Thursday, May 22, 2014


Hey veg-heads!

I want to apologize for my giant absence. I never meant to take a blogging break, but I just never had the time to sit down and post. Over the past few weeks I left my job at the doggy day care center, started a new job at a social media company, lived my dream of seeing Lady Gaga perform at Madison Square Garden, and lots of other things in between.

I hope all of you guys are still around, and I was just letting you know that I'm still here too. Hopefully once things setting down around here I can finally post the millions of photos and recipes that I have collected! Well maybe not millions, but just because I took a posting break, doesn't mean I stopped taking photos and collecting recipes for the blog.

I also wanted to let you know that I have updated the My Journey to the Veggie Side, and FAQ sections.

As soon as things calm down around here, I can finally devote more time to my baby! Sorry again loyal followers, I hope I can finally stop disappointing you!

What have you been doing over the past few months? What kinds of posts would you like to see in the future?

Bye from the Veggie Side!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Roasted Broccoli, Kale, and Chickpeas with Ricotta

Kale has been one of those iffy veggies for me. I have mentioned that I was really nervous to try kale, since the very first time that I was ever exposed to it was preparing food for animals at the Bronx Zoo. Meat eaters would surly turn their noses away from the ground beef and horse mixture that we fed to the lions, and I felt the same way about the food I was used to feeding to gorillas and gazelles. To me, kale was animal food, not human food.

Kale has been getting pretty popular recently, and I finally took the plunge and tried it. I didn't fall head over heals for it, but I did love adding another dark leafy green into my diet. When you cut out meat from your diet, adding a variety of veggies is the spice of life.

I have been eager to find kale recipes. It took a lot of effort for me not to swap kale for spinach (my favorite dark leafy green), but I found a winning recipe that is my new favorite way to eat kale!

Recipe from Sunday Suppers

What you need:


1 Bunch of kale, stemmed and chopped
2-3 Heads of broccoli, cut into small florets
2 Cans of chickpeas
3-4 Tablespoons of lemon juice
4 Tablespoons of EVOO
2-3 Cloves of garlic, chopped
15 oz Container of ricotta cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes to taste

What to do:
Preheat the broiler.
Toss the kale, broccoli, chickpeas, and garlic in the olive oil.
Lay out the veggies on a greased and lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes on top.
Broil for 5 minutes, tossing halfway through, until the kale is crispy, broccoli is tender, and the veggies are just getting a char, but are still bright green.
Drizzle the lemon juice on top.
Serve with a dollop of ricotta cheese.







This was so garlicky and so delicious. I loved the flavor and crisp of the chard kale. The chickpeas had almost a meaty flavor, which went well with the veggie flavor of the broccoli, plus they added an element of protein. The lemon juice was a nice addition of tartness. There was just the right amount of heat from the red pepper to give it a little kick. And the contrast of hot veggies with the cold ricotta took this to the next level. The mild and soft cheese was almost like a cream sauce, it was the perfect way to top this dish.

What is your favorite way to make kale? Will this roasted kale dish be on your menu next?

Bye from the Veggie Side!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Sweet Potato Tacos

You guys must think I'm a big liar. I start off by saying how much I hate Mexican food, yet I am constantly making it! I feel like I can't break out of the habit saying that I don't like it, because I still wont go out to a Mexican restaurant. I used to really dislike beans and corn, but I am slowly starting to like them. As long as I determine what goes into my Mexican meal, I guess I can say I like Mexican food.

I was looking for something a little different to cook. Lately I have been feeling like I'm in a cooking funk. I have been making a lot of the same foods around here, and I thought it was time for a change. I spotted a recipe for sweet potato tacos, and I went ahead and gave it a try!


What you need:


3 Medium sweet potatoes, pealed and diced
1 Can of corn
1 Can of black beans
1 Pack of taco seasoning
16 10-inch tortillas
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Cloves of garlic, diced
3 Tbsp honey
3 Tbsp lime juice
Cheddar cheese to sprinkle on top
Salt and pepper

What do to:
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange the sweet potatoes on the sheet.
Drizzle to coat the potatoes in olive oil.
Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and taco seasoning on top.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are soft, tossing a few times as they cook.
While the potatoes are baking, begin sauteing the garlic in an oil coated pan over medium heat.
Add in the corn, black beans, honey, and lime juice until heated.
Toss in the sweet potatoes and cilantro.
Pile on warmed tortillas and sprinkle with cheese.





