Artichoke, Chickpea, and Spinach Dip

This dip was so good! And talk about easy to make?! I had it with bagel chips (along with other appetizers) one night for dinner, then had it the next day with pita chips! It tastes fresh and light, and bonus, it’s vegan!

rating: 9

Artichoke, Chickpea, and Spinach Dip
(Supermarket Vegan, Donna Klein)

makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients:

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 (6-ounce) jar quartered marinated artichoke hearts, drained
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
pita chips, pita bread, toasted baguette rounds, bread sticks, or raw veggies to serve

Directions:

In a food processor fitted with the knife blade, or in a blender, process all the ingredients, except the bread, until smooth and pureed. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve at room temperature, accompanied with the pita bread. Alternatively, cover and refrigerate a minimum of 1 hour or up to 2 days and serve chilled, or return to room temperature.

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Cheddar Biscuits with Caramelized Onion Gravy

I don’t work with dough too much because it intimidates me. I was a little hesitant to try this recipe, but I am so glad I did! These biscuits were so dang easy, and were really good! There’s no rolling out of the dough; you just plop them on the cookie sheet! The gravy was good, too. I think next time I will either cut the onion amount in half, or maybe add mushrooms or crumbled up veggie sausage to it. Try this one! PS: this recipe gave me 6 large biscuits.

rating: 9.4

Cheddar Biscuits with Caramelized Onion Gravy
(A PureWow Original Recipe)

Makes 4 servings
Start to Finish: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

Biscuits:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup buttermilk

Gravy:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1½ cups half-and-half
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of cayenne pepper

 

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Make the biscuits: In the bowl of a food processor, mix the flour with the baking powder and salt to combine. Add the butter and pulse until it’s the size of peas. Dump the mixture into a medium bowl, and stir in the cheddar cheese and buttermilk.
3. Scoop out 4 mounds of dough (about 3 inches in diameter each) and place them onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown on top, 15 to 17 minutes. Cool slightly.
4. While the biscuits bake, make the gravy: Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over high heat. Add the onion, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside.
5. In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture turns light brown, 4 to 6 minutes.
6. Gradually add the half-and-half to the flour mixture, whisking vigorously to combine. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the caramelized onions, then season the gravy with salt and pepper.
7. To serve, cut the warm biscuits in half and place the bottom halves on separate plates. Cover each portion generously with gravy and a pinch of cayenne pepper, then place the top halves over the gravy. Serve immediately.

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Peanut Sesame Sauce

I bought a Vegetti a couple of weeks ago, and decided to make a “pasta” dish using zucchini instead of pasta. You can eat it raw or boil it, like real pasta. I did both. I hadn’t planned on trying both, but when I boiled the zucchini, it really shrunk down in size! I had to quickly use the Vegetti and make some more, but decided to try it raw. Turns out we prefer it raw! The boiling makes them TOO soft. My husband said he didn’t really like the boiled version, but when he added some hot sauce to the raw version, it was 100 times better! This sauce turned out okay. My kids didn’t love it (surprisingly), but we liked it. This recipe came from the little recipe book that came with my Vegetti.

rating: 8

Peanut Sesame Sauce

Ingredients:

1/2 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup warm water
2 tbsp chopped, peeled fresh ginger
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp rice wine or cider vinegar
1 1/2 tbsp Asian or dark sesame oil
2 tsp honey
1 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted
1 scallion, chopped
1 tbsp chili oil (optional)

Directions:

Soften peanut butter in microwave for 15-20 seconds on high. In a large bowl, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, water, ginger, garlic, vinegar, sesame oil, honey, and (optional) chili oil. Toss in your favorite vegetable pasta, sesame seeds, and scallions. Serve immediately.

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Cheesy “Chicken” Quesadilla Pie

I just didn’t think this recipe would work out, but man, was this good! It totally held together and cut like a dream. I used Quorn Tenders in place of the chicken. I just pan-fried them in some cooking spray until they were a little brown, then let them cool a bit. Then I put them in my food processor and shredded them a little. This was so good, and I can’t wait to make it again. I might mix it up a little and add different stuff each time, like corn or zucchini.

rating: 9

Cheesy Chicken Quesadilla Pie
(http://www.melskitchencafe.com/)

YIELD: SERVES 6

Note: This dish is extremely mild in spiciness. If you want to kick it up a notch, consider adding a can of green chiles or chopped, jarred pickled jalapenos.

