The Cooking Chronicles: More Vegetarian Dishes

This year, I’ve made a conscious effort to make more vegetarian dishes. Some are hit or miss (a cheddar apple soup we tried recently was definitely the latter), but the two below did not make us miss meat.

Polenta Pie

I immediately bookmarked Mollie Katzen’s recipe for polenta pie as soon as I saw it on Kelley’s blog. I hadn’t really made polenta any other way than on the stove, eaten while still creamy, so baking polenta to form a crust really intrigued me.

On top of the crust went a layer of cheese, sautéed vegetables, then another layer of cheese. Unfortunately, we only had enough fontina for the first layer, which is something I think impacted the success of the dish somewhat.

Mack ended up enjoying the polenta crust more than I did; the crispy bits were fun to eat, but perhaps a more even ratio of vegetables to polenta would have helped for me.

Polenta Pie

Polenta pie

I would make it again, but I’d have to think about how to jazz it up a little more.

Curried Lentil Soup

If there is an idea to get excited about, this is it (okay, at least for the soup lovers among us). We’ve tried a number of ways to thicken our soups – cornstarch, roux, pureed potatoes – but Molly Wizenberg’s idea of pureed chickpeas in her recipe for curried lentil soup has got to be the most flavourful, nutritious way that we’ve come across so far.

It didn’t thicken the dish as much as I expected it to (we would have needed two cans of chickpeas for that), but it did the trick, and combined with the green lentils that still had a bite, made for a lovely texture.

Curried Lentil Soup

Curried lentil soup

I’ve mentioned that Mack isn’t the biggest fan of soups (he’s hoping it’s just a phase in my cooking), but between the heat from the curry powder and the consistency, even he requested this dish be made again. Thanks Linda for the recommendation!