Category Archives: vegetarian

Roasted Tomato & Quinoa Veggie Pot: Eat Food.

After posting my health library I realized that, while I love flipping through the pages, I’ve never fully read Michael Pollan’s Food Rules. It actually sits on my desk at work, should I ever need some very simple inspiration for a post (work-blog, not here), seminar or handout. Now, it’s sitting on my kitchen table as I realize it could be the inspiration for some new recipes.

I like to think we make up our own rules here in the DOTR kitchen, and that Mr. Pollan would approve. Our “rules” would have to mash together to form something that includes dark chocolate and a hankering for chips & salsa; there are some compromises to be made! But nonetheless, I opened the book to page 5 and started with this:

1) Eat food.

We can do that!

Today’s recipe is a simple one-pot wonder that will put dinner in your bowl/plate/mouth within 30 minutes (or less). If you wanted to roast the tomatoes yourself – power to ya! – then use this on a cooler summer evening with fresh summer tomatoes and go for it (adding some cook-time)! When they’re out of season, I reach for the Muir Glen Organic Fire-roasted Tomatoes because I know them well. The flavor can’t be matched!

Roasted Tomato & Quinoa Veggie Pot

2 cans (15 oz) fire-roasted organic tomatoes, undrained
1 can (15 oz) organic chickpeas, undrained
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups broccoli florets, chopped
1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
1 cup dry quinoa (rinsed)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp garlic powder (or one glove garlic, minced)
Salt/pepper to taste

Le Creuset Cooking

Heat oil over medium in a large pot or Dutch oven; add onion and sauté until opaque/softened. Add tomatoes, water, chickpeas, broccoli, quinoa and seasonings. Stir until mixed well; bring to boil and then reduce heat, cover and let simmer for ~20-25 minutes (until quinoa is cooked through). Stir every couple of minutes to prevent any burning.

Let it cool, and then dish it out!

Roasted tomato & quinoa veggie pot 2

This was the perfect, easy and flavorful one-pot creation on a colder DC night. Next up I might finally use that slow-cooker that’s staring at me and waiting to show its power!


What was on your dinner menu this week?



Filed under dinners, food, Nutrition, recipes, vegetarian

Spiced White Bean Pumpkin Soup (Vegan, GF)

It’s been a big week here, with dairy talk and elections, and it’s about time we eat. Yes? Sit down, and grab a spoon. This one is cozy and comforting…

pumpkin white bean soup

It started with a Pin, and an excuse to really bust out the slow-cooker. Then it was Monday night, and suddenly waiting five hours for soup to cook didn’t sound quite as a fun. Our version is still dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan, but just happened to find its way into our bowls much faster.

Spiced White Bean & Pumpkin Soup
Makes ~4 servings. Adapted from Healthy Eat’s Curried Pumpkin Soup.

1 tsp Olive Oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup lite coconut milk
1 can (15 oz) organic white (cannellini) beans, drained & rinsed
1 can (15 oz) organic pumpkin puree
3 cups vegetable broth (low-sodium)

Seasonings: garam masala, turmeric, salt/pepper, cayenne pepper.

In a deep pan or dutch oven, heat the oil over medium; sauté onion and garlic until softened.  Add remaining ingredients, stir to mix well – this may take a few minutes as the pumpkin “melts” into the mixture. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and let simmer for 25-30 minutes. Stir frequently.

Optional: serve with a green onion garnish.

pumpkin soup 2

This the first deliciously seasonal pumpkin meal we’ve had, and it was a big win. I have my eyes on this soup’s comeback happening sooner than later.


Happy Friday!

What’s on your dinner menu(s) this weekend?


Filed under dinners, food, gluten free, recipes, vegetarian

Basil Tofu Pesto & Pasta

With D on a ride after work, I had some extra time to assess the fridge’s contents and be creative with its dwindling supplies. I knew one thing for sure, that post-bike-ride stomach is a bottomless pit! Dinner needs to be voluminous, with all of the right nutrients.

This recipe is gluten and dairy free, but could be easily adapted either way:

tofu basil pesto ingredients

When I pick up the Trader Joe’s organic infinite Basil, it is with well intentions and an ambitious mind. It’s tricky to get through that entire box before leaves begin to bore and brown. Pesto is a quick fix for that!

