The Glenribbeen Baked Egg
– served as usual with a portion of fried mushrooms on a dressed plate.
Necessary; A combi-oven that can grill/cook while microwaving & a ranikin,
Recipe: oil, egg, milk, Tabasco, Herb-de-Provence, grated cheese & yoghurt.
Method; add 1 tsp oil to manikin. Break in (free-range) egg, add 1Tblsp milk and a good dash of Tabasco. Add herb and salt/pepper if wished.
Beat well with fork. Place in combi-oven 2mins at full heat and 33% micro-power.
Remove – mixture should be ‘set’. Sprinkle liberal amount of grated cheese (I favour mix of Mozzarella & Cheddar). Top with yoghurt and sprinkle chilli and add halved tomato and put back in combi-oven as before for 1minute.
Add oregano-leaf to garnish.
Start to finish 4 minutes. I love this with potato-bread or good wheaten bread.
Els’s Mexican Bean Soup.
This is a heart-warming soup Els dug out of an old Dutch cookbook “Cooking Without Meat” seemingly from the days before vegetarian went mainstream.
2tbsp olive oil 1 chopped onion 1 garlic clove 1 green Spanish pepper 375 (tin) chopped tomatoes 1 1/2 tsp chilli powder 1lt Vegetable stock 2tbsp tomatoe purée 470gm (tin) red or chilie beans (Els sometimes uses 1/2 and 1/2 125gm maize (small tin). 1 avocado 1tbsp coriander. Salt – pepper- Tabasco. Method; Fry onion in hot oil add garlic, green pepper, tomatoes and chili-powder. Simer for 3 – 4 mins. Add stock and tomato purée + 3/4 of the beans. Simmer for 30mins with pan-lid closed. Then purée all in blender. Pour back into pan and add rest of beans and the maize. Add salt, pepper, Tabasco to taste. Chop the avocado roughly and add to soup + fresh-chopped coriander. Allow to cool! Reheat soup and when serving ‘dress’ with coriander leaves. ————————————————————————————————————————————
Mushroom Soup in a Blaa
“This is an easy recipe and quantities of ingredients don’t have to be exact, so you can avoid using the weighing scales. I serve this in a crusty roll, such as one of Barron’s traditional blaas*,” explains Eithne Barron. “The bread taken out of the roll to make space for the soup is used as breadcrumbs to thicken the soup. The cut-off tops can be buttered or dipped in olive oil.” (*The Waterford ‘blaa’ is a local speciality bread roll).
2 handfuls mushrooms, chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
500ml water or stock
1 handful breadcrumbs
½ teaspoon chopped chilli or chilli flakes (optional)
Splash milk or cream (optional).
In a saucepan with the lid on cook the onions, garlic and mushrooms in the butter until the onion is soft. Add the stock, which can be chicken, beef or vegetable, or water, with a dash of soya sauce. Gently simmer for 10 minutes.
Cut the tops off four rolls. Remove most of the inside, leaving a thick enough crust to hold the soup. Brush the inside with melted butter and place in the oven for 10 minutes at 180°c, 350°F, GAS 4 to crisp up a little.
In the meantime, make breadcrumbs from the insides of the rolls.
To finish the soup add the breadcrumbs and cook for a further 5 minutes until the soup thickens and becomes deliciously creamy. Add a splash of milk or cream to finish if you fancy it, and top with chopped parsley and/or chilli in winter.
Spoon the soup gently into the rolls and serve.
Very nice vegetarian gravy – delish -)
Beetroot Risotto with Boilie Cheese
by Eunice Power of Powersfield House
Eustice runs a guest-house and cookery school near Dungarvan and is a lovely lady.
Beetroot gives this dish a wonderfully vibrant colour. The flavour of the Boilie cheese is a perfect foil to the earthiness of the beetroot. Boilie is a soft handmade cow’s milk cheese preserved in sunflower oil, flavoured with fresh garden herbs.
It is made at Fivemiletown Creamery in Co Tyrone and is available in most supermarkets, if you can’t get Boille use a soft goat’s cheese such as Ardsallagh or Bluebell farm or a Sheep’s Cheese such as Knockalara.
1 onion, peeled & finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled & sliced
225g/ 8oz Arborio rice
Salt & pepper
750ml /1 ¼ pints vegetable stock
3 medium sized beetroot cooked and peeled
4 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese
Extra parmesan cheese to serve
8 balls of Boilie cheese
A handful of finely chopped chives.
Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes or until the onion is beginning to soften. Add the rice, salt and pepper and cook stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add just enough stock to cover the rice and continue cooking, stirring all of the time until most of the stock has been absorbed.
Continue adding stock until most of it has been absorbed and continue in this way adding more stock until it is completely absorbed and the rice is tender.
Meanwhile liquidise the beetroot with some freshly milled salt and black pepper, then stir this into the rice. Heat through for 1 – 2 minutes, remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan.
Adjust the seasoning, divide between four bowls, crumble some Boilie cheese on each portion, and sprinkle with finely chopped chives.
30 minutes or fewer
- 1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped (4 cups)
- 1 ¾ cups green seedless grapes, divided
- ¾ cup toasted slivered almonds, divided
- ¼ cup chopped sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 2 Tbs. sherry vinegar
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 cup loosely packed baby arugula
1. Purée cucumber, 1 1/2 cups grapes, 1/2 cup almonds, onion, and garlic in blender or food processor until smooth. Add almond milk, vinegar, and oil; pulse until combined. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
2. Halve remaining grapes, and combine with remaining almonds
and arugula in small bowl. Garnish gazpacho with 1/4 cup halved-grape mixture.
“We serve this for breakfast at our farmhouse and are amazed at the requests for the recipe.”
Ingredients For the Granola
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tbsp honey
300g Flahavan’s Organic Jumbo Oats
2 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 tbsp sesame seeds
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
80g flaked almonds
3 tbsp desiccated coconut or shaved coconut
500ml natural yoghurt
250g berries in season or berry compote
1. Heat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4
2. Mix the oil, maple syrup and honey in a large bowl. Add in all the remaining ingredients, except the coconut, and mix well.
3. Pour the granola mix onto a baking tray and spread evenly. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes, then mix in the coconut and bake for a further 10 minutes. Keep an eye on this mixture and stir from time to time, as it can burn easily around the edges.
4. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
5. To serve, layer some granola, a few spoons of natural yoghurt and berries into glass bowls or pretty glasses. Repeat the layers, ending with yoghurt. Decorate with a few berries.
Catherine’s Tip: “As breakfast is such an important meal of the day, I am always looking for new ideas so try adding chopped dried apricots or dried figs or any dried fruit to the mix after the baking process. Just ensure that it has cooled before adding them.”
Variation: Replace the jumbo oats and seeds with 450g of Flahavan’s Multi Seed Porridge Oats.
More on Oats;
Sundried Tomato, Roasted Red Pepper and Chive Tartlets with Oatmeal Pastry
“My family loves these – we take them on picnics and to the beach. They are great with a rocket, spinach and walnut salad.”
150g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
50g Flahavan’s Progress Oatlets
100g butter, chilled and diced
1/2 tsp thyme, finely chopped
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp chilled water (may need less)
For the filling
5 large eggs
100g pancetta, cubed
2 sundried tomatoes, chopped
2 red peppers, roasted and diced or 1/2 a jar
100ml crème fraiche
100g grated Gruyere cheese, reserving a little for the top
2 tbsp chopped chives
Freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4.
2. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl. Add the oatlets. Add the butter and thyme and rub into the flour for form breadcrumbs. Stir in the egg yolk and sufficient cold water to mix and form a dough.
3. Wrap the dough in cling film and allow to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
4. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface and using a large scone cutter cut discs to line the greased mini tins with pastry. Place a circle of baking paper over the pastry and fill with baking beans.
5. Transfer to the oven and bake blind for about 8 minutes. Remove the beans and paper; return the tartlets to the oven for a further 3 – 4 minutes. Keep an eye on them.
6. For the filling, place all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix gently. Carefully, pour the filling into the pastry case and sprinkle the remaining Gruyere cheese on top.
7. Bake the tartlets for 10 – 12 minutes, or until the filling is set.
8. Serve warm or cold with a green salad.
Catherine’s Tip: Omit the pancetta and add spinach for a delicious vegetarian option.
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Another from Mother Nature’s Network;
Try a healthy candy alternative: Chocolate Fig Candy
If you’re a sucker for salted caramel chocolates, try this fruit alternative with a healthier spin.
5 dried figs
1/2 ounce dark chocolate
Lay a piece of wax paper or parchment paper on a plate.
Heat dark chocolate in a small bowl in the microwave at 20 second intervals.
Stir often and heat until JUST melted (chocolate burns easily in the microwave).
