Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Easy Minestrone Soup

I like to play a game called, "use-up-what-you-have-before-you-go-shopping-again." Well, I happened to have some cabbage and I felt like soup, so I made minestrone for lunch. Here's my version of minestrone that is easy, healthy and perfect for these cold winter days.

Easy Minestrone Soup

1 onion, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 T. olive oil
2 t. minced garlic
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1 zucchini, diced
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1 can bean with bacon soup (or pork and beans)
4 teaspoons chicken base (or 3 cubes chicken boullion)
Italian seasoning
dash of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste

In large stockpot, saute onion and celery in olive oil until tender, about 8 minutes. Add garlic and stir about 30 seconds. Add carrots, tomatoes, zucchini, cabbage, canned soup, chicken base and seasonings and 3-4 cups water (can add more as it cooks off). Bring to boil and let simmer at least 20 minutes.

Tofu Oat Burgers

I used to buy frozen veggie burgers to have on hand in case I needed something fast to augment lunch or dinner. These burgers are great because they're fresh, they're inexpensive to make (our dollar store sells tofu!) and they taste really good (in my opinion). Make them and let me know what you think.

Tofu Oat Burgers

1 container firm or extra firm tofu, pressed
1/2 cup oats
1 carrot, grated
2 tbsp instant potato flakes (I use regular breadcrumbs)
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
oil for frying

Mash together all ingredients until well combined. Form into patties. Fry in oil on both sides until lightly browned.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Spaghetti with Lentils

I read somewhere, a while back, about using lentils in place of ground beef in spaghetti. It actually is a great substitute and turned out better than I expected. Even the Mister thought it was good, which is 1) rare with my "weird food" dishes, and 2) saying something because he usually prefers meat over beans and the like.

All you do for this dish is in place of cooked ground beef, add cooked lentils. Use your usual sauce and noodles. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

So I have to admit, this recipe is a personal creation, but it's pretty tasty. It could top a myriad of dishes, from tofu or chicken, to vegetables or crackers. I love roasted vegetables so it was easy to like this one.

3 red peppers, halved, cleaned out and roughly chopped into 2" cubes
olive oil
salt and pepper
pinch of sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chicken base

Lay peppers on cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Mix to coat. Roast peppers in 425 F oven until tender, about 20 minutes. Place in food processor and pulse until peppers are thoroughly crushed. Add a few pinches of sugar, oregano and chicken base. Pulse until at desired texture. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Can also add water to make it thinner.

Trainer Momma's Power Granola

This stuff is so good, with a mild orange-y taste. I love it.

photo and recipe

2 cups regular oats
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped slivered almonds
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking spray
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl.

Combine orange juice, honey, and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat just until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in oil and vanilla.

Pour honey mixture over oat mixture, stirring to coat. Spread mixture in a thin layer onto cookie sheet coated with cooking spray.

Bake at 300° for 10 minutes; stir well. Bake an additional 15 minutes or until golden brown. Spoon granola into a bowl; stir in dried cranberries. Cool completely.

Makes 4 3/4 cups. Each serving is 1/4 cup at 93 calories.

Easy Sauteed Tofu

I really do like tofu, but it has to be prepared right, with enough seasoning, or it tastes too bland for my palate. I got this idea from this Dinosaur Meat recipe, of simply breading the tofu in s+p and whole wheat flour, then pan frying it, and it has become a weekly staple for me. You could easily use this breading method with alot of protein sources, like chicken, beef, seitan, and of course, tofu.

14-ounce package firm tofu
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
2 pinches seasoning salt
2 tablespoons oil

Slice the tofu into 1/2" wide cubes. Fill a baggie with flour and salt and shake the tofu around. Heat a pan with two tablespoons of oil and sprinkle off the excess flour mixture as you put the tofu in the pan. Fry till golden on all sides.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Veggie Bean Tacos

I like to combine cooked vegetables and beans for an easy, one-pot filling for tacos or just by themselves. There really is no end to the possibilities of veggie/bean combinations. Though I like to start by sauteeing a diced onion in olive oil, if you don't have any onions, you can just make it without.
1/2 onion, diced
olive oil
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 large zucchini, diced
1 can beans, drained (i.e. pinto, garbanzo, black-eyed peas, black)
seasoning salt
Heat a few splashes of olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add the diced onions and saute over medium-high heat until they start to soften. Add the pepper and zucchini and saute until zucchini just barely turns translucent. Add the beans and turn to medium-low, then add several dashes of seasoning salt and pepper, to the taste. Simmer for five minutes.
Can serve with grated cheese, sour cream, salsa, tomato and/or avocado.