meatless monday in 5 minutes ~ bean & cheese roll ups

It’s been one of those weeks, a few of ’em actually.  With too much to do & not enough time to even come close to being done, I’ve been finding myself standing in the kitchen at 6pm with nothing cooked, nothing planned, nothing but a couple of hungry kids.  The following has saved me from complete dinner time meltdown on more than one occasion recently.  It’s not fancy but it is tasty & if you’re kids are big enough they can help make it.  We usually have these roll ups with chips, salsa & guacamole, and a fruit salad.  They travel well, so are great in lunch boxes.

 

BEAN & CHEESE ROLL UPS

 

 

  • 1 can vegetarian refried beans
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • salsa
  • soft taco size whole wheat or flour tortillas

Lay one tortilla flat on a microwave safe plate & spread with a layer of beans & then a layer of salsa.  Top with shredded cheese.  Microwave for 30 seconds – 1 minute, until cheese is melted.  It’s hot!  Let cool slightly, then roll it up & cut in half.

Eat & enjoy!

Other optional fillings:  sliced olives; scallions; whole beans such as black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans; rice; corn; cilantro; and/or sour cream (put it on after microwaving).

What’s your need-a-tasty-veggie-dinner-right-now secret weapon?  Leave a link & help a mama out!

10 good reasons to go vegetarian one day a week


meatless monday ~ split pea soup

After a few weeks of summer like temperatures, a cold front moved through Friday night bringing rain, wind, and much cooler temps.  The perfect opportunity to squeeze in one more hearty soup before it gets too hot.  We ate it with sliced pears & crusty whole wheat rolls.

SPLIT PEA SOUP w/ a touch of curry

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 4 large carrots, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 new potatoes, chopped into 1/2 pieces
  • 1 box (32oz) vegetable broth
  • 36 oz water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 pound dried split peas, throughly rinsed
  • plain yogurt for serving (optional)

In a large stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onions & garlic and sauté for several minutes while you chop the carrots & celery.  Add the carrots & celery and sauté the mixture while you chop and then add the potatoes.

Add the veggie broth, water, salt, pepper, curry, and split peas and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat & simmer, partially covered, for 45ish minutes until the peas are very soft.

Using an immersion blender, blend the soup.  Blend well for a more pureed texture, or just briefly for a chunkier texture.

Serve it hot, stirring in a spoonful of yogurt if desired.

Notes:

I like to use a few handfuls of crinkle cut or shredded carrots to save time.

recipe very slightly adapted from one in The Six O’Clock Scramble by Aviva Goldfarb

10 good reasons to go vegetarian one day a week


meatless monday ~ taco night!

These tacos are easy & delicious.   We set everything out on the table & let each make his or her own taco creation.

 

BEAN TACOS w/ guacamole

 

tacos…

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 2 cans pinto beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 16oz bag frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup chunky fresh salsa (+extra for serving)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 12 taco shells (hard, soft , or both)
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups chopped lettuce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add the onion & cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes.  Add the beans, corn, salsa, and cilantro and stir the mixture.  Lower the heat & allow to cook for 10-15 minutes.

Heat the taco shells on a baking sheet in the oven for about 5 minutes.

Assemble at the table.

guacamole…

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • lime
  • salt & pepper

Cut each avocado in half length-wise, pop out the pit, scoop out the avocado into a medium sized bowl.  Smash the avocado until the desired consistency is reached.  If you have a mortal & pestle, this is the perfect time to use it!  I like my guac chunky, keep smashing until it looks good to you.  Add the onion & cilantro and stir.  Squeeze half a lime into the mixture.  Don’t squeeze the lime dry, too much lime will make the guac taste bitter.  Squeeze & taste, squeeze & taste.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Stir.

A few notes:

  • Black beans can be used instead of pinto.  Or use one of each.  Really just about any bean will taste delicious.  Pinto is my fave in this recipe.
  • I don’t usually use the whole bag of corn, more like 3/4 of a bag.  Use as much or as little as you like.  1 can of corn can be used instead of frozen.
  • The cilantro is key.  Don’t skip it in the bean mixture or the guacamole.
  • Sometimes we have a few packets of Taco Bell sauce hanging around & I’ll add those to the bean mixture.
  • This is a very forgiving recipe, it can take lots of modifications & still taste fantastic.  Use up what’s in your pantry & enjoy!

 

10 good reasons to go vegetarian one day a week


meatless monday ~ cream of asparagus soup

This soup is light & delicious, perfect for spring.  Serve it hot or cold.

 

CREAM OF ASPARAGUS SOUP w/ fresh croutons

 

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 cloves)
  • 2 russet potatoes, peeled & diced
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed & cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 box (32 oz) vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon, or 1 tablespoon fresh
  • 1 baguette (use 1/2 for croutons & 1/2 for serving with the soup)
  • 1/4 cup half & half
  • salt & pepper to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  In a large saucepan, heat the butter & 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat.  When the butter starts to bubble, add the garlic & stir for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.  Add the potatoes & asparagus, cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often.

