Saturday, October 14, 2017

#2,011: 3 Ingredient Slow Cooker Biscuits and Gravy

One of my sweet students shared some recipes with me, and told me that this was the one that I had to make first.  So of course I made sure to get all of the ingredients so I could make it this weekend and have a recipe/chef sharing chat with him on Monday.  This was a ridiculously easy recipe to throw together and although I would probably cut down on the amount of soup used (I like my biscuits a little drier, but that's a personal preference), I'd definitely make this again.  I knew if I had any chance of my family eating this I had to swap out the cream of mushroom for cream of celery.  Brian "claims" to have a mushroom allergy....I think he just doesn't like them...but it's rubbed off on the kids too (they don't like them, they aren't allergic).  I love how easy this recipe is to throw together.  Although it says to cook on high for 2 hours, but I had to cook mine on high for 3 hours for it to be fully cooked in the middle.  

1 lb bulk breakfast sausage 
2 cans refrigerator biscuits (not grands size)
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (I used cream of celery)

Brown and drain the sausage.  Layer 1 can of biscuits in the bottom of a greased slow cooker.  Top with half the sausage and then 1 can of cream of mushroom soup.
Repeat the layers once more.  Cook on high for 2 hours (mine took 3) just before time to serve breakfast.  Or 4-5 hours on low. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

#2,010: BBQ Chicken Supper Pie

I found this THREE INGREDIENT main dish in a recent issues of Taste of Home edition of Name Brand Hacks.  What?!  A super fast dinner I could get in the oven in less than 5 minutes and ready to eat in about 30?  YES please!  This was supposed to be made with sweet potato waffle fries, but I used regular waffle fries instead.  My family had mixed reviews over this recipe but overall liked it.  3 of us liked it a lot, 1 liked it enough to eat it again, and one complained the whole time (the 5 year old!).  If I make this again I'd actually make 2 changes: 1 double the bbq chicken.  2.  Add a whole lot more waffle fries.  I wasn't sure if I was supposed to use the whole package of the waffle fries so I just did 2 layers of fries in the pan.  The layer touching the bbq chicken got soft and mushy (one of us didn't like that part of it...the rest of us didn't care), but the top layer was much crisper.  The recipe says this serves 8, but this does NOT make a huge pan, so I would say it would serve a family of 3 best.  That's why I think if I added more bbq chicken, it would be a more filling meal.  I also couldn't add a whole bag of corn....I already had to listen to griping from the little bit I added.  

16-oz. tub of Lloyd’s Seasoned Shredded Chicken in Original BBQ Sauce
1 package fo Green Giant Roasted Corn (I used about 1 cup)
1 package of 
Alexia Waffle Cut Sweet Potato Seasoned Fries (I used regular waffle fries)
In an 8-in. square baking pan, combine the Seasoned Shredded Chicken with a package of Green Giant Roasted Corn. Top with Alexia Waffle Cut Sweet Potato Seasoned Fries; bake at 425° for 25 minutes. Makes eight servings.

#2,009: Fresh (and fast) Cherry Tomato Sauce

When you have a whole garden full of tomatoes, you make fresh tomato sauce!  I loved this recipe because it used ingredients I already had on hand (yes I had fresh basil) and I was able to make it so quickly.  This recipe takes less time to make than it does to make the pasta!  I loved this and I have made this more than once with my produce.  

1 pound pasta
Kosher salt
1/2 cup olive oil
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 pints cherry tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of sugar
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
Freshly grated Parmesan (for serving)

Cook desired pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente; drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a 12" skillet or wide heavy saucepan over medium-high. Add garlic, then tomatoes, pepper, sugar, and 1 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes burst and release their juices to form a sauce, 6–8 minutes.

Toss pasta with tomato sauce and basil. Top with Parmesan.

#2,008: Rigatoni with Butternut Squash, Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

I love brussel sprouts, bacon, and butternut squash.  The three are such a perfect fall combo!  So when I found a recipe that adds it to some pasta, I figured it was definitely worth trying.  I had a bag of frozen butternut squash that I wasnt' sure what to do with, so I thought I'd try it along with this recipe.  WRONG move.  The squash was so soft and mushy, you definitely want to make this with fresh squash.  Lesson learned (although as soon as I threw it in the pan I figured I had made a mistake). 

Although the squash was too soft, it was still pretty good.  I would try making this again (of course with fresh squash) and giving this recipe a second try.  If you try it (and I hope you do!), let me know what you think of it.  

