Showing posts with label salsa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label salsa. Show all posts

Monday, December 02, 2013

December Pantry Challenge: 10 Minute Tacos!

Thinking outside the box has served me well my entire life.  In some ways, it has made my life harder, but I don't think I would be alive today if I went with the status quo!

My approach to creating food can be seen as strange by some, but to me, it makes a lot of sense.  I like to make do with what I have and find that it allows a certain sense of creativity to flow; which is how I live my life.

Wow, what a digression.  We are talking about TACOS here, haha.  So, The Boyfriend came downstairs (he works from home) hungry for lunch.  I knew he needed a big meal, and he needed it fast.  I had some soup on the stove, but it wasn't ready and also, wasn't quite hearty enough for him.

I scanned the fridge/freezer and pulled out some leftover tofu scramble (tofu, onion, garlic, potatoes, zucchini, spices) and a black bean burger.

I fried up the burger and scramble and warmed the tortillas over the gas flame.  I added the burger/scramble mix, some chopped cabbage, fresh, homemade salsa and topped them with raw onion, cilantro and goat cheese.  He enjoyed the lunch a lot and it only took 10 minutes to throw together!

BTW, if you are looking for a vegan substitute for Goat Cheese, my Nutty Goat Cheese recipe is awesome!

Here's a sneak peak of Pantry Borscht.  Somehow, we had some canned carrots, and canned beets, so I created a recipe, hoping to replicate the flavors of my White Bean Borscht.  I'm happy to say, I succeeded!  I'll share the recipe tomorrow.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

10 Minute Hearty Vegetarian Breakfast using leftovers!

I am not a traditional breakfast girl at all; I usually eat leftovers or salads.  In fact, I feel the best when I eat around 1 cup of beans with tons of veggies, lots of spices and heat and around 100 calories of fat...  that's pretty much my thing...

..but The Boyfriend likes a more traditional breakfast.  I usually make him eggs and toast. The other day, he mentioned that he wouldn't mind having chili incorporated into his breakfast ... so this morning I used around 1/2 cup of chili...  warmed some corn tortillas, fried two eggs and topped them with salsa, raw onions and salsa.  He loved it!

I had oatmeal and grapefruit, which is rare for me, but this morning, this is what I was craving. I added chia seeds, raisins, cinnamon, and soymilk... and had 1/2 of a grapfefruit

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Red Chile Sauce

My friend April and I were talking hot sauce yesterday.  She loves spicy food like I do and asked me if I had any new hot sauce recipes.  She is a big fan of my Habanero Sauce , so I know she likes it spicy! She asked if I had made a sauce similar to what they serve at corner taco stands.  In the Boston area, there aren't very many taco stands like there are where she lives, but I think I know the type of sauce she is talking about and decided to give it a whirl.  Now, I am using Onion Soup Mix in this recipe, I am doing it for a reason and I don't recommend substituting it.  If that is not you're thing, then this isn't the recipe for you.  I wanted a specific taste that the soup gives.

I used a mixture of Pasilla, Ancho, California and Chipotle Chilies.  

  • 2 oz. dried chilies, stems removed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 package onion soup mix
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/16 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp toasted cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 cups canned tomato
  • 5 big cloves garlic
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cilantro


  1. Toast the chilies over medium heat in a large skillet for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add the water, soup mix,spices. and coconut oil.
  3. Cover and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes, then add the tomatoes and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Transfer mixture to a blender; add the vinegar and cilantro and blend until combined. 

Taste ..  you have to make sure it's yummy!

I can tell this sauce needs to chill overnight so the flavors can really get to know each other, but it's pretty darn good now!  The Boyfriend has requested Enchiladas...  so I will be making them for dinner.

Here are links to some of my other Hot Sauces:

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Spicy Taco Cabbage Cups & Life Challenges

So, my life has changed a lot in the past 6 weeks. I am no longer able to work the job I was loving in Boston due to my foot issues I have two stress fractures on the bottom of my foot, along with severe arthritis and a bone spur on the top of my big toe from an old childhood injury. I am seeing another specialist Tuesday to see if there is some sort of surgical option that could help speed up the recovery process. 

