Bean, Tomato, and Zucchini Stew with Arugula Pesto

That moment when you google a recipe idea you threw together and find… nothing. I’m going to bask in the glow of this creation and avoid searching too hard (because really, nothing infinitesimally little  is truly original)

The idea for this recipe came to me when I opened my Dominion Harvest box last Tuesday.

Dominion Harvest Delivery

Staring back at me was a bag of Arugula. I decided nearly immediately that I wanted to do something with it other than throw it into a salad. That just seemed too… square.

So sometime between last Wednesday and today, it popped into my head: ARUGULA PESTO.

Arugula Pesto

And the rest is history.

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(Well, actually, the rest involved coming up with what I wanted to put the pesto on and then settling on wanting to put the pesto in because every dinner I make is either a stew or a semi-stew-salad-casserole-conglomerate these days)
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Well that was a long and unnecessary aside.

So here it is. Recipe of the (Tues)day.

Bean, Tomato, and Zucchini Stew with Arugula Pesto

Bean Tomato Zucchini Stew with Arugula Pesto

serves 4-6 

For the Stew

– Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– White Wine
– 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 onion, chopped
– 3 small zucchinis, chopped
– 1 bell pepper, diced
– salt & pepper
– 1 cup lentils
– 1 15 oz can diced tomatoes (I used fire roasted)
– 2 cups cooked pinto beans (a can is fine, another bean is also fine)
– 1 cup water
– 1 bay leaf

1. Heat a bit of olive oil and a couple splashes of wine over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the vegetables, salt, and pepper and cook until just softened, stirring often.

2. Add the lentils, tomatoes, beans, water, and bay leaf. Stir to combine. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the pesto using directions below.

4. After the stew is done cooking, add the pesto and stir well to combine. Let cook for another minute to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and serve!

For the Pesto

– big bunch of arugula (I used about 4 cups)
– 1 large clove garlic
– 1/4 cup nuts (I used a combination of walnuts and cashews)
– 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
– Juice of 1/2 large lemon (or whole small)
– Extra virgin olive oil

1. Combine arugula, garlic, nuts, and cheese in your food processor. Process until well-chopped. (I had to add the arugula in batches to fit it all)

2. Add the lemon juice and a nice pour of olive oil. Process again until well-blended.

Bean Tomato and Zucchini Stew with Arugula Pesto

Are you ready for my close up?

How about some mood lighting?

How about some mood lighting?

OK, not to toot my own horn (but toot toot) this was delicious. (If not-so-delicious-looking)

What was the best not-so-delicious-looking thing you’ve made?

Any other arugula ideas?

 

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Chili-stuffed Sweet Potatoes + spiced watermelon

I’m currently writing my first ever iPhone post because clearly I cannot move the 2 feet to fetch my laptop and sending iPhone pictures to my computer is just too much for me to bear.

Today I will bring you one of my stand-by recipes adapted from here: Unsloppy Joes

I started out making the recipe as described- to go between buns or bread in sandwich form. That’s a delicious way if eating it, but I later discovered that an especially delicious mode of consumption is .:drumroll:. as a stuffing. In/on a sweet potato. (Never would have guessed that from the title, right?) So here we go, without further adieu I bring you…

Chili-stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Chili-stuffing

I really enjoy this chili mix. It has a strong flavor that’s perfect for a sandwich or for topping sweet potatoes. The vinegar gives it a good kick.

Chili-stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potato clearly unpictured, but I assure you it was tasted and delicious.

Chili-stuffed Sweet Potatoes

I ate this alongside my typical vegetable mix:

Carrots and Snap Peas

Plus a summer favorite that’s come back into the mix:

Yesterday, I was in the mood for something different, so I sprinkled some Jerk Seasoning on top:

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Must say, it was quite delicious.

OK: Confession time, I started this post on my phone but switched to the computer for all the editing, recipe posting, font stuff. Maybe one day I will get out a post that doesn’t need much editing to take full advantage of my mobile app.

Exercise Quickie:

Today I did Strong Lifts B workout.

Squats: 110lb 5×5 (poor form on 2 of the reps, so I’m retrying it Friday),

DB Overhead Press: 25 lb DBs 3×4/5/4

Deadlift: 130 1×5

Lentil Vegetable Salad with Broccoli “Green Goddess” Dressing

Like I said in my previous post, I’ve been making a lot of salads lately.

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What I may not have mentioned was that I got a food processor, which makes the salad possibilities even greater!

This week I was inspired by the Broccoli “Green Goddess” Dressing I found in this book:

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I tweaked the recipe a little but adding jalapeño for extra kick and subbing fresh garlic for powdered. The outcome was awesomely delicious. 🙂

Lentil Vegetable Salad with Broccoli “Green Goddess” Dressing

Ingredients:

Salad

1 cup lentils (I used 1/2 yellow 1/2 green)
parsley (2 bunches), chopped
green onions (1 bunch), thinly sliced
yellow bell pepper (1), chopped
shallot (1), finely diced
red cabbage (~1/3 large cabbage), thinly sliced
cauliflower (1/2 head), chopped

Dressing

1 stalk broccoli, steamed
Juice of 2 lemons
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 jalapeño, chopped
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
salt, pepper, onion powder

Directions:

1. Rinse lentils and place in a medium sauce pan. Add enough water to cover them by about 1 inch. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and allow to cool.

2. Combine parsley through cauliflower in a large mixing bowl. Toss well to combine.

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3. Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process/blend until well-mixed.

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4. Add lentils do the vegetables and toss well to combine. Add the dressing and mix well.

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And voila! A delicious, healthy salad for lunches (or dinners) this week. Of course I had to make my roasted cauliflower, red cabbage, and purple potatoes (made with coconut oil, madras curry powder, garlic powder, and crushed red pepper) to go along with it.

What are you eating for lunch this week?

Have any yummy salad dressing ideas to share? 

What you’ve missed

OK, so I have about 20 or so “events” in my iPhoto of pictures that I took of food and other things thinking that I would blog about it and then got too busy and never did. So, since I have time at the moment (dinner is taking a painfully long time in the slow cooker) I figured that I’d give you a little taste of all that I’ve been too busy to blog about.

Get your pads and pens ready because I’ll likely never write a full post about these recipes unless you ask.

Mexican-Style Red Beans & Barley w/the fixin's

Two Bean Vegetarian Enchilada Casserole

Spiced Garbanzo Bean Burgers

Unsloppy Joes

Spicy Black Bean Burger w/the fixin's

Chili, Quinoa, & Corn Pudding

Curried Tofu Salad

Oh, hey I got ringworm. (apologies if this grosses you out)

side note: ringworm is actually a bacterial infection – the same one as athlete’s foot and jock itch

Layered Chipotle Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Tabbouleh w/Garbanzo beans

Mexican-style Amaranth & Beans

And that’s what you missed! on… GLEE

Cook anything fun lately?

Also – I’m looking for holiday cookie recipes – if you have an awesome one please please please tell me.

Also – let me know if you wanna know more about anything that I’ve posted.

Peter Peter

get it?

Well folks, I finally did it. I cooked with a Pumpkin:

A real, once-live pumpkin that didn’t come out of a can. Of course, upon actually cooking with it I realized that my Libby’s canned pumpkin couldn’t possibly be from this type, but it deterred my not! But before I delve into the cooking world, I promised Halloween pictures!

Please proceed to guess what I am

awwww

Now back to what you really came for:

The inside:

I did not take this photo.

This baby was impossible to cut (even for a computer) and I ended up baking it for a little, cutting it in half, and baking it for a wile longer. And when it was done it surprisingly was like a stringier butternut squash! Quite unexpected. So what did I make with it you ask?

Pumpkinified Indian Spiced Chicken & Barley – Slow Cooker Style

serves 6

Ingredients
– 1 lb chicken breasts
– juice of 1 lemon
– ~1 tsp turmeric

– olive oil
– 2 large carrots, chopped
– 1 medium onion, chopped
– 1 turnip, chopped
– 1 red bell pepper, chopped
– 4 cloves garlic
– 1 tbsp cumin
– 2 tsp coriander
– 1 1/2 tsp indian spice blend
– 1 – 15 oz can no salt added diced tomatoes
– 1 1/2 can-fuls of water
– 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (alternatively you can use 28 oz can diced tomatoes total and only 1 cup of the water above)
– 1 cup barley

– 1/2 baked pumpkin, scooped out of the shell

– 1 cup plain yogurt

Directions:

1. Place cleaned chicken in the bottom of your slow cooker. Pour/squeeze juice over it and sprinkle with turmeric.

2. Heat oil in a large pan. Add carrots through bell pepper and cook until softened. About 5 minutes. Add garlic through spice blend and mix for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add canned & fresh tomatoes, water, and barley. Bring to a boil.

3. Pour boiled mixture over chicken. Add the scooped-out pumpkin.

4. Cook on High for 2 1/2 hours or Low for 5 hours. Mix well – the chicken should shred nicely into the whole mixture.

5. Add yogurt and cook on High for 30 minutes.

clearly there was a time lapse - no sun

This dish is mm mm good! It takes some prep, but I like the slow cooker aspect of it. It’s awesome with thighs as well and the fattier your yogurt (obvi) the better.

And now, since I never posted it before:

ThisWeekInWorkouts
Su – 45 minute elliptical
M – Circuit Strength 1
Tu – 4.63 mi run
W – rest
Th – Circuit Strength 2
F – 45 min Cycle
Sa – rest

Have you ever cooked with fresh pumpkin? If so, what did you make?

