Archive for the ‘vegetable’ Category

posted by on cooking, cooking for 2, healthy, leftovers, Phoenix, portions, quick, vegetable

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Now that it’s reaching past 100 degrees every day here in Phoenix, I’m afraid my baking will have to subside until my birthday (yes, I bake my own birthday cake – a crazy dark chocolate bundt to be exact – follow up on this after June 12!).

When I really “read” my first cookbook I remember mention of keeping staples in your kitchen – basics that are versatile and can be used in a lot of different meals.

This quick recipe uses just about every main staple I keep around. Onions, garlic, rice, canned tomatoes, beans & veggies, pasta – just to name a few. Here’s a quick dish that makes excellent leftovers that are even better on day 2.

Here’s what you’ll need:
(makes enough for 2-4 people depending on if you want leftovers)

  • 1½ cups of instant rice, cooked
  • ½  onion, chopped
  • ¼-½ lb. ground beef
  • 1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Cumin, salt & pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cups frozen corn
  1. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Throw in the ground beef, chopped onion and seasonings as you like.
  3. Half way through the beef cooking, add the chopped garlic and mix well.
  4. Cook until beef is browned and onions have softened and are translucent.
  5. Add the frozen corn & beans and mix until well heated. Add more cumin, salt & pepper as needed.
  6. Finally, stir in the cooked rice and continue cooking 4-5 more minutes until well mixed and hot.
  7. Serve in bowls!

It may seem hard at first, but it is possible and easy to cook for 2 people when you have staples already in your kitchen, ready to use. Keep portions in mind and read the labels for serving sizes.

cooking vs baking

May
2012
16

posted by on baking, cooking, gripes, healthy, leftovers, quick, vegetable

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The idea of spending more than 30 minutes cooking a meal is annoying to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love being in the kitchen but I’d much rather spend 4 hours with the precision of baking. Throw “a bunch of sh*t” in a pan and cook it is my theory when it comes to dinner (which is exactly what I did last night).

I had a couple of almost empty boxes of elbow pasta, some feta cheese, frozen corn, frozen chopped spinach, and a half can of diced tomatoes leftover in the fridge. I heated up a tablespoon of butter, threw in the frozen spinach, corn, can of tomatoes with the juice, mixed it all up until it was hot and bubbling and added some finely chopped garlic at the very end. Feta cheese was sprinkled on the top after it was dished up. Bonus: it made about 4 servings so the boyfriend and I had leftovers for lunch which, in my opinion, was even better reheated the next day (you’ll have to ask him how it was cold – yuck!).

Cucumber Salsa

May
2012
04

posted by on Colorado, cooking, homemade, quick, vegetable

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If you’re in need of some dicing and chopping practice, this recipe is just what you need. An easy, non-traditional salsa that I learned from Rick while I was living in eastern Colorado.

What you’ll need:

  • 3 cucumbers – cut in half lengthwise, seeded, cut into strips & diced finely
  • 1 medium red onion – diced really small
  • 1 bunch cilantro – chopped finely
  • 1 jalapeño – halved, seeded & minced
  • 4 cloves garlic – minced
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 2 fresh limes – juiced
  • 2 tsp. salt
    Mix all ingredients together.  If you plan on making this in advance, cover well & drain juice before serving.
    photo credit: AJ Vicens 

Crustless quiche

Mar
2012
26

posted by on baking, Colorado, cooking, homemade, leftovers, quick, vegetable

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Mini quiches served with home fries

When I was in Eastern Colorado, I lived with a co-worker and friend of mine for a short time. Her husband was an amazing chef but she was the one that taught me how to make her “garbage” quiche. Use whatever leftovers you have in your fridge. You can choose either fresh or frozen veggies, just make sure to sauté them to soften them up before mixing them in with the other ingredients. Also, if you decide to use any meats, make sure they are all pre-cooked.

Anything can be thrown into the mix and the amounts of the ingredients for the filling are really up to you. Often times, I use up whatever leftover pizza cheeses and toppings I have from the night before to make a quick quiche the next morning. The possibilities are endless!

I’ve also prepped all the ingredients the night before. Just pour the egg mixture into your pie pan or crust and bake in the morning! Over time I’ve skipped the crust (which you can make yourself or use pre-made roll out dough) and gone crustless which is equally delicious!

What you’ll need:

  • 5 eggs
  • onion
  • frozen, chopped spinach – thawed and drained (I use about half a bag)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • lemon pepper
  • garlic
  • basil

Chop up & sauté any hard vegetables first (peppers, onions, etc… you need to soften these up before mixing with the eggs). Set aside to cool.

Beat eggs with milk, oil & cheese. Add any seasonings.
Add in spinach and any other vegetables and/or meats you may have (aka the “garbage”).
Add cooled, sautéed veggies.

Pour mixture into 8″ or 9″ pie plate. This time around I divided the mix equally into 12 muffin pans to make mini quiches. 

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the top is bubbly and golden. (muffin pans took a little under 20 minutes to bake)

posted by on vegetable

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For those with a need for a visual: Day 4 of the green onions (remember to keep fresh water in the glass)

posted by on Colorado, Phoenix, travel, vegetable

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Not only was 1984 a great year for my parents to have their first-born (yes, me) – The film The NeverEnding Story came out! Random, I know. And it has absolutely nothing to do with green onions. Sorry…

After my trip to Denver, I made it back to my local open market and bought some green onions today. Did you know if you trim off as much of the green part, clean them up & put them root-down in a glass of water they’ll keep growing? Seriously. Try it.

*Special thanks to my Sam Adams tasting glass for helping me out on this!* 

 

posted by on cooking, quick, vegetable

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I’m a true believer in coming up with new dishes using what you have readily available to you. As much as I love baking and cooking, I’m just like anyone else when it comes to coming up with a quick and easy dinner idea after a long day of work.

This one uses the few ingredients I had in my kitchen and is easy to convert for whatever portions you need.* Feel free to change it up however you see fit, based on what you may already have in the kitchen.

*Portion control is something I’m very passionate about and will be talking about in later posts.

What you’ll need: 

  • Pasta
  • Garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Spinach (I used frozen, thawed and drained)
  • Cooked asparagus (I boiled mine just until tender and cut into thirds)
  • Black Olives, halved
  • Parmesan Cheese
  • Basil
  • Lemon Pepper
  • Salt & Pepper

Heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet. Add 2-3 chopped garlic cloves, spinach, asparagus and seasonings. Let heat up & add cooked pasta and olives. Drizzle with a little more olive oil. Mix well and add parm. Cover and heat up a few minutes before serving.

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