Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup

Another Meatless Monday inspired choice. It was a COLD and WET Monday that demanded a pot of hot soup. Luckily Two Peas & Their Pod were on the same page; their recipe for Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup came through my feed at Ay Sontespli’s Kitchen and I think I had most of the ingredients in my pantry? Well, almost and that was good enough for me.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Soup

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Red Onion, chopped
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 large Sweet Potato, peeled and cubed
1 each Red Pepper, Yellow Pepper, diced
4 cups Water
2 McCormick’s Vegetable Stock Cubes
1 can (796ml) Diced Tomatoes
1 can (440ml) Black Beans, rinsed
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
Pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
2 teaspoons Cumin, ground
Dash of Chili Flakes
1/2 bunch Cilantro, chopped
3 Green Onions, chopped
Grated Cheddar Cheese, garnish

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil over med-high heat.
Add onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes.
Stir in garlic and continue cooking for another couple of minutes.
Stir in sweet potato and chopped peppers, stirring to coat all; cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add water, McCormick’s cubes, canned tomatoes, black beans, salt, pepper, chili powder, chili flakes and cumin; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to a simmer over med-low heat; cover and cook for about 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft.
Toss in cilantro, stir and serve.
Garnish with Shredded Cheddar Cheese and Chopped Green Onion

Breakfast Bulgur

So I ran out of Chia Seeds the other day. I rummaged in the cupboards looking for a protein packed substitute that I could add to my Breakfast Smoothie. I grabbed a package of unopened Bulgur….big mistake!
Ah, but now the package is open! Why did I buy this stuff? Surely I was not thinking of making Tabbouleh in the Winter? Who knows? Some recipe that contained the stuff must have caught my eye; too bad I can’t remember what the recipe was?? Now I will just have to find other ways to cook up this package of Bulgur.
I usually make Eggs and Bacon for my husband but he has expressed a desire to cut down on the animal protein he consumes. Woot! Mayhaps I will get him to come back to a Vegetarian way of life…?? One can hope. Anyway, it is cold and gloomy out these days so a cooked breakfast is the way to go, right?
I used all of my rolled oats in my Christmas baking so that was out. Oh yea, that package of Bulgur…surely that is cooked up like Rolled Oats? Sure is!

Breakfast Bulgur with Blueberries
Breakfast Bulgur with Blueberries

3 cups water
1 cup Bulgur
1/2 cup Dried Cranberries
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 cup Honey
Blueberries, fresh or frozen
Strawberries,  fresh or frozen

In medium saucepan combine water, bulgur, cranberries, salt and honey.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until bulgur is tender and mixture is consistency of oatmeal, about 15 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in a handful of fresh or frozen blueberries and/or strawberries.
Serve with milk and top with extra fruit.

Serves 6

Omit Dried Cranberries, Blueberries and/or Strawberries
Reduce Honey to 2 Tablespoons
Maple and Brown Sugar Bulgur
Stir in
1/3 cup Raisins
1/4 cup Walnuts, Chopped
1 Tablespoon Maple Syrup
Brown Sugar, to serve
Maple and Brown Sugar Bulgur

*I like to make up a batch of cooked breakfast porridge and keep it in the fridge for a quick breakfast that can be warmed up in the microwave.

Lightly Spiced Indian Rice

I love the rice we get when we go out for Indian so I have tried to make my own version at home.

Lightly Spiced Indian Rice
Lightly Spiced Indian Rice

2 cups Basmati Rice
3 1/2 – 4 cups Water
1 teaspoon Turmeric
1 teaspoon Cumin, ground
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
1 cup Frozen Peas

In medium size saucepan with tight fitting lid combine rice, water, turmeric, cumin, butter, salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil; reduce heat, place lid on saucepan and cook for 15 minutes.
Briefly remove lid, add frozen peas, replace lid and continue cooking for another 3 minutes.
Remove from heat, fluff rice with fork.

Serves 6

Quick Curried Vegetables

My husband was recently required to bring a Pot Luck dish to a belated Christmas work gathering. Initially I was thinking I would send along a Vegetarian Lasagne but then I saw the sign up sheet… Seems Luke’s workmates like Indian!  The Sign Up sheet looked a bit Meat Heavy so I volunteered Lightly Spiced Indian Rice with Peas, Quick Curried Vegetables and Naan.

