jennymoon's Profile

Title Last Reply

Need inspiration for vegetarian, company-worthy dinner

Big platter of Salad Nicoise - anchovies aren't expensive, for those who want them. At my house, salad nicoise usually has a romaine base topped with separate sections of baby potatoes tossed in a garlicky mustardy vinaigrette, green beans, grape tomatoes, hard-boiled eggs, oil-cured black olives, and often thinly sliced radishes. Anchovies on the side or only on half. Supplement with cheese, baguette, wine, and dessert.

Mujadara with lots of caramelized onions and parsley. Olives and cucumber raita on the side. Hummus/baba ghanoush and pita to start.

Macaroni and cheese with corn and poblanos. Baked beans and coleslaw on the side.

Polenta bowls - top with roasted tomatoes, garlicky greens, corn, mushrooms, fried eggs, or whatever else suits you. (Shrimp and grits?)

Cold borscht plus an assortment of Russian sides like eggplant dip, salad olivier, mushrooms, pirozhki, and rye bread. (Pickled herring?)

Homemade pizza, tacos, and risotto are also company standbys.

May 20, 2015
jennymoon in Vegetarian & Vegan

Best New Thanksgiving Dish

Our seitan roast was a total winner this year. Someone said it was better than the duck (woo!). We used the PPK recipe for the seitan except we upped the beans to 1.5 cups in order to make the roast more tender and less dense, based on last year's attempt. We also used celery seed and herbes de provence instead of sage and thyme.

The filling was mirepoix with garlic and lots of fresh herbs (parsley, rosemary, thyme, sage) and also sauteed mushrooms (shiitakes and baby bellas).

PPK seitan roast : http://www.theppk.com/2011/11/seitan-...

Nov 28, 2014
jennymoon in Home Cooking

Mushroom Gravy?

Here's what I do:

1. Saute diced or sliced mushrooms and onion in olive oil or butter. A mix of white and portabella mushrooms and your shallot will be great. Butter tastes better in this, but olive oil also works if you have vegan dinnermates or prefer it. Quantity of mushrooms depends on whether you want your gravy thick with mushroom pieces or just a few elegant slices floating in there.

2. Remove mushrooms from pan temporarily. Melt 4 tablespoons of butter (or more oil) and add an equal amount of flour (1/4 cup). I use tapioca flour if it needs to be gluten-free. Stir together and cook for a few minutes to make a roux.

3. Slowly add mushroom stock while stirring to incorporate the roux. (I think your veg stock will be good instead.) Add the mushroom mixture back in.

4. Season with salt, pepper, and a little bit of soy sauce/tamari to up the savoriness.

5. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

Mac and cheese with aged cheddar, cherry tomatoes, poblanos, serranos, and roasted corn. Baked beans from http://www.whatwouldcathyeat.com/2010...

Sep 05, 2014
jennymoon in Vegetarian & Vegan

Main dish with bean dip side?

I would probably just eat the bean dip (and tortilla chips) with a chopped salad with Mexican flavors like this:

The bean dip sounds like it has enough protein and fat to be the main event. You could also add some chicken to the salad if you felt like it. If you have avocado, use that too! Mmm...

Aug 19, 2014
jennymoon in Home Cooking

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

Wonderful Greek/Levant salad last night: cucumbers, tomato, yellow bell pepper, feta, olives, artichoke hearts, peppadews, and chickpeas. Tossed in a lemon-olive oil-oregano-garlic dressing. We had it with some baguette and hummus, semi-sweet red wine, and peach pie for dessert.

Lunch today is leftover kimchi jigae (stew) with brown rice.

Dinner will be kale and mushrooms over cheddary grits/polenta. Maybe with an egg on top.

What should I serve with gratin? Ratatouille?

Agree on the cheese, but an egg a day is not bad for you. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutrition...

You know, I still haven't tried making socca. Do you make it in a cast-iron skillet or a pie pan or what? I think maybe I'll make it with some ratatouille :)

Aug 11, 2014
jennymoon in Vegetarian & Vegan

What should I serve with gratin? Ratatouille?

If you had a protein-filled lunch, you don't necessarily need a dish specifically for protein at dinner too. Americans get plenty of protein without having to try at it, especially if you are only a part-time vegetarian. Especially for something as filling as potato gratin, I would probably just have a green salad or roasted veg on the side.

If you feel like you need some protein to fill you up at dinnertime, try adding lentils or beans. For example, you could make a warm or cold lentil salad to accompany your gratin and mound some chickpeas tossed with lemon juice, olive oil, and maybe some parm/feta in the middle of your ratatouille.

More protein rich ideas: refried bean tacos, white bean and kale saute, indian dal/chickpea curry, tofu in stirfries and fried rice, quiche, bbq blackeyed peas with collard greens. It is easier to incorporate vegetarian protein sources into the meal than to add them on the side. Some times I will add a vegetarian (Fieldroast brand) sausage on the side, but most of my protein comes from beans, lentils, eggs, yogurt, tofu, and tempeh.

