Posts Tagged ‘Meatless Monday’

Meatless Monday: Dutch Baby Pancake


Dutch baby pancake, dutch baby recipe, dutch baby

You can’t order an apple pancake every single time you go to The Pancake House. Sometimes you need something lighter but equally delicious.  In The Walker Bros. original Pancake House family tree, a.ka. the menu, the Dutch Baby stands in breezy blonde opposition to her rounder, denser, deceptively sweet but totally over-the-top Apple Pancake sister.  One lifts you up and the other does you in.

If you’re from the North Shore of Chicago, you know what I’m talking about.

For everyone else, I’ll admit it never occurred to me that the Dutch Baby might have originated anywhere other than Wilmette, Illinois until I read this entry in Orangette a few years ago.

No, the Dutch in the name didn’t tip me off.

Homer attitude aside, I’m grateful Molly Wizenberg brought the Dutch Baby back, because it makes a near-magical appearance on nights when there isn’t a thing in the fridge except an old lemon, a few eggs and some combo of milk/cream/half & half.  Now we’re making these dramatic puff pancakes at work and serving them the Walker Bros. way with sliced lemon wedges and powdered sugar, plus a side of lemon curd and fresh blueberries.

Walker Brother's Pancake House Dutch Baby pancake

The three of us in the kitchen yesterday morning ate this one straight from the pan.

Dutch baby recipe

Get the lemon and sugar on the pancake while it’s still piping hot and you achieve alchemy: the juice moistens the sugar, the heat lightly caramelizes it, and the eggy air pockets crackle with warm lemon sweetness.

If any Chicagoans are still reading, I’m gearing up to make an apple pancake.


Dutch Baby
adapted from Molly Wizenberg
Makes 1 large for sharing or 2 individual pancakes

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 pinch salt
½ cup half-and-half

For the topping:
1 lemon, cut into wedges
Powdered sugar
Fresh berries
Lemon curd

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Divide the butter between two 6-inch or pour into one 12-inch cast-iron skillet and melt it over low heat. (we sued a deeper 12-inch pot for the pancake below but only because our skillets were already being used.  The pot works just fine too).

In a blender, blitz the eggs, flour, sugar, salt and half-and-half.

Pour the batter into the skillets over the melted butter. Place immediately in the hot oven and don’t open the door until the Dutch Babies are puffy, golden brown soufflés, about 20-25 minutes.

Remove the puffed pancakes from the oven, transfer them to a serving plate, dust with powdered sugar, squirt with lemon juice and serve immediately with other toppings as desired.




Meatless Monday: Raw Kale Salad with Strawberries and Almonds


Raw Kale Salad with Strawberries and Almonds

Sarah wanted to develop a summery version of our favorite raw Kale Salad with Apple and Currants to accompany our Memorial Day Picnic menu. She suggested we use strawberries and I added the creamy vegan basil dressing (originally developed as a dip for steamed artichokes). Grassy ribbons of kale+ sweet basil dressing= heaven. Tangy strawberries and crunchy almonds add sweetness and depth of flavor. Teamwork friends.


Raw Kale Salad with Strawberries

Raw Kale Salad with Strawberries and Almonds
Serves 4

1 bunch kale, cut into chiffonade
1 x Creamy Vegan Basil Vinaigrette, see recipe below
1-1/2 cups fresh strawberries, quartered
¼ cup slivered almonds or pine nuts, lightly toasted
¼ cup fresh basil, cut into chiffonade

Wash and dry kale ribbons.  Toss with basil vinaigrette 10-15 minutes before serving so kale has time to soften.  Arrange on serving platter then top with berries, almonds and fresh basil just before serving.


Creamy Vegan Basil Dressing


Creamy Vegan Basil Dressing
makes ¾ cup

1 tablespoon shallot, minced
2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
10 grinds freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup basil
2 tablespoons Veganaise or mayo
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Combine all ingredients except olive oil in a food processor or blender.  With mixer running, add olive oil in a slow steady stream until dressing is emulsified.  Keeps in refrigerator for about a week. Yay this salad got featured on the Meatless Monday site!



