Archive for the ‘Vegetarian Entrees’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Mexican Stuffed Peppers with Quinoa & Black Beans

If you’re looking for a fabulous vegetarian entree, look no further. This was the first time I cooked with quinoa and was quite surprised with how much I liked it. It definitely had an interesting texture but I’m looking forward to using it in this dish as well as others soon. All of the ingredients blended very well together. I enjoyed it just the way it is but my husband thought it needed some meat in it. It would be wonderful either way.

I recently joined Weight Watchers so I’m always in need of healthy and delicious dishes and this definitely fit the bill. I calculated these peppers around 6ish WW points per half since the only items that counted as points were the quinoa, black beans, enchilada sauce, and the cheese. Not too shabby.


4 bell peppers (any color), sliced in half stem-to-tip, seeds removed
1 cup quinoa, uncooked
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 roma tomato, seeded and diced
1 (4oz) can diced green chiles (don’t drain)
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Olive oil, if desired
1/2 cup Monterrey Jack, grated
1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 28 oz can red enchilada sauce


Add quinoa and onion to a large saucepan with 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 5 minutes, cover, turn off heat and let steam 15 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

In the meantime, microwave pepper halves 2-3 minutes to soften slightly. (Prepared this way, the peppers should come out crisp-tender. If you want them crisper, you can omit this step.)

Pour quinoa/onion mixture into a mixing bowl. Stir in black beans, tomato, green chiles and their juices, cilantro, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. If the mixture seems to dry, drizzle in a bit of olive oil.

Pour enchilada sauce into a 9×13″ baking dish. Divide filling among peppers. Nestle stuffed peppers into the enchilada sauce. Sprinkle with cheeses.

Cover the pan with foil and bake at 375 degrees 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and cook about 5 minutes longer. Serve peppers drizzled with enchilada sauce.

Source: One Lovely Life


PostHeaderIcon Southwestern Pasta Salad

This was my Mother’s Day dinner and it was everything I could have hoped for; delicious, healthy, filling, and vegetarian. I like to cook meatless meals whenever I eat solo for dinner. It’s not that I don’t love meat, I do. I just think most people, including myself, rely too much on meat as their primary source of protein when there are other great sources out there. Like beans! Black beans are my go-to protein when I’m looking to cook meatless. There are so many great vegetarian recipes that I have tried and loved, this is definitely one of them.

This is a great meal to make ahead since the longer you let the flavors blend together before serving, the better it will taste. Make sure you stir it well and add the diced avocados just before serving. This was the second time I made this dish and the only thing I regret about this meal was not making it sooner. I hate when I find a delicious recipe, make it, love it, and then forget about it. Please learn from my mistakes. :)

Southwestern Pasta Salad


1 lb whole grain pasta

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 small can of corn, drained

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced

6 oz shredded Mexican cheese

1 cup salsa

1/2 cup olive oil

2 limes, juiced

1/2 – 1 teaspoon cumin

1-2 teaspoons chili powder

2 garlic cloves, minced

freshly ground salt & pepper

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 avocado, diced


Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain pasta, do not rinse. In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa, and cheese. Add the cooled pasta and mix well.
In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Pour over the pasta salad, add the cilantro, and mix well. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Keep refrigerated until serving. Just before serving, add the diced avocado and stir well.


Source: adapted from Cara’s Cravings


PostHeaderIcon Tortellini Soup

As I’ve mentioned before, I try to make vegetarian dinners 2-3 times a week, especially on Mondays. Meatless Mondays. I’ve heard that phrase many times and I’ve taken it to heart. This past Monday I searched through my cookbooks and favorite cooking blogs to find a new vegetarian dinner. When I found this recipe for tortellini soup I knew it would be a gem. Who doesn’t love cheese stuffed tortellini!?

This soup did not disappoint. It literally took me 20 minutes to whip up and it tasted like it took me the entire day to make. Don’t you love those kind of meals? It was a hearty and delicious meal and I will definitely be making this soup again. I think this would be great with a few extra vegetables added in and next time I may experiment with that a bit.

Tortellini Soup

Yield: 3-4 servings

1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, with juices
4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
9 oz. tortellini, any variety (fresh or frozen)
3 cups fresh baby spinach, loosely packed
Salt and pepper
Grated Parmesan, for serving

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onions to the pan and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.  Add in the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, just until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Mix in the oregano and diced tomatoes.  Add the broth to the pot.  Bring the mixture to a boil.  Add the tortellini to the pot and cook according to the package directions.  One minute before the tortellini is fully cooked, stir in the spinach.  Remove from the heat.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve warm with grated Parmesan as desired.

Source: Annie’s Eats, originally from The Well-Fed Newlyweds


PostHeaderIcon Pasta & Bean Soup

I try to make vegetarian dinners at least twice a week. I made this delicious soup a few weeks ago, right after the huge blizzard that hit Chicago, and it was the perfect dinner to survive the brutal weather. I’ve always been a fan of bean & minestrone soups and this is the perfect combination of both! I love making this in the summer using fresh vegetables from the farmers market but this is wonderful in the winter as well. It just makes you dream of the warmer days to come……

This makes a perfect meal paired with a piece of bread or salad. I love eating soup with a nice crispy piece of bread (and a ton of butter).

Pasta & Bean Soup


1 cup uncooked small pasta
2 celery ribs, thinly sliced
2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups water
1 can (14 1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can (14 1/2 oz) vegetable or chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 can (15 ounces) white kidney or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups shredded fresh spinach


Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick saucepan, saute the celery, carrots, onion and garlic in oil for 5 minutes. Stir in the water, tomatoes, broth, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes or until carrots are tender.

Drain pasta; stir into vegetable mixture. Add the beans; heat through. Stir in spinach; cook until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.

Source: Taste of Home


PostHeaderIcon Tomato Dill Soup

This is my favorite recipe for tomato soup. I have made several versions of tomato soup but nothing compares to this recipe. I tried one recipe where I roasted fresh tomatoes, which took a lot more time, and it didn’t taste half as good as this recipe. My husband and I both LOVE this tomato soup. When my husband suggests this for dinner I’m always happy to oblige since it takes no time at all to make.

The last time I made this soup I served it with egg salad sandwiches. I have also served it in homemade bread bowls – that was our favorite combination! I’ll have to make the bread bowls again so I can post the recipe. Whatever you pair this soup with, it’ll be delicious!

Tomato Dill Soup

1- 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes or 3 cups of fresh tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups of chicken stock
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill (or 1 1/2 tablespoons dried dill)
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped

In a large pot combine first 7 ingredients. Cook on medium-high heat for 30 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes.