Category Archives: Vegetarian

Quinoa Salad

Now that our long, harsh winter is finally coming to an end and spring is here (it really really is, I can see green grass in places!) I find myself craving salads more than ever.  I’ve had enough of rich, heavy foods!  Give me foods that are light and fresh!

I love cooking with different grains, and quinoa is one of my favorites.  I had some red quinoa in my pantry, and I wanted to make a salad with it but couldn’t really find any recipes that were quite what I had in mind.  So I took some ideas from here and there and came up with my own salad.

And if I may toot my own horn a little bit, I must say this quinoa salad creation of mine turned out delicious!  It’s also super healthy, quinoa being one of the most nutrient-packed grains out there.

If you’ve never had quinoa before, now’s the time to break away from that boring old rice and pasta and try something different!  It may look like there’s a lot of ingredients, but other than the quinoa, you probably already have most of them on hand.

Until next time, Happy Cooking 🙂

Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa (red or regular)
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/2 cup finely diced English cucumber
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley

Dressing:

  • 2 Tb balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Directions:

In a saucepan, bring 3 cups of water to a boil.  Add the quinoa.  Cover, and cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed.  Set the quinoa aside to cool.

Add the remaining salad ingredients to a large bowl.  Add the cooled quinoa.

In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.  Pour over the salad, and stir to make sure everything is coated.

Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

2 Comments

Filed under Salads, Vegetarian

Black-Eyed Pea Salsa

Here’s a great recipe to make now that warm sunny days are finally arriving.  It’ll still be a while before all the snow melts away where I live, but at least the sun is shining brightly this morning.  And isn’t there just something so uplifting about a sunny day? 🙂

If you’ve never tried it before, black-eyed pea salsa may sound a little strange.  It really is delicious!  And this coming from a girl who really doesn’t care much for black-eyed peas unless they’re fresh, and this recipe calls for canned.

This recipe comes from Cooking Light, so you know it’s also healthy, another bonus.  They refer to it as a “salad” but since it’s meant to be eaten with tortilla or pita chips it kinda seems more like a salsa, wouldn’t you say?  So that’s what I’m gonna call it! I also made just a few tiny changes to the original recipe.

I hope you give this a try and enjoy it!  Until next time, happy cooking 🙂

Black_Eyed Pea Salsa

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar (regular white vinegar works fine too)
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3 cups chopped tomato
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 2 Tb fresh cilantro
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • pita or tortilla chips

Directions:

Whisk together the first 5 ingredients (salt thru cumin).  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Serve with pita or tortilla chips.

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2 Comments

Filed under Appetizers, Beans, Vegetarian

Junior League Mac & Cheese

Dear Readers,

Beginning with this post, I endeavor to return to giving my little blog the love and attention it has been sorely missing lately.  I’ve barely even checked up on it or any other of my favorite blogs.  So unlike me!

Things have been a little topsy turvy in the Berner household.  In addition to us both getting sick, we also acquired a kitten that Jay found alongside the highway one morning.  Someone had obviously dumped him during the night.  Who would do such a thing to a kitten??  It boggles my mind.

The little kitten, aka the little orange terror, is going to a new home today on an acreage where he will happily run around chasing mice and where a little 5-year old girl will give him lots and lots of love.  I’ll be sad to see him go but it’ll be a more suitable home for him. 

So now that I’ve shared my news, let’s move on to talking about food, shall we? 🙂

This is another recipe from The Southern Junior League Cookbook.  I would not be exaggerating if I said this is quite possibly the best mac & cheese I’ve ever made.  Which would make me a horrible food blogger if I didn’t share it with y’all, wouldn’t it??

This one is made a little more special with the addition of bell pepper, boiled eggs, and pimientos, none of which I’ve ever had in mac & cheese before.  After making this recipe, I can now say that they are mighty fine additions, indeed! 

I highly recommend giving this recipe a try! 

Until next time, happy cooking 🙂

Junior League Mac & Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tb butter
  • 4 Tb flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped pimientos
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 1 cup macaroni, cooked and drained

Directions:

Melt butter in a saucepan.  Stir in flour to make a roux.  Gradually stir in milk and cook, stirring, until sauce is thickened.  Stir in half the cheese. 

Mix sauce with remaining ingredients, except reserved cheese.  Spoon into a greased casserole dish.  Sprinkle with reserved cheese.  Bake at 325 degrees for 35 minutes or until bubbly and lightly browned on top.

