Meatless Monday: Avocado Egg Pita

Avocado Egg Pita

Easy and yummy!  It’s a great recipe to make when you find a ripe avocado to enjoy.  I served this for breakfast in a class last week…every plate was left clean!  It works well for lunch, too.

Avocado-Egg Pita (serves 2)

2 pocketless Greek pita, preferably whole grain

2 egg

1 large ripe avocado

1 lemon

Salt & pepper

2 teaspoons EVOO

2 tablespoons feta cheese

Brush pitas with oil. Toast on both sides in a hot skillet until beginning to crisp. Mash avocado and spread equally on each pita, drizzle with fresh lemon juice. Fry eggs in skillet, cook ‘easy over’ and season with salt and pepper. Place cooked egg on top of each pita and sprinkle with feta. Enjoy!

Meatless Monday: Tuscan Quinoa Casserole



What I love about this dish is the hefty load of veggies that are nicely and flavorfully incorporated into this casserole.  Serve it as a main dish or a side.  It works well in both roles!

Tuscan Bean and Vegetable Quinoa Casserole (serves 6)

1-1/2 cups quinoa, dry

2 tablespoons olive oilTuscan Quinoa Casserole

2 cloves garlic, minced

15 ounce can chick peas, rinsed and drained

1 zucchini, diced

2 bell peppers, 1 red/1 yellow, diced

1 large carrot, diced (or 1 cup baby carrots, sliced)

1/2 cup diced red onion (1/2 large)

juice from 1/2 lemon

3/4 cup parsley, chopped

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

1/2 cup skim milk

1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped

1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Red pepper flakes, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook quinoa as directed per package, undercook by 5 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté garlic and vegetables (zucchini, bell peppers, carrots, red onion) in olive oil until vegetables are tender. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, sautéed vegetables, lemon juice, and parsley. Stir in milk and cheese. Add red pepper flakes, to taste. Transfer to a prepared 9×13 baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Bake 30 minutes uncovered. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta Bowl

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta

I’ve made this dish several times.  Last night, my kids asked me why I haven’t shared it.  I guess it’s because I never had a picture of the finished recipe…so I snapped this photo right in the middle of dinner!

The butternut squash develops a nice sweetness when roasted which complements the fresh spinach and roasted onions.  The parmesan cheese brings all the flavors together.  It’s so YUMMY!  It’s so EASY!  Enjoy!

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta Bowl (serves 6)

1 pound pasta (I prefer Barilla Plus Rotini pasta for this dish)

1 medium butternut squash (about 2-1/2 pounds, peeled and diced*  (or 2 pounds packaged/pre-diced)

1 medium onion, large diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups fresh baby spinach

2/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper

*A butternut squash can be intimidating to dice.  My method is to divide and conquer!  Using a sharp chef’s knife, cut off the neck of the squash.  Then cut the squash ‘bowl’ in half.  With a large spoon, carve out the seeds and stringy pulp.  With a vegetable peeler, peel the skin off all three sections.  Dice the peeled squash.  I hope you’ll find that dicing a butternut squash is very manageable when the squash is divided into sections.  Another option is to purchase the squash already peeled and diced!  

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Place diced squash, onion, and garlic on a baking sheet.  Toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Roast high in oven for 30 minutes.

With 15 minutes remaining, prepare pasta according to package directions.  Place 2 cups of spinach in a large pasta bowl.  Add 2/3 pound of hot pasta.  Add roasted vegetables.  Toss with parmesan cheese.  Add more pasta, if desired.  Season with salt and pepper, if needed.  Enjoy!

Warm Sweet Potato, Lentil, and Apple Salad Bowl

Sweet Potato Lentil Salad

Fall flavors abound in this recipe…roasted sweet potatoes, tart apples, and earthy lentils.  It can be served either as a side dish or a vegetarian main dish. This salad was one of the recipes I taught in class this week at Marcel’s.  It was enjoyed by all!

My next class, on Tuesday, October 29th, 6:30-8pm, is a delicious combination of easy soups and quick bread just in time for these busy fall nights.  On the menu:  Pear and Pumpkin Soup, Cajun Red Beans and Rice Soup, Apple Oatmeal Mini Loaves.  These recipes are vegetarian (although I will have some meat ‘on the side’ for any carnivore guests) and gluten-free, and all very delicious!  Click HERE to register….hope you can make it!

Warm Sweet Potato, Lentil and Apple Salad Bowl

Serves 4-5 (main dish), 6-8 (side dish)

1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peel and dice

1 small red onion, large dice

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried)

Salt and pepper

8 ounces mushrooms (button, chantrelle, or cremini), sliced

2 cloves minced garlic

2 stalks celery, sliced

4 small tart apples (Jonathon or Cortland), dice

1 cup cooked lentils

Balsamic glaze, if desired

Preheat oven 425 degrees.  Place potatoes and onions on baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and pepper.  Roast high in oven for 20 minutes, until tender.

Meanwhile, sauté mushrooms, garlic and celery in 1/2 tablespoon oil until mushrooms and celery are softened.  Salt and pepper, to taste.  Add apples and cook until just warm.

Pour contents of sauté pan into a large bowl.  Add roasted potatoes and lentils, stir to combine.

Serve in bowls and garnish with Balsamic glaze, if desired.

Stuffed Poblanos with Corn and Black Beans

Stuffed Poblano PeppersMaybe it was because he had just gotten home from hockey practice, but my picky eater gobbled up this dinner!  He saw me making it before he left for practice- the black beans (he likes them!) and corn cut from the cob- which did pique his interest.  What I didn’t expect was that he would do anything more that just taste this dish.  I was wrong.  He even asked if I would make it again soon!  Is my picky eater growing up?!

I hope your family enjoys this easy recipe, too!

Stuffed Poblano Peppers with Corn and Black Beans (serves 4)

1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes

1 jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed

2 small onions, 1 halved / 1 diced

3 garlic cloved, 2 whole / 1 minced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 can (19 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed

kernels from 1 large ear corn (or 1/2 cup canned or frozen)

1/2 cup yellow cornmeal

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon ground cumin

4 large poblano peppers, halved lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed

4 cups cooked quinoa

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  In a food processor, purée tomatoes, jalapeno, halved onion, and 2 garlic cloves.  Pour sauce into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine beans, corn, cornmeal, 1/2 cup cheese, diced onions, minced garlic, cumin and 3/4 cup water.  Season with salt and pepper.

Spoon mixture evenly into poblano halves.  Place halves on top of sauce.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Cover the baking dish with foil.

Bake until the poblanos are tender, about 45 minutes.  Uncover, continue to cook until the sauce thickens slightly and cheese in browned, 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve over cooked quinoa.  Enjoy!

Adapted Martha Stewart Living, 2013