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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

sweet pepper rice

we love rice at our house.  it's always a crowd pleaser.  not-so-fried ricemexican ricecilantro lime ricecuban black beans with yellow rice.  and let's be honest - unless i really mess it up my kids will always eat it.  always.  the other night they ate it for dinner my favorite way - with cider vinegar, salt and pepper - since mom's curry was a little slow going (i'll post that recipe soon - yum!).

here's our new favorite rice around here.  i obtained this recipe from a friend this summer who told me about it over a year ago and i was suddenly needing the recipe.  i was drooling for this rice i'd never had.

and it was totally drool-worthy.

a perfect side dish for any mexican meal, your family will gobble this one down!  and of course, yours truly lightened it up a bit by cutting the butter in half.  it doesn't need the extra.  it's perfect with less.

you're welcome.

sweet pepper rice
6 side dish servings

1 sweet onion (yellow onion), finely chopped
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/3 cup long grain white rice
3 cups chicken stock

1. in a large pan, melt butter & add onion & pepper. cook until soft & onion is translucent. add cilantro & salt & garlic powder, cook another minute. add rice & brown. watch closely as not to burn.

2. dissolve sugar into chicken stock. when completely dissolved, add to rice. bring to a simmer, turn to low & cover. cook covered for 30 minutes. fluff with fork.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

turn on your oven - it's FALL!!!! roasted red potatoes and asparagus

it's cooling off soooooo much where i am, and i couldn't be happier about it.  unless my husband was home more to eat what i'm cooking.  then i'd be happier of course! 

i've made this recipe numerous times and always forget to post it.  its a wonderful side dish to any meal.  i didn't used to love asparagus, but things have changed around here, folks.  i'll post another great way to eat asparagus soon.  one even non-asparagus lovers will love.

oven roasted red potatoes and asparagus
6 side dish servings 

1 1/2 pounds red potatoes, cut into chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 cloves of garlic, minced
3 teaspoons dried rosemary
3 teaspoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 bunch fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
cracked black pepper to taste

  1. preheat oven to 425 degrees f.
  2. in a large baking dish, toss the red potatoes with 1/2 the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and 1/2 the kosher salt. cover with aluminum foil.
  3. bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven. mix in the asparagus, remaining olive oil, and remaining salt. cover, and continue cooking 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees f. remove foil, and continue cooking 5 to 10 minutes, until potatoes are lightly browned. season with pepper to serve.

Friday, September 30, 2011

crispy black bean tacos with southwest cabbage slaw

have you ever been to perry's plate?  if you're a veggie-lover like i am you owe it to yourself to click on over there.  she has some really great recipes with some amazing flavor.  she's the one that got me hooked on roasting veggies.
here's another perry's plate recipe that we love.  this cabbage slaw is fantastic (and fantastically simple, which makes it even better) and goes great on pretty much any taco you can think of - chicken, fish, steak... or these black bean ones.  you know me - i love a good vegetarian meal.  and this was a great one.

i loved how the crispiness gave them that taco stand feel without sticking the whole thing in a bit vat of oil.  and don't doubt the feta.  it totally makes them. 

crispy black bean tacos with southwest cabbage slaw
from perry's plate (originally from bon appetite magazine)
makes about 6 tacos (so i double or triple the beans and tortillas and feta - there's plenty of slaw)

1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
1/2 tsp ground cumin
5 tsp olive oil, divided
1 T fresh lime juice
2 c coleslaw mix or thinly sliced cabbage
2 green onions, chopped
1/3 c chopped fresh cilantro
6 white or yellow corn tortillas
1/3 c crumbled feta cheese
Bottled chipotle hot sauce or other hot sauce

1.  partially mash beans and cumin together in a small bowl. in a medium bowl combine 2 tsp olive oil and lime juice; add coleslaw, green onions, and cilantro and toss to coat. season to taste with some salt and pepper.

2.  heat remaining 3 teaspoons of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. add tortillas in a single layer (doing batches if necessary). spoon 2 or 3 heaping tablespoons of bean mixture onto half of each tortilla. cook for one minute, then fold the tacos in half. cook until golden brown and tortilla begins to stiffen, about 1-2 minutes per side. fill tacos with feta and slaw. add hot sauce or pico de gallo if desired.  

Monday, September 19, 2011

quick and easy rotel salsa

my dad loves salsa - he puts it on everything.  and the hotter the better.  but he really struggles with finding a salsa that he loves.

so he recently created his own (now you know where i get it).  we loved it at our house too.  and it takes about 3 minutes to make.  doesn't get better than that!

quick and easy rotel salsa
pictured here topping crispy cheese and egg burritos

2 cans mild rotel tomatoes (with green chilis)
1 can hot rotel tomatoes (with habaneros) (this is the ratio we like - you could use any ratio of rotel tomatoes)
diced white onion, to taste
a clove of garlic, minced
chopped cilantro, to taste

1.  combine all ingredients in a large tupperware.  adjust onion and cilantro until the flavor is what you want.  store in the fridge. 

healthy cooking on a budget

disclaimer: i don't claim to be an expert on cooking, weight loss or even healthy eating, but i do love to cook, find healthy, taste bud-friendly tricks and most of all, i love to eat!

qualifications: what qualifies me to blog on cooking healthy on a small budget? well, as my husband is still a student, my budget is not what you'd call large. and as for the healthy part, when i was 10 i was diagnosed with pancreatitus - a disease that doesn't effect me much anymore unless i eat food that is too greasy or has too much fat (in which case, well, let's just say i get really sick). this had steered my experience and limited cooking expertise in a health-conscious direction.

please feel free to comment, criticise, rate recipes, try ideas and make requests for future posts!