Pearl Barley Stir Fry




1 cup pearl barley
1 1/2 to 2 cups vegetable stock
1 yellow onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbs olive oil
1 tbs dry white wine (optional)
1 head of broccoli, chopped
Any other veggies you want to add (I put in some spinach and cabbage)

How to Make Pearl Barley Stir Fry

This one takes a little bit longer to make because of the barley, but is a really hearty and delicious dish!
 In a large, shallow pan, saute the onion and garlic, lightly salted, for about 3 minutes.  Then, add the barley and saute for about 3-5 more.  Feel free to add a bit more oil if it looks too dry.   When the barley is fragrant, add the white wine, stirring constantly.  
Add the stock and bring to a boil.  Simmer covered on low for about 45 minutes until the barley is soft, but still has some bite.  Then, add the broccoli on top and cover for about 3 minutes.  Broccoli should be bright green and tender.  Add S&P as needed and enjoy!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts


1 lb fresh Brussels Sprouts.
1/4 cup good EVOO
1 handful of cashew nuts
S & P

 How to Make Roasted Brussels Sprouts

This was a huge hit at a family event recently, and trust me, they are not easily impressed!  If you think you don't like Brussels sprouts, give this recipe a try and see if it doesn't change your mind.  If you want, you are welcome to omit the cashews.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Trim and half/quarter the sprouts, depending on the size.  Liberally cover with oil, salt, and pepper.  Be sure to toss them around to coat evenly. 
Bake on a cookie sheet for about 12 minutes, or until the sprouts are soft in the middle with crispy edges.
If your cashews are raw, you can add them to the sprouts about 2 minutes before they are done.  The ones I used were already roasted, so I just tossed them with my cooked sprouts.


Sugar Cookies

As you may or may not know, I'm not much of a sweets person.  However, I have now been given the Williams Sonoma Star Wars cookie cutters 3 times, so I figured it was time to use them.  (I am also an avid Star Wars fan).  I totally took this recipe from an online source, but I added some VeggieLiv touches.  Feel free to use an egg substitute to make this vegan.


  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup Earth Balance, softened
  • 1-1 1/2 cups white sugar (if you add less than 1 1/2, add a touch of brown sugar).
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). In a small bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg and vanilla. Gradually blend in the dry ingredients. Roll rounded teaspoonfuls of dough into balls, and place onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden. Let stand on cookie sheet two minutes before removing to cool on wire racks.
***The Star Wars shapes did not turn out.  I read some other recipes that included shortening that were for making shapes.  I'm not much on shortening, so I stuck with vegan butter.  If you want shapes though, this recipe is not exactly for you.  It does produce some delicious, chewy sugar cookies though!!

Meatball Bake


6 vegan/vegetarian meatballs.  I like the ones made of mushrooms.
1 cup spaghetti sauce
2-4 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into pieces

 How to Make Meatball Bake

This is a super easy, delicious weeknight meal that the Beau really loved.  I was inspired by some fresh motz that needed to be used and some leftover spaghetti sauce.  Feel free to add in whatever you want here, but I found that this was simple and delicious.
Little ramekins will make this a lot easy to make and serve, but if you don’t have any, you can use oven-safe bowls or a little oven-safe dish.  This might not seem like a lot of food, but it is actually quite filling.  I served this up with a nice green salad (and some wine of course).
To make, warm sauce and meatballs together in a small sauce pan.  Then, simply spoon the sauce and meatballs into the ramekins and cover evenly with cheese.  Put under the broiler on low until cheese is melted and bubbling.  Enjoy!!

Green Mac 'n' Cheese



1 tbs olive oil (plus more)
1 Leek
1.5 cups frozen, thawed spinach
1 tbs dry white wine
1 tbs flour
1 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 cup Gouda (I used goat milk Gouda)
1/2 cup Farm cheddar
1/4 cup black pepper Taleggio
2.5 cups skim milk
2 tbs low fat cream cheese
1 lb whole wheat pasta (I used penne)
1/2 cup shredded Italian blend or Asiago or Parm

How to make Green Mac 'n' Cheese

I made this on Halloween as a green treat for the man.  It came out so yummy, so even though it was an experiment and not supposed to go on the blog, I decided I had to take a picture and share it.

I was originally intending to put artichoke hearts in here, but when I went to look for them, they were no where to be found.  I'll be sure to have them on hand next time and add them to the mix!  Feel free to add whatever other veggies you like.  I tried to use healthy ingredients wherever possible since the cheese is

Start with a high edged saute pan or a sauce pan.  Heat oil over medium high head and add the light green and white parts of the leek (diced).  Season with salt, pepper, and garlic.  Saute until fragrant.  Add in the spinach and cook for about 4 minutes.  Add wine and cook for about 3 minutes more.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in heavily salted water until al dente.  Reserve about 2 tbs of the cooking water.

When the alcohol has burned off of the wine, add a bit of the pasta water, if needed.  Cook for about 2 minutes.

