Archive for ‘Recipes’

August 8, 2013

Recipe: Three Bean Summer Salad

three bean cold summer salad

I’m going to just admit… most of my recipes stem from desperation.

Oh my gosh – dinner needs to be ready in twenty minutes!
Oh heavens- I forgot that I had to go to the grocery store!
Oh no- I just can’t eat another “house” salad!

So, I have to come up with stuff that is a) quick and easy, b) already in my pantry and fridge, c) Isn’t a regular ol salad.

And this recipe fit the bill! (And it was good!)

FYI: It’s even better if you can put the beans in the fridge before hand so that they aren’t as easily smushed in the mixing process!

Three Bean Summer Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can white cannellini/white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/8 cup chopped green onion tips
  • 1/8 cup chopped green (or red) bell pepper
  • 1-2 dashes seasoned pepper
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/4 cup olive oil OR 1/2 cup Italian dressing (in lieu of the vinegar and oil)

Instructions

  1. Combine beans, red onion, cilantro, green onions, bell pepper, and vinegar.
  2. Mix together apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Pour over bean mixture and gently stir to combine.
  3. Refrigerate for three to four hours (or if you are a last minute slacker like me, put it in the freezer for ten minutes, take out, and mix. Do this two more times so that the beans are in the freezer for thirty minutes total.)
Advertisements
July 31, 2013

Recipe: Mexican Baked Potato (Vegan)

20130731-143754.jpg

I actually sorta discovered this one on accident!

Typically, I eat vegetarian, but I use stuff like butter, sour cream, and shredded cheese on my baked potatoes…. cause, ya know… that’s how I’ve always done it. Well, since I’m on a four-day Daniel Fast right now, I couldn’t.  So I was planning on making a Mexican baked potato… and that’s what I did, but I made it extra good!

I used the leftovers from my Black Bean Soup from last night, threw some frozen corn in while I reheated it, poured it on the baked potato along with some southwestern style salsa and a sprinkling of salsa… and heck to the yeah, it was GOOD! No butter. No sour cream. No cheese.

Mexican (Vegan) Baked Potato

  • 1 Tbsp olive or coconut oil
  • kosher salt
  • 1russet baking potato, rinsed and poked with a fork
  • 1/2 cup of leftover Black Bean Soup
  • 1/4 cup of frozen corn
  • 1/4 cup southwestern style salsa
  • cilantro, to taste

Instructions

Before we get started here with this crazy easy recipe, I do need to point out that I’m sorta finicky about my baked potatoes. No microwave for me… and not because of the health reasons but because they are so. much. better. when they are really baked in the oven (or crock pot). So, that’s why I’m giving some slightly specific instructions for how to bake a baked potato!

  1. Lay out a sheet of aluminum foil, place the potato in the middle and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
  2. Wrap up and bake at 375° for 60-90 minutes. (Crock pot instructions at the bottom)
  3. Once baked to where you can simply “smush” down on the foil wrapped potato and it “caves” in, then it’s ready to embellish!
  4. Take the baked potato out of the foil and cut it up to your liking. I eat the skins and they are SO YUMMY when you prepare them with the salt and oil like we did above. (Shout out to my mom for teaching me that little trick!)
  5. Pour the corn into the the leftover black bean soup and heat for two to three minutes on high. Pour the mixture over the baked potato.
  6. Add the salsa and mix around with the beans.
  7. Top with cilantro, if desired (and, honestly, you should so desire to top with it… makes the dish so much better!)
  8. And eat your worry-free meal… no butter. no sour cream. no cheese. But SO DELICIOUS!

Baked Potatoes in the Crock Pot

I like to bake my potatoes in the crock pot a lot in the spring and summer when I don’t want to heat up the house the with oven but still want an oven-baked taste. It’s also nice to not have to worry about babysitting the oven… this way I can leave and pick up my kids or run to the store while my baked potato is a cookin away at home!

  1. Wash and poke the potato.
  2. Place it in the bottom of the crock pot and pour in 1/4 cup of water or vegetable broth.
  3. Drizzle oil over potato and sprinkle with kosher salt.
  4. Cook on HIGH for 2-3 hours.

