Recipes

When people initially hear I’m a vegetarian I can see the wheels spinning in their heads. They think I only eat vegetables! They tell me they love to eat and it must be sooooo boring to not eat meat! Well give me a break. I love food too and my diet is far from boring and it’s sure not exclusively dedicated to vegetables. Over the years I have learned to cook meals that are full of flavor, creative and well balanced. I have convinced many a meat eater that the possibilities for vegetarian food are endless.   Below you’ll find some of the recipes I’ve created. I hope you’ll soon see me cooking these and much more on national TV.

 

My award winning Paella:

THESE ARE THE RECIPES THAT HELPED ME WIN TLC’S REALITY SHOW “DINNER TAKES ALL”. ENJOY!

GUACAMOLE
Ripe (but not too ripe)
Avocado
1 Plum Tomato
3 Tablespoons of Onion
Cilantro
Salt

Split avocado half. Take out pit. Cut avocado into small cubes while still in skin. Scoop out of skin and into serving bowl. Add finely diced tomato and onion. Add cilantro, use as much as you like, some people like more cilantro, some like less. Same goes for the salt. I add a few teaspoons, but some may like more or less. Serve right away with rice crackers, tortilla chips or soft tortillas. (serves two)

SUNDRIED TOMATO & AVOCADO SUSHI
Seaweed Sheet
Thin Strips of Avocado
Sun dried Tomatoes
Sushi Rice

Lay seaweed sheet flat on sushi mat. Cover with sticky sushi rice. Put a couple small strips of avocado and sun dried tomatoes in a small row 3/4 of the way to the bottom. Roll and cut into six parts. (serves one)

ORANGE CURRY DIPPING SAUCE (serve with the sushi)

Mix the following: Four Tablespoons Mayonnaise A Tablespoon of Curry Powder A Tablespoon of Orange Juice A Tablespoon of Orange Marmalade A 1/2 Tablespoon of Soy Sauce (serves two)

MUSHROOM PANCAKES
Four Cups of Fresh Mushrooms
1/2 Cup Milk
2 Tablespoons of Melted Butter
1 Egg
1 Cup of White Flour
2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder
1 Tablespoon of Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt

Chop mushrooms, saute (medium-high) in olive oil and white cooking wine (15 minutes). Beat milk, butter and eggs lightly in mixing bowl. In another bowl mix flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Add dry ingredients all at once to wet mixture. Stir just enough to dampen flour, but don’t over-mix. Add cooked mushrooms. Spray griddle with cooking oil. When griddle is hot enough add generous spoonfuls of the mixture. Flip when light brown on one side. (serves five)

ASIAN SAUCE FOR MUSHROOM PANCAKES
Equal parts Oyster Sauce and Soy Sauce

VEGETARIAN SAUSAGE PAELLA
1 Green Pepper
1 Red Pepper
1 Yellow Pepper
1 Orange Pepper
2 Spanish Onions
2 Cups Mushrooms
2 packages Lightlife Smart Sausage Chorizo Style
Olive Oil
White Cooking Wine
Fresh Garlic

Cut all vegetables into long strips. Put olive oil in pan on medium high. When hot add peppers and onions. Cook for 20 minutes. Add mushrooms. Defrost sausage in microwave and cut. Add sausage to pan with vegetables. Add fresh garlic and white cooking wine. Cook another 10 minutes. Serve with yellow rice. (serves five)

BANANA EGGROLLS WITH DULCE DE LECHE SAUCE
Egg roll Sheets
Bananas Nutella
Vegetable Oil

Spread center of egg roll sheet with nutella. Put half of a banana on top of nutella. Roll like an eggroll. Put in hot pan with vegetable oil. Let cook on each side for just a minute or two, turning it when it’s lightly browned on each side.

DULCE DE LECHE SAUCE
Mix together: 1/2 cup Condensed Milk 1/4 cup Caramel

WHITE LYCHEE SANGRIA
1 Bottle Sweet White Wine
2 Cups Lychee Juice
1 Cup Ginger Ale
1/2 Cup Sugar

Combine ingredients in pitcher of chopped fruit of your choice. Serve with kiwi on the rims of the glass.

