Tag Archives: tomatoes

Finish Each Other’s

Warm Bulgur Wheat Salad

Bulgur Wheat Salad

I’m trying to get back on track with blogging, but I’m not going to lie – things have been a little rough lately and it has been hard finding the time to develop/test new recipes.  Fingers crossed things will start to get a little easier, and thankfully summer is approaching so soon cooking will switch over to the grill which is the realm of my amazing husband :-) The theory with that being I can prep, marinate, coordinate the effort and then write the post while he works magic on our indoor brick oven.   Thankfully my funk is not extending over to cooking in general, so blog challenges such as Secret Recipe Club and Random Recipes have been insuring that we are eating more than just pasta – and today’s A-Themed Random Recipe introduced me to an entirely new member of the grain family.   When I told Joe tonight’s dinner was going to feature Bulgar Wheat his reaction was to ask me if he liked bulgar wheat, at which point  I had to admit that I had yet to make or even eat bulgar wheat and thus had no idea.  I also reminded him that we had some leftover matzoh just in case this was a total failure, as well as the ingredients to make matzoh pizza, so with a back up plan in place I opened up Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian cookbook and turned to my “A” recipe: Tabbouleh, a Salad Made with Bulgar and Arugula.   I made a few seasonal changes, and also prepped the bulgur per the ingredients on the bulk food bag (Wegmans FTW) as I somehow missed that the original recipe calls for 2 hours of soaking, and that’s the quick version!


Serves: Serves 4-5


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup bulgur wheat
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cups arugula, well chopped
  • 8 scallions, cut about 3/4 of the way in to the green
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper


  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil, then stir in the bulgur. Allow to reboil then remove from heat, and cover for about 20 minutes.
  2. Fluff the bulgar and then stir in the remaining ingredients. Rest for 5 minutes and then give a quick mix and Serve!

Thanks Dom and AlphaBakes (Ros and Caroline) for an A+ experience!  For those that haven’t yet picked up this international buffet of vegetarian recipes I can not recommend it enough as this book is probably the most used of all my cookbooks – and it shows.

Mysterious As

Roasted Vegetable Couscous

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!

Mysterious As

Serves 3-4


  • 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


  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and add to the pan with the onion/garlic.
  5. 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.
  6. Serve and enjoy!

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!

Perfect Storm

Vegetable Quesadilla


Ignoring the random snow we had yesterday (none of which stuck), I think it might be safe to say that spring is finally here!  I am ready for the ground to thaw so that I can start clearing out all the old beds and start figuring out my plan for this year.  As far as gardening goes this year is going to be a pot garden, since there is no established garden at our new place and I have no idea what areas of the yard will get the right amount sun – with the exception of the patio.  The few flower beds in the front of the house are home to a few types of ivy, both poisonous and non, so odds are nothing new will get planted there until I know the nasty stuff is gone.  However the first step is going at least a week without frozen precipitation.  Today’s recipe is wishful thinking in that it features all the vegetables that I’m hoping to grow in my garden.   From tomatoes to spinach to red onion – this cheesy treat is packing with the good stuff!

Spring Vegetable Quesadilla

Serves: Yields 2 10inch quesadillas

Serves 2-3


  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese (for non-dairy be sure to use a "meltable" variety)
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 10 inch tortillas
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup pre-soaked black beans, well rinsed
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced and deseeded (optional)
  • 1 cup spinach, shredded (make sure it's super dry)
  • 1 cup kale, shredded (make sure it's super dry)


  1. In a medium bowl mix the shredded cheese/"cheese" with the cayenne powder, ground cumin, chili powder, and minced garlic. Set aside
  2. Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Place a tortilla on the skillet and cook for 2 minutes before flipping. Place 2 tbsp of cheese on the tortilla, then layer with half of the tomatoes, spinach, kale, onions, and black beans. Place another 2 tbsp of cheese then top with another tortilla. Use a panini press or smaller skillet to weigh down the top of the quesadilla.
  3. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until lightly brown, and then gently (carefully!) flip to the other side. Repress the quesadilla and cook for a final 5-7 minutes.
  4. Remove to a plate and allow to cool for 2 minutes before cutting up with a pizza slicer. Serve as is or with sour cream, salsa, and/or quacamole.


Avoid place two quasadillas in the same skillet as uneven cooking can result. For those of you with multi-tasking skills use two front burners to prepare two at a time!


I’ll always be a fan of dishes that allow for easy seasonal switches.  Garden overflowing with zucchini?  Toss them in!  Growing three types of tomatoes?  Add them all!  I decided to stick with the spring greens but look forward to trying a summer variety in the coming months.  With that in mind I’m sending this over to the amazing Ren and her  Simple and in Season April blog challenge, which is being hosted by Michelle who blogs over at Utterly Scrumptious  I can’t wait to see all the early Spring treats everyone will be sending in!!!

It’s Wonderful

Vegetable Fideua


When I saw that /52weeksofcooking was heading to Spain for their weekly challenge, I knew I would have a hard time picking one recipe.  I toyed with the idea of making a vegetarian paella, but in the end decided to go with that similar yet slightly less well know (at least to me) dish known as Fideua.  Many sites refer to this as “pasta paella” instead of rice, which made the Italian in me very happy.  As with paella, this is normally not a vegetarian friendly dish but it is one that can be converted over rather easily!  I decided to use chickpeas as the protein, along with a variety of mushrooms, but soy chorizo or tofurkey would also work.

Vegetable Fideoa

Serves 4-5


  • 1/2 lb thin pasta, broken in to 2 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 lb wild mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 14.5 oz can italian style diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cups pre-soaked chickpeas


  1. Preheat oven to broil setting. Lay the pasta flat on an edged cookie sheet or roasting pan. Cook under broiler until pasta is slightly brown, set aside and turn off the oven.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan or wok over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion, cooking for 5 minutes and then add the pepper. Cook for an additional 5 minutes before adding the thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly.
  3. Add the mushrooms and cook for 7 minutes, then add the precooked pasta along with the bay leaf, paprika, tomatoes, vegetable stock, and water. Bring to a quick boil and then turn heat to medium low and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, stirring once at the halfway point.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

 This dish requires a bit of attention at first, but once the pasta is added there is plenty of time to enjoy some wine – or let the dogs out!  I enjoyed mine naked while Joey topped his with some fresh Parmesan cheese

Home is Wherever

Cabbage & Polenta

Cabbage and Polenta

Kitchen is set up, unpacked, and finally usable – and with that the first recipe from our new place in Baltimore!  While it took a fair bit of time to get to this point, it feels like things are finally get back on track with new routines and ways to do things.   With that I have been cooking in our new place but I’ve been relying on old favorites, things that I could easily put together while also working on the million other projects going on.   This recipe falls in to the category of old favorite, as I grew up eating it, but it took a bit of time to figure out how to make this vegetarian.  Cabbage and polenta was a family tradition, we knew that if my Grandma was visiting we would have this filling dish at least once.  I attempted to make it a few months ago ala veggie but the resulting taste just wasn’t the one I remembered.  I debated using a meat substitute but in the end I decided to stick with the vegetables and adjust the seasonings.

Home is Wherever

Serves 5-6


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups baby bella mushroom, quartered
  • 3 carrots, cut into thin round slices
  • 1 head green cabbage ( around 1 1/2 lbs), chopped
  • 1 14.5 oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable stock, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large and deep skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 7 minutes, allowing to garlic to turn golden. Add the dried spiced, then stir well and cook for a minute before adding the mushrooms.
  2. Cook for 7-10 minutes, mushrooms should be soft and onion golden, before adding the carrots and cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Stir frequently to prevent the spices from burning.
  3. Add the cabbage along with the stewed tomatoes, bay leaf, and 1 cup of the vegetable stock. Bring to a quick boil, then cover and turn heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes, adding more stock as needed. Remove lid, stir, and take a quick taste to see if seasonings need adjusted, adding salt & pepper as needed.
  4. Serve hot over the baked polenta.


Thick egg noodles can also be used in place of the polenta


Growing up my Grandma would have made the polenta on the stove top, but I went for baked polenta in order to save time and energy.  I also added 1/2 tbsp of dried oregano to the recipe to give an extra kick – which worked perfectly!