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Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

Winter Vegetable Soup

Posted by Jeanne on February 3, 2014

We had a really good soup tonight.  It was not at all what I planned – the menu for the week says “minestrone” but while I was making it, things took a different turn and it ended up very unlike a minestrone.

Curt said to me at dinner tonight, “This soup is really good.  You should write down the recipe.”  And then it dawned on me that I actually have this “blog” where once upon a time I posted things about food, including recipes.  So here I am, blogging!  Look at me!

Unfortunately, since I totally lost the plot on the blogging thing, there is but a single picture of this dish, and it was taken with my phone.

Winter vegetable soup

2 TB olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 C)

3 – 4 medium carrots, chopped (about 1 C)

3 – 4 ribs of celery, chopped (about 1 C)

6 C vegetable or chicken stock (note:  if you are feeding actual vegetarians, use veggie stock.  Vegetarians don’t eat animals.  Stock is made of animals.  I can’t believe I have to note this.)

1 14.5-oz can tomato sauce

1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, drained

2 14.5-oz cans chickpeas (or any beans you like, really)

2 – 3 sprigs fresh thyme, or 0.5 tsp dried

1 C uncooked pearled farro

3 – 4 C chopped kale

3 – 4 C cubed butternut squash

3 – 4 TB prepared pesto (I used pesto from the garden we froze over the summer.  In a jar would be fine too.)

(Perhaps I should use a few more parentheticals?  Perhaps not.)

Salt & pepper

Warm the olive oil over medium heat in a really, really big, heavy pot.  Add onions, carrots and celery and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring often, until the onions are nearly translucent (about 10 minutes).  Add stock, tomatoes, beans and thyme and bring to a boil.

Lower heat to a simmer and add farro, kale and squash.  Cover and simmer until the farro and squash are cooked but not mushy, about 15 – 20 minutes.  Stir in pesto and season with salt & pepper to taste.


Eat with some sourdough your lovely husband made with starter he got from coworkers.


Posted in Cooking, Garden/Seasonal, Soups & stews, Vegetarian | 1 Comment »

Vegetarian “shepherd’s” pie

Posted by Jeanne on November 10, 2013

There might be vegetarian shepherds, right?  Shepherds that don’t want to eat meat and maybe just have a thing for sweaters?

We have a couple of sort of heavy roasted meat dishes on the plan for the week (roast chicken, carrots, & brussels sprouts, herb rubbed pork tenderloin & mashed potatoes) so I thought it would be a good idea to do a couple of meatless dishes.  Also, my kid is obsessed with beans.

Vegetarian “shepherd’s” pie

Makes about 6 servings.


2.5 lb. sweet potatoes (2-3 large)

0.75 C shredded cheddar cheese

Salt & pepper


0.5 C onion, diced (about 1 small)

4 carrots, sliced into rounds

4 stalks celery, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 TB flour

1.5 C stock (I used chicken because it’s what we had and we are not actual vegetarians.  If you are charged with the care and feeding of actual vegetarians, use veggie stock.)

2 15-ounce cans of beans, drained and rinsed well (I used chickpeas and kidney beans)

1 C frozen corn

1 C frozen peas

2 sprigs of fresh thyme (or about 0.5 tsp dried)

1 sprig of fresh rosemary

Salt & pepper

Preheat your oven to 375F.  Prepare an oven-safe casserole or other dish with olive oil, butter, or cooking spray.

Cook the whole, unpeeled sweet potatoes in boiling salted water until very soft (time will vary depending on the size of the sweet potatoes).   Drain and allow to cool until they can be handled.  Mash with cheddar cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Warm some olive oil or butter in a large non-stick pan or skillet over medium to medium-high heat.  Saute onions, carrots, celery, and garlic until the onions are translucent.  Add the flour and stir to coat the vegetables.  Add the stock, and cook until it thickens (about 3 – 5 minutes).  Remove from heat and add the beans, corn, peas, and herbs.  Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.


