Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Vegetarian Recipes to Share....

DH decided that it was high time that our local library got their copy of A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen back, so he bought me my very own copy. As we joked, this purchase is something that he'll enjoy as much as I do because he gets to eat the results.

The biggest wow to come out of this cookbook so far for me, was the Creamy Tomato Soup (which really has no cream at all). All of the other recipes have been very good, but that one was truly stellar. Although I will say that the photography will not reflect the yummy tastes in some of these photos. I miss the summer when there is plenty of natural light - that and some foods, like tempeh, just don't tend to photograph all that well. But anyway......

It's been fun having lots of time to blog - even if I didn't get much of anything else done - but tomorrow it's back to work, so I'm going to knock off a couple recipes at a time here. The first two I'll share are Mexican-flavor inspired dishes.

The first recipe - Black Bean Chilaquiles - is one of those dishes where the photo doesn't translate so well. Chilaquiles are a Mexican dish where corn tortilla chips are simmered in a spicy sauce (chile, bean, etc.) and then topped with cheese. The resulting dish is flavorful and yummy, but it's sort of a mish-mosh and therefore not very easy to photograph.

Black Bean Chilaquiles
Black Bean Chilaquiles
(It's hard to see through all of the cheese, sour cream and avocado,
but the black beans and tortillas are under there somewhere!)

In this version, you make your own corn tortilla chips by cutting corn tortillas into triangles, coating them with oil and baking them in the oven. As the tortillas bake, you start on the black bean sauce, adding the crisp tortillas in at the end to form a thick mixture. The black bean and tortilla mixure is topped with queso fresco, a sour cream-lime sauce and diced avocado.

We liked this dish quite well and it certainly has a lot of room for tinkering - you could use different sauces, veggies or meats and have a slightly different version every time. I kept everything in the skillet instead of transferring it to a platter (no need to dirty another dish when it's just us) and one other thing I'd do differently is to stick the skillet under the broiler briefly to melt the cheese before adding the sour cream and avocados.

Garlicky Mushroom Quesadillas
Continuing on the Mexican theme, we also tried a recipe for mushroom quesadillas. These quesadillas pair garlicky cremini mushrooms with Monterey Jack cheese inside flour tortillas that are topped off with a tomatillo-chile salsa. A very simple dish that goes together quite quickly and reminds you that you don't need to get very fussy to produce yummy food.

Tune in tomorrow for tempeh...........


  1. I love quesadillas! I haven't ever done a mushroom quesadilla but I tasted one at Wegmans that was really good. Yours looks great!

  2. Tracy - I love quesadillas too - they are so versatile - you can add or leave out things according to personal preferences as you make them. I haven't posted our favorite yet - Smoked Gouda and Caramelized Onion - I have to make those soon - they are sooooo good!