If the spinach mixture looks like it needs a bit more oil, feel free to add some.  You don't want it to be oily, but there does need to be some fat in the pan.  Then, whisk (or fork) in the flour, a little a time until the mixture is quite thick.  You do not want to brown the roux, so keep the heat low and stir constantly.  Then, add the milk a little a time.  Cook for about 4 minutes.  The sauce will thicken as it cooks.  Stir in the cream cheese and melt it. 

Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the Gouda, Cheddar, and Taleggio until melted.  Then, pour over the pasta in a casserole dish and stir to coat all of the noodles.  Top with Italian blend and place under the broiler on "LOW" for about 5 minutes or until top cheese is crispy and brown.  Serve and ENJOOOOOY!!!

Club Sandwhiches


 Ingredients (Double for 2 Sammies)

1/2 Baguette of Herb Cheese Bread (see recipe)
3 thick slices of black pepper cheese
2 slices Goat Gouda
1/2 avocado
Tomato slices
1/4 cup spinach
1/2 tbs olive oil Mayonnaise
Fresh black pepper
Pinch of salt

How to make Club Sandwiches

This is a wonderful sandwich that is decadent and filling without making you feel too heavy after.  If you are not using my herb cheese bread recipe, be sure to use some good, fresh bread.  That will make a big difference.  You can also use different cheeses, but be sure that they are strong, aged cheeses that can stand up to the other flavors in the sammy.

Mix mayonnaise and avocado together with salt and pepper. You can leave it a little chunky if you want. This will make a great spread to moisten the sandwich but still keep it pretty healthy. Lay cheese slices over this and press slightly. Add other toppings and top with a bit of fresh pepper.

I like mine with a nice cold glass of white wine. Enjoy!

Cheese Herb Bread



1 1/2 cups warm water
1 packet dry, active yeast
1 tsp sugar
3 1/2- 4 1/2 cups bread flour
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (or other cheese) plus more for sprinkling
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs Italian dried herbs
1/2 tsp salt

How to make Cheese Herb Bread

My new adventure in bread making has taken me to a place where I want to make quicker bread with yummy extras in it!

This is a much quicker recipe than my artisan herb bread and is perfect for sandwiches and snacks.  This bread takes a little bit of love though :)

Dissolve the yeast in the water and sugar.  Let stand about 10 minutes or until very foamy.  Mix in the flour and salt with your hands or a wooden spoon until pretty smooth.  Then, knead the dough for about 10-12 minutes or until shiny, stretchy, and smooth.  Add more flour if needed.

Shape the sough into a ball and put in a lightly oiled nonreactive bowl, turning to coat the dough on all sides with oil.  Cover with a towel and let stand for 2 hours.  The dough should be doubled in size.

Then, turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Knead in the cheese and herbs.  Cover with the towel and let rest another hour an a half.  Then, cut the dough in half and form into long loafs.  Cover and let rest another 10 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Top the bread with extra cheese (optional) and bake for about 30 minutes, or until the loaves sound hollow when thumped.


Vegetable Puree



1 medium onion
1 shallot
6-8 cloves of garlic
4 carrots
2-3 stalks of celery
2 small potatoes or 1 large potato
1 inch cube of fresh ginger (optional)
1/2 cup cabbage
3/4 tbs vegetable/olive oil
1/2 tsp celery salt
3 green onions
6 cups vegetable stock

How to make Vegetable Puree

This puree is so lovely and warming, no one will believe it is so easy to make.  I love purees because you don't have to worry about chopping as uniformly or cooking each vegetable perfectly.  Instead, you can just throw everything in a pot and let it boil away!

In a large dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat.  Add diced potatoes, carrots, celery, garlic, onions, shallot, ginger, salt and pepper.  Sweat for about 6-8 minutes until vegetables begin to color a bit.  Be sure not to burn the garlic.

Slowly pour in the stock, scraping the bottom of the pan with a spoon to pull up the yummy bits.

Bring to a boil and add in the cabbage, 3/4 of the green onions, and celery salt.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until all of the vegetables are very soft.

Puree with an immersion blender or a food processor in batches until smooth.  Taste and season with more salt and pepper accordingly.

Top bowls with remaining green onions and fresh cracked pepper.  Enjoy!

This is also a great soup for leftovers because nothing gets soggy or discolored.  I usually make it in such large batched because of that!

Challa Bread

In honor of Rosh Hashana, I thought I would try my hand at some Challa Bread!  This is something I had never made before, so I thought I would actually follow a recipe.  (Bread is a big time investment to have it not rise or something!!)

I found this pretty easy recipe on one of my favorite sites, Chow.  Don't let the many steps fool you; it's not actually that hard.

