Fire-Roasted Vegetarian Gumbo and Mardi Gras

slightly adapted from allrecipes20160209_065647.jpg

Happy Mardi Gras, y’all! Here is a spicy, warm little number to get your taste-buds dancing. Oooooie! Dat’s some good cookin’!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Serrano pepper
  • 1 banana pepper
  • 1 small jalapeno chile pepper
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil ( I used Sunflower oil)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 cans fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and cubed
  • 1 can red kidney beans
  • 1 can black-eyed peas
  • 1 bag of frozen cut okra

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. Arrange Serrano, banana, and jalapeno chile peppers on a baking sheet and place in the oven. Watch carefully and broil until the skins turn black and blister, about 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the peppers and continue broiling until all sides are blackened. Remove the peppers and put in an small sauce pan with lid to steam (about 10 to 15 minutes). Remove peppers from the sauce pan and peel off the crispy black skin. Remove stems and seeds from the peppers, coarsely chop and place in a bowl.
  3. In another small sauce pan, heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil over medium heat until a pinch of flour starts to bubble. Whisk the rest of the flour into the oil and cook, whisking continuously until the mixture is well-blended and dark brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Once it turns dark brown, remove from heat.
  4. Put 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a deep soup pot and heat over medium-high heat. When hot, add celery, half of the onions and half of the green peppers. Cook and stir until the vegetables are tender and the onions are transparent, about 5 minutes. Stir 1/4 cup of the vegetable broth into the pot. Cover and simmer until almost all the liquid is gone, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Stir the Serrano, banana, and jalapeno chile peppers, along with the uncooked bell peppers, onions, garlic, Cajun seasonings, smoked paprika into the cooked bell peppers and onions. Stir in the roux (dark brown sauce) and 1 cup of vegetable broth into the vegetable mixture until the roux dissolves. Cover and simmer 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, sweet potato, parsnip, red beans, black-eyed peas, okra and remaining vegetable broth. Simmer covered for 15 minutes. And then, simmer 20 minutes uncovered.

Tip: To bump up the heat a notch, add a teaspoon of File’ Powder to the pot in step 5.

Slow Cooker Tuscan Lentil Sloppy Joes

courtesy of Slender Kitchen20160207_105150-1.jpg

Ok, I just have to say, this is my new favorite vegetarian lunch. It tastes awesome. Very close to sloppy Joes, but better.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups lentils, uncooked
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped small
  • 2 green peppers, chopped small
  • 2 cups of mushrooms, chopped or sliced
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth (low sodium)
  • 2.5 cups crushed tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1.5 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 1.5 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp Kosher
  • 1 tsp pepper

Instructions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker and stir.
  2. Cook on High for 3-4 hours, on Low for 7-8 hours.

Tip: If you notice the mixture getting dry, add extra vegetable broth.

Lunches this week -Chickpea Stew

Adapted from The First Mess20160131_133901-1.jpg

What can I say about this stew? How about “get in my belly”. There are a ton of spices melded in with onions and chickpeas, and then enveloped in a creamy coconut sauce. Heaven, I say, heaven. I have to admit, I had a spoonful or five of this while cooking, it’s a wonder I have any left for my lunches. Let’s take a closer look at this luscious, velvety goodness.20160131_134307-1.jpg

Did I mention how good this is? Did I mention there are spices…20160131_131030-1.jpg

And so, here are the ingredients. Drum roll, please!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced small
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 cans chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • sea salt and ground pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a deep cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add onions to the pan. Saute 5-6 minutes or until translucent and soft.
  3. Add all the spices – cumin, coriander, smoked paprika, turmeric, oregano, red pepper flakes, and cinnamon. Stir to coat onions completely.
  4. Add tomato paste to skillet. Stir to mix with onions, spices and oil.
  5. Add garlic and chickpeas. Stir for 30 seconds.
  6. Add the balsamic vinegar and tomatoes, stir.
  7. Add the coconut milk to the pan and season the stew with salt and pepper.
  8. Bring the stew to a boil, and lower the heat and let simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
  9. Remove stew from heat, and stir in spinach. Let set for 5 minutes, or until spinach is wilted.

