Category Archives: Dinners

Vegan Chili

Vegan Chili

I call this my emergency chili, because I always have these ingredients on hand. This can be cooked on the stovetop or using a slow-cooker. This chili is delicious and very filling. It is packed with protein, fiber, and lycopene, beta carotene, potassium and vitamins C and E. Unlike other canned fruits and vegetables tomatoes do not lose their nutrients in the canned process. In fact canned and cooked tomatoes contain more lycopene than fresh tomatoes.
Vegan Chili
2 15 ounce cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
30 ounce’s canned black beans
30 ounce’s canned red kidney beans
30 ounce’s canned light red kidney beans
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 onions, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cayenne
½ teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, sauté until onions are translucent, approximately 5-10 minutes.
2. Slightly drain the tomatoes, pour out about a tablespoon from each can. Combine tomatoes, onions, and spices in cooking method of choice, either slow cooker or stew pot.
3. Drain and rinse canned beans. Add beans to mixture.
4. If cooking over stovetop let simmer for 1-1 ½ hours. If cooking in a crockpot it can cook on low for 8-9 hours or on high for 3-5 hours.

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Mushroom Black Bean Veggie Burger

Mushroom Black Bean Veggie Burger

Just in time, I perfected my veggie burger; it’s officially awesome enough to share. I love summer barbeques for many reasons, eating outdoors, alcoholic beverages, watching the kids playing outside, and enjoying the weather (so long as it’s not too windy!) These veggie burgers can be made vegan (just make sure the bread crumbs are vegan.) Enjoy!

Mushroom Black Bean Veggie Burger
Ingredients:
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms, diced
2 cups spinach
1 can 15 ounce black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup oats (I used old fashioned, whole grain)
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt (optional)
1 cup bread crumbs
½ cup oats
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon black pepper
Directions:
1. Heat olive oil in large skillet, over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and sauté for five minutes.
2. Add mushrooms and spinach to skillet and sauté until the spinach welts down, approximately two minutes.
3. In a large bowl mash beans using a potato masher. The add veggies from the skillet. Then combine ½ cup oats, ground flaxseed, cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt into the large bowl.
4. In a shallow bowl combine bread crumbs, oats, ground flaxseed, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and black pepper.
5. Roll bean mixture into balls, approximately the size of a baseball. (Should make 5 balls.) Then using hands press balls into patty form.
6. Coat the patties in the shallow bowl mixture.
7. In a nonstick skillet heat, spray or grease skillet. Heat skillet and add patties. Cook approximately 2-3 minutes each side. Only some of my batch came apart while cooking, but were easily mashed back together. Enjoy!

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Cali Black Bean Torta

Cali Black Bean Torta

Today’s Fiesta Friday recipes is a black bean Torta. My recipe for spicy corn makes a nice addition to this sandwich as well as my spicy guacamole.

Cali Black Bean Torta

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic, or 1 clove minced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup salsa
1/3 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon chili powder
Sourdough Bread, sliced
Monterey Jack Cheese, shredded
Optional Spicy Guacamole (under sides)

Directions:
1. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onions are translucent.
2. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mash beans with a potato masher. Add remaining ingredients, except sourdough and cheese, into bowl and combine. ( Hint: It’s easy to combine using the potato masher.)
3. Add bean mixture into skillet with onion and heat through.
4. Toast Sourdough Bread.
5. Put bean mixture on sourdough bread. Sprinkle Monterey Jack Cheese on top, add optional toppings, and add the other slice of bread. Enjoy!

Optional Toppings: My spicy corn recipe (under sides), Tomato, cilantro, spicy guacamole (under sides) and or lime juice.

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Not So Meaty Meatloaf

Not So Meaty Meatloaf

I came up with this meal prior to becoming a vegetarian, (I have always loved tofu.) This is one of my favorite ways to use tofu, probably because it’s unconventional. Tofu skeptics in my family enjoy this “meatloaf.” And like traditional meatloaf this meatloaf goes well with mashed potatoes.

Not So Meaty Meatloaf

1 package firm or extra firm tofu
1 cup Italian Style breadcrumbs
¼ cup 2% milk
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1 teaspoon minced)
2 celery stalks, chopped finely
2 carrots, chopped finely
¾ cup ketchup, divided
¾ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ teaspoon black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a pan. (Loaf pan or casserole dishes work great)
2. Wrap tofu in a paper towel, and place a cutting board or plate over tofu. Place a bowl of fruit or a 3 canned food items on top of cutting board. (The extra weight will help push excess fluid from the tofu out.)
3. Place breadcrumbs and milk in large bowl.
4. Heat olive oil in skillet; add onion and garlic to skillet, sauté for approximately 5 minutes. Then add celery and carrots, sauté for 5 more minutes.
5. Remove tofu from paper towel. Chop tofu into small pieces. Place tofu in bowl with breadcrumbs. Use a potato masher to mash tofu and combine tofu and breadcrumbs. Add ¼ ketchup, pepper, mozzarella cheese, and onion, garlic, celery, and carrots. Reserve approximately 1/2 cup of skillet mixture for topping. ( I say approximately because I usually just eyeball it.) Put tofu mixture in prepared pan.
6. In skillet with approximately ½ cup of onion, garlic, celery, and carrot mixture, add remaining ½ cup of ketchup and combine. Put ketchup mixture on top of “meatloaf.”
7. Put pan in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy!

