Slow Cooker Vegetarian Chili
This recipe is delicious by itself or as a base. Add rice or pasta, along with any vegetable you have that needs eating: corn, spinach, carrots, zucchini.
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped bell pepper
1 cup chopped celery
2 – 3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans or kidney beans
2 (15-ounce) cans diced tomatoes
1 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)
shredded Cheddar cheese (optional)
1. Combine all ingredients, except the last two, in a Crock-Pot or slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours. When serving, top with yogurt, sour cream and cheese, if desired. Freezes well. Serves 12.
Roasted Vegetable Napoleon
Prepare this impressive side dish with flavorful, local produce. It also makes a splendid meatless meal.
2 eggplants, skin on, sliced to 1/3 – 1/2-inch thickness
4 large tomatoes, sliced to 1/3 – 1/2-inch thickness
8 medium portobello mushroom caps, stems and gills removed
2 large zucchini squash, sliced to 1/3 – 1/2-inch thickness
1/4 cup olive oil
salt and pepper
8 ounces fresh mozzarella, sliced to 1/3 – 1/2-inch thickness
fresh rosemary sprigs or fresh chopped basil, for garnish (optional but festive)
balsamic vinegar reduction*
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Spread sliced eggplants, tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini out on baking sheet.
3. Brush lightly with olive oil (may mist with olive oil spray), then sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
4. Place in oven and roast vegetables until tender, at least 15 – 20 minutes. (May be grilled, if you prefer.) Allow vegetables to cool. (The vegetables may be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for use the next day.)
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
6. Stack a slice of each, adding a slice of mozzarella to create napoleon. Use a skewer to secure stack.
7. Place napoleons on a baking sheet lined with foil, or on a lightly greased glass baking dish. Bake for approximately 10 minutes.
8. Remove from oven and top with fresh rosemary sprig or fresh chopped basil. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar reduction.* Serves 4. Approximately 450 calories a serving.
* To make the balsamic reduction bring about 3 cups of balsamic vinegar to a boil in a heavy saucepan, then turn heat down and simmer uncovered for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally until it is reduced to about 3/4 cup and syrupy.
Spinach and Artichoke Grilled Cheese
Everyone's favorite party dip gets a makeover in this sandwich featuring tangy sundried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese.
1/4 cup spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 artichoke heart, chopped
4 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 tablespoon sour cream
2 tablespoons cream cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
2 slices of whole-wheat bread
2 slices of Swiss cheese
1. Sauté spinach in olive oil and minced garlic.
2. In a small bowl, mix together artichokes, sundried tomatoes, spinach, sour cream, cream cheese and Parmesan cheese.
3. Butter both sides of the pieces of bread.
4. Heat a skillet on low-to-medium heat. Place bread in skillet.
5. Flip bread once toasted. Place a slice of Swiss cheese on each piece of bread.
6. Spread spinach and artichoke mixture on bottom piece of bread. Top with top slice of bread.
7. Once bottom is nice and golden, flip to toast the other side.
8. When that side is golden, remove from heat. Makes 1.
Roasted Veggie Pasta Salad
This cool, colorful pasta is a great make-ahead dish.
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped bell peppers
2 cups chopped broccoli
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes
2 cups chopped yellow squash
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons minced garlic
8 ounces whole grain pasta (Meme uses 100-percent whole-wheat penne.)
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with foil (for easy clean up).
2. Toss chopped onion, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes and squash together with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
3. Transfer to baking sheets and roast for 20 minutes.
4. Stir in garlic, and roast another 10 to 15 minutes, until veggies are lightly golden. Let cool.
5. Meanwhile, bring about 6 cups of water to a boil. Add pasta, stir, and reduce heat to a low boil. Cook until pasta is just barely cooked (approximately 8 minutes); do not overcook. Drain and set aside to cool.
6. Once cooled, toss together in a plastic or glass bowl with balsamic vinegar, fresh basil, salt and remaining olive oil. Add more salt or vinegar if needed. Makes approximately 8 cups. Serves 8 – 10.
Photo by Elise Poche
Veggie Fried Quinoa
This is a go-to superfood on weeknights when you need something quick, easy and healthful. The recipe originally comes from former Mobilian and fit food blogger, Meme Inge.
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 bell pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, diced
1/2 cup diced mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups cooked quinoa
5 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
1 teaspoon sriracha sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce (optional)
2 green onions, chopped (optional)
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Add bell pepper, onion and carrots. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes, until veggies are softened and lightly browned. Add mushrooms. Cook for approximately 5 minutes. Push veggies to sides of pan.
3. Add remaining oil and stir in garlic and quinoa. Stir-fry about 2 – 3 minutes.
4. In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and 2 tablespoons soy sauce.
5. Push quinoa to side of pan with the veggies.
6. Cook eggs in pan for 30 seconds. Then stir in with quinoa and veggies.
7. Meanwhile, whisk together remaining soy sauce, sriracha, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar and fish sauce. Stir into pan.
8. Let cook, stirring often for 5 minutes until sauce is absorbed. Top with chopped green onions, if desired. Serves 4.
Greek Tomato Spinach Strata
This Mediterranean-inspired combo makes a marvelous vegetarian main dish, a lavish side or something special for brunch.
1 (10-ounce) package chopped frozen spinach
3 eggs, slightly beaten
1 pound small curd cottage cheese
3 – 4 tablespoons flour
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled
2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced
Greek seasoning, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare spinach according to package directions. Drain well.
3. In a large bowl, combine cooled spinach, eggs, cottage cheese, flour and butter.
4. Add cheeses, stir to combine. Pour into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
5. Cover the top with tomato slices. Drizzle tomatoes with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of Greek seasoning. Bake for 1 hour. Serves 6 – 8.
This is a hearty, flavorful French vegetable dish; it can also be a delicious, filling vegetarian entrée. For added flair, scatter some shredded Gruyere or Parmesan cheese on top.
1 big sweet onion, coarsely chopped
1 – 2 tablespoon olive oil
3 – 4 tomatoes, chopped in big pieces
3 – 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 – 5 zucchini, unpeeled and sliced into rounds
1 eggplant, unpeeled and sliced into rounds then in half again
handful of black olives
1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
salt and pepper
1 – 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1. Slowly cook onion in olive oil until transparent. Add tomatoes and garlic. Cook a couple more minutes.
2. Add zucchini, eggplant, black olives and green pepper on medium heat. Salt and pepper as desired. Cook for about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with fresh parsley. Serves 6 to 8.