Life gets in the way, doesn’t it?
August 25, 2009, 7:45 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I’m going through a spell of medical drama and I’m distracted/in a pretty impressive amount of pain right now. I wouldn’t call this a hiatus, but I think my updates are going to be really sporadic for a while. I hope to get back to regularly posting soon, but I didn’t want anyone thinking I’d disappeared!



Peanut and Chicken Stew
August 19, 2009, 11:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

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So while my parents were visiting they had me revisit a few recipes they’d seen on the blog and wanted to taste. One of them was my peanuts, which sparked a discussion with my father about various peanut applications. He mentioned something about a peanut and chicken soup. He was just sort of throwing it out there, but I knew such a thing existed, so I spent a few nights looking up various recipes and deciding where I might want to go with it.

This, my friends, is a really hearty bowl. Between the peanut butter, roasted peanuts, chunks of chicken and the kidney beans, you’ve got tons of protein. I sort of treated this as a clean-out-the-pantry kind of stew, which I really think suited it well. It’s rich, creamy and has just enough heat. I think the only thing we were missing at the meal were some really flaky biscuits to sop it up with. (Mom, I know we never got around to your biscuit tutorial, but I’m determined I’m going to puzzle this one out and you’ll see something here verrrrry soon!)

Play with the heat levels, add a few more things, take a few more out. I’ve seen many of these with lots of potatoes in them, and even more where it’s all pureed together, but I like it with the textural differences in it. More interesting!

Peanut and Chicken Stew

  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup roasted peanuts, halved
  • 1 large chicken breast cutlet, diced and cooked
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup spinach leaves, chopped
  • 1 can dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • handful of cilantro leaves, chopped (plus a tad more to garnish)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • zest of the better part of a small lime
  • 1 tbsp sriracha chili sauce
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 tsp  paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • a chunky, medium heat salsa to top with (Optional, but highly recommended.)

In a large pot over medium heat, sauté your onion and garlic with a good glug of olive oil. Heat until the onion is soft, stirring gently. Go ahead and add everything else except your roasted peanuts. (This IS seriously that simple. Toss a whole bunch of tasty stuff in a pot and simmer. Yum.) Let that all simmer together for about two hours, checking the level of your liquid and stirring occasionally. If you find your liquid is cooking down too fast and thickening too much, add a bit more wine or stock, or water if you’ve run out of either. Turn the heat down as low as you can, you want this to be a super gradual thing.

About twenty minutes before you’re ready to serve this, toss in your roasted peanuts. They’ll soften just a little but you’ll still get plenty of crunch out of them. Check the spice level here and if you think you wanna go a bit more adventurous, add some more sriracha, or consider some chipotle. I think the smokiness of a chipotle would really work well! Serve with a little extra cilantro sprinkled on top and a healthy dollop of salsa if you’re into that. (I am, oh I AM!)

Also: If you entered the giveaway from the last entry, check your emails tomorrow night. So few of you actually dropped me a line I’ve decided just to give a little something to EVERYONE who actually took the time out to answer my little question. :D I love knowing you all read, but it is really really cool to actually interact with you a bit, I want you all to know how much I appreciate it.



Olive Oil Cake-And a giveaway!
August 15, 2009, 4:04 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

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I think we’ve discussed how I’m bad at cakes, right? Well this one is so easy even I can churn it out! Olive oil cake may sound a liiiiittle weird if you’ve never had it before, but it’s a fascinating taste. Fruity, a little earthy. This one has tons of orange zest in it, so it’s really bright and sunny. It isn’t too sweet, so this is a great little teacake, something to go with your coffee or tea for breakfast or a snack. (I know, I’m so healthy suggesting cake for breakfast. Sue me!)

Olive Oil Cake

(Adapted from Bon Appétit, Sept 2009)

  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached white flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup fruity olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (or more, if you’re zest crazy like I am!)

