Try This— Vegetarian Lebanese Stew

I’d rather spend half an hour rearranging things in the dishwasher to fit in that last mug than spend the 20 seconds it would take to wash it by hand. Are you sure you want to turn me loose on meal planning? Ok. Let’s go! If my dishwasher ambition tells you anything, it’s that I crave efficiency. I like the idea of making a big meal on a Sunday evening and eating the leftovers throughout the week. Cook once, eat all week. I’ve found that when the weather is as cold as it’s been, there’s nothing more satisfying than a piping hot bowl of stew. Served over rice, mashed potatoes, with a side salad, or as a stand alone meal, vegetarian stews are probably the easiest weeknight meal you can make.

In the past, I’ve always just sliced up root vegetables and dumped them in a slow cooker with some pre-made soup (carrots, turnips, parsnips, onions, potatoes, and yams, with a butternut squash soup base is my favorite). Totally easy way to make a stew, but after a while it can get a little boring. I decided to play with some Middle Eastern flavors in the stew I made last night and I’m so glad I did! Oregano, mint, and cinnamon take this stew to new heights. It’s hearty, stick-to-your-ribs good, yet still seems fresh and lighter than most stews. You must try this!

Lebanese Vegetarian Stew


  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 large bell pepper, chopped. You pick the colors. I like green peppers in this stew
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced.
  • 3 baking potatoes, peeled and chopped.
  • 1 16 ounce can of chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 16 ounce can of white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 26.46 ounce box of Pomi Strained Tomatoes or a 28 ounce can of tomato puree
  • 13 ounces or a generous 1-1/2 cups of canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of white wine or a couple of splashes of dry vermouth (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
  • Drizzle of honey or about a teaspoon of sugar to balance the acid in the tomatoes.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano. Rub it between your fingers to release the flavor.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried marjoram (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried mint
  • A couple of pinches of ground cinnamon
  • Olive oil for cooking and drizzling
  • Sea salt or kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste


  • In a large dutch oven or an oven safe pot with a lid, saute the onions and bell pepper on medium to medium high heat with some olive oil, salt and pepper.
  • Once the pepper and onions are soft, add the potatoes, garlic, chickpeas, white beans, tomatoes, vegetable broth, wine/vermouth, sugar, dried herbs, spices, bay leaves and more salt and pepper.
  • Bring to a gentle boil. Immediately turn down the heat, simmer, covered for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • After 5 minutes of stove top simmering, place the pot in the oven and cook for an additional 30-40 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.
  • When the stew is finished cooking, remove bay leaves.
  • Adjust the salt and pepper. Also add a pinch more of dried oregano, mint and cinnamon.
  • Serve with rice or a salad and a dollop of sour cream.
  • Enjoy!

This recipes makes a pretty big pot of stew. If you’re cooking for yourself, you can place the leftovers in mason jars and store for up to a week in the refrigerator, and up to 2 months in the freezer. Bonus: If you’re feeling like you want a pot pie (and really who doesn’t?), this stew makes the perfect filling. Just pour this into your pie pan and bake. Seriously, how easy is that?!

Pro tip: I prefer to use Pomi tomato products because they come in a box instead of a can, and somehow always retain a garden fresh flavor.

recipe adapted from Vintage Kitchen

5 Last Minute Vegetarian Recipes for Your Thanksgiving Menu

I love you all. I really do, but I have suffered through many a Thanksgiving hosted by well-meaning, non-vegetarian friends where the feast pickings were slim. If you’ve been following me for a while, you know that my crusade against leaving your vegetarian guests hungry at Thanksgiving rages on. Last year I gave you some tips on how to not starve your vegetarian guests on Thanksgiving. Hopefully you heeded my advice, and had an amazing vegetarian friendly holiday. This year, I want to share some of my favorite last minute Thanksgiving recipes that are not only easy to prepare, but also super delicious!

