Lemony Spinach and Chickpeas with Polenta

Posted by Jennifer (the student) on January 30, 2013

lemonypolent0001

This is one of my all time favorite recipes. Something about it is so comforting.

Ingredients for the Polenta:

  • 1 cups water
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • sea salt, to taste

 Ingredients for the Chickpeas:

  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • ½ onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 15 oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup water
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste

Ingredients for Spinach:

  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2- 6 oz bags of spinach
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 4 tsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
  • sea salt, to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, bring water and vegetable broth to a boil and slowly stir in polenta, garlic and basil.
  2. Season polenta with sea salt and keep warm until serving.
  3. In a medium sauté pan over medium heat, add onion and olive oil and cook for about 3 minutes until onion begins to soften.
  4. Add garlic and chickpeas and cook for a few minutes.
  5. Add broth, basil and pepper and reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Add lemon zest and lemon juice. Mix cornstarch with water and add to the pan. Turn heat to medium-low and cook until slightly thickened. Keep warm until serving.
  7. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add olive oil and start adding spinach, little by little. Until it cooks down.
  8. Add lemon zest, lemon juice, sea salt and pine nuts and combine.
  9. Serve with a layer of polenta on the bottom, topped with spinach mixture and finish with a layer of the chickpea mixture.
  10. Enjoy!

♥ ♥

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Black Bean Salad with Mango and Bell Peppers

Posted  by Jennifer (the student) on January 30, 2013

blackbeansaladwithmangoandbellpepper

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 ripe mangos, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 15 oz cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup low-fat Italian dressing
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. Refrigerate.
  3. Served cool.
  4. Enjoy!

* This recipe is nice to make for lunches or snacks for the whole week.

♥ ♥

Citrus Salad

Posted by Jennifer (the student) on January 29. 2013

mandarinorange

A few years ago, I attended a boot camp and this recipe is from a friend I met at boot camp. I like this salad because it is very simple to make and is very tasty and satisfying. My favorite way to prepared this salad is with shredded chicken.

Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz Paul Newman’s Light Raspberry Vinaigrette
  • 3 oz Mandarin orange sections
  • 2 oz pecan or almond pieces
  • 1-2 apples, diced in ¼” pieces
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1 avocado, diced into ¼” pieces
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • ¼ cup green onions. Sliced ¼”
  • 1 ½ oz feta or blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1-2 hard boiled eggs, sliced or chopped

Instructions:

  1. Toss ingredients together.
  2. Serve chilled.

Optional: Add additional chopped veggies and baked salmon, tuna or chicken.

♥ ♥

Better Bean and Vegetable Soup

Posted by Jennifer (the student) on January 29, 2013

beanandveggiesoup

This is a recipe from a gym friend and she makes a huge pot of soup at least once a month. She claims the soup is a cure all. This recipe is very forgiving, I usually clean out my pantry when I make this and I use what ever I have on hand. Also, this soup freezes well.

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 Vidalia onions, chopped
  • 2 tsp Olive Oil
  • 8 cups fat free chicken or vegetable stock
  • 8-16 cups water1/2 cup barley
  • ¾ cup lentils
  • 4-5 16 oz cans of beans (white, garbanzo, black, cannelli, etc)
  • 16 oz can red kidney beans
  • 6 oz tomato paste
  • 26-28 oz cans Italian Tomatoes, pureed style
  • 26-28 oz can chopped tomatoes
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3-4 zucchini, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ of a head of white cabbage
  • 3 ears of fresh corn, cut off the cobs
  • 16 oz bag of frozen peas
  • 16 oz frozen spinach
  • ½ whole-wheat pasta (small size like alphabet or orzo)
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ½ cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 TBSP cumin
  • 1 TBSP oregano (or another spice you like)
  • salt and pepper, to taste

 Instructions:

  1. In large stockpot, sautéed onions in olive oil until translucent.
  2. Pour stock into stockpot and add 8 cups of water (add additional water as needed through the cooking process)
  3. Add barley and lentils to the stockpot and cook for 30 to 45 minutes.
  4. Add beans, tomato paste, pureed tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, carrots, celery, zucchini, bell pepper and cabbage and cook for 30 to 45 minutes.
  5. Add corn, peas, spinach, pasta, parsley, cilantro, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper and cook for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy.

♥ ♥

Broccoli Soup

Posted by Jennifer (the student) on January 9, 2013

brocsoup0001

I found this recipe at my mom’s house at Thanksgiving. We love this simple recipe so much, I make almost once a week. It is a great way to get more vegetables in your diet.

Adapted from Melissa McCarthy’s recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 bags of frozen broccoli
  • 1 bag frozen soycotash (Trader Joe’s edemame succotash)
  • 2 quarts chicken broth
  • few sprinkles garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1.  In large stockpot , over medium high heat, add broccoli, soycotash and chicken broth.
  2.  Season with garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 15 minutes with pot partially covered.
  4. Puree with an immersion blender until slightly chunky.
  5.  Serve and enjoy.

* Regular frozen succotash or frozen green beans will also work, instead of the soycotash.

♥ ♥

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