Grilled Peach Salad with Halloumi Cheese, Caramelized Onions and Arugula

grilled peach halloumi salad

Our summer sun has disappeared briefly into the gray clouds of “Fog-ust” this month in the Bay area.  I cheated and made this salad on our grill pan inside, as grilling outside huddled in the dark in long pants and a sweatshirt doesn’t have quite the allure of grilling while relaxing outside in your shorts on a warm evening.  For those of you having a legitimate hot August, feel free to do this recipe all outside, cooking the peaches, chunks of red onion and the halloumi cheese on the grill and tossing them from the grill straight to bowls full … Continue reading

Roasted Delicata Squash Salad with Pomegranate Seeds and Spicy Maple Dressing

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Fall at the farmers’ market has a whole different feeling, and while I miss the fresh berries terribly, I do love how forgiving fall produce can be.  I lugged home a heavy bag today, filled to the brim with butternut and delicata squashes, onions, garlic, a bottle of apple cider and several pomegranates.  One of my pomegranates escaped and went rolling down the sidewalk in front of me, but I just scooped it up and it was really no worse for wear. Fall produce can be just as pretty as it’s spring and summer brethren (I love the colors of … Continue reading

Pan-fried Vegetable and Tofu Dumplings

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Once I’d discovered how easy spring rolls were to prepare, vegetable dumplings jumped to the top of my list.  These are a much more significant time investment than the spring rolls, but they freeze beautifully.  I made a batch of about 60 while watching an episode of Bones on my laptop (so 45 minutes, give or take).  My first try with dumplings, I followed this recipe for golden potstickers from 101 Cookbooks.  I always trust Heidi to carry me safely through any new recipe or technique with carefully crafted instructions.  I bought gyoza wrappers at Berkeley Bowl (same aisle as … Continue reading

Eggplant Ragu

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When we planted the garden this year, along with the zucchini plant, the tomatoes, the basil and kale, we had a lone eggplant seedling.  I really didn’t think we’d have much luck with it, but our neighbor thought it would be fun to try.  Last year’s “fun to try” plant for the garden gave us more than 100 serrano peppers, so perhaps I should have been more optimistic about this little eggplant seedling. Our little seedling has given us nearly 12 small eggplants so far this season.  I’ve made eggplant parmesan and eggplant sauce with sweet corn polenta.  When I … Continue reading

A Call for New Vegetarian Sandwiches

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Sometimes I just want a sandwich.  This feeling usually hits on a Saturday afternoon.  When I was swimming regularly on Saturdays, I’d leave the pool exhausted, just trying to figure out where I could pick up a good sandwich.  I’m not normally a sandwich person, but the chlorine in the pool seemed to trigger old memories of summer camp.  Right after a swim workout I’d become fixated on the idea of a grown up version of an old camp lunch.  I wanted a delicious vegetarian sandwich, a bag of Pop chips, and an Izze.  Sometimes I even wanted a peanut … Continue reading

Simple Vegetable Spring Rolls

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Isn’t it nice when something that seems intimidating turns out to be super simple? Turns out that if you can chop vegetables and roll a burrito, you can make spring rolls.  This is actually a “clean out the fridge” recipe in disguise.  That lonely carrot and half a head of cabbage?  They’ll go perfectly here.  Just chop your vegetables into similar sizes (I used the length of my tofu as a marker and went ahead and matched that), and roll them into these spring rolls.  We used some leftover peanut sauce from a spicy peanut noodle recipe earlier in the … Continue reading

Asparagus and Mushroom Tacos with Quick Pickled Onions

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When I was young, without fail, whenever my mom would ask what we wanted for dinner, my sister and I would chorus “tacos!”  Taco night was our favorite.  There was something about the self-assembly part of taco night that made it extra special.  I usually loaded mine up with extra cheese, only adding lettuce or tomato if strongly encouraged. I still love taco night, but these days vegetables play a starring role instead of being a simple afterthought.  I have written about taco night before, as it’s a favorite in our house.  While I love these zucchini and potato tacos, … Continue reading

Grilled Vegetables over Polenta

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Last night the ladies took over the grill.  By which I mean my neighbor did all the heavy lifting and fire wielding tasks, and I chopped some veggies.  We wrapped them up in tortillas, topped with feta and avocado, for grilled veggie tacos.  In the winter, I’ll usually make a big batch of roasted veggies on the weekend.  Butternut squash, mushrooms and Brussels sprouts are the usual suspects.  These grilled vegetables must be their summer counterparts. These leftover grilled vegetables can be re-invented in so many ways.  Tonight I had them over polenta (cooked in roasted vegetable stock) with goat … Continue reading

Buffalo Tofu, Goat Cheese and Asparagus Sandwich

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Several days ago I saw this post by (never)homemaker of an Asparagus and Tofu Sandwich.  It looked simple, and since I’m currently having a love affair with buffalo sauce I thought buffalo tofu would go perfectly with their other sandwich ingredients.  Before J became vegetarian, buffalo chicken tenders were one of his favorite things.  Without fail, if they were on a menu, we’d be ordering them.  I had nearly no spice tolerance, and sometimes the dish would arrive at the table, and I swore I would tear up just smelling it.  I never understood why you’d want to eat something … Continue reading

Tomato, Cucumber, and Mozzarella Panzanella

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So I’m not actually a salad person.  This may come as a surprise, since I’ve just offered you blog posts about salad all week.  When I go out to eat, a salad is the last thing that I ever think to order.  I like salads, but I always feel like they’re so easy to construct at home that it’s silly to order one out.  In a restaurant, give me pizza, homemade pasta, or perhaps Gather’s vegan “charcuterie.” Something that’s a pain, if not down right impossible, to make at home. When I do eat and make salads, I like them … Continue reading