Savory Brunch Crepe

Brunch on the back deck. What could be better?

Savory crepes are generally made with non-wheat flours such as buckwheat. I use a nice blend of buckwheat and rice flours for my crepes; then throw in some zucchini, herbs, and sesame seeds. The filling for the crepes is simple yet elegant: Lightlife Ham Slices, Teleme cheese, sliced tomatoes, and a sprinkling of fresh thyme from my herb garden. Continue reading

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Baked Potato Soup

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

I was asked the other day what could be done with leftover baked potatoes. My response was soup! Yes, soup. Imagine all the flavors associated with baked potatoes as you dip your spoon into a warm, comfort-food bowl of soup. Continue reading

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Caramel Chocolate Cookies

Ah…caramel and chocolate. What a flavor combination! One completes the other. Perfect for kids of all ages. For the chocolate, I use semi-sweet chocolate chips. For the caramel, I use dulce de leche. Continue reading

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Pizza Southwest-Style

This festive and tasty pizza is my riff on a southwest-style pizza. It has a combination of colors and flavors that I think you will like. The crust is a cross between deep dish and a warm, chewy flour tortilla – you’ll like that too. Although the prep for this recipe is extensive, your time will be well spent. Continue reading

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Croissant Sandwich

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

Serve with a side of pasta salad (as above) or with breakfast potatoes.

For a complete breakfast, I serve this with a side of country-style fried potatoes and fresh orange juice. For lunch, I serve with a side of pasta salad. Continue reading

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Southwest Vegetarian Stew (slow cooker)

Remembering a satisfying bowl of “southwest vegetarian stew” I ordered off the menu at a diner in Roswell, New Mexico, I created this recipe for the slow cooker. The ingredients, and flavors they bring, are considerably different. See it in my new slow cooker cookbook at Amazon. Continue reading

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Fresh and Easy Sofrito

Condiment of choice! Great with grilled foods.

Aromatic and savory, sofrito is a condiment, a sauce, and a base for many Caribbean dishes from countries such as Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Cuba. In short, it is super versatile. And it is flavorful. Super flavorful.

Sofrito has its origins in Spanish cuisine and typically consists of onions sautéed in oil with ingredients like garlic, hot and/or sweet peppers, tomatoes, and herbs such as cilantro, culantro, and oregano. Some sofritos are red, others are green, some are chunky, and others puréed.

My version is gluten-free, vegan, and most of all it has an amazing “fresh” taste. Use it with tacos, as a condiment for just about any grilled food, and as a base for a good pot of beans. It’s even good served as a dip with chips!

2 medium Spanish – or yellow – onions (cut into 1-inch chunks)
4 cubanelle peppers (seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks)
18 medium cloves garlic (peeled)
1 large bunch of cilantro (washed and chopped)
4 leaves of culantro
4 ripe plum tomatoes (cored and cut into 1-inch chunks)
2 medium red bell peppers (seeded, cut into 1-inch chunks)
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cubanelle peppers and sauté until onions are soft. Place onions and cubanelle peppers in the bowl of a 6-cup food processor fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until very coarsely chopped.

With the motor running, add the remaining ingredients one at a time through the feed tube and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Transfer to container and store in refrigerator until ready to use. It will keep on the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days and much longer if frozen.

Note: If you can’t find cubanelle peppers, substitute Anaheim chiles. Culantro, although similar to cilantro, is not the same as cilantro. On the Westcoast, look for culantro in Asian food markets.

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