Ok ok ok… I’m sorry I’ve been a little M.I.A. lately. I’ve been a little preoccupied with the usual stuff… Basically with life in general. I can’t really remember what has happened in the last 10 days, but I’m sure there have been things… I hope there have been things anyway. How lame would that be if I didn’t accomplish anything in the last 10 days??
Meh… it’s January so therefore it’s ok to not really accomplish much. I’ve been working a lot, we’ve been trying to maintain a consistent workout schedule, we’ve been busy with friends and family, I have found a new obsession with Pinterest (I am so behind on what’s cool these days) and I’ve been very consumed by this whole “try to continue to eat ‘cleanly’ and not go out to eat hardly ever” thing. There have been days that it’s been a challenge, but we have majorly cut back our eating out and it definitely shows in our bank account. It’s amazing how much money you can save just from something so simple!
Oh… I know what I’ve been doing for the last few days… (I just remembered this) I’ve been addictively (did I make that word up?) watching Sons of Anarchy and this just in… Breaking Bad. Good god… the things I have been missing in my life! Well, I’ve always been a Sons of Anarchy fan but I started watching it at like the end of the second season so I decided to start from the beginning. Brad and I only just started watching Breaking Bad on like Friday night (it’s now Tuesday) and we’ve watched the whole first season. Which, hold on! The first season is only 7 episodes so don’t get your undies in a bunch! However, I am literally so obsessed and uncontrollably addicted that it’s all I think about. A television show. It’s pathetic. I know. You don’t have to tell me. And I can’t wait to watch more tonight.
Ok… now that you are all fully aware of my television addictions and strange desires to watch shows about cooking meth and cancer and motorcycles and guns and high school science teachers and violence and …
Oh god. I’m doing it again. AH!
Ok. Moving on.
Let’s see. We made these little burrito bowls like the day after we decided to stop doing CLEAN. It definitely fits in the CLEAN program and it’s also SUPER easy so I have a feeling we will be making this many more times. Oh! It’s also pretty cheap too! All you need is rice, 2 cans of beans and two avocados, a lime and cilantro! I mean, I didn’t keep track of how much it cost, but I’m sure it’s under $15 and fed us for two lunches! You do also need some seasoning, but I would hope everyone has garlic powder and cumin on hand. We always have a bag of brown rice in the pantry too, so for us, it was even cheaper!
This would also be a perfect meal to use leftover rice for. I know that whenever we make rice, for maybe stir fry or something like that, we always have a buttload leftover (wait, did I just write “buttload”? Why yes, yes I did) and we usually end up throwing at least some of it away. This is the perfect answer to that never ending problem! Even if you have a little bit leftover, say like a cup’s worth, you can still pop open a can of beans and pour it on top and dollop some guac on there too and you’ll have a great lunch! If you wanted to get really crazy, you could even wrap all of it up in a tortilla, but then it wouldn’t be considered a CLEAN recipe. Whatever you choose, I think you’ll really enjoy this dish!
1 cup uncooked brown rice (this should make 3 cups of cooked rice)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinse
Chili Powder (optional)
Juice of 1 lime
Handful of cilantro, roughly copped
Cook the brown rice according to the package directions. While the rice is cooking, make your guacamole. Mash the two avocados in a bowl. Poor in the lime juice and chopped cilantro. Mix together. When the rice is done cooking, poor some in a bowl and top with beans. Sprinkle the garlic powder, cumin and chili powder over top, along with salt if desired. Then plop a couple spoons of guacamole on top and go to town!
Oh god. Stop what you are doing, NOW. You need to read this, then go to the grocery store and then immediately go home and make these freaking things because they are THAT good. Yes, just trust me.
I have made enchiladas many times before and I might even go as far as saying that they could be one of my specialties because every time I make them, they are all I want to eat for.ever. I have always made them with chicken, though and since it had been awhile since I had made them and I decided I wanted to do something different this time. Plus, we needed a meatless meal for the week and, let’s face it, Mexican food is the easiest to make meatless. When in doubt, sub beans for meat!
Anyway, so I basically used the same recipe that I have used before for my chicken enchiladas, only instead of the chicken I used black beans and pinto beans. To be honest, you don’t even notice that there is no chicken. They are still equally filling and filled with equally amazing deliciousness.
