Vegetarian Recipes

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Saffron Carrot Orzo Risotto Recipe Recipe

I usually cook risotto when I want to make good use of excess pantry staples in my kitchen. In this risotto, instead of using rice, I selected orzo pasta. I kept the dish vegetarian and flavored it with saffron, carrots and very little Pecorino cheese. 

To ensure a good, creamy consistency, I moistened the orzo risotto with white wine, homemade vegetable stock and a dab of butter.

I find that the combination of butter and shallots makes for the most flavorful dishes, and this is no exception. The risotto was so exquisite, I served it as the main course. It's filling and delicious; you won't be disappointed. 


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Zucchini Tofu Recipe Recipe

Zucchini Tofu Recipe

09.10.13 by Jackie

This tofu stir fry dish is a staple in our home and I make it at least once a month. It's quick to prepare, flavorful and packed with fresh green vegetables. I pan-fried tofu pieces and tossed them with onions and zucchini slices in a thick sauce (I used tapioca starch as the thickening agent).

My parents are excited to spend time with little Aria this month; they haven't seen her since she was 11 months old. I've been so busy these past few days wrapping up work and packing for our trip to Paris, that I completely forgot about picking our vegetables. There have been beautiful zucchini waiting to be harvested and I was so excited to be able to cook with them. So it was a real bummer this morning when I found wilted, unusable zucchini flowers. I still harvested the large zucchini and prepared it with tofu. It's not an elaborate meal but it's tasty and nutritious. 


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Tomato Chana Dal Spiced Curry Recipe Recipe

I rarely make this dish because Daddy, my father-in-law, prefers chana dal without tomatoes. But today, I made an exception and prepared the gram lentils with the remaining San Marzano tomatoes we harvested from our vegetable garden. The weather has been incredibly hot lately in the Bay Area and a few tomatoes are still peaking daily. 

First, I boiled the soaked chanal dal until softened. Then I prepared a gravy using the tomatoes, mixed chopped onions and a bit of ginger. The marriage of the natural sweetness from the onions with the tanginess from the tomatoes works well. Once the thick sauce is ready, I added the chanal dal, drizzled a bit of water to thin the texture of the dish and added the signature Indian finishing touch of garam masala. Lulu and the girls absolutely loved it! Hopefully Daddy will come around as well.


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Fig Marinara Pasta Recipe Recipe

Fig Marinara Pasta Recipe

09.05.13 by Jackie

Lala, my husband's youngest sister, helped to maintain our vegetable and fruit garden all summer. She definitely has a green thumb and has been so good watering our tomato plants and keeping them alive (even when I was out of town for the Banh Mi book promotion in Houston last week). Lala has just started 4th grade this month. She's a very witty girl, full of energy and such a foodie. She told me she didn't want to have to eat the school lunches this year and would prefer eating homemade food for her back-to-school lunch (click on the link for more back-to-school lunch suggestions).

I told her it would be possible only if she helps me in the kitchen once she's done with her homework. She started a chart with the menu of the week and she seemed so thrilled! I couldn't be more excited because these are more precious moments I get to  share with my munchkin, plus it's about sharing my passion for cooking. 

So this evening, we gathered a few San Marzano tomatoes, basil flowers and Brown Turkey figs. You're probably wondering what we made with all these fantastic ingredients? Pasta sauce! I sweetened the tomato sauce with a hint of maple syrup and tossed medium shell pasta into the delectable sauce. It’s sweet without being overpowering, and the figs give it a wonderful new dimension.


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Olive Phyllo Cup Appetizer Recipe Recipe

Delicious food doesn't have to be heavy or rich in calories. Selecting ingredients wisely is the key to making these flavorful phyllo cup appetizers. Instead of using calorie-packed mascarpone cheese, I strained plain yogurt and combined the thick mixture with green and kalamata olives, roasted red bell peppers, garlic, lemon, curly parsley and extra-virgin olive oil. I also added tuna and an anchovy filet for extra brininess (you could omit them for a veggie version). The warm pan-seared Nabulsi cheese helped tie together the Mediterranean flavors of these fancy bites.

My philosophy is if you have to sacrifice flavor by using low-fat products, then don't eat it. I'd rather eat in small portions or not eat at all. Of course, eating the way we eat in our home means having to stay active all day. Juggling between my everyday tasks and my wonderful 21-month-old daughter gives me plenty of occasions to spend these calories. 

baby
21-month-old Aria going grocery shopping


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