The sweet potatoes, corn, and honey definitely added a lot of sweetness to the dish. The cheese was the perfect contrast so to cut the sweetness and I loved the sharpness of the cheddar. It had just a hint of heat, with some Mexican flavors. I wouldn't call this super authentic, but the beans had a nice bite, adding  protein to make it a complete meal.

I thought this was a great creation. Another Mexican meal to add to the list!

Will you try out these sweet potato tacos? What is your favorite take on a Mexican classic?

Bye from the Veggie Side!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Thai Coconut Soup Rice

Many moons ago, I went to my local supermarket and perused the Amy's soups section, as I normally do. I picked up my usual favorites: No Chicken NoodleMinestrone, and Vegetable Barley. Then my eyes stopped on the soup to end all soups, Thai Coconut. I had to have it. I love Thai flavors, I love coconut, I knew this was going to be a party in my mouth.

I bought 4 cans, and made one for dinner that night. I sadly wasn't SOUPer blown away by this (badum chh). I liked the Thai flavors, but it was sadly lacking. This soup watery was full of broth, and not too much else. I like soups that are hardy, and while I loved the Thai basil, bits of tofu, and veggies, it just wasn't enough.

I actually had photos from the first time I tried this soup saved in a folder on my computer for a future blog post for ages. But the more i thought about it, the more I didn't wan't to share a food that I wasn't pleased with. After all, this blog is about food I like to eat.

Even though I wasn't a fan, I didn't want the soup to go to waste, so I slowly made my way through the stock I had picked up on the first day I got it. One day, all the parts of my brain decided to work together. A number of times Ben and I have used soup broth to make rice, in addition to water. Thai Coconut Soup Rice was born!


What you need:


1 can of Amy's Thai Coconut Soup
1.5 cup of rice, dry

What do to:
Measure out the rice, and pour it into a medium pot.
Pour the soup into a measuring cup.
Using a fork, fish out the solid pieces in the soup, and scoop them into a small bowl, leaving the soup broth in the measuring cup.


There should be about a cup of broth left.


Pour the 1 cup of soup broth in with the rice, then pour in an additional 2 cups of water.
Stir the rice, broth, and water together, cover the pot, then bring to a boil.
Once the water is boiling, turn the heat down to low, and let simmer for 16 minutes.
DO NOT remove the lit until the end of the 15 minutes.
Once the rice is fully cooked, stir in the reserved soup veggies. Serve hot.





The perfection of this rice is that all the ingredients are already in the soup, so you don't need to add anything else! I loved the light, coconut flavor, the sweet and tasty veggies, and, of course, the Thai basil. The rice was nice and creamy, and had a built-in protein: the tofu from the soup! This would be great as a side, or a meal on its own. Oh, and its vegan too!

What other soups should I try to make rice? Will you try this Thai Coconut Soup Rice?

Bye from the Veggie Side!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Potato Salad with Horseradish Dressing

One of my favorite family traditions is Sunday lox and bagel brunch. Whenever my grandpa would visit from Florida, we would have a big brunch on the last Sunday he was in town. It had all the makings of a traditional Jewish breakfast: bagels from a local bakery, flavors of cream cheese, every kind of fish you could imagine, and a million different salads. As a kid, the different fish didn't look appetizing, so I stuck with everything else, and of course when I got older, I stopped eating meat. We got most of the fish and salads from a supermarket by my house. I loved the pasta salads and coleslaw, but my favorite was red potato salad.

Now that my grandpa doesn't travel anymore, and I moved away from home, my dad and I have our special brunch when I visit home. Sadly, that supermarket has closed, and now I have no way of getting some of my favorite salads. My dad bought a few from other places, but they just weren't the same.

While on a mission to find some recipes online, I found one for red potato salad. It looked so good, and I decided to try it out.


What you need:


5 Lbs potatoes
grape tomatoes, cut in half
1 can of green beans
fresh dill
salt and pepper
horseradish sauce

Horseradish sauce:

4 table spoons mayo
1 tablespoon horseradish
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Mix everything together in a small bowl and set aside to dress the potatoes later.

