South of the Border Bean Casserole
One of my favorite quick & easy meals

1 package taco seasoning mix
2 bell peppers, chopped (I use 1 red and 1 green)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 1/2 cups salsa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together and pour into a casserole dish. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 15 minutes more, or until heated through.

This is very good by itself, but it's also good as a topping for rice.


Squash with Toasted Garlic and Lime

1/2 pound zucchini
1/2 pound yellow squash
2 tablespoons vegetable broth
5 cloves thinly sliced garlic
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Slice the squash and zucchini. In a large skillet, saute the garlic in the broth until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove garlic and set aside. Raise heat to medium high.

Add squash to pan and saute for 8-10 minutes, until tender but a little crunchy. Stir in lime juice, oregano, parsley, pepper, garlic, and add salt to taste. Mix well.

Spicy Potato Chunks
These also make a great snack

1 teaspoon rosemary
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 cloves minced garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder
8 or 9 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1" chunks

Preheat the oven to 425. Mix all ingredients except potatoes in bowl until you have a smooth paste. Add the potato chunks a few at a time and stir to coat with seasoning paste. Repeat until all potatoes are coated. Spread out on 2 nonstick baking sheets and bake for 30-45 minutes or until tender.

Note: This recipe is a modified version of one found in the New McDougall Cookbook


Black Bean Chili over Sweet Potatoes
Don't let the unusual combination scare you....this is delicious!

4 large sweet potatoes
2 cups diced red bell pepper
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 14 1/2-oz can diced tomatoes with juice
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups yellow squash, diced
1 tablespoon jalapeno, seeded and minced
1 lime

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork and place on a baking sheet. Bake about 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until tender.

Saute bell pepper and onions in a small amount of broth or water over medium heat until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in spices, tomatoes, and beans and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add squash and jalapeno. Cook, covered, about 6 minutes or until squash is crisp-tender. Place one peeled, slightly mashed sweet potato on each plate. Top with chili and drizzle with freshly squeezed lime juice, if desired.


Mediterranean-Style Vegetables

1 cup zucchini, sliced
1 cup yellow squash, sliced
2 cups red, yellow, or green bell peppers, sliced (I use a combination)
2 cups broccoli florets
1/4 cup vegetable broth
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 medium tomatoes, chopped

Combine all ingredients except tomatoes in a large saucepan. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in tomatoes and serve.


Spicy Black-eyed Peas and Rice
Another favorite quick & easy dinner

2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup tomato sauce
1 can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained

Mix all ingredients together in a large skillet. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes or until heated through.

This is a very versatile recipe. Feel free to use different seasonings if these don't strike your fancy.


Mushrooms in Balsamic Vinegar

1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced (I use half cremini and half portabello)
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar
3-4 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon lime juice
1/4 cup water

Wash and slice mushrooms and place in a nonstick skillet. Add vinegar, garlic, and sugar. Saute until mushrooms are tender, about 15 minutes, adding water as necessary so it has a little broth and doesn't dry out. Add soy sauce and lime juice, heat for a few minutes, and serve immediately.

This recipe is by David Wallis and was found at


Gingered Broccoli-Pineapple Stir-Fry

2 cups broccoli florets or pieces (frozen is fine)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup pineapple chunks
1/2 cup pineapple juice
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1 Tablespoon grated ginger root

Heat pineapple juice and soy sauce in a wok or large skillet. Add garlic and ginger and saute for 1 minute. Add broccoli and bell pepper and simmer until done. Stir in pineapple chunks and heat through. Serve over rice.


Crockpot Gumbo

1 onion, chopped
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cloves
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 can (14 1/2 oz) diced tomatoes, with juice
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup canned or frozen butter beans (rinsed and drained, if canned)
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice

Put all ingredients in crockpot and cook on high for 6 hours or on low for 8-10 hours. Serve over rice, if desired.

You can, of course, use file' powder to be more authentic. The cloves and allspice are the closest I think you can get if you don't have the real thing.

Lentil-Barley Shepherd's Pie
This is absolutely delicious! The herbes de Provence are essential to its wonderful flavor. From

2 cups water
1/2 cup uncooked lentils
1/4 cup uncooked barley
1 large carrot, diced
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup canned tomatoes, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
1 teaspoon flour
1 teaspoon herbes de Provence*
1 teaspoon parsley
salt and pepper
3 medium potatoes

Cut potatoes into chunks (peel if you like) and boil until soft. Mash and set aside.

