Tag Archive | vegetarian

Crock Pot Rice & Bean Burritos

I am happy to announce that my clinical rotations are officially over. With only a few projects and site rotations to go in the next four weeks, I feel like I finally have my life back! Graduation and taking the RD exam is just around the corner. I am slowly going to get back into my old Monday/Thursday posting schedule, and I’m so excited to start experimenting in the kitchen again. Let me tell you, it was a long couple of months of staple recipes and leftovers, and I. Am. Bored.

This one was so so easy and tasty. Rice and beans provide what we call a “complimentary protein source.” What this means is that together the two provide all of the amino acids required to make a complete vegetarian protein source, equivalent to a meat source. It’s also a crock pot recipe which is great for nights that you just need a break. Enjoy and thank you for still reading!


Crock Pot Rice & Bean Burritos
Serves: 6 (2 tortillas each)

1 cup brown rice
1 14.5oz can no-salt added black beans
1 14.5oz can no-salt added pinto beans
1 14.5oz can no-salt added diced tomatoes
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. chili powder
Water (see instructions)
1/2 red onion, diced
1 avocado, diced
6 oz plain non-fat Greek yogurt
6 oz salsa
12 6-inch flour tortillas


1) Rinse and drain pinto and black beans
2) Drain diced tomatoes with the remaining tomato juice draining into a 2 cup measuring cup. Fill measuring cup with water to reach the 2 cup line.
3) Place 1 tbsp. olive oil in bottom of crock pot, pour in rice and mix into oil. Next add beans, tomatoes, tomato juice/water mixture, and all seasonings. Heat on LOW 5-6 hours.
4) When crock pot is finished, divide bean mixture evenly between 10-12 tortillas. Add even amounts of diced red onion, avocado, Greek yogurt and salsa to each burrito. Roll up and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 470 calories, 11g fat (8g unsaturated), 75g carbohydrate (13g dietary fiber), 19g protein


Butternut Squash Ravioli with Spinach-Pesto Sauce

Before I start I have to admit that my posts are going to be a little sporadic for a while. I love blogging recipes that I find to be successful to share with all of you, so it won’t be goodbye.  Unfortunately, I am in my internship full time until May.  The unfortunate part is that I am not paid to do it, so I have to work some nights and weekends on top of my full time hours just to get by.  Effectively, this doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for trying new recipes.  What I do promise is that as I find them, I will post them.  It just may vary from my usual schedule.  I hope you can bear with me during this time, because I appreciate every single person that stops by my blog.  It makes me love doing this even more then I already do when I see a “like” or a “comment” on a post. :)

In other news, this was my first attempt at a homemade ravioli, and I’m happy to say that it won’t be my last!  Folding the ravioli’s up did take a little bit of time so this is probably best left for the weekend, but it still wasn’t that time consuming.


Butternut Squash Ravioli with Spinach-Pesto Sauceslightly adapted from Cooking Light

Serves: 5

1.5 lbs butternut squash, pre-diced or scoop and dice yourself
2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tablespoons Smart Balance, melted (or other light buttery spread without hydrogenated oils)
5 tbsp. reduced fat Parmesan cheese, grated and divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
30 frozen wonton wrappers, thawed out
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. garlic powder
1.75 cups fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup fresh basil
2 tbsp. chopped walnuts, divided
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
6 quarts water


  1. Preheat oven to 400°.
  2. Place diced squash on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Toss with 1 tbsp olive oil and dried Italian seasoning.  Bake at 400° for 30-35 minutes or until tender. Cool.
  3. Combine oregano, squash, and smart balance in a large bowl.  Mash together with a potato masher. Stir in 3 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to keep them from drying), spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons squash mixture into center of each wrapper. Moisten edges of wrapper with beaten egg; bring 2 opposite corners together. Pinch edges together to seal, forming a triangle. Repeat procedure with remaining wrappers, squash mixture, and egg. Cover ravioli loosely with a wet towel to prevent drying.
  4. Place garlic powder, remaining 2 tablespoons cheese, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, spinach, basil, and 2 tablespoons walnuts. With processor on, slowly pour 2 tbsp. oil, broth, and lemon juice through food chute. Process until well blended. Place pesto in a large bowl.
  5. Bring 6 quarts water to a boil in a large pot.  Add half of ravioli; cook 3 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Remove ravioli with a slotted spoon. Repeat procedure with remaining ravioli. Top ravioli with pesto and serve.  Suggested serving: 6 ravioli per serving with a side of mixed greens.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 286 calories, 15g fat, 30g carbohydrate, 8g protein

High Fiber Veggie Pasta

I wasn’t all that creative with meals this week.  I’ve become addicted to searching “wedding” and all things related on pinterest, and I’ve been neglecting my recipe searching.  This coming week I buckled down and 5 out of the 7 meals are new, so I’m very hopeful that more then one will be successful.  For now I bring you a delicious recipe, but I can’t claim it as my own.  I think the red wine in the sauce really makes the dish.  I re-wrote the recipe for you because I slightly changed it, but be sure to pop over to chocolate broccoli’s blog for some great pictures.

