I love how we're sitting on the edge between seasons this week. This past weekend I was basking in the sun on the beach in Ft. Walton, Fl (thanks to my friend Steph's lovely parents who let us use their condo!) and this weekend the plan is to go to my friend Jon's family farm and have a bonfire and make s'mores. Love it!
I'm also enjoying welcoming fall food back into my house. Currently there is an acorn squash and a bunch of fresh brussels sprouts sitting in my fridge, waiting to be devoured. Yum!
I found myself sending my mom a bunch of meatless dinner ideas today and thought I'd share the list here because it is a good one. (And in true flexitarian style (p.s. I actually hate the word flexitarian), I am also planning a post on roast chicken- just as soon as I roast one during daylight hours so I can take decent pictures of the process.)
But anyway, if anyone is looking for a little meatless inspiration, I hope my list will be helpful. Note: This list is, for the most part, decidedly non-vegan (I love me some eggs and cheese).
Lentils and brown rice:
Cook dried lentils according to package directions. I like to season them with garlic, onion, chopped tomatoes, salt and pepper, and Worcestershire sauce. I serve them alongside stewed okra and tomatoes (basically, you cook frozen okra with a can of stewed tomatoes) and cornbread.
Tex-mex rice bowls:
Black beans and brown rice topped with any of the following: cilantro, lime juice, salsa, chopped tomato, sauteed onions and garlic, mushrooms (sauteed or fresh), chopped green onions, avocado, cheese, or sour cream.
Black beans and saffron rice:
Saffron rice comes in packages at the grocery store, and is bright yellow and darn tasty. Top this combination with black olives, green onions, and chopped tomatoes or salsa.
BBQ bean bowls:
Black (or red) beans and brown rice topped with BBQ sauce, green onions, and mushrooms.
White beans and Kale:
This is my favorite winter meal. White beans sauteed with hot sauce, lemon juice, onion, garlic, Kale and topped with lemon zest, and Parmesan; served atop brown rice.
Roasted tomatoes, onions and white beans:
Toss a pack or two of cherry tomatoes (or any other small tomato or halved roma tomatoes) and some roughly chopped onion with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 for 30 minutes. Pour tomatoes and all their juices over a bowl full of warmed white beans. Add some basil (fresh is best but I also like to get the squeeze bottle of chopped basil at the grocery instead of having to use dried basil) and mix everything up. Serve this over toast- it's beans a la king!
Other quick bean ideas:
Garbanzo beans stir fried with Kale, lemon juice, and lemon zest.
Baked beans on top of a microwaved or roasted sweet potato.
Baked beans on cheese toast (preferably whole wheat) with chopped tomatoes.
White beans mixed with diced green chilies, cayenne, and cumin make white chili. Top with cheese.
Black beans, salsa, and cheese in a whole wheat or blue corn tortilla.
Roast some chopped squash, mushrooms, and zucchini (and really whatever veggies you like- experiment!) at 400 for 30 minutes. Place cooked veggies inside whole wheat tortillas, along with some shredded cheese, and plain yogurt (or sour cream) mixed with salsa- be careful not to overfill! Roll the tortillas up (I find that 4 tortillas worth is plenty for 2 people), and top with enchilada sauce (you can get this in a can at the grocery store on the mexican food isle) and more shredded cheese. bake at 350 for 20 minutes.
Kale, Eggs, and Potatoes:
I chop up red potatoes and toss them with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme- them roast them for 30-45 minutes at 400. While that's going on, I simmer Kale in about a cup of water with garlic and onion, lemon juice, a little hot sauce, and lots of black pepper (this takes 15-30 minutes, just check occasionally to make sure the kale is done). I serve the Kale with a fried egg on top and the potatoes with ketchup mixed with hot sauce for dipping.
Cook the Kale like you do above, then toss it with some cooked spaghetti and Parmesan or goat cheese. You can top this with a poached egg too. Poaching eggs is really easy. You add a splash or two of vinegar (you won't taste it, I promise) and a little salt to a small pot of water and bring it just to a boil, meanwhile, crack an egg into a small bowl (this is really important. You can't just crack the egg into the water or it will break). When the water is just boiling, turn down the heat, gently slide the egg into the water, then cook for 3 and a half minutes. Remove it with a slotted spoon to let the water drain off before you put it on your food.
Baked Eggs in tomatoes:
Hollow out a couple of tomatoes and throw away the tops. season inside the tomatoes with salt and pepper, then sprinkle in a little cheese (goat cheese is awesome here- but you can use any cheese or any sort of spices you like really, just don't add too much b/c you want room for an egg inside the tomato). Crack and egg on top, being careful not to spill it. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes or until the egg has set. Serve with toast or a side salad.
Scrambled egg tacos:
Fill either whole wheat or blue corn tortillas with scrambled eggs, salsa, and shredded cheese. Devour. :)
Scrambled eggs and portobello mushrooms:
Brush portobello mushroom caps (2 or 3 per person) with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and broil for 10 minutes, turning them over after 5 minutes. In the meantime, scramble 2 eggs per person. Put eggs on top of the mushrooms. You can add toppings like goat cheese or veggies to this too, but it's surprisingly good plain.
My favorite omelet in the world contains, fresh spinach, fresh chopped tomatoes, and feta cheese. So fresh and delicious.
Tomato soup and grilled cheese. It doesn't get any easier.