Cilantro Lime Pinto Beans

We recently had Jake’s dad over for dinner and we were having some of Jake’s smoked ham. I’m usually in charge or appetizers and sides and decided on this bean dish. Unlike most of my other recipes, I actually found this in my Bon Apetit magazine. I really liked this side and it had a unique flavor. However, I should have realized that it very much has a latin foods flavor, especially with the cilantro and lime. I would definitely make this again and probably double the recipe.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • One 28 oz can of pinto beans, drained
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 medium shallots (finely chopped)
  • 1 small buch of cilantro, steps finely chopped and separated from leaves coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1 lime – you will need zest and the juice
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

First, cook the shallots, garlic, and cilantro stems in a saucepan on medium heat with a bit of oil. (You’ll notice in my photo that I have some cilantro leaves at this step. That was my mistake for not separating the stems and leaves to start with. It all turned out A-OK, though!)

Once contents of the saucepan are softened a bit, add the beans, butter, and 3/4 cup water. Stir together and bring to a simmer. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occassionally.

Finally, remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cilantro leaves, lime zest, and lime juice.

Give it a taste and add salt and pepper, as desired.

In the end, you’ll end up with sort of a thicker paste-like bean. I imagine you could thin it out a bit by adding more water or lime juice.

I hope that you enjoy this twist on a bean side dish!

Sincerely,

Fu’d

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2 Ingredient Berry Angel Food Cake

This dessert could NOT be any easier. What I particularly like about it is that it actually isn’t too sweet. For a savory food lover like me, it was perfect. The actual cake part is just two ingredients. I additionally made my own whipped cream, but this could be simplified even further by using store-bought canned whipped cream or Cool Whip.

Since this is so easy to prepare, it’s a good option if you’re entertaining. If you’re using your oven for the main meal, mix this and pop it in the oven before you sit down to eat. Then, this will be done and can sit out to cool for a little bit before serving. The timing works out well.

If you’re interested in making your own whipped cream like I did, here is the link to the recipe I used. You just need whipping cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract.


Here’s what you’ll need for the cake:

  • One box of angel food cake mix (the kind where you only need to add water)
  • One 21-oz can of pie filling (I used blueberry, but any kind of berry will work)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Farnenheit.

Mix the angel food cake mix (just the dry ingredients in the package, no need to prepare per the box instructions) and the pie filling.

Pour the mixture into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. (I chose to rub some butter on the bottom and around the edges of the dish to help prevent sticking.)

Bake for about 30 minutes.

I truly hope you enjoy the simplicity, lightness, and deliciousness of this dessert!

Sincerely,

Fu’d

Vegetarian Chili – A Crossover for Dinner and Breakfast

It’s been quite a while since my last post, but the holidays were a whirlwind…a very fattening whirlwind. Jake and I have decided to be your stereotypical New Years resolutioners and are trying to start eating healthy again. I promptly went to trusty Pinterest and began pinning all sorts of new healthy recipes. One of them was a vegtarian chili. We happened to pretty much have all the ingredients on hand, so I decided to try it last night. It was good and even better the next day as an open-faced omlet topping. Just add a dollop of sour cream and mmmmm….

Here’s the link to the recipe.

I ended up using black beans and canellini beans becaue it’s what I had available. Otherwise, I would’ve chosen a more typical chili bean, like kidney. I also ended up using one can of whole peeled tomatoes (the Cento San Marzano can) and a box of Pomi chopped tomatoes. This worked out just fine. I also had some butternut squash that was likely only to last a little longer, so I decided to add it to the recipe. This helped, too, because I didn’t have any corn as suggested by the recipe.

I figured the cubed butternut squash might take a little longer to cook through than the other diced vegetables, I decided to throw these in the pot first and cook them for about five minutes. Once they started to cook through a little bit, I took them out and set them aside while I continued on with the recipe.

I sauteed the onions until soft and then added in pressed garlic and the seasonings. I ended up with a somewhat thick mixture.

I then added the remainder of the vegetables to cook down until a little soft. Then, I added in the tomatoes, allowing that to simmer for about 20 minutes. Then, I added in the rinsed beans and added salt to taste. I ended up adding a bit more of the other seasonings, as well, to taste.

Finally, I served in a bowl with a dollop of sour cream and some grated smoked gouda. Feel free to add whatever toppings you like or serve with tortilla chips on the side!