I am extremely frustrated and angry that my mobility has pretty much been taken from me.  It may sound extreme, but I work on my feet.  I also walk between 3-6 miles a day JUST TO GET TO WORK.  I don't have a car.  I live 1.5 miles from the commuter rail station and then my job is another 1.5 miles away from South Station.  If my boyfriend can't drive/pick me up then it's 6 miles a day of walking.  The kitchen I work in is in the basement of the building, so I go up and down stairs all day long. 

Obviously, my boss can't make accommodations for me or hold my job until the foot is well enough for me to put that much strain on it. 

I am struggling financially. I haven't worked in a month and won't be able to work up to being on my feet again in a  full time job again for at least TWO MONTHS. 

I am also dealing with stress, because the way I normally handle it is through exercise and walking. I LOVE strapping on my headphones and going for walks, and I loved my walks to and from work.  I have been gaining weight; 25 lbs since September.  This week, I decided to become meticulous about calorie counting. I need to be, since I am not active like I was.  Hopefully, I will be able to drive (the boyfriend's car) and start  swimming soon.  

So.. enough with the depressing stuff.  Since I am counting calories,  you can expect new recipes! That's a good thing, and I'm putting together some E-books to sell too!

I love using Cabbage and other greens instead of tortillas or bread.  I save a lot of calories and eat more veggies!  What's not to love about that.  When I "diet", I do find myself relying heavily on beans and greens!  So hearty and satisfying.  The other day, I made a batch of my Southwestern Beans using pinto beans.

I have my Southwestern Sauce on hand, which is super low in calories and very delicious! 

Of course, I have a bunch of Devilish Habanero Sauce in the fridge as well. 

To make the cabbage cup tacos, I warmed up 1 cup of the beans, took two large outer leaves from the cabbage and shredded up a bunch of the rest of the cabbage.  I mixed with cabbage with some cilantro, lime juice, a tiny bit fresh sage and mexican oregano from our garden.  I topped the mixture with the salsa, southwestern sauce, onions, and some Almond Cheese.  

The end result was super delicious and so healthy! Two large "Taco Cups" is a large portion with impressive nutritional results. 
  • 400 calories
  • 10 grams fat
  • 53 grams carbs
  • 18 grams fiber
  • 19 grams protein

Friday, June 07, 2013

30 Minute Jamaican Curried Black Eyed Peas, Collards and Mushrooms

I used my Curry In a Hurry Method to create this simple, yet very flavorful meal.  It was SCREAMING hot, because my Devilish Habanero Salsa was the base of the sauce and the Spicy Jamaican Curry Powder was also hot.   

You can use mild salsa and curry powder or whatever floats your boat!  I made a single (large) serving for myself.  What I love about my method of having 3 base sauces, 2 cooked legumes and 2 cooked grains on hand, is that I can create endless combinations of meals that come together in 30 minutes or less, but taste like they've been cooking all day long!

Here's the recipe! Serves 1 hungry person or 2 with normal appetites.

Curry In a Hurry Jamaican Beans and Greens 

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely minced
  • pinch fresh nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp curry powder of choice
  • pinch cinnamon
  • 1 cup cooked black eyes peas or legume of choice
  • 3 cups raw collards, kale or other sturdy green
  • 1/2 cup cremini mushrooms
  • pinch fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/2 - 1 cup water if needed
  • Soy Sauce/Black Pepper to taste
  1. Heat a cast iron or large skillet to medium; saute the onion, garlic ginger, nutmeg, curry powder and cinnamon along with a hefty pinch of salt for 5 minutes or so.
  2. Add the legumes, greens mushrooms and fresh thyme along with the salsa and 1/2 cup water. 
  3. Cover and bring to a strong simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally
  4. If needed, add more water. Taste and adjust seasoning and enjoy! 
I love eating savory dishes for breakfast.  The spicier the better! 

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Devilish Habanero Salsa & Links to more salsa recipes.

This sauce is SCREAMING HOT!..  With and intense amount of garlic and habaneros, it is not for the sensitive palate to say the least!  I like it it a lot... in small doses, plus it can be used like Sriracha or tobasco in small doses, like one or two drops.  

Me, being me, has enjoyed 1/4 cup at a time, dipping broccoli and cauliflower into it.... but I did drool a lot; just a warning! 

