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Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian’

Have You Tried Perogies? They’re Polish Pockets of Pure Love!

In Do-it-Yourself on March 13, 2014 at 7:55 pm

ImageI never hear of any of my friends talking about Perogies, but it’s something my mother used to make for me as a kid, just the store-bought kind, and I’ve made it a few times as an adult. I’ve yet to make it by hand. A Polish acquaintance recently presented an entire package of Perogies that made me smile with glee, and that I will happily cook tonight!

What are Perogies? If you like Chinese dumplings and potstickers, and Italian raviolis and other stuffed pastas, you’ll love Perogies. What’s even better, you can find packages of Perogies in any grocery store in the freezer section for a comforting, but budget-friendly meal. Choose from a variety of cheese-filled or potato-onion-filled Perogies, and you can either just boil them or fry them up, have them plain, or dress them up.

It astounds me that more people don’t talk about or know about Perogies. Everybody loves them….even kids devour them.

I’ve found a good link that gives some ideas on various ways to top and/or make your Perogies into a one dish meal. Check these out if you’d like to venture into buying some pre-made Perogies and want ideas, or even better – if you’re wanting to make your own:

Background of Perogies (Pierogi)

Perogies – Serving Ideas

Make Your Own Perogies!

Photo Credit: Thibeault’s Table Blog

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Going Gnudi Tonight – Spinach Gnudi with Sage Butter

In Do-it-Yourself, Gluten Free on September 29, 2013 at 11:48 am


Going Gnudi today.

What is Gnudi?

Gnudi (yep…pronounced “Nudie”…see why I love this already?) is ricotta cheese dumplings, and different from Italian Gnocchi (pronounced ‘Neeyoh-kee’), which is a type of delicious potato pasta that takes more time, kneading, and work.

With the brilliant sunshine this morning and cooler fall air, I actually woke up thinking about Gnudi today. Terrible.

I’m going to go with it! I say tonight for Sunday dinner, I’ll make Spinach Gnudi with Sage butter. For those of you who love Italian food, but don’t want it to be completely carbtastic — or for those of you who have gluten-free diets — this is a great meal. For GF – substitute the gluten free flour of your choice – I would think rice flour would keep the flavors clean. I’m willing to bet Gnudi is kid-friendly too and you can sneak a good amount of veggies in it.

Once I get the hang of this recipe, I’ll continue to mix it up later by making butternut squash or pumpkin versions!

Here are some great links and blogs for Spinach Gnudi with Sage Butter:

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Photo and Recipe Credit: Chef Bertaccini’s Blog, The Art of Italian Dining

Recipe Credit

Brunch and Dinner-worthy: Zucchini Pancakes

In Do-it-Yourself, Gluten Free on August 4, 2013 at 1:37 pm


These zucchini pancakes were RIDICULOUSLY easy to make and were gobbled up immediately.

These aren’t sweet pancakes, nor do they have any flour – these are probably more like how hashbrowns or potato latkes are made. So maybe they’re more skillet cakes and not pancakes? I digress…

I didn’t bother looking up a recipe and poked around the kitchen and made stuff up as I went along. It turned out great. I used zucchini and chives I had from my garden.

I used a box grater to grate the zucchini into a bowl, skin on. I have a KitchenAid box grater, which is sturdy and doesn’t pop in and out like some flimsy graters do, and has an ergonomic handle. The prep time was next to nothing, but cooking time is a bit longer to help solidify the cakes.

Then as followed:

– Season the grated zucchini with kosher salt and cracked pepper, added some garlic powder too (but you can use fresh garlic, I was just lazy). Drizzle a tiny bit of extra virgin olive oil into this grated zucchini bowl.

– I chopped some banana peppers I had from the garden just to add some flavor and get some more body to the cakes, but it didn’t add any heat, you can add any kind of peppers or omit. Same with onions. I didn’t add any out of laziness, but you can.

– Whisk one egg in another bowl. Add kosher salt to the egg mixture and drizzle a little bit of olive oil into the egg. Pour this egg mixture into your grated zucchini bowl.

The olive oil was added so that the mixtures don’t burn.

– Heat some vegetable oil and a bit of butter (or just use butter) in a skillet to medium heat. I used a small cast iron pan, but you can use a non-stick or stainless steel pan. Spoon in the zucchini mixture into the skillet. I made mine about 3 inches wide or less so that the shape would maintain and I could flip the cakes easily. Leave some room in between zucchini mixture mounds.

– Keep zucchini mixture on the skillet at medium heat and use a spatula to push the sides in to keep a round shape. Don’t move or flip the zucchini cake. You’ll notice that zucchini releases a lot of water and steam, so this is normal. You’ll need to keep the zucchini cakes on the skillet until most of this water is evaporated.


– Press down the cake with a spatula after about 3 minutes to get the cake cooked throughout. By about 5 minutes or so, the cake should be able to move without turning into a big mess (similar to how buttermilk pancakes need some time to cook on one side before being flipped). Flip the cakes and let it do its thing for another 5 minutes until golden brown or darker.