P.s.  Notice the new bowl?  It’s one of several new dishes from mom to spice up the pictures.  I think it worked, thanks mom!


High Fiber Veggie Pasta- slightly adapted from chocolatebroccoli

Serves: 6

1 pound whole wheat spiral pasta
1 cup shredded reduced fat Italian blend cheese
Veggie Sauce:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup red onion, sliced
3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 small yellow squash, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, chopped
1 (26-ounce) jar reduced-sodium tomato sauce
1/2 cup red wine (don’t omit this!)
2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried parsley
  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, squash, and bell pepper; sauté for 8 minutes. Stir in the pasta sauce, red wine, Italian seasoning and basil.  Simmer for 18 minutes until sauce is bubbly and vegetables are soft.

  2. With about 10 minutes left to simmer, cook pasta in boiling water according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander. Return pasta to cooking pot. Stir in Italian blend cheese until well incorporated and cheese starts to melt. Keep warm.
  3. Pour pasta cheese mixture into sauce, stirring to coat evenly. Top with dried parsley, serve hot.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 422 calories, 9g fat (3g sat fat), 61g carbohydrate (11g fiber), 19g protein

Vegetarian Stuffed Eggplant

This meal was originally a recipe out of Cooking Light but I found it more confusing then it had to be so I changed some things to make it more practical for a weeknight meal.  Eggplant is a good option for a vegetarian because it provides more of a “meaty” texture then other vegetables.  I find it leaves me more full then say, a salad.  It is also naturally low-fat, low-sodium and has plentiful fiber…what a perfect heart healthy food!  The fat you see reflected in the nutrition facts is from the hummus and olive oil, not the eggplant.  I would encourage everyone to try to include at least one vegetarian meal a week.  The power of plant based diets is really incredible from the research I’ve seen in my (student) “career” so far.

In the original recipe, tahini was used everywhere that I mention the hummus below.  I didn’t find it practical to spend $7 on a bottle of tahini for such a little amount, but if tahini is on hand and you’re not a hummus fan, feel free to sub it back in.

One other thing I wanted to mention for anyone newly reading.  Due to my hectic school-clinic-part time job(s) schedule, I am only able to post twice a week.  It will always be Mondays and Thursdays, with variations in the time.  I hope once I am a practicing dietitian (come May 2013!), I will have more time to experiment in the kitchen. Thanks for reading! :)

Vegetarian Stuffed Eggplant- adapted from Cooking Light

Serves: 4


3 tbsp. warm water

2 tbsp. roasted garlic hummus

4 tsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. honey

1/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. garlic powder


2 medium eggplants

cooking spray

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 cup chopped white onion

1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs (I crumbled up two pieces of whole wheat bread and added to food processor)

1/2 tsp. dried parsley

1 tbsp. roasted garlic hummus

2 tsp. olive oil

3/4 tsp. ground cumin

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. ground red pepper

2 eggs

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 (15 oz) can no-salt added chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 medium beefsteak tomato, diced


  1. Combine sauce ingredients in a small bowl, whisk and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 475.
  3. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise and cut visible flesh into a crosshatch pattern but leave intact.  Place the eggplant halves, cut side down onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 475 for 7 minutes until slightly tender and browned.  Set aside to cool.
  4. Combine 1/2 tsp. salt, onion, and next 11 ingredients (through chick peas) into a food processor.  Set aside before processing (see next step).
  5. Once eggplant has cooled, scoop out the pulp.  Take the pulp from two of the four eggplants and add to the food processor mixture, process  until smooth.  Discard pulp from other two eggplants or save for another purpose.
  6. Spoon enough chickpea mixture to fill the shell of each eggplant half.  Amounts will vary depending on size of eggplants.  *Note: you may have excess filling
  7. Bake at 475 for 25 minutes or until eggplant is tender and chickpea mixture is lightly browned.
  8. Remove eggplant halves from the oven, top each with 1.5 tbsp. of sauce and 1/4 of diced tomato.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 264 calories*, 7.4g fat (1.4g saturated fat), 43g carbohydrate (9.6g fiber), 11g protein.

*This recipe alone is low in calories and will probably leave your belly rumbling so be sure to incorporate a side dish.  I had it with a mixed greens salad as I do with most of my meals to ensure I get my vegetable servings in for the day.

