Category Archives: Main Dishes

Pasta and Lentils (Pasta-e-Lenticchie)

This recipe came from our dear friend, Gary Mirabella.  As you can probably tell by his last name he’s Italian so, when he suggested I make this, I had no doubt it was going to taste amazing!  And, as with every recipe he has shared with us, it was.  So try this tonight for dinner and, for those of you with someone restricted to a pureed diet, don’t forget to save some to puree for them!

Pasta Lenticchie
Pasta Lenticchie

1 19oz can of Progresso Lentil soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove of garlic minced
¼ cup diced onions
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
¼ grated Romano cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp ground black pepper
8 oz macaroni salad pasta

Directions: In a medium sauce pan sauté the onions until they are translucent. Add in the spinach and garlic and continue to sauté until the spinach is wilted. Over medium heat, add soup, cheeses and seasonings. Stir to combine. When the mixture begins to bubble and the cheeses begin to melt, reduce heat to low and continue to cook stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and add to soup mixture. Top with a sprinkle of Romano and/or Parmesan cheese and serve with a side of fresh steamed vegetables.

 Pureed Dinner

  1. Place 1 cup of Pasta Lenticchie and 1 cup of vegetables into the Vitamix and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and increase to Variable 4.
  4. Blend for 15-30 seconds using the tamper to press the ingredients into the blades. Increase speed and liquid as needed to reach the desired texture.

 

Food tip: When preparing dinners, make sure there are no food allergies to the ingredients. Using canned soup is fine but making your own ensures only the freshest ingredients go into it.

Time Tip: Double the recipe and puree the leftovers in the proportions listed above and freeze in ice cube trays covered in plastic wrap. Store in labeled and dated freezer bags.

Money Tip: Making your own soup from dried lentils saves money. Shop in markets that sell beans in bulk bags or bins. Store dried lentils in airtight bins in a cool dry place.

Ratatouille and Brown Rice Dinner

I made this for the family last night and offered it to Mathew for the first time.  He was hesitant at first but, after I fed him the first spoon, it was all bright eyes and smiles!

Brown rice:
1 cup of brown rice
1 tablespoon of butter
2 cups of water
2 tsp chicken bouillon

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.

GE

Ratatouille:
½ pound each sliced yellow summer squash and zucchini (about ¼ inch thick)
½ large onion-sliced
1 medium tomato-sliced or 1 15oz can stewed tomatoes-drained
1 clove of garlic-minced
½ tsp Italian seasoning
1/8 tsp of ground pepper
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Directions: In a medium bowl, toss all vegetables EXCEPT the yellow squash in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and set aside. In a large skillet, sauté yellow squash in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 2 minutes turning once. Add remaining vegetables and seasons to the sauté pan and stir to blend evenly. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Turn off heat and mix in the cheese.

Sautéed Chicken Breast:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (6-8 oz each)
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Sea salt
Ground black pepper
Dried basil leaves

Directions: In a medium skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium high heat until shimmering. Season both sides of the chicken breasts and place in the skillet. Cover and cook about 5 minutes each side until it is firm to touch.

Puree:
1. Place 1 ½ cups of the “ratatouille”, 1 cup of the brown rice and 4oz-6oz of cooked chicken breasts into the Vitamix in the order listed and secure lid.
2. Select Variable 1.
3. Turn machine on and increase speed to Variable 10, then High.
4. Blend for 30 seconds or until the desired consistency is reached.

GE

Food Tip: Pureed meals can seem bland because of the texture. To make it more appealing I use fresh vegetables and garlic along with a fair amount of seasons. Some individuals have digestive tract issues and/or hypersensitivity to flavors that require a bland diet. Reduce or remove the seasoning to meet their needs.

Money tip: Buying brown rice from a bulk food store like Winco’s is the best way to go. Because of the oils in it, it will keep in the pantry for about a month opened but will keep longer in an air tight container in the refrigerator. Buy only what you need based on how you will store it to avoid waste. This is a great meal to make in the summer because zucchini and yellow squash are cheaper this time of year.

Time Tip: This was dinner for the family. All I did was to puree a portion of the leftovers. The added time was about 5 minutes. Freezing them in ice cube trays and storing them in labeled Ziploc bags ensures quick well balanced meals. Defrost what you will use the next day in the refrigerator and warm it in the microwave before serving.

GE