Meatless Monday: Potato Salad Gribiche


According to Wikipedia:
Sauce gribiche is a mayonnaise-style cold egg sauce in the French Cuisine, made by emulsifying hard-boiled egg yolks and mustard with a neutral oil like canola or grapeseed. The sauce is finished with chopped pickles, capers, parsley, chervil and tarragon. It also includes hard-boiled egg whites cut in a julienne.
Sauce gribiche may be served with boiled chicken, fish (hot or cold) or calf’s head.

Potato Salad Gribiche

Ok well this may be the proper definition of sauce gribiche but my version of this French classic is much lighter. I took our basic vinaigrette potato salad recipe and added chopped capers, cornichons, hard boiled eggs, parsley and chervil. A nod and a wink to this classic suits me just fine. The warm fingerling potatoes drink up the shalloty vinaigrette and the capers, cornichons and herbs add a tangy brightness to the earthy studs. The eggs offer a creamy surprise though you could easily omit them for a Vegan version. I served it at a dinner party last week to rave reviews.


Potato Salad Gribiche 2

Potato Salad Gribiche
serves 8 generously

3 pounds mini fingerling potatoes, cut in half
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 shallots, finely diced
8 tablespoons good quality extra-virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup cornichons, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
2 hard boiled eggs, roughly chopped
1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
½ cup chopped chervil, roughly chopped

Wash and clean the potatoes. Cut them in half so that all pieces are approximately the same size and approximately 1-1/2 inches. Place in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring the water to a rolling boil and add 2 tablespoons kosher salt. Let boil until knife tender, approximately 8 minutes. Drain and place back in the pot, covering with a lid, so that the potatoes stay warm until they are dressed.

While the potatoes are boiling, whisk together the mustard, vinegar and shallots.  Add the olive oil in a slow steady stream, whisking continuously so that the vinaigrette emulsifies. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the vinaigrette over the drained hot potatoes using a spatula to gently turn the potatoes so that the vinaigrette coats them all. Let the dressed potatoes cool to room temperature. In the mean time chop the capers, cornichons and hard boiled eggs. Mix them into the potatoes in vinaigrette.

Reserving some of the herbs for topping the plated dish,  Generously sprinkle the potato salad with the chopped herbs, gently mixing so that every potato bite will have some herbs. Scoop the potatoes into a serving platter and top with the reserved herbs. Enjoy chilled or at room temperature.



Meatless Monday: Cold Tofu with Green Onions and Ginger



After ten days of travel, parties and dinners out with family and friends, I’m craving the gustatory equivalent of an all-white room. And so I woke up with cold tofu on my mind.  Like the perfect white room, cold tofu shouldn’t be boring, but fresh, clean and bold in its details.

This is a super simple dish that sings.  Every taste and texture is clean and clear–cold, custardy tofu and sharp, green ginger and scallions.  The soy sauce–not too much or it will overwhelm the delicate tofu–pulls it all together.  I eat it over warm rice to catch the soy and tender bits of tofu as they start to fall apart.


Cold Tofu with Green Onions and Ginger


1 package (12 oz) extra-firm silken (Japanese-style) tofu

3 scallions, thinly sliced on the diagonal

1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated

Soy sauce


Take tofu out of the package and drain.

Cut the tofu in half and place each piece on a serving dish or over rice.  Sprinkle with scallions and ginger.  Drizzle a little soy over each  and serve immediately.

Meatless Monday: Deconstructed Vegetarian Niçoise Salad


The spring holidays are upon us and most of you out there are scouring cookbooks and recipe sites planning your Easter and Passover menus. While it can be difficult to accommodate dietary restrictions and still plan an elegant and festive menu, Sarah and I have a great idea for a vegetarian lunch or brunch for a crowd. Deconstructed Nicoise Salad!


