Main Course Recipes

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Risotto Stuffed Zucchini Flowers Recipe

Zucchini risotto is another of the many variations of the classic Italian rice dish. To add a little twist, I stuffed the risotto into edible zucchini flowers from our garden. I asked Lulu to plant zucchini in the garden at the beginning of March and I've been patiently waiting for at least 12 zucchini flowers to blossom. Early this morning, my little munchkin and I ran to the garden and found the flowers blooming. They made a beautiful decoration for our dinner meal, and are a wonderful sign of the season. Spring is definitely in bloom.

If zucchini flowers are hard to come by in your area, you could always serve the risotto as is. You’ll miss out on the “oohs” and “aahs” though! By itself zucchini can be bland, so I added some chimichurri sauce and pecorino cheese to enhance the flavor and aroma. This is especially important if you don’t have the flowers on hand. I didn’t want to add nuts (one person in my family is allergic to them), but they would be a welcome addition as well.

Stuffed Zucchini Flowers


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Artichoke Risotto Recipe Recipe

Artichoke Risotto Recipe

05.01.10 by Jackie

Stuffing risotto into jumbo artichokes can be a stylish way to serve the main course of your next dinner party. Given that the delivery device for the risotto is an artichoke, it only makes sense to repeat the flavors in the dish itself. In general, you shouldn't use too many ingredients to flavor a risotto, so I limited the additions to chopped roasted yellow bell peppers and artichoke hearts. To make the risotto creamier and more colorful, I also added cheddar cheese.

Mother's day is coming soon, and this dish would make an excellent choice if you’re planning on cooking for the mom(s) in your life. We'll be taking my mother-in-law to her favorite restaurant for lunch, and I'm planning on helping the girls prepare a special dinner at home. In case you need inspiration, I'll be posting dinner menu suggestions for Mother's day soon, so stay tuned.


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Gourmet Fish Taco Recipe Recipe

Gourmet Fish Taco Recipe

04.22.10 by Jackie

This fish taco dish is healthy, flavorful and easy to make. I cooked cod fillets en papillote, which just means that I wrapped the fish in paper and baked it in the oven. The pocket created by the parchment paper acts as a steam chamber and let the fish infuse with whatever ingredients you place inside. For this recipe I flavored the fish with garlic, ginger, fresh kumquat and creeping red thyme. I assembled the tacos with a slightly adapted version of yesterday’s creamy coleslaw recipe and some sweet preserved kumquats.

This is the meal that Chef Doreen described to me by email, except Doreen used red snapper. Everyone loved it, and I'll definitely be making this again over the summer. It’s really a perfect recipe for picnics because you can cook everything ahead of time and assemble right before eating. The cod turned out great, but really any flaky fish will work.

If you want to serve veggie tacos at the same time, check out my soy chorizo version.


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Bi Chay (Vietnamese Vegetarian Recipe) Recipe

If you're looking for tasty Vietnamese vegetarian food, this bì chay recipe is just for you. This version respects the true Buddhist vegetarian diet, which states no onion, garlic or shallots allowed. The flavors of the dish are mainly from the toasted jasmine rice ground into a fine powder, blended with very thinly shredded fried potatoes, taro, tofu and jicama. Jicama is a sweet turnip that is used quite often in Vietnamese cuisine (as well as in Mexican food) and it mimics the texture of pork skin.

I served this tofu dish with rice noodles, aromatic Vietnamese green herbs and a soy sauce-based dipping sauce made with coconut. The result is a simple, refreshing dish that is packed with flavor. It just proves that with the right ingredients and cooking techniques, even food made for a restricted Buddhist vegetarian diet can be satisfying. Don't believe me? You'll have to try it to for yourself!


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Summer Orzo Pasta Salad Recipe

Summer Orzo Pasta Salad

04.07.10 by Jackie

Orzo pasta salad is a very quick and easy dish to prepare. You can vary the ingredients in the sauce, but the basics are the same: you need the orzo pasta, some vegetables and a sauce. I made a roasted red bell pepper paste, added some green beans for color, lentils for protein and finished the dish with enoki mushrooms and cashew nuts for texture.

If you're looking for a quick and easy recipe for a picnic, this dish is an excellent choice. It's a light dish that pairs well with almost any kind of protein (hamburgers, fish, etc.). It's also very flexible; as spring turns into summer, you can incorporate many different seasonal vegetables into the recipe. Our extended family has a lot of picnics and potlucks this time of year, and I often prepare some variation of an orzo pasta salad. It's great for both the vegetarians and non-vegetarians in our house.


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