Caprese Sandwich

Picnic season is here! There’s never been a better time to picnic. We’ve enjoyed a lovely extended spring here in Kansas City. Our homegrown tomatoes won’t be…

The post Caprese Sandwich appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

vegetarian baguette sandwich recipe

Picnic season is here! There’s never been a better time to picnic. We’ve enjoyed a lovely extended spring here in Kansas City. Our homegrown tomatoes won’t be ready for a while, but I wanted to share my favorite picnic sandwich with you since I’m able to find great tomatoes at the store now.

This Caprese sandwich recipe is inspired by the classic Caprese salad. It features ripe red tomatoes and sliced fresh mozzarella with the most irresistible creamy basil sauce. For extra flavor, I also added a little drizzle of balsamic vinegar and a small handful of arugula.

Caprese sandwich ingredients

Sandwich all of that inside a crusty loaf of French baguette, and you will have a perfectly portable sandwich for picnics or road trips. Or, enjoy it at home for a quick meal from now through the end of tomato season this fall.

Just remember—the better the bread and the tomatoes, the better the sandwich!

Continue to the recipe...

The post Caprese Sandwich appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

How to Cook Farro

Let’s talk about farro! Have you tried it? Farro is a whole grain that has been cultivated for thousands of years. In fact, it may be the…

The post How to Cook Farro appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

how to cook farro recipe

Let’s talk about farro! Have you tried it? Farro is a whole grain that has been cultivated for thousands of years. In fact, it may be the world’s oldest cultivated grain. We’ve even found it in Egyptian tombs.

I love farro for its reasonably quick cooking time, nutty flavor and satisfying chewy texture. Farro is a hearty addition to salads and soups. I love to use farro in savory meals. It’s especially wonderful with some garlic and olive oil stirred in while it’s still warm.

dried farro

Farro is a nice alternative to wild rice, brown rice, quinoa and other whole grains. It’s a healthy plant-based source of protein, iron and fiber. As a bonus, it freezes and defrosts well. So, you can make a big batch to enjoy over the next few months.

Today, I’m clearing up some common farro misconceptions and sharing my go-to farro cooking method. Keep on reading for more about farro!

Continue to the recipe...

The post How to Cook Farro appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Healthy Breakfast Casserole

Sometimes, you need a healthy make-ahead breakfast. Whether you’re serving a crowd or trying to ease busy weekday mornings, this breakfast casserole is just the ticket. Typically,…

The post Healthy Breakfast Casserole appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

healthy breakfast casserole recipe

Sometimes, you need a healthy make-ahead breakfast. Whether you’re serving a crowd or trying to ease busy weekday mornings, this breakfast casserole is just the ticket.

Typically, breakfast casseroles includes sausage and potatoes. I loaded this one up with fresh veggies and greens instead, including red bell pepper, green onion and spinach.

Creamy feta or goat cheese rounds it all out. You don’t need a ton of dairy to achieve a lovely, luxurious texture. This is a lightened-up dish that seems more indulgent than it really is.

healthy breakfast casserole ingredients

This healthy breakfast casserole is the perfect addition to a holiday breakfast spread. Since it offers some protein and vegetables, it’s a great way to help balance those delicious carb-heavy treats, like muffins and pancakes. I’d be thrilled to find this option alongside bagels and cream cheese. Leftovers are good for lunch, too.

To develop this recipe, I followed my foolproof frittata formula. It’s easy to make, colorful and delicious!

Continue to the recipe...

The post Healthy Breakfast Casserole appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

These stuffed peppers aren’t the kind your mom made. They’re meatless and loaded with fresh flavor. They’re cheesy as shown, yes, but the cheese is actually non-essential.…

The post Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

vegetarian stuffed peppers recipe

These stuffed peppers aren’t the kind your mom made. They’re meatless and loaded with fresh flavor. They’re cheesy as shown, yes, but the cheese is actually non-essential. You can easily make these peppers dairy free or vegan.

I was inspired to incorporate some of my favorite Mexican ingredients, including pinto beans, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, lime, chili powder and cumin. The filling is so tasty, I could eat it as a side dish! These peppers are somewhat time consuming, but each element is simple to make.

stuffed pepper ingredients

The trick to making great stuffed peppers is to slice the peppers in half from the stem end down through the base. Then, pre-roast the halves until they’re tender and a bit caramelized at the sliced edges. This way, their flavor is condensed and their texture is just right—not too crisp, but not falling apart.