12 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed
Kosher salt
12 ounces rigatoni
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 slices bacon, roughly chopped
4 cups diced peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound)
2 cloves garlic, sliced
6 scallions, sliced
Freshly ground pepper
3/4 cup grated parmesan and/or pecorino romano cheese

Tear off and reserve the outer leaves from the Brussels sprouts, then chop the rest. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook as the label directs, adding the chopped Brussels sprouts and their leaves during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Reserve 11/2 cups cooking water, then drain.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove to a paper towel lined plate, reserving 1 tablespoon drippings in the skillet.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the skillet, then add the squash, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until the squash is lightly golden around the edges, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the reserved cooking water, cover and simmer until the squash is tender, 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the pasta, Brussels sprouts, bacon, scallions, the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 cup cooking water to the skillet; toss until coated, adding the remaining cooking water as needed to loosen. Season with salt and pepper. Top each serving with the parmesan.

Recipe Revisited: Cherry Tomato and Cucumber Salsa

I had an abundance of cherry tomatoes in my garden, and a friend gave me a gigantic cucumber from her garden, so I knew that I needed to make some fresh salsa with it.  I remembered that I had a garden salsa post a while ago, so I figured I'd give it another try and add some essential oils to it as well.  I loved this salsa, although it was a little watery for my liking.  That certainly doesn't mean I didn't eat all of it though!  :)

4 cups garden fresh tomatoes (washed and chopped) (I just washed since they were cherry tomatoes)
1 bell pepper (any color, roughly chopped)
1 garden fresh cucumber (washed, peeled, and roughly chopped)
1 large sweet onion (peel and quartered)
2 garlic cloves (peeled)
1 fresh jalapeno (de-seeded & de-veined) 
juice of two fresh limes (I used about 6 drops of Young Living Lime Vitality Oil)
I also added a few drops of Young Living Lemon Vitality Oil
2 handfuls fresh cilantro
1/4 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

Add all ingredients to a large food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Scrape down the sides then blend until well combined and smooth in consistency.

Refrigerate immediately in an air tight container and allow the flavors to blend.  

#2,007: Bacon Ranch Cauliflower Muffins

I had some riced cauliflower in my freezer and normally I add it into taco meats, chili, etc. to pump it up with vegetables.  I wanted a simple recipe I could made ahead and reheat using the riced cauliflower and this recipe surely seemed simple enough.  Although I liked this recipe, it did not reheat well.  I didn't enjoy it reheated at all.  So personally, if you are going to make these, plan to halve the recipe or just make however much you plan to eat that day. 
1 head of cauliflower (I used a defrosted bag of riced cauliflower)
2 large eggs
1 packet ranch seasoning mix
1 1/4 shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided into 1 c and 1/4 c
6 strips bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tsp. chives, plus more for topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
(I skipped this step) Pulse cauliflower in a food processor until it forms large crumbs. 
Place cauliflower in paper towels or cheesecloth and wring out any excess water. Pour cauliflower crumbles into a large bowl.

Add eggs, 1 c cheese, ranch seasoning, about 3/4s of the bacon, and chives.

Spritz a muffin tin with cooking spray, then fill each one about 2/3s full.

Top with a sprinkle of cheese and crumbled bacon. Bake for about 20-22 minutes, or until lightly golden. Garnish with additional chives before serving.

#2,006: Spinach-Almond Rice

I love using my Young Living essential oil vitality line when I'm cooking, so I'm always looking for different recipes to try it in.  I was excited to try this recipe because I knew I could make this ahead of time and eat it the rest of the week for my lunch.  Although this was definitely best eaten the day I made it because it was hot, it would still be good reheated, although I prefer to eat it cold.  :)  Weird, I know! 

1 1/2 cups basmati rice
4 cups baby spinach
1/2 c chopped marinated artichoke hearts
1/2 c toasted almonds (I used toasted pecans)
1 c chopped fresh dill (I used 1 drop of Young Living Dill Vitality essential oil)
1 tbsp grated lemon zest
juice of 2 lemons (I used 3 drops of Young Living Lemon Vitality essential oil)
1/3 cup olive oil

Bring 3 cups salted water to a simmer; add basmati rice, cover and cook over low heat until tender, about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork, then let cool. Toss with baby spinach, chopped marinated artichoke hearts, toasted slivered almonds, dill, grated lemon zest, lemon juice and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper.

#2,005: Zucchini Cake

A friend gave us a HUGE zucchini a few weeks ago, so I grated it and threw some of it in my freezer so we could enjoy the zucchini in baked goods for several weeks.  I like to try and find muffins or breads to make for my kids for breakfast every few weeks or so.  I came across this easy recipe for zucchini cake with cream cheese frosting, but I didn't want my kids eating frosting for breakfast, so I just omitted it.  This recipe was a HUGE hit with my crew and one that I will definitely make again for them.  Actually maybe I should go pull another bag of zucchini out of the freezer!  

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3 tsp cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup oil
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chopped nuts (optional) (I added a few dark chocolate chips instead)

Whisk together dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla; add to dry ingredients with zucchini and nuts. Stir till well combined, then pour in greased 9×13″ pan (I made it in an 8x8 pan instead). Bake at 350° for about 40 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.

(I skipped this step) Cool completely and frost with cream cheese frosting. 

