Tag Archive: Onion

Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar

My favorite recipes all have two things in common: They’re easy and they’re delicious. This one’s both.

This dip’s about as easy as it comes. There’s no cooking or processing. Just mix all the ingredients and voila! (Or whatever the Mexican equivalent of voila is.)

Make sure to soak the onions before adding them to the dip. Soaking them takes away the sharp bite that raw onions have so they don’t overpower the rest of the ingredients. You can add some diced avocado in as well for an added touch.

Cowboy Caviar

Cowboy Caviar

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Serves about 6 people):

  • 1/2 large red or white onion
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Dice the onion with a sharp knife.
  2. Soak the diced onion in cold water for 5 minutes to remove the raw onion bite.
  3. While the onion’s soaking, mix the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
  4. Strain the water from the onion and add it to the mixture.
  5. Mix well. Serve at room temperature.

Avocado Sour Cream Chip Dip

Kettle Brand Chips asked 14 bloggers to create a recipe of their favorite holiday dip. My favorite holiday dip is guacamole; I could eat it with a spoon. But too much guacamole can be overpowering on the taste buds, especially at parties when you lose track of how much chips and dip you’ve eaten. Sour cream, on the other hand, has that smooth and clean flavor that lets you dip and dip and dip. I don’t usually like to do sponsored posts, but Kettle Brand Chips is a company I can really get behind. They’re dedicated to using natural ingredients without GMOs and their chips are gluten-free, too. They’re also just delicious; have you tried their Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper flavor? Incredible.

For this recipe I’ve added avocado to a fairly simple sour cream dip. It’s no hassle at all to throw together. The avocado adds a light green color and a rich texture. Even though they’re similar, using both onion powder and fresh chives helps to add layers to the flavor of the dip. I paired this with my favorite flavor of chip, Sea Salt and Vinegar. I think it goes perfectly with the tart flavor of vinegar because the chip lends flavor to the dip while the dip cools the chip down. It would also be incredibly good with any spicy flavor like Jalapeno or Spicy Thai™–anything with a strong saltiness to it. Since there’s very little acidity and seasoning in the dip itself, it’s important to use a chip that will bring that to the table. At the end of this post there’s also a giveaway so be sure to read through!

Avocado Sour Cream Chip Dip

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Ingredients(Makes about 8 servings):

  • 1 ripe medium avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 3/4 cup sour cream or low-fat sour cream
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 Tablespoons freshly chopped chives


  1. In a food processor(or however you’d like to do it), puree the avocado until it’s completely smooth.
  2. Fold together the avocado puree, sour cream, onion powder, salt, and 2 ½ Tablespoons of chopped chives.
  3. Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and garnish with the remaining chives.
  4. Serve with Kettle Brand Chips and veggie crudités

Now it’s your turn to tell me, What is Your favorite holiday dip? Respond to this question with your answer using one of the methods below and you could win a $100 Visa Gift Card!


  • No duplicate comments.
  • This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older.
  • Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to respond otherwise a new winner will be selected.
  • This sweepstakes runs from 11/13-12/31.
  • You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:

a) Leave a comment answering what’s your favorite holiday dip?

b) Tweet a public message about this promotion including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: “#SweepstakesEntry” Leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post

c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post

d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the official rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.

The Official Rules are available here.

Be sure to visit the Kettle Brand Chips page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win! Good luck!

Tri-Pepper Quinoa

Tri-Pepper Quinoa

The easiest place to get inspired for recipes is the grocery store. Just going to the produce section and seeing the huge displays of vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables makes you want to eat that much more. My grocery store had a display of different colored peppers and I knew I wanted to use them for a recipe.

The colors fade from the peppers a little once you sauté them but it brings out a much sweeter flavor, too. They add the perfect touch with some seasoning to quinoa to make it a much more interesting dish.

Tri-Pepper Quinoa Peppers

If you want to dress this up, you can purchase some extra peppers, roast them until they’re cooked, and serve the quinoa inside the cooked peppers.

