Archive for Lunch

Traditional Monday dish

In New Orleans, LA, a traditional dish made every Monday is red beans and rice. Its history comes from the time before washing machines, when every Monday was wash day. While all the women were out washing clothes, they would leave veggies, beans, and meat (usually a piece of ham) to simmer on the stove all day long. This was great because they didn’t have to watch the food and actively cook it, it would cook on its own like a slow cooker down days. When dinner time rolled around, the food would be all warm and ready for them, and the wash would be complete. Talk about killing two birds with one stone!

I omit the meat from my version (obviously), but I have a secret to get that smokey taste in–liquid smoke. Here is my vegetarian version of red beans and rice. (Pictures to follow shortly!)

Red Beans and Rice

Serves 3-4

1 (15.5 oz) can red beans, drained and rinsed

1 celery stalk, chopped

1/2 red onion, chopped

1/2 pepper, any color, chopped

2 tsp oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 bay leaf

1 tsp liquid smoke

1/2 tsp oregano

2 cups vegetable broth

1/2 to 2/3 cup of cooked rice per person

In a large pan heat oil to medium high and then sauté onions, peppers, garlic, and celery until onions are transparent. Watch that you don’t burn the garlic! Add the broth, beans, bay leaf, liquid smoke, and oregano and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and cook for about 20 mins. Take out 1 1/4 cup of the mixture, liquid and solids, and put into a small bowl. Mash or blend (with an immersion blender) the part that is still in the pot until it looks mostly liquid. Add the mixture back into the now liquid mixture in the pot and stir. Bring back to a boil for a few mins. Put rice on a plate and ladle the bean mixture over, letting the rice soak up some of the liquid. Serve hot and enjoy!

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An apple a day…

This is a great way to eat up those apples that might still be rolling around in your fridge from the fall. It makes a fast, easy lunch and you can dress it up or down by choosing to use (or not) the onion topping. (Picture coming soon!)

Apple Quesadillas

Serves 2

-Cooking spray

-1/2 a medium onion, thinly sliced

-1/4 tsp vinegar (I like balsamic)

-1/2 tsp sugar

-1 tsp oil

-1/2 to 1 medium apple, thinly sliced (depending on your taste)

-2 (10 inch or large) flour tortillas

-2 to 4 oz cheese of your choice

In a small fry pan, heat the oil to medium heat and then add the onions, vinegar, and sugar until the onions are translucent (about 5-7 mins.) Spray a large fry pan with cooking spray and then heat one tortilla at a time over medium heat. (Flip after a few mins. to make sure both sides are warm.) Layer cheese and apples on one half of the warmed tortilla and fold the other side over to form a half circle. Let the cheese melt and apples warm, and flip after 2-3 mins. to make sure both sides of the tortilla get crispy. Cut into wedges and cover with warm onion mixture. Enjoy!

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Creamy (heathly!) soup

While I was deep conditioning my hair (it gets so dry in the winter!), I decided to whip up a batch of creamy, delicious soup for lunches and dinners. I love how there isn’t any cream in here so I don’t feel bad about eating it, resolutions and all being considered.

Broccoli Soup

 Serves 4-6

-2 tbsp olive oil

-1/2 medium onion, chopped

-2 celery stalks, chopped

-2 cups vegetable broth

-1 medium to large potato, peeled and cut into pieces

-6 cups frozen broccoli florets

-2 tbsp all purpose flour

-salt/ pepper to taste

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a medium size sauce pot. Add onion and celery; sauté for 5-7 minutes until onion is translucent. Add broth, potato, and broccoli to the pot. The broccoli will not fit perfectly into the measuring cups- don’t worry about the gaps that appear. Bring to a boil, then turn down to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until the potato pieces are soft. Mash or hand blend according to your consistency preference. As the pot is simmering, mix remaining 1 tbsp oil and flour over medium heat to form a roux. It should form a light brown mixture that looks like wet sand. Add a small amount of broccoli soup to the pan with the roux mixture. This ensures that you will get all the roux from one pan to the other. Once the soup and roux are thoroughly combined, stir the mixture into the large pot of soup. Stir and heat until thickened. Season with salt/ pepper. Serve with your favorite toppings such as cheese, crackers, or sour cream. Enjoy!

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