Archive for the ‘vegetable’ Category

Review: Elizabeth’s Gone Raw-some!

July 18, 2011

We’ve had a long haiatus here at Matzo and Rice. To kick off a (hopeful) return to posting glory, we have a guest post from one of my friends. Caroline, a long-time vegetarian, provides her R-awesome review of Elizabeth’s Gone Raw!

Caroline: When I first became a vegetarian almost 23 years ago, vegetarians were lucky if a restaurant had a Garden burger on the menu. Nowadays, not only do many places serve their own veggie burgers, but DC has a high-end restaurant serving raw vegan food. I am not a vegan in daily practice, and I am not interested in the raw food diet craze, but I do love to eat vegan whenever I can. And an upscale vegan dining experience? Where do I sign up?!?  The answer, of course, is Elizabeth’s Gone Raw. (Review, pictures, and the word “hooha” after the bump!)

An example of the delights at EGR. (C) Elizabeth's Gone Raw Website



Black-eyed pea succotash

September 23, 2010

I look for food inspiration in different places: in books, magazines, online, from family, and at restaurants. I want more time to create new dishes on my own, but between a full time job, chores, and hobbies/projects (like working on a novel, for instance, and working out so I can burn off the calories I consume when I go on a baking binge), it’s hard to find time where my brain can even begin to process such a thing.

So the inspiration for this recipe comes from a restaurant, one of my absolutely favorites–Woodberry Kitchen. I’ve been meaning to write up a review for it, but sometimes words escape me–it is that awesome. Matzo can also attest to its quality…but that is for another time. Today’s recipe, though, was inspired by my last visit there with my friend Amanda.

This black-eyed pea succotash has softness and crunch, sweetness and spice, and is great by itself or as a side dish.

When we were there I ordered the roasted pork shoulder topped with a fried egg, and she got soft-shelled crabs over a bed of succotash. The crabs, of course, were fantastic, but the succotash was the real surprise. I’ve never really had it–and if I had, it’s been of the frozen or canned variety. This was neither of these. A mix of black-eyed peas, corn, celery, onion, it was crunchy and fresh with a hint of sweetness and a gentle burn of hotness.

Of course, I had to replicate it.


Spicy-Crispy Chinese Green Beans

September 3, 2010

On Facebook a while back one of my friends asked if I had a recipe for spicy Chinese green beans, and well, I didn’t. Intrigued, and digging into my memory banks to try and remember if my mom had made these for dinner when I was growing up, or if it was something we had when we went out to an authentic Chinese restaurant.

Spicy green beans with ground pork and shrimp.


But the closest thing I had to a family recipe was remember the smell and flavors of the food my parents cooked growing up. And technique? Likewise, plus a few years helping out in my family’s Chinese/American/Polynesian/Wisconsiny restaurant (where else can you get General Tso’s chicken, ham steak with pineapple, and Friday night fish fry with breaded cod and tartar sauce with a baked potato the size of your foot and a brandy old fashioned to wash it all down?)

Oh, and I used the Google. Yes, the Google. I ain’t gonna lie. Throw in some improvisation and inspiration and this is what I got, and if you ask my boyfriend, it turned out pretty delicious. 


Garlickly mashed parsnips and potatoes

June 4, 2010

The local farmer’s market has started up again and when I wander the stalls and I am often in a mood to seek out new things to try. Though not utterly foreign to me before this last weekend, I had never had parsnips. I always liked the word. I imagined them in stews you’d find in children’s books or between the covers of Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

And so I bypassed the black radishes for sale (maybe too adventurous for me) and bought a handful of parsnips. Now. What to do?

Parsnips mashed with creamy yukon gold potatoes.

Roast? Grill? Or how about easing into it, with a friendly potato and parsnip mash? Yes. This.


Spicy Tofu and Pepper Stir-fry

May 19, 2009

I have to give my boyfriend loads of credit for making me a healthier eater. If not for him, I would probably not think about my calorie content as much. I wouldn’t make as conscientious an effort to eat vegetarian. If it happened, it would probably be by happenstance. For instance, as I write this, I am eating a Chipotle steak burrito bowl. I am tempted to eat the whole thing, but I’m distracted by my Twix bar and a bag of sour cream and onion chips. Granted, I don’t eat like this every day, but I don’t like to deny myself, but I also wasn’t the type to want to expand my cooking repertoire to involve a lot of vegetarian dishes simply because they were vegetarian.

