Tag Archives: peppers

Festive Black Bean Salad

Easy, pretty and delicious.  This salad is hearty enough to eat as a main dish – I usually throw it over the top of a pile of greens in that case – or great as a side with pretty much anything.  I especially like it for BBQs and potlucks because it doesn’t have to be refrigerated and tastes great at room temperature.  This will also keep in the fridge for several days so I usually double the recipe so I have yummy leftovers.  If you like it spicy, toss in a little finely diced jalapeno for an extra kick.

Festive Black Bean Salad

Festive Black Bean Salad

Festive Black Bean Salad

1-2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 orange (or red or yellow) bell pepper, diced
1-2 diced tomato
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1-2 tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. cumin
Salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients.  Eat!

Festive Black Bean Salad

Festive Black Bean Salad

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April’s Famous Salsa

I recently reconnected with my stepbrother after a number of years.  The first thing he told me (not kidding!) was that in all the years since we’d seen each other he had yet to find a salsa that measured up to mine.  A proud moment for me as a big sister, a cook, and a salsa lover.  🙂

And he’s not wrong.  Not to toot my own horn (okay, maybe a little), but this stuff is pretty awesome.

You can make this chunky by just pulsing in a food processor, or smoother by using a blender.  For this batch, I used the blender.  During the height of tomato season I use fresh tomatoes, but most of the year canned tomatoes work just fine.  I especially like the newish “fire-roasted” diced tomato variety, for a little extra smoky flavor.  You can also roast the veggies before throwing them in for an extra smoky finish as well.

April's Famous Salsa

April’s Famous Salsa

April’s Famous Salsa

1/2 cup red or yellow onion, coarsely chopped
1/2 – 1 jalapeno, (green or red or a bit of both – stemmed & seeded)
3-4 tomatillos, husked and quartered
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. lime juice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cumin
1 handful fresh cilantro (about 1/3 – 1/2 cup)
1 can diced (fire-roasted or regular) tomatoes (or use 3-4 large ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped)

In a blender or food processor, add onion, jalapeno, garlic, tomatillos, lime juice and cilantro.  Pulse or puree (pulse for chunkier texture, puree for smoother salsa).  Scrape down sides and add tomatoes, salt and cumin.  Pulse to combine.  Check texture and blend more if you’d like it smoother.  Taste for seasoning and adjust if needed.

Makes about 2 cups.  Store in an airtight container.  This will keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks (if it lasts that long!).

April's Famous Salsa.  I eat this on just about everything.

April’s Famous Salsa. I eat this on just about everything.

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Tortilla Frittata

Breakfast, lunch or dinner, one of my favorite things to make is a frittata, and not just because it’s fun to say.  It’s also the best way to use up leftovers in my opinion.  I put pretty much anything and everything in these.  This is a combo I make a lot, mostly because I usually have these ingredients laying around. And because it’s delicious.  For a vegetarian version, just leave out the bacon.

Tortilla Frittata

Tortilla Frittata

1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 jalapeno, minced
5 corn tortillas, sliced into strips
5 eggs
Salt & pepper
1/3 cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese
5 slices bacon

In a bowl, beat eggs with a pinch of salt & pepper.  Cook bacon in 10 inch skillet, drain on paper towels and set aside.  Set aside.  Pour out bacon grease, wipe out excess and use the same pan to saute onion and peppers for a few minutes over medium heat, until tender.  Crumble bacon into pan.  Add tortilla strips and toss with veggies and bacon.  Pour in egg mixture.  Swirl around in pan to cover veggies and tortillas.  Top with cheese and dollops of salsa.  Turn down heat to medium low and cover pan.  Cook for 10-15 minutes until eggs are set on top.  Slide out onto a cutting board and slice into wedges. Serves 3-4.

Is it a pizza?  No!  It’s a frittata.  It’s awesome.  You should eat one.

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Fajita Burritos for Dinner and Breakfast!

I really wanted to make enchiladas.  But a hot day and three hungry tummies meant a quickie dinner was in order.  So with a bunch of veggies, a quick saute and some beautiful gift wrapping, a quick, delicious and healthy dinner was mere moments away.  Enchiladas can wait a few weeks.

You can chop up as many veggies as you want for this.  I always make more than I need, since leftovers can always be put to good use.  Scroll down to see where mine ended up!

Veggie Fajita Burrito

Veggie Fajita Burrito

3-4 poblano peppers, sliced
3-4 banana peppers, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup corn kernels
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of salt & pepper
Juice of 1/2 lime
Flour tortillas
Cotija cheese, crumbled
Avocado, sliced

Slice up all the veggies.

Yummy veggies. Feel free to vary to your tastes.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add a drizzle of olive oil.  Add peppers, onion, mushrooms and garlic to the pan.  Saute for 2-3 minutes.  Add corn and beans and continue to cook a couple of minutes, until veggies are slightly tender and everything is heated through.  I prefer my veggies to still have a little crunch, but if you like them softer just cook a little longer.  Season with salt & pepper and squeeze in lime juice.  Stir to combine.

Cook the veggies. I like them just slightly tender but still a little crispy. And check out my cool new spatula thing!

Pile the veggies in a burrito.  Crumble some cheese over the top.  If you want to be able to pick it up, don’t overfill it.  If  you’re anything like me, you’ll add way too much stuff for that.

Build the burrito and eat!

Roll it up, decorate the top with salsa, avocado and a little more cheese.  Dive in!

For breakfast the next day, reheat leftover veggies in a skillet, add some beaten eggs, and stir and turn mixture constantly until eggs are cooked.  Put in a tortilla with some salsa and cheese and voila!  Breakfast is served.

Fajita Breakfast Burrito

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Project Veggie: Day 6 – Day of the Taco

A friend of mine told me a few days ago that I was nuts for doing this vegetarian thing.  Every week his family does taco night.  He asked how you could possibly do a taco night without meat??  Seriously?  This poor individual is obviously suffering from a severe lack of imagination.  In my opinion, you can put just about anything in a tortilla and call it a taco.  In fact, it’s one of my favorite foods for that very reason.  A tortilla is just a delivery device for all sorts of goodness.

Yesterday was Day of the Taco.  The kids didn’t have school so we slept a little late, had a nice, lazy morning.  Around 10 or so, I decided to make breakfast tacos.  Some scrambled eggs, green onions, salsa, and the last of the leftover coleslaw (oh yeah, I said coleslaw!) and we were set.  They were amazing, and took mere moments to make.

Breakfast tacos

As Presidents Day wore on, there was some whining about being bored.  Not by me, who had plenty of work and mom things to do.  But the kiddos were feeling at loose ends.  Normally when they tell me they’re bored I send them outside to pick up dog poop.  But it was raining, so I took pity on them.  Project time.  I decided for our tacos tonight we’d make homemade tortillas.  We’ve done them once before, and they are amazing!  I love corn tortillas, but I don’t love the way they crack when you fold them.  The fresh ones don’t do that.  Plus you can add additional flavors to make them even more tasty.  And although I say “project” they are really not difficult to make, but they do take a little extra time.

I’m not sure where the exact line is between a taco and a fajita, so I’ll call these fajita tacos.  With the pan-sauteed veggies, they definitely have a fajita-ish quality about them.  To round out the Mexican feast, we made a quicky black bean salad (yummy protein!) and some homemade salsa in my trusty food processor.  I’ve been making my own salsa for a long time, and I like it better than anything I’ve found in a jar.

My beautiful fajita tacos with black bean salad

Fajita Tacos

4 oz. button mushrooms
2 poblano peppers, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 orange or yellow or red bell pepper, or some combo of those, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup frozen or fresh corn kernels
shredded jack or cheddar cheese
sliced avocado

Heat skillet to medium high heat.  Add a tbsp. of olive or canola oil.  Saute the peppers, onions, mushrooms and garlic, stirring constantly, just 2-3 minutes until they are crisp-tender.  They should still have a little crunch.  Add corn and saute until heated through.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Build your taco the way you like it.  I like to start with some of the pepper mixture, top with cheese, salsa and avocado – usually overfilling it so much I make a complete mess of myself when I fold it up and eat it.  But that’s part of the fun.

April's Awesome Salsa

April’s Awesome Salsa

1/3 onion
1-2 cloves garlic
3-4 tomatillos
1/2 – 1 red or green jalapeno (I use both if I have them)
1-2 tbsp. lime juice
a handful of fresh cilantro (1/3 cup? – I usually don’t measure, just throw some in)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (or regular diced tomatoes) with juice

In a food processor or blender add onion, garlic, tomatillos, jalapeno, lime juice & cilantro.  Pulse or blend until evenly chopped up.  Add tomatoes, cumin and salt and give it a whirl until it’s all combined.  Makes about 2 cups.  It will last several weeks in your fridge.

Fresh Chili-Lime Tortillas

2 cups masa flour
1 1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. lime zest

In a bowl combine all ingredients.  Mix until it forms a ball of dough.  Add a little more water if it’s too dry to form into a ball.

Not dry & crumbly. Not wet & sticky. Think Play-doh.

Divide into 16 ping-pong size balls.  If you have a tortilla press, this next part will go really fast!  I don’t.  If you’re in the same boat, lay out a piece of parchment paper and sprinkle lightly with masa flour. Place a ball of dough there, top with another piece of parchment and roll out with a rolling pin (you want them pretty thin, you know – like a tortilla).  I tried this without the parchment and it was sticking to my rolling pin and a total mess.  Wax paper works too, but it stuck to the tortillas more than the parchment paper.  Use whatever works best for you.

It's sort of roundish

Don’t be alarmed if they are not perfectly round, mine were all sorts of weird shapes but they still tasted good.  Stack them all up, separated with wax or parchment paper so they don’t stick together.  Heat your skillet or grill to med-high.  Cook one at a time, 30-45 seconds on each side, and slide onto a plate.  Repeat until they are all done.

Black Bean Salad

Black Bean Salad

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup rice, cooked
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 bell pepper, whichever color you like best
1/4 cup chopped red or green onions
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
juice of one lime
salt & pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients, and eat!

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