Deconstructed Nicoise Salad Buffet

Take all the components of the classic French cafe salad and separate them into their own flavorful dish on a buffet table. Guests can help themselves to how ever much or little of a particular dish they want. Vegetarians feast on herbed green beans, deviled eggs, tomatoes with olive vinaigrette and steamed potatoes. Meat eaters add poached salmon to their salads and everyone goes home happy, after a fresh muffin and a mimosa of course. (For table decor ideas click here.)

Deconstructed Vegetarian Niçoise
Serves 10
Butter lettuce
Truffled deviled eggs
Tomatoes in olive vinaigrette
Steamed green beans with fresh dill
Steamed tri-colored fingerling potatoes
Yogurt herb dressing

The idea here is to serve the individual components on separate platters on a buffet table so guests can build their own salad.  We like to use a variety of platters in different heights and sizes–e.g. a wooden board for the truffled deviled eggs, a tall white compote dish for the tomatoes in olive vinaigrette– to add interest and height to the buffet table.  Start by gently breaking your butter lettuce into individual leaves and plating them in a large bowl.


Vegetarian Nicoise

Truffled Deviled Eggs
Serves 10

12 large eggs
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons mayonnaise plus 2 teaspoons
4 tablespoons Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon truffle oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh chives for garnish

Place eggs and water to cover in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and let stand, covered, 9 minutes. Drain eggs, and rinse with cold water for several minutes. (this can be done 1 day ahead and the hard-boiled eggs kept refrigerated).

Peel eggs, and cut in half lengthwise.

Carefully remove the egg yolks and place in a medium bowl.  Add mustard, mayo, yogurt and truffle oil. Use a fork to mash the yolks and combine to a smooth consistency.  Use two small spoon to gently scoop the filling back into the whites or place mixture in a pastry bag with a plain or star-shaped tip (or a small zip-top plastic bag with a corner cut out), and pipe mixture into egg halves. Garnish with chives if desired–one chive sliver on each looks nice.

Veg Nicoise close up

Tri-Colored Fingerling Potatoes
3 pounds multicolored fingerling or new potatoes, cleaned and cut in half the long way
2 tablespoons salt

Place the potatoes in a large pot and fill to cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil over high heat, add the salt and turn the heat to a simmer.  Continue simmering until the potatoes are just fork tender, about 8-10 minutes.  Drain immediately and let steam, covered with a dishcloth, in a colander until tender, about 15 minutes more.  Let cool.

Steamed Green Beans
1-1/2 pounds green beans or haricot verts, stems removed
2 quarts water


1 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt to taste
Fresh dill for garnish

In a large pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil.  As the water warms, prepare an ice bath by adding ice cubes and water to a large mixing bowl.

Add the salt to the boiling water then add the beans.  Blanch the beans until they turn bright green, about 1-2 minute, then remove them with a slotted spoon to the ice bath.  When the beans have cooled, drain and set to air dry on a lined sheet tray before enjoying with salad.

Just before service, toss with the olive oil and season to taste with sea salt.  Pile in a serving bowl or platter and top with with fresh chopped dill.

Veg Nicoise ECU

Tomatoes in Olive Vinaigrette

4 pints cherry tomatoes, washed and cut in half
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
4 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all the ingredients through olive oil in a mixing bowl about 20 minutes before service.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Serve alongside remaining salad ingredients.

Yogurt Herb Dressing
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt (we use Fage brand Greek yogurt)
1/4 cup avocado or canola oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1.4 cup chopped fresh chives
¼ cup chopped fresh dill
Fine sea salt

Whisk the first 4 ingredients in small bowl. Add in the herbs and season dressing to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Thin with hot water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if necessary.  Serve immediately.



