Category Archives: Quick Weeknight Recipes

Happy Birthday

  Mexican “Beef” Corn Casserole


Welcome to September’s Secret Recipe Club!  I’m always a fan of the first Monday of the month because of SRC, but this month is extra special as today is also my birthday!   Plus next week is husband’s birthday so lots of celebrating going on over here.  This is part of the reason why I wanted something quick and (especially) delicious for this month’s SRC, something that would work for serving a group of hungry visitors.  Thankfully the blog I was partnered with this month was more than up for the challenge as Mostly Food and Crafts is STUFFED with incredible recipes.   From Rice and Lentils to Mocha Chocolate Chip donuts (DONUTS!!!) to Tomato Basil Pie – there were so many recipes to pick from.  Oh, did I mention she has an entire section on her recipe page dedicated to beans – vegetarian dream!  In the end I could not get her Mexican Beef Corn Casserole out of my head, all the taste of a taco without the work.   An easy switch from regular beef to “beef” and recipe was good to go!

Mexican "Beef" Corn Casserole

Serves: Serves 4-5


  • 1 lb ground "beef" (I used Wegmans "Don't have a cow")
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped or torn
  • 2 cups black beans, presoaked
  • 1 cup fresh corn off the cob
  • 1/2 cup tomato
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 2/3 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup shredded Mexican style cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook the beef substitute per instructions on the box/bag and then set aside.
  2. In an 8x8 inch pan, combine the corn and the black beans then top with an even layer of cilantro. Add the ground "beef" and cover with the salsa before adding the sour cream and cheese.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Remove from oven and allow to slightly cool before serving. Enjoy!

This casserole was exactly as advertised!  All the taste of a fantastic taco without the mess and work that comes with a taco.  I served this with some chips and sour cream

Endless Summer

Grilled Fajita Bowl


Welcome to the first installment for #HotSummerEats – an awesome blog link-up created by the always amazing Cam of Culinary Adventures with Cam.  This link-up has been a bit of a challenge for me (wahOo HG) but I had committed to it before we knew this treatment round worked so I wasn’t going anywhere.  As all the sponsor goodies started arriving. I just got more and more and more excited. PLUS there is AWESOME giveaway involved with some fantastic products – many of which will be featured over the next couple of days.

Today’s post is one of my all time favorite summer recipes – with a chipotle twist thanks to T. Lish dressings and marinades.  I’ve always been a fan of fajitas, regardless of the vegetables involved I know that as long as the vegetables are fresh the dish will be amazing!  I had originally planned on doing more traditional fajitas (tortillas, homemade salsa, etc) but given the current state of things I knew that I needed to adapt the recipe in order to fit with my new lifestyle.  So I made up some yellow rice and sliced up some avocado to make a delicious fajita bowl – all the flavor with a fraction of the prep time as everything just goes in the bowl.

Endless Summer

Serves 2-3


  • 1 green pepper, sliced lengthwise
  • 3 portobello mushrooms, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 sweet onion, sliced in to rings
  • 2 tbsp T Lish Chipotle dressing
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain brown basmati rice
  • 3/4 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp (pinch) of cinnamon
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 avocado, diced


  1. For vegetables: Place the vegetables and marinade in a tupperware container with a lid, shake around to cover the vegetables in the liquid then place in fridge for 30 minutes. Give the vegetables another shake then place in fridge for a final 15 minutes.
  2. Grill vegetables until they start to char on the edges, time will vary based on charcoal vs propane.
  3. For Rice: In a medium saucepan, heat the turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon over low heat until fragrant, stirring, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the water, salt, and butter and bring to a boil before adding the rice. Stir well, then cover and reduce heat to a low simmer. Cook until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender, about 20 minutes.
  5. Keeping rice covered, remove from heat and allow to sit for a final 10 minutes. Fluff and serve!
  6. Top with the Fajita mixture and fresh avocado


For best results, use a lightly oiled vegetable pan - all the grill taste without having to deal with burnt vegetables.

Hot Summer Eats is here. Rallied by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, a talented group of 18 food bloggers will be posting recipes for a week. From June 1st through June 8th, we hope to inspire you for your summer grill dates and cookouts, provide you with ideas for your beach bonfires, and get you planning those ice cream socials and cocktail hours. Not only will you find over a hundred summery recipe posts, but you can enter to win our awesome giveaway, courtesy of some amazingly generous donations from sponsoring companies. See details below.
The Sponsors
(with links to their homepages, in alphabetical order)


The Prizes

BenBella Veganwill provide one winner with one print copy of each of their Spring 2015 releases:Love Fed, by Christina Ross (March 2015); PlantPure Nation Cookbook, by Kim Campbell (March 2015); Plant-Powered Families, by Dreena Burton (May 2015); Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living, by Lindsay S.
Nixon (May 2015); and China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook, by Del Sroufe (May

Casabellawill provide one winner with a trio of kitchen gadgets that are perfect for summer entertaining: a set of two large ice cube trays; a citrus juicer and reamer; and a cherry pitter.

Gourmet Gardenwill provide one winner with each of their stir-in pastes (basil, chili pepper, cilantro, dill, Italian herbs, garlic, chunky garlic, ginger, lemongrass, oregano, parsley, and Thai seasonings), each of their lightly dried herbs (basil, chili pepper, cilantro, ginger, and parsley), and two Gourmet Garden logo coolers.

Not Ketchupwill provide one winner with a prize pack of four fruit ketchups – Blueberry White Pepper, Cherry Chipotle, Spiced Fig, and Smoky Date.

Quirk Bookswill send one winner a copy of their cookbook Summer Cocktails by Maria Del Mar Sacasa, photography by Tara Striano.

