Tag Archives: vegetarian

Kat’s Portobello Reuben’s  

I love Reuben’s. It has always been my go-to blue plate lunch special order. Since I stopped eating meat, this is one of the dishes I missed…that is, until I heard about portobello reubens.

So I decided to look for a recipe online. The thing is, most of the recipes I found were lacking in my opinion, in the corned beef flavor department. So I got this crazy idea. What if I used the pickling spice that is used to make corned beef and made a marinade out of it?

I like experimenting in the kitchen. And believe me I would not be sharing this recipe with you if it was a dud. The fact is it came out fantastic!

It takes a bit of prep, but so worth the effort!

Here’s what you’ll need for part one (do this a few hours before mealtime).


4-5 large portobello mushrooms

1/2 cup olive oil

1 TBS minced garlic

2 TBS pickling spice (McCormick brand)

1/2 tsp pepper

1 tsp salt

Remove the stems from the mushrooms, rinse and pat dry. In a small bowl whisk the remaining ingredients together and drizzle over the mushroom caps, bottom side up, in a shallow container.

Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for two to three hours. (Update: Added after I cooked the leftover mushrooms a few days later…if you can marinate for at least 24 hours, you won’t regret it.) 

When it’s time to put your sandwiches together assemble the following ingredients:

Thousand Island Dressing


Rye Bread (I like a rye/pumpernickel swirl)

Swiss Cheese

Butter for Grilling

Preheat the oven to 450 Degrees F. Remove the marinated mushrooms from the fridge and recycle the foil by placing it on a cookie sheet. Place mushrooms on the foil bottoms up and bake for about 20 minutes.

  1. Move to a plate layered with paper towels and blot the mushrooms (remove the large pickling seeds as well) before transferring them to a cutting board to slice. (Part 2 leftover update: to give your slices a nicer texture, pan seer the slices before putting your sandwiches together. A little “crisping” around the edges make a big difference!)

Butter the outer side of the rye bread and place butter side down in a frying pan (think grilled cheese sandwich style). Now it’s time to assemble your Reuben. Layer two slices if Swiss cheese, portabella mushroom slices (make sure to pat dry if needed), add Sauerkraut and a layer of thousand island dressing. Top with the second slice of rye bread, butter side up.

Cover the pan and grill until the cheese starts to melt and the bottom is brown. Carefully flip to toast the other side.

Slice and serve. Yum!

Vegetarian “UnStuffed” Cabbage Pot

I love stuffed cabbage at this time of year! But it can be a bit fussy to make. A few years ago I discovered a recipe for “unstuffed” cabbages! It’s a match made in the cabbage patch!

Now that I’m pescatarian (a vegetarian who eats mostly vegetables and fish) I decided to try this new favorite using vegetable based meat crumbles (my favorite brand is “Beyond Meat” because it maintains a nice texture and doesn’t get mushy).

So, here’s all you need:


Olive Oil
2 chopped onions
2 tsp chopped garlic
Pepper and salt
1 large head of cabbage, chopped
2 15 oz cans of chopped tomatoes
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce
(Today I used some leftover tomato garlic pasta sauce. This is the fun of home cooking. It’s okay to substitute like ingredients. You can’t mess his recipe up!)
2 cups water
1 11 oz package of vegetarian “meat” crumbles
(If you like your cabbage dish extra “meatie” use 2 11 oz packages.)

And here’s how you throw it together:

In a Dutch oven sauté the onions and garlic in a tablespoon or so of olive oil. I salt and pepper the onions while they are softening. 

Turn the heat to medium and add the remaining ingredients, giving it all a good stir to coat the cabbage with sauce. Your pot will be pretty full, so it’ll be a little hard to toss it all together, but don’t worry. As the cabbage softens you will be able to stir the dish more easily. Cover and let simmer, stirring occasionally to make sure all your cabbage has a chance to “stew”.

And that is all there is to it! No separate batches of stuffing mixture, pre-cooking the cabbage to make it soft enough to make rolls, no separate baking. But it’s just as satisfying as the original in a single pot!

If you are like me and you like a little zing, throw in a dash of sriracha sauce. You will also want to taste test and add additional salt and pepper to your liking.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and perhaps a slice or two of warm beer bread (my recipe is HERE) slathered with butter. It’s the perfect meal for a blustery autumn day! Enjoy!

And dinner is served!

Vegetarian French Onion Soup

I’ve been battling a change of season cold. After a course of antibiotics, it’s still lingering and it’s times like this that I want soup. But not just any soup. I needed something that would clear my sinuses and burn off the remnants of this blasted cold. Since I stopped eating meat over a year ago my first choice, chicken noodle was off the table.  I had a nice big bag of onions that needed cooking before they started to sprout roots in my kitchen. And while I’ve never tried the beef broth-based French onion soup from scratch, I figured there must be a vegetarian alternative.

There are, of course, several variations. Mine isn’t vegan, though you could easily replace the butter with a vegetable oil and the cheese with a vegan alternative. I read about a half dozen recipes and gleaned from each ingredients that sounded good as well as also being in my cupboard without a trip to the store.  I am happy with the results, as is my spouse (that’s the real test of course for any cupboard gourmet!)

