We were grocery shopping in Meijer yesterday afternoon when Mr. Prevention comes strolling up to the cart with his arms over-flowing with foods that get the side eye from me. When I flipped over his luncheon meat turkey package to point out the sodium nitrate, he responded with, “WTF is a nitrate and why do I care?” (No exaggeration, this was said).
Can I just say, we’ve had this conversation MANY times before. But, I seized the opportunity, yet again, to educate on rates of cancer, namely colon cancer, and the fact that nitrates are 100% avoidable.
“Do you want me to get something from the deli counter instead?” he asked.
“Yes, dear, that would be a better option”, I responded calmly.
Sometimes, it’s easier, maybe even preferred, to not have meat on the table. This vegetarian meal has been on my must-make list for far too long. Though the ingredient list is simple and wholesome through and through, the end result is fun, healthy (nearly 17 grams of fiber per serving!!!), comfort food.
We both loved this meal. My only complaint is that it didn’t reheat that well for leftovers. I did find that stirring in about a tablespoon of plain Greek yogurt and/or some salsa solved this problem, however!
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 tsp salt
3 medium cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ground chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cayenne
1 lb whole wheat dry pasta, shape of choice
1 (28-oz) can diced tomatoes
2 1/2 cups water
2 (14-oz) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (7-oz) container 2% plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 avocado, diced
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until the onion begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and spices and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the pasta, diced tomatoes with juices, water, and beans. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is tender, about 15-20 minutes.
In a small bowl, stir about half of the simmering pasta mixture into the yogurt. Stir this tempered yogurt into the pasta. Cover and simmer over low heat until heated, 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and avocado. Serve. Yield: 7 servings.
Nutrition Information (per serving): 447 calories; 9.9 g. fat; 1 mg. cholesterol; 399 mg. sodium; 75 g. carbohydrate; 16.9 g. fiber; 18.7 g. protein
Result: A flavorful, vegetarian, inexpensive, one-pot meal that comes together in about 25 minutes from start to finish. This meal would certainly appeal to kids, as well.
Money Matters: This recipe uses low-cost ingredients like canned tomatoes ($1.60 for 28 ounces) and canned beans ($1.79 for 28 ounces). The pasta was $1.29 a box. Onions cost $0.50 each. The oil (~$0.10/tablespoon), garlic, and spices come in around $0.40 total. The Greek yogurt ($1.19 for a 7 ounce container), red bell pepper ($1.50), and avocado ($1.25) are the most expensive, fresh ingredients. The total cost of the recipe comes to $9.72 and $1.39 per serving.
I have no plans today — thanks to the holiday, classes are cancelled and I don’t start my new job until tomorrow. 😀
P.S. I started categorizing recipes based on the number of calories. I hope this is helpful to some of you!