DDD #111 – The Ivy Copycat Grilled Vegetable Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2018

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

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Click the image above to watch the video.

The Ivy Copycat Grilled Vegetable Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

serves 2 as an entree

INGREDIENTS

for the dressing

Juice of 1-2 limes

match the lime juice with an equal part of olive oil so it is 50/50.

Add about 1 TBS each of balsamic vinegar (or other vinegar) and agave

Season to taste with S&P.

Combine & taste.  Tweak to suite your palate.

for the salad

Your choice of greens – or a mixture (arugula, romaine, butter lettuce, watercress, field greens – your call)

1 zucchini

1 yellow squash

2 ears fresh corn – in the husks

1 bunch asparagus – tough bottoms trimmed

1 red bell pepper – seeded

1/2 cucumber – diced

1 handful cherry tomatoes – haved

3-4 radishes – chopped

1/4 small red onion – diced

1 avocado – chopped

OPTONAL  – chopped herbs (basil or cilantro), protein (chickpeas, black beans, vegan chicken or any other protein you desire)

DIRECTIONS

Make the dressing while the veggies are grilling.

Slice the zucchini & squash in 1/4 inch thick slices & grill until softened & there are grill marks – turning a few times.  Do the same with the red pepper & asparagus.  Set aside.  Grill the corn in the husks until blackened on the outside.  Cool & throw the husks away then cut the corn from the cobs.

Now – just assemble the salad the way you would any other.  If there are going to be leftover veggies – do not dress them.  They will stay fresher in the fridge undressed.

Serve & enjoy!!!

 

DDD #54 – Broccoli & Cauliflower Rice Salad with Rainbow Chard, Basil, Mint, Avocado & Citrus Vinaigrette

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

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

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To watch the video – click the image above.

Living alone can make eating all the food I buy difficult.  I buy produce with a thousand inspirations in my head – often forgetting that I have to eat everything I make myself.  That can get difficult – especially with produce like avocados & leafy greens that have a short shelf life.  Yesterday – I made a Spicy Vegan Szechuan Beef & Vegetable Stir-Fry (seen above) that used a lot of the veggies I had around – but – it did not use everything.  I also had a lot of leftover basmati rice.  So – I dreamed up this salad.  I used a little (1 cup) of the rice I had.  You could use more – or less – depending on how light you want this to be.  You could also use quinoa or brown rice or some ancient grain of your choice.  Or – as I do in the video – use grated cauliflower in place of rice.  Whatever you decide – this salad is full of nutrients & tastes clean & light & fresh.  If you do not add the avocado – this salad will keep in the fridge for a few days.  Just add the avocado just before serving.

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Vegan “Eat Your Greens” Warm Broccoli Rice Salad with Rainbow Chard, Basil, Mint, Avocado & Citrus Vinaigrette

Serves 2-4 depending on appetite

INGREDIENTS

2 TBS olive oil (or coconut oil)

1 cup cooked rice or other grain (optional) or 1 medium head of cauliflower – grated

1 head broccoli – grated or pulsed in a food processor

1 cucumber – chopped

1 zucchini – chopped

Avocado – amount at your discretion – sliced

2-3 scallions – sliced

1 bunch (6-8 leaves) rainbow chard (or other greens of your choice) – ribs removed & chopped

1/3 cup fresh basil – chopped

1/3 cup fresh mint – chopped

Pepitas (or other nuts) – amount at your discretion

GARNISH: basil, mint, lime wedges

for the dressing

2 TBS olive oil

2 TBS cider vinegar

2 TBS fresh lime (or lemon) juice (or a combination)

1 tsp lemon or lime zest

2 TBS Dijon mustard

1 or 2 TBS agave (I used 2 but might go less next time)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Whisk the dressing together & adjust flavors to suit your tastes.

Pulse the broccoli in a food processor or grate it (grating is very messy).  Do the same with the cauliflower – if you are using it n place of rice.

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Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat.  Add the broccoli & cauliflower/rice & toss.  Add the zucchini & chard.  Add a few TBS water & cover the pan & remove from heat.  You just want to warm everything through & get the chard & broccoli & zucchini wilt a bit.

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In 5 minutes or so – put the rice mixture in a large bowl (or in the pan) & toss in the scallions, mint & basil & cucumber & some (not all) the dressing.

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Put some of the warm salad on plates & garnish with avocado slices, pepitas, extra basil and/or mint, lime wedges, additional dressing & freshly cracked pepper.

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DDD Ep. #9 – Easy 5-Ingredient Fresh Mint & Zucchini Pasta (Vegan or Vegetarian)

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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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I am reposting this recipe from last year here again because it is episode #9 on my cooking show on Youtube – Video Vegan.  The newer recipe is 100% vegan.  Check out the video here & please subscribe!

