Archive | Main Dishes RSS feed for this section

Spicy Vegetarian Chili

17 Mar

This is a new version of the Best Vegetarian Chili and it may be even better than the original. You could make it in the crock pot or on the stove – either way, it’s delish!

Start with these ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pepper, any color, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato (or regular potato), chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) spicy black beans
  • 3 Tbsp quinoa, any color
  • 1/4 cup lentils, any color
  • 1 can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Muir Glen diced tomatoes – Fire roasted with medium green chilis
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 packet vegetarian chili seasoning mix
  • water
  • olive oil
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

Then get down to business:

  1. Put a bit (maybe a Tbsp) of olive oil in a large soup pan and heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Let cook, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes.
  2. Add the chopped pepper, carrots, jalapeno and sweet potato to the pot.
  3. Add the two cans of tomatoes and stir well. Fill one of the cans with water and add that as well.
  4. Rinse the spicy black beans just a bit and add them to the mixture. Add the quinoa and lentils.
  5. Next add the can of tomato paste and stir well.  Tomato paste can be sticky so make sure to get it distributed throughout the mixture.
  6. Toss in the chili seasoning mix.
  7. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 45 minutes.
  8. Add the cup of frozen corn, stir, and simmer for another 15 minutes.
  9. Top with shredded cheese and enjoy.

You could easily make this in the crock pot – just omit the olive oil at the beginning and pile everything in the crock pot, stir, and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours, adding the corn in just about 15 minutes before you’re ready to eat.

What’s great about this chili is that it’s so flexible – I’ve added or omitted vegetables depending on what I have on hand and I’ve used sprouted legumes or chickpeas instead of lentils. Any version is great!

Spicy Veggie Chili

Cabbage and Rice

31 Jan

We got cabbage in a recent Boston Organics delivery and while trying to think of a good recipe, I remembered a meal my grandmother made once when I was little. I called my mom to ask about it and she said it was a polish dish called gołąbkis (gaw-WOHP-kee). Because they traditionally have meat in them and because they seemed kind of complicated to make I googled a bit to find something similar. I found this great recipe from VegWeb and made a few changes based on my preferences and some of the comments. It’s become a new favorite!


4 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups basmati rice
3 cups vegetable broth
1 small head cabbage, chopped
1 15oz can diced or crushed tomatoes (I like San Marzano)
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
2 heaping teaspoons Hungarian paprika, divided
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon sea salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the chopped onion. Sauté onion for a few minutes until translusent. Add the rice and saute for about five minutes.


Add the remaining ingredients in the following order: pepper, 1 teaspoon of the Hungarian paprika, broth, cabbage, tomatoes, bay leaf, salt. Stir well and cook for about 5 minutes.


Pour the cabbage and rice mixture into a rectangular baking pan and sprinkle with remaining paprika. (Add a little extra if you’d like – it’s delicious!) Bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy!

Cabbage and Rice

Carrot-y Veggie Burgers

14 May

We got a juicer not too long ago and I LOVE it. We usually compost the pulp that remains after you make juice but a friend told me that there are tons of recipes that use the pulp. She said that carrot pulp can be used to make carrot muffins, so I originally set out to find a muffin recipe. I found these burgers instead and they were delicious.

Carrot-y Veggie Burgers

1 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup carrot pulp
2 cups crushed cornflakes
2-3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 tablespoon finely chopped onion
salt and pepper to taste
Butter or olive oil (just to grease the skillet)
Burger Buns

I put the carrot, onion and celery in a food processor and the fine chopping was quick and easy. Combine the chopped carrots, onion and celery with the carrot pulp, crushed cornflakes, and eggs in a bowl. The recipe originally called for two eggs but we thought the burgers weren’t sticky enough so we added a third egg. Add a little salt and pepper and mix well.

Form the mixture into patties – once this recipe made four patties and once it made five. Who knows what you’ll end up with.

Melt a bit of butter in a skillet over medium heat and cook patties for a few minutes on each side or until browned.

Patties on the griddle

I think we’ll also try cooking these on foil on the grill this summer.

Top with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles – whatever you like! Serve on your favorite buns.


Herbed Polenta with Tomato Bean Sauce

17 Feb

We’re not doing so great on our one recipe a week challenge, but we are trying some new recipes, just not nearly one a week. Oh well. Here’s our latest new adventure: Herbed polenta with an amazing tomato sauce topping.

We wanted to make polenta and I found this recipe on Care2, a website which aims to “make it easy for everyone to live a healthy, green lifestyle and impact the causes they care about most.” We made a few small changes to the recipe and, while it was pretty easy to make and the sauce was incredibly delicious, the polenta was kind of bland and not nearly as creamy and fluffy as the polenta at our favorite restaurant down the street. I know we’ll make the sauce again, but we’ll be on the lookout for a recipe that promises creamier polenta.


For the polenta:
1½ cups polenta (coarse yellow cornmeal)
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons parsley
4 cups hot water
Olive oil for greasing
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

For the tomato sauce topping:
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chopped onion
3 cups chopped Swiss chard, kale, or spinach, or a combination (we used kale)
1 28-ounce can of chopped or diced tomatoes with basil
1 15-ounce can navy beans
Salt and pepper, to taste


In a 3-quart pot, combine the polenta, salt, parsley, and water, making sure there are no lumps. Bring to a boil and lower the heat and simmer, stirring frequently, 30 minutes or until the polenta is thick and comes away easily from the sides of the pot.

