April 15, 2011

Are veggie burgers the new hip food trend? Seriously!  Everyone’s got an opinion.
The best veggie burger I’ve ever had was one that my friend’s dad prepared for me on a grill while I was with vacationing with her family in Hawaii when I was 17.

April 13, 2011

The New York Times has another article about veggie burgers today. They’re really into veggie burgers these days, eh?
I wish they would pay me to go and taste test them all. I’d do a nice write up!
Speaking of veggie burgers, why don’t you try my lentil burger recipe?

I opened a can of pickled beets during a snack attack two days ago and after realizing high fructose corn syrup was an ingredient, quickly resolved to pickle my own. I have little experience with pickling vegetables, so I used this recipe as inspiration and went from there. 

Pickled Beets 3 beets, with greens removed2/3 cup cider vinegar 1 1/2 tbls olive oil1 1/2 tbls sugar 1 tbls dijon mustard1 clove garlic, cut into fourthssalt & pepper to tasteBring a pot of water to boil (you could also roast the beets in the oven at 350, but this takes a bit longer) add beets and boil for about 30 minutes or until you can easily pierce them all the way through with a knife (I undercooked mine, oops). In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, mustard, sugar and salt and pepper. Add garlic and allow to sit while beets cook. Remove beets from heat an drain, running cold water over them to cool them to the touch. You should be able to easily removed the skins with your hands at this point. Cut the beets into even wedges and toss wit h the vinegar mixture. Allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes, but even better, overnight.
If you’ve never worked with beets before, be forewarned – they are as messy as they are delicious. They can and will stain everything, including your hands, so be careful. That being said, beets are one of my favorite vegetables. There’s something about their sweet earthiness that I can’t get enough of. In fact, I’ve used them to infuse vodka!  I have the greens leftover, so I’m considering using the deep red beet vinaigrette left over from the pickling as a dressing.
And I end with a nicely spray painted bakery truck. 

March 23, 2011

Since moving to New York, my apartment has become a notorious crash pad for friends, bands, and Danes. Notorious in that I have a hard time telling people no and have gone so far as to purchase a queen-sized air mattress to make sure everyone’s comfortable. Sigh. All this entertaining/tour guiding can get expensive, so when my friend-since-4th-grade Tricia made plans to come out for a visit, I suggested we cook at home a bit in order to save some money. On Sunday, we bought some fresh pasta from Little Italy (a-tourist-trapping we will go!) and had a nice Italian meal. The next morning, I threw together a simple, elegant breakfast with some of the leftover ingredients from the night before (basil and bread.) This is a more simple take on the herbed eggs I made for Christmas Eve brunch. I don’t like to use all that butter and cream all the time, so a few weeks ago, I started adding fresh herbs to my morning eggs and only a sprinkling of cheese. Throw it on top of a toasted piece of bread and you have an easy meal that looks like it took a lot of effort. I threw together some sweet potato home fries as well.    
Sunny Side Up Fresh Herb Eggs on Toasted Bread1 large egg1 tbls herb of your choice, chopped (I’ve used basil, thyme or sage) 1 tbls of finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese (optional, could also use goat cheese, feta or parmesan) salt & pepper to tastebutter for the pan1 thick slice of good bread, lightly toastedIn a small saute pan, melt butter. Crack egg into pan and cook on low/medium heat until it begins to firm up. Sprinkle with herbs and salt and pepper. Cover with lid until the white is firm, but the yolk is still runny. Sprinkle with cheese and serve on top of bread.You can top the bread with some arugula if you’re into that!Sweet Potato Home Fries1 cup sweet potato, cut into small cubessalt & pepperpaprikagarlic powderchopped sage (optional)olive oilIn a saute pan, heat olive oil on medium/high heat. Add sweet potatoes and toss in olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper, continue to cook and toss potatoes until they start to brown. Add paprika and garlic powder, tossing to coat. Once potatoes are cooked through, sprinkle with sage. I sometimes sprinkle with white truffle oil (I know it’s pricey and snobby, but it’s so good…) and have served them with 0% Greek yogurt.
Tricia and I spent most of the weekend wandering around the city, one of my favorite activities. We clocked nearly 7 miles on Sunday, walking across both the Williamsburg and Brooklyn Bridges. 
I liked these balloons caught in the Brooklyn Bridge because they reminded me of Shel Silverstein’s poem Eight Balloons.
Hey readers! Have you Liked The Bored Vegetarian on FB yet? You should.

