Monday, April 21, 2014

Easy Lentil Tacos

A while ago, my sister-in-law asked me for my lentil taco recipe.  I had to reply that I didn't have one!  I've attempted lentil tacos in the past, but was never thrilled with the results.  Maybe it was the taco seasoning I was using or maybe I wasn't used to the texture of lentils yet...I'm not sure what the reason was.  But I decided it was time to give lentil tacos another try.  There's nothing complicated about this recipe, but it was every bit as satisfying and delicious as if I had used ground beef.  We really love this one, and I'm glad I finally have a recipe I can share!

Easy Lentil Tacos
(adapted from AllRecipes)
Printable Recipe
Serves 6

Ingredients
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 cup dried brown lentils, sorted
1 tablespoon taco seasoning, more to taste
1 2/3 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup salsa

Directions
1) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat; cook and stir onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.  Mix lentils and taco seasoning into onion mixture; cook and stir for 1 minute.
2) Pour broth into skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover the skillet, and simmer until lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
3) Uncover the skillet and continue to cook until mixture is slightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes. Mash lentils slightly with the back of your serving spoon to desired consistency; stir in salsa.  Adjust seasoning, if needed.  Serve about 1/4 cup lentil mixture to each taco.  Garnish as desired.  Enjoy!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Homemade Taco Seasonings

I've been wanting to make my own taco seasonings for a while, but felt too lazy to do it (curse my infernal laziness!) until I had some incentive: that jumbo canister of taco seasoning from Costco was starting to taste  funky.  I don't know if it was just past its prime or what, but our tacos were definitely tasting a little foul.  So I looked at a few recipes online and I realized that I already had all the ingredients I needed in my pantry!  Five minutes later, I had homemade taco seasonings adapted to my family's tastes.  I've used our taco seasoning several times and we love it (it's about 2 tablespoons seasoning per taco recipe).  Plus every time I use it, I am totally justified in feeling all domestic-goddess about myself.


Homemade Taco Seasonings
(adapted from AllRecipes)
Printable Recipe
Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients
1/2 cup and 2 tablespoons chili powder
1/4 cup and 1 tablespoon ground cumin
3 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons paprika
2 tablespoons black pepper
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
2 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes

Directions 
1) In a small bowl, mix together all ingredients until combined. Store in an airtight container.  Enjoy!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Roasted Cauliflower White Chili

New favorite soup.  Boom.  I said it.  I mean, I have a lot of favorite soups, but this is the current winner.  I've mentioned that I'm a little obsessed with roasted cauliflower lately.  Adding it to my white chili was the best idea I've had in a long, long time.


Roasted Cauliflower White Chili
Printable Recipe
Serves 6

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 head roasted cauliflower, cut into small chunks
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (15 ounces each) white beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 ounce) corn, drained
1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried cilantro
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cups vegetable broth 
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sour cream, room temperature

Directions
1) In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower in 1 tablespoon olive oil until well coated; season with salt and pepper to taste.  Place on a large baking sheet in a single layer.  Roast the cauliflower at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Set aside.

2) While cauliflower is roasting, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot.  Add onion and cook until translucent; add garlic, cooking until fragrant.
2) Add the beans, corn, seasonings, and broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add cauliflower and stir to combine.
3) Remove soup from heat and stir in milk. 
Just before serving, place the sour cream into a large bowl. Add two to three ladles of hot soup and stir to combine with the sour cream. Pour back into the soup pot and stir.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Couscous with Spinach, Feta, and Roasted Cauliflower

My grocery store let me down.  What this dish needs is a bright orange or purple cauliflower for a little pop of color.  But there was none to be had.  Besides the lack of visual appeal, this dish was perfect.  I'm mildly obsessed with roasted cauliflower right now--expect more cauliflower recipes in the future--and had some spinach and feta that were getting to their expiration point.  Throw it all together with some couscous and--voila!  A delicious light dinner!


Couscous with Spinach, Feta, and Roasted Cauliflower
Printable Recipe
Serves 4 as a main dish, 6 as a side

Ingredients
3 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/2 large head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried dill
4 cups fresh spinach, chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
4 cups cooked couscous
salt and pepper to taste
4 ounces feta, crumbled

Directions
1) Arrange cauliflower on a cookie sheet in a single layer.  Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss until covered.  Roast at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until cauliflower begins to turn golden and cauliflower is tender.  Set aside.
2) In a large skillet, saute onion in 2 tablespoons oil on medium heat until they soften and become translucent. Add garlic, oregano, and dill and saute until fragrant.
3) Stir in the spinach, lemon juice, couscous and cauliflower.  Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally until spinach is wilted.
4) Salt and pepper to taste and top with feta.  Serve immediately or chilled.  Enjoy!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Creamy Cabbage and Potatoes

Because of the cabbage and potatoes, this is sort of like a colcannon-type dish.  And, although I first made this recipe a while ago, realized I could totally use this as some sort of St. Patrick's Day recipe and instantly be all cutesy on my food blog.  You know, Irish stuff!  Leprechauns!  Pot of gold!  Shamrocks!  Lucky Charms!

Wait, what was I talking about again?  Oh right.

Anyway, I was a little afraid that this dish would taste too cabbagey and be off-putting, but not at all!  It was just creamy potato deliciousness which we thoroughly enjoyed.  And my hubby loved it the next morning fried on a skillet as a kind of potato pancakes.

Happy St. Patty's Day!


Creamy Cabbage and Potatoes
(adapted from Serious Eats)
Printable Recipe
Serves 4

Ingredients
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 large onion, chopped
1 pound green cabbage, cored and chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 pounds potatoes, baked
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
dash of nutmeg

Directions
1) Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium heat until it stops foaming and then add the onion.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and just beginning to brown.  Stir in salt and pepper and then toss in cabbage.  Continue to stir until cabbage and onion are combined and cabbage is beginning to wilt.  Pour in the vinegar and 1 tablespoon water; cover the pot and turn the heat to low.  Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring once or twice, until the cabbage is tender.
2) While the cabbage is cooking, peel the potatoes and mash them roughly with a fork or your fingers.  Set aside.  Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.  Stir in the milk and continue to stir until mixture thickens.  
3) Add potatoes, nutmeg, and cabbage mixture, stirring to combine.  Adjust salt and pepper to taste.  Transfer mixture to a 13x9 baking dish, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon.  Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes and serve warm.  Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Bean Burrito Filling

Sometimes when it comes to dinner, I either feel like I have to do something new, original and amazing or just give up entirely.  This recipe is a happy medium between the two because although it's not at all new or original, it's still amazing and requires only a little more effort than nothing.  We use this bean filling for burritos, nachos, taquitos, tostadas, and anything else that sounds good.  It makes for a quick dinner we all love!


Bean Burrito Filling
(adapted from The Curvy Carrot)
Printable Recipe
Serves 4-6

Ingredients
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (4 ounces) can green chilies
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 (15 ounces) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 ounces) can refried beans
salt and pepper to taste
tortillas, cheese, salsa, and whatever other taco fixings you like

Directions
1) In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent.  Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
2) Add all remaining ingredients and stir until combined and heated through.  Use as filling for tacos, burritos, tostadas, etc. and top with your favorite fixings.  Enjoy!

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