Vegetarian Chili Rellenos

veggie chile rellenos

M has made these for us a few times, chili rellenos are his favorite Mexican inspired food and these make it easier to indulge more often. They also seem to heat up great for him at work. As I always have crock pot beans of some sort in the fridge, this is certainly something we can usually make in a pinch!

veggie chile rellenos

You’ll Need:
4 poblano chilis, sliced and ribs removed, on a lightly creased baking sheet
1 can beans, we used kidney but any would work
1 small white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced, seeded if you prefer
ground cumin, salt and pepper to taste
1 cup of your favorite shredded cheese.

Saute the onions, garlic and jalapeño in a deep sided pan over medium high heat. Once onions are glassy, stir in cumin, salt and pepper as well as the drained beans. Stir in half the cheese until just melted Cook until the beans are warmed through and then spoon into the prepped pobanos and top the 8 halves with the remaining cheese. Broil or cook on 350 until cheese is melted.

Pico de Gallo Salsa with Jicama

pico de gallo l

M made this after I was traveling and he meal planned for the week himself. I have to say, I was in for quite a treat! This is incredibly crisp and super spicy. This recipe made a huge bowl that we ate for dinner over grilled portobellos with enough for chips for the next few days.

pica de gallo w

You’ll Need:
1 medium jicama, finely diced
6 roma tomatoes, finely diced
1 yellow tomatoes, finely diced
6 oz mint, finely chopped
1 serrano, seeded and finely diced
1 jalepeno with seeds, finely diced
1.5 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp salt
1 scant tsp Pico de Gallo powder (dried chili and salt) or to taste

Combine all the ingredients and refrigerate for maximum spiciness.

Vietnamese Caramelized Pork~Weeknight Dinner Idea

caramelized pork 2 We love this dinner! And if I do it right, it comes in in just under 20 minutes which is always a winner in my book. The sauce doesn’t really become caramel but it does reduce beautifully and there is enough to smother the rice. caramelized pork You’ll Need:

2 cups water
1 cup white rice
1 tbsp oil
1 1-lb pork tenderloin, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrot
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced or minced
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
3 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp cornstarch
2 tsp rice vinegar
1/2 to 1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped unsalted peanuts

You’ll: In a medium skillet, start the rice and water. Keep an eye on it while cooking, take off heat about 15 minutes in and let sit. Fluff with a fork before serving. In a wok or deep sided skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil over high heat. Stir fry the pork until it is browned on most sides and cooked through. Remove to a plate or bowl. In the same skillet, stir fry the onion, garlic, carrot and ginger over medium high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together the stock, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, rice vinegar and crushed red pepper. When the onions are just starting to become clear, add in the sauce and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 4 minutes, until it starts to stick to the back of your spoon. Stir in pork and cabbage and let cook together 1 more minute. Serve one cup rice with one cup pork and vegetable mixture. Top with a tbsp cilantro and peanuts.

Spicy Corn on the Cob

spicy corn on the cob on

This isn’t really a recipe but more a technique. One awesome thing about life in the Midwest is the abundance of fresh sweet corn. M usually grills it in the husk and then we top it with fresh crema, cojito cheese and this spicy pepper and salt mix called Pico de Gallo. It’s the perfect balance of sweet and crunchy, rich and creamy, and downright spicy! What’s your favorite way to make corn on the cob?spicy corn on the cob on

Crunchy Tofu Tacos~Vegetarian Taco Night

I’m always looking to up my taco game and while I really liked the flavors here, this is a lot of work for a weeknight taco dinner. I’d love to keep flavors but go with the much faster TVP as the protein in the future.

crunchy tofu tacos

You’ll Need:
1 14 oz package extra firm tofu
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp cashews
1/4 cup rice vinegar
3 tbsp water
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 cups julienned carrots
1 1/2 cups julienned radishes
2 tbsp mayonnaise (or unflavored greek yogurt)
1 1/2 tsp sriracha
1 tsp rice vinegar
8 corn tortillas
1/4 cup sliced green onions

Slice the tofu in half, so you have two inch thick slabs and let soak on several paper towels under a dutch oven or other heavy pan for about 10 minutes.

To make the quick pickled vegetables, heat rice vinegar, water and sugar until boiling and pour over carrots and radishes. Let sit for at least 15 minutes.

In a dry pan, over medium heat, toast the cashews until they just start to turn color. Remove and roughly chop.

Add oil to the pan, and swirl to coat. Raise temperature to high to pan fry the tofu. Fry until golden on all sides.

Whisk together sriracha, remaining teaspoon of rice vinegar and mayonnaise to make the sauce.

