Tag Archives: vegetarian

Food Matters Project Wrap-Up

This week is a wrap-up of the Food Matters Project.  It’s the final week of posting recipes from The Food Matters Cookbook.  Rather than another recipe, I’ve spent some time thinking of what I’ve learned doing this project, so here are some conclusions (in no particular order:

Mushrooms

1. My favorite and most memorable recipe: Rigatoni with Vegetables, Figs & Blue Cheese.  I loved the blue cheese and fig combination in a pasta, and I can’t wait to try this again when figs are in season!

2. We finally learned how to make our own pizza.  Thanks to the post on whole wheat pizza, we’ve explored other toppings and new pizza crust recipes.  This has definitely been a staple in a our house a couple of times a month.

3. We made hummus from scratch.  Although it wasn’t my favorite recipe at that time, we’re recently added a Vitamix into our kitchen- can’t wait to try making it again!

4. Bruschetta comes in different varieties- it’s such a time saver when you’re hosting a dinner party!

5. Chimichurri is another awesome dish when you have friends over for dinner.  Quick, easy and delicious- what more could you ask for?!?

6. We tried anchovies for the first time, and they are delicious in a salad.  Don’t miss out!

7. My favorite dessert adventure was due to FMP- we made kumquat sorbet.  It was delicious, and I am now less intimidated to break out my ice cream maker.  Sorbets on the porch, during a DC summer, are a perfect way to wrap up the day.

8. Give cookbooks without photos a chance.  They encourage your cooking imagination and creativity- it was so much fun learning this for over a year.

This was a wonderful opportunity, and I’m so glad our blog continued to participate in this project (although sporadically).  The idea of eating less meat should be encouraged in more households, and I hope we spread Mark Bittman’s words a bit more.  Definitely play around with more foods, especially vegetables.  There are flavors and textures out there you may not have ever tasted, but don’t be afraid to try.

Start with what we’ve made before, there are a number of delicious dishes out there!  Or check out the other participants blogs to see what they’ve made!

Recipes We’ve Made via the Food Matters Project

Squash with Chipotle Dipping Sauce
Seasoned Popcorn
Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
Rigatoni with Vegetables, Figs and Blue Cheese
Seared Bean Sprouts with Mushrooms
Hummus
Curry with Vegetables
Vegetable Coq au Vin
Vegetable & Bean Casserole
Cod in Spicy Rhubarb Sauce
Apple & Smoked Cheese Whole Wheat Pizza
Mostly Whole Wheat Bread
Asparagus & White Bean Soup
Black Bean & Corn Salsa
Bruschetta
Chicken in Green Salsa
Vegetable Burritos
Tomato, Leek & Brie Tart
Crunchy Fish Tacos with Chimichurri Sauce
Walnut Pâté Sandwich with Arugula & Pears
Beet Chips with Pistachio Dip
Fresh Corn Salsa
Chicken & Potatoes with Romesco Sauce
Asian Vegetable Rolls with Peanut Sauce
Greek Panzanella Salad
Veggie Stir Fry
Summer Tabbouleh Salad
Lemon Cornmeal Cake
Apples, Blue Cheese & Honey
Broccoli & Cherry Rice with Acorn Squash
Polenta with Mushrooms
Cardamom & Pistachio Pear Crisp
Lamb, Carrot & Turnip Stuffed Cabbage
Rice & Lamb Burgers with Spinach & Tzatziki Sauce
Provencal Pasta Sauce with Whole Wheat Spaghetti
Dal with Lots of Vegetables
Central American Red Beans & Rice
Spinach Cobb Salad with Caper-Anchovy Vinaigrette
Bulgur Wheat Mango Salad with Avocado
Spicy Grapefruit Scallops with Arugula
Kumquat & Orange Sorbet
Potato & Corn Fritters
Tomato & Romaine Salad with Smoked Mozzarella
Pasta with Tuna, Tomatoes & Capers

Food Matters Project #43: Tomato & Romaine Salad with Smoked Mozzarella

I apologize for the silence on the blog, don’t worry we didn’t leave you!  Truthfully, there have been some small changes to our schedule due to a new job, and therefore small adjustments.  But we have been cooking- so don’t worry, there recipes will be coming!

Today is another great Monday for the Food Matters Project.  Our host today is Laura, of Chef Laura at Home.  She chose Mark Bittman’s Tomato Carpaccio with Mozzarella.  Check out the original recipe in The Food Matters Cookbook, or look what other FMP participants did here.

