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!

 

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!

Spring Pea Orzo Salad

Ingredients:
3 to 4 lemons
8 ounces uncooked orzo pasta
1/4 cup minced shallot or red onion
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked fresh or frozen peas
1 cup snow peas or sugar snap peas, blanched and chopped
1 cup assorted chopped fresh herbs (such as mint, chives, and parsley)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions:
Grate zest from lemons to equal 2 tsp. Cut lemons in half; squeeze juice from lemons to equal 1/2 cup. Prepare pasta according to package directions. Whisk together shallots, next 4 ingredients, and lemon juice. Toss together pasta and shallot mixture. Toss together pasta, peas, snow peas, next 2 ingredients, and lemon zest just before serving. Add salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice to taste. Cover with plastic wrap, and chill 1 to 48 hours.

I came across the recipe in Southern Living when looking for vegetarian side dishes to serve at Easter. It is definitely a vibrant spring dish. And despite having loads of great dishes at Easter, this one definitely stole the show. I’ve made it a few times since. Because it is served cold, its a great meal to bring for a potluck or for new moms as it can be made the day before. Would also be great for lunches. You can easily add cooked chicken or fish to make this a main dish.

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:
FOR STANDARD STUFFED SWEET POTATOES:
2 medium or large sweet potatoes
1½ tablespoons butter
1 shallot, minced
1 bag fresh baby spinach
¼ cup sour cream
2 ounces cream cheese
1 cup chickpeas
¼ cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste

FOR MEXICAN STUFFED SWEET POTATOES:
3 medium sweet potatoes
1 can corn, rinsed
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 yellow onion chopped (or green onion if you prefer)
1 jalepeno pepper, chopped
1 ounce cream cheese
1/4 c sour cream
1 t salt
1/2 c cilantro
6 T shredded cheese of your choice

Directions:
Cook sweet potatoes in oven at 350 for 45 mins – 1 hour. Or, if you want a faster method, poke sweet potatoes several times with a fork, place in a bowl with a small amount of water, and microwave for 8-10 minutes or until soft, checking regularly.
While sweet potatoes are cooking, mix together filling ingredients. For regular sweet potatoes, sauté shallots and spinach together in a pan before mixing with chickpeas. For Mexican sweet potatoes, sauté corn, onion, and jalepeno.
When sweet potatoes are done cooking, allow to cool, slice in half, and scoop out the inside, leaving about 1/4 inch in the skin so that the skin will hold its shape. Add the scooped out sweet potato to your filling mixture, and add the cream cheese and sour cream.
Return filling to the sweet potato skins and top with shredded cheese. Bake in the oven at 350 until top cheese is brown and bubbly.
Serve!

I tried the original recipe first with Sarah Wolfrum for an SQL code club night. It was delicious! When I was looking for the recipe on Pinch of Yum, I came across the Mexican version, which also looked delicious!

Southwestern Chopped Salad with Cilantro Dressing

Ingredients:
Large head of romaine
15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large orange bell pepper
1 pint cherry tomatoes
2 cups corn (I used frozen, thawed)
5 green onions
Optional: avocado

Dressing:
1 bunch cilantro
1 avocado
juice from 1 lime
1-2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. white wine vinegar
1/8 tsp. salt
Recommended: agave/honey, cumin

Directions:
Make the dressing: puree all ingredients in a food processor/blender until smooth. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary.
Finely chop romaine, bell pepper, tomatoes, and green onions.
Place all ingredients in a large bowl and stir to combine.
Toss with desired dressing.

I found this recipe on Pinterest and was instantly hungry looking at the beautiful pictures. Check out The Garden Grazer blog to see these wonderful images and a host of other recipes. I also made a few tweeks to the ingredients, mostly because I am lazy (e.g. 1 avocado instead of half because its easier). This salad is super fresh and delicious and uses some of my favorite ingredients: black beans, avocado, and lime.

Black Bean Burgers

Ingredients:

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 green pepper
1/2 onion
1 or 2 garlic cloves
1egg
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili sauce or hot sauce
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/4 cup corn
1/2 or 1 cup of cooked brown rice

Directions:

Mash beans and mix in green pepper, onion, and garlic. Mix together 1 egg, 2 tsp chili powder, 2 tsp cumin and 1 tsp chili sauce or hot sauce. Mix into mashed beans. Mix in 1/2 cup breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup corn and 1/2 or 1 cup of cooked brown rice. Form into patties. Lightly grease the pan with olive oil. Bake 375 for 40 minutes. Flip after 20 minutes.

This recipe came from my sister-in-law. She is always trying new vegetarian recipes. Even the meat-eaters in the family enjoy this one! Tastes great topped with avocado or mango salsa.