admin / March 17, 2014

It’s Meatless Monday-Butterbean Hummus

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I love hummus and it’s often a lunchtime staple for me. The store brands can be pricey so I switched to making my own. However, tahini one of its main ingredients is close to $8 a jar so to the kitchen I headed to work on a recipe where I could substitute a cheaper item. I first tried the following recipe with the chickpeas as per the usual recipe, but it turned out too dry. I switched to black beans and didn’t have much success, but finally stumbled upon a pantry staple favorite of mine, butterbeans. They’re creamy enough to add just the right consistency I was looking for. The cheaper alternative to tahini is peanut butter which seems to pair perfectly with the butterbeans.

I like to eat this hummus with sliced cucumbers, olives, pita bread and even some feta cheese. I think it makes the ideal quick Meatless Monday meal.

1 15 ounce can butterbeans, drained them and give them a quick rinse
Pinch of both pepper and salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon each of coriander and paprika
1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice, your choice
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
drizzle of oil

Place everything into a food processor and pulse until smooth. Taste test and add more salt and pepper or oil to suit your taste.

Makes one cup.

admin / March 10, 2014

It’s Meatless Monday-Potato and ‘Bacon’ Scones

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASt. Patrick’s Day is a week away and that means stores have sales on potatoes. Last week I bought a 10 pound bag for $1.98. When I got home I began thinking about ways I could put them to good use besides just using them as a side dish. Potato and corn chowder was one of the dishes I made. My next idea was this one, potato scones. My grandmother used to make them, but this time I’ve given them a slightly different twist by adding cheese and vegetarian bacon bits. I’ve tried using the imitation bacon pieces that you find at the grocery store but I’ve found their flavor is too overpowering in all the recipes.

So a little research and I found some sold by Augason Farms and sold at Walmart.com. They’re available in large containers so you can use them wherever you need the flavor of bacon but still want a dish to be vegetarian. They worked very well in this recipe and gave the scones a smoky flavor that added a nice balance to the potatoes.

One thing I like about this recipe is, it’s the perfect way to use up mashed potatoes. You can serve them warm or cold. Pair them with a tossed salad and it’s a quick and easy meal for a Meatless Monday.

1 cup mashed potatoes
¼ cup all purpose flour
¼ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese (I’ve used feta too)
1 tablespoon vegetarian bacon bits
1 beaten egg
Pepper
Oil for sautéing

Add the potatoes to a large mixing bowl, and add a good sprinkling of pepper, the cheese and bacon bits.

Mix well until everything’s well blended.

Next add the flour and mix well so it’s incorporated into the potato mixture.

Add the beaten egg and mix into the rest of the ingredients.

Over medium high heat, heat about two tablespoons of oil. (Keep some more oil on hand because sometimes you need to add more as you cook more scones).

Add about a ¼ cup of the scone mixture to the pan, flatten it with the back of a spatula and cook for a few minutes and then flip the scone and cook until lightly golden brown.

I usually cook about two at a time.

When the scone is ready, remove it from the pan and place it onto a plate that’s been lined with a paper towel so it absorbs any extra oil.

Serve immediately (they’re also great cold as a snack).
Makes 8 scones.

admin / March 3, 2014

It’s Meatless Monday-Powerhouse Vegetable Soup

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We all know that eating dark green veggies is good for you and they’re often the best deal at the produce department. However, some people just don’t like them so I came up with the following soup recipe that I think can double as a Meatless Monday lunch, or even supper if you pair it with a sandwich.

I call it powerhouse because of one of its main stars is two cups of green vegetables. Choose whatever one you want, but my favorite is kale. The other key ingredient is the tomato paste. It gives it a rich flavor that seems to pair perfectly with the vegetables and makes for a hearty broth on a cold winter’s day.

½ can tomato paste
2 cups chopped green veggies
2 potatoes, diced
2 carrots, sliced
1 15 ounce can chopped tomatoes
3 cups vegetable stock
Herbs of your choice, basil, thyme are great
Salt and pepper
Oil for sautéing

Over medium high heat and in a large saucepan, heat the oil.
Add the carrots and potatoes.
Add some salt and pepper and stir well. Cook for about 2-3 minutes and then add the herbs and cook until the vegetables have softened slightly and begin to caramelize.
Next add the chopped green vegetables and cook for a few more minutes to make sure they get coated with the seasonings.
Add the tomato paste and stir well so everything gets evenly coated.
Slowly add the vegetable stock.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then lower the heat and let it simmer for about ten minutes or until the vegetables are cooked.
Serve immediately.
This pairs well with Parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top and a serving of homemade bread.
Serves 4-6

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