Sunday 18 March 2012

Two-Burner Tastiness- Vegetarian Edition

        "Come on and stir it up..."
            -Bob Marley & The Wailers

        It has been brought to my attention that in my Dock-related gastronomical reportage I was ignoring an important demographic.  Dozens two constant occasional readers had mentioned that there were no vegetarian recipes.
      In fact, the argument had been made that I was prejudiced against pescatarians, hated herbivores and was vehemently anti- vegan.

     To which, I respond,  "Well, duh."

     SWMBO and I are not vegetarians, so our menus tend to include ingredients that at one time had a pulse.

     Besides, tofu really, really sucks.

     But, upon reflection, I realized that there is some really yummy stuff out there that we eat and serve regularly, that could be filed under "Vegetarian."

   With our vegetarian son and pescatarian daughter visiting for the March break, we had the perfect opportunity to field-test some twists on old favourites and try some new ideas.

     Give 'em a try and let me know what you think.

      Dock 6 Dirty Rice

4 cloves garlic, minced
1  chopped onion
1 chopped green or red bell pepper
1 stalk celery
1 shallot
1 tbsp or thereabouts Old Bay Seasoning, or a blend of chili powder, seasoned salt, black pepper.
1 tsp.  Five Spice powder
1 1/3 cups uncooked white rice
2 3/4 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 diced  tomato
1 can black beans
 fresh lime juice
 chopped fresh cilantro to taste

Bring the water to a boil, then everybody in the pool!  Except the lime juice.  Whne rice is cooked to desired firmness, remove from heat, squirt on lime juice (or garnish with lime wedges) and dress with sriracha sauce.

     Quinoa Salad
     This recipe was inspired by a dish on the menu at my brother-in-law's restaurant,  Rosie .

     1 cup quinoa rinsed and drained
     2.5 cups of water  or vegetable broth
     1 diced tomato
     1 diced red pepper
     1/2 english cucumber sliced and diced.
     Handful chopped cilantro
    3 tbsp olive oil
    2 tbsp. cider or rice wine vinegar
    2 cloves garlic
    salt and pepper

   Boil water or broth,  add quinoa, coook for about 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.  Let stand for 5 minutes.  Add veggies. Combine dressing ingredients  and rapidly whisk to fully blend.  Pour over quinoa and stir.  Serve at room temp or chilled.


     Hummus and Pita Wedges

     1 can chick peas, rinsed
     2 tablespoons tahini (sesame seed paste)
     1 lemon or juice equivalent
     1/2 teaspoon salt
     2 cloves mashed garlic (optional)
     3 tablespoons olive oil
     4 pitas
     1 green onion
     Dash of Old Bay seasoning

    Mash chick peas.  Blend in tahini and garlic, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and salt.  Blend.  Blend some more. Taste. Add lemon juice to taste.  Taste again.  When yummy, serve in bowl garnished with tablespoon of olive oil, Old Bay and sliced green onions.

    Drizzle olive oil on warm grill or skillet, then warm pitas on both sides until golden brown, then slice into eighths.

     Easy-Peasey Guacamole

     3 avocados - peeled, pitted.
    1 lime, juiced
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup diced onion
    Big handful of chopped fresh cilantro
    2 roma (plum) tomatoes, diced
    4 cloves minced garlic
    A dash or two of cayenne or Old Bay Seasoning
    1 bag tortilla chips

    In a bowl, mash together the avocados, lime juice, and salt. Stir in onion, cilantro, tomatoes, and garlic and seasoning  Taste.  Adjust as necessary. Refrigerate 1 hour for best flavor, or serve immediately with tortilla chips
   Note: Keep one avocado pit in the bowl to prevent discolouration


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  1. Thanks for the ideas! We try to eat vegetarian 80% of the time and ideas are always helpful. Is it wrong that I look at that dirty rice recipe and think" what this needs is some grilled shrimp thrown in..."

  2. Andrew from the Land of Oz19 March 2012 at 12:44

    See ...I said it was Hummus ... and Tofu doesn't necessarily suck Jonesy, you just need to know how to treat it. Cheers from Wombat Manor.

  3. Mimsy, thanks for the kind words, and yes, it is YUMMY with grilled shrimp...and andouille sausage.

    Womby, I treat tofu like I treat all unappetizing unappealing uninteresting lifeforms- with contempt. Although, soak it in rum and I might just give it another try.