Friday, July 26, 2013

Southwest Tacos: 15 minutes, 5 ingredients

Even though I really enjoy cooking, sometimes when I come home after a long day at the hospital, I really don't want to spend a lot of time cooking and then have to clean up all the dishes. Also, when I get home from the hospital I am usually STARVING!

 This dinner is nice because it's quick, only dirties one pan, and makes plenty of leftovers! The other nice thing is even when I haven't been to the grocery store in a while, I usually have all of this stuff on hand. Enjoy.

Gather up the stuff:
1 pound ground meat (turkey, chicken, beef)
1.5 Tbl. taco seasoning
1 can corn (rinsed)
1 can black beans (rinsed)
1 cup salsa

Saute the meat and taco seasoning together add in the beans, corn, and salsa and warm it up and...'re done! Add on some cheese and tortillas and it is good to go.

I just happened to have some fresh lime and avocado around and I used some cilantro from my herb garden, but I've made this tons of times without the fresh ingredients and it is still really delicious.

This warms up well left-over, too. It actually makes really good nachos! They are also pretty low-cal, especially if you don't use beef. Use plain Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to cut down on extra calories also.

One batch of this will feed Ben and me for at least 2 dinners and 2 lunches.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Ben's Banana Burrito

In 2nd grade we had to memorize a poem and recite it for the class. This was mine:

BANANANANANANA, by William Cole. 

I thought I'd win the spelling bee 
And get right to the top
But when I started spelling Banana
I didn't know when to stop. 

I know that is a random tangent to start with, but anytime I type out the word "Banana" I think of this poem and it makes me smile.

To get to the point, I like bananas, but I like them a whole lot more when they are paired with probably the best food ever created NUTELLA!!! Ben think's I am crazy for how much I love nutella because I"ll just eat spoonfulls of it sitting on the couch or while studying. What can I say, it's delicious.

Anyway, Ben makes really good breakfast and even though this one is super simple it is sooo good! Melty and warm on the inside but crispy on the outside!

He just spreads the peanut butter or Nutella (using both is the best) on the inside with the sliced banana and wraps it up. Then he toasts it in a hot, dry pan to brown the outside and warm up the inside so it is all gooey and crispy.

Really simple, execution is super easy, but it is the genius idea that counts!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Homemade Roasted Tomato Sauce

This is one of my favorite things to cook, period. But for those of you who need a specific recipe... sorry, I don't have one. This sauce is the epitome of my "taste as you go cooking." Here in this post today, I wrote roughly what I would usually do for a basic tomato herb sauce.

Like I said, this is the basic tomato sauce, but I like to mix it up depending on the day and what veggies I have around. It is really fun to get creative and add in some roasted red peppers or mushrooms when you have those available!

This sauce is quick and great on noodles for an easy dinner with a side salad. BUT this sauce has great flavor and picks up other flavors really well. I love using this sauce on grilled chicken with a slice of melted cheese...almost like chicken parmesan except faster, easier, and without the extra mess or extra calories of breading and frying the chicken. It freezes and thaws great, too.

When I first started making this in college I was only cooking for myself. I would make a whole batch of it, and freeze it in little mason jars or Tupperware. The stuff thaws well and tastes great up to 6 months later (probably longer, just never makes it that long before I eat it all)! I've used it on eggplant Parmesan, too, and it was a huge hit with my boyfriend's family.

I've thought too about making it into a base of a tomato or roasted red pepper soup... I'll have to let you know if that works out. Let me know if you try it first and tips for success!

Basic ingredient list:
  • 2 Pints Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/2 White or Yellow Onion
  • Garlic (~5 cloves)
  • Fresh Herbs of Choice (basil, rosemary, thyme and oregano are all good) 
    • If you don't have fresh herbs around, you can also use dried  italian seasoning or herbs de Provence
  • Red pepper flakes (just a pinch)
  • Red wine (~1/4 cup drizzled)
    • Balsamic vinegar  (a little drizzle maybe a tablespoon or two)
    • I usually do EITHER red wine OR balsamic... could do both I guess, just may be a little acidic
  • Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Parmesan Cheese
Here's how it goes:
  1. Rinse and dump: the cherry tomatoes into roasting pan or cookie sheet. Just make sure it has a little edge at least so things don't roll away into the bottom of your oven
  2. Chop and dump: roughly chop your onion, smash the garlic cloves (don't need to chop), and chop fresh herbs and throw them all into your pan. If you're going to add red peppers or mushrooms or anything else at this point, just rough chop and throw it all in!
  3. Drizzle and shake: drizzle some olive oil, red wine or balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper, and shake it all around to coat them a little
  4. Roast in oven and do something else for a while: I usually roast them for ~30-45 min at 350 degrees. Just till the veggies are tender and the tomatoes are popping open
  5. Blend it and Taste it: This is where I get to use my little rocket blender, or my boyfriends mom's awesome ninja blender... anything with blades and buttons will work. Pour all the stuff from the pan into the blender including all the juice. Blend it all up and add olive oil until it's the right consistency for you. I usually blend in some freshly graded Parmesan cheese at this point. Taste it and add whatever else you want. 
  6. EAT IT
    1. Need ideas: noodles, chicken, baked tilapia or other white fish, roasted vegetables, spaghetti squash, dipping sauce for appetizers, eggplant Parmesan, with a spoon. 

Really simple, really quick, really delicious.

Let me know what yummy combinations you've come up with!