Knowing that riding in the 100* heat wouldn’t create an appetite for a steaming bowl of pasta, I cooked these brown rice noodles about an hour beforehand, and let them cool in the fridge.

Then, I photographed things and got to thinking…would this work? Dinner, let’s play, and see what happens!

Basil Tofu Pesto & Pasta

4-6 oz brown rice pasta* noodles (3-4 servings), cooked & chilled
1 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 block extra firm {sprouted} tofu, drained
1/4 cup raw pecans
1 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
Salt & pepper to taste
Splash of unsweetened Almond milk**

Optional add-in: steamed kale leaves, or other greens (spinach, mustard, etc.)

*Use any noodle/pasta you have on hand.
**Or other milk substitute (soy, rice, etc)

Before chilling the pasta, stir in 1/2 Tbsp olive oil and season with pepper.

Slice tofu block into pieces; add to food processor with pecans, basil leaves and salt/pepper. Pulse for 2-3 minutes. Drizzle remaining 1/2Tbsp oil and add in a splash of Almond milk (or other milk substitute). Continue pulsing for an additional ~3 minutes, until reaching a smooth, creamy texture.

tofu basil pesto

Stir tofu basil pesto with pasta to coat and mix together. Add in steamed greens.

tofu basil pesto pasta bowl

Quick, easy and perfect for a hot summer evening! The texture was the middle ground between traditional pesto and alfredo sauce, without any heavy cream or excessive oil. The sauce was smooth enough to spread around easily, but strong enough to really stick onto each twisted noodle.

I added in kale leaves because we had them on hand and I love an extra dose of color for nutrients and flavor. Any vegetable of preference could be substituted in there, or even a medley of them – I’m thinking sautéed summer squash & red onions, or sun-dried tomatoes and spinach for next time!

Either way, this tofu basil pesto will not disappoint, and could even trick a meat-eater with a bowl of creamy pasta & a full on flavor punch. You have your protein, multiple sources of healthy fats, carbohydrates and veggies! In other words, you can’t go wrong with this staple.


Happy Friday!

Have you tried a twist on the traditional pesto before? Our last experiment involved avocado and sunflower seeds, and that was a hit, too! Pesto can wear many hats.


Filed under dinners, new things!, recipes, vegetarian

Gluten-Free, Vegan Zucchini Fritters

One goal of ours this week was to try new recipes; summer hours mean later dinners and more time spent out enjoying the season. Those “late” dinners are usually quick ones – we’re just-in from riding, running, yoga-ing, walking, etc and want something five minutes ago! And by “quick”, I mean routine and uncreative.

Pinterest to the rescue! I don’t log on often, because when I do? The next hour is totally gone, sucked quickly into cyberspace to be divided among “Food & Drink”, “Women’s Apparel” and “Travel”.  I have a board full of recipes for the Veg Life, none of which we’ve ever actually made.

Thanks to a tip from our weekend visitors – one board for recipes “to make”, one board for recipes we have made (transfer pins), to keep it all straight! – I used my Veg life pins to inspire our grocery cart.

First up, Zucchini Fritters! This made the cut solely because we have a large, fresh-from-the-(Good Life) farm zucchini in the fridge.

Zucchini Fritters – Vegan & Gluten-Free*
Recipe adapted from Alexandra’s Kitchen

2 zucchinis, coarsely grated (I had one large, one small)
1 medium white potato, coarsely grated
1/4 cup yellow onion, diced
1/4 cup Quinoa flour**
Salt to taste
1 tsp dried rosemary (or herb of choice)
1 tsp dried thyme (or herb of choice)
1.5 Tbsp olive oil, divided

*We’re out of our farm eggs, which I didn’t realize until mixing these together. Egg-free version is vegan-friendly.
**Could substitute any other flour (whole-wheat, oat, etc.).

Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl – reserve 1 Tbsp oil for “frying”.

Zucchini fritters cookingHeat remaining oil over medium in a deep sauté pan. Form mixture into “patties” – this is a loose term, as you’ll notice these are very moist and don’t seem to stick initially. Just form those patties and trust the veggies.

Cook on each side for 4-5 minutes, until browned and sticking. Just like a pancake, you’ll know when to “flip” because it will actually do so (vs. crumbling into tiny zucchini+potato pieces).

I could do three fritters at a time; this batch made a total of ~12.  One serving is 2-3, depending on how big you make them.

