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.
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!!!
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!
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!
Entomatadas with Refried Beans
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!!!!
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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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!
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!
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.
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!
Bulgar Wheat Beet Salad
Welcome to my second post for #TripleSBites! My first post can be found here and it features some spicy Brussels Sprouts
I’ve had so much fun with this challenge – trying to think up dishes that are saucy, spicy, and sexy while still staying within the normal parameters of this blog (cheap, healthy, vegetarian). Tonight’s dish is certainly healthy, and as long as shopping in the bulk bin section of your grocery store it should be on the cheap side, while the vegetarian goes without saying- this dish can also easily go vegan by swapping the goat cheese for a soft cashew cheese or leaving it out all together. This salad is actually one of the first dishes I wanted to do, but it has gone through a few versions. The original concept involved endive boats with roasted beets, bulgur, and goat cheese which then evolved into cucumber boats stuffed with raw beets, bulgur, and goat cheese – both topped with a balsamic dressing. Yet, something always seemed to be missing. Then I received another sponsor goody, this time a bottle of Roasted Beet Vinaigrette thanks to Out of the Weeds – and finally had my missing component.
As a bonus, the dressing turned my dish a fantastic shade of pink – which is rather perfect for the upcoming holiday! The radicchio offered a tart contrast to the earthy beets while the cucumber provided a needed crunch. The fact that the dressing turned everything pink (seriously, pink!!!) just added a whole new level of awesome. Dropping the chickpeas and reducing the portion size would turn this pink treat in to a fantastic side for herb crusted tofu, fish, or chicken.
Note: I received Out of the Weeds Roasted Beets Dressing as part of the #TripleS blog challenge, which started February 2nd. I was not required to use the products, or post anything about them outside of acknowledging that I received them, so all opinions and experiences are my own.
Did I mention there are 19 (!) other awesome bloggers participating in TripleSBites?!? Make sure to check them all out:
Fava Bean Soup
I don’t willingly watch horror movies – this is a fact long established and reinforced after various events during my college years. So when I saw the challenge for /52weeksofcooking was to use a horror movie for an inspiration, I thought about “cheating” by making some gory dessert thing and saying I was inspired by The Saw or I Know What you did Last Summer or some other horror flick thing. Then I decided to get serious and consider the various “thriller” style movies that I do enjoy, such as Cabin in the Woods and Silence of the Lambs. From there I was between doing a red wine dish (CitW) or something with fava beans, and in the end fava beans won out. There is something so iconic about that moment in SotL and while liver will never appear on this blog, fava beans are certainly welcome! I wanted to have a nod to the Chianti as well as the general feel of the movie, so I decided a chunky red tomato stew would be perfect.
This is one of those dishes that really benefits from being cooked for a long time, in fact it’s generally best at lunch the following day. It can also be converted for the slow cooker, cooking on low for 8 hours before turning to high for 30 minutes. For the ultimate results serve with some crusty bread that can help soak up all the tomato goodness