Super Quick Butternut Squash Spinach Chickpea Curry
The more I focus on my business and it gets busier, the less energy I have at the end of the day to cook dinner. I want to continue to eat healthy and fresh, so I tried Butternut Squash Spinach Chickpea Curry. It is flavor in every bite. Sweet and spicy.
I did not grow up with butternut squash, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes. I am learning to use them in my everyday cooking. We ate yams at Thanksgiving, but they came out of can right into a baking dish covered with butter and brown sugar. While super yummy, I am pretty sure all the nutritional value of the yams were lost.
I purchase the pre-cut butternut squash; because, I hate peeling and chopping it. Just makes it easier and quicker for me. The only thing I do is make the pieces smaller enabling it to cook quicker. Most of the other ingredients are pantry items for me. I always have coconut milk, various types canned tomatoes, beans, and rice in the pantry. When these items are on-sale, I stock up so all I have to do is purchase the fresh veggies. Onions, bottled mince garlic, and squeezable ginger are always in my fridge. And well you all know my spice cabinets…
Super Quick Butternut Squash Spinach Chickpea Curry
- - 1 tablespoon olive oil or vegetable oil
- - 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- - 1 onion, finely chopped
- - 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- - 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- - 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
- - 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- - 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- - 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- - 1 package pre-cut butternut squash cubed smaller if the pieces are big
- - 1 (14-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- - 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juices
- - 1 (14-ounce/) can coconut milk
- - 1 (10-ounce) package baby spinach
- - Freshly ground pepper
- - Heat the oil over medium heat in large Dutch Oven.
- - When the oil is hot enough then add the cumin seeds toasting for about a minute, until fragrant and - lightly darkened.
- - Stir in the onion, season with a pinch of salt, and cook until the onion is soft and translucent.
- - Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, coriander, and red pepper flakes stirring to combine and sauté for a couple of minutes.
- - Add the butternut squash, chickpeas, tomatoes with their juices, and coconut milk stirring to combine, cover, and simmer over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the squash is tender.
- - Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted. Season with the salt and black pepper to taste.
- - Serve on a bed of cooked rice.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in large Dutch Oven.
- When the oil is hot enough then add the cumin seeds toasting for about a minute, until fragrant and lightly darkened.
- Stir in the onion, season with a pinch of salt, and cook until the onion is soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, coriander, and red pepper flakes stirring to combine and sauté for a couple of minutes.
- Add the butternut squash, chickpeas, tomatoes with their juices, and coconut milk stirring to combine, cover, and simmer over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, until the squash is tender.
- Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted. Season with the salt and black pepper to taste.
- Serve on a bed of cooked rice.
Vegetable Pad Thai
Vegetable Pad Thai was on the menu tonight. My guys wanted Thai, but they did not want a soupy curry. Pad Thai was the natural alternative. It is a sweet, spicy, and sour noodle dish beloved by everyone who tries it.
What is great about Pad Thai is it is so versatile. Most vegetables that you have in your vegetable bin in the fridge will work, so it is an ideal dish when your bin is full and things need to be cooked. You can use squash, zucchini, bean sprouts, green onions, broccoli, savory cabbage, etc. to stir-fry. It is important to make sure your veg are sliced thinly and/or very small.
The sauce is important. It is sweet, sour, and spicy. A wonderful combination of flavors that will bring your mouth alive. Pad Thai sauce is fish sauce, soy sauce, chili sauce, coconut sugar, vinegar, and broth.
Once all the ingredients are combined, it can be garnished with cilantro and Sriracha sauce. Yum. A simple meal in 30-minutes or less.
* You can add chicken or shrimp to the dish. Marinate with some of the Pad Thai sauce. Stir-fry them.
Vegetable Pad Thai Recipe
- 8 ounces Pad Thai noodles
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 red pepper thinly sliced
- 1 yellow onion thinly sliced
- 1 can baby corn raised and drained
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ cup peanuts, chopped
- 1 lime juiced
- ½ cup fresh cilantro chopped
- Sriracha sauce
Pad Thai Sauce
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 3 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek or chili paste
- Cook Pad Thai noodles according to package directions.
- As the noodles are softening, heat oil over medium to medium-high in a wok or skillet.
- Cook the garlic until fragrant.
- Add the vegetables cooking until softened then remove from wok.
- While vegetables are cooking prepare the Pad Thai sauce whisking it together.
- Add a little bit of olive oil then cook the drained noodle for about a minute.
- Push the noodle over to one side.
- Add the egg letting it cook for about 30 seconds then fold the egg into the noodles.
- Add the vegetables back to the pan mixing through.
- Stir in peanuts and cilantro.
Crowd Pleaser: South of the Border Mac n Cheese
Mac n Cheese is as American as apple pie. It is an everywhere food in the US. When folks think about Mac n Cheese, it comes out of a box with bright yellow cheese and it is done in 15-25 minutes on the stovetop. I’m not putting that down especially since most of us have the boxed stuff in our cabinets. I just don’t like the box stuff. It is boring and the day glow cheese freaks me out. I’m always looking to try new ways to breed live into comfort food classics. Add a little healthy to it. This recipe for South of the Border Mac n Cheese packs in a lot of protein with three kinds of beans. You can a can of regular diced tomatoes, but if you like a little heat, I would recommend using diced canned tomatoes with chopped chilis in them. Don’t be shy with the cheese. That’s what make the meal Mac n Cheese. Tons of cheese. I add some cilantro to liven up the flavor. You can also keep some hot sauces on hand to liven up the favor more. You can make this Mac n Cheese in less than 30 minutes.
South of the Border Mac n Cheese Recipe
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoon chili powder
- 15 oz. can diced tomatoes or 15 oz can diced tomatoes with chopped chilis
- 15 oz. can tomato sauce
- 15 oz. can kidney beans
- 15 oz. can black beans
- 15 oz. can pinto beans
- 1 cup frozen corn kernels
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- 1-3 cups shredded sharp cheddar
- Bunch cilantro chopped for garnish
- Hot sauces for extra flavor
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Sauté the onion and garlic with olive oil in the bottom of a large pot (5 qt) over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions are soft and transparent.
- Add the flour and chili powder to the sautéed onions and garlic. Continue to stir and sauté for about two minutes, or just until the flour and chili powder begin to coat the bottom of the pot.
- Drain and rinse the kidney beans, black beans, and pinto beans. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, all three beans, corn, and vegetable broth to the pot. Stir to combine and to dissolve any flour and chili powder off the bottom of the pot.
- Add the uncooked macaroni noodles and stir to combine. Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium high, and let the pot come up to a boil. Stir every other minute or so to loosen the noodles from the bottom of the pot as it heats up.
- When the pot reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low, or just above low, so it continues to gently simmer. Let the pot gently simmer for 12-15 minutes, or until the pasta is tender and the liquid is thick and saucy. Stir frequently as it simmers to make sure the pasta does not stick to the bottom of the pot.
- Once the pasta is tender, add the shredded cheddar and stir it in until melted. Serve hot.
Puerto Rican Style Red Beans and Rice
Spoilt. That is what I am. I have been lucky to have a friend named Jossie who is a native of Puerto Rico. She can cook like nobodies business. Her rice and beans are the best hands down. Jossie shared her recipe for rice and beans with me. It never tastes as good as hers. OK, I can not compare with her. It is the love of food, her culture, and a well seasoned pot that makes her rice and beans the best on the planet.
In other words, I have been searching for a recipe for Puerto Rican style red beans and rice that I could make. While this does not compare to Jossie’s rice and beans, I think she would approve of the flavors and spirit of it. This recipe you cook the beans and rice separately. With the jalapeño pepper, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, ground cumin and the Goya Sazón seasoning, this recipe has lots of flavor and a hint of heat. Honestly, I have no idea whatever is in Goya Sazón seasoning, but what I do know it is critical to Puerto Rican cooking as well as sofrito. The ingredients are healthy and fresh.
A great vegetarian or vegan meal that is satisfying.
Puerto Rican Style Red Beans and Rice
- - 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- - Small handfull cilantro finely chopped
- - 1 onion chopped
- - ½- small jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
- - 2-3 teaspoons minced garlic
- - 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- - 1 teaspoon cumin
- - 1 bay leaf
- - 1 medium red bell pepper chopped
- - ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- - 1 8oz tin tomato sauce
- - 3 15oz. cans red pinto beans rinse and drained
- - 2 cups vegetable broth
- - 1 medium potato cubed small
- - 1 Goya Sazón seasoning packet
- - 1/2 - 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- - Chopped cilantro
- - Cooked Rice
- - Heat the oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven.
