Category Archives: Recipes

Black Bean Avocado Enchiladas

I randomly came across this recipe while searching for something mexican to add to the weekly menu repertoire (after the boy told me his was wayyyy over my rotating four recipes), as all we tend to eat is anything but American food, if you haven’t noticed yet.. Exceptions are Pizza (come on, I live in Old Forge!) and Chili.. M’mmm, chili..

These are sooo easy, and oh so delish. Leftovers are the bomb with this one, and you WILL have leftovers.

Black Bean & Avocado Enchiladas

Enchilada Sauce Ingredients:

  • 2 Tb EVOO
  • 2 T Whole Wheat Flour
  • 2 Tb Chili Powder
  • 2 Cups Water
  • 3 oz Tomato Paste (so, half of one of those little cans)
  • 1/2 t Cumin
  • 1/2 t Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 t Cayenne Pepper (it’s kind of spicy, cut it down to 1/4 t if you’re a wuss sensitive)
  • 2 Tb Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (I use the same stuff I use for smoothies – Navitas Naturals Organic Cacao Powder)
  • 1 t salt (optional – I don’t use it, but I’m a sodium freak)

Enchilada Ingredients:

  • 10-12 Corn Tortillas
  • 1 can Black Beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 Ripe Avocado
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes
  • 2 Whole Green Onions
  • 1/2 c Frozen Corn Kernels
  • 1/4 t Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 t Salt (again, optional)
  • Handful of Cilantro (gross, Gross, GROSS.. but do as you please..)

Alright, now that we’ve gathered all of our ingredients, preheat that oven to 350.  I find it best to make the sauce first because it has to sit for a little while to thicken.

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Ignore the brown sugar, I was thinking of a different recipe when I pulled that out of the cupboard. Oops!

In a medium sauce pot, combine the EVOO, flour and chili powder over medium heat until it starts to bubble.

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Whisk it for 2 minutes then slowly add the water while whisking. Once combined, add the remaining ingredients and let cook over medium heat until it starts to simmer. Simmering means it’s thickening, this is a good thing. Once thickened to you liking (5-10 minutes), turn it off and set aside for later.

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Now, get chopping! Avocado, tomato, green onions – all small pieces, like 1/2″ cubes. Thaw out those delicious little kernels of awesomeness.

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Combine all of the veggies in a mixing bowl, add the rinsed beans, sprinkle in your garlic power (and salt, totally optional) and stir to combine.

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We’ll bake these like a big casserole, so grab your 9×13 pyrex casserole dish and spray her with a little EVOO pam (or coconut oil spray, get it, it’s awesome).

The corn tortillas usually come in packs of like 50 for like a dollar, but they keep for a long time, if you can think of any other uses for corn tortillas that is.. Put about 10-12 of them in the microwave for 20 seconds to make them more malleable.

Time to roll. Tortilla, scoop of filling, roll, place in casserole dish. Repeat many times.

ALRIGHT, so I have made this recipe twice before and everything has gone smoothly. Sometimes the corn tortillas cracked a little, but they stayed together and didn’t completely unroll. Lucky me, I bought a different kind of corn tortillas for last night’s batch, and they were NOT having it. No rolling allowed. I almost lost it, because everything else was ready. Right as I was about to throw every utensil within my reach, it dawned on me. Mexican lasagna. You won’t roll and stay put, huh? Fine, you shall be layered. And hence, the Black Bean Avocado Enchilada Lasagna was born. To be honest, since we don’t use cheese and they tend to fall apart when you take them out of the pan, it would up looking (and tasting) the same.

My layering system went: coat bottom of pyrex with enchilada sauce, then layer corn tortillas to cover (I think I used 4 or 5), then a layer of the filling, then enchilada sauce, corn tortilla layer, filling layer, enchilada sauce, a few corn tortillas on top and the rest of the enchilada sauce all over the whole thing, making to sure to get it down the sides and EVERYWHERE. Delish.

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Pop it in the oven for 25 minutes and you’re ready to eat. Make sure you make some guacamole, have some awesome salsa on hand and pick of a bag of Hot Blues.

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Total prep time? It looks like a lot more than it really is, but you could have there prepped in 20 minutes easy, then the oven takes care of the rest. Make sure you get your significant other (in my case, the boy) to make the guacamole fresh while the enchiladas are baking (and hide the chips, because he/she will eat them all!).

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A slice of Black Bean Enchilada Lasagna, a handful of Hot Blues, guacamole courtesy of the boy, salsa and black bean dip with a side of Conair? I’ll just say we make the best of our Mondays. 🙂

Side note: not that I’m promoting the meatatarian or whatever you people call yourselves (other yah, I went there), but you can add shredded chicken into your filling and put copious amount of cheese on the top before baking. This is how my father used to make them, and they were awesome. Just putting it out there.

Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup

I have a confession to make. Prior to this past summer, I had never tried squash, besides green and yellow zucchini. I thought spaghetti squash and acorn squash and butternut squash were all pretty much more so fall decorations, like gourds or pumpkins, so I didn’t give them a second glance.. Until my blog reading addiction reared it’s ugly head and I could no longer avoid these bizarre pumpkin alien hybrids.

First victim? Spaghetti Squash. Still a favorite to this day. Even the boy loves it, and it keeps our carb levels super low late at night when I finally get around to cooking (I have strange eating habits, we’ll touch more on that in a future post).

