Thursday, March 31, 2016

Black Bean Tacos with Avocado Sauce


2 cans black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 cup salsa
1 tsp cumin
corn tortillas
Your favorite taco toppings

1/2 ripe avocado
3/4 cup cilantro, stems removed
juice of 1 lime
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp honey
1/8 tsp salt


To make the sauce:

Add all the sauce ingredients to a blender or a food processor.  Blend until smooth.  You can add a bit of water if needed.  

To make the bean filling:

In a saucepan, combine beans, salsa and cumin.  Heat while stirring until heated through. Mash the beans slightly for a creamier filling. 

Assemble the tacos: 

Spoon the black bean mixture down the center of the tacos and top with the avocado sauce and your favorite toppings. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Baked Ziti


1 pound 1% cottage cheese
2 large eggs
1 cup fresh parmesan cheese, shredded
1 pound ziti or rigatoni
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 (28 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup milk
8 ounces mozzarella cheese, cubes in 1/4 inch cubes


Preheat oven to 350º.  Lightly grease 9x13 pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cottage cheese, eggs and 3/4 cup of the parmesan cheese. 

Cook pasta in a pot of salted water until it softens, but isn't cooked all the way (about 3 minutes short of the package directions) It will continue to cook in the oven. 

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat and add garlic.  When garlic is fragrant, but not browned, stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, sugar, basil and oregano.  Simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes.  Take off heat and season with salt and pepper. 

Drain pasta and leave in colander.  Whisk together the cornstarch and milk.  Pour it into the empty pot on medium heat.  Bring the milk to a simmer and cook until thickened, whisking constantly (3-4 minutes)

Remove the pot from the heat and add the cottage cheese mixture, 1 cup or so of the simmered tomato sauce, and half of the mozzarella cubes. Stir to combine. 

Add the cooked pasta and stir to coat well with the saucy mixture. 

Transfer the pasta to the prepared pan and pour the remaining tomato sauce evenly over the pasta. 

Spread the remaining mozzarella cubes and remaining parmesan cheese over the top.  

Cover the baking dish with foil that has been lightly sprayed with cooking spray and bake for about 30 minutes. 

Remove the foil and and continue to cook until the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown, about 30 minutes longer. 

Freezable Meal: Prepare the recipe right up until the baking step and then cover with a double layer of aluminum foil that's been lightly greased with cooking spray. Freeze. Thaw in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days. To bake, increase the time by another 20 minutes or so. If baking from frozen, bake covered for 1 hour and 30 minutes, uncover and bake 30 minutes longer.

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Salmon Chowder


3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 cups potatoes, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grown black pepper
1teaspoon dried dill weed
1 lb salmon, cooked (seasoned with salt and pepper and baked)
1 can evaporated milk  (12 oz)
1 can creamed corn
1 cup shredded cheese

Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Sauté onion and celery until tender.  Add garlic powder.  Stir in potatoes, carrots, broth, salt, pepper and dill.  

Bring to a boil and reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 20 minutes. 

Stir in salmon, evaporated milk, corm and cheese. 
Cook until heated through. 

Don't forget the Cheez-its!

Source: Allrecipies

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Green Chili Cilantro Lime Chicken


1 lb boneless chicken breasts, diced into bite sized pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
4 green onions, chopped (separate the light and dark portions)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 can green chilies
2 tsp lime zest
3 tbsp lime juice
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups instant rice (DO NOT USE REGULAR RICE)
1/3 cup cilantro, chopped

Heat oil over medium high heat.  Add chicken and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until cooked through.  Add in the lighter portions of the green onions and garlic when there is about 1 minutes left of cooking the chicken. 

Stir in broth, green portion of green onions, green chilies, lime zest, lime juice, black beans and season with salt and pepper.  

Bring to a boil and add rice.  Stir until rice is well mixed.  Allow to boil for 20 seconds and remove from heat.  Immediately cover with a lid and let rest 5-6  minutes. 

If needed, return pan to medium heat and continue cooking rice if there is excess moisture.  Remove form heat, add cilantro and rest for 3 minutes. 

Cooking Classy

Monday, March 7, 2016

Salsa Verde Chicken Enchiladas


4 chicken breasts cooked in skillet with chicken broth (see below)

1/3 cup honey
1/2 cup lime
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2-1 teaspoon chipotle powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 16oz bottle salsa verde (I used Herdez)
8-10 uncooked flour tortillas
3 cups pepper jack cheese, optional
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

sour cream

 Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until hot.  Add chicken and cook 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown on one side.  Flip chicken over, then add 1 cup chicken broth to skillet.  Cover and reduce heat to medium and simmer 15-20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and tender enough to shred. Add more broth if needed.  Remove from skillet and rest for 5 minutes before shredding. 

In a large bow, whisk together the marinade ingredients and add shredded chicken.  Let marinade for 10  minutes. 

Spray a 9x13 pan with spray and pour 1/4 cup salsa verde evenly over the bottom.  It will barely cover.  Save the rest. 

Cook the tortillas according to directions.

Remove chicken from marinade to a plate.  Add the rest of the salsa to the marinade, stir and set aside. 

Assemble enchiladas by filling each tortilla with chicken and a small handful of cheese.  Roll each tortilla and place in the baking pan.  Pour the salsa verde mix over the enchiladas and add cheese to the top. 

Bake at 350º for 30 minutes then broil until cheese is golden. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Dinner Rolls


2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup plus 1 teaspoon sugar
1/3 cup butter
2 teaspoons kosher salt (I used sea salt)
2 packages active dry yeast (or 4 1/2 tsp)
2/3 cup warm (105-115º)
8-9 cups all purpose flour
3 eggs, beaten

Combine milk, 1/2 cup sugar, butter and salt in a medium saucepan.  Heat over medium heat until butter melts.  Remove from heat.  Allow to cool to lukewarm. (Try soaking the bottom of the pan in ice water to speed up the cool down.)

While the mixture is cooling, dissolve the yeast and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in warm water.  Let stand about 10 minutes.  If it doesn't bubble, you'll need to repeat this step.  It is important that the yeast bubbles. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups flour and milk mixture. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping the sides of the bowl constantly.  Add yeast mixture and beat on high for 3 minutes. 

Add beaten eggs.  

Stir in the remaining flour as needed to make a soft dough.  The dough should be very soft.  It will be coming away from the sides of the bowl, but it will stick to your finger when you touch it. If you add too much flour, the rolls will be dense and heavy. 

Place the bowl in a warm place covered with a towel.  Rise for 1 hour. 

Punch down dough.  Lightly flour your work surface and place dough onto the surface.  Divide in half. 

Spray2  9x13 glass pans with cooking spray.  Roll first half of dough into a rectangle and cut into 12 equal sized pieces.  The dough should be similar to play dough. Share each piece into a ball and place in pan.  Repeat with the rest of the dough.

Cover with a cloth and rise in a warm place for about 30 minutes.  When dough has about 15 minutes left to rise, preheat oven to 375º

Bake 15-18 minutes or until golden brown. 

Remove from oven and brush with melted butter. 

Source: Our Best Bites