Casserole · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Secret Recipe Club

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!

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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

Appetizer · Gluten Free · Mexican · Secret Recipe Club

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!

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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.

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52Weeks · Gluten Free · One-Pot · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Vegan

Careful Making

Quinoa with Beets, Beans, and Berries

beets_with_quinoa

I still can’t believe this year is almost over – and that /52weeksofcooking is almost done (again).  It’s been a fun adventure with new ingredients and techniques and cuisines, which is why I can’t wait to see what themes are picked for next year.   I’m also a little behind, so today’s dish is actually from week 49 where dried fruit were the theme.  I debated going with something sweet, oatmeal raisin cookies or similar, but after seeing some fantastic looking beets at the market I decided to go with something savory.  After all, there is more than enough junk food this time of year!  The beets I picked up still had the greens attached, however I know that’s not always the case so feel free to switch out for some swiss chard or collards.

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This dish is one where layering the ingredients really comes off – and keeps the leaves from turning bright pink.  I enjoyed this dish “naked” while Joe topped his with some grated Parmesan cheese, soy crumbles would also work for those wanting to add more salt to the dish.  I’m more of a bitter person, which is why I loved how the tart of the cranberries went against the natural sweet of the beets.

Vegan

Wicked This

Curry Couscous

Every had one of those moments where you think it’s about 2hrs earlier than it actually is?  This recipe is the result of one of those nights.  For some reason my internal clock was saying 5PM while the actual clock was saying something closer to 8PM…not really an issue unless one hasn’t even started thinking about dinner plans.  I started searching the pantry and found some couscous and a new thing of spicy curry along with some beans, garlic, and red onion.  Okay…I can work with this!  Everything came together quickly and before I knew it, and before 9PM, dinner was served!

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I also had some leftover banana bread to serve as a side along with some diced roma tomatoes left over from a salad the night before.  This might not be the fanciest dish out there, but it was warm and filling which is all that really matters!

Home Cooking · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Soup · Vegan

Need to be a Little Crazy

Pasta e Fagioli

pastafijoule
For some reason this April has been nothing short of INSANE!  I started a new job last week and the film festival at the USHMM has also started up again.  I was also fortunate enough to spend this past weekend in NYC (2nd Top Chef restaurant) and will also be out of town the next two weekends with other fun things.  There is also a very good chance that in the next 24hrs Joe will be an Uncle…did I mention this month has been insane?!? I have still been cooking like crazy and have some great quick and easy spring time recipes that I can’t wait to share with everyone.
During crazy insane times like these I rely on quick easy recipes that involve very little prep and very little active cooking times.  Meals like these are essential on crazy nights, and the best part about this recipe is that is has everything in it for a full meal.  Just add some polenta or some crusty bread and you have a quick weekday night feast!
Ingredients:
2 tbsp EVOO
1 onion, diced
1/2 lb baby carrots, chopped
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 can garbanzo beans
1 can cannelloni bean
2 cups low salt veg. broth
1 cup small pasta, uncooked

Directions
1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook 3 minutes, then add the parsley, garlic, and carrots. Cook 5 minutes.
2. Add the beans and stock and bring to boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and add the pasta.  Cook, simmering, for 15minutes or until pasta is tender.  Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve!


Joe likes to top his with some fresh cheese, be it Mozzarella or Parmesan while I prefer to just add some crusty bread.  Hopefully things will start to slow down soon and I can start posting more regularly.  There is an IIP party this week so I will have a delicious Cake Pop recipe to share on Saturday night.  I have this theory that with all the running around I have been doing any Cake Pops that I eat while recipe testing won’t count.  I mean, that’s how it works right???