Spring Red Pepper and Asparagus Frittata

March 23, 2014 - Written by Diana

Uncooked Spring Red Pepper and Asparagus Frittata - Cookerati.com

Spring is officially here, and the time has come to change things up from the vegetables and fruit that overwinter in the basement to the freshly growing like asparagus.  Red pepper isn’t too local right now, but the southern states have a little coming ripe right now.  This Spring Red Pepper and Asparagus Frittata is light, but full of flavor.  It’s great for Sunday Brunch or even for a quick worknight dinner.

<Click here to get the recipe. >

Spring Red Pepper and Asparagus Frittata - Cookerati.com

Spring Red Pepper and Asparagus Frittata


Spaghetti Squash and Roasted Vegetables

January 19, 2014 - Written by Diana

Spaghetti Squash with Roasted Vegetables ~ Cookerati






I like spaghetti squash, it’s one of my favorite vegetables, but I’m not a fan of covering up it’s flavor and texture with spaghetti sauce.  To me, it’s not a replacement for spaghetti, it just mimics the texture but it’s so great tasting and yet low carb. When Filippo Berio sent me samples of Olive Oil, I ran to my cold food storage area (aka the unheated basement), and brought up the spaghetti squash. Squash is a great long storing vegetable, so for us right now this dish is very seasonal and from the local farm market.

My son assisted me in cooking this day. I was covering for someone on vacation all week, so I appreciated his help. Funny note: in my directions I told my son to cut the squash in half – which he did – staight across instead of lengthwise. He scooped it out to look like a bowl. Along with the squash, he roasted turip, carrots fennel and onion, all found in our marketbag. When I came home and checked on everything, we recut the squash lengthwise si it cooked more evenly.

After we removed the vegetables from the oven and let cool just enough to handle, we scraped the squash fibers out to look like spahetti, then sliced the other veggies snd tossed. For a little lightness we added fresh parsley and cut up some pea shoots and tossed along with the juice of a lemon.

PS – don’t forget to enter the giveaway…  Filippo Berio Giveaway


Deb’s Tortellini Salad

June 18, 2013 - Written by Deb Ng

Everyone has a few tried and true favorite BBQ dishes they cook up for a party or bring to share. My tortellini salad is one of my Barbecue staples.

Before I share the recipe, I want to discuss pasta salad fails. These are, in my opinion, common pasta salad mistakes:

So, keeping this in mind, let’s move along to the recipe. Note that I don’t have amounts listed – that’s because it’s a matter of preference. Some folks like more veg and less tortellini and some want subtlety. In any event, it’s in the eye of the beholder.


Deb's Tortellini Salad
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A great change up on the pasta salad.
Recipe type: Pasta Salad
Cuisine: American
  • Tortellini - For this one I used a mushroom tortellini which added a whole other level of yumminess.
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Avocado - Cubed
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Black Olives
  • Chopped garlic
  • Mozzarella - If you didn't splurge for the premium mozzarella, then you may as well just use Velveeta. Fresh, homemade is the best.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  1. Cook pasta and toss with EVOO so it doesn't stick together. Add the rest of the good stuff and salt and pepper to taste. Chill, baby, chill.
The pasta may absorb the oil before serving time, so you may want to add a bit more and give it a toss just before serving.

Will you be trying this recipe? Tell us what you think – especially let us know what kind of modifications you made.


Farm Market Frittata

September 20, 2012 - Written by Diana

Eggs are a lovely protein, don’t you think?  We often turn to eggs when we want something quick and delicious for breakfast or dinner.  I made this frittata the other day using eggs, farm market veggies and a vegetarian burger(okay, it’s a Luna Burger – anything tastes good with a Luna Burger in it) crumbled up, plus some cheese.  My husband took a bite and told me it wasn’t right, because his eggs don’t taste this good, and aren’t this filling when he makes them. The end of summer is bittersweet because the fresh locally grown veggie supply starts to wane, but at the same time they have their best flavor.  Get’em while their fresh.


