Tag Archives: vegetarian

Artichoke and Spinach Strata

Looking for the perfect brunch dish? This Artichoke and Spinach Strata from Cooking Light is satisfying, savory, and (best of all) easy to make ahead! Despite the suspect “green stuff,” both of my kids gobbled this up.

Artichoke and Spinach Strata

Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
  • 10 oz package frozen spinach
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 9 oz artichoke hearts, drained
  • 8 oz whole wheat sourdough bread, crusts removed and cubed (about 5 cups)
  • 4 oz reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (about ¼ cup)
  • 1¾ cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • Dash of ground nutmeg
  • 4 large eggs
  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Cook spinach in microwave ­according to package directions; cool slightly. Place spinach in a clean kitchen towel. Squeeze dry.
  3. Combine spinach and next 4 ingredients (through Monterey Jack cheese) in a large bowl; toss. Arrange bread mixture in a broiler-safe 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top.
  4. Combine milk, Dijon, pepper, nutmeg, and eggs in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Pour egg mixture evenly over bread mixture. Bake at 375° for 38 minutes or until set. Turn broiler to high (do not remove pan from oven). Broil 4 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.


Pecan and Blue Cheese Brussels Sprout Salad

We love our Brussels Sprouts in this house—even my four year old will ask for seconds and thirds. Usually, I roast them with a little olive oil, salt and pepper until they are soft on the inside and perfectly crisp on the outside. So when I saw this Cooking Light recipe for Brussels Sprout salad, I was intrigued by how they’d taste raw, since I’ve only ever had them cooked. Since Brussels are in the cabbage family, it’s no surprise that the texture of the salad reminded me of a crisp, fresh coleslaw. The flavor of the dressing, the creaminess of the cheese, and the crunch from the Brussels Sprouts and pecans … it was a perfect combination.

Brussels Sprout Salad

Pecan and Blue Cheese Brussels Sprout Salad

  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ pound Brussels sprouts, very thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
  1. Combine first 7 ingredients in a small bowl. Place Brussels sprouts and pecans in a large bowl; toss to combine. Add vinaigrette; toss to coat. Sprinkle with blue cheese.


Summer Vegetable Pizza

This pizza is bursting with fresh summer flavors … from the fresh basil pesto to the toppings of zucchini, tomato, red pepper, and mushrooms. I’ve never used the refrigerated dough balls before, but I figured if it was good enough for this Cooking Light recipe, I’d give it a shot. Sure, it’s a little more work than the ready-made pizza crusts, but the payoff is worth it! For only $1.70, I got one of the Safeway Select traditional pizza dough balls, which yielded a thick, chewy crust. I used my pizza stone to get a nice crunchy bottom to support all of my toppings and cheese. As with most moms, I was chasing after two kids while trying to make dinner—hence, the burned cheese. Oh well, it was still delicious!

Summer Vegetable Pizza

1 refrigerated fresh pizza dough
1 tbsp cornmeal
2-3 tbsp fresh basil pesto
½ red bell pepper, diced
1 small tomato, sliced
1 cup fresh mushrooms
½ zucchini, diced
Olive oil
1½ cups shredded mozzarella

1. Place a pizza stone or heavy baking sheet in oven. Preheat oven to 500° (keep pizza stone or baking sheet in oven as it preheats).

2. Put a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal on a flat cookie sheet (using a cookie sheet will allow you to pick up and easily slide the pizza onto the pizza stone). With a little olive oil on your hands, form dough into a 14-inch circle.

3. Pierce the entire surface of the pizza dough liberally with a fork. Spread pesto sauce over crust, leaving a ½-inch border. Arrange the vegetables over the dough, and sprinkle evenly with cheese.

4. Carefully remove pizza stone from oven and slide pizza on top, parchment paper and all. Bake at 500° for 15-17 minutes or until the crust and cheese are browned. Brush edge of dough with olive oil. Slice and serve!

Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush is a Middle Eastern spread made of roasted eggplant and tiny bits of Heaven. It is also really fun to say. I have no more words—just make it, eat it, love it.

Baba Ghanoush

Baba Ghanoush

1 large eggplant
¼ cup tahini, plus more as needed
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup fresh lemon juice, plus more as needed
1 pinch ground cumin
salt, to taste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


  1. Heat your grill to medium-high heat, and preheat your oven to 375°F.
  2. Prick the eggplant with a fork in several places and place on the grill 4 to 5 inches from the fire. Grill, turning frequently, until the skin blackens and blisters and the flesh just begins to feel soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Transfer the eggplant to a baking sheet and bake until very soft, another 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and peel off and discard the skin.
  4. Place the eggplant flesh in a bowl. Using a fork, mash the eggplant to a paste. Add the 1/4 cup tahini, the garlic, the 1/4 cup lemon juice and the cumin and mix well. Season with salt, then taste and add more tahini and/or lemon juice, if needed.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a serving bowl and spread with the back of a spoon to form a shallow well. Drizzle the olive oil over the top and sprinkle with the parsley.
Baba Ghanoush

Spinach and Feta Quinoa Cakes with Yogurt Dill Sauce

I have learned from experience that just because something looks good on Pinterest does not mean it’s going to look (or taste!) Pinterest-worthy.