For the bread dough:
1 cup warm water (about 105°F to 115°F)
2 (1/4-ounce) packets active dry yeast (4 1/2 teaspoons)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 large egg yolks, lightly beaten
1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus more for coating the bowl
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
4 to 4 1/2 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting the work surface
2 teaspoons fine salt
4 teaspoons fine-ground cornmeal

For the egg wash and topping:
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon water
Pinch salt
1 to 2 teaspoons poppy or sesame seeds (optional)


For the bread dough:
  1. Place the warm water in a large bowl and sprinkle in the yeast. Let sit until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add the egg, egg yolks, measured oil, sugar, 4 cups of the flour, and the salt. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together to form a shaggy dough and most of the flour is incorporated.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead, adding more flour a little at a time if the dough is sticky or very soft (it should be firm). Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic (when you push down, the dough should feel firm and push back), about 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Coat a large bowl with a thin layer of vegetable oil. Place the dough in the bowl, turn to coat in the oil, and cover with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free area until tripled in volume, about 40 to 60 minutes. When fully risen, an indentation made with a finger pushed into the center of the dough should remain; this is a fully aged, or ready, dough.  Punch down the dough, cover, and allow to rise for 15 minutes more.
  4. Punch down again and cut into 2 equal portions. Cover 1 portion with a damp tea towel or plastic wrap; set aside. Divide the other portion into 6 equal pieces. On a work surface, use your palms to roll the pieces into 6 ropes that are thick in the center, tapered to a point on each end, and at least 12 inches long (lightly flour the work surface if the dough becomes too sticky or difficult to roll). Line up the 6 strands vertically and pinch the top ends together.
  5. Counting from left to right, bring strand number six from the right end over strand number one on the left and up to the left.  Bring strand number one from the left up to the top right. You now have a four-legged creature with two arms crossed over each other.  Keeping the legs spread apart in pairs, the left arm (as you face it) comes down into the center between the legs.
  6. Bring the outer right leg over and up to form a new top left arm.  The top right arm comes down between the legs.
  7. Repeat the pattern: The left outer leg comes up to form the new right arm, and the left arm comes down to the center. The right leg comes up to form the new left arm, and the right arm comes down to the center.
  8. Continue alternating (left leg up to become right arm, left arm down to the center; right leg up to become left arm, right arm down to the center, and so on), always keeping hold of the last strand you moved so that you remember your location in the pattern. When moving strands, grasp the arms by the ends where hands would be. Grasp the legs where feet would be. Keep the legs spread in pairs so that the arms can easily be brought down to the center. If you become momentarily disoriented when braiding, remember that the arms come down, and the legs come up. If you make an error and become entirely confused, stop, open the braid, and begin again. When done, if there is any doubt, turn the bread upside down. The design should be perfectly symmetrical. If not, undo it and begin again. Finish by pinching the ends tightly closed.
  9. Dust a baking sheet with the cornmeal. Transfer the challah to the baking sheet and repeat the process with the second portion of dough. Place the challahs in a warm, draft-free area and allow to rise until almost doubled in size, about 45 minutes.
For the egg wash and topping:
  1. Heat the oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Combine the beaten egg, water, and salt. Brush both loaves with the egg wash, using care to cover them completely, but do not let any excess egg drip into the crevices. Let the loaves sit until dry, about 15 minutes, and then brush again. Sprinkle with poppy seeds or sesame seeds if desired.
  3. Bake the loaves, rotating the sheet halfway through the baking time, until they are a rich mahogany color and emit a hollow sound when tapped lightly on the bottom with your fingertips, about 35 minutes. If the tops begin to brown excessively and the bottoms are raw, cover the bread with a sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil that has been creased down the center to form a tent. If there is a white line visible between the braids, continue baking until it disappears. To test for doneness, press lightly between the braids on the highest part of the bread; it should be firm. If you feel the creases give when lightly pressed, continue baking until they firm up. Let cool on a wire rack.
  4. Challah keeps very well for several days in a plastic bag in a breadbox. It can also be wrapped in plastic or foil and placed in a resealable freezer bag, frozen, and defrosted slowly overnight in the refrigerator.

    Pasta with Roasted baby Brussels


    8 oz fresh, dry pasta
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 large shallot, minced
    1-2 tbs olive oil, divided
    1/4 cup dry white wine
    1/4-1/3 cup vegetable stock
    1 tsp lemon pepper (optional)
    1 pinch red pepper flakes
    6-8 grape tomatoes, halved
    Asiago and Parmesan cheese
    2 cups halved, baby Brussels

    How to make Pasta with Roasted Baby Brussels

    I happen to keep frozen baby Brussels from Trader Joe's in my freezer at all times, so I use those.  They work perfectly for when I'm craving that little bitter vegetable but they aren't in season.

    Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  On a baking sheet, toss Brussels with oil, salt, and pepper.  Roast for about 10 minutes or until crispy.

    In a medium pot, bring some salted water with a pinch of red pepper flakes to a boil.  Add pasta and cook  slightly less time than the package directions.  If you are using fresh pasta, it will only take a few minutes to cook, so plan accordingly.  Reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water.

    In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and shallot and cook about 3 minutes.  Slowly pour in the white wine and add the vegetable stock.  Reduce heat to medium low and cover.  Add the pasta, tomatoes, roasted Brussels, and a bit of the pasta water.  Stir and adjust the liquid to ensure that it is not too soupy but that there is enough sauce .

    Serve topped with cheese.  Enjoy!