Vegetarian Eats for the Big Game!

Ok...so I'm not super excited about the Superbowl this year. I mean my Pats were only one game away from making it in, and let's be honest, it wasn't a very respectable loss. So while I certainly go big for the Superbowl when the Pats are in it, this year I'm trying my best to keep it a bit simpler and healthier. My Pats are worth the calories and effort...the Niners and the Ravens, not so much. So I thought I'd include a few more veggies in our spread this year. Yes, some will be smothered with cheese, but hey, it's a start.

So first up...those delicious looking Spicy Broccoli Rabe & Provolone Grinders above. Yes, Grinders. I'm from MA, after all...no Subs or Hoagies here!. I made these for the first time this year and while they may slightly disappoint that guest who sees them and excitedly asks if they're Cheesesteaks, they are pretty fabulous.

The soft french rolls are slathered with a homemade spicy white bean spread (store-bought spicy hummus will do in a pinch), piled high with crispy oven roasted broccoli rabe, smothered in melty provolone and sprinkled with red jalapenos. Yum.  I know I certainly didn't miss the meat. The original recipe can be found here...but, like I said you can simplify buy using store-bought spicy hummus instead of making your own spread (although the homemade stuff is yummy). I also simplified by oven roasting the rapini rather than cooking it the way they suggested.  I think it works even better (adds some crisp!) and dirties way fewer dishes, which I always like. C'mon...you know you want to grab one!

Next up...some snack-y finger food without all the calories of nuts. Pan fried shishito peppers!  These little peppers are relatively easy to find these days since they've really grown in popularity.  They're not spicy peppers, but slightly sweet and so delicious when cooked up this way. So simple and easy...they're best warm, but they go fast so cook up a big batch!

My Favorite Shakshuka Recipe

Shakshuka. Not only is it fun to say, but it is delicious! What is it, you ask?  It's eggs poached in a chunky, spicy tomato sauce and it's so popular that many different countries claim it as their own. Tunisia, Morocco, Israel...wherever it originated, I'm pretty thankful! Since I've been making it for a while now I've made it my own, so I wouldn't necessarily say this is a traditional shakshuka recipe but I love it.

So what's not traditional about my recipe?  Mostly the addition of olives, substitution of goat cheese for feta cheese, and sprinkling Italian gremolata on top instead of parsley alone. I also make it a bit spicier than most so if you're not a huge fan of spice dial back the jalapeños some.  Shakshuka is traditionally served with pita bread, but I like it with grilled rustic whole grain bread. Sometimes I even push my Italian influence on the dish a little further and serve it over polenta, yum.

So whether you go the more traditional route or try this SavoryGirl twist to Shakshuka I promise it will become a favorite in your household as well.  Enjoy!
SavoryGirl’s Childhood Button Sandwich

This is a really fun post for me...why? Well because this honestly might be the very first SavoryGirl original recipe that I ever created! I was about 6 years old and home with my dad and best friend, Aimee, while my mom was out grocery shopping. We were hungry and after surveying the ingredients that were available in the cupboards I created this sandwich...which I promptly named "The Button Sandwich" because of the way the perfectly lined up marshmallows reminded me of buttons. I have to say 25+ years later and it's still a winner in my household, and we don't even have kids yet!

So what makes it so special? Well honestly it's the simplicity but complementary nature of the ingredients. Who doesn't love apples with peanut butter? Who doesn't love a fluffer-nutter sandwich? Well this beauty combines the best of both worlds! Creamy peanut butter (on both slices of bread please!), applesauce and marshmallows...delicious.

Orecchiette with Melon, Pancetta, Ricotta Salata & Mint

This is phenomenal.  I almost don't want to write anymore than that...just phenomenal. I know it's a bit summery for this time of year, but if you still have some melon in season in your area make this immediately.  If not, make sure to mark it down somewhere for next summer so you don't forget to make it!  It's a fresh, heartier take on the classic prosciutto with melon appetizer. The mint is a divine addition (versus the more traditional basil) and the flaky, salty ricotta salata balances the sweetness of the melon perfectly.

The original recipe from Bon Appétit can be found here.

As a shortcut we used diced pancetta instead of thinly sliced pancetta that you have to break into bite size pieces, but either approach works. We also used more melon than it called for simply because the orange honeydew we had from the farmer's market was so juicy, sweet and amazing.  Otherwise, this recipe is perfect as is. This salad would be great cold as a side dish (you would knock the socks off of your BBQ buddies if you brought this along) or warm as a main dish as we served it. You really can't go wrong with this one...make it soon and make it often!

Nectarine & Blue Cheese Salad with Plum Vinaigrette

This is a super simple recipe...one that you may have even come up with on your own in the past, but it's so yummy that I wanted to share it just to ensure it makes it into your summer repertoire.  The original recipe is from this month's Bon Appétit and can be found here but I've revised it slightly based on our preferences and ingredients.  I found that the vinaigrette as specified in the original recipe wasn't quite "plum-y" enough for me so most of my slight adjustments are focused there.  Otherwise this is a super flavorful and satisfying salad to serve alongside just about anything or enjoy on it's own.  Perfect way to enjoy the amazing nectarines in season right now!
SavoryGirl’s Tortellini Soup

I’ve been eating this soup since I was a kid, my mom used to make it all the time and it’s still to this day it’s my go-to food when I need some comfort or I'm not feeling well.  Back when my mom used to make it we always used the frozen Angelino tortellini, but I haven't been able to find those (or any frozen tortellini other than cheese for that matter) in years.  They were pretty awesome because they were meat tortellini...but now we have to use the more gourmet and expensive fresh kind since that's all we can find.  Although the newer dried tortellini in the pasta aisle work quite well also.  The beauty of this dish is that it’s SUPER quick & easy!
SavoryGirl’s Huevos Rancheros

Christian and I often joke that we must have been Mexican in our past life.  We really love Mexican food...and lately, the spicier the better!  For years I was making Huevos Rancheros for myself almost every weekend but within the past year it has transitioned to more of a breakfast for dinner dish for us.  Mostly because it's quick and we almost always have all of the ingredients on hand, which makes it perfect for a weeknight.  Correct, 99% of the time I have tortillas and canned refried beans in the house.  They are staples in the SavoryGirl household!
Shrimp & Artichokes over Parmesan Grits

This is an oldie but a goodie, honestly probably one of the earlier “gourmet” recipes when I was in my early days of cooking.  It was these types of early simple dishes that gave me the confidence in the kitchen and gave my now husband the confidence to propose to this gal who was starting to feed him so well!  This is quick and easy for a weeknight but satisfying meal.
Broiled Figs with Yogurt, Nuts & Honey

The recipe below is a SavoryGirl original that was inspired by what was in season at the Farmer's Market years ago when Christian & I first started trying to eat locally and seasonally.  While it is certainly different now, growing up in New England the only thing I knew about figs was that they were a critical component of Fig Newton's...oh how I've grown.  Now we count the days until fresh figs appear at our Farmer's Market each year.  If you're lucky you'll get an early crop in the spring and then another crop in the fall...so keep your eyes peeled!

Grilled Chicken & Veggie Skewers in the Park

The weather has been so incredible in San Francisco lately that we’ve decided to do something simple yet indulgent for our Sunday dinner this week.

Simple in terms of the fact that it is all store-bought.  Indulgent in terms of it being leisurely, fun and involving a bottle of Champagne while watching the sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge.  Lovely.