Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Restaurant Review - Eat Unique, Pittsburgh, PA

LunchI spent the last week in February in Pittsburgh, PA for a Music Library Association conference. I had the chance to go to a restaurant called Eat Unique, a restaurant nearby Carnegie Mellon and geared toward students. I was impressed by the selection and the quality of the food. In order to try several things, I ordered the sweet bean hummus sandwich ("Sweet and tangy kidney bean hummus, cheddar, lettuce, carrots, onions, and golden raisins"), the vegetarian chili, and a fig and blue cheese savory scone. Everything was great - the combination of raisins with the hummus was stellar, and the idea of a savory scone (they had several options that day) made my mind go crazy.

If you're in the Pittsburgh area, try Eat Unique!

Categories: Chili, Hummus, Restaurant Review, Scone, Sandwich

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Claddagh Salad (vegan)

From 52veggie
This salad is a blatant mimic of the one I used to get at the Claddagh Restaurant and Pub in Indianapolis, IN.

Easy breezy! Salad, bell peppers, fresh green beans (boiled and dunked in ice water), boiled red potatoes, cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced nuts (I used almonds here), and there you go.

I have to admit, I often eat this the vegetarian way, with boiled eggs and blue cheese dressing. Sometimes I even go non-vegetarian and add smoked salmon (sounds weird, but does tie everything together nicely). It's hearty enough to be a light meal, and can be as complicated or as simple as you make it.

What is your favorite salad?

Categories: Green Beans, Lettuce, Nuts Peppers, Potatoes, Salad, Tomatoes, Vegan

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup (Vegan)

From 52veggie
My husband kept saying he wanted tortilla soup, so I did a little web searching and came across this recipe from the Epicurious site. I'm not sure the 15 minutes of simmering really did anything to the flavor, but I liked the suggestion of of the reviewers made to add fresh avocado to the top. I substituted a can of tomatoes for the fresh ones, and still between the various veggies, the zucchini, fresh cilantro, and avocado, this was a deliciously fresh tasting soup for the middle of the winter.

I have this idea in my head that I'd like to try someday - quesadilla soup. Instead of chopping up tortillas in strips, what about first making quesadillas and then chopping them up in strips and adding them to the soup? I think it could be delicious, but I wanted a vegan recipe.

Categories: Beans, Soup, Tomatoes, Vegan, Zucchini

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Bucatini with Gorgonzola Sauce

From 52veggie
This recipe is from The Essential Pasta Cookbook which I consult often. My favorite recipe that I make often is the alfredo sauce, because it is light and fresh tasting. I hadn't made this cream sauce before, but was intrigued by the use of gorgonzola cheese. In high school a friend's Mom made a pasta with a white sauce that I have never been able to recreate (this wasn't it, but I'm still glad I tried it).

Bucatini with Gorgonzola Sauce

12 oz bucatini or spaghetti
6 1/2 oz gorgonzola cheese
3/4 oz butter
1 celery stick, chopped
1 1/4 cups cream
8 oz ricotta cheese, beaten until smooth

1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of rapidly boiling salted water until al dente. Drain and return to the pan.

2. While the pasta is cooking, chop the gorgonzola cheese into small cubes.

3. Heat the butter in a medium pan, add the celery and stir for 2 minutes. Add the cream, ricotta and gorgonzola and season, to taste, with freshly ground black pepper.

4. Bring to the boil over low heat, stirring constantly, and then simmer for 1 minute. Add the sauce to the warm pasta and toss well.

I didn't add the celery because my husband won't eat it. As a result, the pasta felt like it needed something. I think it would be excellent served with the vegetarian chicken patties, mushrooms, or some spring veggies. I'm not sure I would make it again, as the fat content seems pretty high. Nothing functions the way cream does when you boil it and let it thicken, otherwise I would suggest substituting milk.

Categories: Cheese, Pasta

Saturday, February 03, 2007


From 52veggie
I first had this at a potluck of sorts in Atlanta. This simple recipe is from a friend who got it from her grandmother.

Amy says, "This makes one kugel; I always double the recipe and make two, because it doesn't last long around my family!"

Amy's Grandma's Kugel

8 oz. wide egg noodles (Manischewitz is a good brand)
2-3 eggs (I've done both and prefer 3)
1/2 tbsp salt*
1 1/2 tbsp canola oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook noodles slightly softer than al dente. Drain and return to pot. Beat eggs with salt. Mix egg-salt mixture and oil into noodles until they're well-coated. Transfer noodle mixture into a round nonstick cake pan. Bake thirty minutes or until it starts to brown (you can go a bit longer if you need to).

You can serve it warm or at room temperature.

I personally think it makes a great snack, lunch on the go, or total comfort food. I get to the point where I crave it (I suppose that's the definition of a comfort food!).

*I double checked this amount with Amy. She says it is right, and likes it salty, but I prefer to use 1/2 - 1 tsp rather than 1 1/2.

Categories: Eggs, Comfort Food, Pasta, Speedy