Black Bean Soup

I had never tried making a pot of bean soup before this, and it’s surprisingly simple and turned out great! And, it all goes into one pot to save on dishes.

Ingredientsblack bean blog post
8oz dried black beans
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 large onion, diced
1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
1 Serrano pepper, minced
1/3 jalapeño pepper, minced
1/2 lime
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder
salt to taste
1/4 tsp black pepper
~4 cups water
1 Tbs olive oil
fresh cilantro, finely chopped (optional)

Directions
1. Rinse and sort beans.
2. Heat olive oil in large pot.  Add onions, bell pepper, celery, and carrot.  Cook for ~3-4 minutes until vegetables are translucent.  Add garlic.
3. Add tomatoes to the pot and cook until the tomatoes begin to release liquid.
4.  Add veggie broth, beans, lime juice, and water to the pot.  Add spices and peppers.  Gently simmer covered with the lid tilted until beans are soft, about 75 to 90 minutes.  Stir the soup periodically to prevent sticking.

This dish is naturally gluten free and is entirely plant based.

Homestyle Vegetable Pot Pie

A great cold weather dish that will leave you feeling satisfied.  This homestyle pot pie is packed full of flavor and veggies and is quite healthy.

Ingredientspot pie blog post
1 russet potato, half-inch cubes
1 ear of corn, cut off of the cob
1 handful green beans, 1 inch pieces
2 carrots, half-inch dice
1/4 large onion, finely diced
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms, stems removed and halved then thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
3 stalks celery, 1 inch pieces
1/3 cup red wine (I used a Chianti)
2 cups vegetable stock
~3 Tbs whole wheat flour
1 Tbs olive oil
Salt
Black Pepper
1/3 tsp dried rosemary, crushed
1 tsp Herbes de Provence

Directions
1. Heat oil in a 2-3 quart pot.  Add onions, celery, and carrots and cook for ~4 minutes over medium heat.
2. Add potatoes and wine.  Let cook for about 2 minutes before adding the vegetable stock.
3.  Add 1/2 the mushrooms.
4. Add seasonings and flour.  Cover and cook on medium-low for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
5. Uncover and add remaining vegetables.  Cook for about 7 minutes over medium stirring occasionally.
6. Pour contents of pot into a pie dish and cover with a prepared pie crust.*  Cut several slits in the crust to allow for ventilation.
*I chose to only use one crust for this pot pie.  If you choose to have a bottom crust, I would recommend cooking it before adding the filling.  Cook until top crust is golden brown.

Easy Dark Chocolate Brownies

These quick and easy brownies are a tad bit healthier than brownies sometimes are.

Ingredientsbrownies blog post.jpg
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup olive oil
2 eggs
~3 Tbs water

Directions
1. Mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately.
2. Pour dry ingredients into wet ingredients.
3. Pour into a greased baking dish.
3. Bake in a 350 degree oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.*
4. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top and place back in a warm over for 1 minute.
* 9×13 about 10 minutes, longer for a smaller pan such as an 8×8

Serve warm with ice cream if desired.

Fluffy Pancakes

Sleep in late on the weekends and then make yourself brunch staring these delicious pancakes.

Makes 4 large pancakespancake blog post.jpg
Ingredients
1 1/4 cup flour (I like to use whole wheat flour)
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
3 Tbs melted butter
1 egg
1 1/3 cup milk (I use dairy free milk, usually almond or coconut)
3/4 tsp vanilla extract
*add-ins of choice I really like chocolate chips and bananas in my pancakes but you could use strawberries or blueberries or whatever your heart desires

Directions
1. Mix dry ingredients in a bowl.
2. Mix wet ingredients in a small bowl, then pour into dry ingredients.
3. Mix wet and dry ingredients together, there may be small lumps in the batter.
4. Pour ~3/4 cup of batter in a lightly oiled pan.  Place add-ins on top of the pancake.  Cook on the first side until bubbles form and start to pop on the pancake.  Flip and cook on the other side for about 90 more seconds.

Serve immediately.

Vegetable Bolognese

A vegetarian take on a classic meat sauce.  Perfect for Meatless Mondays or a delicious vegetarian dish any night of the week.  This dish is packed full of vegetables, but is sure to please the whole family!vegetable bolognese blog post

Ingredients
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 orange bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 large fresh tomatoes, diced
2-3 stalks celery, diced
2 carrots, grated on the large hole of a box grater
~2 cups pearled cauliflower (HEB sells this in a bag)
olive oil
1 can crushed tomatoes (~14 oz)
fresh oregano
rosemary
basil
Italian seasoning
salt
black pepper
red pepper
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
~1/3 cup red wine (I used a Chianti)
Directions
1. Heat olive oil in a sauce pan over medium-high heat.
2. Add onions, tomatoes, bell pepper, carrots, and celery.  Cook for about 3 minutes stirring.
3. Add wine, seasonings, and garlic and continue to stir.
4. Allow to simmer, covered over medium-low to low heat allowing the vegetables to cook down some (20 minutes or so).
5. Add cauliflower, can of tomatoes, and walnuts.  Cook for about 15 more minutes and adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve over al dente pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Cauliflower Fried Rice

A healthier version of fried rice and you can’t even tell it’s not rice, what’s not to love?