I used a food processor, and processed the garlic and salt first for an even texture.

1 tbsp salt
20 cloves garlic
22 habanero peppers
1 tbsp toasted cumin seeds
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
Juice of 1 lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup cilantro
2 packets stevia (or one small pinch)
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  1. Pulse the salt and garlic until it is a paste; add the rest of the ingredients and blend until smooth.
  2. Heat in a pan over medium heat until it comes to a boil; turn off heat and chill for 4 hours before serving.
Yield, 1 qt of VERY hot, but super flavorful salsa. If you are looking for a more palatable salsa click here for my Salsa Recipe

If Tomatillo Salsa/Green Sauce is more your thing, click HERE for my yummy recipes.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

10 Minute Chili made from leftovers.

This may not be an attractive bowl of food, but the taste is sure delicious and it came together in 10 minutes.

Leftover salsa, veggies and beans combined with some dried TVP (if you don't use TVP, feel free to add around 1/4 cup of cooked grains or a couple tbsp uncooked quinoa) cooked up nicely in nicely in 10 minutes.  I also added some canned chipotle for more heat and flavor.

It made a perfect, single size portion.  I topped it with some of my Smoky White Bean Sauce and some commercial habanero sauce.  I love starting my day with protein and veggie filled savory eats that utilize my leftovers!

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Simple No Cook Salsa

I love salsa and my cooked recipe is an all time favorite, but The Boyfriend really likes texture and chunk and freshness, so I have created a super easy recipe that is super yummy and takes about 10 minutes to prepare.  I do used canned tomatoes.  We get a #10 can of San Marzano tomatoes from Costco.  I used around 2/3 of it to make Marinara (I'm using the crockpot today.)  

OK, so as many of you know, I like spicy food, so feel free to seed the peppers, use less of them and leave out the Indian Chili Powder.  

  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 28 oz can tomatoes, crush with your hands
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp toasted cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp extra hot Indian chili powder (optional)
  • 3 Serrano Chilies, chopped
  • 1 canned chipotle 
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
Mix everything together, and allow mixture to sit for an hour; taste and adjust seasonings. 


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Mexi-Base & 4 Quick Meal Ideas

Whether you're cooking for one, or for a family of 6, there are several simple tricks I've used over the years.  I like to keep 2 cooked legumes, 2 cooked whole grains and a variety of sauces on hand so I can throw together 30 minute meals without much fuss.  Taking this concept a little further, I make a mixture of TVP, Spices, Black Beans and Salsa that is the base of at least 3 more meals.  It also freezes well, but it has a shelf life of 5 days providing that you NEVER double dip.

I like using my  homemade salsa, but you don't have to.  Store bought is just fine if you're into that.  I'm fairly picky about my salsa, but I do love Mrs. Renfro's brand and they have a HOT Ghost Chili sauce that is delicious, but I digress.  Back to the recipes.  For simplicity sake, I will use canned beans, but obviously, if you cook your beans from scratch, it will be cheaper.

Mexi Base
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 8 cloves minced garlic
  • good pinch salt
  • Canned chipotles to taste (depending on your heat preference)
  • 15 oz can black beans and the liquid
  • 1 cup dried TVP
  • 2 cups Salsa
  • Water if needed (between 1/2 - 1 cup)
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  1. In a skillet or cast iron over medium heat add the oil and spices, onion and garlic and salt.
  2. Cook for 10 minutes or until the onions are soft
  3. Add the Chipotles, beans, tvp, salsa and 1/2 cup water.
  4. Cover, cook for 10 minutes, then add more water if needed, the lime juice and cilantro. Season with salt/pepper to taste.
Awesome stuffed in a collard burrito mixed with leftover grains
Or rolled into corn tortillas , topped with salsa mixed with Queso and baked at 350 for 30 mins
Turn it into a quick chili. 2 cups mexi-base, any leftover veggies, veggie broth and some more salsa. Simmer then top with your favorite toppings. 
Finally, you can make a BURGER out of it! 
Top the burger with my Southwestern Sauce and enjoy!!
Or eat on a fresh tortilla (we got these amazing fresh tortillas at a farmer's market... mmmm

What are your tricks for getting quick meals on the table?  If you're cooking for one, do you have trouble motivating yourself to cook real food?