Butternut Squash and Cannellini Beans

Butternut squash with cannellini beans

Inspired by a dish I had at a local restaurant, I made this awesome side dish with less than five ingredients! Butternut squash is such a versatile squash, lending itself to be sweet or savory with an ample dose of fiber and Vitamin B6.  Paired with Cannellini beans for even more dietary fiber and protein, you have a great low calorie combination. Topped with roasted almonds this is a very easy and nutritious side dish.

Feed the wellness in you!

Butternut Squash and Cannellini Beans

Ingredients

  • 1 lb butternut squash, cubed
  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • 1/2 cup bell peppers (red, yellow, orange)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted almonds
  • 1/2 tbl olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbl dried parsley
  • ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Crush the almonds and place on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper in the oven at 200 degrees.
  2. Sautee the bell peppers in the olive oil until softened.
  3. Add the butternut squash and sautee for 15 minutes or until cooked yet firm.
  4. Add the cannellini beans and mix well for 5 minutes
  5. Add the balsamic vinegar.
  6. Add pepper to taste.
  7. Sprinkle the parsley on top.
  8. Remove the almonds from the oven (at this point they would have been in the oven for 25-30 minutes) and sprinkle on top of the butternut squash and balsamic vinegar.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/butternut-squash-and-cannellini-beans/

Quick and Easy Chickpea Salad

Quick and Easy Chickpea salad

As Spring weather starts to grace us before it officially starts, it makes you think about lighter fare recipes and naturally salads come to mind. You can’t go wrong with an easy salad that can be paired with the protein of your choice. This is nothing fancy but it packs in nutrients and flavor.  Protein, folate, fiber, and iron in a tasty simple salad – what’s not to love?

Feed the wellness in you!

Quick and Easy Chickpea Salad

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 1 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 chopped English cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain chickpeas.
  2. In a bowl, combine chickpeas with all the ingredients and mix well.
  3. Best made in advance!
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/quick-and-easy-chickpea-salad/

 

Pumpkin Pilaf

Pumpkin Pilaf

Are you tired of plain brown rice and eating it just because it’s supposed to be better for you? With just a few additional ingredients you can be more creative and get more nutrients with that once plain brown rice. calabazaThis dish doesn’t have the pureed pumpkin we see prominently displayed in the grocery aisles right now.  What is used is the Caribbean Calabaza pumpkin or ‘West Indian Pumpkin’.  It is very popular in the Caribbean and Central and South America.  The seeds of the pumpkin, known as pepitas, are eaten as a snack when roasted and you will often find them added to Mexican cuisine.

I use this pumpkin quite often, especially in soups.  However, this is a great addition to meals on its own and I love it mixed in my rice as I had it growing up.  For added protein I include chickpeas and with minimal seasonings I have a great side dish.  I’ve had this with other side vegetables and even with my vegetarian chili.  The Calabaza pumpkin may not be easy to find but a great substitute is butternut squash.  You could never go wrong with that!

 Feed the wellness in you!

 

Pumpkin Pilaf

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

The Calabaza is usually cut in to large pieces but you will have to dice it into much smaller pieces. It has a tough skin so be careful and have a sharpened knife ready.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced Calabaza pumpkin (or butternut squash)
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 3/4 cup chickpeas
  • 1 tbl tomato paste
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place diced pumpkin in a medium pot with one cup of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil for ten minutes.
  2. Add the brown rice and chickpeas to the pumpkin along with 1.5 cups of vegetable broth.
  3. Mix in 1 tbl of tomato paste.
  4. Cook according to the brown rice directions (approx. 20 minutes)
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/pumpkin-pilaf/

Sweet and Spicy Shaved Brussels Sprouts

sweet and spicy brussels sprouts

In my quick dash in and out of Trader Joe’s over the weekend, I picked up a 10 ounce bag of Shaved Brussels Sprouts. I’m a big fan of veggies that are already chopped and washed for me. I’ll admit I often wash them AGAIN but when in a hurry I just keep it moving.  I usually prepare whole Brussels Sprouts but use shaved in my salad mix. I thought I would sauté the shaved sprouts some way but wasn’t sure how.

