I belong to a foodie family. A normal regular subji roti is never sufficient for us, especially when it comes to dinner. The good part is we love vegetables, but we easily get bored of the meal preparations, that is why I am always on a search to find new, innovative, healthy ways to cook meals that are not boring and taste great. Here are few interesting ways to prepare your veggies in dinner that too in less than 500 calories.
- Pumpkin Lentil Soup
2 tablespoons sunflower oil or 1/4 cup water (for water sauté)
1 medium yellow onion, diced
8 cups pumpkin, cubed
1 1/2 cups red lentils
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds powder
7 cups vegetable broth or water
In a large pot, heat oil over medium high heat, add onions and sauté for about 5 minutes, or until soft.
Add oregano and pumpkin and cook a few minutes stirring occasionally.
Add lentils, broth and salt & pepper, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the pumpkin is fork tender and lentils are soft.
Once ready and slightly cooled, puree soup.
Add extra liquids as needed for desired thickness.
Serve topped with pine nuts, fresh cracked pepper would also be great.
- Capsicum Stuffed With Quinoa, Cranberry And Pistachio
2 large capsicums
1 cup quinoa, rinsed well
1 3/4 cup water
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pistachios
2 tablespoons finely minced shallot
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 – 2 teaspoons thyme
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
salt to taste
Wash and dry capsicum. Slice each capsicum from the top, remove seeds.
Lightly brush the inside of each capsicum with a little oil and/or honey. Sprinkle some salt.
Place on baking sheet cut side up. Bake in oven for 35 – 40 minutes, or until capsicum is tender and pierces easily with a fork.
While the capsicum is cooking add 1 3/4 cup water and 1 cup quinoa to a medium size pot. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove lid and let set 15 minutes. Add pistachios, cranberries, shallots, salt, juice of lemon, and any other optional ingredients. Toss to combine.
Scoop quinoa into capsicum, place back in the oven for 10 minutes to warm if needed, and serve.
- Chilli Black Bean With Yogurt And Cucumber
1 tablespoon sunflower oil, divided
1 medium onion,
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper,
small handful parsley stems
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
2 diced tomatoes
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
2 scallions (both the white and green parts), thinly sliced
1 large cucumber
Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onion, salt, and freshly ground pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, celery, and bell pepper and cook until vegetables are soft, about 4 minutes. Tie the parsley stems in a knot (this way, they’ll be easy to remove at the end). Add parsley stems, beans, and canned tomatoes. Bring the mixture to a boil, then turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Uncover and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Discard the parsley stems before serving.
While the chili is simmering, prepare the yogurt: In a small mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt, paprika, and a pinch of salt.
Once you’ve prepared the yogurt, use a vegetable peeler to peel the cucumber into thin ribbons. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the cucumber ribbons, a pinch of salt, and some freshly ground pepper. Sauté until the cucumber is tender but still al dente, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a small plate and serve alongside the chili.
To serve the chili, transfer half of the mixture to a bowl and garnish with half of the lemon paprika yogurt and half of the thinly sliced scallions.
Ideally these recipes are great for any season, but they taste great in winter. Just make and serve them to your family over a meal, and see their reactions. Happy eating.