 

Philly Cheesesteak Stew

slightly adapted from The Cozy Apron20160124_153512-1.jpg

So, if you haven’t noticed on this blog, we really like our Philly Cheesesteak. We’ve done Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Peppers, straight up Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches, and now I present to you Philly Cheesesteak stew. And boy, this is an awesome stew. 20160124_153616-1.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. of sliced roast beef, roughly chopped
  • Salt
  • Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 4 Tbsp all-purpose flour, divided use
  • Olive oil
  • 2 onions, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 10 oz white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 cups beef stock, heated
  • 4 slices of provolone cheese

Instructions:

  1. In a large bowl, combine roast beef, a couple of pinches of salt, cracked pepper, plus the onion powder, and toss to coat.
  2. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of flour in bowl, and toss to coat.
  3. In a large pot, heat 3 Tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat.
  4. Once hot, place roast beef in pot. Heat for about 3 minutes. Place cooked meat on a plate and put aside.
  5. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil to pot and add sliced onions, sliced green pepper, a pinch of salt and cracked pepper. Cook about 6 minutes until onions and peppers are soft, stirring frequently to prevent burning.
  6. Add mushrooms, and continue sauteing with onions for another 6 minutes, continuously stirring.
  7. Add dried thyme and garlic, stir to incorporate.
  8. Once the garlic is aromatic, sprinkle remaining 2 Tbsp of flour over the onion/mushrooms, stir well to combine.
  9. Slowly add the hot beef stock, stirring to avoid any little flour lumps from forming.
  10. Reduce heat to medium-low, simmer gently for about 10 minutes uncovered until sauce thickens.
  11. Add roast beef and let simmer for another 10 minutes.
  12. Ladle into oven-safe bowls, place one slice of provolone over the top and broil in over until cheese is melted and beginning to brown.
  13. Serve with crusty french bread.

Chicken Wild Rice Soup

This chicken wild rice soup is chock full of chicken, onions, wild rice and is warm and filling. 20160108_180731-1.jpg

Courtesy of My Recipes

I love a thick, flavorful, and warm soup. It warms me to the core. And living in the upper-Midwest warmth is a hot (pun intended) commodity!

Just look at that luscious, velvety goodness!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup uncooked quick-cooking wild rice
  • Cooking Spray
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups fat-free, low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups peeled and cubed baking potato
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 10 oz shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups cooked,skinless, boneless chicken breast roughly shredded
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
  2. Heat large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray.
  3. Add onion and garlic, saute 3 minutes.
  4. Add broth and potato; bring to a boil.
  5. Cover and reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes or until potato is tender.
  6. Combine milk and flour, stirring well with a whisk.
  7. Add the milk mixture to potato mixture; cook 5 minutes or until slightly thick, stirring constantly.
  8. Remove from heat; add cheese, stirring until cheese melts.
  9. Stir in rice, chicken, pepper, and salt.

Mushroom and Chickpea Stew

Mushroom and Chickpea Stew (Vegetarian)

20160110_171123-1.jpg

slightly adapted from Love and Lemons

I guess I should admit this, I have an addiction. A chickpea addition. I love chickpeas. Chickpea salad, chickpea stew, chickpea burgers, everything and anything chickpea. So, when I came across this recipe, I just had to make it.

It serves 4-6, so it’s perfect for leftovers.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cups sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • salt, pepper
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh sage
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • pinch of red pepper flakes

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and a pinch of salt. Cook until tender.
  2. Add mushrooms, stir and let them set for a few minutes.
  3. Add garlic and soy sauce. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally until mushrooms are browned and tender.
  4. Add balsamic vinegar and tomato paste. Stir to combine.
  5. Add the chopped sweet potatoes, zucchini, sage, rosemary, and thyme. Let cook for a few more minutes (about 3 minutes).
  6. Add vegetable broth, water and chickpeas. Bring to a boil.
  7. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer, stirring occasionally for 20-30 minutes, until sweet potatoes are softened.
  8. Add kale and continue to cook for 15 – 20 minutes, until you are ready to eat.

vegetarian ribollita

Ribollita is an Italian peasant stew. When meat was too expensive to use in every meal, veggie-packed stews would be made. Not only were they tasty, they were filling and healthy.20151126_130102-1.jpg

I made this pot of goodness for Thanksgiving, along with a turkey and all the trimmings. The small amount of red pepper flakes added to the stew give it a slow-forming heat that warms like being wrapped in your favorite fluffy blanket. This stew is warm and comforting on a cold winter’s day.

Slightly adapted from Cooking Light/December 201520151126_110225-1.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 5 oz rustic Italian bread, cut into large cubes
  • 4 cups water, divided
  • 8 oz purple cabbage, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 8 oz Tuscan kale, stemmed and thinly sliced
  • 3 1/2 Tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 red onion,  diced
  • 1 cup (1/2-inch) chopped carrot
  • 1 cup (1/2-inch) chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped flat-leaf  parsley
  • 2 Yukon gold potatoes,  cut into 1/2 cubes
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted tomato puree
  • 14 oz can Cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300°.
  2. Spread bread cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until toasted.
  3. Bring 2 cups water, cabbage, and kale to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook for 20 minutes or until cabbage mixture is wilted and tender. Drain.
  4. Heat large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add 1 Tbsp oil, onion, carrot, celery, and parsley to pan; cook 8 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Add potatoes; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in cabbage mixture, salt, and red pepper flakes; cook 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in remaining 2 cups of water, vegetable stock, tomato puree, and beans; bring to a boil.
  7. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, partially covered for 30 minutes, storing occasionally.
  8. Stir in bread cubes; cook for 20 minutes.
  9. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
  10. Serve and enjoy.

crockpot cuban black beans

A different spin on serving black beans. This can be served as a side or as a meal.