When I arrived home I saw the simple recipe on the back of the package and the main ingredient for flavor was balsamic vinegar which I always use. I really didn’t have anything crazy imaginative in mind beyond what they described, I needed simple and fast.  Truth be told, I needed my dinner done before the US Open Men’s Final started at 4 pm.  Little did I know there would be a 3 hour rain delay!

sweet and spicy brussels sprouts 2.jpgI ended up using a dash of salt, onion powder, garlic powder, balsamic vinegar and the addition of Trader Joe’s sweet chili sauce. It’s a great condiment, and I use it on veggie hotdogs, hamburgers, vegetables and have also used it as a substitute for duck sauce.

So if you’re looking for a quick and easy side dish that is also low in calories, and very high in Vitamins C and K, give this a try.  This recipe also works well with green beans. Stop in your local  Trader Joe’s if you want no chopping and washing, pick up the few ingredients needed and this will be done in less than 15 minutes!

Sweet and Spicy Shaved Brussels Sprouts

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 pkg of 10 oz shaved Brussels Sprouts (I use the Trader Joe's brand and they always have it)
  • 2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbl garlic powder
  • 1 tbl onion powder
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 cup sweet chili sauce

Instructions

  1. Sautee the Brussels sprouts in olive oil on a medium heat for 2 minutes until it starts to wilt.
  2. Add garlic powder, onion powder and balsamic vinegar and stir for another 3 minutes.
  3. Turn to low heat for 5 minutes then add the sweet chili sauce.
  4. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/sweet-and-spicy-shaved-brussels-sprouts/

Quinoa Tabbouleh

 

Quinoa Tabboulleh

I got an email from my children’s school advising where to find their school supply list online along with other back to school information.  As much as I tried to deny it, the summer break is coming to an end. How is this possible? Where did the time go? I still have summer heavy on my mind. What’s great about DC is that it can reach the 80 degree mark in October and some pools are still open. One local pool that I go to has a fabulous brunch with several vegetarian options. One of the options is usually a traditional tabbouleh with bulgur but this past weekend they did it with quinoa. I liked the substitute.  Ironically they lessened the parsley which I don’t know if that technically makes it an entirely different dish because how can tabbouleh not have parsley?  With many more weeks of summer and the desire to eat nice cool salads,  I thought I should make tabbouleh and post a recipe.

There’s so many things that are great about tabbouleh.  I love the smell of fresh parsley and the lovely taste of the lemon and mint combined.  I was excited about trying it with quinoa.  Both bulgur and quinoa are great grains but quinoa has 50% more protein which I always need to seek extra of on a vegetarian diet.  Another thing I like about this dish is that it is easy to prepare.  Besides cooking the quinoa, everything else just gets chopped and when the quinoa is cooled just put all the ingredients together and mix well.  That’s it!

Traditional tabbouleh has way more parsley than it does grain.  Parsley is an amazing herb with almost every vitamin, lots of minerals and fiber.  Keep tabbouleh in mind at the salad bar  as an add-on ingredient to your salad.  It’s one of those items that adds great texture and flavor to salad, eliminating the need for dressing.

I hope you enjoy my take on tabbouleh.  I kept the spices light yet interesting, and used a higher ratio of lemon juice to olive oil.

Feed the wellness in you!

 

Quinoa Tabbouleh

Prep Time: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 30 minutes

It is recommended to let the tabbouleh sit for 4 hours before serving hence the long total preparation time.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1/2 c fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbl garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cucumber (if you you can find one, use a whole Persian cucumber), chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 bunch chopped italian parsley (1.5 cups) washed and dried thoroughly
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint washed and dried thoroughly
  • 2 chopped scallions washed and dried thoroughly
  • 1/4 tsp Allspice
  • 1/4 tsp Powdered Ginger
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Cloves

Instructions

  1. Cook a cup of quinoa according to the package directions. Let cool then put in a large bowl.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients and mix well.
  3. Let sit for 4 -6 hours or ideally overnight before serving.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/quinoa-tabbouleh/

