Monday, April 13, 2009

Quick Easy Recipes Vegetarian Eaters will Love

Just because you don’t eat meat doesn’t mean that you have to give up some of your favorite dishes. In fact, there are some amazing quick, easy recipes vegetarian eaters will love and make time and time again.

One delicious dish is a creamy cheese fondue. In a fondue pot or in a saucepan on the stove, melt a little bit of butter. Add a little bit of minced garlic for added flavor. Then, add some sweet white wine and a splash of brandy or cognac to the pot and boil. Slowly add small pieces of cheese that you have coated with a little bit of cornstarch to help thicken the fondue. You can use any cheese, but Swiss cheeses like gruyere and emmentaler are two wonderful options that blend really well with the wine and brandy and taste great. Serve after the cheese is melted and the fondue is creamy. Serve this fondue with bite-size pieces of crusty bread, carrots, pear and apple slices, grapes, cherry tomatoes, and any other kind of vegetable that you have on hand. The best part of this recipe is that you can serve it as a simple appetizer with only a few dipping options, or put out a large tray of food to dip in the fondue and make it a complete meal.

Another quick, easy recipe vegetarian diners will especially enjoy is stuffed peppers with white wine risotto. Remove the tops from bell peppers and clean out the insides of the peppers. Place them on a rimmed baking pan, drizzle with olive oil, peeled garlic cloves, and a sprinkle of salt, and bake until the peppers are just starting to get soft. While you are waiting for the peppers to roast, in a small pot, heat some vegetable broth and dry white wine until hot, but be careful not to bring it to a boil. In a skillet, add some olive oil and sauté chopped scallions and garlic cloves. Add some risotto rice and some sliced mushrooms and cook until the rice is toasted, stirring constantly. Be careful not to burn the rice. Slowly add some of the wine and broth mixture to the rice, cooking until the rice absorbs the liquid. Continue to slowly add the wine and broth mixture to the rice until all of the liquid is absorbed. Right before it’s done cooking, add a little bit more butter and wine. If you like cheese in your dish, add some shredded cheese to the risotto and constantly stir until the cheese is melted. Spoon the risotto into the roasted peppers, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, and then bake for another ten minutes. This dish makes an amazing main course served with a side salad, and is absolutely delicious.

If you have paired these two recipes together for an appetizer and a main course, a wonderful, romantic dessert that goes well with both of them to complete the meal is a chocolate fondue. Heat up some heavy cream in a small pot on the stove. Slowly whisk in pieces of dark, milk, or white chocolate until fully combined and melted. If you want to add a little different flavor, sprinkle in a little bit of cinnamon. Pour the mixture into a fondue pot and serve with bite-size pieces of pound cake, strawberries, and pretzels. Keep in mind that you cannot add any water to the melted chocolate, or the whole batch will be destroyed. This means that you make sure that your fondue pot is completely dry before adding any chocolate.

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