Category Archives: Vegetarian


Soup and bread – two food soul mates. I for one know I don’t like a yummy bowl of soup without some delicious crusty bread. Now kick that up a notch with this Tuscan version of soup known as Ribollita or in Italian Reboiled that has delicious crusty bread in it. Yep…IN IT. I’ve never heard of this soup but when I saw it in the Cooking Light November issue I thought I would save it for a cold, blustery day. Well, it’s here, right now actually, swishing the trees outside our windows and is very brisk indeed. A Ribollita is nothing fancy, just vegetable scraps and day-old bread but it does take time to make – three days from what I could find in my research. This one only took a few hours for chopping, baking, and of course building the soup so eh, that’s not so bad.

Ribollita (Photo by John Autry)

Y’all, this soup was super gentle. The flavors of the kale, tomatoes, beans, carrots, potatoes, yadda, yadda, yadda and yes, my delicious bread made this SUPER hearty. This bad boy is packed with good-for-youness and it’s vegetarian. We loved this for a gentle lunch on such a cold, windy day. Tonight, it’s Scallops with Green Tea Cream if I actually get around to making them this time. I swear, aliens are going to abduct me to ensure I don’t. More on this issue later and oh! if you haven’t yet, be sure to become a fan of Cooking Inside the Lines on Facebook today. Warm reboiled hugs.

Ratatouille and Goat Cheese Subs with a Side of ACL

I earmarked these subs a while ago in the September issue of Food & Wine because I adore Ratatouille (sans eggplant) and I love the idea of this timeless dish combined with tangy goat cheese all on toasty bread. More on the recipe’s creator Chef Matt Neal in Food & Wine:

Matt Neal had never made ratatouille before he opened Neal’s Deli. He took the recipe from his father, the legendary Southern chef Bill Neal, and used it as the basis for his own version. Neal cooks the key ingredients—eggplant, zucchini, bell peppers and onion—separately. “That way, I can make sure each vegetable cooks exactly how I want it; plus they won’t steam in a big group all together,” he says. “Customers request this sandwich all summer long, but we wait until the ingredients are available at the farmers’ market before we serve it.”

Ratatouille and Goat Cheese Subs (Photo: John Kernick)

I omitted the eggplant because we both think it’s disgusting – yes disgusting and it’s quite nice to have someone share that same disgust with you since so many people love eggplant. Otherwise, I followed the recipe’s instructions to the letter and it went by much, much quicker than I thought given you have to cook all of the vegetables individually.

I really can’t say much more about these except that they were absolutely delicious, full of flavor and as a bonus perfect for a meatless Monday meal. After ACL Festival weekend, this was a great transition dish to move back into a healthy diet.

As a sidenote, ACL? Wow. I had an absolute BLAST. While Muse was mind-blowingly good my choice for best show was definitely Deadmau5. Lambs, he was a super poodle, put on a fantastic show and the crowd was waaaaay into it. I highly recommend checking him out if you haven’t yet. Oh, and The National, one of my all-time favorites, was exactly how I thought they would be…absolutely incredible. Thank goodness I finally got to see them live!


The new Cooking Light cover simply states “Indulge Yourself”…yeah twist my arm Cooking Light, twist my arm. I think I earmarked half of this issue and when I got to the banana bread section – yes lambs you have a plethora of choices for banana breads in this issue – I clapped with glee. When I was little, I would go to  this lovely tea room in Longview, TX with my mom and two older sisters and the one thing I recall vividly was their delicious banana bread. The tea room is long gone, but I will always remember that’s where my love of banana bread began.

As mentioned, Cooking Light has basic banana bread, banana bread with chocolate and the peanut butter banana bread that also happens to grace this month’s cover. I also love a good old peanut butter, honey and banana sandwich, so this one was a clear winner for me.