(You can cook more than one potato, just increase the time a bit)

June 25, 2013

Recipe: Vegetarian Pioneer Woman Enchiladas With A Bonus Leftovers Recipe

I have never had the original Pioneer Woman Enchiladas, but DANNNNNNNNG this vegetarian version I made was uh.maz.ing. I won’t say that they were “easy” (which is one of my favorite qualifiers for a good recipe), but they weren’t super difficult either. I think if I made them a few more times and they were a bit more second hand then I could probably refer to them as “easy”.

But my husband, literally, complimented me on them after every. single. bite.

Sooooo, that means that they are a keeper!

20130624-215919.jpg

Vegetarian Pioneer Woman Enchiladas

  • 2 Tablespoons, divided and 1/2 cup Canola or Vegetable Oil, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Enchilada Or Red Sauce
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons and 1/2 cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions (I used frozen)
  • 2 cans (4 Ounce) Diced Green Chilies
  • 14 whole Corn Tortillas
  • 3 cups Grated Colby Jack Cheese (or similar)
  • 1 cup Chopped Green Onions
  • 1 cup frozen corn

Instructions
(I’m gonna break my instructions up similarly to PW’s method cause it really does make it easier.)

The Sauce

  1. Over medium heat, add 1 Tablespoon of oil and flour and whisk together, cooking for one minute.
  2. Pour in the enchilada sauce, vegetable broth, 2 Tablespoons of cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer while you prep the beans and tortillas. (She suggested simmering for 30-45 minutes… I simmered mine for about twenty probably and it was still fine.)

The Bean Filling

  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil over medium heat, then saute the onions and add the black beans and green chiles for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.

The Tortillas

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°.
  2. While doing that (if you are up for a little multitasking), heat 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium heat.
  3. Set up a paper-towel-lined plate to the side.
  4. Using tongs, dip one corn tortilla at a time into the oil and allow to fry until soft. I flipped mine about twenty seconds each side. Then arrange on the paper towels.

The Assembly

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a baking pan and spread it around the bottom.
  2. Dip each tortilla into the enchilada sauce in the pan (see her link above for great pictures of this process) and lay flat.
  3. Spoon in a bit of bean mixture, a pinch of cheese, green onions, and corn in the center of each tortilla.
  4. Roll up and put it in the baking pan with the seam down until you have filled your pan or used up all your tortillas.
  5. Pour some of the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes (or until bubbly) and then sprinkle with cilantro and serve with sour cream.

Feed to yourself and someone else… invite someone over cause these suckers are goooooooooood. (Even though they look anything but good in this pic… I’m not a food photographer, so think of this more along the lines of “reality food tv”.)

20130624-215931.jpg

Oh yeah, and the… Super Bonus Leftovers Recipe! Well, I actually made this whole recipe in half because I didn’t realize until I started making it that I had not paid attention and I got a medium sized jar of enchilada sauce… and what are enchiladas if they are lacking in sauce. So, I ended up having some of the bean mixture and sauce left over. And so I threw it together with some rice and it was a great thing to make for the hubs for lunch today! But honestly, I think I’ll make it again when we are craving the flavors of this enchiladas dish but I’m not in the mood to hassle with the tortillas.

Vegetarian Pioneer Woman Enchiladas SUPER BONUS LEFTOVERS RECIPE

  • 1 cup (or however much you have) bean mixture from enchilada recipe
  • 1/4 cup enchilada sauce mixture from enchilada recipe
  • 1 cup of dry rice
  • Vegetable broth
  1. Cook the rice using vegetable broth (if you want, or you can just use water).
  2. Heat beans and enchilada sauce.
  3. When rice is ready, stir in beans and enchilada sauce.
  4. Devour.

And yeah… you can’t make rice and beans look “pretty” in a pic, like, ever. But… here they are. Yummy!

20130624-215941.jpg

May 24, 2013

Recipe: Ginger Tea In Crockpot

Ginger Tea In Crock Pot

Okay, okay so you might be saying “Uhhhh, that ginger looks a lot more like apples than ginger.” And you are right… well, sorta. Technically, I made Apple Ginger Tea but I just threw the apples in because my kids didn’t eat the other half of the Fuji apple I cut for them. It works with or without apple slices!

The main reason I wanted to make my ginger tea in the crockpot was because I kept having to babysit it on the stovetop, I had several boil-overs on accident, and I was losing all of the water because it kept reducing! So, I figured, give it a go in the crock pot! It keeps all the water in there, and I can even leave while it “cooks”. It worked out great! I’m trying to have a cup of ginger tea every day for a month to see if it helps with the inflammation in my hip.

