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Easiest Way To Cook And Shuck Corn On The Cob

Easy Oven Roasted Corn on the Cob - easiest way to cook and shuck corn ever!

For years I would buy fresh corn on the cob, shuck it and get the sticky silks all over the place and somehow there were still more on the cob. Not to get too infomercial on you, but I wished there was a better way…and there is! Oven-roast those suckers!

When my friend first told me how to do this, I was convinced that shoving paper-like husks into a hot oven would result in roasted corn and an epic house fire. I’m happy to say that only one of those things happened. (It was the corn thing; if it were the house thing then this would be a terrible method for cooking corn.) The corn comes out of the oven cooked to perfection and the silks are magically stuck to the husk instead of the corn. Just peel the husk off and the silks come too!

How to make this fabulous corn on the cob

  1. Place corn on the cob (still in the husk) directly onto the racks of your 400°F oven and bake for 30 minutes.
  2. (Optional) Continuously open the oven door to peek inside and make sure the corn is not on fire…despite your friend’s insistence that it is not.
  3. Once the corn is done roasting, remove it from the oven and let it cool for about 10 – 15 minutes before asking your dinner guests to shuck a 400°F object (lesson learned).

That’s all there is to it! (And you thought the house was going to burn down…)

Want to learn more about corn? Check out my Bounty From The Farm: Sweet Corn post and coming on June 11 (National Corn on the Cob Day) I’ve got a great Edamame, Corn and Tomato Salad that makes a great side dish at outdoor barbecues.

katie: normal girl

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How to Build The Perfect Veg Sandwich

Perfect at summer barbecues for your vegetarian friends, Veg and Hummus Sandwich from katienormalgirl.com | #meatlessmonday #recipes #sandwiches

As summer approaches and backyard barbecues commence, I’m always on the look out for filling, vegetarian sandwich that’ll go perfect with all of the classic summer side dishes (chips, baked beans, corn on the cob…it’s all so delicious). This sandwich is it for me. It’s great because all of the toppings can double as burger toppings (if you’re a mixed meat and veggie crowd), it’s great for taking on hikes and it’s packed with protein so it’s filling and energizing.

HOW TO BUILD THE PERFECT VEG SANDWICH

The ingredients:

  • rustic ciabatta roll (or other hearty, crusty bread of your choice)
  • cilantro hummus (if you can’t find hummus, just mix a handful of chopped, fresh cilantro into your favorite classic hummus dip)
  • cucumber slices (I prefer english or pickle cukes because they are crunchier than the standard cucumber)
  • tomato slices
  • mixed baby lettuce or spinach
  • shaved or julienned carrots (use a vegetable peeler to shave the carrots and create thin carrot ribbons)
  • olive oil (not optional, I used to think it was but it is not)
  • sea or kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper

The layers:

  • Start with your ciabatta roll. Spray or brush a thin layer of olive oil onto both the top and bottom pieces of your roll. I didn’t used to do this, then a friend of mine suggested adding it and wow! What a difference it makes. I was honestly shocked that a little olive oil could make the sandwich taste better but it does – don’t skip it!
  • Follow with a sprinkle of any large granule salt, like sea or kosher salt and a dusting of fresh cracked pepper on both sides of the roll.
  • Then spread a layer of the cilantro hummus on each side of the roll.
  • Start building your layers on the bottom of the roll with the carrots, followed by the lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber.
  • Pop the top of your roll onto the sandwich and bite into the delicious-ness!

This sandwich is so tasty that it doesn’t just have to be for the vegetarians in your group, the meat-eaters will love it too!

katie: normal girl

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Pomegranate Breakfast Bread

Pomegranate Breakfast Bread from katienormalgirl.com | #breakfast #meatlessmonday #vegetarian #food

The tasty red jewels from the pomegranate have so many great uses but I like to keep it simple. This breakfast toast is ridiculously healthy, easy to make and perhaps most importantly, it’s tasty.

You’ll need:

  • A hearty multi-grain breadI prefer Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Bread available in the freezer section of the grocery store.
  • Plain greek yogurtThe tart flavor works well with the pomegranate seeds and the greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt – a good thing for us vegetarians.
  • Pomegranate seeds, that you harvested yourself using the easy spoon method.
  • HoneyFor just a hint of sweetness, it is, of course, optional.

