Category Archives: Main Dish

Curried Red Lentil Soup

 
Now that Christmas has come and gone another year and I am totally “turkied” out, I was craving some type of vegetarian soup for dinner. Something easy to make, full of flavor and healthy.  I settled on this recipe since I had never made a red lentil soup before.  It was a perfect cold winter night dinner.  I have to admit it wasn’t the prettiest soup to take pictures of, but believe me it was delicious.  I will definitely be making this one again.  

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 (32-oz) container vegetable broth
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 lb. red lentils, rinsed
  • 1/3 cup raw barley, rinsed
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. In large soup pot heat olive oil.  Add onion and garlic, saute over medium heat until onions transparent, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Add all the remaining ingredients, except for salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a rapid boil, then decrease heat.  Cover and simmer until lentils are mushy, about 1 1/2 hours.  Stirring occasionally
  4. When lentils are done, remove bay leaves and season with salt and pepper.
  5. This soup thickens as it sits.  If you want a thinner soup, add more water as needed.

Adapted from:  VegKitchen

Quinoa “Veggie” Fried Rice

 Hello, delicious.  This recipe takes an old traditional recipe like fried rice and amps up the vegetables and substitutes the rice for quinoa.  It’s a great vegetarian dish that even my husband could love.  Also, this is one of the only times I will eat mushrooms in a meal.  For whatever reason mushrooms always taste a bit like dirt.  Sorry mushroom lovers of the world, they just do.  I’ve tried them fried, baked in butter, you name it and I have tried it in attempts to learn to tolerate mushrooms.  I decided when making this dish I would not omit them, realizing most of the world does not share my views.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this dish, including the mushrooms.  Maybe I will become a converted mushroom lover.  You never know stranger things have happened. 

Yields: 4-6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas
  • 1 carrot, peeled and grated
  • 3 cups quinoa, cooked
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce (I use Bragg’s liquid aminos, it’s much better for you)
  • 2 green onions, sliced
  • sesame seeds for garnish
  • Sriracha sauce if desired

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in small skillet over medium heat.  Add beaten eggs and fry until cooked through.  Flipping only one time.  Allow eggs to cool before dicing into small pieces.
  2. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add remaining olive oil.  Add onion and garlic, saute for 4 minutes or until onion is translucent.
  3. Add mushrooms, broccoli and zucchini.  Saute vegetables until tender, about 4 minutes.  Stirring constantly.
  4. Add corn, peas, carrot and quinoa.  Cook until heated through, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add ginger and soy sauce, stir to combine.  Next add green onions and eggs, cook for 2 more minutes.
  6. Garnish with sesame seeds and/or Sriracha if desired and serve immediately.

Adapted from: damndelicious

White Turkey Chili

 

This white turkey chili is a great, tasty alternative to the traditional red chili.  If your looking for something warm to cook on that cold winter night, look no further.  By using green chili, jalapenos, cumin and chili powder, this chili is packed with delicious flavors.  This dish has a unique taste that even the pickiest eater will enjoy.  You can spice this dish to your own taste, by adding more jalapenos or even a little hot sauce to your own bowl.  I served it with baked tortilla chips, but it would be out of this world to dip homemade tortillas in.  This is one of my husband’s favorite meals. It is actually what he requested for his birthday this year.  So, therefore; I am adding it to hubbies favorites. This will be a new category, for my blog.   

Ingredients:

 
 • 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
• 1/2 cup chopped celery
• 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
• 1 tablespoon minced seeded jalapeño pepper
• 1 garlic clove, minced
• 1 (20-ounce) package chopped cooked lean ground turkey
• 2 (19-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and divided
• 2 (16-ounce) cans fat-free, chicken broth *less 1/2 cup
• 1 (7-ounce) can chopped green chiles
• 2 cans white hominy drained and rinsed
• 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon chili powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
• 1 cup 1% low-fat milk
• 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
    1.  Melt the margarine in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, red bell pepper, jalapeno and garlic, sauté 5 minutes.
2.  Add cooked turkey, 1 1/2 cups beans, broth, green chilies, hominy, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper.   Bring to a boil.  Cover, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes.
3. Mash remaining beans with a fork. Add mashed beans and milk to the turkey mixture.  Simmer uncovered, 20 minutes or until mixture becomes slightly thickened, stirring frequently.
4. Remove from heat and stir in chopped cilantro.
 

 

Adapted from: Cooking Light- November 1998

Italian Spaghetti Squash

This is a wonderful dish when your craving pasta, but are also watching your calories.  The flesh part of the spaghetti squash when removed, comes out in long strands, resembling the noodles from which its name comes from.  While eliminating calories by cutting out the pasta, you add a unique flavor and slight crispy crunch from the spaghetti squash.  These “noodles” are tossed with vegetables and feta cheese to bring this recipe to deliciousness.  You may add or substitute different vegetables, like zucchini or yellow squash if you prefer.  Serve this dish with a nice loaf of fresh warm bread  Considering all the carbs you cut by eliminating the pasta, you deserve it.

