The Seasoned Traveler

Recipes and remedies using herbs, spices, and other natural ingredients from the world's pantry


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Vegetarian Sushi, Maki-Style

SushiTST2While living in Japan, I grew to love sushi, not only for its fresh flavors but also for the playful variety of colors and textures. When I saw Emma Galloway’s vegetarian sushi tutorial on Food52 last week, I decided to get creative and come up with my own variations. Like Emma, I love avocado + sesame seeds + mayo, so I made that one, then looked to other colors and flavors for inspiration. Beets, asparagus, cucumber, carrot, sprouts and baby lettuces also made great sushi fillings, I discovered. Then I wanted to mimic the texture of that orange roe (fish eggs) you often see atop sushi, so I made little carrot juice bubbles, thickening them with some cornstarch and piping out little spheres and letting them gel in the fridge. It was fun getting playful, creating a feast for both the palate and the eyes. Continue reading


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Mediterranean Eggplant, Spinach & Ricotta Rolls

EggplantTSTThis dish is our new favorite for a Meatless Monday, because for relatively little effort, we can have a rich, wholesome, flavorful meal that doesn’t leave us missing meat. And by “us” I mean my husband. My dear carnivore loves his steaks and this kind of meal, and rarely does he feel satisfied without a little meat. Except with this dish. I think it’s because of the rich texture of the eggplant. I love it because of all the flavors reminiscent of the Mediterranean, with fresh and dried herb seasonings, and creamy ricotta and spinach that oozes out of these little eggplant rolls. The tomato sauce is simple and rustic, and the whole meal comes together in about 40 minutes. We’ll be making this again for a meatless meal any day of the week!

For more eggplant ideas, check out Nancy’s delicious Eggplant Stacks at Feasting with Friends, as well as Johnny’s delectable Eggplant Slices in Spiced Batter at Kitschnflavours and Elaine’s lovely Baba Ganoush at Foodbod. I know I’ve probably left out other great eggplant recipes I’ve seen lately – please feel free to add your favorite eggplant links in the comments. Enjoy!

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Tabouleh-Stuffed Globe Zucchinis with Mint & Sumac Yogurt Sauce

ZucchiniTST

Two things I love about Middle Eastern cuisine are stuffed vegetables and fresh herb-filled salads like tabouleh. When I found some beautiful little globe zucchinis, I thought about combining these two loves into one — zucchinis stuffed with tabouleh. This way, I can have my bowl of tabouleh, and eat it too!

It made for a striking presentation, and was quite simple to prepare. I’m going to try this out sometime at a dinner party; it would be a great accompaniment to grilled meat or kebabs — easy for the host to assemble, and fun for the guests to eat. It might also be good to serve vegetarian guests or as part of a whole vegetarian spread.

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Spiced Carrot, Apple & Ginger Soup

IMG_6708Some days, a kind gesture means everything. After our recent six-night stay in the hospital with our little one, we came home and collapsed in a heap. I was too exhausted to even boil water. Seriously. And then, a friend stopped by with warm, velvety carrot soup. And warm biscuits to boot. I cannot tell you how utterly delicious it all was, how absolutely soothing and healing. It was a great reminder to me how a kind gesture like this — not to mention delicious home-cooked food — can make a world of difference to someone going through a difficult time. Thank you, Teresa!

I haven’t stopped thinking about that carrot soup, and now that we’re feeling better, I thought I’d try creating one with a bit of a kick from ginger and other warming spices from my pantry. I decided to add some sweetness from an apple too, and to keep it vegan (with veggie broth) and dairy-free (no cream or butter) for another healthful and soulful soup. Doesn’t that bright orange color just cheer you? Don’t forget some warm biscuits for dipping. Enjoy!

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