 

Toasted Grain Pilaf

 

Toasted Grain Pilaf.jpg

I celebrated my birthday almost two weeks ago and one of my wishes was to have a ‘staycation’ – lay poolside, read a book, and relax.  Once my children are in a body of water and swimming, I don’t hear from them unless they are hungry and when they have a room number to charge to I am out of the equation.  There are only a few hotels in town that provide these options so as I was looking at hotels and their menus (always important for me to make sure they have good vegetarian options or adaptable dishes) I came across a dish named Toasted Grain and Endive Sauté.  The ingredients listed seemed to be quite tasty combined – black rice, farro, cauliflower, baby  bok choy, endive, capers, golden raisins, smoked almonds, sesame oil, lime.  I immediately jotted the ingredients down and was glad that I did since we didn’t eat at this restaurant.

When I returned home I made what I thought would be done with these ingredients as described.  I stuck closely to the ingredients listed except for the black rice which may have been a nice contrast in color for the dish.  I loved the idea of combining cauliflower, endive and bok choy.  Toasted Grain Pilaf Veggies.jpg

Because of the use of grains and the crunch of the almonds it seemed like an interesting spin on rice pilaf to me and not a sauté as the name originally implied, therefore I named my dish aptly, Toasted Grain Pilaf.

I enjoyed what I did with it and it turned out to be a hearty dish that I felt could be eaten alone or as a side dish.  I loved the use of lime and I thought of adding some cilantro and a touch of heat which gave it great flavoring.  Enjoy!

Feed the wellness in you!

 

Toasted Grain Pilaf

Yield: 3-4 servings

Ingredients

  • Vegetable Stock
  • 3/4 cup Farro
  • 2 cups roasted cauliflower
  • 2 baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 endive, chopped
  • 2 tbl capers
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup red onions
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 1/4 cup smoked almonds chopped
  • Sesame Oil
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Sea Salt
  • Onion Powder
  • Garlic Powder
  • 2 -3 limes
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup cilantro

Instructions

  1. Cook the farro according to the directions in 1.5 - 2 c of vegetable stock. Should be 25-30 minutes. Set aside to cool
  2. Roast the cauliflower in olive oil, dash of sea salt, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp garlic powder. Takes approximately 30-35 minutes.
  3. Sautee the red onions and minced garlic in 2 tbl of olive oil for 3 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Add the roasted cauliflower, bok choy and endive and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Fold in the farro, capers, and 1/2 tsp of cayenne pepper; mix well.
  6. Squeeze the juice from the 2 -3 limes into the dish. If they are large limes, use 2.
  7. Mix in the golden raisins and 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro. Add salt to taste.
  8. Drizzle sesame seed oil on top.
  9. Sprinkle the smoked almonds on top, the remaining cilantro and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/toasted-grain-pilaf/

Baked Quinoa and Swiss Chard Casserole

Baked Quinoa and Swiss Chard

I knew I was going to have a busy week last week and it would help if I cooked a meal that would last over a few days.  It needed to have both protein and vegetables, and could serve as a main or side dish.  Whole Foods had a special on all varieties of Swiss chard and I realized I hadn’t featured any recipes with this vegetable so far. The wheels started churning and back in the lab I created this baked quinoa and chard casserole.

Other than the Swiss chard, I had all the ingredients in my refrigerator and pantry.  Lately I’ve been keeping cooked quinoa handy for tossing in my salads which I highly recommend.  It’s easy to prepare and can have lots of flavor with just a few ingredients.  For this dish, the quinoa base was cooked in vegetable broth, a little sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder and fresh chives.  Swiss chard is simple to cook and has a unique flavor as all the greens do.  I sautéed it in a little olive oil with onions and peppers.  Combine it all with a few other herbs, spices and cheeses, and the casserole is ready for the oven.

Swiss chard is high in vitamins A, K, and C, which are your antioxidant and anti inflammatory vitamins. It is also rich in minerals, dietary fiber, and protein.  Quinoa is a super grain that I can’t do without, providing me with much needed protein and fiber.

