Week of 11.28.11

I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving week! We’re finally less full, out of left overs, and ready to begin this week’s set of meals. It’s starting to feel like winter around here so we’re trying a new veggie chili recipe this week. It’s not made in the slow cooker, which has me skeptical, but it sounds delicious so we’re going to give it a try. Plus, sweet potatoes are super cheap right now, so we’re loading up! Yum.

Here’s this week’s meal plan for around $50:

Day 1
Lunch: Quinoa with Black Beans and Spinach
Dinner: Sweet Potato Vegetarian Chili

Day 2
Lunch: Quinoa with Black Beans and Spinach
Dinner: Sweet Potato Vegetarian Chili

Day 3
Lunch: Black Bean Vegetarian Chili
Dinner: Naan Bread Pizza

Day 4
Lunch: Huevos Rancheros
Dinner: Black Bean Burgers w/ Sweet Potato Fries

Day 5
Lunch: Black Bean Burgers w/ Sweet Potato Fries
Dinner: Veggie Ruebens

Day 6
Lunch: Huevos Rancheros
Dinner:Black Bean Burgers w/ Sweet Potato Fries

Day 7
Lunch: Naan Bread Pizza
Dinner: Veggie Ruebens

And here is the grocery list with approx. pricing:
Quinoa: $3.50
4 cans black beans: $4
2 bunches spinach: $2
Garlic: $.50
Sun-dried tomatoes (not in oil): $3
Bag of onions: $2
3-4 Sweet potatoes: $2 (They’re .39/pound right now!! Yum.)
Red bell pepper: $2
Green pepper: $1
Diced tomatoes: $1
Carrots: $1
3 roma tomatoes: $2
Cilantro: $1
Lime: $.50
Tortillas: $1
Eggs: $1
Cheese: $2
Naan bread: $3
Mozzarella (1/4-1/3lb sliced): $2
Bread: $1.50
Oats: $2
Saurkraut: $2
Thousand island dressing: $1.50
Swiss cheese (1/4-1/3lb sliced): $2
Fruit: $5
OJ: $3

We always make our own broth, but if you need to buy broth, or any spices add a couple of dollars.

The recipes:

Quinoa with Black Beans and Spinach: Chop 1 cup spinach and 1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes. In a pan saute 2 chopped clovest of garlic for a minute or two. Then add the chopped spinach and sun dried tomatoes. Saute until the spinach begins to wilt. Add 14oz veggie broth, 1/4 cup water, 1 can black beans (rinsed), 1 cup quinoa (rinsed), and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then turn down and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until quinoa is cooked.

Sweet Potato Vegetarian Chili: Saute 2 minced cloves of garlic and 1 small diced onion in olive oil for a couple of minutes. Peel and dice two small sweet potatoes (or one larger one), 2 medium carrots, 1/2 red bell pepper, add to pan and cook until the onions are soft.

Reduce heat to medium/low and add 1 can black beans, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup veggie broth, 1 tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 1/2 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp black pepper. Simmer for 20-25 minutes, partially covered, stirring occasionally. Thinking I might serve this over a little quinoa since I’ll have it around. If you don’t have the spices or want to use a prepackaged chili spice I’m sure that would be fine too.

Huevos Rancheros: We’re going to be making our own pico to use instead of salsa, but if you want to use salsa instead go right ahead! To make pico just dice a tomato, 1/4 onion, some cilantro, and combine it all in a bowl with the juice from half a lime. Stir and salt to taste.

To make the rest, dice 1/4 onion and add it to a pan with 1 clove minced garlic and some olive oil. Cook over medium heat until tender. Add 1 can black beans and 1/2 tsp cumin. Stir and let simmer while you warm the tortillas and cook your eggs. Take tortillas and top them with cheese, bean mixture, a cooked egg, and pico.

Naan Bread Pizzas
Preheat oven to 350. In a food processor combine 1 roma tomatoes, 1 tbsp olive oil,  a garlic clove, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Spread a little olive oil on each crust, followed by the sauce. Top with mozzarella, some sliced onion, and a little bell pepper…or whatever toppings you’d like to get. Bake until the cheese is bubbling and the crust is brown. We plan on making our two pizzas on different days since it’s just the two of us.

Vegetarian Ruebens: Make them like a regular ruben but without the meat. Instead we’ll just be filling ours with sauerkraut layered on the bread with swiss cheese and thousand island dressing. Yummy. But obviously very easy to add meat too if you want.

Black Bean Burgers: This is a repeat from a few weeks ago. We love them and are craving them again…In a bowl mash up a can of drained and rinsed black beans. In a food processor combine a couple of cloves of garlic, a small onion or half of a large one, and a bell pepper. Process that sucker! in another food processor grind up a bunch of oats until they’re nice and small. Start with a cup or so, but you may need to do more in a bit. If you’ve got bread crumbs lying around those work too. Mix the oats and the green pepper/onion mixture into the bowl with the black beans. Add more oats as needed until it’s a sticky paste of a mixture almost like ground beef, just enough so that you can form little patties of it. Place them on a greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes on each side. Thin patties will work better. This usually makes about 12 patties for us. Yep, that’s why it’s on there for so many meals. And if you’ve got spices and such you’d like to thrown in the mix go for it. Nate loves to add chili paste to them. And dress them up with whatever you want. We typically have ketchup, relish and mayo around.

Some photos of recent meals:

Penne with Sun-dried Tomatoes.We definitely liked this. It’s fresh, got a ton of flavor (if you don’t like garlic skip this recipe), and only takes a few minutes to make.

Here are the cheese quesadillas with spanish lime rice. I should probably half the recipe next time. It made SO much food for just the two of us. Also, the rice was better on day two once everything had sat and melded together.


And Thanksgiving. Yes, you can have Thanksgiving dinner as a vegetarian…it’s delicious.

Roasted carrots, sweet potatoes, green beans, asparagus, and onion. Yum.

Gotta have biscuits!

Green bean casserole. It’s not Thanksgiving without green bean casserole.

We made the potato corn soup we’ve been making a lot of. Definitely Thanksgiving appropriate.

And of course, mashed potatoes and cornbread stuffing.

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