Monday, September 21, 2009

Yummm! Vege-tastic Vegetarian Feast!

Usually, for several months out of the year (mostly in the summer) I stop eating red meat and chicken, focusing on a diet of predominantly vegetarian diet (though I do eat fish and seafood at this time!). This year I didn't do it, but it doesn't mean that I can't incorporate vegetarian meals into my carnivorous diet!

I found these recipes from a fantastic website VegWeb. Be sure to check them out for a ginormous listing of vegetarian goodies from around the world!

Here is a meal that I am really looking forward to recreating -

Baked Polenta with Ripen Tomato and Eggplant


1.5 lbs to 2 lbs. fresh vine ripened whole tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Bay Leaf
2 basil leaves
2 bunches pasley
1/2 yellow onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic minced.
Salt, pepper and sugar to taste
1 1/2 cups coarse corn meal
1 large eggplant, sliced 1/2 inch lengthwise and grilled, reserve
(Optional) vegan cheese substitute.
Fresh herbs: oregano, marjoram, basil, chopped for garnish


Heat olive oil and add fresh tomatoes, bay leaf, basil, parsley onion
and garlic. Cook for 30 minutes till tender. Pass through food mill.
Return to saucepan and add vegan sugar to balance acidity. Season
with salt and pepper. Bring 4 1/2 cups of water to a boil and add 1
1/2 teaspoons of salt. Whisk in the cornmeal in a stream so that
there are no lumps. Use wooden spoon and stir till smooth. Let cool.
Take out of pan and slice into 1/2 inch x 3 inch long pcs. Preheat
oven to 400. Lightly grease a gratin dish, spread out 1 cup of tomato
sauce over the bottom. Arrange polenta, sliced eggplant and crumbled
cheese in loverlapping layers. Spoon remaining tomato sauce over
layers to create bands of red sauce, yellow polenta and cheese.
Crumble desired cheese over top and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Slice.
Serve over wilted greens such as spinach. Bueno Appetito!!

Serves: 6-8

Preparation time: 45 min.

Cucumber Salad Extraordinaire


4-5 medium cucumbers
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 tablespoon vegan sour cream or vegan yogurt
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 clove garlic, pressed (as a garlic lover, I usually ratchet that up to 3)
pepper to taste


Peel cucumbers and slice into 1/4 inch rounds. Add salt, mix together
and set aside 1 hour. Rinse off salt and press out excess liquid.
Stir in remaining ingredients and chill at least 1 hour. Stir before
serving. Easy and heavenly!

Serves: 4

Preparation time: 2 hr, 15 min, including chilling time

Low-fat Gingerbread Pudding


1/3 cup sugar (any kind, Sucanat works well)
3 tablespoons 807]cornstarch[/url]
pinch salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cup soy milk (or your preferred "milk")
1 1/4 tablespoons molasses


In a saucepan, stir together sugar, cornstarch, salt and spices well.
Add 1/4 cup soy milk, and blend to make a thick goo.

Turn the burner on to medium, and add the remaining soy milk, stirring
constantly. Drizzle in the molasses while stirring constantly (I
always estimate the molasses, you can use less or more, to taste).
Cook this mixture until it thickens, making sure to stir constantly
(takes about 7 minutes).

Pour into serving dish(es) and cover. Place in the refrigerator until set.


Feel free to change the spices to your liking. I made up this pudding
to try to make a new twist on an old favorite. I've always loved
banana pudding with gingersnaps, so I thought: "why not make a
gingersnap pudding with banana cookies?" The cookies I made sucked,
but the pudding was excellent. Spicy and cold and new-tasting. I've
never had a pudding outside traditional banana, chocolate and vanilla.
What a refreshing treat! It works well if you slice bananas into it
for garnish.

Serves: 2-4

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