Try this recipe and get a big spoonful of wellness!

Feed the wellness in you!

Baked Quinoa and Swiss Chard Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Serving Size: 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches of Swiss chard, washed and chopped
  • 2 cups Quinoa (about 6 cups cooked)
  • 4.5 cups of vegetable broth
  • 4 oz fresh chives, chopped
  • 4 sweet peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 c shitake mushrooms
  • 1/8 c red onions
  • 5 oz shredded parmesan/asiago/fontina cheese
  • 1 c egg whites
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbl garlic powder
  • 1 tbl parsley
  • 1 tbl sage
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook the quinoa in 4 cups of vegetable broth, chopped fresh chives, 1 tsp of sea salt. This should take approximately 15 minutes.
  3. In another pan, sautee the Swiss chard with the mushrooms, sweet peppers and red onions for about 10 minutes on medium heat.
  4. Combine the quinoa and Swiss chard in a large bowl, mix in .5 c of vegetable broth, egg whites and 2.5 oz of cheese.
  5. Add the remaining herbs and spices.
  6. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and spread the quinoa and Swiss chard mixture in the dish.
  7. Top with remaining 2.5 oz of cheese.
  8. Cook for 20 minutes and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/baked-quinoa-and-swiss-chard-casserole/

Curry Tofu and Chickpeas

Curry Tofu and Chickpeas1 

Since starting this blog I stayed away from the inclusion of a tofu recipe thus far.  Despite preparing meals with tofu at least 2 days a week,  I figured a tofu dish would be expected on a vegetarian blog, very cliché and the obvious default.  I thought you would find it boring.   While chatting with some girlfriends recently they told me that although they eat tofu they never cook it because they didn’t know how.  They weren’t sure where to start and how to incorporate it into their lifestyles because they would if they could (they are not vegetarians). How many of you are struggling with cooking tofu?  If you don’t fall into this category and this post bores you, please return tomorrow!  But for those who are curious about how to prepare tofu, here’s the first of many tofu dishes, an easy Curry Tofu with Chickpeas.  I always have tofu and chickpeas in my pantry along with the required spices.  I am a first generation American, born to parents from the Caribbean so this style of cooking in this recipe is very natural for me to use.

Tofu dishes can be considered my ‘fast food’.  I regularly have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  It can be scrambled for breakfast, added to sandwiches and salads for lunch, used in an array of main and side dishes for dinner, and even in desserts.  The key to adding it to the dish is knowing the type of tofu to purchase depending on what you are making.  There are several different types of tofu – silken, firm, and extra-firm.  Silken is used for soft things like sauces or desserts; firm is best used in salads or things that don’t require a lot of manipulation like a wrap sandwich and extra firm would be used in stir fry’s, baked dishes or deep fried.  When eating out, do not be fooled by the inclusion of tofu in the dish as a healthier option.  It is often deep fried when it arrives so ask how it is prepared before ordering it.  If it is fried, just ask them not to.  It’s a quicker process for the chef to flash fry it than to dry the water out of it.

Tofu is packaged in a big block usually with water.

Tofu in white backround

What helps with  gaining the right consistency for your dish before cooking is to drain the water from the tofu.  I open the package, drain the water, slice the tofu, then wrap it with paper towels, changing at least twice.

Curry tofu 2

I then often bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees so it just gets a little firmer and slightly brown around the edges, as I did with this dish.  When I do bake it, I cube it before placing it on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Tofu

With this base of tofu preparation, you can try tofu in various dishes.  Here’s the Curry Tofu and Chickpeas recipe which requires this type of prepping.  I hope you give it a try.  I served it over a plantain mash but I also do it with rice and peas –  it works with any starch you choose.  Use as a side dish with your protein of choice or as a main dish if you’re exploring the green life on that day.

Feed the wellness in you!

Curry Tofu and Chickpeas

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Serving Size: 4

Curry lends itself to be customized for those who love it so pay attention to your spices, taste and adjust accordingly.

