Vegetarian Recipes

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Tomato Chutney Appetizers with Blue Cheese Recipe

Living in a multicutural household, I love melding flavors on our plates. This evening, I had leftover tomato chutney and created mini blue cheese appetizers. How cute did they turn out? 

The spiciness from the chutney against the richness from the cheese is always a hit. And if you prepare the chutney in advance (you could also use any store-bought chutneys mixed with a bit of tomato sauce), you can bake these adorable appetizers in no time.

Aria, at only 28-months-old, is already the best sous-chef a mom could ever hope for. She helped me play and create disks of puff pastry. Aria's always eager to learn new things. Cooking with your toddler is a great method to practice and learn new shapes.


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Beet Quinoa Recipe Recipe

Beet Quinoa Recipe

03.20.14 by Jackie

Quinoa is a fabulous side dish that contains no gluten. This gives you other options besides pasta and rice. Last night, I prepared it with beets. It added a beautiful color and subtle sweetness. I usually like to add beets to plain, bland food; they revive the most boring dishes and aren't complicated to cook. Simple shredded beets cook extremely fast. 

Baby Aria is so talkative now and her thirst for knowledge is growing everyday. She always asks what she's eating. She loves how "funny" the word quinoa sounds and she adores beets. I bet she's going to request more of this dish in the near future!


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Wild Mushroom Farro Recipe Recipe

Wild Mushroom Farro Recipe

03.18.14 by Jackie

Farro is a great substitute for pasta. It's gluten free and is cooked in the same manner as rice. The girls asked me to prepare a risotto-style orzo, so I figured if I flavored it with their favorite ingredients of the season, they would barely notice the difference. I used a combination of wild mushrooms, including porcini, crimini, shiitake and chanterelles along with the farro alternative. 

I'm pleased to report everyone loved farro; I was even more surprised that they preferred it to pasta and rice. I think it's because changing the menu once in a while is nice. With their addictive personalities, they might request that I cook farro every week from now on!


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Beet Polenta Appetizer Recipe Recipe

Beet Polenta Appetizer Recipe

03.12.14 by Jackie

I love the flavor combination of beets and sage; I've used the same marriage of flavors in soups, pasta dishes and vinaigrettes on multiple occasions. This time, I made a variation of a polenta appetizer and flavored it with this particular pairing. 

The beets gave a regal color to the bite-size portions and I repeated the sage flavor in the cream topping. The corn nugget garnish was my "cherry on top" and was a reminder of the cornmeal used for the polenta. 

You’ve probably noticed over the years that our family hosts a large number of dinner parties. My favorite part is creating new appetizers because it really levels the playing field for me. First I come up with a flavor combination that I know works incredibly well as my basis, then turn it into a miniature, aesthetically pleasing, unique piece of art. You know the saying: you eat with your eyes first! 


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Cannellini Bean Soup with Arugula Recipe

Cannellini bean soup is an easy dish I can whip up in no time. It's also a meal I can be sure everyone is going to enjoy. It's vegetarian, it contains no major food allergens and even baby Aria can eat it easily.

I try to always have fresh greens in my refrigerator. I usually toss them in a simple salad, I also make pesto or use them as garnish for appetizers, pizza and sandwiches. The addition of arugula at the last minute provides color and a peppery flavor to the otherwise fairly bland, pale soup. To ensure the nutrients of the arugula were still intact, I added finely chopped arugula only at the last minute, so it barely wilted in the soup.


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