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Greens and Beans, Greek style

25 Aug

Alex loves legumes. Now that we are on this new diet, he asks for them more and more everyday.  OK…so ALEX is on a diet.  I still eat loaded nachos from Qdoba and Oreo blizzards from DQ for lunch.  What can I say? I have zero self control.   Alex, on the other hand, has been doing amazing.  He has been trying to adhere to this VB6 (Vegan Before 6) lifestyle, which basically means that he eats a vegan diet throughout the day but is still able to eat meat and cheeses with dinner.  But he has also taken it one step further and has been decreasing his starch intake by choosing more healthy alternatives such as quinoa.

I have been fully supportive of his healthier choices (at least during dinnertime).  So this week I made a Greek style greens and beans with oven roasted chicken thighs.  Looks beautiful, huh?  Half the reason why I decided to make this post is because the picture came out so darn nice it would’ve been a waste not to show it off!


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Adventures in eating healthy

30 Jul

Alex and I have decided to try healthier recipes for dinner. We have had an awesome summer of eating tapas, German sausages and boardwalk food but it’s probably time for us to have more waist-friendly options.

This week, I made two new dishes that take classic comfort food recipes and gives them a healthier twist.

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Scratch made classic, Green Bean Casserole

7 Apr

Tonight is the 2-hour season 6 premiere of AMC’s Mad Men. WOOHOO!! To celebrate the premiere, Alex’s brother and his wife are hosting a dinner party.

I wracked my brian all week trying to think of what dish to bring that’s from the Mad Men era. Luckily my pal Maddie, who is much wiser than I, suggested Green Bean Casserole.  This was a perfect idea since this American classic was invented by Campbell’s in 1955.  Plus I think that Campbell’s was one of Don Draper’s accounts in the show.  Although I loved the idea of bringing this dish to the party, I dreaded the thought of bringing something that was made from condensed soup and canned beans. So I decided to make this classic from scratch, with my own homemade cream of mushroom sauce.

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Mushroom burgers, a guest blog from my pal Maddie

26 Feb

A couple of weeks ago, my pal Maddie told me about these amazing mushroom burgers she made for dinner one night.  Given that it is the Lenten season and I have been struggling to find creative non-seafood-and-non-meat-but-still-filling meals for Alex, I begged her for the recipe.  

We DownTownBrowns are vegetable eaters. Not exclusively, mind, but we love some “vegibals” and even our dogs eat them enthusiastically as treats and with meals. Some might say we’re coocoo for cauliflower (I included this joke b/c it sounded like a something my husband would say, and something I would roll my eyes over while wishing I wasn’t laughing.) As it goes then, we don’t mind experimenting with vegetables– hiding them in common dishes and using them to replace meat entirely in others. One of our more recent trials was in making mushroom burgers, and though you’ll see it was a matter of trial and error, they will definitely be a repeat at the DTB household for dinners to come.

The making of mushroom burgers was mildly contentious at the initial concept phase, b/c my husband makes an incredible (no, but seriously) burge

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Winner – Pasta Puttanesca!

16 Feb

The winner of this week’s poll, with 45% of the votes, is Pasta Puttanesca!  This type of pasta dish is native to Naples and is very simple to make.  The key ingredients to Puttanesca sauce are: olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, olives and capers. In the Lazio region of Italy, they also add anchovy paste for a little saltier sauce.

Interestingly, the term Puttanesca derives from the Italian word “Puttana” which is a vulgar term to describe a prostitute (I have refrained from using the direct English translation for modesty sake).  Why would the Italians name their pasta something so crude? There are two legends that explain the origin of the name:

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A journey begins

13 Feb

Today, Ash Wednesday, marks the beginning of the Lenten journey in the Catholic church.  Without getting all ‘holy art thou’ on everyone, I’d like to spend just a few minutes discussing how the next 40 days impacts our household.

Lent is supposed to be a time of fasting and abstinence.  Many people give up certain types of luxuries or vices as a sign of penitence.  I have known people who have given up junk food, fast food, alcohol, coffee and Facebook.  Additionally, Catholics are also asked to abstain from eating meat on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays during Lent.  Most families will simply substitute seafood for meat products, making the friday abstinence very manageable.  However, while Alex will participate in the occasional church fish fry, Lent is a little more challenging in our household.  Alex is allergic to shellfish which means he cannot eat shrimp, crab, lobster, clams, mussels, scallops or calamari.  Alex also does not like to eat fish unless its fried and let’s face it, fried fish smell is not exactly optimal in a ranch-style home. So my challenge is to think of hearty non-meat and non-seafood vegetable meals that will satisfy the hunger of a hockey player.

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