Farm Market Fritatta

Farm Market Frittata on Plate Farm Market Frittata

Farm Market Frittata
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Frittata made with fresh local eggs, vegetables and a vegetarian grain burger or patty.
Recipe type: Breakfast
Serves: 2
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 small green pepper
  • 2 baby eggplant
  • ¼ cup crookneck squash
  • vegetarian or grain sausage patty
  • 4 small cherry tomatoes
  • shredded cheddar
  • 4 oz goat cheese
  1. Scramble eggs with 1 tbs water, and set aside.
  2. Dice and saute in warm pan with olive oil - onions and green pepper.
  3. I used baby eggplant but didn't peel, just sliced little circles.
  4. The squash was peeled and sliced to about the same size.
  5. When the onion is almost translucent and soft, add the squash and eggplant to the onion and pepper.
  6. When the eggplant starts to soften, place the veggies in a bowl and set aside temporarily.
  7. Add a little oil to the pan and warm the vegetarian burger. Remove, break into a little smaller than bite size pieces and set aside.
  8. Swish lightly with oil, pour the eggs into the pan, let start to cook.
  9. Add in the sauteed veggies, and the tomatoes.
  10. Dollop the goat cheese into the eggs and place the pieces of vegetarian sausage in under the egg.
  11. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
  12. Place pan in oven under a low broil until egg is firm and cheese is melted.
  13. Serve slices on plate and grate a little more cheese over top.
When you stick a pan in the oven under the broil, you want to make sure you won't damage any of it by sticking it under the heat. I used a low broil to make sure it doesn't quickly overcook. I protected the handle of the pan with foil to make sure it didn't burn or melt. I would not use this pan over high. If you have a cast iron skillet that would have been better.


Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

August 28, 2012 - Written by Diana

Baked Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Are you a seasonal cook – trying to use the fresh ingredients in the season in which they are their best?  Summer is such a great fresh vegetable season and the farm markets are full of great local vegetables that ripened on the vine or stalk and were picked at the right stage for freshness.  I try to stay local and seasonal when there are fresh ingredients being grown nearby to take advantage of, and it’s so easy to come up with great dishes.  I made this roasted lasagna in a smaller portion for my husband an son, and then made a bigger version to bring to my mother in law’s for a family gathering.  It’s deceitful, you think there’s meat and pasta, but there isn’t.  The eggplant replaces the pasta, holding up really well and the crumbled goat cheese mixed with herbs almost give you the texture of crumbled meat and the creaminess of ricotta (which you could use instead) at the same time.  Filling in with roasted tomatoes, onions and red peppers in between the layers bumps up the flavor.

Roasted Red Peppers Thin sliced Eggplant Pre-baked Lasagna

Everything in this dish came from either the farm market, or the Market Bag that we get once a week.  Even the sauce is local, because it’s my homemade sauce from last years farm market vegetables.  I have a couple of jars left over from last year that we didn’t use up ( I hate emptying jars that I just put up, it feels as though my efforts to stock up were in vain when they disappear to early).  I will warn you that the dish isn’t pretty when you cut into it because eggplant turns a brown color when heated.  Eggplant can take the place of meat almost like a mushroom is able to or tofu can.  It is very mild in taste and can take on the flavor of whatever you cook it in (or with).

When I was cooking in the square glass pan, I slice the eggplant across the width, but when I used a long ceramic pan, I sliced the eggplant down the length.  Both times I scraped the skin off, because eggplant skin can be tough compared to the meat of the vegetable and I used a mandolin in order to get slices of uniform length and width.  I brushed the eggplant slices with olive oil and placed on a cookie sheet to roast.  I also sliced cherry tomatoes and other small tomatoes in half , de-seeded red peppers and threw slices of onion on other cookie sheets, brushed with oil and roasted them. Fresh herbs and garlic scapes were mixed together with fresh chevre and sprinkled on top, the cheese layer also had fresh mozzarella.  You can use any sauce you like, but use lightly because veggies add a lot of liquid.  If after you get the layers assembled you notice too much liquid around the edges, hold the layers in the pan and tip to let some out.  That happened to me when I didn’t roast the veggies long enough,  but didn’t harm the lasagna at all.  Roasting the vegetables and then draining them before putting them in the lasagna pan will help.

Baked Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

So, no meat, no pasta, no frying – but pretty darn tasty.  I received compliments and an empty pan as thanks for a good grub.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna
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Roasted summer vegetables - layered with sauce and cheese into a delicious Roasted Vegetable Lasagna.
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 8
  • 1 large eggplant or two smaller - peeled
  • 2 large red peppers
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 16 oz chevre
  • 1 tbs minced parsley
  • 1 tbs minced basil
  • 1 tbs minced garlic scapes
  • 8 - 12 oz fresh mozzarella
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Grated Parmesan
  1. Using a mandolin - slice wide strips down the length of the eggplant. Layer on a baking sheet, brush with olive oil, flip over and brush the other side.
  2. Core the red peppers and slice open so that it lays flat. Brush both sides with olive oil and lay flat on another baking sheet.
  3. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half and lay on baking sheet. Slice the onion and throw it on to the same pan with the tomatoes to roast.
  4. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and roast in a 250 oven until they seem tender and golden.
  5. Combine the herbs and cheese together evenly.
  6. Peel the skin off the pepper and slice the pepper into strips. Drain the tomatoes.
  7. Layer:
  8. Sauce
  9. Eggplant slices
  10. Tomatoes, Peppers, Onions in an even layer together
  11. Sprinkle the Herbed Chevre and a layer of Mozzarella.
  12. Grated Parmesan
  13. Repeat. (if you have enough ingredients repeat twice)
  14. The last layer should be:
  15. Eggplant
  16. Roasted Veggies
  17. Sauce
  18. Herbed Chevre and Mozzarella
  19. Grate Parmesan over the top.
  20. Bake @375 for 20 -30 min pulling it out of the oven when it's hot and bubbling with a nice melted cheese crust on top.
The photo is of the smaller lasagna that I made. Cut the ingredients in half to make the smaller lasagna.



