Cabbage and Egg Noodle Kugel

kugel

I will confess that until now I was unfamiliar with kugel. It is a baked Jewish dish, somewhat like a casserole or pudding, made with noodles and eggs and sometimes potatoes. There are endless variations with different vegetables, seasonings and sweeteners — sometimes nuts or dried fruit and cinnamon are included. Depending on how sweet they are, they can be served as a side, for dessert or for breakfast or brunch. These savory and slightly sweet cabbage and leek snack-size kugels make for an excellent breakfast.

cabbage kugel

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Chickpea and Paneer Tomato Curry


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
chickpea and paneer curry

I've often thought of adopting a vegan diet, but there are just a few things that I would sorely miss and paneer cheese is surely on the top of that list. Here luscious cubes of tender paneer and plump buttery chickpeas are spiced and cozied up with tomatoes and herbs. The gravy really brings out the goodness of the essential ingredients in this satisfying dish. Paneer always pairs so well with any number of legumes, and we must not forget the spice.

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Raw Cocoa Nut Butter Cups

raw nut butter cups

I'm gradually "unbaking" my way through Rawsome Vegan Baking by Emily von Euw. For those unfamiliar with this inspired cookbook, a wide array of unique raw creations featuring cookies, bars, cakes and cupcakes is offered up complete with droolworthy photos. It should be sinful really, but in fact the recipes, sweetened naturally and often containing nuts, dried fruits, cocoa or carob and coconut oil to bind, are actually good for you. I've tried quite a few recipes so far from this book and truly this is one of the most interesting cookbooks published so far this year.

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Curried Lentil Vegetable Soup with Roasted Chickpeas


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
lentils with roasted chickpeas

Legumes appear on my menu pretty much everyday and chickpeas usually make their appearance at least once a week in some shape or form. Since this has been a rather cool summer, I decided to feature them in a stunning soup. Roasted chickpeas I've always enjoyed but I've yet to share a recipe with my readers in this space. Here they are roasted with spices and then featured as a topping for a nourishing lentil and vegetable soup with creamy coconut milk.

The list of ingredients might seem long, but the process is really quite straightforward. The soup can be served without the roasted chickpeas with ideal results, but the addition of the lightly browned and slightly crunchy peas really elevate this spicy soup into something extra special. It's well worth the effort and won't fail to delight the taste buds and impress your family and friends.

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Coconut Rice with Fragrant Seeds and Spices


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
Coconut Rice with Fragrant Seeds and Spices

Because you can never have enough ideas to dress up rice. It truly is a blank canvas that doesn't get enough respect. I am more than happy to eat rice with little adornment, but the possibilities to make it into an even more interesting side are endless. And satisfying. With a little extra effort, dinner can be a more joyous affair.

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Sri Lankan Coconut Roti


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
coconut roti

There's a new favorite curry accompaniment on the menu. I adore savory Indian breads and crêpes, and while most of the preparations are straightforward, many of the options are somewhat time consuming because of the frying time involved. This recipe comes together in hardly anytime at all and if you shape them into small units, a few will fit on the pan at the same time with only a few minutes required per side to cook the dough and brown them up.

Soft and bready, with coconut adding some richness and natural sweetness, the chilies add a bit of heat to complete the experience. Not only do they go well with legume mains and curried vegetable sides, they also make a fine breakfast alongside some chutney. Do consider doubling the batch — any leftover rotis will keep well for at least another day and can easily be reheated in a 180° oven wrapped in foil.

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Chickpeas Dressed with Fresh Basil Pesto

Chickpeas Dressed with Fresh Basil Pesto

I adore summer for many reasons. Pretty much half of the year in Canada is dark and cold, so warmer weather and sunshine ought to be enjoyed. Of course, as someone who focuses on fresh ingredients and good flavor, I also relish the wonders of what I plant in the backyard each summer. Peppers are prominent in all their glory, as are tomatoes and herbs.

Usually two kinds of basil are an annual treat. Lemon basil just happens to be my favorite. Here I have used some of my harvest and pulsed it up to make a pesto to dress plump and buttery chickpeas.

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Green Pea Falafel

green pea falafel

I'm still enjoying the local fresh green pea harvest, and although these might not be your tradition falafels as chickpeas are absent except for a bit of besan flour, these unusual green pea falafels loaded with fresh herbs and seasoned with spices really make for a fine summer meal adorned with vegetables and some fresh chutney. I enhanced their green goodness with an avocado mango salad with cilantro and roasted cashews which served as a vibrant and colorful chutney itself.

