Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Quinoa With Black Bean Puree And Guacamole

I know this dish may seem very random. Especially considering that this was my dinner. Not a side dish, but my actual dinner. But there is something about the creaminess of the black bean puree and guacamole with the texture of the quinoa that made this really good. I swear!

Quinoa with Black Bean Puree and Guacamole
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1 c. quinoa
1 1/4 c.
vegetable stock
1/2 red pepper, diced
2 scallions, chopped
1 c. black beans, drained and rinsed
1 t.
chili powder
1/2 t. garlic powder

1/2 t. cumin
1 avocado
1 lime, juiced
2 T. minced onion

In pot, bring 1 cup of vegetable stock to boil. Season with salt and stir in quinoa. Reduce heat to medium, cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. Add red pepper and scallions, let simmer for 5 more minutes. Turn off heat and let sit for 5 minutes. In food processor, puree black beans, vegetable stock, salt, chili powder, garlic powder and cumin. Pour puree in small pot and heat through. In bowl, smash avocado with lime juice, minced onion and salt until smooth. Top black bean puree with quinoa and guacamole.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Brown Rice With Steamed Veggies

I love mixing things into my rice. Some of my favorites are green onions with coconut milk, black beans with spices and fresh veggies. The fresh veggies were my mix-in of choice today, but the star of this brown rice was the homemade vegetable stock that it was cooked in. I'm so glad that I took the plunge to make homemade stock. It was definitely worth the time.

Vegetable Stock
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3 onions, quartered
4 carrots, cut in large pieces
2 parsnips, cut in large pieces
4 celery stalks, cut in large pieces
2 c. cremini mushrooms
1 head garlic, halved
2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2 t. kosher salt
5 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs rosemary
2 bay leaves
15 peppercorns

Toss onions, carrots, parsnips, celery, mushrooms and garlic with oil. Roast in 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. Place roasted vegetables, thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, peppercorns and salt in large stock pot. Top with 3 quarts of water. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover pot with lid. Let simmer for 1 1/2 hours. Strain stock and store in airtight containers. Can be frozen for up to a month.

Brown Rice with Steamed Veggies
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2 c. instant brown rice
2 c. homemade vegetable stock
1 c. broccoli, chopped
1/2 c. carrots, chopped
2 scallions, chopped

Bring vegetable stock to boil. Season with salt. Stir in brown rice, cover pot with lid and reduce to simmer. Let simmer for 4 minutes. Add vegetables on top of rice and let simmer for 1 more minute. Turn off heat and let rice stand for 5 minutes. Stir with fork to incorporate veggies.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tilapia Lettuce Tacos

I have now officially started my journey of making myself more healthy. So what do you do when you have a short list of foods you can eat? You get really creative with that short list. My food is actually not as restricted as I was afraid it would be. And I am determined that the foods I can eat make a tasty meal. These tacos were definitely tasty. If you like more of a crunch with your taco 'shell', try romaine hearts.

Tilapia Lettuce Tacos
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4 tilapia fillets
Chili powder
Salt and pepper
1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
1 c. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 c. black beans, drained and rinsed
Butter lettuce

Season both sides of tilapia with chili powder, salt and pepper. In large skillet, cook tilapia for 2-3 minutes per side, or until just cooked through. Remove tilapia from skillet. In same skillet, add mushrooms and cook for 5-6 minutes, or until browned. Add black beans, season with salt and pepper. Cook for another 2 minutes to warm beans through. Flake tilapia apart and lay in lettuce. Top tilapia with mushrooms and black beans and top with sliced shallot.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chili Powder

I frequently use chili powder in my cooking. But I have two problems with store bought chili powder. One... it's not the most flavorful spice in the spice rack. It seems like you need a lot of it to make any difference in a recipe. And two... it contains silicon dioxide to make it free flowing. I don't even know what that stuff is, but spices just shouldn't contain chemicals! So naturally, I decided that I needed to make my own chili powder. It's easy to make and has incredible flavor.

Chili Powder
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2 ancho chili peppers
1 T. garlic powder
1 T. cumin

Remove stem and seeds from peppers. Cut peppers in thin strips and place in a coffee grinder. Pulse grinder until the anchos are a coarse powder. Remove from grinder and mix in garlic powder and cumin. Store in airtight container.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

Last Thursday was my last contract day for the school year. And it seems that the lack of structure does not do me well. As soon as I'm done with the school year, apparently I'm done with doing anything productive. Including posting on my blog. This is the same thing that happened to me last summer. I really need to work on that this summer.

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

Monday, June 7, 2010

Steak Sauce

When I made this meal on Saturday, my boyfriend, Stephen told me that I must have wanted to stay in Vegas longer because I made such a nice dinner. As he was eating, I kept hearing, "baby (mumble, mumble) good (mumble) mmmmm!" I love that he's so easy to please.

Steak Sauce
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adapted from Rachael Ray

1 c. tomato sauce
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. Worcestershire sauce
3 T. brown sugar
1/2 t. apple cider vinegar
1/2 t. onion powder
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/4 t. dry mustard
Salt and pepper
1/4 t. hot sauce

Combine all ingredients in a small pot. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce to simmer and let cook for 15 minutes. Good warm, room temperature or cold.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Marinated Steak Tacos

This week, my boyfriend, Stephen, and I went to Las Vegas. We left really early Monday morning and got back really late last night. We had such a great time, and we stayed in this amazing new hotel, Vdara. We did not want to come back to reality in Dallas yesterday, and it certainly didn't help that we had to sit on the plane in Vegas for over 2 and a half hours before taking off.

Marinated Steak Tacos

1 lb. sirloin steak
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 t. red wine vinegar
1 t. extra virgin olive oil
2 t. chili powder
1 t. ground red pepper
1 t. cumin
2 t. onion powder
1 t. garlic powder
Salt and pepper
Corn tortillas
Tomato slices
Queso fresco

In a large skillet, caramelize onions on medium heat, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes. Whisk together, vinegar, oil, chili powder, ground red pepper, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Marinate steak for 1 hour. Wrap tortillas in foil. Warm them in a 200 degree oven for 20 minutes, or until warm and pliable. In skillet over medium high heat, sear steak for 4-5 minutes per side. Let steak rest for 10 minutes, then slice thinly. Top steak with onions, tomato and queso fresco. Serve with black beans and brown rice.