Zucchini fritters 2

Serving suggestions: atop quinoa (a la us) or pasta, or with tzatziki dipping sauce (great appetizer option!). If you have something else in mind, go with that.

Either way, enjoy this simple veg-filled dinner!


Filed under dinners, Meatless Monday, recipes, vegetarian

Plate Plan for the Week II

Thanks to the initial post last week, I now know I’m not alone in forgetting to plan ahead more than often than not. My grocery list took kindly to the new menu items and the tasty results! We only missed one planned meal, but it wasn’t substituted with pizza or eating out, so I’m still calling the week a success.

My dinner plate, my rules.

This weekend I sat down with the newest issue of Cooking Light, Google Reader starred items and a pen. The notepad page quickly filled up with ingredients and ideas, and plate plan II was created.

Trader Joe’s, thanks for helping us cross almost everything off the list!
Dupont Farmer’s Market, thanks for the fresh yellow squash!

The invitation is open, once again, for any diners to join us in this week’s menu. I promise taste-bud satisfaction is to follow:

Sunday Night- Mahi Mahi fish tacos

We used up what was left of the yellow & red peppers, a very ripe avocado and almost-expired corn tortillas. This fish was happy to see the light of the fridge; the pan seared result was taco perfection.

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2 Mahi Mahi filets
1 T olive oil
1/4 c each – Red & Yellow peppers, sliced
1/2 cup Steamed edamame beans
1 Ripe avocado, sliced
Salt/pepper, Cumin
4-6 Corn tortillas
Salsa to taste

Season filets with cumin, s/p to taste. Heat oil over medium in a sauté pan; cook fish on each side for ~3-4 minutes, until opaque an flaky.

Slice peppers & steam edamame beans; peel & slice avocado. Set all aside for your taco-building buffet.

Set oven to broil; heat corn tortillas for ~1-2 minutes on each side (watch carefully, they burn quickly!).

Layer avocado, fish, pepper + bean mix & as much salsa as your taste-buds can handle. Fold and enjoy!

Monday – Black Bean & Cheese Enchiladas (a la Cooking Light)
We had the beans & corn tortillas already on hand; I’m making a trip to Whole Foods today for the fresh ancho chiles. This meal will be satsisfying my enchilada craving, and also providing leftovers for lunches. Win, win!

Tuesday – Shrimp & Teriyaki Noodles (via Lauren’s Latest)

Photo from Lauren’s Latest – Teriyaki Shrimp Soba Noodle Bowls

We couldn’t find the soba noodles at TJ’s, and went with linguine instead.

Wednesday – Leftovers (Track night)

Thursday – Macaroni & Cheese
(aka The Easiest Homemade Mac n’ Cheese)

macNcheese 007

Of course this meal had to make a quick return! Is it Thursday yet?

This time I’ll be adding some steamed greens & a dash of spices.

Friday – Out / Chickpea Masala redux?

This day remains TBD; the chickpea {channa} masala didn’t make it through last week, but we may have some visitors to treat. Open option here! If you want to cook and have us over, I’d be okay with that, too.


What do you have planned for your plate(s) this week?


Filed under dinners, food, groceries, making plans, Meatless Monday, vegetarian

This Week in Dinners: Mushroom Stars

Since I dropped a life-news-bomb on you this week, I thought it’d be nice to feed you, too. You know, give you some nutrients and help you plan those weekly menus.

If you don’t like mushrooms, these recipes might just change your mind. Or you could just leave them out and enjoy the tastiness of each meal without them.

My blog, your choice! We work collaboratively here.

We’ll start with what we do best around here – pizza.

8.24.dinners 003

Chris-the-houseguest was in charge of this one, and I might have just mind-bookmarked a new favorite homemade pie! This was a flavor explosion.

Bbq Tempeh & Green Chile* Pizza
yes, the green chile returns. It was the last of the bunch!

Tempeh Slices (amount up to you!)
Fresh mozzarella cheese (sliced) **
Whole Wheat pizza dough
Red onion, sliced
Mushrooms, sliced
Tomatoes (canned or fresh)
Bbq sauce
Roasted green chile (sliced or diced)
Asiago cheese (garnish)

Heat the oven to 400*; roll out your dough & top with Bbq sauce. Add tomatoes, veggies, green chiles, tempeh & mozzarella. Garnish with a sprinkle of asiago & bake for ~12 minutes (until crust browns & cheese is melted).

