My 2 Cents

Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

20110820-070613.jpgThis is yet another Whole Foods recipe.  We had it for dinner earlier this week.  It was quick and easy, and really good with a side salad.  Hope you enjoy!

Serves 4 to 6

Kids love this dish and thankfully it’s easy to customize to their tastes. Start with the basic recipe then add cooked sausage, pepperoni or black olives, if you like. Little hands can spread the cheese or sauce, sprinkle the fillings or roll up the pasta.

Ingredients

Salt
1/2 pound (8 to 10) uncooked lasagna noodles
Nonstick cooking spray
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 1/2 cups prepared marinara sauce
1 1/2 cups packed baby spinach
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Method

Preheat oven to 400°F. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add noodles and cook until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain well and gently transfer to a clean work surface.

Grease a small roasting pan or casserole dish with cooking spray; set aside. Working with one noodle at a time, spread with about 2 tablespoons of the ricotta and 2 tablespoons of the marinara then top with spinach. Starting at one end, roll up noodle snugly then arrange in pan either seam-side down or with the rolls close enough together to hold each other closed. Pour remaining marinara over assembled rolls then sprinkle with mozzarella and bake until golden and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes.

Nutrition

Per serving (about 7oz/189g-wt.): 350 calories (100 from fat), 11g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 35mg cholesterol, 670mg sodium, 47g total carbohydrate (4g dietary fiber, 9g sugar), 16g protein

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"Deliciousness"

This is definitely not one of my healthiest recipes, but it is SOOOOO good!  It’s for meat eaters or veggies, so everyone can enjoy it.  It’s also good made stove top, or in a slow cooker. It tastes good left over or after reheated from frozen too.  Hope you enjoy!

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

1 package Morningstar Griller’s Crumbles (or 1lb. ground beef or turkey)

1 can chili beans (15.5 ounces)

1 can diced tomatoes (15.5 ounces)

1 can diced green chilies (4 ounces)

1 can yellow corn (8.75 ounces)

1 package chili seasoning (McCormick or other brand, I use the hot style)

1 package Fritos chips

sour cream

shredded cheddar

Method

Brown crumbles or meat in a 4-6 quart pot on meduim-high heat.  Add chili seasoning, tomatoes, beans, green chilies, and corn.  Stir to mix evenly.  Turn heat to low and let simmer for 20-25 minutes. (Or put browned crumbles/meat in slow cooker, and mix with other ingredients.  Then let chili cook on low for up to 4 hours.)  Serve over Fritos in a bowl, and top with cheddar cheese and sour cream.

Tonight’s recipe is a new one for us. We haven’t tried it, but it looks DELICIOUS! I found the recipe on $5 Dinners, which happens to be an awesome site. You should check it out. I’ve got the recipe below, and I will let you know how it rates, and add a picture, after we chow down tonight.

Red Quinoa with Avocado, Black Beans & Corn

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 Ingredients

1 cup red quinoa (I have white quinoa left over from the other night, so I won’t be using the  red.)
1 cup frozen diced green pepper (I used fresh)
1 cup frozen corn
2 cups cooked black beans
1/4 cup lime juice
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 avocado, diced

Directions


In a large skillet, saute the green pepper, corn and black beans. Once softened, add the lime juice and cilantro. In saucepan, cook the red quinoa as directed on the package. Once cooked, mix the quinoa in with the sauteeing veggies. Dice up and avocado. Serve the avocado on top of the quinoa and veggies.

How was it?

This recipe was yummy.  I don’t think I’ve mastered how to cook the quinoa yet, because it was a little mushy, and kind of fell apart.  I think I could have taken it off the stove a few minutes earlier.  Otherwise, the flavors were really good.  We would totally eat it again.

 

 Roasted Bell Peppers Stuffed with Quinoa (and Garden Salad)

(also a Whole Foods Recipe)

This is my second recipe from the Whole Foods iPhone app, which I LOVE!  As you know if you’ve been following me, the Other Half and I recently  went back to vegetarianism.  We have gone without meat before, but for  some reason we have never tried quinoa in a recipe.

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I found this recipe and it looked good, so I gave it a try for dinner tonight.  It was  REALLY good.  At first, I was skeptical about the amount of  cinnamon in it, but it  really turned out well.  The flavors of the veggies  went well together, and the  peppers were so soft, they almost melted in my mouth.  The cashews were good  because they gave it a little crunch, but I will probably add another 1/4 cup next  time.

Also, since it’s just my husband and I eating, I made the whole amount of stuffing, but only stuffed and roasted two peppers.  I froze the rest

of the stuffing so that we can enjoy it another time.

For the salad, I just chopped up some romaine lettuce, added craisins, croutons, cucumbers, parmesan cheese, and a vinegarette dressing.