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From November 17, 2016:

I started this blog on about July 5, 2012.  On July 13, 2012, I posted one of my all-time favorite recipes.  It is one I got from my good friend, Naomi Priestley.  It is Zucchini & Mint Pasta with Parmesan (seen just above).  But – it is such a divine dish – I thought I would post it again with a few new options.  1) It can be made without cheese altogether or 2) without cheese but with a squeeze of lemon juice or 3) with vegan Parmesan.

Do not be thrown by the idea of mint in a pasta dish – it is delicious!  It is especially lovely when you use fresh, homemade pasta – but dry pasta is fine, too.  If you do not consider oil and S&P to be legit ingredients – this is a 5 ingredient dish & comes together in less than 20 minutes.

I bought this ridiculous $5 micro basil because it looks pretty.  It is tasty, too, but it is certainly an unnecessary indulgence.

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Fresh Mint & Zucchini Pasta (Vegan or Vegetarian)

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta – cooked & drained

Olive oil

3-5 zucchini – either grated or spiralized or sliced (you can use as much zucchini as you like to mitigate the amount of pasta you eat or to, at least, lighten up the dish)

1-3 cloves garlic – chopped

1/4 cup fresh mint – chopped

S&P to taste

OPTIONS – Parmesan or vegan Parmesan (to taste) and or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Garnish: chopped mint and/or parsley and/or basil, more cheese, crushed red pepper

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DIRECTIONS

Cook & drain the pasta.

I spiralized the zucchini but you can grate or slice it.  Spiralizing is a good way to bury veggies in a spaghetti dish so your kids do not notice the veggies in there.  I sliced the ends that were too short to spiralize.

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Heat a glug or two of olive oil in a large saute pan.  Saute the garlic for about 30 seconds & then add the zucchini.  Saute a few minutes & then add mint and season with S&P.   When the zucchini is soft – add the pasta & combine.  Add cheese or vegan cheese here – if you are using it – or squeeze in some lemon – if you are going that route.  Plate & serve with cheese and/or chopped herbs (mint or basil or parsley).

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Easy 5-Ingredient Fresh Mint & Zucchini Pasta (Vegan or Vegetarian)

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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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I started this blog on about July 5, 2012.  On July 13, 2012, I posted one of my all-time favorite recipes.  It is one I got from my good friend, Naomi Priestley.  It is Zucchini & Mint Pasta with Parmesan (seen just above).  But – it is such a divine dish – I thought I would post it again with a few new options.  1) It can be made without cheese altogether or 2) without cheese but with a squeeze of lemon juice or 3) with vegan Parmesan.

Do not be thrown by the idea of mint in a pasta dish – it is delicious!  It is especially lovely when you use fresh, homemade pasta – but dry pasta is fine, too.  If you do not consider oil and S&P to be legit ingredients – this is a 5 ingredient dish & comes together in less than 20 minutes.

I bought this ridiculous $5 micro basil because it looks pretty.  It is tasty, too, but it is certainly an unnecessary indulgence.

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Fresh Mint & Zucchini Pasta (Vegan or Vegetarian)

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta – cooked & drained

Olive oil

3-5 zucchini – either grated or spiralized or sliced (you can use as much zucchini as you like to mitigate the amount of pasta you eat or to, at least, lighten up the dish)

1-3 cloves garlic – chopped

1/4 cup fresh mint – chopped

S&P to taste

OPTIONS – Parmesan or vegan Parmesan (to taste) and or a squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Garnish: chopped mint and/or parsley and/or basil, more cheese, crushed red pepper

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DIRECTIONS

Cook & drain the pasta.

I spiralized the zucchini but you can grate or slice it.  Spiralizing is a good way to bury veggies in a spaghetti dish so your kids do not notice the veggies in there.  I sliced the ends that were too short to spiralize.

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Heat a glug or two of olive oil in a large saute pan.  Saute the garlic for about 30 seconds & then add the zucchini.  Saute a few minutes & then add mint and season with S&P.   When the zucchini is soft – add the pasta & combine.  Add cheese or vegan cheese here – if you are using it – or squeeze in some lemon – if you are going that route.  Plate & serve with cheese and/or chopped herbs (mint or basil or parsley).

