Category Archives: Vegetarian Meals

Salad Vegan Vegetarian Meals

Farro Salad with Cherries and Walnuts…Plus a Complete Labor Day Barbecue Meal!

Hi friends! I hope you had a great weekend.

I am so excited for today’s post because I am teaming up with some of my blogger friends to bring you a complete healthy Labor Day barbecue feast! We each put together a different course for the menu, and oh man, I want to dig into all of these delicious creations. Let’s take a look!

Kacy from Healthy For Real made a Hearty Black Bean Corn and Kale Appetizer.

Black Bean and Corn Appetizer from Kacy at Healthy For Real

I made a grain-based Farro Salad with Cherries and Walnuts (Vegan and Refined Sugar-Free)

Farro Salad with Cherries and Walnuts Recipe ll Vegan and Refined Sugar Free! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

Dani from Dani California Cooks made Grilled Dijon Salmon Skewers (Paleo).

Grilled Dijon Salmon Skewers from Dani at Dani California Cooks

And Chef Vanessa Musi made a delicious Peach Bourbon Pie for dessert (Gluten-Free, Vegan and Refined Sugar-Free).

DSC04530

Make sure to click over to their posts to check out their amazing recipes!

 

Now are you ready for this delicious Farro Salad with Cherries and Walnuts?

You guys know I am OBSESSED with farro — it’s my all-time favorite grain. Farro is perfect for big batch salads like this one because it doesn’t get soggy after being dressed and it holds up very well in the fridge for a couple of days.

Farro Salad with Cherries and Walnuts Recipe ll Vegan and Refined Sugar Free! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I love, love, love the sweet-tart flavor that the cherries give to this salad, and there are so many different textures thanks to the added crunch from the walnuts and celery.

Farro Salad with Cherries and Walnuts Recipe ll Vegan and Refined Sugar Free! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I know you guys are going to love this one and I can’t wait for you to try it!

Farro Salad with Cherries and Walnuts Recipe ll Vegan and Refined Sugar Free! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Farro Salad with Cherries and Walnuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup uncooked farro
  • ⅓ cup diced celery
  • 1 cup sweet cherries, pitted and halved
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • 1.5 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ Tablespoon raw honey (or maple syrup for a vegan option)
  • Salt and pepper
  • ½ Tablespoon Dijon mustard
Instructions
  1. Bring 2.5 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the farro and a pinch of salt. Cook for 15 minutes or until al dente. Drain and cool.
  2. In a large bowl combine the farro, celery, cherries, walnuts and parsley.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey and a pinch each of salt and pepper. Toss the farro with the dressing. Chill for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to come together.
 

 

Farro Salad with Cherries and Walnuts Recipe ll Vegan and Refined Sugar Free! ll www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

Appetizer Gluten-Free Salad Side Dish Vegetarian Meals

Kale Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing

I bet many of you have jumped on the healthy new year bandwagon, so I’m bringing you a delicious AND nutritious kale salad recipe today.

This salad has everything you need – a great balance of flavors, varying textures, and jam-packed flavor in every bite. You can serve it as an appetizer or feel free to add a piece of protein, such as grilled chicken, and make it a meal of its own.

Kale Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing Recipe

Kale Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing Recipe

Pomegranates are SUPER healthy – they’re packed with antioxidants, which help to protect you from heart disease and cancer. I’ll admit, peeling pomegranates is not my favorite activity, but it’s worth it for the delicious sweet crunch you get from each tiny aril. (Don’t be stupid and wear a white shirt while peeling them like I did – you’ll get the juice everywhere!) I know you can buy the arils on their own, but I find that the price tends to be astronomical, so I usually opt to peel the pomegranate myself.

Kale Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing Recipe

Pomegranate molasses is something I’ve had in my pantry for years and I’ve talked about it a bunch on the blog. I use it in my Muhammara as well as various chicken recipes. It adds a sweet and tangy punch to whatever you’re making. When adding it to a salad dressing, it adds a more complex acidity than you get from lemon juice or vinegar.

Kale Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing Recipe

You can find pomegranate molasses in Middle Eastern supermarkets and I know Whole Foods carries it as well. I actually make my own molasses from pomegranate juice, and I will be sure to share a tutorial on how to do that soon.

