Archive for ‘recipes’

November 26, 2011

Turning Vegetarian – Jalapeño Tofu Scramble

by Nicole Lee

Tofu is such an up in the air ingredient for some people. It’s something that puts a lot of people off as either a sub par “meat replacement” or just “totally bland”. I, on the other hand, find it both fun to work with and delicious- you just have to know what you’re doing.

That said, this recipe was a little…bland. I think if/when I try it again I am going to marinade my tofu overnight in either a dry rub or a sauce of some sort. It needed more time to take on some of the flavors this recipe put forward, but I think the theory is here and I’m definitely going to make a habit of having the ingredients at the ready! Without further adieu, the instructions below!

Serves: 3-4
Start to finish: 20 minutes
Cost per serving: ≈ $2.25

Nutritional values (will vary depending on brands)- Per serving: 143 calories, 8.5g fat (1.1g saturated fat), 0mg cholesterol, 30.8mg sodium, 9g carbohydrates, 2.2g fiber, 10.8g protein


 1 16-18 ounce package of organic extra-firm tofu
 1 tbsp. olive oil
 2 jalapeños, diced
 1/2 white onion, diced
 2 cloves garlic, diced
 1 tsp. chili powder
 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
 1/2 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
 1/4 tsp. salt
 1 c. chopped roma tomato
 1 tbsp. fresh squeezed lime juice
 Garnish; fresh cilantro leaves


1. Drain tofu, cut in half (horizontally), squeeze as much liquid out as possible, pat dry with a paper towel and crumble into a medium bowl.
2. In a skillet heat oil and saute  jalapeños, onion and garlic until translucent. Add chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt; cook for approximately 30 seconds.
3. Add crumbled tofu to chili mixture. Heat for approximately 5 mintues.
4. Stir in tomatoes and lime juice and serve.
5. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves and enjoy!

November 23, 2011

Turning Vegetarian – Lemony Garbanzo Bean Sandwiches

by Nicole Lee

Night two of cooking at home out of the Vegetarian cook book I picked up Sunday. This recipe was insanely simple, incredibly inexpensive and yummy, yummy, yummy! I think I’m going to start adding the cost per serving to my list of “just so you know”s about each recipe.

Now this one I liked for dinner, but I think I prefer for lunch. I’ll be bringing the left overs to my office tomorrow and I have no doubt I’ll eat the heck out of it- I might even share if my coworkers are lucky!

Notes: I got stuck looking all over for focaccia, but I could not, for the life of me, find it. I got French bread and it was entirely wrong. I definitely suggest looking around more thoroughly than I was able to get it.

Lemony Garbanzo Bean Sandwich

Serves: 4
Start to finish: 20 minutes
Cost per serving: ≈ $2.50

Nutritional values (will vary depending on brands)- Per serving: 401 calories, 8g fat (0g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 472mg sodium, 71g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 16g protein


 1 15oz can garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
3 tbsp. fresh parsley
1 tsp. finely shredded lemon peel
 2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
 1 tbsp. finely chopped red onion
 1 tbsp. olive oil
 1/8 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
 1/2 a large cucumber peeled, quartered and sliced
 1/2 c. arugula
 1/3 c. roasted red sweet pepper strips
 1 12″ loaf focaccia quartered


1. Combine garbanzo beans, parsley, lemon peel, lemon juice, red onion, olive oil, and black pepper. Gently mash beans with a fork or potato masher (leave it coarse, you want some texture). Stir in cucumber, arugula and roasted pepper.*
2. Cut bread in half and fill each portion of bread with a quarter of the bean mixture. Enjoy!**

* Honestly, as long as you’re not too harsh you can add everything other than arugula right from the start.
** I did not toast my bread, but I think next time I will. Having the crunch sounds like a really good idea!

November 22, 2011

Turning Vegetarian – Southwestern Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

by Nicole Lee

Yesterday, Monday November 21st, 2011 marked my first vegetarian meal that I cooked myself on my road to transitioning entirely. (I didn’t even realize until I was eating it that not only was it vegetarian, but also vegan.) As my Turning Vegetarian – The Recipes That Made It Happen page notes I am working out of the Better Homes and Gardens 365 Vegetarian Meals Cookbook.

For whatever reason this ended being my first choice and boy am I glad! The recipe was simple, clean and delicious, not to mention inexpensive. The squash was my favorite part. There’s something about the nutty buttery flavor that acorn squash offers that I can’t find anywhere else naturally.

As a side note, I find it incredibly hard to shop for just one person. Either I buy too much and throw things away or I never have the ingredients I need/want to make anything worth eating. It’s incredibly frustrating.