Preheat your oven to 325, prepping a 9×5 loaf pan. Mix your dry ingredients in a large bowl. In a separate bowl mix your eggs, milk, olive oil and zest. In thirds, slowly whisk your liquid into your dry ingredients. Transfer to your loaf pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean from the center of the loaf, which took me just under an hour. Cool in pan for 20 minutes or so and then transfer to a plate. Really really tasty with some confectioner’s sugar dusted on top, try serving it with a spicy tea!

And now to the giveaway, guys. It’s like I blinked and we got to this point, but The Recovering Vegetarian hit 10,000 individual hits last night! (We’re actually at somewhere near 10,300 now, I think!) I never imagined even half that number of people would bother reading this thing, so I’m feeling like celebrating. So I pose you a question. It’s a classic amongst foodie-types, but I think with good reason.

If you were set to die tomorrow, what would your last meal be and why? There are no limits to the meal, it can be as elaborate or as spartan as you wish. You can only answer one time and must answer by 11:59 Pacific time on Monday. I’ll pick what I feel are the two best answers and the people who gave them will each receive a ten dollar gift card to either Amazon or Itunes, their choice. Please remember to leave your email address in your comment! (I know it isn’t a huge giveaway, but it’s my first! Enjoy the excitement with me!)



Roasted Garlic Risotto
August 13, 2009, 6:22 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

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Yep, sick again. I swear I’ve some propensity towards the creeping crud since we moved out here that is out of this world. If there’s an upper respiratory bug going around, I get it. I’m coughing and nearly deaf from congestion and I’m comfort-food fiending right now; creamy and warm is the order of the day.

I have to confess: risotto is not something I have ever ordered in a restaurant. I’ve never had it at someone else’s house. The only risotto I’ve had is my own, so I might make the most mediocre risotto on the planet and just not know any better. (Maybe I’m vain, in fact I probably am, why else would I have a blog?) I’ve only made it a few times, some with more vegetables tossed in, some plain. This wasn’t a super complex take, but the head of roasted garlic in it really added to the comfort-factor for me. There’s something magical about the transformation from a cup of dry rice to the big bowl of grains floating in a creamy sauce. You just feel like you’ve accomplished something when you finish a risotto, even though it isn’t really a difficult process. It takes time but not a whole lot of brain cells, which is perfect if you aren’t feeling all that well!

Roasted Garlic Risotto

  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 head roasted garlic
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup romano cheese, shaved
  • 4 cups stock, water if you haven’t any stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 medium sized sprig of rosemary
  • handful of walnuts, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Squeeze out your cloves of roasted garlic into a medium pot, toss in your onions and butter and heat over medium heat until your onions are translucent. Add your rice grains and stir for a minute or two until they are toasted just slightly. Add the wine, salt, pepper and rosemary sprig and simmer gently, stirring occasionally until the wine is nearly absorbed. Then add your stock a half cup or so at a time, simmering and stirring until it has nearly all been absorbed again. Continue the process until your stock is gone/the rice is done. It will be sort of velvety on the outside, but there will still be the slightest bit of bite to the interior of it. It took me about 45 minutes this time, I’ve seen and heard estimates ranging from 30 minutes to a full hour. Let it take it’s time, never ever try and rush this! You’ll have a lovely, silken sauce that has built up in your pot and then you’re pretty much done! Go ahead and pick out your rosemary sprig. Take the walnuts and toast them in a dry pan until they’re crunchy. Scoop a generous helping of risotto into a bowl, top with a few shavings of romano, some toasted walnuts and a little chopped parsley.



Grilled Pizza, or I’m Back!
August 6, 2009, 7:56 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

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I first made these little guys on a night when my mother in law and her youngest were in town, during some of the worst of our heat wave. We all wanted pizza but nobody wanted to deal with the oven even being looked at, much less turned on. I knew you COULD do it, I’d just never done it before. Therefore my first attempts were really delicious but not quite photogenic. I got the procedure down pat this time and the results were a little more visually appealing.

