Summer Vegetarian Chili

Who says chili has to be a cool weather dish? Pack your chili with loads of vegetables, give it a “meaty” texture thanks to steel cut oats (yes, steel cut oats!), spice it up with herbs and Latin spices, and top it with farm fresh avocados and green onions, and you’ve just discovered your next warm weather, rustic meal. Serve it with salad and cornbread and you’re all set!

Serves 10

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound red beans, dried (i.e., kidney beans, cranberry beans, red beans)
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 vegetable bullion cubes
  • 3 medium carrots, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 zucchini, sliced
  • 1 cup yellow corn, frozen or canned
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1 4-ounce can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, reduced sodium
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons dried cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¾ cups steel cut oats, dried
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • Salt to taste (optional)
  • Garnish (as desired): fresh avocado slices, green onion slices, chopped fresh cilantro, chopped fresh tomatoes

Instructions:

  1. Place beans in a large pot, cover with water, and soak overnight.
  2. The next day, discard the water, and add 6 cups fresh water and bullion cubes. Cover and simmer over medium-low for 45 minutes.
  3. Add carrots, celery, onion, garlic, pepper, zucchini, corn, tomatoes, tomato paste, soy sauce, chili powder, paprika, cumin, oregano, cilantro, brown sugar, and steel cut oats.
  4. Stir well to combine, cover, and simmer for an additional 45 minutes, stirring frequently, until beans, oats, and vegetables are tender. May need to add additional water lost to evaporation. Should make a thick stew-like texture.Before serving, stir in lemon juice and add hot sauce to achieve desired level of spiciness. Season with salt as desired (optional).

 

Serve in bowls and garnish as desired with fresh avocado slices, green onion slices, chopped fresh cilantro, and chopped fresh tomatoes.

Recipe and photography by Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian

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Tomato, Potato and Asparagus Frittata

This quick, one-skillet meal is perfect for a lazy Saturday morning breakfast, or a wholesome dinner any night of the week.

Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup asparagus, sliced into ½-inch slices on the diagonal
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ pound baby red potatoes, diced into ½-inch cubes and boiled until firm but tender
  • 1 ounce prosciutto, chopped
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • ⅓ cup prepared tomato salsa

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 f.
  2. Beat eggs, milk, basil, and pepper until smooth. Mix in feta cheese. Set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a 10-12 inch oven-proof skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add the asparagus and sauté until crisp-tender, add garlic and sauté another minute. Add potatoes and prosciutto, and sauté two more minutes.
  5. Pour tomatoes over top and arrange ingredients evenly in skillet.
  6. Pour the egg mixture over skillet mixture and cook (without stirring) for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Place skillet in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes.
  8. When the center is beginning to firm, top with parmesan cheese and increase oven temperature to broil.
  9. Broil for 1-2 minutes, watching closely for ideal browning, and remove.
  10. Let sit 2 minutes, slice into wedges, and serve with one tablespoon of salsa on top.
  11. Nutrition information per serving: 190 calories, 12 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 518 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber.

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Arugula Salad Pizza

Here’s how you rethink your plate: a fresh green salad and whole grain pizza all in one meal that you can whip up in 40 minutes. Now that’s quick and delicious eating for even the busiest night of your week! Pair it with my hearty Red Lentil Soup with Root Vegetables for a completely satisfying meal.

Serves 8 (1 slice each)

Ingredients:

  • One 16-ounce package (454 g) refrigerated whole grain pizza dough, or whole grain pizza dough prepared from a mix
  • Cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup (86 g) marinara sauce
  • 1½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 cup (112 g) shredded plant-based cheese (see Notes)
  • 2 cups (62 g) mixed fresh arugula and baby spinach
  • 1½ cups (224 g) fresh cherry tomatoes (yellow), halved
  • ½ medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 ripe medium avocado, sliced
  • ¼ cup (31 g) roasted pistachios
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°f (180°c). Roll out the pizza dough to fit a 14-inch pizza pan or pizza stone. Sprinkle the pan or stone with cornmeal and fit dough on top.
  2. Spread the marinara sauce onto the dough and sprinkle the oregano and plant-based cheese over it. Place the pan or stone in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the crust is golden and firm to the touch.
  3. At the last minute before serving, remove the crust from the oven and top with the arugula and baby spinach, tomatoes, bell pepper, avocado, and pistachios. The greens will wilt quickly.
  4. Drizzle with the vinegar and olive oil. Serve immediately.

Note: Omit the plant-based cheese, if desired.

Variation: Substitute other firm greens, such as baby kale or chopped collard greens, for the arugula and baby spinach.