For the ratatouille, I personally would probably do like Ttrockwood suggested and top it with a fried or poached egg. Serve with cheese, olives, and bread. If you haven't tried this before, do it! So good. I top a lot of dinners with egg (asparagus and polenta, fried rice, etc).

Aug 11, 2014
jennymoon in Vegetarian & Vegan

Looking for a recipe

I've made this recipe which sounds similar:

The sauce has the consistency you describe and is sweet and a little spicy. I usually add more dried pepper flakes or powder to increase the spiciness.

Of course, if she grew up in Georgia, it might not have been vegetarian. The liquid smoke in the IVU recipe is probably to replace flavor from more traditional ham hock.

Aug 11, 2014
jennymoon in Home Cooking

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

My partner's family was visiting us and now we are working our way through the tasty leftovers. Cold borscht with rye bread for me (and with pickled herring for him). Followed with butter and nutritional yeast popcorn. And now maybe followed by ice cream ... I'm in a grazing kind of mood tonight.

Aug 08, 2014
jennymoon in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

What vegetables do you have on hand?

I like baked tofu in stirfry, especially with black bean sauce like this: http://chowvegan.com/2009/11/19/roast...

Are one of you all chowvegan?

Jul 26, 2014
jennymoon in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

I ended up dicing a couple summer squash and tossing it raw with the kernels off two cobs of corn, cilantro, honey, and lime juice. I minced a little bit of pepper to put in, but it was WAY hotter than usual so I left it out for the sake of some spicy-averse guests. The salad was quite good and so summery!

Jul 26, 2014
jennymoon in Vegetarian & Vegan

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

Virtual dinner party! :)

I don't have a grill and my hood is too incompetent to deal with stovetop grilling. Maybe I'll roast the eggplant and summer squash while the oven heats up for pizza.

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

We are having friends over for dinner tonight. Green salad with fennel, celery, and pepitas. Pizzas (homemade dough made already): beet and goat cheese, margherita, mushroom, and for the meat-eaters, prosciutto and artichoke. Berries and whipped cream or a peach crumble for dessert (haven't decided yet). Maybe both!

I was thinking about making a non-green salad too. I have eggplant, summer squash, 4 ears of corn, fresno peppers, kohlrabi... Does anyone have a good idea for me?

Jul 25, 2014
jennymoon in Vegetarian & Vegan

Turning pimento cheese into pimento mac and cheese?

I haven't tried this before either, but I wouldn't make the bechamel. The cream cheese plus milk combo will be thick enough and the mayo will keep the sauce smooth.

I would probably just mix with the hot pasta and trust that any remaining solid cheese will melt in the oven. But I can be a little lazy. :) I think it would probably be better to melt it with milk.

If you are nervous about this, another idea is to melt some pimento cheese into grits.

Jul 21, 2014
jennymoon in Home Cooking

Turning pimento cheese into pimento mac and cheese?

I think it will be great! I might add some veggies to the mac and cheese to temper the richness a bit. Maybe some sweet peppers, poblanos, roasted cherry tomatoes, corn, spinach, kale, or scallions?

If you are using vegetables, roast or saute them. Boil the macaroni to al dente and toss the noodles, veg, and pimento cheese in a bowl. Thin with a little milk so the mixture is saucy, not solid. Pour in a baking dish and top with panko or crushed crackers if that's your jam. I usually don't top with anything. Bake until golden on top.

Jul 21, 2014
jennymoon in Home Cooking

V & V: What's for Dinner? Hot In Here Edition

Green thai curry with CSA veggies and tofu. The veggies were not normally what I would use for thai food, but I'm falling behind on my veggies and needed to catch up! So... roasted parsnips, beet greens, and napa cabbage joined the more usual onion, celery, and peppers.

Reserving Vegetarian/vegan meal for flight?

Oh, yes. Totally true. I've had flights where they ran out of veg meals before they got to me, even when I reserved one, or just don't have them at all. Don't depend on the in-flight meal. That way if it happens to exist and be good, it's a pleasant surprise!

Reserving Vegetarian/vegan meal for flight?

I've had a lot of pasta meals on domestic carriers headed to Europe. Cheesy, overcooked pasta bake things. Bring your own snacks so you won't go hungry if the meal is inedible. If there is an Indian/Asian veg. choice, that is likely to be pretty good, as Science Chick said. And international carriers tend to be better.

Sauce for grilled veggies on grill pan (not balsamic)

Chimichurri, romesco, or pesto?

I usually eat my grilled veggies in tacos (mmm) or pretty plain with olive oil and salt. However, I'm always happy when someone else has one of the above sauces at their bbqs. :)

Grilling ideas needed

Grilled pizza/flatbread?

Veggie burgers

If dairy is ok, grilled haloumi or paneer tikka is awesome.

I also really love the Field Roast frankfurters. They are made with wheat gluten, not processed soy.

Need help with a clever name

Something with Mary-nara sauce?

Jun 22, 2014
jennymoon in Not About Food

V & V what's for dinner?

We'll be having Field Roast frankfurters (surprisingly good texture!) on hot dog buns with spicy mustard and sauerkraut. On the side, French potato salad (mustardy vinaigrette, lots of herbs, and celery with no mayo) and a cucumber salad.

