Category Archives: Recipes

Simple recipes that will change your life!

Easy Weeknight Dinner: Iron Boosting Picadillo

22nd October 2014

This hearty meal is simple and goes well with a variety of side dishes. Feeling carb loaded lately?  Ditch the sides and eat it by itself or on a bed of fresh spinach. Loaded with fiber, iron and protein… plus, it’s gluten free!

Picadillo is a Spanish dish similar to hash that is made with ground beef, tomatoes and a variety of other ingredients. The picadillo I grew up with had potatoes, raisins, carrots and was always served with white rice. No matter how you choose to modify this recipe, the satisfying feeling will be the same. 

Picadillo is a Spanish dish similar to hash that is made with ground beef, tomatoes and a variety of other ingredients. The picadillo I grew up with had potatoes, raisins, carrots and was always served with white rice. No matter how you choose to modify this recipe, the satisfying feeling will be the same.

Ingredients 

1/2 medium yellow onion – chopped

1 clove garlic – minced

1 lb lean ground beef 

1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes

2.5 cups cooked lentils
(Trader Joe’s sells cooked and ready-to-serve lentils in the produce section.  So easy!)

Small bunch of your favorite herbs such as rosemary, oregano, or thyme tied with kitchen twine. 

herbs

I added fresh oregano and rosemary from our yard. These are hearty plants that last forever and need almost no maintenance.

I added fresh oregano and rosemary from our yard. These are hearty plants that last forever and need almost no maintenance.

Make it 

With your stove at medium high, heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven

Toss in onions and stir frequently until soft 

Add garlic and season with salt and pepper 

Add ground beef and season again to your liking

beef and onions

Stir in diced tomatoes, herbs and lentils

I added fresh oregano and rosemary from our yard. These are hearty plants that last forever and need almost no maintenance.

Change temp to low, cover and let simmer for 5 minutes

At this point you can either serve it immediately or turn off heat and leave covered for up to an hour.  When ready to serve, just turn the stove back on medium/low heat for about five minutes and spoon over a bed of basmati rice, couscous, mashed potatoes (shepherd’s pie anyone?), or pasta. 

Bon Appetit!

Bon appetit!

The Mighty Mollete

2nd October 2014

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A lightly toasted roll (bolillo is the proper word) smothered with refried beans, melted cheese and fresh pico. What could be better? These little vessels of deliciousness have all the makings of a perfect comfort food. Traditionally, they are prepared as a breakfast food in Mexico, but trust me, you will do well to make them for lunch, dinner and everything in between. If you’re fortunate enough to have HEB nearby, you will find fresh baked bolillos for 20 cents a piece. Mexican bakeries should also be a safe bet and worth the trip. This bread alone is perfection. If you don’t have access to the real deal, a hoagie-like variety will do the trick. It’s also an easy and inexpensive meal to prepare in large quantities so if you ever have a horde of people to feed, you’ll thank me for this. I recently made a little over a dozen of these suckers for a group of 5 hungry landscapers who were working on our property. It took about 15 minutes for them to clear the tray. When I asked my husband if he thought I made enough he said “It’s not like you could ever make enough.” Need I say more?

 

Ingredients
Quantities will vary depending on how many mouths you’re wanting to feed but calculate two molletes per person.

6 Bolillos or white subway sandwich type rolls (because this is not the time to worry about whole grains, people)
1 lb shredded monterrey jack or mozzarella cheese
2 14oz cans whole black beans
5 ripe roma or plum tomatoes
2 green serrano (or jalapeno) peppers
1/3 cup of cilantro
1/2 white onion
1 lime
olive oil

Make it
You can prep the pico and refried beans ahead of time and keep refrigerated. Pico will stay beautiful if refrigerated up to an hour but will remain fresh and perfectly edible for up to a day in advance.

Refried beans:
In a skillet, over medium high heat, heat 2 tbsp olive oil
Drain most of the water from your cans of beans and add them to your skillet
With a potato masher, mash your beans until they resemble chunky peanut butter and are easy to spread
Add salt to taste, turn of heat and set aside or refrigerate for later

Pico de Gallo:
Chop tomatoes, onion, serranos and cilantro and add to medium bowl
Add the juice of one lime
Add 1/4 tsp salt and mix all ingredients together
TASTE IT
Add more salt to taste
Refrigerate until you are ready to serve

Showtime:
Slice the bolillos in half with a serrated knife (so as not to damage the precious insides)
Dig out a small portion of bread from each half and line them up on a foil-lined baking sheet (Leave about a 1/2 inch of bread on each one)
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Bake them for 2-3 minutes — just enough time to ever so slightly toast the bread — and remove from oven
Using a spatula, spread about 1/4 cup of beans onto each bolillo half
Lovingly sprinkle a handful of shredded cheese on each one and return to the oven for 4-5 minutes or until the cheese is melted and is slightly golden…

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That’s it! Ring the dinner bell and let everyone add pico to their dish as desired. If it’s an informal gathering or you’re serving them outside you don’t even need plates. Just hand out some napkins and the mollete will hold everything in place!

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What are some comfort foods you remember from your childhood? Do you still make them or have you modified them in any way? I’d love to hear about it!

Morning Power Smoothie

26th September 2014

My Morning Smoothie

Oh mornings… I’m yawning just writing about you so I’ll make this short and sweet.

This is the perfect post-workout smoothie but I make it almost every morning because it keeps me feeling full for hours and I can take it with me in the car to drop Liam off at school. High in fiber, omega 3’s and protein thanks to those magic chia seeds.

Ingredients

1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 banana
2 tsp chia seeds
1 scoop protein powder (optional substitute: 1/4 cup plain whole milk yogurt)
1 tbs honey or 1 tsp agave syrup
1 cup frozen peach slices

Make it

Blend ingredients (preferably in the order listed above) until smooth and get your day off to a fresh start!

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