Basil Veggie Casserole and the Art of Repurposing

I have a confession– I have a really wasteful habit when it comes to groceries. What usually happens is I purchase things with lots of ambition and I have all these ideas of dishes I will make with the grains, vegetables, fruit and herbs I buy. In reality, I usually made 2 big meals and the rest of the time I default to salads and smoothies. I know this about myself. With what is left, I feel bored and uninspired. Some things spoil, and others sit around in my pantry till they call to me again.

 

Can you relate, or am I alone on this?

 

This past Sunday I was looking online at my grocery list to have them delivered, and realized, there was nothing I had to have– I just wanted new food. Instead of clicking purchase and having my groceries delivered, I challenged myself. What was already in my fridge that I could make and enjoy? I needed to find a way to repurpose what I had and turn it into an all new meal to keep my attention.

 

I needed something with protein, fiber and a good balance of color and variety. I remembered I had veggies leftover from a stir fry I made, half a bag of noodles, an opened jar of tomato sauce, a can of kidney beans and yogurt cheese.

 

I grabbed an oven safe container and got to work on what turned out to be an effortlessly delicious meal. I’ll buy groceries later when I’ve actually run low on food. In the long run this will save me loads of money and help me be more disciplined about my consumption.

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The recipe:

  • 1.5 cups dry pasta
  • 1.5  cups cooked veggies. I used lightly steamed broccoli and frozen peas
  • 1/2 can or 8 oz of cooked beans (use more if you like)
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil ribbons
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • Salt to taste if desired
  1. Set pasta to boil and cook to al dente. Noodles should be firm.
  2. Mix cooked pasta with veggies, beans tomato sauce, oregano, basil, and 1/2 cup cheese
  3. Add casserole mixture to baking dish and cover with 1/2 cup cheese.
  4. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes till cheese has melted.

Enjoy!

 

If you liked this recipe, then you’ll love my recipe of how to make a pizza omelette! Check it out here.

My Top 5 Tips for the Daniel Fast

In the month of January, a lot of people start the Daniel Fast on their own, or with their church. I’ve done it many times now, so I want to share some tips that have been very helpful for me. Whether your’re doing the full 21 days, or you chosen set of days, it’s all about planning and preparation.

 

  1. Read The Chosen Fast by Arthur Wallis. This book is extremely helpful and it happens to be a quick read.It breaks down the difference between fasting and abstinence and gives biblical reference for the reasons for doing it. When you truly understand the purpose of your actions, they are easier to commit to.
  2. Meal prep. Since you’re eating in a way you are not as accustomed to, it is best to prepare meals ahead of time. You don’t want to wait till you’re super hungry and then have to scavenge for an appropriate meal for yourself. What will likely happen is you will find yourself breaking the rules and guidelines you set.
  3. Do your research. What types of meals do you want to eat each week? Look for recipes and get an understanding of what plant-based substitutes will work best for you.
  4. Try to minimize your refined sugar and salt intake. This is up to you, but I use this time as an opportunity to cleanse. Removing meat isn’t the main point– the point is to remove rich foods from the diet. I commit to drinking more water, getting more sleep, and eating no refined sugar. There are lots of other options, but generally I use bananas and dates to sweeten just about anything,
  5. Remember that it’s not about food. Some days might be harder than others. Whenever I fast, I get people offering to buy me lunch, or bringing me treats. It can be hard to turn down. I have to remember the focus is supposed to be taken off of food. It gives me an opportunity to see food simply as sustenance and to focus on my relationship with God.  Some days, I kept it really simple– for breakfast, hot cereal sweetened with berries and dates, lunch a kale salad with nuts and homemade dressing, and for dinner a nourishing bowl of brown rice, black beans, salsa, and avocado.

Here are a few recipes you may enjoy!

Chana Masala

Healthy Snack Recipes

Tofu Saltado

What I Eat in a Day

-Fifi

Chana Masala Vegan Chickpea Tacos | Meatless Monday

Indian food has become one of my favorite types of cuisine over the years. I love the flavor and aroma of the common herbs and spices used, plus it is so filling to eat as a vegetarian! Lentils, chickpeas, and a colorful variety of vegetables leave me content and never bored. Chana masala is one which I order often at restaurants, but I’ve had the trouble quite a few times of it being far too spicy! Making it at home to accommodate my taste buds really alleviates this problem.

I’ve not only adapted this recipe to be less spicy, I’ve also come to make it a bit of a fusion dish and used the stew for tacos. This often happens when I make a stew and want to be more creative with the leftovers after a few days. This can still be served over rice, but I really think you’ll love the tacos!

CHANA MASALA

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp flavorless oil of your choice
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp minced ginger
  • ¼ minced white onion
  • ¼ cup diced pepper (for more heat, use jalapeno- for less, use a green bell pepper)
  • two 16 oz cans of chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • One 16 oz can stewed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • sea salt to taste
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • corn tortillas
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro (coriander)
  • 1 lime
Instructions

  1. In a large pot, add tbsp oil and set heat to medium.
  2. Once heated, add ginger, garlic and onions. Let simmer till onions appear translucent.
  3. Add 2 cans of chick peas, the can of stewed tomatoes, diced pepper and spices. Roughly chop 2 to 3 tbsp fresh cilantro and add to the stew. Turn heat to low. Cover and cook for about 20-25 minutes until chick peas have become more tender and the stew becomes fragrant.
  4. When stew is complete, add a few heaping spoonfuls to warmed tortillas followed by cabbage, cilantro, lime juice, and a sprinkle of paprika.

chana masala taco vegan