Monday, August 27, 2012

Hot Bean Dip

My husband used to say he wasn't a fan of bean dips.  That is, until he tried this one:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2c plain Greek yogurt
1 (16oz.) can refried beans
3 TBSP taco seasoning
3 good shakes of cayenne pepper sauce
1 TBSP dried parsley
2 TBSP green onions, chopped + a little extra for garnish
1c Mexican blend cheese, shredded

1.  Preheat oven to 350*

2.  Mix everything together in a medium size bowl, reserving 1/2c cheese and the extra green onions.

3.  Add to prepared pan.  I used two smaller dishes but you could put it all in an 8x8.

4.  Top with the remaining cheese.

5.  Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes.
Top with extra geen onions and serve immediately.
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Monday, August 20, 2012

Simple Grilled Portobello Salad

I rarely spend much time cooking on Sunday nights, and last night was no exception.  This is one of the fastest and easiest meals I've made lately. 

I'm not specifying amounts for the ingredients here because this is really one of those recipes that depends on your personal tastes:

portobello mushrooms, stems removed
olive oil
steak seasoning
rosemary
Romaine lettuce, chopped
Caesar dressing
black pepper
Parmesan cheese
1.  Rub the mushrooms with olive oil.  Then sprinkle with steak seasoning and rosemary.
2.  Cook in pre-heated grill pan over medium high heat for about 3-5 minutes per side.

3.  While the mushrooms are sizzling, toss the lettuce with Caesar dressing, black pepper, and Parmesan cheese.  Arrange the lettuce on plates.

4.  Remove mushrooms to a cutting board, slice, and place on top of the lettuce.  Serve immediately.


Served with garlic bread - yum!
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Thursday, August 16, 2012

Slow Cooker Carne Guisada

 We've had this easy Mexican stewed meat over rice and I've also served it taco-style in flour tortillas.

It's good both ways:


2 TBSP olive oil
1lb. beef stew meat
3 oz. tomato paste
1 1/4c beef broth
1/2c water
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. Ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/8 tsp. salt
2 Serrano chili pepper, seeded and chopped

  1. In a medium bowl, toss beef to coat with flour, salt, and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
  3. Cook beef until evenly brown. Set aside.
  4. In the slow cooker, combine tomato paste, beef broth, and water. Season with garlic, chili powder, cumin, black pepper, salt and serrano peppers.
5.  Add stew meat and cook on Low heat for about 8 hours, or until meat is cooked through and shreds easily with a fork.
Sauteed zucchini, yellow squash, and tomatoes on the side.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Fast and Easy Ground Beef Substitute

I've tried a few different brands of ground beef substitutes but haven't found one I really love.  No more worries about that though because now I just make my own!

3c eggplant, finely chopped (1 - medium size)
3c portobello mushrooms, finely chopped (3 - medium size)
1c onion, finely chopped
1/4c olive oil
1/8c balsamic vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp. black pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 350*

2.  In a large bowl, combine the eggplant, mushrooms, and onion.

3.  Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Use your hands to mix it really well.

4.  Spread onto a foil-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with the garlic powder and pepper.

5.  Bake 20 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Easy!  Make a big batch and freeze in plastic bags. 
Defrost just as you would ground beef.
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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Easy Eggplant Parmesan

Sometimes the simplest meals are the best!  We had this for dinner a few nights ago and it was so easy and so yummy.  Also super cheap!

1/2c Panko breadcrumbs, seasoned to taste with Italian seasoning
red pepper flakes, to taste
medium size eggplant, 4 slices, 1/2" thick (or just do more slices if you use a small eggplant)
1/4c olive oil
6oz. tomato paste
3/4c water
1/4 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. brown sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
1c mozzarella, shredded
1/2c grated Parmesan

1.  Preheat oven to 425*
2.  In a small bowl , combine bread crumbs and red pepper flakes.
3.  Brush eggplant slices with olive oil.
4.  Press slices into breadcrumb mixture to coat.
5.  Arrange eggplant in a prepared 8x8 baking dish.
6.  Bake approzimetely 15 minutes, or until nicely browned.
7.  Make the sauce while eggplant is baking: In a small saucepan, whisk together the tomato paste and water.  Bring to a simmer and add basil, oregano, parsley, garlic, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.  Simmer until ready to use.
8.  Remove eggplant and reduce temperature to 375*.  Top with sauce, then mozzarella and Parmesan and return to oven for another 15 minutes or so, until cheese is melted.
9.  Switch the oven to Broil and broil 2-3 minutes, or until browned just the way you want it.

Served atop capellini mixed with a little extra tomato sauce.
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