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Baked Cherry Oatmeal Dessert Puddings

cherry pudding

It's amazing how cooking in ramekins can turn a fairly ordinary recipe into something that looks gourmet. That's just what I did with a baked cherry oatmeal breakfast pudding that I enjoyed recently, turning them into these gorgeous soft and spongy cherry and oatmeal dessert puddings with a few tweaks like marinating the cherries in balsamic vinegar to deepen their flavor. They were also an excuse to use up some the bags of fresh sweet cherries that somehow keep arriving at my house.

cherry oatmeal pudding

The aroma of cherries and almond essence baking in the kitchen will make anyone want to get right to the dessert course, but these elegant little puddings are not too sweet at all and healthy enough to eat for breakfast if you have any left over.

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Green Pea Pulao with Cashews


Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
green pea pulao

Local garden peas are always something to savor and here I've dressed up rice with their plump texture and green goodness. Throw is some golden fried cashews, herbs and some Indian spice and you have a fine accompaniment to any meal, especially Indian legume curries. Grains never need be boring, and although I enjoy a pot of rice with little adornment, rice really is a blank canvas to explore to complement a culinary experience.

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No Croutons Required - July Roundup of Vegetarian Soups and Salads

Welcome to the July 2014 edition of No Croutons Required. This long running event showcasing vegetarian soups and salads is alternately hosted by my dear friend Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes. Each month we invite fellow bloggers to send in a treasured recipe. Thanks to everyone who took the time to send in a contribution.

Now settle in and see what is served up this month.


cauliflower salad
Recipe: Southwestern Cauliflower Couscous

Chef: Juliane
Blog: Style Nectar
Location: USA

Summer is too short not to celebrate and this refreshing and lively salad is surely a fine way to dine. Cauliflower is whizzed up to a couscous like texture and combined with tomatoes, avocado and red onion. This lovely combination is then dressed up with a lime, olive oil, honey and cumin vinaigrette and garnished with fresh cilantro. Not only is this salad good for you, it's also easy to make.

black-eyed pea salad
Recipe: Minty Black-eyed peas and Avocado Salad

Chef: Born Veggie
Blog: Born Veggie
Location: Unknown

I adore finding new recipes for earthy black-eyed peas and this nourishing salad with avocado, red onion and tomato sounds like a winning combination. Dressed with fresh mint, garlic, chilies, ginger and lime juice, this is surely a must feature dish for your patio tables and it's a snap to put together too.

blueberry salad with goat cheese
Recipe: Blueberry and Goat Cheese Salad with Mushrooms

Chef: Lisa
Blog: Lisa's Kitchen
Location: Ontario, Canada

My contribution this month is inspired by my love of blueberries. Sweet and vibrant local blueberries feature in a savory salad with creamy and tangy goat cheese, crunchy walnuts, crisp salad greens and earthy and succulent mushrooms. I dressed up all of these stunning flavors with a lively balsamic vinaigrette for an ideal summer meal.

black bean chat salad
Recipe: Black Bean Zesty (Chaat) Salad

Chef: Manpreet
Blog: Healthy Eats for All
Location: USA

A spicy legume dish never fails to stimulate my appetite and this zesty salad is just the thing to satisfy a craving. Black beans are featured along with a multitude of veggies that can be interchanged to suit your preference. Manpreet used celery, red and green cabbage, cucumber, tomato, potato, carrots, peppers and dark green leafy vegetables for her salad that she dressed with lemon juice, olive oil and chaat masala. The goodness of legumes and vegetables certainly shine here in all their glory.

black bean stew
Recipe: Brazilian Black Bean and Seitan Stew

Chef: Janet
Blog: The Taste Space
Location: Canada

Salads are a favorite for summer meals, but soups and stews are still in order, especially here in Canada right now as it is unseasonably cool. Black beans star in this Brazilian / Afro inspired stew along with onion, garlic, tomatoes, bell pepper and allspice. This hearty dish is then garnished with cider vinegar dipped seitan coated in cornmeal alongside lemon cream with parsley. Certainly a nourishing and fulfilling meal to be enjoyed anytime of year.

tomato Greek salad
Recipe: Tomatoes with a Greek Salad Dressing

Chef: Laura
Blog: How to Cook Good Food
Location: UK

One of the delights of summer salads is locally grown tomatoes and Laura dressed them up with a Greek inspired dressing that she says reminds her very much of Caesar dressing. I happen to be an ardent fan of feta and incorporating it into a creamy dressing is certainly appealing. Any number of vegetables can be dressed up with lemon, yogurt, feta and fresh herbs, but here tomatoes and red onion get the royal treatment. Just thinking of the possibilities makes me hungry.

black-eyed pea soup
Recipe: Black-Eyed Pea Soup

Chef: Mireille
Blog: East West Realm
Location: USA

Yet another black-eyed pea recipe is up next that is sure to satisfy and delight the senses. Here this lovely legume meets up with ingredients common to African cuisine. Onion, garlic, green pepper, thyme, paprika, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, carrots and a few drops of hot sauce are combined in this bowl of earthy goodness. Delicious no matter the season.