This was extremely easy to put together. You simply mix all of the wet ingredients, combine the dry ingredients and then mix into the wet. I baked this in the Wolf range for a little less than the suggested time as it was starting to look a little overdone…I was worried…ask David I really was. I decided to forge ahead and make Cooking Light’s go-to glaze of one percent milk and powdered sugar, but this time they added peanut butter. After cooling, I cut into it and took a bite, still very concerned it was overdone. The verdict?  Moist. Delicious, Sweet and nutty. This had perfect banana bread flavor with a peanut butter twist and I liked the addition of the crunchy peanuts to give it some texture.

My only advice is to watch this while it’s in the oven. I’m still getting used to using the Wolf range since it’s amazing but is a little more sophisticated than yours truly. This browned pretty quickly and I was keeping an eye on it. I did pull it out about five minutes early since it was browning on the top and edges, but the flavor and moist texture made this a winner for us…and my office mates.

Tasty Gazpacho

I do love me some gazpacho lambs. Something about the aroma and all the flavors chilled together make it a perfect soup. We had tropical storm Hermine making out with Central Texas earlier this week so I was happy at the notion of making a simple and comforting soup to watch as the rain and thunderclouds passed by.

I chose this Tomato and Pepper Gazpacho with Sherry created by Chef José Andrés in the new Bon Appetit (let’s talk about the cover burger recipe later poodles WOW right?).  I don’t think anything could be as easy as chopping up tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumber, blending in a food processor and chilling. Two notes, I ran out of fresh garlic (yeah that’s weird I know) so I used two tablespoons of garlic powder and didn’t have sherry (that’s not weird I don’t think?) so just used the sherry wine vinegar.

Tomato and Pepper Gazpacho with Sherry
Photo by: Elinor Carucci

I made all of the garnishes – easy peasy – and bam, some really, really good gazpacho on the table and awesome leftovers. I served this with some simple cantaloupe wrapped with prosciutto and black pepper sprinkled on top.

The rain kept going but sadly our gazpacho experience didn’t last long. Make this for a simple, quick and delicious meal at home and enjoy for lunch the next day!

Recipe Redo: Strawberry-Avocado Salsa

Yep, I made this recipe again last night but this I time served the salsa on top of boneless pork chops that were drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with ancho chile powder, salt and a dash of white pepper. We roasted the chops in the new Wolf convection oven and I’m so impressed with it we might just run off together. Seriously, the oven cooked our pork chops to perfection and with the Strawberry-Avocado Salsa on top of the chops with a simple mix of spinach and arugula salad? YUM. And, I did learn my lesson from the first trial run and made more salsa this time around. You can guess what happened to all of it I’m sure. If you haven’t made this yet I’m insisting you do!

“Shut-Your-Piehole Puppies”

While I was thumbing through Food and Wine’s July 2010 issue featuring their Best New Chefs of 2010, I was intrigued by more than half of the chef’s recipes. One, because I love trying restaurant recipes and two, these are super simple, even for a novice like me. I’ve got a few on my radar this week but one that I had to try first was this Hush Puppies with Green Zebra Tomato Jam from Trummer’s on Main in Clifton, VA by Chef Clayton Miller. Let’s see what Food and Wine has to say:

Clayton Miller makes a highly seasoned, Indian-inflected tomato jam with ginger, cinnamon, cumin and cayenne. It’s a terrific accompaniment to his hush puppies—cheekily nicknamed “shut-your-piehole puppies” by the cooks in his kitchen.
Love it.

Trying to find Green Zebras late on a Sunday evening was just not going to happen. But hey, you all know me lambs, nothing gets in my way when I want to try a recipe even if it means tweaking it a bit. Having tasted a mountain of these beauts in my office (since I help out with the public relations side a bit) I grabbed a container of Sunbursts tomatoes, which are sweeter and have a heirloom flavor to them, and a container of sweet cherry tomatoes to pack a one-two tomato punch.The jam was really easy to put together and you simply let is simmer for 40 minutes until it’s well, jammy. The hush puppy batter I made in the morning and let sit in the fridge until it was time to fry these little bad boys up. We really, really, liked this recipe. The hush puppies were pretty standard in their taste and texture, maybe I’ll try it with the bacon fat next time (?), but the jam was excellent. Something about the honey, ginger, cumin and cinnamon with the tomatoes made me wish I had made two more batches so I could spread it on everything for the next few days. Key learnings for next time. Make these and shut-your-piehole!

