Recipes: Vegetarian Mains/Sides

January 07, 2013

Asian Quinoa Salad


The first time I tried Quinoa was on a work trip to New York City. We were at the beautiful new Hearst building having lunch with Country Living Magazine colleagues in their amazing cafeteria. I tried a bit on top of a green salad and was instantly hooked. At the time, Quinoa was fairly new to the U.S. and was hard to find. But now, it's available in most supermarkets. Quinoa is pronounced: keen-wa and is a seed that seems much like a grain and is really high in protein.

Asian Quinoa Salad

1 small piece fresh ginger (about 1 1/4 inches)

4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (1 32 ounce carton)

2 cups quinoa

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

4 teaspoons peanut butter

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup diced red bell pepper (1/4" dice)

1/3 cup diced yellow bell pepper (1/4" dice)

1/3 cup sliced green onions

Roasted, unsalted peanuts. chopped, for serving (optional)

Cook the quinoa: Peel the ginger and grate enough to equal 1 teaspoon; cover and set aside. Then place the remaining whole piece ginger in a medium-size saucepan. Add the broth and quinoa, and cook according to the quinoa package directions. Discard the ginger and transfer the quinoa to a medium-size salad bowl; set aside to cool.

Make the dressing and salad: Meanwhile, whisk together the oil, vinegar, peanut butter, soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, garlic, and reserved grated ginger in a small bowl until combined. Add the peppers and green onions to the quinoa in the salad bowl; pour the dressing over the top and toss to thoroughly combine. If you wish, sprinkle some peanuts over the salad just before serving.

Images by John Granen

This recipe and many more can be found in my first book, The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen.


June 12, 2012

Italian Veggie Sandwich

The last year brought a lot of changes to my world - many of them health related. I've always really prided myself on cooking healthy food for my family, but I've never tried harder than I do now, really in an effort to be as healthy as I can be (and my family too!) As I've made big changes to what I've been cooking, it's been a challenge. For me, someone who has always cooked for enjoyment, it feels like I'm learning to walk again. I recently created this delicious veggie sandwich, which is an adaptation of my Olivada Crostini recipe from the first Farm Chicks cookbook, and a success in my quest for more healthy eating.

Italian Veggie Sandwich

2 small hearty Italian bread rounds or 1 regular-sized

4.25 ounce can chopped black olives

1/3 cup pimento stuffed green olives, chopped

1/2 cup bottled roasted red or yellow peppers, chopped

3 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1 large clove garlic, minced fine

Fresh onion slices

Fresh zucchini slices

Romaine lettuce

Cut rounds in half and remove soft inner bread, leaving just the crust. (Save the soft bread for snacking!)


Add the olives, peppers, vinegar and garlic to a small mixing bowl and stir until combined.


Spoon about 1/4 of the mixture onto the inner base of the bread round and spread evenly.


Top with the onions, zucchini, and lettuce.

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Add a bit more of the olive mixture to the inner top of the bread round.


Place top round onto bottom veggie-filled round and press. Cut in half or in fourths and serve. (These sandwiches are also really delicious if they are wrapped and placed in the refrigerator overnight).


Repeat the process with the remaining bread round, filling, and veggies.

September 13, 2011

Lunch for One


I love the days when I actually take a few minutes to make myself a good lunch, especially one that comes, in part, from my garden.

Polenta with Swiss Chard and Egg

Prepare one serving of polenta*, salting to taste

While polenta cooks, wash, chop and quickly fry a big handful of swiss chard over high heat. (Don't overcook the chard, you just want it to wilt and soften a bit).

Pour hot polenta onto your plate, top with swiss chard.

Fry an egg to your liking (I like over-easy), salt and pepper to taste, and add to the polenta and chard.

Garnish with fresh cilantro or any herb you like.



*Polenta is very similar to grits, with the only difference being the type of corn. Both are equally delicious.


August 18, 2011

Sour Cream and Onion Zucchini Cakes


With zucchini in abundance this time of year, these tasty bites are a fun new way to put the veggie to good use. (This recipe is from my first book, The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen and is shown here with another recipe from the book, Tangy Cucumber Cups).

