Tag Archives: tomato

Sweet Summer

Acapulco Tofu


Welcome to March’s Secret Recipe Club!  It feels so awesome to be joining the SRC again after taking my baby break – I missed the fun that comes with being sent a blog to explore.  This month I was given Sid’s Sea Palm Cooking, a blog I was very familiar with thanks to Facebook and previous SRC reveals.  I had a very hard time picking a recipe this month as Sid’s blog is stuffed to the gills with all sorts of recipes including retro favorites and Danish treats.  Two of the “finalists” were part of the Danish block: Baked Omelette and Cauliflower with Herbs.  In the end I could not get past her Chicken Acapulco recipe and decided that I had to give it a whirl.  I replaced the chicken with extra firm tofu and since I was unable to find the McCormick meat seasoning in the original recipe I made my own.

Sweet Summer

Serves: Serves 4-5


1 lb tofu, cubed and well pressed

1 packet meat seasoning

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp water

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 jalapeno, diced

2 cloves garlic, iced

1 Spanish onion, diced

3 roma tomatoes

1 tsp gourmet garden cilantro (or 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, diced)

1 cup Monterrey jack cheese

1/2 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese


  1. Place the cubed/pressed tofu in a deep bowl. In a small bowl i together the seasoning, olive oil, water, and vinegar then pour over the tofu. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes, flipping the tofu over halfway.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the jalapeno, garlic, tomatoes, and cilantro - set aside.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the tofu. Cook for at least 5 minutes on each side, tofu should be a light golden color. Add the tomato mixture (Pico de gallo) and turn heat to low. Allow to cook for 15 minutes.
  4. Slowly stir in the cheeses being careful to not over crowd the pan. Once cheese has melted, serve on a warm tortilla or over yellow rice.
  5. Eat and Enjoy!

Fantastic!  The spices and the cheese went together perfectly and by giving the tofu enough time to drain it was really able to soak up all the flavors.  We enjoyed ours taco style for dinner and as a burrito bowl the next day with some Spanish style rice – adding some fresh avocado and green pepper each time.  I had never heard of acapulco chicken (or tofu!) before finding this recipe but now it will be on regular rotation.  It might require a number of bowls but it comes together super quick.  For a real short cut, pick up some fresh made pico de gallo at the grocery store.  Another great recipe thanks to the Secret Recipe Club!!!

Little Bitty

Cheesy Vegetable Lasagna


After a very mild few weeks, fall is 100% here and I’m becoming okay with that.  Something about having those extra few weeks of nice temperatures is somehow making it easier – feel like we “cheated” in a way.  The nice weather also made for some strange food overlaps as cherry tomatoes kept trickling in to the markets which are normally long gone by this point.  Again it feels like we’re cheating!  With that, I wound up with a bunch of random vegetables at the end of the week so I decided to just take everything out of the fridge and see what I could do with it.  In the end it came down to a pizza or lasagna and a rogue sweet potato made the decision for me: lasagna!

Cheesy Vegetable Lasagna

Serves 4-5


1 sweet potato

1/2 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oil

1/2 large red onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped

1/2 lb lasagna noodles (pre-cook if needed) - about 9 strips

1 1/3 cup alfredo sauce (divided)

1 cup ricotta cheese

1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded


  1. Microwave (or bake) sweet potato until soft - then remove filling and mash with a 1/2 tbsp of butter and a pinch of salt/pepper
  2. Preheat oven to 375
  3. In a small pan heat up the olive oil over medium heat, then add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes before adding the mushrooms and cooking an addition 7 minutes.
  4. Spoon 1/3 cup of the alfredo sauce on the bottom and sides of a 9x9 baking dish. Place the first layer of lasagna noodles then top with 1/2 of the ricotta cheese and sweet potato mixture - using a spoon to smooth out. Top with half of the mushroom and onion mixture then sprinkle with the diced tomatoes and 1/3 cup alfredo sauce. Repeat the layers, switching the direction of the lasagna noodles.
  5. Top with the grated Parmesan and Mozzarella cheeses then cover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for a final 15 minutes.

 For a different twist switch out the sweet potato for any type of squash – or use a variety of wild mushrooms.  Spinach, swiss chard, or kale would also go fantastically in this dish either fresh or pre-cooked with the mushrooms and onions.  Since my main mission was to clean out the fridge I just used what I had on hand, and it worked fantastically!  If you don’t have alfredo sauce on hand a simple bechamel sauce can also work, tho you might want to add more garlic/salt/pepper in order to keep the dish from being too bland.

In other news, our little one made her appearance last Friday (11/27) and we are 100% smitten.  She arrived at 7:02 am weighing 8lbs 13oz and has the cutest chunkiest little cheeks!.  After years of fertility treatments and wishing/hoping/praying it is such a relief to have her home!

