lunches this week – Ratatouille Twist

Hello sunny Sunday people,

It’s been a great weekend. A little housekeeping,  a little yard work,  and a little relaxation! A perfect combination.

Talk about a perfect combination,  this ratatouille – the perfect combination of spices with the perfect combination of vegetables,  bring this french stew a flair of the Indian combining to make a huge bowl of YUM!!!

courtesy of wwww.apronstringsblog.com

wpid-20150830_132155-1.jpg

Look at that pot of frenchy Indian goodness! *queue the watering mouth*wpid-20150830_131526-1.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil,  plus a few tablespoons,  divided
  • 1 large onion,  diced
  • 1 large shallot (or two medium), diced
  • 7-8 cloves garlic,  minced
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 large red peppers, deseeded, and sliced
  • 4 lbs fresh tomatoes,  cored and quartered
  • 2 tsp  cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp cardamom
  • 2 1/2 lbs zucchini, diced into 1″ cubes
  • 1 large eggplant,  diced into 1″ cubes
  • 2 tsp  garam masala
  • 1 tsp coriander

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Toss zucchini with salt,  pepper,  and a tablespoon of olive oil. Spread out in one layer on a baking sheet (you’ll have to do this in batches). Bake each for about 10 minutes, until cooked through and getting golden brown on the bottom.  Put the finished batches aside in a bowl as you go.
  2. Toss the eggplant with a tsp of cumin,  1/2 tsp of cardamom, a smidge more salt and pepper.  Repeat the same process as you did with the zucchini. Add the roasted eggplant to the bowl of zucchini.
  3. As you roast the zucchini and eggplant, heat 1/2 cup of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large stock pot. Add onion and shallot and cook until softened and translucent,  stirring occasionally.  Add garlic and cook 5 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Puree the red peppers and add to the pot. Season again with a little salt and pepper.  Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until it becomes thick like jam.  About 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Puree the tomatoes and add them to the pot. Bring to a boil,  and then reduce to a simmer. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently. The mixture will start to resemble a sauce consistency. Add a tsp of cumin and a tsp of cardamom.
  6. To finish,  once the mixture has attained sauce status,  sir in the garam masala and coriander. Carefully add the zucchini and eggplant.  Cook for 10 more minutes.
  7. Enjoy!
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lunches this week – Jamaican chickpea stew

Hello friendly faces

I hope your Sunday finds you well. I hope you like my lunches this week.  It’s Oh My Veggies, Jamaican Chickpea Stew. This dish is real easy and packed full of flavor. Perfect for a quick dinner or an easy healthy lunch!

courtesy of Oh My Veggieswpid-20150712_184209-1.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1  Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 cloves garlic,  minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp  dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup red wine (I substituted vegetable broth)
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 15 oz can chickpeas,  drained and rinsed
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

Instructions:

  1.  Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat.  Add onion and garlic and saute until onion is translucent. About 5 minutes.
  2. Add the curry powder,  thyme,  allspice, and red pepper flakes.  Cook until fragrant,  about 30 seconds.
  3. Stir in red wine (vegetable broth), black beans, chickpeas, and Tomatoes.  Bring to a full boil, and then reduce heat to medium low.  Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Serve over brown rice.

Skinny Beef Lombardi

Buongiorno, friendly people!

You know that feeling when you finally get around to doing something you’ve been wanting to get done? Well,  I finally cleaned my car.  I know that doesn’t seem like a big deal,  but it is to me. Seeing that I spend, on average, 2 hours a day commuting to and from work,  this is monumental.  We’re talking on the scale of bliss…a triple chocolate cake kind of bliss.

What better way to celebrate a clean car… Italian food! I found this recipe on my recipes and then changed it a little to make it a smidge healthier and with a few less calories.

Beef Lombardi-made light

adapted from my recipeswpid-20150620_181410-1.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean turkey
  • 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 10 oz can diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 6 oz can no salt added tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 oz Multigrain egg noodles
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 1 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fat-free cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese,  shredded
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese,  shredded

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Cook ground turkey in a large skillet over medium heat until no longer pink and is crumbled. Drain.
  3. Stir in diced tomatoes, diced tomatoes and chilies,  sugar,  salt,  and pepper.  Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomato paste and bay leaf.  Stir until thoroughly combined. Let simmer for 25 to 30 minutes.
  5. Cook egg noodles according to package.  Drain.
  6. Stir together cooked noodles, chopped green onions, and greek yogurt until well blended.
  7. Place noodle mixture in bottom of a lightly greased 13 x 9 casserole dish.Top with beef mixture. Sprinkle the cheeses evenly over the top. 
  8. Bake for 30 minutes.

vegan chana masala – my lunches this week

Hello happy people! I hope this Sunday finds you well.

As my husband and many of my coworkers know,  I am a part-time vegetarian. “What does this mean?”, you might ask. Well, during the week, and sometimes on the weekend, I don’t eat meat for breakfast or lunch. I eat a small portion of meat for dinner. wpid-20150614_151232-1.jpg

It all started when my step-daughter decided to become a vegetarian. My husband and I love having her come to visit,  which usually includes a meal or two. Along with our dinners,  I also would make her a vegetarian meal.  After a while,  I started liking some of the meals I made for her, and in time,  I decided to make the for my lunches.

This vegan chana masala is one of my favorites.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Vegan Chana Masala

courtesy of Cookie and Kate 

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 yellow onion,  chopped
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic (about 5 cloves)
  • 1 Tbsp peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 green Serrano pepper,  minced (seed it first,  for less heat)
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
  • 3/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cans (14 oz) petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans (14 oz) chickpeas (3 cups) drained and rinsed

Instructions:

  1. In a Dutch oven or large saucepan,  heat oil over medium heat. When a drop of water sizzles upon hitting the pan,  reduce the heat to medium-low and add the cumin seeds.  Toast the seeds for a minute or two, stirring frequently, until seeds are golden and fragrant. Watch carefully to avoid burning.
  2. Raise the heat to medium and stir in the onion,  garlic,  ginger, and Serrano.  Cook for five minutes,  stirring often.  Stir in spices and cook for two more minutes.
  3. Add the diced tomatoes and their juices.
  4. Raise the heat to medium-high and add the chickpeas.  Bring to a simmer and cook for ten minutes or longer to allow flavors to develop.