Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Tomato, Zucchini, Onion Potato Bake

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017
Garden Veggies CobraHead Blog

Garden Veggies

Well here we are again in zucchini tomato season.  I first posted this recipe about five years ago here.

I make it several times each year during the height of the season.  It’s a tasty stick to your ribs meal.

This time I layered the following items twice in a greased casserole dish.

  1. sliced potatoes
  2. sliced zucchini
  3. sliced onions
  4. sliced tomatoes (or chopped)
  5. shredded mozzarella cheese
  6. fresh chopped basil
  7. salt and pepper to taste

Bake covered at 375 degress for 45 minutes.  Remove cover and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft or easily pierced with a fork.

You can leave out the potatoes if you wish to make it more of a side dish.  Eggplant and peppers would be a nice addition.  It’s a simple way to use up your garden produce and the leftovers are great!

Stir Fried Vegetables Over Somali Bantu Rice

Monday, February 27th, 2017
Stir Fry Over Rice

Stir Fry Over Rice

Stir fries are a good way to use up small amounts of various veggies.  If you add some tofu or other protein it’s a very satisfying meal.

Here’s what I came up with this time.

8 oz tofu, cubed

2 dried shiitake mushrooms

1 cup water

1 T. Tamari

Simmer the above ingredients and drain, reserving the liquid.  Chop the mushrooms (discarding the harder stems,  and set the tofu mushroom mix aside.

Stir Fried Tofu and Veggies

Stir Fried Tofu and Veggies

2 T. Olive Oil

1 T. fresh ginger, minced

1 T. garlic, minced

1 medium onion, sliced

5 stalks bok choy, stems sliced and separated from the greens

1 cup cauliflower, chopped or sliced

1 cup red cabbage, sliced **

1/4 cup sherry

2 T. tamari

1 T. arrowroot

Heat olive oil over medium heat.  Sauté ginger and garlic for 30 seconds, then add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened.  Add bok choy stems, cauliflower and red cabbage along with reserved liquid (and enough water to make 1 cup) from the tofu mushroom mix.  Cover and simmer for 3 minutes.  Add bok choy greens, cover and simmer for 2 more minutes.  Mix sherry, tamari and arrowroot together until there are no lumps.  Mix into vegetables and stir for 1 minute until thickened and liquid looks clear.

Serve over your favorite rice.  I cooked Himalayan Red Rice in the Somali Bantu style – recipe.  The red rice does take 50-55 minutes to cook.  If you start the rice first, by the time you get your ingredients ready and chop up all your veggies the rice will be almost finished when you’re ready to stir fry.  It’s just a matter of prioritizing what needs to be done first.

**If you do use red cabbage be aware that any leftovers will be purple the next day, especially the tofu!






Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Sunday, February 26th, 2017
Veggie Shepherd's Pie

Veggie Shepherd’s Pie

“It is a homely thing in one or another sense of the word, depending on your point of views.”  Glyn Lloyd-Hughes, Description of Shepherd’s Pie:  The Foods of England

I should perhaps title this recipe Shepherdess Pie which apparently is a variation made without meat but I hadn’t heard the term before I started looking at recipes.  Shepherd’s Pie was traditionally made with minced lamb and Cottage Pie was made with minced beef.

It’s easy enough to make and even easier if you have leftover mashed potatoes, gravy and vegetables.


Veggies in the Steamer

Veggies in the Steamer

6 cups steamed vegetables of your choice (part or all leftover veggies)  I used bok choy, cauliflower, carrots, collard greens, onions and threw in some frozen green beans at the last minute.

4-6 cups mashed potatoes  (either leftover or made with 2 1/2 to 3 pounds potatoes)

Shallots and Mushrooms

Shallots and Mushrooms

2 cups gravy or sauce of your choice   (this may be leftover gravy or fresh mushroom gravy-see recipe )    If you prefer you could use a tomato or cheese sauce instead of traditional gravy.

Oil a deep dish pie plate or casserole dish.  Mix veggies and gravy and scrape into pie plate.  Place mashed potatoes on top to cover filling all the way to the edge of the dish.

Bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 45 minutes until gravy is bubbling.  Timing will depend upon the temperature of the ingredients when placed in the oven.  If all ingredients are freshly cooked and warm it will take about 25 minutes.  If they are leftovers and cold from the fridge it will take longer to heat through.  Enjoy!

Pie on a Plate

Pie on a Plate

Waiting for a Handout

Waiting for a Handout

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

Sweet Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy

As you may have read before, Noel’s sweet potato harvest produced almost 125 pounds of edible roots.  He planted the same number of plants (18) that he has for the last several years but we had such significant rainfall throughout 2016 that the potatoes grew bigger, therefore increased our total poundage.

