Tag Archives: Mexican

Nachos Redux

8 Jun

Nachos are quickly moving up the list to my favorite food. I reworked the steak nachos from Girls’ Night into a quick vegetarian version for a super satisfying supper. After a day of tennis with Tess, I definitely needed a hearty dinner. [That was a lot of alliteration.] I still had some of the steak leftover, but I don’t know. Maybe it comes from being a vegetarian for so many years, but there is something about meat – cooked or raw – that still kind of skeeves me out. I’ve also been reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma lately so that could also have contributed to my aversion.

Really, the only reason that I made the steak (which I just typed as stake…that probably says something about my stance on meat) was that I had bought it when I had a coupon – grass-fed organic beef ain’t cheap – and I needed to use it. I’ve been debating eating animal products for about a month now –  approximately the amount of time that I’ve been reading this book (I read it during my lunch at work, which may not be the ideal time to be reading a book about the source of my food and the ins and outs of its production). I’ve also read Veganist and Quantum Wellness in the last two months in addition to having Jonathan Safran Foer’s Eating Animals out from the library. I’ve been sort of obsessed, I guess.

    

[And, yeah, Kathy Freston looks a little deranged on the cover of the Veganist, but she did her research. I think Foer’s book is the best written of these three, but not everyone can be a brilliant novelist. If Kathy is good enough for Oprah, she’s good enough for me…or something like that. Ya-ya.]

Basically, I’ve become more conscientious about where my food, especially animal products, come from and more careful about what I’m eating – the third of a Hershey bar and slushie I had earlier aside, of course – nobody’s perfect. And I don’t know, something about the appearance of meat is kind of a turn off. Also, I’ve noticed that my tummy really doesn’t enjoy when I eat animal products, especially beef and pork; they all seem to irritate it to some degree, though (that damn psychic in NYC, who among many other things noted that my stomach was not happy with me (and it certainly wasn’t on that trip – I had to spend half of it in bed in agony) and although I didn’t need to adopt a completely vegan diet, I should lean (to use a Freston term) into it). Now, I’m not about to make a major life decision based on one palm reading – I would need several to make an informed decision [to be read in a sarcastic tone, obvi] – but I have noticed my tummy issue increase when I eat meat. Therefore, while I’m not abstaining completely, I am making an effort to eat humanely raised and killed meat and limit my consumption of it in general.

Thus, what I’ve been very longwindedly getting at is the über lecker vegetarian nachos that I concocted last night. These are even quicker and less work to assemble than the steak version from Friday.

What You’ll Need:

1 can of spicy fat-free refried beans (you could also mash a can of pinto beans with some cumin and chili pepper or even add one or two ancho chiles in adobo sauce)

1 can of black beans

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 red onion, diced

1 tomato, diced

shredded cheese (I used monterey jack and sharp cheddar again.)

tortilla chips

salsa, guac, sour cream for topping

Step by Step, ooh, Baby:

1. Dice your veggies and shred your cheese. While your doing that, let your oven heat up to 350.

2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I cannot stress how much easier this will make your life. And you’ll get to dive face-first into your nachos even sooner when you don’t have to scrape and pry your cheesy nachos off of aluminum foil or the baking sheet.

3. Load up the parchment paper with tortilla chips – one or two handfuls.

3. Scoop and spread (as best you can) spoonfuls of the refried beans on top of the chips. Then, add on black beans, peppers, and onions. Top the whole thing with cheese.

4. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

5. Finish the nachos with tomatoes, guac, salsa, sour cream…whatever your little heart desires.

6. Stuff your face. You should have enough toppings to make this for about six people.

My eyes were about twice the size of my stomach. I had to pack up the rest and eat it for lunch today after my run. Did I say eat? I meant inhaled. It absolutely didn’t matter that the chips were completely soggy. Everything else tasted good. However, even if it didn’t, I’m pretty sure I would have hoovered it anyway. After Jillian Michaels kicking my ass and running just over a mile and a half, I needed to refuel. Stat. And I have enough veggies and beans to make this about four more times.

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Girls’ Night

5 Jun

Friday night, my friend, Tess, graced me with her presence for a much needed girls’ night. We drank daiquiris, ate nachos and “healthy” mini chocolate tortes, talked about boys, and watched some truly bad movies. It was awesome, and provided the distraction that I needed.

The nachos were super easy and delicious. The slow cooker did most of the work while I was at out, leaving just some chopping and shredding for me to do when I got home.

Steak Nachos

Ingredients:

steak or meat of choice

2 quarts (1 container) of beef broth

1 jar of salsa verde

2 bell peppers (I used a green and a red)

1 red onion

1 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

tortilla chips

nacho toppings of choice (I used romaine, tomatoes, guac, sour cream, monterey jack cheese, and sharp cheddar cheese)

Directions:

1. Put your meat in the slow cooker with the broth, salsa verde, and salt and pepper to taste. Set it to low, and let it go for the afternoon. I left mine on low for about ten hours before we ate. The meat was super juicy and tender (as it should have been after cooking for nearly half a day).

