" Cooking, the first Social Media"™

and © to Variations on Cooking

  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Pinterest Icon
  • White Instagram Icon

© 2020 by Variations on Cooking

Site designed and created by AJMC LLC


Braised Leeks, Mushrooms and Walnuts with Goat Cheese Pizza

Ingredients Topping 1 leek, thinly sliced, white to lite green part of the leek 2 shallots, thinly sliced 1 tomato, chopped and seeded 2 pints of mushrooms, sliced, I used cremini 1/4 cup of walnuts, chopped 12 thin sliced wedges of Drunken Goat cheese ¼ cup dry red wine 1 tablespoon of Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar 1 tablespoon Agave Red Pepper Flakes to taste Salt and pepper to taste Olive oil Crust 2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 envelope Yeast 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup very warm water 3 tablespoons Persian Lime Olive Oil 3 Tablespoons of sugar 1 Tablespoon of finely minced fresh Thyme 1 Tablespoon of finely minced fresh Italian Parsley Directions Crust Place all the dry ingredients i

Veggie Etouffee

Well we have been on this plant based diet for about some three weeks now and I do have to say I feel much better and making veggie recipes has been sort of fun and easy. I have been looking at as,” what can I make out of these fresh ingredients” verses how can I make a dish without meat. So, this dish came from an idea of taking classic New Orleans fare and making them all vegetarian. After much research, there is a difference between a Plant based diet and Vegan, plant based is what it says, plant based which means you can add a few neutral base ingredients without losing the all the great benefits from the veggies. Like stocks, what I was told is that stocks are more like teas, you get

Roasted Cauliflower and Chickpea Soup

I have been working on a few cauliflower recipes, here is a soup recipe that I have been working for the past few years. The first few times I had made it, it was with chicken stock, milk and garnished with bacon, but in the last variation I created a few days ago, I made it completely vegan. - Enjoy Ingredients 1 cauliflower head, cut into florets, about 4 cups 4 cups of homemade vegetable stock or water 2 cups of diced organic potatoes 1 cup of dry white wine ½ cup of Almond/Coconut Milk, unsweetened 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 5 roasted garlic cloves, minced 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika pinch of ground cardamom red pepper flakes to taste Salt and Pep

Crispy Baked Cauliflower with Chinese Lemon Sauce

When I was on Melissa sit a came across this recipe and I made it for dinner last night and it was outstanding – Its a veggie take on my General Tao's Chicken recipe i posted a few days back - Enjoy http://www.cilantroandcitronella.com/ For the crispy baked cauliflower 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets ½ cup of flour ½ teaspoon sea salt Pepper, to taste ½ cup of plant milk 1 cup panko bread crumbs 1 – 2 green onions, sliced (optional) Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional) Rice, to serve For the Chinese lemon sauce ½ cup vegetable stock 2 cloves of garlic, grated or finely minced 2 teaspoons ginger, grated or finely minced ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice ¼ cup sugar 1 tablespoon soy sa

Vegetable Singapore Noodles

Okay I been working on a bunch of new recipes all veggie based, but the other night I was in the mood for my go to dish I order at our favorite Chinese takeout place, Singapore Noodles. Then I thought I bet I can recreate this dish at home. Then I remember that I visited this veggie food blog that had a recipe for, so instead of recreating myself I would just use Melissa’s at Cilantro & Citronella- Enjoy. http://www.cilantroandcitronella.com/ Ingredients 200 grams (7 oz.) rice vermicelli noodles 1 cup water 1/4 cup soy sauce 1 teaspoon sugar 2 tablespoons oil Half a medium onion, sliced 2 green onions, chopped, white and green separated Half a large red pepper, sliced 2 cloves of garlic, mi

Tomato, Beans and Spinach Stew

4 cups of baby spinach 8 to 10 plum or san Marzano tomatoes, quartered 2, 14oz cans of beans of choice, drained 1 cup dry red wine 2 shallots, diced 4 cloves of garlic, minced 2 tablespoons of tomato paste 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced hand-full of fresh Italian parsley, minced Salt and Pepper to taste Olive oil Directions In a large deep skillet of medium high heat drizzle some olive oil, once simmering add shallots and sauté until soft. Reduce heat to low and add garlic, paprika, tomato paste, stir, now add tomatoes and wine, season, simmer covered for about 15 to 20 minutes. Next add beans to skillet, oregano, and half the parsley, and simmer until beans

Mushroom Sloppy Joes

I had made these way back in the spring of 2013 for a dinner party we were having and several of the guests were vegans. Its based a recipe i had found but when i was testing it prior to the dinner party it was a bit dry, so i changed many of the ingredients and took the approach of a ratatouille so it it had more depth of flavor - Enjoy 1 pound cremini mushrooms, halved 2 cups dark beer or any beer really 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced, then chopped 2 red bell peppers, finely chopped 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and minced 1 shallot, minced 3 cloves of garlic, minced 1/3 cup finely chopped walnuts 1 6oz can tomato paste ¼ cup molasses 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 tablespoon smoked paprika