Toast up your bread, spread a thin layer of yogurt on top, sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and drizzle with honey. Breakfast is served!

katie: normal girl

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Mushroom and Green Bean Soup with Gremolata

This week’s recipe was inspired by a recipe from Vegetarian Times magazine.

was in the mood for soup this week so I went combing through all of my recipes and found this great one with noodles, mushrooms and green beans…some of my favorite foods.  This is another recipe that is easy to whip up if you have a last minute vegetarian or vegan guest coming for dinner.  It also makes a great, low-calorie, low-sodium meal for anyone who’s trying to watch their waist line before the holiday eating season begins!

From the Pantry:

  • 2 tbs. olive oil
  • 6 c. low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 c. no-egg wide-ribbon noodles (these are similar to egg noodles which are vegetarian friendly but not vegan friendly, feel free to substitute with your favorite noodle)
  • ¾ tsp. dried Herbs de Provence seasoning mix (if you can’t find a premade mix, use any combination of earthy flavored herbs like, sage, rosemary, thyme and savory)
  • kosher salt to taste

From the Garden

  • 2 ½ c. (6 oz.) portabella mushrooms, chopped into large chunks
  • 1 medium sweet onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 1 ½ c.  green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ c. fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest

Use a large soup pot to saute the onion and mushrooms in the olive oil until the onion is soft and slightly browned.  Add the Herbs de Provence and the green beans and allow them to cook for 1-2 minutes.  Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  Add the uncooked noodles and allow them to boil gently for 7-8 minutes (or the time according to the package directions for the noodles that you have selected).  While waiting for the noodles to cook in the soup, make the gremolata by finely chopping together the parsley, garlic and lemon zest.

Once the soup is ready, serve hot and top each serving with 1-2 tsp. of the gremolata.  The original recipe called for a scoop of mascarpone cheese to be stirred in just before serving but I wanted to keep the recipe vegan and low-cal.  You could top the soup with a bit of shaved parmesan cheese but then you’re not vegan anymore (but still vegetarian).  It’s up to you how if you’d like the cheese but I thought it was quite tasty without it.  Just a bit of kosher salt sprinkled on top and I was happy!


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Care to learn more about being a vegetarian?  Click here to read my mini-series: When Veggies Come to Dinner

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Campfire Chili with Whole Wheat Mountain Bread

This week’s recipe was handed down to me by my mother and now I present it to you, enjoy!

s the weather gets colder, my belly starts to want warm, hearty meals just like this chili.  It’s packed with beans and warm spices that make it the perfect meal for this time of year.  It’s also hearty enough that you’ll feel full and satisfied…no meat required.  And if it’s camping weather in your neck of the woods then you’ll want to take the ingredients along to make this one-pot meal.  Just let it simmer over the open fire on these cold Autumn nights and then make some friends because this bountiful recipe makes enough to serve 10.  If you aren’t looking to feed quite that many people at once, it freezes great or can be packaged in mason jars* and given as gifts to neighbors and co-workers.

Continue Reading →

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Grilled Cheese with Tomato Soup

I still have some leftover bread from last week’s Meat-Free Meal of the Week, the Breakfast BLT.  I’d hate to waste such delicious bread so this week I bring you a classic meat-free meal: grilled cheese and tomato soup.  You’ve probably already eaten this combination before and didn’t give much thought to the fact that there isn’t any meat in it.  I happen to think that those are the best type of vegetarian meals…the kind where you never notice what your “missing”!  I’m sure you already know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich and the soup I get is “homemade” at my grocery store, so there aren’t any revelations there.  Mostly I just wanted to give you an easy meat-free meal option for when your veggie friends or family stop by for lunch.  This is also a great meal for kids and adults who’ve been outside in the chilly Autumn weather and are looking for comforting way to warm up and fill their bellies.

I made my grilled cheese with two slices of white cheddar that I already had on hand.  One of my favorite combinations is classic, white-american cheese grilled between two slices of Food for Life, 7 Sprouted Grains bread.  My mom likes chives on her tomato soup and sometimes I’ll top it with garlic croutons.  What grilled cheese combination do you like?  Do you get fancy with the cheese, maybe add some pear slices, or are you more traditional?  I’d love to hear about your favorites!

katie: normal girl
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Care to learn more about being a vegetarian?  Click here to read my mini-series: When Veggies Come to Dinner

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Breakfast BLT with Veggie Bacon

his week I welcome you to the world of “meat substitutes.”  Sounds appetizing, right?  Not really, but they can be.  I think that any time you decide to use a veggie meat, it’s important that you approach it with the right mindset.  It’s similar to substituting any ingredient for the one that you’re used to.  When turkey burgers started to make their way into popular culture as a healthier alternative to beef, many people gave them a try but didn’t care for them because they didn’t taste like their regular hamburger.  Veggie meats are very similar because the veggie bacon is not going to taste like regular pork or turkey bacon, so you’ll need to approach it as a whole new taste that is similar to “regular” bacon.  With an open mind, I’m sure you’ll find that veggie bacon can be a tasty ingredient-swap in this week’s meat-free meal.

