Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

falafels for the pita-less


homemade falafel balls, tzatziki sauce, tahini, tomato…all squished in a slice of whole wheat bread

traditional? no way. delicious? you bet!

(Best sandwich I ever made? Better ask this one…)


Black Bean –Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Kale Chips

black bean stuffed sweet potatoes & kale chips

Black Bean –Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Kale Chips

Kale chips.

Have you heard of these?

They’ve been somewhat of a sensation in the food blogosphere lately, or perhaps a while back (food trends move fast!).

I honestly didn’t know what to expect, but being a fan of all things green and leafy, and all things oven-roasted, decided to give it a try.

The verdict?

Delicious! I think what surprised me the most (aside from the fact that even a particular diehard veggie-hating frat boy ate them) was that they were, in fact, crispy, not just oven-roasted greens. Like shatter-in-your-mouth crisp. Mmm.

Kale Chips

Inspired by Honest Fare

  • 2 bunches kale
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Paprika
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Wash kale and tear into chip-sized pieces, removing tough and bitter stems.
  3. Toss with olive oil, salt, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
  4. Spread onto a greased baking sheet and bake for approx. 12 min, or until crisp and starting to brown (but be careful not to burn, or it will taste bitter).
  5. (Repeat with remaining kale. I used one very large bunch, and it yielded 3(!) pans.)
  6. Sprinkle with sugar while hot.


  • Feel free to change up spices, or go simple with just salt, pepper, and olive oil. A sprinkle of sugar helps cut the bitter veggie taste. Amounts are inexact; the huge bunch of kale I used yielded 3 pans!
  • I served them with this easy recipe from Eating Well (so good and so easy! I ❤ sweet potatoes)

that's alotta kale

Now that’s alotta kale.

P.S.: this is a shout-out to you, seester. Now go and make kale chips!

TGIT and black bean butternut squash tacos

black bean and butternut squash tacos

Thursday may be the new Friday here but that’s only because the four-day week feels like a six-day one, filled to the brim with problem sets, labs, and papers. Did I mention that it was my first midterms week?

Five thirty never felt so good, and as I left my last class yesterday I had the irresistible urge to come home to my nice upper-west side apartment building for a nice long unwind with a glass of red wine, a new recipe from the food network, my cat, and a foot massage from the loving husband.

 Instead, I waited 20 minutes for the elevator to reach the fifteenth floor (where my dorm room is), as each person insisted on getting off every other floor, climbed up two flights of stairs, and collapsed (finally!) on the dingy floor, sans wine, boyfriend (ha, ha), and most tragically of all, sans cat. And so I made the best of things, packing my reusable grocery totes and walking 3 blocks to the nearest supermarket, lugging a butternut squash back to the dorm and hijacking my friend’s suite kitchen. Because even if I am only a stressed-out 18 year-old, at the very least I can have some black bean and butternut squash tacos.

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Tacos

Makes: 4 servings

Adapted from

  • 1 can refried black beans
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt (approx 1 t), pepper (approx ½ t)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 soft corn tortillas
  • sour cream for serving (for vegan recipe, simply use soy sour cream or omit)

Warm the refried beans gently over low heat. Cut the butternut squash in half crosswise at the narrowest point. Cut each half in half again lengthwise. Peel each section with a vegetable peeler or a flexible sharp knife. Use a teaspoon to scrape out the seeds and strings. Cut into 1/2- inch dice. Heat large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add olive oil. When it smokes, add squash cubes and toss well. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, cinnamon, cumin and black pepper. Sauté over high heat, tossing frequently, until browned outside and tender but not mushy inside, about 10 minutes.

To serve, heat tortillas until soft and warm. Assemble tacos by spooning in black beans, topping with sautéed squash and sour cream. Roll up and serve 2 per person.

black bean and butternut squash tacos


This recipe lived up to its promise—it was indeed simple, although cooking the squash takes a little time (not as much as I imagined, but it’s not an instant meal). And there’s something inherently therapeutic about sautéing warm sizzling squash, inhaling the spicy perfume.