What to do:
Cut the potatoes into 2-bite size. Place in a pot with enough water to cover to potatoes. Bring to a boil.
Keep checking on the potatoes, until you can easily split the largest one with a fork.
Drain water and let potatoes cool in the refrigerator.
While potatoes are cooling, prepare the horseradish dressing, slice the tomatoes, and chop the dill.
Once potatoes are cold, combine potatoes, dressing, dill, tomatoes, green beans, and salt and pepper.
Serve chilled.






I can't believe how good this turned out! The dressing was tangy, spicy, creamy, and the horseradish went perfectly with the potatoes. The dill went so well with all the different flavors. The freshness reminded me of a fancy BBQ party in spring. The potatoes were nice and soft, while the tomatoes added a bit of a crunch, and the string beans were a great addition. I didn't go out looking for a recipe to replace my beloved potato salad, but every time I ate this I was instantly reminded of it. I can't wait to go back home and make this for my dad and I for brunch!

Do you love potato salad too? Will you try this one?

Bye from the Veggie Side!

P.S. The horseradish dressing is so delicious and versatile, you can use it for many other recipes too!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Curry Tofu with Rice Medallions

A little wile ago, Ben and I decided to take a shopping trip to H Mart. For those that don't know, H Mart is a huge Asian supermarket. I had one by my house in NY, but Ben and I were looking to really explore the one in our neck of the woods. We went up and down every isle and made some awesome discoveries.

First, in our normal supermarket, tofu is usually around $4, while in H Mart its only $1.5! I can't believe how much money I had been wasting. Actually, all of their produce is much cheaper, and with a much larger verity. We also found great non-food items like a knife-sharpener, and some tea accessories.

However, I was on a mission of my own. While on my last trip to Austin, David took me to a delicious Asian restaurant. For the first time I tried rice medallions, and ever since then, I just couldn't get them out of my head. In such a large Asian supermarket, I was really hoping to find them. Finally after a long shopping trip of searching, there they were!  We also picked up some of our other favorites like curry and miso paste, and once we got home I threw together a meal I had been craving for months.


What you need:


4 Tablespoons of curry paste
1 large can of coconut milk
2 medium heads of broccoli, chopped
1 pound tofu
1 bag of rice medallions

What to do:
Start by sauteing the tofu and broccoli.
Next, stir in the coconut milk and curry paste.
While everything is simmering, cook the rice medallions according to the instructions on the bag.
Once everything is done, mix it together and serve.





This ended up being very coconuty, with a bit of heat and an authentic Thai flavor. The rice medallions were creamy and chewy just like I remembered. I loves how the tofu and broccoli soaked up all the curry flavors. It was the perfect mix of sweet and spicy.

I was so happy to get to eat these little morsels of goodness. I will be traveling back to Austin again in a few weeks,and hopefully I'll get to have them again!

Have you ever tried these rice medallions?

Bye from the Veggie Side!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Romantic Pancakes

Last week I celebrated a really nice Valentine's day by exchanging gifts and having a nice dinner with Ben. He got me a beautiful new tea set that I absolutely love! Only a few days later, Ben left for a long weekend to go skiing with his family, and I stayed home to man the fort.

I'm not sure if I was just missing Ben, or still in the Valentine's mood, but I decided to get a little creative with my breakfast one morning.  As you know, I'm not the biggest fan of breakfast foods, but I knew I had a lonely box of pancake mix in the cupboard that wanted some attention. I had also been itching to try out my new heart molds. Add in some mixed berries and chocolate sauce, and I had made some very romantic pancakes...just for myself.




There is not much better than chocolate with strawberries, so I knew I'd have a winner. I mixed the chocolate sauce right into the batter, but next time I'll squeeze it onto the pancakes as they cook, for a more chocolaty flavor. I loved the hot, sweet berries inside and the pancakes were so soft and fluffy too! This little romantic breakfast for one came together perfectly, with a cup of tea in my brand new set.

What do you think of my little romantic pancakes? Would you eat these alone, or share them with someone special?