Mushroom, Spinach and Almond Pasta

Okay on week two of trying to eat a plant based diet, Vegan. Well so far, it’s been vegetarian, it’s the cheese thing, it’s so hard to give up, well and butter on toast too, but we have moved to goat cheeses and butters, so at least it’s a bit better. Well so I have been exploring the whole “Nut” milk thing, and I have been playing with making sauces from Almond Milk as if it where traditional milk. It has been sort working out, it does need a thickening agent, so I have been using potato or corn starch to aid with that. With that said, I have been going back to my pasta recipes and see what tweaks I can make to make them, well also most Vegan, and here I one from the other night – Enjoy.

Apple Nut Pizza

Okay, why not have a dessert pizza. Dough 2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour 1/3 cup of sugar 1 envelope Fleischmann's® Yeast 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup very warm milk 3 tablespoons Avocado Oil wash 2 tablespoons melted butter 1 egg, whisked with a tablespoon of water Filling 1 6oz. bag of Bobs Red Mill Apple Dried Diced 2 cups of walnut pieces 1 cup raw sugar 2 sticks unsalted butter 1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon Directions Preheat oven to 350 degrees Line a pizza sheet with parchment paper. In a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, add all the dry ingredients, start with 2 ½ cups of flour first, you can add more if the dough is too sticky later, keeping the salt an

Mini Spicy Chickpea, Avocado Pesto Pizzas

I have been playing around with bread and pizza doughs for the last few weeks, and having a lot of fun too. Making yeasted doughs are not as scary as I thought, they are actually quite easy to make. So, look forward too many new yeasted dough recipes in the coming weeks – enjoy Ingredients Pizza Dough 2-1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour 1 envelope Fleischmann's® Yeast 3/4 teaspoon salt 1 cup very warm water 3 tablespoons Lemon Olive Oil 3 Tablespoons of sugar Pesto ¼ cup Pistachios 2 ripe Avocados, pitted and skinned, when ready to use 2 cloves of garlic hand-full of cilantro leaves Salt and Pepper to taste Avocado Oil Spicy Chickpea 2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 can coconut milk

Spicy Roasted Veggies and Herb Pasta

Week one of our trying to eat a plant based diet, well we are sort of 90% of the way there, it’s the cheese. So, I have been playing with pastas and potatoes as the main ingredient in many of the dishes I have been trying to create. The other night I created an Avocado Potato dish, but I need to do it once more before I post that recipe, but it was easy and quick and very satisfying. But onto this dish, over the weekend I made this dish once and then last night again, and it pretty much can be made with any veggies you might have on hand. On Sunday I used beets, carrots and pole beans and then last night I used asparagus, red peppers, sun dried and fresh tomatoes, and pole beans and it wa

Curried Shells with Chickpeas

INGREDIENTS 1 lb. of dried pasta of choice – cook as directed on package, reserve 1 cup of pasta water 1 can, 15 oz. of chickpeas, drained 1 can, 15 oz. of Coconut Milk ¼ cup of veggie stock or pasta water 1 medium onion, minced 2 sliced jalapeños 4 cloves of garlic, minced 3 tablespoons of Olive Oil 2 tablespoon of tomato paste 1 tablespoon corn starch 1 teaspoon of curry 1 teaspoon paprika 1 teaspoon of ground ginger ½ teaspoon chili powder Cilantro and crushed red pepper to garnish. Salt and Pepper Taste Directions Place a large skillet over medium high heat, add oil, onions and jalapenos, sauté until soft. Now add tomato paste and garlic, stir, followed by the dried spices, corn starch

Baked Zucchini Ziti

Well still on the journey of having only a plant based diet for the next month, and we have been doing it 95% of the time. But again, its giving up the cheese that has been the hardest part. But after a lot of research, I have found if you are going to have cheese, cheese made from goats milk it much better for you then cows milk based cheese. Do not completely understand why at the moment, but I will take it. I have also found that having certain seafoods with the plant based diet is also very good for you as well. So what for many more new veggie/seafood recipes to come - Enjoy Ingredients 3 to 4 Medium Zucchinis 2 shallots, halved and sliced 1 ½ cups of homemade Pasta sauce ½ cup Goat

