Sunday, October 6, 2013

Green Cubes for Smoothies

Fill up your blender with fresh spinach/kale leaves and add a bit of water to blend. Pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze.  Take them out of the ice cube tray when frozen (I then store mine in a ziploc freezer bag in the freezer). Use 5-6 cubes at smoothie time. *This prevents you from wasting your giant costco bag of spinach

17 Bean Soup

1 lb. bag 17 Bean & Barley Mix (Trader Joe's)
4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
28 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 bell pepper (any color)
3-4 carrots
1 onion
4-5 garlic cloves
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. Italian seasoning

Quick soak dried beans: cover beans with triple their volume of water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium, and cook uncovered for 2 minutes. Remove stockpot from heat and let beans soak for 1 hour.
Meanwhile, dice bell pepper and onion, chop carrots, and mince garlic.
After 1 hour, rinse and drain beans in a colander.
Saute onion, pepper, carrots, and garlic with Italian seasoning and salt in a large stockpot for about 7-8 minutes.
Pour broth, 4 cups water, beans, diced tomatoes (with juice), basil, and oregano in stockpot. Heat over med-high and bring to a light boil.
Reduce heat to med-low and simmer covered for about 1 hour or until desired tenderness.

Quinoa Black Bean Soup

*Note: this makes a large batch - be sure to reduce or cut in half if desired.

1 1/3 cups dry quinoa, rinsed well
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 onion
4 cloves garlic
6 oz. fresh baby spinach
3 carrots
15 oz. can diced tomatoes
4 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. chili powder
Cilantro for topping

Cook quinoa in a small saucepan according to package directions.
Meanwhile, dice onion and carrot. Mince garlic and roughly chop spinach.
In a stockpot over med-high heat, saute onion, carrot, and garlic with cumin, chili powder, oregano and salt for about 7 minutes.
Add vegetable broth, 4 cups water, and tomatoes with juice. Cover and bring to a light simmer.
Reduce heat to med-low, add cooked quinoa, spinach, and black beans. Let heat through for about 5-10 minutes. Season well with salt.
Serve topped with chopped cilantro.

ultimate greek salad

4-5 ripe roma tomatoes
1 large red bell pepper
1 small red onion (or 1/2 large onion)
1 hothouse cucumber
15 oz. can garbanzo beans
1/2 cup feta, more to taste

{For the dressing}
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. oregano

Prepare the dressing: in a small bowl, combine vinegar, oregano, salt/pepper. Slowly add olive oil, whisking to combine. Set aside.
Rinse and drain beans. Dice tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, cucumber. Remove excess liquid from tomatoes.
Put vegetables and beans in a large bowl.
Toss dressing with salad. Add feta, lightly toss.
Best if refrigerated for an hour or two before serving.

Stuffed Peppers

4 organic bell peppers
1 small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup whole wheat couscous (or quinoa)
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz. can diced fire roasted tomatoes
1 cup shredded cheese blend, or other
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
Salt to taste

Cook couscous: boil 1 cup salted water in a saucepan. Remove from heat, add couscous, stir, and cover. Let sit 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff.
Saute onion, garlic with salt over medium heat for 8-10 minutes. 
Add black beans, tomatoes, cumin, chili powder. Combine and heat for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile cut peppers in half lengthwise, remove stem, and clean out inner ribs with a spoon.
Preheat oven to 350.
In a large bowl, combine cooked couscous, cheese, and black bean mixture.
Fill each pepper half, lightly packing down, and place in a 9x13 baking dish.
Add a little water to the bottom of the pan and cover with foil. Bake for 40 minutes.
Remove foil, add additional cheese on top if desired, and bake for 5-10 more minutes.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

(makes about 3 Tablespoons)
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Quinoa Fajita Burritos

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 onion
2 bell peppers
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained (for spice, use fire roasted)
8 tortillas
Taco seasoning (see homemade taco seasoning recipe)
Shredded cheese (for dave and john)

Cook quinoa according to package directions.
Meanwhile, thinly slice onion and bell pepper.
Saute onion and pepper with 2 tsp. taco seasoning and salt over med-high heat for 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
When quinoa finishes cooking, turn off heat. Add beans, diced tomatoes, 1 Tbsp. taco seasoning (more to taste) and combine.
Assemble the burritos: spoon the quinoa mixture, onion/pepper, cheese, and salsa onto tortillas. Roll up, tucking both sides.

If you like a crispier tortilla or grilled burrito, toss it on a grill pan for a few minutes on each side before serving. 

To freeze: I tightly wrap burritos individually in foil, then place them all in a large ziploc bag.
To reheat: place in a 400 degree oven for 25-35 minutes or until heated through. Finish them up on the stove on a grill pan if you'd like. (Haven't tried microwaving, but that could work as well.)