Tri-Pepper Quinoa

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes


  • 1 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow pepper, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3/4 salt
  • 1/4 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon honey(optional)
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas

Tri-Pepper Quinoa Olive Oil


  1. Combine the quinoa with the appropriate amount of water(about 3 cups unless the brand you’re using says otherwise) in a pot over the stove. Bring to a boil, cover, and turn off the heat. Leave undisturbed for 15 minutes.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large pan over a separate burner.
  3. Sauté the onion and the peppers until they start to turn color and char a little.
  4. Add the salt and pepper to the vegetables in the pan and remove from the heat.
  5. Remove the lid from the quinoa and add in the chickpeas, honey, and sautéed vegetable. Mix well with a large spoon and serve hot.

Tri-Pepper Quinoa Finished Product

Biting into the peppers and onions reminded me of a meatloaf. If you’re not a vegetarian you can always leave the chickpeas out and serve this with some ground beef and I think it’d be excellent.

Firecracker Guacamole


The Superbowl is coming up; I only know that because The Voice premiers right after it and that’s what I really want to watch. Maybe I’ll sit through 3 hours of football or maybe I’ll just eat chips and dip the whole time and not look up at the TV; the latter sounds more fun.

I never really made guacamole before and my first time got off to a rough start: I confused jalapeno and habanero peppers. I’m pretty sure traditional guacamole has jalapenos. This one has habaneros which are a little spicier. I didn’t wear gloves or anything while I was dicing it and ended up sniffling for the rest of the afternoon; those little buggers are hot!


What makes this guacamole unique is that the onions are gently cooked. No one wants raw onion breath, especially at a party. Sautéing them in a pan in some water takes away that bitterness, and since it’s cooked in water and not oil it saves the guacamole from getting too oily. You can include or exclude the cilantro based on your preference; I can’t stand the flavor so I left it out.

Firecracker Guacamole

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes


  • 3 ripe medium-sized avocadoes
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 habanero pepper
  • 1/2 Tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro(optional)



  1. Peel and mash your avocadoes together in a large bowl.
  2. Carefully dice the onion, tomato, and pepper. Add the tomato and pepper in with the avocado reserving the onion.
  3. Heat a large pan over medium with a little water in the bottom. Quickly sauté the onion in the water for a couple minutes until the diced onions are semi-translucent. Remove from the heat and add in with the avocado.
  4. Add in your citrus and salt and cilantro if using and mix all of the ingredients together.
  5. Serve at room temperature. Store in the refrigerator for up to a day.


This wasn’t the spiciest thing I’ve ever tasted but it certainly wasn’t mild, either; it was right around my heat level. Just be careful to wash your hands after handling the pepper. Nobody wants to rub that into their eyes or worse.

The Best (Vegan) Quinoa Stuffing


Since I eat quinoa all the time, I get asked a lot what recipe should somebody who’s not really a fan of quinoa try to get themselves to like it. This is that recipe.

I made this last Thanksgiving and then again for Christmas Eve since it was such a hit. If you’ve never seen 80 year old aunts nudging each other to get the serving spoon for more quinoa, it’s quite hysterical. The only difference I made this year was using oil in place of butter and vegetable broth for chicken broth so that this was both vegan and gluten-free. You won’t miss the white bread in this untraditional stuffing.

If you want to save some time and chopping, you can buy pre-diced mirepoix at most grocery stores like Trader Joe’s nowadays.

The Best Quinoa Dressing

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 8 servings):

  • 2 cups quinoa, rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth(or chicken broth)
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, diced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1/4 cup cane sugar



  1. Bring the quinoa and broth to a boil in a large pot. Cover the pot and turn off the heat, letting the quinoa sit to absorb the water.
  2. In a pan, sauté the onion, celery, and carrots in 2 tablespoons of oil until the onions are translucent and the carrots have cooked through.
  3. When the quinoa is fully cooked, add in the sautéed vegetables, sugar, and herbs. Mix those in while fluffing the quinoa.
  4. Move to a serving bowl and serve warm.


I’ve never been so happy for Thanksgiving leftovers.

Savory Pumpkin Quinoa


It really shouldn’t surprise you that I’m posting a pumpkin recipe this week, with 3 1/2 pounds of homemade pumpkin puree in my refrigerator. ‘Tis the season, I suppose.