Per Serving: 276 calories, 12 g protein, 36 g carbohydrate, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 8 g fiber, 6 g sugar, 466 mg sodium

Star Nutrients: vitamin C (28% DV), vitamin A (11% DV), vitamin K (19% DV), calcium (15% DV), iron (11% DV)

Recipe from Plant-Powered for Life (The Experiment, 2012) by Sharon Palmer, RDN©

 

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Easy Gazpacho

This cool, classic Spanish style soup is delicious even on the hottest of days. Packed with the vibrant flavors of tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, and herbs, it’s a wonderful appetizer or veggie-rich meal accompaniment. This recipe is as easy as it gets—toss the ingredients in the blender and push the button!
Serves 4
Ingredients:
  • 1 14-5 ounce can diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 ½ persian cucumbers, sliced
  • ¼ – ½ jalapeno pepper, seed, diced (amount depends on spice preference)
  • ¼ red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped coarsely
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable broth
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt to taste
  • 1. Place all ingredients in a large blender or food processor container.
  • 2. Process on low just for a few seconds, to achieve a chunky texture.
  • 3. Pour into a large serving bowl and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • 4. Chill until serving time

Instructions:

  1. Place all ingredients in a large blender or food processor container.
  2. Process on low just for a few seconds, to achieve a chunky texture.
  3. Pour into a large serving bowl and adjust seasonings as needed.
  4. Chill until serving time.

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Red Beans, Spinach and Beef

Red beans over rice are a Southern favorite, and here, some ground beef and spinach are added as well. Finely chopping the spinach adds the extra nutritional value of green vegetables without changing the customary flavor of the dish. Recipe courtesy of Center for Ecoliteracy.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, diced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 bunch spinach, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups canned chopped tomatoes and their juices
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 16-ounce cans red beans, drained

Instructions:

  1. In a large frying pan, over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the onions and sauté until translucent, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the beef, and cook until opaque, about 6 minutes, stirring to crumble the meat.
  4. Add the spinach, and cook, turning, until wilted, about 1 minute.
  5. Add 1 cup of the tomatoes and their juice, the salt, pepper, and chili powder. Reduce the heat to low and cover.
  6. Simmer to allow the flavors to blend, about 10 minutes.
  7. Add the remaining tomatoes and stir in the beans, cover, and cook another 5 minutes. Serve with rice. Serves 4.

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: 446 calories, 21g fat, 7g saturated fat, 1g trans fat, 76 mg cholesterol, 1000 mg sodium, 1413 mg potassium, 32g carbohydrates, 13g fiber, 2g sugars, 34g protein (USDA)

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Fideo Penne with Chorizo and Kale

Fideo is a favorite pasta of Mexican cooking. The fine, thin pasta comes in coils, like angel hair pasta. It is typically sautéed in oil for a few minutes, then cooked directly in the sauce, rather than separately in water as is traditional with Italian pasta. However, spaghetti also works with the flavors of chorizo (the spicy Hispanic sausage), and the other sauce elements of this recipe. Finely chopped kale adds some greens without altering the tomato-chili flavors.  Recipe courtesy of Center for Ecoliteracy.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 dried ancho peppers
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 cup low-fat chicken broth
  • 1 cup whole tomatoes, coarsely chopped, with their juices
  • 1 cup kale, stemmed and finely chopped
  • Kosher or coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 ounces fideo or whole wheat spaghetti noodles
  • ½ pound chorizo, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 ounces queso fresco, crumbles
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves

Instructions:

  1. Place the ancho peppers in the hot water and soak until soft, about 20 minutes.
  2. When soft, remove the stems and seeds and chop into small pieces.
  3. Set aside.
  4. Discard the water.
  5. In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat.
  6. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 1 minute.
  7. Stir in the garlic and cook 1 more minute.
  8. Add the broth, tomatoes, reserved peppers, and kale.
  9. Cover and reduce the heat to low.
  10. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  11. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  12. Break the fideo coils into 3 or 4 pieces and add directly to the simmering sauce, stirring them in.
  13. Cover and cook until the fideo is tender and most of the sauce absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  14. Stir in the chorizo.
  15. If using spaghetti noodles, cook separately in boiling salted water.
  16. Serve garnished with the cheese and cilantro.

 

Serves 3-4

SUGGESTION: To change the flavor profile to Mediterranean, use mild Italian sausage

instead of chorizo, a few red pepper flakes instead of the soaked ancho peppers, and

garnish with Parmesan cheese and parsley instead of queso fresco and cilantro.

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING: 504 calories, 32.5 g fat, 11g saturated fat, 0g trans

fat, 62 mg cholesterol, 1103 mg sodium, 759 mg potassium, 32.5 g carbohydrates, 3g fiber,

2g sugars, 23g protein (USDA)

© Copyright Center for Ecoliteracy. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

For more information visit www.ecoliteracy.org.

Photography: Craig Lee, http://craigleephoto.com

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Classic Tomato Soup

Nothing soothes the soul more than a bowl of old-fashioned tomato soup. And it’s even better when you make it yourself. It’s so easy!
Serves 4
Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 -14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • Pinch sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt
Instructions:
  1. Heat olive oil in a medium heavy pot.
  2. Add onions and garlic and sauté over medium for 9 minutes.
  3. Stir in flour.
  4. Mix in tomatoes, broth, sugar, and thyme. Season with black pepper and salt to taste.
  5. Cover and simmer over medium for 40 minutes.
  6. Place small batches of soup into a blender container and blend until smooth, yet lumpy. Return to pot and reheat if necessary.
  7. Serve immediately.

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