Ypsi Cooks

healthy and sustainable for the frugal foodie


Posts Tagged ‘Vegetarian’

Need more garbonzos (or, my new favorite lunch)

Oh my. I haven’t felt this way about a food in some time. And I definitely haven’t felt this way about a salad, maybe ever. It has been my lunch two days in a row, and if it weren’t for my super husband turning the other 4 cups of garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas) into lovely hummus, I’d be eating it right now.

It all started last week when I decided to make this wonderful gabanzo bean salad (with a double quantity of finely chopped arugala instead of  herb,s because that’s what I had) for a lovely little Easter Monday dinner with friends. I cooked up a lot of beans. I made a lot of salad. I ate the leftovers with lettuce, vinaigrette and blue cheese for lunch the next day. I ate plain beans, greens, vinegarette and blue cheese then next day, and today. And I want more. Now. But alas, there are no cooked beans in the house. Maybe tomorrow?


The Vinaigrette (check out my very specific recipes)

I’m sure there are a lot of dressings that would be good on this, but I’m partial to this one: equal parts white wine vinegar & good olive oil, a fair spoonful of mustard (perhaps this amazing tarragon-dijon that ended up in my Easter basket via Everyday Wines Marquette), and a pinch of salt. Shake to blend.

Yummy Lunch Salad

  • 1 cup (ish) garbanzo beans (if using canned, omit the salt from the vinaigrette)
  • several large handfuls of lettuce (from the garden!!!)
  • 2-3 Tbsp blue cheese, crumbled (if gluten free is important to you, please check the cheese)
  • 2-3 Tbsp vinaigrette (see above)

Layer the container with the beans and dressing on the bottom, cheese and lettuce on top. Store in fridge until ready to eat (or until the appointed time comes, depending on your place of employment). Hold the container’s lid securely, flip upside-down and do a little shake-dance, because you’re about to have a great lunch. Return to upright. Enjoy!


Try two bites, every time.

This was my moms rule for every food: two bites every time, whether you like it or not. Now we enforce the same rule with our children (though she doesn’t, but that’s another story). And that is how Eli came to love Moroccan stew. Well, that and garbanzo bean races with Uncle Abe… Maybe the golden raisins had something to do with it? Anyway, the recipe came from my mom, and it’s now a Ypsi-Cook family favorite, so much so that I made 2 HUGE batches in order to store some for the winter. With a little reheated frozen brown rice, I’m looking forward to those no-cook/just a little bit of cleaning nights.

Moroccan Vegetable Stew

Serve with brown rice, millet or cous-cous (not GF). The vegetable suggestions (especially the quantities) are suggestions, really. But do be sure to include something orange (carrot, sweet potato, winter squash cubes), and make the pieces small enough for a comfortable bite.


  • Oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp curry powder (or 1 tsp turmeric, 1/4 tsp ea. ginger, garlic, mustard, coriander seed)
  • 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans (or 2 cups cooked)
  • 1 14 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes (or 2-3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes)
  • 2 lg carrots, sliced fairly thick on the diagonal
  • 1 medium zucchini quartered lengthwise and sliced (I often sub green beans, and in the summer, I use both)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 c. golden raisins
  • salt & pepper to taste

Heat a large skillet on medium high heat. Add oil to enough for a thin film. Add onion and a little salt and sauté until the onions have gained a little color. Add spices and stir for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add garbanzo beans, tomatoes and carrots. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally and cook until carrots are mostly tender, about 5 min. Lid if necessary. Add zucchini (and/or green beans), garlic and raisins and cook for about 5 min until zucchini is tender. Season to taste & serve over grain or potato of choice. Enjoy.

Zucchini Glut

We were introduced to this fabulous “tomato glut sauce” last summer. It’s a great recipe to have when the tomatoes are coming with such force that you’re not sure what to do with them. (I just tallied and we’ve picked 85 pounds so far this year. And yes, we need to make more sauce.) But really, what about zucchini?

Everybody knows about having too many zucchinis (though I’m sure the accurate plural is zucchino or something), I mean, Prairie Home Companion recommends you lock your car doors at night so the neighbors don’t generously stick you with their squash. It seems most people fight a mountain of zucchini with a shredder (good plan) and bake it up into bread (another good plan). But that gets a little old, right? My mom also her’s and bags it up to freeze in appropriate quantities to make the bread winter long. To break us out of the zucchini bread rut, I offer 3 “I have too many zucchino” solutions. With so many choices, you can start accepting the insanity of zucchini that people keep trying to sneak into your car. (I’ll have a 4th idea soon… and it will help use up those tomatoes, too!)


Easy Summer Salad

I’ve been making this for a few years, so I thought I should share it here. To match the simplicity of the recipe, I will be brief. I think there is no better way to consume cabbage than this. If you like the ubiquitous ramen noodle potluck salads, try this: it’s much healthier and, if I do say so myself, more delicious.

Asian Slaw  (This is enough for several small batches of slaw. I love to have this dressing in the fridge for an easy salad all summer long. Cut the recipe in half if you’d like, and it will probably still be plenty for a small head of cabbage or two.)

Measure into a jar with a good lid:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 teaspoons roasted sesame oil
  • 1-1 1/2  tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1 inch of fresh ginger, grated
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced or grated, optional

Put it in a jar with a good lid and shake until the mustard is dispersed. Pour a little (you can always add more) over chopped cabbage (I usually use 1/2 a head), sliced carrots, green onions and/or vegetables of your choice.  Toss. Sprinkle with chopped almonds, sunflower and/or sesame seeds if desired. Store leftover dressing in the fridge.

Easy. Delicious. Our new go-to pasta sauce.

My friends, I love tomato sauce. I remember living in a house full of 6 women and cooking up a pot of sauce. One of my roommates walked in, and if my memory serves me correctly, she just about fainted (She now works at Zingerman’s Roadhouse: a good place for someone so appreciative of good food). She raved about the aroma (the result of sauteed onions doused with a good amount of a few day old wine). When it got to the table, it was what we all hoped for, all galic-y and basil-orgegeno-ed. But I haven’t made a sauce like that in a while. Perhaps not since then. But not too long ago I found this sauce.

It couldn’t be simpler: 4 ingredients that bubble away on the stove, just asking for the occasional stir and mash while you get your brain together after a long day. The sauce, made with whole tomatoes, butter, onion (just cut in half and peeled) and salt, is warm, and rich, and comforting, and decadent. So, throw the ingredients in a pot, open a bottle of wine (no need to save any for the sauce), then take a little time to pick out a pasta (I’m a fan of long and skinny for this one), talk with your family (or roommates, whatever the case may be), set the table, get out some parmesan, light the candles (it’s that good), and enjoy.

Oh, and by the way, I just made a double batch, because the only thing easier than this sauce is “planned-overs” for dinner. When I doubled it, I just used one stick of butter, and one onion cut into funky thirds (an of-set cut and then a slice down the middle of the bigger chunk). There was still plenty of onion flavor, and no buttery richness was lost.