When the tofu is done, removed from pan and cube. Using the hot skillet, toast your corn tortillas, one at a time. Assemble tacos and dig in!

Jerk Style Grilled Chicken

jerk chickenM has made this a few times and I love it! It’s crisp and spicy and means I’m just left with making the side dishes 🙂

You’ll Need:
2 whole chicken legs or 4 bone in, skin on chicken thighs
juice of two limes
2 tbsp of habanero based hot sauce (or less if you’re so inclined)
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tbsp orange juice
2 scallions or green onions, roughly chopped
2 tbsp dried Italian herbs
1 tbsp mustard
1 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

Mix all the ingredients, save the chicken, in a blender. It should be the consistency of a thick tomato sauce, if not add in more lime juice or vinegar. Toss chicken in sauce, let marinate up to an hour if you can swing it. If not, grill on medium low until skin is crispy and chicken cooked thru, about 45 minutes.

Five Spice Beef with Broccoli~Fast Weeknight Dinner Idea

I have a weakness for making Chinese at home. I love take out but it really adds up so I’ve got to figure it. When I saw a recipe that called for Chinese five spice, I jumped at the chance to try it. Ever since I bought some for these margaritas, that jar has been staring at me. I liked this but M loved the veggies and the spicy beef so this will definitely be in the rotation!

chinese 5 spice2

chinese 5 spice2

You’ll Need:
1 pound stew meat or chuck roast, chunked into bite size pieces
3/4 tsp five spice powder
3/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups broccoli florets
1 medium white onion, sliced vertically
8 strips orange rind, about an inch each
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1/2 unsalted beef or chicken stock
3 tbsp orange juice
3 tbsp hoisin sauce or veggie stir fry sauce
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp cornstarch
3/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 cup dry white rice

In a bowl, toss together beef, five spice powder, black pepper and salt to even coat. Set aside and let flavors marry while you start the water to cook the rice and prep the vegetables. Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat, swirl to coat. Cook meat about 3 to 5 minutes per side, until browned and cooked through but not tough. Remove meat from pan.

Add the other tablespoon of oil and swirl to coat. Add broccoli, onion, orange rind and garlic to pan. Stir fry 3 to 5 minutes until onions are glassy and broccoli is tender crisp. While the veggies are cooking, combine stock, orange juice, stir fry sauce, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and crushed red pepper to make the sauce. Add sauce to pan and cook a minute or two, until slightly thickened. Serve over rice.

Sausage, Mustard Greens with Spatzle~Fast Dinner Idea

I whipped this up because I love mustard greens. I know I didn’t always feel this way. But I think kale and spinach are just too plain jane sometimes. Sometimes you just need a good one pot meal that’s light on the meat.

mustard greens and spatzle2 mustard greens and spatzle1

You’ll Need:
1 sausage link, removed from casing
1 bunch mustard greens, roughly chopped
4 oz dry spatzle
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
freshly shaved parmasen cheese

Start the water on high you remove the sausage from the casing and prep the veggies. Heat the olive oil in a deep side skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. When the spatzle goes into the boiling water, start to brown the sausage. When the sausage is browned, add in the garlic and cook one minute until it starts to smell very yummy and garlicky. Fold in mustard greens and using a slotted spoon, remove cooked spatzle to dutch oven. Stir all together until mustard greens are wilted, serve immediately and top with freshly grated black pepper and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Chicken and Rice~Weeknight Dinner Idea

chicken and rice2
We’ve been a real comfort food rut lately. I’m not complaining AT ALL. M recently asked for chicken Alfredo and the one night he asked for chicken and rice. I’ve never seen a recipe for chicken and rice but I was eager to get into the kitchen to whip it up! Here’s what I came up with!

chicken and rice1

Serves 4-5

You’ll Need:

1 lb chicken breast, cut into a 1 inch dice
2 carrots, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 small white onion, diced
1 cup dry white rice
1 cup chicken stock and 1 cup water
Italian herbs
salt and pepper to taste

Cook 1 cup dry white rice in 1 cup chicken broth and one cup water. This should yield about 2 cups cooked rice.

While the rice is cooking, slice your veggies. In a deep pan or dutch over, heat a little olive oil over medium heat. Cook carrot, celery and onion for 8 to 10 minutes, until the carrot begins to soften and onion is almost translucent. Season chicken with salt and pepper and move veggies to the side of the pan. Turn up the heat to medium high and cook the chicken, turning often so it can brown on all sides. After 10 to 12, chicken should be cook through. Add in the cooked rice and stir to mix veggies, chicken and rice together. I let mine cook for another few minutes so the rice would crisp up a bit but you can serve it right away.