Herbed rice and buttered vegetables


The "fish fillet" behind the rice is soya-based textured vegetable protein. Sam likes to include what she calls "fake meat" and "fake fish" in her meals for texture more than anything else. I mean, they don't have any distinctive flavor so what they really do is add bulk. And because they turn crisp when fried, they lend that fried meat or fried fish feel to an otherwise … [Read more...]

Leeks, pepper, asparagus and mushroom pilaf


At its most basic, pilaf (the spelling varies depending on the region) is rice cooked in seasoned broth. It is found in many cultures including Middle Eastern, South Asian and Caribbean. In English speaking cultures, it is often referred to as "rice pilaf" which is redundant because pilaf can refer to nothing but rice. The ultimate root of the word is the Sanskrit pul?ka … [Read more...]

Peperonata con tofu


Italy meets China in a vegetarian dish. Sam loves bell peppers so I cooked one of the most well-loved Italian vegetable stews for her. Peperonata is a dish of stewed peppers and it is often served accompanied by rustic bread. Soft vegetables, crisp bread crust... You know, contrast.But since Sam was going to have her peperonata with rice, I ditched the bread and served … [Read more...]

Vegetarian baked stuffed potatoes


So filling. So delicious. The stuffing is a mixture of kidney beans, chili, chopped tomatoes, onions and bell peppers, seasoned with salt, pepper, lemon juice and tossed with a little melted butter. The cheese can be any variety that melts well. Note, though, that the amount of salt needed to season the filling well is proportional to the saltiness of the cheese. If using … [Read more...]

Italian-style vegetable stew


Vegetables, pesto and tomato sauce. What can be simpler? But a vegetable stew, when properly cooked, is anything but simple. With just the right amount of aromatics, and slow and careful cooking, a vegetable stew is a carnival of colors and aromas and textures. And, by using a different combination of vegetables each time, you can make this stew over and over, and it won't … [Read more...]

Cheese-topped skillet potatoes


The potatoes are boiled, cooled and sliced. A skillet is generously smeared with butter. The sliced potatoes are arranged, slightly overlapping, along the outer edge of the skillet. An inner circle of tomato slices follow. And, finally, at the center, chopped bell pepper and onion. Salt, pepper and pieces of cold butter are sprinkled over everything and on to the stove the … [Read more...]