Tag Archive | vegetarian

Sage Butter White Wine Sauce


When I hear butter sauce, I hear massively unhealthy, but when I tried to make this myself after having it at a restaurant, I found a little bit goes a really long way. It basically comes out to about 1 tbsp of butter per person.

This serving size was good for one really hungry person if this is the only thing you are eating, or maybe two people if this is sort of a “heavy side dish.”  What motivated me to make this sauce is that I got some  pumpkin gnocchi from Whole Foods. I got a little over half of a pound of it, and used all of it with this serving of sauce, so you can get an idea of the proportions. I know this would also go really well with butternut squash ravioli (~6-8 medium raviolis, depending on how saucy you like things), which might be a little easier to find. By the way, one huge plus to this sauce, is it takes maybe 10 minutes at the most, more like 5. So definitely get your pasta/gnocchi started first.


1 tbsp butter

2 tbsp fresh sage leaves chopped (about 5 leaves) (you definitely want to use the fresh stuff for this recipe)

1 tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped (optional)

1 tbsp white wine (also optional, just add another 1/2 tbsp butter instead)

2 tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus a little extra for the top (not the shaker stuff)

Salt (definitely recommend a good finishing salt, I used Bolivian Rose which was good but just some plain sea salt will work too)


1. Melt  butter over low heat in a pan that will fit your pasta when it’s done cooking also

2. Once melted, add the sage and rosemary and allow to cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally

3. Add the wine and keep warm until your pasta is done. If your pasta/gnocchi is almost done, just turning the burner off and letting the sauce hang out should be ok.

4. Once you drain the  pasta/gnocchi add it to the pan with the sauce and toss with cheese

5. When serving, top with a little salt and fresh grated parmesan cheese

Twice Baked Potatoes with Rosemary

Click on me ^ for a better view 🙂


I have always loved twice baked potatoes (because my mom’s are so amazing), and when I saw a recipe for mashed potatoes with rosemary I immediately thought I need to put that in twice baked potatoes. So here we are 🙂  While they can be slightly difficult at times (cooking times vary like crazy for potatoes) it’s always worth it in the end (and always tastes better than those pre-made ones at the supermarket). The most difficult part for me is making sure the potatoes are cooked right initially. If you don’t cook them enough, the potato is really hard to scoop and often results in a broken potato. If you cook them too long it gets really really soft and then it also breaks while scooping the potato. So don’t get discouraged if your potato breaks. I mess up at least one every time. It still tastes good, it just looks funny, but who cares?  A note about the liquid-type measurements (milk, butter, sour cream): Depending on how much potato you end up having, these measurements can vary. It’s obviously best to go a little light on these measurements, and add more as needed until you have a creamy texture (I compare the texture to thick mashed potatoes). If you don’t have or like rosemary, other herbs would probably also taste really good.

And last but not least, these can make awesome party snacks. I always make them when I have people over to watch football games because it’s just as easy to make 10 as it is 2. When I make them for a bunch of people I turn them “bite-sized.” To do this, I use Yukon Golds instead of Idaho. I would say the “filler” in this recipe is good for about 8 Yukon Golds, but again, be careful. Yukon golds are a little “creamier” so you just need to add the mix-ins as necessary.


2 Idaho potatoes, medium sized (or any good baking potato)

2 cloves minced garlic

1 Tbsp fresh rosemary (finely chopped)

1/4 cup shredded cheese of your choice (I use cheddar) plus another 1/4 cup for topping later)

1/3 cup milk (the richer the better, but all are good except for skim milk)

1/8 cup sour cream (you can use low fat)

1 tbsp butter

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

Salt to taste


1.Bake potatoes, wrapped in aluminum foil with a little salt, at 375 for approximately 1 hour. A fork should poke through with ease when they are done. (You can do this in the microwave also, obviously not with aluminum foil, and a plastic grocery bag instead. This takes about 5-7 minutes. I don’t recommend this method though)

2.Allow them to cool while beginning step 3.

3.While the potatoes are cooling, assemble all of the other ingredients in a medium-large mixing bowl (see above notes on the amounts for ingredients, go easy on the liquids!)

