Mediterranean Rice

November 24, 2012 By: Megabeth Category: Side Dishes

You can make plain rice any day of the week, but with a few extra items (many you probably already have in your pantry) you can take an ordinary side-dish and turn it into something a bit more interesting.

Cooking the rice in tomato juice adds a deep flavor to the base of this recipe. Add to that the salty capers and robust sun-dried tomatoes so it takes on a lighter note. And, finally, who can resist the taste of an artichoke heart, which rounds out this dish.


Basil and Sun-Dried Tomato Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

December 16, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Main Dishes, Side Dishes

The other night I was faced with a couple portobello mushrooms that needed to be cooked. I grabbed some shredded parmesan, panko, sun-dried tomatoes and basil and voila! A new Veggin’ creation good enough for a quick weekday meal and uniquely flavorful enough for a dinner party for eight.

So quick and easy, I didn’t even bother with pictures from the intermediate steps.

Sun-dried Tomato and Basil Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
by Megabeth

2 large portobello mushrooms
1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
4 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
3 to 4 sundried tomatoes packed in oil, finely chopped
2 teaspoons olive oil, plus more for coating baking dish
panko crumbs
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 375.

Remove stems from mushrooms and chop finely and place into bowl. Add cheese, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper and stir to combine.

Drizzle a little olive oil in bottom of glass baking dish to lightly coat. Remove mushroom “gills” gently with a spoon.

Place mushrooms in baking dish. Put the filling in each prepared mushroom.

Sprinkle panko crumbs on top of filling.

Cover dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until the tops are lightly browned.











Warm Cottage Cheese, Artichoke and Sundried Tomato Dip

July 29, 2011 By: Megabeth Category: Snacks/Appetizers

This recipe almost turned me off with the thought of “warm cottage cheese”. I’m a purest when it comes to cottage cheese. I like a little salt and a little pepper on my cold cottage cheese. Warm cottage cheese gives me the willies. But, for the sake of adventure, I figured I’d try this appetizer dip…and I’m glad I did.

The original recipe also called for marinated artichokes and regular sun-dried tomatoes. Since I was on a binge of cleaning out my larder, I used marinated sun-dried tomatoes and regular artichoke hearts soaked in water. I also did a little tinkering with the ingredients to cut down some of the fat.. I opted to use both a fat-free cottage cheese and a fat free Greek yogurt. I knew that the oil from the sundried tomatoes and the cheddar cheese would help keep the dip moist.

Finally, we have another bumper crop of herbs growing. When they get too bushy for my kitchen counter, I cut pieces off and save them in my handy-dandy herb mill. I currently have a nice mix of parsley, basil (both regular and red leaf), thyme and oregano in mine. I supplemented the flat leaf parsley in this recipe with a few turns of the mill.

My fears of having to munch on “warm cottage cheese” were assuaged after my first bite. Depending on how much you blend the rest of the ingredients, you can end up with a smooth texture or you can keep some of the texture. The brightness of the sundried tomatoes paired nicely with the mellowness of the artichoke hearts. I’ve also had a chance to eat this cold as a spread on crackers. It’s tres good.

All in all, this was a very easy dip to whip up. It cooks very quickly so if you have something else in the oven that needs more time, you can throw this in there with it and have something to serve to tame the hungry crowd in your living room.

Warm Cottage Cheese, Artichoke and Sundried Tomato Dip
Adapted from Imagelicious

  • 1 cup fat-free cottage cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons fat free greek yogurt (you could also use sour cream or mayonnaise)
  • 5-6 artichoke hearts packed in water
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves (or a variety of other fresh herbs to your liking)
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 6 halves, marinated sundried tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

– Process the cottage cheese in a blender or a food processor until it becomes smooth and not grainy anymore.

Warm Cottage Cheese, Artichoke and Sundried Tomato Dip


Warm Cottage Cheese, Artichoke and Sundried Tomato Dip

– Add the rest of the ingredients and process until the desired consistency.

Warm Cottage Cheese, Artichoke and Sundried Tomato Dip

– It can be processed into a very smooth paste or left a little bit chunky. Season to taste. Pour the dip into an ovenproof dish.

Warm Cottage Cheese, Artichoke and Sundried Tomato Dip

– Bake at 350F (180C) for about 15 minutes until the dip is warm and melting.

– Serve with toasted bread or crackers.

Warm Cottage Cheese, Artichoke and Sundried Tomato Dip

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