Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

I’ve mentioned one or two times that I have a hard time eating all the meat I am supposed to for the Paleo diet, so every once in a while I like to throw in one of my favorite recipes since my semi-vegetarian phase.  When I used to make this recipe, I used cornflakes instead of the almond flour and a packet of french onion soup mix instead of plain old onions and veggies.  I always felt that it wasn’t as healthy as it could be, but until starting Paleo, I didn’t realize there were other options and ingredients I could swap out to make this more whole and healthy.
I haven’t seen this version of a cottage cheese, meatless recipe out there anywhere (I had to experiment to see if it would work), so hopefully somebody will be appreciate of my approach.  To most, or anyone who is familiar with a Cottage Cheese Roast/Meatless Loaf, this recipe may sound odd and not particularly appealing, but you’ll have to trust me as it is delicious and it holds together nicely once cooled.  The recipe actually ends up being pretty high in protein and good vitamins and low in carbs so it blends well into my version of Paleo.
My preferred way of eating this is on it’s own with a little mustard and some brussels sprouts on the side, but I have also mixed leftovers into eggs for breakfast, which was really tasty.  Back in my bread eating days it made a good sandwich, too!
This makes 2 regular sized loafs and one small loaf.  I found that you can get about 6 big servings out of it.
  • 16 oz cottage cheese
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 14.5 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbsp worcestershire
  • 8 oz mushrooms, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 poblano peppers, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, shredded

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray 2 regular sized loaf pans and 1 mini loaf pan with pam or olive oil.

In a pan, saute mushrooms, onions, celery, carrots, and peppers until onion is translucent.  This is mainly to cook some of the water out of the vegetables to help your loaf stick together.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the four eggs with a fork and then stir in the cottage cheese, flour, half the can of tomato sauce, walnuts and worcestershire.  Fold in the veggies that were just sauteed.

Pour mixture into the loaf pans evenly.  Spread some of the remaining tomato sauce across the top of each of the loaf pans.  Cook for 1 hr or until firm (the big ones had to cook for about 90 minutes for me to be satisfied they weren’t “jiggly”, but the little one only took an hour).


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After discovering the Oatmeal Replacement, which consists mainly of applesauce, I decided that it was time for me to try to make my own applesauce.  As you probably know, there are a wealth of options at the grocery store…strawberry applesauce, cinnamon applesauce, apple butter…the list goes on.  I was able (after a lot of label reading) to find a version from Mott’s with no sugar added, but I went through it so quickly that I found myself without any on hand and I was curious if homemade would be better.   Since I always have apples and pears on hand, I decided to give it a whirl.  To say it was delicious would be the understatement of the year.  Every bite got better and better.

I should also say that before starting Paleo, one of my favorite desserts to make was this pear syrup over vanilla ice cream.  I would just slice up a pear and cook it on the stove with a little brown sugar and cinnamon and in no time I would have a tasty topping.  This gave me the idea of trying to add a few pears to the applesauce mix.

I surfed around for a good sugar-free recipe and I stumbled across this one on Paleoparents.com.  I like it because they give you suggestions for what types of apples to use.  Unfortunately, all I had on hand were a couple of Honeycrisps and some Bosc pears, but I figured they would have to work in a pinch.

Guys, this is a hard one to mess up and you may never go back to the store bought stuff!  Now, if anybody knows if I could jar this and store it so I always have my own on hand – let me know…that is not yet my area of expertise!

This made about 3 cups – maybe a tad more.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Here’s what I used:

  • 2 large Honeycrisp Apples, peeled, cored and cut into large chunks
  • 1 Bosc Pear, peeled, cored, and cut into large chunks
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon, approximately – I really just sprinkled it on
  • 1 tsp nutmeg, approximately
  • A 9×13 inch glass baking dish
  • tinfoil
Toss the apple and pear chunks with the cinnamon and nutmeg and put in the glass baking dish.  Cover the dish with foil and cook for one hour or until soft.  Mash with a fork – you can do it as chunky or smooth as you would like it, but the whole mashing process took me about 30 seconds because the apples/pears were so soft.

