Category Archives: Vegetarian Main Dishes

The Only Greek Salad Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Photo of my mother’s recipe card included. The hallmark of a good recipe are the stains on the recipe card!

And…I’m back! Where was I for the past month, when this blog was eerily silent? Well, I was actually off sick for three weeks. Too sick to work, so too sick to blog. I’ll tell more in an upcoming post, but for now I just want to talk about food! Specifically, this Greek Salad! It’s a recipe I got from my mom, and I’ve eaten 7 batches of this salad in the past month, and plan to make and eat three more this week. So, obviously, it’s a delicious recipe! And easy to make, because aside from a batch of blueberry pancakes that I made yesterday, it’s been the only thing I’ve cooked/made in the past month!!!

This super-Spring-like Greek Salad is easy to toss together, and can be made in less than 15 minutes. You could easily add some pasta to make a Greek Pasta salad, but personally, I love that it’s almost all vegetables (I’m counting tomatoes as a vegetable in this one instance). Mmm…my precious vegetablessssss!

Want to toss a batch together yourself? Let’s!

Greek Salad

  • 4 tomatoes
  • 1 English cucumber
  • 8 oz. Feta cheese (I often use the stuff in containers in the dairy section, but the best stuff is the super creamy version from a good deli counter)
  • 1/2 c. black olives
  • 1/3 c. oil (I use vegetable, but olive would be more authentic)
  • 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (fresh makes it SO much better)
  • 1/2 tsp. oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

 Chop tomatoes and cucumbers. Add crumbled Feta cheese. Add remaining ingredients and toss to coat. Serve chilled! 

I remember eating bowls of this as a child, along with super-fresh crusty French or Italian bread (there was a very authentic Italian bakery close by). A delicious way to get in your vegetables!

As I said, you could easily add some pasta to this to stretch it or to add some heft to the meal, with the salad dressing coating the pasta. But truly, this is a great meal all on its own. I’ve recently been eating bowls of this at midnight, and it’s just as delicious as when served at lunch or dinner! (Perhaps even more delicious when it’s extra chilled and eaten in bed while resting on plumped pillows and watching TV. Being an adult is so much fun!)

Next Post: Chocolate Ice Milk? Blue Velvet Pancakes? Copycat Peach Yoplait? It all depends on what I’m craving!  

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday! And again!

Goat Cheese & Arugula Pizza: Or How to Have your Pizza & Eat Salad Too

How to eat pizza and still be healthy!

Today’s recipe — Goat Cheese & Arugula Pizza — is misleadingly easy, and misleadingly delicious. Who would have thought that you could combine salad and pizza, and end up with a dish that is delicious, satisfying, and super-easy to make?

There’s the crispy crunch of the parmesan topped crust, studded with soft bites of creamy goat cheese, plus the peppery bite of arugula dressed with olive oil and lemon. Each slice goes down deceptively easy, and for me at least, guilt-free, because…salad! Except that it’s pizza.

Let’s get to making some!

GOAT CHEESE & ARUGULA PIZZA

  • 1/2 of this no-knead pizza dough recipe
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. shelf-stable parmesan cheese (if you’re a cheese connoisseur you could always use fresh parmesan)
  • 1/4 c. crumbled goat cheese
  • 1 1/2 c. arugula
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/3 c. halved baby tomatoes

Flour a cookie tray, and spread out your dough in a rough rectangle. Let the dough rest for a bit if you want to stretch it out more (which is what I did). This will make for a thinner crust. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the dough, and then top with the goat cheese crumbles. Bake in a 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until the dough starts to get some colour and the parmesan cheese is golden. Toss arugula and tomatoes with the olive oil and lemon juice. Spread vegetable mixture over the cheesy pizza. Cut into squares, and serve!

This is a relatively thin crust pizza — you could make it with twice the amount of dough if you prefer a thicker crust. And it’s easily customizable to the type of salad ingredients that you like. Want some sliced red onions? Add them in! Julienned pepper strips? Toss them on top! The customizations are endless!

You can serve this pizza as a lunch, or as a light supper. Think of it as having salad with a side of cheese sticks! I served it for dinner, and the DH and I ate the whole thing! This is definitely a dish that I will be making more often.

Next Post: I’m thinking the Blue Velvet Pancakes I talked about earlier. Or perhaps something else altogether?

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday and at Happiness is Homemade! Plus, at Full Plate Thursday!

White Wine Alfredo Sauce (Reduced-Fat! So, like, healthy! Ish.)

Health(ier) means I can eat this more often! And it’s so deliciously creamy!

Guess what? After talking with a friend about ways to use up white wine recently, I came up with a new and delicious recipe: White Wine Alfredo Sauce!  I made it as a reduced fat version, so that the DH and I could enjoy it more often, with less guilt. I actually don’t believe in feeling guilty about food. Nourish yourself, nourish your body, be active, and no guilt. So I guess it’s more that I can eat my (Reduced-Fat) White Wine Alfredo Sauce with less worry about what the fat content is doing to my heart. I served it with blanched broccoli, so there’s that, right? Apparently broccoli is not only a super-food but a super-duper food, and a dash of wine is actually considered heart-healthy, so I think it was a healthy meal overall!

And it’s so easy to make! Seriously! If you have a can of 1% evaporated milk, you can make this recipe!

So, let’s getting cooking!

Reduced-Fat White Wine Alfredo Sauce

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 c. white wine
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 1 can evaporated milk (I used 1%)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 cube bouillion
  • fresh herbs to taste

Fry the onion and garlic in the vegetable oil, over medium heat, until the onion is translucent. Add in wine and simmer for 5 minutes. Then add in the evaporated milk, bouillon, and flour, and stir over medium high heat until bubbling and slightly thickened. Stir in fresh herbs. Et voila, tu es finis! (Easy-peasy, right?)

I tossed this sauce with shell pasta (two cups dry pasta, then cooked). The pasta will absorb a lot of the sauce, so serve it right away if you like super-saucy pasta, or wait 5 minutes after tossing the pasta with the sauce, if you prefer a thicker sauce.

I served it with blanched broccoli and a glass of apple peach iced tea. Yum!

I plan to put this sauce into my regular dinner rotation, as per the DH’s request. He’s not a fan of the onions in the sauce, and obviously you can leave them out, but personally, I like them. Gives a bit of caramelized-like flavour, I think.

I’ve also packed leftovers for lunches the next day, but somehow, the leftovers never seem to last long enough to make it to my lunchbag. Hmm. I wonder why. *cough*DH*cough* (Oh, ok, me too! It’s just so yummy! Especially with herbs fresh from my garden!)

If you make this dish, let me know what you think! Are you an onions or no onions sort of person?

Next Post: I made baked goods for an Alice-In-Wonderland themed party! Easily done — and I’ll show you how to make them yourself!

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday! And here too! Plus, at Foodie Friday!

Easy Enchiladas: A 20-Minute Weeknight Meal!

Oh what a saucy enchilada you are!

One of my favourite throw-it-together meals is Easy Enchiladas. I make these when I want a hot, satisfying dinner, but with little work. I prep the filling in advance and freeze it, precisely so  that I can throw this dish together when I need a hearty family meal that will take me 5 minutes to make (and 15 to bake). That’s right, this dish can be on your dinner table in 20 minutes from start to finish!

These enchiladas are stuffed with seasoned rice and beans, as well as cheese, making these vegetarian. You could easily add some meat if you wanted, but there’s certainly enough protein without it. And when you bite into it, it oozes cheese and seasoned filling, with a nice tang from the…secret sauce.

The secret shortcut step that makes the whole dish so easy? Salsa. That’s right! A jar of salsa, a bunch of tortillas, some seasoned rice and beans, plus some cheese, and dinner is ON!

Want to make some yourself? Let’s!

EASY ENCHILADAS

  • 1 c. seasoned rice and beans (recipe below)
  • 8 small tortillas
  • 1 1/2 c. salsa
  • 1 c. cheese, grated
  • freshly cut green onions, for garnish

Pour 1/2 c. of the salsa in the bottom of a 9×9 pan, and spread out evenly. Take a tortilla and put 1/8 of the rice and beans mixture in the centre, and then top with a little cheese. Wrap it up like a burrito (fold the left and right sides in, then the top and bottom sides), and place seam side down in the pan. Do the same with the other tortillas until the pan is full. Pour the rest of the salsa on top, and sprinkle the cheese and green onions on top of that. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 minutes, or until the cheese on top has melted and is bubbly. Then dive in, and enjoy!

Plated and ready for nom-nom-nom-ing!

Seasoned Rice n’ Beans

  • 1/2 c. rice
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 tbsp. taco seasoning
  • 1 tbsp. tomato bouillon
  • 1 c. beans, cooked

Mix rice, beans, water, taco seasoning, and bouillon. Boil as per usual, until water is gone (10-14 minutes), stirring occasionally. Will make about 2 cups. I usually freeze this in one cup portions, so that I can pull the mixture out to make my Easy Enchiladas whenever I want.

