Tag Archives: garlic

crock pot chickpea, butternut squash + red lentil stew

Aside from dumping some velveeta + salsa in a crock pot to keep cheese dip warm, I’ve never used a crock pot. I loved the idea of a crock pot though: dump a bunch of stuff in it and your dinner will be ready when you get home from work. Who wouldn’t?

When I saw a vegan crock pot chickpea, butternut squash + red lentil stew recipe on Eat Live Run I knew it would be my first crock pot try. I, of course, modified the recipe because I just can’t follow directions 100%.

Crock pot chickpea, butternut squash + red lentil stew
(adapted from Eat Live Run)

1 yellow onion, chopped
2 tsp olive or canola oil
1 large carrot, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno, one seeded and minced, one with the seeds/ribs left in and minced
2 tsp garam masala
1 full or 1/2* of a butternut squash (about 3 lbs–avg sized), peeled and cubed
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes in tomato juice
1 quart (one full box) vegetable broth
1.25 cup red lentils
1 15-oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 tsp sea salt (to taste)
fresh minced cilantro for serving

*feel free to use a full butternut squash. i used half as they are very sweet and i wanted to try roasting the other half the next day.

1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion, carrot and jalapenos and saute for about six minutes. Add the minced garlic and saute for 30 more seconds, and then add the garam masala, stirring well to coat. Take off heat.

2. Place the chickpeas, butternut squash, canned diced tomatoes, red lentils, vegetable broth and onion mixture in your slow cooker. Turn the heat on LOW and cook for 8-10 hours…the longer you cook, the thicker your stew will be.

don’t be afraid to fill the crock pot up to the tippy top. everything cooks down, and it won’t boil over.

3. Top with cilantro and chopped onion (if you want) to serve when you get home from an 8-10 hour day at work (or a really fun weekend day out. invite me please). This stew freezes extremely well and will keep in the fridge for up to five days.

So, crock pot verdict: This was just as much work as a normal soup/chili/stew as  I had to chop the veggies up the night before, then saute onion/garlic/etc in the morning. BUT it was really really nice to come home from a long day of work + working out and not have to do much of anything. This especially worked well when Brent + I got home at different times/had different plans for the evening. It forced us to eat at home rather than resorting to getting food out, so it was a bonus. And, we now have about 5 lunches ready to go. I’d totally use a crock pot again. 

The recipe verdict: This was a little sweeter than I’d like. I’d add some heat in terms of spices: maybe cayenne, maybe some curry powder. It tasted good w/some onions and cilantro on top. It made it a little less sweet.

CSA box #12

Oh look, a photo with a little change of pace, thanks to my retro cam app. This box has a lot of promise for some good dinners, and a total bonus of watermelon! 

Contents: broccoli, honey dew melon, watermelon, sungold cherry tomatoes, onions, garlic, winterbor kale, yellow squash, cucumber, heirloom + early girl tomatoes, zuchini, italian parsley.

Now off to use these contents to cook for the girls night I’m hosting tonight. I took the day off to prepare, duh.

CSA box #11

#11 includes: broccoli, candy onions, sweet corn, early girl, heirloom and sungold cherry tomatoes, cucumber, a big galia melon, beets, kohlrabi, basil, summer squash, zucchini and garlic.




By now, your basil plant is probably growing like a weed. Mine was…

…until I decided to make delicious pesto.

I have made pesto a ton of times, but it never turned out as good as my parents use to make. It turned out I never seemed to put the simple ingredients in the food processor at the right time until I saw this video.

I found a good recipe from Ina Garten, so I’ll modify it a bit. As far as ingredients go, I use whats listed below, but I don’t measure anything.

Pesto: The Ingredients (adapted-ish from Ina Garten)

  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts (I use raw)
  • 3 tablespoons garlic
  • 5 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • just enough  good olive oil that the pesto is smooth
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Squeeze of lemon to taste

1. Drop the garlic in the food processor and pulse til it’s tiny.

2. Add the nuts, pulse till they are tiny.

3. Add the basil, salt, pepper, lemon juice and pulse just so they are mixed up a bit.

4. Stream in some olive oil. Just enough so that it’s at the consistency you want it… but not enough so that it’s gross and oily.

5. Add the parmesan and puree for one minute.

6. Taste it, and if you need more of something (lemon, salt, etc), add it! 

The next step is to PUT THE PESTO AWAY!! Ina Garten was right when she mentioned in her recipe that air is the enemy of pesto. Air turns it brown and makes the flavor a little funky. To solve this, I make a huge batch for whatever meal I’m making and freeze the rest.

That’s right… freeze the pesto in ice cube trays. (Thanks again for the tip, parents!) Basil is hard to find in the winter, so you’ll thank yourself.
Freeze these cubes over night, then pop each out, wrap it in saran wrap and put them in a baggie with the date on it. Take one or two out for whatever it is that your’re cooking and let them defrost for an hour on the table (don’t microwave) and boom, fresh homemade pesto… again!!
This pesto can EASILY be made vegan if you just leave out the cheese. It’s pretty delicious that way too.

CSA box #10

Amazing #10! From left to right-ish. Ace peppers (early green bell peppers),  hungarian wax peppers (light yellow), jalepeno peppers, yellow potatoes, yellow squash, a patty pan squash (i think!), green cabbage,  zucchini, a million ears (13!) of sweet corn, candy onions, fennel, an heirloom tomatoes and parsley!

Summer veggies are awesome.

Fridge Stir Fry

I didn’t stir fry the fridge, but I stir fried pretty much everything in it. Stir fry is awesome when you have a an assortment of veggies in your crisper with no plan in mind for them. I had the following orphaned veggies laying around, all of which other parts of them had previously been used in recipes: I got pretty lucky with this bunch! Though I’d never stir fried green beans before, I decided to try it. I say, whatever ingredients you want to use that you think would taste good with soy sauce, chop ’em up! Here’s what I did:

Mandatory Ingredients
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T ginger, minced or grated
1/3+ cup soy sauce
2 T rice wine vinegar
1-2 T vegetable oil
pinch of sugar


1. Chop all of your veggies to as equal of a size as you can get them.

2.In a big frying pan or wok, heat 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable oil up for a couple of seconds and drop in the ginger and garlic. Let it cook for about one minute.

3. Add the diced onion to the garlic/ginger mix and stir every few seconds for about three minutes or until the onion is cooked. Make sure the garlic/ginger combo don’t burn. Then, transfer the contents of the pan to a plate and set aside.

4. Pam your pan or wok and add in the veggies that will require the most cooking time. For example, I added in the green beans and a bit of water and put the lid on for a few minutes, and then did the same in the following order; carrots, broccoli, green pepper, jalapeño (I only used a little) and put the lid on my wok and let them steam.

5. When the broccoli is about half-cooked, add in the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar. Then add the onions/ginger/garlic mixture back in. I also added more than 1/3 of a cup of soy sauce because I wanted my stir fry soy-saucey!

6. I like my sauce thickened and so the easiest way to do this is to make a corn starch slurry. I used about 1 tablespoon of corn starch and 3-4 tablespoons of water, mixed it up, and poured it into the stir fry. After stirring the slurry into the stir fry, let it bubble and simmer until the mixture thickens.

7. I added a dash of red pepper flakes and green onions right at the end.

The meal was delicious. I made some brown rice to go with it but glass noodles or another kind of rice would be just fine with this. We didn’t need any side dishes as this was clearly a complete meal!

And, it was once again, accidently vegan. See, vegan food is so good and easy. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise! But…I promise to make something with cheese ASAP.