Vegetarian Cooking With Beer
Here's my take on some healthy foods that pack
plenty of flavor.  Try these easy to cook recipes
and you won't be disappointed.  And of course,
don't forget my golden rule -
when in doubt use more beer!
"Brewed" Gazpacho

1 1/2 cups grilled roma tomatoes
3 cups tomato juice
1 1/2 cup light beer
2/3 cup cucumber, seeded and diced
2/3 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup red onion, diced
3 Tbsp. lime juice, fresh squeezed
3 Tbsp. cilantro, minced
1 Tbsp. shoyu or soy sauce
1 Tbsp. basil, minced
1 1/4 tsp. cumin powder, toasted
1 tsp. garlic, minced
1 tsp. jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Pinch of cayenne
Sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, fresh ground, to taste

Place the tomatoes, and juice in a blender and blend until smooth. Place in a
large bowl add the beer and the remaining ingredients and mix well.
Serve chilled.

Makes 8 cups
Ale & Hearty Shephard's Pie

10 medium potatoes
2 tablespoons  buttery spread
3/4 cup Imperial pale ale
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
6 ounces cremini or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
Two 15-ounce cans lentils, lightly drained
1 tablespoon soy sauce (optional)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons cornstarch
8 to 10 ounces baby spinach or arugula leaves
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs

Peel and dice the potatoes. Place in a large saucepan with enough water to
cover. Bring to a simmer, then cover and simmer until tender, about 20
minutes. Drain and transfer to a small mixing bowl.
Stir the butter spread into the potatoes until melted, then add the ale,
mash until fluffy. Season with salt, cover, and set aside until needed.
Preheat the oven to 400º F.
While the potatoes are cooking, heat the oil in a medium skillet. Add the onion
and sauté over medium heat until translucent. Add the mushrooms and
continue to sauté until the onion is golden.  Drain the  lentils  and bring to a
gentle simmer. Stir in the soy sauce, thyme, and pepper. Cook gently for 5
minutes. Combine the cornstarch with just enough beer to dissolve
in a small container. Stir into the lentil mixture.

Add the spinach, a little at a time, cooking just until it’s all wilted down.
Remove from the heat; taste to adjust seasonings to your liking.
Lightly oil a 2-quart casserole dish, or two deep-dish pie plates. Scatter the
breadcrumbs evenly over the bottom. Pour in the lentil mixture, then spread the
potatoes evenly over the top.
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the potatoes begin to turn
golden and slightly crusty
Mexican "Chicken"

10 chilies (try a variety)
1/3 cup almonds, toasted
1/3 cup sesame seeds, toasted
2 cloves garlic, cut in half
Canola oil, as needed
1 ripe plantain, cut into 1.2-inch slices
2 plum tomatoes, halved
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. chocolate, shaved
3 cups Mexican Lager Beer
Salt, to taste
1 lb. faux chicken, cut into slices and grilled or broiled

Roast the chilies in a 350°F oven for 2 minutes. Remove the seeds and ribs
then simmer in water for 10 minutes. Drain.
Grind the almonds and sesame seeds to a fine powder.
Sauté the garlic in oil until golden. Remove and set aside.
Sauté the plantains in the same pan until golden. Set aside.
Broil the tomatoes (skin side up) until slightly blackened.
• Place all the prepared ingredients, except for the faux chicken,
in a food processor and blend to form a thick paste.
• Fry the paste in oil. Add the cinnamon and chocolate.
Add 11/2 cups beer.. Simmer for 15 minutes.
•Pour the mixture through a food mill, return it to the pan, and season with salt.
Add more beer, 1/2 cup at a time, to thin the sauce. Add the faux chicken. Serve.
Makes 4 to 5 servings
Give these recipes a try and you won't be
disappointed.  They are quick, easy, and fun to cook.  
And remember, when in doubt just use more beer!
Be seeing you.....
For outstanding beer and vegetarian food Elaine recommends the
Gaslight Brewery and Restaurant, 15 So. Orange Ave, South Orange, NJ
For vegertarian food at a BYO try The Loving Hut,  538 Rt. 10, Ledgewood, NJ
Elaine Alexander -  wine, beer and culinary writer
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