Healthy Cook

Mainlining Veggies

by Kate Sherwood, May 2010

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Do you have friends who think that vegetables can’t make a delicious—and satisfying—main dish? Invite them over and prepare one of these three recipes. Pair the peppers or caponata with a salad or the tofu salad with some soup. Then ask them again.

Provençal Tofu Salad

I used my favorite whole grain, black rice, but brown rice or just about any other whole grain would work.

thin green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
½ lb.
water-packed soft tofu, drained
14 oz.
canola oil
1 Tbs.
egg, lightly beaten
lemon juice
2 Tbs.
1 Tbs.
2 Tbs.
capers, roughly chopped
1 Tbs.
shallot, minced
extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup
Freshly ground black pepper
kosher salt
¼ tsp.
cooked black rice
1½ cups
mixed salad greens
8 cups
cherry tomatoes
1 cup

Steam the beans until tender, 5-7 minutes. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking, then drain well and set aside.

Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and blot on paper towels. Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Dip the tofu cubes in the egg. Sauté the tofu until golden brown on all sides, about 2 minutes per side.

Make the dressing: In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, water, mustard, capers, and shallot. Slowly pour in the olive oil while continuing to whisk. Season with pepper to taste and up to ¼ tsp. salt.

Gently toss the tofu, green beans, and black rice with the dressing. Arrange the salad greens on four plates, top with the dressed tofu, green beans, and rice and garnish with the tomatoes. Serves 4.

PER SERVING (3 cups)

  • Calories: 390
  • Total Fat: 24 g
  • Sat Fat: 3 g
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Sodium: 420 mg
  • Cholesterol: 55 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 32 g
  • Fiber: 6 g

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Quick...and absolutely delicious. What could be better?.

sweet bell peppers, halved lengthwise, ribs and seeds removed
quinoa, well rinsed
¾ cup
low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup
15 oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
baby spinach
10 oz.
small garlic clove
(about 6 Tbs.) grated Parmesan cheese
1 oz.
large bunch basil, about 4 cups
extra-virgin olive oil
3 Tbs.
freshly ground black pepper
kosher salt
¼ tsp.
boiling water
3 Tbs.
unsalted pistachios
¼ cup

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers

Put the peppers skin side up on a lightly oiled baking sheet and broil on high until slightly charred and starting to soften, about 10 minutes. Remove the peppers from the oven and set them aside.

While the peppers are roasting, simmer the quinoa with the vegetable broth and tomatoes in a medium pot for 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach in batches. Spoon the quinoaspinach mixture into the roasted peppers.

To make the pesto, combine the garlic, Parmesan, basil, olive oil, pepper, and up to ¼ tsp. salt in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not smooth. Stir in the boiling water. Top the filled peppers with the pesto and garnish with the pistachios. Serves 4.

PER SERVING (2 halves)

  • Calories: 400
  • Total Fat: 19 g
  • Sat Fat: 3.5 g
  • Protein: 14 g
  • Sodium: 400 mg
  • Cholesterol: 5 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 49 g
  • Fiber: 9 g

Sicilian Caponata with Whole Wheat Couscous

Every Sicilian cook has her or his own version of this traditional vegetable stew.

15 oz. can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed
whole wheat couscous
1 cup
extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup
sweet bell peppers, chopped
large red onion, chopped
stalks celery, chopped
tomato paste
2 Tbs.
red pepper flakes, optional
¼ tsp.
balsamic vinegar
¼ cup
brown sugar
2 tsp.
low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup
small Italian eggplant, chopped
kosher salt
¾ tsp.
pine nuts, toasted
¼ cup

Bring 1½ cups of water to a boil in a medium pot. Stir in the chickpeas and couscous, cover, and remove from the heat.

Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over medium- high heat. Sauté the peppers, onion, and celery until they start to brown, 3-5 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the tomato paste, red pepper flakes, vinegar, and sugar. Cook, stirring often, for 2 more minutes. Add the vegetable broth and eggplant and simmer until the eggplant is tender, about 10 minutes. Season with up to ¾ tsp. salt.

Fluff the couscous mixture with a fork and divide into four portions. Top with the caponata and garnish with pine nuts. Serves 4.

PER SERVING (2 cups)

  • Calories: 460
  • Total Fat: 21 g
  • Sat Fat: 2.5 g
  • Protein: 13 g
  • Sodium: 440 mg
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 57 g
  • Fiber: 13 g


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