Thursday, June 23, 2016

Vegetarian Slow Cooker Baked Beans

  • 1 lb dry navy beans, rinsed
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 2 tsp chili garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce of your choice
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp water

  1. Place beans in a large pot and cover with two inches of water; bring to a rolling boil
  2. Remove from heat, cover, and soak for 1 hour
  3. Drain the bean water
  4. Combine everything in slow cooker except salt, cornstarch, and water
  5. Cook on High setting for 8 hours or until beans and soft and liquid has thickened some
  6. In a small bowl, mix cornstarch and water; stir into beans and add salt
  7. Allow to sit about 5 minutes or so to thicken before serving

My Thoughts:
These beans turned out very good for us and makes a good amount.  They are very affordable and I had most of the ingredients already in my house.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Italian Style Mashed Potatoes

  • 2.5 lbs yellow potatoes
  • tbsp garlic, minced
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup milk, or as needed
  • 1 tbsp Italian Dressing Mix
  • salt & pepper, to taste

  1. Peel potatoes if desired, but it is not required
  2. Cut potatoes and place in a large pot; fill with cold water until potatoes are covered
  3. Salt the water and add garlic; boil until potatoes are tender, drain water
  4. Mash potatoes with butter
  5. Stir in remaining ingredients and serve

My Thoughts:
I was getting really tired of the same old plain mashed potatoes, and decided to use up some seasoning mix I had lying around.  So Italian Style Mashed Potatoes were born.  The seasoning gives the potatoes a nice flavor boost and I will be making them again.

Source: original idea

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Five Bean Soup

  • 2/3 a red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 cup vegetable broth
  • 3/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder

  1. Heat a large pot over medium-high heat
  2. Saute peppers and onion until onion is translucent
  3. Stir in garlic and saute for a minute
  4. Add broth, tomato sauce, beans, and seasonings
  5. Bring to a simmer, stirring frequently
  6. Serve when hot, by itself or with cheese, sour cream, and/or avocado on top

My Thoughts:
To be honest, this recipe scared me.  We are not pepper people, in fact, we hate peppers.  After changing the broth to make it vegan friendly, I really wanted to give it a try.  Boy, was I surprised!  I really enjoyed this soup.  This is very flavorful bean soup and I will make it again.

Source: adapted from Six Sisters Stuff

Monday, May 2, 2016

Crock Pot Beef Stew

  • 2 lbs beef stew meat
  • 3 to 4 Yukon gold potatoes, chopped
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 3 cups tomato juice
  • 1/3 cup barley
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper

  1. Place all ingredients in slow cooker; stir to combine
  2. Cover and cook on Low setting for 8-10 hours
Makes about 4 bowls

My Thoughts:
This is by far the best beef stew I have made.  I tweaked it from the original because I was afraid there wasn't enough liquid, plus I wanted more potato in the stew.  If you are looking for a flavorful, thick, and hearty stew, here it is!

Source: adapted from Recipes That Crock

Mexican Rice & Beans

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 (15 oz) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup salsa (I like medium)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • salt & pepper, to taste

  1. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat
  2. Heat oil until hot
  3. Add salsa and saute for 3 to 5 minutes
  4. Stir in spices and and beans; reduce to low
  5. Cook for 15 minutes
  6. Stir in rice until combined
  7. Serve topped with cheese, sour cream, or avocado (or as burrito filling)

My Thoughts:
You cant go wrong with rice and beans.  This is a simple and flavorful variation that i love with avocado.  

Monday, April 25, 2016

Sloppy Joes with Quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water or broth
  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce (or similar option)
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp oil (any kind)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp molasses
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • buns, for serving

  1. Thoroughly rinse quinoa in a mesh strainer 
  2. Cook quinoa as directed on package using the 2 cups water/broth
  3. Heat oil in pan to med-high and saute onion until translucent and soft
  4. Reduce heat to low and mix in all remaining ingredients, including the quinoa
  5. Heat through
  6. Serve in buns

My Thoughts:
These are pretty decent sloppy joes for lacking the meat.  It seems quite difficult for me to find vegan meals that are good enough to want to make again. The sauce really makes it in this recipe.  We got about eight sloppy joes out of this batch.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup

  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1 Parmesan rind
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cup water
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup frozen green beans
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 sprig rosemary (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15 oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 oz) can great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 cups zucchini, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups tubular pasta
  • 2 1/2 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • shredded Parmesan cheese, for serving

  1. In a large slow cooker, add diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato pesto, Parmesan rind, stock, water, carrots, celery, onions, green beans, garlic, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves; season with salt and pepper to taste
  2. Cover and cook 6 to 8 hours on Low heat setting
  3. Add beans, zucchini, and pasta; cook on High heat for an additional 20 to 25 minutes or until pasta is tender
  4. Stir in spinach and cook for an additional 5 or so minutes until heated through
  5. Remove bay leaves and any leftover parmesan rind
  6. Serve with shredded Parmesan over each serving

Makes about 6 full bowls

My Thoughts:
This was a great vegetarian meal that makes a ton.  The noodles might breakdown a little the next day, but the leftovers are still pretty good.