Butternut Squash, White Bean and Spinach with Pesto

Who doesn’t love a good pesto? And why not load it up with some great veggies instead of pasta all the time? I invented this one myself and it turned out quite yummy!

Average Time: 20 minutes – 1 hour depending on prep work

Serves: 2-3

Ingredients

2 lbs of butternut squash, cut into cubes

1 can (15 oz) of white kidney beans, drained

1 bag of baby spinach

2 cups of cherry tomatoes, halved

3/4 cups of homemade pesto, or premade pesto. Homemade pesto can be done ahead of time.

1/2 cup of quinoa, made according to package directions

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast squash for approximately 40 minutes or until a fork can easily poke through. This can be done ahead of time.

2. Coat a pan with olive oil spray. Saute beans until warm, about 5 minutes.

3. Transfer the squash to a pan sprayed or coated with olive oil. Sautee for approximately 3 minutes and then add spinach. You may want to cover with a lid so that the spinach has a chance to wilt. Sautee until spinach is slightly wilted.

4. Add the tomatoes and pesto. Stir until well combined, approximately 5 minutes.

5. Dish quinoa in a bowl and transfer vegetable mixture to serve over pesto.

Serving suggestion: Can also be served over pasta or any grain of choice.

Warm Garbanzo and Quinoa Salad

This is great for a side or can even be a dish all on its own. Between the spinach, quinoa, and garbanzos this is a powerhouse of fiber and nutrients. Easy enough to make of course. This recipe and image are courtesy of Women’s Health.

Average time: 25 minutes

Serves: 4 as a side, 2-3 as a main course

Ingredients

1 cup of quinoa (can use whole-wheat couscous as well)

2 cups of vegetable broth (optional)

1 1/2tsp chopped garlic

2-3 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced

2 carrots, grated

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 (140z) canned garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1 bunch scallions, chopped

2 Tbsp olive oil

3 Tbsp white-wine vinegar

1/4 tsp salt

6 c fresh spinach leaves, cleaned and dried

3 0z feta crumbled feta (optional)

Directions

1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. Suggest using vegetable broth but may use water as well.

2. In a food processor, purée scallions, gradually adding oil, vinegar, salt, and black pepper to taste. Process to a thick consistency.

3.  Coat a sauté pan with cooking spray and heat to medium-high. Add garlic, zucchini, carrots, and pepper. Sauté until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add beans and sauté until heated through.

4. Add scallion mixture and quinoa to sauté pan; heat through. Let cool slightly.

5. Mix spinach, garbanzo bean mixture and feta (if using) in a bowl using tongs or salad spoons to toss.

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Screen Shot 2013-08-24 at 6.24.44 PM

This one is a little more time consuming but well worth it! I got this recipe from EatingWell.com

Ingredients

3 large dried pasilla, ancho or new mexico chilis

1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, preferably fire roasted

2 Tbsp + 2 tsp olive oil

1 white onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, peeled and diced

4 cups vegetable broth

2 cups water

1 package (14 oz) extra firm tofu

4 cups chopped chard, spinach or kale

1/2 tsp sea salt

1 ripe avocado, cubed

2 cups homemade tortilla chips

Directions

1. Holding the chiles one at a time with metal tongs, quickly toast them by turning them an inch or two above an open flame for a few seconds until the aroma fills the kitchen. (Alternatively, toast chiles in a dry pan over medium heat, pressing them flat for a few seconds then flipping them over and pressing again.)

2. When cool enough to handle, stem and seed the chiles, break them into pieces and put them in a blender along with tomatoes and their juice. (A food processor will work, though it won’t completely puree the chiles.)

3. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until golden, 6 to 9 minutes. Scoop up the onion and garlic with a slotted spoon and transfer to the blender with the tomato mixture. Process until smooth.

4. Return the pot to medium heat. When quite hot, add the puree and stir nearly constantly until thickened to the consistency of tomato paste, about 6 minutes. Add broth and water. Bring to a boil, then adjust heat to maintain a simmer.

5. Drain tofu, rinse and pat dry and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch cubes. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and cook in a single layer, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes total. Add the tofu to the soup and simmer for 30 minutes.

6. Add chard (or spinach or kale) to the soup and season with salt to taste, depending on the saltiness of the broth. Cook, stirring, until the greens are wilted, about 2 minutes, depending on the type of greens.

7. Ladle the soup into 8 soup bowls. Divide avocado, tortilla chips and cheese (if using) among the bowls. Serve warm.