Vegetarian Hoppin’ John

January 01, 2010 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

There are many legends on what to eat when ringing in a new year and black eyed peas always top the list. Eat some black eyed peas to bring good luck and prosperity in the new year.  I’ll try it and see what happens. Either way, this recipe is a spicy, warm meal on a cold winter night. Of course, the original Hoppin’ John requires some pork, but this is made with vegetarian sausage. You’ll never miss the meat. This also makes a heck of a lot so you won’t go hungry if you’re feeding this to a crowd.

Vegetarian Hoppin’ John
By Megabeth

  • 2 15 oz cans organic black eyed peas, drained
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced organic tomatoes
  • 1 4 oz can green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 32 oz vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups long grain rice, uncooked
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 8 ounces vegetarian sausage, crumbled

Empty black eyed peas, tomatoes (include the liquid) and green chilies into slow cooker. Add spices and one cup vegetable broth. Stir to combine. Cover and heat on low for 3-4 hours.

Vegetarian Hoppin John

Add long grain rice and the rest of the vegetable broth. Heat for another hour or two. Add more water or vegetable broth if mixture dries out.

About 15 minutes before serving, brown vegetarian sausage in olive oil over medium high heat.

Add to mixture in slow cooker. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.

34 Simple (Vegetarian) Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less

October 05, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Article, Main Dishes


In 2007, the New York Times wrote an article called Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less. I’ve held on to the article (yes, from the actual newspaper) and just came across it again in a massive desk clean-up. So, rather than hiding it back into a deep dark drawer, I figured I’d list some of the ideas here.

In the original, the majority of the dishes included meat (mostly fish), but there were many on there that are vegetarian or vegan. I’ve also included several that were easy to substitute with a faux meat. Many of these dishes can be prepared if you are good about keeping the basics in your pantry. (For a refresher check out my list of what every vegetarian should have in their kitchen.)

So, without further ado, here are 34 simple vegetarian meals ready in 10 minutes or less.

1. Make six-minute eggs: Simmer gently, run under cold water until cool, then peel. Serve over steamed asparagus.
2. Toss a cup of chopped mixed herbs with a few tablespoons of olive oil in a hot pan. Serve over angel-hair pasta, diluting the sauce if necessary with pasta cooking water.
3. Make pesto: put a couple of cups of basil leaves, a garlic clove, salt, pepper and olive oil as necessary in a blender (walnuts and Parmesan are optional). Serve over pasta (dilute with oil or water as necessary).

IMG_89184. Gazpacho: Combine one pound tomatoes cut into chunks, a cucumber peeled and cut into chunks, two or three slices stale bread torn into pieces, a quarter-cup olive oil, two tablespoons sherry vinegar and a clove of garlic in a blender with one cup water and couple of ice cubes. Process until smooth, adding water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper, then serve or refrigerate, garnished with a little more olive oil.
5. Soak couscous in boiling water to cover until tender; top with tomatoes, parsley, olive oil and black pepper.
6. Chinese tomato and eggs: Cook minced garlic in peanut oil until blond; add chopped tomatoes then, a minute later, beaten eggs, along with salt and pepper. Scramble with a little soy sauce.
7. Cut eggplant into half-inch slices. Broil with lots of olive oil, turning once, until tender and browned. Top with crumbled goat or feta cheese and broil another 20 seconds.

IMG_35388. While pasta cooks, combine a couple cups chopped tomatoes, a teaspoon or more minced garlic, olive oil and 20 to 30 basil leaves. Toss with pasta, salt, pepper and Parmesan.


