Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sauteed Veggie Enchilada Casserole

My father happened to call me today while I was preparing this dish and informed me that if I were to ever use processed cheese in my enchiladas my ancestors would come back from the dead and strangle me in my foolin', he's charming like that.

Luckily for me, because of the whole mid-night throttle thing (and lucky for you) globs of orange colored dairy and emulsifiers were the farthest thing from my mind when I was concocting this dish. I wanted something light, yet flavorful. Something that would utilize the fresh produce I picked up at the store this morning. This fit the bill quite nicely.

I took about 4 cups of chopped veggies + one bell pepper and six cloves of chopped garlic, and sauteed them in 2 tablespoons of butter. Tossed the whole shebang with 1/2 tsp of garlic salt and 1/2 cup of mozzarella. Then I layered like so.....corn tortilla, green enchilada sauce, veggie mixture, corn tortillas, sauce, 1/2 cup mozzarella, corn tortillas, the last of the sauce, 1 cup mozzarella, olives. I baked it at 375 until it bubbled.

Served this up with homemade salsa and sour cream. If anyone wants more a more detailed instructions let me know. I'd be happy to post them.....for now though I am trying to get off the computer before the storm gets here.

Goodnight all!

Chaparral Gardens Update

I posted here about the raspberry basil vinegar that I picked up in California. Well I have good news. Even if you aren't lucky enough to live on the central coast you can still try it out. Chaparral Gardens has a website where you can order online! Go ahead and check them out. Next on my list to try are the "Roasted Red Pepper Blackberry" and the "Pacific Spice".

Friday, July 30, 2010

Egg Free Pumpkin Spice Waffles with Maple Yogurt Dipping Sauce

I'm a big fan of yogurt. I eat it every day. Sometimes as a breakfast food, other times I mix it into sauces, dips, desserts or use it as a garnish. You should never feel like you have to sit down and eat an entire bowl of yogurt to reap it's benefits, and neither should your kids. Even though my kids eat yogurt by itself, I still work it into their food other ways. It's packed with protein and probiotics that I feel good about giving them. This dipping sauce would also be fantastic with french toast, apple wedges, or even just licked off of the my son did. Seriously though if you saw how cute he was you would understand why I let him get away with it. While this is a great dish for toddlers, I feel I should note that you should never give maple syrup to your child before the age of one.

Here is the recipe for my pumpkin spice waffles.

And here is the recipe for maple yogurt dipping sauce

2/3 cups organic vanilla yogurt
2 tbs maple syrup
1/8 tsp cinnamon

Just mix it all together and have at it.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Carrot and Lentil Salad

I am not going to lie, my daughter wouldn't touch this stuff. My son ate it up and asked for more...which I denied him, feeling he needed a more rounded diet than fiber and fiber. You see, I may not wear the pants in this family*, but I do change them. So until little man is potty trained I limit his consumption of lentils.

Well now, if all that potty talk wasn't enough to get you in the mood for this salad I just don't know what more I can say. This was light and refreshing with a hint of heat, and oh so good stuffed into a pita and drizzled with yogurt.

2 cloves pressed garlic
5 tbs vinegar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cumin
2 tbs lemon juice
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp minced ginger
3 tsp sugar
cayenne to taste
1 cup cooked lentils
6 chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves

Whisk together the first nine ingredients. Then stir in the carrots, lentils, and cilantro. Marinate overnight.

I am trying to build my repertoire of dishes to make on hot days. I think this chickpea and rice salad is still my favorite, but it's always nice to have variety. And of course serving cold dishes is a much better way to beat the heat than say, lying naked under a ceiling fan....which is only a really good option if you don't have kids....or roommates.

*I don't like pants. They are confining and that displeases me. I believe I have expressed this before.

Tomato Chutney Pita Pizza

The title kind of says it all. This is just a whole wheat pita smothered in tomato chutney, with mozzarella and chopped cilantro leaves. This would be another fabulous pizza on chapati recipe. But without the time to make chapati today ('s too fricken hot to stand over a stove for any length of time) a whole wheat pita made a fabulous replacement. The kids loved these.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Slow Cooker Tomato Chutney

Every summer amidst the abundance of fresh ripe tomatoes I dream big dreams. I always want to make new and exciting dishes.....and I always* end up with bruschetta. Why? Because bruschetta with roma tomatoes and basil from your garden is the bomb diggity. Plus it is quick to make and I usually can't stand the temptation of sweet, juicy, tangy, mouth watering tomatoes on the counter long enough to do anything else with them. So this recipe was a success on several levels. I broke my bruschetta habit (go me). It was fantastically tasty. And I now know that I can make chutney in a crock pot!

Mine was a little more watery than the jarred stuff, but I've changed the recipe to adjust for that. Depending on how juicy your tomatoes are you may have the same problem, if it bothers you the chutney can always be thickened in a pan on the stove top. This works great as an appetizer with toasted pita chips, over rice, as a pizza sauce, or on grilled cheese. Pictured served over chickpeas, with pita wedges, and cilantro for garnish.