Spicely Organicswill send one winner their Backyard Barbeque Gift Box.

T.Lishwill provide one winner with each of the three current flavors: Sweet Garlic, Asian Sesame, and Chipotle.

Members of the Sauceology Grouphave donated a summery prize pack that includes six delicious products. You will receive either the Calypso Kick or Island Thyme Spice Rub fromCaribeque, Garlic Goodness Hot Sauce and Chai Curry Chup fromIntensity Academy, Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette fromOut of the Weeds, Guava Girl Gourmet Grilling Sauce fromPirate Jonny’s, and Southern Gold Barbeque Gold Sauce fromVoodoo Chef.

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer – Thank you to #HotSummerEats sponsors BenBella Vegan, Caribeque, Casabella, Gourmet Garden,
Intensity Academy, Not Ketchup, Out of the Weeds. Pirate Jonny’s, Quirk Books,
Spicely Organics, T.Lish , and Voodoo Cheffor providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for
#HotSummerEats without additional compensation.All opinions are my own.

On the Shore

Waldorf Salad


Welcome to Part 2 of my #partylikeamadman – again with a huge thanks to my in-laws for allowing me to use their kitchen since ours is still in construction mode!   In going through the Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook, one of my favorite parts was how each recipe included not only information about the episode the dish was featured in but also facts about the origin of the recipe.  In the case of the Waldorf Salad, the cookbook also included information about the evolution of the salad – as well as two versions of the dish.  I went with the classic dish, adding some grapes for an extra POP of color.     I served this for a large group of people but due to taste preference not all ingredients were increased the same way.  The first recipe is how I served it, while the second one is the original recipe plus grapes.


Waldorf Salad

Serves: Serves 8 as a side

Original Recipe: 2 apples 1/2 cup grapes 1 cup iced hearts of celery 5 tbsp seasoned mayo Lettuce for serving


  • 8 apples, peeled
  • 2 cups diced heart of celery
  • 2 cups grapes
  • 1/3 cup mayo
  • Lettuce, for serving
  • Salt and Pepper for seasoning


  1. Peel and core the apples, divided in half and then cut in to slices. Reserve 12 slices, and cut the remainder into thin julienne strips.
  2. Combine the apple strips with the celery and toss with half of the mayo. Fold in the grapes
  3. Season to taste then place the mixture in the middle of a salad bowl and spread with the mayo. Garnish with the lettuce and the reserved apple slices.
  4. Serve and Enjoy!


Since this was part of a Seder dinner, the mayo was limited to Kosher for Passover and with that unseasoned.

I wound up making this dish twice – the first version wound up with a technical problem in that I was the one taking the picture.  The second time around I served this up as part of our Seder dinner and it was the perfect fit (and quite the hit!).   I am so glad I was able to participate in this Mad Men Party,  and look forward to having a finished kitchen so that I can try out some of the more elaborate dishes in the book!

On Patrol

Spinach and Shells


Trying something new with my site, in theory things should now be MUCH faster and hopefully posts/updates will stop disappearing.   Today’s post is a healthier twist on my standard lazy night dinner, a recipe that started back in college as it is easily double and can be made on little to no sleep.  Just requires some pasta, a leafy vegetable, and shredded cheese of some form!  In college this normally meant thin spaghetti, frozen spinach with onions, and whatever fake stuff was on sale.  Now that I have a bit more money, and still no time, I’ve been able to upgrade this recipe while reducing the sodium that goes along with fake cheese and fake (or canned) vegetables.  It still comes together in under 30 minutes, so perfect for late nights after work or for a late lunch when the day is slipping away.   As a bonus – it’s a green dish perfect for St. Patrick’s day!!!

Shells with Spinach

Serves 4


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 3 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1/2 lb shells
  • 2 cups spinach, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  • Pepper (to taste)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, then add the garlic and onion and cook for an additional 10 minutes before adding the basil.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta per instructions then reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining. Return the pasta, water, and garlic/onion mixture to the pasta pot.
  3. Stir in the spinach then top with cheese and season to taste with pepper and Enjoy!

I’m also sending this over to /r/52weeksofcooking for their hangover challenge as I’m fairly certain the first time I made this in college that was the case.   This recipe is also a great way to clean out the fridge or freezer, and no need to stick to just one vegetable!

Fix What’s Broken

Mulligatawny Style Curry


I have a curry addiction, I’ll admit it – it’s totally true.  I love the spice, both the heat and the flavor, and the fact that it warms me up on even the coldest day.  With the Siberian Vortex currently coming down on the Mid-Atlantic a bit of heat and spice is very much needed and appreciated.  Still in shock over how low the temperatures have been and are going to be, just totally ridiculous especially since I’m technically in the south.  Anyway, enough about the weather cuz it’s time to time to focus on the curry.  I can’t remember the first time I had mulligatawny stew but it had to be years ago as it involved chicken.  Which is why I set out to create a vegan version, no chicken involved!

Fix What’s Broken

Serves 4-5


  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
  • 16 oz tofu, well pressed and cubed
  • 1 pink lady apple, diced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins


  1. Heat the oil in a dutch oven then add the shallots, green pepper, and carrot. Cook for 5-7 minutes, then stir in the curry powder and cook for an additional minute before adding the tofu. Continue cooking the tofu until golden on all sides.
  2. Add the apple along with vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Turn heat to low then simmer for 25 minutes before stirring in the greek yogurt and the golden raisins. Cook for a final 5 minutes then Serve and Enjoy!

 For dinner we enjoyed the stew as is, while I added lentils the next day in order to make it go a bit further.   For those who don’t want all the spice feel free to drop the cayenne powder – or switch for something milder.  Whatever works best for you!