Hot Summer Eats · Mexican · Quick Weeknight Recipes

Endless Summer

Grilled Fajita Bowl

fajitas_bowl

Welcome to the first installment for #HotSummerEats – an awesome blog link-up created by the always amazing Cam of Culinary Adventures with Cam.  This link-up has been a bit of a challenge for me (wahOo HG) but I had committed to it before we knew this treatment round worked so I wasn’t going anywhere.  As all the sponsor goodies started arriving. I just got more and more and more excited. PLUS there is AWESOME giveaway involved with some fantastic products – many of which will be featured over the next couple of days.

Today’s post is one of my all time favorite summer recipes – with a chipotle twist thanks to T. Lish dressings and marinades.  I’ve always been a fan of fajitas, regardless of the vegetables involved I know that as long as the vegetables are fresh the dish will be amazing!  I had originally planned on doing more traditional fajitas (tortillas, homemade salsa, etc) but given the current state of things I knew that I needed to adapt the recipe in order to fit with my new lifestyle.  So I made up some yellow rice and sliced up some avocado to make a delicious fajita bowl – all the flavor with a fraction of the prep time as everything just goes in the bowl.

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Hot Summer Eats is here. Rallied by Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla, a talented group of 18 food bloggers will be posting recipes for a week. From June 1st through June 8th, we hope to inspire you for your summer grill dates and cookouts, provide you with ideas for your beach bonfires, and get you planning those ice cream socials and cocktail hours. Not only will you find over a hundred summery recipe posts, but you can enter to win our awesome giveaway, courtesy of some amazingly generous donations from sponsoring companies. See details below.
The Sponsors
(with links to their homepages, in alphabetical order)

 

The Prizes

BenBella Veganwill provide one winner with one print copy of each of their Spring 2015 releases:Love Fed, by Christina Ross (March 2015); PlantPure Nation Cookbook, by Kim Campbell (March 2015); Plant-Powered Families, by Dreena Burton (May 2015); Happy Herbivore Guide to Plant-Based Living, by Lindsay S.
Nixon (May 2015); and China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook, by Del Sroufe (May
2015).

Casabellawill provide one winner with a trio of kitchen gadgets that are perfect for summer entertaining: a set of two large ice cube trays; a citrus juicer and reamer; and a cherry pitter.

Gourmet Gardenwill provide one winner with each of their stir-in pastes (basil, chili pepper, cilantro, dill, Italian herbs, garlic, chunky garlic, ginger, lemongrass, oregano, parsley, and Thai seasonings), each of their lightly dried herbs (basil, chili pepper, cilantro, ginger, and parsley), and two Gourmet Garden logo coolers.

Not Ketchupwill provide one winner with a prize pack of four fruit ketchups – Blueberry White Pepper, Cherry Chipotle, Spiced Fig, and Smoky Date.

Quirk Bookswill send one winner a copy of their cookbook Summer Cocktails by Maria Del Mar Sacasa, photography by Tara Striano.

Spicely Organicswill send one winner their Backyard Barbeque Gift Box.

T.Lishwill provide one winner with each of the three current flavors: Sweet Garlic, Asian Sesame, and Chipotle.

Members of the Sauceology Grouphave donated a summery prize pack that includes six delicious products. You will receive either the Calypso Kick or Island Thyme Spice Rub fromCaribeque, Garlic Goodness Hot Sauce and Chai Curry Chup fromIntensity Academy, Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette fromOut of the Weeds, Guava Girl Gourmet Grilling Sauce fromPirate Jonny’s, and Southern Gold Barbeque Gold Sauce fromVoodoo Chef.

The Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Disclaimer – Thank you to #HotSummerEats sponsors BenBella Vegan, Caribeque, Casabella, Gourmet Garden,
Intensity Academy, Not Ketchup, Out of the Weeds. Pirate Jonny’s, Quirk Books,
Spicely Organics, T.Lish , and Voodoo Cheffor providing the prizes free of charge. These companies also provided the bloggers with samples and product to use for
#HotSummerEats without additional compensation.All opinions are my own.

Gluten Free · Home Cooking · Mexican · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Vegan

and Let Live

Taco Bowl

Taco Bowl

Greeting!  Today’s dish is what happens when you leave a crucial item off of a shopping list – in this case taco shells.  While I first debated attempting to make my own shells, I then realized a much safer option would be forgetting about the shells and going for the taco version of a burrito bowl.  I used the usual cast of characters when it came to the taco “filling” and then tossed it all with some rice for a simple bowl of delicious.   As an added bonus the jalapeno came from my own garden, tho sadly I can not claim the tomatoes since this year I only have the cherry variety going – but maybe next year!

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Sometimes it pays off to forget something as now I have a new quick dish that has all the taco taste – just minus the shells. Plus it uses up random scraps of food that might otherwise have been thrown away, which is a HUGE positive in my opinion.  The taco rice can be topped with avocado, sour cream, cheese, or salsa – whatever your taste buds desire!

Note: Saying extra prayers today for all the family and friends who lost loved ones in the horrible attacks 13 years ago.  I’ve written before about my own experience before here for anyone interested.

Casserole · Mexican · Secret Recipe Club

Double Your Pleasure

Chilaquiles

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.

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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!

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Slow Cooker

Gonna Be

Israeli Eggplant Stew w/Poached Egg

or Shakshuka

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but recently Joe and I went to NYC for a belated birthday celebration.  While there we got lunch at Hummus Place, a local chain that specializes in hummus and other Middle Eastern delicacies.  I decided to branch out and order something that I had never heard of before, Shakshuka.  According to Wikipedia shakshuka is “is a dish of eggs poached in a sauce of tomatoes, chili peppers, onions, often spiced with cumin.”  The dish I got came with two eggs over easy and eggplant and it completely blew me out of the water.  All of the tastes combined to make an amazingly rich and filling dish, with everything working together in delicious harmony.  I knew right away that I wanted to give this dish a go once I got home, which is when the Googling started.   I borrowed some from the dish I tried at Hummus Place while adding spices of my own that I thought would work.  I doubt this version is anything like a traditional Shakshuka but it is insanely good and comes together with little work, just a bit of cutting.  I also put my slowcooker to work, which resulted in some great smells when I got home from work.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 medium vidalia onion, diced
  • 1 lb eggplant. cubed
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes, with juices
  • 1 cup whole stewed tomatoes, with juices
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 5 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 fresh eggs (optional)
Directions:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat, then add the garlic and onion.  Cook for 5-7minutes, or until onion starts to turn golden.  Add the eggplant and the green peppers, and cook for an additional 10minutes until the eggplant starts to become soft.  
  2. Add the onion, garlic, eggplant, and peppers to the slow cooker, along with the tomatoes and spices.  
  3. Cook on low for 6hours, adding more liquid as desired.  
  4. Turn slow cooker to high for the final 30 minutes, adding more seasonings as needed. 
  5. Meanwhile, poach the eggs in either a deep frying pan or a small sauce pan.  I used this guide and it worked great!  Serve the stew in bowls and then top with the poached eggs.

For those in a hurry this dish can also be prepared directly on the stove top, just allow the dish to simmer for at least 45minutes.  The other advantage of cooking on the stove top is that is allows for the eggs to be poached directly in the dish.  Yummy!

Italian · Vegan

Certain Company

Pasta with Pepper Sauce

Every now and then I see something that I never thought I would see.  Yesterday I was fortunate enough to come across a modern troubadour walking down the trail.  Strumming his guitar and serenading everyone he walked by he scared the daylights out of our one puppy while bringing a smile to my face.  There was just something soothing about it, made me feel like I was living in Stars Hollow for a hot second.

In other news I think I have figured out my tomato bandit.  Coming home from work today I almost ran over a very large groundhog while pulling on to my street.  Why he is going for the green ones and not the gorgeous red ones, still not sure but hopefully he will find a new garden to terrorize in the coming days.

This recipe is perfect for this time of year, when tomatoes are nice and juicy and peppers are starting to peak.  The perfect sauce for a simple summer supper that comes straight from the garden.

Ingredients (serves 4-5)

  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 4 bell peppers (mixing colors is encouraged), diced
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/2 vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp oregano, finely chopped
  • 1 lb favorite pasta
  • 1/4 cup fresh grated Parmesan Cheese (optional)
Directions
  1. Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.  Drain and return to pot.
  2. Pour the sauce over the pasta toss well and top with the freshly grated cheese.  Serve hot with fresh Italian Bread.
For a richer tasting sauce this can also be done in a slow cooker.  Add all of the sauce ingredient to the slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hrs, or high for 2hrs.
Uncategorized

I Still Do

Pasta with Pepper Sauce

pastaPepperSauce

Greetings! I think Spring has finally arrived and with it fresh vegetables and farmer’s markets!   I believe the first ones in this area open next weekend and I can’t wait! This recipe is perfect for spring and farmer’s markets, where it’s possible to get peppers that really taste like peppers.  I made this recipe a few times in college but it really all came together when I made it for Joe’s family last summer.  I also learned a valuable lesson that day: not all meat substitutes are vegan.  However that’s not a problem because this dish is just fine without it.  The key to the sauce is getting the best produce possible.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves
1 bay leaf
1 cup white wine ( I used Bloom Reisling)
2 large green peppers, chopped
1 large red pepper, chopped
4 tomatoes, chopped
Parmesan Cheese (optional)
1/2 lb linguine

Directions:
1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed skilled.  Add the garlic and cook 3 minutes, then add the bay leaf and wine and season to taste.  Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking.
2. Stir in the bell peppers and tomatoes, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often.
3.  Meanwhile cook the pasta until al dente per box instructions.  Drain and return to pan.  Pour the pepper sauce over the pasta and toss well!  Top with some freshly grated Parmesan if desired. 


This dish makes a great simple supper and it can also be easily bulked up in order to provide more protein.  I tend to use Vegetarian Italian Sausages and add them to the pan before the garlic, crumbling them up as they cook.  If you decide to add a meat you will probably need to add 1 tbsp more EVOO during step 2, otherwise things start to stick.  If you are preparing this for any vegans just make sure to double check the meat substitute so that you don’t have any last minute surprises!

Uncategorized

Eggplant with Peppers

Eggplant with Peppers

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I heard something scary the other day…there are people out there that don’t like eggplant.  I can understand not liking broccoli or brussel sprouts (both of which I love) but eggplant?  Eggplant is one of the most versatile vegetables out there, you can do pretty much everything with them.  Fry them for some eggplant parmesan, bake them for rolletinis, saute them…cream them (hello baba ganoush)…the options are limitless.  So I have to wonder if these people have been the unfortunate victims of bitter plant, which I have been guilty of doing.  In fact the first thing I ever cooked for Joe included a few bites of this not so wonderful version eggplant.  When eggplant is not properly prepped, or if it’s kept too long, it becomes a bitter cousin of its true self, and you can’t tell from looking at it.  The trick: salt and press!  Take the eggplant, cut it as desired, lightly coat in salt and then press it between two plates/cutting boards with paper towels to collect the liquid.  After pressing for about 30minutes, rinse the eggplant and dry with paper towels.  I would say this method works 98.9% of the time, because if the eggplant is old this won’t fix it.  The downside of this is that one needs to know somewhat in advance if eggplant is on the menu.  However taking out the risk of the bitter  plant is well worth the extra time!  This recipe is one that really showcases how amazing the eggplant is, taking center stage where it belongs.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp EVOO
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb eggplant, cubed
1 red pepper, sliced
1 green pepper, sliced
2 cups mushrooms (shitake if available)
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup marsala
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:
1. In a large skillet heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, garlic, and peppers.  Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.  
2. Add the eggplant and mushrooms, turn heat to medium high, and cook an additional 10 minutes until eggplant is tender.  Stir in flour.  
3.  Add the water, marsala, and vinegar.  Bring to boil. and then turn heat to low and simmer for 20minutes.  Season to taste and serve over brown rice.


Did I mention this is a really simple recipe?  Gotta love anything that was easy to prepare after classes.  Typically I let this simmer while I did some minor cleaning/worked on homework.  Now I let it simmer while I do some minor cleaning/take care of the furry children.  This is also a very simple vegan recipe, which gives it bonus points in my book!