2. About a half an hour before you’re ready to eat, pre-heat the oven to 350, and chop the peppers and onion. I sliced the peppers into long strips and the onions into rings, which gave the nachos a fajita feel. For ease of eating, I would cut the strips in half next time – it was a lot of pepper for one chip and my small mouth.

3. Put the peppers and onions on parchment paper on a baking sheet, and toss with the olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Let the veggies roast for 20-25 minutes until they’re just a little charred at the edges.

4. While the veggies are in the oven, chop and shred the rest of your ingredients. By the time the veggies were done, you’ll be ready to assemble your nachos.

5. Line a baking sheet with another sheet of parchment paper, and load it up with tortilla chips and and cheese. Parchment paper works much, much better for this than aluminum foil. The nachos will slide off remarkably well. You can also add some peppers, onions, and meat on there, too if you’d like. Pop it into the oven (at 350) for 5 to 10  minutes, or until the cheese melts.

6. Slide your nachos onto a large plate, and load them up with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, guac, etc., and enjoy.

For dessert, I made mini chocolate tortes using with avocados and pecan crust. Check out the recipe over at Oh She Glows. The longer you keep them in the freezer, the less you can taste the avocado (the taste is very subtle otherwise). You could also increase the amount of chocolate a little, too. They were a perfect complement to the nachos and a couple of terrible chick flicks.

Tomorrow marks my first day of working out since my gym membership expired on Thursday. I plan to run outside for the first time in a very long time (not counting my soccer games from the spring). I have my playlist ready to go and my route mapped out. I really hope it doesn’t rain!

Almond Eggplant Enchiladas

20 Mar

As the main course of the birthday dinner, I served almond eggplant enchiladas with guac (recipe forthcoming) and chips. The enchilada recipe is adapted from Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook. The cookbook is amazing, and almost everything I’ve made from it has been a hit. The only downside to it is the amount of fat in many of the recipes. To make this recipe a little healthier, I sprayed a little olive oil on a pan and browned the tortillas instead of deep frying them. I’ve made them both ways, and I definitely prefer this method. The oil comes through a little too much for my liking in deep frying. This way you still manage to prevent sogginess without oil overkill. I also upped the amount of veggies to get more crunch, and the boat-load of black pepper provides a surprising amount of heat. Guac is a perennial favorite, though it rarely lasts long enough to photograph so you’ll just have to wait until the next batch, which will probably be made very soon. We paired the meal with a bottle of Sangre de Toro, partly because it tastes good, but mainly because it comes with a toy (see above). That’s the best way to choose a wine, right?

Almond Eggplant Enchiladas ~ yields 10 enchiladas

Ingredients:

1 medium eggplant cut into small cubes

1 small onion chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 green pepper, chopped

½ cup sliced almonds, toasted in a skillet until fragrant

1-2 tsp black pepper (I used 12 grinds on my pepper mill, but I would probably give it a few more next time)

salt to taste

10 corn torillas

1 ½ tbsp olive oil

2 cans of red enchilada sauce

1 cup Monterey jack cheese for sprinkling on top

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 ½ tbsp olive oil in a large pan. Add the onions and garlic. Stir frequently, and add salt. Cook until soft (about 5 minutes).
  2. Toss in the eggplant. Stir to combine. Cover and cook until soft (10-15 minutes depending on the size of your cubes). Stir occasionally to make sure nothing sticks.
  3. While the eggplant is cooking, sprtiz another pan with olive oil – I used my Misto, but you could also use a brush to lightly coat the bottom of the pan with oil. When the pan is hot, brown up the corn torillas one by one. They only need about 20-30 seconds per side. You want them to begin to turn golden but not get too crispy. As you finish the tortillas, stack them on a plate with a piece of paper towel separating them.
  4. By the time you’re almost finished with the torillas, you will need to add the green pepper, almonds, and black pepper to the vegetable mixture. Stir and cook for five minutes.
  5. Assemble the enchiladas by scooping a ¼ cup of the filling into a corn tortilla, roll it up, and place it seam-side down in a baking dish, ideally one the width of the tortilla. I fit five enchiladas per baking dish.
  6. Top the enchiladas with the red enchilada sauce (or you could use green, if you so desire), and top with cheese.
  7. Cover baking dishes with foil, and bake in a 350-degree oven for twenty minutes. Remove the foil after about 10 minutes. Turn on the broiler for a couple minutes if you like your cheese golden brown.
  8. Serve topped with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.

Super Easy and Tasty Spicy Bean Dip

5 Mar

This is one of my favorite dips to make for a fiesta with friends or a glutinous evening of movie watching. It’s incredibly quick and easy to make, which is saying a lot for me since I have the knack for transforming a 10-minute task into a 30-minute endeavor.

Spicy Bean Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 can spicy refried beans (or refried bean of choice)
  • 1/2 jar of pineapple salsa, medium heat
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup of low-fat sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • handful of shredded cheese of choice (I usually opt for Mexican or taco mix)

Process:

1. Pour the refried beans and salsa into a 6 x 8 inch glass dish, or whatever you have on hand. Stir to combine. Flatten the mixture into your first layer.

2. Add the sour cream and smooth to form your second layer.

3. Top with shredded cheese.

4. Eat with your favorite chips; I like lime-flavored tortilla chips. Try not to devour entire dish in one sitting.