Friday, September 29, 2006

More complementary protein recipes

Here are a few more of our favorite recipes which utilize complementary protein. I hope others enjoy these as much as we have.


1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup finely chopped green pepper
1 Tblsp. olive or canola oil
2 Tblsp. tomato paste (or use ketchup)
1 heaping tsp. chili powder
1/2 cup water
3 cups cooked, mashed beans (kidney beans or pinto beans)
1/4 cup green salad olives
Parsley flakes (or use chopped fresh) and black pepper to taste
1 cup stone-ground yellow cornmeal (I use Hodgson Mill brand)
1 Tblsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
2 Tblsp. canola oil
2 Tblsp. chopped green chilies (may use more, to your taste)
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese for topping

Saute´the onion, garlic, and green pepper in the oil in a large nonstick skillet until the vegetables are softened. Stir in the tomato paste and chili powder, then add the remaining filling ingredients. Simmer the mixture, stirring, until it is heated through. Pour the bean mixture into an even layer in the bottom of a greased 9-inch square casserole or baking dish.

In a medium bowl, sift or stir together the cornmeal, flour, salt and baking powder. Add the egg, milk, oil and chilies, and stir the mixture just until the ingredients are combined. Spread this batter over the bean mixture, top with the cheese, and bake, uncovered, at 400ºF. or until the dough rises and the crust is golden brown.

This tamale pie is a great meatless main dish that our kids even enjoyed. I’ve changed a couple of things, but the recipe originally came from JANE BRODY’S GOOD FOOD BOOK.


3 cups cooked orzo (a rice-shaped pasta, for those not familiar with it)
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 to 2 cups cooked broccoli cuts
1/2 lb. sugar snap peas (frozen ones, thawed under cold water, work great)
8 oz. thinly sliced mushrooms
1 red or green pepper, cut in 1/4-inch strips
3 to 4 green onions, thinly sliced (scissors work best for this)
Greens to serve the salad on
Optional: 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes for garnishing
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tblsp. lemon juice
3 Tblsp. vinegar
2 large cloves garlic, crushed (or just use granulated garlic to taste)
1 tsp. dry mustard
3/4 tsp. tarragon, crumbled
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper (freshly ground if possible)

In a large bowl, combine all the salad ingredients. Put all of the dressing ingredients in an 8-ounce jar. Cover the jar, shake thoroughly, and pour the dressing over the pasta-vegetable mixture. Toss the salad well to mix it thoroughly. Refrigerate the salad until ready to serve.

Arrange a bed of salad greens on a large platter. Spoon the salad atop the greens and surround with halved cherry tomatoes if you like.

Yield: 4 hearty main-dish servings. This is another great recipe from JANE BRODY’S GOOD FOOD BOOK. I’ve adapted it slightly.


3 cups water
1 cup lentils
1 Tblsp. olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 cup chopped green onions (scissors are the best tool for this)
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
3/8 tsp. ground cumin
1 Tblsp. chili powder
1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
1 Tblsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tblsp. molasses

In a large saucepan, bring the water and lentils to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan, and simmer the lentils for 25-30 minutes or until tender but not mushy. While the lentils cook, heat the oil in a medium-sized, preferably nonstick skillet. Add the garlic, green onions, green pepper, cumin and chili powder. Saute’ these for 2 minutes, stirring, until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Stir in the tomato sauce, vinegar, and molasses, and simmer the mixture for 1 minute. When the lentils are cooked, add the vegetable mixture to them, combine well, and heat this mixture through. Serve hot in taco shells or on top of crumbled taco shells, corn chips, tortilla chips, or rice. It’s also good over baked potatoes. Add any favorite toppings you enjoy on tacos: shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, etc. Yield: 4 servings.

This recipe brings lentils out of the health food store and into the mainstream! We have enjoyed this over crumbled taco shells and also over baked potatoes. I found the recipe in Jane Brody’s GOOD FOOD GOURMET.

And one last recipe for now:


3 cups cooked rice
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
1 can (4 oz.) chopped green chilies
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (15 to 16-oz.) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp. oregano
1 to 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided use

While the rice cooks, put the garlic and onion in a small micro-safe bowl with a tablespoon or so of water; cover lightly with plastic wrap. Cook in the microwave for 1 to 2 minutes or until softened. Combine all ingredients (except the cheese) in a large bowl, mixing well. Transfer to a greased 2-quart casserole dish and top with 1 cup cheese. Bake, covered, at 350º for 25 minutes. Remove cover and top casserole with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 10 more minutes. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

This casserole is so easy and a wonderful use of complementary protein. I found this in a 1992 COUNTRY WOMAN magazine and adapted it to our tastes.


  1. Thanks for these recipes. I'm always looking for more meatless meal ideas that are filling but inexpensive. These look really good!

  2. Anonymous12:36 PM

    These all sound DELICIOUS! I'm not vegetarian but I do like to go meatless once in a while. The Moosewood Cookbook has alot of great recipes too. Thanks for sharing these!

  3. Hi Ladies --

    I'm not vegetarian either, but I do try to serve 1 or 2 meatless meals each week. In the past we have gone meatless for weekdays and ate meat only on weekends, just out of frugality. It worked out well for us.

    In coming weeks I hope to add a few more posts concerning meatless meals and frugal meal planning in general.

    Thanks for stopping by my kitchen table!

    God bless,


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