4.Cut the baked potatoes in half, lengthwise. Scoop out the insides and place them in mixing bowl, but leave about 1/4 – 1/2 inch on the inside.

5.With an electric hand mixer, combine all ingredients on medium speed until smooth and creamy (but not watery!). If you don’t have an electric mixer, you can get the job done with a potato masher or large fork, it will just take more effort and might be a bit chunkier.

6.Scoop the new filling back into the potatoes.

7.Sprinkle with remaining cheese and place back in oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. If you want the cheese a little crispy, let broil for a minute.

Cubano Vegano Sandwicho


This is a vegan/vegetarian twist on the classic cuban sandwich. Now, if you’re not interested in the vegan/vegetarian version, I highly recommend you don’t dismiss this post and, instead, alter it to fit your liking. One addition that I think makes this sandwich great is the mojo seitan. Which, if you prefer, you could make mojo chicken instead and use real ham and I think it would still turn out fantastic. The majority of this recipe was taken from a terrific Latin recipe book called “Viva Vegan” which also happens to be available through Google Books. So if you like this recipe, I would check it out (there’s also a hard copy floating around the Alachua county library system).


Mojo Seitan (or chicken)

1 package of Seitan strips (about 2 small chicken breasts)

1/2 cup orange juice

3 tablespoons lime juice

3 cloves of garlic

3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon salt


1 loaf of Cuban bread

Mayonnaise of your liking

Yellow mustard

Sliced pickles of your choice

5 ounces of vegan/vegetarian/real ham

About 6 slices of havarti cheese

A few tablespoons of butter/margarine.


1. Preheat the oven to 375 °F

2. Starting with the seitan. Open up the package and separate the slices. If they’re big slices, go ahead and cut them smaller. You want kind of a pulled pork style. If you’re using chicken, you can start with it raw and just cut it into strips. You may want to cut it into smaller strips later.

3. Combine the other Seitan ingredients in a medium sized bowl and stir together. Add the seitan/chicken and toss.

4. Pour the seitan/chicken into a glass pan and then put into the oven. Bake for 14-16 minutes (maybe longer for chicken). Flip occasionally if necessary to prevent burning. Be careful not to overbake. The seitan/chicken should come out juicy.

5. Meanwhile, slice the cuban bread into top and bottom halves and then lengthwise into sandwich size portions. Spread the mayonnaise on one side and mustard on the other. Place cheese on the top piece of bread (or both top and bottom if you like cheese).

6. Place the slices of ham on the bottom half of the sandwich. Dry the sliced pickles on a paper towel and place them on top of the ham.

7. Once the seitan/chicken is done, strain the extra liquid and place on top of the ham and pickles.

8. Close the sandwich and press down hard. Spread the butter on both sides of the sandwich and place on a baking sheet.

9. Bake in the oven at about 200 °F for about 5-10 minutes, flipping once. (I prefer baking to grilling, since sometimes its a pain to keep the sandwich together in a frying pan).


Mole Sauce with Enchiladas

Disclaimer: I think this recipe still needs some work. I made it according to my directions and it’s not how i meant it to be.


 I first had this mole sauce on a recent trip to New York at a GREAT Mexican restaurant that someone recommended (Aprovecho), and given that I don’t know of any restaurants around me that serve it  I decided I had to learn how to make it.

There are lots of different moles and I’m not even sure what derivation this would be considered, but it has cocoa powder in it which gives it a rich brown color and gives it a spicy and sweet combo that’s just delicious! Traditional/ authentic mole apparently has 20+ ingredients and takes hours, if  not days, to make. Given that I don’t have that amount of time I tried to find some shortcuts. So I am no mole expert, but I thought this was pretty good. As far as spice goes, I prefer things on the less spicy side, so the recipe is based on that, and then there are some suggestions to make it spicier if you prefer. In addition to serving this over enchiladas, you can also just spread some on tacos, burritos, etc. In the pictures I have it served over enchiladas (top) and  chile rellenos (bottom). The recipe for chile rellenos will follow soon.  The sauce gets even better after it sits for a day or two, so feel free to make it ahead. It also freezes well and is worth making a double batch.


