It’s Vegetarian Week!
I was a vegetarian for a long time when I was younger, so I spent years playing around with different recipes that were tasty, but also healthy. These are some of my favorites and they’re all perfect for the cooler days and nights.
We’ve laid out the recipes and made it easy to shop for each dish too with our shopping list.
Check out Season Generously for some additional recipes too. Happy eating!
Monday: Caramelized Onion, Spinach & Cheddar Puff Pastry Pasties
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon honey
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1 garlic clove, minced or grated
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 bag (10 ounces) fresh spinach
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1 box frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten
everything bagel spice, for sprinkling (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the onions and honey and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until softened. Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking another 5-10 minutes or until the onions are golden and caramelized. Add the garlic, thyme, and nutmeg, cook another minute. Remove from the heat.
3. Stir in the spinach, cheddar, and cream cheese.
4. Lay the pastry sheets flat on a clean, floured surface. Gently roll the sheets out to stretch slightly. Cut each sheet into 9 squares. Evenly divide the spinach filling among half of the squares, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the edges. Brush the edges with egg. Lay the remaining 9 squares over the filling and seal the edges by crimping with the back of a fork.
5. Place the squares on the prepared baking sheet and brush the tops with beaten egg. Cut small vents in each pasty to let the steam escape when baking. Sprinkle with everything spice, if desired. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
6. Serve immediately when warm. Enjoy!
Tuesday: Sweet Potato & Chickpea Masala
1 tablespoon ghee or clarified butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
water, as needed
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup water, or more as needed
1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 large tomato, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1. Melt clarified butter with oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute ginger and garlic in the butter mixture until aromatic and lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Add onion; continue to saute until the onion is soft and translucent, about 4-5 minutes more.
2. Mix curry powder, cumin, coriander, chili powder, garam masala, and turmeric together in a bowl; add to the skillet and stir. Stir enough water into the skillet to get the mixture to be paste-like; cook to let the flavors intensify for about 30 seconds.
3. Stir sweet potato, chickpeas, 1 cup water, and salt into the mixture in the skillet; cook at a simmer until the sweet potato is just tender, about 10 minutes. Thin the mixture with more water if it gets too thick.
Stir tomato into the sweet potato mixture, bring to a boil, and cook until the liquid reduces to a thick gravy, about 5 minutes. Garnish with cilantro. Enjoy!
Wednesday: Butternut Orecchiette with Arugula & Chickpeas
1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise
3 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
2 sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and chopped, plus a handful of thyme sprigs
2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1 cup vegetable stock
2 cups dried orecchiette pasta
1 (15-oz can) chickpeas
1/2 cup grated pecorino or parmesan cheese
1/2 5-oz box arugula
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Scatter the handful of thyme sprigs across the paper. Rub the halves of squash with 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and lay face down on the thyme sprigs. Place squash in the oven and roast until very tender, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
2. Once you can handle the squash, scoop the cooked flesh from the skins into a bowl, discarding the squash seeds and thyme sprigs. Set aside.
3. In a large soup pot, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and thyme, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the roasted squash and stir it all up, mashing the squash down into the sautéing aromatics. Add the lemon juice and the vegetable stock, stir until roughly combined and remove from the heat. Puree the squash and garlic mixture with an immersion blender or in a regular blender or food processor, adding more liquid if necessary.
4. Return the squash sauce to the soup pot (if removed) over medium heat. Season with a fat pinch of salt and lots of pepper at this point.
5. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water before draining.
6. Once squash sauce is simmering, add cooked pasta, chickpeas, pecorino, and arugula, reserving a bit of each for garnish if you like. If you want, add some of the pasta water to loosen the mixture up a bit. Serve hot and enjoy!
Thursday: Eggplant Parmesan Melts
1 medium eggplant
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cups jarred tomato sauce (or try making my homemade tomato sauce here)
1 Italian bread loaf
1/4 – 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese
1. Trim eggplant and cut into 1/4-inch slices. Set up three wide, deep bowls on your counter: one with flour, one with the eggs and one with the breadcrumbs. Season the flour very heavily (at least a teaspoon of kosher salt and many grinds of black pepper) and stir to combine. Beat the eggs until combined. Dip each slice of eggplant in the flour, tapping off excess, then the egg, letting excess drip off, and then the breadcrumbs, packing them on.
2. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place a metal cooling rack (like the one you would use for cookies) over a large baking sheet and brush or spray it with olive oil. Arrange breaded eggplant slices in one layer on racks, season well with salt and pepper, and bake for 20 minutes on first side and 15 on the second, until edges are crisp and eggplant inside is soft. Set aside.
3. When the eggplant is nearly done baking, heat the tomato sauce in a small pot over medium heat, stirring from time to time. Once it starts to simmer, turn off heat and set-aside.
4. To assemble the melts, heat the broiler. Split bread in half and briefly run under broiler, just to lightly toast it so that the sauce doesn’t make it soggy. Split each bread half into 6 smaller toasts and arrange on 1 to 2 large baking sheets that have been lined with foil. Spread a little prepared sauce over each toast and sprinkle with some of the parmesan. Add a few eggplant slices to each, fanning them out. Top with more sauce (to taste, but not so much that eggplant is drenched), parmesan and then place a slice or so of mozzarella over the top of each (enough that when it melts, it should drape down easily). Run tray(s) of melts under the broiler until cheese on top is melted and blistery, about 3-5 minutes – keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Garnish and enjoy!
Friday: Sweet Potato Vichyssoise
3 leeks, cleaned and chopped
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 teaspoons turmeric
5 cloves garlic, minced
3-4 medium sweet potatoes, unpeeled and chopped
6 cups vegetable broth
1 cup cooked cannellini beans
1 tablespoon olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1. Prepare the leeks by removing the very tip of the root, and the tough, dark green parts at the very top. Chop leeks, then swirl them around in a large bowl of water to remove any sand.
2. In a large stock pot, heat a tablespoon of butter, turmeric, and leeks with a teaspoon of sea salt. Stir to coat and let cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes, until leeks have softened. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.
3. Meanwhile, scrub the sweet potatoes, and chop them into rough cubes (leave the skin on!). Add the potatoes to the pot, stir and cook for a few minutes. Add broth and beans. Bring a boil, reduce to simmer and cook until sweet potatoes are soft, about 15 – 20 minutes.
4. Using a regular blender or an immersion blender, puree the soup until creamy. Add olive oil and lemon juice, plus salt to taste, if necessary. Blend once more and serve with crusty bread. Enjoy!