Ingredients

  • 2 pkgs extra firm tofu
  • 1.5 cans garbanzo beans
  • 2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/3 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp curry powder (mild, medium or hot - your choice!)
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbl minced garlic
  • Sea Salt
  • 2 - 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 tbl curry powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground white pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 2 stems fresh thyme
  • 1 scotch bonnet or habanero pepper (optional)
  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • cilantro

Instructions

  1. Prep the tofu as described above.
  2. Saute the red bell pepper, green bell pepper, red onions, garlic, ginger, 1 tsp curry powder for 5 minutes on a medium heat. Turn to low.
  3. Add your tofu and mix well.
  4. Add 1 cup of vegetable stock along with your chick peas, tomato paste, curry powder, onion powder, ground white pepper, cumin, turmeric, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, scallions, 1 tsp of sea salt, habanero or scotch bonnet pepper.
  5. Cook on medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring periodically.
  6. Add the additional cup of vegetable stock as it thickens, then turn to low for 25 minutes.
  7. Add salt to taste.
  8. Add the diced tomatoes, mix, then let sit for 5 minutes.
  9. Remove the scotch bonnet or habanero before serving.
  10. Serve over your grains with cilantro on top.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/curry-tofu-and-chickpeas/

Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa and Chickpea ‘Muffins’

Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa, Chickpea

I’ll be the first to admit, there’s nothing ‘pretty’ about this dish but it is SO delicious and nutritious!  Instead of rice or potatoes, try this as a substitute.  I eat the three ingredients in this dish separately all the time prepared different ways but I thought long and hard about combining two uniquely (I’ve had spaghetti squash and quinoa, quinoa and chickpeas)…then decided let’s just go with all three!

The ingredients are savory and unexpected with feta cheese, herbs like sage and spices like turmeric.  I made this in a muffin pan and it scoops out easily with a tablespoon and stores well.  You can also make it as a casserole if you prefer.

So if you’re watching your carbs, need more protein and fiber, give this a try!

Feed the wellness in you!

Spaghetti Squash, Quinoa and Chickpea ‘Muffins’

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 12

Ingredients

  • 1 medium sized spaghetti squash
  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 cup quinoa (uncooked)
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1/2 can tomato paste
  • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of sage
  • 1 tablespoon of turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon of parsley
  • 1 tsp of sea salt
  • 12 cup non stick muffin pan

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Bake the spaghetti squash for 45 minutes to one hour, until skin can be pierced with a knife.
  3. Cook the quinoa according to the package in the vegetable stock; should be 10-15 minutes.
  4. Blend the garbanzo beans in a blender until the consistency of hummus.
  5. In a large bowl, mix the ingredients together.
  6. Add all other ingredients and mix well.
  7. Add the mixture to the muffin cups. There should be generous helpings in each.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes.
  9. Gently scoop out with a tablespoon and serve.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/spaghetti-squash-quinoa-and-chickpea-muffins/

Broccoli with Shallots, Chickpeas and Figs

Tired of the same old broccoli? This is a sweet and piquant twist on this nutrient-rich vegetable.

Broccoli with shallots1

 

Broccoli with Shallots, Chickpeas and Figs

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Serving Size: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 12 oz bag Broccoli
  • 8 oz can Chickpeas
  • 1 - 2 Medium sized shallots, sliced
  • ½ cup Black mission figs, halved
  • 1 tablespoon Onion Powder
  • ½ cup Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil

Instructions

  1. Chop the broccoli in even chunks, wash thoroughly and drain.
  2. In a large pan, sauté the shallots on medium heat in the olive oil until translucent.
  3. Use 1-2 shallots depending on your liking. I love the mild flavor of shallots so I use closer to 2 shallots.
  4. Add your broccoli, balsamic vinegar and onion powder and cook for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add your chickpeas and cook for 20 minutes on a low heat. I like my broccoli fairly firm but cook until you reach your desired texture.
  6. Add the figs when broccoli is done and leave covered for 5 minutes.
https://eatlikeavegetarian.com/broccoli-with-shallots-chickpeas-and-figs/

What’s wonderful about this dish is that there aren’t many ingredients!  The balsamic vinegar and figs provide such a nice balance.