Category Archives: Vegetarian

My New Favorite: One-Pot Meals

Now that we have a little one in the house, I gotta tell ya, one pot meals are becoming my go-to these days and this Vinegar-Brased Chicken and Onions dish from Bon Appetit still made my feel like my old cooking self but was an easy enough set-it-and-forget-it cooking method that I could still tackle feedings, diaper changes and rockings too.

We both loved it for its nice balance of sweet and tangy due to the two vinegars and golden raisins, plus the pancetta didn’t hurt either. I served over sautéed spinach and cous cous to round out the meal and we are so happy with how this turned out. Easy, breezy and delicious!

Another BRILLIANT idea from the Bon Appetit staff was this Hot Oat & Quinoa Cereal. You pour everything into a pot, heat it up, let it sit overnight and the next morning it’s ready to go with a little rewarming, some milk and nuts. Bonus! You have leftovers for the following day as well. I slurped this up before running all my errands and was full and happy for most of the morning.

This week it’s a bunch of rocking recipes from Food & Wine. Is it just me or have they been bringing their A-game with recipes lately? I can’t wait to try them, more to come lambs.

Oh, and I got some requests from you gentle readers for pictures of our little Lila. Here’s my favorite so far. Didn’t know I could feel so much love for one thing in my entire life!



Glazy Afternoon

Last Sunday I wanted to make a fun Sunday chicken dinner but with a little oomph. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good roast chicken but I really just wanted to try these Maple-Soy Chicken Thighs and Miso Grilled Vegetables ( as soon as possible. Yumeh ya’ll! If you like applying the brush to your food then these two recipes are for you. I really enjoyed them together on the plate since you have a bit of Asian influence in each to make each other sing. It’s funny, I was talking to another friend who is also pregnant and she mentioned that she is now just cooking to her whims and cravings instead of having any real reason for making her meals each night. I’m trying to hang on to the thinly veiled mask of things making sense together but who wants to place the first bet that stops in a few weeks? I bet you my husband will be first in line. He’ll probably double down on that it will specifically be spaghetti and meatballs with a side of mashed potatoes and red bean mochi to top it off.

Back to the glazing! Gosh, these Maple-Soy Chicken Thighs ( from Cooking Light were insanely good and easy to boot. David liked them because of the maple syrup factor (of course) and I loved them paired with my favorite Asian ingredient miso in the grilled veggies (also from Cooking Light). Plus, you get to sit and glaze the heck out of stuff. I think kids might have a good time doing this in the kitchen with you if you’ve got an avid little cooker at your knee. This was simple, healthy, and filling enough to be a perfect Sunday family dinner. I know David and I both made it one of our favorites!

Best Fruit Forward

We had a fruit-tastic evening here at Casa de Kealey last night! I have been in heartburn hades because of el kiddo and the one thing I keep seeing to quell said heartburn is watermelon. Now, I’m not the biggest watermelon fan – my Dad is currently shaking his head in shame – but I was willing to give this delightful looking Watermelon Gazpacho from Bon Appetit a try and then, because I have cravings like a mad woman, their Pasta Salad with Melon, Pancetta and Ricotta Salata looked YUMMY! And it was!

To keep things a little more healthy I chose to use whole wheat orecchiette and low-fat feta (since I’m using feta in a dish later this week). Let me tell you, these two changes will not change the flavor of the dish which was awesome and very delightful even the next day. I’ve always been a huge fan of the prosciutto/melon combo and to put it in a pasta? Brilliant. Now to the Watermelon Gazpacho! I slurped this you guys. I took one spoonful and then exclaimed “that’s SO GOOD” and then proceeded to down the bowl. I followed this recipe to a T, even the basil syrup part which is just too fun to say and it makes you sound like a kitchen badass…”oh this?” you might say “it’s just a little basil syrup.” Sounds fancy but it was really easy and I wish I would have doubled this for leftovers today. I will make more this week and keep it on reserve for those undesirable heartburn moments. Really, the heartburn is quite a thing isn’t it mamas? Oh, one thing I did add was a dollop (ick, I hate that word, weird I know) of sour cream and some fresh chives at the end to you know, kill off any hopes of stopping my heartburn.

Pasta Salad with Melon, Pancetta, and Ricotta Salata:

Watermelon Gazpacho:

Fantastic Farinata

What is a farinata you ask? Don’t worry, I didn’t have a clue either but I thought the recipe sounded delicious. Hailing from Genoa, a farinata is a sort of pancake made with chickpea flour. Bonus to all of you gluten-free eaters out there.

This was skosh on the prep side, but I breezed through it pretty quickly and talk about getting your veggies. I felt healthy just by looking at this dish on my plate, let alone eating one, OK two, helpings of this. We both liked the dish for it’s freshness and the farinata was something totally new and unique that it felt like we were having a little bit of food fun for a typical weeknight meal. I could see this being perfect for a wedding or baby shower, or a brunch where you can do the basic farinata recipe and then do a veggie topping of your choice and a meat option with crispy pancetta, onions and cheese. Nom, nom, nom. Mangia y’all and give this one a try, it’s going in as an Emily and David favorite, I guess I should just start saying Kealey favorite eh?

Bon Appétit’s Food Lover’s Cleanse

The holidays are by far one of my favorite times of year, but let me tell you, I might as well start stapling cheese plates and desserts directly to my thighs and get it over with! That’s why I’m glad Bon Appétit has created their Food Lover’s Cleanse complete with recipes, menu plan and a shopping list. We did our shopping yesterday and yes, you will be SHOPPING until you drop, but, keep in mind, this is for two week’s worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and desserts. Also, after reading a few reviews from readers who tried last year’s cleanse, you shouldn’t feel compelled to do the entire plan or worry if you don’t want to spend mucho deniro on all the vinegars, crackers, produce, dairy blah, blah, blah. We were pretty committed to doing the entire thing but I still wanted to keep costs down regardless if it was two weeks worth of food, and the bulk bins at Whole Foods Market have become my super besties; trust me, they will save you money and time. Although, after having our first two meals on the cleanse, maybe I should have gotten boxes and boxes of quinoa, lentils and the like!

I’m sitting here typing the post and David just looked up at me and goes “I really liked that salad. I’m stilling thinking about it, that dressing was amazing! That was a labor-intensive though right?” Not in a million years actually. I think I’ve found a new crush and it’s white miso. Nom, nom, nom. Salty and savory and makes a saucesome salad dressing. We loved it on today’s butter lettuce, avocado, and orange salad, plus the lentils were a perfect and tasty addition to round out the plate. Having just had our lunch, and thinking about our 10-grain hot cereal breakfast, I can tell this is going to be very filling meal plan without making you feel like a million pounds. We still have a pumpkin smoothie to make and tonight’s dinner of Black Cod and Caramelized Onions and Apples looks amazing! I’ll keep you posted on our progress but so far, we are loving these recipes…let the cleansing begin!

Truffled Pommes Anna

I love making dishes where you have people asking you for the recipe over and over again. This, my friends, was one of them. We went to a friends cookout last night and I thought I would test this for our upcoming Friendsgiving celebration to see if it was delicious as it sounded. Yes, and then some.

This was unbelievably easy to make especially when you have a mandolin (thank you Leigh and Raul!) to shave the potatoes on. I think I won the Darwin award however, because as I was testing the mandolin with a potato, I sliced my pinky on the blade. WOW. Yeah, don’t do that. I’m typing like a five year old right now and it took quite a chunk out of my poor finger…I so smart. After sanitizing and Neosporin, I got back to work. All you do is layer the potatoes with salt, thyme and truffle oil. So easy, so delicious and a real crowd pleaser. YUM! Bless you Cooking Light, bless you.


Truffled Pommes Anna (Photo by Charles Masters)

Awesome Grilled Cheese

I do like grilled cheese with bacon. I do like grilled cheese with tomato. I do like grilled cheese with tomato and bacon. Grilled cheese with sun-dried tomato and olive tapenade? You betcha.

Sorry, I was reading to two very cute kiddos today and I’m channeling my inner Seuss. I got back late from the kitchen last night and after a brief wedding catch-up with David, it was time to start cooking. I’m using the term “cooking” loosely since this took two seconds to make. As David took our dog Cricket on a walk, I had these d.o.n.e. done. This felt so super indulgent but actually, the tapenade and the tomato filled the sandwich so much you got just enough cheese to feel satisfied. Plus, what a fun and different twist on a grilled cheese! If you are mouthbreathing like a champ and want something slightly decadent but actually a little good for you – tomatoes, olives, whole wheat bread – keep this recipe on hand.

Grilled Gruyere and Olive Tapenade Sandwiches (Photo by John Autry)

Farfalle Provencal

My friend “The Boo” gave me the Neiman Marcus Cookbook (2003) as a Christmas present a few years ago and to this day I still love thumbing through it. After hours of working on the house – total remodel mode lambs – we were starving and I wanted pasta BAD. I had all of the ingredients for a basic marinara and was *gasp* going to to wing it on my own; shocking I know. However, I turned to the Neiman Marcus book and voila! a lovely and unique recipe for Farfalle Provencal.

