When I make my Sweet and Spicy Veggie Quesadilla, I don’t always make six servings, which means I have extra black beans and sautéed mushrooms on hand. That’s where the inspiration came from for this Mushroom and Black Bean Omelet. Treasure those leftovers and use a little creativity to transform them into a new delicious meal.
Breakfast is one of my favorite meals and I think weekday meals should be just as delicious as slowly savored weekend brunches. This recipe is fast and easy to make any day of the week. Create your own version by substituting the mushrooms and beans for last nights’ leftover vegetables, such as steamed broccoli and roasted potatoes.
Ingredients: 2 eggs ⅛ teaspoon salt ⅛ teaspoon black pepper ¼ teaspoon chipotle Chile powder ½ teaspoon butter ¼ cup black beans ¼ cup mushrooms, sautéed ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded light sour cream and salsa for serving
Crack eggs in a small bowl. Season with salt, pepper and chipotle Chile powder and blend with a fork.
Melt butter in a small non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Pour eggs into skillet and lightly stir with a spatula, until the eggs start to come together. Use the spatula to start to loosen the edges of the omelet by gently peeling it away from the pan.
When the eggs are almost set, add black beans, mushrooms and mozzarella cheese to one side. Fold omelet in half to cover ingredients. Cook for about a minute longer. Flip omelet and cook an additional minute, until outside is lightly browned and cheese has melted. Top with light sour cream and salsa before serving.
Sweet potatoes may not be a common quesadilla ingredient, but this puree — combined with black beans, mushrooms and jalapeño pepper slices — results in a delicious medley that gives your taste buds a little heat and sweet.
I love a reason to have a glass of wine with dinner. The mushrooms need some cooking wine, so there is my rational for opening a bottle and enjoying a glass with my meal. Cheers to good food, good wine and a different take on veggie quesadillas.
Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 (8 ounce) container white button mushrooms, sliced ¼ cup red wine (any varietal) 2 cups (1 recipe) Spicy Sweet Potato Puree 6 whole wheat tortillas 1 (15 ounce can) no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained 1½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese hot and sweet jalapeño pepper slices light sour cream for serving
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté for 5 minutes, until browned. Add red wine and cooking 4 to 5 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
Spread ⅓ cup of sweet potato puree evenly on one side of tortilla. Top with ¼ cup black beans, ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons mushrooms and desired amount of jalapeño slices. Fold tortilla over, completely covering ingredients. Repeat to create 5 more quesadillas.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Place two quesadillas in the skillet and cook for 3 minutes on one side, until golden brown. Flip quesadillas and cook for an 3 additional minutes. Continue cooking remaining quesadillas two at a time. Cut each into 4 wedges and serve with sour cream.
Chipotle chile pepper adds smokey heat, while the maple syrup amps up the sweetness in my Spicy Sweet Potato Puree. Add a pork chop and sautéed kale to turn this side into a meal.
I like to make a double or triple batch of this Spicy Sweet Potato Puree to freeze and have on hand for fast weeknight dinners. To avoid taking up too much storage space in your freezer, store the potatoes in zip-top bags and lay them flat. When you’re ready to serve them again, just defrost the bag in your refrigerator before heating.
Ingredients: 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed 1 tablespoon maple syrup 1 teaspoon chipotle chile pepper ¼ teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons skim milk
In a medium saucepan, add sweet potatoes and cover with water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook for about 10 minutes, until tender.
Drain potatoes in a colander and return to saucepan. Reduce heat to low and mash sweet potatoes with a potato masher (for a more rustic version) or use a mixer (for a smooth, no-lump version). Add maple syrup, chipotle chile pepper, salt and milk. Stir to combine and cook for a minute or two, allowing flavors to meld.
Pinto beans and sautéed greens are two of my favorite southern sides, and they also make a great combination in this easy, no-fuss meal. This is a bowl of comfort food that will provide warmth on a cold winter night. Add a hot skillet of cornbread, just like your grandmother made, and you have a delicious meal that’s worth writing home about.
I used dried beans in this vegetarian meal that’s sure to please even the meat lovers in your life. Dried beans are a great bargain and you can control how much salt is added. Beans are an excellent source of plant protein, and also provide other nutrients such as iron and zinc. Kale is packed with vitamin A and C, and also a good source of calcium and potassium. Enjoy this nutritious bowl of goodness.
Ingredients: 1 cup dried pinto beans, sorted and rinsed 9 cups water, divided 1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced 1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 bunch kale hot sauce or hot and sweet jalapeño slices
Soak dried beans in 5 cups of water overnight.
Drain beans and place in a slow cooker. Add onion, jalapeño, garlic, salt and pepper. Add 4 cups water, turn to high heat and cook for 3 to 4 hours.
Wash and chop kale, removing tough stems. Add kale to pinto beans, stirring to combine, and cook for an additional hour.
Serve with cornbread and hot sauce or sweet jalapeño slices.
Beans and butternut squash are two of my favorite combinations, and they are bundled up in a wrap along with caramelized onions to create a healthy and comforting meal. Creamy black bean hummus adds lean protein to this vegetarian wrap and also helps hold it all together. My Black Bean Hummus recipe, which you can whip up in less than five minutes, is perfect for this dish. If you want to give new life to your leftovers for a different meal the next day, serve the squash and onions on top of a salad and enjoy the hummus as a side dish with tortilla or pita chips.
Ingredients: 1 small butternut squashed, peeled, seeded and cubed 1½ tablespoon olive oil, divided ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 tablespoon butter 2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced 1 teaspoon sugar 4 tortillas Black Bean Hummus 2 cups tightly packed spinach leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. On a half baking sheet, place butternut squash and drizzle with ½ tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss to evenly coat. Arrange squash in a single layer and roast for 30 to 35 minutes until tender and lightly brown, flipping with a spatula halfway through cooking.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat remaining olive oil and butter over medium-low heat. Once butter has melted, add onion slices and sprinkle with sugar. Stirring occasionally, let the onions cook about 20 to 25 minutes, until caramelized and golden brown.
Spread a fourth of the black bean hummus on each tortilla and top with a fourth of the butternut squash and caramelized onions. Add ½ cup spinach to each tortilla, wrap tightly to secure vegetables and serve.
Mushrooms, butternut squash and thyme were made to be eaten together and this winter soup captures their earthy flavors in every velvety bite. You can warm up with this bowl of soup on a cold day by the fire while reading a good book. Leftovers freeze well, just defrost in the refrigerator and warm up on the stovetop for a super fast meal.
Ingredients: 1 medium butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 medium onion, peeled and diced 8 ounces whole white mushrooms, sliced 8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, sliced 1 teaspoon dried thyme ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper 32 ounces low sodium vegetable broth Sour cream (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. On a medium-sized baking sheet, place squash halves flesh side down. Roast until flesh is tender, about 50 to 60 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to touch. This step can be done several hours earlier or the day before.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and mushrooms and sauté until tender and lightly brown, about 20 minutes. Season with thyme, salt and pepper.
Place mushroom mixture in a blender or food processor. Add two cups of vegetable broth and puree until smooth. Add mushroom mixture to a large stock pot.
Scoop flesh of butternut squash and puree in blender or food processor with remaining vegetable broth.
Add squash mixture to stock pot and stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce to a low simmer for 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed before serve with a dollop of sour cream.
Granola on a salad sounds weird, but trust me it is delicious! The first granola-topped salad I ever tasted was amazingly delicious, made with pine nuts from the BlueFire Bar and Grill. With just one bite it fueled my curiosity to create my own nutty sweet salad topping. My version, Pecan Sorghum Granola, features seasonal pecans and whole grain oats that are lightly sweetened with sorghum, adding the perfect crunch to this fall salad with earthy, tender-roasted beets and mildly sweet acorn squash.
A simple vinaigrette is all you need for this flavorful salad bursting with color and nutrients. For some extra protein, top with grilled chicken or shrimp. Save cook time by using leftover roasted squash and beets from last night’s dinner and granola from breakfast for a salad you can throw together in about two minutes.
Salad Ingredients: 1 bunch beets, scrubbed 1 acorn squash or butternut squash 2 teaspoons olive oil ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper 1 bunch or 6 ounce bag spinach ¾ cup Pecan Sorghum Granola 4 ounces goat cheese
Vinaigrette Ingredients: ¼ cup olive oil 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 1 tablespoon honey mustard ¼ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the skin on the beets and wrap each in aluminum foil. Place on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 35 to 55 minutes, depending on their size. Remove beets and set aside until cool enough to touch. With a small pairing knife, gently remove skin from the beets and chop into cubes.