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Vegan “Eat Your Greens” Warm Broccoli Rice Salad with Rainbow Chard, Basil, Mint, Avocado & Citrus Vinaigrette

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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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Living alone can make eating all the food I buy difficult.  I buy produce with a thousand inspirations in my head – often forgetting that I have to eat everything I make myself.  That can get difficult – especially with produce like avocados & leafy greens that have a short shelf life.  Yesterday – I made a Spicy Vegan Szechuan Beef & Vegetable Stir-Fry (seen above) that used a lot of the veggies I had around – but – it did not use everything.  I also had a lot of leftover basmati rice.  So – I dreamed up this salad.  I used a little (1 cup) of the rice I had.  You could use more – or less – depending on how light you want this to be.  You could also use quinoa or brown rice or some ancient grain of your choice.  Whatever you decide – this salad is full of nutrients & tastes clean & light & fresh.  If you do not add the avocado – this salad will keep in the fridge for a few days.  Just add the avocado just before serving.

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Vegan “Eat Your Greens” Warm Broccoli Rice Salad with Rainbow Chard, Basil, Mint, Avocado & Citrus Vinaigrette

Serves 2-4 depending on appetite

INGREDIENTS

2 TBS olive oil (or coconut oil)

1 cup cooked rice or other grain (optional)

1 head broccoli – grated or pulsed in a food processor

1 cucumber – chopped

1 zucchini – chopped

Avocado – amount at your discretion – sliced

2-3 scallions – sliced

1 bunch (6-8 leaves) rainbow chard (or other greens of your choice) – ribs removed & chopped

1/3 cup fresh basil – chopped

1/3 cup fresh mint – chopped

Pepitas (or other nuts) – amount at your discretion

GARNISH: basil, mint, lime wedges

for the dressing

2 TBS olive oil

2 TBS cider vinegar

2 TBS fresh lime (or lemon) juice (or a combination)

1 tsp lemon or lime zest

2 TBS Dijon mustard

1 or 2 TBS agave (I used 2 but might go less next time)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

S&P to taste

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DIRECTIONS

Whisk the dressing together & adjust flavors to suit your tastes.

Pulse the broccoli in a food processor or grate it (grating is very messy).

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Heat the olive oil in a large pan over high heat.  Add the broccoli & rice & toss.  Add the zucchini & chard.  Add a few TBS water & cover the pan & remove from heat.  You just want to warm everything through & get the chard & broccoli & zucchini wilt a bit.

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In 5 minutes or so – put the rice mixture in a large bowl (or in the pan) & toss in the scallions, mint & basil & cucumber & some (not all) the dressing.

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Put some of the warm salad on plates & garnish with avocado slices, pepitas, extra basil and/or mint, lime wedges, additional dressing & freshly cracked pepper.

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Spicy Vegan Szechuan Beef & Vegetable Stir-Fry

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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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This is really easy & does not use any ingredients that are especially exotic.  I added WAY too many hot peppers & blasted my face off with this one – so – I will recommend using less spice here than I did.  I used Gardein Beefless Tips that I found in the freezer section of my local Ralph’s.  You can use these or any other meat replacement you prefer.  The ratio of veggies is an entirely personal one.  You can take my suggestions or wing it – or just go straight beef & rice.  Your call.  But it is easy & bursting with flavor!

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Spicy Vegan Szechuan Beef & Vegetable Stir-Fry

Serves 4 with cooked rice

INGREDIENTS

Cooked rice of your choice

2 TBS coconut oil (or other cooking oil)

9 oz meatless beef – defrosted

2 cups broccoli florets

2 bell peppers – seeded & cut into strips

3 carrots – chopped

1 leek or medium onion – chopped

1 large zucchini – chopped

4 oz mushrooms – sliced

1-2 jalapenos or serranos (seeded to lessen the heat) – or to taste – diced

1-3 tsp cornstarch (optional)

for the sauce

2 TBS vegan oyster-flavored or mushroom-flavored sauce

1 TBS minced ginger

1 TBS minced garlic

2 TBS chili garlic sauce (or sambal oelek)

1 TBS liquid aminos (or tamari or soy sauce)

1 TBS dark soy sauce

1 tsp chili oil

1 TBS sesame oil

1 TBS dark berry jam (or molasses or brown sugar)

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INSTRUCTIONS

Cook the rice & set aside.

Mix the sauce & pour it into the bag with the faux beef & smoosh it around to marinate.

Heat the coconut oil in a wok or large fry pan.  I added the leeks & carrots & mushrooms first – because they take the longest to soften.

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Add the fest of the produce.  Broccoli & zucchini cook fastest – so I added them last.  Once the veggies are cooked to your liking, stir in the beef & marinade.  You might want to add a bit of water – but not much.  If the sauce feels too thin – whisk in a tsp of cornstarch.  Mine did not need it but yours might.  Toss to heat through & serve with rice.

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Baked Stuffed Eight Ball Squash (or Zucchini) with Leftover Pasta (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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Farm Fresh To You sent me three little 8-Ball squashes this week – and I had a boatload of leftover pasta and so – this dish was born.   I used the three eight ball squashes & a green & a yellow zucchini I had, too.  The kind of squash is not important but the eight ball squashes do make a cute presentation.   You can eat the flesh (and skin) of the eight ball squashes but I think this might be less pleasant if yours are very large.  Mine were pretty small & got very tender in the oven.

