Tag Archives: cheese

Happy Birthday

  Mexican “Beef” Corn Casserole

mexican_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

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  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!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/09/happy-birthday.html

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

Orioles Magic

Nopal Dip

nopal_dip

Welcome to a special August edition of the Secret Recipe Club!  A few months ago it was decided that instead of the 5th Monday of the month being a “buy” week, it would be a time for all four groups to get together around a common theme.  The first theme: Tailgating!  While we’re not really tailgators in this house, we are huge fans of chips and dips and all those other delicious finger foods – we just tend to serve them during (board)Game Days.  This year we did treat ourselves with (partial) season tickets for the Orioles, so have had a few more opportunities to indulge in tailgate treats while at the game.  For this special feature, I was sent to check out Micha’s Cooking Mimi blog which has a bunch of delicious treats.  In fact, the recipe I settled on in the end is really a 2 for 1 as for the perfect Nopal dip you have to first make her Pico de Gallo salsa.   I had to make one change to each recipe, dropping the lime juice from the salsa (allergy) and subbing some black beans in for the ground beef in the Nopal dip.  I’m sure a beef substitute would work, and that had been my original plan, but I’ve had a hard time finding my favorite one lately – which of course is store brand so limited in options.  Anyway – this dip came together super fast and was delicious!

Nopal Dip

Ingredients

5 Roma or plum tomatoes, chopped

1 medium vidalia onion, diced

2 jalapeños, diced

1 tbsp fresh cilantro

Salt

1¼ pound White American Cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes

1 cup whole milk

2 cups black beans, presoaked and rinsed

Salt/pepper to taste

1 recipe Pico de Gallo (above)

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Pico de Gallo by mixing the tomatoes, onion, jalapenos, and cilantro in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt, then set aside.
  2. Add the milk and cheese to a heavy bottomed pot and slowly melt the cheese over medium low heat stirring frequently and once melted add the black beans. Season to taste with salt and/or pepper.
  3. Combine the cheese and pico de gallo in serving sized portions. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/08/orioles-magic.html

We enjoyed it with chips (of course) and some burrito bowls for a perfect Mexicanish dinner.   The salsa had the right amount of bite thanks to the two jalapenos which is always an issue for us as many are a bit too mild.  I did notice my salsa came out a bit thicker than Micha’s but not exactly sure why.

A Beautiful Mine

Chile Rellenos

mad_men_chilli_rellenos

When I first saw the call for bloggers to help with a Man Men Party to kick off the last season of the series- I was very interested but a bit perplexed.  When I picture meals in the 1960s, many menus and ideas come to mind and not one of them is vegetarian.  So I inquired and was thrilled to find out that this fantastic ode to the food of featured in Mad Men included a more than a few vegetarian recipes – in addition to classic drinks and fantastic treats.   I was so excited to open up my copy and get to work deciding on a recipe, narrowing it down to a whopping 5 dishes that begged to be enjoyed.  However with my inpending kitchen renovation, I knew that whatever I picked had to be quick and easy and low mess – so hello Chili Rellenos!  I’ve had Chili Rellenos before but always fried, so the fact that these are sauted made them even better – plus no breading so a great gluten free treat as well.  I had a bit of an issue with the technique, however for these delicious treats looks don’t matter – it’s all about the taste!  I also turned it in to a one pot dish but heating up the sauce at the very end while the peppers cooled a bit – this also allowed me to get all of the cheesy and eggy goodness out of the pan.

A Beautiful Mine

Serves 4

Ingredients

6 poblano peppers, split and seeded

2 cups shredded or sliced Cheddar Cheese

3 eggs, separated

1 tbsp canola oil

1/4 onion, diced

1 can diced tomatoes

salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the cheese in to the poblano peppers and fold peppers over, if using large peppers using a tooth pick to keep close. Stuff all peppers than set aside.
  2. Beat the egg whites in a small bowl until firm but not dry, so just before peaks form. In a separate bowl, beat the egg yolks until fluffy and then fold in the egg whites.
  3. Heat the canola oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Dredge the peppers in the egg mixture then place in the skillet with the folds pointed to the sides of the pan. Be careful to not crowd the pan.
  4. Cook for 6 minutes on each side, or until brown. Continue until all peppers are cooked then remove peppers to a plate.
  5. Add the onions and diced tomatoes to the skillet and bring to a quick boil - then season to taste with the salt and pepper. Remove to a small bowl then Serve and Enjoy with the peppers!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/03/a-beautiful-mine.html

Since I was serving these to my in-laws, I did a mixture of poblano chilis and standard green bell peppers – same technique just a less spicy pepper.  I served the sauce in a bowl on the side, and let people add as much (or as little) to their peppers as they wanted.  To take it from an appetizer to a true entree, I added some black beans and rice for the perfect meal. I am so beyond happy that I decided to join in the fun – and can’t wait to try out more recipes (Sour Cream Coffee Cake!) and even try my hand at bartending.

Make sure to check out all the other recipes featured as part of #PartylikeaMadMan

Instagram

On Patrol

Spinach and Shells

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

Ingredients

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)

Instructions

  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!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/03/on-patrol.html

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!

A Long

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

butternut_mac_cheese

I can’t believe it’s already day 5 of TripleSBites!  Last night we had our awesome twitter party, which included a few of our awesome sponsors and lots of tasty recipes.  Today’s feature is one that takes a bit of prep work but offers a great twist on a classic dish.  While a few of my twists on Mac & Cheese haven’t been blogworthy (hello, cauliflower) but this one is out of the world!  To save some time I used a few of my Gourmet Garden treats and also added just a touch of a new goody: Chili Cumin from Acala Farms.  Normally I use mustard seed in my mac & cheese but decided to switch it up this time!

A Long

Serves 4-5

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp chili cumin oil

1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs), halved

1 lb elbow noodles

1 tsp Italian Spices paste (Gourmet Garden)

1 tsp Chunky Garlic paste (Gourmet Garden)

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

3 ounces goat cheese

1/2 cup seasoned breadcrumbs (optional)

Instructions

  1. Turn oven to 425. Mix together the olive oil and cumin oil and pour in the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the squash in roasting pan, cut side down. Roast for 45 minutes.
  2. Turn oven down to 350 and remove squash from oven for 10 minutes, then remove and set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile cook the elbow pasta per the box, rinse and then return to the pan.
  4. Stir the squash in to the cooked pasta, along with the spices, greek yogurt, and goat cheese.
  5. Place in to a casserole dish and top with the breadcrumbs. Then bake at 350 for 25 minutes.
  6. Serve and enjoy!
http://dancingveggies.com/2015/02/a-long.html

Another HUGE HIT!  For a quicker version, drop the baking part and serve right after mixing everything together.  Always been a big fan of the breadcrumb crunch but some nights there just isn’t time.  If using a gluten free pasta, add 2 tbsp of milk to the dish before baking to prevent the noodles from drying out.

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