What’s the best fall thing you’ve made lately?

Tell me about your workouts!

Brrrr

So, I’d heard that it was chilly outside last night, but for some reason when I was walking out of the door this morning at 7:45, I wasn’t prepared. It was jacket weather! I almost turned the heat on in the car. (for real, my finger was on the switch) But alas, I did not. And it warmed up a bit by the time I left the gym. (Though the high’s in the 60s whhaaaaat?)

NOT!

I’ve had the pleasure of a relaxed, slow day. I suppose the one good thing about my job is that I have a quota for hours that I must reach, and after that I’m golden. (Only need 2 more hours) So my craziness of the beginning of the week led to a nice relaxed weekend. I guess it all evens out in the end.

I don’t know if I’ve mention this before, but my Mother wasn’t born in America. In fact, my Mother spent the first 13 years of her life in Guadeloupe, a French island in the Caribbean. Plus, my Mother’s Father was from Syria. So growing up I got to eat a lot of delicious food. And one such delicious food was Colombo.

If you’re like me when I was younger, you may be thinking that Colombo is just a made-up name after the television show for some sort of dish that my mom threw together. But a quick google search of “Chicken Colombo” reveals that it’s actually the “Curried Chicken” of the French West Indies. So if you like curry, and you like chicken, and you like vegetables, and you like easy. This dish is for you.

Chicken Colombo serves 4-6
Ingredients
– 1 lb chicken (breasts or thighs or legs or combination) (or 1/2 lb chicken and a can or equivalent of beans)
– juice of 2 lemons
– water
– ~ 1-2 tbsp curry powder (or combination of several or your own blend)
– extra virgin olive oil
– 3 cloves garlic, minced
– 1 eggplant, chopped
– 1 large zucchini, chopped
– 1/2 head cauliflower, chopped
– 1 potato or turnip or purple potato, chopped
**Note: I like to chop up all of my vegetables and place them in a large bowl until I’m ready for them. Then, I clean and trim the fat from my chicken…unless I do the optional step 1**
Directions
Optional Step 1: Place your cleaned chicken in a bowl or baking dish and coat in the juice of 1 lemon, turning to coat well. Let marinade for 1-8 hours.
Step 2: Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into a bowl. Add your curry powder and some additional water.
Step 3: Heat a bit of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add your chicken and cook until the outside turns white but it is not fully cooked. Add garlic and the lemon-curry-water blend. (The chicken should be just covered with liquid – if it’s not, add more water)
Step 4: Add all of your chopped vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for about an hour.
**Note #2: Just before I start cooking, I like to get a batch of brown rice (or a brown rice medley) going with one tube of chicken broth concentrate. Then, by the time the rice is done, I figure that my Colombo will be done too.**
The eggplant will have sort of dissolved into the mixture and your chicken will break apart as well.

I made this batch with black beans and 1/2 lb chicken (sorry for the bad lighting)

Brown Rice Medley

beans version

just chicken version

What are some dishes that your mother/father/guardian/grandmother/godfather taught you how to make?

Is it cold where I’m reaching you?

Is it a crouton?

Is it a kix? Is it a dog-kibble? No! It’s SUPER…roasted-chickpeas!

Peanut Flour Roasted Garbanzo Beans

These are probably one of the easiest, most delicious things that I have ever made. They, believe-it-or-not, sort of taste really like Kix.

Anyone else love this cereal as a child?

But those babies are not kix. They are chickpeas  (AKA garbanzo beans). And they are so simple and interesting that they will make you re-excited about your food once again. Or at the very least pleasantly content with your food choice.

Peanutty Roasted Chickpeas
Ingredients
– 1 can (or 1 2/3 c prepared) chickpeas
– 3 tbsp peanut flour
– 1 tbsp stevia for baking
– 1/4 tsp sea salt

Step 1: Preheat oven to 375˚F. Drain and rinse a can of chickpeas. Spread out on a baking sheet and pat dry with some paper towels. (Alternatively: If you’re like me, and made your chickpeas ahead of time, go ahead and skip the drain and rinse part)

...the convenient things you will find with a google search.

Step 2: Sprinkle the remaining ingredients (3 tbsp peanut flour, 1 tbsp stevia for baking, 1/4 tsp salt) onto the chickpeas. Toss and stir until the chickpeas are nicely coated.

Step 3: Place baking sheet in your 375˚F oven. Bake for 45-55 minutes; shaking pan ever 15 minutes. Taste test starting at the 45 minute mark: you want a dry, crunchy chickpea.

And enjoy!

I enjoyed these as is for a few days as a simple snack. Then, I got creative and decided to add them to a raw and roasted salad. The result was epicly delicious.

(that's nutritional yeast on top)

Alright, back to either non-pleasure-reading for school or maybe just bed. Either way there will definitely be sunflower seed butter involved.

What’s something new that you’ve tried lately?