Meatless Monday: Fall Harvest Couscous

Flavorful way to eat your veggies

I am always pleasantly surprised when an idea comes to fruition. My husband had asked if we could have a dish with couscous and I jumped at the opportunity. After looking around at recipes, I found one that used chickpeas, cranberries and squash. Per usual, I did not have the necessary ingredients! Of course….so I do what I always do….wing it. I prefer my dishes to have some wiggle room. So once again, I bring you a dish that you can seriously tailor to your preference.

Preheat oven: 400 degrees Cook time: 20 minutes
Ingredients (makes 2, double for more)
Place below ingredients on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper
Add small amount of extra virgin olive oil to each item on pan, coat with hands.
1. Half stalk Asparagus – snap of bottoms
2. One pepper – diced
3. 1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds. Watch these bc they can burn (may need to be taken out early)
4. 2 roma tomatoes – diced
5. 1/2 cup canned chickpeas -wash and remove thin shell on each – time consuming but worth it b/c it cooks to a nice crunch
***Sprinkley 1tsp garlic salt and 1 tsp onion powder over veggies – pepper, tomatoes, chickpeas
***Sprinkle a couple shakes salt over almonds
(save 1/2 cup of craisins to add to dish AFTER out of the oven. Don’t cook the craisins.)

While veggies are in the oven, boil 1 and 3/4 cup water and 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil in saucepan. Follow directions on box of Near East Pearled Couscous Roasted Garlic and Olive Oil. This stuff is magic in a box! So good!
When the veggies come out, use scissors to cut your asparagus into small pieces. Put everything into the pot and stir. I chose to add craisins to mine to have a sweet contrast to the garlic. You could also use yellow raisins, regular raisins or even dates. (I have no advice on how to use dates, but I saw it suggested somewhere and wanted to pass it along. I prefer craisins and yellow raisins myself.)

And that’s it! Let me know what you think!

This is the couscous I use

Meatless Monday: Stuffed Peppers

So good!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. Today I’m sharing my version of vegetarian stuffed peppers. Heat oven to 350 degrees, cook time 30 minutes.

Fill large sauce pan/pot with water. Heat to boil. In this you will place: 4-5 large peppers (I’ve used red or green. Cut off top and clean out) These will need to simmer on medium low for about 10 minutes or until soft.

Ingredients for sauce pan:  10 minute cook time
1. 1 TBSP of extra virgin olive oil
2. 1 can of diced tomatoes (oregeno, basil, garlic)
3. 1 bag of cooked rice (I use Kroger instant brown rice - microwave 90 seconds)
4. Meatless option: 10 oz. bag of Morning star grillers crumbles OR chorizo crumbles depending on how hot you like it. (Grillers will be more like ground meat with less spice)
5. 1 tsp onion poweder
6. 2 tsp garlic salt
7. 1/2 tsp ground red pepper (optional for extra heat)
8. Add red sauce: I use a tomato basil mix any kind, I'm not too picky. You will need about 1-1.5 cups. This varies depending on how big your peppers are. I don't like the mixture to be to drenched in sauce, just enough to keep it from drying out.
Get a glass baking dish and add sauce from jar to dish, line bottom.
1. Remove peppers from pot. and empty water. Add extra virgin olive oil to outsides of peppers. Then add just a little salt to each outside. (This softens and adds flavor, but can be skipped)
2. Scoop out mixture from skillet and add to each pepper. Fill to top. There may be extra mixture, just place in dish around peppers.
3. Cook in oven 350 for 15 minutes.
4. Take out and add mozzarella cheese to the top of each pepper. Place back in the oven for another 15 minutes

That’s it, enjoy

Meatless Monday…..Easy and delicious Chinese

Looking for an easy dish that will definitely please the crowds!? Then this is the dish for you. I’ve made it numerous times, and am continually surprised but how impressed everyone one is with it! My secret weapon….it’s all about the sauce. Wait, don’t go yet, it’s STORE BOUGHT! (Annie Chun’s Thai-Style Peanut Sauce) Yes, I know! I literally tell everyone that but they completely over look it and congratulate me on my cooking, like I’m a culinary master…ha, which I’m not, at all. Another wow factors is that I top it with roasted sea salt cashews. Also seems to add to the fancy of this dish. The other thing about this recipe is you can add whatever veggies you want! Do have something or don’t like it, sub it! No big deal! That’s how I roll.

Okay, so let’s begin. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook time 20 minutes . Towards the end of cooking, microwave 2 bags of brown rice.

Line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
1. Asparagus – break off bottoms, lightly drizzle with extra virgin olive oil (EEVO) and sprinkle with sea salt
2. Dice 4 Roma Tomatoes – drizzle with EEVO and 1/2 tsp garlic salt
3. Chop 2 Bell Peppers (any will do, but to make it colorful spring for yellow, orange or red) drizzle with EEVO and 1/2 tsp garlic salt and onion powder . Place in the oven. Now, you can add chopped broccoli, onions, celery or whatever else sounds good. You can’t do wrong in this dish!

Pour 1 tsp of EEVO into a large frying pan and heat on low. This is just to mix everything together and coat in sauce. Take your rice, all of your veggies (make sure to cut the asparagus into small pieces) and place them in the pan. Add cashews and drizzle with Peanut sauce. Start with a small amount, and add more if desired. That’s it!

Meatless Monday: Lemon Butter Protein Pasta

Need something lighter to mix up all the red sauce pasta you may be eating? This recipe is easy, quick and packed with flavor!

Start boiling your water for pasta. We use Borilla protein pasta, it’s yummy and good for you. While your water is working up to a boil, chop and add ingredients to frying pan.

Ingredients for frying pan: Heat on medium – low

  1. 1-1.5 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  2. Chop/dice 4 Roma tomatoes (I use two per person)
  3. 1 tsp Garlic salt
  4. 1 tsp Onion powder
  5. 3-4 Handfuls of spinach. It may look like a lot, but they wilt up and shrink. Start with a little then add more as you see fit.
  6. Chop fresh basil, a good size handful. If you don’t have fresh, you can add the dried herb, it just might not be as potent. Use what you have! There’s no way to mess this up!
  7. Add 2 Tbsp of unsalted butter (If you have salted or margarine, that works too)
  8. Add the squeeze of a whole lemon if it’s small, maybe half if it’s a giant lemon and gives a lot of juice.
  9. Heat til tomatoes are soft.
  10. Reduce heat to low, add cooked pasta from saucepan directly into the frying pan and mix. Let the butter and lemon sauce coat the pasta for two minutes.

That’s it. Add some parm cheese on top if desired and there you have it…yummy, delicious, and full of flavor!