I did stuff the yellow zucchini but ran out of stuffing for the green one & could not be bothered to make more – so – I just filled it with sauce.  I used a teeny bit of real mozzarella on top & a really tiny bit of real Asiago in the filling but vegan cheeses would work just as well.

I used leftover pasta like this & the jarred sauce below.  You can use any type of pasta & sauce you prefer – even homemade ones.  You could add ground meat – like Beyond Meat Beefy Crumble to either the squash filling or your sauce – if you wanted to add protein to the dish.

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Baked Stuffed Eight Ball Squash (or Zucchini) with Leftover Pasta (Vegetarian or Vegan)

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

12 oz cooked pasta

4 eight ball squashes (or 4 zucchini)

2 TBS olive oil

16 oz pasta sauce (or less but up to 16 oz – depending on how much sauce you like on your pasta)

1-6 garlic cloves

1 TBS fresh oregano – chopped (or 1 tsp dry)

1/4 cup vegan mozzarella)

1/8 cup grated Asiago (or vegan Parmesan)

S&P

Garnish – chopped basil or parsley and maybe extra vegan cheese)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Cook the pasta & drain.

Cut the tops off the eight ball squash & carefully scoop out the flesh & set it aside.  A melon-baller or grapefruit spoon might make that easier.  If using zucchini – slice in half the long way & scoop out the seeds & flesh and set it aside.

Take about 1 cup of the cooked pasta & chop it a bit.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the squash flesh & saute a minute or so.  Add the garlic & oregano & stir.  Add the CHOPPED pasta, 1/2 cup or so of pasta sauce stir.  Add Asiago or vegan Parmesan & stir.  Season with S&P & set aside.

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Treat a cooking pan with cooking spray.  Carefully stuff your peppers in the pan.  Top each with a little more sauce, some grated mozzarella & then with the squash tops themselves.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until the squash are tender & the cheese is warmed (and/or melted).  If using zucchini – do the same thing – but there will be no little squash hats for the zucchini boats.

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This next part is up to you.  You can either boil water & put the remaining pasta in it for about a minute, just before you are ready to serve – or warm as much pasta sauce as you think you need for 2 servings & stir the pasta directly into it to reheat it.   The advantage to heating the pasta & sauce separately is that you can better control how much sauce each serving gets – because some people like lots of sauce & others prefer less.  This is your call.

Whatever you decide – when the squash is ready – plate some pasta & sauce on two plates & place two baked squash on top of each.

Garnish with basil and/or parsley & grated cheese.

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Cauliflower, Zucchini & Chicken Green Enchilada Casserole (Vegan or Vegetarian)

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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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This is easy & delicious.  I used all vegan ingredients except for the 2 cups of cheddar that I topped this with.  You can use vegan cheddar & make this 100% vegan.  The bulk of the casserole is cauliflower & zucchini so it is lighter than your average casserole & likely a good way to get the kids to eat some veggies.

Cauliflower, Zucchini & Chicken Green Enchilada Casserole (Vegan or Vegetarian)

Serves 4 as an entree – more as a side

INGREDIENTS

9-12 oz vegan chicken (I always use Beyond Meat because it is just the best on the market) – shredded or cubed

1 head cauliflower – cut into florets

3 zucchini – cut into 1/4″ slices

1 cup (8 ounces) vegan mozzarella (or other mild, white cheese – Field Roast’s Chao is amazing)

1/2 cup (4 ounces) vegan cream cheese

1/3 cup vegan sour cream

3 large flour tortillas

3 cups green enchilada sauce (the higher the quality the better)

2 cups grated vegan cheddar (I used real cheddar but vegan is great, too) – or any other grated cheese you like (mozzarella or pepper jack – etc)

S&P

Cilantro as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 375.

Boil the cauliflower until just tender.  Add the zucchini slices & submerge them for a minute & then drain the lot & set aside.

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Warm ONE CUP (only one cup – reserve the rest) of the enchilada sauce & add the mozzarella, cream cheese & sour cream & cook – stirring – until it blends into a creamy sauce.  Season with S&P.

Stir in the veggies & the chicken.

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Pour the mixture into a casserole pan treated with cooking spray.  Quarter one of the tortillas & place the 4 pieces in the corners & then add the other two whole – as below.

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Add an additional ONE CUP of the enchilada sauce (reserving the final cup for later) & top with grated cheddar and bake for about 30 minutes or until it looks done to you.  Vegan cheese might not melt & brown the way the real cheddar did – so – be careful not to burn your dish – if you went 100% vegan.  Warm the remaining enchilada sauce.  When the dish is done – let it rest at least ten minutes.  Serve & top with warmed enchilada sauce & cilantro.