Please do yourself a favor and cook extra brown rice while you’re at it. Then, you’ll be one step closer to dinner tomorrow night—say, Extra Veggie Fried Rice or any of these rice-based dishes. High five!

Continue to the recipe...

The post Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Southwestern Corn Chowder

Make this Southwestern corn chowder for a cozy dinner at home! This vegetarian corn chowder recipe is fresh, wholesome and delicious. It’s perfect for cool late summer…

The post Southwestern Corn Chowder appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Southwestern corn chowder recipe

Make this Southwestern corn chowder for a cozy dinner at home! This vegetarian corn chowder recipe is fresh, wholesome and delicious. It’s perfect for cool late summer or fall evenings when fresh corn is at its peak. Or, you can make it any time with frozen corn.

I wanted the corn flavor to shine and balanced its sweetness with some Southwestern spice. You’ll find bell pepper, poblano and chili powder in this atypical chowder. I promise you will not miss the bacon.

corn chowder ingredients

I purposefully avoided using the heavy cream that you’ll find in most chowder recipes. Heavy cream has a tendency to dull flavors and also makes me feel weighed down. Instead, I blended a bit of butter into the soup (one of my favorite soup tricks) and stirred in some crème fraîche or sour cream at the end. These dairy ingredients offer some creaminess, of course, plus some tanginess that you won’t get from plain cream.

You can easily make this soup dairy free or vegan, if desired. You’ll love the end results either way!

Continue to the recipe...

The post Southwestern Corn Chowder appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Ultimate Veggie Pizza

As a vegetarian for over a decade, I’ve eaten quite a few veggie pizzas. Truly fantastic veggie pizzas are few and far between. So, I combined all…

The post Ultimate Veggie Pizza appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

best veggie pizza recipe

As a vegetarian for over a decade, I’ve eaten quite a few veggie pizzas. Truly fantastic veggie pizzas are few and far between. So, I combined all of the elements I’ve enjoyed over the years to create my own “ultimate” veggie pizza pie. This is the best homemade veggie pizza I’ve ever had, and I hope you’ll say the same!

This vegetarian pizza recipe will delight vegetarians and carnivores alike. It’s fresh and full of flavor, featuring cherry tomatoes, artichoke, bell pepper, olives, red onion and some hidden (and optional) baby spinach. You’ll find a base of rich tomato sauce and golden, bubbling mozzarella underneath, of course.

veggie pizza ingredients

The trick with loaded veggie pizzas, as many pizza shops seem to forget, is that they require a few extra minutes in the oven to develop full flavor and structure. Don’t stop baking until the cheese is deeply golden in spots. Otherwise, you might end up with floppy pizza that doesn’t live up to its true potential.

Start with my easy whole wheat pizza dough, and this recipe is ready in about 45 minutes, start to finish. This veggie pizza is quicker and healthier than delivery!

Continue to the recipe...

The post Ultimate Veggie Pizza appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Pasta alla Norma

We’re going back to Sicily! Pasta alla Norma is a delicious Sicilian pasta dish with eggplant, marinara and basil. I’m excited to introduce you to this dish…

The post Pasta alla Norma appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

pasta alla norma recipe

We’re going back to Sicily! Pasta alla Norma is a delicious Sicilian pasta dish with eggplant, marinara and basil. I’m excited to introduce you to this dish because it is a completely satisfying vegetarian dinner. I’m craving a bowl as I type.

Most pasta alla Norma recipes are made with fried eggplant, but this recipe features roasted eggplant. Eggplant really absorbs oil like a sponge, so this lightens up the dish. Another plus? Roasting eggplant is easier and less messy.

I further lightened this classic recipe by using more eggplant and less pasta, so this dish won’t put you to sleep. It’s nice and saucy, just the way I like it.

pasta alla norma ingredients

I don’t speak Italian, so I first assumed that “norma” meant eggplant. Not the case! Norma is capitalized because she’s a lady. Or an opera, depending on how you look at it.

Here’s the backstory: Pasta alla Norma comes from Catania, a city on the eastern coast of Sicily. Catania is the hometown of Vincenzo Bellini, an Italian opera composer who lived in the early 1800s. One of Bellini’s most famous operas, Norma, is named after its lead character.

