a journey from the heart

Posts tagged ‘vegetarian’

Baked Brussel Sprouts n’ Apples

I grew up in a house where food was not tended to with great love or joy. Or even, for that matter, with great taste. There was the usual assortment is prepared, packaged, processed food stuffs. Along with the required once monthly piece of liver (because we didn’t have the money for the good cuts of red meat and had to have our iron – so we were told). And yes, the daily vegetables (on those rare occasions that our mother was home at supper to make us eat them).

When we had to “eat our vegetables”, they were usually too bland or too mushy. Unfortunately for me that meant there were a lot of veggies I absolutely disliked.

It is only in the last few years that I have mustered up the courage to try some of them once more. And this time not boiled or slathered in butter, but in new and exciting combinations.

Tonight’s recipe is for all those lovers and haters of brussel sprouts. I include those who swear against them because my boyfriend is one of you, or at least was until I made the following dish. The sweetness of the apple, the zing of the garlic, the nutty crunch of the almonds….

Without further ado!

Brussel sprouts (the smaller ones are so flavorful)
Apples (sweet varieties work very well)
Black/mixed pepper
Olive oil
Almonds (I prefer raw)

Preheat the oven at 375F.

Trim and quarter the brussel sprouts. Core and dice the apples, leaving the skin on. Roughly chop the garlic, and coarsely dice the onion.

In a small bowl mix the thyme, basil, pepper and salt.

If your almonds are whole chop them, or you can buy them already sliced.

Combine the main ingredients in a glass baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with your seasoning. Lightly toss until (relatively) evenly mixed. Top with almonds.

Bake for 25 minutes, or until brussel sprouts are fork tender. Let cool 5 minutes.

As I said before, my boyfriend absolutely detested brussel sprouts until he tried them this way. He went back for thirds!!!


Bon apetite!

Roasted Eggplant

After much time on various retreats, taking time off the grid, and overall tending to life away from blogging, I present to you the following simple, yet absolutely delicious roasted eggplant recipe.

Red bell pepper
Pine nuts
Ginger powder
Cracked red pepper
Black or mixed pepper
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 425F.

Begin by cutting the eggplant into 1″ cubes, leaving the skin on. Place in a bowel, salt and let stand 30 minutes. (the salt removes some of the bitter liquid.)

While the eggplant is “sweating” (the bitter liquid will form sweat beads on the surface) cube the onion, red bell pepper and tomatoes. Roughly chop the garlic into chunks. Set aside in your glass baking dish.

Mix the cumin, coriander, paprika, turmeric, ginger, cracked red pepper and/or black/mixed pepper in a small bowl (as always use more or less of each dependent on your personal preferences – I prefer more cumin, less turmeric – but let your tastebuds be your guide). Set aside.

Rinse the eggplant well, place on a towel (or paper towels) and pat dry. Add the eggplant and pine nuts to the other veggies and mix. Lightly coat the veggies with olive oil, then add your spices mixing thoroughly.

Roast in oven, uncovered for 20 minutes, mixing about half way through. Remove from oven, add chopped cilantro, mix, and roast for 10 more minutes. Eggplant should be fork tender and the veggies should be nicely browned.

Remove, cool, and share with friends.


Bon apetite!

Carrot Soup

I heard from a friend yesterday, inquiring as to if I am still posting food recipes and I had to own up to my extreme laziness of late. What started as a nine day adventure of being “off the grid” has become more of a lackadaisical approach to anything technology based outside of the office. So, for Tom, one of my favorite recipes, newly adapted. (Over the next week I will post tales of being off the grid, and some other new recipes!)

Our weather has finally taken a turn toward autumn, and thus the return of the soup pot. While I have become better at making smaller quantities (I learned how to cook for fifteen, but that’s another story for another day), I still need a fairly decent sized pot. Ten quarts is my smallest soup pot. Of course the upside to that is leftovers. And if you don’t know it yet, soup (and sauce) is always better the next day. Marriage of the ingredients is key!

So without further ado….


Carrots (I use 2 lbs.)
Potato (any variety you prefer; for a thicker soup)
Almonds (great texture; they add a little crunch)
Fresh ginger root
Curry powder (recipe)
Cracked red pepper
Coconut milk (14 oz)
Olive oil

As always, let your own tastes guide you. And, you don’t have to chop anything too finely as this soup will be puréed.

Chop your onion, garlic, ginger, and if you didn’t by sliced/chopped almonds, also chop those. Put all these ingredients in your soup pot with some olive oil and a pat of butter. Over medium heat, sauté until the onions are translucent.

While your sauté is sautéing, chop your carrots and potato. Add the carrots and potato, curry powder, and enough water to just cover your soup. Bring to a boil, then simmer until carrots and potato are fork tender. Turn off the heat, move to a cold burner, and let cool for about 45 minutes.

Once relatively cool, pour soup into a large bowl. Ladle soup into blender and purée, pouring puréed soup back into the original pot. Repeat as many times as necessary until all the soup is puréed.

Return to low heat, adding the coconut milk, stirring regularly until warmed to desired temperature. Serve warm, garnished with a few cracked red pepper flakes and cilantro (parsley is also an option).

I used to make this recipe with heavy cream instead of coconut milk, with cinnamon and nutmeg instead of curry powder. Garnish with thin slices of apple, lightly sautéed in butter and brown sugar.

Either way… Bon appetite!


Car-campin’ cookin’


I am recently home from a great week of car camping in the Olympic National Forest. Steven and I went with his mom, grandma, sister, her three kids, his two plus a friend, and my brother. It was a large, rambunctious, game playing, day hiking, cold creek bathing, (not all parties participated in all activities) group. And they all eat meat, packaged n’ processed food as the main part of almost every meal, including snacks. Except for me, the glaring exception.

So, what is a vegetarian, whole foods eating, lover of really good food supposed to do when faced with a week with omnivorous, processed food eating folk? Bring her own food! Lovely fresh fruits and vegetables, home-made Vegan Blueberry Muffins, hard-boiled eggs, pasture raised at Living Earth Farm, whole grains and organic canned beans. And lots of ice for the ice chests.

I made a rather tasty vegan chili one night, but alas, forgot to take pictures. However, I did take pictures of the Chana Masala. It was so yummy that even Steven’s 19 year old, self-proclaimed carnivorous son enjoyed so much he went back for seconds and thirds!

So, without further ado…

One-Pot Camp Stove Chana Masala…

Ingredient list:
Olive oil
Onion, chopped
Garlic, chopped
Curry Powder*** Currying Flavor
Tomato, diced
15 oz can chickpeas (well drained and rinsed)
Sweet potato, diced
Lemon juice, fresh squeezed
Fresh spinach, lightly chopped
Sea salt
Cracked red pepper
Cilantro (optional – oops, I knew I forgot something)

Sauté the onion, garlic, carrot and celery in olive oil until the onions are slightly transparent. Add a little water (to cook the sweet potato) sweet potato, chick peas, tomato, lemon juice, curry powder, salt and cracked red pepper. Simmer until chickpeas have softened and sweet potatoes are just fork-tender (about 6-7 minutes). Add chopped spinach and continue to simmer until wilted (about five minutes).

Serve hot.


Bon appetite. Even in the woods!