I happened to have some quinoa left over from dinner the night before, so I thought I’d check out my food board to see if I had previously pinned anything I hadn’t yet tried. These quinoa cakes caught my eye, so I figured I would give them a shot. Worst case scenario, we could always order a pizza for dinner. Luckily for me, this recipe from  Panini Happy delivered!

I served these in whole wheat pitas with the yogurt dill sauce and sliced cucumbers and couscous on the side. Delicious!!

Quinoa Cakes

Spinach and Feta Quinoa Cakes with Yogurt Dill Sauce

½ cup plain Greek yogurt, reduced-fat or whole
2 tbsp finely chopped scallions
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 oz chopped baby spinach
2 large eggs, beaten
1 ¼ cups cooked quinoa
2 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 tbsp plus 2 tsp chopped fresh dill
¼ tsp grated lemon zest
½ cup bread crumbs

To make the Yogurt Dill Sauce:

Whisk together the yogurt, scallions, lemon juice, and 2 tsp of the dill in a small bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate the sauce for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld.

To make the Quinoa Cakes:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the spinach and cook, stirring often, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a medium-size bowl.
  2. Add the eggs, quinoa, feta, remaining dill, lemon zest, and about ¼ tsp black pepper and mix well. Mix in the bread crumbs and let the mixture sit for a few minutes to allow the bread crumbs to absorb some of the moisture.
  3. Heat a sauté or grill pan to medium-high heat.
  4. Form quinoa patties about 2 ½ inches in diameter and ½ inch thick. Place the patties on the pan, in batches if necessary, and close the lid. Grill the patties until they’re cooked through and browned on the outside, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve warm with yogurt dill sauce.

Quick & Healthy Meal: Hummus Veggie Flatbreads

These hummus veggie flatbreads are one of our favorite quick and easy weeknight dinners. My family loves these because they are so delicious. The fact that they are full of healthy veggies and protein-packed hummus is just the icing on the cake. I usually serve these with couscous, which cooks in under 10 minutes. The entire meal, start to finish, can be done in around 15 minutes. I hope you enjoy them as much as we do!

Hummus Veggie Flatbreads

What you need:
Naan (or other type of flatbread)
Fresh sliced portabella mushrooms
Green pepper, thin sliced
Tomato, diced
Avocado, diced
Store-bought hummus
Sliced cheese (I’ve used cheddar, pepperjack, and muenster- all good in this recipe)

1. Preheat your oven to 350°. Place one flatbread per person on a cookie sheet and spread with a generous spoonful (or two!) of hummus.

2. Top each with 4-6 slices of green pepper, around 5 or 6 mushrooms, and a sprinkling of tomato—you don’t want to go too heavy on the veggies because you’ll be adding arugula and avocado as well and you want to be able to fold them in half.

3. Place one to two slices of cheese, depending on the size of your flatbread, on each one (I usually break up the cheese to spread it over all of the veggies). Pop the flatbreads in the oven for around 6 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

4. Place one flatbread on each plate and top with some of the avocado and arugula. Fold in half and dig in!

Spring Vegetable Pasta with a Lemon Cream Sauce

Since this little human I am growing has left me utterly exhausted recently, I haven’t been doing much adventurous cooking or trying many new recipes. Now that I’m in my second trimester, both my energy and my cooking are making a comeback.

I recently tried this Spring Vegetable Penne from the most recent issue of Cooking Light and LOVED it. The lemon cream sauce is both comforting and bright at the same time, and the veggies are perfect in it.  The only thing I might do differently next time is grill the asparagus for some extra flavor (and just because I can, since it’s finally nice out).

Spring Vegetable Pasta with a Lemon Cream Sauce

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¾ cup chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
1 (4 oz) package presliced mushrooms
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
½ cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
½ cup half-and-half
¾ cup frozen green peas
3 tbsp shaved Parmesan cheese, divided
½ tsp grated lemon rind
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 oz uncooked penne (I used vegetable pasta, hence the reddish color)
1 pound (1 in) diagonally cut asparagus


1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion and mushrooms; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add thyme and garlic; sauté 1 minute.