– Plate and top with goat cheese (or other favorite cheese), chives, and if you wish, bacon crumbles.



Bright, Refreshing Dish in the Dog Days of Summer – Panzanella

In Do-it-Yourself on June 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm


In the dog days of hot, humid, but gorgeously sunny weather in Georgia – I tend to want cold flavorful dishes and foods that don’t need a lot of time in a hot sweltering kitchen.I had a lot of bright garden veggies and herbs, and unfortunately, a crusty baguette bought for a cheese party that had morphed into a rock hard baton worthy of doing some major organ damage if I ever decided to use that thing as a weapon.

I was hot and hungry, so I made some Panzanella – a Tuscan provencial summer dish that makes use of those once-crackling pieces of chewy bread, and your summer bounty of colorful and water-rich produce (you may have noticed a trend in my recent posts of summer dishes because it’s just too hot lately – Garden Squash and Green Tomato Bake and Vietnamese Spring Rolls).

Simply dice up tomatoes, cucumbers (cut out the seeds), and chop some herbs and the stale bread you have on hand. Mix with extra virgin olive and season with kosher salt and cracked pepper, and minced garlic (or garlic powder may work). You can add yellow bell peppers or other veggies for additional crunch and color, and even red wine vinegar if you have any, but the tomatoes I had provided enough tartness, so I didn’t add any. Grate some white cheese of your preference: Pecorino, Romano, Parmigiano- Reggiano, Gruyere, etc.

Combine – you can even be a little heavy handed with your spoon (or bare hand) to crush some of the tomatoes. Let sit for about 30 minutes.

Between the juices and oil, the bread will soak up all the flavors and juices – which makes this a satisfying meal on a hot day. For an all encompassing meal, you can put in shrimp or chicken, or lentils/beans if you’re vegetarian. Deliziosa!

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Garden Squash and Green Tomato Bake

In Do-it-Yourself on June 16, 2013 at 9:50 pm

For tonight’s dinner, I made a veggie side dish using a beautiful yellow squash, a green tomato, a few grape tomatoes, and herbs straight from my garden!

I sliced the squash and veggie into discs and chopped up the herbs (I had basil, marjoram, oregano, thyme, flat-leaf parsley, and small chives in my garden so I just picked up a few sprigs each), and preheated my oven to approximately 325, but I think 350 degrees F would be fine.

In another small bowl, I crumbled up some crackers and heel-ends of bread. In a shallow baking pan, I placed a layer of crumbs down and a layer of veggie disks. I then seasoned disks with kosher salt, pepper, and sprinkled with garlic powder (you can use fresh chopped garlic if you’d like), and some of the chopped herbs. Some olive oil was drizzled after arranging a layer.

I had a big block of aged Vermont white cheddar, so I shaved some of the cheese and placed it on the disks as well. I kept alternating layers of squash disks, herbs, crumbs, cheese, and tomato disks, crumbs, cheese and drizzling olive oil until finished and put the few ripe grape tomatoes I had on top. I placed my baking dish into the oven for about 25 minutes. The cheese had bubbled up.

Without the standard butter and milk (extra fat and sometimes squishy gloppiness) that casseroles usually have, I could still taste the squash and the sweet-tart flavor of green tomatoes, yet they still had some bite to it; the herbs and bit of cheese just brought out the flavors. I will definitely make this again!

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Make this Gorgeous, Easy, and Light Soup: White Turnip Soup

In Do-it-Yourself, Gluten Free on June 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm

This gorgeous and nutrient-packed White Turnip Soup was shared by my long-time pal, KC Scott, who formerly worked as a chef at the Ritz Carlton. Her 8-year-old daughter dubbed this Turnip Soup “divine.”

A lot of small, white turnips with full greens are available in supermarkets and farmers markets right now, but you can also make this soup out of leeks.


White Turnips with Greens

White Turnips with Greens

White Turnip Soup

Chop up some onions, shallots and garlic and sautee in either butter or olive oil (or use a combination of 1/2 butter and 1/2 olive oil).

She then whisked some chicken stock together (4-6 cups) using Better than Bouillon brand with water, but you can use other kind of pre-made chicken stock, and small-diced white turnips. Simmer this mixture for 8 minutes then add the julienned turnip greens for a quick minute or two.

If using chicken stock (and/or the butter) that already has sodium/salt in it, this recipe may not need any additional salt to season, but if using low-sodium, sodium-free stock, or unsalted butter, you can add some kosher or sea salt to taste. Use gluten-free stock or homemade stock, if you have gluten intolerance, or replace with vegetable stock if you’re vegetarian/vegan.

This soup can be paired with some crusty baguettes and cheese, Bruschetta, crudites, or anything else you’d like on the side.

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Image Credit (Soup): KC Scott
Image Credit (Turnips): Only Foods.net

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