Meatless meals

I’ve posted these on my blog before but have made them all this week and love how

 

 

What you need:

  • 3 cans of black beans  drained & rinsed ( you can also use 2 cans for a smaller batch)
  • Oatmeal 1/2-3/4 cups
  • Mushrooms about 1 1/2 -2 cups
  • minced garlic
  • Red bell pepper ( I only used 1/4-1/2 of it) This gives it more flavor
  • 1 Egg
  • Cheese ( I used cheddar)
  • Avocado
  • Salsa
  • Spinach
  • Hamburger buns ( love onion buns)
  • Olive oil
  • Seasonings & spices I used salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder

Add 2 cans of black beans, mushrooms, oatmeal, garlic, seasonings, & egg in a blender , immersion blender, or food processor until mixed.   Add the whole can of black beans. If too mushy you can add some oatmeal.

You can either make these in a pan, grill pan or like I did oven.
Preheat oven to 350
Coat a cookie sheet with olive oil or cooking spray. Form patties and place on cookie sheet.
Put in oven for about 20-30 minutes. You want them to be firm.
If you want cheese, add cheese the last few minutes until melted.

I toasted my onion bun, placed spinach on top, placed black bean burger, top with avocado salsa mash.

I took half and avocado mash with fork until your desired consistency ( i like it a bit chunky) and added 1-2 tablespoons of salsa.

Tomato chickpea soup

 

So easy to make your own tomato soup!

What you need:

  • 6-7 overripe tomatoes
  • medium onion ( yellow or red) I usually use red
  • 2 cloves of garlic ( I have a jar that is already minced, I use about a tablespoon)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 springs of thyme ( or a sprinkle of dry thyme)
  • 10 black peppercorns ( or use reg pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 8 basil leaves ( or sprinkle with some dried)
  • 2 cups of vegetable or chicken broth

Preheat oven to 375.

In a large roasting pan or cookie sheet add tomatoes, onion, garlic, bay leaves, thyme, sugar, pepper, salt. & oil.

Cook for about 45 minutes.

Add chicken broth .  I recently bought an immersion blender which I love but you can also laddle some into a blender when cooled and blend in batches. Put in pot and add beans . Serve!

eggplant meatless balls

These are perfect for dipping and are so filling.

what you need
Eggplant
Parmesan cheese
Egg
Garlic
Italian parsley
Salt & pepper
Breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
Olive oil

 

Preheat oven to about 350

Cut eggplant into 1 inch pieces.  I sometimes just peel off some pieces off the eggplant

Toss eggplant in olive oil, salt & pepper and place onto cookie sheet.

Once roasted place in food processor or blender along with garlic, italian parsely, breadcrumbs, egg until blended.

Form into balls . Place on cookie sheet and bake until firm. 15-20 minutes.

Dip them in your favorite tomato sauce!

 

Broccoli Soup

Broccoli Soup

  • Broccoli
  • coconut oil or olive oil
  • 15 oz cannellini beans, drained
  • onion, diced
  • garlic, minced
  • Vegetable or chicken broth
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese

Steam broccoli

Put oil in pan.
Add onion until translucent.
Add garlic.
Add beans.
Add Add salt & pepper.
Add vegetable broth.

Use immersion blender or add batched to blender until pureed.

Add parmesan cheese. Mix

( the beans help make it creamy and thicker … and more filling. YUMMY!)

 

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Spaghetti Squash Lasagna

I haven’t had spaghetti squash in awhile. I was at a local farmers market and everything I needed seemed to be on sale. I needed to spend at least $5 to use my debit card. I picked up a few things , including a spaghetti squash.

I picked up ground chicken and had everything else on hand already.

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I mean look at that deliciousness!!

What I used:

  • Spaghetti Squash
  • 1lb ground chicken
  •  small onion, diced
  • About half of a red bell pepper, diced
  • mushrooms, diced
  • spinach, chopped
  • garlic, minced
  • about 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese
  • salt & pepper
  • roasted garlic seasoning
  • Italian Blend shredded cheese
  • olive oil
  • diced tomatoes 15 oz

 

Directions:

Spaghetti Squash Directions

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Cut spaghetti squash in half. Take out the seeds. Drizzle with olive oil & salt.

Place spaghetti squash cut side down. Cook for 30-40 minutes until tender.

While that is cooking get together the mixture. You can add whatever veggies you would like. I had some leftovers that I wanted to use up.

Pour some olive oil in pan on medium.  Once warm add diced onion. Stir. When translucent, add bell pepper and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add garlic. Stir

Add ground chicken. Stir mixture together.