I like to use my own homemade tortillas using this recipe, because I’m on an anti-preservative kick, but if you want to do store-bought, you do you, boo! Time is a precious commodity.

I love serving these Easy Enchiladas with a fresh and crisp green salad, followed by something deliciously creamy, like my No Churn Rum Raisin Ice Cream! Mm, mm, mmm! Now that’s a yummy dinner!

Next Post: No Guilt Strawberry Frozen Yoghurt, because it’s summer and I like ice cream but not gaining weight.

Linking Up at Meal Plan Monday! And Full Plate Thursday!

When Leftovers Rebel: Sausage & Veggie Hand Pies, with a Whole Wheat Crust

Hand pies: delicious warm and equally delicious cold!

I’ve been trying to slowly health-ify my eating habits, and have switched to using whole wheat flour instead of white flour. I think each has a place in the baking panoply, but for now I’m trying to only use whole wheat flour. More fibre per bite, and with my IBS, that can only be A Good Thing. Every recipe I make, I’m now using whole wheat flour in, and seeing how it turns out. This week it was whole wheat pie crust. (Using whole wheat flour makes pie crust healthy, right? I’m going to say yes.)

I was looking in my fridge the other day, poking around and trying to decide what to make for lunches for the coming work week. I came across a container of herb-roasted vegetables that I had made the previous week. I had eaten most of them, but there was still a couple of cups left. I opened the cheese drawer (or whatever it’s called) and came across a package of vegetarian breakfast sausage patties. I had eaten half the package several months ago, and just never got around to eating the rest. I had tossed the original packaging and didn’t even know the expiry date. I looked at the veggies. I looked at the sausage. I looked at the multiple containers of whole wheat flour that I keep in my fridge (What? I ran out of space in my freezer! Why do I have flour in my freezer? To keep it fresh longer, since I buy bulk packages. Now let’s move on!). I also rifled around in my pantry cupboards and came across a package of brown gravy mix. BAM! Inspiration struck, and lunch was born!

I fried up the sausage into crumbles, mixed in the vegetables, added in the gravy, encased it all in delicious pastry, and voila! Lunches that are easy to eat on the go, for a snack, sitting on the sofa reading a book, and can be frozen and thawed with impunity.

And you know what? The hand pies turned out FABULOUSLY! So yummy! So flaky! So full of meaty goodness with veggies and gravy in every bite! Ah, I do love a good hand pie!

Let’s get to making some!

Rich, meaty, gravy-filled goodness!

SAUSAGE & VEG HAND PIES

Makes 7 hand pies

  • 1/2 pkg. Yves veggie breakfast sausage (or 3/4 c. of sausage crumbles of your choice)
  • 1 package of brown gravy mix (or 1-1 1/2 c. gravy of your choice)
  • 3 cups of herb-roasted vegetables, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 batch of pie crust dough (I used my vodka pie crust recipe, made with only whole wheat flour)

Fry up sausage crumbles. Make up gravy mix. Mix sausage crumbles, gravy, and roasted vegetables together. Set aside.

Roll out pie dough. Using a drinking glass, cut out 7 circles. Take each circle, roll it out a little more, and fit into a muffin pan. Fill each of those with the meat-gravy-veg mixture, until just under the top of the dough. Take the remaining dough, divide into 7, and roll out into circles. Fit the circles on top of each pie, pinching the edges of the crust together. Cut an X in the top of each pie.

Bake in a 425 degree oven until golden and bubbly (the filling is pre-cooked, so you’re really just baking the dough). Let cool before removing from pan. Enjoy your hand pies!

By the way, if you end up with leftover filling, serve it hot over mashed potatoes for a comfort food meal! Mmm…with a nice green salad, that’s a nice way to use up leftovers that are made up of leftovers! (Down with food waste!)

These hand pies are so versatile. You can take almost any leftover vegetables, add in almost any type of leftover finely chopped meat (or veg ‘meat’), add gravy, pop it in pie crust, and who wouldn’t love it? Leftovers are the BEST!

If you make this dish, let me know what veggies and meat you put in the crust! Let’s inspire each other!

Next Post: Hmm. Good question. I’m thinking a vegan fresh fruit galette. Maybe plum or peach? Yes, that! And I’ll tell you how to use bread when making a pie. (Say what?! Oh, you read that right! And read the next post to find the answer!)

Linking up at Meal Plan Monday! And at Happiness is Homemade!