As some of you may know I'm on a mission to eat healthy, local food. It's not working very well this winter as you might imagine. And that's been depressing me a lot lately, especially when I venture to the grocery store. But I have to tell you that I'm not giving up. I'm just being more forgiving with myself while there's snow on the ground. You might also know that I'm not a vegetarian, though I was for about 6 years. (During that time I lived with Holli. She thought I was very strange for not eating meat. Now she's a champion vegetarian, gourmet cook. Funny how things change. But I digress.)
So part of my quest to eat better for us and the environment is to scale back on the amount of meat we include in our diet. We actually went two whole weeks without any meat except lunch meat. (Among the worst of the offenders. I know.) Here are the best recipes we tried. They were sooooo yummy that I really did not miss the meat at all.
Our number one favorite:
Vegetarian Tortilla Stew
- 1 (19 ounce) can green enchilada sauce
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cube vegetable bouillon
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 (15 ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1/2 cup vegetarian chicken substitute, diced (optional)
- 4 (6 inch) corn tortillas, torn into strips
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- salt and pepper to taste
So dang good. You won't be sorry.
Vegetarian Baked Pasta:
- 1 pound penne pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 ounces portobello mushrooms, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (less than the original)
- 1 each small yellow squash and small zucchini (not in the original)
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (28 ounce) jar spaghetti sauce (or make your own with garlic, olive oil, one can of tomatoes, salt and pepper, chili flakes to taste. Simmer and pretend it's a jar of sauce)
- 1.5 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (I used WAY less cheese than they called for and it was plenty.)
- 2-3 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumble (less here too and we could still taste it, but Hadley didn't notice it.)
- Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Pour a glass of ice water over the pasta to stop the cooking, but do not rinse thoroughly.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a 9 x 13 glass pan with olive oil. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in large skillet. Add mushrooms and veggies. Cook for 2 minutes then add basil, oregano and garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add sauce to mushroom mixture and stir.
- To assemble, pour enough sauce in the bottom of the pan to cover. Combine the remaining sauce and the pasta. Place one-third of sauced noodles on top of sauce in pan. Top with a little mozzarella and one-half of the gorgonzola. Repeat for a second layer. Put the final third of the noodles in the pan and top with the final layer of mozzarella.
- Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until cheese is browned. Serve.
Sweet Potato burritos
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups canned kidney beans, drained
- 2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 4 teaspoons prepared mustard
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
- 12 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
- 8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Heat oil in a medium skillet, and saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in beans, and mash. Gradually stir in water, and heat until warm. Remove from heat, and stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper and soy sauce.
- Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the warm flour tortillas. Top with cheese. Fold up tortillas burrito style, and place on a baking sheet.
- Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, and serve.
Of course we also re-visited our favorite spinach egg and potato dish from before (still love it) and I'm hoping to make this Nut Loaf over the weekend. Plus some cookies. Or cupcakes. The photo of chocolate cupcakes with pink icing on the cover of my Country Living Magazine might be too tempting to wait for Valentine's Day.