Vegetarian Unstuffed Cabbage

My girlchild and my mother really like cabbage rolls. Denise likes them too. I am indifferent toward them.

They aren’t at the top of my list, but not at the bottom. The pros  are: aforementioned girlchild loves it. There will be leftovers. The family believes that I have cooked. It is time consuming, but relatively simple. (especially with the rice steamer–that way I can set it to run while running errands, housekeeping, or napping.

This can also be made ahead and frozen or refrigerated overnight, so you just have to pop it into the oven.

Vegetarian Unstuffed Cabbage

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dry cilantro or parsley (or 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or cilantro)
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 bag frozen meatless "crumbles"
  • 2 cans tomato soup
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 1 cabbage cored and leaves separated
  • .

Instructions

  1. Combine onion, garlic, rice, and water in rice steamer. Set to cook on white rice setting. (or saute onion and garlic on stove, then cook rice in that pot. I just throw it all in the steamer)
  2. Stir in crumbles and spices when rice is cooked.
  3. Meanwhile, cook cabbage leaves in boiling water for 5-10 minutes
  4. Spray 9 x 13 pan with nonstick spray and preheat oven to 350 degrees
  5. Put layer of cabbage leaves on bottom of pan
  6. Add layer of crumble/rice mixture
  7. Repeat
  8. Mix together tomato soup and can of tomatoes.
  9. Spread on top of final layer.
  10. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until heated through.
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Vegetable Napoleons

We will have this for dinner tonight. Well, we will be making it without the eggplant, because we still have teen girls and eggplant brings disaster with teen girls. That’s certainly not the way to celebrate an anniversary. This is a fussy recipe for me in that it has multiple steps. That said, it is totally worth making and will woo your favorite vegetarian mushroom lover. In fact, it will woo anyone who enjoys mushrooms.

Grilled Vegetable Napoleons

Yield: 4 Servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp or so of crushed garlic
  • herbs, (basil, thyme, etc)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • balsamic vinegar
  • 6 Portobello mushrooms
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 8 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 beaten egg
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 1lb fresh mozzarella

Instructions

  1. Combine garlic, herbs, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper to make a marinade. (Your favorite vinaigrette recipe works great)
  2. Slice vegetables and place them in a ziplock bag.
  3. Pour the marinade mix over the vegetables and shake. Let stand 5-15 min.
  4. Grill the vegetables.
  5. In a medium sized bowl, mix the ricotta and beaten egg, a bit of parmesan, salt and pepper.
  6. Bake in the oven till warm through and serve.
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Creamed Onions-For Tradition’s Sake

I like onions. I like them a LOT. I almost wrote an ode to yellow onions over the summer when I was going through a jag of craving them. I didn’t though. Something else I’ve never done is make creamed onions. I know these appear on many a Thanksgiving table–but never mine. I remember my mother having an incredibly visceral reaction when I saw pearl onions at the grocery for the first time. She literally recoiled in horror. Since then, I periodically consider adding them to a meal, but I am afraid that no one will like them…not even me.

Maybe I will this year–because according to this cookbook (Better Homes and Gardens Holiday Cookbook, 1959) “it’s not Thanksgiving unless this specialty is on the table.” The description goes on to mention southern accents: peanuts and cheese! How could I not like it? Oh wait–should I substitute cheddar cheese for the American? Or will Velveeta work best? Hmm. Ok…dish to me about your creamed onion experience! Do you eat them? Do you like them? Is this the recipe your grandmother served?

Creamed Onions

18-20 medium onions
***
1/2 cup salad oil
3 tablespoons enriched flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup shredded process American cheese
Peanuts, chopped

Peel onions and cook in a large amount of boiling, salted water until tender; drain. Blend salad oil and flour; stir in milk and cook slowly until thick, stirring constantly.

Add the cheese and stir until melted. Add the onions and heat through. Place in vegetable bowl and sprinkle with chopped peanuts. Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Remember the Boiled Potato!

This is one of those things my mother would say “I didn’t know there was a recipe for that!” in that voice she uses. Last time she said that, I mentioned that there were probably millions of people in the world who would come upon the U.S. obsession for posting and printing recipes for sesame noodles and say the same thing.

I want to share the boiled red or new potato though for a reason. I forget it as an option. Pasta and rice are common starches in the house. They are so easy! They go with so many things. They don’t take long. Oh wait.

Let’s start with the “recipe”

Wash up some red or new potatoes–1-2 per member of your family, the whole bag, it doesn’t matter. In fact, I recommend the whole bag. I will explain in a minute.

Quarter the potatoes or smaller chunks or even leave them whole. Don’t worry about peeling!

Cover with cold water. Add some salt if you cook with it. Set on the stove to boil. Boil for 10-20 minutes, until the potatoes are tender but not as my kids would say “almost mashed.” (Like other things I am prone to wander off and remember something on the stove an hour later–it doesn’t bother me but it does seem to annoy kids) The size you cut them or leaving them whole changes the length of cooking time. Drain the potatoes.

Now you have options:

Serve with a bit of butter and parsley (parsleyed potatoes)

Warm potato salad

PESTO! Yes, that pesto you are putting on your pasta–works just as well on potatoes and so does sun-dried tomato pesto

Throw them in your blender with some hot broth and cheese and make fast potato cheese soup.

Add a bit of Greek yogurt and dill

If you are smart and you made “too many” you have leftovers. All of the above still hold true but you also have the option of:

Potato Salad

Quick Home Fries: We had boiled potatoes with butter last night. Tonight I heated a tiny bit of oil in the skillet and threw some chopped onion, garlic, and the leftover potatoes in it. I heated them up. I sprinkled cheese on top! Fab, quick home fries without me errr burning the outside and leaving the inside raw. Yes, people really do enjoy eating here even if I sound inept in the kitchen.

Sliced and warmed for a sandwich topping — think thick slices of roast beef or portobello mushroom caps, horseradish and blue cheese swiped under the broiler for a moment.

Mixed vegetables (What’s about to die in your produce bin? What odds and ends of frozen vegetables do you have that aren’t enough for a full serving for your family? Be creative!) , sauce of your choice, leftover potatoes, perhaps some leftover meat or tempeh made into a casserole.

Throw them into a curry!

Some people in this house (me!) will eat them cold out of the refrigerator.
The possibilities are actually endless and having the potatoes boiled means no waiting for the potato to cook through when you use them for leftovers or they are ready to toss into your dish if you cook them while creating that perfect sauce.