Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Crustless Broccoli Quiche

Eggs: there's something about them I crave on occasion. Oh yeah, protein.

I believe your body will tell you which nutrients you are missing in your diet, causing cravings. As a vegetarian, you have to be more conscious of where to get the necessary vitamins and minerals needed in order to fulfill those cravings in a healthy way.

In very loose support of my theory, a friend told me a couple days ago about a new study that linked artificial sweeteners with weight gain. Apparently, by focusing your diet primarily on 0 calorie foods/drinks with artificial sweeteners (being a diet coke-aholic, I was all ears to these new findings), you are depraving your body of the natural level of sugar it's looking for, and therefore you end up craving and seeking sugar in other areas of your diet. In the end, you could gain more weight by trying to avoid a few sugar calories vs. allowing yourself a moderated amount of natural sugar. Whether it's true or not (based on extreme situations, or how close you believe we are related to rats), I know I get certain food cravings due to my vegetarian diet choice. Not so much sugar, as I use 3 cubes in my tea each morning! (and I have 2 cups of tea) But that's my scientific story, and I'm sticking to it.

Enough chatter! Where's the recipe??

In honor of my recent egg/protein craving, I made a super easy and delicious quiche. If the ease and tastiness guarantee aren't enough incentive for you to grab some eggs and start cutting up broccoli, here are a couple other reasons:
* Nixing the crust certainly helps with prep, but also with the calories.
* W
ho knew broccoli was packed full of Vitamin C?! Hooray for broccoli!

Crustless Broccoli & Cheese Quiche (modified slightly from cookinglight)

teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup vertically sliced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
2-3 cups broccoli florets
Cooking spray
1 1/4 cups 1% low-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese (I use a mixed pre-shredded cheese bag)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
4 large egg whites, lightly beaten
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon grated fresh Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; saute 1 1/2 minutes. Add broccoli; saute 1 minute (be careful not to overcook, just saute). Spread broccoli mixture into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray.
3. Combine milk and next 8 ingredients (milk through eggs) in a large bowl. Pour milk mixture over broccoli mixture; sprinkle with Parmesan.
4. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes or until top is golden and a knife inserted in center comes out clean; let stand 5 minutes.
5. Serve with toast or a side salad.

In addition to an easy weeknight meal, this quiche would be a nice brunch or potluck dish.

This hausfrau loves a good quiche! Guten appetit.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


These are the most delicious enchiladas on the planet! Ok, ok - I haven't tasted all the enchiladas on the planet, so maybe that's a tiny exaggeration. But, they are definitely the most delicious hausfrau enchiladas ever made. I'm safe with that assessment. And no, this is not the only enchilada recipe I've made - so the rating is fair and well deserved.

And for both myself and my friend Lisa, the recipe is per my usual: easy. Easy, even with regard to making your own sauce. Yep, you heard right: make your own sauce, most delicious, easy enchiladas.

Before making this recipe, you may think the ingredients and spices seem bland. Trust me, everything compliments nicely and is packed full of flavor. If you prefer spicy though, I would add one of the following to your sauce: diced jalapeno, red pepper flakes, or ground cayenne. Or you can offer tobasco on the table so people may determine their own spiciness.

Black Bean, Corn & Zucchini Enchiladas (from cookinglight)

1 teaspoon canola oil
cups diced zucchini
(10-ounce) package frozen whole-kernel corn (I use a can of corn)
(15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
cups Enchilada Sauce (see below for recipe)
Cooking spray
(8-inch) whole wheat tortillas (I use corn tortillas)
cups (8 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 cups zucchini and corn; sauté for 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat, and stir in beans.
3. Spread 1 cup Enchilada Sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.
4. Spoon about 1/2 cup zucchini mixture down center of 1 tortilla; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cheese, and roll up. Place seam-side down in baking dish. Repeat procedure with remaining tortillas, zucchini mixture, and 14 tablespoons cheese.
5. Spread remaining 2 cups sauce evenly over enchiladas.
6. Cover with foil; bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Uncover; top with remaining 1 cup cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.

For the batch I made last night, I also included 3/4 of a red bell pepper, tasted great.

Enchilada Sauce (can make up to 2 days ahead and refrigerate, but I do everything at the same time. Start the sauce first, and while simmering, make the veggie filling, get your pan ready, pre-heat the oven, etc.)

1 teaspoon canola oil
cup diced red onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup organic vegetable broth (such as Swanson Certified Organic)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Stir in broth and remaining ingredients.
3. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

You'll probably notice in the picture, but I used a white onion (not red) for the sauce last night. Both work.

The sauce yields 3 cups. I double and freeze half for my next enchilada batch.