- - Add the onions, garlic, cumin, jalapeño, cilantro, smoked paprika, and bay leaf sautéing.
- - Stir occasionally, until onions are soft and translucent, but not brown.
- - Add the beans, broth, potatoes, tomato sauce, Goya Sazón seasoning packet, and salt bringing to a boil.
- - Reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for about 25 - 30 minutes or more until potatoes is tender.
- - Adjust seasonings to taste.
- - Serve with cooked rice.
- - Top with chopped cilantro.
- Serves 4-6
Slow Cooker Vegetable Red Lentil Soup
Slow cooker vegetable red lentil soup is what you make when your veggie bin in the fridge is fuller than it needs to be. That was the case with my bin this morning. I had some veg that needed to be used before it had to go to the compost bin. Not that it was rotten, but you know what I mean. I hope.
Anyway, I have not made a veggie soup in ages, so I thought today why not? I got a late start of it and did not get it into the slow cooker until after lunch. I was a bit worried since my red lentils (or dal) have lost some of their color. That doesn’t mean they are bad, but just old and may take longer to cook. Simple ingredients for this soup and I used what I had on hand: onions, celery, potatoes, zucchini, canned tomatoes, fresh thyme, bay leaves, cabbage, and vegetable broth. Vegetable soups are so versatile that they can be a big of a dump meal with what’s on hand. I sautéed the onion and celery first in olive oil until softened giving it a little extra flavor.
Slow Cooker Vegetable Red Lentil Soup Recipe
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 2-3 celery stalks diced
- 3-4 carrots diced
- 1 large zucchini sliced and quartered
- 2-3 potatoes peeled and diced small
- 3/4 cup red lentils
- 1 14.4 oz. petite diced tomatoes
- 1-2 pieces Parmesan cheese rind
- 2 bay leaves
- 4-6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Generous grinds of the pepper mill
- 1 small thinly sliced savoy cabbage
- Fresh Italian parsley chopped finely
- Olive oil to drizzle
- Parmesan cheese
- Heat oil over medium heat in pan. Sautée onion and celery until soft. (If you are in a rush then by-pass this step)
- Place onion, celery, carrots, zucchini, potatoes, Parmesan rind, tomatoes, lentils, thyme, salt, pepper, and broth in the slow cooker.
- Set slow cooker to high for 6 hours.
- Add the cabbage with about 2 hours left.
- Remove thyme stalks and bay leaves.
- Drizzle olive oil, sprinkle with parsley and cheese.
Slow Cooker Corn Chowder warms the soul as the weather turns cooler.
Soup is one of the dishes that make the world a better place. This slow cooker corn chowder is a good candidate for world harmony. It warms the soul as the weather starts to turn cooler. And as we busy ourselves with fall activities, the slow cooker recipe makes dinner healthy and easy for us. Corn chowder is a hearty vegetarian meal.
The recipe is easy and straightforward. Red potatoes, frozen corn, vegetable broth, spices, unsalted butter, and heavy cream. Most items are already in your pantry or freezer. I use red potatoes and heavy cream, but that is what I had on hand when I decided to make the recipe. Regular potatoes and any milk, but skim would work in this recipe. Key to the potatoes is to have them diced small so they will cook. Once you dice the potatoes (and perhaps your grocery store has diced potatoes), this is a dump and go slow cooker meal. A kind of slow cooker meal I like.
Slow Cooker Corn Chowder Recipe
- 1-2 pounds red potatoes diced small
- 1 16-oz package of frozen corn
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme heaping
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano heaping
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder heaping
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder heaping
- 1-2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Generous turns of the pepper grinder
- 2-3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Dice potatoes quite small.
- Put potatoes and frozen corn in slow cooker.
- Sprinkle in flour and tossing to coat.
- Stir in vegetable broth, thyme, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
- Cove and cook on low heat between 6-8 hours.
- Stir in butter and heavy cream.
- Heat for about 5 minutes.
- Test for seasoning adding more salt or pepper as needed.