Dip 1/2 fig in chocolate, put on plate, and dust with salt.
Refrigerate for 1/2 hour and serve.
Distinguished Gentleman’s Burnt Whiskey Caramel.
Step 1Ingredients & Prep
1 -2 cups Whiskey
5 tbs unsalted butter cut into pieces
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp sea salt
1 tbs vanilla
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
High Quality Sea Salt- Fluer de Sel
Prep & Equipment:
Butter an 8” square baking pan. Lay a piece of parchment on top of the pan. Lightly spray with cooking oil. Set aside
Wax Paper to wrap caramels.
Step 2Make the Whiskey Cream
Whiskey is flammable **Please use extreme caution and follow the instructions**
In a small saute pan add the cream, butter, vanilla, salt & two cups of whiskey. Stir to combine the ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat & set aside.
Step 3Make the Burnt Caramel
Whiskey is flammable*** Please use extreme caution in this step and follow the instructions.
In a large heavy bottomed saucepan, bring the sugar, corn syrup & water to a boil, stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
Have a bowl with water and a heat proof silicone brush by your side. Once the mixture is boiling, use your brush dipped into the water to remove the sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan.
Gently swirl the pan back and forth. Do not stir. Continue to remove the sugar crystals. Repeat until the mixture turns a dark amber color. Remove the pot from the stove and place onto counter top. Do not stir the Whiskey Cream into the mixture on the stove.
Carefully stir in the Whiskey Cream mixture. The mixture will bubble up. Return the mixture to the stove and place your candy thermometer onto the pot. Stir frequently until the mixture reaches 250º F. / 120º C.
Remove the pot from the heat.
Step 4Cool the Caramel
Pour the caramel into the baking sheet lined with parchment. Let the caramel cool for 20 minutes and generously sprinkle with Fleur de Sel.
Cool for at least an hour before cutting into squares. I waited two.
Cut the caramel into squares and wrap in wax paper. Enjoy! Send as Christmas prezzies or cimply bring along to friends.
I know, when you think paella, you think seafood paella. But the real main event is beautifully cooked, tomato and saffron infused short-grain rice with a caramelized crust (socarrat) on the bottom. Add a few baby artichokes, green beans, and garlic and you’ve got a terrific vegetarian paella.
We have this beautiful copper paella pan that we received as a wedding present (thanks Anita & Dave!). Theoretically it would serve 3-4, but Sarina and I have very little willpower with this dish, so I use the copper pan when it is just for the two of us. You can do it very successfully in a (non-cas iron) skillet, or buy an inexpensive, dedicated paella pan.
Paella can be a deep topic. Ask 10 Spaniards how to make it right, and you’ll get at least 20 opinions. But there is no need to be intimidated. I’ll show you a simple method that will give you delicious results. If you feel an urge to learn more of the details, this article by Norberto Jorge is a great place to start. His original article in Fine Cooking got me started on this dish.
For the vegetable stock, you need a clear broth with a mild flavor not dominated by any one vegetable. Be choosy in the store, many of them are thick and soupy or full of MSG. This one from Seitenbacher is my favorite. (Showing you the Amazon link because it has a good picture, not because I think you need a 6-pack. Whole Foods carries it, at least in my area).
Saffron is the world’s most expensive spice by weight. Made from the stigma of a crocus flower, it takes thousands to make a single ounce. That makes it tempting for disreputable dealers to adulterate or simulate the product. Fortunately you just need a pinch. Be sure and by the whole stigma, not a powder, and from a brand you trust. (If in doubt, I can vouch for this one.)
Finally, you have to have the right rice. Please, I beg you, don’t go making this recipe with Uncle Ben’s or basmati and then tell me it was awful. I believe you. I’ve always used thisone from Matiz which is undoubtedly overpriced, but works beautifully. Someone let me know if they have another traditional favorite.
Enough preliminaries, let’s make some paella!
Serves 3-4 (unless you are greedy like me)
Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free
- pinch of saffron (see note above)
- 3 T. olive oil
- 3 baby artichokes, prepared as described here, but quartered instead of sliced
- 12 green beans, trimmed
- 1 whole head garlic, top 1/3 trimmed off
- 1 small onion, grated on large holes
- 1 small tomato, grated, or 1 small can of diced tomatoes
- 3.5 cups vegetable broth (see note above)
- 1.5 c. paella rice (see note above)
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary (optional)
- salt to taste
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- Put your 14-inch paella pan over medium heat. Wrap the saffron in a tiny packet of tin foil and toast for a minute over a low flame in the pan. Set the packet aside.
- Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the oil to the skillet. Add the artichokes, green beans, and the whole head of garlic. Season with salt. Cook about 10 minutes, until the artichokes are starting to get tender and the green beans wrinkled. Set the vegetables and garlic aside, leaving the oil in the pan. To save time, you can also do this saute in a separate skillet, and start cooking the sofrito of onions and tomatoes simultaneously in your paella pan.
- While the vegetables are cooking, put the broth in a saucepan and bring it to a low simmer. Using your fingers, crush the saffron into the broth.
- Set the heat to medium, add the onion to the oil and saute for 2 minutes. Add the tomato, season with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes until the sofrito is dark and pretty dry. It is ok if it sticks a bit. Taste the broth and season if needed.
- Add the rice and saute for about 1 minute, until it starts to turn translucent, just like you would for a risotto
- Spread out the rice evenly over the bottom of the pan. Add 3 c. of the simmering broth, which should cover the rice. Arrange the artichokes and green beans like you see in the picture above, and place the garlic in the middle.
- Simmer about 8 minutes, until the broth no longer covers the rice. Add the rosemary if using. No stirring at any point in this process! Reduce heat to medium low and cook 10 more minutes. At this point the liquid should be mostly absorbed. Taste a grain of rice just below the surface. If it is just slightly al dente, go on to the next step. If it is not done, add a bit more broth or water and continue simmering until it is fairly tender with just a hint of white remaining at the center of the kernel. Pat attention at this stage, because you are walking a fine line between getting the rice sufficiently cooked and adding so much liquid that you can’t form a crust in step 9.
- Cover the pan with a lid or tin foil and cook for three more minutes to make sure the topmost rice is done.
- With the foil still on, raise the heat to medium high and cook for a couple more minutes. You should hear a bit of a crackling noise. The idea is to deeply brown the bottom most layer, creating the prized crust known as the socarrat. You don’t want to burn it, but you want to get some serious crust. All of your hard work on this dish pays off if you execute this last step well. Take the top off and poke at the crust with a spoon to convince yourself it is forming.
- Remove from the heat and let rest with the cover on for 5 minutes or so. Serve with lemon wedges. Everyone can eat from the paella pan, or dish it out onto individual plates.
Parsnip and Squash Bake 12 Nov, 2011
GIY recipe of the week. Got to admit I’m a sucker for parsnip – couldn’t get it in Netherlands – but twice in 18years. I’d par-boil a kilo or two and use the stock for wine, the parsnip would freeze and be ready in minutes to fry-up with potato. Yummy. GIY – www.giyireland.com This is a super-rich, creamy, bubbly, indulgent, melt-in-your mouth delicious recipe. Ingredients: 220ml double cream 1 small onion, finely chopped 2 thyme sprigs, 1 stripped of leaves 4 large parsnips 1 medium sized butternut squash 25g Gruyère, grated Directions:Preheat oven to 160C. Place the cream, onion and thyme sprig into a small pan. Slowly heat to just below boiling point, then remove from the heat and leave to cool. Strain, discarding the onion and thyme. Grease the bottom and sides of a gratin dish (20 x 30cm) with butter. Peel the parsnips and peel and de-seed the squash. Thinly slice the vegetables and layer in the dish. Pour over the cream, then scatter with the thyme leaves and Gruyère. Bake for 1 hr until golden.
Actually I like apple with or without kaneel in this and even some raisins aren’t amis – if one chooses not to use the salmon – which I prefer to cut small and decorate the soup with – topped with a dollop of cream and garnished with parsley.
Seasonal recipes: 5 ways to fix pancakes
Pancakes aren’t just for breakfast, and they don’t have to be simple. Try one of these 5 recipes for pancakes for cool nights.
