This evening I needed to make something quick, easy and healthy with ingredients I had in the house. I covered the bottom of a skillet with olive oil, added some chopped onions and sweet potato. When they were tender, I added chopped red bell peppers, poblano peppers, and arugula. When the arugula was wilted, I added walnuts and great northern beans and basil essential oil. I served this over farro.
I never cook farro like the directions on the package. I find the result boring. Here is my method. Cover the bottom of a saucepan with avocado oil. Saute one cup of farro in the oil for a couple of minutes at high heat. Add three cups of water and some roasted garlic bouillon. Turn down to a lower heat so that it is boiling slowly. Cook for about 1/2 hour. Add more water if needed. I always cook it down so I do not have to pour off any of the broth.
I wanted to try something slightly different but easy for dinner:
Several garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1/2 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into cubes
I large poblano pepper, seeded and chopped
7-8 dried mission figs, cut in half
Saute the garlic, sweet potato, and figs in olive oil. When garlic is slightly carmelized and sweet potatoes are soft, add the broccoli and poblano peppers. Saute until tender but still bright green. Add your choice of spices. Tonight I added garam masala and berbere. Just before serving add 1 cup garbanzo beans (I added them after I took the photo above). Cook just until beans are warm. Do not over cook.
This can be served over rice or farro. This evening I cooked farro. I do not follow directions on the package. To add flavor, saute the farro for a minute in avocado oil, add the water — 1 cup farro to 4 cups water. When it starts to boil, add bouillon of your choice, stir thoroughly, and continue cooking per package directions.
For more recipes like this, see my new memoir/cookbook: You’re Gonna Eat That!? Adventures with Food, Family, and Friends, at www.dreamcatcherbooks.com. Angel Editions.
This is my new book, published last month. It is filled with stories, poems, and recipes–healthy food for vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians, and meat eaters with photos and detailed instructions. Currently, it can be purchased at Burrowing Owl bookstores in Canyon and Amarillo, Texas, and online at http://www.dreamcatcherbooks.com, Angel editions.
After several days away from home, I made a quick, tasty, vegetarian dinner this evening.
Since I am leaving for California early Wednesday morning and did not want to buy more food, I used what I could find in the refrigerator: Brussel sprouts, red bell pepper, poblano pepper, broccoli, onion. I found a container of pepitas in the pantry and added some of those as well.
1/4 yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small poblano pepper, deseeded and coarsely chopped
1 red bell pepper, deseeded and coarsely chopped
6 Brussel sprouts, sliced
Several broccoli florets
Basil essential oil or dried basil
Pour enough olive oil in skillet to cover bottom and heat on medium low. Add onions and saute until carmelized. Add Brussels sprouts. When sprouts are about half done, add remaining ingredients and six drops of basil essential oil. Saute until tender but still bright colored. Toss in a handful of pepitas. Serve over pasta or rice.
I served this with pasta and grated asiago cheese on top. Although I frequently use parmesan for grating, I actually prefer asiago. Without the cheese, this is vegan.
Winter squash, butternut and acorn, are two vegetables I like and think are under used. Because I became tired of peeling butternut, I decided to invent something for acorn squash. Much to my surprise, it is now one of Martina’s favorite foods. She has even sent photos to her mother in Italy to see if the squash is sold there so her family can try it. The following recipe is for two. Obviously, just buy more squash and fill if you want to make it for more people. This is a perfect recipe for vegetarians because no meat or fish is used.
1 acorn squash, cut in half, seeds removed
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 to 1 teaspoon honey for each half
Pepitas or any chopped nut of your choice
Saute the finely chopped onion in olive oil until translucent. Stir in approximately one handful of seeds or nuts. Rub olive oil in the bottom of a small baking dish or pan and cover the flesh of the squash with a thin layer of olive oil. Place squash in the pan, fill deseeded center with the onion mixture. Place honey on top of this mixture. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, depending on the size of the squash halves.
For a totally vegetarian meal, serve with salad.
If you want to add more protein to the meal, add black or garbanzo beans to the salad. Sometimes we also add chopped hard boiled eggs and feta cheese.
Earlier I took a hike across my little canyon and up the hill where I plan to build a fence so people will not drive where they are not supposed to drive. Driving there causes rather bad erosion. Walked back to the barn, fed the horses, and returned to the house, then noticed hunger. This afternoon I bought some Tuscan kale and wanted to try it out. Here’s my creation:
Extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3-4 medium size portabello mushrooms, sliced
3 large Tuscan kale leaves, center stem removed and chopped
Pasta–your choice. I used rigatoni but my favorite is conchiglie from Montebello Monastery in Italy which has been doing this since 1388 or so they claim
Cover bottom of a skillet with the olive oil. Add the onions, mushrooms, and chopped kale stems. Saute until the onions are translucent and the kale stems are cooked but still crunchy. While this is cooking, tear the kale leaves into bite sized pieces. Take two dried oregano stems and lightly remove and crumble the leaves and florets into the skillet. Discard the stems. Add the kale leaves to the onion mixture and saute. When done, kale leaves will be tender but still a bright green. Pour over the pasta and place a dollop of ricotta cheese on top.
Note: I grow my own Greek oregano and dried a bunch on my counter top this week–I live in a dry climate so this works. I took two stems with the dried leaves and flowers still attached and stripped off the leaves and flowers and crushed them with my hands directly into the skillet. Greek oregano is very mild. You might want to use less of other oregano. Without the ricotta, this recipe is vegan. I used whole milk ricotta; I never buy low fat anything. I tried to learn to like whole wheat pasta but gave up. Quinoa and corn mixed pasta is ok, but give me the real thing from Italy.
This photo illustrates the dried Greek oregano. I will have to decide whether to store like this or take it all off the stems and crush it.
The first Sunday is potluck Sunday at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Amarillo, Texas, about 14 miles from where I live. Usually, for years, I have made a certain pie that many like. This morning I neither felt the inclination nor the had the time because I went out to feed horses and work on my steep drive. Plus, the forecast predicted a quite hot day, 98 degrees Fahrenheit, making me disinclined to heat up the oven. I opened my pantry door, viewed the canned goods and created this recipe. Several asked how I made it; apparently my experiment met with success.
2 15 oz. cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can whole kernel corn, drained
1/4 medium size purple onion, finely chopped
1 medium size red bell pepper, chopped
1/3 cup medium size black olives, sliced
1/4 cup (or amount to suit your own personal taste) red wine vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. coriander seeds, ground
freshly ground black pepper to taste
Mix all the above. Chill and serve. Personally, I think this might have been even better if allowed to marinate to blend all the flavors. This is easy, nutritious, and vegan.
This is a quick, simple recipe. I served it with a very basic green salad of red lettuce, orange and red bell peppers, and a goat feta cheese. Rice would make a nice addition as would fried ripe plantains.
6 small (petite) potatoes, diced
6 oz. (1 large link) soy chorizo (I used Soyrizo which is also vegan)
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
1 can black beans
Saute the onion and potatoes in the olive oil until tender. Remove the chorizo from the package and crumble into the skillet with the onion and potatoes. Stir into the onion and potato mixture. Rinse the canned black beans and drain. Add to the mixture and stir. When black beans are heated, serve.
The portions in this recipe are easy to multiply to serve more people.