Dulce de Leche. That’s All I Have to Say!

The new Bon Appetit created a schuper mix-and-match section called The Ultimate Summer Menu Grilling Guide for all of the delicious grilling that’s bound to happen this summer. For a gentle get together of a few friends this past Memorial Day, I selected a few recipes from the sides and desserts sections including the Roasted Fingerling Potato Salad, Roasted Mix Peppers with Capers and Marjoram and Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars. For the protein choice we decided to do one of our friend Adam’s agave-glazed pork tenderloin recipe that is to die for. Keep reading poodles.

First, the Bon Appetit recipes…rockstars, all of them. Both the salads were easy to assemble and the flavors were amazing. If I had to choose one over the other to make again I would go with the roasted pepper salad. Something about the blend of roasted peppers, capers and marjoram, which has such a delicate floral note, really hit the spot. For leftovers you could easily use this on top of a pork chop or grilled fish for a super quick weeknight meal.

The Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Bars have to be one of my favorite new dessert recipes. I’m usually not the world’s biggest caramel fan but when mixed with salt, especially fleur de sel, I’m hooked. I really enjoyed making these bars and they were quite simple to make, especially since I don’t bake/make desserts too, too often. These were an instant hit with my friends and random new friends we made by the pool who were snarfing them up too. They were also still great a few days later, late at night on the couch. Yes, total fat kids.

For David’s birthday one of our friends made an amazing pork tenderloin recipe that we decided to recreate for our get together. We simply brined four (about a pound each) tenderloins in kosher salt for a few hours, then created a rub of chili powder, garlic, cumin and cinnamon and then poured agave syrup on each loin. We then grilled until it was slightly pink, let it rest and then did a final glaze of agave syrup to finish. Simple. Awesome. Delicious. Since we had leftover pork, the next night we placed them in a dutch oven with two cans of mild Ro-Tel tomatoes and chiles to give it a little different flavor. We let it sit for about 45 minutes and then shredded to make soft tacos. Combined with my favorite salsa and some avocado we had a great little weeknight meal.I’m on cooking fire eh?

Bananas, Wheat Germ and Canned Tuna, Oh My!

Well it’s my first post of 2010 and I hope this finds you having a gentle start to the New Year. Personally I’m ready to get back to work but am really enjoying just one more lazy day before everything gets started again.
All of the January/February issues are out and I’m literally swimming in magazines from Cooking Light, Bon Appétit, Food and Wine, Every Day with Rachael Ray, Saveur, Prevention, EatingWell and Food Network Magazine and I have recipes selected for weeks and weeks. One fun recipe testing idea I’m starting in the New Year was created by my friend Ivette who walked in my office one day with this flash of fun brilliance – “Battle of the Cover Recipes.” Like the name states, each month I’m going to test and taste the covers recipes of cooking magazines and announce a winner by the end of the month. Thank you Ivette! I’m testing Bon Appétit’s delicious-looking Spaghetti and Meatballs All’amatriciana this week and have also chosen Cooking Light’s comfort-in-a-bowl Beef and Pinto Bean Chili and Food and Wine’s dripping with ooey goeey goodness Butterscotch Sticky Buns…let the battle begin!

Now where were we? Oh food, cooking and recipes yes! I have had a nice easy day of cooking this morning with two awesome recipes from the new Cooking Light. One is this Banana, Wheat Germ and Oats breakfast dish that was quick, super delicious and reminded me of a grown-up version of the oatmeal my mom would make for me when I was kid. I am a big believer in breakfast and never, ever skip it so I love having quick and easy new recipe ideas for the day’s most important meal. I saved the remainder of the cooked oats for tomorrow and then will just add the brown sugar, butter and bananas for a super fast breakfast in the morning.

