Posts Tagged ‘meatless monday’

Meatless Monday: Slow Cooker Pinto Beans

Monday, May 14th, 2012

Hope all you mamas out there had a lovely Mother’s Day weekend!

I’m not sure if he heard about it somewhere or came up with it on his own, but around the start of the school year the boy declared that Tuesdays were for tacos, and so our Taco Tuesday tradition was born. Now we’re fortunate to have a great taco place in the neighborhood (District Taco for you locals), but I try to do it at home most weeks. The kids are really into bean and cheese “tacos” (they’re really more of a quesadilla or burrito, but no need to get technical) which makes it even easier as I can make a pot of beans ahead of time, and then quickly cook some chicken breasts or fish when we want a little more protein. For meatless nights, we just use a generous scoop of beans, fresh avocado and tomato and some queso fresco. Having recently conquered my fear of the slow cooker, it was high time to try beans in the crock pot.

I’ve read conflicting things about soaking dried beans and Rancho Gordo recommends cooking the beans in the soaking water to retain nutrients, so I took their advice. You can drain and fill with fresh water if you prefer. Rancho Gordo makes gorgeous heritage bean varieties unlike any beans you’ll find in the supermarket, so they’re worth seeking out if you can. Or, just use your favorite brand of dried beans. The Rio Zape beans I used here are like pinto beans, but bigger and very flavorful. I just added a few things to season the cooking water and let them go all day. They were perfect by dinner time.

slow cooker rio zape (pinto) beans

Recipe: Slow Cooker Pinto Beans (or Rio Zape)
Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried Rio Zape or pinto beans
  • water
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 4-ounce can mild Hatch green chilies
  • 1 bay leaf
  • sea salt

Instructions:

1. The night before: Rinse and pick over beans. Place in slow cooker bowl and cover with water. Let soak overnight.

2. In the morning, add garlic, chilies and bay leaf. Add additional water to cover beans by one inch. Set slow cooker on low and cook for 8-10 hours, until desired tenderness.

3. Season with salt to taste and serve. Can freeze leftover beans; be sure to include some of the liquid to keep them from drying out when reheated.

~

Do you have a themed dinner night at your house? If not, try it! It’s a fun way to get kids involved in planning the meal. Getting to have chips and salsa at dinner, just like at our favorite Mexican restaurant, makes our Taco Tuesday extra special.

Corn and Feta Quiche

Monday, April 16th, 2012

Welcome spring! Everything seems to be blooming early this year, with the first strawberries arriving at the markets in DC already. The kids and I have only just planted our garden, but it feels like corn season is already just around the corner. It *is* egg season, though — did you know that chickens raised naturally lay fewer eggs in the winter? Warmer days mean our favorite vendors will have more eggs at the farmers market — and that is definitely a good thing.

Eggs play a prominent role in both Passover and Easter holiday celebrations and my kids have been delighted to have hard boiled eggs on hand. Flavor magazine’s latest issue had a great article explaining the difference between commercial and farm-raised eggs and a guide to help you decode the labels on eggs at the grocery store. We prefer to buy our eggs directly from the farmer, but in a pinch, look for cage-free, organic/vegetarian-fed eggs at the grocery. In real life, chickens aren’t vegetarians; when you aren’t buying directly from a farmer and want to avoid animal by-products and genetically-engineered feed, it’s important to get organic-fed eggs.

I first learned to make quiche in high school, when volunteering as a kitchen aide at a school retreat. There, the leftover vegetables from the previous night’s dinner were recycled into breakfast — but now I typically use fresh vegetables and serve the quiche for dinner. It’s so fast to put together — especially if you keep a pie crust on hand in the freezer — and I can steal some time in the yard with the kids while it bakes. This quiche works just fine with frozen corn, so enjoy it now and then make it again when sweet corn is available this summer.

know your egg farmer

Recipe: Corn and Feta Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 1 crust for 9-inch pie
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup corn (if frozen, defrost)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • pinch dried thyme
  • optional: green onion, thinly sliced

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and back chilled pie crust for 10 minutes. Remove and lower temperature to 325 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk and salt. Gently stir in cheese, corn, and green onion if using. Pour into pie crust.
3. Bake for 40 minutes, until set through. Makes 6-8 servings.