2. Sprinkle mushroom mixture evenly with flour; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

3. Stir in broth and half-and-half; cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add peas, 2 tablespoons cheese, rind, and next 3 ingredients (through pepper); cook 1 minute or until peas are thoroughly heated.

4. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. During the last 3 minutes of cooking, add asparagus to pot; drain.

5. Add pasta mixture to mushroom mixture; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with remaining 1 tablespoon cheese.


Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

We usually eat vegetarian a few nights a week, so I’m always on the lookout for recipes that are outside of the usual salad/pasta/quinoa rotation. I saw this recipe for vegetarian stuffed peppers and decided to try my own spin on it. 

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

2 green peppers
2 red peppers
2 yellow peppers
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 small onion, chopped
2 small tomatoes, diced
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup goat cheese crumbles
1 clove minced garlic
Olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 400°, and lightly spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Place the halved and seeded peppers cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for 25 minutes.

3. While the peppers roast, heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for one minute.

4. Add onions and mushrooms and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and spinach and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

5. In a large bowl, mix together the rice, vegetables, goat cheese, salt, and pepper.

6. After the peppers are done roasting, flip them over and fill each half with the rice and vegetable mixture.

7. Return the peppers to the oven and roast for another 5 minutes.

Eat Your Veggies: Buffalo Cauliflower

I love buffalo wings, but I do not love how bad they are for you. What I really crave is the buffalo sauce, so I figured I would try to kill two birds with one stone: get my buffalo fix and up my veggie servings (which, by the way, are a recommended nine servings a day). I adapted this recipe from the one for Bang Bang Shrimp from That’s So Michelle. My friend Nicole made that recipe and raved about it, so I thought it would be a good place to start.

I’m not a huge fan of pan frying, but these were totally worth the mess! My husband and I LOVED them. I will absolutely be making this dish again!

Buffalo Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, with florets cut off and separated
1 cup Panko bread crumbs
3 tbsp cornstarch
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 tsp garlic powder
Salt & Pepper
¼ cup canola oil
Frank’s Red Hot Original Pepper Sauce or other buffalo sauce
Celery (optional)
Bleu Cheese or Ranch dressing (optional)

Place Panko crumbs in a shallow dish and mix in salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Put your eggs and your cornstarch into two separate bowls.

One at a time, dip your cauliflower into the cornstarch, turning to coat, and shake off any excess. Next, dip it in the egg and then coat with the bread crumbs. As you finish each one, set it aside on a plate.

After you have coated all of your cauliflower, heat your canola oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot (you can check it by flicking a drop of water in and seeing if it sizzles), add your cauliflower florets. Be sure to turn them frequently until all sides are browned. Remove them from the pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate to remove any excess oil.

Let the cauliflower cool for just a few minutes. Working in small batches, put your cauliflower in a bowl and drizzle with sauce; toss gently to coat.

Serve immediately with celery and bleu cheese or ranch dressing.

Mushroom Lentil Burgers

I saw this recipe in the August issue of Cooking Light, and since I am always looking for new vegetarian recipes to add to our menu, I decided to give it a shot. They were really good! As my husband said, you have to like mushrooms because it’s chock-full (though I can’t imagine why you’d make mushroom lentil burgers if you didn’t!).

If I had a con for these burgers, it would be that they’re really, really fragile. I suppose that’s to be expected with veggie burgers, but you have to be very gentle when flipping these—and even then, they may fall apart a tiny bit. Even with that, I managed to make four respectable and delicious burgers!

Mushroom Lentil Burgers
From Cooking Light

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
5 regular or whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted and divided
6 ounces presliced cremini mushrooms
1 (8-ounce) pouch precooked black beluga lentils (such as Archer Farms)
4 tsp Dijon mustard, divided
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled
1 1/2 tbsp canola mayonnaise
1/2 cup baby arugula

Preheat broiler.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Remove from heat.

Place 1 bun in a food processor; process until coarse crumbs form. Remove breadcrumbs from food processor; set aside.

Combine mushrooms, lentils, 2 teaspoons mustard, and the next 3 ingredients (through salt) in food processor; pulse to combine.

Combine onion mixture, breadcrumbs, mushroom mixture, and egg in a large bowl, stirring well. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, gently shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add patties; cook for 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove patties from pan; arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle patties evenly with cheese. Place under broiler for 2 minutes or until cheese is softened.

Combine canola mayonnaise and remaining 2 teaspoons mustard in a small bowl. Spread the top half of each of the remaining 4 buns with 2 teaspoons mayonnaise mixture. Top each bottom half of bun with 1 patty. Divide arugula evenly among burgers; top with top half of bun, mayonnaise-coated side down.