Tag Archives: tomatoes

Lost and Alone

Vegetable Chili


Another one of my awesome freezer meals – this time one that also doubles as a great way to clean out the fridge/freezer!  Once we had finished prepping my list of meals, I checked what I had left and decided I could squeeze out at least one more meal.  This hodge podge of ingredients was fantastic last weekend when Mother Nature decided we needed another round of cold weather, to include snow!

Lost and Alone

Serves: Serves 5-6


1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 zucchini, diced

2 carrots, round sliced then quartered

1 tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

4 cups black beans, presoaked

1 can (28 ounces), crushed tomatoes

2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Toss all the ingredients into the slow cooker and set for low. Cook for 7hrs - or cook on high for 3hrs.
  2. Season to taste with salt and pepper, or more chili powder!

We topped this with cheese but chives, sour cream, guacamole or nothing would also work.  As for the vegetables, whatever you have on hand will work.

Wish You

Spaghetti with Skinny Green Onion Sauce


Welcome to a BONUS Secret Recipe Club posting – this time from Group C!  The best part of posting with a different group is being able to explore blogs I wouldn’t otherwise be exposed to as I’m not the best at checking when other groups post.  I was sent to Adina’s Where is My Spoon which is full of family friendly recipes.  Since I only had a few hours to find a recipe I got straight to work to find a recipe that was already vegetarian as I knew I wouldn’t have the time to adjust it.  Luckily a recent green onion series led me to a deliciously fantastic pasta – Spaghetti with Skinny Green Onion Sauce!  I had to make a few adjustments as my store did not have any decent looking tomatoes but they did have some great looking mushrooms – so I subbed in a can of diced tomatoes.  I also omitted the vegetable stock as I forgot to pick it up (oops).

Wish You

Serves: Serves 5-6


1 lb spaghetti

2 green or red bell peppers, diced

1 bunch green onions, diced

1 cup wild mushrooms, diced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp Gourmet Garden Italian herbs

1 tbsp Gourmet Garden Chunky Garlic

1 cup low-fat milk (2%)

4 tbsp low-fat cream cheese

1 cup reserved pasta water or vegetable stock

3 tbsp tomato paste

1 can diced tomatoes, Italian style

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the bell pepper along with the green onions and mushrooms and saute for 5-7minutes. Add the Italian herbs and the garlic and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile prepare the pasta per the box. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of the water. Set aside the pasta.
  3. In a small bowl mix together the pasta water, cream cheese, tomato paste, and milk. Stir into the green pepper mixture along with the diced tomatoes. Bring to a bowl, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes before adding the pasta.
  4. Season to taste with salt and pepper then Serve and Enjoy!

This sauce was fantastic!  It was creamy, tomatoey, and quick – which is key these days.   As a bonus, it can easily become gluten free by switching out the pasta.  To make things even quicker, I used some Gourmet Garden herb pastes that I had left from Fresh Tasty Valentine.  I put this together after working my first post-baby convention and running on fumes.  A few other recipes that I flagged for later are her broccoli cauliflower meatballs and her lentil quinoa carrot salad which sounds perfect for summertime.

Used to Call

Northern Bean Cassoulet northern_bean_casoulet

Quick and easy, or in the very least easy, is what I’m all about these days.  Which is why each week since the arrival of our little girl, I’ve made at least one of our freezer meals.  Just pop it in at some point around lunch (whenever that is) and there will be something warm to eat come dinner (whenever that happens).  I tried to add as many vegetables as possible to these meals in an attempt to maintain a balanced diet – even tho there is nothing wrong with having ice cream for breakfast!  I’ve made bean casseroles before but for this I want to jam as many veggies in as possible and with it being late fall when I prepped these meals, I went heavy on the root vegetables.

Norhtern Bean Cassoulet

Serves 5-6


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1 1/2 cups (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut carrot

1 cup (1/2-inch-thick) slices diagonally cut parsnip

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups cooked Great Northern beans, drained and well rinsed

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained

1 bay leaf

3/4 cup organic vegetable broth (day of)

1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs (day of)

¼ cup Parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast (day of)

2 tablespoons butter, melted (day of) - dairy or non


  1. (Optional) Place all ingredients minus those marked day of in a gallon sized freezer bag. Freeze for up to 3 months in a standard freezer or up to 5 months in a deep freezer.
  2. When ready to heat, cut the freezer bag along the seam going up to the zipper or press seal and dump into slow cooker. Turn cooker for low and cook for 8hrs (or high for 4-5hrs) adding the vegetable broth.
  3. Thirty minutes before eating mix together the breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese (or nutritional yeast) and evenly spread over the bean mixture. Top with the melted butter.
  4. Cook uncovered on high for a final 30 minutes. Topping should slightly crisp up.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

For a gluten free option just use your favorite GF breadcrumbs or go for something like hemp seeds.  Protein, vegetables, and the perfect sauce for some crusty bread makes for a fantastic dinner.  To really speed things up, use Gourmet Garden garlic pastes and their Italian Herb paste – tho be warned these do contain whey so are not suitable for vegans but are gluten free.

Happy Birthday

  Mexican “Beef” Corn Casserole


Welcome to September’s Secret Recipe Club!  I’m always a fan of the first Monday of the month because of SRC, but this month is extra special as today is also my birthday!   Plus next week is husband’s birthday so lots of celebrating going on over here.  This is part of the reason why I wanted something quick and (especially) delicious for this month’s SRC, something that would work for serving a group of hungry visitors.  Thankfully the blog I was partnered with this month was more than up for the challenge as Mostly Food and Crafts is STUFFED with incredible recipes.   From Rice and Lentils to Mocha Chocolate Chip donuts (DONUTS!!!) to Tomato Basil Pie – there were so many recipes to pick from.  Oh, did I mention she has an entire section on her recipe page dedicated to beans – vegetarian dream!  In the end I could not get her Mexican Beef Corn Casserole out of my head, all the taste of a taco without the work.   An easy switch from regular beef to “beef” and recipe was good to go!

Mexican "Beef" Corn Casserole

Serves: Serves 4-5


1 lb ground "beef" (I used Wegmans "Don't have a cow")

1/3 cup cilantro, chopped or torn

2 cups black beans, presoaked

1 cup fresh corn off the cob

1/2 cup tomato

3/4 cup salsa

2/3 cup sour cream

1/4 cup shredded Mexican style cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook the beef substitute per instructions on the box/bag and then set aside.
  2. In an 8x8 inch pan, combine the corn and the black beans then top with an even layer of cilantro. Add the ground "beef" and cover with the salsa before adding the sour cream and cheese.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Remove from oven and allow to slightly cool before serving. Enjoy!

This casserole was exactly as advertised!  All the taste of a fantastic taco without the mess and work that comes with a taco.  I served this with some chips and sour cream

All Over Again

Pasta with Ricotta Herb Sauce

Pasta Ricotta

Welcome back to #HotSummerEats!  When I first started planning recipes for this link-up I had a hard time thinking of my favorite summer recipes as generally during the summer I’m living off of salads which aren’t really that exciting.  To me summer is about light meals with as little “active” cooking as possible and as many fresh ingredients as possible.  Since it’s not yet summer and most of my herbs are still in the youngling stage, I decided to take advantage of the goodies I got from Gourmet Garden.  I grabbed some chunky garlic and Italian herbs thinking they would go perfectly with some grape tomatoes I had picked up at the market – just had to figure out the main ingredient.  With such flexible ingredients, and zero prep, I debated everything from bulgar wheat to orzo to frfalle before going with some thin pasta for fear of picking a grain that would over power the simple herb “sauce” I was thinking of.  A bit of ricotta and I was in business!

Pasta with Ricotta Herb Sauce

Serves: Serves 4


1 lb thin spaghetti

2 tbsp margarine

1/2 tbsp chunky garlic

1/2 tbsp Italian herbs

1 cup grape tomatoes, diced

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 cup ricotta


  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook pasta per box
  2. Drain and return to pot, then add all the remaining ingredients.
  3. Stir well and season to taste with some pepper.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Did I mention there was a giveaway – because there is totally a giveaway!  A few awesome readers will win some of the incredible products featured during #HotSummerEats.  How cool is that?!?!

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Disclaimer – Thank you to #HotSummerEats sponsors BenBella Vegan, Caribeque, Casabella, Gourmet Garden, Intensity Academy, Not Ketchup, Out of the Weeds. Pirate Jonny’s, Quirk Books, Spicely Organics, T.Lish , and Voodoo Cheffor providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for#HotSummerEats without additional compensation.All opinions are my own. I’m so thrilled to be participating in another blog round-up, Camilla you are awesome!  Now that you’ve seen my recipe make sure to check out all the others below.