You don't have to be a vegetarian to love vegetarian food.

Chive and ricotta stuffed mushrooms

Filed under: My Vegetarian Recipes — Tags: , , , , — Sarah Jayne @ 11:21 pm November 22, 2009

Have I mentioned before how much I love mushrooms? Well, I really love mushrooms! Whenever somebody tries to go a ‘getting to know you’ thing where they ask what your last meal would be, I always answer “I don’t know but there would be mushrooms”.

Truthfully, I haven’t met a variety of mushroom that I haven’t enjoyed. However, I may have to hide my face in foodie circles when I say that I think the good old fashion variety of mushrooms such as button mushrooms, flat mushrooms and chestnut mushrooms are the favourite. Sure, I will happily enjoy wild mushrooms or portobello mushrooms but I really think the ‘boring’ variety of mushrooms are the best for my tastebuds. Once more, they are far easier on the budget.

I think from this point forward, I am going to make a point of showing the vast array of wonderfully tasty thing that can be done with the traditional mushroom varieties. To begin this championing of classic mushrooms, I thought I would start with showing there is more that can be done with large mushrooms other than doing them in the pan as part of a fry up.

Stuffed mushroom recipes always sound daunting as a concept. I worry that they are going to be too fiddly to be worth the effort. However, that really doesn’t have to be the case at all. These chive and ricotta stuffed mushrooms are pretty darn simple to throw together and they cook fast enough to fill a sudden mushroom craving.

Really, any herbs you have around could go into this mixture. Even a slight change up of the herbs can actually make it a whole new dish. So, experimenting to find your favorite combination is very much encouraged. You will also notice, that I used dried herbs in the recipe. Fresh herbs are fantastic but I feel that the foodie world can get a bit too snobbish about using dried herbs. Most home cooks rely on dried herbs and I think anything that gets people cooking should be encouraged. Plus, the taste good when used properly. So, why not use them?

This chive and ricotta stuffed mushroom recipe works great as a light lunch. They would be at home at an evening meal too either as a starter or alongside a hearty salad for a vegetarian main course. I have made the recipe for two mushrooms. Even though I have said that is two servings, my mushroom related greed would most likely result in me eating both. Don’t worry if you need to make for larger numbers because the stuffed mushroom recipe is very easily scaled up.

Chive and ricotta stuffed mushrooms


2 large flat mushrooms
1 teaspoon olive oil
65 grams ricotta cheese
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon dried chives
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon dried onion flakes
1 teaspoon parmesan cheese, divided


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees (gas mark 6, 200c).
2. Take the stems out of the mushrooms. Reserve these because they can be chopped up and used in things like omelettes.
3. Brush the outsides of the mushroom with the olive oil and then placed on a lined baking tray.
4. In a bowl, mix together the ricotta, garlic, chives, parsley, onion and half a teaspoon of the parmesan.
5. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Divide the mixture between the two mushroom caps, filing each with as mush as you can.
7. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining parmesan.
8. Put into the oven and bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese has started to go golden.
9. Serve.

Makes: 2 mushrooms

Ricotta and pesto toast recipe

Filed under: My Vegetarian Recipes — Tags: , , , , — Sarah Jayne @ 5:36 pm October 13, 2009

If you are anything like me, you can often find yourself with a fridge littered with jars and tubs with just a little bit left in them. There isn’t enough to actually use it in a meal but too much to think about throwing it away. Especially, when we all know we have to be careful about food wastage.

My default in these situations has become to figure out how I can combine some of these little bits and bobs and put them on toast. After all, just about anything can go okay on toast – just about.

This time I really lucked out and found a pairing that turned out to be a culinary marriage made in heaven – ricotta and pesto. I had just a couple tablespoons left of both and just spread them both on toast. It was *so* good that I was seriously tempted to run out and get more ricotta and pesto right there and then just to have an excuse to make it again.

Ricotta and pesto toast recipe


2 slices bread
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
2 teaspoons pesto, fresh is best


1. Toast the bread.
2. Spread each slice with one tablespoon of ricotta cheese.
3. Smear a teaspoon of pesto over the ricotta on each slice and enjoy!

Serves: 1 to 2

Sun dried tomato and olive tortilla pizza recipe

Filed under: My Vegetarian Recipes — Tags: , , , , , — Sarah Jayne @ 5:32 pm October 10, 2009

Who doesn’t love pizza? I sure know that I do but ordering takeaway pizza is just a no no on my diet. When I have a lot of time on my hands, I am not adverse to trying making a homemade pizza dough recipe. Truth is though, I rarely think that far ahead. Even if I did, a homemade pizza dough recipe is still going to have more calories than I am likely to have spare.

Lately, I have been indulging my pizza craving moments by throwing together quick and very easy tortilla pizza recipes. It really is as simple as using a tortilla in place of the normal pizza dough and piling it high with the cheese and toppings of your choice. They are so easy and simple to make that I have taken to having them instead of a sandwich for lunch. I suppose, really they are an open faced sandwich or a an inside out quesadilla anyway.

You really can put just about anything on them and make a whole new tortilla pizza recipe each and every time. They are great for anybody following a vegetarian diet because the pizza topping options really are as varied as the types of vegetables you can find.

My recent favourite topping combination for my tortilla pizza recipe is sun dried tomatoes and a mixture of green and black olives. If I use reduced fat mozzarella I can pile those olives high and not worry too much about the fat. It is all good fat anyway, right?