The New York Times has listed nine veggie burgers of note around Manhattan. I’ve only been to Five Napkin Burger, so I have some work to do.
(p.s. I love how they preface the article with “here are a few veggie burgers of note around Manhattan, in approximate descending order of preference.” How diplomatic.)

March 8, 2011

Say hello to my cookbook collection.

I have made approximately one recipe from each.
Laura gave me New Flavors for Vegetables a few birthdays back. While it’s not exclusively vegetarian, the recipes are delicious and beautifully photographed.

Today I made Caramelized Cauliflower with Honey and Smoked Paprika. Sounds amazing, right? It is!

Caramelized Cauliflower with Honey and Smoked Paprika (from New Flavors for Vegetables)
3 tbls extra-virgin olive oil2 tbls unsalted butter1 large head of cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets1 shallot, minced1/2 tsp red pepper flakes1/2 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika2 tbls honey1/2 lemon (juice)salt and pepperIn a large frying pan over medium heat, warm 2 tbls of the oil and melt the butter. Add the cauliflower florets, sprinkle generously with salt and toss to coat. Spread the florets into 1 layer and cook, without stirring, until the undersides are lightly browned (3-4 mins.) Flip each piece over and brown. Repeat until al sides are evenly browned.Add the remaining 1 tbls oil, the shallot, red pepper flakes and paprika to the pan. Cook, stirring occasionally until the shallot is softened (2-3 mins.) Add honey and 2 tbls water and saute until the liquid reduces to a glaze. Squeeze the juice from the lemon over the cauliflower, stir to combine and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from heat and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.  
This is easy to prepare and a nice balance of sweet/hot/smokey. I have a dinner party to attend in a few weeks, so this is on the short list of ideas.
Can you tell that spring is on its way? I’m feeling very excited about what the next few months may bring and I hope you are too.
Activities as of late: 
1. Listening to Django Reinhardt.2. Planning BYOB (details to come!)3. Boston trip, searching for plane tickets for Seattle trip next month.4. Buffet lunch, losing $10 to the slot machines, losing at Scrabble and enjoying the magical mess that is Atlantic City.5. Plastic nose wearing? 

February 15, 2011

1. Vanessa’s Dumpling House, Lower East SideWhenever I have friends in town, I always take them here. The vegetarian sesame sandwich is mindblowing (and only $1.50.) You can leave here incredibly full for about $5. 
2. Radegast Hall & Biergarten, WilliamsburgNot only do they have an amazing selection of beers on tap, but for $10, you can get a giant soft pretzel with an assortment of mustards (and a few pickles.) I recommend going there when Baby Soda is playing.  I always get swing dance envy.
3. Westville, East Village, West Village, ChelseaNot the best place for groups, but if you’re craving vegetables, you can get a selection of 4 prepared different ways for $13.  They’ve got veggie dogs too! They also give you adorable cups of hot chocolate if you have to wait for a table (under their heating lamps!)
4. The Drink, WilliamsburgWarm, cozy, wooden.. I wish this neighborhood bar was closer to my apartment, but it’s worth the trek if you want a delicious punch, cocktail or to be surrounded by great people.
5. Milk Bar, East VillageBirthday cake truffles. Crack Pie.  Cereal Milk soft serve. I’m convinced that this place will single-handedly make me gain 10 pounds. And it’ll be worth it.
Honorable mention: New project, still in the works.  Involving Public Assembly, the one & only Ben Sisto, and me!
Happy Valentines Day, readers!

January 27, 2011

Colleen and Patty were in town from Raleigh over the weekend. We stopped at a grocery in Chinatown on Saturday, where I bought wasabi, pickled ginger, tofu puffs and new mixing bowls. Colleen snapped this picture of me in line, obviously DELIGHTED.