Sour Cream & Onion Zucchini Cakes

2 cups grated zucchini (about 3 medium zucchini)

1 large egg, lightly beaten

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup for coating cakes

3/4 cup Japanese style panko bread crumbs

1/4 cup finely diced onion

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Vegetable oil, for frying

Sour cream, for serving (about 1/2 cup)

Chopped fresh chives, for garnish

Place the grated zucchini on a paper towel-lined plate and let sit for an hour; occasionally change the paper towel.

With your hands, transfer the zucchini to a medium-size bowl, tightly squeezing as you do so to remove as much liquid as possible. Add the egg, the 2 tablespoons flour, bread crumbs, onion, salt, and pepper; mix to combine.

Place the remaining 1/2 cup flour on a plate. Add enough oil to a medium-size skillet to be 1/8-inch deep; heat over meium-high heat until hot. Meanwhile, formthe zucchini mixture into tiny (2-inch) bite-sized cakes. Working in three batches, pat each side of each cake in the flour and place in the hot skillet. Fry on each side until golden brown - 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Arrange the cakes on a serving plate, top each with a dollop of sour cream, and sprinkle with chives. Serve warm.



Fabric on tray and fabric on apron: Sandi Henderson. (You can purchase her super wonderful fabrics here).

Butter Pats: Vintage (Purchased from The Vintage Rabbit).

Image: John Granen, from my book: The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen. To purchase, click here.

P.S. If you already have a copy of the book, I'd love it if you could provide a review here.


June 10, 2011

Grilled Pizza

I love when the weather begins to take a turn for the warmer and it seems like every meal is done on the grill. One of my favorites is pizza.


You'll need to start with a batch of your favorite pizza dough. I like this recipe from Better Homes & Gardens:

Pizza Dough

2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour

2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup warm water (not hot)

2 tablespoons olive oil

In a large mixer bowl combine 1 1/4 cups of the flour, the yeast, and salt.  Stir in warm water and oil. Beat at low speed of electric mixer for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat 3 minutes at high speed. Stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can mix in with a spoon. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic. (6 to 8 minutes total).

Cover dough and let rest 10 minutes. Divide dough into as many pizzas as you'd like to make and roll out on a floured surface. (I recommend starting out with small pizzas while you get the hang of cooking them on the grill).

Place dough on floured pans.


Lightly cover the top of each crust with olive oil. (I like to use olive oil that can be sprayed on for this). Light grill and set at low-medium low. Hold pan over grill and carefully flip the dough (the side that you've oiled) onto the grates. If the dough gets crinkled, quickly use a spatula to straighten it out, by placing the spatula under the dough and using your hand on top of the dough to guide the dough out. Transferring the dough to the grill is the trickiest part and takes some practice. (This is why I recommend starting out with small crusts). Spray the side facing up with olive oil. Once the crust has very lightly browned and is stabile enough to turn, flip it with your spatula and lightly brown the other side. (You are not trying to completely cook the dough at this point, just giving it a light grilling). Place crusts back onto pans and return to the kitchen for toppings.


Now comes the fun part: your favorite toppings. Add anything you'd like. Here are some ideas:

Pesto, spinach, and parmesan:


Olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, fresh oregano and mozzarella: (fresh basil is even tastier, but I was out at the time)


A sudden windfall of 5 pounds of asparagus from my neighbor inspired this one: olive oil, asparagus, marinated feta, and pine nuts. (I should have added some ricotta or mozzarella too, as it was tasty, but a bit too dry).


And of course, kid favorites like cheese and ham with olives:



Take pizzas back to the grill and cook until the cheese is melted and the crust is browned to your liking:


Then remove from the grill, slice, and serve immediately.




Tips: I buy my pizza pans from a local restaurant supply store in Spokane. (Most cities have these stores). It's really helpful to have a lot of pans when feeding a crowd.

I usually double the dough so there's plenty to go around and to enjoy for leftovers the next day.


March 25, 2011

Pon Pon Tofu

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January 18, 2011

Roasted Corn Pasta Salad

The Farm Chicks Website has moved. You can find The Roasted Corn Pasta Salad recipe here.

January 06, 2011

Black Bean Burgers

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