Next grease a large sheet of aluminum foil with the oil and place it on a baking sheet. With a rubber spatula or with wet hands, slide the polenta onto the baking sheet, guiding it into a rectangle measuring approximately 8 inches by 12 inches. Make the corners as square as possible. Lay a second sheet of aluminum foil of top and allow the polenta to set for at least 30 minutes.

While the polenta is setting, you can begin the sauce topping. In a large, deep frying pan, heat the oil. Add the garlic and saute until it turns golden. Add the chopped onion and saute until translucent. Add the greens and stir until wilted. Add in the can of tomatoes with their juice, then add the beans and simmer for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Polenta 045
Cut the polenta in to four equal rectangles and then cut each rectangle into four triangles. Place the triangles on oiled aluminum foil and bake at 400 for 5 to 6 minutes. Flip over the triangles and bake for another 5 to 6 minutes or until they start to become brown.


Put two triangles on a plate and add some shredded parmesan cheese on top. Ladle the bean mixture on top and add a bit more cheese if you’d like. Enjoy!

Herbed Polenta with tomato and bean topping

Quinoa Collard Wraps

20 Jan

Andrew thought it’d be fun if this year we tried to make one new recipe each week. This was our first attempt and it’s three weeks into the new year, so we’ll see how this goes…

The original recipe is called “Quinoa and Collard Leaf Dolmas” and is from The Moosewood Restaurant: Cooking for Health, which has all vegetarian and vegan recipes. We made a few small changes and although the finished product was tasty, the recipe was a little cumbersome to make.


1 cup quinoa

2 cups water

2 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, chopped small

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 pepper (any color you want, but I like red or yellow), chopped small

3 stalks celery, chopped small

1 small zucchini, chopped small

1 tsp dried oregano

3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped

3 tbsp lemon juice

8 large collard leaves

1 cup pasta sauce


Preheat oven to 375. Cook the quinoa according to the package directions. While the quinoa is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet and add the chopped onion. Cook until the onions become translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, peppers, celery, zucchini, oregano, and mint.

Veggies on stove

Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Add the cooked quinoa and lemon juice to the vegetables and stir well.

Quinoa on stove

Cut the large part of the stem out of each collard leaf. Steam the leaves until they soften enough to manipulate easily. Let them cool and then lay them, one by one, on a cutting board and slightly overlap the leaf where the stem was removed. Add 1/2 cup of the quinoa/vegetable mixture on top.

Quinoa on Leaf

Fold the sides of the leaf over the filling and then roll it up, making a neat package. Place the little package, seam down, in an 8×8 pan. Repeat with the rest of the leaves, using the rest of the quinoa/vegetable mixture. All eight leaves will fit perfectly in the pan.

Wrapped in Pan

Top the 8 leaves with your favorite pasta sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until hot. We ate these with a salad topped with feta and they were delicious!

Finished with Salad

The Best Vegetarian Chili

26 Nov

I found a recipe for crockpot vegetarian chili on The Lazy Vegetarian and have been adding some different vegetables and spices to it ever since. I think I’ve come up with the perfect combination for this easy and incredibly tasty cold winter day chili.


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 small summer squash
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 can (15.5 oz) each black beans, garbanzo beans, and kidney beans (you can use whichever kinds of beans you like and you can, of course, you dried beans rather than canned)
  • 1 can crushed or diced tomatoes
  • 1 can Muir Glen diced tomotoes – Fire roasted with medium green chilis
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 packet chili seasoning mix – I like Simply Organic or Casa Fiesta

I think the real kicker in this chili recipe is the can of Muir Glen tomatoes with green chilis. I’ve made this chili with and without it and with it is SO MUCH BETTER.

The recipe is incredibly easy:

  1. Chop all the vegetables (except the corn) and add them to the crock pot. The corn will be added later, since it takes much less time to cook.
  2. Rinse beans and add them to the crock pot
  3. Add the cans of tomatoes and tomato paste, along with the chopped garlic and chili seasoning mix to the crock pot
  4. Add the cup of water and stir well
  5. Heat for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low
  6. About 15-20 minutes before serving, add the cup of frozen corn and stir well
  7. Enjoy!

Quinoa Burgers

19 Sep

This summer we ate a lot of burgers – black bean, chick pea, and quinoa. Sitting at the small table in the back yard, eating fresh tomato and mozzarella, sipping craft beers – it was a lovely summer.

Quinoa Burgers

(adapted from Eating Well Living Thin)


  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (cook according to package directions)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese + a little water
  • 1/2 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup spinach, finely chopped (you can try out other vegetables too – just make sure to grate or shred them well)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 /4 teaspoon sugar
  •  1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cheddar and feta cheeses, onion, spinach (or other vegetable), egg, flour, sugar, pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder. If the mixture seems a little too watery, add some more flour. Our biggest battle with these burgers was them starting to fall apart during cooking so getting a good consistency will help with that.

You can cook these on the grill (on aluminum foil) or fry on the stove, using a bit of olive oil and keeping the heat at medium. We topped ours with fresh avocado and ate them with a side of pasta salad.



%d bloggers like this: