Archive for the ‘main dish’ Category

Vegan Saucy Asian Meatballs

May 2, 2013


I have never been perfectly happy with my vegetarian meatballs. The texture and flavor has never been quite exactly as I would like, although nice enough.

This recipe, adapted from Oh My Veggies, was a major improvement over the usual veggie meatball. They hold together nicely in the sauce. They have a meaty color and flavor, although not quite the chewy texture of meatballs. I have tweaked the recipe a bit more, swapping tempeh for the mushrooms to improve the texture, but if you don’t want to use tempeh, these are lovely.


Acorn Squash Stuffed with Five Grain Pilaf and Tempeh

October 22, 2012

This would be a great thing to serve to vegans on Thanksgiving: it looks festive, has seasonal fall flavors, and is a filling meat-free main dish.

I used a grain mix, but you could use any single grain you like. The idea is simple: saute onion and garlic with some diced tempeh. Add seasonings and fold in cooked grain. While you are doing all this, let acorn squash roast until tender and then stuff it with the pilaf. That’s it.

It is actually not so complicated to make, so it is a nice weekday vegan supper, too. I brought some to Leora, and she says I should mention that she really liked it. A lot. My husband liked it so much that he wants it added to the regular rotation, and he is more a meat and potatoes type of eater than a fan of vegan cuisine. Which is a way of saying that this dish pleases the health conscious but also has that crucial mainstream crossover appeal.

The combination of grains, vegetables and seasonings is unusually savory. What I especially like is the way that the tempeh seamlessly blends in with the other ingredients. Tempeh can sometimes be a bit of a tough sell–this recipe has a great chance of converting the tempeh suspicious.

The Kosher Connection, an informal group of creative kosher food bloggers from all around the world, proudly present the first kosher recipe challenge.  Each month we will present you with recipes on a different theme from all the kosher food bloggers.

This month is root vegetables!  Follow our recipes on Twitter with #KosherRecipes.


Sweet and Sour Meatballs

September 10, 2012

My sister and I were talking about how ground beef somehow is the starting point for Yom Tov cooking. First, you are in denial about how much needs to be done, then you just go out and buy a couple of packages of ground beef, knowing that it will force you to get started. Sweet and Sour Meatballs, in particular, is  “gateway” recipe for getting into the groove of cooking and baking and freezing ahead. They are easy to make, freeze well, and you know that you need to make meatballs.

Instead of the usual cranberry/tomato sauced meatballs, my husband asked for the grape jam kind. Usually this kind is excessively sweet, so I went with a recipe that went pretty light on the jam. The overall flavor reminded me a bit of the sauce that goes with stuffed cabbage–tangy sweet, but not cloying. I added a little sriracha sauce to give it a little hint of savory, garlicy, spicy oomph.


Grill Baby, Grill

August 20, 2012

Is there anything so disconcerting to BBQ hosts as the vegetarian guest? If they won’t eat burgers, hot dogs or grilled chicken, what will they eat?

Here is my advice: if you have vegetarian guests at your BBQ, grill some vegetables (especially mushrooms, red pepper and eggplant).

Plate the grilled vegetables and refrigerate until shortly before serving time. Let your vegetarian guests make a burger or wrap with the vegetables, with some sliced fresh vegetables (such as tomato, avocado and lettuce) and  some interesting condiments. The above burger was made with mushroom layered with avocado, tomato and herb mayo. The below burger: grilled mushrooms, red pepper and eggplant, on a bun spread with guacamole and drizzle with a sushi-style spicy mayo.


Chef Ayinde’s Vegan Enchiladas

July 25, 2012

These vegan enchiladas are savory enough to win over carnivores.  In fact, vegan chef Ayinde Howell developed the recipe to please a non-vegan girlfriend. The secret is sauteing the tofu long enough to make it chewy (adding essential texture) and adding lots of seasonings to the tofu and the enchilada sauce (giving the rich flavor).

The method of making the enchiladas is this: (1) make enchilada sauce; (2) make tofu filling; (3) warm tortillas, dip in sauce, fill with tofu filling, roll and line up in casserole with the rest of the sauce; and (5) bake. The warming and dipping of the tortillas may seem overly fussy, but this is what helps fuse together the tortillas and the sauce. The tortillas absorb the sauce, becoming soft and chewy in a way that reminds me of the sauce infused breading on eggplant in eggplant Parmesan.

The only difficulty with the dish is that it only serves 2-3. I would double it or serve it with other Mexican dishes (like the creamy rice). I also think that it tastes best when first made, so I would assemble and bake it just before serving.


Creamy Mexican Rice

July 23, 2012

I’m sorry, no picture of this. The weather had been very overcast,making it harder to take decent pictures. So, just use your imagination:  picture a casserole dish filled with creamy green herb flecked rice, green peas and corn, punctuated with rivulets of melted cheddar cheese.

