Tag Archives: CrockPot

5 Years, 2 Kids & 2 Woke Recipes for 2017…

12 Jan

Hello 2017! Say what? I know, I know you haven’t heard from VegGina in 5 years

But, I’ve been busy making a crazy career move plus two babies and pureeing THEIR veggies.


Check out that face, veggie puree all the way!

Sure, there have been many veggie victories along the way; many freezer and crock-pot related (due to 40,000 miles of business travel in 2016) –


Pork & Broccoli Rabe Crock Pot Style

and some well veggie missteps along the way… (WHAT?!! I was all alone in CHICAGO).



Yes, Beer AND Ice Cream!

Nothing homewrecker level but perhaps a few walk of shames filled with cookie crumbs and tears of regret.



This actually happened in my HOME, multiple times, in front of the kids, the horror!

Since I have made it past the days of puree and onto solid food with both of my gremlins  – I thought it time to revive the VeggieNation blog and least to share what is cooking in my kitchen and what veggies I dig up on the road.

Staying in style in the kitchen and on the road it tough work — so I bring you two woke recipes that are trending all over social media and my family gobbled up like a pack of rabid raccoons. First, the Buddha Bowl and second Cauliflower “Fried” Rice.

I call my rendition the Oops! Buddha Bowl because it was supposed to be an orgy of ancient grains, veggies of varying colors and textures and plant based protein. My friend rare red meat showed up and f’ed with Buddha a bit –   #leftoversarecheaters.


Oops! Buddha Bowl (Sorry, Vegetarians & Vageatarians )


I later learned the error of my ways and that there are a thousand ways to slice a Buddha. It was so personal I didn’t even take pictures — raw, plant based, exotic… Oh, Buddha (pull yourself together VegGina).

My friends at Active Vegetarian have this helpful little chart, loads of pictures and an amazing blog post all about it… Check it out and get woke!


Check out the how to post at Active Vegetarian 

Recipe 2 came through a Facebook friend who successfully gave a cauliflower a good rub and tug and transformed it into fried rice. She cites her success from learning from the pros at Skinny Taste . I think they over thought the recipe – but I shower in 2 minutes – so what do I know.


Here are the Taste of VegGina  easy steps:

1) Wash cauliflower.

2)Get a sharp-ass knife, wave it around like a ninja just to ensure your family knows you are cooking up something serious.

3) Chop the HELL out of it  (just the white part) till it is riced up!

4) Heat sesame oil in a pan, add a little garlic, pour a little out on the counter to pay respect to the paseanos that have passed and cook till tender.

5) Add frozen peas and carrot cubes and a few splashes of Teriyaki to taste.

6) Yell, Hiya, dinner is served!

Hot Tip 107: Add shrimp – so you don’t have to grill another protein!


Did you miss me? Answer correctly…

Well that’s it! You got a VegGina update, learned a dope new term – “woke” and got two recipes out of me. Now open wide…


Until, next time my Veggie-loving friends!

Peace & Veg –


Konnichiwa Kabocha– What a Surprise!

27 Jan

Post Disclaimer: It is not the size of the hot dog that matters but how it is placed it in the bun.

You know the old adages  – “ things are not always as they seem” or how about  “don’t judge a book by its cover”. Well, that about sums up my experience with a fine Japanese Veggie-Man named Kabocha. Kabocha, as you can see in the pic above has a dark green squashy like exterior. When I bought him home I fully expected to crack him open and find a honeydew like color on the inside. However, to my surprise this little guy was no regular squash, he was a Japanese Pumpkin! I found it interesting that  Japanese Americans often make pumpkin pie with this veg if they are away from pumpkin producing parts of the world during Thanksgiving time(You can thank me later when you get that Kabocha Jeopardy questions right).

Anyway, take a minute and say Konnichiwa to my little orange pumpkin-ly friend. (DO IT!!! I can’t hear you!!)

Cutting open Kabocha was like marrying  a fascinating Japanese gentlemen fully expecting to unwrap a cocktail weenie on your wedding night and instead being greeted with a huge ballpark frank (Yes, my mother reads this blog so there will be no talk of pre-marital sex, even with Mr. Ballpark Yamamoto.  Although, I have to mention cocktail weenies are typically appetizers).

Once I cracked the Kabocha open I was left with the quandary of what to do with it.  My non-Japanese husband, who reminds me more of a spicy Italian sausage then a hot dog, mentioned he was jones-ing for some soup. Since I like sausage, I figured I’d grant his wish.

For awhile I have been meaning to make the Kabocha French Lentil Soup out of Rebecca Steven’s cookbook SoupLove. However, her recipe needed a little –“I’m too busy for ovens, pots and pans” makeover. So, here is my version inspired by Chef Stevens.

Kabocha Lentil Soup

You Need:

6 cups of water.

2 tablespoons of olive oil

1 cup of lentils

1 head of fennel/star anise

2 leeks (white section only)

1 large yellow onion, chopped

1 large Kabocha

1 tablespoon of fennel seeds

¼ cup of julienned ginger

Red pepper flakes

Sea Salt to taste


Get out a large crock pot.

Fill with:

6 cups of water, olive oil,

Lentils (rinsed first),Fennel/star anise chopped into small pieces

Leeks (white section only) chopped into half moons,

Yellow onion, chopped, Kabocha (as prepped below)

Fennel seeds, Ginger

A few shakes of red pepper flakes & Sea Salt

Kabocha Prep

Cleaver the Kabocha in half.

Spoon out seeds into trash

Place Kabocha flesh side down in a bowl or Pyrex of warm water.

Place in microwave for 15 minutes or until soft enough to squeeze.

Let cool to touch.

Scoop flesh out.

Chop up and add to Crockpot.

Cook on low for 7hours. Veggies should be tender.

Serve with crusty bread! Enjoy this soups spicy gingery goodness!

Until next post, Sayonara Veggie Lovers & Friends.