These are pretty easy to make, but they do take a little bit of time to chop, saute, assemble and bake, sooo… fair warning. It can all be done in about an hour, but you need to be pretty focused and… let’s face it… a seasoned professional like me. No, it’s really not anything complicated, there are just some things you need to do.
Anyway, so I would make this right away if I were you. It’s cheesy, beany, spicy, corny, Mexicany, vegetabley, and just all around wonderful. It’s even great on a hot day! Which seems crazy to turn the oven on, on a hot day, but this dish is so worth heating up the house a few extra degrees! The best part is that it makes a TON so you’ll have plenty for 2 dinners and at least one lunch, maybe even 2 lunches since they are so filling! I just love these enchiladas. You’ll leave the table feeling so great after eating them!
Now go make them!!
Two Bean and Corn Enchiladas
Makes 10 enchiladas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 green pepper, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1/4 red onion, diced
2 jalapenos, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2-2 cups frozen corn
1 can Rotel Original
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans enchilada sauce of your choice
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
10 whole wheat tortillas
Shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese (we used about 1/2 an 8oz block of each)
Start off with sauteing the peppers in the oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the peppers start to soften. Add the red onion and corn and saute for another few minutes. Toss in the garlic and saute for just a minute. Then add the beans and Rotel and stir to combine everything. Add the seasonings and just 1/2 of one can of the enchilada sauce. Don’t use anymore than that because you’ll need it for other stuff! Ok, so mix that all together and cook for a few minutes until everything is hot. I like to add a handful of cheese to the filling just for a little something extra. If you choose to do this as well (which I highly recommend, go ahead and do that at this point. It won’t take long to melt)
Time for assembly!! Preheat oven to 375. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Pour the rest of the 1/2 can of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan and spread out. Heat up your tortillas in the microwave for about 20 seconds until the tortillas are soft and pliable. Spoon about 1/2 cup of filling in the middle of the tortilla. I’m not exactly sure on this measurement, as I just use a large cooking spoon, but I think about 1/2 cup is close. Fold one side of the tortilla over the filling and then fold the other side over. Place folded side down in the pan. Repeat with all remaining 9 tortillas. I have found that sometimes I make less than 10 and sometimes I make more than 10. It just depends on how much filling you use! Once all your enchiladas are in the pan, pour the other whole can of enchilada sauce over all of them. Then top with the shredded cheese.
Place in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. It doesn’t have to be in there long because you already cooked everything else. You just need it in there long enough for the cheese to get gooey and melty. Remove from the oven and let it sit for a couple minutes, as it’s hard to dish up straight out of the oven. So, let it sit for about 5 minutes and then serve!!
This is the last of the “official vegan week” recipes. Yea… like I said, we didn’t make it very far. Actually, there’s a fourth recipe, but I have no photos so like I said in the previous post, I’ll just tell you it.
This tortilla soup is actually based on Pioneer Woman’s chicken tortilla soup, however, I cut out the chicken and the chicken broth to make it… Vegan!! And if you ask me, it’s still pretty good! I subbed vegetable broth for the chicken broth, that’s pretty much the only difference between the recipes.
The original recipe is fantastic. It’s pretty much the best chicken tortilla soup ever (I have to say McAlister’s is a pretty close second though!) It has lots of beans and veggies and adding a little cornmeal at the end to thicken it is key. Knowing how delicious this soup is, I was nervous about how it would turn out without 2 of the key ingredients… chicken and chicken broth. To my surprise though, it was fantastic! There wasn’t a whole lot of difference really. As Brad put it “it tastes like the same soup only I got a bowl without any chicken in it”! I’ll take that!!
As I was getting started cutting up the veggies, I noticed that I still had a couple of ears of corn leftover from our trip to the farmer’s market that past weekend. So instead of using frozen corn like I usually do, I cut all the kernels off the ears and used them! It gave the soup a whole new, fresh flavor that I really enjoyed! I just cooked the corn in the soup pot, but I’m thinking that I could have Brad grill the corn next time to get a char on it… that would really add some good flavor! Frozen corn does work really well, but if you have any leftover corn from the night before or just want to try fresh corn, I highly recommend it!
