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Posts published in “Vegetarian Friendly”

Dinner in a flash: Baked portabello mushroom caps

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The never-ending stay-at-home fatigue is very real in my household. Dave and I have had to get creative with our weeknight meals because while my commuting time has gone away, it doesn't always mean extra time at night to spend freely. A con of working from home is certainly that the morning, afternoon and evening hours can sort-of all bleed together. Before I know it (like right now), it's almost dinner time, and I'm still at the computer. And wedding planning, of course, has also eaten up time during the evenings, although in a (mostly) enjoyable way. With that said, this recipe is definitely of the variety of a 30 minute, or less, meal. In fact, it's so easy, it's hardly a recipe: if it takes more than five minutes to assemble, and longer than 20 minutes to cook, then you're overthinking it.

Cranberry BBQ Sauce

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I really wish I had this recipe growing up, when my mom and I used to make tons of cranberry sauce for the holiday season. It's a great way to use leftover sauce that totally works, given that cranberry sauce (at least, how I make mine) is typically spiced, as well as sweet and tangy—just like barbecue (BBQ) sauce. Skeptical? Don't be! The cranberry flavor isn't as pronounced as it would be eating cranberry sauce on its own.

Classic Spiced Cranberry Sauce

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The season for holiday eating starts and lasts in my home well into January, since my birthday happens to fall on January 6th, just after the Christmas and New Year holiday stretch and on the day celebrated by some Christians around the globe as Three Kings Day. One of my favorite things about going grocery shopping at this time is how easy it is to find fresh cranberries. It wouldn't be the holidays in my house without cranberry sauce, which I have made every year for Thanksgiving since I was a kid.

In its fresh, not dried and sugar-coated, form, the cranberry is a controversial fruit: some love it, some hate it. I'm definitely on Team Cranberry and growing up, it was a contest each year between my mom and I to see how many bags of cranberries we could make for our sauce, which we did on Thanksgiving day. One year, we made six or seven bags worth of sauce, which we gave to family members in plastic containers along with festive tins of homemade cookies for their holiday celebrations.

I happen to think the cranberry is underrated. A lot of people don't like them because although they are round, like blueberries, they are mouth-puckeringly tart. Blueberries start off small and tart, ripening and getting sweeter as they mature. Not a cranberry, which is why I think of them as the blueberry's sassier cousin.

Elotes (Mexican Street Corn)

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Updated 11/23/20 to include a variation on this recipe for when corn is not in season—making it a perfect side-dish for any season! Click here to see recipe variation at the end of this post.

This is not a sponsored post or endorsement made in coordination with or paid by any of the brands mentioned here—only offering a few suggestions based on things my family and I have tried and enjoyed.

Elotes, otherwise known as Mexican street corn, is a hot food trend right now for good reason: it's really, really good.

The topping is a perfect, creamy addition to fresh, sweet, in-season corn that gets sprinkled generously with Mexican-style seasoning blend and and cotija cheese.

It's very easy to make your own spice blend but you can also use one that's pre-made, if you don't have the time, such as from McCormick or tajin, which is chili and lime flavored.

Cotija is a firm cheese that typically comes wrapped in a small wheel and can be easily crumbled, similar to feta but much milder in flavor. If you can't find this in a store near you, substituting a shredded Mexican-style cheese blend or cheddar cheese blend works. Definitely try the cotija, if you have that option!

The recipe makes enough topping for about 6-8 medium ears of corn. You can always cut the corn in half, too, to double the number of portions—this is a nice idea for a buffet when you have multiple side dishes that people can choose from.

Vegetarian Shepherds Pie

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Vegetarian shepherds pie was a staple dinner for me all of those years that I was following a stricter ovo-lacto vegetarian diet. Especially when I was in college, I could make this recipe on a weekend and have it several times as leftovers for dinner when I got home from school late during the week. It's easy to make, very satisfying and comforting to eat.

Menu Inspiration: Summer cocktail party

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Believe it or not, it's August. If you're gearing up for the long Labor Day weekend already or planning a casual end-of-summer party, here are some quick and easy entertaining ideas that will help you send the summer season off right.

Fresh, Mediterranean-inspired flavors highlight this menu, and for something sweet at the end that's still light: easy to make grilled peaches with honey-sweetened whipped cream. As a bonus, there's something for everyone: several recipes are vegetarian-friendly and could be made vegan with a few omissions or easy swaps.