Folklore has it that playwright Nino Martoglio, after his first bite of this pasta dish, exclaimed, “Chista è ‘na vera Norma!” (“This is a true Norma!”) That’s quite a compliment.

Continue to the recipe...

The post Pasta alla Norma appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Colorful Veggie Sesame Noodles

These sesame noodles are colorful and completely irresistible! I’m always excited when I find sesame noodles amongst a plethora of dishes at a gathering. As a solo…

The post Colorful Veggie Sesame Noodles appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

sesame noodles salad recipe

These sesame noodles are colorful and completely irresistible! I’m always excited when I find sesame noodles amongst a plethora of dishes at a gathering. As a solo dish, I crave noodles with a little more color, perhaps, and more texture and flavor. Must be the “maximalist vegetarian” in me. Always more veggies!

This riff on sesame noodles is exactly what I’ve wished for. This recipe features tender noodles and green onions, of course. I replaced some of the noodles with tons of crisp raw veggies, plus I added tiny sesame seeds, toasted to bring out their best.

The bold but simple seasonings include soy sauce, sesame oil, fresh ginger and garlic, and a generous sprinkling of fresh cilantro (omit it if you don’t like it). I added some chili flakes for extra heat, which you can scale up or down to suit your preferences.

sesame noodle salad ingredients

From what I’ve read, sesame noodles likely originated in the Sichuan province of China (please let me know if you know more). These noodles are not authentic, but they are tasty. I can’t stop going back for more.

Bring these noodles to a gathering or serve them as a side dish. They are nice at room temperature or chilled. Or, turn this recipe into a light meal by adding shelled edamame, crispy baked tofu or a fried egg or two. This recipe keeps well for several days in the fridge, and packs well for lunch.

Continue to the recipe...

The post Colorful Veggie Sesame Noodles appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Easy Homemade Pickles

What took me so long to make classic pickles? As it turns out, homemade dill pickles are simple, easy and delicious. They’re the perfect little summertime project,…

The post Easy Homemade Pickles appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

best cucumber pickles recipe

What took me so long to make classic pickles? As it turns out, homemade dill pickles are simple, easy and delicious. They’re the perfect little summertime project, if you even want to call it that. These pickles are ready after a short chill in the refrigerator (as little as one hour), and they keep for several weeks.

These pickles are tangy and refreshing, nice and crisp, and offer garden-fresh flavor. They remind me of Claussen or Grillo’s pickles—but they’re even better. In short, I’m in love with this refrigerator pickle recipe and I think you will be, too.

how to slice cucumbers

These pickles are made with simple ingredients, including vinegar (I prefer rice vinegar’s mild flavor), fresh dill (technically optional, but delicious), a couple cloves of garlic, and a few basic seasonings.

I added a touch of sweetener, too—just enough to cut the bite of vinegar. These pickles are decidedly tangy, and nowhere near “bread and butter” territory. However, the sweetness level is entirely up to you.

These pickles aren’t overwhelmingly salty, either, yet they’re fully seasoned. They are irresistibly just right—perfect for burgers, for snacking, and more.

Continue to the recipe...

The post Easy Homemade Pickles appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

Vegetarian “BLT” Sandwich

Here’s a vegetarian spin on a classic BLT sandwich! We should probably call it an “HLT” since we’re using halloumi cheese in place of bacon. Halloumi is…

The post Vegetarian “BLT” Sandwich appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

vegetarian BLT sandwich recipe

Here’s a vegetarian spin on a classic BLT sandwich! We should probably call it an “HLT” since we’re using halloumi cheese in place of bacon. Halloumi is a magical cheese from Cyprus that retains its shape when heated, rather than melting.

Pan-fried halloumi cheese turns deliciously crisp and golden on the outside, and leans more savory in flavor. It’s a little chewy and somewhat salty. In other words, pan-fried halloumi makes a fine bacon replacement, especially if you shower it with freshly ground black pepper while hot.

This sandwich is closer to an authentic BLT than my more abstract vegan BLT, which is made with coconut bacon and avocado instead of mayo. Make your preferred variation before tomato season ends!

Serve these sandwiches with a simple side salad—perhaps Gaby’s Cucumber Salad or a green salad with balsamic vinaigrette.

Continue to the recipe...

The post Vegetarian “BLT” Sandwich appeared first on Cookie and Kate.