Overall I would call it an interesting and tasty combo, although I will admit the flavor wasn’t mind-blowing (but the browned butternut was delicious!). Perhaps squash needs a sweeter compliment?

Maoz Vegetarian, NYC

maoz nyc!


Maoz Vegetarian, NYC

2857 Broadway

New York, NY 10025 (they have several locations in the US and worldwide)

This little vegetarian fast food place has been on my back burner for ages. I even saw it pop up in Amsterdam this summer when I went there for vacation (apparently the chain was founded on Reguliersbreestraat– another reason why I’m in love with that city, sorry New York!). And two days ago I spotted it in Union Square on the way to Whole Foods, another (more expensive) love of mine. So today I finally decided to stop by for lunch with a friend, in the Morningside Heights outlet, conveniently located across the street and a few steps down from Columbia.  

maoz nyc!

At $4.95 for a basic falafel sandwich with unlimited toppings, it’s a great deal for the college student and student-at-heart. Although I am no falafel connoisseur, the little chickpea balls were deliciously crisp-fried on the outside and a moist green (cilantro?) on the inside. Definitely beats the kind from the Jersey mall. The pita (choose from whole wheat and white) tasted fresh and fluffy, not cold and wimpy like the grocery store kind. I loaded my sandwich with dill marinated cucumbers, crispy roasted broccoli (it was addiction at first bite!), and tons of yogurt sauce, my favorite. There was a bounty of veggies and sauces to choose from, including roasted peppers, chickpeas, mayo, tahini sauce, and much, much more, and with the self-serve format, feel free to try them all! (I went up three times for more yogurt sauce.)

$2.25 bought me a mint lemonade to wash it all down, with a real mint leaf floating in it. It was nothing mindblowing but a nice change from the usual flat diet coke.

Overall, a definite recommend—I will be visiting this place again. Fast cheap food with a vegetarian vision, what’s not to love?

P.S.: Here’s to my first blog post in college!

Extremely Simplified Eggplant (not) Parm

Eggplant parmesan is really tasty, but I’m not so keen on frying eggplant when it’s 90 degrees outside. So I invented this shortcut version, which takes about 20 minutes and cooks in the microwave. I understand that this dish doesn’t even have parmesan cheese in it and microwave ovens were probably put on earth by rabid squirrels who are trying to melt our brains, so don’t judge me.












Extremely Simplified Eggplant (not) Parm

Serves 4, 1 small casserole

1 large eggplant

1 cup tomato sauce

4 slices (4 oz) mozzarella cheese

  1. Cut eggplant into ½ inch thick slices. Cook (in microwave) in batches until completely tender.
  2. Layer eggplant in a small casserole dish, then top with sauce and cheese. Repeat.
  3. Microwave (or bake) until cheese melts and dish is heated through.


P.S. When I made this dish, I sprinkled some parmesan on top, but I really don’t think it adds much to the flavor, so I omitted it from the recipe.

P.P.S. Leftovers would probably make great sandwich filling.

Broccoli-Carrot Quiche

To be honest, I’ve really never eaten quiche before, so I was pleasantly surprised at how good it tasted when I tried this recipe last Wednesday. It was very easy to put together and not too heavy. The filling is lovely- silky and creamy, and the Dijon mustard gives it a little bit of a tang. I used broccoli and carrots, but to be honest, any vegetables will do. You can also add cheese (or meat) if you like, but I didn’t miss it.










Broccoli-Carrot Quiche (a conglomeration of several recipes)

9” piecrust*
2 cups cooked chopped broccoli 
½ cup cooked sliced baby carrots
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
2 tbs Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt

•Preheat the oven to 350°F.

•In a large mixing bowl, beat milk, eggs, mustard, salt, and pepper together.

•Scatter broccoli and carrots onto piecrust, and pour the egg mixture on top.

•Bake for about 50 mins, or until quiche is set in the middle. Cool 10 mins before serving.

• Enjoy!


* For my quiche, I created an olive-oil whole wheat crust, inspired from this one. It was nutty and tasty, but a little tough, although it softened after sitting in the fridge for a day.

The piecrust in question

The piecrust in question

the whole pie

the whole pie

cross section of a quiche

cross section of a quiche