Saturday, February 9, 2008

Tamale Pie

¾ cup chopped green pepper
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbls. Cooking oil
1 can black beans, drained (or 1 ½ cups cooked beans)
1 small can tomato sauce
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin

½ cup cornmeal
½ cup flour
1 tsp. baking soda
¼ tsp. salt
1 egg
½ cup buttermilk
2 tbls. oil
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 400°. Cook green pepper, onion, and garlic in oil in a skillet until tender. Stir in beans, corn, tomato sauce, and spices. Cook until bubbly; pour into greased 8-inch square baking dish. Then, in a mixing bowl, stir together cornmeal, flour, baking soda, and salt. Combine egg, buttermilk, and oil; add to cornmeal mixture and stir until combined. Fold in cheese. Spread evenly over bean mixture. Bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Serves 6.

Creamy Poached Eggs

I don't like to cook for breakfast so we usually eat stuff like eggs for dinner. This is an easy, tasty dinner or brunch dish. For dinner this tastes really good with sliced tomatoes or roasted asparagus on the side.

3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar or American cheese
3 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes
1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp. pepper
4 eggs
4 slices of toast or English muffin halves

In a skillet combine shredded cheese, cream cheese, milk, and pepper over medium-low heat. Cook and stir until they combine into a creamy sauce. Remove from heat and carefully crack the four eggs into the pan, leaving space in between each one. Cover and cook over medium-low heat about 3-5 minutes until eggs are cooked. Serve each egg on a piece of toast with some of the sauce on top.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Cheesy Lasagna Rolls

I know this is more Italian food, but we just tried it last night and it was really good. It also makes quite a lot, so you can freeze half and save it for another time.

1/2 package lasagna noodles, cooked and well drained
1 package cream cheese (8 oz), softened
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3-4 cups spaghetti sauce (about 1 jar)

Beat together the cream cheese and butter until well combined. Mix in ricotta, egg, parsley, salt, and pepper. Blend thoroughly. Spread a generous amount of filling on each noodle and then lightly roll up. Place rolls in a greased 9x13 pan with the open side down. Pour sauce over rolls and top with mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Lentil Spaghetti Sauce

This recipe makes quite a bit but it freezes really well to be used for other meals. It is also really good used as the spaghetti sauce of the spaghetti pie that I just posted before this or on the polenta lasagna that Jessie posted.

1 cup onion, chopped
2 green peppers, diced
2 tsp. oil
1 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. +1 tsp. dried oregano
1 Tbsp. fresh or dried parsley
1 Tbsp. +2 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. garlic powder
4 cups tomato sauce
1 cup tomato paste
4 cups water
1½ - 2 cups lentils, rinsed
1 can (16 oz.) mushrooms, drained
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese

Note: The recipe does not require the lentils to be cooked before hand but I will often cook them for about 10 minutes before adding them to the sauce to ensure tenderness. Also, if the sauce gets dry, simply add extra water.

1. Sauté onions and green peppers in oil about 10 minutes.
2. Add seasonings, tomato sauce, tomato paste, lentils, mushrooms, water, and cheese.
3. Simmer on low for 2-3 hours (I know the 2-3 hours sounds intimidating but it is well worth it in the end), stirring occasionally. Keep pot uncovered.
4. Prepare pasta according to package instructions 10 minutes prior to meal.
5. Serve over hot pasta with more grated Parmesan cheese.
Makes 10 servings

Spaghetti Pie

This recipe makes 2 pie plates full. It is a really good recipe to make and freeze the secone one or if you are bringing a meal to someone else.

1lb. Spaghetti
2 Eggs
1/2 Stick Butter
1 Tbsp. Parsley
1 qt. ricotta cheese (I usually use half this amount and it comes out great)
1/2 cups Parmasan Cheese
8 oz. Mozzarella Cheese
1 jar spaghetti sauce

1. Mix Spaghetti with butter
2. Mix Ricotta, eggs, and parsley; add to spaghetti
3. Put spaghetti in 2 pie plates
4. Sprinkle with Mozzarella
5. Pour spaghetti sauce an top and sprinkle with Parmesan
6. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes, covered, and 10 to 15 minutes uncovered

Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos

Julia actually gave this to me, but I'll submit it anyway :) It's from allrecipes, and this makes 12 servings, so cut down if you aren't cooking for the neighborhood. Also the ingredients seem like a strange combination, but trust me, these are delicious.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups canned kidney beans, drained
2 cups water
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
4 teaspoons prepared mustard
1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
12 (10 inch) flour tortillas, warmed
8 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Heat oil in a medium skillet, and saute onion and garlic until soft. Stir in beans, and mash. Gradually stir in water, and heat until warm. Remove from heat, and stir in the chili powder, cumin, mustard, cayenne pepper and soy sauce.
Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the warm flour tortillas. Top with cheese. Fold up tortillas burrito style, and place on a baking sheet.
Bake for 12 minutes in the preheated oven, and serve.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Veggie Quesadillas

Veggie Quesadillas
1 tbls. butter
3-4 green onions, chopped
1 cup fresh corn kernels (I often use canned)
1 cup zucchini, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
2 tbls. lemon juice
2 tbls. chopped cilantro
8 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded mozzarella, jack, or cheddar (whatever melts and tastes good; I probably usually use more than just a cup)

Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat; add onion, corn, zucchini and garlic, saute for 30 seconds. Add tomato and cook for 4 minutes; stir in lemon juice and cilantro (I usually add a little salt too) and cook about 2-3 minutes more. Turn heat down to low to keep mixture warm while making quesadillas. In a larger skillet, warm one tortilla and top with cheese. Add about 1/2 cup of the veggie mixture and then top with another tortilla (I usually sprinkle more cheese on top of the veggies). Cook 3 minutes on the first side, flip and cook another minute or two. Cut them into quarters to serve and top with salsa, sour cream, and/or avocado.

Polenta Lasagna

If you haven't eaten polenta before, you really should. It's yummy and cheap. This dish takes a little bit of work, but you can also make the polenta part earlier in the day or even the night before. And you don't have to make the sauce--any bottled sauce would be just fine.

4 cups water
1 cup cornmeal
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 tbls. chopped fresh basil

1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 28 oz. can Italian style diced tomatoes
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. oregano
salt & pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

In a medium saucepan bring 3 cups of the water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together the cornmeal, salt, and remaining 1 cup of water. Slowly add to the boiling water, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture returns to a boil. Turn heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should be very thick; a spoon should stand up in the pan by itself. Remove polenta from the heat. Grease an 8-inch square pan and spread one-third of the polenta in the bottom of it. Sprinkle half of the parmesan, mozzarella, and basil over it (you can mix these together in a dish to make it easier). Dollop with one-third of the polenta, then add the rest of the cheese and basil. Top with the remaining polenta in an even layer. Let it stand at room temperature until cool, then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to overnight.

Preheat the oven to 350. Uncover and bake the polenta for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Let it stands for about 10 minutes before cutting. Meanwhile, cook the onions and garlic in a small amount of cooking spray or olive oil over medium heat. When they are tender, stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for at least 20 minutes. Stir in the basil and cook for only 1 to 2 minutes.

To serve, cut the polenta into squares and spoon sauce over top.

Nacho Casserole

5 cups slightly crushed tortilla chips
2 cans black beans, drained (or 1 can pinto beans, 1 can black)
1 jar salsa
1 cup sour cream
1 can corn, drained
2 tbls. flour
1 cup shredded cheddar or jack cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place 3 cups of the tortilla chips in the bottom of a greased 9x13 pan. Mix together the beans, salsa, sour cream, corn, and flour. Spoon over tortilla chips in pan and bake for about 25 minutes. Top with remaining chips and the cheese. Bake for another 5 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted. Top with extra sour cream and/or chopped cilantro for extra flavor.

Cucumber Salad

This is an easy salad that tastes good with any kind of spicy/heavy food like Indian curries or bean dishes. I don't really use a specific recipe, but this makes a decent amount for 3-4 people and is easy to double:

1 cucumber, coarsely chopped
fresh cilantro or parsely, chopped
yogurt or sour cream (whole milk yogurt is best if you happen to have some on hand)
salt and pepper
fresh or dried dill

Mix everything together in a dish; use enough yogurt to make it nice and moist. I make my own yogurt so I usually have some on hand. It also tastes good if you add some chopped tomato, and you can add some onion if you want more flavor.