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This was a tasty and super easy vegetarian meal. It’s one of those stews that is even better the second day!  This recipe was adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone by Deborah Madison.

olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 gloves of garlic, minced

2 pinches of red pepper flakes (more if you like it spicy)

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried rosemary

1/4 cup chopped parsley

1 can diced tomatoes (or about 1 cup or so peeled and diced fresh tomatoes)

3 cups cooked chickpeas

2 bunches of spinach, tough stems removed

In a wide saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, paprika, rosemary, and half the parsley.  Saute for 5-8 minutes, lowering the temperature to about medium heat.  Add the tomatoes and chickpeas and season with sea salt and ground black pepper, then cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and place all the spinach on top, put the lid back on and let the spinach steam for 3-5 minutes until wilted.  Easy!

I served this dish over brown rice.

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It is summer here in North Carolina. To me, that means that the local farmer’s markets are packed with yummy produce! Going to the farmer’s market on Saturday mornings is one of my most favorite things to do. It’s like a candy store and toy store all in one. Plus, I’m surrounded with lots of other people who are just as excited about eating all that beautiful stuff. During the summer I have tomatoes pretty much every day. How can you resist such a tasty and beautiful fruit as the heirloom tomato? One other item I eat on a regular basis during the summer are purple hull beans. I typically cook them with a few strips of bacon, onion, garlic and whatever else I might have around.

2 slices of bacon

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

2-3 carrots

1 bell pepper

1 pound shelled purple hull beans

In a medium size pot, over medium heat, saute the bacon until it starts to brown. Add the onion, and garlic and saute a few more minutes. Add the carrots, bell pepper and beans. Add enough water to cover by about an inch. Bring to a boil then cover and lower the heat. Simmer for about 30 minutes.  Season with sea salt and black pepper.

I served this with some local corn and of course some heirloom tomatoes mixed with some basil, goat cheese, and balsamic vinegar.

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Oven Braised Lentils

This is a great dish! Very inexpensive to make too.  This is adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe.

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 carrot, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

4 slices of bacon, chopped

2 cups French lentils

4 1/2 cups stock or broth

Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 300F.  Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium heat, add the vegetables and bacon, and cook until onion is soft and translucent.  Add lentils and cook about 1 minute.  Pour in stock and bring to a boil. Cover and transfer to the oven. Braise until tender and thickened, about 1 hour.  Season with salt and pepper.  Yummy!

 I served this with brown rice and kale sautéed with olive oil and garlic.

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I love simple yummy recipes like this one. This recipe is adapted from the wonderful book,  The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters.  I would highly recommend this book for anyone. If you are just learning to cook, this will teach you the basics of real food. If you are an experienced cook this book will re-introduce you to the joys of simple real food.

Olive oil

3 slices bacon, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

1 large onion, diced

6 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped, or 2- 15 oz cans whole tomatoes, drained and chopped (reserve the juice)

Salt

In a heavy pan over medium heat saute the bacon in the olive oil until the meat is nice and browned. Remove the meat and set aside.  Add the onions to the bacon/olive oil and cook until soft-about 10 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook about 10 minutes, adding the tomato juice if it becomes too dry. Taste for salt.

That’s it! How simple is that.  Since Thanksgiving was only 4 days ago, I still had leftover turkey, so I diced about a cup of it and tossed it in.  I served this over whole wheat pasta with some roasted Brussel’s sprouts.

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