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4 Comments

Filed under Casseroles, Pasta, Vegetarian

Spinach-Swiss Quiche, and kids who say the darndest things

Here’s a little tidbit about myself-I am an introvert.  However, my big sis is most definitely not.  And my niece and nephew take right after her, especially my niece, Harlee, who is quite a little spitfire.  I wish that I didn’t live so far away because I’d like her to rub a little of her spunk off on me!  If ever there was a kid who said the darndest things, it would be her.  I wanted to share some of them because we could all use a good laugh, right? 🙂

I was talking to my mom the other day, and she had me practically in tears relating her most recent conversations with Harlee.

Now, my parents live in Florida, and my sister and her kids live in Tennessee.  A little while back, Harlee had mailed some comics that she had thought were funny and had cut out of the paper.  Well, next time she talked to my mom she asked if she had gotten them, and my mom said that yes, she had.

Then Harlee said very seriously, “Grandmaw, I sent you something and you didn’t say something to me…”. 

 My mom thought, What in the world is she talking about??

Then Harlee said, “You forgot to say thank you!”

Well, she just taught Grandmaw, who’s an elementary school teacher, a thing or two about manners, didn’t she?  😀  Admittedly, though, my mom did get her back after she sent Harlee a Valentine’s card and stickers and Harlee forgot to say thank you! 

Which brings me to the next darndest thing Harlee said that had me laughing out loud .  She was telling Grandmaw about how she liked the stickers and had put them up on her mirror.  Then she asked why David (my nephew) hadn’t gotten anything. 

My mom said that well, she didn’t think he would have wanted anything for Valentine’s, him being a boy and all.

So Harlee said,  “Well, you could have just sent him a dollar or two!”

Goodness, but that little girl sure has a mind of her own!  She probably runs her teacher ragged in school too.  Though she did explain to my mom that a lot of the other kids in her class get upside-down faces, but she never does, she just gets mostly straight faces.  Which we agreed were at least better than upside-down faces!

Sometimes it just feels so good to laugh until you cry, doesn’t it? 🙂

Okay now, let’s discuss this recipe I’m sharing today, shall we?  I found it in this cookbook:

Which I have to tell y’all I was so excited when I saw it on the shelf at Goodwill because, as far as I can tell, Gooseberry Patch isn’t sold here in Canada.  So when I saw it I snatched it up!  This recipe was in the Meatless Mains section and it was delicious.  I had the spinach thawed and drained ahead of time, the onion chopped, and the cheese shredded so that when I got home from work it took me literally 5 minutes to throw together and pop into the oven.  Not too shabby!

I made salads and served some of my homemade applesauce on the side.  It was a super easy and delicious meal to make.  I can’t wait to try more recipes from this cookbook!

Until next time, happy cooking! 🙂

Spinach-Swiss Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
  • 2 Tb chopped onion (I used green onion)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup Bisquick baking mix
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Mix together the spinach, cheese, and onion.  Spread in the bottom of a greased pie plate.  Whisk together remaining ingredients, and pour over the top.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown.

I’m sharing this recipe with:

2 Comments

Filed under Breakfast/Brunch, Casseroles, Vegetarian

Quick and Easy Cream of Tomato Soup

It’s been a long day at work.  You’re tired, grumpy, and the last thing you want to do is have to stand on your feet any longer to slave away over the stove.  You reach into the cupboard for a can of soup-but WAIT!  Put the can down, and back away!  I’ve got the perfect soup for you.  It’s one of the easiest things you’ll ever make and it only takes a few minutes more than heating up that can of soup would take. Plus, it’s homemade, which will always win out over the canned stuff, in my opinion. 

I used orzo pasta here, but you can substitute another small pasta if you want, or even barley or rice would be nice.  A grilled cheese or even just some garlic bread or cheese toast would be perfect alongside.  A hot bowl of this soup is sure to make you feel better, I guarantee it! 🙂

Until next time, happy cooking!

Quick and Easy Cream of Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1  medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Tb butter
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 3/4 cups beef broth
  • 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta
  • 1/2 cup half & half

Directions:

Cook the onion in butter in a saucepan until softened.  Stir in the tomatoes, broth, hot sauce, basil, sugar, and red wine vinegar.  Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture (if you don’t have one of these already, you need to get one asap, they are awesome!).  Stir in the orzo.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until the orzo is cooked.  Stir in the half & half and it’s ready to serve.

