Thursday, April 21, 2011

Snobby Joes.

I can't decide if I've told you about Snobby Joes before. I searched the blog, and couldn't find them, so I if I have already let you in on this gem of a recipe, let this serve as a friendly and gentle reminder. This is one of my favorite things I make. It's easy and delicious, and it's really versatile. We aren't big "Sloppy Joes" fans, so we don't serve this on rolls. I usually make baked potatoes (sweet or white - both are good with this one), rice, or just roasted vegetables. The thing about these, is that they have this deliciously rich tomato sauce, and they are thick with lentils and vegetable. As you may have guessed, I could eat lentils every day of the week, so it's always nice when I find a recipe that is easy to cook, ANY day of the week! One hint to this recipe, is that if you can find Goya lentils in a can, it's even quicker, and easier to both make and clean up. The only issue I have with recipe is.... (drum roll please)...

Kevin only thinks it's medium. Like, 3 Bowls, medium. What a bummer. I hate when that happens. It makes me very whiny. But alas, I will continue to make it, because it is so good. He's clearly, just wrong. Please try this, and pick a side. Kevin or Marji. Who will you choose?

Make this. Please. I say 5 Bowls. Kev says 3.

Snobby Joes

1 cup uncooked green lentils (or 2 cans, drained and rinsed)
4 cups water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 green pepper, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons maple syrup (You can use agave nectar too, and you don't need to use as much as 3 tbl. Just add it "to taste")
1 tablespoon yellow mustard

4 to 6 kaiser rolls or sesame buns (optional – for serving)

Put the lentils in a small sauce pot and pour in 4 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.

About 10 minutes before the lentils are done boiling, preheat a medium soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute a minute more. Add the cooked lentils, the chili powder, oregano and salt and mix. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes.

Add the maple syrup and mustard and heat through.Turn the heat off and let sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors can meld, or go ahead and eat immediately if you can’t wait.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Roasted Vegetable-Rosemary Chicken Soup

First of all, I am so sure I've posted this recipe before, but it bears repeating, since it's really delicious. I made this for the first time, when Kevin was sick with a bad cold, about a year ago. He was a huge fan. I've made it several times since then, always with good reviews. The nice thing about it, is that you can modify it, by adding more veggies, or taking out the things you don't like. This time, I added potatoes, which, in retrospect, wasn't the best idea. My fam still liked it, but they gave the potato addition a thumbs down. Oh well. Live and learn. I'll continue to make it. It's easy and has a great flavor balance. The roasted vegetables add that nice, charred sweetness that gives this a bit of a unique chicken soup taste. Make it!

Make this. It's a great "Sick Soup." 5 Bowls!

Roasted Vegetable-Rosemary Chicken Soup


  • 1 cup (1-inch) cubed carrot
  • 1 cup (1-inch) cubed onion
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup (1-inch) pieces celery
  • 1 cup (1-inch) pieces red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 (14-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cups uncooked whole wheat rotini pasta


Preheat oven to 375°.

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; drizzle with oil, and toss well to coat. Arrange vegetable mixture in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan lined with foil. Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.

Combine water and next 5 ingredients (through chicken) in a large Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes. Add roasted vegetables; simmer 30 minutes. Bring soup to a boil. Add pasta; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Nutritional Information

  • Amount per serving
  • Calories: 176
  • Calories from fat: 25%
  • Fat: 4.8g
  • Saturated fat: 0.8g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.7g
  • Protein: 17.9g
  • Carbohydrate: 15.5g
  • Fiber: 2.3g
  • Cholesterol: 33mg
  • Iron: 1.5mg
  • Sodium: 450mg
  • Calcium: 45mg

Cooking Light JANUARY 2006

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Chunky Vegetarian Chili

Health nuts seem to agree - striving for "Meatless Mondays" is where it's at. I know plenty of people who take pride in their meatless meals, and who actually take this on, as a huge challenge. For me, it's a little different. I love cooking vegetarian meals, and we are meatless for several evenings a week. My kids love beans and vegetables, and Kevin and I love the complexity of flavors that come with vegetarian meals. In my world, meat is boring.

So, here is a vegetarian chili that has several things going for it. First and foremost, it's easy peasy. So many of the ingredients come out of cans, and you can swap them out for things that you already have in the pantry, if you don't have everything handy. Also, this is a one pot meal. Don't you just love it, when you only have one pot to clean? And lastly, the flavors in this chili are mild, but really lovely and perfectly tasty. I would definitely say that it's a tad more sweet than it is spicy, and that's always disconcerting to me at first, when it comes to chili, but in the end, this dish is a keeper. It makes a ton, too, so get ready for some lunchy leftovers!

Chunky Vegetarian Chili

This vegetarian chili recipe a great way to get kids to eat fiber-rich foods. It can be taken on camping trips, and in school lunches in a thermos.

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 cup)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 (16-ounce) cans stewed tomatoes, undrained
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed and drained

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add sugar and remaining ingredients, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes.

CALORIES 257 (9% from fat); FAT 2.7g (sat 0.3g,mono 0.5g,poly 1.2g); IRON 4.5mg; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 150mg; CARBOHYDRATE 48.8g; SODIUM 876mg; PROTEIN 12.8g; FIBER 14.2g

Cooking Light, DECEMBER 2003