One thing I love about blog challenges is that they push me out of my comfort zone, on the flip side one thing I hate about blog challenges is how they push me out of my comfort zone. When I saw the theme for /52weeksofcooking was Filipino I was once again thrown for a loop – but unlike other challenges were I was totally in the dark at least this time I had some friends who could help out. After crowd sourcing ideas and recipes, I decided to make a vegetarian variation of Pancit – a dish I had heard of but never experienced. Traditionally this dish features one of the white meats and while I debated adding tofu I decided to stick with the normal vegetables featured in the dish just in MUCH larger amounts.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 5 cloves garlic
- 4 scallions, cut half way up the green
- 1 vidalia onion, diced
- 1 small head of broccoli, chopped
- 1 lb napa cabbage, chopped
- 1/2 lb red cabbage, chopped
- 4 carrots, sliced
- 1/2 lb thin rice noodles
- 1 tbsp teriyaki sauce
- 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
- 1/4 cup soy sauce, low sodium
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large work or sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and white part of the scallions. Cook for 7 minutes, and then add the broccoli and carrots. Continue cooking for 5 minutes before slowly adding in the cabbage, being careful to not crowd the pan. Cook for 10 minutes, uncovered, stirring to prevent sticking.
- Meanwhile bring a pan of water to a boil and cook the rice noodles per instructions on bag (or box). Once cooked rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Add the cooked noodles to the vegetables and stir in the teriyaki, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Toss well then top with the green part of the scallions.
- Serve and Enjoy!
by AmandaE at dancingveggies.com
I was blown away but how flavorful this dish was, especially considering how quickly it came together. Based on the fact he took his chopsticks directly to the pot I think it’s safe to say my other half also greatly enjoyed this dish! Next time I might leave out the teriyaki sauce since the recipes I found online were rather split on including it – but it was a nice addition to the dish! Looking forward to seeing where /52weeksofcooking sends me next!
Imam Bayildi (Stuffed Eggplant)
Time for another installment of /52weeksofcooking – this time featuring a Turkish dish! I’ve had Turkish food a few times, but I’ll be honest in that it’s not a regular cuisine in our house tho after making this eggplant dish that might have to change! In order to figure out a recipe I searched the menu of a few local Turkish restaurants, to get an idea of what kind of vegetarian dishes were out there. I saw so many different eggplant dishes – it was insane! Now figuring out what kind of eggplant dish, that was a bit of a challenge. I debated doing an appetizer I found called Saksuka but in the end decided it was too close to the Shakshuka dish I’ve already done – which defeats the purpose of this challenge. So I decided to go with a stuffed eggplant dish, specifically Imam Bayildi. This dish features eggplant, tomatoes, onion, and garlic in addition to HUGE amounts of olive oil.
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 medium eggplant, halved length wise
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 medium vidalia onion, diced
- 3 roma tomatoes
- 1/4 tsp fresh pepper
- 3 oz hard sheep cheese (or daiya), optional
- Fill a large pot up with salt water and add the eggplant. Allow the eggplant to soak for 15 minutes
- Preheat oven to 425 and coat a roasting pan with 2 tbsp of the olive oil. Remove the eggplant from the salt bath, rinse, and lightly pat down with a paper towel before placing flesh down on the roasting pan. Roast for 40 minutes. Remove, cut a slit down the middle (being careful to not go thru the ends of the bottom), then set aside. Turn oven down to 375
- Meanwhile heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 7-10 minutes, or until garlic is golden. Add the diced tomatoes, then cover and allow the tomatoes to breakdown - check after 10 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to help the process as needed.
- Carefully squeeze the ends of the eggplant to create a pocket from the cut slit, gently stuff the onion and tomato mixture inside. Top with slices of cheese (optional) then place back in the oven and bake for a final 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes, then serve and Enjoy!
by AmandaE at dancingveggies.com
With our 4 eggplant sections I did half with the cheese and half without and for once Joe preferred the cheese-less option while I went for the cheesy ones! It’s not your normal cheese, and I think that’s part of the reason I enjoyed it – the texture actually reminded me of daiya. With that said, Daiya would make a great option for this and would probably go for a non-meltable in order to recreate the firmer texture this cheese had as the contrast was rather nice. Of course there is nothing wrong with going totally naked in the cheese department – gotta love flexible dishes! I served this up with some garlicky green beans and had planned to include some lentils but in the end decided there was already enough going on. In the future I might include some pre-cooked lentils in the eggplant stuffing in order to “beef” them up – again with the flexibility
Corn Bisque with Avocado
Good morning (evening???) and welcome to June’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club!!! I have to say being a member of Group A means that my blogging month always starts off with a bang in the flavor department – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. This month I was partnered up with the Cookaholic Wife, and after reading her about page it turns out we have a lot in common. We were both married in 2010, we’re both on the verge of turning 30 (eeek!), and we both live in Baltimore For an added chill, you can switch our anniversary and birth months since we’re virgos that got married in April – so needless to say I think Nicole is rather awesome. Her blog is also stuffed to the rim with delicious recipes featuring ingredients that are easy to locate – but since we’re in the same city that does make a bit of sense. I first debated making her Onion Dip, as a tribute to the crap dip that got her started on the blogging path, but I could not get the idea of her Corn Bisque out of my head. Corn chowders are one of my favorite winter soups and the idea of a light and springy corn soup just spoke to my belly on a deep level. I did make a few in changes to the recipe to cut back on cholesterol (yes, sometimes I do listen to my doctor) but for a more authentic experience just switch the almond milk back to regular milk! Using the yogurt in place of the half-and-half also allowed me to leave out the cornstarch as the soup was plenty thick!