RED ORANGE INFUSED SANGRIA
1 Bottle Spanish Red Wine
1 Cup of Sugar
2 Cups of Ginger Ale
1 Cup Grand Marnier

Combine ingredients in pitcher of chopped fruit of your choice. Serve with strawberries on the rim of the glass.

To Start or on the Side

Mushroom Tartlets
8 oz. crimini mushrooms
8 oz. white button mushrooms
3T olive oil
1/4 cup fresh parsley (minced)
1T salt
1t pepper

Heat oil in large saute pan on medium high.  Add mushrooms.  Saute until nicely browned and soft.  Add salt and pepper.  Fill tarts (recipe below) and top with parsley.

Easy Tarts:
1 cup flour
1/3 cup olive oil
3T water

Combine flour and salt.  Slowly add oil, forming large crumbs.  Slowly add water until mixture is combined (you may not need all the water).  Kneed briefly and flatten.  Use large round cookie cutter to cut big circles.  Put in cupcake pan.  Bake until lightly browned (about 10 minutes)

Taco Bites
12 Corn tortillas (small)
3 cups vegetable oil
Salt

Heat oil to 375 degrees in small pot (if you don’t have a thermometer drop a little flour in the pot until it sizzles).  While oil is heating up cut large circles out of the tortillas.  About 4 inches around.  Shape tortilla around a long cylinder (forming taco shape).  Hold that in the oil (careful oil may splatter).  Fry for about 30 seconds or until it hardens.  It will harden more after you take it out.  Lay on sheet pan and sprinkle with salt.

Filling:
1 head of romaine lettuce
1 cup black beans
1/4 cup cheddar cheese

Fill tacos with lettuce, top with a teaspoon of black beans and sprinkle with cheese

Spinach Artichoke Dip
1 package frozen spinach
1 can Artichokes
1 cup lowfat mayo
1 cup parmesan cheese

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Defrost spinach and chop artichokes into small pieces.   Combine all ingredients in a small casserole pan.   Bake for 25 minutes.

Orange Beet Salad
1 can of whole beets
1 small can of mandarin oranges
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 cup goat or blue cheese
Balsamic Vinegar

Cut beats into quarters.   Mix beets, oranges and pecans together.   Crumble cheese over mixture and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar.

Sun Dried Tomato Toast
1 bag sun dried tomatoes
6 oz. whipped cream cheese
1 package small toasts (bruschetta type crackers)

Put half of the sun dried tomatoes aside.   Cut the other half into very small pieces.  Mix with the cream cheese.   Spread onto toast.   Cut the remaining sun dried tomatoes in half.   Please halves onto toasts and serve.

Crisp Green Beans
1 lb. fresh green beans (wash and trim ends)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup slivered almonds

Put green beans in pot and cover with water.   Heat on high and let boil for 5 minutes.  In the meantime heat olive oil and garlic in a pan on medium heat.   Add beans when ready and almonds.   Serve immediately.

Sweet Potato Pie
3 large cans of sweet potatoes
3 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon nutmeg
1 bag of Marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Puree sweet potatoes in electric mixer (adding one can at a time).  Add all the other ingredients (except the marshmallows) slowly and one at a time into the mixer.    When the mixture is smooth pour it into a 9 X 11 baking dish.    Bake for 30 minutes.   Then if you like marshmallows cut them in half and add to the top.   Bake for another 10 minutes.   (NOTE: if you are making this for a holiday along with a bunch of other dishes you can make the sweet potato mixture the night before and just pop it in the oven the next day when you are ready)

Noodle Pudding (Kugel)
1 lb. wide egg noodles (cooked)
4 eggs
1/4 lb. butter softened
8 oz. whipped cream cheese
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup raisins

In an electric mixer beat eggs, butter and sugar together until they are nice and creamy.   Add cream cheese and sour cream and mix.   Add extract.   Mix the noodles in by hand until all noodles are covered.   Add raisins and mix around (some people may like more or less raisins, I like lots!).    Spray 9 X 11 pan.   Put in noodle mixture and bake for 40 minutes.