Pecan Cinnamon Rolls

Ingredients 1 1/2 cups room temp water 1 1/2 cups sugar 2 envelopes dry yeast 1 tablespoon Olive Oil 1 teaspoon salt 3 1/2 cups (about) all-purpose flour 1 ½ sticks of unsalted butter, room temperature 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon 1 cup chopped pecans 1 cup pecan halves 1 cup of brown sugar ½ cup half and half 4 tablespoons unsalted butter 1 tablespoon vanilla extract pinch of salt. Directions Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Line a 15 x 10 x 2 baking pan with parchment paper. In the stand mixer, fitted with a bread hook, place the flour, ¼ cup of sugar, salt and yeast. (note: place the salt and the yeast on opposites ends of the bowl.) Now add oil and turn on mixer and slowly add room temp

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

(note: Photo from "Taste Love and Nourish" website) Well its week one in our almost plant based diet, I say almost, due to giving up cheese has been hard, but we are working up to it. So, on our journey I have been looking at a lot of Vegan and vegetarian recipes and adapting them based on our taste. Well the other night I adapted the recipe below from the food Blog, “Taste Love and Nourish” by Caroline. I have listed her website below, she has a lot of wonderful recipes, there are a few more I will be trying. – Enjoy http://www.tasteloveandnourish.com/ INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 shallots, minced 1 medium red pepper, finely diced 2 Roma tomatoes or ½ C. grape tomatoes, finely di

Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Peppers and a whole lot more Pasta

Okay I was in the market the other day and the veggies all looked amazing and I thought I need to create a dish to cram them all in, and I though pasta is a great medium for lots of stuff. So is pizza but I had tried a Brussel Sprout pizza before, was not my favorite. But there is a challenge to make one I like, but I digress. So, I roasted a bunch of veggies, sauté other in bacon and brought everyone together in the pasta bowl, it was a big hit – Enjoy. Ingredients 1 lb. of dried pasta, cooked as directed on package and reserve 1 ½ cups of the pasta water 1 lb. of Turkey bacon, chopped 1 ½ lbs. of small burrata cheese, you want to put one on each dish 1 ½ cup of grated Asiago cheese 1 pi

Roasted Chicken & Corn Quesadillas

Well the corn pasta dish i mentioned in an earlier post still needs more work, but we were having an party at our place in PA and Micheal asked me to make all Mexican themed dishes, i had all this fresh corn and figure that instead of make a corn Pico del Gallo I would make quesadilla with roasted chicken. Now you can make these ahead and just reheat the day of the party. Now I bake my quesadillas then finish them off in the skillet, it is easier, less messy and the fillings do not fall out when you turn them over - Enjoy Ingredients 1 ½ lbs. Chicken breast, boned and skinned 4 ears of sweet fresh corn 2 cups of freshly shredded Monterey Jack Cheese 2 medium tomatoes, diced 1 medium red oni

Sweet Corn Pasta Carbonara

This the season of farm fresh corn, I have been working up a few corn dishes. the earlier Corn Gazpacho and I am currently working up another pasta dish - enjoy. Ingredients: 1 pound Farfalle, cooked as directed on package, reserve 1 cup of the pasta water 4 ears of sweet corn 8 slices thick-cut turkey bacon, chopped 2 shallots, minced 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 4 garlic cloves, minced 3 large eggs 1 1/2 cups freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for topping Hand-full of fresh Italian Parsley, chopped Direction Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Line a baking sheet with parchment paper Remove the husk for the ears corn and place on the baking sheet and place in the oven and ro

Mediterranean Meatballs

Picture from Eat the Love website and was taken by Irvin Lin A few weeks ago, I came across this recipe on Pinterest and like the combination of ingredients but I need to adapt it to our current diet restrictions and also remove some of the spices that Michael does not like. So, after a few tweaks here my variations on Irvin Lin recipe from the “Eat the Love” website. I have listed the link below to the site. http://www.eatthelove.com ingredients Meatballs 1 lb. fresh ground chicken ½ lb. fresh ground turkey 1 cup of fresh bread crumps 1 cup of homemade chicken stock ½ cup of almond flour ¼ cup fresh Italian Parsley, chopped ¼ cup of fresh cilantro, chopped ¼ cup of fresh scallions, chopp

Chicken Sausage, Spinach and Pumpkin Tortellini with a Thyme Butter Sauce

Well I had this huge bag of spinach from Costco so I needed to use it before it went bad and we just got these amazing chicken sausages also from Costco, Aidells Smoked Chicken Sausage, Italian Style with Mozzarella Cheese. And I just gone to Chelsea market and the pasta place there just made some fresh pumpkin Tortellini and the dish was born, it is very simple to make – enjoy. Ingredients 2 lbs. of fresh Pumpkin Tortellini cook as instructed, reserve 1 cup of pasta water 1, 12oz package of chicken sausage, sliced up 4 cups of fresh spinach 4 tablespoon unsalted butter 1 cup of freshly grated Asiago Cheese 2 shallots, minced 2 cloves of garlic, minced 6 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed