The Seated Cook

Simple, healthy, vegetarian food

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Asian Coconut Zucchini


I had a zucchini left over from vegetable soup that I had made, and was looking for a little something to have on the side with the soup.  I decided to cook the zucchini up in a tangy coconut-lime sauce using a modified version of a recipe in the “Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites” cookbook (modified because I didn’t have as much zucchini as the recipe calls for, nor any basil or mint).  We ate the zucchini on its own, but it also would have been good over a grain to soak up some of the sauce.  I liked the flavor of the sauce so much that I want to make it again with a larger assortment of vegetables.


1 zucchini, chopped

2 garlic cloves, diced

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cayenne (or less if you don’t want it as spicy)

1 teaspoon grape seed or other oil

2 scallions, chopped

2 tablespoons lime juice

1/4 cup reduced-fat coconut milk

Salt to taste

In a pan, sauté the zucchini, garlic, turmeric, and cayenne in the oil for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Then add the scallions, lime juice, and coconut milk.  Reduce heat to simmer, cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, until the zucchini is tender.


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Apple Pie Baked Oatmeal

Sharing this recipe from Ani’s great blog, milesforthought. Baked oatmeal is a simple, tasty dish I’d never made before seeing this post, and it’s especially enjoyable during this long winter when temperatures never seem to get above freezing.

It tastes good on its own


Or, with a little extra milk on top


After the apple one, I made a banana baked oatmeal with some brown sugar on top (I smashed the bananas in the recipe, but would also have been good to include some sliced bananas)


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Cottage Cheese Patties/Loaf

DSC01292I wasn’t sure what to call this dish.  I was aiming to make cottage cheese burgers, but then they ended up reminding me of a good vegetarian meatloaf.  They can be shaped either way!  My mom emailed me her recipe for cottage cheese burgers, and I combined her recipe with some elements from Zopooh’s recipe on Allrecipes (


1 container of fat-free or low-fat cottage cheese (I used most of a 24 oz. container)

2 eggs

Chopped walnuts (didn’t measure them, was probably about 1/3 cup)

1-2 Tbsp bread crumbs

1 envelope dry onion soup mix

1 (10 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup

1 cup quick rolled oats

(makes 6 large patties)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a large bowl, beat the eggs, then add in cottage cheese, rolled oats, dry onion soup mix, chopped walnuts, and bread crumbs.   Stir ingredients together.   Shape into patties and place them in a lightly oiled 9×13 inch baking dish.  Or, if you want to make a veggie loaf, pour mixture into a smaller baking dish.  Bake for 10 minutes.  While patties start to bake, pour mushroom soup into a small bowl and dilute it with 1/2 cup of water.  Take the patties/loaf out after 10 minutes, and spoon soup over the top (I only used about 1/2 the amount in the bowl).  Bake for another 20-25 minutes, until soup is bubbly.


Since we intended to have these as burgers, I put mine on top of of a whole-wheat hamburger bun, with some ketchup & sliced tomatoes between the bun and the patty.  Then I cut into it and enjoyed!



Saag Tofu


I love Saag Paneer- I love any kind of Paneer- but I decided to make a quick and healthy version using tofu in place of the cheese.  If you want a more spinach-y sauce, cut down on the amount of tofu, or increase the amount of spinach.  This recipe is adapted from Kevin Champion (


2 Tbsp olive oil

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 Tbsp fresh grated ginger

1 cup tomato sauce

1 Tbsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground cayenne

1/2 Tbsp salt

2 10 oz. packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed (do not drain the water)

2 packages extra firm tofu, dried and cut into cubes

1/2 cup light coconut milk

1 tsp garam masala

(4-6 servings)
Heat oil in a large pan and stir-fry ginger root for a minute or two, then add garlic and stir-fry for another couple minutes.   Add in tofu and cook until tofu lightly browns.  Stir in tomato sauce and all the spices except for the garam masala.  I didn’t have tomato sauce when I made the dish since I grabbed a can of tomato paste by accident- so I put in about 3 oz. of the tomato paste, and since the stir-fry was still pretty dry, went right to the next step of adding the spinach.  But when using tomato sauce, the original recipe recommends partially covering the pan and simmering for about 10 minutes.  Then add in the undrained spinach, cover pan, and reduce heat to simmer for 12 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and stir in the coconut milk and garam masala.

Serve with rice or bread (I had it over rice).

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Spaghetti Squash Primavera


I finally cooked spaghetti squash for the first time this fall, and it is a tasty, healthy substitute for pasta.  I had some vegetables left over from quesadillas I had recently made, so decided to toss those in with the sauce.


One spaghetti squash
Tomato sauce of your choice
Vegetables of your choice
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated cheese

(4 servings)

Roast the spaghetti squash: cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds, lightly coat with olive oil and roast on baking tray at 375 degrees.  I had read instructions for cooking squash cut side up and cut side down- I think I started cut side up, and flipped it down after about 1/2 an hour so it would roast more quickly, baking it for another 15 minutes or so.  After squash is cool enough to handle, scrape out the flesh with a fork- when it’s done, it should come out nice and stringy!


While the squash is roasting, heat up the tomato sauce & vegetables, and then mix them in with the cooked squash.  Top with grated cheese and any seasonings you would like.  My left-over quesadilla mix had zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, and spinach in it, which went quite well with the spaghetti squash.


Baingan Bharta (Eggplant Curry)


This recipe is adapted from Mark Bittman’s recipe for Baingan Bharta in the New York Times (

This was my first time making Baingan Bharta.  I know I’m not the best at making Indian food, and I only have spices in powdered form, but you have to start somewhere.  I still enjoyed it!


2 large eggplants

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1″ piece of fresh ginger, grated

1-2 green chilis

2 large tomatoes, diced

1 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

1/2 tsp garam masala

(4 servings)

Roast eggplant in the oven.  Allow to cool then peel off skin.  Mash the eggplant and set it aside to add into the pan later.

Heat vegetable oil in a pan and add in the onion.  Saute onions, then add in the garlic and ginger, heating for about another minute.  Add the tomatoes and all the spices.  Cook for 3-5 minutes and stir often, adding a little water if needed to prevent the spices from sticking to the pan.  Stir in the mashed eggplant.


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Chewy Chocolate Cookies


These may look like a flatter version of the macaroons that I made, but they are a whole different dessert. I was looking for a cookie recipe that included cacao or cocoa powder, and came across one from “Heather’s Dish” that I adapted (  I hadn’t baked with egg whites yet, and liked the chewy texture they gave the cookies.

1 cup almond meal
1 cup oatmeal, ground in food processor (also works without grinding the oats, if you want an even simpler recipe!)
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp cacao powder (substitute cocoa powder)
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
Cinnamon (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Stir together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the wet ingredients and continue to stir mixture. I used liquid egg whites and they worked fine (measured for the equivalent of 2 eggs).
Form the dough into cookies and place on parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove cookies from the sheet after they cool and store in an airtight container in fridge.