Friday, November 30, 2012

Chickpea Soup with Pesto (+ Giveaway WINNER)

...and the random winner of the adorable Anthropologie apron is:  Joanna (#7)!!  Thanks to everyone who played.  I find it especially fun to have these giveaways because most of the time, I know everyone who enters and it's always a delight to send a package off to a friend, or sister or a friend, or friend of a friend, or, in this case, the wife of a very dear friend. :D  Happy wearing, Joanna! (I'll be sending this off on Monday so you'll have it for all your holiday baking!)

And now, a new recipe!

I can't even begin to tell you how easy this soup is.  And usually, when a soup is a snap to put together, I expect it to be as equally simple in the taste department.  Not this one!  I walked into the kitchen late (5:30), but in 30 minutes, I went from having a cold, dark kitchen, to the family sitting down at the table.

Seriously.  Thirty minutes.

And it was delicious!  Absolutely delicious.  I think it was the pesto that made the dish -- even if/when I have fresh basil around, I still think I'll use the pesto.  Not only was it a cinch to use, but the flavor of it really brought the soup to a new level.

It also makes a bit, which is nice.  I froze half for a later use.  And, I got more portions out of it because I served it over some brown rice I had in the fridge.  Gotta love an easy, delicious, versatile soup!

Chickpea Soup with Spinach and Pesto -- updated 9.13
serves 8
  • olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 TBLS minced garlic
  • 2 cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained OR any other white bean
  • 4 cup vegetable broth + 2 cups water
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3-4 cups chopped spinach OR 10 oz pk frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 2-4 T basil pesto OR  1  .5oz pkt basil pesto sauce
  • pepper to taste (I didn't add any salt with the broth and tomatoes already having their own salt and it was fine)
-- Saute onion and garlic 10 minutes.
-- Add everything else and heat through.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sweet Potato Skillet Hash (+ GIVEAWAY)

I hope you all had a fabulous Thanksgiving.  Laughing with family, eating with friends, whatever it is you do on Thanksgiving, I hope you did it well.

As I took into account all I'm thankful for, this blog made the list.  It's a way I can get my creative juices flowing and it's a way to help others in the "what's for dinner" department.  And as a way to say thank you to all the people who follow this little blog, I'm going to GIVEAWAY this amazing Anthropologie Apron.

Don't you want to look super cute as you get your holiday baking on?  You know you do!  This apron ties at the neck and in the back, and it's a "one-size" size.  Tag still on.

TO ENTER: leave a comment about your favorite holiday dish here on the blog OR on the HeartyHelpings facebook page. (but please NOT both)
To enter a SECOND time, share this link with a note about the giveaway on your facebook page.  Just let me know you did, so I can count you twice.

GIVEAWAY is open until midnight on Thursday the 29th, and I will announce the random winner Friday morning.  I will ship anywhere in the US.

And now for a very quick recipe in case you bought too many sweet potatoes for your Thanksgiving dinner!

This was an amazing and quick side dish.  I served it with the stuffed green peppers and it paired so well.  I got the recipe over here.

I could have eaten the whole skillet all by myself -- but alas, all 3 of my boys loved it just as much!  The oldest little boy even ate the onions in there!  I was a happy momma!

I love sweet potatoes, so it's nice to have another way to cook them and snazz them up a little.

Sweet Potato Skillet Hash
  • 1 large sweet potato, washed and diced (1/4 inch)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 c chopped sweet onion
  • 1/2 large green pepper, chopped
  • 2 t minced garlic
  • 1/4 t each salt and pepper
  • 1 t Italian seasoning
-- Cook (microwave is easiest) cubed potatoes.
-- Meanwhile, saute the onion, pepper, and garlic in the olive oil in a large skillet, 5 minutes.
-- Add in the sweet potatoes and cook another 5 minutes until onions and peppers are soft and well cooked.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

I just have to say I am so thankful for this recipe.  I used to make pumpkin bars with a cream cheese frosting that were to. die. for.  Seriously.  It was dangerous to have the pan in my house, so I would only make it for events.  The last couple years, though, I haven't made them. (If you do want to make them, the recipe is here)  And I've missed my pumpkin bars something awful.

