Spice is nice

Before an update on the adventures of my senior year in nursing school, I owe a few recipes - here's one for the vegetable enthusiast! It's a spicy southwestern vegetable stew, with roasted pepper salsa, diced avocado and organic blue corn tortilla chips. Isn't she pretty?

Alexa's Spicy Vegetable Stew
- 1 (large) can of organic diced stewed tomatoes - if you only have small, or need more liquid + > 1 cup of vegetable stock
- 1 can of chick peas (you can use dried, cook before adding)
- 1 garlic clove diced
- 1 1/2 tbs. of olive oil
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow squash, diced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1/2 jar of roasted red peppers, diced
- 1 zucchini, diced
- 3 tsps (=1 tBs.) of cumin - > 1 1/2 tsp added to vegetables, another 1 1/2 tsp added to liquid
- 3 TBS. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne (spicy!)
- salt & pepper to taste
* substitute with whatever you have on hand

- > Saute med-low heat: 1) olive oil with garlic (to infuse) 2) green bell pepper 3) yellow onion. When everything is in, saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring. These veggies take longer to cook, which is why I add them first. When onions begin to soften, add the diced squash, zucchini and 1 1/2 tsp. cumin (turn down heat). Add roasted red peppers. --- Then add the tomatoes, (and vegetable stock if using), and rest of spices. Cook 5 minutes. Add chickpeas and let simmer 25-30 minutes over medium heat, or until vegetables are soft and delicious.

Roasted Red Pepper Salsa
In a mixing bowel, combine:
- 1 small tomato diced (or 1/4 cup of diced canned)
- 5 cloves of garlic diced small (good for the heart!)
- 1 zucchini diced small
- 1 jar of roasted red peppers, chopped
- 1-2 jalapenos (with or w/o seeds. seeds = spice) diced small
- 1/2 onion, diced small
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- a dash (or two, or three...) of cayenne
- salt&pepper to taste
-- > this salsa is even better day 2, so try and make ahead of time.

Serve vegetable stew with a few blue corn tortilla chips sprinkled on top, and a heaping spoonful of roasted red pepper salsa. YUM!