Kale Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing Recipe

 

Kale Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Pomegranate Molasses Dressing
  • 1.5 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ Tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
Salad
  • 6 cups kale, tough ribs removed
  • ⅓ cup pomegranate arils
  • ¼ cup roasted, unsalted pistachios (shelled)
  • ¼ cup shaved parmesan
  • salt and pepper
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the pomegranate molasses, red wine vinegar, dijon, and honey. Slowly drizzle in the extra-virgin olive oil to emulsify. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. In a large bowl combine the kale, pomegranate arils, pistachios, and parmesan. Toss with about ¼ cup of dressing, or to taste. Season lightly with salt and pepper. The dressed salad will keep for about 24 hours.
 

Soup Vegetarian Meals

Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan-Shallot Crisps

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have spotted this Butternut Squash Soup over the weekend. Travis has been under the weather for a few days now, so I wanted to make something warm and comforting for him.

Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan-Shallot Crisps Recipe

I love butternut squash soup, but I was looking for a way to enhance the flavors of the soup and differentiate it a bit. These parmesan-shallot crisps do just the trick! They’re incredibly easy to make and 100% worth the extra step. The salty flavors in the crisps are the perfect contrast to this slightly-sweet soup. It’s a match made in heaven.

Butternut Squash Soup

This soup is easy enough to make on a weeknight, but special enough to make for company. I made it on Sunday and we enjoyed leftovers throughout the week. Make sure to store your leftover crisps separately from the soup, so they do not get soggy.

Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan-Shallot Crisps Recipe

This butternut squash soup embodies fall. I know I will making it again and again during these colder temps.

 

Butternut Squash Soup with Parmesan-Shallot Crisps
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 6
Ingredients
Soup
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter or coconut oil
  • ½ cup onion, diced
  • ½ apple, diced small
  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1.5 inch cubes
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon light brown sugar (optional)
  • Salt and pepper
Parmesan-Shallot Crisps
  • 1 medium shallot, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ cup grated fresh parmesan
Instructions
  1. In a large pot melt the butter or coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4 minutes. Add the apple and cook for 4 minutes. Add the squash and stock and bring to a simmer. Cook until squash is tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Remove the squash, apple, and onion pieces with a slotted spoon and place in a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth. Place the pureed mixture back in the pot with the stock and mix. Place the pot on low heat and add the nutmeg, brown sugar (optional), and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat the olive oil in a small pan on medium heat. Add the shallot and sautee for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide the parmesan into 5-6 small mounds on the baking sheet and press down with your fingers to flatten. Spoon equal amounts of the shallot on top of each cheese mound and press lightly with the back of a spoon. Bake the crisps for 20 minutes until lightly browned. Remove the crisps with a spatula and serve with the soup.
 

Appetizer Gluten-Free Salad Side Dish Snack Vegetarian Meals

Cucumber Salad with Feta and Dill

Last week, I was scrounging through the fridge looking for an afternoon snack, but quickly realized my options were limited. We were going away for the weekend, so we had very few groceries left in our fridge (I always try to use up anything I can before I go away because I hate waste).

Cucumber Salad with Feta and Dill Recipe

Seeing as how we didn’t have any of my go-to snacks (Greek yogurt, fruit, hummus, etc.),  I knew I was going to have to get creative. I pulled out the ONE vegetable we had left, a cucumber, and started messing around. Let’s be honest, cucumbers are pretty darn boring on their own because they’re basically all water. I knew I needed to add something to make these cukes exciting enough to please my taste buds.

Cucumber Salad with Feta and Dill Recipe

I remembered the yummy cucumber salad from our favorite deli in Philadelphia, the Famous 4th Street Delicatessen, and set out to recreate the tasty vinaigrette they use. (Side note: If you are ever in Philly and you love deli food, you MUST go to 4th Street Deli. The sandwiches are double the size of your head and the quality of the food is A+++).