Ginger Tea In The Crockpot

  • 4 cups/1 Liter water, heated to boiling
  • 2 “knobs” of ginger (see the pic below)
  • optional 1/2 Fuji apple, sliced with peels ON
  • optional 1-2 teaspoons honey, to taste
  • optional 1-2 teaspoons lime juice, to taste

Instructions

  1. While you work, heat water to boiling.
  2. Peel the ginger and then “peel-shred” it into the crock pot. (I just use the vegetable peeler and make thin slices of the ginger to get more bang for my buck.)
  3. Add in the apples if you want and then pour in the boiling water.
  4. Cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours.
  5. Pour through a sieve (or, like me, just ladel it into your teavana tea maker to strain it) and then add in honey and lime juice.

Okay, since I could never figure out in recipes what a “knob” of ginger was supposed to be (is it just part of it or the whole thing?) I decided to take a picture of the ginger I used next to a quarter so that you could see exactly what I used. Use more for a stronger tea if you’d like!

Ginger Tea In Crock Pot

May 9, 2013

Recipe: Mexican Potato Casserole

20130506-213415.jpg

Gotta love those recipes that are born from “What am I going to cook for dinner tonight” and “Dang, I need to use up some of that 5 lb bag of potatoes” and “What do I have in the freezer???” And once again, this is a hubby-love recipe… as in hubby loved it. He ate a bit after us but he came and found me in the bathroom while I was bathing our boys and said “Oh my goodness. THIS is really good.”

And then he told me again after his second bowl.

And again after his third.

Yep. Score.

Mexican Potato Casserole

Ingredients

  • 5 or 6 medium sized yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2″ pieces
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can ROTEL
  • 1 can Cream of Chicken (or Cream of Potato or Celery if you are vegetarian)
  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained
  • 1 1/2 cup colby jack shredded cheese, divided
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 5-6 dashes Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce (or similar)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. Steam the potatoes on the stovetop until “al dente”. (Can I use that term for potatoes?)
  3. Meanwhile, stir the cumin, garlic salt, and pepper sauce in with the beans and mix to combine.
  4. Mix together the corn, cream of chicken, rotel, beans, 1 1/4 cup of cheese.
  5. When the potatoes are ready, mix them in with the rest of the ingredients.
  6. Pour the mixture into a 9×13 dish and cook for 17-20 minutes.
  7. Let cool and enjoy!

May 4, 2013

Recipe: Build A Perfect Salad

20130503-151233.jpg

I don’t know an.y.thing. about nutrition and so whenever I make a discovery I assume that probably everyone else out there that is even remotely nutritionally focused knows about it. And this is one of those things.

However, I have learned that there are actually quite a lot of “I don’t know an.y.thing. about nutrition” people out there with me. So, if you are a nutrition junkie, feel free to say “Wow – I’m so happy that she has learned this since I have used this trick my entire life!” and if you are a nutrition newbie, then feel free to say, “Wow – I’m so happy that she has learned this since I have never thought of doing that!”

Here ya go.

Build A Perfect Salad

(for two salads)

Ingredients

When choosing your ingredients… think about colors. It’s amazing how easy it is to get a variety of nutrients when you simply vary color. Plus, to me, a pretty salad is always immediately more appetizing than all green. So, if you have a green celery… then choose a bright orange carrot. Or if you have a red tomato, choose a yellow bell pepper to compliment it.

  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 large celery stalks
  • 10-15 salad tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • fresh oregano (or other herb or optional)
  • feta cheese, optional
  • lettuce
  • salad dressing

Instructions (I put my “commentary” in italics!)

1. Get out your two salad bowls, cutting board, knife, and all your veggies.

2. Start out with chopping up the carrots, celery, and halving the tomatoes. As you go you’ll see how the bowl really fills up with the “good stuff”. If you realize that you’ve got way too much of a particular ingredient just put the extra in a tupperware for tomorrow.

3. Add in your peanuts, kidney beans, oregano, and feta and mix everything together. That’s right… no lettuce yet!Just look at how full your bowl is of all the good roughage with all the good nutrients… too many of our salads are filled with 80% LEAVES because that’s what we put in first… but I think that’s part of the reason that we all get so burned out on them!

