Category Archives: Entree

How To Cook Nachos At Home

How To Cook Nachos At Home

Happy seis de Mayo!

Nachos are my favorite bad food. You can get them anywhere(and I have), especially anywhere worth going. After a few drinks there’s nothing else I’d rather have–not even Reese’s cup brownies.

Making them at home, though, has never been as simple as it out to be. You can’t put them in the microwave or the chips get soggy. I’ve literally set a pan on fire in the oven not understanding how a burner works. Bad bad bad.

Skillet Nachos

These are the most satisfying nachos I’ve made at home. They’re warm and melty on top while the chips stay hot and crisp–not soggy. It’s easy to make and you can eat it from the pan so you don’t have to dirty dishes. What could be better?

Skillet Nachos

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

  • 1-2 Tablespoons oil
  • 4 handfuls of tortilla chips
  • 1/2 cup refried beans
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese*
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup guacamole

*Make sure to use a cheese that melts well since you don’t want this on the burner for too long. Avoid processed shredded cheeses with lots of added ingredients and stabilizers.

Method:

  1. Rub a pan with a cover with oil to make sure the tortillas won’t stick or burn.
  2. Add the chips into the pan. Add the beans and cheese around on top evenly.
  3. Turn the burner onto a medium heat and cover immediately with a pan cover.
  4. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the cheese has melted and remove from the burner immediately.
  5. Add the salsa, sour cream, and guacamole and enjoy.

Packed Lunch: Rice & Bean Bowl

Homemade rice and bean bowls for a healthy and affordable packed lunch

I’m one of those people at the office who brings in lunch every day. The same lunch every single day. The Huffington Post wrote an article about us.

Sure packing a lunch every day can get tiresome, but it’s cheaper and healthier to do it yourself. It’s hard to argue with that.

If you’re on board the lunch-packing train, even just a few days a week, this lunch will definitely keep you satisfied. It’s just as good as a Chipotle bowl but costs about $2 or less. It’s also perfect for packing on a Sunday night to have later in the week since you don’t have to worry about sogging bread or spoiling meat.

For a simple step-by-step photo guide, scroll below the recipe.

Rice & Bean Bowl

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 4 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 lunch):

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 3/4 cup(1/2 can) black beans
  • 3/4 cup fresh or frozen vegetables
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese

Method:

  1. In a microwavable bowl, layer the rice, beans, vegetables, salsa, and cheese in that order.
  2. Cover tight with a lid. Don’t keep at room temperature for more than 6 hours.
  3. When ready, microwave on full power for 3-4 minutes.

An easy, healthy and affordable meal you can pack for lunch every day

Spinach Mushroom Frittata

Spinach Mushroom Frittata

If you read this blog often, you might not think I eat anything other than dessert. Hopefully this shows otherwise.

Of course I eat savory food every day, several meals a day. But I hardly ever blog about it because I’m someone who’s content with having the same meal for lunch every day of the week, every week of the month. The same with dinner, too. It’s an anomaly when I make something new.

I don’t always make frittatas but I enjoy them every time I do. How can you go wrong with eggs, cheese, and vegetables? It’s good for a group or to have and heat up the leftovers the next day and an easy way to switch up the meal rut.

Spinach Mushroom Frittata

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 50 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 4 servings):

  • 12 eggs
  • 1 cup mushrooms, washed
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 2/3 cup shredded cheese(I recommend gouda if you can find it)
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

Spinach Mushroom Frittata

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Crack all of the eggs into a large bowl and make sure there’s no shells in it.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and sauté the mushrooms until they’re golden.
  4. Beat the milk, salt, and onion powder into the eggs.
  5. Grease a 9-inch baking pan well on the bottom and sides.
  6. Pour the egg batter into the pan.
  7. Dump the mushrooms into the egg and spread evenly. Add half of the cheese on top.
  8. Add the spinach on top of the batter and press down with a fork or utensil. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
  9. Bake for 50 minutes or until the center has set.
  10. Remove from the oven and let cool before cutting.

4 Healthy New Year’s Recipes

New Year’s resolutions are hard. It’s easy to shoot to high and make resolutions impossible to keep up with; the best kind are little changes you can work into your everyday routine and maintain without even thinking about it.

I didn’t make a food or fitness resolution this year. Mine is to get whiter teeth, so I bought special toothpaste and mouthwash. We’ll see how that goes with the horde of coffee and chocolate I eat.

If you did make a resolution to eat healthier, here are 4 simple recipes you can work into your every week to hit that goal. All of them have common, simple ingredients and are probably foods you already eat, so working them into your diet should be a breeze.