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Creamy Vegan No-Pasta Zoodles with Arugula & Chanterelle Mushrooms & Thyme

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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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Zoodles.  Noodles made from spiralized zucchini.  No carbs.  No guilt.  Really yummy & very easy.  I prefer the hand held & less expensive spiralizer like THESE for zucchini.  It is fast & easy to use & has minimal clean up – but if you have a tabletop version – knock yourself out.

I used Chanterelle mushrooms because I had them but any of the more mildly flavored mushrooms will do.  I might avoid portobello only because they can get dark when cooked and not look so pretty.  I also used arugula but spinach or any other leafy green, like kale or chard, would also work.

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I used my own, homemade vegan mozzarella (seen above) but any mild vegan cheese will do – and even real cheese would work – if you are a cheese eater.

This was my first effort with zoodles where I did not add real pasta to the mix so – without the heat of pasta to toss them with – they needed some cooking.  My result was more watery (you can see in the photos) than was ideal and so – in the future – I will use THIS technique to drain them a bit before cooking them and I recommend you do, too.  The procedure is simply to lay the zoodles on paper towel & lightly salt them & press more paper towel on top.  Maybe change out the top towel – if necessary.  Roll up in paper towel & squeeze.  This should get most of the excess moisture out.

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Creamy Vegan No-Pasta Zoodles with Arugula & Chanterelle Mushrooms & Thyme

Feeds 2

INGREDIENTS

2 very large zucchini (enough so you get about 5-6 cups of spiralized noodles) – spiralized

1/2 lb mushrooms (I used Chanterelle) – sliced

1-2 cups arugula (or spinach)

1-2 cups grated vegan mozzarella (I used one cup but would suggest going with two)

2 garlic cloves – chopped

Olive oil

Several TBS Fresh thyme – removed from stems

2 TBS vegan butter

2 TBS flour

1 cup almond (or other vegan) milk

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Spiralize the zucchini & follow THESE steps to remove excess moisture.

Heat the butter in a stock pot & whisk in the flour.  Add a TBS or two of fresh thyme.  Incrementally add the milk in small amounts – allowing the roux to thicken each time.   Add the cheese & stir with a wooden spoon until the cheese melts & the sauce is creamy.  Season with S&P.  Stir in the arugula.  Set aside on medium-low to keep warm.

In  saute pan – heat a TBS olive oil & cook the mushrooms.  When they are almost done to your liking – add the garlic & a TBS of thyme & stir to incorporate.  After 2 minutes or so – remove from heat because you don’t want to burn the garlic.  Season with S&P.

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In that same saute pan – heat another TBS or two & quickly cook the zoodles – not more than 2-3 minutes or they will get too mushy.  Toss the zoodles with the cheese sauce & heat through.

Serve on plates & spoon some mushrooms onto each serving.  Garnish with more thyme & freshly cracked pepper.

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Vegan Rustic Vegetable Spiral Tart

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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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Browsing randomly on Pinterest, I saw that spiral tart (above by Bake to the Roots) & I knew I had to make one.  But – I decided to adapt the recipe & make it vegan.  Overall – it was easier than I thought but, if I were to make this again (and I probably will), I would use a vegetable peeler to shave really thin pieces of the vegetables.  My mandolin cut the pieces thicker than was manageable – so I had to blanch all my veggies.  Also – while I tried to assemble it the way Baked to the Roots suggested (by creating the spiral from the inside out & then sliding the completed spiral into the crust) –

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– that proved trickier than I could handle.  Even tying kitchen string around it did nothing to make it stable enough to transfer.  So – I built it up from the inside out – but IN the crust with the poured cheese at the bottom.  And – if I were to try this again – I would use a potato peeler to slice thin veggies – skip blanching (except maybe the carrots) – and roll it up like a tire – starting with a center bit and alternating vegetables – but rolling it tight & upright (again – like a tire) – like they did on The Sweet Spot – seen below.

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See how much thinner her slices of veggies are than mine?  I bet rolling that fucker up was a breeze compared to my attempts.

Anyway – either way – the result is gorgeous & impressive & delicious & good for you!  So – if you need to bring a show stopper to some holiday party this season – let me suggest this!  I bet nobody will ever have seen one before.

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Vegan Rustic Vegetable Spiral Tart

Feeds 4-6

INGREDIENTS

for the pastry

1 1/2 cups flour

pinch of salt

1/2 cup ice cold vegan butter

1 TBS ice water

for the filling

1 cup vegan cheddar shreds

1/4 cup vegan sour cream

1/2 cup vegan cream cheese

S&P

1 tsp or more of chili powder or any herbs of your choice (I used chili powder)

3-4 medium zucchini (green or yellow or both – I used green)

1 medium eggplant

2-3 large carrots

olive oil

S&P

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

You have two choices for making the dough.