This is definitely going on the favorites list!  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

 Serves 6

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for oiling the pan 1 red onion, chopped
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped carrots
7 bell peppers (1 cored, seeded and chopped; tops removed and reserved from remaining 6 then cored and seeded)
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1/4 pound baby spinach
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed and cooked according to package directions  Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup roasted, salted cashews

Method

20110801-065431.jpgHeat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally until transparent, 8 to 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until softened, 4 to 5 minutes more. Add carrots and chopped peppers, cook until just softened, then add parsley and spinach (in batches, if needed). Let spinach wilt then stir in cinnamon, cumin and cooked quinoa and toss gently to combine. Add salt, pepper and cashews and cook 1 to 2 minutes more. Set aside to let filling cool until just warm.
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9- x 13-inch baking pan with oil then set aside.

Divide quinoa mixture evenly among remaining 6 bell peppers, gently packing it down and making sure to fully fill each pepper. Top each pepper with its reserved top then arrange them upright in prepared pan. Cover snugly with foil and bake, checking halfway through, until peppers are tender and juicy and filling is hot throughout, about 1 hour. Transfer to plates and serve.

Nutrition

Per serving (1 pepper/about 10oz/283g-wt.): 250 calories (90 from fat), 10g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 280mg sodium, 36g total carbohydrate (7g dietary fiber, 6g sugar), 9g protein

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Tofu and Black Bean Tacos

Recipe from Whole Foods

Serves 6

This simple mixture of tofu, spices, garlic and black beans makes a robust filling for tacos. Pack leftovers to assemble tacos for lunch.

Ingredients

1 (14-ounce) package extra-firm tofu, drained
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
12 corn tortillas, warmed
3 cups shredded green leaf lettuce
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese

Method

Put tofu, chili powder, oregano, cumin, coriander and salt into a bowl and mash together with a fork. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and two-thirds of the green onions and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add tofu mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the moisture has evaporated, 10 to 12 minutes. Add beans and remaining green onions, stir well and cook until beans are heated through, about 2 minutes more.

Spoon tofu mixture into tortillas, top with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese and serve.

Nutrition

Per serving (2 tacos/299g-wt.): 350 calories (160 from fat), 18g total fat, 7g saturated fat, 30mg cholesterol, 760mg sodium, 36g total carbohydrate (8g dietary fiber, 3g sugar), 20g protein

This recipe was super yummy!  But, Matt and I like a little “heat” in our Mexican dishes and it was lacking in that department.  We threw a little Frank’s hot sauce on it, and that made it good, but I think next time I make it I will throw in a little cayenne pepper or something to give it a little kick.  Also, the corn tortillas were delish, but they always seem to break for us, so next time I’ll go with flour tortillas.

Enjoy!

-Melinda

About two weeks ago, my husband and I received a package in the mail from my mom.  It was a lovely dinner for two.  I had been visiting her and other family up north and just got back home, so she sent us a treat since we hadn’t seen each other in a few weeks.  I opened the box, and found a styro-foam container.  Inside were some ice packs.  As I unpacked further, there was shrimp cocktail, lobster bisque, dessert and finally two fairly large lobsters.  I had never really cooked lobster before, and only eaten it once or twice, so I didn’t know much about it.  It looked like a yummy treat for both of us.  I called Mom to thank her.

Then she told me the lobsters were still ALIVE!

I was kind of confused, because after I had opened the container the first time, I was pretty sure they were NOT moving.   Then I found out that that’s what they do when they are cold.  I opened the container back up for a little more inspection, only to find out that they were indeed alive.  That’s when I kind of freaked.  I didn’t want to cook them and kill them, and I knew my husband (who has been a vegetarian twice in his life for a total of 5 years) wouldn’t want to cook them either.  So I called our neighbor, and friend, Tara.  I knew that she would come to the rescue.  That night we wound up eating the lobsters, and lots of other goodies, at Tara’s house – after SHE cooked them.  We joked about it, enjoyed it, had a good time, and a delicious dinner.

When Matt was in middle school, he was a vegetarian for about 3 years.  The last time that he was a vegetarian, we didn’t eat meat in the house, but I would occasionally eat chicken or something when we went out for dinner.  I guess I was a part-time veggie.  This lasted for about 2 years, and then for some reason, we just started eating meat again one day.

After the lobster experience, I think we realized that it’s time to go veggie again!  It kind of hit me hard.  I know that all of the meat I have eaten previously has been dead, but when I was left to kill the poor animal myself, I felt horrible.  And, if I felt that bad about killing and ugly bottom dwelling sea creature with beady eyes and weird, hairy claws, what was I doing eating cute, fuzzy cows? (or pigs, or chickens?)  I can’t kill animals to eat them.

So, we’re back to being vegetarians again.  There are lots of different kinds of veggies though.  Just to make it clear, we do eat dairy. ( I could never give up cheese!!)  We have just eliminated eating dead animals.  We will also go back to trying to by animal friendly clothing and shoes, since wearing leather from a dead cow would kind of defeat the purpose of being a vegetarian.

Okay, so what does all of this mean for you?

Being a vegetarian requires a little more creativity than just eating “meat and potatoes,” so as I find yummy recipes, I’ll post them.  Of course, you can use meat in them if you choose, or you can make them as is!  I hope you enjoy ☺

-Melinda

 



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