For lunch, I came across this Spanish-Style Tuna and Potato Salad in their Easy Cooking section that focuses on a slew of recipes all based on one convenience staple, in this case, canned tuna. Did you know that you get more healthy omega-3 fatty acids from drained tuna packed in water instead of oil? Hmm, good to know. I tested this recipe to its full capacity so I am going to have this salad around for days to munch on and am I glad because this was delicious! The crunchy romaine lettuce worked perfectly with all of the smoky flavors of smoked paprika and red pepper and tangy dressing, plus I loved the mixture of shallots, tomatoes, red potatoes, green beans and of course canned tuna. This was a fast, easy and fresh salad that I think you will love. I’ve got some more cooking to do tonight and I’ll keep you posted of any further success.

Mama Ingle Time!

Before another holiday season slips away from us, I wanted to share with you two of my Mom’s recipes that she has been making for Christmas, well, since I can remember and I’m 29-ish.

As mentioned in this post, I said I would be camped out by the fireplace eating my Mom’s party mix (aka Texas Trash) and veggie dip and guess what, that’s exactly what I did for days little lambs. If I was stranded on a deserted island my top three choices would be my Mom’s trail mix, veggie dip – with the typical accoutrements of veggies and fritos – and her okra, well and a bottle of wine. No, no please no water or anything of sustenance like that, I do have my priorities. The thing about all three of these dishes is that they inspire “zombie” eating where you find yourself standing over the bowl or plate shoving it into your mouth and then kind of snap out of it like “whoa, yeah, I just ate my weight in veggie dip.”

So in honor of Mama Ingle here are her splendid trail mix and veggie dip recipes, I hope they can find a happy place in your hearts, homes and tummies as they have mine and my family’s.
P.S. My Dad won the “Christmas Checkers Battle” fair and square. Whatever Dad!
P.P.S. Dad, like Dumbeldore’s Phoenix I shall rise from the ashes in 2010 and earn back the title!
P.P.P.S Meagan (my niece) “Dumbledore Clap!”


Mama Ingle’s Party Mix aka Texas Trash
Serves 12 or more (or just me if it’s me eating it)
Pre-heat oven to 250 degrees. Melt 6 tablespoons of butter or margarine in large roasting pan in oven. When melted, add two tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce and combine. Stir in 1 1/2 tablespoons of seasoned salt and 3/4 tablespoon garlic powder, 1/2 tablespoon of onion powder then gradually stir in 3 cups of Corn Chex Cereal, 3 cups Rice Chex cereal, 3 cups Wheat Chex cereal, 1 cup of mixed nuts, 1 cup of pretzels (thin sticks) 1 cup of garlic-flavored bite-size bagel chips broken into pieces (optional). Mix until evenly coated. Bake 1 hour stirring every 15 to 20 minutes. Spread over paper towels to cool. Store in an air-tight container.


Mama Ingle’s Vegetable Dip
Serves 12 or more (or just me if it’s me eating it)
1 large container sour cream
2 cups Hellman’s Mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dill Weed
1 teaspoon of Beau Monde Seasoning
1 teaspoon of Accent
Dash of Onion Salt
1 tablespoon of parsley flakes
Tabasco Sauce (to taste)
Combine all ingredients and store in refrigerator. Serve with assorted cut up vegetables or chips or crackers or pizza or sandwiches or on a BIG spoon, ok, I might have added those last three. One other note my Mom and I discussed, it’s the holidays people so don’t try skimping with low or no fat versions of this as it just doesn’t taste as good at all. Hey, you can make up for it in the New Year!

Where’s the Beef? Black Bean Tacos…

No beef for you! Instead you get really tasty, mashed black beans that have been sprinkled with a little bit of cumin. Place some pepper jack cheese on a tortilla, and then place it flat on a hot skillet with some extra virgin olive oil. Place the bean mixture on top, fold and crisp on both sides. Voila! Yummy vegetarian tacos in no time.
I followed Crispy Black Bean Tacos recipe from Bon Appetit except I did not have corn tortillas or feta but it was still yummy the way I made them, especially if you serve with some low-fat sour cream and homemade guacamole. I also made the Mexican Pineapple Salad to round out the meal. And now back to our regularly scheduled beef programming…