In a large bowl – mix flour and salt and cold butter in small pieces. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles crumbs. Add the water and knead the dough. Work quick so the dough does not get too warm. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest in the fridge 30-60 minutes.

OR – pulse the butter into the flour/salt in a food processor & add the water at the end.  For me – this resulted in just a bowl of crumbs but I poured them onto plastic wrap & used the wrap to press the crumbs into a ball.  I then wrapped it & put it in the fridge.

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Grease a 10 inch tart tin*.  Maybe vegan butter is less binding than real butter – but I could not roll out the crust.  So – I just pressed it – in pieces – into the tart pan until the bottom was covered & the crust went almost an inch up the sides.  Place in the fridge for another 10 minutes to cool down.  Doesn’t look great but nobody is ever gonna see it.  Plus – when you make things that come out a little “rough around the edges,” just call them “rustic” and everything is excused.

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Take the tin out of the fridge, line with baking parchment and fill with (baking) beans or a second tin bit smaller than the one with the dough. Blind bake for 15-20 minutes. The edges should be slightly golden in color. Take out of the oven and set aside.   I used parchment paper & a pottery planter.  I don’t think they were really necessary – so – if you are feeling lazy & adventurous – just bake the thing naked for 15-20 – or until it just starts turning color.  (Ignore the circle I drew on that paper.)  Remove from the oven & raise oven temperature to 375.

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For the filling, melt the cheddar, cream cheese & sour cream together in a sauce pan & then stir in any seasoning or herbs you chose.  Season a bit with S&P.  Set aside.

Wash the vegetables and cut into thin strips with a vegetable peeler or a mandolin or a sharp knife (I would recommend the peeler). The strips should have about the same height – so you might have to half them or cut parts off. You will need a lot of those strips, so keep slicing. When done, place flat on a plate and season with salt and pepper.

Pour the cheese-mix into the pre-baked crust and spread evenly.   I did not use quite all the cheese I had.  You might use more or less – depending on the height of the edges of your tart – but don’t fill it up or the cheese will bubble over as you add the veggies.

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If your veggies are too thick or stiff for rolling – blanch them in boiling water.  My slices were almost 1/4″ thick so I started by blanching the carrots for 3 minutes & then adding the zucchini for one minute & then adding the eggplant for a final minute – so – my carrots spent 5 minutes softening.  If you used a peeler – your slices should be very thin & you might not need to blanch anything – or maybe just the carrots for a minute.  If you blanch things, though, submerge them in ice water to stop the cooking & to make them cool enough to handle.  Pat them dry in some paper towel.

Start rolling the vegetables, by starting with one strip of carrot for example in a tight circle and then wrap zucchini or eggplant strips around.  I suggest either doing this as demonstrated in the photo above (like a tire) or by just starting by curling strips around each other – directly in the center of the tart.  Play around with the different vegetable strips so you get a nice color mix at the end.  Continue wrapping & rolling until your circle of rolled vegetables is roughly 10 inches in diameter – or you tart is full.  If you rolled them like a tire – carefully place your spiral down onto the cheese filling of the tart & use extra strips to fill in any gaps.  I had lots of extra veggies so I just pureed them into a can of dog food for my dogs’ dinner.

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Brush with some olive oil & season with S&P.  Bake for 40-50 minutes. If the vegetables start to get too dark, cover with some aluminum foil and continue baking.   Allow to rest at least ten minutes before removing from the tart pan.

Feast your eyes on your gorgeous creation & commence the feast!

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Vegan Pasta with Grilled Yellow & Baby Zucchini, Lemon & Pistachios

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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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Lately, I feel like I keep saying my recipes are easy & delicious – and this one is no exception.  A few simple ingredients & it can really be read in 20 minutes.  I bought these gorgeous yellow zucchini & cutie baby zucchini (above) at the farmer’s market recently.  I also bought those garlic chives you see under the zucchini.  Regular zucchini & regular garlic will work just fine.  I did not add cheese to this but (if you are not vegan) some high quality Parmesan might be nice – or vegan Parmesan.  The amount of lemon & garlic are a matter of taste – and I tend to lay on all flavorful ingredients with a heavy hand.  You might prefer smaller quantities – your call.  The pistachios add a nice crunch but are not critical to the dish.  Toasted pine nuts might be nice, too.  Either way – I repeat – this is easy & delicious.