Anyway, I think this tortilla soup is a great vegan alternative to chicken tortilla soup. It’s just as tasty and just as filling (even more so because I added some extra beans!) While it’s not exactly the best meal for a 100 degree day, it’s still just as delicious as it would be if we were eating it on a winter day! There’s a good chance I’ll start making this instead of chicken tortilla soup from now on!
Oh- real quick! The other vegan recipe is a burrito that we made to take to the track with us! This was when we were still on our vegan diet on Friday. It was one of the best burritos I have had it was ridiculously easy! They were just black beans, Spanish rice and guacamole wrapped in a tortilla! That’s it! I’ll include a recipe at the bottom of this post, but unfortunately I don’t have any photos. But they are so worth sharing! They are perfect for a picnic, day at the track, or just a really quick, easy dinner! And if you use Wholly Guacamole like I did… they are even quicker and easier!
Adapted from Pioneer Woman’s chicken tortilla soup
Serves… a LOT. Not sure how much… at least 8 servings though
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 ears of corn, kernels removed (or 1/2 – 1 cup of frozen corn)
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 – 10 oz can of Rotel (original diced tomatoes with green chiles… there are 2 in the photo above but I only used 1 can)
32 oz vegetable broth
2-3 cups of water, depending on how thin you want the soup
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cans of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
3 tablespoons of cornmeal
5 corn tortillas, cut into strips
Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot on medium heat. Add the corn and cook for about one minute. Then add the onion, green pepper and garlic. Cook for another couple minutes. Then add the cumin, chili powder and garlic powder, stir to combine. Add the tomato paste and mix in. Then pour in the Rotel, vegetable broth, water and beans. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes.
Mix the cornmeal with a small amount of water (about 2 tablespoons maybe?) in a small bowl or measuring cup. Pour into the soup and stir everything together. Simmer for another 20 minutes. Add salt according to taste. A couple minutes before serving, add the tortilla strips and stir gently.
Serve in bowls with guacamole or salsa on top. Crispy tortilla chips go really well on top too! Adds a nice crunch!
Bean, Rice and Guacamole Burritos
Makes 3 burritos
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 package of cooked Spanish Rice (I used Uncle Ben’s Spanish Rice that cooks in the microwave for 90 seconds. Super easy!)
1 package of Wholly Guacamole of your choice (I used the guac with pico de gallo) or use homemade guacamole if you would like!
3 burrito size tortillas
Heat the first tortilla in the microwave for 10-15 seconds to get nice and soft. Spoon 1/3 of the beans in the middle. Top with about 1/3 of the rice and 1/3 of the guacamole. Fold one side over the filling and then tuck the sides in and roll over to close. Wrap in foil (if taking it to go, but the foil also helps hold it together). Side note: you can heat up the beans in the microwave before putting in the burritos. I didn’t though because the burritos were going into a cooler for about 6 hours so we just ate them cold. See!? Couldn’t be easier!!
Two things. 1) I’ve never had a stuffed pepper before. 2) I’ve been on a big Mexican kick lately. For awhile I was on a Thai food thing, but I think I missed Mexican food so much that now it’s all I want to eat again.
Did I mention that it’s awesome eating Mexican food all the time. I just love it.
Remember my Mexican Lasagna? Oh lordy… I’m still dreaming about that dish… Anyway, I got the whole idea from A Couple Cooks which is a food blog written by a couple that lives here in Indy. I had been doing some casual surfing on their website and found a few really good recipes. One being the Mexican Lasagna, the other being these lovely stuffed peppers!
Now, like I said, I have never actually eaten a stuffed pepper. My dad doesn’t eat spicy food so peppers were never really popular in our household growing up. However, they’ve become pretty much a staple in Brad’s and my household and so I figured it was finally time to give them a try. I know that typically they are made with meat, but when people describe them to me, it never sounds totally appetizing. I’m not sure what it is, but a pepper stuffed full with meat just sounds… yuck. So I was super excited when I realized the recipe that I found didn’t have meat! I love a good meal that doesn’t have meat in it. Sometimes it’s harder than you think to come up with a couple meatless meals a week that aren’t the same thing.