Mole Sauce

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion (I use red), finely chopped (especially if you aren’t going to put in food processor, which I highly recommend)

4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp garlic salt or garlic powder

2 tbsp chili powder

3 tbsp all-purpose flour

4 cups (32 oz) vegetable broth (I used chicken broth once and it just wasn’t as good to me, so I don’t recommend that substitution)

1 dried pepper, medium spicy (they sell these in clear plastic bags at places like Fresh Market or Ward’s if you live in Gainesville. See picture below). If you can’t find it, replace with ~ 1 tsp of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes, and of course add more if you like things really spicy

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes

3 tbsp cocoa powder

3 heaping tbsp of light brown sugar

Salt and Pepper


6-8 large soft flour tacos or small burrito sized (about 7′ diameter)

1 green pepper

1 onion

1 can black beans

Shredded cheese  of your choice

Mexican seasonings (fajita seasoning, cumin, garlic, etc)



1. Heat oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat

2. Add onion, garlic, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, and garlic salt and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally

3. Mix in chili powder and flour, stir for three minutes (add your other spices here too, if you aren’t using the dried pepper)

4. Slowly whisk in broth and increase heat to medium high

5. Add the whole dried pepper and can of diced tomatoes

6. Boil until it is reduced into  half to 2/3 of the liquid you started with (about 35-45 minutes),stirring occasionally. The sauce may still seem thin at this point, but once you add the cocoa powder, sugar, and then run through the food processor it will become thicker.

7. Remove from heat

8. Remove the dried pepper and if you want to you can put a few slices back in for extra spice

9. Whisk in the cocoa powder and brown sugar. (I’ve read that you can substitute 2 oz. of chopped dark chocolate instead)

10. Season with salt and pepper

11. Put the sauce in the food processor for a few seconds, until you have a smooth consistency

12. Pour the sauce over whatever sounds good, or the enchiladas described below


During the 30 minutes that your sauce is reducing you can start to make whatever you want to put it on. Here’s how I make the enchiladas for this dish, but you can put whatever you want inside including beef or chicken.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. Warm the black beans and cook your veggies/meat as desired. I cook my veggies in an omelette pan on medium high heat for a 3-4 minutes and season with fajita seasoning, garlic salt, and cumin (similar things to the mole sauce).

3. Warm the tortillas one of 2 ways. Either way, do one at a time.

a: Unhealthy but delicious: In an omelet pan, heat about 1/8 in deep canola or olive oil over medium heat. Place one tortilla in the oil for about 5 seconds on each side. Remove with tongs and let excess oil drip. Then assemble as described below.

b: Healthier and still really good: Heat non-stick oil pan or very lightly oiled pan to prevent sticking, and warm the tortilla for 5-10 second on each side.

4. Assemble the enchilada: While face open, sprinkle cheese, a spoonful of beans (preferably warmed), and a spoonful of veggies down the middle. Then I sprinkle a little more cheese and carefully roll to close them. Place in a pan that has been sprayed so the tortillas don’t stick (or put a ladle of sauce at the bottom)

5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until your pan is full or you run out of things to assemble the enchiladas with.

6. Top with A LOT of sauce and sprinkle cheese on top

7. Bake in oven for 20 minutes

Latin Style Pink Garlic Sauce with Sweet Potato Fries


The real “recipe” hear is the sauce. I’m not sure what the official name is, and I’m also not sure if I’m making it the official way, but it’s as close as I can get. This sauce is kind of like the “pink sauce” you get at a lot of Latin restaurants. I’ve always been served fried yuca with it. It’s amazing. Also a note about my sweet potato fries, they are far from perfect, and since I bake them and cut them in big pieces they just don’t come out overly crispy, but like I said, it’s the sauce that I really care about.