Warm Mixed Vegetable, Chickpea and Halloumi Salad
Recipe: Warm Mixed Vegetable, Chickpea and Halloumi Salad

Chef: Michelle
Blog: Utterly Scrummy Food for Families
Location: UK

Chickpeas, halloumi and vegetables? Yes please. Wilted spinach is combined with plump chickpeas, zucchini and pepper sauteed in lemon juice and oil and then combined with luscious chunks of fried cheese and tossed with tomatoes garnished with fresh parsley and mint. This lovely salad is surely a meal in a bowl not to be missed.

potato bean stew
Recipe: Brazilian Potato and Bean Stew

Chef: Gayathri
Blog: Spices Galore
Location: USA

Black beans and red potatoes feature in this scrumptious stew along with Brazil nuts and peanuts. Legume heaven. Coconut milk makes for a creamy curry, along with the onion, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, spice, lime juice and some fresh cilantro. Served along with some rice, this is a complete and satisfying meal. Delicious.

Chilli Coconut Bulgur Wheat Salad
Recipe: Chili Coconut Bulgur Wheat Salad

Chef: Shaheen
Blog: Allotment to Kitchen
Location: UK

Coconut Chili Relish paired with leftover bulgar, broad beans and roasted carrots and peppers? I'm on board. This Sri Lankan inspired condiment made up of coconut, chilies, onion, coriander and fresh lemon juice adds a nice sweet and spicy savory touch to the salad that clearly ought to be served up for a refreshing boost to the palate and body.

pea mint soup
Recipe: Pea and Mint Soup

Chef: Katharine
Blog: Leeks & Limoni
Location: UK

Fresh herbs are something to take advantage of when you can grow them, and paired here with green peas and spring onions in an easy soup, this is surely a perfect summer dish. Served hot or chilled, with a swirl of yogurt, loaded with plenty of fresh mint, you and your diners are in for a treat.

kidney bean soup
Recipe: Smoky Kidney Bean Soup

Chef: Johanna
Blog: Green Gourmet Giraffe
Location: Australia

Johanna reflects on the benefits and drawbacks of a vegetarian 5:2 diet and there is only positive energy coming from this lovely kidney bean soup. Coming together in this bowl of goodness we have luscious legumes, carrots, mushrooms, pumpkin, tomatoes, cumin, paprika, coriander and cayenne. Certainly plenty of nourishing recipes to try she presents, no matter if you are on a diet or not.

gazpacho
Recipe: Quick and Easy Gazpacho

Chef: Vanesther
Blog: Bangers and Mash
Location: UK

Gazpacho is indeed glorious, especially when you treat it much like a salad, with little fuss, and whiz everything up in a food processor. Having fresh herbs on hand, I adore the combination of combination of mint and basil combined with tomatoes, cucumber, spring onions, garlic and lemon juice. Gorgeous, even when it is cool outside.

tomato soup
Recipe: Rich Tomato Blender Soup

Chef: Jacqueline
Blog: Tinned Tomatoes
Location: Scotland, UK

An intense soup is sure to stimulate appetites. My partner in arms for NCR whizzed up this luscious and creamy creation and it's raw too. Tomatoes, celery, some sweetness, fresh coriander, veggie stock and seasoning come together in little time at all for a most nourishing meal. Quick meals never need to be boring.

Recipe: Bottom of the Fridge Minestrone

Chef: Jane
Blog: Onions and Paper
Location: UK

Veggies that are nearing the end of their freshness always have a place. Waste not want not. Purge your fridge and pantry of onions, tomato, veggies, garlic, fresh herbs, pasta and some grated Parmesan and serve it up in a bowl of deliciousness. Yet another quick and easy meal to nourish the soul and body.

And that concludes the July roundup. Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes will be hosting the next edition of No Croutons Required. Thanks for your continued support and wonderful recipes.