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Vegan Pasta with Grilled Yellow & Baby Zucchini, Lemon & Pistachi

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta – cooked & drained

1/2 lb baby zucchini – ends trimmed

2 yellow zucchini – sliced into rounds

(OR – 4-5 regular zucchini – sliced)

1 lemon – zested & juiced

10 garlic chives – chopped (or regular garlic- I would use 4 – or to taste – chopped)

Shelled pistachios – chopped (quantity up to you – I used about 1/4 cup)

1/4 cup some sort of Italian dressing or just plain olive oil

Olive oil

S&P

Parsley – chopped

Garnish – lemon wedges

OPTIONAL – 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan or vegan alternative

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DIRECTIONS

Cook the pasta.

Toss the zucchini in the Italian dressing or olive oil & grill (on a grill or in a grill pan) on high for a few minutes – turning once or twice – until tender & a bit charred.  Set aside.

In a large saute pan – heat maybe 1 TBS olive oil & saute the garlic chives or regular garlic for a minute.  Add the zucchini & a few pinches of lemon zest. Add some lemon juice and S&P.  Taste & add more of the zest, juice and S&P until it tastes right to you.

Add the pasta & toss & heat through.  If using vegan or regular Parmesan – toss that in now.  Serve with parsley, pistachios, lemon wedges & lots of fresh cracked pepper.

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Vegan Chicken, Lemon & Thyme Pasta with Grilled Zucchini & Maitake Mushrooms

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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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Get your Beyond Meat coupons HERE.

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Look at those cool wine corks!!

OK – I have a bit of a confession to make.  I cook all the time & make fancy recipes & get delivery of fresh produce from Farm Fresh to You and I spend a fortune on groceries – but when I get home from work – all I EVER want to eat is a tortilla pizza.  So incredibly lame.  Made stove-top so the tortilla invariably blackens before the cheese is fully melted.  I give absolutely zero fucks.  I just make two or three of these charred fuckers & shove them into my face, swilling wine & watching Luther.  Don’t believe me?  Here is my dinner for each night last week:

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When Farm Fresh to You delivered an eggplant to me – I took a rare break from the tortillas & made an eggplant pizza tower.  That is grilled eggplant with Rao’s Arrabbiata sauce (best jarred sauce on the market) on it & fresh mozzarella – baked at about 350 until the cheese melts (10-15 minutes) & topped with fresh basil.  I recommend those eggplant towers with unbridled enthusiasm.  I bought 5 eggplants today & I intend to eat those every night this week.

But my fresh produce box also held a few zucchinis.  One night, I sliced them up, dredged them in Italian dressing & grilled them.  I then promptly stored them in the fridge & made a tortilla pizza.  Then – something awesome happened.  I had the idea to top a tortilla pizza with chopped, grilled zucchini & fresh thyme & it was a revelation!

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I have eaten thyme hundreds of times but that tortilla pizza with the subtle flavors of the zucchini & the fresh mozzarella really set the thyme off nicely & I fell a little in love with thyme.

Armed with additional grilled zucchini, fresh thyme & this crazy maitake mushroom (also in my Farm Fresh to You box) – I decided to make a pasta dish – and my Vegan Chicken, Lemon & Thyme Pasta with Grilled Zucchini & Maitake Mushrooms was born.  No single flavor is crucial here so – if you hate mushrooms or zucchini or whatever – leave it out.  It is more about the lemon & thyme.  Light & clean & vegan – this is an easy & delicious dish.

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Vegan Chicken, Lemon & Thyme Pasta with Grilled Zucchini & Maitake Mushrooms

Serves 2

INGREDIENTS

1/2 lb pasta

9 oz Beyond Meat chicken – cubed or left whole

Olive oil

1 cup chopped mushrooms – any variety will do – except maybe portobello as they turn dark & might be overpowering & not as pretty

1 zucchini – sliced, dipped in an oil-based dressing & grilled – or simply chopped raw

4 garlic cloves – chopped

Zest of one lemon (save wedges for garnish)

1-2 TBS Fresh thyme (more or less – to taste) – removed from stems

S&P

Garnish – more thyme, pepper, lemon wedges

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DIRECTIONS

Cook the pasta as directed.

Meanwhile – grill the zucchini – if you are doing that step.  If not, just cut the zucchini up.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan.  Add the mushrooms & zucchini & vegan chicken.  Saute until the veggies soften.  Add the lemon zest, garlic & thyme & stir to combine – for about a minute.  Season with salt & pepper.

Drain the pasta & add it to the chicken & veggies & stir to combine.

Serve with more thyme, fresh cracked pepper & the lemon wedges.

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3-Mushroom, Zucchini & Fried Sage Pizza with Blue Cheese and Fresh Mozzarella

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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 must admit – some dishes are harder to make look pretty than others & my troubles are compounded by a full-time job that means I can only photograph things early, before work, or late – after work.  I am certainly not going to make a pizza at 8am & – honestly – the light at 8pm sucks.  So – many of my photos lately have been a tad underwhelming & I find that very depressing.  But – I do not have the luxury of a blog that earns me any money so – this is just a reality I am having to deal with – the fact that I am in a challenging food photography world for a while.

It is especially disappointing when the dish is as outrageously delicious at this pizza was.  I like to go light on cheeses so this pizza looks sorta dark & not as pretty as others I have made but – if you like mushrooms – you are in for a treat.  As one of my three mushrooms – I used this jarred sauce here:

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I have to say – I am not a fan of jarred sauces (Rao’s Arrabbiata as a notable exception) but this stuff here is a revelation!   It is heavily saturated with the flavor of porcini mushrooms.  I recommend it highly.

My second mushroom element was a last minute drizzle of truffle oil – after the pizza came out of the oven.

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My third mushroom element was just a handful of sliced mushrooms sauted in olive oil with some thinly sliced zucchini.

I used a new recipe for the pizza dough.  It came from How Sweet It is – and is intended expressly for a very thin crust.  It is an easy no–rise dough & I found it wonderful.  The recipe is HERE.

I used two kinds of cheese simply because I had them.  If you don’t like blue cheese – skip it.

Fried sage rounded out the flavors & gave this pizza an autumnal flavor.  Sage is a perfect companion for mushrooms so – if you haven’t tried it – you must.

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3-Mushroom, Zucchini & Fried Sage Pizza with Blue Cheese and Fresh Mozzarella

(quantities of each are up to you – to suit your taste)

INGREDIENTS

Pizza dough of your choice (I used THIS)

Mushroom pasta sauce

Truffle oil

Sliced mushrooms

Sliced zucchini

Fresh sage

Olive oil

Crumbled blue cheese

Fresh mozzarella – sliced

S&P

Crushed red pepper (optional)

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 500 degrees.

Prepare the dough & roll out some to a pizza of shape & size that you determine.

With a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a pan – fry the sage a few minutes – being careful not to burn it.  Drain on a paper towel.

Add the mushrooms & zucchini to the pan with a few pinches of S&P.  Saute on high until soft.

Put your dough on a cooking sheet (covered with parchment paper – highly recommended – or greased).  Top with sauce, vegetables, sage and cheeses.

Cook for about 10-15 minutes – depending on your oven & how done you like your crust & cheese. When it looks read – take it out & drizzle with truffle oil.  Add some crushed red pepper – if you like – and eat the whole fucking thing alone.  I did!

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Zucchini & Mint Enchiladas

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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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I am a huge fan of the zucchini & mint combination.  I got the original recipe from my good friend, Naomi Priestley.  It was one of my earliest posts on this blog. Zucchini & Mint Pasta with Parmesan – seen above.

I later adapted it to a Fresh Mint and Zucchini Mac and Cheese version – which was rather lovely – seen below.

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Today, I found myself looking at 4 huge but wilting zucchinis & a bunch of wilting mint – so – I decided to try this experiment.  It is sauceless because the zucchini & mint are such delicate flavors that you don’t want to offer too much competition for them but, if you like wetter enchiladas & don’t mind cream sauces, I would recommend a light Alfredo or something.  They are very easy to make & cook up in about 45 minutes total – prep & baking included.  Light & fresh – they are breadier than most enchiladas seem because of the lack of sauce & because I filled them sparingly.    Still – I would call them a success!

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Zucchini & Mint Enchiladas

Makes 8 enchiladas

INGREDIENTS

Olive oil

8 flour tortillas

4 large zucchini (or more for fatter enchiladas) – grated

6 garlic cloves – minced

1 cup Parmesan – grated – or vegan alternative

1 cup mozzarella – grated (or fresh mozzarella – sliced) – or vegan alternative

1 bunch fresh mint (about a cup) – chopped

S&P

Garnish – extra mint and/or cheese

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grate the zucchini & cheeses.

Heat about 1 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan over med-high heat.  Add the garlic & about 30 seconds later – add the zucchini.  Garlic burns easily & tastes bitter when it does so be quick here.

Saute about 15 minutes or until it becomes a bit of a mush.  Add the mint & 1/2 cup grated Parmesan.  Season with S&P.

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Assemble the enchiladas by rolling 1/8 of your zucchini into each of eight tortillas.  Treat a baking pan with coking spray (or olive oil) & line the enchiladas up, seam-side down.

Cover with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan & the mozzarella.

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Bake for 20 minutes or so or until the cheese is melted to your taste.

Serve with extra cheese and/or mint as garnish.  Easy peasy!

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