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.

52Weeks · Gluten Free · One-Pot · Simple and In Season · Vegan

Come True

Acorn Squash with Dried Fruit

acorn_squash

When I saw the challenge for /r/52weeksofcooking was Native American – I was a bit nervous but not for any of the normal reasons.  Recently there has been some uproar on blogger “feedback” sites about the insensitivity of bloggers as it relates to other cultures/religions/practices with a focus on cultural approbation.  While I would hope that posting a recipe would not be considered cultural stealing,  I still paused to weigh if it would be worth being a potential target on one of those more venomous sites, especially after “yelpgate” a few weeks ago.   In the end I decided that sharing recipes should always be allowed, regardless of where (or where not) a person is from.  After all, everyone has to eat!

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 In the end,  it’s a balancing act – and I can only hope that this post strikes the right note as I would really like to avoid getting messages (again) about how I need to be hit by a truck.  I enjoyed this dish as is, while my cheese loving spouse adding some Parmesan Cheese to his.  I think in the future I’ll go full stew, instead of debating back and forth while making the dish.

I’m also sending this over to Simple and in Season, hosted by the always fabulous Ren Behan since Acorn Squash is in its prime right now – and there is something very fall-like when it comes to dried fruit treats.

52Weeks · Home Cooking · Quick Weeknight Recipes · Vegan

Summer Day

Double Onion & Chickpea Tagine

Sweet Onion & Chickpea Tagine

Finally home and (mostly) recovered from the jet lag – just in time for another challenge from r/52weeksofcooking.  This week onions are the secret ingredients, which are something I use in most of my recipes in one form or another.  For awhile I debated doing a French Onion Soup Sandwich before remembering a tagine recipe in one of my cookbooks that called for onions cooked two ways.  After some vegetarian doctoring to the recipe, swapping chickpeas for the lamb and doubling the spinach, it wound up being a rather simple dish filled with every day ingredients making it perfect for crazy summer nights.  While I cooked mine in a tagine it could also be prepared in a wok or a deep saucepan, either way make sure the dish has a tight fitting lid.

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I topped mine with some So Delicious Greek Yogurt (yes I’m an addict – but that’s okay) along with a sprig of fresh cilantro while Joe went for regular sour cream and fresh mint.  I also made up some garlic couscous to help soak up all the juices, can’t let anything go to waste!

 

 

Casserole · Italian · Quick Weeknight Recipes

Gotta Get Out

Stuffed Shells Casserole

Stuffed Shell Casserole

I’ll admit it, sometimes I don’t want to cook or at least don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.  For example I’m a huge fan of stuffed shells but they take much longer than I’m willing to spend on the average work night.  So I decided to cut a few corners and make a stuffed shell casserole with all of the flavor and half the prep time.  To further speed up the process I used some frozen pomodoro sauce, leftover form a large batch I made in my slowcooker.  I swear one of the best things about my slow cooker is the ability to prepare huge batches of sauce (and other yummies!) and saving them for the future.  I simply placed the frozen sauce in the fridge before I left for work and then zapped it a bit to finish the process, adding a few more leaves of basil to make sure it had the right taste.

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The photo might not be the best, but it’s delicious and quick and easy – which is all that matters after a long day at work.  I served this up with some oregano bread but would be just fine on it’s own.

52Weeks · Asian · Home Cooking · Vegan

Make Way

Thai Basil Eggplant

and

Grand Ma’s Tofu

Thai Basil Eggplant & Grand Ma's Tofu

There is just something about Chinese food around the holidays, it just feels right!  This week I had the added encouragement of /52weeks Take Out at Home theme.  I debated about trying a thincrust pizza but forgetting to add water to the bread machine took care of that idea, so on to Chinese Food!  Joe and I get Chinese food about once a month and our favorite place no longer ask us what we want, they hear my name and they know we are calling for eggplant and tofu.  I had wanted to try making both of these recipes for awhile but every recipe I found online featured either pork or fish sauce and I wasn’t sure how our place does it without either of those.  So I started experimenting with sauces, testing them out on soba noodles until I found the “right” combination.  The hardest part was finding a chili paste for the tofu that didn’t include shrimp paste or fish sauce, but after a very long trip to the Asian grocery store I was able to locate one that was safe!

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The best part about these dishes is that the sauces are so versatile, could easily switch things up and do a Thai Basil Tofu or a Grand Ma’s Eggplant.  Each of these dishes would also make a great topping for some rice noodles, or just as they are.

Home Cooking · Soup · Vegan

Look at Me

French Onion Soup

We survived Sandy!  Unfortunately so did the annoying holly tree in our front yard, apparently my totally authentic tree removal dance wasn’t very effective.  On a positive note we did keep power throughout the Frankenstorm so we were able to have a mini-Harry Potter marathon which will hopefully continue tonight/tomorrow.  Before the storm hit I went on a baking rampage, figuring if we were going to be stuck in a cold house without power we would need certain supplies.  So with that thought in mind I made a double batch of cookies and some Sourdough Bread, first time  using our starter Gunther.  I had made sourdough bread once before using a kit which resulted in bread that was far from sour.  I decided to take advantage of being stuck at home last week for less than pleasant reasons, and finally make a sourdough starter.  Gunther isn’t very fancy, no buttermilk or cream was used in his creation, but he has survived an entire week and produced his first loaf of bread so we are off to a promising start.

With the creation of the sourdough I wound up with two loaves of bread and decided I needed a recipe that would take care of a few slices.  I also needed a recipe that would keep me off my feet, since the medication I was on at the time made me a little wonky.  Enter: French Onion Soup.  The original plan was for me to start the soup and then hubby would take over, but the potent (and delicious) Spanish Onions caused him to retreat from the kitchen area.  Luckily French Onion Soup requires lots of sitting between steps so everything turned out perfectly!

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In order to keep it vegan friendly, I used the last of my oregano bread and left the sourdough for another day.  Another option for toasting the bread would be broiling it directly on top of the bowls of soup, using French Onion Soup bowls or other oven-to-table safe serving dishes.  I decided to not use my FOS bowls at the last moment due to MIA oven mitts.

52Weeks · Home Cooking · Quick Weeknight Recipes

Tomato – Tomato

Stuffed Tomatoes

How to get rid of a large number of tomatoes in one recipe: stuff them!  I have long wanted to try stuffed tomatoes but after my less than stellar results with stuffed peppers I was nervous about trying an even harder shape.  So I decided to “cheat” and use my muffin tin in order to insure that the tomatoes would at least survive the cooking phase.  For the stuffing I decided to use some red lentils and keep the seasonings nice and simple.  I used the remaining “stuffing” to cushion the tomatoes, and to act as a backup in case the tomatoes didn’t make it from the pan to the plate.  Once I saw that tomato on the plate, sitting stuffed and gorgeous on top of a bed of deliciousness, I knew that I had finally conquered the stuffed tomato.[amd-zlrecipe-recipe:45]

This dish also came together in record time, with the only real drawback being how hot the broiler makes the kitchen.  I might try using my toaster oven next time, along with single silicone cupcake holders.  However I’m not sure if those are meant to take such a high heat, but if anyone knows one way or the other please let me know!