Ingredients per sandwich:

  • 2 slices of sourdough bread, toasted
  • mayonnaise
  • thick slices of tomato
  • fresh spinach
  • 2 slices of Morningstar Farms veggie bacon (cooked according to package directions)
  • 1 egg, fried nearly hard
  • salt and pepper

Pile the ingredients between the slices of toasty bread and don’t forget the salt and pepper!  Serve with a side of fries or tater tots and fresh pile of purple grapes for a sweet, yummy treat.  I like to eat this meal for lunch but you can gobble it up anytime of day, enjoy!

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Care to learn more about being a vegetarian?  Click here to read my mini-series: When Veggies Come to Dinner

23

Vegetable Ramen Noodles

This week’s recipe was inspired by: Life of Bun’s (Almost) Instant Vegetarian Ramen

As with most creative things I do, cooking is one of those projects where I set out to create one thing and end up with a final product that is just a bit different than the example I started with.  As I was standing in the grocery store, I did a mental inventory of my pantry and thought I had a couple of the ingredients (read: maple syrup and chili paste) that I didn’t actually have.  So this ended up being a little different than the inspiration recipe but it was still quite yummy. Feel free to change it up with your favorite veggies and flavors or give the original recipe a try and let me know how you like it!

Ingredients*:

  • 3 c. vegetable broth
  • 3 c. water
  • 8 oz. baby bella mushrooms
  • 8 oz. mung bean sprouts
  • 7 oz. sugar snap peas
  • 3 carrots, chopped into thin discs
  • 1 tbsp. hoisin sauce (or soy sauce if you prefer)
  • 1-2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2.5 oz. curly noodles (chuka soba)
  • salt and pepper

*A note on my vegetable portions: I just bought packages of these veggies and used the whole package so there wasn’t any leftovers, feel free to adjust the amounts to your taste.

In a medium sized pot heat the broth and water until boiling, then add the noodles and allow to cook for 2 minutes.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the hoisin sauce.

In a separate pan/skillet heat 1-2 tbsp. sesame oil over medium to medium-high heat.  Add the vegetables and cook until tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, I put a scoop of vegetables in a bowl and topped with some of the noodles, then I poured about 1/2 c. of the broth mixture over everything.  It was so delightful!  I’d love to try this again using the maple syrup and chili paste that was originally called for. Let me know if you give it a try and thanks again to Life of Bun for the inspiration!

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Care to learn more about being a vegetarian?  Click here to read my mini-series: When Veggies Come to Dinner

20

Italian Vegetable Pasta

Today is World Vegetarian Day and I can’t think of a better day than today to launch my new series: Meat-Free Meal of the Week!  You may remember my mini-series: When Veggies Come to Dinner, where I wrote about being a vegetarian.  I also gave some tips for accommodating the vegetarians in your life without feeling like you have to sacrifice something.  I received wonderful feedback from lots of you and I wanted to share some of the simple veggie meals that I eat.  Some of the recipes are from the professionals (of which, I am not) and some are just made-up using leftovers from my fridge.  They will all be easy to make and aren’t just for vegetarians, even if you do eat meat, these are tasty meals that happen to not have meat in them.  I hope you’ll give one or two of these a try!

This week’s Meat-Free Meal of the Week is easy to make, very filling and tastes fresh and simple.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. button or baby bella mushrooms, cut into 3/4″ pieces (if you don’t like mushrooms, you can substitute eggplant)
  • 7-8 small round tomatoes, quartered or 12 oz. cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1-2 tbsp. fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped (about 1 tbsp.)
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 8 oz. spinach pasta

Heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the garlic and onion and cook for 2 minutes.  Then add the mushrooms and cook for 4 minutes and finally add the tomatoes and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and toss with 1 tbsp. olive oil and the cooked vegetables. Add additional olive oil if you prefer and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle the tossed pasta with the sliced basil leaves.  You can keep it vegan or add a scoop of ricotta cheese for a creamier dish.  Enjoy!

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