Overall, this dish was easy to make and probably could’ve been easily adapted for the crock pot or the pressure cooker. This made a very healthy portion. We packaged up some of the leftovers and also used some for breakfast the next day. We cooked up a couple of eggs and used the chili as a topping. Of course, we added another dollop of sour cream on top πŸ™‚

Also, I have to say that the chili was even better the next day, after the flavors had a chance to really meld together. If you have the chance to make this ahead of time, I’d say go for it!

Enjoy.

Sincerely,

Fu’d

Guilt-Free Alfredo Sauce with a Cauliflower Base

I had somewhat recently joined a Facebook group that was created for people who live in the same town to share photos of their home cooked meals. First off, this group is absolutely amazing – the things that people cook and all the encouragement is a breath of fresh air. There’s been a recent onslaught of people making chicken broccoli alfredo. So, of course, I started to crave it like crazy!

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Here’s a version that I adapted for the pressure cooker from a Pinterest recipe. (Here’s the link to the recipe.) If you don’t want to use a pressure cooker, feel free to follow the original recipe as is, but be sure to read on for a few tips and suggestions! I also tried to make my own pasta shells…that was a disaster. Luckily I was smart enough to pick up some backup shells at the store.

Here’s what I used for the sauce:

  • 1 large head of cauliflower
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup of milk (I used almond milk)
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Your choice of cheese (optional) – I used shelf-stable parmesan and a shredded pizza blend

You can supposedly pair this sauce with a number of dishes, but I made stuffed shells with chicken and broccoli. So, here is the rest of what I used:

  • 1 box of shells, cooked and drained
  • 1 large head of broccoli
  • 1 large chicken breast (You may want a little more if you want to try something unique with the sauce. Read on to learn more!)
  • More cheese for topping
  • Breadcrumbs to sprinkle on top (optional)

Cut the cauliflower head into medium sized pieces (doesn’t need to be perfect) and put it in the pressure cooker. Mince or use a garlic press and put all the garlic in with the cauliflower. Add one cup of vegetable broth and season with salt and pepper.

I chose to cube the chicken breast, seasoned with salt and pepper, and put into a little tin foil boat. I put this on top of the cauliflower in the pressure cooker. If you chose to use some additional chicken for the unique twist on the sauce, add a handful of the chicken cubes in with the cauliflower, but outside of the foil. (You will end up incorporating that extra chicken right into the sauce.)

I set the pressure cooker to the poultry setting for only 5 minutes and then used the quick release when done. This was enough time to cook the chicken and soften the cauliflower.

Add the 1/2 cup of milk.

Using an immersion blender (or in batches in a regular blender or food processor), blend everything together. If you added the extra chicken into the sauce, this means you are blending chicken right into it. This may seem odd, but I accidentally did this the first time and I loved it. It gave the sauce flavor some depth and it also help give the sauce a little thicker in consistency!

I decided to put in some cheese and about 1 cup of small cut broccoli so they would fit in the shells for baking. (I left larger chunks of broccoli for addition to the baking dish after the shells were stuffed.) Go ahead and dump the cooked chicken cubes in there, too.

Mix together well.

I chose to microwave the remainder of the broccoli with a little water but feel free to pre-cook it any way you like.

Spread a thing layer of sauce at the bottom of the baking dish.

Stuff the shells with the sauce, chicken, broccoli mixture and place shells in the dish. I placed the microwaved broccoli around the shells.

I topped the dish with the rest of the sauce some more cheese, and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs.

I baked at 375 degrees Farenheit, covered with tin foil for about 15 minutes.

I then baked for another 15 minutes uncovered. I broiled at the end for a few minutes to get the golden brown color on top.

Lastly, serve and enjoy! Leftovers are delicious, too. I had this for lunch two days this week AND I was able to freeze some for when I get the craving later on πŸ˜‰.

Again, I chose shells, but feel free to eat this with any type of pasta or give it a try over some vegetables, on a white pizza, with rice, etc.

Sincerely,
Fu’d

Forget the Chinese Takeout – A Simple Beef and Broccoli Dish

Now, I know there is no substitute for the really salty, greasy, and guilty pleasure of Chinese takeout food, but this beef and broccoli dish is sure to please. Plus, it is really easy to make. I finished prepping this dish way faster than most of my other weeknight meals. (Here’s the link to the recipe.)

Before I walk through how I cooked up this recipe, here are a few comments:

  • This first note isn’t really a tip, but more so a testament to how good this was. Jake came in from doing yard work and the first thing he said was, “Wow, that smells really good!”
  • In reading through the recipe comments (and I agree) that substituting the protein for chicken or something else would still work perfectly. So, you should definitely try this with something other than beef if that’s what you prefer.
  • I had also asked Jake later what he thought could be improved about the dish and he said more sauce. For me, the amount of sauce was perfect, but I did see other comments of people who doubled the sauce. So, if you’re a sauce lover, go ahead and double it.

The ingredients you need are listed in the recipe at the link above, but here’s what I did:

First, I sliced up the steak tips into about 1/4″ slices. You could even do thin strips if you prefer smaller pieces and more sauce-to-beef ratio. πŸ™‚

I then prepared the mixture that would coat the beef, giving it a little more texture with the cornstarch for pan frying and some flavor with the garlic powder. I liked that this was a liquidy mixture, rather than some other recipes that simply tell you to toss the meat with cornstarch.

In most cases, I like to prepare the later ingredients before I start cooking. So, I took this opportunity to cut up the broccoli, begin cooking the rice, and prepare the soy sauce mixture.

I used a deep pot because I wanted room to toss the beef and broccoli in the sauce, without accidentally flipping everything out of a pan. I heated up oil and cooked the beef until I had some browning on the outside and the pieces were cooked through. I took the beef out and put in a bowl to set aside. (I usually like to place cooked food in the microwave, not turned on, to keep warm.)

I then cooked the broccoli. I actually also decided to add some sliced mushrooms, which was a nice addition. When done, I tossed the beef back in and added the sauce mixture I had prepared earlier. I tossed to coat everything and let that cook for a few minutes.

Then, it was done! My rice had also finished cooking in that time. Just plate and serve! I happened to have some sesame seeds on hand, so I sprinkled some on top as a garnish. Since I love sriracha, I also added a drizzle of it on my dish.

This was very yummy and I would definitely make this again!

Sincerely,
Fu’d

The Perfect Fall Treat – Mini Cider Donut Muffins

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We don’t usually drink apple cider, but we bought some last week so we could make that delicious bone-in pork recipe. Of course, we had a bunch of the cider left over. With fall now officially in the air, cider donuts are apparently a must. I’ve never personally had cider donuts, but Jake raves about them. That gave me the idea of maybe trying my own cider donuts and using up some of that left over apple cider. Most of the recipes I found required buttermilk. That would’ve been yet another ingredient we buy a jug of when all we need is a cup or less. So, instead, I found a cider donut muffin recipe. No buttermilk and no frying! (Here’s the link to the recipe.)

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I prepared the wet mixture, which included one egg, 3/4 cup apple cider, and 1/2 tsp vanilla extract.

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I then put the dry ingredients (as directed in the recipe) into my stand mixer bowl. I turned the mixer on to mix up the dry ingredients a bit and then I poured the wet mixture in batches until well combined.

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The mixture seemed a little too wet. I thought maybe I forgot to add a 1/2 cup of the flour! I ended up adding about one more tablespoon of flour.

I decided to use a mini muffin tin because I wanted more bite-sized donut muffins. I sprayed the muffin tin with olive oil spray. I then used a tablespoon measuring spoon to scoop the batter into each muffin spot. That seemed to be just the right amount.

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I placed the mini muffin sheet on top of a baking wire rack, which was on top of a baking sheet. I did this because I didn’t want the bottoms of the mini muffins to cook faster and darken more than the rest of the muffin. I baked at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 15 minutes. When done, I set everything on the counter to cook as I prepared the melted butter and cinnamon sugar mixture. I only melted about 4 tablespoons of butter (rather than the 7 tablespoons in the recipe.) I also halved the cinnamon and sugar mixture.

To get each mini muffin out of its little hole, I poked a toothpick around the edges and pried the muffin out a bit, taking care not to rip the bottom part of the muffin.

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I decided not to cover the entire mini muffin with the sugar both because it was easier just to dunk the top and also because I thought it might keep the muffins a little lighter/healthier. I dunked the top of the muffin into the butter and then immediately after into the cinnamon sugar mix. I then set each on the wire rack.

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These cooled very quickly, so they were ready to eat almost immediately after I was done coating all the muffins. These were great! Not the same thing as the fried cider donuts, but still a winner – great to just make and eat at home or to bring as a mini dessert for friends and family. If you have kids, this would be a great shared baking experience to try!