Sun dried tomato and olive tortilla pizza

1 flour tortilla
1 tablespoon pasta sauce
1/3 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes in oil, drained and roughly chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons green olives, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons black olives, sliced


1. Preheat oven to 400F/Gas Mark 6
2. Put the tortilla on a baking sheet and spread with the pasta sauce.
3. Scatter the cheese evenly over the tortilla.
4. Put the sun dried tomatoes and olives all over the top of the cheese.
5. Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes until the cheese melts. Watch it very closely during this cooking time as it can very quickly go from golden and melted to very burnt.
6. Put onto a plate and eat sliced into pizza style slices.

Serves: 1

Coriander and green olive hummus recipe

Filed under: My Vegetarian Recipes — Tags: , , , , , — Sarah Jayne @ 5:21 pm October 4, 2009

Hello, my name is Sarah Jayne and I am a hummus addict! Seriously, I can’t get enough of the stuff. If I had the choice between really good hummus and chocolate, I wouldn’t have to think twice about snatching the hummus out of the hands of the person asking such an odd question. However, until recently, I have usually been guilty of buying hummus from the store rather than trying my hand at making my own hummus recipe.

Just like with the pesto the other week, I just always thought it would be too complicated for me to learn how to make hummus. Once again, I was wrong. I stumbled onto an easy hummus recipe that I really love because the base recipe doesn’t even use olive oil. Which means that I don’t feel at all bad about using tahini on my diet. It is such an easy hummus recipe that ever since my discovery of it, I have been playing around adding all sorts of things to it to come up with new hummus recipes.

Lately, I have also been “suffering” from a bit if an olive addiction. The little green and black gems have been finding their way into just about every meal I put together. So, when it was time to put together my latest hummus recipe I couldn’t resist the temptation to throw in some olives and see what happened. I also had a bunch of fresh coriander – cilantro for our American friends – that needed to be used. So, I threw that in too.

Boy did this turn out to be a seriously yummy hummus recipe! So, good that I simply topped it with a couple more olives (told you I am addictive) and ate it with warm pitas and made that my entire lunch!

Coriander and green olive hummus recipe

coriander and green olive hummus recipe


1 (400g) can chickpeas, drained but the liquid reserved
1/4 cup tahini
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup fresh coriander
1/3 cup green olives, pitted
freshly ground pepper, to taste
sea salt, to taste


1. Put the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, coriander and olives into a blender or food processor. I use my mini chopper to make it extra easy.
2. Blitz in short bursts, pushing the mixture down when needed until everything is combined.
3. Add a little bit of the reserved bean liquid and blitz again. Add more if you need more to get to the hummus texture you desire.
4. Serve in a bowl topped with olives.

Serves: 2 to 4 (or just 1 hummus addict like me!)

Fresh pesto and tomato salad

Filed under: My Vegetarian Recipes — Tags: , , , , , — Sarah Jayne @ 3:29 pm September 28, 2009

Often it is the recipes with the most simple of ingredients that really pop. I came up with this zippy fresh vegetarian salad idea nearly straight after I made a homemade pesto recipe for the first time ever in my life. Honestly, I don’t why I waited this long to learn  how to make my own pesto sauce. I guess, I am conditioned to think that sauce you buy in a little jar on the supermarket shelf is going to be too complicated to make at home.

Fresh pesto tomato salad

Boy, is that wrong when it comes to making your own pesto recipe ! For guidance, on how to make my own pesto sauce, I went to the recipe collections of one of the cooking gurus of Recipezaar – Kittencal. As well as having nearly 4,000 (!) recipes posted on Recipezaar, Kittencal also has her very own Kittencal’s Kitchen blog.

I knew she had a pesto recipe, so I went looking for it on her blog and found Kitten’s Best Pesto recipe. It was only me in the house and I wasn’t sure if I would mess up making my own pesto sauce. So, I decided to only make a half batch of the pesto. I followed her recipe to the letter with the only difference being that I toasted my pine nuts in a pan just before putting them into the recipe.

Want to know how easy it was to make my own pesto? I stuck the basil, pine nuts, garlic and olive oil into my mini chopper. Yup, I didn’t even have to get the actual food processor out. Which is great because I truly hate cleaning up my big food processor after I use it. Then I wizzed it up for a bit before opening it up and chucking in the cheese, some salt and some pepper and giving it maybe about 30 seconds of whizzing. Done! I mean, seriously that was too easy.

Of course, the proof is in the tasting. So, I dipped my spoon in and tasted my first ever homemade pesto recipe. I swear, as the pesto sauce hit my tongue it was as if my taste buds came alive and started to dance the can-can. No store bought pesto sauce ever tasted that good. The only problem was that if I was going to stop myself eating the whole batch of pesto sauce with a spoon (which I totally would have done!) then I needed a recipe for it.

I took a look in my veggie drawer and really, I couldn’t get past wanting to pare the fresh pesto sauce with the ripe vine tomatoes I had. For a while, I was leaning towards doing a tomato and pesto sandwich on granary bread. I still think that would taste really good but instead I went for this super fresh tasting pesto and tomato salad.

Try this but really, if you don’t make your own fresh pesto for it then you aren’t getting the full impact of the recipe. Try making your own fresh pesto recipe. It really is stupid easy!

Fresh pesto and tomato salad



1 medium tomato, sliced fairly thickly
1 tablespoon pesto sauce, fresh is best
1/2 teaspoon pine nuts, toasted


1. Lay the tomato slices out on a plate with the ends just overlapping.
2. Drizzle the fresh pesto liberally over the tomato slices.
3. Scatter with your toasted pine nuts and enjoy.

Serves: 1