Category Archives: Vegetarian Main Dishes

5-Minute Easy Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potato Soup and a New-Found Love of Frozen Peas. Plus a Special Announcement!

Basically a cheese sauce and broccoli topped baked potato, but in soup form. Yum!

I’m sure that you’ve noticed that I haven’t posted a new recipe in a few weeks, right? Well, that’s because I…gave birth! To the most perfect little girl the DH and I could ever have imagined! At 7 lbs and 4 oz (ish. I’m too tired to properly calculate the conversion from kg to lbs), with a head full of hair and (so far) blue eyes, she’s keeping us on our toes! But, we still need to eat. So, I pulled out some of the Easy Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potato Soup that I made during the last week of pregnancy. So easy. So cheesy. Basically a broccoli and cheese topped baked potato, but in soup form. And ready in 5 minutes. Are you hungry yet?

You use baked potatoes in this recipe (which I nuked in the microwave because I don’t have time to wait for them to cook in the oven. My beloved newborn is a time suck!)  as well as cheese sauce and cooked broccoli (I defrosted from frozen) and toss it together with a couple of other items, then blend it all, and voila, dinner (or lunch!) is served! Easy, yes?

The reason that I say it only takes 5 minutes to make, if that I assume you have a batch of leftover homemade cheese sauce lying around your kitchen. If not, just whip up one from my recipe here (or dump in cheez whiz or something. Sometimes eating something not super-healthy is better than eating nothing. Like when you have a newborn). Homemade cheese sauce is really easy to make though. It’s basically a roux with cheese and extra milk. Like I said, check out my recipe here.

Now, let’s get this soup train on the road!

 

5 from 1 vote
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5-Minute Cheesy Broccoli Baked Potato Soup

Leftovers transform into a hearty soup with this dish, perfect for lunch, dinner, or freezer!

Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 2 potatoes, large
  • 2 c. cheese sauce (homemade is best)
  • 1 1/4 c. broccoli, cooked
  • 2 c. chicken boullion (vegetarian)
  • pepper, to taste
  • cheddar cheese, grated optional, as topping

Instructions

  1. Bake (washed) potatoes in microwave.

  2. While potatoes are baking, place all remaining ingredients in a large soup pot and simmer.

  3. Once potatoes are baked, add to soup pot, skins and all.

  4. Using an immersion blender, blend to desired consistency.

  5. Serve with a sprinkle of grated cheese on top!

Like lots of potato-based soups, this soup tends to thicken up when cooled down and left for a day. So feel free to add a bit more milk or water or broth to thin it out. I like it thick and hearty, but to each his own!

Oh, and I nearly forgot to tell you about my newfound love of frozen peas! Well, I’m sure any new mom would be happy to tell you how useful they are. For sitting on. Just keeping it real, folks! (Seriously though? LOVING the frozen peas! Not too tmi, I hope?)

And on that note, I’m off to check on my daughter (eeeek! I have a daughter!) and hopefully grab a nap. Laters, all!

Next Post: I have a recipe for Alphabet Soup that can be tossed together easily, is hearty, and even got the nod of approval from the soup-tired DH! When will I post it? Well, take that up with Little Miss Poopy-pants. She now runs the roost around here. 🙂

Mini Croissants Stuffed with Smashed Chickpea Salad and Baby Greens

Healthy and delicious equals winning!

I’ve mentioned before that I’m on a quest to add more vegetarian protein to my meals so that my bebe-to-be gets her protein needs met. One easy recipe that I make is called Smashed Chickpea Salad. There are various versions floating around the internet, but this is my version.

Reminiscent of a chicken or egg salad, this salad uses chickpeas both for the protein and because of the lovely texture. I used store-bought mayo in this recipe just because of the risk of salmonella in homemade mayo, but when not preggo, I definitely make my own mayonnaise. Homemade tastes heaps better than store-bought, and is super-easy to make.

Growing up I always loved the egg salad-stuffed croissants from a local café near my home, and one of the ways they made it so delicious was by adding in alfalfa sprouts. So, this recipe also uses alfalfa sprouts! I think it definitely adds to the flavour, so while you could definitely adapt the sandwich to meet whatever you have in your pantry, I think it’s worth it to buy some alfalfa sprouts. I also used baby lettuce, as that’s what I’ve been growing in my balcony garden. Oh, on a side note, interested in seeing what I’ve harvested from my balcony garden this week? Check this out!

This week’s balcony garden harvest!

But back to the recipe at hand: Smashed Chickpea Salad Stuffed Croissants! I recommend getting really good, super-buttery croissants for this recipe. It definitely adds to the mouth feel (so flaky!) and taste (so buttery!) and elevates a good sandwich to café quality.

As with all of my recipes, this one can be easily adapted! Like fresh parsley? Add some in instead of dried! Like celery? Add some finely chopped celery in! And of course, adjust the seasonings to your taste. Once you know the basics of any recipe, you can adapt it and make it your own! You could even make this vegan, by using vegan-aise or a similar vegan mayo.

But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of this recipe!

 

5 from 2 votes
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SMASHED CHICKPEA SALAD STUFFED MINI CROISSANTS

This hearty sandwich is easily thrown together, and elevated to cafe quality by the use of alfalfa sprouts and extra-buttery croissants. Mini croissants make serving sizes a breeze!

Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 c. mayo
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. dried parsley (or fresh!)
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 mini croissants
  • 1/2 c. alfalfa sprouts
  • 16-20 baby lettuce leaves

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain chickpeas. 

  2. Using a potato masher in a large bowl, smash about 2/3 of them. 

  3. Add in mayo and remaining ingredients, and stir.

  4. Let sit to let flavours develop, or use right away. 

  5. Slice mini-croissants in half length-wise. Layer baby lettuce and alfalfa sprouts on bottom half of croissants. 

  6. Top with smashed chickpea salad, and place top half of croissant on top. 

  7. Serve and enjoy!

 

I like to eat these stuffed croissants for lunch, but they’re equally good served as a light dinner, especially on hot summer nights. A fresh fruit salad as a side, and my taste buds and tummy are happy! And I know that I’m feeding my bebe-to-be some good nutrition!

Next Post: I’m going to share a childhood favourite with you, an easy Pineapple Float! Just typing it out and thinking about it makes my mouth water, so stay tuned! 

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday and Happiness is Homemade! As well as Full Plate Thursday!

Pesto & Garden Veggie Couscous Salad, with BBQ’d Tofu or Chicken

A slight bbq tang, plus the crisp crunch of fresh veggies means this summer salad is delish!

I was looking at Instagram the other day, and came across a mention of Pesto Couscous. My mind was instantly intrigued. Could a recipe be that simple? Take some couscous and add in some pesto? The answer, my friends, is yes! Heated, it makes a great side dish. Add in some protein and a colourful veggie, and you’ve got yourself dinner! Or…turn it into a salad! That’s this week’s recipe: Pesto & Garden Veggie Couscous Salad!

With the summer heat upon us, I’ve been feeling particularly like serving cold salads as a main course. Adding in garden fresh veggies and some chunks of BBQ’d protein, and you’ve got yourself a hearty main dish that won’t keep you in a hot kitchen, and can easily be packed up for picnics or lunches.

I used corn, tomato, and cucumber in this dish, but you can add in whatever veggies you have growing in your garden or can purchase fresh at a local store. For the protein, I added in chunks of tofu marinated in BBQ sauce and then baked and cooled. You could use chicken — in fact, I’m sure my darling meat-a-tarian husband would have preferred it, but hey, she who holds the ladle rules the world! Or menu, at least.

Want to make this easy dish yourself? Let’s get to it!

 

5 from 1 vote
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PESTO & GARDEN VEGGIE COUSCOUS SALAD

This easy yet hearty summer salad uses pearl couscous tossed with pesto and garden fresh veggies, topped with chunks of bbq'd protein, to make a refreshing but hearty summer dish. 

Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 c. pearl couscous (uncooked)
  • 1 1/4 c. water
  • 2 heaping tbsp. pesto
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 pickling cucumber, chopped
  • 1 ear corn
  • 1/2 c. bbq'd protein (I used bbq'd tofu)

Instructions

  1. Boil pearl couscous in water for 10 minutes or until cooked to your taste (it's just like boiling pasta). Drain.

  2. Cook ear of corn (I cooked it for a few minutes in the microwave), and remove the niblets. 

  3. Add pesto to drained couscous and let cool. 

  4. When cool, add together pesto couscous, chopped tomato and cucumber, and corn niblets. 

  5. Stir, then top with chunks of bbq'd protein. 

  6. Chill to let flavours meld, and then serve. 

 

I strongly prefer to use pearl couscous in this salad, both for mouth feel and for presentation, but if regular couscous is all you have, you do you, boo. As with the veggies, it’s all about using what you’ve got! And what you’ve got with this dish, is a hands down hit for a potluck, work lunches, or dinner on a hot night. Even better is if you’re able to use pre-cooked protein, leftover from another meal, or even from a store-bought rotisserie chicken. Less cooking means less time in a hot kitchen and more time eating and socializing! And I’m all about the eating!

Next Post: Any requests? I’d give you my own version of fried green tomatoes, but I know many people have strong feelings on the subject. Maybe something with seasonal fruit? Mmm…fruit! I’m pretty sure fruit is my spirit animal. 

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday, Happiness is Homemade, and Clever Chicks Bloghop! As well as Full Plate Thursday!

Shake n’ Bake Tofu (aka Tofu for Tofu-Haters)

Chunks of bbq’d and breaded goodness!

As a vegetarian, I’m always trying to make sure I eat enough protein, and as an expectant mum, I’m being doubly careful to feed my bebe-to-be all the nutrients she needs. So when I tried a tofu dish at a friend’s party…and LIKED it, I knew I had to develop my own variation. Basically, this is a tofu dish that will even convert the non-tofu-eaters in your life  to the realization that tofu isn’t all bad. I plan to eat all my tofu this way from now on!

This dish is pretty easy to make. All you do is chop up the tofu into cubes, marinate it in a BBQ sauce of your choice, toss the cubes in a homemade shake n’ bake mixture, and bake!

I’ve given you my homemade shake n’ bake recipe here, but as always, I encourage you to make it your own. Have some ground flax seed? Add it in! Have panko crumbs instead of breadcrumbs? Use those! Don’t have breadcrumbs but have some dried out bread husks? Toast and blend those up and use them instead! I’ve added in some psyllium husk to this mixture, but you could easily leave it out. Again, make it your own!

Let’s get to making, baking, and most importantly…eating!

5 from 1 vote
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SHAKE N' BAKE TOFU

These easy marinated, breaded, and baked tofu chunks will convert even the pickiest of eaters to the tofu side!

Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pkg. firm tofu (must be firm. Silken or soft tofu won't work in this recipe)
  • 1/2 bottle BBQ sauce (or make your own!)
  • 1/2 c. breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsps. psyllium husk
  • 2 tbsps. flour
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp. dried parsley
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. celery salt
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. Chop tofu into cubes, and marinate in BBQ sauce overnight.

  2. Mix up all remaining ingredients, including the oil, to make the shake n' bake mixture. 

  3. Individually roll the marinated tofu cubes in the shake n' bake mixture, and place on a foil-lined baked sheet. 

  4. Bake for 20 minutes at 450 degrees Fahrenheit, turning once at the 10 minute mark. 

  5. Eat and enjoy!

I love this recipe because not only is the shake n’ bake mixture easily customizable, but you can use the final product in so many recipes! I plan to use the breaded cubes in any dish that normally would have called for chunks of chicken: to top a salad with, to use in a wrap, as chicken nuggets, and so on. It’s an easy way to get a vegetarian protein into a picky eater! Try shake n’ bake tofu out and you’ll love it too!

True conversation with the DH, the guy who grew up on a cattle ranch:

Me: So, do you like the tofu? 

DH: It’s ok. I prefer real meat. 

Me: Well, I love it. I’m only making tofu this way from now on! 

DH: *goes to kitchen to get another helping of tofu* WHAT!?!!! There’s no more?!!???? Whyyy????

The moral of the story is…even my darling meat-a-tarian husband ate it and liked it! You will too!

Next Post: Maybe Pesto Couscous. Or…something baked with fruit? Another yummy recipe, at any rate!

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday and Inspire Me Monday! As well as at The Clever Chicks and Happiness is Homemade! Plus, at Full Plate Thursday!

This-and-That Veggie & Goat Cheese Quiche: Dinner in a Jiffy

Melted goat cheese is the best!

I’ve been ill recently and to amuse myself while I lie on the sofa, I’ve been scrolling through random Instagram feeds from across the world. Today I came across someone who lives in the French Alps, and I saw a picture of a quiche that she had made. I thought…oooh, that would make great lunches for the week!

I’ve been eating my Greek Salad almost every day for at least the past 3 weeks (possibly 4 weeks), and I am finally ready for a change. But a vegetable-rich change! So I looked through my fridge and pantry and pulled out some veggies. I had some baby tomatoes, a few baby carrots, some onions, some dried arugula (if I can’t eat my greens fast enough, I’ll just dehydrate them to throw in my cooking or smoothies at a later date). I also had half a package of goat cheese, some eggs that were getting a bit old, and the last of some milk and cream. In other words, I tossed together bits of this and that! (Hence the name, this-and-that quiche.)

You can make this quiche too! I’ve put down the amounts of the vegetables that I used, but you can easily substitute in whatever  veggies you have on hand. You could even use frozen vegetables that you’ve cooked and drained, and of course you can use whatever cheese you have on hand (just grate it or cube it).

Let’s get to making some quiche!

 

5 from 2 votes
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This-and-That Veggie & Goat Cheese Quiche

A great dish to use up bits of veggies and whatever you have in your fridge! 

Servings 6

Ingredients

  • 1 onion
  • 3/4 c. baby tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. dried arugula (or any greens you have on hand)
  • 1/2 pkg. goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp. sliced baby carrots
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tbsp. cream
  • 4 tbsp. milk
  • 1 pie crust (I used my favourite vodka pie crust)

Instructions

  1. Slice the onions and saute on low medium heat for 15 minutes or until mostly golden and translucent. Add the baby tomatoes after you've pricked them with a fork (this helps the juices escape and caramelize) as well as the carrots. Saute all together until the carrots can be easily pierced with a fork, and the tomatoes are more wizened than plump. 

  2. Mix the eggs, milk, and cream together. Stir in the arugula.
  3. Place the crust in a pie pan. Sprinkle the goat cheese in crumbles on the pie crust. Cover with the sautéed vegetables. Pour the egg mixture over everything, and baked in a 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and the egg mixture is golden and top and fully set when pierced with a fork.

Recipe Notes

This is the best pie crust to use: my vodka pie crust! Buttery and flaky and just plain yummy! 

Serve with a side salad and enjoy! I’ve packed most of this for lunches for the coming week, but of course it’s just as yummy when served as dinner!

Next Post: Copycat Peach Yoplait, I think. High in calcium and yummy peach flavour!

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday!