Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

A fun and simple recipe that I picked up at my knife skills class. This came with the section where we learned how to cut a mango. Take a little off the top and bottom so that it will sit level on the cutting board top to bottom. Then take your knife at the top of the mango and peel the skin down off the mango. It shouldn’t take much effort and the blade should do most of the work with a gentle sawing motion. Do the same to get the edible flesh off the mango. Start at the top and go in a little and shave it down top to bottom. There is a woody core in the middle of the mango and it is quite large. I keep shaving off the mango fruit until it starts to get tough. Lay the fruit flat and slice and dice and then begin.


1/2 loaf French bread cut into half-inch slices

1/2 a mango (I wind up using the whole mango)

1-1/2 teaspoons fresh basil, minced

1/2 up shredded Romano Cheese

1. Preheat the broiler

2. Arrange the French bread slice in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Cook them on the top-level of the oven on the broiler setting for one to two minutes per side, until toasted. Remove from heat.

3. In medium bowl mix mango and basil

4. Top each slice with a spoonful of the mango and basil mix. Top with a sprinkle or two of the Romano.

5. Return the topped bread to broiler for 2-3 minutes. They are done when cheese is melted and lightly browned. Serve hot.

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Radishes, turnips and parsnips are veggies I’ve gazed at on the grocery shelves since I was a kid. However, I never really made an effort to eat them, even though I read a lot about how good they are for me. Perhaps this will be my first foray into radish-land.

Makes 2.5 cups


2 small bunches radishes, greens attached (about 20 to 25 radishes)

½ bunch fresh basil leaves (about 1½ cups)

⅓ cup macadamia nuts, toasted

1 small shallot, coarsely chopped

1 small garlic clove, coarsely chopped

½ cup grated Piave cheese (substitute Parmagiano-Reggiano if Piave isn’t available)

1 lemon, juiced and zested

¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper, to taste


1. Separate the radishes from the greens; clean each radish thoroughly and set aside. In a food processor or blender, combine the radish leaves, basil, macadamia nuts, shallot, garlic, cheese, lemon juice and zest and oil and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

2. Serve the pesto alongside cleaned, whole radishes. To store, place in an airtight container and cover with a thin layer of olive oil.

From: Tasting Table 

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This open-faced sandwich of sorts reminded me of an earlier trip down this lane where my wife and I chowed down on open-faced Brie, apple and arugula sandwiches. Recipe is here.  Similar concept with this offering, but with different ingredients. I bet you could also make this on the grill during the summer if you don’t want to heat the house up. Just make sure you’ve cleaned the grates thoroughly.

It is also a recipe that really stretches a few ingredients. It isn’t like you need to buy a pile of pears or cheese to make this one come to life. Any ideas on different cheeses to use with this one?


8 slices crusty bread of your choice, toasted lightly

2 ounces Goat Cheese

1 Pear or Apple, sliced

1-2 tablespoons Honey

2 tablespoons sliced Almonds, toasted


Lightly toast slices of bread in 350 degree oven for 5-6 minutes.

Spread each piece of bread with a thin layer of goat cheese. Fan 4-5 slices of pear over the goat cheese and drizzle with honey. Sprinkle the top of each with the sliced almonds.

From: The Fifth Tine 

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These came highly recommended by one of my co-workers named Erin. I quickly made them for dinner tonight and we dove in. They are really tasty and the basil mayo adds a nice touch. Only now do I realize that I forgot the cheese. They still tasted pretty good.

The recipe seems to have left out a step. Before you marinade the mushrooms gently pop out the stems and then turn the caps upside down. Take a large spoon and gently scrap out the gills. You don’t have to remove all of them from every crack and crevice of the mushroom. Just remove the bulk of them and then give the cap a light rinse to remove any loose pieces. The gills won’t hurt you. They just taste funny.

Serves 4


4 large portobello mushroom caps

3/4 cup light balsamic vinaigrette

1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise

2 tbsp chopped fresh basil

4 slices mozzarella cheese

4 Hy-Vee bakery onion hamburger buns, halved, toasted


Place mushrooms in shallow dish, gill-side-up. Pour vinaigrette over mushrooms. Let marinate at room temperature 10 minutes; remove mushrooms from marinade. Discard marinade.

In a small bowl, combine mayonnaise and basil; cover and refrigerate.

Preheat grill for medium heat; brush grill grate with oil.

Grill mushrooms, turning occasionally, until tender and grill marked, about 10 minutes.

Top each mushroom with a slice of mozzarella cheese during last 2 minutes of grilling.

Spread half of each toasted bun with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture. Top with grilled portobello mushroom and remaining half of bun.

From: Hy-Vee 

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I wandered by the break room and the chef from the Food Network was pulling these watermelon slices out of a grill pan. It got my attention because I typically think of watermelon as cold and sweet. 


/2 (5-pound) seedless watermelon

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Extra-virgin olive oil

Kosher salt (specialty salt is great here, if on hand)

2 cups fresh baby arugula, washed and dried

1 cup goat cheese, crumbled, preferably a French Chevre

Fresh finely cracked black pepper


Stand the watermelon half-cut side down on a cutting board and slice away the rind, leaving a solid block of melon. Turn the block on its side and cut it into 8 squares, roughly 3 by 3 inches and 1-inch thick.

Pour the vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to a thick syrup consistency. Set aside.

Heat a non-stick grill pan over medium-high heat. Drizzle just enough olive oil over watermelon slices to thinly coat and place on hot grill pan. Grill each side about 2 minutes until grill marks appear; transfer to a plate and season with salt.

To assemble the salads, put about 1/4 cup of baby arugula on a serving plate, followed by a grilled slice of watermelon in the center, and top with a tablespoon of crumbled cheese and another 1/4 cup arugula. Add another watermelon slice and another tablespoon of cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Finish each salad with a very light drizzle of olive oil and balsamic syrup. Dust with black pepper and serve immediately.

From: Food Network 

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I’ve been hitting the Iowa City Farmer’s Markets on the weekends. Half of my money goes to food to cook later while the other half goes to food I eat on the spot. Thankfully this recipe requires a little time. But once the berries hit the market this moves to the top of my list. 

Makes about 6 cups


1 cup hot water

3/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

3 cups sliced hulled strawberries (1 pound whole berries) plus additional berries for garnish


Stir first 3 ingredients in small bowl until sugar dissolves. Blend 3 cups strawberries in processor until smooth. Add sugar syrup and blend until combined.

Pour mixture into 13x9x2-inch nonstick metal baking pan. Freeze until icy around edges, about 25 minutes. Using fork, stir icy portions into middle of pan. Freeze until mixture is frozen, stirring edges into center every 20 to 30 minutes, about 1 1/2 hours. Using fork, scrape granita into flaky crystals. Cover tightly and freeze. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep frozen.) Scrape granita into bowls. Garnish with berries and serve.

From: Bon Appetit








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This is one of those recipes that when you read it you wonder why you didn’t think of putting it all together yourself.  It uses some simple ingredients and comes together in a hurry. Plus I think it also opens your mind to interpretation and improvisation. Pears? Different cheese? Hummus instead of mustard? 

I ate two “halves” and part of a third. My wife had just a half. Pair with a creamy soup and you have a heck of a lunch. Mine also didn’t look this good.


8 slices rustic artisan bread (about 2-1/2 by 6 inches and 3/4 inch thick)

8 tsp. Dijon mustard

4 cups packed baby arugula

1 medium Fuji apple, cored and thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

8 oz. Brie, thinly sliced


Position a rack 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler to high.

Put the bread slices on a rimmed baking sheet and set under the broiler. Broil until nicely toasted, 1 to 2 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, flip the bread over, and spread 1 tsp. of the mustard evenly on each untoasted side. Top with the arugula and then the apple slices. Season lightly with salt and pepper, and then arrange the Brie slices in a single layer over the apples.

Broil just until the Brie starts to melt, 1 to 2 minutes (don’t let it melt too much or the apple will get warm and the arugula will wilt). Sprinkle with a little black pepper.

From: Fine Cooking

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