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.

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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 – smokey cabbage stew

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Courtesy of Gourmandelle

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium cabbage
  • 2- 14 oz cans Cannellini beans
  • Large onion, coursely chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves,  minced
  • 1 Tbsp sweet paprika
  • 3 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 5 Tbsp no salt added tomato paste
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper,  to taste
  • Water

Instructions:

  1.  Chop cabbage.
  2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  3. Add onion and garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add cabbage and 1 cup of water. Cover with lid and let soften for 10 minutes.
  5. When cabbage has softened,  add all spices, except the tomato paste.
  6. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
  7. Add beans,  with water,  and tomato paste. Cook for 15 minutes. (If needed,  add more water so it won’t stick to the bottom of pan and burn.)
  8. Let set 10 minutes before serving.

 

lunches this week – cheesy baked spaghetti squash

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

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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.

lunches this week – veggie-packed vegetable soup

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Have I mentioned how much I love vegetables? I mean,  I really love vegetables.  Not only are they good for you,  they taste good.  I love the texture of broccoli and cauliflower.  The crunchiness of carrots, the tanginess of the tomatoes.  My mouth is watering just thinking about lunch tomorrow. wpid-20151004_155814-1.jpg

This recipe is from the garden grazer; which is the site that gave me the ultimate greek salad,  which, hands down, is my favorite salad EVER.  I’ve adapted this vegetable soup slightly, basically packed in more vegetables!

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Slightly adapted from http://www.thegardengrazer.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, diced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cups broccoli, coursely chopped into bite size pieces
  • 2 cups cauliflower, coarsely chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups mushrooms,  sliced thick
  • 1 1/2 cups cut green beans (frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups peas  (frozen)
  • 1 1/2 cups corn (frozen)
  • Large handful baby spinach
  • 15 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 8 cups vegetable broth
  • Kosher salt,  to taste

Instructions:

  1.  In large stockpot over medium heat, saute onion for 5-7 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  2. Add broth, tomatoes with juice,  and all the vegetables (except spinach).
  3. Increase heat and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat,  cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until veggies are at desired tenderness.
  5. Stir in spinach and salt to taste.

lunches this week – fall vegetable curry

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Courtesy of Cooking Light

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 cup sweet potato,  peeled and diced
  • 1 cup small cauliflower florets
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 2 tsp  curry powder
  • 1/2 cup organic vegetable broth
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 15 oz  can chickpeas,  rinsed and drained
  • 14.5 oz  can no salt added diced tomatoes,  with juice

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in large non-stick sleet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add sweet potato to pan,  sauté for 3 minutes.
  3. Decrease heat to medium,  add cauliflower,  onion, and curry powder; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  4. Add broth,  salt,  chickpeas, and tomatoes, bring to a boil.
  5. Cover,  reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

* Sprinkle with chopped cilantro

** Serve with yogurt

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

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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!

Lunches this Week – Baked Summer Squash

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Hello happy people!

I hope this Sunday finds you well. The last couple of weeks I’ve been on kind of a chickpea kick. Well, this week I’m mixing it up a little bit,  walking on the wild side, throwing caution to the wind!

Indeed, no chickpeas! It helped that I got a huge zucchini from a woman at work!  But here’s a wonderful baked summer squash.

courtesy of the kitchnwpid-20150726_164644-1.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds summer squash (zucchini,  pattypan, yellow crookneck)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Remove the stem ends and slice the squash cross-post in 1/4″ thick rounds.  Toss with olive oil.
  3. Arrange the squash in a 9 x 13 baking dish.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs,  parmesan, salt, and pepper.
  5. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the squash.
  6. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes.  Remove foil and bake another 5 minutes until the top is bubbly and crispy.

my lunch this week – black bean avocado enchiladas

courtesy of the garden grazerwpid-20150607_134724-1.jpg

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 medium avocados
  • 15 oz can of black beans
  • 1 1/2 cups of corn (thawed, if frozen)
  • 4-5 green onions, sliced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 8-10 large whole wheat tortillas

For the sauce

  • 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • Salt/pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Rinse and cook quinoa according to package.
  2. Meanwhile,  make the enchilada sauce: in a small bowl, add flour and spices. In saucepan over medium heat, add olive oil. Once warm, add tomato paste and floor and spices.  Cook 1 minute,  whisking. Whisk in broth,  and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer, and cook until thickened,  about 8 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, dice avocados,  and slice green onions.
  4. In large bowl,  add black beams,  corn, green onions, and cumin.  Add cooked quinoa,  and stir.  Add avocado and combine gently.
  5. Preheat oven to 375°.
  6. In a lightly sprayed 9×13 baking dish, pour a small amount of sauce to coat the bottom. Evenly distribute the black bean/quinoa mixture to center of each tortilla,  roll up,  and place seam side down in the dish. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas. wpid-20150607_135517-1.jpg
  7. Bake 25 minutes.

rainbow chopped salad with avocado basil dressing

There is a lot of chopping to make this salad,  but it is truly worth it.  I was a little sad when the bowl was empty at lunch.

I cannot wait for lunch tomorrow!

courtesy of the garden grazer

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Ingredients 

  • 1/2 small head red cabbage,  coarsely chopped
  • 8 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, sliced and chopped in quarters
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 15 oz can of black beans,  drained and rinsed

(for the dressing)

  • 1 avocado
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil
  • 1 – 2 gloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp agave or honey
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Instructions 

To make the dressing:

  1.  Place all dressing ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Place in the refrigerator and make salad.

To make the salad:

  1. Chop all the vegetables and place in large bowl.
  2. Toss to combine.
  3. Pour dressing over salad and toss thoroughly. wpid-20150531_110309.jpg

summer corn succotash

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summer corn succotash

I usually make some vegetarian meal to take for lunch, and this succotash looks delish!

Ingredients

  • 3 ears of fresh corn, decobbed (1.5 cups frozen)
  • 1 cup red pepper,  diced
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1 cup chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup red onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Diced chives and avocado, for garnish

Instructions 

  1. In a medium skillet, over medium high heat,  heat oil.
  2. Add onion and stir until translucent, add garlic, and seasonings. Cook for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add corn and red peppers, cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Add beans and let cool for 5 minutes more.
  5. Adjust seasonings to taste.