Actually, this pumpkin quinoa is one of my favorite savory dishes. I made it a lot last year and was waiting for the weather to get cool to start making it again. The earthiness from the pumpkin combined with herbs makes for an irresistibly savory and comforting dish that’s perfect served hot on a cold night.


If you don’t have herbes de Provence on hand, you can use a mixture of savory herbs that you do have such as equal parts thyme, rosemary, and sage.

Savory Pumpkin Quinoa

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 4 servings):

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 2 1/4 cups water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon herbes de Provence



  1. Wash and drain the quinoa. Combine it with 2 1/4 cups of fresh water in a pot and bring it to a boil.
  2. Cover the quinoa with a lid and turn off the heat. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes to absorb the water and cook.
  3. While the quinoa is cooking, bring the oil up to heat in a large pan over a burner set to medium-high.
  4. Once the oil is hot, add in the pepper and onion and sauté for 5-10 minutes, until the onion is translucent and the pepper slightly charred.
  5. Once the quinoa is done cooking, add in the pumpkin puree, onion, pepper, salt, and herbs. Mix thoroughly and heat it back up if the quinoa has cooled at all. Serve hot.


Comfort food is usually something you grew up with; I never grew up eating quinoa, but this is definitely comfort food. It reminds me of a thick risotto. If you want you can add nutritional yeast, parmesan, or shredded cheddar to give it a sharp, cheesy flavor and make something reminiscent of mac n’ cheese.

Southwestern Stovetop Frittata

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My weekly schedule is a little funny. Tuesday and Thursday are always go-go-go and I hardly have time to sit down and eat let alone cook. But on Wednesday I have all the time in the world if I work enough over the weekend to take my time and lounge around. This Wednesday I realized I didn’t have very much food to get me through the next couple of days, so what did I do? Cook. A lot.

On top of lunch and dinner, I roasted a spaghetti squash, acorn squash, and used up a dozen eggs in this frittata. My 3-foot fridge might have been bursting open with squash that night, but it’s made my next couple days a breeze. I ate 3 servings of this frittata yesterday and still wanted more after dinner. I can tell I’ll be making another again soon. 

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If you don’t feel like cutting the peppers and onion yourself, check in the frozen section of your grocery store for something called a “southwestern vegetable blend” and substitute the vegetables here for 1 cup of the vegetable blend.

Southwestern Stovetop Frittata

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 4 servings):

  • 12 medium eggs
  • 1 red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 green bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend or cheddar cheese(optional)

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  1. Heat the oil in an 8’ non-stick pan with a fitting lid over medium heat.
  2. Add in the peppers, onion, spices and salt and sauté until the onion is translucent. Make sure to mix the ingredients to evenly distribute the spices.
  3. In a large bowl, crack and beat all of the eggs.
  4. Remove the onion and peppers from the pan and pour in the beaten eggs(if you’re using a pan that’s not non-stick, it’s a good idea to add a little oil to the bottom before doing this).
  5. Wait 10 seconds and then distribute the onion and peppers and cheese if using into the egg batter.
  6. Put a lid on the pan and leave untouched for 10 minutes until the egg has cooked through. You’ll be able to tell it’s done when the egg in the center has set.
  7. Remove from the pan and cut into quarters. Serve hot.

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Next time I try this I think I’ll add some cheddar-style Daiya, because if it’s that good without cheese it can only be better with.

How To Cook Quinoa In A Rice Cooker


Last year around this time I bought a rice cooker. Since then I’ve made rice approximately 2 times, both being for other people. I just don’t care for rice. Why’d I buy it then? To cook other things like quinoa.

Quinoa is traditionally made in a pot on the stove. That method works well if you have a full kitchen, but there are definitely benefits to using a rice cooker, too.

    • You don’t have to watch a rice cooker as much as a burner.
    • Rice cookers with “keep warm” settings make it easy to serve warm food even during a busy party.
    • You can use a rice cooker almost anywhere there’s an electrical outlet—even in a dorm room.


I use a Zojirushi rice cooker. They’re one of the more expensive brands but totally worth the extra cost. This will last for years and years, is easy to clean, and has plenty of cooking features. I’ve made a number of different things in it, from quinoa to date paste. It’s worth the investment if you’re in the market for a rice cooker.

How To Cook Quinoa In A Rice Cooker

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients(Makes 4 servings):

  • 1/2 an onion, small diced
  • 1 large carrot, small diced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 cups water or stock
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt(omit if using salt)



  1. “Sauté” the carrots and onion in the bottom of the rice cooker by cooking them in the oil on a high-heat setting until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add in the quinoa, liquid, and seasoning if using. Close the lid on the rice cooker and cook on high for 15-20 minutes until the liquid has boiled off. The quinoa will be ready when it has doubled in volume and a “tail” sprouts from the end.
  3. Fluff the quinoa with a serving spoon and serve hot or let cool and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.


Once you get comfortable preparing basic quinoa, you can make more complex recipes, all while still using your rice cooker. Here are a few of my favorites that I have picked to make for Fall:

Vegged-Out Quinoa

The Best Quinoa Dressing

Savory Pumpkin Quinoa

Gluten-Free Baked Onion Rings + Twitter popchips Giveaway

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When I was a kid I never liked onion rings. When everyone else was going for bags of Funyuns, I chose potato chips. I didn’t even care that they were fried; they had the word “onion” in them so how could they be good?!

Well, I grew up and so did my taste buds. Now I love onions sautéed, caramelized—however you make them. And when I had my first taste of onion rings in England they were surprisingly good.

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popchips sent me a Summer supply of their tasty all natural snacks, and when I started looking at recipes on their facebook wall these onion rings grabbed my attention. If there’s anything better than potato chips, it’s onion rings. And baking them in a batter with low-fat popchips means they’re better for you than the original, too.

Gluten-Free Baked Onion Rings


  • 2 onions, sliced and separated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk or non-dairy substitute
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1/2 cup potato chip crumbs*
  • 1/3 cup almond flour

*I used 1 .8oz bag of original popchips and 2 .8oz bags of salt & pepper.

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Line 2 sheets of baking trays with parchment paper and preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Beat together the eggs, milk, and vinegar. In a separate bowl, mix together the almond flour and potato chip crumbs. It’s best to use the finest crumbs you can so running them through a food processor is recommended.

With one hand, lift the onion rings and dredge them in the wet ingredients. Take it and put it in the breading, tossing to coat with your other hand. Using the dry hand, place it on the lined baking tray. Repeat this process for all of the onion rings.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve slightly warm with ketchup.

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I wasn’t sure if these would actually taste good. They’re “healthy”, free of grains and low in fat. They’re easy, too, compared to actually frying the onion rings which would require a lot more attention cooking.

The verdict?

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I had no problem finishing them all. I don’t think it’s too soon for another batch.

popchips wants to give away a Summer supply of popchips to one lucky person on Twitter! To enter, simply tweet between now and next Friday, the 29th, “I snack healthy with ________ @popchipsboston @wannabechefevan” answering the question with your favorite healthy snack or favorite popchips flavor and you’ll be entered to win.

Greens & Beans

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For a food blogger, I’m not a very adventurous eater. I eat a lot of the same things over and over again. I eat a lot of omelets. I love making raw noodles in peanut sauce. And, when in doubt, I always go back to greens and beans.

It’s not as much of a recipe as a methodology: You take some greens and some beans, sauté flavor into them and boom! It’s a meal. And it doesn’t make you think too hard, which is always nice at the end of the day.

Greens & Beans

Ingredients(Makes 2 servings):

  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 can beans, drained(I like cannellini)
  • 2 cups fresh OR 1 cup frozen greens, thawed(spinach, kale, etc.)
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Butter(optional)

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in the garlic and onion and sauté for a few minutes until the onions translucent and garlic is crispy.

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Add in the greens and beans and mix them in with the garlic and onions. Add in the lemon, salt, and pepper and cook until heated through. Serve hot.

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Sometimes I’ll add an extra clove of garlic just because I can, you know, on the days when I don’t plan on having to speak to someone face to face. I love getting bites of crispy garlic through the dish.

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And then there’s butter. I don’t eat butter often, but a pat of Smör Icelandic butter(that’s the good butter Ina Garten’s always harping on about) really hits the spot, especially after it’s melted in.