Quick Curried Vegetables
Quick Curried Vegetables

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 large Onion, chopped
1 (398ml) can Coconut Milk
1 cup Water
1 McCormick’s Vegetable Stock Cube
3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
3 Tablespoons Curry Powder, or to taste
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 teaspoon Turmeric
1 teaspoon Chili Flakes
1 Sweet Potato, peeled and cubed
2 Potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup Green Beans, fresh or frozen, cut into 1″ pieces
1 small Cauliflower, cut into small florets
Substitute in Broccoli, if you wish
1/2 cup Green Peas, frozen
1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
1 – 2 Tablespoons Lime Juice

Heat oli in large saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add onion and cook for about 5 minutes, until lightly browned; stir frequently.
Add coconut milk,water and vegetable stock cube.
Whisk in tomato paste, curry powder, cumin, turmeric and chili flakes.
Bring to a boil.
Add sweet potato, potato; reduce heat to medium, cover and cook for 15 minutes or until potatoes are still firm but almost done.
Stir in green beans, cauliflower (broccoli, if using); cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp tender)
Remove from heat and stir in frozen green peas, cilantro and lime juice.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with steamed Basmati Rice or Naan.

Serves 6

Meatless Salsa Meatloaf

I attended an Epicure presentation in the Summer of 2013; I bought a Starter set which included Poco Picante Salsa Mix and I have got to say, I use this stuff in a lot of things! First and foremost though, a sprinkle of this stuff in a bit of Plain Greek Yogurt is a great dip! But I digress.
I “Liked” Epicure Selections on Facebook and regularly get recipe ideas in my daily feed. The other day this Mini Meatless Mediterranean Meatloaf recipe came through my feed and since it was Meatless Monday, I thought I would give it a read. Of course I didn’t have Tzaziki Dip Mix in my pantry but it occurred to me that I had made a Mexican inspired Meatloaf in the past…

The long and short of it is that I used my Salsa mix in the recipe and was very pleased with the results. Oh, also, I didn’t have a can of lentils in the pantry…who buys lentils in a can? So I cooked up a cup of red lentils with half a chopped onion, a couple of cloves of minced garlic and a McCormick’s Vegetable Stock cube…all worked out in the end. To complete the Mexican Flare, I topped it with the above mentioned plain yogurt/Poco Picante Salsa Mix, a bit of chopped green pepper, tomato and red onion.

Now I have to admit, this would be pretty challenging to accomplish without a Food Processor; challenging, but not impossible. You would be required to mash the beans and lentils the old fashioned way- with a potato masher; the almonds would have to be ground by hand using a chef’s knife and cutting board but hey! You would have had a great arm workout at the end of it all!

Pretty delish if I do say so myself!

vegetarian, salsa, black beans, lentils
Lightly Spiced Salsa Meatless Meatloaf with Picante Topping

1 can (540 ml) Black Beans, rinsed and drained
*1 can (540ml) Lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup cooked White or Brown Rice
1/2 cup Ground Almonds
1 Tablespoon Poco Picante Salsa Mix <- when I run out, I will use Adobo Seasoning
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice

1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 Tablespoon Picante Salsa Mix
2 strips of Green Pepper, diced
2 slices of Tomato, chopped
1/16 of a Red Onion, chopped

*if using dry lentils:
1 cup Lentils, rinsed and drained
2 cups water
1/2 Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 McCormick’s Vegetable Stock cube

Bring lentils, water, chopped onion, minced garlic and vegetable stock cube to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In a small bowl combine plain greek yogurt, salsa mix.
Place in fridge and allow flavours to meld while preparing the meatless meatloaf.
Chop/dice green pepper, tomato and red onion; set aside.

Preheat oven to 375F.
Lightly spray an 8″x4″ Loaf Pan; set aside.
Or lightly spray 6 4″ Ramekins; set aside.

In a food processor, pulse lentils and beans until coarsely chopped.
Turn into a medium mixing bowl and stir together with rice, ground almonds, Salsa Mix (or Adobo Seasoning), olive oil and lime juice.
Turn into prepared loaf pan.
Bake until browned and crisp on top, about 30 minutes.

Top a slice of Salsa Meatloaf with a dollop of the yogurt mixture and sprinkle with chopped veggies.
Serve with a Green Salad.

Salsa Meatless Meatloaf topped with Picante Topping
Salsa Meatless Meatloaf topped with Picante Topping