I whisked together a basic dressing of red wine vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper and drizzled it on the sliced cucumber spears. Then I sprinkled feta crumbles and finely chopped dill on top of the spears for an extra punch. The result was a delicious mid-day cucumber salad! The cucumber soaks up the flavor from the vinegar and the feta gives the cucumber a delicious taste that will remind you of a fresh Greek salad.

Cucumber Salad with Feta and Dill Recipe

If you are are looking for a quick and low-calorie mid-day snack, you gotta try this!

 

Cucumber Salad with Feta and Dill
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 1 large cucumber, cut crosswise and then cut into quarters, lengthwise
  • 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • ⅛ cup feta cheese, crumbled (about ½ oz)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh dill (or ½ teaspoon dried)
Instructions
  1. Place the sliced cucumber spears in a shallow dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Drizzle the vinegar mixture over the cucumbers. Sprinkle with the feta and dill. Serve immediately.
Notes
I recommend eating this snack right away because I found the cucumbers become a bit soggy if left out for awhile.
 

Appetizer Main Meal Salad Side Dish Vegetarian Meals

Summer Farro Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella

When summertime hits, I hate using my oven. It is already too dang hot, so why suffer more by adding another few degrees to my kitchen?

That is why I LOVE making salads during the summer. You may remember how much I love farro – I’ve posted two yummy farro salads already here and here. This one is my current addiction.

Summer Farro Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella Recipe

The thing I love most about grain salads is that you can make a large batch and eat it throughout the week. Unlike lettuce salads, they do not get soggy – in fact I think the flavor gets better after sitting for a couple hours.

Summer Farro Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella Recipe

This salad is packed with summer flavors like juicy cherry tomatoes and fresh basil.

Summer Farro Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella Recipe

I’ve doubled the recipe for a large potluck at work and it was a big hit! This farro salad is great for potlucks because it is easily transportable and can be served either cold or at room temperature – no heating required.

Summer Farro Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella Recipe

If you do not have farro on hand, I think this would be delicious with wheatberries or barley. If you try a different grain, let me know how it turns out!

Summer Farro Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella Recipe

 

Summer Farro Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella Recipe

 

 

Summer Farro Salad with Cherry Tomatoes and Mozzarella
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4-5
Ingredients
Salad
  • 1 cup dried farro
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • ⅛ cup red onion, minced
  • ⅛ cup kalamata olives, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, sliced into thin strips
  • ½ cup fresh mozzarella, cut into ½ inch cubes
Dressing
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Instructions
  1. Bring a medium sized pot of water to a boil. Add the farro and a pinch of salt. Cook for 13 minutes. Drain. Spread the farro on a large plate and allow to cool.
  2. Once the farro has cooled completely, combine all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate small bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. Toss half of the dressing with the salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add additional dressing as desired. You can serve the salad right away or refrigerate and serve the next day.
 

Appetizer Salad Side Dish Vegetarian Meals

Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad

Is it me or is burrata everywhere right now? Whenever we go out to eat it seems to pop up on the menu.

Heirloom Tomato and Buratta Panzanella Salad Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Not that I am complaining! I adore this creamy cheese. It seems to pair well with just about anything!

My favorite burrata salad to date was at Rustic Canyon, a restaurant in Santa Monica we tried last weekend. The textures were on point, the flavors blended together perfectly, and it wasn’t overly dressed (a crucial one for me).

Heirloom Tomato and Buratta Panzanella Salad Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Because I just can’t get enough of this cheese, I set out to recreate a similar dish at home. Many people recommend using stale bread for Panzanella salads. I personally don’t understand that because you’re going to toast the bread anyway, so I used two fresh multi-grain rolls from Whole Foods and the result was delicious. I recommend a good crusty bread here  like ciabbata or french bread.

Heirloom Tomato and Buratta Panzanella Salad Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

There are few ingredients in this salad, so the key is to make sure the ones you do use are good quality and flavorful. I used a delicious farmer’s market heirloom tomato and a fantastic Cabernet Sauvignon Balsamic vinegar my brother and sister-in-law bought for me in Napa Valley.

Heirloom Tomato and Buratta Panzanella Salad Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

This burrata panzanella salad is a perfect appetizer or side dish for spring and summer. (Can you believe it is the middle of March already?)