**On a side note: smoked mozzarella has been a shining star in the last two pizzas we’ve made. To say its flavorful does it no justice! If you like a smokey flavor on anything, BUY THIS.

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Creamy Soy Ginger Mushroom Pasta

8.24.dinners 008

With a few mushrooms left, and a lot of broccoli to use up, I chose pasta and cream for the the night’s inspirations.

~1 cup mushrooms, sliced (button mushrooms)
2 cups broccoli, steamed
1/2 c Plain Greek Yogurt
3 Tbsp Soy Ginger sauce (See above)
2 svgs Whole wheat pasta
Asiago Cheese
Salt n’ Pepper
Olive Oil

Heat oil over medium; boil water & add pasta, cook for 10-12 minutes.
Add sliced mushrooms to the oil, saute until soft; add broccoli.
Drain pasta, stir together yogurt + soy ginger sauce.
Combine it all together. Easy!

8.24.dinners 009

Serve yourself a portion & garnish with Asiago (another cheese obsession of the week).

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And there you go! Two dinners, both of which will take less than half an hour of your time, and both of which will fill your veggie + carb + protein quota for the evening.

What’s your favorite mushroom dish? Are you a fan of the fungus?

I admit I can’t stand them raw, but love them cooked. Hence the recipes above; DOTR kitchen-approved!


Filed under dinners, food, Meatless Monday, recipes, vegetarian

Airplane Breakfast & Baby Love

{Random Friday Facts, a la Katie}

I played soccer for about 12 years, from kindergarten through high school. The only thing that means now is that I love being on a team, and at one point in my life I could kick a ball really far.

I signed up for my first half-marathon only because my roommate, LB, had run a Full a few months earlier. She wasn’t a “runner” before that, but she certainly seemed to be afterward. I was curious. And I convinced her to sign up with me.

I’ve only lived by myself twice, during two summers in college. Lesson learned: I am not meant to be the lone-ranger. I prefer company & conversation. And someone to enjoy What Not to Wear with me.

I brought a mini LARABAR, banana & a pack of LOVE GROWN granola on the plane with me; they served “100-calorie pack” Nabisco cookies & peanuts. My breakfast tasted much better.

There are some songs that I just never seem to get sick of. On that list, for now:

Uprising, The Muse
Bad Romance, Lady Gaga
You are the Best Thing, Ray LaMontagne
Harder to Breathe, Maroon 5
Wonderwall, Oasis
Empire State of Mind, Jay-Z & Alicia Keys
She’s My Winona, Fall Out Boy
Back to Black, Amy Winehouse
The Show Goes On, Lupe Fiasco

….just to name a few.

I had 60 pages left in The Help before I left for Texas. I obviously had to bring it with me, and finish the book. Then I had to carry around a 450 pg book for 3 flights. I see you, Kindle, and I get your appeal. But I won’t do it; you won’t take me as your victim!

There are two artists that I’d pay anything to see in concert: Ray LaMontagne & Lady Gaga. Preferably not at the same time, though.

Once I read that Dean Karnazes “keeps things interesting” by never running the exact same route twice. Since then, I’ve only ever run the exact same route, more than once, on a few occasions. Dean knows everything, right?! RIGHT.


On another note, I’ve spent the past two days with these girls and I’m not really ready for vacation{play-time}-mode to be over. This photo-shoot play-mate was too much fun:










Because we’d rather play with the baby all day than menu plan, we did an easy Frittata for dinner. When I say “easy” I mean delicious, and simple.

Asparagus Potato Frittata

1 medium sized potato, peeled & diced
1/2 c onion, diced
~3/4 c Asparagus, cut into 1/2 in. pieces
7 eggs
~2 tbsp white cheddar (or mozzarella), shredded
1 tbsp Olive oil

Heat the oil over medium; preheat the oven to 375*. Add potato & onion, s/p, saute until soft. Add asparagus.

Whisk the eggs together with a splash of milk; pour over vegetable mixture and cook over low/medium. When the edges begin to cook, sprinkle cheese on the top. Put the pan in the oven & bake for 5-10 minutes, watching carefully until the top is cooked through. {Clearly we paid close attention to all measurements & times. Uh-huh.}

Serve with a side of salad, and a glass of vino – Heather, Mike & Emily approved!


Comments open to random sharing & baby love.


Filed under about me, things I Love, travel, vegetarian, visitors