Sincerely Carolina

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It's Easy Being Green When You're Delicious

by caroline

Today was another wonderful weather day. I love when I look outside and see blue skies, and the air looks crisp and fresh. I know 60 degrees doesn’t seem hot enough for a lot of people, but I have always preferred fall weather over hot and humid.

The kitt-os were delighted that I put the screens in the windows and let the air flow inside. Madeline loves to feel the wind in her hair.

I went for an early run today, so I had a day full of getting work done, taking Dan to physical therapy, grocery shopping, making gluten-free rolls and preparing this evening’s dinner (hint, hint … the key ingredient is in the top photo).

I love when I can get everything ready for dinner early in the day. That way, when six o’ clock rolls around, and I am still staring at the computer or my hands are covered in my latest flour mixture, all I have to do is pop it in the oven or on the stove.

Tonight’s dish is one of my all-time favorites, a creation that was actually originated by my mom and I have since tweaked a bit to make it my own. The star of this recipe is okra, a deliciously green vegetable that is known for its fibrous qualities and other health benefits.

Okra Fagioli in Tomato Sauce (vegan and gluten-free)

(Serves 4 -6)

Ingredients:

  • 28 oz. pureéd tomatoes/tomato sauce
  • 7.5 oz okra (about 25-26 pods) with ends removed and sliced into discs
  • 1 15-oz. can of butter beans
  • 1 15-oz. can of black-eyed peas
  • 16 oz. petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pour the pureéd tomatoes in the bottom of a 3 – 3 1/2 quart dutch oven (I use this guy). Add the sliced okra, butter beans and black-eyed peas. Top with petite diced tomatoes, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Stir the ingredients together and pop into the oven for 40 – 45 minutes.

How easy is that? And it’s a wonderful vegetarian dish. You can eat it on its own or pour it over rice like we are going to do tonight. I chose this Lundberg Family Farms Wild Blend (these Lundberg guys are my fave); it has a nice, crunchy texture that will pair well with this dish.

It’s a low-key night for us tonight. Tomorrow we have friends coming over, so guess what that means? A day of “spring” cleaning! As for tonight, I picked up the latest issue of Vegetarian Times today and I am looking forward to flipping through it. There are several recipes that I am excited to try, but the black bean and edamame sliders recipe on page 65 had me hooked. I will, of course, have to make a few gluten-free alterations, but it should be no problemo. Happy Friday, everyone!

Note: This is a gluten-free, vegan recipe. (If you have allergies or food sensitivities, always check specific manufacturer’s products for allergens and/or cross-contamination issues.)