Heirloom Tomato and Buratta Panzanella Salad Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Travis and I sat at the table, each with a fork in our hand, and dug right in. I particularly  loved the bites of bread soaked in yummy balsamic, but that is probably because I am a carboholic…

 

Heirloom Tomato and Burrata Panzanella Salad
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 2-3
Ingredients
  • 2-3 cups Baguette or other crusty bread (cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • Cooking Spray
  • 4oz Burrata
  • 2oz Baby Arugula (about 3 large handfuls)
  • 1 large Heirloom Tomato (chopped into 1 inch pieces)
  • ¼ cup Olive Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Good Quality Balsamic Vinegar
  • Salt and Pepper
Instructions
  1. Set oven to broil on High. Lay the bread cubes on a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray. Broil for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let cool.
  2. Place the burrata ball at the bottom of a medium bowl. Arrange the arugula, tomato, and bread cubes around the burrata. Whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar with a pinch of both the salt and pepper. Drizzle the balsamic mixture over the burrata salad. Mix together gently to coat. Let sit for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
 

Appetizer Snack Vegetarian Meals

Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip)

The first time I tried Muhammara was at Momed, a modern Mediterranean restaurant in Beverly Hills. I had no idea what it was, so the waitress kindly let us sample some before we placed our order.

It. Was. Incredible.

Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip) Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Muhammara, which is quite common in Syrian and Turkish cuisine, is a delicious roasted red pepper dip served with warm pita. This dip has incredible texture thanks to blended walnuts and breadcrumbs. It is thick, vibrant in color, and so perfectly spiced from cumin and red pepper flakes.

Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip) Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

My only issue with Muhammara is that it causes me to lose all self-control. MUST.EAT.ALL.THE.DIP.

Especially when there is warm, doughy pita bread involved…

Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip) Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Besides toasting the walnuts, there is no cooking time involved, so this dip comes together in under 20 minutes.

Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip) Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

I served mine with warm Whole Wheat Pita and alongside a main meal of Mediterranean-spiced turkey meatballs.

Feel free to use this dip just as you would use hummus: on a sandwich, served with veggies, you name it!

Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip) Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

Travis already insisted that this become a staple in our house. I guarantee you’ll love this just as much as we do.

Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip) Recipe l www.littlechefbigappetite.com

 

Muhammara (Roasted Red Pepper Dip)
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 5-6
Ingredients
  • 7oz Jarred Roasted Red Peppers, rinsed (Alternatively, you can roast 2 large Bell Peppers in your oven)
  • ½ cup Whole Wheat Breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup Walnuts (Toasted in a small pan on medium-high heat for 5-6 minutes)
  • 4 Garlic Cloves (Mashed into a paste)
  • 1 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice
  • 1 tablespoon Pomegranate Molasses (I found mine at Whole Foods)
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon Dried Red Pepper Flakes (or to taste)
  • 2-3 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients except the olive oil in the bowl of a large food processor. Process for 20 seconds. Scrape down the sides. Process again on low, slowly adding the olive oil 1 Tablespoon at a time. Stop after each Tablespoon to check the consistency of the Muhammara. It should be thick and not completely smooth.
  2. Pour the contents into a bowl and either serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to eat. I think it tastes best after it sits for a few hours.
 

Appetizer Main Meal Soup Vegetarian Meals

Homemade Roasted Tomato Soup

There are certain tastes and smell we associate with fall.

Comfort foods come to mind. Pies, stews, chili, soup. Warm things.

Like tomato soup with a hot melted grilled cheese sandwich dunked in, am I right?

Homemade Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe

Oh, now we’re talking!

But, tomatoes certainly aren’t on their A-game during the winter. And is it me or do supermarket tomatoes just not cut in anymore? Ever since I started buying my tomatoes at farmers markets, I just can’t go back. There is something about biting into a standard supermarket tomato that just tastes so….fake and flavorless.

The ones I get from the farmers market are just so PERFECT. I eat those multi-colored cherry tomatoes like they’re Starbursts or M&Ms – one right after the next. Can’t stop won’t stop!

Santa Monica Farmer's Market

But, I will be totally real with you. These tomatoes you see below are the ones I used to make this soup and they are just your average supermarket tomatoes.

