Thursday, April 8, 2010

Vegetable Tacos

Aaron and I are big fans of Mexican food and regularly make burritos or tacos at home. Or at least we used to, when we were still eating meat most days of the week. It has been a long while since we've made our regular beef burritos or tacos and we were both craving something like that but without meat.

Enter a recipe for veggie tacos from Simply Recipes. I played with the recipe a little because I wanted something with a bit more bulk (I get complaints if I fix something that leaves Aaron hungry again after an hour or so), and we're very happy with the result. This was a quick, delicious, filling meal that was exactly what we were looking for in a vegetarian taco.

Vegetable Tacos
adapted from Simply Recipes

olive oil
1 heaping cup chopped zucchini (about 1 7-inch zucchini)
1/2 a medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalepeno (or 6 slices pickled jalepeno) diced
salt and pepper
pinch of cumin
1/2 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 c. corn
1 small to medium tomato, chopped
pinch of oregano

corn tortillas (we used six)
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
olive oil
queso fresco, crumbled

Heat a tablespoon or two of extra virgin olive oil in a skillet. Add zucchini, onion, garlic, jalepeno, salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch of cumin, and sautee until vegetables have softened. Add corn, black beans, tomato and oregano and cook until heated through. Set aside and keep warm.

In another skillet, heat some olive oil and add tortitillas one at a time. When a tortilla has started to bubble, but is still soft, flip it over, top with a small amount of the cheddar cheese and fold in half, cooking until the cheese is melted. Repeat until all tortillas are cooked.

Peel open each tortilla, add in a scoop of the vegetable mixture, and top with crumbled queso fresco.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Avocado BLT (BLAT?)

Most of the week I cook with a mind toward leftovers, because that's what Aaron and I eat for lunch all week. On Fridays, though, I get to cook whatever I want, and I usually make a small batch of something that won't keep well. Last Friday I made Avocado BLTs and we liked them so much we're having them again this Friday. By "liked them so much" I mean Aaron finished his and I had to make him another because he was making such big puppy-dog eyes at me. He said it was the best BLT he's ever had, and this is a man who has serious opinions about bacon and tomatoes, so I'll take that as a huge compliment.

The greatest thing about these sandwiches is that by the time the bacon was done the meal was done. I don't think you can ask for a faster meal than that. Also, there's no picture of these from last Friday (maybe I'll try this Friday) because we basically inhaled them as soon as they touched the plates.

Avocado BLT
(adapted from Food Network Magazine, March 2010)

Bacon (we used 3 slices per sandwich)
1 whole wheat (or multi-grain) baguette, cut in 4-6 inch pieces (we got 3 sandwiches plus some leftover bread from one)
Olive Oil
1 clove of garlic, halved
Roma tomatoes (we used one per sandwich), halved
1 avocado, halved and sliced

Pre-heat your broiler. Fry the bacon to desired level of doneness, and drain on paper towels. While the bacon is cooking, halve the baguette pieces and brush with olive oil. Place under the broiler until golden brown (make sure to watch them, it happens pretty quick!). Sprinkle cut sides of tomatoes with salt. Place the bread on a plate and rub the cut side with the cut side of the garlic.

Rub the bottom half of each sandwich with the cut side of the tomato until most of the juice is absorbed. Place the tomato skins on the bread and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top with avocado slices, bacon, and lettuce.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Monday Meal Planning - 4.5.10

Spring seems to have arrived in Michigan (finally - and we'll ignore the 2 days this week when the forecast is for highs in the 40s), and when spring gets here it never fails that I start craving vegetables - and allergy medication - like mad. I want plates full of vegetables, light salads and fresh berries. I also want slabs of grilled meat, but seeing as though we have yet to purchase a grill, I'll happily settle for vegetables alone. Since Aaron requires a little more substance than a plate of vegetables, I think the plan for this week meets both of our needs - jam packed with vegetables and protein for staying power.

This week I'm also adding in what Gabbie will eat while we're eating our meals. I try my hardest to cook only one dinner, but there are certain things (leafy greens, things that are mixed together, etc.) that she won't eat, so I try to modify what we're eating so that she can have a healthy dinner without me having to make an entire seperate meal. It has been a challenge, but we've been doing well so far. I'm also learning to give her a little of the main dish as is, because sometimes, like a couple of weeks ago when she ate lentil-barley burgers and wouldn't touch spaghetti-os, she surprises me. Her meals are listed in parentheses on the line below what we'll be eating.

Finally, I'm really excited this week to be able to use my new iPad in the kitchen instead of printing out recipes. I read a great tip online about using your iPad (or iPhone) in the kitchen. Put it in a ziplock-type bag and seal it. That protects it from moisture and mess, but you can still use it and see it just fine. I tried it with my phone and found that it's true - the touch-screen worked fine even with the layer of plastic in between my finger and the screen.

On to the plan!

Monday: Spinach and Chickpeas, Rice, Fresh berries with yogurt and honey
(Chickpeas w/the spinach picked out, rice, berries, yogurt)

Tuesday: Cheese Tortellini, Tomato Sauce with butter and onion, Salad, Bread
(Tortellini with a side of sauce for dipping, carrots, bread)

Wednesday: Veggie Tacos, Spanish Rice
(Cheese and bean quesadilla, spanish rice)

Thursday: Kale and Cheddar Frittata, Carrot Salad
(Scrambled eggs, cheese, carrot salad)

Friday: Avocado BLTs, Sweet Potato Fries
(Bread, cheese, sweet potato fries, yogurt)

Saturday: Green Chile Chowder, Cheese Quesadillas
(Cheese and bean quesadilla, applesauce)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Secret Ingredient Deviled Eggs

It may be hard for some to believe, but I was thirty years old before I ever ate a deviled egg. Then I had one only because my husband's grandmother insisted. I was prepared to have to choke it down, but instead was surprised to find myself enjoying it. A lot!

I came home and tried to make them myself the following weekend. We ended up throwing away the batch I made (thankfully I had only made a couple!) because they were gross and nothing like the ones that Grandma made. I asked around and tried a few that showed up at potlucks but none were the same. I became convinced that Grandma had some strange recipe, some family secret, and I wasn't looking forward to trying to get it from her - I figured there would be some serious bargaining to make my securing of the recipe possible. 

So, you can imagine my surprise when she handed over the recipe with nary a hesitation. It's a fairly standard recipe with one little tweak that makes all the difference - garlic salt!

So, since I finally got the recipe I was looking for, I think I should share it with all of you.

Secret Ingredient Deviled Eggs

Hard boiled eggs
Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
Yellow mustard
Garlic salt
Ground black pepper

Cut eggs in half, scooping out yolks and placing them in a bowl. Mask yolks well with a fork. Mix in remaining ingredients to taste and blend until mixture is smooth. Place mixture into a plastic baggie and cut off a corner of the bag. Pipe filling into the halved eggs.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Brunch

Due to the fact that my sister is flying back home mid-day on Sunday, we're celebrating Easter this year on Saturday by having an Easter Lunch at home. I've been planning what to make all week, and need to pare down the list because there's only 4.5 people (Gabbie only eats enough for 1/2 a normal person) eating, and if I make everything we'll have enough food for dozens.

Here are some Easter lunch/brunch ideas (the ones I have decided on are marked with a *)


Deviled Eggs (I'll share my recipe later)

Main Dishes

Smoked Ham*

Side Dishes
Steamed Asparagus with salt and lemon juice*


So! What are you making for your Easter meal?


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