Jun 10, 2014
jennymoon in Vegetarian & Vegan

Gluten-Free Substitute for Flour and Breadcrumb Coating on Chicken Breasts

For the flour you could use rice flour, a GF flour mix like Bob's Red Mill, or make your own like this website explains (http://glutenfreegirl.com/2012/07/how...


For the breadcrumbs, make your own from GF bread or buy GF panko. I know Whole Foods sells it - the brand name is Kinnikinnick Foods.

My mom always used to make Rice Krispy Chicken when I was growing up and there is a gluten-free version of Rice Krispies (http://www.ricekrispies.com/products/...). Just crush the Rice Krispies in a ziptop bag, no need to be too thorough and use like breadcrumbs.

May 30, 2014
jennymoon in Home Cooking

V & V what's for dinner?

Made my meal plan for the week:

Today - a big pot of lentil soup to supply weekday lunches


antipasto-like salad, including spinach, bell peppers, red onion, hot peppadews, pickled garlic scapes, chickpeas, grape tomatoes, and maybe diced cucumber or celery.

sticky tempeh (like this: http://www.thelittleteochew.com/2010/...) with broccoli and rice

potato, caramelized onion, and cheddar pizza with a vinegary slaw on the side

May 26, 2014
jennymoon in Vegetarian & Vegan

When you are hosting a dinner party, do you ask guests whether they have dietary restrictions, or preview the menu for them?

I always ask when a person is over to my house for dinner the first time. I have a pretty casual social circle, so I usually email out invites. I include a line: "Let me know if you have any dietary restrictions or preferences." I would much rather know of someone's allergy/celiac disease/lactose intolerance/hatred of cilantro/whatever early enough that I can make my meal plan inclusive.

I am vegetarian, and I feel much more included and less awkward when someone asks about dietary issues than when I have to bring it up. While I do usually volunteer the information, it feels a little demanding, like "Accommodate me and my food preferences!" I usually say something like, "I'm a vegetarian and don't eat meat or fish. However, I like everything else and am happy to eat sides if you were planning on making something meaty."

I do often share the planned menu also. When people ask what they can bring, I respond with "We're making salad, pizza, and fruit tart. If you want to bring an appetizer, ice cream, or some beer/wine, feel free! Otherwise, just bring your lovely self :)" This depends a lot on how well I know the person, though.

May 26, 2014
jennymoon in Not About Food

So annoyed with dinner guest

So, he obviously does not have good manners - or maybe he is extrapolating from your good friendship with his wife that you guys are close enough not to have to be polite? Either way, he is obviously the problem not you.

However, it is no fun to cook for people and have them not enjoy your food. Have you ever asked him and his wife about their food preferences? I ask because I noticed that all the foods he complained about (in these anecdotes, at least) contained tomatoes or tomato sauce. If you asked and he said, "I really don't like cilantro and eggplant, and often don't like tomatoes," wouldn't it be easier to just not cook those things when dining with them? I'm not saying that it is your duty or responsibility, but it might be worth it for the sake of your friendship with your bestie and for dinner party harmony.

Another strategy might be to email them with your planned menu once you know it (day before?) and if he complains, say "Well, I've already been grocery shopping and the menu is set. If you don't like __________, why don't you bring along another dish for us all to share?" My bet is that once he realizes that you won't short-order cook for him, he will (likely) shut up and make do with the food available or (unlikely) bring something he likes to eat and everyone will be happy.

V & V what's for dinner?

Since my dinnermate is out of town and I'm cooking for one, easy and delicious is the plan.
Tonight: stirfried cabbage in a spicy garlic chile sauce, topped with a fried egg. This is my classic eating alone meal, inspired by Orangette's recipe http://orangette.blogspot.com/2009/01...
I make my sauce mostly out of this (http://www.huyfong.com/no_frames/garl...) or sometimes gochujang

May 20, 2014
jennymoon in Vegetarian & Vegan

HELP me plan a BBQ/party menu

Your menu sounds delicious and I really want some of that corn salad now :)

A word of caution: I don't know how sensitive your gluten-free friends are (aka, whether they are celiac or just following dietary trends) but be careful with your marinade ingredients for the meat. Most soy sauce contains wheat, so you will need gluten-free tamari. Some mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and other condiments are not gluten free. Look for gluten-free on the labels.

May 16, 2014
jennymoon in Home Cooking

No Meat Pizza

Favorites here:

Caramelized onion and potato pizza with gruyere or aged cheddar
Tomato, basil, mozzarella
Mushroom, olives, and aged cheddar
Sweet corn and halved cherry tomatoes (summer only)
Beet and goat cheese, sometimes with arugula added after baking

All of these are white pizzas - no sauce, just a little olive oil, oregano, and red pepper flakes on the dough, then toppings, then cheese. For the potato pizza, we microwave a russet potato, let cool, and then thinly slice. Beets are also cooked ahead. Mushrooms too.

Jan 25, 2014
jennymoon in Home Cooking