Meatless Monday: Zucchini and Ricotta Tart


Flaky buttery puff pastry slathered in a lemony layer of fluffy ricotta cheese topped with sweet zucchini and savory fresh thyme. Sounds good right?

zucchini tart

This simple to make (we promise this time) tart is one of our new favorite recipes. We are recommending it as an elegant appetizer in our Dinner Party Blueprints and it is garnering rave reviews at work as a lunch dish paired with a mixed green salad.

zucchini tart

Zucchini and Ricotta Tart

Serves 2 for lunch or 4-6 as an appetizer

1 sheet all butter frozen puff pastry, thawed per the package instructions

1 1/2 cups good quality ricotta cheese

zest of one small lemon

salt and pepper

1-2 zucchinis, sliced into 1/4inch thick rounds

1/4 cup grated gruyure cheese

2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme

1 egg, beaten for egg wash

Defrost the puff pastry sheet according to the package instructions which takes at least 45 minutes. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Lay the rectangle of puff onto a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Using a fork, make pinpricks all around the center of the tart dough leaving a 1 inch border on each of the four sides. Mix the ricotta with a pinch of salt and pepper and the lemon zest. Top the pricked section of the dough with the ricotta cheese into a thin but even layer. Slightly layer the sliced zucchini on top of the ricotta. Sprinkle the zucchini with a dusting of salt, shredded gruyere and chopped fresh thyme. Brush the exposed edges of puff dough with egg wash. Bake at 400 for 30-40 minutes until the dough if puffed and the edges have browned. Try not open the oven door while it bakes, use you oven light if possible. Allow to cool for 10 minutes to room temperature and them slice into wedges or small, bite sized squares.



Meatless Monday: Tofu Chopped Salad


This is my version of the M chopped salad at M Cafe in Los Angeles. So stinking healthy, you feel light and airy after eating it.

Tofu Chopped Salad

Angelinos loved chopped salads, each bite is a colorful bust of textures and flavors. In this case it’s smoky chewy tofu, creamy avocado, crisp celery, earthy sweet beets and salty tamari almonds all tossed with creamy vegan ranch dressing.

Tofu chopped salad with vegan ranch

Tofu Chopped Salad

Serves 4

Dice all the vegetables the same size so your salad looks pretty and is easier to eat! You can buy roasted beets on the salad bar of any supermarket if you don’t have time to roast and peel them yourself.

4 handfuls of mixed greens

1/2 cup diced cooked beets

1/2 cup diced carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

1/2 cup diced avocado

1/2 cup garbanzo beans

1/2 cup diced seasoned cooked tofu (I used Thai flavored cooked tofu)

a large handful of Tamari or Bragg’s seasoned Almonds (available at health food stores)

1/2 cup of sprouts

Store bought vegan ranch dressing (I often thin this out with a little red wine vinegar or lemon juice)

Place a large handful of mixed greens into 4 bowls or plates. Toss all the chopped vegetables and garbanzo beans together then divide the mixture evenly over the salads. Top each salad with a haystack of sprouts and a sprinkling of almonds. Serve with store bought vegan ranch, on the side like we do in LA.



Meatless Monday: Allergen Friendly Almond Noodles


Sarah’s INCREDIBLE peanut noodle recipe is starring this week on The Meatless Monday site as a featured Lunch recipe! Yipee! Check it the complete nutrition information of the MM site and if you have ever made this recipe be sure to give it a 5 star rating.

Peanut Noodles topped with vegetables

Last Summer I did a cleanse and ate only low allergen foods for 3 weeks. Naturally I craved satisfying meals so I adapted the magic peanut noodle recipe to fit into my cleanse and had really good results. This recipe below is Gluten Free, Peanut Free, Wheat Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian and Vegan. If you are allergic to almonds then I’m sorry this recipe won’t help you any.

Allergen Friendly Almond Noodles

adapted from Sarah Lagrotteria’s Peanut Noodle Recipe


For sauce:

1/4 cup sesame oil (not toasted sesame oil)

3 tablespoons rice vinegar or fresh lime juice (or a combination of the two is nice)

1 tablespoon Gluten Free Tamari

1 clove garlic, minced

1 jalapeno pepper, minced or 1 teaspoon chili paste (we like Sriracha)

2 heaping tablespoons almond butter (available at natural food stores)

12 ounces Gluten Free Brown Rice Spaghetti or linguine (available at Whole Foods and Trader Joes)

3 large carrots, julienned (cut into matchsticks)

2 small or 1 large cucumber, skin on and large seeds removed, julienned (cut into matchsticks)

Any other vegetable of choice, cut into matchsticks.  Broccoli, kohlrabi, snap peas, celery or radishes are great. Shredded broccoli slaw or cabbage slaw mix from the grocery store are good and fast additions. It’s an anything-goes, clean-out-your-fridge kind of dish.

