Archive for the ‘Main Course Recipes’ Category

What could be more satisfying on a cold weeknight than a hot, gooey Mexican ”lasagna”. Flour tortillas and a spicy bean-corn mixture compose this lasagna-like casserole. Black beans are the legume with the richest antioxidant content. When cooked, black beans have a satisfying velvety texture which almost melts in your mouth. You could use pinto beans instead of the black beans.

I served this dish with a simple guacamole and citrus based salad.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 green hot pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 18-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen corn
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 cup stewed tomatoes
4 large corn or flour tortillas
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 green onions, chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and a bit of salt and saute about 5 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, bell pepper and hot pepper, saute for about 5 minutes more. Add chili powder, cumin, coriander and cayenne pepper and cook, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Remove from heat. Add black beans, corn and stewed tomatoes.
Preheat over to 350 F degrees.
Place 2 tortillas in the bottom of a lightly greased rectangle casserole dish. Add half the corn-bean mixture, top with half of the fresh cilantro and spread 1/2 cup of the cottage cheese on top. Sprinkle with half the cheddar cheese. Repeat the layers. Top with green onions.
Bake, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, until bubbly. Broil for 2 minutes, if desired. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Serves 4 to 6

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The secret ingredient making this chili so dark, intense and almost creamy is cocoa powder. It gives a nice aroma and helps thicken the sauce to a dark chocolaty texture. This dish can easily be made vegan by omitting the feta cheese topping. Instead, generously drizzle chili with olive oil.


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, grated or finely chopped
3 dried hot chili peppers, chopped
1 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 28-ounce can of diced tomatoes
1-2 cups vegetable broth
1 16-ounce can kidney beans
1/2 cup black, brown, or green lentils (or combo), rinsed
1 cup meatless ground round (I used Yves Veggie)
1 teaspoon sea salt (or to taste)

Feta, salted yogurt, olive oil, chopped cilantro or chopped fresh baby spinach, for garnish

1 baked potato per serving of chili


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook onions stirring frequently. When the onions soften up and become translucent, add the garlic, ginger, red pepper, chili powder, cinnamon, cayenne, salt and cumin. Stir well and cook for a minute of so, until everything begins to slightly brown. Stir in the tomatoes, kidney beans, lentils, meatless ground round, cocoa powder and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 35-45 minutes until lentils are cooked and chili has thickened. Stir a few times during the simmering, taste and ajust spices and salt.

Serve over baked potato and top with feta and finely chopped fresh spinach.

*While chili is cooking, bake the potato. Rub the potatoes with olive oil and salt. Bake at 400 F degrees for about 40 minutes.


Makes about 6-8 servings

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rapini pasta


Rapini (or brocoli raab) is like the bitter version of brocoli. Some say it’s an acquired taste. I love it. I’ve always loved it.

I will always remember the best pizza I ever ate at Delfina Pizzeria, in San Francisco last summer. It was brocoli raab pizza with olives, mozzarella and hot peppers. Yum. This pasta dish (almost) comes in competition with aforementioned pizza.




1 bunch rapini (brocoli raab), trimmed and cut into 3 inch pieces 
4-5 cloves garlic
5 sun-dried tomatoes
1-2 teaspoons dried chili flakes (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Freshly shaved parmesan
Roasted hazelnuts (optional)
Whole wheat pasta (I used spagettini)
1/4 cup pasta water


Boil water in a large saucepan. Cook pasta according to the manufacturer’s directions.

While the water in boiling, trim base of rapini stalks. Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add whole garlic cloves and sauté for a about 5 minutes. Add sun-dried tomatoes, salt, pepper and optional chili flakes. When garlic cloves begin to brown lower heat just to keep the skillet warm.

In the mean time, blanch the rapini in the pasta water for 4 or 5 minutes. Add blanched rapini to the warm skillet, increase heat to medium and sauté for about 2 minutes.

Drain the pasta, reserving 1/4 cup pasta water. Add pasta and pasta water to skillet. Increase heat to medium high, sauté and mix well, for about 2 minutes. Smash the garlic cloves directly in the skillet with the back of a spoon.

Serve immediately, top with freshly shaved parmesan and roasted hazelnuts.


Serves 4

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Fiery tofu in tomato sauce


I’m sure some people will be skeptical regarding the whole tofu in tomato sauce thing. Trust me, this dish is both comforting (especially on a cold autumn evening) and delicious. Everyone is already aware of the incredible health benefits of tomatoes ; key words : lycopene and cancer fighting.

I like how simple this dish is. However, you could add sliced mushrooms, chopped spinach, sliced zucchini or sun-dried tomatoes when adding the garlic cloves. This dish can be made vegan by omitting the shaved parmesan, maybe drizzle olive oil insted?


1-2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

4-5 cloves garlic

1 16 oz package extra firm organic tofu

1 28-oz can chopped tomatoes

Pinch of sugar

A few springs of fresh rosemary

2 dried hot chili peppers, chopped (or more, to taste)

Salt and pepper, to taste

Fresh shaved parmesan for garnish


Heat olive oil in a medium-sized skillet. Add tofu and chili peppers, cook over medium heat until the tofu has browned a bit, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped onion, stir, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 more minutes. Add whole garlic cloves, continue to cook over medium-low heat for about 3 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes, rosemary, sugar, salt and pepper, bring to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. Remove from heat and smash the garlic cloves directly in the skillet with the back of a spoon.

Serve over brown rice or whole wheat pasta and top with fresh parmesan.


Serves 4

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