Corn Souffle

1 Bag of frozen corn (defrosted)
3 cans of cream-style corn
4 eggs
5 tablespoons of half and half
5 tablespoons of flour
5 tablespoons sugar

Mix all ingredients together.  Pour into casserole dish.  Pop in an oven preheated to 375 degrees.  Bake for an hour and a half.

INNOVATIVE ITALIAN

Portabello, White Bean and Swiss Chard Pasta
3 Portabello Mushrooms
1 cup canellini beans (canned or dry cooked)
1 bunch of Swiss Chard
2T Olive Oil
1/2 package whole wheat pasta
1/2 cup white wine
2 garlic cloves minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Splash of lemon juice

Saute mushrooms in olive oil with garlic over medium high heat.  After five minutes reduce heat to medium add beans, chard, wine and lemon juice.   Heat through and add salt and pepper.  Serve over whole wheat pasta (Serves four)

Parmesan Surprise
2 Lightlife Smart Cutlets Original
2 thick Slices of Mozzarella
2 thick slices of Ricotta Salata
2 cups marinara sauce (recipe below or your choice)
1 yellow onion (cut into strips)

Bake Cutlets on cookie sheet for 20 minutes.   While baking saute onions in olive oil (medium high) for 15 minutes.   Remove cutlets from oven and top with marinara sauce, then onions, mozzarella and ricotta.    Bake for another 5-10 minutes (or until cheese starts to brown, I like it real brown, almost burnt).   Serve over tri-colored pasta. (serves 2)

Parmesan Party Bites
Makes 24 small bites

4 packages of Lightlife’s Smart Cutlets Marinara
1 cup shredded Mozzarella
1/2 cup of Ricotta
2 Pizza Doughs or 3 packages of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

These are soooo great for parties and very easy (and quick to make).   If you are making homemade pizza dough make that first while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees.   Next either roll out the crescent rolls so they are triangles (that’s how they come) or cut 4 inch triangles out of your pizza dough.   Cut each cutlet into 6 equally sized pieces.  Lay one piece on each triangle.  Add 1/2 tablespoon of ricotta on top of sauce.  Lastly add a tablespoon of mozzarella over the top of the ricotta.   Then roll the bottom of the triangle over the toppings (the fatter part of the triangle) and close it up with the top part of the triangle.   Bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes.   Take them out when they are light brown.

Carbonara
Serves 6

1 package Lightlife Smart Bacon
3 eggs
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup parmesan
Black pepper
Thin Spaghetti (cooked per package directions)

Heat oil in saute pan over medium high heat.  When hot add smart bacon.  After one minute flip bacon and cook on other side another minute or until crisp.   Remove bacon from pan and break into small pieces.   Add spaghetti to pan, put bacon back in, then coat with eggs and parmesan and grind black pepper.  Turn off heat.   Mix everything, but don’t cook it any longer.  Serve immediately.

Meatless Meat Sauce(how easy is this?)
1 package Lightlife Smart Ground Original
4 cups marinara sauce (recipe below or your choice)
Chopped Garlic
Pasta

Defrost Crumbles
Heat marinara sauce on stove (medium).   When hot add crumbles and garlic, heat for another 5-10 minutes.
Serve over pasta.

Eggplant & Ricotta Rigatoni
Serves 8

4 Eggplants
Olive oil
Minced Garlic
1 1/2 cups of ricotta
Bread Crumbs
4 Cups Marinara (recipe below or your choice)

Cut eggplant into circles.    Brush with olive oil and minced garlic, then sprinkle with bread crumbs.    Bake for 25 minutes in over preheated to 350 degrees.In the meantime heat up marinara sauce.    Add cooked eggplant and ricotta.   Mix and cook for another 5 minutes.
Serve over Rigatoni (or your favorite pasta).

Vegetarian Sausage and Peppers over Pasta
Serves 8

2 Packages Lightlife Smart Sausages Italian Style
2 Green Pepper
1 Large Spanish Onion
Chopped Garlic
4 Cups Marinara (recipe below or your choice)
Parmesan
Pasta (cook as directed by package)

Saute (medium high) green pepper and onions for 20 minutes.   Defrost sausage.   Add marinara, sausage and garlic to onion/pepper mixture. Heat for another 5-10 minutes over medium heat.  Serve over pasta and sprinkle with parmesan.

Artichoke, Sun Dried and Mushroom Pizza
1 can of Artichokes (cut into small pieces)
1 cup Sun Dried Tomatoes
2 cups sauteed onions
1 cup ricotta
3 cups mozzarella
2 cups marinara sauce
1 Pizza crust

Preheat over to 350 degrees.  Top pizza with marinara sauce, then mozzella, put on spoonfuls of ricotta and all other ingredients.  Bake for 25-30 minutes (until cheese is bubbling).   Let cool for 2-3 minutes before slicing.

Lemon Caper Cutlets
Serves 2

2 Lightlife Smart Cutlets Original
1 bottle of capers
2 lemons
3/4 white wine
1 vegetable bouillon cube
3 tablespoons minced garlic

Bake cutlets at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. In the meantime dissolve bouillon in 1 cup of boiling water. Squeeze lemons into saucepan and combine with capers, wine, broth and garlic. Put over medium heat. When cutlets are ready pour sauce over them and serve over angel hair pasta or rice.

Sausage and Pepper Dog
1 package Lightlife Smart Sausages Smoked Style
1 large white onion
1 green pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
Hot Dog Buns

Cut onion and green peppers into slices. Heat olive oil in saute pan over medium high heat. When hot add onions and peppers. Cook for 15 minutes, until onions start to brown nicely. Add smart sausages to pan with onion and pepper mixture. Cook for 5 more minutes. Put in bun. Serve with ketchup.

Must Have Marinara
1 28 oz. can of organic tomato puree
1 28 oz. can of fire roasted crushed tomatoes
1/3 cup of parmesan (shredded)
4 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon parsley
1 tablespoon salt

Blend all of above and heat on stove over medium high until bubbly!    Freeze the left over sauce, it will come in handy with so many recipes

MEATLESS MEXICAN(As a group these Mexican recipes are the easiest of them all.  Most contain few ingredients and are quick to whip together)

Black Bean Burritos
1 can of black beans
1 large spanish onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Burrito sized tortillas
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil

Cut onion into strips.   Heat saute pan on medium-high heat, when hot put in olive oil and onions.   Saute until brown and very soft, I like them burnt!   At the same time heat the black beans in a small sauce pan on low to medium heat.   When onions are ready add them to the beans, along with the garlic.   Bring to a quick boil.   Heat tortillas and pour a small amount of the black bean mix inside and wrap.    You can add sour cream, but I don’t the onions and garlic give it enough flavor to say adios to the added calories. (serves 4)

Portabello Fajitas
12 ounces of portabello mushrooms
1 large spanish onion
1 green pepper
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Fajita sized tortillas

Cut onion, portabello mushrooms and green peppers into strips.   Heat saute pan on medium-high heat, when hot put in olive oil, onions and green pepper.   Let cook about 10 minutes, stirring often.   Add mushrooms.   Cook another 5 minutes.   Heat tortillas.    Serve together with guacamole, salsa, shreaded cheddar and sour cream.

Gorditas
1 package Lightlife Smart Ground Mexican Style
Gorditas (thick tortillas – most likely found at a Mexican specialty store)
Shreaded Cheddar Cheese or Soy Cheddar
Zesty Ranch Sauce (see below)

Heat smart ground in a saute pan.   Heat Gorditas, spoon in smart ground. Sprinke cheese on top. Serve with zesty ranch sauce.

Ranch sauce
(mix equal parts of Ranch dressing and salsa)

Black Beans and Yellow Rice
1 can black beans
1 large spanish onion
1 green pepper
1 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Spanish Yellow Rice

First start cooking the rice.   It should take about 25 minutes.  Then cut onion into strips. Heat saute pan on medium-high heat, when hot put in olive oil and onions. Saute until brown and very soft, I like them burnt! At the same time heat the black beans in a small sauce pan on low to medium heat. When onions are ready add them to the beans, along with the garlic. Bring to a quick boil.   Serve over rice.   Yum!

