Mega Tofu Nachos
This week the challenge for /52weeksofcooking wasn’t a real challenge, at least not for me. This week we had to cook with tofu, something that I’m more than a little familiar with. However I still wanted to get something out of this challenge so I started thinking about all the different ways that I could use tofu, as well as recipes that I could reinvent using tofu. I also wanted to clean out my fridge of some leftovers from another challenge, namely homemade salsa and guacamole. After much debate I was stuck between tofu rancheros and tofu nachos, with the nachos winning out. For the tofu I decided I wanted it to be more than just a topping and decided to spice it up a bit. In order to achieve that, this tofu was pressed for just over 30 minutes to make sure there was no liquid left.
The original idea was these nachos would be an appetizer but in the end they were so filling that they became the entree. Precooking the tofu gave them a slight crunch which was perfect since I was slightly concerned the tofu was going to fall apart. This might not have been the healthiest of dinners but it went well with our West Wing marathon so I’ll just have to behave the rest of the week.
For the most part I’m pretty good about buying things and then immediately using them, partially because I like a clean kitchen and partially because my lack of a pantry demands that. I write my grocery lists and menus for the week on Saturday, and do my best to stick to those occasionally allowing some extra staples to sneak in. Every now and then however I’ll get got up in some “sale” going on and over fill my pantry with an ingredient that I use but not enough to really justify buying three or four cans of. Coconut milk frequently falls in this list, as do un-salted canned diced tomatoes, and bags of all types of rice. This results in a stuffed cabinet that prevents me from being able to see the item I really need (MIA: pineapple chunks) which results in more over purchasing. It’s a vicious cycle but this month I was able to take care of a fair amount of the bulk after being motivated by October’s Random Recipe challenge.
This month we were challenged to grab an item lurking in the back of the cupboard and DO something with it. The first thing I grabbed, some black bean soup, wound up being extremely expired so that went straight to the bin. The second item was a can of Rotel Diced Tomatoes – Original recipe, which I was very excited about. For cookbooks I decided to utilize my oft neglected Slow Cooker cookbook to find the perfect recipe for these tomatoes. Enter: Mexican Casserole – from the main dishes section.
I did have to make some dietary changes to the recipe, for the original recipe substitute the black beans for ground beef, and also finished it off in the oven since I didn’t trust my slow cooker to properly crisp the chips. The best part about this recipe is that it’s extremely versatile, and has the potential to clear the cabinet of more than one neglected can. One of the side panel variations suggested using velveeta or a similar cheese product in place of the shredded cheese, something that many of my friends have lurking in their cabinets. All in all this dish was a great success, which is why I’m also sending this over to /52weeks for Casserole Week.
Can you believe it? Two SRC blog posts in one month?!? When Jane of Heritage Cooks contacted me a few days ago about helping out an orphaned blog I jumped at the chance. After all, I would have to be crazy to turn down being introduced to another great food blog full of great ideas. I went right on over to check out Cookin With Chopin and was quickly blown away by the A-MAZING photography and the incredibly delicious recipes jumping out all over the place. After visiting Germany in my other SRC post I decided to keep with the international theme and see where my stomach would land. It didn’t take me long at all to stumble across the perfect recipe for my Tex-Mex loving household: Chilaquiles! Many moons ago when I was in college there was an amazing Mexican restaurant down the street that served up this delicious casserole and after deciding to be adventurous one night and not getting the Enchiladas Verde I was hooked. From the melted cheese to the crunch of the chips to the perfect salsa blended with whatever protein your heart desires this meal is just right. Plus it comes together in no time at all and I have a feeling it would also be right at home in the slow cooker, altho some crunch might be lost with that. I did make some changes, but nothing huge. Switched the chicken for a mixture of black and pinto beans and also added some jalapenos to the salsa in order to give it more of a kick.
Needless to say this recipe was D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S! I plan on giving it a try with the salsa verde and maybe upping the heat with serrano peppers instead of the jalapenos. So a big thanks to Ginny for sharing this recipe and bringing back some great college memories in the process!