Ingredients:

3 (10-inch) flour tortillas, white or wheat
Vegetable or canola oil cooking spray
3 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I used Quorn Tenders)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
Salt and pepper
2 large eggs
1 cup milk (I used plain Almond milk)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, making sure an oven rack is in the middle position. Grease a 9-inch deep dish pie plate with cooking spray. Overlap and layer the three tortillas (kind of in a cloverleaf pattern), pressing them into the dish, so that the bottom and sides of the pie plate are evenly covered with tortilla. In a medium bowl, toss the shredded chicken with 1 cup of the cheese, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread the mixture into the pie plate.
In the same bowl that the chicken mixture was in (no need to wash it), whisk together the eggs, milk, flour, baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt until smooth. Slowly pour this liquid mixture into the pie plate covering the chicken evenly. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes, until the surface is golden brown. Let the casserole rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

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Grape-Nuts Mexican Stuffed Peppers

I came across this recipe and saw the Grape Nuts mentioned, and knew I had to try it! I don’t think I ever had stuffed peppers before, and I have to say, I didn’t love them. I like bell peppers, but not that much. The filling was okay. You wouldn’t guess it had Grape Nuts in it!

rating: 7

Grape-Nuts Mexican Stuffed Peppers
(http://postfoods.com/)

prep time: 25 min.
time needed: 1 hour, 10 min.
serves 8

Ingredients:

8 large green bell peppers, or a variety of colors (peppers should be short and wide, rather than long)

Filling:

2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup Grape Nuts cereal
15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup sweet corn kernels (fresh off the cob, frozen, or canned)
8 ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced – I omitted
1 chipotle pepper packed in adobo sauce, minced- I omitted
1 Tablespoon adobo sauce from the chipotle can- I omitted
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Topping:

2 Tablespoons Grape-Nuts cereal
2 Tablespoon pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
2/3 cup grated cheddar cheese

Directions

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut off the stem and part of the top of the bell peppers to form a cup. Scrape out the seeds and ribs. Using a 12-cup muffin tin, place 1 Tablespoon of water in 8 of the cups. Place a bell pepper cup on top of each cup filled with water; set aside.
For Filling: In a large mixing bowl, stir together all filling ingredients and mix well. Spoon and pack in filling mixture into each bell pepper cup; set aside.
For Topping: Place Grape-Nuts and pumpkin seeds in a plastic closeable bag; seal bag shut. Using a rolling pin, coarsely crush the cereal and seeds. Sprinkle each pepper evenly with the mixture. Bake peppers for 40 minutes, then remove from oven and top each with some grated cheddar cheese. Return to oven for 4-5 minutes or until cheese melts. Carefully remove peppers from muffin cups and serve. Serves 8.

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Vegetable Baked Ziti

I thought this recipe would help me use up my never-ending supply of zucchini. It did help, but we didn’t love it. It was a little bland. I used a jar of Giada’s pasta sauce to make things easy. This dish needed something to jazz it up, but I am not sure what.

rating: 7

Vegetable Baked Ziti
(www.ohmyveggies.com)

prep time: 20 min.
cook time: 45 min.
total time needed: 1 hour, 5 min.

Ingredients:

cooking spray or oil mister
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
8 oz. button or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
8 oz. whole wheat pasta (penne and rotini work well), cooked al dente according to package
1 large jar marinara sauce (about 24 ounces)
1-15 oz. container of fat-free ricotta cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1 c. reduced-fat Italian blend cheese (or mozzarella)
1 tbsp. chopped parsley (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray or oil mister.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add zucchini and mushrooms and cook until softened and liquid has boiled off, about 7 minutes more. Remove from heat.
Add pasta, marinara sauce, ricotta, salt, and pepper to skillet with vegetables. Stir until well combined.

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Poor Man’s Crabcakes

I have had an abundance of zucchini in the garden this year, and a friend sent me a link that had tons of recipes using zucchini. This is one of those recipes! And this, this was GREAT! I have tried several different “crabcake” recipes using zucchini, and this one has always been my favorite, but boy, this one is just as good, if not better! Toby thinks it IS better than my old standby! It held together really well, and the outside got nice and crispy, while the inside tasted very crablike. I think all seafood restaurants should offer some version of this on their menu to vegetarians! Toby thinks this would fool many a meat-eater. Try this one! PS: I doubled the recipe so I could have leftovers for the rest of the week. :)

rating: 9.6

Poor Man’s Crabcakes
(http://thefreerangelife.com/)

Ingredients:

2 cups of grated zucchini/summer squash, about 3 medium
2 cups bread crumbs- homemade or store bought
1 small onion- finely chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 egg
1-3 tsp Old Bay Seasonings (To some, especially kids, Old Bay might be too spicy. Experiment with seasonings of your liking such as salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, etc)

Directions:

Mix all of the ingredients together and allow to sit for a few minutes.
You can adjust all the amounts to suit your needs- but the end result should be a mixture that will hold together when formed into patties.
Once the mixture has set, form into patties
Heat a skillet over medium heat.
Drizzle olive oil in your pan
Place your zucchini patties in the pan and allow to cook until golden on both sides.

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