Quinoa Black Bean Burrito Bowls

This recipe is a great vegetarian meal with a lot of protein from the black beans, Greek yogurt and quinoa, and healthy fats from the avocado.  I also went heavy on the tomato topping to add extra nutrition.  It was a happy moment for me when Dan asked for more “sour cream,” meaning I had successfully fooled him into eating Greek yogurt!  This really is a vegetarian meal that even a meat lover will be full after eating, remember protein is not just meat!!

Quinoa Black Bean Burrito Bowls slightly adapted from Prevention RD

Serves: 3-4

2 cups low sodium chicken broth (sub for water if vegetarian)
1 cup uncooked quinoa
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (if you like cilantro- add it in!)
2 tsp chili powder
pinch of cayenne
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice (I used the refrigerated bottle of lime juice)
2-3 plum tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1/2 cup 2% cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 avocado, pitted and diced
1/4 cup pineapple salsa

10-15 blue corn tortilla chips (for dipping)


  1. Heat chicken broth (or water) in a pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Add quinoa, stir, and return to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and cook until softened. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add black beans, half of cilantro, chili powder, cayenne, and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Reduce heat to low and keep warm until quinoa is finished.
  4. When the quinoa is fully cooked, remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
  5. To assemble bowls, divide quinoa between three bowls. Top with black beans, tomatoes, yogurt, cheese, avocado, and salsa. Serve warm.

Baked Falafels with Yogurt Sauce & Pita

Love falafels? Never heard of them?  Well, the concept of falafels is great.  The primary ingredient in them are garbanzo beans (chick peas) which are legumes that are high in fiber and protein.  The perfect combination to fill your belly fast and not leave you feeling hungry an hour after the meal (yes, this means all the easier for you to lose the weight!).  The problem is that 99% of the time you’re choosing them as a “healthy” choice at a restaurant, they have been fried.  The frying unfortunately negates the “healthy” concept of them.  When I saw this recipe I was SO excited, and with some slight tweaking to fit my preferences I really enjoyed the result.  I would pair it with a side salad of some sort to round out the meal.  Definitely be sure to check out the blog I got it from, her pictures are way more beautiful.  Mine turned out a little bit more like falafel pancakes than balls.  Enjoy!

Baked Falafels with Yogurt Sauce & Pitaslightly adapted from Carlene’s Figments

Serves: 2-3

15 oz can of low sodium chickpeas
1 large clove garlic
1.5 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/4 large white onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 T flour
few sprinkles of dried parsley
olive oil
4 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt & 4 tbsp. reduced fat sour cream


  1. Add all ingredients except the sour cream, yogurt and olive oil to a food processor.
  2. Pulse until chickpeas are mashed and ingredients are thoroughly distributed. The mixture should be close to a paste consistency. Let the mixture rest for 30 mins.
  3. Lightly spread olive oil onto a baking sheet with parchment paper and pre-heat the oven to 375 F.
  4. Roll the chickpea mixture into small, slightly flattened balls (they should be ping pong ball sized). Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the falafel are browned and crisp on the outside.
  5. While they bake, mix the Greek yogurt and sour cream in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  6. Serve baked falafels with pita and yogurt sauce.

Quinoa Corn Edamame Salad

This is going to be a pretty weak post, I’ll say it right now.  I had a big, brain draining test yesterday and as you can see, I’m barely getting this post in before midnight.

This salad was perfect, I didn’t change a thing from the original, so it’s only fair that I link you right to the blog I got it from.  What I love about it is that it made a LOT (it was leftover lunch for a few days).  If you’re not familiar with quinoa, you’re missing out!  It’s has a grain texture, similar to that of couscous, but unlike other grains it is high in protein.  It’s great for vegetarians because it is a complete protein, meaning it contains all of the nine essential amino acids. “Essential” means that they can not be made by the body, and must be consumed.  For vegetarians to get the same protein as a meat eater, they need to be cautious of matching foods that provide all of the essential amino acids (i.e. rice and beans), so it is nice that quinoa has already done that for them.  It’s also great because it kind of takes on the flavors that it is mixed with, and is not a strong flavor alone.

One important thing to look for when you buy quinoa is the stamp of “fair trade.”  Quinoa actually originates in the warm climates of Peru and Bolivia, where it was a staple crop for the people there.  Unfortunately since it has become so popular in America, we are willing to pay a lot more for it and the people who relied on it to survive can now no longer afford it.  It’s very sad, so please buy a “fair trade” stamped package, even if it is a bit more, in order to ensure that a fair price was paid for the grain and those people are not being taken advantage of.  Well enough of the nutrition lesson, and I hope you give the recipe a try! ;)

Quinoa Corn Edamame Salad

I served with a 5 oz piece of salmon and side salad of spinach