Sunday, November 30, 2014

Chard, White Bean & Potato Soup

2 15oz cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbs olive oil
1 red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
4 red potatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed, leaves coarsely torn

1) Smash 3/4 cup beans in a bowl with the back of a fork to form a paste; set aside.
2) Heat oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add bell pepper and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook 5 minutes, or until softened. Add potatoes, and cook 10 minutes, or until tender. Stir in garlic, and cook 2 minutes more.
3) Add broth, smashed and whole beans, and smoked paprika to the pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer to 12-15 minutes. Add chard and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Simmer 5 minutes, or until chard is wilted.

Review: I don't like soup. But, if I find a recipe with enough chunks in it, I'll make it and decrease the recommended amount of broth. I think it might be a ragout at this point. This was definitely worth the effort. This was savory, hearty and really filling.

Adapted from:

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Black Bean & Chile Posole

2 4-5 inch dried guajillo chiles
2 leeks, white and light green parts cut into 2-inch chunks
2 Tbs olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
2 15oz cans white hominy, rinsed and drained
2 15oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 15oz can fire-roasted diced tomatoes

1) Place guajillo chiles in a large bowl and cover with 3 cups of boiling water. Let soak 15 minutes, or until softened. Drain chiles and reserve liquid. Pull open chiles and gently scrape out and discard the seeds. Puree chiles in blender with 1/4 cup reserved soaking liquid. (Press puree through a sieve if bits of skin remain and discard solids.) Stir chile puree into remaining soaking liquid.
2) Halve leek chunks and thinly slice into matchsticks.
3) Heat oil in large stockpot over medium heat. Add leeks and saute 5 to 7 minutes, or until softened. Add garlic, cumin and oregano, and saute 1 minute. Add hominy, black beans, tomatoes with juice, chile liquid and 6 cups water; cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes.
4) Garnish, if desired, with tortilla chips, avocados, diced tomatoes, chopped green onions, lime wedges or chopped cilantro.

Review: This was not spicy, but more savory. I love posole and hominy, especially with extra salt!! This was a slightly different flavor than usual, due to the leeks. I'm not sure what happened as it sat in the fridge, as this was the smelliest leftovers I've ever had - not good at work!!

Adapted from:

Forbidden Rice Pudding with Pomegranate Seeds & Coconut Chips

1 14oz can light coconut milk
1/2 cup black rice
2 Tbs sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 vanilla bean
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1/2 cup toasted coconut chips

1) Pour coconut milk, rice, sugar and salt into a medium saucepan.
2) Slit the vanilla bean in half, scrape vanilla seeds into saucepan and add pod to saucepan.
3) Bring mixture to a simmer over medium heat, stirring often, then reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 30 minutes, or until rice is soft and much of liquid is absorbed. Remove and discard vanilla pod.
4) Serve pudding warm or chilled, topped with pomegranate seeds and coconut chips.

Review: The original recipe included instructions on how to make toasted coconut chips. However, I found a big bag of them at Costco:
Of course, the original recipe also called for using Arborio rice. I still had some black rice from the last time I made rice pudding and thought that would work much better. It didn't absorb as much of the liquid as the Arborio rice would have, so the fluid amounts had to be adjusted. At this point, I think this is now an original recipe! This tasted similar to the last rice pudding I made, but the vanilla bean really added extra flavor and the pomegranate seeds added just a bit of tang. The coconut chips didn't add much, but are super tasty!

Adapted from:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Cajun Scrambled Chickpeas with Zucchini

2 15oz cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup chopped frozen onion
1 medium zucchini, sliced into thin half-moons
1 Tbs Cajun spice blend
1 Tbs chopped thyme

1) Mash chickpeas in medium bowl with fork.
2) Coat large skillet with cooking spray, and heat over medium-high heat. Add onion, and saute 5 to 7 minutes. Add zucchini and cook 5 minutes. Stir in chickpeas, Cajun spice and thyme. Cook 5 minutes, adding up to 1/4 cup water if mixture seems too dry. Serve garnished with a sprinkling of thyme.

Review: My potato masher does a great job with potatoes. It has large gaps that make it easy to clean. However, this feature made it difficult to smash chickpeas!! Most of the gaps were larger than the chickpeas, so I had to strategize a bit. After that hurdle, this was easy! I quickly made this for lunch. I thought it wouldn't be very filling, but I couldn't finish my bowl! It had a great taste and felt like I was eating a substantial meal.

Adapted from:

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower Chilaquiles

1 1.25lb head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into florets
1 Tbs olive oil
2 poblano chiles, halved lengthwise and seeds removed
1 15oz can refried black beans
12 corn tortilla chips
3/4 cup prepared mild tomatillo salsa
1/2 cup shredded Daiya cheddar

1) Preheat oven to 400F. Mound cauliflower on rimmed baking sheet and toss with oil. Spread in single layer on one side of baking sheet and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Spread chiles, skin side up, on empty side of baking sheet. Roast 30 minutes, or until cauliflower is browned and chiles are charred. Cool. Remove skins from chiles and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
2) To assemble: Layer half of ingredients in each of two microwave-safe containers, starting with beans on bottoms, followed by chiles, cauliflower, tortilla chips, salsa and Daiya cheese. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
3) Just before serving, heat in microwave until cheese melts and casserole is heated all the way through.

Review: Apparently, if you add vegetables and use a few less chips, it's called chilaquiles instead of nachos. This was really tasty and very filling. I don't normally use the fake cheese (as you can see, it's just not the same), but decided to risk it tonight.

