Recipe of the Week: Vegetarian Meals So Good Even I Would Devour Them

The challenge this week is to share delicious and filling vegetable-heavy, vegetarian dishes.
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Claire Lower
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The challenge this week is to share delicious and filling vegetable-heavy, vegetarian dishes.

Hello again, my recipe geniuses! After last week's ROTW, I can say with confidence that I am now ready for the Big Game. Even those of you who don't necessarily love football had some great Super Bowl-worthy snacks to share.

The most up-voted Super Bowl snack was by DaneDane, who introduced us all to the the wonder that is Pizza Dip with French bread.

pizza dip recipe

DaneDane's Pizza Dip recipe

My favorite thing about this recipe is that it allows for improvisation. There's no need to limit yourself to basic pepperoni; any pizza topping will work here. I took DaneDane's suggestion and chopped up some fresh basil and Kalamata olives, with a spoonful of crushed garlic for good measure.  I had some extra cheese and pepperoni, so once the dip was warmed through on the stove, I transferred it to a baking dish, topped it with those leftover toppings, and broiled until it was bubbling and browned.

I dare say it was a success.

pizza dip

Pizza dip of your dreams.

Looking at all of that glorious grease reminds me of pizza blotters and their oily napkins. I was not a pizza blotter. As a teenager, I was once called "really gross" for not blotting the "excess" grease off of my pizza. I looked Melissa right in the eye and told her that maybe she should shut up and eat some carrots. Memories.

ANYWAY, this dip is delicious. Very creamy, almost like cheesy vodka sauce, with all of your favorite pizza flavors. A spoon is required to break through that top layer of broiled cheese, as bread alone is no match for the elasticity of mozzarella.

pizza dip pepperoni

The pizza dip struggle.

pizza dip serving

Success.

Bravo DaneDane, I would proudly take this to any Super Bowl party (or any other party, really). Your trophy is "Girlfriend is Better" by The Talking Heads, because nothing is better than this (pizza dip).

And now for Claire's Choice!

This week, I chose a recipe from Amy C. that spoke to my childhood and reminded me of days past. When I was a bored youth, I would compete with friends to see who could fit the most grapes their mouth. My record was 23, but a scary choking scare put me out of the game for good.

Grapes, goat cheese, and pistachios = yum.

Grapes, goat cheese, and pistachios = yum.

In the words of Celine Dion, it's all coming back to me now.

I love grapes. I love garlic and herb goat cheese (also any goat cheese). I love pistachios. Combine these three things, and you have a mini cheese ball wrapped around a tart and sweet surprise. 

Goat cheese and pistachio-rolled grapes.

Goat cheese and pistachio-rolled grapes.

These may be a little sophisticated for an event that revolves around an event usually associated with crap beer and hot wings, so take down the fancy factor by seeing how many you can fit in your mouth. Just be careful to not choke because that would make me very sad.

Thanks for (bringing back) the memories Amy C., your trophy is the aforementioned Celine Dion classic. (In addition to forgetting about my grape games, I had also forgotten how good this video is).

Moving on.

Recently, my husband and I have been eating vegetarian during the week. In fact, unless I need it for an article, we rarely keep meat in the house. This results in a lot of grilled cheese sandwiches and pasta, but I'm trying to be a little more creative and make the vegetables the star of the meal.

I love cooking with spaghetti squash, and last week I did kind of a faux-pasta bake with broiled cheese (feta and mozzarella) on top. In addition to the squash, I added some sautéed carrots, onion, and bell peppers and mixed it all together with some no-sugar-added pasta sauce from Whole Foods. 

It was delicious, but it's basically my only vegetarian meal that features vegetables heavily. I mean, there's still a good bit of cheese involved, but at least I've got four vegetables in there. 

So the challenge this week, my geniuses, is to share delicious and filling vegetable-heavy, vegetarian dishes. They can even be vegan if you like. I'm not picky. I will say that I'm not necessarily looking for salads this week, as we already covered that, so focus on warm and satisfying meals that would make a good supper.

That's all I've got! Let's hear it!