Sweet Potato Fries

3 medium sweet potatoes

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt (or garlic salt)

Latin Style Pink Sauce

2 Tbsp Mayonnaise

1.5 tsp Catsup

2 cloves garlic (minced/pressed)

1/8 tsp garlic salt or garlic powder (if you use powder, add a pinch of salt)

1/8 tsp lemon juice


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Wash and thoroughly dry the sweet potatoes
  3. Cut them into the size “fries” you want
  4. Put them in a large bowl and toss to coat with olive oil.
  5. Add the salt and toss again
  6. Spread evenly on a large baking pan and bake fore 30-35 minutes, tossing half way through (for a little extra crispiness, broil for just a minute but watch closely)
  7. While the potatoes are baking, mix the ingredients of the sauce in small container and whisk with a fork until thoroughly combined

Blackened Tofu


I often hear that tofu is strange tasting or bland. But with these spices and a bit of oil, they are perfect light addition to lunch or dinner and is an amazingly fast preparation.


Hard or firm tofu, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
Blackening seasoning (there are many recipes available which are mix of paprika, thyme, onion and garlic powder, granulated sugar, salt, pepper, cayenne, oregano, cumin and nutmeg, but I just used a packet)
Olive oil/grapessed oil 1 tbl.


1. Sprinkle tofu slices with blackening seasoning and set in refrigerator until ready to cook.
2. Heat up skillet or pan with oil just to coat pan lightly (may be less/more than 1 tbl) at medium/high heat.
3. Season tofu slices with more salt/pepper and place in sizzling skillet
4. Cook on both sides for about 1-2 minutes until lightly browned.
5. Enjoy!

Red Wine Barley Risotto


Almost everything can be changed/swapped without messing things up. For this recipe I’ve listed the necessary and optional ingredients separately so that you can get creative.



4 1/2 cups reduced sodium vegetable  broth (or reduced sodium chicken broth)

2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

1 red onion, diced

2 cloves garlic

1/8 tsp thyme

1/2 cup pearled barley (you can replace the barley with more rice if you prefer/can’t find it)

1/2 cup Arborio rice (you can replace the rice with barley if you want some extra protein)

1/2 cup red wine (or white, both are delicious)

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (preferably not the stuff that’s pre-grated and in the green shaker)

1 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground pepper


2 cups broccoli florets

1/2 red bell pepper

1 cup frozen peas

Sun-dried tomatoes

Note that the barley or rice can be substituted for one another depending on your preference, as long as you have 1 cup of one or both of those. Also note that the wine choice between red and white is optional, and to be honest you don’t NEED it, but it makes it extra tasty


  1. In a small saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a gentle simmer over high heat. Reduce the heat to low for the remainder of the cooking
  2. Cook broccoli florets and red bell pepper however you prefer, or not at all (I saute mine for a few minutes). Add the frozen peas to the other veggies while they are warm. This defrosts the peas but leaves them with a nice texture for the risotto.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan (something at least 2 inches deep, but with a large diameter) over medium heat.
  4. Add the onion, garlic, and thyme and cook until the onion is soft (~5 minutes)
  5. Add the barley and/or rice and allow to cook while stirring frequently for  ~2 minutes
  6. Add the wine and stir until absorbed. The time for the absorption here, and for the rest of this dish will vary. I consider the liquid absorbed when I can stir it, and there is just a tiny bit of liquid gathered around the starches still bubbling. The liquid is basically gone, but the food is not cooking in a dry pan either.
  7. Once the wine is absorbed, add 1 cup of warm broth, and repeat the stirring process until absorbed
  8. Add 1/2 cup of broth and stir until absorbed
  9. Repeat step 7 five more times. You will have used 4 cups of broth by this time, and the risotto should look very creamy, almost cheesy.
  10. This time, add the last 1/2 cup of broth. Stir until about 1/2 to 3/4 of the liquid is absorbed, and add your veggies/mix-ins of choice (broccoli florets, peppers, peas, and sun-dried tomatoes for my case)
  11. Stir in the butter and Parmesan (you can go lighter on these ingredients if you want to be a little healthier)
  12. The texture at this point should be pretty thick and creamy (if it’s not, stir it for another minute  or so over the heat). Remove from heat and check the taste and season with some salt and pepper  (it’s important to check the taste first for this recipe because it can get really salty between the broth and the cheese).