The pancakes below are what are often referred to in Jewish cooking a blennies I believe it’s also the way my mother in Dundalk used to make ’em – but then she’d been a professional cook for a Jewish family in London and came back with ‘notions’. She’d usually use self-raising flower and bicarb or baking soda. She’d also leave the pancake mix for at least 2hrs before making the pancakes. I grew up and left Dundalk thinking all pancakes were like that as the local bakeries made little air-filled blennies too. After leaving Dundalk I was amazed at the type and variety of pancakes. The king of pancakes is the Dutch – specifically the Pannacoek Huis op /on Prinsengraacht. To die for. The pancake menu (they ONLY serve pancakes) is extensive and they can even make one specially for you. I’d one that was on the menu for a while. regular (no filling) with two scoops of ice-cream drizzled with Baily’s Cream and folded over – served immediately – with the house cider. Shared with a loved one. Cracker! BTW most Dutch pancakes are FULL pan sized – ie about 300mm or a foot in diameter and as the first side is cooking – sliced apple, cheese, raisins, spek (bacon) and or pineapple etc are added. SCRUMPTIOUS. It comes of course from the French gallette tradition. Here at Glenribbeen we compromise and serve the plain-jane Dutch pancake and let our guests add to it or simply pour real maple syrup of local jam on them. If they are very nice … we offer a pancake to take away for lunch. 🙂
- Organic Oatmeal Pancakes – This recipe originated at Atlanta’s Flying Biscuit cafe, and the oatmeal in them ups the nutrition factor of the basic pancake by adding whole grain and fiber. The batter needs to be refrigerated at least two hours before using, so plan accordingly.
- Whole Wheat Blueberry Pancakes – 283 people on allrecipes.com have rated this pancake recipe 4 ½ stars. I’d switch out the artificial sweetener for organic sugar or omit altogether.
- Sweet Potato Pancakes – I had Sweet Potato Pancakes with cranberries once at a restaurant, and they were so good. It would be easy to add dried cranberries to this recipe for something totally different than the pancakes you’re used to.
- Ricotta Cinnamon Pancakes with Sauteed Apples – Whole wheat flour and part-skim ricotta are the basis for these pancakes that have more protein than your basic pancake. If I wasn’t going to do basic pancakes tonight, these are the ones I’d probably try.
- Moby’s Vegan Blueberry Pancakes – Singer Moby shared his vegan pancake recipe with Epicurious. The recipe uses three types of whole grains plus soy or rice milk.
================================================================= A friend of ours Meckie Beggan of Ballach, Kilfenora, Co Clare makes wonderful goats-cheese that would do fine in stead of the Ricotta – and since we’ve figs growing beside the frontdoor at Glenribbeen ….
by Jerry James Stone, San Francisco, CA on 09. 9.11
1 gallon whole or raw milk 1/3 cup of white vinegar 1 teaspoon salt 1. Heat the milk in a large, heavy-bottomed pot until it reaches 185 degrees. 2. Remove from heat and quickly add the vinegar and salt. Give it a gentle stir. 3. Cover the pot and let stand for two hours or more. 4. Carefully transfer mixture to a cheese-cloth-lined colander. If you don’t have cheese cloth lying around, you can easily double-up with two colanders. 5. Let drain for about two hours and then chill. How long you let it drain will effect the milkiness of the ricotta. I prefer mine on the runny side as it just seems more fresh. Also, if you plan to use the ricotta for other dishes later in the week, you are going to want that liquid for storing.
Grilled Fig Salad
1 large carton of mission figs Homemade ricotta Honey 1. Clean and trim the figs before halving them. Then grill them halved-side down for about 5 minutes. You just want them to char and caramelize a bit. 2. To serve, place a heaping scoop of fresh ricotta in a small bowl and top with the grilled figs. Drizzle it with honey and get prepared for your your biggest foodgasm ever! This honey is from the Smart Home on display at Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry. It was designed by my good friend, and eco-architect extraordinaire, Michelle Kaufmann. But I really suggest you use local honey if you can. Enjoy the dish. I know I will. Visit the Green Wine Guide for more vegetarian recipes and wine pairings. Follow us on Twitter @GreenWineGuide or meet our chef @JerryJamesStone Fan us on Facebook for daily recipes.
Oils and Vinegars
Good quality extra virgin olive oil can take a salad from tasty to sublime, and supplies many of the healthy fats our bodies need. Coconut oil is delicious in baked goods, and light olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil are great choices for high-heat cooking. Store oils in a cool, dark place to keep them from going rancid. White, apple cider, red wine and balsamic vinegars brighten and deepen flavors in all sorts of dishes like greens and stews, and make simple low-calorie dressings.
Pasta and Grains
Grains make up a significant portion of a vegetarian’s daily meals. Be sure to keep staples like pasta, brown rice, white rice, oats and cornmeal stocked in your pantry, and also consider lesser-known grains like bulgur, barley, amaranth, millet and extremely nutritious quinoa. When combined in the same meal with beans, pulses, nuts or seeds, whole grains create a complete vegetarian protein containing all of the amino acids and enzymes needed for a healthy body.
