10 great recipes for eating local and vegetarian in February

It can be hard to be a vegetarian in February, particularly if you cook local food. Kelly Rossiter has been eating (mostly) local in Toronto, Canada for a number of years, digging kale out of the snow and yams out of the bottom of her pantry. Here are some February recipes, with her very personal take on cooking. For her latest (not all vegetarian recipes), Kelly now writes for MNN.com here.

Kelly Rossiter/CC BY 2.0

Red Mjadara

When my book club met last week we were talking about a book called Day of Honey by Anna Ciezadlo, which partly takes place in war-torn Beirut and Afghanistan. Needless to say, the theme for the dinner was Middle Eastern food and I offered to make Red Mjadara, the recipe for which appears at the back of the memoir.

I made a Mujaddara (there are many ways to spell it), right about this time last year, but this recipe is quite different. This uses bulgar rather than rice, and it makes a much subtler dish, perfumed with spices. More in TreeHugger

Photo: Kelly Rossiter/CC BY 2.0

Lentil with Chard

This is the kind of recipe that I just love to make. It's nothing showy and has pretty basic ingredients, stuff that you would have in your pantry and refrigerator. It is easy to make, it's really good for you and it is totally delicious and satisfying.

I used swiss chard and you could even use spinach in this, but with much less cooking time. You get this going on the stove and then you can go ahead and do some other task and come back forty minutes later to this wonderful soupy stew. More in TreeHugger

Photo: Kelly Rossiter/CC BY 2.0

Roasted Winter Vegetable Jambalaya

A couple of years ago I received a review copy of Bryant Terry's cookbook Vegan Soul Kitchen and a number of the recipes became part of my regular repertoire.

I've lost count of the number of times that my daughter and I have made the potato salad for parties and picnics and it's always extremely popular. I was very excited to receive a copy of his new book The Inspired Vegan. The first thing I tried from it was this roasted winter vegetable jambalaya. More in TreeHugger

Photo: Kelly Rossiter/CC BY 2.0

Linguini with Breadcrumbs and Kale

I finally ran out of kale from my garden. We've had such a mild winter that I have been able to continue to harvest until the end of January, a first for me.

I think my husband was not-so-secretly happy to see the end of my trips outside with scissors in hand. Well, if he thought that was the end of kale dinners, he was wrong. My daughter loves kale as much as I do, so when the harvest ended she was in the grocery line with the vegetable in her basket.

Despite all that, my husband admitted to really loving this pasta dish. In fact, he also admitted to sneaking down to the kitchen in the evening to steal a bit more out of the refrigerator, which is as good an endorsement for a kale dish as you can get. More in TreeHugger

Photo: Kelly Rossiter/CC BY 2.0

Beet Root Risotto

My daughter wanted risotto for dinner last night, but not the mushroom risotto I usually end up making.

I found a recipe for a beet risotto which seemed like the perfect thing. We love beets, we love risotto -- what could go wrong? Well, nothing, really, except somewhere in the cooking the beets went AWOL. More in TreeHugger

Photo: Kelly Rossiter/CC BY 2.0

Aloo Matar (Potato Pea Curry)

It pays to actually read the recipe before and during cooking, something which I sometimes forget. I brought my computer down to the kitchen so I could use the online recipe for Aloo Matar I found at Serious Eats. Then, while the food was cooking gently on the stove, I took my computer back to my office to finish my post on gnocchi for yesterday. Thinking all I had to do was wait for everything to finish cooking and then serve it, that's what I did. More in TreeHugger

Photo: Kelly Rossiter/CC BY 2.0

Baked Polenta

I saw a recipe on the website Two Peas & Their Pod for a baked polenta which sounded like a perfect dinner for a cold night. I made quite a lot of changes to the recipe, but I'd like to credit them for the inspiration. You should also make free with this recipe, using whatever vegetables you like. Eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms, swiss chard or kale would all be great additions. More in TreeHugger

Kelly Rossiter/CC BY 2.0

Slow Cooked Broccoli

It is the fashion now to cook vegetables very lightly, allowing them to retain their colour and often a bit of crunch. I cook vegetables that way myself.

But I tried a recipe this week that opened my eyes a little about cooking techniques and what long cooked vegetables could be like. When I say the words "slow cooked broccoli" no doubt many of you are thinking about a vegetable so waterlogged and mushy that it's no longer recognizable as broccoli. You are probably thinking of lunch ladies putting a ladle of the stuff on your plate in a cafeteria. Well, this recipe couldn't be farther from that reality. More in TreeHugger

Photo: Kelly Rossiter/CC BY 2.0

Braised Coconut Spinach with Chickpeas and Lemon

I served this braised coconut spinach and chickpeas for dinner last night and half-way through the meal, my daughter Emma said that she thought this recipe should go into our regular rotation.

This was such a lovely combination of flavours and we all really enjoyed it. The addition of the sun-dried tomatoes added a bit of a surprise undertone to the dish that would have been different if you had used regular canned tomatoes. More in TreeHugger

Photo: Kelly Rossiter/CC BY 2.0

Lentil and Mushroom Bourguignon

I have an excellent recipe for a mushroom bourguinon which is fabulous for vegetarians who miss eating meat, because it is hearty and filling and wholly satisfying without the addition of beef. I also have an excellent recipe for mushroom bourguinon with the addition of chestnuts, which is also delightful. When I came across this recipe for a lentil and mushroom bourguinon, I wondered why I hadn't thought of that before. More in TreeHugger

See all of Kelly Rossiter's recipes here.

Tags: Local Food | Vegetarian | Weekday Vegetarian