The recipe comes from restauranteur and cookbook author Zarela Martinez via Elaine Louie’s The Occasional Vegetarian. According to Ms. Martinez, this is child friendly comfort food.



Gloria Bernstein’s Nine Days Jalapeno Corn Bread Kugel

July 20, 2012

All the way back in 1997, I spotted this recipe for cheesy cornbread in the New York Daily News. It was submitted by reader Gloria Bernstein, who says that she likes to make it during the Nine Days. Actually, she says that she like to break her fast after Tisha B’Av with it, along with a bowl of tomato soup and a salad. I don’t know that I would want to eat tomato soup and spicy cornbread after a fast, but soup, salad and cornbread sounds like an easy delicious meal. I like to serve the cornbread with tomato salad, made with large beefsteak tomatoes.

What makes this cornbread special is the use of fresh corn, a confetti of minced red pepper and jalapeno, and some sour cream and cheddar cheese. It is rich, moist, cheesy–more of a casserole or main dish kugel than a bread.


Vegetarian Moussaka

July 12, 2012

I saw a very appetizing recipe in Weight Watcher’s Magazine for what looked like a vegetarian moussaka (Creamy Greek Veggie Bake). I changed around the recipe, changing the filling into more of a veggie chili (I added beans, lots of tomato paste and seasoned with oregano and cumin instead of cinnamon and allspice). I also added some olive oil into the bechamel sauce that goes on top of the dish.

I love the contrast of the chunky filling with the creamy eggplant, but the filling can be made and served on its own as a vegetarian chili (perhaps in little filo shells with a dollop of sour cream as an appetizer, like the Susie Fishbein Chili Bites KBD Short on Time).

I haven’t tried it yet, but I bet the moussaka could be made dairy-free (speaking of Susie Fishbein, see this dairy-free moussaka topping).
UPDATE: I made this dairy-free just by leaving out the bechamel, and it is excellent that way. What makes the dish is the contrast of the creamy smooth eggplant with the chunky veggie chili.


Slow Cooker Vegetarian Vindaloo

July 12, 2012

I was served this delicious, super healthy vegan curry at a friend’s house and was thrilled to find out how incredibly easy it is to make. All you do is dump chopped vegetables into a slow cooker and let it simmer away. You can also make this on the stove top, which is what I did when I recreated it at my house. With some brown rice, it is a complete meal.

Slow Cooker Vegetarian Vindalo
Adapted from Vegetarian Times Everything Vegan.

Dump everything in a crock pot or a large pot:
1 medium cauliflower, cut into florets
(4-5 red skinned potatoes, peeled and diced, optional)
29 ounces canned chick peas, drained
2 large leeks, white and light green part sliced
1-2 cups tomato sauce
1 Tbl. vinegar
2 Tbl. fresh ginger, minced
2 Tbl. curry powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. cinnamon or a cinnamon stick
1 tsp. hot sauce
1/4-1/2 cup water

Cook for 3 hours on high in a crock pot or 1 1/2 hours on a medium simmer in a stove top pot. Can add 3 Tbl. cilantro before serving. Serve over basmati rice.

Tempeh Quinoa Burgers and Stuffed Eggplant

May 30, 2012

The recipe from The Moosewood Restaurant Cooking for Health for tempeh-quinoa burgers (which you can see here at The Golden Yolk) sounds more complicated to make than it is. You need cooked quinoa, cooked sweet potato and a sauteed mixture of tempeh and vegetables. I was putting off making them, and then realized that I usually make quinoa and roast sweet potatoes anyway.

Here is what you do: combine cooked quinoa (1/2 cup raw cooked with 1 cup water) and cooked sweet potato (1/2-2/3 large, roasted or boiled with the quinoa) with a sauteed mixture of 1 cup diced onion, 2 cloves minced garlic,  1 cup minced red pepper and 8 ounces diced tempeh, plus some seasonings. In terms of the seasonings, I thought that the mixture tasted delicious with just the 1/2 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. oregano, 1/4 tsp. pepper and 4 tsp. soy sauce added. The 2 Tbl. ketchup (or tomato paste or salsa) and 2 tsp. Dijon mustard made the mixture more burger-ish, but wasn’t crucial. I skipped the cilantro, sesame oil and sesame seeds. For the burgers, shape about 8 patties and bake them on a greased baking sheet at 375 degrees for about a half hour.

I had a eggplant I needed to use and I had the idea of roasting it and stuffing it with some of the burger mixture. I halved the eggplant, rubbed it with olive oil and roasting it at 375 for a half hour. Then I mashed the roasted eggplant (scraped out of the skin)  into about half the burger mixture. Then I roasted the eggplant again with the stuffing inside the eggplant skins (375 degrees for a half hour). It was an excellent combination.


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