Posts tagged vegetarian

No-Bake Pecan Pie Balls

All the flavor of pecan pie without all the work — or extra sugar.

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That’s the idea behind these pecan pie balls. Over the holidays, I was looking something lighter than your typical sugar-spiked pecan pie for dessert, so I decided to take a cue from my No-Cook Cocoa Granola Bites recipe. This vegan version has only a few ingredients and you can mix-and-match many of them to make these your own.

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I dipped my first batch into chocolate but the second time I never had a chance to — my kids polished them off first.

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Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes + soaking + chilling

Servings:14, 1″ balls

Ingredients

1 cup pitted dates

1/4 tsp. almond extract

1 cup pecans (or any combination of nuts)

1/2 tbsp. honey

1/3 cup oatmeal

2 full graham crackers or 4 tea biscuits

1 1/2 tbsp. tart juice, like cherry or use water

Chocolate candy coating (opt.)

 

Directions

  1. Soak the dates in water spiked with the almond extract for 1 hour (or overnight).
  2. Drain the dates and place in a food processor along with the remaining ingredients (minus the candy coating). Note: You may want to add more oatmeal or juice to get the right consistency — the batter will be sticky.
  3. Refrigerate for 1 hour (or freeze for 15 minutes). Form the mixture into 14, 1″ balls; I used a cookie scoop.
  4. At this point you can leave the balls plain or roll them in chopped nuts or cocoa powder. To coat with chocolate, refrigerate for another hour. Melt 1 cup candy coating in the microwave. Working quickly, dip each ball into the chocolate and then place on waxed paper to set. Refrigerate until you’re ready to start eating.
  5. Store for up to 5 days.

 

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Truffle cheese pizza

Braces = pizza around our house. Our family’s favorite Italian deli happens to be right by the orthodontist’s office. So when she’s done having her braces tightened we swing by Alesci’s for their refrigerated pizza dough.

As I was digging through the refrigerator for topping ideas I stumbled on our prized chunk of Trader Joe’s truffle cheese. The cheese has the consistency of sharp provolone speckled with bits of truffle for an earthy, umami flavor. A little goes a long way.

Recipe

Serves: 4-6 people

Prep time: 20 minutes + 20 minutes baking

Ingredients

1 lb. prepared pizza dough

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

1 cup fresh spinach

1/2 medium red onion, sliced thin

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/4 cup truffle cheese (or sharp provolone)

3/4 cup mozzarella cheese

olive oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Roll out the pizza dough to fill a 9″ round pan. Generously oil the pan and add the dough.
  3. In a heavy-bottomed pan, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and bring to medium-high heat. *I saute the veggies in my cast iron skillet and then bake the pizza in the same skillet. Yeah for easy clean up!
  4. Saute the mushroom and onions together in the heated oil until barely soft.
  5. Lightly brush the pizza dough with olive oil.
  6. Drain any extra liquid from the ricotta and then crumble it over the dough.
  7. Add the mushroom mixture, then fresh spinach. Sprinkle with mozzarella and truffle cheeses.
  8. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.
  9. Allow the pizza to sit for 5 minutes before cutting.

Notes:

  • Turn up the heat by adding a dash of cayenne pepper on your pizza before baking.
  • I served the pizza drizzled with balsamic vinegar. It was perfection!
  • My oldest daughter loved this veggie pizza but my younger kids opted for the standard pepperoni; their loss! (Admittedly, I didn’t push them too hard to try it because I really, really wanted leftovers. And this pizza is even better day two, cold.)

Getting the truffle pizza oven ready.

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Zucchini quesadillas

Zucchini and Mexican spices were just made for each other. When I saute zucchini, I often add a little ground cumin, ground ancho powder and a dash of cayenne. But around our house a plate of sauteed zucchini does not a meal make. I do like using it instead of meat in enchiladas, but for a quicker meal, I go with zucchini quesadillas.

You can keep it simple, with just sauteed zucchini and Monterrey Jack cheese, or make your own refried beans to slather on the tortilla too. You might even want to try white corn tortillas instead of the usual flour.

To make this meal a stand-out (and when pineapple is on sale, which it is here right now), I’ll take a slice of pineapple, make slits and then stand the quesadilla wedges up in the slits. And yes, if I’m fumbling through my drawer and find a little umbrella, I pop that on too.

*Side note: I prefer green zucchini to yellow, it just seems to hold its shape better when it’s sauteed versus the squishier yellow.

Recipe

Prep time: 30 minutes (including cooking)

Servings: 4-6


Ingredients

1 large green zucchini, sliced into thin quarter pieces

1 small onion, diced

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 can vegetarian refried beans (or make your own)

1 ½ cups Monterrey Jack cheese

4 flour or corn tortillas

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Add olive oil to a large skillet and bring to medium-high heat, toss in the zucchini and onion and cook until just barely tender.
  2. Meanwhile, using a kitchen knife add about 1/8-1/4 cup refried beans to each tortilla. Repeat with four tortillas.
  3. Remove the peppers and onions from the skillet and place the bean covered tortilla, uncovered side on the pan.
  4. Place ¼ of the sautéed zucchini and onions along with a generous handful of cheese onto the bean-covered tortilla. Add another plain tortilla on top.
  5. Flip the tortilla over in the heated pan (as you would with grilled cheese) once the tortilla begins to crisp.
  6. Heat the other side of the quesadilla until crisp. Cool for 3-4 minutes before cutting with a pizza cutter.
  7. Serve with salsa for dipping.
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