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Black Bean Casserole

Black Bean Casserole

Today’s Fiesta Friday meal is Black Bean Casserole! This recipe scrumptious, and it can be cooked up very fast if using instant rice and canned beans. I love instant brown rice, it may cost a little more but it saves a ton of time, and I don’t need to have the stove on as long, which ultimately will save me some money on gas! Using canned beans saves time, however I sometimes cook the beans the night before and store them in the fridge the night before, that way they are ready to be thrown in the recipe. This recipe isn’t very spicy so my kids can eat it; however it has enough spice to please many adults. If you want to kick this recipes spice up it goes great with green or red hot sauce.
So you can eat this recipe by itself (my preferred method,) or put it in whole wheat tortillas for a delicious burrito, or use it as a topping on nachos! When I have leftovers, I heat the leftovers up and put the casserole over tortillas chips for nachos, YUMMY! Ok I am getting hungry thinking of nachos, its official I will be doing this for movie night tonight!
Black Bean Casserole
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced (See note below)
1 clove garlic, (or 1 teaspoon minced)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup mild cheddar cheese shredded, divided
1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese shredded, divided
3 ½ cups cooked brown rice
3 cups black beans cooked (or 2-15 ounce cans black beans rinsed and drained)
1-15 ounce can fire roasted tomatoes
1-4 ounce can green chilies, dived
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease casserole dish.
2. Heat olive oil in skillet. Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes. Then add bell pepper and garlic to skillet, sauté for another five minutes or until onions become translucent.
3. In a bowl combine sour cream, ricotta cheese, ½ cup cheddar cheese, and ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese. Add beans, rice, tomatoes, chilies, and veggie mixture into bowl and mix.
4. Put mixture in casserole dish and top with remaining cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese.
5. Put casserole in oven and let it bake for 25-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and casserole in bubbling. Let it set for 5 minutes and enjoy!

*Bell Pepper Note- Use any bell pepper you like or whatever you have on hand. I used half a yellow and half of an orange bell pepper, because I like the variety and extra pop of color, plus orange bell peppers are my favorite!

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Black Bean Veggie Burritos

Black Bean Veggie Burritos

Happy Fiesta Friday! For the month of June every Friday I will post a Mexican inspired recipe, with my own picky veggie twist. This recipe can easily be changed to tacos just use taco shells or taco sized tortillas instead. This is a super easy and quick recipe.
Black Bean and Veggie Burritos
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 cups black beans (cooked) or 2 15 ounce can black beans rinsed and drained
1 onion, diced
2 bell peppers, diced *See Bell pepper note bellow
1 glove garlic minced or 1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon paprika (optional for extra kick)
½ teaspoon chili powder (optional for extra kick)
Salt and pepper to taste
Juice of one lemon (optional juice of 2 limes)
Spicy Corn (See recipe under sides)
Wheat tortillas (recipe to be posted later today)
Optional Toppings: Sour Cream, Avocado, Guacamole, Cilantro, and/or tomatoes
Note*Bell Pepper (I like to have a variety of bell peppers, so I use 4 bell pepper halves so I can have orange, yellow, green and red bell peppers)
Directions:
1. Heat oil in skillet over medium to high head. Add onions and sauté for 3 minutes. Add bell peppers and garlic, let sauté for 5 min.
2. Add Beans and spices to skillet until heated it’s heated through. Remove from heat.
3. Spicy corn can be added to bean mixture or added separately in burritos. Put beans and corn into tortillas. Squeeze lemon or lime juice on top of burrito. Top with desired toppings. Enjoy!
Serves 6-8 people.

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Veggie Couscous Lasagna

Veggie Couscous Lasagna

I made this “lasagna” to save time from making traditional lasagna. I love couscous because it cooks so quickly. It takes about 20 min prep work and 25-30 min in the oven.
Veggie Couscous Lasagna
Ingredients
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ large onion or a whole medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic or one clove minced
3 Italian Squash (or zucchini) thinly chopped
½ cup mushrooms, chopped
3 cups spinach
5 cups marina or a 32 ounce jar
¾ Couscous
1 cup ricotta cheese
5 ounces mozzarella (can be shredded or chunk)
Basil (optional)

Directions
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and let cook until onion begins to turn translucent.
2. Heat marinara in saucepan. (If desired add chopped basil.) Once boiling add couscous, remove from heat and cover. Let sit until the rest of the ingredients are ready.
3. Then add garlic and zucchini to the onion mixture for another five minutes, sauté for 3 minutes. Then add mushrooms and spinach. Sautee until spinach welts and mushrooms soften.
4. Put couscous mixture in bottom of baking dish. Layer vegetable mixture on top. Spread ricotta cheese and mozzarella on top. Repeat until both mixtures are gone, ending with ricotta cheese and mozzarella cheese on top.
5. Optional step: Add basil on top.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sauce in bubbling.

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