Fresh mint, Thai basil, basil, cilantro or any combo of the four, roughly chopped

Chili paste and sea salt, to taste.


Sarah’s Crisp Vegetables Tip- If the day feels particularly sticky, I recommend crisping your cucumbers and carrots in an ice bath before adding them to the dish.  Once you cut them into matchsticks submerge them both in a bowl of ice water in the fridge.  Let sit while you prepare the sauce and noodles and then drain just before adding to the dish.  Even a short soak in an icy water bath will give the vegetables more crunch.

Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat.  Cook the noodles according to the package directions.   Drain.

In a large bowl or in your blender, whisk together the sesame oil, vinegar or lime juice, tamari, garlic and jalapeno.  Add the almond butter and continue whisking until smooth.  You may need to add a teaspoon or two of hot water if the almond butter sauce is too thick. Add the warm noodles and gently toss until evenly coated.

To serve place a portion of almond noodles in a bowl and top with an assortment of the crisp vegetables. Then top with the freshly chopped herbs and serve with salt and chili sauce at the table for last minute seasoning.

Enjoy in good health!


Meatless Monday: Vegetable Calendars


Seasonal Vegetables of California Calendar by Claire Nereim

Happy (first!) Monday, loves.

I’ve been pondering resolutions to share with you this wet January morning, but voicing resolutions at the outset has never worked for me.   It’s as if I give away the will to begin in the sharing.

So let’s share something else, something that grows in the sharing, like our enthusiasm for vegetables, especially the wonderfully ripe variety.  According to NPR, the Meatless Monday campaign is helping make 2011 the year when vegetables become the new meat.

Exciting, isn’t it?  Evidently we’re already delighting in an unexpected love affair with the humblest of partners.

Before I became frequent farmer’s market shopper I never knew what vegetables were in season.  If you’re trying to incorporate more vegetables into your diet and face the same problem, you can invest in a calendar like the one above (so pretty!) or enter your home state at for a list of what’s fresh in your area right now.

Though it’s UK-centric, I like Jamie Oliver’s calendar as well.

(Did you know the British call rutabagas Swedes?  Me neither.)

Here’s to a happy, healthy and veg-heavy 2011.  We’re thrilled to be sharing it with you.


Meatless Monday: Fried Eggs with Tomato Sauce


If you have been reading this blog for awhile you may think that Sarah and I have an obsession with eggs topped with some semblance of tomatoes? This flavor combination can not be beat and the ease of this recipe below will certainly convert you to the egg and tomato team if you were not already a member.

Fried egg with tomato sauce

Simple pan fried eggs, served on toast, and all topped with warm tomato sauce and fresh basil. The yolk breaks into the sweet-tart tomato sauce, enriching the most sensational gooey sauce to be mop up by bread, ever. Breakfast, lunch or dinner this dish will not disappoint. I’m planning to make this dish on Christmas morning, the bright red tomato sauce and verdant sweet basil will be a colorful celebration of the day.

egg with tomato sauce

Fried Eggs with Tomato Sauce

Serves 1-2

2 pieces of toast (slices from a nice crusty loaf are ideal), buttered if desired

2 eggs

1/2 cup of good tomato sauce

4 large leaves of basil, sliced into ribbons

olive oil, salt and pepper

Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat and crack the eggs into the oil. Allow to fry on one side being careful not to burn the whites. Season the eggs lightly with salt and pepper. Meanwhile toast your bread and warm the tomato sauce in a small pot uncovered. When the egg whites are cooked remove from the heat. Place each egg on top of a buttered piece of toast. Spoon the warmed tomato sauce over each egg and top with the ribbons of fresh basil. Serve immediately.

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