Posts Tagged ‘vegetarian’

Have you ever felt that terrible guilty feeling when you throw out perfectly good food that went bad when it didn’t fit into your recipes for the week? I used to be someone who habitually had a garbage full of food that could have been used, but went bad first. When the guilt finally consumed me, I decided to find a way to do something about it.

What’s Left?

The day or two before you go grocery shopping again, check your cupboard for anything that you bought the week before that isn’t already rotting away. It’s impossible for me to predict what you might have, but take it all out of your fridge and put it in front of you. It really could be anything. Maybe you have a chunk of cream cheese, a stalk of celery, half an onion, and some stale chips. I can’t tell you what to do with the stale chips, but I bet you can make a hearty dinner out of the rest of your leftover food.

What to Keep Stocked

There are a few things you’ll need to keep on hand each week for this last meal, but they are things that can stay a while without going bad. Keep a roll or two of Pillsbury Crescent Rolls in your fridge, keep your condiment shelf full, and have some veggies in the freezer. I love the steam-in-a-bag kind–so simple.

Filling for the Braid

With the dough, condiments, frozen veggies, and the leftovers out on your counter–get creative! The possibilities are endless. What you want to do is think of which ingredients would go together nicely as a casserole or a dip. You will turn those ingredients into a filling for a dough braid. If you’re really stumped, do an ingredient search on Allrecipes to find out if there are any casserole or dip recipes using the ingredients you have. Pillsbury has some recipes for dips too, all of which could be put into a braid.

Let’s say you had some leftover cheddar cheese, half an onion, a little bit of cooked chicken, and a slice of red pepper. Doesn’t seem like much, but mix it up with some mayo, broccoli steamed from your freezer, salt, dill, and garlic. Now you have the perfect filling for a dough braid!

How to Make the Braid

Spread your dough onto a greased cookie sheet. Place the filling down the middle of the braid horizontally. Cut one inch strips on either side of the chunk of filling. Fold the ends over the filling, sealing them together on top. Seal the ends. Brush with a beaten egg-white. Cook in a 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until crisp and brown.

You will be amazed at how almost any combination of ingredients tastes good when put into a braid. Follow these steps and you will feel a lot less guilty on refrigerator clean out day.

More Filling Ideas

Buffalo Chicken Braid

Cheese, cream cheese, cooked chicken, hot sauce, chopped celery, chopped onion, shredded cheddar cheese, blue cheese

Greek Braid

Black or Kalamata olives, feta cheese, chopped cucumber, chopped salami, cream cheese

Reuben Braid

Deli turkey or corned beef, sauerkraut, chopped onion, Thousand Island dressing

Spinach and Artichoke Braid

Sour cream, artichoke hearts, frozen (steamed) spinach, shredded cheddar cheese, garlic, parmesan cheese

Recipes That Could be Made Into Braids

Hot Crab Dip

Nacho Dip

Broccoli Casserole

Corn Casserole



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This pizza is a crowd-pleaser. When you offer your guests homemade pizza, they are probably expecting the very bland, soggy taste of premade pizza popped into the oven. This simple pizza recipe honestly tastes like take-out. Try it once, and you will want to keep these ingredients handy so you never have to pay 20 bucks for a take-out pizza again.

With that said, the simple switch in your traditional pizza ingredients to these ingredients is really what makes this pizza, so substitutes really won’t work here. Try to get exactly the ingredients listed.

1 package bakery made pizza dough (I buy a local brand called Villa’s. Usually your grocery store will have dough from a local bakery in their specialty aisle.)

1 package Boboli Pizza Sauce

1 package sliced Provolone Cheese

EV Olive Oil

2 cloves chopped garlic

Any other toppings you like

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Let the dough sit out on the counter while you put the groceries away; it’s easier to handle this way. Stretch the dough gently to fit your cookie sheet or pizza stone. I always PAM my cookie sheet, but that is up to you. Place the dough on the cookie sheet and brush with olive oil. Sprinkle the chopped garlic over the oil. Spread the sauce out over the dough covering everything except the crust. Overlap the Provolone slices to cover the pizza. Pinch the crust to the thickness you like. (I have stuffed the crust with mozzarella cheese sticks before, that was yummy.)

Cook the pizza for about 15-20 minutes, be sure to watch it carefully. Take the pizza out when it is lightly browned and bubbling. Delicious! There are so many possibilities using this basic recipe.

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I do love to have a traditional meal on holidays with a meatless twist. This St. Patty’s Day, I will be trying Potato and Leek Soup adapted from RecipeZaar and Pinch My Salt.


3 leeks, thinly sliced

1 small onion, thinly sliced

6 medium potatoes, thinly sliced

3 stalks celery, chopped

2 garlic cloves, chopped

4 tablespoons butter

3 1/2-4 cups vegetable stock

1 cup heavy cream

S & P

1 tablespoon parsley

3 scallions, finely chopped

Hot, crusy bread or bread bowl


1. Soak chopped leeks in cold water for 5 minutes. Scrub out loose dirt.

2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, cook vegetables until soft.

3. Add the sliced potatoes and cover with the broth. When the potatoes are soft, turn down the heat and begin to mash with a potato masher.

4.  Stir in heavy cream. Cook an additional 15 minutes.

5. Serve in bowls alongside crusty bread. Top with parsley and scallions.

Irish you luck!


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Thought I’d blog about my dinner. Yum. I might mention that my boyfriend is a meat-eater and I am not. So, for me, they’ll be spicy veggie & bean tacos–with minimal extra effort. Just how I like it. Cheap. Healthy. Simple.

I like this because you can truly use whatever you have on hand, and you can pick out or add on depending on your likes and dislikes.

Ingredients I keep on hand:

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

dash hot sauce


s and p

olive oil

Ingredients I added to my grocery list:

precooked diced chicken (easier for me to throw in an otherwise vegetarian meal, could buy already cut or chop up some rotisserie chicken &  freeze bag fulls as add ins)

thinly sliced green pepper

thinly sliced onion

refried beans (or smashed black beans, whatever)

whole wheat tortillas (or tortilla chips, again…whatever)

shredded cheddar cheese

Oven on @ 375. Slice veggies and spread out on baking sheet. Drizzle oil & add salt/pepper to taste. Roast in oven for 20 minutes. I added a leek to my veggie roast because I had one on hand that I needed to use up.

Meanwhile, heat up chicken and/or beans in a tiny bit of olive oil in a skillet. When it’s sizzling, add the cumin, pepper flakes and hot sauce to your liking. You can add this to the beans, too, of course. Let everything heat up for 2 minutes or so.

You stay on your side, I'll stay on mine.

I like to put the toppings out on an assembly line in little dishes, build-your-own-taco style. Layer beans or meat, roasted veggies, cheese, and salsa on tortillas. Or, throw it all in a bowl and eat with tortilla chips.

Welcome to Moe’s!


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