Note: If your kids will go for it, you can add color and a little spice with diced green pepper, Hatch chilies or jalapeƱo.

corn and feta quiche

What’s your family’s favorite egg recipe?

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup

Monday, March 5th, 2012

When she heard I was finally conquering my slow cooker phobia, my friend Jill was quick to share her favorite black bean soup recipe. I made a few substitutions, starting with vegetable broth instead of chicken to make it Meatless Monday-friendly. Instead of the spicy serrano pepper I used a canned chipotle pepper with a bit of the adobo sauce, which gave it just a subtle flavor kick. (In fact, I may serve it with some sliced jalapeƱos for the adults, next time.) And as Jill noted in her instructions to me, don’t skimp on the lime juice, which really brightens the flavors of this soup.

slow cooker black bean soup

Tofu-fearing- and bean-adverse-husband wasn’t wild about it (“needs bacon,” he suggested), but both kids devoured their bowls — which counts as a definite win in my book. We were out of tortilla chips so I toasted some corn tortillas to serve on the side.

Recipe: Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
Adapted from Cooking Light, March 2009

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound dried black beans
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 chipotle pepper and 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (chipotle canned in adobo sauce)
  • juice of one lime
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • sour cream
  • fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)

Instructions:

Rinse beans, place in a large bowl and cover with cold water. Let soak overnight, then drain.

Combine beans, broth, onion, garlic, water, cumin, bay leaves, chipotle pepper and adobo sauce in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 10 hours.

Discard bay leaves. Add lime juice and salt, then serve. Top with sour cream and chopped cilantro.

~

This post is shared with SoupaPaloozaCome join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset.

Meatless Monday: Carrot Lentil Stew

Monday, January 30th, 2012

February is almost here and we’ve had just a couple of brief flirtations with snow thus far this winter, much to my kindergartener’s dismay. I keep reminding him that we tend to get our biggest snow storms in February, so there’s no need to completely give up hope just yet. In the meantime, we’re enjoying the unexpected bounty of sunny days, running around in the backyard and to the playground. And so quick and warming dinners are still very much in demand, like this hearty lentil stew. I’m sure Rachael Ray would classify this as “stoup,” thicker than soup but not quite a real stew. It hits the spot just fine on a chilly Meatless Monday, whatever you choose to call it.
carrot lentil soup

Recipe: Carrot Lentil Stew
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 cups water
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

1. Soak lentils in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain, set aside.
2. Heat olive oil in soup pot over medium heat. Cook onion several minutes, until translucent. Add cumin and cook 1 minute. Add carrots, lentils and water, stir, and bring to a boil on medium high. Reduce heat to medium low, cover and simmer 30-40 minutes, until lentils are falling apart. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.

Note: Red lentils, sadly, lose their color when cooked. So the carrots add an important element of color to what would otherwise be a bit dreary looking. You could swap in cubed, pre-cooked squash or sweet potatoes if you prefer.

Eat Food. Real Food. Together.

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Happy Food Day! Yes, we just marked World Food Day about a week ago, but today is US Food Day — a day to celebrate real, good-for-you & good-for-the-earth food. It’s also Monday, so if you’d like to learn more about Meatless Monday, here’s a look back to our feature on NPR. As I thought about what to say today, I thought I’d try to summarize our food philosophy. Just about every recipe I post contains farm-fresh real ingredients. Why? Because Foodie Tots know their farmers, know where their food comes from, and know real food helps grow strong and healthy minds and bodies. And so I present the Foodie Tots manifesto:

EAT FOOD.
REAL FOOD.
TOGETHER.

20111024-143754.jpg

Tonight we’ll be eating mushroom risotto. {Check out our recipe for carrot risotto for a kid-friendly favorite.} What’s on your dinner table tonight?

P.S. Please take a moment to sign your name to a letter to Congress urging their support of the Eat Real agenda.

20111024-143811.jpg