Alright. These peppers are IN-CRED-I-BLE. Ohhhh man. We used 2 different kinds of peppers so there would be a variety, green peppers and poblano peppers. We found that we liked the poblano peppers stuffed better than the green peppers. We alllllso grilled these suckers rather than bake them in the oven. There was no way that I was going to turn the oven on, on the hottest day of the year. Uhhhh no. So we gave grilling a try. The poblano peppers did much better on the grill than the green. The green peppers just didn’t get cooked enough. I’m sure in an oven they would have been better, but not so much on the grill. We did put them on a grilling cookie sheet type thing as well. Much less messy. I would highly recommend doing that.
Either way, grill or oven, poblano or green… these are amazing. They stuffing is so perfect and delicious and you can add as much spice as you want. You could easily use leftover rice for these, but I had Brad cook some up earlier in the day. I would recommend that as well, cooking the rice in advance, otherwise you’ll have to wait awhile for that to cook. I might try using quinoa sometime too. I feel like it would go well with this. Other than cooking the rice, these are pretty quick to make. And easy. All you have to do is mix all the ingredients together and stuff the peppers. Uh yea. Easy.
These make a fantastic Meatless Monday meal, or a meal for any night of the week. With them being so easy and quick, they are a great weeknight meal. And I am really proud of myself for coming up with the idea to grill them. Anything we can do to not make the house hotter. Good grief.
2 green peppers, halved and insides removed
2 poblano peppers, halved and insides removed
1 cup uncooked brown rice (or 4 cups cooked)
1 1/2 – 2 cups salsa
1 15oz can of black beans
1 1/2 cups frozen corn
1-2 green onions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
sprinkling of cayenne pepper, optional
About 1 cup of shredded cheese, divided
Cook the rice according to directions on package.
You can precook your peppers by broiling them for a few minutes after they’ve been halved. Simply place them on a cookie sheet and broil. Or stick them on the grill! (I failed to do this step, which is why our green peppers were still very crispy.)
Combine the rice, salsa, beans, corn, green onions, chili powder and cumin in a bowl. Mix together. Add in about half of the shredded cheese and stir.
Once the peppers have been cooking for about 5-7 minutes, remove them from the heat and spoon the rice and bean mixture into them. Top with the remaining shredded cheese.
Place either in the oven or on the grill until the cheese is melted and the peppers are soft. This doesn’t take too long, especially if you precook your peppers. To grill them, line a grill safe cookie sheet (we have a grill pan) with foil (this allows for less cleanup!). Spray the foil with cooking spray so the peppers don’t stick. Then just throw the whole baking sheet on the grill!
Don’t panic if you don’t know what this is. I’m going to be honest, when I first stumbled upon this recipe in a Food Network Magazine a few months ago, I was clueless. I had never heard of it before, but when I read through the list of ingredients, I knew it was up our alley. It’s a Mexican dish with pasta. Brad actually described it chili with spaghetti in it. Bingo. It’s a lot like chili with spaghetti in it.
The chili aspect comes from the canned tomatoes (fire roasted… mmm), onion, green pepper, jalapeno, kidney beans, and the chili powder and cumin. Mix all that up, add some chicken broth, and cilantro and then throw in some spaghetti and you have…. Sopa Seca!
This is a very satisfying meal, the beans and the pasta really fill you up. No, seriously, they really do fill you up. I got excited and gave myself a huge bowlful and couldn’t even finish it!
You could make this meal on a weeknight for sure. It’s quick and easy. Not a whole lot of work involved and it definitely doesn’t take long to cook. I sort of changed up some of the recipe. The grocery store was out of poblano peppers (yea, how does that happen?) so I had to improvise with a green pepper and 2 jalapenos. Umm let’s see, I also only used half an onion. A whole onion, to me, is way too much. Also, the original recipe calls for cheese. We skip this. I think this dish is better without the cheese, but that’s just me. You can go to the website (I’ll give the link below) and compare if you want, but I, obviously, like the changes that I have made!
