can of black beans – drained or not – doesn’t really matter

2 (15 oz) cans of pinto beans – drained or not – doesn’t really matter

2 (9 oz) bags of Beyond Meat beefless crumbles

2 Tofurky (or other brand) sausages – flavor of your choice – cut into bite-sized pieces

2 soyrizo sausages – squeezed out of their casings

1 (4 oz) can of green chilies

1 (10 oz) can Rotel (or other diced tomato)

1 red bell pepper (seeded & chopped)

1 green bell pepper (seeded & chopped)

1-4 chipotle peppers (I used 4) in adobo – chopped

1 small onion – chopped

3 Roma (or other small) tomatoes – chopped

1-3 jalapeno peppers (I used 3) – seeded (or not – if you like heat) and diced

4 garlic cloves – minced

1/2 cup cilantro – chopped

1/3 cup your favorite BBQ sauce

2 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)

3 cups (or more) vegetable stock

2 TBS fresh oregano (chopped) or 2 TBS dry oregano

1 TBS cumin

S&P

GARNISH OPTIONS – scallions, vegan cheese, vegan sour cream, cilantro, onions, hot sauce, sliced avocado, cooked rice

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DIRECTIONS

I seared the sausage just to give it grill marks.  Totally unnecessary.

Basically – put everything into the slow cooker & leave it on high for 4 or more hours.  If – it is looking too watery, take the lid off & cook on high until it gets to where you want it.  If it gets too thin – add some vegetable stock or water.  I like to let mine sit on low all day (after 4 hours of being on high), warm overnight & then high the next day to heat it for eating but this is totally not necessary.  Four hours on high & this shit should be good to go.  Season to taste & serve with the garnish of your choice!

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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Ain’t much easier than hummus.  Easy, good for you & popular.  All you need is a blender.  Don’t go buying that supermarket horseshit when you can whip it up fresh yourself & impress the villagers!

I used one bell pepper because that was all I had but I recommend using two – both for color & flavor.

Here is HOW YOU ROAST A RED PEPPER

Put it directly on your burner.  Using tongs – turn frequently until black all over.  Put in a Tupperware container & seal – to make it sweat.  Once it is cool enough to touch – rub the black skin off under cool running water.  Remove seeds & stem & voila!

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Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

Makes enough for a small party.

INGREDIENTS

2 roasted red peppers (see above) (reserve a few diced bits for garnish)

2 (14oz) cans chickpeas (drained)

juice of one large lemon

1/2 cup tahini

2 garlic cloves

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp cayenne

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Blend everything in the blender for a minute or two until completely smooth.  I had to add about 1/3 cup of water to get it to blend.

Season with S&P.

Serve with red pepper bits as garnish & loads of fresh veggies or pita wedges for dipping!

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5-Minute Garlic, Salt & Pepper Sugar Snap Peas

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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The name of this recipe says it all.  Fast, easy & yummy!

5-Minute Garlic, Salt & Pepper Sugar Snap Peas

Serves 2 as a side

INGREDIENTS

10 oz fresh sugar snap peas (the ones in the bag in the produce section already have the string removed.  If you can find these – learn how to remove the string HERE)

Olive oil –  1or 2 TBS

Salt – to taste – I used maybe a scant teaspoon

Pepper – to taste – I used a heaping tablespoon but I am a NUT for pepper

Garlic to taste – I used about 6 cloves & chopped them sorta chunky

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the olive oil in a pan over med-high heat.  Add the sugar snap peas.  Stir & heat for 2-4 minutes – or until they are nearly done to your liking.  Add the S&P & the garlic & saute another minute or so – just until the garlic browns a bit.  Be careful not to burn the garlic because it will taste bitter.

Season with more S&P – if you think it needs it & serve!

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Potato Pizza with Rosemary & Garlic Thyme Beurre Blanc and a BONUS – Crispy Baked Potato Chips!!

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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OK – so – I will post my accidental first homemade chip recipe.  I was roasting some thin-sliced potatoes for my potato pizza & accidentally overcooked them.  WAY to crunchy for a pizza but amazing just on their own.