Takes a total of 30 min to create this enchilada dream, then 40 min to cook. Dinner in 1 hour and 10 minutes, flat. Deee-licious leftovers.

Guten appetit!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Creatively tricky

I feel constantly amazed at people who are creative and motivated... those that think of something new and yet so obvious, and then not only think about it, they DO it.

Fellow food bloggers have been amazing me most recently, with what seem like professional pictures, easy explanations and wording for delicious recipes, and even being organized enough to develop a sensible layout that is both easy and fun to use. None of those are simple tasks, I assure you.

As I was lurking through various blogs (ahem, us hausfraus have a bit of time on our hands!), I stumbled across one that had a 'product of the week' category and this week was how to sneak healthy food into your kids everyday meals. With a laundry list of friends with babys and toddlers, and having my own food interests, I was more than a little excited!

What a fantastic idea, and I'm so impressed by the authors for the time and creativity it must have taken to think up the recipes, experiment, create a book, etc.

The blog I was reading discussed the Sneaky Chef, but I found another I wanted to highlight as well:

The Sneaky Chef, by Missy Chase Lapine, &

Deceptively Delicious, by Jessica Seinfeld

Wow! I wish I'd known of these books when my friends 'baby boom' was happening a couple years ago, what a great shower gift. Pureed carrot and sweet potato in a yellow mac & cheese recipe - ingenious!

If you have either of the above books and tried a recipe or two, would love to hear your thoughts. (There are also sample recipes on their websites, if you want to 'try before you buy')

Happy, healthy eating (for us, and the little monsters... oops, darlings)!

EDIT: After informing my Nutritionist mom about these books, her reply was that it's a controversial concept in the nutrition world. Some believe you shouldn't 'hide' the vegetables, but instead teach kids about them and expect them to eat them. My opinion was somewhere in the middle, since I think it's really, really hard for anyone (namely, me!) to eat 5 fruits and veggies a day, on top of all the other stuff you're supposed to eat/drink. Hiding some in your main dish or breakfast seems like a great way, on top of eating others 'au naturale', to get your daily dose. But, to each their own.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentines Day

I am a lucky girl. With everything going on lately, I just didn't get my act together for valentines day. I don't hold one particular day too dear over others, so I also didn't feel a lot of motivation to make something happen.

I did have a lot of great ideas though (that counts, right?), and had planned to make these delicious looking cupcakes from another food blog (assuming I could find the cocoa and other ingredients here in Deutschland).

But, back to why I'm a lucky girl... Tim made dinner plans for us! It's cute, it's the thought and it was totally unexpected after he has been wrecked with the flu this past week. How could he think through his headaches and fever to Valentines and making a dinner reservation?! When counting the little things in life, this totally rang all my bells... I'm a lucky girl because I'm so in love with my husband, and he loves me back.

Unfortunately for the food blog, I haven't cooked anything I'd like to post for a romantic dinner, so I'm going to leave you with a dessert recipe my friend Sonya made for me a couple years back and I've always wanted to try... yes, it was so fudgy, chocolaty good that I still remember it years later. She also swears to me that the recipe is very simple and quick to make, so if you still don't have that zing planned for your Valentines day dinner, this may be your ticket!

Chocolate Truffle Cakes (from martha stewart)

Makes 6 individual cakes
Prep: 20 minutes
Total: 40 minutes

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for muffin tin
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
14 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Generously butter a standard 6-cup muffin tin. Dust with flour, tapping out excess; set aside.

2. Put chocolate, butter, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water; whisk occasionally until smooth. Remove from heat, and let stand until cool and thickened, 3 to 5 minutes.

3. Process eggs and remaining tablespoon sugar in a food processor until pale and doubled in volume, about 2 minutes. Sift flour and salt into egg mixture; pulse to combine. Add chocolate mixture 1/4 cup at a time; pulse each addition until combined, about 10 times. (Batter will be thick.)

4. Spoon mixture into the prepared muffin tin, filling cups three-quarters full; swirl tops with back of spoon. Bake until tops are springy to the touch, 18 to 20 minutes. Immediately turn out onto wire racks; reinvert, and let cool.

Serve with strawberries and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or go with a simple scoop of strawberry ice cream.

Happy Valentines Day to all.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Cauliflower Soup

Big 'Thank you' to Jamie for introducing me to a new soup! Tim has been sick this week, so hearty, healthy soup is just what Dr. Me calls for.

As you will soon learn, my favorite type of recipe is *easy*. The easier the better. I have tried super complicated recipes, and frankly, they're not usually worth the effort and taste overdone. 'Less is more' is my self-proclaimed, newly decided upon, going to forget about by tomorrow, motto.

