Tag Archives: jalapeno

and Dance

Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie


Welcome to May’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club  and what I hope is the start of a lot of new blog posts.  I wound up taking the last month off in order to deal with our kitchen renovation and a fantastic little stomach bug.  Now I’m back – with an awesome new kitchen that can’t wait to be used!  Today’s recipes is one of the first I did in the new kitchen, and was a great way to “break it in” since it required the stovetop as well as the oven.  The interesting part is that the recipe I wound up using from BCmom’s kitchen was not one on my original list.  My first plan was to make her delicious sounding Sweet Potato and Chickpea soup but then the weather decided to warm up, so I needed a new plan.  It was in my second search that I saw her Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie.   I had to make a few changes in order to make it vegetarian, essentially dropping the meat and doubling the vegetables!

and Dance


1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 small green bell pepper, diced

1 Tbsp minced garlic

1 Tbsp chopped green jalapeño

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 can Rotel Diced tomatoes

1 1/2 cup frozen corn

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup fresh spinach

1-1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks

1/4 cup sour cream


  1. Place the sweet potatoes in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook for 25 minutes, or until soft.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes before adding the garlic and jalapeno, cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste along with the spices to the onion and pepper mixture. Stir well and cook until the paste has mostly dissolved then add the diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the final ingredients and continue simmering for 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400.
  6. Drain the sweet potatoes, and return to pot. Mash with the sour cream.
  7. Pour the tomatoes and pepper mixture in to a 9x9 baking dish (or 2 qt casserole dish) and top with the sweet potatoes.
  8. Sprinkle with cheese (optional) then bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

There are more ingredients, and steps, to this than most of my recipes but it still comes together rather quickly.  I served this with some avocado,  a dollop of sour cream, and some tortilla chips in order to ensure every last drop was enjoyed.  Another fantastic dish thanks to the SRC!

Now They Know

Cheesy Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins

Cheesy Jalapeno Cornbread

Apparently Mother Nature forgot to check her calender for it’s snowing in March in the Mid-Atlantic, and that’s just not right (or normal).  This is resulting in a very large number of soups in my household, and with that a lot of crusty bread for soaking up every last drop.  However one can not survive on crusty bread alone, so I decide to spice things up by adjusting one of my favorite cornbread recipes.  The first few times I made this by just topping the muffin dough with the pepper and cheese, but quickly realized that folding them in was the better option – even though it increases the risk of heavy muffins.   In my oh-so-scientific experimentation I found that adding folding in the pepper and cheese with the last bit of flour seems to keep the muffins fluffy while still insuring a mostly even distribution of the cheese and peppers.

Now They Know

Serves: Yields 12 Standard Muffins


1 cup cornmeal (yellow or white)

1 cup flour

1/4 cup white sugar

3 tbsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 cup milk

1 egg

1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

1 jalapeno pepper, diced


  1. Preheat oven to 425 and lightly grease a muffin tin.
  2. Stir together the dry ingredients in a large bowl create a well in the middle, then set aside. Beat together the vegetable oil, milk, and egg.
  3. Pour the liquid ingredients in to the well and quickly mix together, right before fully mixed fold in the cheese and pepper.
  4. Spoon the batter in to the pre-greased tins, filling about 3/4 of the way.
  5. Bake for 25 minutes, or until tops are a golden brown. Allow to cool on a rack for at least 5 minutes - then serve and enjoy!

These muffins are the perfect addition to a nice comforting soup, allowing you to soak up all the goodness – with just the right little kick.  For those looking for a real boost serrano peppers can easily be switched in, either seeded or as is.   Just be warned that these muffins are rather addicting, so if you serve them to guests be prepared to share the recipe!  Or risk having them call you up at dinner time asking for the recipe…

Starts to Snow

“Franks” and Beans

"Franks" and Beans

Welcome to a BONUS Secret Recipe Club posting!  This month I’m featuring an orphan blog from Group C as part of Group D’s link-up, with my normal Group A recipe coming next week.  I’m so excited to be starting another year with SRC, I have meet so many amazing bloggers and found so many incredible recipes.  Which is why I jumped at the chance to adopt and orphan blog, and what led me to Mary Anne and Mariel’s Feast on the Cheap.  This mother-daughter duo focuses on meals that can feed your entire family on a budget that won’t break the bank.  They also have one of the more extensive recipe pages out there, focusing not only on the type of meal but also what budget category it fits in.   I was immediately drawn to the picture for the $10 meals, but made sure to check all of her categories to insure I found the perfect recipe.  In the end I “narrowed” it down to five recipes before finally deciding that the Franks and Beans were too good to pass up – after a slight twist.  I’ve never been a fan of cold beans while Joe is not a fan of raw red onions, so I decided to serve this salad hot.

