Category Archives: VEGETABLE RECIPES

Creamy Cauliflower Soup


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
  • 3 ribs leafy tops celery, chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • ½ cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Cayenne pepper, for garnish, optional
  • Chopped fresh parsley leaves or chives, for garnish


In a large pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper. Add the flour and stir for 1 minute. Add the cauliflower, celery, onion, garlic and thyme and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in chicken broth and milk and simmer for 2 minutes. Mix in parmesan cheese and simmer for 10 more minutes. Check the seasoning, then transfer the soup to a food processor or blender and process until finely pureed. Pour into a serving soup bowl. Garnish with cayenne pepper and chopped parsley or chives and serve with hot/warm sourdough, or croutons on top.


Eggplant Croquettes

Croquettes are fried food that can be made in different shapes and sizes. A lot of people serve these tasty morsels with a dipping sauce, such as marinara, mayonnaise etc., and can also be served as a snack or as an entree. I’ve never had croquette before, and this is the first time I have ever made and ate one. Thus made me hesitant to make it, but glad I did because they actually turned out quite tasty! 🙂

Ingredients Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 6.09.15 PM

  • 4 Japanese eggplants
  • 1 ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • ½ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 ½ cups italian bread crumbs
  • 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and black pepper
  • ½ – 1 cup canola oil, for frying Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 5.51.20 PM


Preheat the over to 475º F. Place the eggplants in a baking sheet and broil for 3-5 minutes each side. Remove any burnt skin and drain any liquid from the eggplants by squeezing, and chop finely.

Place the chopped eggplant in a large mixing bowl. Add the cheddar, parmesan, bread crumbs, eggs, parsley, basil, onion, garlic and season with salt and black pepper, and mix well. Form the eggplant batter into patties. Heat the oil in a large skillet. Fry the eggplant patties until golden brown, about 5 minutes each side. Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.

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Prep: 15-20 minutes | Cook: 20-30 mins | Yield: 6 large croquettes | Level: Intermediate

Deep Fried Vegetables

Ingredients friedveggiesokra5friedveggies3

Vegetable oil, for frying
¾ cup cornmeal
1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ ground black pepper
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 pound fresh okra, sliced 1/2-inch thick
2 eggplants, sliced ¼-inch thick
1 large yellow squash, sliced ¼-inch thick
1 large cucumber, sliced ¼-inch thick
1 cup buttermilk


Fill a large Dutch oven, halfway with oil, and heat to 350º F.

In a medium bowl, combine 7 ingredients. Dip vegetables in buttermilk and dredge in cornmeal-flour mixture to coat well. Carefully add to the hot oil and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Fry in batches until finished. Remove from oil, drain on paper towels and serve immediately.

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Prep: 20 minutes | Cook: 5-15 minutes | Yield:6 to 8 servings | Level: Easy

Spicy Onion Rings

Prep: 10 minutes | Cook: 2-5 mins | Yield: 2-3 servings


  • 2 large fresh white/yellow onions
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup yellow cornmeal
  • ¼ cup masa
  • 1 quart vegetable oil


Preheat the deep fryer or Dutch oven to 350˚ F with vegetable oil.

Peel the onions, slice them ½ to ¾-inch thick and separate them into rings. Combine the buttermilk, ½ teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper in a medium bowl. Add the onion rings, toss well and allow to marinate for at least 15 minutes or couple hours. In a separate bowl, combine the ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, oregano, cayenne pepper (if using), garlic powder, flour, cornmeal and masa. Set aside.

Working in batches, lift some onions out of the buttermilk and dredge them in the flour mixture. Drop into the hot oil separately and fry for 2 minutes, or until golden brown. Turning them once with tongs. Place the finished onion rings on a large serving bowl with paper towel. Repeat the same method until all the onions are fried. Sprinkle with ground black pepper. Serve hot immediately.

Ultimate Beef-Vegetable Soup

I’m like a weather. I’d come and go, huh? 😉 I meant to post this recipe sooner but as always, I got distracted like a bee. Haha!  Good thing I’ve had some times to spare today. Sweet!

So, speaking of the weather, I think it is a happy coincidence that January is not only national soup month, but also the peak of people’s efforts to shed off  “unnecessary fats” they or I must say, WE have accumulated during holidays. Lol! A lot of people believe that soup can help feel better when sick and, I am likewise surprised to know that this amazing dish also help people lose weight, if/when they consume the fewest calories when having it, rather than the same ingredients in solid form. I believe so because soup has a high water content which can help us feel full and better.

Broth-based soups packed with veggies give everyone the biggest bang for the caloric buck. And, just like (even your truly is not into it) salad, soup is a good vehicle for vegetables (all the fibers in vegetables also promotes feelings of fullness for few calories). And people who started lunch with vegetable soup ended up eating 20 percent less than those who skipped the soup. Ain’t that amazing?!

My husband stumbled upon the recipe on the web. Looking at it, he believes that the soup IS a good soup. I am not into “soup” but with the current weather, sure! Why not?  So I decided to make this recipe with my own version which I call “Ultimate Beef-Vegetable Soup”. Sounds like a wrestler, doesn’t it? 😀 The original recipe does not call for beef but as I have mentioned earlier, I am a “recipe-tweaker” type of cook, so yes, I tweaked it and as a matter of fact, it turned out really good. So, once again, I satisfied my number one critic, my hubby! A keeper one is always a good one.


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil or butter
2 cups chopped onions (2 medium)
2 cups chopped celery (4 medium stalks)
1 cup chopped green bell pepper (1 medium)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups chopped cabbage
3 cups chopped cauliflower (about 1/2 medium)
2 cups chopped carrots (4 medium)
2 cups green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces, or frozen, thawed
8 cups low-sodium vegetable, beff or chicken broth
2 cups water
1 15oz can tomato sauce
1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1 15oz can kidney or pinto beans, rinsed
1 bay leaf
4 cups chopped fresh spinach or one 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
½ cup thinly sliced fresh basil
10 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Heat oil in a large soup pot (8-quart or larger) over medium heat. Add onions, beef and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, about13 to 15 minutes. Add water, broth, tomato sauce and diced tomato. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the meat is tender then add celery and carrots. Let simmer about 3-5 minutes then add the rest of the vegetables with spinach being last. Stir in basil. Serve soup while hot with 1-2 tablespoons cheese.

This soup is definitely a keeper but you won’t know until you try.

-‘Till next post fellas. . .

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