Breakfast:

LowFatCinnamonBrownSugarGranola_thumb

Low-Fat Cinnamon Raisin Granola is a great quick and filling alternative to heftier breakfasts like bagels and cream cheese or a donut. You can make a big batch on the weekend and portion out servings for the weekday mornings to grab and go.

Snack:

Fruity-Peanut-Butter-Yogurt-Dip-Yield-807x1024

Fruity Peanut Butter Yogurt Dip will satisfy your sweet tooth in the afternoon and still be tasty enough to enjoy. It’s a simple mix of yogurt, peanut butter, and sweetener that’s good for kids or grown-ups.

Entree:

EasyBroccoliFrittata_thumb

Easy Broccoli Frittata is another recipe you can make in bulk over the weekend and reheat throughout the week whenever you’re less than motivated to make a meal. The eggs and cheese are full of protein while the broccoli adds a boost of healthy nutrients, too. Add a simple side and you’ve got a whole dinner.

Dessert:

hazelnut-chocolate-cake_thumb

Raw Vegan Chocolate Hazelnut Cake proves that you can still have dessert even when you’re eating healthy. The bulk of this “cake” is dates and hazelnuts, making for a delicious and nutritious end to a meal.

Did you make a New Year’s resolution? What was it?

Thai Reese’s Puffs Peanut Butter Sauce

Oct 26th 003

When I was at the Wine & Food festival, I was lucky enough to meet Justin Warner after his demo. Justin has made a number of sweet and savory recipes for General Mills using their Big G cereals in unexpected ways(here’s the blog post featuring those).

Jason from General Mills sent me some of their cereals along with some unusual ingredients Justin would go crazy with. At first I wasn’t sure how to use some of them(a pestle and mortar? sriracha sauce?), but then it hit me: A Thai sauce with Reese’s Puffs.

It’s not as crazy as it sounds; a lot of the ingredients in Reese’s Puffs are found in regular sauces: Corn starch is a common thickening agent; sugar can be just as important as salt for bringing out flavor profiles; even chocolate is used to add a richness and depth to tomato sauce.

Oct 26th 004-2

As with any sauce you should taste as you go along and add salt and seasoning to adjust it to your taste. For a lower-fat version, use cartoned coconut milk or almond milk.

Thai Reese’s Puffs Peanut Butter Sauce

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes enough for 2 servings):

  • 3/4 cup Reese’s Puffs cereal
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
  • 1 Tablespoon sriracha
  • 2 Tablespoons honey
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk

Oct 26th 002-2

Method:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor or high-speed blender.
  2. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add to sautéed vegetables and tofu or chicken.
  4. Heat the pre-cooked vegetables, chicken, or tofu in the sauce until it is warmed through.
  5. Serve hot.

Healthy Black Bean Quesadilla

October 13th 003

The saddest thing about moving to a new city besides leaving behind friends and family is always leaving behind good restaurants. There are always a few dished you just can’t find anywhere else and you don’t know what to do about it.

Last time I was in Providence I had huevos rancheros with a black bean quesadilla, ancho-chili sauce and home fries for brunch. It was delicious and something I probably won’t find anytime soon, so this has been the closest I’ve come to tasting it again. If you’re staying in on a weekend morning and need something to hit the spot this might be as good as you’ll get without ordering takeout.

October 13th 010

This recipe for quesadillas is a little different from what you’d normally get since it uses corn tortillas instead of flour ones keeping it gluten-free. The ingredients are also a little healthier than others; for a more traditional recipe use twice as much cheese and half as much beans.

Black Bean Corn Quesadilla

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 serving):

  • 2 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup pepper jack cheese
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
  • Guacamole

October 13th 007

Method:

  1. Heat a frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Warm the tortillas in the frying pan in a little oil to keep them from sticking.
  3. Move the tortillas to a plate.
  4. Heat the black beans in the pan with a little oil to take out some of the moisture. Season them with salt or spices if desired.
  5. Add the cheese in with the black beans and keep moving them to prevent them from sticking to the pan.
  6. When the cheese starts melting, move the black beans onto one of the tortillas. Place the other one on top.
  7. Serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole, and any other toppings you’d like.

Warm Grape and Goat Cheese Salad

Sep 22nd 009

Sometimes I forget that I can make dishes with goat cheese in them. Whenever I’m at a restaurant I tend to order something—anything—with goat cheese on it; it escapes me that I can buy that at the store(for a lot cheaper) and use it myself.

I’ve heard of roasting grapes before but frankly that’s more work then I’d like to put into a grape. Instead this salad utilizes a quick pan fry to turn the grapes from sweet to savory and bring out a unique flavor in them that pairs perfectly with salty olives and tangy goat cheese.

Sep 22nd 007

There should be enough liquid from the ingredients to “dress” the salad but if you want it a little wetter add a tablespoon of olive oil and a little bit of the briny olive juice. Use a marinated or herb goat cheese for some added flavor.

Warm Grape and Goat Cheese Salad

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 serving):

  • 1/2 cup grapes, halved and seeded
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups mixed greens
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, halved and pitted
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

Sep 22nd 004

Method:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  2. Lightly fry the grapes in the oil and season them as they cook until the skin peels and the grapes are hot.
  3. Remove the grapes from the burner and let them rest.
  4. In a large bowl, toss together the greens, olives, and goat cheese.
  5. Add in the grapes and continue tossing.
  6. Plate and serve immediately. Add some toasted walnuts or pine nuts for an extra crunch.

Sep 22nd 021

Hipsterfood’s Easy Lentil Soup

Hipsterfood’s Easy Lentil Soup

I always imagine soup as being one of those long, time-consuming foods to make. It definitely can be, but now I know it doesn’t have to be. I found this recipe on the blog, hipsterfood, and thought it looked too easy not to try. I’m also a sucker for anything with lentils in it.

Hipsterfood’s Easy Lentil Soup Yield

One thing that they don’t mention in the actual recipe is that you need a lot of water. I’d estimate that I added about 4 cups of water through the whole process and mine still came out thicker than the batch on their blog. I also left out the celery and added whatever herbs/spices I had on hand. A little paprika gave a nice smoky flavor to it all.

Hipsterfood’s Easy Lentil Soup Croutons

At the end I made “croutons” by chopping up some gluten-free bread, frying it in a little olive oil and seasoning them. Now I know I’ll never have to buy croutons again. It’s also terrific with melted cheese or sour cream on top.

What’s your favorite soup recipes? I’d love ideas for more to make.

Italian White Bean Salad

Italian White Bean Salad Yield

This is one of my favorite things I’ve eaten this Summer, which is saying a lot since I love sweets and it’s a savory recipe. It’s just the prefect, refreshing thing to throw together and put on a plate and enjoy without ever turning on the oven.

The ingredients here are really simple: White beans, sundried tomatoes, onions, basil, dressing and seasoning. That’s all you need! Don’t let the raw onions scare you; soaking them in a little cold water first takes out the bite in their flavor but leaves them cool and crunchy. You might want to freshen your breath afterwards with a homemade peppermint patty.

Italian White Bean Salad Ingredients

Like all recipes, make sure to season these to taste. If the beans you used were cooked in salt, make sure to use less to keep the flavor light and fresh.

Italian White Bean Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 4 servings):

  • 2 cans white beans, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon salt

Italian White Bean Salad Mixing

Method:

  1. Let the onions soak in cold water for 5-10 minutes. Drain the water from the onions and lightly pat them dry.
  2. Toss all of the ingredients except for the salt together in a large bowl.
  3. Taste the beans and season with the salt as necessary.
  4. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Italian White Bean Salad

Caprese Omelet

Caprese Omelet

Fresh mozzarella is something great. It’s just the right amount of creamy and chewy that melts just right. I could eat just about anything with fresh mozzarella and basil on it.

This omelet is just as flavorful as any caprese salad or margarita pizza. The eggs give a blank canvas for sweet sundried tomatoes, creamy mozzarella, a touch of salt and fresh herbs. It’s a good fix for a savory breakfast or a vegetarian dinner.

Caprese Omelet Ingredients

Sundried tomatoes are perfect for this recipe because they add a lot of flavor without adding any moisture. To make this lower in fat, replace 1 or 2 of the eggs with an appropriate amount of egg whites.

Caprese Omelet

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 1 serving):

  • 3 eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped sundried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped or shredded fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon freshly chopped basil
  • Oil for greasing pan

Caprese Omelet Tomatoes

Method:

  1. Lightly oil a frying pan over a burner set to medium until the pan is hot.
  2. In a bowl, gently whisk together the eggs until they’re beaten.
  3. Pour the eggs into the pan and let them cook for about 30 seconds until the bottom has set.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, mozzarella, salt and pepper to one half of the omelet.
  5. Carefully fold the empty side of the omelet onto the filling to make a semi-circle.
  6. Cover the pan and cook on a low-medium heat until the center is cooked. Flip the omelet to make the center cook faster.
  7. Remove from the pan and garnish with freshly chopped basil. Serve hot.

Caprese Omelet Finished