Victoria's Vegetarian Victuals

Well, Spring has sprung.  At least that's what the calendar tells us.  The front lawn is sprouting with timothy grass, and my mother has been in bed for three days with sinus, because of it.  The croci are gone, the hyacinths past their prime, and the daffodils never came up at all, just the leaves.

Can a couple of vegetarians have black thumbs?

And I was in foster care on a farm, too.  Some things I do not understand.

It is 39 degrees at the New Jersey Shore.  Somebody ought to e-mail Mother Nature about this!

However, the magnolias and weeping cherry trees are making up for the rest, and the forsythias are helping a lot.

I don't know if you can get zucchini where you are, but we came across this the other day.  Mom got it from the internet for me.

Zucchini Pie

  • 4 cups thinly sliced unpeeled zucchini
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 table spoons of Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 eggs well beaten
  • 2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
  • 8 oz. can of Pillsbury crescent rolls.
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 375.  Separate the crescent rolls and pat them into a 10-inch pie plate like a crust.  Spread the mustard over the crust and set aside.  In a large skillet, melt butter. Add onions and zucchini and sauté 10 minutes or until tender.

In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and add the cheese until it's all covered. Add the zucchini and after mixing well, pour into your pie pan. Bake about 20 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean.  If the crust is browning too fast, cover the edges with foil.  I serve this along with a garden salad for a quick meal.

  • Yields: One 10-inch pie.
  • Preparation Time: About 45 min to an hour.

I find that I am wondering if our neighborhood will host a block party this year.  I know that it's early to think about it, but I do like parties. There are three definite divisions to any party.

  • Preparation
  • The Party itself
  • Clean up

My favorite is the middle one.

Since most people prefer to hang out with friends and eat, as opposed to working, I have a couple of recipes to reduce the misery of preparation time.

Party Potato Salad

  • 1 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt (gotta go easy here, if you have blood pressure like mine)
  • 3 eggs, hard cooked
  • 7 cups diced, cooked potatoes
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 2-oz. jar chopped pimiento, well drained, reserving 1 teaspoon
  • Three 3-inch green onion tops
  • 9-oz. package Green Giant Frozen Early Baby Peas, thawed, drained on paper towels

Line bottom and sides of a 9x5" loaf pan with waxed paper.  In a large bowl, combine mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard and salt.  Slice one hard-cooked egg diagonally to obtain 3 slices.  Set aside for garnish.  Chop remaining eggs.  Gently stir chopped eggs, potatoes, celery, sliced onions and pimiento into dressing mixture.

To create garnish, place 3 reserved egg slices, green onion tops and reserved chopped pimiento in center of prepared pan.  On top of garnish, layer 1/2 of potato salad mixture, then peas, and then remaining potato salad mixture.  Cover.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  To serve, turn onto platter or serving tray.

  • Yields: 12 servings
  • Preparation Time: 5 hours -- Do it the day before the party.

Here's my favorite.

Cheesecake Pudding Pie

  • 1/4 cup raspberry preserves
  • 1 ready--to-use graham cracker crust, 6 oz. or 9"
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 1/2 cups cold milk (or Lactaid)
  • 2 packages (4-serving size each) Jell-O Cheesecake flavor instant pudding and pie filling
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon grated lime or lemon peel
  • 1 8-oz tub Cool Whop Whipped Topping

Spread raspberry preserves on bottom of crust.  Add fresh raspberries.

Pour milk into a large bowl.  Add pudding mixes and lime peel.  Beat with wire whisk about 2 minutes until smooth and thick.  Immediately stir in whipped topping.  Spoon over raspberries in crust.

Refrigerate 3 hours or until set.  Garnish with more fresh raspberries.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: About three and a half hours --  Prepare the day before.

No party/picnic is complete without a pasta dish.

Italian Pasta with Tomato and Basil

  • 3 cups chopped tomatoes, or one 7 to 8 oz jar, drained and sliced.
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan and Romano cheese, divided
  • 1 tablespoon julienne-cut fresh basil leaves, or 2 tablespoons dried basil leaves, crushed
  • 1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 oz. bow tie pasta, cooked, drained

Mix tomatoes, 3/4 cup of cheese, basil, garlic and oil.

Toss hot pasta with tomato mixture.  Sprinkle with remaining grated cheese.

  • Yields: 6 to 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: About 45 minutes

Last, but not to be considered least:

Banana Split Cheesecake Squares


  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3 cup melted butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup sugar


  • 3 eight-oz packages Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup mashed banana


  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1 banana sliced, tossed with 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 eight-oz can pineapple chunks, drained

Crust: Mix crumbs, butter and sugar; press into bottom of 13x9" baking pan.

Filling: Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended.  Add eggs; mix until blended.  Stir in mashed banana. Pour into crust.

Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes until center is almost set.  Cool. Refrigerate for 3 hours, or overnight.

Topping:  Top with strawberries, sliced banana and pineapple.  Drizzle with semi-sweet baking chocolate, and sprinkle with toasted chopped nuts.  Cut into squares.

  • Yields: 18 bars
  • Preparation Time: About 4 hours, including chilling -- Make this the day before.
We will not talk about the clean up now!

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