Always remember to taste along the way and feel free to tweak and adjust any recipe to your own taste. That’s how you make it yours!


4 Onions – cut in half and sliced
(I used sweet onions because that’s what I had on hand, though next time I plan to try white or yellow onions, as most recipes suggest, to make the soup less sweet. I just added a bit more salt to balance it this time. It was still delicious!)
3 garlic cloves – finely chopped
1/4 cup butter
2 TBS all purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1 32 oz carton of vegetable broth
1/2 cup cooking sherry
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
A pinch of thyme
3 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 loaf French bread – sliced
Gruyere, Shredded Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese (any nice gooey melting white cheese works…I had some Muenster on hand. That sounds yummy too!)

You will need a Dutch oven (the non-stick kind will help caramelize the onions, leaving a nice brown layer at the bottom).

You’ll also need some oven-safe individual crocks, which I don’t currently have (adding a set of these to my holiday wish list) But don’t let that stop you from trying this recipe. It’s a yummy soup even if you leave the last step out!

Place the sliced onions, chopped garlic and butter into your pot and turn up the heat. I added a little salt, just because. And while you will want to be sure that the onions don’t burn, you can step away from it occasionally letting the bottoms brown, flipping and repeating. (I’m a “clean as you go” cook, so this is the perfect time to multitask!)

Not yet…almost there! 😊


This part of the process takes patience my friends. You want your onions to be nice and gooey brown, and the bottom of your pot to have a nice dark “crust”.

Once you get there, add the broth and flour, stirring to completely blend while also scraping the bottom of your pot to incorporate all that good stuff at the bottom. Add the remaining ingredients (except for the bread and cheese 😊) and let the soup come to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, for at least 30 minutes. The longer the better. Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

If you have those fancy crocks, now is when you will want to fire up the broiler. Scoop the soup into your crock, top with a toasted slice of French bread and your cheese of choice and broil until the cheese is bubbly!

As for me, I’ll try that another time. This rainy afternoon I had a hankering for a warm savory soup and that is exactly what I got! Served in a bowl with a sprinkle of fresh shredded Parmesan and a few slices of French beard for dipping satisfied my craving just fine!

Bon appétit mes amis !

Vegan Roasted Garden Tomato Soup

It’s summer in the U.S. And you know what that means!  TOMATOES!!! I was the happy recipient of several pounds of these lovely fruits this weekend from my daughter’s garden. But they were pretty ripe so I knew I needed to find a recipe to make good use of them quickly. I decided to make tomato soup. After perusing several recipes online, I came up with a recipe that incorporated the ingredients I already had on hand. If you’ve never made homemade tomato soup, let me encourage you to try. It takes a bit of prep, but it’s super easy and super yummy!

2lbs of ripe tomatoes cut in half
1 bunch of spring onions with the ends trimmed
1 large or 2 medium sized green peppers
6 garlic cloves 

Place the  tomatos, centers up and arrange the other veggies on a large baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake in a preheated 450 degree oven for 40 minutes, turning the green pepper, onions and garlic at 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven and place all the veggies in a stock pot, adding half a quart of vegetable broth. With a hand mixer, purée the vegetables until smooth.

Add the remaining ingredients:

The remaining vegetable broth 
1tsp sweet basil
1tsp thyme
And my go to ingredient for every savory dish I cook…
1 TBS Sriracha Sauce

Salt and pepper to taste.

I like my tomato soup thick and hearty, so I blended 3 TBS of cornstarch to a cup of the soup and poured it back into the pot.

Simmer to a boil to thicken and incorporate all the flavors.

Serve with a side of garlic toast or my personal comfort food favorite, grilled cheese sandwiches! Enjoy!!!

Root Veggie Medley

I stopped eating meat about 6 months ago and I am always experimenting with new and interesting ways to prepare veggies. I was excited to find some beautiful purple sweet potatoes recently at our Fresh Market. And I also had some red potatoes and brussels sprouts on hand. There is nothing I love more than roasted veggies! I don’t know why I ever thought boiling them was a good idea! So the wheels started turning and I thought…mmmm…a medley!

IMG_5905 2.JPG

Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.

You will need:
1 large baking sheet (with edges)
1 lb of Brussels Sprouts / sliced in half
1 Large Purple Sweet Potato / peeled and cubed
4-5 Red Potatoes / peeled and cubed
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Garlic Powder (or if you have it real garlic) 🙂
Parsley Flakes
Red Pepper Flakes
Salt & Pepper
(You’ll notice I do not give you any measurements for the spices. I like things spicy. So I would say…season to taste!)
Butter for serving

Once you have sliced, peeled and cubed all the veggies put them in a large bowl with the spices and toss with enough olive oil to completely coat everything. Pour them onto the baking sheet and spread them out to form one layer. Doesn’t that look pretty! 🙂


Bake until the potatoes are tender and the brussels sprouts are brown and caramelized. Serve with pats of melted butter.


It was hearty, spicy and filling…and I even have enough to pack for my lunch tomorrow! This kitchen experiment is definitely a keeper!



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