Ingredientscauliflower fried rice blog post.jpg
1 head grated cauliflower (use the largest hole on a box grater)
Fresh snow or sugar peas
Frozen corn kernels
Soy sauce to taste
Garlic powder to taste
Black pepper to taste
Diced carrots
2 eggs
Olive oil
* You decide the ratio of vegetables to rice here, I aimed for something similar to your typical take-out

Directions
1. Heat ~1/2 Tbs olive oil to a large pan (a wok would be ideal).
2. Add frozen corn and allow to thaw then add carrots.
3. Add cauliflower, peas, soy sauce, garlic powder, and black pepper and stir.
4. Once veggies are nearly cooked scoot them to the edges of the pan and scramble the eggs.
5. Mix eggs into rice.

Serve while steaming hot.  This dish reheats well and makes a lot.  The dish is naturally gluten free if a gluten free soy sauce is used such as Braggs amino acids.  If the eggs are left out, the dish is entirely plant based.

Quick Alfredo Sauce

Why buy a jar of sauce when making it yourself is a thousand times more delicious?

IngredientsAlfredo sauce blog post.jpg
3 cloves minced garlic
3 Tbs unsalted butter
4-5 oz grated Parmesan cheese
8 oz half and half
Black pepper to taste
Red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions
1. In a small sauce pan over medium-high heat melt the butter.
2. Allow butter to cook for about 90 seconds and add the garlic.
3. Allow garlic to slightly brown.
4. Pour in half and half and bring to a rolling boil.
5. Add cheese and reduce to medium-low heat allowing cheese to melt.

Serve immediately over al dente pasta.  I chose whole wheat linguini served with seasoned sauteed broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach.

Veggie Enchiladas

I used a can of enchilada sauce to make these, but you can always make the sauce yourself.  I eventually will be posting a recipe for sauce after I try the one my dad sent over.veggie enchiladas blog post

Ingredients
Zucchini squash, large dice
Carrots, smaller dice
2-3 cloves minced garlic
Mushrooms, diced (opt)
Spinach
Corn tortillas
Enchilada sauce
Grated cheese (opt)

Directions
1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
2. Saute carrots in a skillet for ~2 minutes then add the other veggies. Cook until spinach is slightly wilted.
3. Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray.
4. Add veggies to tortillas and roll them up.  Place them in the pan so that they do not unroll.
5. Pour sauce over enchiladas.
6. Top with grated cheese if desired.
7. Bake for ~5-7 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serve immediately.  You can make as many or as few enchiladas as you want.  Adjust the amount of veggies accordingly.

Quick Brussels Sprouts

Sauteed Brussels sprouts that are easy and delicious.  Makes 1 serving.brussel sprouts blog post

Ingredients
1 handful Brussels sprouts
~1 1/4 tsp honey
lemon juice
~1 clove minced garlic
~1 1/4 tsp soy sauce

Directions
1. Wash and cut Brussels sprouts in half.
2. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in skillet.  Place Brussels sprouts cut side down in the pan.
3. Cook over med-high for about 6 minutes.  you want the cut side of the sprouts to slightly brown.  Stir as needed.
4. Mix honey, soy sauce, garlic, and juice from 1/4 of a lemon and add to skillet.
5. Cook for about 2 more minutes, stirring.

Can be served alone, as a side dish, or I like to add a bit of cooked pasta.

Easy Salsa

I bring you a very basic salsa recipe for tasty homemade, preservative free salsa.

Ingredients
salsa blog post.jpg
Yields about 2 cups
1 lb vine ripe tomatoes (~3 whole tomatoes)
1/2 cup diced onion
4 cloves minced garlic
1/8 tsp black pepper
Juice from 1 1/2 limes
Salt to taste
~1.5 Tbs fresh chopped cilantro
Garlic salt to taste
2 diced jalapeños (or more if you like spicier)

Directions
1. Roast 2 halved tomatoes at 400 until dark spots form on the skin and liquid runs out.
2. Let tomatoes cool and add all ingredients to a blender including the other uncooked, cubed tomato.
3. Pulse in blender until desired consistency is reached.
4. Adjust salt, garlic salt, pepper, and lime juice as needed.
5. Serve with chips or veggies, with veggie enchiladas (post coming soon), or use to top tacos (see Taco Tuesday! post).

You can keep this in an air tight container in the fridge for a little while, but since there is no preservative, it won’t last as long as a store bought jar of salsa.  You could add some vinegar as a natural preservative if you plan to keep it for longer.  Additionally, you could choose to roast more of the veggies like garlic and peppers for a different variation.