Now these bars aren't exactly the same, but they are light and fluffy and with the little hint of chocolate, I can eat them guilt free.  And eat them I do.  Gladly.

I may also try adding white chocolate chips or craisins to switch things up!

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
  • 1/2 c pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs (1 whole, 2 whites)
  • 1 T veg oil
  • 1 c flour
  • 1 t baking powder
  • 1 t cocoa powder
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t allspice
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 2/3 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c chocolate chips
-- Combine all wet.  Combine all dry.  Add dry to wet and mix until all wet.
-- Fold in chocolate chips and transfer to a greased 7x11 baking pan.
-- Bake 15-20 minutes at 350,  (passes the toothpick test)

Friday, November 16, 2012

Roasted Root Vegetables with a Honey Mustard Vinaigrette

Someone gave me a rutabaga.  I had no idea what it was, and not the faintest clue what to do with it.  I mean, I had heard of them, but that was about it.  Have you encountered vegetables like this?

Once I found out it was a root vegetable, I had a little bit better of an idea how to handle my situation.  All the ideas on the internet seemed to be just mashing them like potatoes with other root vegetables: like parsnips, or turnips.  But I didn't have parsnips or turnips, and I didn't want mashed vegetables, either.

And then I stumbled upon this recipe.  I didn't have all the ingredients, but it gave me some much needed direction, so I went with it.  Oh my, am I glad I did.  We all had seconds -- the boys both asked for more, and I gave them good sized portions to start with!  So it must have been good, right?

This may even grace our Thanksgiving table!

Roasted Root Vegetables with a Honey Mustard Vinaigrette
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and cubed  3-4 cups
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 3-4 cups
  • 1/2 lb carrots, sliced/chopped  2 cups  
  • olive oil
  • 1-2 t Italian seasoning
  • 3 T white wine vinegar
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 T olive oil
--  In a large bowl, toss the vegetables with 1 T olive oil and spices
-- On a silpat, or parchment covered, baking sheet, spread the vegetables
-- Bake for 30 minutes at 350, or until tender.  Transfer to a large serving bowl
-- Mix the dressing, and drizzle over the veggies, making sure to stir well to coat

Monday, November 12, 2012

Oatmeal Whole Wheat Quick Bread

I am extremely chagrined that I did not try this recipe earlier.  It's going to change my dinner-making life.  No bread to go with that soup I'm making?  As long as I have 30 minutes, I don't have to worry about it anymore.

Don't make the same mistake I did!  You most likely have all these ingredients in your kitchen right now.  It really is simple and it tastes amazing.

You go from this:

To this (in 20 minutes):

Oatmeal Whole Wheat Quick Bread
  • 1 cup rolled oats - ground
  • 1 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 1/2 T honey
  • 1 T veg oil
  • 1 c milk (I used almond milk, and used 3/4 c milk, and 1/4 c water to get the right "2% milk" consistency)
-- Combine all dry.  Combine all wet.  Add dry to wet and form into ball.  You may need to add a little more flour to get it just past the sticky point.
-- Place ball on a lightly oiled cookie sheet, or use a silpat!, and bake for 20-25 minutes at 450.  

Friday, November 9, 2012

Creamy Marinara Sauce

Here's another recipe from Milo & Me.  Again, we enjoyed it.  We did tweak this one a just a tad to add a little more flavor, but it's a great base recipe and so easy to contour to your own flavor preference. It was delicious and we couldn't even taste to tofu hidden there -- oh wait, you didn't know there was tofu in there?  Yup.  There is.

How do you like that?