Place 1 1/4 cups water in saucepan with lentils and barley. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 3/4 cups water in a saucepan. Add carrots, onion, and garlic and cook until tender. Add tomatoes and spices. Mix the flour with a little water and add to saucepan. Stir and cook over low heat until thickened. Mix vegetable mixture with cooked lentils and barley. Pour into casserole dish and top with mashed potatoes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

Herbes de Provence
(makes 1/4 cup)

1 teaspoon fennel seed
2 teaspoons savory
2 teaspoons oregano
2 teaspoons marjoram
2 teaspoons thyme
1 teaspoon dried lavender flowers
1 teaspoon rosemary
1 teaspoon tarragon
1/2 teaspoon ground sage

Crush the fennel seeds finely with a mortar and pestle (or use a coffee grinder). Combine all the herbs in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid.


Brunswick Stew
Considering that the main ingredient in traditional Brunswick stew is meat, this vegetarian version is amazingly good!

2 onions, chopped
1 cup butter beans (lima beans), canned or frozen
1 cup green peas, canned or frozen
2 cups frozen corn kernels
1 15-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
6 cups broth (I like to use half chicken-style, half beef-style)
1 can cream-style corn
4 medium potatoes, diced
1 cup ketchup or tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons worcestershire sauce
2 Tablespoons hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
2 cups cooked brown rice
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a large soup pot. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, for at least 1 hour. Add water as necessary if it gets too thick.

I keep meaning to try this in the crockpot.


Mexican Lentil Stew with Roasted Garlic and Chilies
From, adapted from "Fields of Green" by Annie Sommerville

1 1/2 cups lentils
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon sage (or 2 fresh sage leaves)
1 teaspoon oregano or marjoram

1 head of garlic
24 ounces canned tomatoes with juice

1/2 cup water
1 red onion, diced
1 teaspoon cumin seed, toasted and ground*
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, toasted*
1 small carrot, diced
1 small red or yellow bell pepper, diced
3 new potatoes, preferably roasted, cut into eighths
chili powder to taste
1/2 teaspoon chipotle chile puree
1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)

Put the lentils, water, bay leaf, sage, and oregano or marjoram in a soup pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Remove the bay leaf.

While the lentils are cooking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Wrap the head of garlic in foil or place it on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes. After it has cooled, squeeze the garlic out of the skin and into a food processor or blender. Puree with the tomatoes and juice. Set aside.

Put the 1/4 cup water in a skillet or large saucepan and turn the heat to medium. Add the onion, cumin, and oregano and cook until soft. Add the carrot and red pepper and cook until tender. Add the chile puree, the potatoes, and the tomato-garlic mixture and cook for 10 minutes at medium-low heat.

Combine the lentils and liquid with the vegetables. Cook over low heat for 30 minutes, covered. Test for salt and chili flavor. If not hot enough, add some chile powder. Just before serving, sprinkle the cilantro on top, if desired.

* To toast herbs and spices: use a small, heavy skillet. Place the herb or spice in the skillet over low heat. Shake the skillet until the aroma of the herb or spice is released. Be careful not to burn them. Then grind the spice if necessary.

** Look for chipotle chilies canned in adobo sauce. Puree the whole can and store in a jar in the refrigerator. They keep quite a while and are perfect for jazzing up all manner of foods. Use sparingly,'s hot!


Cajun-Style Red Beans and Rice

1 1/2 cups uncooked brown rice
1/2 cup Lundberg Wehani, Mahogany, or Japonica rice (or substitute regular brown rice)
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup carrots, finely diced
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 bell pepper, finely diced
1 teaspoon chipotle puree
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 Tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 Tablespoon dried parsley (or 3 Tablespoons fresh parsley)
3 3/4 cups vegetable broth or water
2 bay leaves
1 can red beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
1/2 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place rice, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, bell pepper, chipotle puree, cumin, coriander, parsley, and chili powder in a large pot. Heat for about 5 minutes, stirring very frequently, until lightly browned. Meanwhile, bring the broth and bay leaf to a boil in a separate pot. Add to the rice mixutre. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.

Stir in beans, tomatoes, corn, and salt. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes more, or until rice is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed.


Spicy Zucchini and Tomatoes

1/2 pound zucchini, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup sherry (or other white wine)
1 cup chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
1 teaspoon chipotle puree
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Sautee the onion and garlic in the sherry until tender. Add the zucchini, tomatoes, and chipotle puree. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes or until the zucchini is tender. Add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Thai-Curried Vegetables