Adapted from Food Network Magazine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 jalapenos, seeds removed and chopped
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
8 oz (half a package) whole-wheat spaghetti, broken into thirds (I used just regular because it was leftover from the Naked Tomato Sauce)
1- 14oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1- 14 oz can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 big handful of cilantro, stems removed and coarsely chopped
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Toss in the onion and peppers and cook for a few minutes until slightly soft. Add the chili powder, cumin and salt. Cook for another couple minutes. Add the uncooked spaghetti and try to toss (this is much more difficult than you would think). Try to let the pasta toast for a few minutes in the pan, but don’t worry if this doesn’t really work. I never has for me.
Add the tomatoes and simmer until the liquid is gone. Then add the chicken broth, bring heat to high and let boil. Once it boils, reduce heat to medium low and simmer until the pasta is fully cooked (about 6 minutes). Add the beans and most of the cilantro and simmer for another minute or two until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Divide among bowls and top with a few sprinklings of cilantro.
Look at that deliciousness right there. Have you ever seen anything so beautiful before? What could be better than black beans, corn, cheese and some other tasties, wrapped up in an egg roll wrapper and dipped in an avocado cream sauce?
Nothing people. Nothing.
I made these way back in February for the Super Bowl and completely forgot about them until this past weekend. How I forgot, I’ll never know, but I did. I thought they would be fun for our Cinco De Mayo themed weekend… except, we ate these on Monday so I guess that doesn’t count. They are also “Southwestern” not really “Mexican” sooo… I really lost on this one. I’m over it.
Anyway, these things are awesome. They are filling enough to be a meal, but if you only want to eat a couple, they work perfectly as a snack. You can also use wonton wrappers instead of egg rolls wrappers for mini versions of them, but that will be very time consuming to stuff and roll… just a warning. They aren’t the quickest things to make. I don’t want to fool anyone here. They require a good hour from start to finish, maybe even more if you are slow like me (I feel no need to rush in the kitchen sometimes). They are absolutely worth the time though.
I think there’s room for experimentation with these as well. You could add salsa to the stuffing, maybe. Or even some other beans, like pinto beans. You could use taco seasoning instead of the cumin and chili powder. Let’s see… you could add jalapenos, green peppers, poblano peppers… the options are endless! The avocado dipping sauce definitely makes these egg rolls as well. It’s a little gross by itself, but somehow when you combine it with the rolls, it tastes so much better. I wouldn’t suggest skipping making the dip, however you could definitely use salsa instead.
These are perfect for a Meatless Monday meal (like we did!) or a snack for a group of people or just the family. I can’t wait to actually remember to make these again!
**Note: These keep quite well, but they obviously loose their crispiness. The egg roll wrappers sort of go back to their original texture, so keep that in mind. You could reheat them in the oven if you want to re-crisp them, or just reheat them in the microwave, but believe it or not, they are just as tasty cold. Just like cold pizza . . . Oohhh college . . .
Southwestern Egg Rolls
Oringinally adapted from Cakeandallie.com
Makes 25 Egg Rolls
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
1-15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1-9oz package frozen spinach, thawed and juices squeezed out
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (you can add some cheddar in there too if you want)
1-7oz can of diced green chiles (use less if you don’t want to use that much)
4 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 packaged of egg roll wrappers (I find mine in the refrigerated health food section, I hear they can be found in the produce area too)
In a bowl mix together corn, black beans, spinach, cheese, green chiles, green onions, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper and salt (basically, all ingredients other than the egg roll wrappers).
Preheat oven to 425. Spoon the mixture (about 2-3 large heaping spoonfuls) into the center of one egg roll wrapper. Wet each corner with a dab of water. Fold the bottom corner over the mixture, then tuck in both side corners and rolls closed. Repeat until you use up all the filling and egg roll wrappers. Place seam side down on a greased, foil lined cookie sheet. Spray rolls with cooking spray and bake for 15-20 minutes, flipping once, until crispy and golden brown.
Avocado Dipping Sauce
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
2-3 tablespoons sour cream
1 avocado, peeled and pitted
2 tablespoons of milk (you might need more, just depends on desired consistency)
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 green onion, chopped
Dash of salt
Mash the avocado with a fork in a bowl. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. (You can also puree all the ingredients in a blender, but that requires more dishes that what I like, I just mix it in a bowl.) Dip finished egg rolls and enjoy!
Oh… and since I’m sure you are all curious, I’ll provided you with some photos of the pups. They like getting their pictures taken… not.