- 5 medium ears corn on the cob
- 1 small vidalia onion, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, chopped
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt, almond milk
- 1/4 cup almond milk, original flavor
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1/2 avocado, chopped
- 1 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
- Slice the kernels off each corn cob and set aside.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes then the garlic and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes. The garlic and onion should be slightly golden.
- Pour the vegetable stock in to into the pot and add the corn kernels. Bring to a quick boil and then reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Use an immersion blender to process the soup, adding the milk and Greek yogurt at about the halfway point. Continue to heat over very low heat for a final 10 minutes.
- Serve the soup topped with the diced avocado and enjoy!
by AmandaE at dancingveggies.com
I did leave the crab out but I’m happy to report that my hubby added enough Old Bay to his to counter the lack of crab. The avocado provided the perfect contrast to the airy soup, and I’m now curious to see how I can include that in my winter chowder.
This soup was perfection and I can easily see myself making it time and time again – thanks Nicole!!!
“Sausage” and Spinach Stuffed Shells
I’m finally back in the kitchen, and hoping to stay upright and cooking for at least the next week or so…but we shall see how that plan goes! I’ve been spending some of my down time going thru old cookbooks and recipe notes, keeping track of all the new things I want to try. That’s one of the best parts of spring, all the new produce showing up at the markets – and being in a new city that also means checking out new to me markets! The spinach in today’s recipe is one of those finds, as are some carrots that wound up going straight in to my belly via dip instead of soup – but that’s okay! The spinach turned the stuffing a fantastic spring green color, and it worked perfectly with the Italian sausage and the simple sauce – perfection
- 1 box of jumbo shells
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 cup vidalia onion, diced
- 2 tofurkey sausages (Italian style) - sliced
- 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
- 2 cups spinach, well rinsed and dried
- 1 spring fresh thyme
- 1 spring fresh rosemary
- 1 1/2 cup of your favorite red sauce
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- Cook the jumbo shells per box instructions - rinse with cold water and set aside.
- Meanwhile heat the olive oil in a large skillet and cook the onion, garlic, and tofurkey sausage until brown. Place in blender along with the ricotta cheese, spinach, and herbs and puree well.
- Preheat oven to 425. Lightly coat a 9x13 baking dish with 1/4 cup of your red sauce.
- Use a teaspoon to gently stuff the shells and place them in a single layer in the baking dish, placing them as close together as possible to prevent them from tipping over. Cover with the remaining sauce, and top with the shredded cheese
- Bake for 35 minutes, or until cheese has slightly browned and sauce is bubbling.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving - Enjoy!
by AmandaE at dancingveggies.com
Normally I try to take a picture of the finished dish, but in this case the finished dish doesn’t look different from any other picture of stuffed shells. The stuffing would also work great inside of ravioli, or as part of a vegetable lasagna! This is a dish all about the filling, which is why I focused on that for my picture. I’m also sending this over to /52weeksofcooking for their soy challenge, and this will probably be the last soy dish on here for a bit since we are still on a low soy diet. However there’s nothing wrong with an occasional treat!
Roasted Vegetable Couscous
Welcome to Group A’s April installment of Secret Recipe Club! Every month I wait with baited breath to see what amazing blog I get partnered with and this month I was thrilled to see a blog I was very (VERY) familiar with. I have been following Evelyne’s Cheap Ethnic Eats since before there was a Dancing Veggies and it was after stumbling onto the International Incident Party link-ups that I decided to take my (now) hubby’s offer to build me a blog. So a HUGE thanks to Evelyne (and the other blogs of IIP) for inspiring me to go forth and blog! Needless to say picking one recipe from her blog was a rather difficult task but I was able to narrow things down to a top 10 by focusing on recipes that featured ingredients or cooking styles that are outside my normal range. Which is why I was debating such things as Coconut Brownie Waffles, Greek Yogurt Cheesecake, and Multi-Vegetable Paella before settling on her Roasted Vegetable Couscous. For the most part I stick with recipes that are either on the stove or in the oven as I’m normally restricted on cooking time thanks to the fur children. However some rather intense weather freed up the time normally reserved for dog walking, so I decided to heat up the kitchen and get to work!
- 1 yellow squash, sliced and quartered (about 1 cup)
- 1 zucchini, sliced and quartered (about 1 cup)
- 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 1 red onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 1/2 cups pre-soaked chickpeas, well rinsed
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 4 cups vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 4 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup dry couscous
- Preheat oven to 375
- Place the squash, zucchini, and mushrooms in a roasting pan and top with half of the olive oil. Roasted for 20 minutes, then remove pan and add the tomatoes. Roast for a final 10 minutes.
- Towards the end of the roasting time heat the remaining olive oil in a large pan, add the garlic and red onion and cook for 5 minutes. Add the seasonings and cook for an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
- Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and add to the pan with the onion/garlic.
- Add the stock, raisins, chickpeas tomato paste, salt and couscous. Bring mixture to a boil, then stir, cover, and turn heat down to low. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes, or until couscous has finished cooking.
- Serve and enjoy!
by AmandaE at dancingveggies.com
I switched up the vegetables from the original recipe, but that’s one of the awesome things about this recipe – anything will work! I also cooked the couscous directly in the sauce in order to save a dish, which resulted in some ultra flavorful couscous, and added more chickpeas instead of serving it with the tofu since DH is on a no-soy diet. In the future I might be tempted to just do all the veggies in a saute pan rather then roasting, but there is something to be said about a fresh roasted tomato. All in all another awesome recipe thanks to Cheap Ethnic Eats and the Secret Recipe Club!