With that being said . . . we have a lot of sweet potato eating to do.  Since sweet potatoes are, well . . . sweet, I like to counter balance them with something savory.  This time I made a mushroom gravy. Here’s a link to a previous post on vegetarian gravy methods.   I also add other veggies to the gravy, such as baby bok choy or chopped collards.

Bake your scrubbed and fork pierced potatoes at 400 degrees until soft all the way through. Check with a fork or knife. Baking time depends on the size of the potato. Larger ones take about an hour. I start checking after one hour and at fifteen minute intervals for the big ones.  They can take an hour and a half or more.

Mushroom Gravy

Mushroom Gravy Ingredients:

2 T. unbleached flour

2 T. nutritional yeast

Dry roast/toast the flour and nutritional yeast  in a preheated (to medium) cast iron frying pan stirring constantly for 5 minutes.  Set aside.

2 T. olive oil

1 shallot, minced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. dried thyme or 1 tsp. fresh if you have it

2 cups sliced button or cremini mushrooms

2 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and chopped or use fresh (I had 8 dried mushrooms)

1 T. tamari

1 T. liquid aminos

2 cups water (I used the shiitake soaking liquid plus enough water to make 2 cups)

Alternatively, use 2 cups vegetable broth and skip the tamari and liquid aminos.

Sauté shallots and garlic in olive oil for 2-3 minutes.  Add mushrooms and thyme and cook for another 5-10 minutes.  Blend the 2 cups liquid with the tamari, liquid aminos and  flour nutritional yeast mixture.  Pour over mushroom sauté and cook until bubbly and thickened.

Serve your gravy over a baked sweet potato and dig in!


Oven Roasted Root Vegetables

Friday, November 18th, 2016
Oven Roasted Root Vegetables

Oven Roasted Root Vegetables

We had a late harvest of turnips and radishes, more than we could eat raw, so we included these in a roaster full of vegetables.  I’ve not cooked with radishes much so this was something different for us.  I’ve listed the veggies that were in this mix but you can use whatever you have.  Everything came from our garden except the olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper.


1/4 Cup Olive Oil

1 Crushed Clove Garlic mixed with 1/4 tsp. Salt

Potatoes – 1 large, cut in wedges & several small baby potatoes

Sweet Potatoes – 1 peeled and sliced

Cabbage – 1 small head cut in wedges

Carrots – 2-3,  cut in quarters

Turnips – 3-4,  cut in quarters

Radishes – 4-5,  cut in halves

Onions – 2-3,  left whole if small, cut in half or quarters if larger

Shallots –  3, left whole

Garlic – 5-6, peeled, left whole

Sage – 1 tsp. crushed

Rosemary – 1 tsp.

Thyme – 1 tsp.

Parsley – 1/4 cup freshly chopped (garnish)

Salt – to taste

Pepper – to taste

Crush 1 clove of garlic and mix with salt in a large mixing bowl.  Let stand for at least 10 minutes while preparing the rest of the vegetables. Mix in the olive oil, sage, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper.  Toss in all the veggies and mix with a spatula until all are coated in the oil mix.  Place in a well oiled roaster and cover.  Bake for about 1 hour in a 400 degree oven.  Stir the veggies halfway through the baking time.  Check for doneness, toss with the fresh parsley and serve.


Black Beluga Lentil Vegetable Soup

Friday, November 4th, 2016
Black Beluga Lentil Vegetable Soup

Black Beluga Lentil Vegetable Soup

Tis the fall season when the harvest of garden veggies are brought in and placed on every available flat surface in the kitchen.  It’s not always easy to find a place to have lunch or dinner but I did my best to use up enough food to make room for the soup bowls……

Feel free to throw whatever you have in the soup pot. The spices, celery, veggie broth and black beluga lentils were the only items not harvested from the garden.


2 T. olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 stalk celery, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

3 cups cabbage, chopped

4 fresh paste tomatoes, chopped

1/2 tsp. cumin

1/2 tsp. turmeric

8 cups veggie broth

1 cup black beluga lentils, rinsed

2 carrots, chopped

1 cup baby potatoes, cut in half

1/2 tsp. fresh thyme

1/4 cup cilantro

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

2 handfuls chopped kale

Heat olive oil in soup pot.  Add onions and celery and sauté for 3-4 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another minute before adding cabbage.  Brown this mixture for 5 minutes then add the tomatoes, cumin and turmeric.  Cook about 10 minutes until the tomatoes release their juices, then add veggie broth, lentils, carrots, potatoes, fresh herbs, salt and pepper.  Simmer for 45 minutes, then add two handfuls of chopped kale and cook for another 10-15 minutes.  Adjust seasonings and serve with your favorite crackers or bread.

It did turn out quite tasty.  Just follow the basic soup pot idea and use the veggies you have on hand.  I’m sure you’ll come up with something delicious!

