Tuesday, January 17, 2012


I like to eat. I like to cook.

I mean, really, this should be no surprise since not too long ago, I rocked the scales at 250+ lbs but the big difference is NOW I make wholesome, quality food choices. 

I gave up processed foods, take-out and junk food in exchange for fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean proteins. One of my favorite things to do is take a not-too-good for you recipe and tweak it into a cleaner version. I love bouncing around online searching for new, healthy recipes-twitter, blogs, etc.

Last week I hit the jackpot with a couple vegetarian recipes that I wanted to share with you-

While I was on Twitter,  Erin (fellow triathlete/Mom/foodie) was Tweeting about a soup she was making which lead to her posting a link to the recipe on her blog: Chipotle And Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup 
I love spice and chipotle is one of my favorite flavors, so add in the sweetness of Butternut squash and roasted garlic and I could smell a winner. 

From THAT Tweet, to another Tweet linking me to a recipe for Navajo Stew from Moosewood Restaurants in Ithaca, NY

Here is the recipe as it appears on the Moosewood website:

Inspired by a Southwestern Native American dish, this is a sunny, colorful stew of roasted vegetables in a hot and smoky mole-type sauce.
Serves: 4
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 2 red or green bell peppers
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can of tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon canned chipotles in adobo sauce
  • 2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 15-ounce can of butter beans or black beans, drained
  • flatbread (tortillas, lavash, or pita)
  • plain yogurt or sour cream
Preheat the oven to 450°. Lightly oil a baking sheet. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Stem and seed the peppers and cut into 1-inch pieces. Peel the onion and cut it stem end to root end into thin wedges. In a bowl, toss the vegetables with the garlic, oil, cumin, salt, and pepper. Spread on the prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 10 minutes.Stir and continue to roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender but not mushy. While the vegetables roast, puree the tomatoes, chipotles, and cilantro in a blender until smooth. Set aside.

When the vegetables are tender, put them into a 2- to 3-quart baking dish, stir in the tomato-cilantro sauce and the beans, and return to the oven until hot, about 10 minutes. A few minutes before serving, warm the bread in the oven. Serve the stew in bowls topped with yogurt or sour cream and warmed flatbread on the side.

I made a few tweaks to this recipe-not many, just a few. I was craving something more STOUP (stew and soup-a thick soup). So I chopped and seasoned the sweet potato, red pepper, onion, garlic as directed

and I roasted them until they were yummy goodness

I used my favorite old soup pot from my Grandmother (aka Mem) and added two cups of my homemade chicken stock. Then I added in a large can (28 oz) of no-salt-added whole tomatoes and the juice, a large bunch of cilantro, two large chipotle peppers and some of the adobo sauce.

 I brought this to a simmer and then used my immersion blender to whiz it all up. 
I then added a large (26 oz) can of drained black beans

I let this gently simmer on the stop top for just a bit, then shut it off and went to work. 

When I returned home a couple hours later, the stoup took on a rich, smoky flavor. The sweet from the roasted veggies brought such balance to the taste of this dish. This is such hearty stoup, even confirmed carnivores (like myself) will not be missing the meat!
This made quite a bit so not only did we have plenty for dinner, there were lots of leftovers for the next day which I happily had for lunch.

 I skipped the sour cream/yogurt garnish and instead opted for some avacado slices-yummm.
A definite winner and I will be adding this to the regular rotation of winter dishes I make. 
I ended up having a Meatless Monday unintentionally-
on the way to teach bootcamp I had a PureFit bar and a bottle of water
then when I got home I had a breakfast of Kashi Heart to Heart with blueberries and almond milk
Lunch was a veggie wrap with garlic hummus, Siracha, lettuce, carrots, cukes, sprouts and avacado

My afternoon snack was some Greek yogurt with blackberries and blueberries

Then of course, last night dinner was that fabulous Navajo Stew!!

What is your favorite meatless dish??
Where do you go to find new recipes??

Did you enter my Tough Chik giveaway?? Go...do it :)


Jason said...

To the stew I would have tweaked some more and added mushrooms just because.

Also, that would be awesome with lentils as a replacement for the black beans if people didn't have any.

Great day of eating and I love the Meatless Monday.....yee-haa!

Unknown said...

Jason, Great suggestion. Some whole baby bellas would ROCK with this.
We love lentils too so that's another way we can tweak this.
THanks :)

Jennʻs Adventureʻs said...

yum yum yum yummmm!!! Veggie stew/soup is perfect for this cold weather I'm in -- definitely going to make this:)

hillary said...

this sounds awesome, jen! i am gonna try it with veggie stock. thank you!:)

Missy said...

I love black bean tacos. Tasty.
I search all over fro recipes. I really love reading cookbooks though.
Thanks for the recipe.

Unknown said...

Jenn-this was perfect with a sick child at home and lots of snow!!

Hillary-def would be great with veggie stock too :)

Katie said...

where did you find such amazing looking blueberries? I miss berries in the winter.

Laima said...

Sounds delicious! I used to cook a lot from a Moosewood cookbook - I'll have to dig it out (especially for my Meatless Mondays:))

Hollywood said...

I was vegan for a year after my wreck, and my favorite dish was this crazy eggplant lasagna at a vegan restaurant in downtown ATL. Now, after finding out I have a gluten intolerance and allowing myself to be pescitarian, I have fish & veggies sautéed in balsamic almost every night. It's amazing how much better you feel when you're eating clean isn't it? ;)

Suz and Allan said...

Yum, yum, yum!