Rutabaga Au Gratin with Leeks and Sage – Battle Spherical

March 28, 2012 - Written by Diana

So many spherical things, what to do, what to do, spherical ingredient, or spherical dish?…  I had to decide quickly because the month was winding down for this month’s Culinary Smackdown – Battle Spherical.  Rutabaga, mango, oranges.  Are oranges too round to be spherical?  Is a lime more spherical?  Looking up sphere – it has to be perfectly round, well, then mango isn’t spherical, or lime, but the rutabaga was pretty darn round (Drat – now I remember that I forgot a photo of a rutabaga before so that you could see how round it was.

My son’s friend was over and asked what I was peeling and I told him it was a rutabaga – similar in taste to a turnip.  It is a swede turnip, or a yellow turnip and a cross between a turnip and cabbage.  The skin is thin, but difficult to peel because it’s so big and round.  I just used a big knife to skin it.  Then I sliced it thinly and cut the slices into pieces.  Since this is a play on another classic – potatoes au gratin, think of the slices to be similar in size to that.  Instead of onion, I thinly sliced a leek plus chopped up fresh sage from the herb bed outside.

I made a cheese sauce and threw in different types of ends of cheeses but also shredded some in between layers of rutabaga and cheese. One of my favorite things to do with the ends of cheeses is to throw it into a cheese sauce or into a grilled cheese panini .

This is my entry to Battle spherical and if it helps Destiny – the friend’s girlfriend who also stayed for dinner thought I was the clear winner ( though she wasn’t considering any of the other great entries). This Culinary Smackdown thing is challenging but fun.

Rutabaga Au Gratin with Leeks and Sage - Battle Spherical
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An au gratin recipe that uses rutabaga's and leeks instead of potatoes and onions.
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6-7
  • 1 large rutabaga
  • 1 large leek
  • 2 large handfuls of sage
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 2 tbs flour
  • 1½ cup milk
  • nutmeg
  • 1 cup shredded cheese for sauce
  • ½ cup shredded cheese for layers
  1. Thinly slice rutabaga and leek.
  2. Chop sage to flake size.
  3. Butter glass pan or casserole dish.
  4. Layer rutabaga, leeks, sage, grated cheese, salt and pepper
  5. Then a second and third layer.
  6. In a separate saucepan, melt butter, whisk in 2 tbs flour and keep whisking until incorporated.
  7. Whisk in a half a cup of cold milk and thicken over heat slowly while whisking.
  8. Add the other cup of milk and whisk and heat slowly to let thicken.
  9. Grate ¼ of a whole nutmeg into sauce.
  10. Slowly add cheese while whisking to create a smooth cheese sauce.
  11. Pour over top of Rutabaga layers, grate cheese over top.
  12. Put into oven at 350 for about 30 minutes covered with foil, then another 5 - 10 to brown cheese on top.
Use real whole nutmeg and grate it yourself - so much better than pre grated. Don't use bags of pre-grated cheese - it contains a substance to prevent caking and doesn't melt as well as grating your own cheese.


Chocolate Mousse with Berries – Quick Valentine’s Dessert

February 14, 2011 - Written by Diana

Here’s a Chocolate Mousse recipe that’s so quick, easy, delicious and perfect for Valentine’s Day. For the Superbowl I made vegan cupcakes that were delish.  I thought the glaze tasted like pudding, but it was thick and sweet.  I took that recipe and changed it into a mousse.    This dessert is pretty fast and easy to make.

The microwave was used to melt the chocolate and goat cheese together before putting it into the magic bullet to combine it and add air (to moussify).  That’s really all it takes, pour the mousse  red raspberries and sliced strawberries in ramekins and then decoratively top with one of each and refrigerate.  This is a dessert you can make after work and cool while dinner is being devoured. I loved it and so did my husband.  One for us tonight, and another for tomorrow (no kids, oh well).


Use a paper towel or cloth to drain and pat dry the tofu – blend it until smooth.  In a microwave, melt the semi-sweet chocolate for a minute, stir, place back in for another thirty seconds, stir.  Crumble in goat cheese, stir to make smooth, then place in microwave for another thirty seconds.