Balsamic Sautéed Beets, Greens and Onions

Thursday, October 27th, 2016
Beet Greens and Onions

Beet Greens and Onions

We have a nice patch of fall beets. The thinnings are great for sautéing  and if there’s a baby beet attached, so much the better.

Way back when, my mother used to serve cooked spinach with a splash of cider vinegar. I just changed it up to balsamic vinegar which has a natural sweetness to better complement the beet greens.

Here’s the recipe:

1-2 T. olive oil or butter

1 cup sliced onions

1/2 pound of beet greens and baby beets

1-2 T. balsamic vinegar or to taste

Sautéing Onions

Sautéing Onions

Preheat cast iron frying pan on medium.  Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes, then add any peeled and sliced baby beets you may have. Cook for another 5 minutes.  Add the washed beet greens to the pan and any water that’s still clinging to them, along with the balsamic vinegar.  Cover the pan and simmer for about 5 minutes until the beets are cooked through and the greens are wilted.  Serve as a tasty side dish.

Sauté with Beets Added

Sauté with Beets Added

Greens Added to the Mix

Greens Added to the Mix

Balsamic Sautéed Beet Side Dish

Balsamic Sautéed Beet Side Dish

The Beet Patch

The Beet Patch

Hot Tomato Sandwich

Sunday, September 25th, 2016
Tomatoes and Garlic

Tomatoes and Garlic

Are you looking for something to do with all those cherry tomatoes?  In addition to salsas, cobblers, pasta sauces, etc., how about a hot tomato sandwich?  This is a vegetarian version of your typical hot beef or hot turkey sandwich and just as satisfying.


1-2 T. Olive Oil

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

4 cups cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (about 2 pounds)

1/2 tsp. salt

Freshly ground pepper

Basil garnish – optional

Shredded parmesan cheese – optional

Whole grain bread slices, toasted

Simmering Tomatoes and Garlic

Simmering Tomatoes and Garlic

Preheat cast iron pan on medium.  Add oil and garlic and stir constantly for 1 minute.  This should keep the garlic from getting too brown or burning.  Add the prepared tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.  Serve over your favorite toasted whole grain bread.  Top with fresh basil and/or shredded parmesan if you wish.  The open-faced sandwich is  pictured here with freshly picked steamed green (plus purple and yellow) beans.  Enjoy – we do!

Hot Tomato Sandwich and Beans

Hot Tomato Sandwich and Beans

Cucumber Salad

Tuesday, August 30th, 2016
Cucumber Salad

Cucumber Salad

Need a quick cucumber salad for lunch or dinner that’s just a step up from plain sliced cucumbers?

Try this:

1-2 peeled cucumbers, thinly sliced

1/4 to 1/2 tsp. salt

1 T. white wine vinegar

Slice your cucumbers as thin as you can.  if you have a mandoline so much the better, and faster.  There’s something different about the slices when they’re thinner versus thicker.  Sprinkle with salt and lightly stir.  Let stand for 15-30 minutes.   Drain most of the liquid – no need to squeeze or dry the cucumbers.

Then kick those slices up a notch with a splash of white wine vinegar.  Gently and thoroughly mix it in.  Add more vinegar if you like but less is better.  This makes a simple but refreshing side salad.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad and Kohlrabi Pancakes

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
Sweet Potato Salad and Kohlrabi Pancakes

Sweet Potato Salad and Kohlrabi Pancakes

‘Tis the season for garden veggie meals.  We’ve been mixing the old and the new, i.e. some veggies from last year’s harvest and some fresh from this year’s crop.  It’s not always easy to come up with brand new recipes but by virtue of what’s available in the pantry and/or the garden, the dishes end up being different most of the time.

One of our many favorites is Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad.  I first posted the recipe here.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad

Sweet Potato Black Bean Salad

This time, I tried something different.  I didn’t have a prebaked and chilled sweet potato so I peeled a raw one (from last year’s harvest), cut it into 3/4″ chunks and steamed them for 10 minutes.  I let the chunks cool naturally in a bowl while I prepared the rest of the ingredients.

The chopped red onion was also from last year’s crop.  Instead of a serrano pepper I sliced a banana pepper and threw in some parsley, pepper cress and lettuce from this year’s garden.  It was fine but I still love cilantro the best in this salad.  Unfortunately, unless you plant cilantro every 2 weeks or so (succession planting as they say) it never seems to be available when you really want it!

To accompany the sweet potato salad I made Kohlrabi Pancakes which I first posted here.   I followed the recipe using 2 kohlrabies about 3″ across.  When shredded they made just about the right amount – 2 cups – for the pancakes.  They were delicate and delicious.  I don’t think anyone would guess what was in them.

Let us know what you’re eating from your larder and garden these days.   Good appetite!