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.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Vegan Chickpea Stirfry Bowl

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 (8 oz) cans water chestnuts, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14 oz) can cut baby corn, rinsed and drained
  • 3 tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tbsp. teriyaki sauce, divided
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 10 oz broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 (15 oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Brown rice, prepared

  1. Heat oil in a large metal skillet over medium-high heat
  2. Add onion, garlic, water chestnuts, corn, 1 tbsp. teriyaki sauce; sauté for 8-10 minutes, stirring often, until onion is translucent and water chestnuts are crispy
  3. Once chestnuts are browned, add broccoli, soy sauce, and 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce; stir well
  4. Continue cooking until broccoli is tender
  5. Stir in chickpeas and cook until hot
  6. Serve over prepared rice

My Thoughts:
I really enjoyed this dish.  The original recipe roasted the chickpeas in the oven, but I found that it made the dish feel too dry for me, so feel free to try either way.  The chickpeas add a somewhat "meatiness" to the dish that makes it more filling.  This also makes wonderful leftovers.

Source: adapted from Build Your Bite

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Double Chocolate Banana Bread

  • 4 ripe medium bananas
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp banking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (plus some for garnish)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  2. Grease and/or line loaf pan 
  3. In a large bowl mash bananas until smooth
  4. Whisk in butter, brown sugar, egg, and vanilla
  5. In a medium bowl, sift together baking soda, salt, flour, and cocoa
  6. Slowly stir dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined
  7. Gently stir in chocolate chips
  8. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan; once evenly spread, sprinkle chocolate chips over top
  9. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean
  10. Cool pan for 10 minutes, then remove from pan and continue to fully cool on a wire rack

My Thoughts:
This is a super chocolaty rich treat, but boy was it good.  I did get a hint of banana bread, but the chocolate really makes this taste more like a cake rather than a bread (but I ain't mad about it!).

Source: adapted from Bake with Christina

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Baked Vegetable Egg Rolls

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups cabbage, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, shredded
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 can water chestnuts, diced
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger or 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp green onion, sliced (optional)
  • 14 egg roll wrappers
  • sweet and sour sauce for dipping

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; once hot add cabbage, carrots, bean sprouts, chestnuts, and ginger.  Stir frequently for 5 minutes until vegetables begin to wilt but are still crisp
  3. In a separate bowl, combine soy sauce, water, and corn starch and whisk
  4. Stir liquid into vegetables along with green onion
  5. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes until thickened
  6. Remove from heat and let cool
  7. Take egg roll wrappers one sheet at a time, and place in front of you so it looks like a diamond
  8. Put about 2 tbsp of filling in the center of the sheet
  9. Pull the bottom corner up and over the filling; fold both the left and right corners in (it will look like an envelope) and roll the egg roll up to complete; repeat 13 more times
  10. Place egg rolls on a greased or parchment lined pan so they are not touching; spray tops with cooking oil if preferred
  11. Bake for about 10 minutes, flip egg rolls and bake for about 7 minutes more
  12. Serve with sweet and sour sauce

My Thoughts:
This is a really versatile recipe, you can add and take out what you don't want.  The leftovers were decent the next day.  I got about 4 meals out of this recipe.  They taste pretty darn good for baked.