My version is not very similar to the original recipe.  Today was my first day at a new job, with different hours than I’m used to.  In addition, we’ll be out of town this weekend- so we’re trying to use up everything that’s hiding in the fridge and freezer.  Tonight’s meal was very simple, back to the basics.  There are always days where we come home from work, and don’t want to cook or prepare anything.  I resist the urge to dial the local Chinese takeout to order our dinner.

Instead, I make a plan for something healthier for us:

1) In our freezer we had 2 Polish sausages (from the Amish Market)- I defrosted them this morning.
2) We had a lot of lettuce and tomatoes left over- it was easy to chop those up and throw them together.
3) Sam stopped at the store to pick up a ball of cheese, and chose one of his favorites: Smoked Mozzarella.

This was one of those Monday meals: fast, light and filling!  And it did make a little more room in the fridge.

Tomato & Romaine Salad with Smoked MozzarellaTomato & Romaine Salad with Smoked Mozzarella
Fifth Floor Kitchen Original

This recipe does not have ingredient amounts, it’s meant to be a “clean out your fridge”.  Feel free to swap out lettuce varieties (spinach, arugula), vegetables (cucumbers, zucchini, corn), herbs (cilantro, parsley), or cheeses (cheddar, blue)

greens, chopped
tomatoes, sliced
smoked mozzarella cheese, chopped
basil, finely chopped
olive oil

Add all of the ingredients (except the olive oil) in a large bowl, then toss all of them together.  Divide the salad between plates, and lightly drizzle olive oil over the salad.

Enjoy this salad as a side with grilled meat or vegetables; or make it larger as a meal.

Food Matters Project #42: Potato & Corn Fritters

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  I hope all of you had a long weekend full of relaxing, great barbeque food and fun with friends and family!  We stayed home, but had a chance to visit with friends we don’t spend a lot of time with.  It’s been great catching up, and exploring some new spots around town!  To finish up a delicious weekend, we made a recipe for the Food Matters Project!

There is no host this week, rather, it’s a Wild Card post- you can pick your favorite spring/summer recipe.  We went a different route, and chose a FMP recipe which was already posted before, but we had not made it that week.  It sounded delicious, we had all of the ingredients (when does that happen?), and wanted a side with our dinner.

To check what recipes Fifth Floor Kitchen has participated in during the Food Matters Project, take a peak here.  Also, check out fellow FMP bloggers Memorial Day recipes:

 Lexi's Kitchen: Watermelon Salad  
 Keely Marie: Calico Beans
 Cooking Poetry: Raw Strawberry Cheesecake
 Meadows Cooks: Lentil Rice Chili
 Let's Cook & Be Friends: Chocolate-Cherry Panini & Tomatoes

Last summer we attempted fritters for a Food Matters Project recipe.  They didn’t turn out as expected, but a cook can never give up (try, try, try again!).   This was a fast recipe, although it does involve a bit of frying- so it’s probably not the best for a mid-summer recipe.  But DC’s weather was a bit gloomy today, and cool enough to keep our windows open- so I figured this would be worth a shot!  We served these fritters with a Greek Salad, a more flavorful option to a slice of bread!  Check out how other FMP participants made this Sweet Potato and Corn Fritters with Thai Dipping Sauce recipe (back in November!).

Potato & Corn Fritters

Potato & Corn Fritters
Adapted from: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 88)

We served these fritters with a dollop of our Spicy Mayo Sauce.  Definitely worth making for this recipe, or for other dishes as a topping.

4 medium potatoes, grated & squeezed dry
1 cup corn, defrosted
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
4 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1 large egg
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

In a medium bowl mix together the poatoes, corn, jalapeño, green onions, cilantro, egg, flour, salt and pepper.  This can be done ahead of time and refrigerated for a couple of hours before cooking.

Pour about 1/8 inch of oil into a large skillet over medium heat.  When the oil is hot, drop about a 1/4 cup of potato mixture into the oil and allow it to spread out.  Cook until golden brown, then turn once and cook again.  Both sides should be cooked in about 5 minutes.  Serve hot, or at room temperature.  We recommend frying these in batches (of about 2-3), so the pan does not get too overcrowded.

Food Matters Project #36: Dal with Lots of Vegetables

To make it 3-in-a-row, yesterday was another gloomy Monday.  Last week we made the Provencal Pasta Sauce to keep us warm and toasty.  But yesterday it wasn’t just rain, there was even a little bit of snow on the ground here in DC!

Snowy Day

Yes, we got snow on March 25th, it must be a record.  Fortunately, today it’s sunny and getting warmer by the hour- I think everyone is ready for spring!

Yesterday’s Food Matters Project recipe was perfect for a gloomy day.  It was chosen by Anita, of Cooking Poetry.  She hosted Dal with Lots of Vegetables from Mark Bittman’s Food Matters Cookbook.  Check out her blog and the Indian feast she had made- I’m a little jealous, everything looks delicious!  There are also other versions of the meal from other FMP participants here.

I’m a huge fan of Indian food, thanks to Sam.  He introduced me to the spice  soon after we started dating, and I have craved this cuisine ever since.  My favorite reason behind it is because you can make most of the dishes vegetarian, and not feel like you’re missing out.  Slow cooking the lentils and vegetables gives them extra flavor and fills you right up.

Want to try some of our other Indian creations?  Golden Red Lentil Soup; Indian Chicken Soup; Indian Chicken Curry Wrap; Baingan Bharta; Curry with Vegetables; Samosa Casserole; Spicy Veggie Lentil Curry.

Dal with Lots of Vegetables

Dal with Lots of Vegetables
Adapted from: Food Matters Cookbook (page 362)

Feel free to swap vegetables for what you have on hand- for example, I’ve had half a bag of green beans I’ve been needing to use up.  If you don’t want this dish to be as spicy, don’t use the jalapeño or chili powder.  Not into a deep curry flavor?  Just halve, or quarter, the Indian spices. 

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 jalapeño, chopped
1/2 head of cauliflower, florets & stems cut into small pieces
1 medium eggplant, cubed
1 zucchini, cubed
1 cup green beans (I used frozen)
2 cups fresh spinach
3 cups of water
1 cup dried brown lentils
1 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp Punjam Red Tandoori powder
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Add oil to a large pot, and allow to heat up.  Then add the onion, allow to simmer until the onion is translucent.  Next, add in the garlic and ginger and cook for about 3 minutes.  Then add in the rest of the vegetables: jalapeño, cauliflower, eggplant, zucchini,  green beans, and spinach.  Cook the vegetables, while stirring, for at least 5 minutes.  Then add in the water, lentils, curry powder, garam masala, Punjab Red Tandoori, chili powder, salt and pepper.  Stir all of the ingredients together, bring to a boil.  Then turn the heat to low and simmer for at least an hour (up to 2 hours).

Serve over rice, or with a piece of naan.

Food Matters Project #35: Provencal Pasta Sauce

It’s another Monday installment of the Food Matters Project!  Last week we hosted the Rice & Lamb Burgers with Spinach & Tzatziki Sauce, a perfect recipe for the upcoming grilling season.  This week’s host is Nancy, of Funkytown Foodies.  She’s one of three friends that have a food blog together- they all document delicious, healthy and local recipes.

Nancy chose the Provencal Vegetables with Chicken in Packets recipe from Mark Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook.  Check out Nancy’s recipe- she made a few changes to the original.  Also, all other ideas from FMP participants can be found here.

Thanks to the weather, I took a completely different take on this recipe.  It’s the second Monday in a row that DC has been gloomy and rainy.  Why Monday?  It’s such a hard way to start the week.  Since it’s cold and blah out, I wanted something comforting and saucy.  And due to poor planning, I forgot to defrost the chicken…had various vegetables that needed to be eaten in our fridge.

So I began chopping up the vegetables, hoping an idea would just pop into my head.  It did, once all of the vegetables were chopped up and mixed together- why not make a sauce to put over some pasta?  Comforting, warm, and full of flavor…making me wish for spring even more!  We didn’t have any parsley in our fridge, but it might be a good garnish on top.  This really reminded me of Sam’s Summer Sauce, and now I can’t wait for farmers market tomatoes!

Provencal Pasta Sauce

Provencal Pasta Sauce
Inspired by: The Food Matters Cookbook (page 464)

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium eggplant, chopped into 1-inch pieces
1 cup canned chopped tomatoes
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 large red onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup black olives, halved
3/4 cup green olives, halved
1 zucchini, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
4 cups of water
1/2 lb pasta (we used whole wheat spaghetti)
Parmesan or feta cheese (optional)

Pour the olive oil into a large pot, heat it up.  Once it’s hot add all of the chopped vegetables, the herbs, salt, pepper and water.  Stir well and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, bring down the temperature to low, simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours.

If you prefer chunkier sauce, then leave the sauce as is.  If you’d prefer a smoother sauce, then puree all of it.  If you’re like us, and you want it somewhere it the middle, puree about half of it in a blender or food processor.

Cook pasta per package instructions.  Drain, and divide between the plates.  Then spoon out the provencal sauce, sprinkle with parsley.  If you prefer, top it all off with some Parmesan or feta.