Add roasted garlic seasoning ( you can add garlic powder)

When chicken is cooked, add diced tomatoes & parmesan cheese & stir.

Add chopped spinach. Stir together and turn off.

When spaghetti squash is done. Take a fork and lightly pull inwards all around.

Top with the chicken & veggie mixture.

Then top with shredded  cheese to cover the top.

Put it back in the oven until cheese is melted.

To get the nice browned cheese oven on broil (high) for a couple of minutes.

Eat and enjoy!

Empty Spaghetti Squash

 

What do you do with spaghetti squash?

 

 

 

Ground chicken + veggies = Healthy meals

Spring is almost here , despite the snow we just received here in CT.  That means lighter healthier meals. Load up on veggies!

Zucchini noodles & chicken meatballs

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This is one of my favorite go too meals. Its tasty & you can eat a lot of noodles without feeling guilty or bloated afterwards.

Just get a spiralizer & go to town on zucchini. I usually add a little bit of water or chicken broth plus the zucchini noodles in a pan and warm them up and let them get to my desired firmness.

Next the meatballs. I make them with chicken or turkey and use whatever veggies I have in the fridge. I almost always put spinach.

  • ground chicken or turkey
  • spinach
  • parmesan cheese
  • garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • onion

Mix together , form into balls, & put on a baking sheet and cook until done.

Once they are done I take jarred sauce, place in a pan and add the meatballs to the sauce. Heat until sauce is hot.

Add it to you zucchini noodles and eat it all up!

Chicken & veggie patties

ChickenVeggiePattiesSomething similar just bigger & flatter.

  • Ground chicken or turkey
  • bell peppers ( used yellow this time)
  • spinach
  • garlic
  • onion
  • salt
  • pepper
  • mushrooms

Mix together, form patties, place on a baking sheet and cook in the oven until done.

I made broccoli and baked fries as sides. Delish!

I don’t eat bread to often so no bun but sometimes do use a romaine lettuce leaf.

 

 

Hearty Taco Soup with chicken sausage

One of my favorite meals is taco soup.
Its hearty, filling, yummy, easy to make, cooks quickly, and it’s budget friendly.

I usually have it meatless but sometimes add diced chicken or a can of chicken.
Well within the past month I received a coupon during my checkout at Shoprite for $1.25 off fully cooked chicken sausage. I never noticed it before , probably because its where the precooked, fully cooked, sliced deli meats are. I mostly just buy chicken or ground chicken/turkey so don’t really venture too much into the other meat sections.

Well I checked it out and it was on sale. So with the coupon it was on $1.73 ( originally $3.49)

Johnsonville Chicken Sausage

I was already planning on making taco soup and thought the 3 cheese Italian style with cheese, red bells peppers, & garlic would be good in the soup. The other flavors available are: Cajun , Chipotle Monterey Jack Cheese, Apple & the 3 cheese Italian style.

What you need for the soup:
Taco Soup Ingredients

Chicken broth
Diced tomatoes
black beans, rinsed & drained
kidney beans or pinto beans, rinsed & drained
corn , drained
Taco seasoning
Avocado, diced
*Johnsonville Chicken Sausage ( keep it meatless or add any meat you’d like, already cooked)

Why is this my favorite? You just open the cans, drain & rinse the beans. The just pour it in a pot and cook until heated through. You can use as much or little broth as you want. I usually pour right above the beans & corn. You can also use vegetable broth or even water. Mix in taco seasoning and cook on medium heat.

I chopped up the chicken sausage into slices.
Johnsonville 3 cheese italian style chicken sausage

Added them to the pot. Waited until it started to boil. Turned off.

Diced up avocado.

Put soup in bowl, add diced avocado.
I sometimes add broken tortilla chip pieces for a crunch.

Carra's Taco Soup

Enjoy!

The chicken sausage made the soup a little more hearty & filling, as well as added a little extra flavor.
I would buy Johnsonville Chicken Sausage again, next I want to try the apple chicken sausage tastes. I would also use the 3 cheese Italian style in pasta dishes. Yum!

Do you make taco soup? What is your go to Winter meal?

My easy go to dinners

Sausage zucchini seeds of change

Not to long ago I made stuffed zucchini. Well I skipped a step and just made it one pot.
eeds of change quinoa and brown rice with garlic
Chicken sausage
Chopped up zucchini
Red pepper
Tomato
Parmesan Cheese

Cook chicken sausage in pan. When halfway cooked I added zucchini & red pepper. I put the quinoa rice packet in the microwave. When almost done I added diced tomato & rice. Stir.

When done place in bowl and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

chicken cous cou feta

Chicken
Cous Cous
Tomato, diced
Feta Cheese
zucchini, cut into quarters

Grill chicken, cut into pieces. Place to the side.
I use my grill pan to make zucchini with a little coconut oil
Make cous cous as directed.

Place chicken, zuchini , tomato in cous cous when it is done and cover for a few minutes. I just don’t like raw tomatoes which is why I do this. Place in a bowl. Sprinkle with feta cheese.
I sometimes add spinach to this as well.

Grainful Entree Review

Grainful was kind enough to send me 2 of their meals to try & review.
Who is Grainful ? They are based in Itaca NY. It started when they were not satisfied with all the processed products on the grocery shelves full of artificial ingredients. So they set out to create delicious, convenient , nourishing food options with REAL food.

They were drawn to steel cut oats because its full of fiber, complete proteins, & loads of other nutrients. They started out making breakfast , which is what you think of when you have oats.
One night when getting ready for dinner, she realized there was not pasta, rice , or potatoes. There was lots of steel cut oats though. Steel cut oats has a light nutty flavor, & rich risotto like texture. It looks like rice, and cooks like rice so she decided to use it for dinner. She made jambalaya and that’s when she realized steel cut oats were destined for much more than just breakfast.

Thats when they crafted their convenient frozen dinner entrees by pairing whole grain steel cut oats with a colorful palette of bold spices and fresh, natural ingredients.

You can see why else they chose steel cut oat on their site here

 

Here are their options:
– Porcini Mushroom Chicken
– Unstuffed Pepper
– Vegetarian Chili
– Andouille Sausage and Oats

  

Porcini Mushroom Chicken: It’s a creamy risotto style with creamy whole grain steel cut oats simmered with mushrooms and chicken strips. Topped with Pecorino Romano cheese. It’s full of flavor , 100% natural, has 9 grams of fiber, & 13 grams of protein.

I had it for lunch and it was full of flavor, delicious, & filling. No skimping on the meat..there are big chunks of white chicken.

Grainful Chicken Ingredients

Look at the ingredients! Short, easy to read, and you know what they are…real food!

Grainful Unstuffed Pepper

Unstuffed Pepper: With zesty flavors of the southwest , its a twist on the stuffed pepper. It has a nice little kick and is full of flavor. It has seasoned ground turkey, tomatoes, red & green bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic, & herbs. Topped with Pecorino romano cheese. It reminds me of something I would make for myself. It has 18 grams of protein & 5 grams of fiber.

I LOVED these meals. I’m all about healthy eating & sometimes when you’re tired after a long day sometimes convenient means going towards unhealthy options. I like that they use real ingredients that are not only good for you but will keep you full & satisfied. Grainful entrees are made with 100% all-natural steel cut oats which are high in both fiber & protein. They are under 300 calories & minimally processed. Most frozen entrees can be bland, not Grainful. They are full of flavor. I can’t believe its made with oats! Who would have thought? I like having oats for breakfast, in smoothies, baking, or even as an add in ( like my black bean burgers) but never as a main component for dinner. It definitely gave me some inspiration to experiment with steel cut oats.

Two thumbs up for Grainful Entrees!!

If this is something you would like in your grocery store, print out a form and take it to the store manager ~> form

You can find out more about Grainful here: ( and where to find them)
Website
Facebook
Twitter

Have you heard of or tried Grainful entrees before?

15 minute dinner -Mediterranean Chicken Wrap

This what you need :

Rotisserie Chicken

cous cous ( I bought garlic & herb)

Chicken broth

2 plum tomatoes

Feta Cheese

Lemon Juice ( I used a 1/4 wedge from a large lemon)

Pepper

Wraps ( I used whole grain)

First make cous cous, instead of water I used chicken broth to give extra flavor.

while your waiting for the chicken broth to boil, cut chicken into bite size pieces & dice tomatoes.

I am weird and only like my tomatoes cooked & warm. I placed the tomatoes in the with the cous cous as I was waiting for it to cook & fluff up. Also add pepper & Lemon juice

Next you can either mix the chicken in with the cous cous or keep separate.

Then make your wrap

Cous cous w/ tomatoes, chicken , sprinkle with feta = yummo

Next variations Im going to try ; spinach or sundried tomato wraps, add spinach or zucchini

 

I made this again ( 8/20) added sauteed onion, garlic, zucchini

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