1 1/2 pounds of tomatoes (I used six)
Oil to coat pan
2 small onions
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1 tbs minced ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin
cayenne to taste
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup vinegar
2 tbs if sugar (more to taste depending on the sweetness of your tomatoes)

Chop off the end bits (or stems, whatever) of your tomatoes and place them cut side down in the crock pot.

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Wash peel and dice the onions and throw them in the pan. Cook for about three minutes.

Add the garlic, ginger, and salt. Cook for two minutes more taking care not to burn the garlic.

Add the rest of the spices and cook two minutes more.

Take the pan off of the heat and stir in the vinegar, sugar, and raisins.

Dump the whole mess into your crock pot over the tomatoes.

Cook on low until the tomatoes start to cook down. They will kind of crack, and wrinkle.
Like this. Beautiful eh? Turn off your crock pot now.

The next step is a matter of taste....or texture rather.

Pull the tomatoes out and let them cool. At this point you can either puree these bad boys, mash them, or some combination of the two. I did half and half.

Add the mutilated tomatoes back to the pot and stir them in.


*Ok.....I'm lying, not always. But darn near every time.

Update: Taking the lid off for the last hour of cooking will reduce the watery issue! Remember though, if you use a less juicy variety of tomato (roma etc) you may not have to.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cool and Spicy Chickpea Tacos

Too hot to make tacos?? Never! This vegetarian taco filling is served cold. And when separated from the tortillas, it would make an excellent lunch to take to work as it doesn't need to be heated. And what would a taco be without fixins'. I filled mine with spring mix, avocado slices and freshly made salsa! YUM!
I also wanted to show you how this meal is easily turned into a lunch the next day for my kids. Chopped up chunks of cheese, avocado, sweet potatoes, and taco filling. Little man ate all this and a bowl of rice. Baby girl ate most of it....but insisted she didn't like "sweet tatatoes"...even though she had eaten them the night before. Thus is the way of a four year old.


2 cloves pressed garlic
1/4 cup plain yogurt
2 tbs sour cream
1tsp lemon juice
2 tbs taco seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 can El Pato tomato sauce (spicy or with jalapenos whatever floats your boat)
salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste
1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves

1lb bag of chickpeas cooked according to package drained and cooled
tortillas and whatever you like to top your tacos with...onions, salsa, avocado, leafy greens, olives, sour cream....pickles? I'm not here to judge.

Whisk together the first nine ingredients.

Stir in the chickpeas, cilantro, and add the salt pepper, and cayenne to taste.

Fill taco shells as desired....easy peesy...peasy??....pesey?....

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Black Bean Chipotle Burgers with Pan Fried Sweet Potatoes and BBQ Sauce...

I was inspired by Debbie. I love her blog, even though she isn't a vegetarian she frequently posts meatless recipes, and she posts the caloric content. Fabulous! This recipe for sweet potatoes and black bean burritos reminded me that...well...I love sweet potatoes and black beans. I am still kind of worn out from the trip so in figuring out how to satisfy my craving without a trip to the store I came up with this.
It's simply one of my make ahead frozen black bean burgers (you could always use your own recipe, or buy them) which I thawed and cooked in a pan on the stove. I topped it with thinly sliced and pan fried sweet potatoes, organic BBQ sauce, and served it on a whole wheat bun. It went over well with the fam. If I had thought of it ahead of time I could have grilled the sweet potatoes and burgers side by side. Which is what I will do next time I make these.....and there will be a next time!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I'm Back!!!!

I just drove 55 hours with my family of four and boy are my nerves tired....*pause for sympathetic laughter at my attempt of a joke*.....

In all seriousness though, the trip went really well. The kids did very well. I was so proud of them on the road. I never thought a four year old and an eighteen month old would hold out that long. There were times where we had to book it and only stop for food and potty breaks, and they stayed busy and happy. We even went some days without using the DVD player. They colored, did crafts, sang along to their favorite songs and listened to books on tape.

Now let's talk about swag, and food...because I know that's why your well because you have to be...some of know who you are.

This is San Luis's the best sourdough ever. Bite me San Fransisco. ;) Actually I've never had San Fransisco sourdough, so I can't tell you 100%, but this stuff is still terrific. It's incredibly tangy, crusty, and is the perfect accompaniment to garlic butter. Their dinner rolls are the bomb diggity, but I couldn't find any while I was out there (super sad face). So I just brought home a loaf....or five.

This beautiful vinegar from Chaparral Gardens called to me from a wine store. I went in looking for something else, and I couldn't leave without this. It's fruity and sweet with just a hint of basil. So delish. It could easily be used on it's own as a dressing or a dip for a good bread (see above). I wanted to make something special though. So.....

I spread garlic butter onto a piece of sourdough bread and topped it with whole milk mozzarella cheese. I toasted it until the cheese was gooey and bubbly then piled on organic spring mix and drizzled it with the vinegar...we're talkin' good eats.
And of course when in wine country.

Quite possibly one of my favorite things that I brought home were these towels embroidered with pictures of herbs. They were made by my husbands aunt and I think they are fabulous.

I also brought back a list of foods that I was inspired to make on my trip. So stay tuned because those will be coming up shortly! Also worthy of note, I have read through this like three times and each time I have found more errors in I kind of give up.
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