Homemade Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe

Since you need 3 pounds of tomatoes for this recipe, this was a much less expensive option.  Also, when it comes to this soup, it doesn’t really matter. Why?

Because I roasted them in the oven for a solid hour first to bring out all of their yummy flavor and juices.

Homemade Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe

This gave the soup such a great richness.

Oh, and an added bonus? This soup is completely dairy free. No heavy cream here, people!

Homemade Roasted Tomato Soup Recipe

Now for the grilled cheese: get creative. I made mine with fresh Pumpernickel bread and thick slices of creamy English Cheddar. I think a multi-cheese combo would have taken this to the next level…especially if some caramelized onions were involved. Boy, oh boy!

As a matter of fact, now I think I know what I am having for dinner tonight…

Grilled Cheese

 

Homemade Roasted Tomato Soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 3lbs. tomatoes (most kinds will do, but not cherry or grape tomatoes), cut in half
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 6 medium garlic cloves, wrapped together in foil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme (or 1 teaspoon fresh)
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 3.5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Spread the tomatoes on the baking sheet, cut side up. Sprinkle with the olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper (I used about ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of black pepper). Place the garlic (wrapped in foil) on the baking sheet as well. Roast in the oven for about an hour (my tomatoes were big so I left them in there for about 1 hour 15 minutes).
  2. Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Allow the tomatoes and garlic to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove the garlic from the foil and peel the cloves. Place the tomato halves and the garlic in a food processor or blender and pulse for about 15-20 seconds, so the tomato stays chunky.
  3. Pour all ingredients into a medium pot or dutch oven. Add the thyme and red pepper. Then add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil and then allow to simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes. The soup should reduce and thicken. Remove from heat and season to taste.

Vegetarian Meals

Whole Wheat Flatbreads with Fig and Arugula

A few weeks ago Travis and I enjoyed a delicious date night out at Momed.  Momed is a casual and modern Mediterranean restaurant in Beverly Hills. Every bite we had that night was outstanding. If I had any more room in my belly I would have just kept eating. Although, I did make sure to save room for a piece of their Baklava because I was eyeing it in the display case since the moment I walked in.

Our favorite dish of the night was their Fig and Arugula Pide (Turkish Flatbread). The figs were just so fresh and flavorful. I couldn’t stop going, “Mmmm” after every bite.

Whole Wheat Flatbreads with Fig and Arugula Recipe

So I set out to recreate that meal at home. Although, instead of a traditional flatbread, I made whole wheat flatbreads for this version.

Whole Wheat Flatbreads with Fig and Arugula Recipe

Now before you run away from this recipe because this involves super-scary bread making, just hear me out, would’ya?

This flatbread only requires one rise and not very much kneading. You can do it – I promise. 

Whole Wheat Flatbreads with Fig and Arugula Recipe

And when you do, you’ll be so freakin’ proud of yourself!

But I am gunna warn you…the feeling won’t last that long because you (and whoever your lucky dinner date is) will devour these flatbreads in no time.

Whole Wheat Flatbreads with Fig and Arugula Recipe

This recipe makes about four 8-inch flatbreads. I only used two of them for this dish and decided to freeze the other two balls of dough to use at a later time.  Alternatively you could make them all and serve the extras with hummus or a yummy dip of choice. Up to you!

Whole Wheat Flatbreads with Fig and Arugula Recipe

These flatbreads are to die for. I devoured one to myself easily. Good luck sharing…

 

