Slow Cooker Tuscan Lentil Sloppy Joes

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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.

Mushroom and Chickpea Stew

Mushroom and Chickpea Stew (Vegetarian)

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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.

Red Lentil Curry with Spinach over Wheat Berry – lunches this week

Slightly adapted from Naturally Ella

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So, this past weekend, it turned very cold here in MN. We’re talking sub-zero kind of cold. Naturally, I was looking for a recipe to make for my lunches that would warm me up.

Enter Red Lentil Curry with Spinach. I just want to say…WHOA!  OK, you guys, this is one of the simplest and quickest recipes I’ve come across in a long time. AND, one of the most flavorful recipes I’ve had in a long time.

I have to admit, I didn’t try any while I was cooking it up – at 8pm on Saturday night – so I truly didn’t know how good it was until I ate it for lunch today…I like to live life on the edge. I figured I bring enough food to graze all day, if I had to forego the main course, I wouldn’t starve. And, I indeed didn’t starve…I cried that I only had the small portion. I was wanting more. So, now…

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I am really looking forward to lunch tomorrow, just kidding, but not really!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup Whole Fat Coconut Milk
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup red curry paste
  • 3/4 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups fresh spinach

Instructions

  1. In a high-sided skillet,over medium-high heat, mix coconut milk, water and red curry paste. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add red lentils. Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are soft.
  3. Remove from heat and add spinach. Stir the spinach until it is wilted and mixed thoroughly.
  4. Serve over 1/4 cup of prepared wheat berries.

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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.

chicken, bacon, and pesto lasagne roll ups

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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.