Bye from the Veggie Side!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Easy Miso Soup

I have loved miso soup ever since I first tried it, and I remember that first.  When I was in high school my mom found a brand of vegetarian instant soups in the supermarket, and I lived on those.  They made all different flavors, and one was miso. I remember how much I loved it, and how happy I was that it was vegetarian.

I started ordering miso soup from Sushi restaurants left and right. They all seemed to taste a little different, so I decided to see what really went into miso. From what I gathered, miso itself is made from fermented soy beans. When miso soup is made it can be made with just miso and water, or it can also have fish stock.  That must have been the culprit of the unusual taste in the different soups.

That meant I sad had to cut miso soup from my diet, since you never know how restaurants make it. I figured that was that. Then Ben found a really easy miso soup recipe. It was completely vegan and looked easy to make. We pick up some miso paste and Ben made his soup...and it was SO GOOD! After stealing a ton of spoonfuls, I knew I had to make it myself.


What you need:


4 tablespoons of miso paste
1 lb of tofu, diced
1 bunch of green onions, chopped
dried seaweed, crumbled
6 cups of water

What to do:
Heat the water in a medium pot, until boiling.
Once water is boiling remove from heat.
Add the onions, crumbled seaweed, and tofu to the boiling water.


Scoop out a tablespoon of miso, and put the spoonful in the water. While the spoon is in the water, using a fork or chopstick, slowly dissolve the miso into the water.
Repeat 3 more times.
Serve with a few dashes of soy sauce.






This miso soup was amazing! It was so authentic with the perfect Asian flavors. The tofu was nice and soft, and added an element of protein. The onions were crunchy, and added depth to the flavor or the soup. The flavor of the seaweed gave this soup that fishy element that in other soups comes from the fish stock. A splash of soy sauce was the perfect finishing touch. It added that last bit of saltiness that was needed to complete the soup.

Do you love miso soup too? Will you try making your own easy miso soup?

Bye from the Veggie Side!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Asparagus and Sausage with Rice

While most vegetarians might hate living with a meat eater, it actually comes in handy. Hey! Don't get me wrong, I still hate when I have to be around when he's cooking pork chops, but being exposed to different foods has given me some great ideas (plus I like having a taste-tester to tell me if my veggie meats taste like real meat).

Since I have zero experience with sausage, it seriously confuses me.  My supermarket carries a few different kinds of vegetarian sausages, and I want to try them all, but I don't really know what to do with them. I tried some on a bun, but I wanted some new ideas. Ben recently made a make-shift jambalaya with rice, sausage, and potatoes. There it was, the perfect opportunity to vegetarianize! (I might have just made that word up).


What you need:


1 pound of vegetarian sausage, sliced
1 1/2 cup of rice
3 cups of veggie broth
1 bunch of asparagus, chopped
3 cloves of garlic
oil for cooking
celery salt
parsley flakes
chipotle Tabasco (or you can use any hot sauce plus liquid smoke)

What to do:
Begin by cooking  the rice according to the directions on the package, however boil the rice in the veggie broth, rather than plain water.
While the rice is cooking, heat the oil in a pan over medium heat.
Saute the garlic, asparagus, and sausage.
Add the celery salt, pepper, parsley, pepper, and Tabasco to the saute.
Saute until sausage browns and asparagus softens.


Once the rice is cooked, combine with the sausage and asparagus.







The first thing I noticed was lots of spice! The sausage was meaty and very flavorful, and I loved the soupy flavor from cooking the rice in broth. This turned out to be surprisingly comforting! I loved the hint of smokiness from the Tabasco.

Now I have a confession about asparagus. This is only the second time I have ever eaten it! It used to totally gross me out, and I had been too scared to try it. I bit the bullet (and the veggies) and actually tried a bite of asparagus that came as a side to a meal Ben ordered in a restaurant a few months ago..and I actually liked it.

If you have been following around here, you'll notice that there is no shortage of broccoli on this blog, but not too much other variety in veggies. I have been trying to expand my veggie horizons and try cooking different kinds. I ended up liking this asparagus too! It had a nice softness with a hint of sweet and a fresh veggie flavor. I wouldn't say asparagus is a favorite food of mine, but I did like it and I am going to try and make it a regular in my diet.

Do you try to expand your veggie menu too? Do meat meals inspire you to create veggie options?

Bye from the Veggie Side!


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