Meanwhile, peel squash and slice in half. Discard seeds and chop into cubes. Place on a baking sheet in an even layer and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and roast until tender, about 30 to 35 minutes.
Combine olive oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a mason jar. Tightly secure the lid and shake until well combined.
Create a bed of spinach on four plates and top with an equal amount of roasted beets and squash. Crumble 1 ounce of goat cheese on each salad and sprinkle with my crunchy granola and a drizzle of vinaigrette.
Butternut squash adds a touch of sweetness to this vegetarian burger as it compliments the nutty chickpeas, toasted walnuts, fried sage leaves and blue cheese. This hearty burger pairs well with homemade french fries or a simple side salad.
Veggie burgers are so easy to make and these homemade patties taste a million times better than any of the frozen varieties. If you have never had a homemade vegetarian burger, you are in for a treat. And speaking of frozen patties, leftovers freeze well for a quick meal down the road.
Ingredients: 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cubed 1 tablespoon olive oil ½ tablespoon butter 7 fresh sage leaves 1 (15.5 ounces) can no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed and drained 1 egg 2 cloves garlic, minced ½ cup quick cooking oats ½ cup walnuts, toasted ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon pepper 4 ounces crumbled feta or blue cheese ¼ cup mayonnaise 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar Spring mix lettuce, for serving 8 whole wheat buns
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. On a large baking sheet, add butternut squash and drizzle with olive oil. Toss to evenly coat before arranging squash in a single layer. Roast for 30 to 35 minutes until tender and lightly brown, flipping with a spatula halfway through cooking.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add sage leaves and fry for about 30 seconds on each side. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
In a food processor, combine the squash, chickpeas, egg, garlic, oats, walnuts, salt and pepper. Crumble the fried sage leaves into the mixture. Pulse until thoroughly combined, and form into 8 patties.
Spray a nonstick skillet, grill pan or griddle with cooking spray and heat to medium-high. Working in batches, cook the burgers for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until lightly browned. Top with an equal amount of cheese crumbles after you flip the burger, this will allow time for just enough melting to keep the cheese in place.
While butternut squash burgers cook, whisk together mayonnaise and balsamic vinegar. Set balsamic mayo aside until ready to serve.
Serve butternut squash burgers on whole wheat buns spread with balsamic mayo and topped with desired amount of spring mix lettuce.
Fall squash and greens are two of my seasonal favorites and this dish includes them both for a hearty vegetarian meal. Roasted Acorn Squash and Quinoa with Greens also makes an elegant side dish served with roasted pork tenderloin and a simple salad.
Roasting acorn squash makes the skin tender enough to eat and not having to peel the squash saves time in the kitchen. This recipe is pretty hands-off, giving you more time to relax while your nutritious dinner is cooking.
Ingredients: 1 medium acorn squash 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg ½ cup quinoa 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth 1 bunch kale or other greens 1 tablespoon water ½ teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut acorn squash in half and remove the seeds. Trim each half into thin wedges and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake until tender and golden brown, for about 45 minutes.
Add quinoa and vegetable broth to a rice cooker and cook for 30 minutes.
Remove stems from kale and roughly chop. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, add kale and water. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until wilted.
When quinoa is done, fluff with a fork and stir in kale, salt and pepper. Serve squash wedges on top of quinoa and top with crumbled goat cheese.
Note: If you do not have a rice cooker, follow the package instructions for preparing quinoa on the stove top.
When I think of summer, watermelon and tomatoes immediately come to mind. They are two of my favorite seasonal foods and they compliment each other nicely in this appetizer with creamy and decadent burrata cheese. The outer layer of this cheese is fresh mozzarella, and when you slice it in half you will discover a luscious, creamy center made of mozzarella soaked in cream. It is the perfect cheese to pair with this summertime appetizer. This is a great last-minute dish for entertaining guests or taking to a potluck. Cheers to fresh and easy dishes and enjoying the final days of summer!
Ingredients: burrata cheese ½ seedless watermelon, sliced 2 tomatoes, sliced ¼ teaspoon sea salt 1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
Place burrata on a large serving platter, layering slices of watermelon and tomatoes around the cheese.
Sprinkle with salt and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serve immediately.