See Me Again

Entomatadas with Refried Beans

Entomatadas (Tomato Enchiladas)

Welcome to my BONUS Secret Recipe Club post for November!  When I saw that there were two orphans from last week, I jumped as quickly as possible.  I wound up being greatly rewarded as I got Leslie’s La Cocina de Leslie’s blog, which I had once before, one that I had marked around a dozen recipes to try.  So rather than narrow it down to one pick, I went with a full meal – including a prep recipe.  For the main course we enjoyed her Entomatadas (Tomato Enchiladas) while her pinto refried beans were the perfect companion – especially after using her precooking technique to make sure they were ready to go.   I did have to swap out the cheese in her tomato enchiladas as my local grocery store did not have queso fresco – reminding me why I drive to the county every weekend to go to Wegmans! Thankfully Google let me know that I could use plain feta so Google to the rescue!!!!

Pinto Refried Beans

La Cocina de Leslie’s blog has so many delicious treats that settling with just three recipes still had me wanting more.  So with that two of her other recipes, 3 Bean Chili and Austin Black Beans, were converted to freezer meals and are currently in my freezer waiting to be enjoyed once baby arrives!  I might have gone a bit overboard but everything looked so amazing – I just couldn’t decide!

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Here I Sit

Early Fall Tagine


Amazed and slightly shocked that so far the best part of my pregnancy has been the third trimester.  The HG is mostly under control and while my back is sore, it’s amazing the energy boost that comes with not getting sick multiple times a day.   I’m still sticking with quick and easy meals, as I have no desire to tempt fate, and have also been bringing out my cookbooks more with the plan of finding easy to freeze recipes.  This recipe is not one of those, but it is one that I had marked at the start of summer.  It’s inspired by a recipe in Vegetarian Tagines & Couscous which is a fantastic book for people who don’t have a citrus allergy.  However the basic ingredients are just that, so I can adjust and mess with as necessary – resulting in citrus (and nut) free treats for my household!

Early Fall Tagine

Serves 4


1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp unsalted butter (dairy or nondairy)

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 large tomatoes

1 large eggplant, roll cut and then quartered

2 carrots, peeled and cut in to 1inch pieces

2 cups chickpeas, presoaked and rinsed

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp fresh thym


  1. Heat the oil/butter in the bottom of the tagine over medium heat. Stir in the cumin, cinnamon, and garlic - saute for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the eggplant and continue cooking for 10 minutes, stirring on occasion to prevent sticking, then add in the carrots and chickpeas along with the sugar. Cover and cook for a final 15 minutes, stirring halfway to prevent sticking and burning. If getting too dry add a bit of water or vegetable stock, a tbsp at a time.
  3. Once carrots are soft, Serve and enjoy!

I served this with some leftovers lentils, but couscous would be the more traditional option – tho flatbread or rice would also work.  I topped mine with a bit of Greek Yogurt (So Delicious Coconut) while Joe went the naked route this time.  It was shortly after this that my tagine decided it was time to quit – lesson learned regarding gas burners and the importance of a good diffuser.  Thankfully a new one just arrived (late birthday present) and I can’t wait to give it a whirl!

I’ve Hungered

Caribbean Beans & Rice


Day 3 of TripleSBites – a saucy, sexy, spicy collection of recipes from 20 incredible bloggers! So far I’ve featured one of my Valentine’s favorite vegetables, a delicious pink treat, and today I’m featuring a spicy dish that is sure to heat things up.  I’ve mentioned before how when I first met my husband he wasn’t a fan of the spicy, and how over the years (5 this spring!) he has acquired a taste for the hot, hot, HOT!  So when the I was Pirate Jonny’s Caribbean  style hot sauce I knew I HAD to use it to make something special for my better half.  This dish features a bunch of vegetables along with two types of beans some brown rice and for those that want it: cheese!  Basically all the things my husband loves, minus Old Bay.

I’ve Hungered

Serves 4


1 tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic

1 red onion, diced

1 green pepper, diced

1 cup corn

1 cup brown rice

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock

1 can rotel tomatoes, original

1 tbsp Syrena's Seduction Hot Sauce

1 cup black beans, presoaked

1 cup pinto beans, presoaked

Grated Cheese, Sour Cream, and/or Avocado for topping


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, and green pepper and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the corn and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  2. Add the rice, and toss well in the oil and vegetables for a minute before adding the stock, hot sauce and rotel. Bring to a boil, then cover, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes, then stir in the beans and fluff the rice and allow to sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Serve and top with cheese, sour cream, and/or avocado and Enjoy!

Not going to lie – this sauce packs a bit of a punch! However it is more than just a hot sauce, there are other flavors going on which is key to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy hot sauce but there has to be something else going on beyond the HOT portion – and this sauce has it.  Next on my list is to check out their Guava Girl Hot Sauce, mostly because of the name, but it also sounds like another sauce that will more than just a “hot sauce”.

Note: While I did receive the Cherry Chipotle Not Ketchup for free as part of participating in TripleSBites, I was not required to use or mention the product outside of acknowledging receipt of the product.  All opinions are totally my own.  

Don’t forget to check out the giveaway for your chance to try some of these incredible products!  Also, be sure to check out all the other bloggers below!