Servings:  4

Ingredients:

  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes (about 3 Roma tomatoes) chopped
  • 1 (2.25-ounce) can sliced black olives, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • red pepper flakes if desired

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray.  Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds with spoon. Place spaghetti squash, cut-sides down, on the baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes or until a sharp knife can be inserted with only little resistance.  Remove squash from oven, and set aside to cool enough to be easily handled.

2.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion to skillet and saute until tender, approximately 2 minutes.  Add garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. 

3.  Stir in tomatoes and black olives, cook only until tomatoes are warm. Remove from heat, add feta and basil, toss well. 

4.  Using a fork, scrape out insides of spaghetti squash and place in large bowl.  Add sauteed vegetables to spaghetti squash and mix well.

5.  Place servings in individual bowls, salt and pepper to taste and garnish with a fresh basil leaf and/or red pepper flakes.

Vegetable Quinoa w/Garbanzo Beans

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has made a name for itself within the health community over the past few years.  With its high protein content and unique texture, it has become a popular substitute for starchier rice and pasta.  It is one of the only plant foods that is a complete protein, it also has the benefits of containing high amounts of iron, magnesium and fiber.  This grain is extremely versatile in its uses and simple to cook.  When cooking quinoa make sure to rinse it before using in your recipe.  Rinsing removes a natural coating quinoa has called saponin.  If left on, it can leave a bitter or soapy flavor to the grain.  Most boxed quinoa is pre-rinsed, but I always rinse it again, just to make sure.  So, go ahead and join the quinoa craze, it is deserving of all its praise.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 zucchini chopped
  • 1 yellow squash chopped 
  • 1/2 cup white onion chopped 
  • 1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro if desired.
  • Cayenne pepper if desired 

 Directions:

1.  Place quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold water for 1 minutes.
2.  Bring quinoa and water to a boil in a saucepan.  Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat and allow to sit for 10 minutes.  
 

3.  In another pan heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Toss in garlic, zucchini, yellow squash and  onions. Saute veggies over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes until desired level of tenderness reached. Then toss in garbanzo beans, tomatoes and lime juice.  Cook for 2 minutes longer.  Remove from heat.

4.  Season with cumin, salt and pepper. Fluff quinoa with fork and add to pan with vegetables.  Mix well.

5.  Sprinkle with cilantro if desired and/or a little cayenne pepper to spice things up a bit.

Fall Vegetable Curry

For those of you who like a meal packed with Indian flavors, this is the dish for you.  It is a quick, easy and delicious curry, that only requires 30 minutes of prep and cook time from start to finish.  Enjoy fall with this flavorful vegetarian dish, loaded with nutritious veggies.  It’s not really a spicy-hot flavor, so I added red pepper flakes to give it a little kick.  If you want more substance to add to the meal, try serving it over brown rice or basmati rice.

Yield: 4 (1 cup) servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced peeled sweet potato
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • red pepper flakes, if desired

Directions:

1.  Heat olive oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add sweet potato and saute for 3 minutes.  Decrease heat to medium and add cauliflower, onion, curry powder and red pepper.  Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
2.  Add broth, salt, garbanzo beans and diced tomatoes, bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Stir occasionally.
3.  Dish into serving bowls, sprinkle with cilantro and a tablespoon of Greek yogurt.

Adapted from: Cooking Light, OCTOBER 2010

Easy Green Chili Enchilada Casserole

I was craving something spicy and Mexican when I decided on enchiladas.  However, whenever I have made enchiladas in the past, I end up cracking the tortillas and it turns in to a blob of enchiladas instead.  So, why not avoid the lost time of rolling the individual enchiladas and just make it right into a casserole.  And if you have ever been intimidated by making enchiladas, don’t be afraid of this recipe.  It is so simple and easy.  I also tend to like the flavor of green chili enchilada sauce rather than the red, so that is what I chose to use, but you could always substitute red enchilada sauce instead if you prefer.  I love this recipe with the creaminess of the Greek yogurt and the spice of the green chilies and jalapenos.  By using the Greek yogurt it cuts out the fat of using sour cream, but doesn’t lose any of the taste.   I served this with tortilla chips and some home made guacamole.  It was a hit.  Inviting my friends over, there was barely any leftovers.  It is one of my husband’s favorites, especially on a cold night.  Yummy!

