Monthly Archives: April 2014

Mexican Lasagna

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I had forgotten about this recipe until it came up at dinner with friends last weekend. Aaron reminded me how much he likes it (and it’s one of my favorites too), so when I was thinking of what to make for dinner last week this came to mind.  This dish is more of a method than a recipe. You can change it easily to satisfy your favorite Mexican combinations. It’s a fun way to jazz up Mexican night and is great as leftovers. It makes a ton!

Mexican Lasagna

  • 1 lb. ground chicken (or beef or turkey)
  • Taco seasoning, to taste (I started using my own homemade taco seasoning because the packaged stuff is full of weird ingredients, very few of which are actually spices. I will post the recipe soon…)
  • Small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 can of corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 container of fresh salsa (the kind in the refrigerated section, not the jarred stuff)
  • 1 can tomatoes and diced green chilis (Rotel), drained
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • Tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
  • Avocado and sour cream (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a medium pan. Cook the ground chicken and diced onions until the chicken is no longer pink. Stir the taco seasoning into the meat mixture. Set aside. Combine the salsa and can of Rotel tomatoes in a small bowl.
  2. Begin assembling the lasagna by greasing/buttering a deep 9×13 casserole dish. Add about 1/4 cup of salsa to the bottom of the dish. Place an even layer of tortillas on top of the salsa. Next spread 1/3 of the meat mixture over the tortillas. Followed by 1/3 of the salsa mixture, 1/3 of the blacks beans and corn, 1/3 of the cilantro and 1/3 of the pepper jack cheese. Repeat these layers two more times, ending with the shredded cheese.
  3. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until heated through. Let rest for five minutes before cutting. Serve with sliced avocado and sour cream if desired.

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Makes 8 large servings or 10 smaller servings.

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Kale Chips

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Kale chips seem to be all the rage right now. I was pretty skeptical at first, thinking they couldn’t taste that great, or anything like chips. I was pleasantly surprised when I took the plunge and made this recipe, they are so crunchy and chip-like! I made two batches, one without the seasonings and one with. The seasoned batch was so much better. If you love crunchy and salty snacks you will really love these!

Kale Chips

  • Large bunch of kale
  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Thoroughly wash the kale and dry well on a clean towel. Pull the kale leaves off of the center ribs in large chip-sized pieces. If they don’t seem completely dry you can throw them in a salad spinner to dry completely.
  2. Toss the kale pieces in a large bowl with the olive oil until evenly coated. Use 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, depending on how much kale you have. You don’t want them to be drenched in oil, just lightly coated.
  3. Combine all of the spices and salt in a small bowl.
  4. Place the kale on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Sprinkle both sides of the kale lightly with the seasoning mixture. Make sure they don’t overlap each other or they won’t get nice and crispy.
  5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until they are crisp, but still green. Keep a close eye on them so they don’t get too dark.

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Greek Tortellini Salad

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This is a perfect summer time salad! And yes, I do know that we still have a while before summer hits, but I couldn’t resist making this after the wonderful warm weather we had last week.

This salad was a synch to throw together. There aren’t a ton of ingredients, and only a few of them need to be chopped. Tortellini is not typically something I would buy due to it being a processed food, but this was worth the splurge.

The flavors are wonderful and go so well together. I meant to add some baby spinach but forgot, so I will do that next time. I also added some diced red peppers to the leftovers (so it isn’t pictured with peppers), and they were a great addition! Here’s to summer being right around the corner 🙂

Greek Tortellini Salad

  • 1 package refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 large cucumber, chopped
  • 3/4 cup kalamata olives, cut in half
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup feta crumbles

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill weed
  • salt and pepper to taste (I used lots of pepper and a tiny bit of salt)

Directions:

  1. Cook the tortellini following the directions on the package. Drain and rinse with cold water.
  2. Combine the tortellini, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, onion and feta in a large bowl.
  3. Combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and spices and in a small bowl and wisk well. Pour dressing over salad and stir well to cover everything evenly. Refrigerate or serve immediately.

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Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

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Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

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The first time I made homemade pizza dough was last summer, and I will never go back. What motivated me to try it was when I looked at the ingredient list of the store bought dough I used to buy, it’s filled with junk! This recipe only has five ingredients, and is SO worth the extra step. I think the best way to describe it is “fresh”, it just tastes so much better!

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

  • 1 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 packet yeast (1/4th oz.)
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour (you can do half whole wheat and half all-purpose flour if you don’t love the taste of whole wheat flour)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl combine yeast and water. Stir in the flour and salt and mix well. Mix in the 1/4 cup olive oil. Kneed by hand until soft and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. Note: you can use a stand mixer for this step but I’ve had better results doing it by hand.
  2. Take dough ball out of bowl and rub with a bit of olive oil. Place it back in the bowl and cover the bowl with a dish towel. Let the dough rise until it has doubled in size, about an hour to an hour and a half.
  3. Cut the dough ball in half so that you have two evenly sized pieces of dough. If making one pizza freeze the extra dough for later (just let it thaw in the fridge before you want to use it). Roll or hand toss to the desired thickness. I toss it in my hands and then press it out evenly onto a greased pizza pan. Top with your favorite toppings and bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

I couldn’t decide what kind to make so I did half your standard pepperoni and veggies, and half pesto, feta, artichoke and veggies. YUM!

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Black Bean & Quinoa Enchilada Bake

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One of my newest favorite foods is quinoa. It can be used in tons of different recipes and has lots of protein. This recipe doesn’t have any meat but I didn’t miss it at all, and it is still loaded with protein with the beans and quinoa. Even my meat-loving husband ate this dish right up 🙂 Enjoy!

Black Bean & Quinoa Enchilada Bake

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
  • 1 large red pepper, diced
  • 1 large orange or green pepper, diced
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • pepper
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 3/4 cup enchilada sauce (you can use store bought or my enchilada sauce recipe
  • 1 1/2 – 2 cups monterey jack cheese, shredded and divided
  • green onions, avocado and sour cream for garnish

Directions:

  1. Place quinoa and water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for a minute or two then reduce heat to low and simmer until all of the liquid is absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Saute onions for 2 minutes. Add garlic and jalapeños, followed by the peppers. Let cook for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the corn, lime juice, cumin, chili powder and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro.
  3. In a large bowl add the quinoa and black beans. Then add the vegetable mixture, enchilada sauce and 1/2 cup of the shredded cheese. Mix until well combined.
  4. Place in a greased 9×13 pan, top with the remaining cheese, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes, or until bubbly. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serve with green onions, avocado slices and sour cream.

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Adapted from Two Peas & Their Pod

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