4. So, NOW, add your leaves (aka: lettuce) and some dressing.

5. This step is negotiable, but I always chop-mix my salad at this point. I like to do it because it is a good way to really mix everything together, plus I have terrible TMJ and so my bites have to be pretty small. You can chop-mix it by dumping it all out on a cutting board, but that is a mess and a half. Or you can get a good serrated knife (like a steak knife) and a fork and just cut it up a lot. OR, you can do my favorite method and get a pair of these salad choppers which I use for tons of stuff.

Okay, so it’s not like some kind of phenomenal life altering recipe… it’s more of a method. But it’s gotten me to build and eat more substantial salads instead of a bowl full of mainly leaves.

{My bowls before the leaves}

20130503-151257.jpg

April 19, 2013

Recipe: Quick & Easy Avocado & Tomato Salad

20130417-131008.jpg

One of the things about doing a Daniel Fast (essentially vegan eating) is that it makes you eat healthy real quick. Well, on Wednesday, all I wanted was to slap some peanut butter on a piece of bread and call it lunch, but… well, that’s not Daniel Fasty, so I had to come up with something else. My husband’s grandmother, Nanny, makes this tomato and avocado salad a lot that is delish and she puts something on it that I thought was balsamic vinegar, but after making my (which was also delish) that’s not it. So, once I talk to her and figure it out I’ll add that on here as well!

I know this is easy and half of the world has probably already made this before, but I thought I’d throw it on here because it might be a lunch option you had forgotten about.

Quick & Easy Avocado And Tomato Salad

(Have you noticed that almost all of my recipes say “Quick and Easy” in the title? There’s definitely a theme running through my cooking!)

  • 1 avocado
  • 3/4 cup of salad tomatoes
  • 1-2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Cut up the avocado into chunks and cut the salad tomatoes in half and sprinkle in the parsley.
  2. Pour the olive oil and balsamic vinegar over the mix and stir the salad.
  3. Eat! Really great with iced tea!

20130417-131031.jpg

April 12, 2013

Recipe: Easy & Light Tortellini Toss

20130412-075854.jpg

I really wanted to call this Found It In My Fridge Tortellini Toss because that was my inspiration… stuff in my fridge. I knew that tonight was cheese tortellini night, but lately the tortellini bake that I make has been too… heavy and greasy. So, I wanted to make something a little bit lighter and this one just sort of… happened!

What I love about it: tastes restauranty and it only took me 15 minutes, start to finish!

Easy & Light Tortellini Toss

  • 1 lb cheese tortellini (I like the tri-color kind from Sam’s)
  • 3 Tbsp butter (or olive oil if you prefer)
  • 1/4 chopped onion (frozen is okay)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1-2 tsp Ana’s Herbs (or other Italian seasoning), to taste
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 orange (yellow, or red) bell pepper, sliced thin
  • 20ish cherry (salad) tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 cup white wine or white grape juice
  • 1 tsp parsley OR basil, chopped fine

You could veganize this by using another kind of tortellini and using oil each time instead of butter.

  1. Cook the cheese tortellini according to package directions, drain, and lightly coat with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Melt the butter over medium-high heat in a large skillet and saute the onions and garlic. Add the Ana’s Herbs, and allow to soak up the oil for about a minute or two, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add in the olive oil and then toss in the bell peppers for a minute or so, then add the tomatoes, wine, and parsley and allow to cook, stirring frequently for 3-5 minutes depending upon how firm you want the veggies.
  4. Add the cooked tortellini to the skillet and mix everything together. Serve, and enjoy!

{I wanted to show you this picture of my cut tomatoes because,
yes, there is a Nerf gun partially on my cutting board.
When you have two boys, you just never know when you might get attacked!}

20130412-075909.jpg

{Such an easy starter to a light pasta sauce… right here: oil, onions, garlic, and Ana’s Herbs/Italian Seasoning}

20130412-080723.jpg

{I knew these were gonna be pretty in the mix!}

20130412-080711.jpg

{This is how I finely chop the parsley… with kitchen shears! Very culinary of me, right?}

20130412-080650.jpg

{Look how beautiful these are in the pan sauteing!}

20130412-080636.jpg

{The final product… even the hubs said it looked “fancy”!}

20130412-080753.jpg

20130412-080820.jpg

April 4, 2013

Recipe: Easy And Fast Rice And Beans (Vegan)

Easy Beans And Rice - a rainy day meal

Truth be told, I only wanted rice for dinner (I won’t get into the gory details as to why), but my husband was going to require something a bit more substantial. So, I figured it was the perfect time for him to have rice and beans. I could just eat my rice and then load on a bunch of beans for him. No clue where to start, I looked through several recipes but didn’t have all of the ingredients for any of them, but I felt like I got the overall “feel” for the recipes, soooooo I took a plunge and made up my own, and he LOVED it! {Whew!}

But one thing I’m not sure of… is it “Beans and Rice” or “Rice and Beans”???