Pour chocolate mixture, in with the tofu, add the agave and vanilla and blend until smooth.  I used a magic bullet because it will do small amounts.  A blender would work, but may be too big for the job.

Place a couple of red raspberries on the bottom of 4 ramekins and slice one half of a strawberry for the bottom of the ramekin also.  Pour the mousse over top of the berries and place the second half  of the strawberry on top along with a red raspberry.  Cool in fridge.

Simple, Easy, Fast Delicious.

Quick Quinoa Burgers

January 28, 2011 - Written by Diana

Quick Quinoa Burgers is from The 150 Healthiest 15-Minute Recipes on Earth by Jonny Bowden and Jeannette Bessinger.  When Deb, Desiree and I were younger, my dad tried the meatless burger thing.  He used birdseed – or rather millet, but they were dry and not very tasty.  I tried this meatless burger thinking it would end on the same note, but I really was surprised at how good they were.  No, they don’t taste like burgers, not at all, but they are packed with flavor.  Where the recipe said to use a quality salsa – I used my canned salsa.  Where it said to use canned kidney beans, I substituted pinto beans that I made up earlier in the week, and it had a little garlic flavoring in it.  I also topped the burger and sauce with chopped avocado.  Deb are you listening – this meal had quinoa, avocado and salsa in it, you will like it.




Place the beans, oats, cheese and salt in a food processor in that order and pulse until combined and holding together but still chunky, about ten quick pulses (I think I probably over pulsed, but it came out nicely).  Turn the bean mixture out into a medium bowl, add the quinoa, and mix, with your hands just until it holds together well.

Heat the oil on a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat (or just below medium in a regular skillet to prevent sticking), and form the quinoa mixture into four patties.

Place the burgers in the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side in until heated through.  Patties will be soft, so handle gently.

While the burgers are cooking, place the salsa, yogurt, lime juice, syrup, cumin, and chili powder into a blender (or a small bowl, and use an immersion blender) and blend until smooth.  Serve burgers with a generous helping of the dressing.

Vegetarian Tofu Pumpkin Pie

November 19, 2010 - Written by Diana

This recipe is for my son’s friend Ben.  At the tender age of 18, he and another friend are living on their own.  Ben is a vegetarian and head chef – which is a good way to keep track of what is going on in the kitchen.  So for his vegetarian Thanksgiving, I’m offering this Vegetarian Tofu Pumpkin Pie.  Use the firm tofu for this recipe that I found online at House America.

Vegetarian Tofu Pumpkin Pie

Serves 8


1 pkg(14 oz)House Foods Premium or Organic Tofu Firm
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1 can (16 oz) cooked pumpkin
1 prepared graham cracker pie crust


Preheat oven to 350°
In a blender or food processor, add all ingredients and blend thoroughly. Pour mixture into pie crust; bake in a 350°F oven for 45 minutes or until set. Serve chilled.

Note Cooking tips:
Remove moisture from Tofu by microwaving it for about a minute; pour off water and blot well with paper towel before using. Be careful, Tofu will be hot!

And to go along with it .. an Orange Mango Smoothie, mmmmm.

Orange Mango Smoothie

Makes Two Servings (three cups)

Prep time: 5 Minutes


1/2 package (7oz) House Premium Tofu Extra Soft or House Organic Tofu – Soft
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/2 cups frozen mango chunks
3 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup soy milk (optional)


Place all ingredients in a blender.

Blend until smooth.

Divide between 2 glasses and serve.

Other combinations:
Guava juice, banana and frozen raspberries.
Orange juice and frozen blueberries.

Note If you don’t have frozen fruit, use 1 cup fresh fruit and 1/2 cup ice cubes.

Wild Rice Salad

August 11, 2010 - Written by Diana

We knew there were going to be vegetarians at my son’s graduation party.  I’ve been feeding his vegetarian friends whenever they came to visit.  I don’t like picky eaters, people who don’t eat because something looks funny, or  because it isn’t made the same way as their mom makes it.  However, I do believe in accomodating dietary restrictions, and choices.  These kids are not problem children and will find a way to help make things work, but for my son’s party I wanted there to food they would love, because I wanted them to know that they are always welcome and that I was thinking specifically of them.   Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a hardship, this dish is really an easy to make no fuss dish.  I quadrupled and changed up a recipe I found in Cooking Light – Kitchen Secrets for Quick and Easy Meals.  This booklet ( thicker than a magazine) is packed with plenty of great tasting and looking dishes.   I love the dill, green onion and feta combination, it’s fantastically delicious and fresh.

Wild Rice Salad with Chickpeas, Dill and Lemon

Combine rice, onions, feta, dill and chickpeas in large bowl tossing gently to combine.

Combine juice, olive oil, and remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Drizzle juice mixture over rice mixture; toss gently to coat.