Introducing, a super simple, rich in flavor, winter comfort food that you should not miss: Cauliflower Soup.

I have to laugh at myself for attempting a 'presentation'. Went a little overboard with the drizzled olive oil. Tim got the non-olive oil saturated bowl, although mine was still delicious! Newly added to the shopping list, an olive oil cruet/bottle for future soup presentations.

Here's the How-To: (recipe from Foodnetwork)

1 head cauliflower
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 quart (4 cups) vegetable stock (for a thicker soup, use 3-3.5 cups)
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Remove the leaves and thick core from the cauliflower, coarsely chop, and reserve.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Cook until softened, but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add the cauliflower and stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the cauliflower is very soft and falling apart, about 15 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and, using a hand held immersion blender, puree the soup, or puree in small batches in a blender* and return it to the pot.
4. Add parmesan and nutmeg, stir until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper.

Keep warm until ready to serve. Goes great with whole wheat, crusty bread.

1 recipe will feed 4 adults. Consider doubling the recipe and freezing half.

* When blending hot liquids: Remove liquid from the heat and allow to cool for at least 5 minutes. Transfer liquid to a blender or food processor and fill it no more than halfway. If using a blender, release one corner of the lid. This prevents the vacuum effect that creates heat explosions. Place a towel over the top of the machine, pulse a few times then process on high speed until smooth.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Underdogs, Super Bowl XLII & Hummus

Hooray for the NY Giants! While I have no real interest in either team, I do like to see the underdog win on occasion. ...although neither of us actually saw the win.

We tried hard to stay up for the game, truly, but to give us a fair excuse, the Super Bowl festivities started at midnight over here. I took a quick nap during the pre-show hum-drum, and woke up in time to see the kick-off. Of course, Tim had to clue me in that it was the start of the 2nd quarter, not the game. Yeah, yeah. I continued to sleep on the couch for most it, while Tim kept his vigil. When we finally forced ourselves to bed, it was about 3am and the start of the 4th quarter.

Although I may have pooped out during the game, I managed to make snacks earlier in the day for our rowdy midnight party.

I made the underdog of dips: Hummus. Everyone loves it, but for some reason, it's not pizazzy enough to get the nod for top honors.

We were habitual hummus eaters in Seattle, but always had the store bought stuff. I guess because it was quick, easy and cheap. However, I have yet to find hummus being sold here, so I make my own now. And guess what, it's quick, it's easy and it's cheap! PLUS, it tastes waayyyyy better.

This is a recipe you can literally whip up in 5 min (just pre-roast the garlic, or use less garlic and dont bother roasting it).

Creamy Hummus (from
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup tahini (sesame-seed paste)
4-5 garlic cloves, roasted
4-6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1+ tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt & pepper to taste
2 (19 oz) cans garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1. Pre-heat oven to 400.
2. Cut 1/4 inch off the top of each garlic clove, leaving most of the paper skin on the cloves. Place garlic on a sheet of tinfoil and drizzle with a couple teaspoons olive oil. Wrap tightly to enclose the garlic and place in the oven for 30-40 minutes, until the cloves feel soft.
3. Remove garlic from oven and allow to cool, if needed. Squeeze the garlic pulp out of the skin and into a food processor.
4. Place water and tahini in the same food processor and blend until smooth.
5. Add juice and remaining ingredients; process until smooth, scraping the sides with a spatula occasionally.

Serve in a bowl with pita wedges, crackers, chunks of your favorite bread or vegetables (cucumbers are great). Can be kept in the fridge for 4-5 days.

Optional: I've also seen recipes that include 2-3 fresh mint leaves, 1/2 cup yogurt or sour cream (usually in place of the water), or paprika. Hummus is easy to experiment with, and it is very forgiving.

On the health track: Garbanzo beans (or chickpeas, or kirchererbsen in german) are a good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber, and protein (when paired with whole grain pasta, bread or rice) for us veggies. And for the ladies, they provide a nice boost of iron. Add garbanzo beans to salads, soups, lentil or rice dishes, etc. for a very healthy supplement to your diet.

Go underdogs!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Setting the Scene

After years of emailing and receiving recipes with friends, I've decided I need another outlet. A place to go for great recipes, funny cooking disasters (of which, I have many) and great finds.

Plus, I have lots of time of my hands, being an unemployed hausfrau in Germany, so why not become a blog addict?

Imagine, if you will...

There's vegetarian me + 1 vegetarian husband + 1 mini kitchen + a life in meat & potato loving Bavaria. Now that the scene is set, away we go...

Next installment coming soon, maybe a recipe? (only if you're lucky!)