You CAN use a premade pizza dough for this, but try making your own. My focaccia recipe will make really delicious pizza dough!

The quantities called for in the focaccia recipe will make six individual sized pizzas, or you can go for a big ol’ large. I stick to the individual sized pizzas because they’re easier to handle and allow for topping personalization. The sauce? We sautéed half an onion and two cloves of garlic in a tablespoon each of butter and olive oil, added half a cup of white wine and 1/4 tsp of three or four different italian herbs. Salt and pepper and simmer it down, that’s about it!

Grilled Pizzas

  • 1 ball of pizza dough, following focaccia recipe until just after the first rise
  • approx. 1 cup of tomato sauce, homemade or premade
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese, we used a mixture of mozzarella and monterey jack
  • 1/4 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/4 pound of sliced pepperoni/salami. We had a mix of grocery store pepperoni and a little Cotto Salami from Salumi in Seattle. (If you’re ever in Seattle, GO. Run! Salumi is worth the wait in line.)
  • Salt and pepper

Portion your pizza dough into six even balls. Heat your grill to a medium-high heat, then stretch your dough balls out thin and place them on your grill. Cook on one side until it’s crispy and a little golden, then take off the grill. Once you’ve done them all, dress the sides that have already touched the grill with your sauce and desired toppings. Place the uncooked side back on the grill and cover for a few minutes, until the bottom is really crispy and your cheese is melted through. Serve immediately, maybe with a beer and a simple green salad? Just a suggestion. ;) This is an incredibly versatile formula, you can do just about any pizza you like this way. I really want to try a pesto sauce, something with chicken and bacon next time. Or breakfast pizzas! Oooh. Breakfast on the grill, can you beat that?



Brief hiatus due to the heat, guys.
August 1, 2009, 8:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Sorry for the lack of updates this week, but we’re in the Pacific Northwest of the U.S. and we’ve been having an epic heatwave the past week or so. We reached over 100 degrees at several points, and like a great number of people out here we have no air conditioning, not even window units. I’m pretty sure cooking of any sort would have been suicidal.

I’m itching to get back in the kitchen though, and with my parents coming next week I expect to have ample opportunity! Thanks for sticking with me.



Buffalo Tiger Prawns
July 26, 2009, 7:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

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It’s hot today. And by hot, I mean Pacific Northwest hot: In the low nineties and stagnant as all hell. I didn’t feel like doing a darn thing to the stove/oven today and declared it a grill night. I knew I’d be trying to grill pizza, which ended up super tasty but not super photogenic. (I’ll end up sharing that one here soon, I promise.) I just needed something to go along side with our salad and pizza. I had about twenty gorgeous tiger prawns in the freezer and needed a crowd pleazer.

Bam. Buffalo sauce. Hot and messy. This recipe is quick, easy and a great appetizer. I would have upped the heat a bit and added a little powdered cayenne, but I wanted to play to the crowd here. Use what you’ve got and go with a heat level you and whoever else might be eating them are both comfortable with. Or make separate batches! It’s simple enough that a few separate batches aren’t really that much work.

Buffalo Tiger Prawns

  • 20 prawns, shelled and deveined.
  • pinch of salt
  • stick of butter, melted
  • 1 cup vinegar based hot sauce. (I used Frank’s brand.)

Put your grill to a medium high heat and lay out your prawns. Turn them in about two minutes and then put the lid on. Check in three minutes to see if they’ve gone opaque all the way through, leave them on a minute longer if they haven’t. Melt your butter, add hot sauce and mix. If you’re interested in adding more heat, a 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne or chipotle pepper would be beautiful here! Toss your prawns in some of the sauce, serving with the rest on the side. What you’ll end up with is a big, meaty prawn that is a little crispy on the sides and packs a bit of a punch!

P.S. Back to a more regular posting schedule next week, I think. Family in town means a lot more running around which means a lot more quick meals!




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