Vegetarian Recipes

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Mushroom Barley Risotto Recipe Recipe

Mushroom Barley Risotto Recipe

04.29.14 by Jackie

My husband Lulu has been traveling a lot these days for his work. Being a vegetarian has never been an issue since we live in the Bay Area. But sometimes it can be tricky for him to find foods that fit his diet, especially when visiting the Southeast. 

Since he hadn't eaten much apart from lettuce and boiled tofu, I figured comfort food would fill the void he had experienced while traveling. For his return, I prepared a mushroom barley risotto because barley is a nutritious grain that supports a healthy lifestyle with complex carbohydrates and proteins, compared to the more traditional rice grains.

The only downside is it's much less starchy than rice. So I added Colby cheese for texture and color and flavored it with nutmeg to complement the natural aroma of barley. 

Since the barley risotto didn't have a striking contrast of colors. I served it on a bed of string beans. When serving foods that are visually a bit monotone, I always try to pair them with other colorful ingredients. Remember, you eat with your eyes first!


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Muhammara and Cucumber Bites (Healthy Appetizer Recipe) Recipe

I created these irresistible appetizers for the California Lavash team a while back. It was their idea to combine muhammara (walnuts, charred red bell pepper, fresh pomegranate seeds and mint flavored spread), cucumber, dill, mint and cilantro in their fabulous, healthful lavash flatbread. 

Being the ultimate hostess, in my opinion, requires the art of not only making delicious food but also creating enticing and delectable bites to make sure you please all your guests. I formed twirling portions, which is ideal if you're serving a small number of people. If you're hosting a large party, I would suggest rolling regular pinwheels to save time.

I think this type of food is especially appealing to female guests. The colors are striking, almost bewitching. The appetizers have a lot of flavor, yet are super healthy. If you're looking for store-bought muhammara, I highly recommend Haig's. But if you don't want to be too adventurous, you can replace the pomegranate spread with others such as crumbled feta and chopped olives mixed with Greek yogurt and lemon juice and substitute a touch of oregano for the mint.


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Balsamic Marinated Eggplant Recipe Recipe

It's Earth Day and the girls' school holds many events to educate them about how they can demonstrate support for environmental protection. Sunny, my 18-year-old sister-in-law,  made a vow to go vegan this week. So the idea behind this summery dish is to highlight the beauty of fine balsamic vinegar while keeping the rules that are set for Earth Week in support of what's being done worldwide. For this dish, I simply sliced large meaty eggplants and sprinkled salt over them to draw out the moisture and prevent any bitter taste or soggy texture. Then, the only thing that mattered was the flavors for the marinade. 

I used quality balsamic vinegar, a bit of unsweetened cocoa, Dijon mustard as a binder, curly parsley for color and pine nuts for garnish. My favorite pairing with this dish is seafood. Stay tuned for tomorrow's recipe and see what kind of fish I cooked.  


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How To Make Homemade Soymilk Recipe

How To Make Homemade Soymilk

04.15.14 by Jackie

A few weeks ago, we had our family friend Tam over for tea time. I raved about the fresh soymilk that we buy locally from a small shop in San Jose. Tam insisted we should make our own, and I have ever since.

The ingredient list is easy: a few soaked soy beans, filtered water and the sweetener of your choice. I've perfected the recipe since I prepare it almost daily. I flavor the soymilk with a bit of vanilla, nutmeg, mung beans and raw peanuts for extra richness. It's much healthier than the one you find at the store. All you need is a high-powered blender, a fine-mesh strainer and 30 minutes for the soy beans to cook. It's that easy to make your own soymilk!


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Picnic Quinoa Salad Recipe Recipe

Picnic Quinoa Salad Recipe

04.14.14 by Jackie

 

My husband Lulu, baby Aria and I had a delightful time at San Gregorio beach this weekend. He took care of most of the food; I only prepared a salad. For easy transportation, I cooked quinoa and pre-seasoned it with a salad vinaigrette. I also added carrot, corn, broccolizucchini, sun-dried tomatoes and sweet cheese.

Lulu was so thoughtful and took care of the rest. He woke up early, took care of our new puppy Ernest, went groceries shopping, bought a baguette and a wonderful array of cheeses (manchego, out-of-this world truffle cheese, goat cheese, etc.) and packed the trunk of the car with our picnic bag with plates and cutlery. But I think the most beautiful surprise was when we reached the beach. He gave Aria a gift of a lovely beach sand toy set and bubble kit. You should have seen the excitement in her eyes; it almost made me teary.
 
It was such an incredible day: the weather was gorgeous; it was slightly overcast and the sounds of the waves were very pleasant. The view was spectacular with a beautiful soft sand beach and dunes to the right and a bridge to the left, complete with a creek underneath and a tunnel worn into the rocks nearby. We also enjoyed good food and stayed there for a few hours. My favorite part was watching Lulu and Aria building sand castles. Loved it!

Aria

 


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