Homemade Crispy Salt & pepper Baked Potato Chips

1 medium potato makes one serving of chips

INGREDIENTS

Potatoes – sliced about 1/8 inch thick

Olive Oil

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the potatoes about 1/8 inch thick.  Toss with just enough olive oil to coat & some S&P.  Lay them on a silicone mat or parchment paper in a single layer – no overlapping.

Bake for about 25-35 minutes – depending on the thickness of the chips & the variety of potato you used.

They are done when they look about like this & are crispy as they are supposed to be.  They are ready right out of the oven.

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Potato Pizza with Rosemary & Garlic Thyme Beurre Blanc

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough (I use this HERE)

Grated mozzarella (or vegan alternative) – I used about 1 cup

Olive oil

1 potato – washed & sliced 1/8 inch thick

Fresh rosemary

4 TBS butter (or vegan alternative)

1-2 shallots – minced (I used about 1/4 of a small red onion)

4 garlic cloves – minced

Fresh thyme

1/4 cup white wine

1 TBS fresh lemon juice (never use that chemical stuff they sell jarred or in that plastic lemon)

1 vegetable bouillon cube

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cut the potatoes about 1/8 inch thick.  Toss with just enough olive oil to coat & some S&P.  Lay them on a silicone mat or parchment paper in a single layer – no overlapping.

Bake for about 20 minutes – or until they are soft & JUST beginning to brown a bit – maybe a tad browner than I let mine get (as I was spooked my the chip mishap – despite the happy ending).  Remove from heat & set aside.

Increase oven heat to 500 degrees (or the highest temperature it goes to).

In a stock pot, melt ONE TBS of the butter over medium heat & add the shallot (or onion), garlic & thyme.  Stir & let it cook until it begins to brown.  Add the white wine, bouillon cube & lemon juice.  Let it reduce a bit & get thick.  Then – add the remaining 3 TBS butter – one at a time – & whisk them in.  Set the beurre blanc aside.

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Assemble the pizza!

Grease a cooking sheet or use parchment paper.

Roll out the dough & put it on the cooking sheet.  Pierce the dough here & there to avoid it bubbling up too much.

Layer with the beurre blanc, then cheese, potato slices & some rosemary.

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Bake this for about 10-12 minutes or until the crust is crisp & golden & the cheese is melted.

Slice it up & rejoice in this garlicky goodness!

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Grilled Eggplant and Red Bell Pepper Quesadilla with Fresh Mozzarella, Olives and Basil

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.

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Quesadillas.  Who doesn’t love them?  You can put any old thing in there to suit your tastes or empty your fridge of perishables on the verge of perishing.  That is what I did here.  I had some sad eggplants & a sad red bell pepper.  So – I grilled those bad boys up & – if I’d had guests – nobody would have been the wiser.

I like to use these uncooked tortillas.  Not sure why.  They come out the same in the end & I am not one to add work for the sake of work – but these please me.  Use regular ones if you feel like it but definitely try this quesadilla!  I was surprised at how substantial & delicious it was.  Grilled eggplant is so delightful – I think even eggplant haters might enjoy these guys.

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Grilled Eggplant and Red Bell Pepper Quesadilla with Fresh Mozzarella, Olives and Basil

INGREDIENTS

Tortillas

Fresh mozzarella (or vegan alternative)

Basil

Sliced black olives

Eggplant

Red bell pepper

Italian salad dressing (or just some olive oil)

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I dredge my vegges in Newman’s Own Oil & Vinegar & grill them up.  This can be done on a grill or in a grill pan.  You might even pull it off directly on the burners but it might get messy.  Chop the grill eggplant & red pepper.

If using uncooked tortillas, cook two of them on one side only.  Then Flip one over & stack the contents upon it.  Top it with the other tortilla – cooked side down & top with the lid of a pan.

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Using a spatula, flip the quesadilla & cook it on both sides until it is nicely browned & the cheese is melted.

Divvy it up as if you were gonna share it & then eat the whole Goddamn thing yourself!  I did!  MMMMMMM!

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