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2 Comments

Filed under Soups/Stews, Vegetarian

Scalloped Corn Casserole

Say hello to the first recipe of 2011 on my blog!  I couldn’t have picked a better one because this recipe is a perfect example of the kind of cooking you can expect to see on my blog this year.  It’s comforting, uses inexpensive and familiar ingredients, and is  quick and easy to make. 

I used to go thru phases in my cooking where sometimes I was all about being adventurous and trying lots of new foods and cuisines, and then sometimes I just wanted some good ol’ down-home comfort food.  I’m sure many of you are the same way!  But  I’ve realized that over the past year or so I’ve kinda settled more permanently into the down-home side of things.  I get the most joy and satisfaction from that kind of cooking.  Since I went back to work last August I’ve also been much more focused on making recipes that are quick and easy or that can be made ahead of time and popped into the freezer for later.  And, of course, I’ve always got the budget in mind with any recipe I make! 

So the majority of the recipes you see on my blog will fit into those categories.  And I have a feeling it’s going to be a great year! 🙂

If you like corn, then here’s a delicious casserole for you to try!  The recipe comes from this old cookbook called Favorite Recipes of Home Economics Teachers.

It caught my eye at my local thrift store recently, and I just had to buy it.  It was published in 1966 in Montgomery, Alabama.  And the cookbook isn’t kidding about there being 2000 recipes.  Many of them are somewhat repetitive, but that’s alright.  I love old cookbooks, and this one’s still got some great recipes in it such as this one.

I made this scalloped corn casserole to go along with our Christmas dinner, but it would be delicious any time of the year.  It’s quick and easy to throw together and would go well as a side dish for all sorts of things. 

Two little minor changes I made to the recipe were to substitute fresh parsley for the bell pepper, only because I happened to have the parsely already on hand and didn’t feel like digging in the deep freeze for the bell pepper.  The bell pepper would be delicious!  I also chose to leave out the cheese, but it would be even better I’m sure if you included it.  I’m not certain, but I’m assuming that the American cheese called for would be like Velveeta cheese?  I would probably just use grated cheddar cheese instead.

Happy cooking!

Scalloped Corn Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 1 can cream-style corn
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup cracker crumbs (I used Ritz)
  • 2/3 cup grated American cheese
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tb melted butter

Directions:

Mix together all ingredients until well combined.  Pour into a greased 1 1/2-quart baking dish.  Bake at 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until set.

This recipe is being shared with:

6 Comments

Filed under Casseroles, Side Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Spinach Garlic Soup

Today I present, for your cooking and eating pleasure…green soup!

Okay, so that may not be the most appetizing picture in the world.  But trust me, especially if you are a garlic lover, you may just be tempted to pour this lovely concoction straight into a mug and drink it.  It is so yummy!  I often turn to this recipe when I have fresh spinach that I failed to use up quickly enough and is starting to get questionable. 

I imagine this as the kind of soup that might be served at those soup and sandwich places that are becoming so popular.  It would be perfect go along with a fancy panini or wrap or even just a grilled cheese. 

I’ve had this recipe for several years and have done some streamlining so that it can be cooked in one pot.  I love when I can reduce the number of pots and pans I have to dirty up for a recipe! This recipe is also super quick to throw together, another bonus!

Start by cooking up all that delicious garlic in butter just until you can start smelling it pretty good.  A great tip here is to use a mini cheese grater or microplane to quickly grate up those garlic cloves.

Add in the veggies, cooking just until the spinach starts to wilt, then stir in the broth.

All that needs to do is bubble away for about 10 minutes, then it’s time to add the flour, milk, and cream.  Sometimes I stop there, and sometimes I like to use my handy dandy immersion blender to blend it up.  It’s great either way.

And that’s it!  How easy was that? 🙂  I want to mention here that I made just half the recipe, so you’ll of course have more than I have here if you make the full recipe.

Spinach Garlic Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 10 ounces fresh spinach, chopped (finely chop this if you’re not going to blend the soup)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of nutmeg

Directions:

Melt butter in a saucepan.  Add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.  Add onion, carrots, and spinach, cooking just until the spinach wilts.  Stir in the chicken broth.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes, or until veggies are tender.

Whisk together the flour, cream, and milk.  Stir into the soup.  Simmer until soup is heated through, making sure not to let it come to a boil.  Puree soup, if desired.  Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste.

This recipe is being shared with:

2 Comments

Filed under Soups/Stews, Vegetarian