Ingredients:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 (4 oz) can diced jalapenos, drained (use less if you don’t like spice)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (8 oz) container fat free plain Greek yogurt
  • 13 (6 inch) corn tortillas, torn in half
  • 1 (28 ounce) can green chili enchilada sauce
  • 1 (8 oz) package shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese
  • salt and pepper for taste

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Spray medium sized baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

2.  Fill medium sized  pot with water and bring to boil.  Take chicken breasts and trim any excess fat off and cut each breast into 10-12 pieces.  Place chicken into boiling water and boil until chicken thoroughly cooked.  Remove chicken from water and shred with two forks.

3.  In a mixing bowl combine shredded chicken, onion, jalapenos, garlic powder and Greek yogurt.    Sprinkle w/small amount salt and pepper for taste.  Mix until combined.

4.  In baking dish place 1 cup enchilada sauce into bottom of dish.  Breaking tortillas in half cover bottom of dish with layer of tortillas (3 1/2 tortillas).

5.  Spread 1/3 of chicken mixture over tortillas, then sprinkle with 1/4 bag shredded cheese and pour 1/2 cup enchilada sauce over the layer.

6.  Repeat this process 2 more times.  For top layer place remaining tortilla halves, cover with remaining enchilada sauce and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

 

7.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Allow to cool slightly before eating.

Zucchini Linguine

So, as summer is coming to a close and fall is around the corner, I thought I would give you one more summer vegetable recipe.  Because after this, it tis the season for pumpkin and spice.  Fall, a beautiful time of year, crisp morning air, the changing of the leaves and everything pumpkin.  Ah.. I can smell the nutmeg in the air.  Okay, okay sorry for the tangent, I’ll get back to the recipe.  I love pasta, but hate how I feel guilty afterwards.  Usually, they are filled with heavy meats and cream sauces, like alfredo.  This recipe however; is a wonderful blend of linguine and fresh vegetables, using a small amount of cheddar cheese and Greek yogurt to get you a light tasty sauce.  Plus, using shredded zucchini in the mixture gives you more volume in the pasta without using as much actual pasta.  Voila, a yummy, not so bad for you pasta dish.  Enjoy and start getting excited for fall recipes, soups and more.

 
Ingredients:
  • 1 (8 ounce) package linguine pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 zucchini, shredded
  • 1 zucchini cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 yellow squash cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes (if desired)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Directions:

1.  Bring large pot of water to boil and cook pasta according to box directions.  Keep pasta al dente, drain and set aside.

2.  Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Saute garlic in skillet until starts to turn slightly brown 1-2 minutes.  Stir in grated zucchini, saute for another 2 minutes.

3.  Add rest of zucchini and yellow squash.  Cook for another 4 minutes. Then remove from heat.
4.  Add cheddar cheese, Greek yogurt and basil to zucchini/squash mixture.  Mix well.
5.  Add pasta to skillet with zucchini mixture and toss well.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Add red pepper flakes if desired.  Mix well and serve.

To mix this recipe up a bit, you could always use whole wheat past, spaghetti noodles or different vegetables, like tomato.  Give this recipe a try, you won’t be disappointed.  Let me know what combinations you tried and worked well.

Vegetarian Lasagna Rolls

Vegetarian Lasagna Rolls

Who doesn’t love lasagna, but all the fat that goes with it, not so much.  Well, I found a little gem in this recipe.  I tweaked it a little bit from it’s original state, but none the less, delicious.  For a little background, my husband and I go back in forth about if you really feel satisfied eating a vegetarian diet.  I’ll tell you what, after making this dinner, sans hamburger, he thought it might be possible. While cleaning up after dinner, I told him I would eat the leftovers for dinner the next night since he was going to be out at a business dinner, and he said if that were the case he would just have to, “eat the leftovers for breakfast.”  So, to all my meat lover friends, coming from a cook with a carnivore husband, vegetarian lasagna is a good thing.  It is also now considered a breakfast food.  Plus, they look so cute.  It’s a great dish for dinner parties and each roll is about a serving size. 

Ingredients:

  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
  • 15 oz part skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
  • 26 oz marinara sauce (I like Victoria all natural marinara sauce)
  • 1 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook lasagna noodles as directed by box. 

Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in medium bowl.  Mix well.   Place 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce in bottom of 9 x 12 baking dish.

Place a piece of parchment paper on counter and lay lasagna noodles out individually.  Pat noodles dry with paper towel.  Take 1/3 cup spinach/ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle using fingertips.  Make sure the spinach mixture is pressed all the way to the edge of the noodles.  Carefully roll each noodle and place seam side down into the baking dish.  Repeat this with each remaining noodle. 
Place small amount of marinara over the noodle rolls and top each one with a sprinkle of the mozzarella cheese.  Place foil over dish and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.

To serve, ladle small amount of leftover marina on serving plate and place lasagna roll on top. 

adapted from:  skinnytaste.com