Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Summer Vegetarian Meals

Evan is on a month-long challenge to eat vegetarian Sundays through Thursdays, and I'm along for the ride. It's forcing us to be a little more experimental with our meals. Here are some of our recent dinners:
Bean and summer vegetable tacos with cilantro-lime dressing

Bean and summer vegetable tacos with cilantro-lime dressing
To make the filling: Sautee thinly sliced peppers and onions until browned and softened. Meanwhile, cook corn on the cob in boiling water for a few minutes. Let cool and cut the corn off the cob. Combine the vegetables with cooked pinto (or black) beans.
To make the dressing: blend together two cups of fresh cilantro, two garlic cloves, the juice of a lime, a cup of yogurt, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.
To assemble: Warm corn tortillas on a hot pan for a minute on each side. Spread the dressing on the tortilla, then add the bean and vegetable mixture and top with radish slices and mixed greens and pour more cilantro dressing over top.

The next night, we fried up tempeh cubes and served them over salad greens with the cilantro-lime dressing.

Barley-scallion fritters
I made a ton of barley in my crockpot that was intended for grain salads, but overcooked it into mush, and needed to come up other uses for it. Here's one - fritters. They tasted like a scallion pancake just begging to be dipped in soy sauce, but the barley gives it more whole grain goodness. Some other ideas for my mushy barley that I stashed in tubs in the freezer: baking it into bread, adding them to veggie burgers. Do you have any other ideas?

Combine a couple cups of barley, one bunch of diced scallions, a half cup of flour, two eggs, salt and pepper. Heat a pan with a shallow coating of sunflower or peanut oil and let the oil heat up. Fry large spoonfuls of the batter in batches, scraping the dregs and adding more oil between batches. Cook fritter for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden browned. Remove to a napkin-lined plate to absorb excess oil.

Eggs poached in kale and tomato sauce.
This is a riff on shakshuka that I invented to use up leftovers, since I only had 1 1/2 tomatoes, but also had some ricotta that needed to be eaten.

Sautee 2 cloves garlic, diced small onion, a couple tomatoes and a few cups of chopped kale in olive oil. Let it simmer for a while to break down the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes are more saucy, about 15-20 minutes, add a half cup of ricotta. Use an immersion blender to puree it into a sauce. Make indentations in the sauce and poach four eggs in it. Cover the pan and check every couple minutes until the whites are cooked. Serve with toast.

Evan's on an Indian kick and is determined to perfect dal. He's made this recipe for khatti dal from the New York Times twice in the past two weeks. Make sure to watch the video for technique - which strangely strays from the ingredients called for in the recipe.

A summery tomato salad of cubed fresh mozzerella and tomatoes, a handful of farro, and a handful of chickpeas over arugula with a dressing of olive oil and balsamic or red wine vinegar.

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