Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's Vegetarian Week!

I mentioned on my last post that I wanted to cook vegetarian this week.  Some vegetables take longer to cook and since I dont get home until past 7 during the week, I like to use the prep-ahead method.  Which means I use my weekends as much as possible to prep my meals for the week. On Sunday I roasted my butternut squash and cooked my spaghetti squash so I had it ready for meals for the week.
With the Spaghetti Squash I decided to make Cara's Spaghetti Squash and Kale Gratin.  I pretty much followed this exact recipe only I added some Shredded Cheddar Cheese on top.  Cara cooks a lot with Cottage Cheese (Cara can you explain why?) and since I had a huge tub of it, I put it to good use.  Cheese, Squash, Kale.... deliciously perfect!
 I served this with a side salad and it was a perfect dish for a long Monday.
 On Tuesday I made one of Heidi's recipes.  I love 101 Cookbooks and its always the first place I look when I want to cook vegetarian. I tried out her Pumpkin Feta Muffins only I made it with Butternut Squash. So a few things to add: I kinda wish these muffins were egg based and not flour based.  They tasted a little too doughy for me, but you may love them!
Butternut Squash Muffins
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups butternut squash, 1/2-inch cubes
salt and pepper to taste
1 large handful of baby spinach, chopped
3 tablespoons sunflower seeds kernels
3/4 cup shredded cheddar
1/2 cup cubed feta
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 cup flour 

2 teaspoons aluminum free baking powder
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

Preheat oven to 400, with rack in the top third. Use the butter to grease a 12-hole muffin pan and set aside.Sprinkle the olive oil and some salt and pepper over the squash. Toss well and turn onto a baking sheet or roasting pan. Arrange in a single layer and bake for 15 - 25 minutes or until cooked through entirely. Set aside to cool. Transfer two-thirds of the squash to a large mixing bowl along with the spinach, sunflower seeds, Cheddar Cheese, two-thirds of the feta, and all of the mustard. Gently fold together. In a separate bowl beat the eggs and milk together and add to the squash mix. Sift the flour and baking powder onto the squash mix, top with the salt and a generous dose of freshly ground black pepper and fold together just until the batter comes together, be careful not to over mix.THE  BATTER WILL SEEM ALMOST TOO THICK! Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, filling each hole 3/4 full, 
top each muffin with a bit of the remaining squash and feta/cheese. 
Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the tops and sides of the muffins are golden, and the muffins have set up completely.

 Tonight I made Boloco or Chipotle inspired Burrito Bowls. If you don't love to cook or don't have much time to cook, this is the dish for you.  It's REALLY simple and easy... AND FAST!
Vegetarian Burrito Bowls
1/2 Red Onion, Diced
1 Cup of your favorite salsa
1 Tomato, Diced
1 Package of 90 Second Microwavable WHole Wheat Rice
1 Can of Black Beans
1 Can of Pinto Beans
1 Cup of Cheddar Cheese
1 Cup of Crunched Tortilla Chips
Cook Onions over medium heat with olive oil.  Add microwaved rice, salsa, tomatoes and beans.  Saute together for 10 minutes then transfer to a baking dish.
 Add some cheese on top and bake until cheese is melted.
 To create the burrito bowl, add some romaine/spinach
 Add the baked rice to the top.
 Then add the tortilla chips and enjoy!
 I also made Kale Chips and overcooked them but almost in a good way because they really melted in my mouth.  Have I told you about my obsession for Kale Chips?  Oh yes, I think I have.  Many many times.
 The best part about this dish?  We get to enjoy it for lunch!
 On another note, I am hosting Thanksgiving for both our families for the third year in a row.  On Sunday, I studied my textbooks for the perfect recipes...or my favorite cooking magazines.
I made three lists- Appetizers, Side Dishes and Desserts and jotted down recipes that sounded interesting to me. (My husband handles the turkey) On Monday I checked out some of my favorite blogs and the Food Network for more inspiration.  Then on the train this morning I worked on my official list. 
 I'm pretty sure I know what I want to do for every dish except the stuffing.  I want the stuffing to mix root vegetables with cranberries and sausage and maybe mushrooms?  Nothing is singing to me. Do you have a fabulous stuffing dish?  Help me out if you do!


  1. The spaghetti squash looks great. I cook with cottage cheese a lot too because it's a great way to add protein to a meal. Not sure if that's why Cara does, but possibly?

  2. ooh I have been wanting to try Kale chips. Do you have a dehydrator? Look how organized you are! I would be freaking out if I was hosting this year!

  3. oooh - I just found a great stuffing recipe on the Whole Foods website that I plan on doing next week. It's a mushroom stuffing recipe - mmm. Check it:

  4. you are such a planner. i love your prep methods. thanksgiving is going to be awesome!

  5. Okay this doesn't have root vegetables, or cranberries or sausage or mushrooms (can you tell I follow directions??) but it's FAB and vegetarian.

    The only change I make to it is to use a whole (round) sourdough bread, cubed. Amazing flavor.

  6. My MIL makes a stellar stuffing with corn bread, pumpernickel, bacon and all the usual stuff (celery, onions, etc). I hosted Thanksgiving last year and found it totally exhausting. My advice: don't go too crazy with complex dishes to impress and don't overfeed people with apps. Everyone will be asleep at the dinner table! Good luck!

  7. That gratin looks SO good. I've got a spaghetti squash but only some spinach. Wonder if I could sub that. It's hearty spinach not the baby.

  8. I love prepping food on Sundays! Your meals look absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for the recipes..I can't wait to try them. P.S. I am glad you make your husband go to bed early too!

  9. Did you seriously just have two separate squash dishes in one blog post? Awesome. And two of my faves, spaghetti and butternut. Tis the season! :)

    And THANK YOU so much for the running outfit tips. I'm new and seriously need help!!

  10. I love vegetarian week! :) I have to tell you -- I have been eating a vegetarian diet for a long time now, and don't think I've ever cooked a week of meals that are as creative as you did! Every single one of these looks delicious, and not too difficult. I need to try them, stat!

    Sadly I have no great stuffing recipe for you though. :( But I bet your Thanksgiving feast is going to be amazing!

  11. Yum lizzy!! I can never find kale at my supermarket...where else can I find it??

  12. I need to prep food on the weekends like you do. It would be such a time-saver! And I am so impressed you host Thanksgiving! You're my hero :)

  13. Wow these recipes are great. I especially love the burrito bowl and mama peas burgers! I added them to the list :) Can I come to Thanksgiving too, whats one more person?! hehe jk

  14. Those muffins made me drool again.....
    P.S. I never wash my hair either.

  15. The butternut squash muffins look awesome! And with feta too wow -- extra delicious, I'm sure!

  16. Love the little teaser of your TG menu - sounds fab! I love eating cottage cheese and cooking with it because it's so good for you. Such a great source of protein, and let's not forget how important it is for us ladies to get our calcium!