Add the bean and vegetable mixture to the casserole dish.  Top with mashed sweet potato mixture.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until filling is bubbling and top is crisp and beginning to brown around the edges.    (Note:  you may want to put the casserole dish on a baking sheet.  It can bubble over and make a huge mess all over the bottom of your oven.  Guess why I know this?)


Verdict – delicious!   Hearty and filling but not super heavy, which I think sometimes happens with meat-and-potatoes dishes like traditional shepherd’s pie.

Posted in Cooking, Entrees, Vegetarian | Leave a Comment »

Mid-August Burnout

Posted by Jeanne on August 11, 2013

I’m pretty much over summer.  It hasn’t been that bad this year, especially compared to last year, but I’m so over being hot.  I’m done going for runs where I feel like maybe I am swimming because of the humidity.

I am also experiencing summer produce ennui.  I no longer want to take pictures of the beautiful produce we get from the garden or the CSA.  I was relieved when Curt told me he had picked his last zucchini because the plant was dying.


Ok maybe just one more picture.

Never fear though, winter is coming and in February I will be complaining about how I will never be warm again and bitching about how much I hate soup.  It’s the circle of life – like in the Lion King, but grumpier.

This week:

Saturday:  corn and zucchini cakes (recipe below) + eggs

Sunday:  herb and mustard rubbed pork tenderloin + roasted carrots and cabbage


Monday:  quesadillas + boxed soup

Tuesday:  caldo verde (aka Portuguese green soup)

Wednesday:  chili-lime shrimp bowls (modified from Budget Bytes, again.  I am so addicted to her blog.)

Thursday:  burgers + grilled potatoes

Friday:  pizza

Corn and zucchini cakes

Makes three dozen (can be frozen)

Half a small onion, finely diced

2 small zucchini, grated & drained

2 jalapenos or other hot peppers, finely minced

6 ears of corn, kernels removed (about 2 cups)


1 TB baking powder

Kosher salt & freshly grated black pepper

1.5 C flour

3 eggs, lightly beaten (I ended up using two whole eggs and two egg whites instead and it worked fine)

1.5 C milk

Olive oil (for cooking onions)
Sautee the diced onions in olive oil until softened and lightly brown.  Combine with zucchini, peppers, corn, baking powder, flour, and salt & pepper and toss to coat the veggies in the dry ingredients.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat.  You can use butter or oil if you want/feel like you need to.  Our nonstick seems to function better without so I just left the pan dry.
Add the eggs and milk to the veg and dry ingredients.  Stir to combine but do not overmix.
Drop by spoonfuls (I used a two-ounce disher aka ice cream scoop) into the warmed pan.  Cook until dry around the edges, about 3 minutes.  Flip and cook another 1 – 2 minutes until browned and delicious.
IMG_8041 IMG_8045
Serve immediately, or freeze on parchment paper to enjoy later.
We reheat in the toaster oven for about 8 – 10 minutes, or you can microwave for a minute or two if you don’t mind them being kind of soft.

Posted in Birdies, Cooking, Entrees, Garden/Seasonal, Planning, Vegetarian | Leave a Comment »

Broccoli and cheddar pinwheels – from Parents Need to Eat Too!

Posted by Jeanne on February 20, 2012

Debbie’s book comes out tomorrow!

If you want to pre-order, today is the last day to get your free digital starter kit.  Or, if you’re the gambling type, leave a comment on THIS POST about your first food memory by Tuesday, February 21st at midnight CST and you will be entered to win a copy!

I have to say, I’ve been really spoiled by having a copy in hand for a couple of weeks now.  This book is great and I forsee using it a lot once this kid is born (due date in t-minus 26 days.  OMG.).  The recipes I’ve tried have worked well and the time estimates aren’t gross exaggerations like they are in some recipes/cookbooks (see also:  damn near every recipe in Cooking Light magazine’s time estimates, Rachael Ray’s 30 Minute Meals that take an hour).

Also, Curt is seemingly enthralled by the “make baby food” instructions that accompany most of the recipes.  It’s the little things that count.