These beans have a slight spicy kick and are very filling.  You can serve this over rice for an elegant dinner or crush some tortilla chips on top for a less formal meal.

wpid-20151102_105403-1.jpg

Courtesy of My Recipes

Ingredients:

  •  1 pound dried black beans
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large onion)
  • 1.5 cups chopped red bell peppers
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1.5 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds,  crushed
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 (10 oz) cans diced tomatoes with green chilis,  drained

Instructions:

  1. Sort and wash beans, place in large bowl.
  2. Cover with water to 2 inches above beans.
  3. Let stand for 8 hours.
  4. Drain beans and transfer to slow cooker.
  5. Add 2 cups water and the next 10 ingredients (through oregano).
  6. Stir well.
  7. Cover and cook on HIGH for 5 hours or until beans are tender.
  8. Stir in vinegar and tomatoes.
  9. Serve over brown rice, if desired.

lunches this week – cheesy baked spaghetti squash

slightly adapted from http://www.skinnytaste.com

wpid-20151011_160519-1.jpg

Hello Sunday Smiles,

Spaghetti squash is one of those foods that amaze me.  A vegetable that is so normal looking before baking, but add a little heat, and it miraculously turns into a spaghetti-like dish. Amazing.

On that note,  who discovered this? I mean,  did someone one day say,  “let’s bake this and see what happens”. However it happened,  I,  for one, am ecstatic. Bring on lunch!

Have a great week! wpid-20151011_153020-1.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1 large spaghetti squash (5 1/2 cups,  cooked)
  • 1 Tbsp  Brummel and Brown Greek yogurt butter or regular butter
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 cups regular almond milk or 1% milk
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 8 oz reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 4 cups baby spinach (about 4 oz)
  • 1/8 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Cut squash lengthwise,  in half. Remove and discard seeds.
  3. Brush olive oil on cut sides of squash and place cut – side down in a baking dish.
  4. Bake until tender,  about an hour.
  5. When baked,  separate the stands of squash with a fork and place in large bowl. Discard shells.
  6. Keep oven at 375°.
  7. In a medium sauce pan,  heat butter over medium heat.
  8. Add onions,  and cook for about 2 minutes.
  9. Stir in flour, and reduce heat to low and cook, stirring continually for 3 to 4 minutes.
  10. Add milk and vegetable broth and continue, raising heat to medium-high until it comes to a boil and becomes smooth and thick,  about 2 minutes. Stir continuously season with salt and pepper.
  11. Once thick,  remove from heat and add cheddar cheese, and mix well until cheese is melted.
  12. Add cheese sauce to cooked spaghetti squash. Mix well.
  13. Add baby spinach, carefully mix.
  14. Transfer mixture to a baking dish.
  15. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and pine nuts.
  16. Bake until bubbly and golden,  about 25 to 30 minutes.

chicken, bacon, and pesto lasagne roll ups

wpid-20151010_180709-1.jpg

Pasta,  in any form,  is delightful.  And these lasagne rolls are no exception. And,  they are so easy to make. wpid-20151010_173405.jpg

The sauce is light and creamy; the stuffing of chicken, ricotta, and pesto compliment each other, bringing a symphony of taste exploding in your mouth. wpid-20151010_180602-2.jpg

Courtesy of http://www.heatherlikesfood.com

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken
  • 12 oz bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled
  • 8 lasagne noodles,  cooked
  • 3/4 cup Romano cheese, finely grated and divided
  • 16 oz part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup prepared basil Pesto
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 cloves garlic,  finely minced
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Cook lasagne noodles according to package directions,  drain and drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the top of them to prevent sticking.
  3. In a small saucepan melt butter and cook garlic,  about 30 seconds.
  4. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute,  stirring continuously.
  5. Whisk in milk and chicken broth and stir until it comes to a boil and is thickened.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in 1/4 tsp kosher salt and 1/4 cup of the Romano cheese.
  7. In a small bowl,  combine ricotta cheese with remaining 1/2 cup Romano cheese ah be 1/2 tsp  kosher salt.
  8. Pour 1/2 cup of sauce across the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  9. One at a time, lay a lasagne noodle on a cutting board and spread 3-4 Tbsp of the ricotta mixture on the noodle,  followed by 1 Tbsp pesto.
  10. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup chicken and a Tbsp of crumbled bacon over pesto.
  11. Roll noodle carefully and place seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.
  12. Pour remaining sauce over the rolls and top with mozzarella cheese.
  13. Cover pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until sauce is bubbly.