Add the broth & dried tarragon (if using fresh, add it at the end) and bring to a low boil.  Cook, stirring often, for about 15 minutes until the potatoes are tender.

Meanwhile, to make the croutons, cut half of the baguette into thin slices and lay them on a baking sheet.  Brush the tops with the remaining olive oil & bake for 10 minutes, until they are crisp & the edges start to brown.  Remove from the oven & set aside.

Puree the soup.  (I use a hand-held immersion blender which leaves the soup a little chunky.  I also have a bullet style blender that I’ve used.  You’ll have to blend in batches but it makes the soup creamier & less chunky.  If you have a regular stand up blender, use it.)

Stir in the half & half, and serve the soup with the croutons.  Add salt and/or pepper as needed.

Enjoy!

(recipe from The Six O’Clock Scramble to the Rescue by Aviva Goldfarb)

10 good reasons to go vegetarian one day a week


meatless monday ~ spinach quiche

This quiche is a family favorite, one of those meals that makes the whole family cheer.  I love it because it’s super easy to make, easy to double so there’s leftovers for lunches or dinner for another night, and pretty much anything can go in it & still taste yum.

I serve it with crusty bread & fruit or a salad.

 

SPINACH QUICHE

 

  • 1 frozen pie crust in tin (these usually come 2 to a pack)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 white whole wheat flour
  • 10oz frozen chopped spinach (I usually buy the 20oz bag & then eyeball it, dumping spinach in until it looks ‘right’, generally about 1/2 of a bag).  Use more or less to your family’s taste.

 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, yogurt, cheese, and flour.  Stir in the spinach (no need to defrost it, just dump in the frozen leaves)

Pour the mixture into the pie plate and smooth out the top.  Bake for 45 minutes until lightly brown.

Enjoy!

10 good reasons to go vegetarian one day a week


meatless monday ~ curried chickpea stew

A new weekly post ~ meatless mondays.  Every Monday morning I’ll post a recipe with pictures and any tips or tricks I’ve found useful.  And, since I’m not at all creative in the kitchen, each of these recipes will very likely come from a cookbook so I’ll point you in the direction of that as well.  I don’t do complicated or time-intensive recipes & I have 2 kiddos to feed, so these will all be easy & kid friendly.  Enjoy!

 

CURRIED CHICKPEA STEW OVER WHOLE WHEAT COUSCOUS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 shallots, chopped (or sub 1/2 onion & 2 garlic cloves, chopped)
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 can (15oz) chickpeas, drained
  • 1 can (14.5oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (8oz) tomato sauce or 1 cup red pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • sour cream for serving
  • handful of fresh mint for garnish (optional)

In a medium to large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the shallots & sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the curry powder & cumin and cook the shallots, stirring, for 1 minute.  Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, tomato or pasta sauce, & veg broth and simmer the stew for 10-15 minutes.

Serve over whole wheat couscous, topped with a spoonful of sour cream and garnished with a sprinkle of mint leaves, and with pita or naan bread on the side.

Serves 4 with leftovers for lunch.

*recipe very slightly adapted from one available in The Six O’Clock Scramble by Aviva Goldfarb.

Tips-

  • I added the 1/2 cup vegetable broth because I wanted it a little bit soupier, if you want it thicker omit the vegetable broth.
  • The mint is a must for me, not so much for the kids though.
  • Add chopped cauliflower if you want it a bit heartier & more veggie-licous
  • Mix the couscous & the stew together for a delicious filler for pita bread, makes an excellent lunch on the day after.

10 good reasons to go vegetarian one day a week


sunday bread

There was a time last winter when Sunday meant bread baking.  Life got busier & our weekends filled up with grocery trips & household chores, errands & running around, and there just wasn’t time for much baking.  In my attempt to slow it down for myself, and the rest of my family, I’ve been trying to get all the busy stuff crossed off on Saturday so we can spend our Sundays at home.  It doesn’t always work out that way, but it did this weekend & I found myself with a wide open Sunday afternoon.  Luke & I decided to do some bread baking with the hope that we’d have a yummy snack at the end of it.  We did.

We don’t do much dairy and we only use farm eggs, which we’re currently out of.  That rules out lots of bread recipes, but not this one.  This is a tasty & easy dairy & egg free applesauce bread recipe that is delicious with afternoon tea, with a banana for breakfast, or any other time you might need a delectable morsel.  It makes 2 loaves, keep one & share one.  Or freeze it for later.  I shared mine with my folks who brought my car back to me after the snow fiasco on Friday.

Diary Free, Egg Free Applesauce Bread Recipe

  • 2 cups sugar (we used cane sugar, you can also use table sugar)
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup almond milk (or soy milk or rice milk)
  • 2 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 4 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt

Preheat oven to 350° & spray 2 8-inch loaf pans with dairy free spray

In a large bowl, mix the sugar & water until combined.

Add the oil, milk, and applesauce and mix thoroughly

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, & salt.  Add to the applesauce mixture & stir to combine.

Divide the batter between the 2 pans & bake for 50-60 minutes until golden brown & a toothpick comes out clean.  Cool & enjoy!

I very slightly adapted this recipe from this one.

 

What have you been baking this weekend?