Thursday, September 30, 2010

Veggie Hummus

Baby food is designed for babies, of course, but the purees can be great additions to soups and stews. I sneak a jar of squash puree into pnacake batter and give my kids an extra dose of vitamin A for brunch.

Actually, Gerber’s new line of organic, “Smart Nourish” baby food, with DHA and choline to support brain & eye development, is sold in little plastic containers, lighter for toting home, but no more handy little jars for spices. But the lighter material also reduces the carbon footprint, so even better.

The farmer’s market vegetable blend, with carrots and tomoatoes, adds undetectable Vitamins A and E to hummus. Just throw a package into any hummus recipe.

Veggie Hummus

2 cans (15 oz. each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
One 2 pack of Gerber SmartNourish Farmer’s Market Blend with Mixed Grains
1/2 cup tahini
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Fresh chopped parsley

Blend or puree all ingredients except parsley in blender or food processor. Add a little water if too dry.

Garnish with parsley.

Serve with raw vegetables and get your kids to eat even more veggies. Try carrot sticks, string beans, red pepper strips, cucumber spears and broccoli florets.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chestnut soup

Nothing says fall like rich chestnut soup. This soup is great for the holidays, but can be served any time during the fall. The chestnuts make it a bit heartier than vegetable based vegetarian soups, so follow with a light main course.

One can roasted chestnuts (Season has a new product, Roasted and Peeled Whole Chestnuts
2 C vegetable broth
2 T butter
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, cleaned and chunked
2 ribs of celery, chunked
1 C whole milk
salt & pepper, to taste
aute onion in butter till soft, then add broth, carrots, chestnuts and celery. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer, 40 minutes, or until carrots are soft.

With an immersion blender, puree the soup. Or wait till cool, then blend or puree in food processor.
Just before eating, whisk in milk, then heat.

I use homemade broth, but you can also use Manischewitz All-Natural Vegetable Broth.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Best NY Pizza

If you are a vegetarian, you can’t go wrong at a pizza place. Amorina, a casual pizza restaurant in Prospect Heights, has what may be Brooklyn’s best pizza. The thin crust roman-style pizza is topped by organic ingredients and local fresh mozzarella.

My favorite pizza is a twist on the menu’s Prosciutto & Fichi – we just order it without the ham. The figs and thyme make a delicious topping.

We had a rather comical situation recently when we ate there with 2 other couples. We had asked for the prosciutto on the side so our friends could enjoy the pizza with its full complement of toppings, but it came on top. Just after the pizza, dripping with ham, was set down, our rabbi stopped by to chat. We felt like frauds, avowed vegetarians sitting in front of a ham pie, but he seemed unfazed.

Anyway, they brought us a second pie, free of charge (and prosciutto).

Another great veggie option, the Tricolore, is topped with cherry tomatoes and arugula, like a salad on a pizza. The Gorgonzola & Frutta, with bleu cheese, figs, pears and honey, is a bit sweet for my taste, but quite nice without the unnecessary honey.

A chickpea and arugula salad, or beet, goat cheese or endive salad are perfectly composed.

Non-pizza options include eggplant parm and rigatoni with wild mushrooms.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Bobby Flay Makes a Mayo Convert

As a kid, I hated tuna, egg and pasta salad and it wasn’t until I was older that I realized what I really hated was mayonnaise. I started eating tuna in college, when the vegetarian line had dishes like rice and mushrooms for the main course. I also hated mushrooms. (though I now love them) and rice really wasn't much of a dinner. I figured the tuna was good for protein, and I mixed it with plain yogurt and mustard.

Fast forward 30 years. My kids eat tuna ‘my way,’ though they prefer it with mayo, and they also like egg salad. I still don’t like hard boiled eggs, but since egg salad is a good way to cram some protein in a vegetarian, I decided to make some.

Turns out, just about every egg salad recipe contains mayonnaise. I had to buy my first ever jar. Coincidentally, I got invited to a cooking demo with Bobby Flay, where he made three dishes featuring Hellman’s mayonnaise.

First, he made chicken gyros, then he made egg salad –with turkey bacon. Coulnd’t try either. Then he made mini fish tacos, with tuna stuffed into corn chips. Delicious, even with the mayo.

Maybe I didn’t really hate mayonnaise all these years?

At the Hellmann’s Page on Facebook you can create a virtual sandwich and share it with a friend; Hellman’s will make a donation to Share Our Strength for each sandwich made and shared.


A Bobby Flay Recipe

2 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 4 minutes

1/2 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise

1/2 cup prepared salsa

1 Tbsp. lime juice

1 can (6 oz.) tuna, drained and flaked

1 large green onion, thinly sliced

12 large corn tortilla chips

3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (about 3 oz.)

Combine Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise, salsa and lime juice in medium bowl; reserve 1/2 cup. Stir tuna and green onion into remaining mayonnaise mixture just until combined. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper.

Arrange chips on baking pan. Top with tuna mixture, then sprinkle with cheese. Broil 1 minute or until cheese is melted. Dollop with reserved mayonnaise mixture. Garnish, if desired, with additional green onions.

Or serve cold, without the cheese, in corn scoop chips.