Butternut Squash came next. I’m trying to remember why/when I first bought one, or if it was given to me from someone’s garden, but I know I cubed, seasoned and roasted it and immediately. fell. in. love. Like, sometimes I’ll roast one and just leave it out on the stove and the boy and I will snack on it all day long. It’s that good.

There’s an acorn squash that’s been hiding in the back left corner of my fridge staring at me, but I am just not ready to even try to figure out what to do with it. Feel free to leave suggestions.

So back to butternut squash. A friend and I came into an abundance of butternut squash this fall and as I just kept roasting it, she blazed a new trail and made a soup. No, not a soup, THE soup. I finally broke her down and got the recipe for the best fall soup you’ll ever have. Trust me.

Thai Curry Butternut Squash Soup

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 can lite coconut milk
  • 2 Tb red curry paste (I used the whole jar, I like the kick it gives the soup, and it’s still not crazy spicy)
  • 4 cups low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 vidalia onion
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garnish : chopped peanuts & cilantro (for garnish – gross.. can you tell I am totally not a cilantro fan yet?) – I used neither
  • crusty bread for dipping! essential. dying

First things first, things may seem a little strange because I doubled this recipe – it’s worth it, it freezes well, and it’s effing awesome. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s cook!

Gather ingredients:

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The first thing I did was peel, cut off the ends, deseed and chop up the butternt sqush into 1 inch cubes. For the double batch I wound up using about 1.5 average sized butternuts.

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Notice my ipad recipe book. love.

Next, mince your garlic, or use the amazing weed grinder garlic twist.

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Next mince up the vidalia onions. Add to deep soup pot with coconut oil and minced garlic. Let the magic begin..

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Sautee until onions on medium low heat until they are translucent, about 7 minutes. Add full jar of red curry paste – trust me.. you won’t regret it..

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Sautee five minutes. Add cubed butternut squash and vegetable broth. Simmer 20-30 minutes until squash is soft.

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Ready for the fun part? let’s set up the station, bring out the food processor and extra pot and get at it.

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Present from the boy.. ❤ Anyways.. Process a cup or two at a time from the boiling pot and place into the new boiling pot.

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Add lite coconut milk, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.

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Simmer for another 20 minutes or so, salt and pepper to taste. Finito!

This was an all around winner. It freezes well and everyone that forced to try tried it said they loved it. It’s souper thick and souper creamy and souper filling. Hehe, souper.

Don’t forget the crusty bread! I suggest just giving each person a bowl of the soup, half of a crusty whole grain baguette and no spoon. Drooling just thinking about it..

Tofu Pad Thai.. M’mmmm..

Truth me told, I’m a blog hound. I will find fitness/vegan/foodie/green blogs and literally read the whole blog back to when it was first started, and bookmark all of my favorites along the way. One blog I found recently, not vegan, but basically about a young newly married couple- she’s vegetarian (used to be vegan) and he’s, well, “normal”, both into fitness, both into going out. I could instantly relate.

So the blog is about two years old, and she posts basically everyday, if not twice a day, and I’m almost done with it. Obsessed much?

A couple of months ago, the boy and I felt the need to switch up the “this is getting boring” weekly dinner menu. Enter Tofu Pad Thai. Even the meatatarian in my house ate it, just sayin’..

Healthier Tofu (or any other protein you’d prefer) Pad Thai

Sauce:
– Juice from 2 limes
– 2 T brown sugar
– 1.5 T Siracha (pretty spicy, but I dig it that way-change it up to your liking)
– 1 t oil of your choice (I used coconut)
– 1/4 cup bragg’s liquid aminos

Main Ingredients:
– 2 heads broccoli (she recommended 1 small one, but i LOVE broccoli, soooo,,)
– 2 Carrots
– 1 block extra firm tofu
– 3 scallions
– 8 oz brown rice noodles

Garnish:
– lime wedges
– Siracha!!!!
– chopped peanuts
– cilantro (gross, but whatever floats your boat)
– drizzle of tahini (a random add on I used, awesome.)

Let’s get cooking.. First things first, chop up your tofu into 1 inch cubes, no need to press or drain, all of the water cooks off. Saute them in a Tb of coconut oil over medium low heat until all sides are browned.

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While the tofu (or other protein) is sizzling away, start boiling a large pot of water for your brown rice noodles.

Next, chop up the veggies. I swear the moment the peeler hits the carrot my dog comes running. He is a total carrot addict. It’s his kryptonite. He just can’t help himself.

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Finish chopping the carrots and broccoli into bite sized pieces.

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Time to start the sauce. Mix all ingredients in a wok and bring to a boil. Why a wok? Because everything is better in a wok, trust me. add in the broccoli and carrots and saute in the sauce until tender or to your liking. My favorite vegetable is cooked broccoli. My least favorite vegetable is raw broccoli. This is a very important step.. for me..

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When the veggies are cooking, make sure the water has come to a boil. Remove from heart and add brown rice noodles, stir to separate. The box I bought said to let them sit in there for five minutes. Take my advice, start trying them at around 3.5 minutes. 5 minutes is WAY too long.

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Add tofu, scallions and noodles in with veggies and sauce, toss to combine, let meld together for a few minutes.

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Serve immediately. I highly recommend the drizzle of tahini, squeeze of lime and half bottle drizzle of siracha.

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My only complaint was the lack of sauce, as I’m a “saucy” girl.. 😉 I would make 1.5 times the sauce if you add the extra veggies.

Enjoy!