Side note two, now that it’s getting dark at 6:00 and I don’t even get out of work until 5:30 I have literally no light when I finish cooking and start taking photos. So while I work with settings and learn how to edit them into something worth viewing please bear with me!

Without further adieu I invite you to review the recipe below and try this one out for yourself!

Southwestern Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash

Serves: 4
Prep time: 25 minutes
Bake time: 60 minutes

Nutritional values (will vary depending on brands)- Per serving: 317 calories, 6g fat (1g saturated fat), 1mg cholesterol, 572mg sodium, 63g carbohydrates, 12g fiber, 12g protein


2 small organic acorn squash (mine weighed in around 1.25 pounds each)
1 c. water
1/2 c. uncooked quinoa (rinsed and drained)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 ear fresh organic sweet corn with kernels cut from cob
1 c. chopped sweet pepper or approximately 1 medium (I used orange)
2 green onions, chopped
2 medium fresh jalapenos, diced (I do not seed mine, but if you don’t want too much spice then make sure to remove the seeds!)
1 tbs. olive oil
1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained


1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Cut squash in half (either lengthwise or across) and remove all seeds. Place each half, cut side down, on a baking pan and bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes (or until squash flesh is tender).
2. While squash is baking take the water, quinoa, cumin and salt and mix in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed.
3. In a skillet saute corn, jalapenos, pepper, onions in oil until vegetables begin to soften.
4. Stir vegetables, black beans and quinoa together and set aside.
5. When squash is ready remove from oven and spoon quinoa mixture in (it will look like you have too much and mounding will be necessary).
6. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 12-15 minutes and enjoy!


June 17, 2011

Recipes from Wednesday Cook Night – “Chicken Florentine ” Bake with Toasted Pinenuts and Boiled Red Potatoes with Dill Butter

by Nicole Lee

This Wednesday was your run of the mill Wednesday Cook Night with spinach  as a prompt of sorts. I think for the most part I really enjoyed it and from what I understand Scott did too (his plate was clean!). Other than that today is my birthday and I’m getting ready to go out for dinner. I’ll let you know how it goes!



  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Shallots
  • 1 bag fresh spinach (or more!)
  • mozzarella cheese
  • Small red potaotes
  • chicken broth
  • pinenuts
  • butter
  • fresh dill
  • garlic
  • salt/pepper
1. Saute diced shallot in butter until nearly translucent.
spinach     cooked spinach
1. Add spinach and cook until soft (but not wilted).
3. Pan fry chicken until nearly cooked in a little chicken broth (to keep moisture) and place spinach/shallot/garlic mixture in bottom of baking pan and chicken on top. Place in 400 degree oven until chicken is nearly cooked through.
boil potatoes     drain potatoes
4. While chicken is baking boil potatoes until they are as tender as you like them and drain.
dill butter     done potatoes
5. Melt butter with chopped fresh dill and toss into cooked potatoes.
pine nuts     toasted
6. Toast pinenuts lightly until light brown and firm.
7. Melt mozzarella cheese over chicken.
8. Serve and enjoy!
June 2, 2011

Recipes from Wednesday Cook Night – Stuffed Bell Peppers with Orzo

by Nicole Lee

Per Scott’s request last night’s Wednesday Cook Night was filled with stuffed peppers. I’m kind of a silly girl and decided to make orange (my favorite color) and green (his favorite). I also made heart shapes out of the Sriracha on top. I know, I know. It’s dorky, but sometimes you just cannot help who are are. :)

I did have a few issues with this recipe, including how watery it ended up being. I think my problem was overcooking the orzo, so next time I’ll need to adjust accordingly. Either way, here is the recipe (slightly adjusted to help you with the wateriness). I hope you enjoy!



  • 1/2 lb. lean ground beef (I use 93/7)
  • 4 bell peppers (color of your choosing)
  • 1/4 c. orzo
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 white onion
  • reduced fat cheese
  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped
  • garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil
  1. Half bell peppers and place in a oiled glass pan.
  2. Sautee onions, salt, pepper and garlic until translucent.
  3. Lightly cook orzo (just before al dente, you want it to still absorb liquid while cooking)
  4. Separate half the onions and set aside.
  5. With the remaining cooking onions brown meat. Add dill just before it’s finished.
  6. Roughly chop tomatoes and add to onions
  7. Put a shallow layer of tomato/onion mixture in bottom of peppers.
  8. Add meat mixture on top.
  9. Top with cheese (and hot sauce if so desired!)
  10. Cover with oiled tin foil (oil side down).
  11. Place in 450 degree over for approximately 35-40 minutes, or until peppers are soft.
  12. ENJOY!