Farfalle Provencal

Make the marinara sauce and while that cooks away prep for your pasta cooking; easy peasy! A few things I changed to the marinara, one I added a Parmesan rind to add a little bit more depth of flavor and not.waste.a.thing. Two, instead of water I used chicken broth for once again a smidge more flavor and I had some I needed to use up anyway.  Jiminy Cricket this was good! The depth of flavor with the savory tomato, salty bite of olives and capers and fresh herbacious basil was delicious. Go ahead, get your farfalle on!

Neiman Marcus Marinara Sauce  – Neiman Marcus Cookbook, 2003

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely diced onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 6 cupd canned diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 3 cups canned whole plum tomatoes (with juice)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup chiffonade fresh basil

Yields about 2 quarts

To prepare the sauce, pour the olive oil into a large saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for 4 or 5 minutes, stirring often, until garlic begins to brown. Add the diced and whole tomatoes, tomato paste, 3 cups of cold water, the pepper, salt, sugar, red pepper flakes, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, turn down heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, stir the basil into the sauce.

Farfalle Provencal – Neiman Marcus Cookbook, 2003

  • 1 quart Marinara Sauce
  • 1 pound dried farfalle pasta (bow tie pasta)
  • 1/4 cup chiffonade fresh basil
  • 1 cup pitted Nicoise or Kalamata olives, julienned
  • 1/4 cup drained capers, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup butter, diced
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare the marinara sauce and set aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the pasta. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil over high heat and add farfalle. Turn down the heat to medium-hihg and simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, unitl the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta in a large colander and shake the colander briefly under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Drain the pasta well and set aside.

Warm the reserved marinara sauce over medium heat, adding the basil as described in the sauce recipe. Add the olives, capers, and cooked pasta, and simmer for about 2 minutes, until the pasta is heated through. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Transfer to warm pasta bowls and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese.


I kid because I love. After making this dish from Everyday with Rachael Ray, we were a little surprised it didn’t have a catchier name than her usual recipe titles such as stoup (not a stew, not a soup, it’s stoup!), so we started coming up with our own crummy names such as Choke-Sotto or Lemo-Choko-Sotto to play off the real name of Lemon-Artichoke Risotto. In Rachael’s words, this was yummo!

Lemon-Artichoke Risotto (Photo by Dan Roberts)

Honestly, this might be one of our favorite risottos we’ve made here at the casa. Risottos are not one of my favorites to make because you stand and stir for 20-30 minutes, and that requires a muscle that’s underdeveloped in me: patience.  Now compared to my friend Lindsay at Apron Adventures, who loves making risotto, I’d rather watch paint dry. What I did like about this was the layers of flavor that are easily applied to make this a delicious risotto: artichokes, toasted walnuts, parmesan cheese and lemon. Bright and comforting all at the same time. And quite perfect for the insane artic chill we have here in Austin. Oh yeah, I got to experience my first rolling blackouts today with power for 15 minute intervals every 45 minutes. Let me tell you, it was one of the most productive days this year…wink, wink.

If you have risotto paranoia give this one a try for me, I promise you will like it.  I’m sorry, every time I type risotto I think of Chef Ramsay from Hell’s Kitchen, “Where the hell is my risotto?!”.  For your viewing pleasure (NSFW).

Salute the Captain!

As I was thumbing through the new Cooking Light, I kept coming back to this Vegetarian Country Captain recipe due to it’s unique combination of ingredients: curry, mango chutney, heavy cream, cauliflower, edamame, and a Granny Smith apple? My brain kept trying to figure out just how these would all taste together and finally intrigue got the best of me. Two cheers for intrigue. We LOVED this. It is an Emily and David favorite hands down.

OK back to what the heck a Country Captain is exactly. According to Cooking Light: Traditionally, Country Captain is a mild chicken stew seasoned with curry powder. Myth has it that a British sea captain working in the spice trade introduced this classic, comforting dish to the southern U.S. in the 19th century. Here, we’ve replaced chicken with edamame and cauliflower for a version loaded with vegetables to help you meet your daily produce goals. For a more in-depth history of this very popular Lowcountry dish (FDR adored it!), read more here. If anyone has favorite Country Captain recipes please share in the comments as I’m dying to make more versions of this.

This was so easy to put together and the layers of flavor were insanely delicious. I loved how all the ingredients played off each other and it is really filling to boot. For the love y’all, make this right now! One note, if you are working off of the magazine do not pay attention to the photo above the recipe.  It’s  the wrong image and I saw on their website that Cooking Light is aware of the error. As I was making this I kept scratching my head and worrying because mine was looking nothing like the beauty shot. Lo and behold I flipped to the page ahead and put two and two together. Whew, that photo DID look like this….

Vegetarian Country Captain (Photo by John Autry)