Delicious Dinners

WINTER FARRO SALAD

This simple recipe can be used as an appetizer, side dish or the main meal. It’s easy to prepare in advance, and you can use your favorite grains. I used farro, a type of wheat typically used in the Middle East and Italy, but brown rice, quinoa or barley would work well.

Ingredients:
4 cups water
1 ½ cups farro (I buy the quick cooking farro from Trader Joe’s)
1 cup butternut squash (diced)
1 small bunch of kale (leaves removed from stems)
¼ cup pomegranate seeds
Squeeze of fresh lemon
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Toss diced butternut squash in a small bowl with salt and pepper.  Then, put on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper roast for about 25-35 minutes under tender. Let cool.
  2. Bring a medium size pot of water to boil. Rinse the farro, then add to water once boiled. (make sure there is enough water to cover the farro by one inch). Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the farro is tender, about 30-40 minutes. Drain well, and then transfer to a large bowl. 
  3. Chop the kale into thin strips and add to the bowl with the warm farro, then toss so that the kale wilts a little bit. Season with some salt, pepper and some fresh lemon juice.
  4. Then add the pomegranate seeds and squash. Toss together.
  5. Drizzle with olive oil and add more lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

TIP: The salad can be refrigerated overnight. It’s great for leftovers! Bring to room temperature before serving.   This is a basic recipe – add your own ideas to create a delicious lunch or dinner (i.e. roasted Brussel sprouts, asparagus, green beans). 

 

BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 Onion – sliced
1 Tablespoon freshly grated ginger (you can use dried, but then use less)
1 butternut squash – peeled and cubed
1 medium apple – peeled and cubed
1 cup apple cider
2 ½ cups water
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
Dash of allspice (optional)
Salt and pepper

What to do:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and cook for 2 minutes
  2. Add grated ginger and cinnamon and cook for 30 seconds
  3. Add squash and cook for 5 minutes, then add apple and cook for a few minutes longer, stirring so all spices are covering the ingredients.
  4. Add apple cider and deglaze the pan for a minute, then add in water. Squash should be just covered by liquid.  Cover and let simmer until squash is soft.
  5. Puree with hand-held blender or allow to cool then add vegetables to food processor or blender.
  6. Adjust seasonings as needed. Cook for 10 minutes more on low until flavors have blended.

 

SLOW COOKED VEGETABLE BARLEY SOUP
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes on stove – several hours in slow cooker
Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients:
2 celery ribs
2 carrots
1 onion
½ cup frozen corn
½ cup frozen peas
1 cup barley
1 sweet potato
2 stalks of celery
1 can tomato paste
1 box vegetable broth (low-sodium is preferred)
1 can white beans
Spices: Thyme, Pepper, Oregano1 & crushed garlic clove

What to do:

  1. Chop or dice all vegetables and add to the slow cooker with heavier vegetables at the bottom.
  2. Rinse barley and add to slow cooker.
  3. Add the remainder of ingredients and cook for 6-8 hours on low depending on your need.
  4. Serve with side of whole grain toast or whole grain crackers.

TIP:  Add whatever vegetables and grains you love.  The opportunities are endless!

 

PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM burgers

Yields: 2 Servings

Ingredients:

2 Portobello mushroom caps

Butter leaf or romaine lettuce (for the buns)

Toppings:

sweet & sour pickles, sliced tomato, roasted red peppers, or any other toppings you desire

What to do:

In heated grill pan, grill the mushroom caps for a few minutes, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve in lettuce bun with toppings. Serve this with a green salad on the side.

 

SPINACH STUFFED MUSHROOMS (W/SPLASH OF NUTMEG)

Ingredients:
8 large capped white mushrooms
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
1 bag frozen spinach – thawed or fresh spinach – chopped finely
1 Red Pepper – diced finely
1 small Onion – diced finely
Dash of nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to taste

What to do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Prep mushrooms by removing stems, wiping with a damp cloth and digging hole in center. Brush each one with a little bit of EVOO. Set aside.
  3. Chop up mushroom stems
  4. Sauté onion and red pepper in Olive oil for about 3 minutes.
  5. Add in mushroom stems and cook for a few minutes longer
  6. Add in spinach and cover – let it wilt
  7. Add in salt, pepper, nutmeg. Remove from pan and set aside
  8. Stuff mushrooms with vegetable mixture and put in a baking dish. Line them up so they stand on their own.
  9. Put baking dish inside a large baking dish with water up to middle of pan.
  10. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until mushrooms are soft – baking time will depend size of mushroom.

TIP: You can also mix the spinach with some vegan cashew cheese before stuffing the mushrooms. This gives it a creamy spinach dip taste.

 

SIMPLE Black Bean LETTUCE Tacos

Serves 2-4

Ingredients:
1 can of black beans
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp chili powder
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup cilantro – chopped
Boston lettuce or romaine lettuce leaves – washed
1 avocado – skin removed, pitted and sliced
1 lime – cut into wedges

What to do:

  1. Drain and rinse beans and put in a put with cumin, chili powder, salt, pepper a small bit of water (about ¼ cup). Heat gently.
  2. Once beans are cooked, spoon in to the lettuce cups. Top with cilantro and 2 slices of avocado.
  3. Top with some fresh lime juice

TIP: Opportunities are endless here. Add in cooked pepper, onion & zucchini for a veggie/bean taco;  Try roasted squash or sweet potato. Add salsa or guacamole.  You can even use whole grain corn shells (make sure there are no other ingredient besides corn and maybe lime).


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