Easy And Fast Rice and Beans (Vegan)

  • 2 cups of cooked rice
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion (frozen is fine)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 can RO-TEL (here is a recipe if you want to make your own from scratch)
  • 1 (15 oz) can of black beans (undrained)
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 4 to 5 “squirts” of hot pepper sauce (y’all know Frank’s is my fav)
  • 1/8 tsp ground cumin
  • lime or avocado wedge (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Heat large skillet on the stove at medium-high and heat the olive oil.
  2. Saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes until crisp tender and then stir in RO-TEL and thyme. Let it cook for about three to five minutes while the juices cook out.
  3. Stir in beans, hot pepper sauce, and cumin. Lower heat to medium and let simmer for 7-8 minutes, stirring once.
  4. Serve over rice and top with lime or avocado!

Oooooo, I was so happy to see all the bright red tomatoes! I bet this would be even more beautiful with the homemade RO-TEL!

Easy Beans And Rice - tomatoes simmering

Yummy, yum, yum said the hubs!

Easy Beans And Rice - side shot

February 18, 2013

Recipe: UNstuffed Mexican Style Bell Pepper Casserole

20130218-211245.jpg

I purchased a bunch of green bell peppers at Sam’s last week intending to use them for stuffed bell peppers, but the more I thought about making stuffed bell peppers the more I just couldn’t muster up the energy to make them. They really aren’t that difficult, although the whole process of getting them to stand up never comes easily to me for some reason, but they are kind of difficult to eat. Plus, my bell peppers always end up a bit… soggy. And, well, that’s just plain ol’ gross. With this recipe because they only are in the oven for about 15 minutes, they still have a bit of crunch to them!

I remembered seeing a recipe for UNstuffed Bell Peppers, and although I couldn’t find it on Pinterest, I did find a couple of others that sorta reminded me of the basic idea, and then I made my own (vegetarian) version! It would be vegan if you just left out the cheese! I would love to try this with black beans as well, but we were out tonight.

A question for my experienced cooks: could I make this ahead and refrigerate it?

UNstuffed Mexican Style Bell Pepper Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (frozen is fine)
  • 3 teaspoons of minced garlic (jarred is fine)
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes (regular would probably be okay too)
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn (frozen is fine)
  • 1/2 cup pasta sauce (I used tomato and basil but I’m sure any would be fine)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 6-8 dashes of Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • 3 green bell peppers
  • 1 cup colby jack cheese, finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese chunks (if you want… we are feta freaks and so I put it in a lot of stuff where it doesn’t make “sense” but it always seems to be soooooo gooooooood!)

Instructions

  1. Cook rice according to directions.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  3. Lightly spray a 9×13 casserole dish.
  4. Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Saute garlic, onions, dried basil, and 1/2 teaspoon cumin until soft (about 3-5 minutes).
  5. While vegetables are cooking, cut and seed the green bell peppers. Cut into 2 inch chunks and arrange along the bottom of the casserole dish.
  6. In skillet, add fire roasted diced tomatoes and let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes while the juices cook out a bit.
  7. Add in kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, 2 teaspoons cumin, and cayenne pepper sauce. Stir to combine and allow to heat through.
  8. Stir in rice.
  9. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of colby jack cheese lightly over bell peppers in casserole dish and 1/4 cup of feta cheese on top of colby jack.
  10. Spoon the vegetable and rice mixture into the bell peppers in the casserole dish.
  11. Sprinkle with remaining colby jack and feta cheeses.
  12. Cook at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, or until colby jack is melted (feta rarely looks melted).
  13. Serve and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes and then enjoy!

As soon as I arranged the bell peppers and saw how pretty it all was, I started to get excited!

20130218-210350.jpg

This step is really important I think because it lets some of the flavors come together without it having to spend a bunch of time in the oven.

20130218-210406.jpg

I could hardly wait when I pulled the dish out of the oven. It looked beautiful and smelled DIVINE!

20130218-210452.jpg

%d bloggers like this: