admin / February 24, 2014

It’s Meatless Monday-Spicy Chickpea and Vegetable Stew


When it’s cold outside I long for dishes that have a little kick to them. I always have a couple of cans of chickpeas sitting in the pantry, zucchini was on sale so I thought about combining the two to make a spicy stew which could be served over couscous. This is what I came up with. It’s vegan and you can just about use whatever vegetables you like or have on hand. The addition of chopped green olives adds a nice salty contrast to the heat of this dish.

1 15 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 15 ounce can tomato sauce
1 15 ounce can of chopped tomatoes
2 medium zucchini, washed and diced
1 large onion, peeled and cut into bite size pieces
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
Pinch of cinnamon
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes…more if you’re brave!
¼ cup chopped green olives stuffed with pimentos… more for garnishing
2 tablespoons oil
1 12 ounce package of plain couscous
Some olive oil for drizzling over the couscous

In a large saucepan and over medium high heat, heat the oil and then add the onion.

Cook for about three minutes or until it starts to soften and caramelize.

Add the zucchini, a good sprinkling of salt, and cook for a few minutes.

Slowly add the cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and red pepper flakes and stir so the onion and zucchini get well coated. Cook for about five minutes.

Slowly add both the tomato sauce and tomatoes and stir so everything is mixed well.

Add the beans and chopped olives and bring the mixture to a boil.

Lower the heat and simmer for about ten minutes or until the mixture has reduced down about an inch.

Meanwhile cook the couscous and keep warm.

Serve the couscous on a large platter and drizzle with olive oil.

Pour the stew over the top and garnish with more chopped olives.

Serve immediately.
Serves 4-6

admin / February 17, 2014

It’s Meatless Monday-Nacho Cheese Veggie Slices

If you’re short on time, here’s something I came up with using just four main ingredients. Puff pastry…purchased while it was on sale during the holidays. Nacho cheese soup, purchased on sale. A bag of mixed vegetables, also purchased on sale. Last ingredient, shredded cheese. Put them together, combine it with a salad and dessert and I think you have the perfect Meatless Monday meal (with even enough leftover mixture for a side dish the next day).

1 slice of puff pastry (The boxes usually have two so you can freeze the other one)
1 10 ounce can of Nacho cheese soup-divided
1 16 ounce bag of mixed vegetables ( I used one containing carrots, cauliflower and broccoli and that could be steamed in the microwave)
½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
About 1/2 cup milk for making a dipping sauce

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cook the vegetables. Chop them into smaller bite size pieces and add to a large mixing bowl.

Add half the can of the cheese soup and the cheese and mix together.

Roll out the puff pastry and place on a baking sheet that you’ve sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Place about three cups of the veggie mixture down the center.

Cut the edges of the puff pastry and then close up the pastry package by braiding the pieces so they slightly overlap.

Place in the oven and cook for about 25 minutes or until pastry has puffed and slightly golden brown.

Let cool slightly and slice.

If you want to serve it with some sauce, add the remaining half can of cheese soup and 1/2 cup of milk to a saucepan and heat for a few minutes.

Serves 4.

admin / February 10, 2014

It’s Meatless Monday-Spicy Sweet Potato Soup with Potato Ribbons


Last week sweet potatoes were on sale for 88 cents a pound. Besides being inexpensive, they’re powerhouses of nutrition too. I think their sweetness pairs well with something spicy. Soups can be filling and even more so when you garnish them with an ingredient other than croutons. For this recipe I decide to bake the potatoes rather than simply add them to the soup pot and put everything to get use by using the skins as a garnish.

3 medium to large sweet potatoes
2 cups vegetable stock
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 ½ teaspoons cumin
½ teaspoon coriander
1 tablespoon chipotle pepper in adobe sauce (I buy these in a can and then freeze leftovers and add them to dishes as needed)
1 cup milk or unsweetened coconut or almond milk
Soy sauce
Salt and Pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Wash and scrub the potatoes, leave them whole and place them in a baking pan and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Score them a few times with the tine of a fork and roll in the seasoning.

Bake until fork tender. Let cool slightly and then cut them in half and let them cool for about five minutes and then scoop out the potato flesh, leaving just a coating on the skins. Place potato flesh in a bowl and set aside.

Return the skins to the baking pan and brush each one with a mixture of soy sauce and oil, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and cook until they’re crispy…about 15 minutes. Leave to cool while you make the soup.

In a medium size pan and over medium high heat, heat about two tablespoons of oil.
Add a good sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Add the onions and let them cook until beginning to caramelize.

Add the coriander and chili powder and stir well. Cook for a few minutes and then add the chipotle pepper and stir well.

Cook this for about five minutes so that all the flavors develop.

Slowly add the potato flesh and mash it so it gets incorporated into the onion mixture.

Slowly add the stock and let this simmer for about five minutes.

Remove from the heat and add the milk.

Return to the heat and heat through.

Meanwhile cut the potato skins into ribbons.

Serve immediately with some of the potato ribbons for garnish.

Serves 6

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