Sunday, January 31, 2010

Black Bean Nachos

These are great to make for an entire meal. They are filling and fast and really healthy! I make these constantly and play around with the toppings. I intend to make them for the upcoming SuperBowl! Let me know what you think and if you have any variations that I can try!

You will need:
~14oz black beans, drained and rinsed
~1/2 lbs. ground beef, cooked and seasoned (I use a vegan substitute)
~1/2 cup diced tomatoes
~1 cup salsa verde (green chilies with white onions and seasoning)
~2 1/2 cups shredded cheese (your favorite flavor, I use a vegan substitute as well)
~Black Olives, drained
~Chipolte seasoning, store bought or homemade
~Your favorite corn chips or pita chips work really really well

Heat oven to 375d. and start preparing your ingredients. First layer the chips as deep as you want making sure they are places so the filling cant really reach t eh bottom of the pan. Then toss in the beans and spread out evenly. Next add the beef(or beef sub.) and the tomatoes. Layer the salsa on top of that and then the cheese, olives and seasoning. Bake until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Grab a fork, you will need it.

Remember to play with your ingredients! Try different things in these. Imaging the chips as bread for a sandwich or lettuce for a salad. A blank slate waiting for you to make it spectacular! I made these on time with my sweet potato chili on top. It rocked! Sweet potato on nachos? Whew!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Spinach Stuffed Mushrooms

My grandmother recently celebrated her 80th birthday and we threw a huge surprise party for her with tons of friends and of course food. One of the fastest dishes to disappear was my spinach stuffed mushrooms. They are super easy to make and I had a little left over filling which our guests enjoyed spreading on crackers and bagel chips. A fun dish to make, easy dish to make and a very flexible recipe.

You will need: (recipe will feed 10 people as appetizers)

~ White Button Mushrooms (20 of various sizes )

~ 5 garlic cloves, crushed

~2 cups fresh or frozen spinach ( but we all know how I feel about frozen when fresh is available), chopped

~1/2 cup extra virgin Olive Oil

~(opt.) 1 1/2 Parmesan freshly grated fine

~6 slices cooked bacon ( I use a vegan sub.), chopped

Preheat oven to 355d and start to gently rub down the mushrooms with a barley damp paper towel. If you rinse them, the mushrooms will become slimy and start to break down in the oven. Cleaning them whit a paper towel is just as affective but keeps them intact and less slimy. When you have rubbed them all down to clean them, pull out the stems and set aside, you will use these in the filling.

Set the mushrooms aside and get out your food processor. In a large mixing bowl gather the oil, garlic cloves, spinach, bacon and the mushroom stems. Mix and add a little salt and pepper. Place a usable amount in the processor. Not too much for the poor think to bog down but enough to really get it mixed. Process everything until you come out with a paste adding a little more oil if it is too thick. It is so important to taste the filling before you fill the mushrooms. Every one's taste is different so you may want to alter or add a little more of something...

Once you have found your filling's balance, stir in half of the Parmesan and using a little spoon or pastry bag, fill the mushrooms. Leave them a little concave to allow the rest of the parm to be sprinkled on top or if your sprinkling skills are unbeatable round them off and sprinkle away! Bake until the cheese on top is browning or until the mushrooms are browned. Once out of the oven you can even sprinkle with some extra bacon for flavor and show! Serve warm!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Stewed Apples

Adults and kids alike love this dish. It can be used as a side, as a dessert, as breakfast or a topping! Easy to make as well!

You will need:

~cubed apples, 1 1/2 cup per mouth
~ cinnamon/ sugar
~*opt* fresh or canned peaches (my favorite addition)

In a sauce pan place apples and fill with water leaving 2/3 of the apples above the water. Turn on heat and let simmer until apples are soft and almost transparent. Drain off most of the water if there is a lot left and add cinnamon and sugar and peaches if you fancy them. This is a great topping for toast or oatmeal or waffles. Delicious on their own or with some warm milk or soy milk.

Delicious Oatmeal

I love this. I was able to use up some leftovers and create a new way to eat oatmeal that I will not get tired of. Oatmeal is one of the best things for anyone to eat, at anytime. It stays with you throughout your day and is a nutritious way to enjoy many flavors. It is so versatile! This is a new way to enjoy an old treat.

You will need:
~ Oatmeal, amount for number of mouths
~Stewed apples ( recipe to follow )
~Tbl.Sp/serving, organic peanut butter or almond butter or any nut butter

Cook oatmeal normally and add in the apples and nut butter. Stir in really well and enjoy with a refreshingly cold drink!

Marinated Cucumber and Onion Shish Kabobs

A nice light flavor to add to any picnic or lunch. And attractive too! They are easy to make and very delicious.

You will need:
~3 cucumbers
~1 large red onion
~2 cups apple cider vinegar
~4 leaves basil, coarsely chopped
~freshly chopped black pepper
~ 3 sprigs fresh oregano
~2 Tbl.Sp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
~2 Tbl.Sp. Lemon juice

Slice the cucumber down the middle length wise, and chop into crescent chunks about 1/3 of an inch thick. Chop the onion into 1x1 inch chunks. Mix the cukes and onion into a bowel. All of the little pieces set aside. Into a blender pour the vinegar, oil, lemon juice and seasonings. Blend until mixed and add the small onion bits. Blend until smooth and pour over veggies. Let soak for three hours or chill overnight and string onto skewers. Serve chilled. I keep the marinade and use as a salad dressing, its very delicious!

Stuffed Tomatoes

A great recipe for a summer lunch or dinner or snack! I make these all summer and play with the filling but the favorite is this recipe. They are served cold usually, but my mom loves to heat hers a little in the microwave.

You will need:
~8 large Roma tomatoes, sliced in half length wise and cored
~1 can black olives, chopped finely
~1 can sweet corn, chopped coarsely
~9 pepperoncinis, chopped finely
~5 leaves fresh basil, chopped finely
~s/p to taste
~1 white onion, thinly sliced into long curves
~*opt* grated Parmesan cheese

Core the tomatoes and set aside. Chop all ingredients and mix in a bowel, add salt and pepper and taste to adjust. Spoon a healthy amount into each tomato half. Garnish with onion slice and the optional Parmesan. Serve immediately or chill and serve. Apparently they are good warm as well, but barely heated.