"Franks" & Beans

Serves: Serves 4-5


1 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion, diced

1 package soy chorizo (or tofurkey) sausages, sliced

1 jalapeno, diced

2 sweet potatoes, diced

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp fresh ginger, minced

2 cups Kidney beans, presoaked, drained, and well rinsed

2 cups black beans, presoaked, drained, and well rinsed

3 tbsp fresh cilantro


  1. Heat the olive oil in a deep saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes before adding the sliced sausage. Cook for 6 minutes, or until sausage is just starting to brown on each side.
  2. Meanwhile mix up the dressing by combining the cider vinegar, olive oil, dry mustard, and ginger.
  3. Add the jalapeno along with the diced sweet potato. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Add the pre-mixed dressing, bring to a quick boil and then turn down to a simmer before adding the beans. Cook for 10-15 minutes, the sweet potatoes should be soft with slight browning on the outside.
  4. Top with the fresh cilantro and then serve with some fresh greens and Enjoy!

This dish was perfection!  Per the original suggestion I served with some leafy greens, massaged kale in this case, and added some fresh sourdough bread to round things out.  Originally this dish had corn in it, but from the grocery store to my house the corn went MIA so I added a bit more sweet potato which worked very well – tho I do want to try this dish again with the corn.   I’m also hoping to make her s’more brownies because they sound beyond insanely good.


Hear Me Roar

Black Bean and Mushroom Casserole

Black Bean and Mushroom Casserole

Time for September’s edition of the Secret Recipe Club!  This month I was assigned Mellissa’s awesome A Fit and Spicy Life blog, which was total perfection.   We are BIG fans of spice over here, and always trying to be good decisions when it comes to what we eat.  I found so many delicious recipes on her blog, including an incredible sounding summer chili, a very cheerful salad, and a new way to make a veggie friendly pasta sauce.  In the end I sent all my choices over to my better half who selected Mellissa’s twist on a Mexican Casserole.  I’ve done a few Mexican Lasagna/Casserole dishes but never one that included mushrooms so I was all on board for this dish!  I had tons of fresh peppers in my garden so I decided to toss a few of them in as well.

Hear Me Roar

Serves: Serves 5-6


2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 cup onion, diced

1 lb mushrooms, quartered

2 garlic gloves, minced

1 jalapeno, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

2 1/2 cups black beans, pre-soaked and drained

8 corn tortillas, halved

2 cups salsa, I used homemade salsa verde

4 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese


  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet, add garlic, onions, and mushrooms and cook for 7 minutes. Add he peppers along with the cayenne and cook for an additional 2 minutes before adding the black beans. Stir to combine and cook for a final 2 minutes.
  3. Place 5 tortilla halves in a 2 quart baking dish, top with half the mushroom mixture, 1/2 cup salsa, and cheese. Add another layer of tortillas, mushrooms, salsa and cheese. Top with remaining tortilla halves, salsa and cheese. Cover, bake for 15 minutes. Remove cover and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until cheese is brown and bubbling.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

Make sure to check out all of Mellissa’s delicious recipes, including her version of this simple dish.  It came together to quickly, and can easily be adapted by switching up the salsa or beans used in the dish.   I’m also sending this to /52weeksofcooking for their pepper entry, for while peppers aren’t front and center in this dish they certainly added a strong pop!

Secrets that You Keep

Mexican Rice

Mexican Rice

Time for Part 1 of my August Secret Recipe Club entry! This month I was assigned my Group A blog and was also able to pick up an orphan blog from Group D.   First up: Cookin’ Mimi, a blog that has essentially been around since Micha was 4 years old and her first recipe published.  Needless to say her blog is stuffed full of delicious recipes.   I was able to narrow down to five recipes, some sweet and some savory, before finally narrowing it down to a final two recipes.  In the end, I had to go with her Mexican Rice as this is something I’m frequently making ala a box.  I was intrigued by the idea of making my own and the fact that it’s super easy makes it even better.  I did make some changes in order to add an extra kick to the dish, for those seeking a milder (and probably more traditional version) make to sure to head over to Cookin’ Mimi!

Mexican Rice


2Tablespoons butter or oil

1/4 vidalia onion, diced

1 cup long grain white rice

1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder or 1 clove of minced garlic

1 jalapeno, diced

1 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained

2 cups of vegetable broth

salt and pepper to taste.


  1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook for five minutes before adding the rice. Cook 2-3 minutes or until rice is translucent and fragrant, stirring frequently to prevent garlic from burning.
  2. Add the tomatoes with their juice along with the vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  3. Cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked. Remove from heat and let rest, still covered, for five minutes. Fluff rice with fork and serve.

I served mine topped with some shredded cheese, and with some enchiladas verde but have a feeling this rice would also go great inside of burritos.  I’m totally going to give her Irish Tea cake a try in the near future – gotta love a dessert where are all the ingredients are ones I always have on hand.

Make sure to check out the rest of Group A’s entries – including my second one!