Broccoli and Cheddar Pinwheels

1 pound prepared pizza dough, white or whole wheat (I used half a batch of this dough)
2¹⁄₂ cups finely chopped broccoli, or one 10-ounce package of frozen chopped broccoli, defrosted and finely chopped  (If you don’t mind the additional cleanup, you can do the fine-chopping by pulsing in the food processor. It’s important that the pieces be quite small, or you’ll have trouble in the assembly.)
1 to 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, depending on how much you like cheese (who doesn’t like cheese?  We definitely used two cups.)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425°F. Line or grease a baking sheet.  (I would HIGHLY recommend lining the baking sheet.  We used a silpat and there was some cheese-oozage that would have been a bit of a nightmare to remove from an unlined sheet).

1. Remove pizza dough from the refrigerator 30 minutes to 1 hour before you plan to use it.

2. Steam the broccoli until just tender, 5 to 6 minutes. (We used the food processor to chop the broccoli up, as suggested.  Worked like a dream.)  Cool slightly, then combine broccoli with the Cheddar, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste.

3. Roll or stretch the dough on a floured work surface into a large rectangle, about 10 x 14 inches. Don’t worry if you can’t get those exact measurements, but take care not to stretch the dough so thin it rips.

4. Spread the broccoli mixture over about three-quarters of the dough, leaving an uncoated portion at one short side.

Begin to roll the dough from the short side covered with the broccoli spread, and keep rolling until you’ve got a nice, neat log of dough.


5. Using a serrated knife or a pastry scraper, cut the log into 8 equal pinwheels.

Carefully lay the pinwheels flat on the prepared baking sheet, and bake until crust is golden brown and the cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes.

Verdict?  These are REALLY tasty.  This is one of those recipes that is greater than the sum of its parts – the ingredients list isn’t much but don’t let that fool  you.  Also, they come together really quickly.  I plan to make another batch as soon as I have more pizza dough.

Posted in Appetizers, Cooking, Cooking, Entrees, Parenting, Sponsored Post, Vegetarian | 7 Comments »

Cheater’s Chana Masala – from Parents Need to Eat Too!

Posted by Jeanne on February 16, 2012

I am in possession of Debbie’s book!  You can be too – order here, or leave a comment on this post before midnight on Tuesday, February 21st to be entered to win one!

I was super excited to try this recipe.  We both love Indian food and Omaha is terrible for delivery – so I was incredibly excited to see the estimated cooking time for this recipe is a mere 25 minutes.  And it wasn’t kidding – from start to finish, including some really poor planning on my part that meant I had to wash both the skillet and the knife to cut things, we were done in an hour.  And I mean “done eating” and, even better, “done putting away the leftovers and loading the dishwasher,” not just “done cooking.”

Brilliant.  Definitely a keeper.

Cheater’s Chana Masala

2 TB vegetable oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
One 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated, or 0.5 teaspoon ground ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
0.125 tsp cayenne
Two 15- to 16-ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
0.75 cup water
One 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
2 TB chopped cilantro (we had no cilantro.  Sad.)
1 tsp garam masala
Juice of 0.5 lemon (about 1.5 TB)

Check it out!  Cooking from the book for realz!

Cooked brown rice, plain yogurt, and prepared chutney, optional, for serving (we used white basmati rice and some garlic naan from Trader Joe’s)

1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. when it shimmers, add the onion, fresh ginger, if using, and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, and ground ginger (if not using fresh) and cook for 1 minute.
3. Add the chickpeas, water, diced tomatoes, and salt to taste and raise heat to medium. Simmer uncovered (if it spatters too much, cover it partially) until the sauce has thickened, 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Remove from heat, then stir in the chopped cilantro, garam masala, lemon juice, and salt to taste.
5. Serve over brown rice and top with a spoonful of yogurt and chutney, if desired.


Posted in Cooking, Entrees, Vegetarian | Leave a Comment »

Fall into fall

Posted by Jeanne on October 29, 2011

I loooooove fall.  Curt does not – it makes him dread winter, which he despises.  But by the time fall comes around I am ready for sweaters again, ready to make soups and stews and squash and things with apples.

Two weekends ago, we canned 11 jars of apple pie filling from apples we got at the orchards in Nebraska City.  I haven’t tried any yet, but we used the same recipe as last year so I’m hoping it’s still a keeper.

Las weekend, Curt killed the garden – so we had parsnips and brussel sprouts to deal with.  I decided to start the day by making the butternut squash bread pudding from this article.  Curt made the carrot & parsnip soup earlier this week as well.

I made some changes to the recipe  – I had a bunch of weird bread that needed to be used (half a baguette, several burger buns, some sandwich bread) so I just chopped all of that up instead of buying or making French bread.

We also had that huge squash and tons of bread, so ended up doubling the recipe.  Other than the quantity, I pretty much followed the recipe as written (amazing!).

Savory Butternut Squash and Parmesan Bread Pudding, originally published in this book (Oxmoor House).

3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
Cooking spray
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2 cups 1 percent low-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano or other hard cheese, divided
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs + 2 large egg whites (I just used 4 whole eggs for each batch)
8 ounces day-old French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 9 cups)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Arrange squash in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.

The bottom of the shirt says Tim Gunn, and it was designed by Daniel Vosovic (season 2).  I am done with Project Runway (for real this time!  I swear!  I can’t deal with it anymore) but I will forever love Tim Gunn.  Anyway!  Back to cooking.

Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes or until tender (it took about 25 minutes, but I had a lot more than 3 cups of squash). Remove from oven; reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.

2. Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Remove from heat; cool slightly.

3. Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, milk, 1/2 cup cheese, pepper, nutmeg, eggs and egg whites in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Stir in squash and onion mixture. Add bread, and stir gently to combine. Let stand 10 minutes. Spoon into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes, or until pudding is set and lightly browned.

Yield: 6 servings.

Yum.  We had this for dinner the night we made it, and it’s definitely on the “consider” list for Thanksgiving this year.  Very tasty.


We’re in Kansas City this weekend and I think will be in Minneapolis next weekend, so expect the sparse posting to continue.  Hopefully I’ll have some free time to post about our Thanksgiving menu – I can’t believe it’s so soon!

Posted in Cooking, Entrees, Garden/Seasonal, Holiday, Side dishes, Vegetarian | Leave a Comment »

Carrot Cake Waffles

Posted by Jeanne on August 31, 2011

I bought a ton of carrots last week, mostly intending to roast them or use as aromatics in soups.  Then I remembered this recipe, from the Post Punk Kitchen – and since it was Sunday morning I decide to experiment.

I love eating pancakes, but I hate making them – I get impatient and they end up all pale and flaccid.  No one wants a flaccid pancake.

So I made waffles instead.

Carrot Cake Waffles

2 eggs
1 cup milk
0.25 cup pure maple syrup
2 TB butter, melted
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1.25 C flour
2 tsp baking powder
0.5 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala (or cinnamon if you don’t have any garam masala)
0.5 tsp ground ginger
0.5 tsp nutmeg

1  cup peeled grated carrot, about 2 – 3 carrots

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, maple syrup, butter, and vanilla until well-combined.

Add flour, baking powder, salt and spices to the wet ingredients and whisk until just combined.

Gently mix in the grated carrot.

Preheat a waffle iron to medium-high heat. Lightly coat waffle iron with cooking spray or oil. Add batter to waffle iron – I used four 2-ounce scoops for each waffle and it worked really well. Cook until lightly browned.

Keep warm until you’re ready to eat – serve with butter and maple syrup or honey.

They were yummy and delicious, if I do say so. Not the most practical weekday breakfast, but great for a Sunday morning.

Tomorrow I’m off to spend a few days in Massachusetts with my friends Erika and Peter and their son Dylan.  Have a good Labor Day weekend, everyone!

Posted in Cooking, Vegetarian | 5 Comments »

Not-quite channa masala

Posted by Jeanne on June 3, 2011

After a couple weeks ago Friday’s Rapture Party debacle, it was time to scale it back on the eating a bit.  We picked channa masala for a healthy and vegetarian dinner that Sunday night.

Unfortunately I only had one can of chickpeas and the recipe calls for two.  D’oh.  So I improvised and made it with half chickpeas and half kidney beans, and it was delicious.

Also, Indian food often uses amchoor powder to add an acidic sourness to dishes.  Amchoor powder is made from dried, unripe (green) mangoes – I haven’t been able to find any, so I just use lemon juice (per the suggestion on the original recipe).

Not-quite channa masala, from recipe originally posted by Smitten Kitchen

1 TB vegetable oil

2 medium onions, vertically sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 tsp grated fresh ginger

2 small hot chili peppers, slit

1 TB ground coriander

1 TB ground cumin

0.5 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1 tsp ground turmeric

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp garam masala

2 C tomatoes, chopped small or 1 15-ounce can of diced tomatoes with their juices

0.5 C water

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas and 1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed

0.5 tsp salt

juice of 1 lemon (about 2 TB juice)

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and sauté over medium heat until browned, about 10 minutes.  Add garlic, ginger and pepper and saute until fragrant, about 2 minutes.  Turn heat down to medium-low and add the coriander, cumin, cayenne, turmeric, cumin seeds, paprika and garam masala.

Cook onion mixture with spices for a minute or two, then add the tomatoes and any accumulated juices, scraping up any bits that have stuck to the pan.

Add the water and beans.

Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes, then stir in salt and lemon juice.

Serve with steamed rice (basmati if you’ve got it).

Happy Friday, everyone!

Posted in Cooking, Entrees, Gluten-free, Vegetarian | Leave a Comment »

Tomato & pepper soup

Posted by Jeanne on April 1, 2011

We interrupt our regularly scheduled but infrequently posted Fridge Friday to bring you something very important:  the soup tutorial.

Don’t be intimidated by the prep list or the multitude of instructions.

Tomato & pepper soup

A 32-oz. box of soup, unopened

A 2-quart saucepan


1.  Open soup by pulling tab.

2. Pour soup into the saucepan (into is important; next to the saucepan did not work very well during recipe testing).

3.  Warm over medium heat, stirring often, until heated through.

4. Serve.

We like to season with some black pepper and serve with a grilled cheese sandwich.

Bon appetit, and happy April 1st, everyone!


Posted in Cooking, Entrees, Not about food, Soups & stews, Vegetarian | 2 Comments »

Cachapas de Venezuela (corn pancakes)

Posted by Jeanne on February 16, 2011

There is something about breakfast for dinner that is just awesome.

This is a dish that I’ve had several times in Minneapolis – we usually go to Victor’s but Maria’s also has a huge following.  Both offer corn pancakes that are amazing, and apparently loyalties are divided.

I don’t live in Minneapolis so I am stuck making them here for myself.  The author of this recipe specifically forbids the use of frozen corn, but it’s February and sometimes you just need pancakes, dammit.  So please know that while I am breaking the rules, I do it only out of desperation.

Cachapas de Venezuela (Corn Pancakes from Venezuela), inspired by this recipe.

4 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed

2 TB flour

0.25 C sugar

2 – 4 TB milk

0.5 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

A large non-stick skillet

In a food processor, pulse corn kernels for a few minutes.  Add remaining ingredients and process until batter is smooth.

Warm the skillet over medium to medium-high heat.  Add batter in 0.25 C scoops.  Turn when golden brown on the bottom – when the top bubbles and it looks dry on top of the corn cake.  Be gentle – they’re delicate and really tough to flip.

But when you succeed?  Magic.

Serve immediately, topped with queso fresco or cream cheese if you so desire.  We just put some butter on them.

We had them with my at-home approximation of the veggie skillet, eggs scrambled, that I ate about ten million times at Village Inn when I was in high school.  Hurrah for breakfast for dinner!

Posted in Cooking, Entrees, Vegetarian | 2 Comments »