Mexican Pizza

12 ozs. shredded Cheddar or Soy Cheddar
1 can black beans (drained)
10 ozs. raw sliced mushrooms
2 Large Tomatoes
1 small can black olives
1 cup of corn (this is best with fresh cooked corn cut off the cob, but feel free to use frozen too)
Jalapeno peppers (optional)
Chili powder
1 1/2 tablespoons of Cilantro
1 Large Bobili Crust

Preheat over to 400 degrees.  Put cheese on the crust first, then pile on all the other vegetables.   Add as much chili powder as you can handle and sprinkle on  cilantro.  Bake for 25-30 minutes (until cheese bubbles a bit).

Chunky Cornbread Chili

2 packages Lightlife Smart Ground Original
1 large spanish onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups of tomato sauce
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic
1 can of kidney beans

Cornbread Mix (and ingredients asked for on package)

Preheat pan on medium-high heat and add olive oil to coat pan.   Mince onion and add that to the pan.  Next add smart ground.   Pour in tomato sauce.
Add chili powder, paprika and garlic.   Lastly put in kidney beans and mix around.  Let that simmer on the stove for a few minutes.  Prepare cornbread mix according to package.   Grease casserole dish and pour in chili.  Then drop cornbread mix in spoonfuls onto chili.   The spoonfuls should be close by, but don’t mix it around.  Put dish into over preheated to 375-degrees.  Bake for 15 minutes or until cornbread is lightly browned.
Serves Six.

CUBAN CUISINE

SEITAN CAMERONES ENCHILADOS

1 lb seitan (cut into 1/2 pieces)
2T olive oil
1 onion (diced)
1 red pepper (roasted and cut into large dice)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1 8oz can of tomato sauce
1/2 cup white wine
1T vinegar
1t Tabasco
Salt and pepper to taste

 

Saute onion in olive oil on medium high heat for 5 minutes.  Add seitan and garlic cook another 5 minutes.  Add tomato sauce, wine, vinegar and tabasco.   Cover and put on low heat for 20 minutes.   Add roasted red pepper, salt and pepper.   Heat for 5 more minutes and serve.

SIMPLE SANDWICHES

PORTOBELLO & PROVOLONE

English Muffin
1 Large Portobello Mushroom
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
Red Pepper
Fresh Spinach

Take stem off large portobello mushroom.  Wash carefully and take off stem.  Marinate in olive oil and balsamic and put in the fridge for one hour. When that time is up stick it on a hot grill for 10 minutes (If you don’t have a grill use a grill pan and keep flipping.  If you use this method it will cook faster).  Also cut a couple wide slices of red pepper, brush with olive oil and stick that on the grill.  You’ll need to cook the pepper for a few minutes on each side.   When it’s ready put the mushroom and red pepper on a lightly toasted english muffin.  Add a handful of fresh spinach.  Then drizzle balsamic and olive oil and close the sandwich with the other side of the english muffin.

MONTE CRISTO
The quantities are per serving

3 slices Lightlife Smart Deli Ham
3 slices Lightlife Smart Deli Turkey
2 pieces of wheat bread
3 small slices of brie
2 T powdered sugar
Raspberry jam
1/2 cup of soy milk
1 egg
1 T butter

Place a few slices of soy ham on bottom piece of bread.   Add brie.  Then add a few slices of soy turkey.  Whisk egg with a soy milk. Dunk sandwich in egg mix. Place in pre-heated pan on medium high heat with a tablespoon of butter coating pan.   Fry sandwich, turning often.  Sprinkle powdered sugar over sandwich and serve with raspberry preserves.

AVOCADO & PROVOLONE

Focaccia
Sun Dried Tomatoes
Broccoli sprouts
Avocado
Provolone
Olive Oil
Red Wine Vinegar

Cut a 2 inch wide slice of focaccia.  Cut in half length wise. Cut avocado into long slices and place a few slices on the bottom of the focaccia.   Add a thick slice of provolone.  Stack on some sun dried tomatoes.  Top with some broccoli sprouts.  Drizzle with olive oil and red wine vinegar.  Put on top of focaccia and put a skewer through sandwich to keep it together.

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