Whole Wheat Flatbreads with Fig and Arugula
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
Flatbread Ingredients
  • ¾ cup warm water, about 95 degrees F
  • 1 package (about 2½ teaspoons) active dry yeast
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary or thyme
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Topping Ingredients
  • 1 pint (about 10-12) fresh figs, split in half
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4oz. Halloumi**, sliced thin
  • 1oz. Arugula (about 2 handfuls)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
Flatbreads
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the warm water, yeast and sugar. Set aside for 5 minutes. The mixture should begin to foam.
  2. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together flour, thyme or rosemary, salt and pepper. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the yeast and water mixture. Using a fork, bring together the mixture until the dough becomes shaggy and there are no dry flour bits. Place the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and knead a few times to bring together.
  3. Coat the medium bowl with a teaspoon of olive oil and place dough ball in bowl. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 hour (I left mine on my kitchen table near a window). The dough will double in size.
  4. When the dough has risen, place it on a lightly floured work surface and knead it again for another minute. Divide the dough into four equal pieces.
  5. Heat a non stick pan over medium heat (a cast iron pan works very well here)
  6. While the pan is heating, roll the balls of dough out to about 8-inch circles on the floured work surface. Cook the flatbreads one at a time in the ungreased pan, first for about 1-2 minutes on the first side and then another minute on the second. The flatbreads will puff up while cooking in the pan - this is normal and to be expected. They will settle down once on the pan. Remove to a wire rack to cool.
Putting everything together
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Toss the fig halves in the olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Spread them out onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and let them cool for about 10 minutes.
  2. Turn your oven to the BROIL setting.
  3. Using a large spoon, scoop the insides of the figs (now softened) into a small bowl. Mash the figs so there are no large chunks.
  4. Place the flatbreads on a baking sheet or back onto your cast iron pan. Place the halloumi slices on the flatbreads. Spread the fig mixture on top. Place the baking sheet in the oven and broil for 4-5 minutes (make sure to watch them carefully as to not let them burn). Remove from oven. Sprinkle with arugula and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Notes
**Halloumi is a unique cheese, known for its non-melting properties (that is why you will often see it cooked on the grill). If you cannot find Halloumi at your supermarket, you can substitute mozzarella.
 

Gluten-Free Vegetarian Meals

Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir Fry

Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir Fry Recipe

I can’t believe I am blogging about tofu. For the longest time I swore that it was the strangest, blandest food. I mean, C’MON, what is up with that consistency?

This summer when I began looking for good alternatives to the carnivorous meals I know so well, I decided to rethink tofu. All my veggie friends love it — but I figured that’s because they didn’t know any better (sorry, guys).

But, I gotta say, now that I know how to cook it correctly, it really isn’t so bad. Actually, it’s kind of great.

I get this tofu from TJ’s:

Lots of protein!

I’ve learned that if you marinate tofu long enough or cook it in the right sauce, it really can be a great substitute for chicken.

The inspiration for this recipe was from this tiny Vegan Thai restaurant close to me. They have a delicious Sweet and Sour Tofu that I love because it is not overly sweet like Sweet and Sour can be sometimes

For this recipe I cook the tofu in a skillet, but you can also bake it in the oven if you prefer a crispier texture.

Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir Fry Recipe

The end result is delicious, light, and healthy.

Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir Fry Recipe

Sweet and Sour Tofu Stir Fry
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 4 Tablespoons rice-wine vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 3 Tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 14-16oz. package extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into ½-inch cubes (I also recommend wrapping the tofu in a paper towel to remove all excess water before cutting it)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 large bell peppers (color of your choice)
  • ¾ cup onion, chopped into 1 in. chunks
  • 1.5 cups fresh pineapple, cut into 1 in. cubes (fresh pineapple really makes a big difference here…and if you have any juice leftover from when you cut the pineapple, add it to the sauce)
Instructions
  1. Whisk together the rice-wine vinegar, ketchup, soy sauce, and brown sugar (and any leftover pineapple juice). Place the cut tofu in a large bowl and toss with 3 Tablespoons of the sauce. Let the tofu marinate for half an hour.
  2. While the tofu is marinating, add the cornstarch to the remaining sauce. Whisk until smooth.
  3. Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Using a slotted spoon, add the tofu to the skillet. Add the remaining marinade to the reserved sauce. Cook the tofu, flipping occasionally, until golden brown for about 10 minutes. (For a crispier texture, place the tofu on a baking sheet and cook in the oven at 350 degrees for about 7 minutes on each side). Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining oil to the pan change the heat to medium. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for about 30 seconds. Then add the bell peppers and the onion, stirring often, for 5-7 minutes. Pour in the reserved sauce and cook until thickened (about 30 seconds). Add the pineapple and tofu and cook until heated through (about 2 minutes).
  5. Serve over brown rice.

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