Apple Butter

Ingredients:
5 1/2 lbs apples cored and quartered
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Place quartered apples in slow cooker. Mix sugar, cinnamon, cloves, and salt in a bowl and pour over apples in crock pot. Add 1/4 – 1/2 cup water. Cook on high for 1 hour. Then cook on low for 9-12 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick and brown. Uncover and continue cooking on low to allow the mixture thicken. Spoon mixture into sterile containers, cover, and refrigerate/freeze.

The first time I made apple butter was with Molly and Kelly when we lived in North Carolina. It turned out to be a great Christmas gift!

Butter Chickpea

Ingredients:
1 tsp. oil
1-2 potatoes cubed, skin on
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 medium onion, diced
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can coconut milk
1 can tomato puree
1 Tbsp garam masala
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ginger
salt and pepper
1 package frozen or fresh spinach (optional)
Cooked rice
Toppings: yogurt, cilantro.

Directions:
Diced onions and potatoes. Heat oil in skillet and saute onions until translucent. Add garlic and saute one minute. Add all additional ingredients and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are soft. Serve over rice. Top with yogurt and cilantro.

Alternatively, after frying the onions and garlic on the stovetop, transfer everything to a crockpot and cook on high 4-5 hours until sauce thickens and potatoes are soft.

This recipe is from Delish Knowledge, a great vegetarian cooking blog. I substitute potatoes for tofu.

One Pot Vegan Spaghetti

Ingredients:
12 oz. whole wheat spaghetti or GF spaghetti (we like quinoa or rice)
1 small can sliced black olives
1 can cooked chickpeas
2 T capers
1/2 large white or yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 T. oregano
1 t. basil
1/2 t thyme
1/2 t red pepper flakes
S+P to taste
3 c. vegetable broth or water

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a medium-large sauce pot or large fry pan. Make sure the pasta is covered by the broth (may need to break it in half). Bring the broth to a boil and then simmer on low-med heat until the pasta is cooked through.

This dish is not only great for its one-pot simplicity, but the technique of cooking the whole meal in the pasta water actually creates a creamy sauce that is delicious!

I found this recipe on Yup Its Vegan. The original recipe also has artichokes, but we aren’t huge fans so we leave them out. Hop on over to the original recipe for more details on this dish including great photos and some special notes, and to find some other delicious dinner options!

 

Garlic Chicken & Pasta

Ingredients:

3 T olive oil
salt & pepper to taste
4 -6 chicken pieces (I usually use thighs) with bones
1 bulb garlic, peeled
1 cup white wine
3 T chopped fresh parsley or 1 T dried
1 fresh spring rosemary or 1-2 T dried
Pasta of choice (linguine or shells work well; you can also use rice if preferred)

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and season with salt and pepper. Cooking over medium heat, brown the chicken on both sides. Add garlic cloves to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until golden; about 3 minutes. Slowly add wine to the skillet. Stir in parsley and add rosemary. Cover and continue to cook over medium-low heat for 15- 20 minutes. Add more wine if needed. While chicken is cooking, boil water for pasta and cook according to package directions. Drain pasta and place in large dish. Place chicken on top of pasta and pour sauce over chicken & pasta.

I found this recipe via pinterest and it quickly became a favorite. It is very easy to make, and the sauce has a great flavor without any dairy.The flavors would also pair well with mushrooms. From the DietHood blog. Check it out for lots of other tasty recipes!

 

 

Broccoli Salad

Ingredients:

1 medium head broccoli, cut into florets
1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries
5 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

Dressing:

1/2 cup mayo or Miracle Whip
1/2 cup sugar
2 T white vinegar

Directions:

Mix dressing together in a small bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl. Toss with dressing to coat thoroughly. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Serve cold.

There are many variations of this recipe online. This is the version that my mom used to make and it is always a hit. It is quite possible this came from the back of the mayo container. It is a great side dish to bring to a potluck.

Baked Oatmeal

Ingredients:

3 cups rolled oats
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 t cinnamon
2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1 c milk (I usually substitute almond milk)
2 eggs
1/2 c melted butter
2 t vanilla
3/4 c frozen (or fresh) blueberries or mixed berries
1/4 c chopped walnuts

Directions:

In 9×13 baking dish, combine all dry ingredients and mix. Add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly. Bake at 350 for 30 – 45 minutes .

Somehow baked oatmeal is 1,000% better than regular oatmeal. I think it is the crispiness factor. A 9×13 dish usually lasts for a few days and makes for a quick yet delicious breakfast.

Lazy man’s Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients
Extra-virgin olive oil
2 large eggplant, about 2 pounds, peeled
Salt and pepper
2 cups tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce of your choice
1 bunch fresh basil leaves
1 pound fresh mozzarella, sliced 1/8-inch thick
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano or canned Parmesan (you know the one! green can.)
1/4 cup Italian bread crumbs

Directions
Peel eggplant (optional – the skin can be bitter but the true lazy man will leave it on) and slice eggplant into 1/8 in thick rounds. Drizzle a bit of olive oil on a baking sheet and lay eggplant rounds flat on sheet and roast at 450 12-15 minutes. Remove eggplant from oven and lower temp to 350. and place about 1/2 the rounds on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Add half of the sliced mozzarella, then pour half the sauce over top, and sprinkle with half of the bread crumbs and half the parmesan cheese. Repeat the layers with remaining ingredients and top with basil. (You can slice the basil or if you are lazy just leave it whole). Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes or until cheese melts and there is a nice brown on top.

This recipe came from Emily George and was adapted from the Food Network version, which would not classify as “easy” although I’m sure its delicious. This version is the lazy man’s eggplant parm and is also quite tasty if I do say so myself!