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Sincerely,
Fu’d

Garbage Quiche with a Phyllo Dough Crust

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I just received my new toys from Williams Sonoma yesterday. I don’t usually shop there, but we received a gift card (Thank you, Jim and Cindy!) as a wedding gift. I bought several items; two of them are a 3-piece stoneware baker set and 4-cup glass measuring cup. I purchased the stoneware baker set because all we have of that sort are Pyrex baking dishes. Those work great, but they don’t look great for serving guests or to bring as a guest to someone else’s house. I bought the large measuring cup because Jake needed one recently and I had been thinking about getting one and so I took this opportunity to go for it.

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My new purchases from Williams Sonoma

This morning, we didn’t really have anything specific to make for breakfast, but we did have eggs and vegetables that needed to be used soon.Β What came to mind was to make a frittata or quiche.Β So, I dug into the freezer and found some left over phyllo (or filo) dough that I thought would work great as a crust. I call this recipe a “garbage” quiche because it will work with virtually any sort of vegetable or protein you have – whatever you have on hand! In fact, my favorite fillings for a quiche are ham and artichokes.

Here’s what I used:

  • 5 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 5 sheets of phyllo dough
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 medium avocado, sliced
  • Vegetables:
    • 1/4 red onion thinly sliced
    • a couple of large broccoli florets, cut into small pieces
    • 3 campari tomatoes, 2 diced and 1 sliced
  • Seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika (all to taste)
  • Garnish: fresh parsley (optional)

Here’s a summary of what I did.

If you’d like more explanation/description, read past the summary steps. I know, sometimes I at least like to know the tips and tricks before I get started so I can adjust accordingly.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit
  2. Crack eggs into a medium mixing bowl. Add the seasonings and water. Beat the eggs.
  3. Add all the vegetables (except the sliced campari tomato) and half the cheese to the eggs. Mix to combine.
  4. Spray or rub a baking dish with oil/butter. Layer the phyllo dough in the dish, with the dough going up the sides and slightly over the top.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the dish.
  6. Bake for about 15 minutes, until the top begins to get a little firm, but is still liquidy.
  7. Place the sliced campari tomato on top of the egg and sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.
  8. Bake for another 15-20 minutes until golden brown on top and egg is cooked through. (This will vary.)

Additional Explanation/Description of Steps

First, I cracked 5 large eggs into the measuring cup. (I normally would’ve done this in a small mixing bowl, but I was too anxious to use that measuring cup for something!) I seasoned the eggs with some salt, pepper, and garlic powder. I also added a splash of water to the eggs to give them a little volume. Beat the eggs, seasoning, and water.

Then, I chopped up my vegetables. I diced two campari tomatoes, thinly sliced a little red onion, and small chopped a few broccoli florets. I added those to the egg mix along with 1/4 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Stir to combine.

(At this point, I sliced a third campari tomato, but we’re going to add that later. I also sliced an avocado, which we’ll add later, as well.)

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Sliced avocado to go on top of the quiche

I defrosted the rolled up dough by microwaving it directly inside the ziplog bag for about 30 seconds. I sprayed the baking dish of my choice with some olive oil. I forgot I had previously cut the phyllo dough, so I had smaller rectangles. I simply laid out the sheets with some slight overlap. I did this part very roughly. A lot of recipes that do this will have you put down one piece of phyllo dough and then brush it with butter, repeating that 5 or 6 times. I didn’t bother. I simply took a pile of about 5 sheets and laid it down. I then just sprayed some more olive oil spray over the top. You can see from my photo that my pieces were just slightly too small and didn’t hang over the top of the dish. If you want a little more of that golden phyllo dough to stick out the top, just use larger sheets that hang over the edge and trim to your liking.

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My messy phyllo dough layering in the baking dish

I poured in my egg mixture into the dish, on top of the phyllo dough.

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Egg mixture poured into the dish and on top of the phyllo dough

I popped this into the 350 degree Farenheit preheated oven and baked for about 15 minutes. I then took the dish out and layered my sliced campari tomatoes on top. I had also added the sliced avocado at this time, but that was a mistake. (The avocado browned a bit while cooking in the oven, so I covered it with some cheese. My suggestion is to put the avocado on after everything is done cooking just as a garnish/topping.) Take this opportunity to also sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top.

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Adding sliced campari tomatoes part-way through baking

Bake for another 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven and your baking dish. Check the doneness by sticking a toothpick through the middle. If it still looks a bit liquidy, it needs to cook longer. If it feels firm and doesn’t seem watery, then it is likely done.

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The finished quiche

Voila! The final product. Garnish with parsley and sprinkle with a little additional paprika if you’d like! This would be the perfect dish for breakfast or brunch with family and friends. πŸ™‚

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Happy breakfast/brunching!

Sincerely,
Fu’d