Healthy and quick: thats two wins in my book!

Healthy and quick: that's two wins in my book!

This spicy tofu and pepper dish is a relatively easy stirfry, and it’s a fast one, too. I like my food just a little spicy, but if you really like it spicy, add more Sriracha to taste, but that stuff is hot, so be careful! If you want to temper the hotness, you can also try adding in some red pepper flakes.

I know there’s some sort of general wisdom out there that tofu can be gross or tasteless, but it’s all about prepping the tofu to give it flavor, to provide it the best possible texture. This recipe has both. The marinating gives the tofu a deeper flavor. The slight pan frying firms it up and gives it a nice texture that’s not at all slimy or unappetizing. Top it off with a sauce and vegetables, and it’s good times for everyone. Even for carnivores and omnivores like myself.


Pumpkin Puree!

February 14, 2009

Canned pumpkin is pretty cheap and easy. But what if you want to know where the pumpkin comes from? I decided to give making my own organic pumpkin puree a try! I found a beautifully ugly, organic Hubbard Squash at the farmer’s market.

It looks It looks like an alien pod on the outside, but tastes amazing on the inside.

Hubbard Squash looks like an alien pod on the outside, but tastes amazing on the inside.


Portobello Mushroom Sandwich

January 30, 2009

I’m not really one for new years resolutions, but I tend to half-heartedly make a few here and there with the beginning of each year. There are your tried and true ones: lose weight (15lbs, which had been 10lbs before the holidays), read more, write more, exercise more often. I’ve also included in that list, “slow down.” I have a tendency to move fast (to compensate for my lack of height) which often leads me to getting caught on doorknobs, tripping on whatever is on the ground, (or on the ground itself), falling into walls, or running into people who don’t realize that yes, I am going to take that corner that hard and that fast (I’m talking about walking here, though I did recently have a unfortunate run-in with a curb that exploded my tire).

But that’s neither here-nor-there. I have another grand old resolution that many other people have: Eat healthier.

A portobello mushroom sandwich with the works.

A portobello mushroom sandwich with the works.

My boyfriend has been periodically trying to convince me to go vegetarian (not that he is, but since I prepare most of the food, me going vegetarian would mean that he would also go vegetarian), but my food-loving self can’t give up the variety of foods and flavors that does include meat. But eating MORE vegetarian is not only healthy, it’s also cheaper and a lot more environmentally sustainable, something I’ve also been meaning to work toward in this new year.

So what helps is finding really delicious vegetarian recipes that I crave constantly, and for me and the boyfriend, this portbello mushroom sandwich is #1 with a bullet.


Tomato Lentil Curry Stew

November 12, 2008
Tomato Lentil Curry Stew

Tomato Lentil Curry Stew

In tough economic times, frugality often stretches into the kitchen. After a little shock and awe I experienced upon seeing what I had spent on groceries last month, I thought, hey, Rice, let’s reign in that credit card use! And let’s exercise some self-control! And so, my first thought was that it was time to really commit to making more vegetarian meals.

A bag of dried lentils inspired me to hunt for something legumey. A quick search of my favorite recipe site,, led to this recipe for Tomato-Lentil Curry Stew. A few adjustments here and there, due to what was available in my kitchen, and how hearty I wanted the stew, led me to make the following adjustments, and what resulted was a flavorful, thick, and healthy stew (only about 200 calories per serving) that went great with some homemade garlic-rosemary foccacia, which I will post about soon, I hope.


Teriyaki Chicken and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

October 30, 2008

Though I will not be posting a recipe for it at this time, I just ate my weight in pho and so might be rendered somewhat incoherent during this particular post.

Teriyaki chicken with oven-roasted brussels sprouts

Teriyaki chicken with oven-roasted brussels sprouts

The other day I was craving something of the chicken persuasion, but also something quick that required no marinating time. Marinating, as delicious and tenderizing as it is, does no good for a procrastinator who has neglected that week to set a menu and therefore, have things ready in advance.

In the past I had purchased a premade teriyaki sauce from the store that you could just “dump and heat” and fizz, bam, boom, instant dinner! This night, however, I had no such thing. However, I did have my wits mostly about me as well as the necessary ingredients to boil up a delicious meal with a side of roasted Brussels sprouts and rice.

Delicious, delicious roasted brussel sprouts with just the right amount of oven-caramelization

Delicious, delicious roasted Brussels sprouts caramelized to perfection.