Vegetarian Vegetable Stew

via The Curvy Carrot

Simple Pumpkin Soup

via Minimalist Baker

Mushroom Pot Pie

via Savory Simple

Sweet Potato Gnocchi With Balsamic Sage Brown Butter

via Salt and Wind

Mushroom & Stout Pot Pies with Sweet Potato crust

via First Mess
Try This---Arancini, Deep Fried Risotto Rice Balls

Try This—Arancini, Deep Fried Risotto Rice Balls

This is one of those recipes that is so worth the effort that it’s hard to put into words. It kinda makes you want to drink a glass of wine, fall in love with an Italian, quit your job, and move to Southern Italy. It’s seriously that good. I love a good risotto. If I had to pick just one food to take with me to a desert island…Anyway, you get the idea. I didn’t think that risotto could transform itself into an even more delicious dish until I had arancini. Like, for real, add cheese… and breadcrumbs… and fry?! Why didn’t I think of this before?!

Try This---Arancini, Deep Fried Risotto Rice Balls

Watch the video for a step by step tutorial on how to make this amazing dish. All you need is a little bit of leftover risotto to…ahem…get the ball rolling. You must try this!

Images: Cristinascucina and Jamie Oliver

Slow Cooker Ravioli

Try This—Slow Cooker Vegetarian Ravioli

Slow Cooker Ravioli

This is probably the laziest recipe I’ve ever posted. I made this Saturday evening, after a full day of running errands and being totally exhausted. The last thing anyone wants to do after a long day is worry about dinner. That feeling when you get home and you struggle between whether you’re more hungry than you are tired. I’ve been there. I usually find myself eating some chips or some other not-so-healthy crap. Since this year began though, I’ve been trying to change those unhealthy habits. I eat more organic foods, I do yoga every day, I drink a lot of water, and I’ve been trying to get a lot more rest. All and all I’ve been pretty successful, but still I struggle to find my inner Top Chef after a long day. Anyway, I made this ravioli in about 5 minutes and let the slow cooker do the rest of the work. It’s seriously delicious and with the right amount of cheese you can make it as decadent as you want!

Slow Cooker Ravioli



Layer your ingredients as you would lasagne. Pour about 1/4 of your pasta sauce first. Meatballs second. Ravioli next. Mozarella and ricotta and repeat. Sauce-meatballs-ravioli-cheese Until the slow cooker is full. Cook on low for about 4 hours. Serve with a nice Verdicchio and enjoy!

Image Credit:

Caramelized Cauliflower and Mushroom Casserole

Try This—Caramelized Cauliflower and Mushroom Casserole

This is one of those recipes that you can enjoy for lunch or for dinner. I even ate it cold and paired it with a side salad. There’s no wrong way to enjoy this one!
Caramelized Cauliflower and Mushroom CasseroleCaramelized Cauliflower and Mushroom Casserole

Caramelized Cauliflower and Mushroom Casserole – Easy and healthy comfort food!

Serves 6

1 lb / 453 gr brown mushrooms (or white button), cleaned and chopped
1 medium cauliflower head, washed, trimmed, cored and cut into florets
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
ground pepper
2 large free-range organic eggs
⅓ cup / 1.5 oz / 42 grams dubliner (or sharp cheddar cheese), shredded
½ cup / 5 oz / 140 gr Greek yogurt (or sour cream)
⅓ cup / 0.6 oz / 16 gr Parmesan cheese, grated
handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped


Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C) and place a rack in the middle. Rub a medium-large baking dish with a bit of olive oil and set aside.
Spread cauliflower florets in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sprinkle with coarse salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until the cauliflower is lightly caramelized, turning once.
In the meantime, in a large skillet over medium-high heat saute the mushrooms in ½ tablespoon of olive oil sprinkled with a couple of pinches of salt. Stir every minute or so until the mushrooms have released their liquid and have browned a bit. Add the onions and cook for another 4 to 5 minutes until translucent. Stir in the garlic, cook for another minute and remove from the heat.
When the cauliflower is ready, add to the skillet and stir until combined.
In a large bowl combine eggs, cheese and Greek yogurt. Add cauliflower mushroom mixture, stir until well combined and turn out into your prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and cover with foil.
Lower oven temperature to 350°F (175°C).
Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 minutes, until golden around the edges.
Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley before serving.

Source: The Iron You: Caramelized Cauliflower and Mushroom Casserole