Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cooking for One or Two - A Quick Meal in Less Than One Hour

I prefer baking  to making meals, so I am always looking for quick meals that are nutritious. Today was one of those days; I baked cookies instead of cooking a meal. Of course, they were chocolate!

There are always food in the pantry, fridge or freezer, I just have to decide how to ‘mix it up’ to make a meal.  My preference is a vegetarian meal.

I attended a class at the Celiac Center of Minnesota on Monday night and came away with a better understanding  between fat and carbohydrates.  At least, I accept the explanation. The impression I came away with was that in order to digest carbohydrates without all of it going to sugar, was to be sure to add fat.  Normally, I try to go low-fat.  Future meals will include added EVOO where necessary.

Sweet potatoes are one of those vegetables, we used to eat raw when growing up.  My mother had this garden where she always had sweet potatoes.  When it was time to harvest, we always had to eat a few pieces raw.  They were really sweet even raw. We always had the pink fleshed ones.

There were no left-overs in the refrigerator, so I either had to open a can, microwave a bag or pare and cut something up.

Now back to the sweet potatoes, I picked up one and decided I would be having it for dinner, but had to think quick about what to make with it.  Stir-fries are the quickest way to make a meal with little fuss.  Out of the fridge came a red pepper, baby bellas and eggplant.  I hadn’t decided at that time whether to make rice or use beans.  Well the rice had to be cooked, so I chose the beans.

This is basically a simple way to get a meal real quick…..
Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stir-fry B

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stir-fry

1 small sweet potato, peeled and shredded
1 small eggplant, diced ( about 1 cup)
1/2 large red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 cup baby bellas, sliced (cooked)
1 15-oz can  black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp ginger(squeeze tube) or 2 tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp Mrs Dash original spice
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp marjoram
1/2 tsp low-sodium Cajun spice
2 tsp chili oil
2 tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese

ProcedurePrepare all of the vegetables
Heat a large iron skillet with the olive and chili oils.
Cook the peppers, sweet potatoes, mushrooms and eggplant until eggplant is tender.

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stir-fry  - starting cooking B

Rinse and drain the beans.  Add to the skillet. 

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stir-fry  - starting cooking adding beans B

Cook on high for about a minute, reduce to low, stirring to mix.  Cover on low heat for about 10 minutes to allow flavors to merge.

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stir-fry - finished B

Serve, topped with 1 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stir-fry  served wo chips B

and/or optionally with chips

Black Bean & Sweet Potato Stir-fry B

Servings: 2
Yield: 2 meals or about 6 sides

Nutrition FactsNutrition (per serving - 1/2 half of recipe): 486 calories, 21.9g total fat, 13.2g monounsaturated fat, 3g polyunsaturated fat, <1g linoleic acid, 3.2g saturated fat, 3.6mg cholesterol, 59.2g carbohydrates, 18.5g fiber, 40.7g net carbohydrates, 11.8g sugar, <1mg stigmasterol, 9.4g starch, 1.3g fructose, 0g galactose, 1.3g glucose, 1.9g sucrose, 0g maltose, 879.8mg sodium, 2208.1mg potassium, 19.1g protein, 161mg calcium, 10437.6IU vitamin a, <1mg vitamin b6, <1mcg vitamin b12, 51.7mg vitamin c, 3.8mg vitamin e, 30.1mcg vitamin k, 5mg iron, <1g lysine, 27.6mcg selenium, <1mg thiamin, 4.4mg zinc.

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