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If you asked me back before Paleo what foods I thought I would miss, oatmeal would not have been one of them.  I liked oatmeal and I ate it pretty often, but it was never really that exciting.  Now that I have been attempting Paleo for about 6 months, I miss other breakfasts besides eggs, which of course includes oatmeal.  I sometimes just crave something warm and slightly sweet that isn’t an egg.

When I stumbled across this recipe for ‘Almost Oatmeal’ on the Paleo Plan website, I was doubtful that it could be good but excited at the possibility.  Wow, I was overwhelmed – it was delicious and so easy!  I modified just a little based on what I had on hand.  Given I was still a little hungry after I would probably have this in the morning with an egg or some kind of protein on the side just to bulk it up a bit and make it to lunch.

Serves 1

  • 4 oz (1/2 cup) unsweetened applesauce (I used Mott’s)
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened almond butter
  • 2 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • fresh blueberries, raspberries, and a few hazelnuts for toppings
  • Combine applesauce, almond butter, almond milk, and spices in a microwaveable bowl.  Microwave for about 30 seconds, just until warm (of course you could have this cold if you prefer).  Top with blueberries, raspberries, and hazelnuts.

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**Update on this** I tried making these on the grill tonight to avoid running the oven in the summer heat.  They were great!  Slice as instructed below and put in a pot of boiling water for about five minutes (heat up the grill while the water is coming to a boil).  Drain and dry on towel for a minute.  Toss in olive oil and a little cumin and paprika and put on a grill pan.  Grill over medium high heat for about 5-8 min per side.  I found about 6.5 min on each side was perfect for mine!

I have to admit, I have been struggling with the Paleo diet lately.  I’ve been having the same thing almost every day (fish and vegetables or meat and vegetables) for dinner and a salad for lunch, eggs for breakfast.  The routine has become a little mundane and I just feel like I need to shake it up.  You can probably also infer that this is the reason I haven’t been posting as often, I mean how much can you right about a piece of meat with asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli on the side, right?

Well, today while I was searching for some new and exciting recipes for dinner (there will be a Paleo-ish pizza for dinner tonight!), I stumbled across a recipe for Sweet Potato Rounds on one of my current favorite blogs, Everyday Paleo, (originally coming from Nutritionize – which is a new discovery!) that reminded me of my favorite home fries that I used to get at Aunt Sarah’s growing up.  I knew that I had to give them a try.  While I try not to have sweet potatoes too often, they say that people who work out a lot can work them in every once in a while.  Since I definitely qualify in that category, I am having some sweet potato home fries!

I will also add that I was skeptical of this recipe at first as I wasn’t sure how they would turn out – I’ve had mixed results in the past with some of my sweet potato recipes. It did not disappoint.  I couldn’t stop eating them – I kept going back for more!

Sweet Potato Home Fries

1 sweet potato, sliced into quarter inch rounds

2 egg whites

1 tbsp olive oil

A variety of spices (any mix can be used, but I used 1/2 tsp paprika, 1/2 tsp hot chili powder, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp oregano)

Salt or salt blend (I used a creole salt blend I had in the cupboard)

Black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Prep a cookie sheet with a piece of lightly greased tinfoil.

Whisk together the egg whites, olive oil, and spices (except the salt).  Dip the potato rounds one by one into the spice mixture until coated and place on cookie sheet.  Sprinkle the whole try lightly with the salt.

Cook for 20 minutes, flipping once.  Then, if you want them a little more crispy and browned, switch to the broiler for 5 minutes at most (keep an eye on them as they will brown fast).

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Parsnip “Fries”

I love to serve these along side my Paleo chicken salad for a tasty and balanced lunch.  I found this recipe from Aarti Sequeira from Food Network that I had to try because I do miss fries.  I didn’t set my hopes high but was surprised when I ended up loving these!  They are definitely a little softer and sweeter than fries, but the Garam Masala adds such an interesting flavor that I didn’t mind at all.  The beauty is that they are Paleo friendly and actually not fried in any way.

I just make a quick lunch size portion for myself, so adjust as necessary.

1/2 large parsnip, cut into fry size chunks (about 1/4 inch think)

2 tbsp grapeseed oil (you can also use olive oil or any other good oil!)

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp garam masala

A pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Put all of the ingredients in a plastic bag (I used a quart size ziploc bag) and shake away.  Make sure all the ingredients get coated.

Dump the parsnips onto a foil lined baking sheet and back for about 15-20 minutes – keep a close eye on them though as once they start cooking they can burn fast and all ovens are a little different.

If I weren’t doing Paleo, I would suggest serving them with a Chipotle Ranch dipping sauce – very nice combination.

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I know, I know, it’s been a while since I have posted anything.  Work has gotten in the way of life unfortunately.  Also, my less than stellar cooking skills have kept me from posting a few of the less than noteworthy recipes I made.

All this being said, I needed to get back on the wagon so I scoured the web for the perfect recipe and low and behold came across a Rachel Ray via Smitten Kitchen recipe that I could not resist.  Rachel Ray referred to the recipe as “Never be single again Penne a la Vodka” and oh the irony there for me (and what a silly name)…but I was bound and determined to try it because a) I love Penne a la Vodka, b) it was easy, and c) Smitten Kitchen gave it the thumbs up which I always trust!  She didn’t let me down, this was so good I went back to dunk bread in it because I hadn’t had enough.

As always, this made way more than I could ever eat on my own so I made a little extra pasta for lunch tomorrow, poured a half cup of sauce over top, and put it away to take into the office.  With the rest, I put it in a large tupperware container to save for later, which will eventually turn into 7 ziploc freezer bags so I can save it for a rainy day.

This made about 9 half cup portions (over 2 oz of penne).

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp unsalted butter

2 shallots, minced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes (I like it really spicy so definitely scale back or omit if you don’t!)

3/4 cup vodka

salt and pepper

1 cup veggie or chicken broth

1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes (I used San Marzano)

1/2 cup heavy cream (spread out between the servings, it’s not so bad, right??)

16 oz penne pasta

Basil for garnish (chiffonade or tear into pieces)

Parmesan for garnish (shaved is best here)

Begin by melting the olive oil and butter together in a sauce pan over medium heat.  Stir in the garlic, shallots and red pepper flakes.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Pour in vodka and let it all cook down for about 5 minutes.  Stir in broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, add salt and pepper and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for about 20 minutes.

While the sauce is simmering, cook your Penne.  I like to watch portion sizes so I cook about 2 oz pasta per person (i.e. for myself) but you can make a whole batch (16 oz) and have leftovers for later.

After 20 minutes, stir in cream and bring back to a simmer.  Drain the pasta and stir into sauce (or you can spoon the sauce over the pasta for individual portions).

Top each portion with basil and parmesan.

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Okay, so first of all, I fully realize the recipe I made for Quinoa and Tempeh burgers might have been overly flavorful from some and I also didn’t feel they held together quite as much as I would have liked (don’t get me wrong, they were still tasty and I would make again!).

I felt like I needed to make a much more simple basic recipe for Veggie Burgers that would allow others to have a burger that wouldn’t fall apart and could be adapted to your own taste’s.  I liked mine just as it was, but I could see adding some walnuts for crunch, some sharp cheddar for a bite, maybe some green chili’s to add a mexican flare…any way you like it, this is a good make and bake and or make, bake, and freeze off for lunch kind of recipe.

Servings:  7 Burgers

15 oz garbanzo beans

1/2 cup oats

1 carrot

1 onion

2 eggs

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 tsp paprika

1 tsp basil

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp Worcestershire

1/2 cup parmesan



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Line a baking sheet with foil, spray with Pam, and have ready next to prep area (your hands will be messy so this will make prep easier).

One item at a time, process the onion, carrot, oats, and chickpeas in a food processor until finely chopped.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl and add eggs, paprika, basil, oregano, Worcestershire and parmesan and stir until blended.  Add flour and use hands to mix ingredients well.  Form mix into slightly smaller than tennis ball size and then flatten into a patty shape.  Repeat to make about 7 patties.

Place on foil lined baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, flipping halfway through.  When I flipped mine, I flattened them a little as I like them flat on both sides.

Nutritional Value courtesy of Calorie Count

Serving ideas:

  • In a pita, with tzatziki sauce, tahini, cucumbers and tomatoes
  • On a bun with ketchup, mustard, and maybe a little cheese
  • On top of a salad!

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