Adapted from:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Chickpea Succotash with Lemongrass

4 stalks fresh lemongrass
1 large tomato
2 tsp olive oil
4 yellow squash, sliced into half-moons
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15oz can chickpeas, drained
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1) Trim and discard tough base and skinny top leaves of lemongrass stalks, then peel away tough outer layers. Crush inner white stems with mallet or rolling pin, then finely chop. Transfer to a small bowl and cover with 1/4 cup boiling water. Set aside.
2) Halve tomato through middle and scoop seeds into strainer set over bowl. Press juice from seeds, then discard seeds. Set juice aside and dice tomato flesh.
3) Heat oil in large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add squash, ginger and garlic, and saute 3 minutes without browning. Stir in chickpeas, corn and diced tomatoes, lemongrass with liquid and tomato juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover, increase heat to medium, and simmer 5 minutes, or until tomatoes just begin to soften. Stir in cilantro.

Review: I wasn't excited about this dish, as I'm not a big fan of yellow squash. However, I had stocked up on chickpeas awhile ago and wasn't using them like I had expected. I need to get rid of the stock so I have more space. I'm glad I went for this recipe, because it was amazing. The yellow squash wasn't it's typical bland self. The lemongrass really spiced it up and gave everything an exotic, 'green' flavor. It's hard to describe, but it was amazing. The chickpeas gave the dish a more filling base, so I didn't seek out seconds.

Adapted from:

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Roasted Winter Vegetable Jambalaya

1 cup long-grain brown rice
2 large carrots, diced
2 medium parsnips, diced
1 small sweet potato, diced
2 Yukon gold potatoes, diced
6 Tbs olive oil, divided
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1 small onion, diced
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
3 cups vegetable broth
1 15oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

1) Soak rice in bowl of water overnight.
2) Preheat oven to 450F. Drain rice. Coat casserole dish with cooking spray.
3) In a large bowl, toss together the carrots, parsnips, sweet potato, potatoes, 4 Tbs oil and 1/2 tsp salt. Spread in casserole dish and roast 30 to 40 minutes, tossing occasionally, until vegetables are browned.
4) Combine onion, remaining 2 Tbs oil, paprika, cayenne and remaining 1/4 tsp salt in a large sauce pan. Heat over medium-low heat. Cook 5 to 8 minutes, or until onion is soft. Add rice. Cook 2 minutes over medium heat, or until liquid has evaporated. Stir in broth and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then immediately remove from heat.
5) Stir roasted vegetables into rice mixture and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Stir in parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Review: This made soooo much food, about 8 servings. I wasn't expecting that and will now be eating it for days. Fortunately, it's tasty. It's quite a dry dish, with the rice absorbing all of the liquid quite well. It's smoky, while boasting the awesomeness of roasted vegetables, combined with the savoriness of tomatoes. It was quite delectable, but definitely needs salt!

Adapted from:
The Inspired Vegan

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Black Bean Chili with Fire-Roasted Corn

1 16oz jar salsa verde
2 15oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 16oz bag frozen fire-roasted corn
4 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro

1) In a large saucepan, combine salsa, beans, corn and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil.
2) Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Review: This was amazing. It had a little heat, but this was really sweet. The green salsa always tastes a bit sweet to me, but then adding in the corn made this chili quite sweet!! That's not normally a desirable quality to chili, but it made this one really yummy.

Adapted from:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Leek Hash with Polenta

1 Tbs olive oil
3 medium leeks, trimmed, halved and chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup vegetable broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 16oz tube prepared polenta, sliced

1) Preheat oven to 375F. Heat oil in an ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks, bell pepper, 1 Tbs thyme and red pepper flakes; saute 10 minutes. Stir in broth and garlic.
2) Arrange polenta slices over leek mixture in skillet. Bake 15 minutes.

Review: I was hoping the polenta would brown, but it didn't. It did firm up a bit and was a great balance to the acidity of the leeks and bell peppers. This was pretty tasty.

Adapted from:

Monday, November 3, 2014

Quinoa with Broccoli Raab & Pistachios

1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 bunch broccoli raab, chopped
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/4 cup chopped roasted pistachios

1) Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add quinoa, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 8 minutes. Add broccoli raab and 1/2 cup water; cover, and cook 8 minutes more, or until broccoli raab is tender. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Drain any excess water, then transfer quinoa and broccoli raab to a large serving bowl.
2) Whisk together lemon juice and vinegar in a small bowl. Whisk in oil until blended. Stir dressing into quinoa mixture along with the parsley. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Sprinkle with pistachios.

Review: I feel like I've made a lot of broccoli raab in recent weeks, but it's just so tasty. I love the bitterness of it. The acidic dressing helped balance this, with the salty sweetness of the pistachios finishing it off. It was good, but not so great that I'd make it again.

Adapted from:

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pumpkin Soup

2 cups vegetable broth
15oz can pumpkin
4 Tbs Thai red curry paste
15oz can light coconut milk

1) In a saucepan, whisk until smooth the vegetable broth, pumpkin and Thai red curry paste over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2) Add coconut milk and cook until hot, about 3 minutes. Salt to taste. Can be garnished with sliced red jalapeno or a cilantro leaf.

Review: I really don't like soup. However, I had a bit of Thai red curry paste leftover in the fridge that I wanted to use up, without resorting to remaking a recently tried recipe. Luckily, this didn't suck. It had a thicker texture, so it was filling. It wasn't spicy, but had a spicy flavor. The flavors melded together quite well, so there was no one predominate flavor, just a well blended, tasty soup.

Adapted from: