Category Archives: Vegetarian and Vegan

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Eggrolls

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You know one of those recipes that you make again and again because it is so good?  Well, this is one of them in our house.  I’ve been making these for at least a year (probably more!)  They are a great recipes to whip-up and have extra in the freezer for a quick meal and they are definitely great for company too.  They take a little time to prepare (just because of the rolling) but they are sure to impress and important to note, they are very healthy and a great option for a meatless meal.

What’s even better with these?  The cilantro yogurt dipping sauce shown here.  TOTALLY takes them over the top good, and don’t worry, the recipe is also below.

Usually I make these with black beans (as the title eludes!) but when I went to make them last week I was out of black beans and so was my local store (odd, hey?).  So, I improvised, feeling confident because I had made them so often before.  I used 1 can of chickpeas and 1 can of red kidney beans.  Verdict – same result, same texture and just as good, so feel free to switch-up the beans to your liking.

Definitely give these a shot (and be sure to make the whole recipe and freeze the rest, you’ll be thankful for a quick, delicious and healthy meal on the fly).

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Butternut Squash and Black Bean Eggrolls

Yield:  About 30 rolls
Prep Time:  40 minutes or so
Cook Time:  20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 lbs peeled, diced butternut squash (about 1 medium sized squash)
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced or grated
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed (or use a mixture of your favourite beans, including chickpeas or red kidney)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 package (small/medium) egg roll wrappers (note, original recipe makes 30 with small wrappers > the ones shown above are with medium wrappers and I usually get about 20)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry your butternut squash.  Place the butternut squash, in its whole-form, in the oven and roast for 45mins – 1hour, or until a butter knife inserted into the flesh meets no resistance. Remove from oven, allow the squash to cool.  Cut in half, remove the seeds and remove the flesh.

(You can also cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and lay the halves cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes OR as the original recipe states, you can peel, dice and boil the butternut squash – however, I prefer to roast it, just because I feel as though it retains more nutrients).

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, jalapeño  cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper, and cook for a few more minutes. Add the black beans and stir to combine evenly. Remove from heat.Place the butternut squash and the onion mixture in a large bowl and mash lightly to combine. These will be best if the mixture is left a little bit chunky.To assemble the egg rolls, place a wrapper on your surface with one corner pointing down (diamond position). Place a some of the squash mixture onto the wrapper, and use a pastry brush dipped in water to wet the edges of the wrapper (or use you finger and just dip in a small bowl of water).

Fold the bottom corner up, then fold the outside corners in, and roll it all up. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue until squash mixture is used up; it’ll depend entirely on you how many eggrolls you get because it depends on how much mixture you use per roll.  It is generally between 25 – 30 eggrolls for me.

To Bake:

Place a baking sheet in the oven while heating at 400F. When it’s hot, remove from the oven, spray with nonstick cooking spray, and place the egg rolls on the sheet. Spray the top well with nonstick spray. Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

Extra egg rolls can be wrapped well in saran wrap, placed in a freezer bag, frozen and baked straight from the freezer, adding about 2-5 minutes to total cooking time.

Recipe from Cara’s Cravings

Cilantro Yogurt Dipping Sauce:

Ingredients & Directions:
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (Greek is fine too)
  • 2 TBSP sour cream
  • 5 TBSP minced cilantro
  • dash of S&P

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, whisk to combine and that’s it.

Enjoy!

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Filed under Appetizers, Healthy, Mains, Mexican, Vegetarian and Vegan

Spinach & Goat Cheese Dip

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It’s been a while, eh?  Life definitely got the best of me over the past 6 months and unfortunately something had to give.  It was truly not my intention to stop blogging, but it happened, and without going on-and-on, I truly missed it.  I’ve still been cooking, not as much as I would like, but that is changing too!

So, I will leave it at that.  I am SO happy to be back blogging, back making amazing recipes, back taking photos (especially with my new amazing light box!) and of course, sharing recipes with you all.  Thanks for sticking with me – the best is yet to come (and I promise on a more regular basis).

This dip is a recipe that showed up many times over the holiday season.  It is an amazing appetizer, it is quick to prepare and it is actually reasonably healthy.  It came to be as a pasta sauce and then I envisioned the recipe as a dip and the rest is history!

Definitely whip-up this dip for your next appetizer party, Friday night snack or just because – you won’t be disappointed.

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Spinach and Goat Cheese Dip

Yield: Appetizer for About 6 People
Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time:  15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic, minced/grated
  • 5 – 6 cups of fresh spinach
  • 3 – 4 TBSP water
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 3 TBSP parmesan cheese
  • dash of lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • dash of hot-sauce
  • dash of yellow mustard
  • S&P

Directions:

Over medium heat, heat the olive oil.  Add the onions and sautee until soft/translucent.  Add the garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant (30 seconds).

Add the fresh spinach to the pan and cook until spinach is soft and wilted.  Place the entire mixture into a blender and add the water to help with the puree process (or use a hand blender and puree in the pan).   Puree until smooth and no clumps remain.

Return the mixture to the pot over low heat, add the goat and parmesan cheese and remaining ingredients and whisk until incorporated and smooth. Season with S&P to taste and serve with fresh bread, crackers or whatever you please.

Recipe from the JBean Cuisine Kitchen.  Enjoy!

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Filed under Appetizers, Bread, Healthy, Mains, Side Dishes, Vegetarian and Vegan

Mojito Cookies

I am the host for this month’s What’s Baking and I am SO excited to share all of the recipes with you tomorrow – so tune-in back here for some amazing recipes tomorrow.

The theme this month was “bake with fresh herbs”.  My patio herb garden has exploded (except for my basil…) so I was inspired to try and use these herbs in a non-traditional way.  We know that rosemary is good on steak, parsley on salads, oregano on lamb…but I wanted new uses for these herbs, so away went my theme.

My mint plant is massive – it has just absolutely taken-off and I can only make so many mojitos…well, not really – I can drink those all day.  But I seriously can’t keep up with this plant.  I’ve given 10 or so sprigs to my neighbour, I’ve made salads…but I wanted to do more with it.  Insert these cookies.  Smitten Kitchen gave me the inspiration as she had posted a recipe for Margarita Cookies, and since these aren’t so far off, I decided to try it.  Just to prove how big my plant is…look at this.

These cookies were good, really good. A perfect combination of sweet, salty and buttery and a perfect use for some of my mint.  I’d go easy on the salt topping, as a few of mine were a little too savoury, but otherwise these are a welcome treat in our house and taste almost as good as sipping a mojito in Miami…I did say almost though.

Be sure to check-in tomorrow to see what my fellow bloggers made with fresh herbs.

Enjoy!

Mojito Cookies

Yield:  50 small 1-inch cookies
Prep Time:  20 minute for dough, plus 2.5 hours of resting in fridge (read directions below!)
Cook Time:  10-15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 sticks (8 ounces; 230 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2/3 cup (70 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 large egg yolks, at room temperature and divided (you will use one in dough, one for coating)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons tequila or white rum
  • 2 TBSP of minced mint (equal to about 30 or so mint leaves)
  • Grated zest of one lime
  • 2 cups (280 grams) all-purpose flour

Coating:

  • Approximately 1/2 cup clear sanding or other coarse sugar
  • 2 teaspoons flaky Maldon sea salt*

Put the butter in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat at medium speed until it is smooth.

Add the sifted confectioners’ sugar and beat again until the mixture is smooth and silky.

Beat in 1 of the egg yolks, followed by the salt, tequila, grated lime and mint.

Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, beating just until it disappears. It is better to underbeat than overbeat at this point; if the flour isn’t fully incorporated, that’s ok–just blend in whatever remaining flour needs blending with a rubber spatula.

Turn the dough out onto a counter, gather it into a ball, and divide it in half. Wrap each piece of dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Working on a smooth surface, form each piece of dough into a log that is about 1 to 1 1/4 inches (2.5 to 3.2 cm) thick. (Get the thickness right, and the length you end up with will be fine.)

Wrap the logs in plastic and chill for 2 hours. (The dough can be wrapped airtight and kept refrigerated for up to 3 days or stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.)

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

While the oven is preheating, work on the sugar coating: Whisk the remaining egg yolk in a small bowl until it is smooth and liquid enough to use as a glaze. Mix the coarse sugar and flaky salt well and spread the mixture out on a piece of wax paper. Remove the logs of dough from the refrigerator, unwrap them, and brush them lightly with a little egg yolk. Roll the logs in the sugar, pressing the sugar/salt mixture gently to get it to stick if necessary, then, using a sharp slender knife, slice each log into cookies about 1/4 inch (7 mm) thick. [Smitten Kitchen Note: To get the sugar/salt mixture to stick better, move the log over to a piece of plastic wrap, and in the sort of technique you’d see a sushi chef use to shape a roll, use the plastic to press the sugar in by wrapping it tightly.]

Place the cookies on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 inch (1.5 cm) space between them.  Top with a sprinkle of the leftover salt/sugar mixing.

Bake the cookies for 12 to 14 minutes, or until they are set but not browned.

Transfer the cookies to cooling racks to cool to room temperature.

Keeping: Packed airtight, the cookies will keep for about 5 days at room temperature. Because the sugar coating will melt, these cookies are not suitable for freezing.

Recipe Adapted From Smitten Kitchen, originally adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Sablés au Citron

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Filed under Bread, Desserts, Vegetarian and Vegan