Vegetable Stock or Bullion
While homemade stock simmered from leftover veggies like onions, carrots and celery is undeniably best, packaged stock – or vegetarian bullion cubes – is a great way to add a whole lot of flavor to a wide variety of dishes like soups, stews and sauces. You can also kick up the flavor of rice or pasta by using stock in place of cooking water (or adding a bullion cube).
Yeast as flavoring? If you’ve never tried it, run to the store this instant and get yourself some nutritional yeast, which is sold in shaker canisters and also in bulk bins. Standing in for cheese in many vegan recipes, nutritional yeast is also fantastic as a popcorn topper, in scrambled tofu and as a star ingredient in many vegetarian gravies. It’s packed with B vitamins and amino acids that can be difficult to get from vegetarian sources.
Dried Beans and Lentils
Dried beans are hard to beat as a pantry staple because they’re super cheap, easy to prepare and nutritionally dense. Most vegetarians and vegans find that beans like pintos, great northern, kidney and black beans as well as lentils are an integral part of their daily diet. Pick through dried beans to remove any stones (especially if purchased from bulk bins) and soak overnight before cooking. Pour out the soak water and give them a rinse to cut back on bowel-bending after-effects. Canned beans are also a great pantry supplement for those last-minute meals that need to cook quickly.
Raw honey is an antibacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal substance that happens to taste absolutely amazing in tea, on toast and substituted for sugar in breads, cakes and cookies. Agave nectar is another popular natural sweetener, best purchased in the most raw, unaltered state possible, which is a suitable vegan substitute for honey. Other options include zero-calorie stevia, made from the leaves of a naturally sweet plant, as well as raw sugar, which is processed without the use of animal bones.
Nuts, Seeds and Nut Butters
Peanuts, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and walnuts are just a few examples of the healthy nuts and seeds that can be added to a vegetarian diet for protein, minerals, vitamins, fiber and essential fatty acids. A quarter-cup of almonds contains more protein than an egg, and flaxseeds have the omega-3 fatty acids normally found mostly in meat sources. Nuts do tend to be high in fat, but that doesn’t make them unhealthy – just eat them in moderation. Roasted or raw nuts and seeds can be added to all kinds of foods like granola, cereal, oatmeal, salads and baked goods.
Tamari and Miso
Among the basic tastes registered by our tongues – in addition to sweet, sour, bitter and salty – is ‘umami’, a rich flavor most often associated with meat. This flavor is what many new vegetarians miss most about their old diet, not realizing that they can still achieve that highly desirable depth of flavor with vegetarian ingredients like soy sauce and miso, a traditional fermented Japanese flavoring. Seaweed and the popular Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (a liquid protein concentrate) are additional ways to work this flavor into practically any savory dish.
Canned Vegetables and Jarred Sauces
(image via: iboy_daniel)
As a vegetarian or vegan, nearly half of your daily food intake should be comprised of fresh fruits and vegetables. However, there will occasionally be times when fresh produce isn’t convenient, like the heart of winter when good-tasting fresh tomatoes are difficult to come by. Keep some canned tomatoes, pureed pumpkin or winter squash, pasta sauce and artichoke hearts in the pantry and add any other veggies that appeal.
Dried fruit makes a great snack and adds a pop of bright sweetness to savory dishes. It’s also an excellent source of iron, which many vegetarians lack in sufficient quantities. Raisins, cranberries, cherries, pineapple, apple slices and banana chips are commonly available as well as more exotic offerings like papaya and kiwi.
Becoming vegetarian doesn’t necessarily mean you suddenly have to be a whiz at baking, but if you’re already an experienced cook, making your own bread, muffins, pizza crust and other baked goods is a natural step. If you’re vegan, however, knowing how to bake can be a crucial skill that will enable you to avoid sneaky dairy products like eggs, milk and butter. Flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and yeast are a few basic items that you’ll need to get started. Vegan bakers will also find that applesauce and egg replacer are common ingredients in many recipes.
A Range of Spices
Spices are truly the trick to any memorable meal, whether meat-based or entirely vegan. Experiment to find the varieties and combinations that you like best, but some staples include dried herbs like parsley, sage, thyme, tarragon and basil as well as spicy cayenne pepper, paprika, turmeric, garlic powder and chili powder.