I think this is going to be one of my new sauces for winter spaghetti lunches in lieu of mac'n'cheese.  The boys both loved it, and I loved that it was packed with protein, and only a half block of tofu was needed.  (Make sure you save the other half in its liquid with a little added water.  It'll be fine for a week or so.  Or...just double the recipe and freeze.)

Serve over any kind of whole wheat pasta and enjoy with a hunk of bread and salad.

 Creamy Marinara Sauce
makes enough for about a whole lb of pasta
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 30 oz diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 2 T dry basil
  • 1 t herbs de provence
  • 1/2 t black pepper
  • 1 T red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 pack (7-8 oz) regular or silken tofu
-- Saute the onions and garlic in a little olive oil in a medium sized sauce pan about 10 minutes until all soft
-- Add the tomatoes, paste, and spices.  Simmer for 15 minutes.
-- Add in the tofu and puree with a hand blender and puree until smooth or, put tofu with a few ladle fulls of the sauce into a food processor and puree until smooth.
-- Add the vinegar and warm through.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Stuffed Peppers (Skillet option)

I've always held a grudge against Stuffed Peppers.  I think the last time I made them was before either of the boys were born...I guess I can hold a long grudge! They taste great, yes, but they take so. long. to put together.Not only do you saute everything, and core out the peppers, but then you have to bake them for 40 minutes!

I followed the recipe (here), but then to my disappointment, just as everyone always does, we cut the pepper and stuffing up until it was just a pile of the stuffing with bits of peppers in there.  Again, tasted great, but I decided I'm changing this to a skillet dinner!

Not only will it still taste the same (if not better!), but I'll cut at least 45 minutes off the making time! Ahh...why didn't I think of this before I made this?!  Live and learn, right?

Skillet Stuffed Peppers (not pictured)
Serves 4-6

Active time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Serving Suggestions:  Serve with a side of sweet potato fries or creamy sweet potato soup.

What you'll need:

  • 1 cup dry lentils, picked over and rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup dry brown rice 
  • 1 cup vegetable broth + 2 cups water
  • 1 8 oz pkg mushrooms, chopped well
  • 4 cups finely diced green peppers
  • 1 lg onion, diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • salt to taste
  • 1, 24oz, jar full-flavored spaghetti sauce
What you'll do:
  • Cook lentils and rice together with the broth and water until done.
  • Saute peppers, mushrooms, onions and garlic in a large skillet or dutch oven for 10-15 minutes until everything is soft. 
  • Add lentils, rice, spices and sauce.  Stir and heat through.  
Time Tip:To make this dinner come together in a snap, have the lentils and rice made ahead of time.

Nutrition Facts (per serving, 1/4 of recipe):
Calories 408 (Calories from fat 33); Total Fat 4g (Saturated 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 641mg; Potassium 1528mg;Total Carbohydrate 77g (Dietary Fiber 23g); Sugars 20g; Protein 20g; Vitamins/Minerals - Vitamin A 1231 IU; Vitamin C 129mg; Calcium 96mg; Iron 6mg; Folate 268mcg

Friday, November 2, 2012

Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili

This was such a great twist on the standard chili.  I got the recipe over here, and we loved how it turned out. Less like a true chili, really, and more like a very hearty/tasty quinoa dish with one of my favorite pairings ever -- black beans and sweet potatoes!

The best part, I had everything I needed in my pantry the night I made this!  You probably do, too.

Quinoa Sweet Potato Chili
Serves 6
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 oz can tomato paste OR 1- 2 cans diced tomatoes, depending on deisred consistency (1 for more of a chili consistency, and 2 for stew)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 t minced garlic
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t paprika - smoked
  • 1 very large sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1 in cubes (3 cups)
  • 1 c dry quinoa
--In a skillet, saute the onion and garlic with a little olive oil
-- Stir in the tomato paste and spices and stir for about a minute
-- Add the broth and beans and potatoes.  Bring to a boil.
-- Add the quinoa, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20-30 minutes until the quinoa is all done

You can top it with avocado if you want.  We didn't, but it would have been great.