9. Egg in a hole, glorified: Tear a hole in a piece of bread and fry in butter. Crack an egg into the hole. Deglaze pan with a little sherry vinegar mixed with water, and more butter; pour over egg.
10. Quesadilla: Use a combination of cheeses, like Fontina mixed with grated pecorino. Put on half of a large flour tortilla with pickled jalapenos, chopped onion, shallot or scallion, chopped tomatoes and grated radish. Fold tortilla over and brown on both sides in butter or oil, until cheese is melted.
11. Fast chile rellenos: Drained canned whole green chilies. Make a slit in each and insert a piece of cheese. Dredge in flour and fry in skillet slit side up, until cheese melts.
12. Saute 10 whole peeled garlic cloves in olive oil. Meanwhile, grate pecorino, grind lots of black pepper, chop parsley and cook pasta. Toss all together, along with crushed dried chili flakes and salt.
13. Cold soba with dipping sauce: Cook soba noodles, then rinse in cold water until cool. Serve with a sauce of soy sauce and minced ginger diluted with mirin and/or dry sake.

IMG_099514. Fried rice: Soften vegetables with oil in a skillet. Add cold take-out rice, chopped onion, garlic, ginger, peas and two beaten eggs. Toss until hot and cooked through. Season with soy sauce and sesame oil.
15. Taco salad: Toss together greens, chopped tomato, chopped red onion, sliced avocado, a small can of black beans and kernels from a couple of ears of corn. Toss with crumbled tortilla chips and grated cheese. Dress with olive oil, lime and chopped cilantro leaves.


16. Migas, with egg: Saute chopped stale bread with olive oil, mushrooms, onions and spinach. Stir in a couple of eggs.
17. Saute shredded (or sliced) zucchini in olive oil, adding garlic and chopped herbs. Serve over pasta.


18. Not takeout: Stir-fry onions with cut-up broccoli. Add cubed tofu along with a tablespoon each minced garlic and ginger. When almost done, add half cup of water, two tablespoons soy sauce and plenty of black pepper. Heat through and serve over fresh Chinese noodles.


19. The Waldorf: Toast a handful of walnuts in a skillet. Chop an apple or pear; toss with greens, walnuts and a dressing made with olive oil, sherry vinegar, Dijon mustard and shallot. Top if you like, with crumbled goat or blue cheese.
20. Put a stick of butter and a handful of pine nuts in a skillet. Cook over medium heat until both are brown. Toss with cooked pasted, grated Parmesan and black pepper.
21. Put a tablespoon of cream and a slice of tomato in each of several small ramekins. Top with an egg, then salt, pepper, ad grated Parmesan. Bake at 350 degrees until the eggs set. Serve with toast.
22. Make a fast tomato sauce of olive oil, chopped tomatoes and garlic. Poach eggs in the sauce, then top with Parmesan.


23. Peel and thinly slice raw beets; cook in butter or oil with garlic; do not overcook. Finish with parsley, lemon juice and coarse salt; serve over toast.
24. Rich vegetable soup: Cook asparagus tips and peeled stalks or most any other green vegetable in [vegetable] stock with a little tarragon until tender; reserve a few tips and puree the rest with a little butter (cream or yogurt, too, if you like) adding enough stock to thin the puree. Garnish with the reserved tips. Serve hot or cold.
25. Brush portobello caps with olive oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper and broil until tender. Briefly sweat chopped onions, then scramble eggs with them. Put eggs in mushrooms.
26. Near instant mezze: Combine hummus on plate with yogurt laced with chopped cucumbers and a bit of garlic, plus tomato, feta, white beans with olive oil and pita bread.
27. Sear corn kernels in olive oil with minced jalapenos and chopped onions; toss with cilantro, black beans, chopped tomatoes, chopped bell pepper and lime.


28. Pit and chop a cup or more of mixed olives. Combine with olive oil, a little minced garlic, red pepper flakes and chopped basil or parsley. Serve over pasta.
29. Grated carrots topped with six-minute eggs (run under cold water until cool before peeling), olive oil and lemon juice.
30. Cut off the top of four big tomatoes; scoop out the interior and mix them with toasted stale baguette or pita, olive oil, salt, pepper and herbs (basil, tarragon, and/or parsley). Stuff into tomatoes and serve with salad.
31. Pasta frittata: Turn cooked pasta and a little garlic into an oiled or buttered skillet. Brown, pressing to create a cake. Flip, then top with three or four beaten eggs and loads of Parmesan. Brown other side and serve.
32. Ketchup-braised tofu: Dredge large tofu cubes in flour. [Megabeth note: press and drain tofu to get excess liquid out before using.] Brown in oil; remove from skillet and wipe skillet clean. Add a little more oil, then a tablespoon minced garlic; 30 seconds later, add one and a half cups ketchup and the tofu. Cook until sauce bubbles and tofu is hot.
33. Veggie burger: Drain and pour a 14-ounce can of beans into a food processor with an onion, half a cup of rolled oats, a tablespoon chili powder or other spice mix, an egg, salt and pepper. Process until mushy, then shape into burgers, adding a little liquid or oats as necessary. Cook in oil about three minutes a side and serve.
34. So-called Fettuccine Alfredo: Heat several tablespoons of butter and about half a cup of cream in a large skillet just until the cream starts to simmer. Add slightly undercooked fresh pasta to the skillets, along with plentuy of grated Parmesan. Cook over low heat, tossing, until pasta is tender and hot.

Mexican-Style Rice Casserole with Corn, Sour Cream, and Cheese

September 04, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes

This recipe is inspired by one that appeared in Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian. You can prepare this dish ahead of time, store it in the fridge, then heat through when you are ready to serve. This casserole creates and interesting consistency, once you lift it out of the pan, it separates and becomes more of a hearty rice dish. It also works well reheated as leftovers.

I used a bourbon chipotle hot sauce in this version and it added a nice smoky flavor to the dish. You can just choose your favorite hot sauce and season to your liking.

Mexican-Style Rice Casserole with Corn, Sour Cream, and Cheese
by Megabeth

6 cups rice, cooked (made from 2 cups dry rice)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 4-oz can fire roasted green chilies
1 t cumin
1 t chili powder
dash cayenne pepper (or to taste)
1 3/4 cups corn kernels (from fresh corn) 1 1/2 cups fat free sour cream
1/2 cup fat free Greek yogurt (or just use a total of two cups of sour cream)
Flavored hot sauce, to taste (I used about 2 Tablespoons of a mild flavored bourbon chipotle hot sauce)
1 1/2 lightly packed cups grated cheddar cheese

Put oil in saute pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute until onion is translucent (about 3 minutes). Add chilies, corn, spices and stir. Cook a few minutes to start heating up the corn for about a minute or two. Take mixture off the heat and let it cool off.

Mexican-Style Rice Casserole with Corn, Sour Cream, and Cheese

In another bowl add cooked rice, sour cream, and hot sauce and stir to combine. Stir the cheddar cheese into the mixture.

Mexican-Style Rice Casserole with Corn, Sour Cream, and Cheese

Put mixture into 2-quart square baking dish (or 3-quart casserole dish).

Mexican-Style Rice Casserole with Corn, Sour Cream, and Cheese

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees until heated through.

Mexican-Style Rice Casserole with Corn, Sour Cream, and Cheese

Mexican-Style Rice Casserole with Corn, Sour Cream, and Cheese

Saucy Lime Potatoes

June 25, 2009 By: Megabeth Category: Side Dishes

The tartness of the lime juice and the spiciness of the chilies makes this a unique way to serve potatoes. About a year ago, I purchased a chopper/dicer thing that makes chopping go so much faster.  By using that gizmo, I was able to prep this dish in no time flat. What made it even faster was the fact that I still had some leftover romesco sauce that I used instead of tomato sauce.

Saucy Lime Potatoes
Summer Cookery

Rohini Singh

  • 6 largish potatoes, boiled, peeled, and cubed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, preferably unsalted
  • 1/2-3/4 teaspoons black pepper, preferably freshly ground
  • 2 tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander (I used cumin instead)
  • 1-2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lime
  • salt to taste

Gently melt the butter in a pan.

saucy lime potatoes

Add all the ingredients except the potatoes and lime juice. Stir and cook until the fat separates. This takes only a few minutes.

saucy lime potatoes

Add the potatoes and stir to coat each well. Fry for 5-7 minutes and longer if you like them crisper.

saucy lime potatoes

Add the lime juice and stir to coat evenly.

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