#2,004: Warm Farro Salad with Charred Corn

Have you tried farro yet?  I had it about a year ago for the first time, and I totally fell in love with it's slightly nutty crunch and texture.  It's bigger than rice but has a better flavor than brown rice (in my opinion).  Plus it contains protein and fiber, yet is low fat.  I seriously love it.  So since I was in the mood for farro, and had an abundance of basil and tomatoes in my yard, I was excited to try this recipe for my lunches for the week.  PLUS, instead of the lemon juice, I decided to use 2 drops of Young Living's Lemon Vitality essential oil too.  I was super lazy though and had no desire to shuck or grill the corn, so I just pan seared some frozen corn kernels and used that instead.  YES, I agree, fresh corn would have been better, but I was going for quick and ease.  So if you have the extra time, by all means, use fresh sweet corn off the cob! As you can see by the text below, I also subbed out some ingredients for ones that I had on hand.  No disrespect to the original recipe, but why buy more ingredients when you don't need to?!

I really enjoyed this recipe.  I personally would suggest adding half of the vinaigrette, mixing it, and then adding more a little at a time.  I thought it was a bit much for my liking, and as this sat overnight (actually over 3 days as I ate it for my lunch for the week) the flavors got stronger, and a bit overpowering.  

For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Grated zest of 1 lemon, plus 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (
I used 2 drops of Young Living's Lemon Vitality essential oil)
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons minced shallot (I used red onion since I had it on hand)
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

For the salad:
6 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups farro
3 ears of corn, shucked (I used 1 1/2 cups of frozen corn kernels)
1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped (I omitted)
1/4 cup pistachios, chopped (I used pecans)
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh chives
2 tablespoons chiffonade fresh basil

Start by making the vinaigrette: In a bowl, whisk the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, mustard and shallot; season to taste with salt and pepper.

For the salad, combine the cherry tomatoes with salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Set aside.

Preheat a grill to high. Fill a large saucepan with 1 1/2 quarts water; add 1 tablespoon salt and the vinegar. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the farro and gently simmer until al dente, 15 to 20 minutes; drain well. While the farro is warm, immediately mix with about three-quarters of the vinaigrette (set aside the rest to punch up or remoisten the salad later if necessary).

While the farro is cooking, brush the corn with the vegetable oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cook on the hot grill, turning with tongs, until charred, 10 minutes. Cut off the kernels. (I just got a skillet really hot, added a little olive oil, and then seared the frozen corn for a few minutes)

Stir the corn kernels, tomatoes, olives, pistachios and chives into the farro. Gently toss to combine; add more vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with the basil.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

#2,003: Fig Newton Smoothie

The town we live in has an insane amount of restaurants, that continues to expand.  However the one "food"-ish chain we cannot get to come here is a Trader Joe's!  The closest one to us is almost 2 hours away.  On a recent visit to my sister, I stopped to stock up on a bunch of things before heading home, and found a great deal on some sweet looking figs.  So I got a box hoping to get my kids to eat them.  No such luck...they didn't like the taste and/or texture of it.  I knew I wouldn't be able to eat them fast enough so I quartered them and popped them in the freezer.  I've been enjoying half of a fig in my smoothie every morning (time to road trip back to another TJ's!), and wanted to see if I could get my kids to like the figs in a fig newtwon-inspired smoothie!  Shockingly, one kid loved it (not the one I thought), but 2 were not big fans.  I thought it was good though, and will probably make a halved recipe for the kid who did like it.  This is a recipe that could easily be prepped the night before and then just blended in the morning to make morning breakfasts easier and faster.  

2-3 figs 
1/2 cup Almond Milk, or coconut milk
1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1 cup Ice cubes
1/2 whole Banana
1 Tbsp Almond Butter
1/4 cup Grain-Free Granola (I used unsweetened shredded coconut instead)
1/4 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 Tbsp Granulated Honey
1 pinch ground Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Chia Seeds, optional (I omitted)

Blend ingredients and serve.

#2,002: One Bowl Banana Bread

I had 3 bananas sitting on my counter getting very ripe and I was going to throw them in the freezer for smoothies like I normally do, but I decided to make my kids some banana bread instead.  They LOVED this recipe and I've actually made it again tonight with more bananas from our freezer.  I love that everything is made in one bowl...less mess to clean up!!

I have a husband who loves green tipped bananas, but the second they get a brown speck on them he won't eat them.  So a lot of bananas go into the freezer (it's one fruit we don't ever seem to eat fast enough).  I personally don't love bananas on their own but throw them in some sort of baked good and I'll happily enjoy it.  This would be a great recipe to double to either have an extra loaf on hand (in the freezer of course) for breakfast, or to share with a friend, co-worker, or neighbor.  

3 very ripe bananas, peeled
1/3 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
3/4 cup sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C), and butter a 4x8-inch loaf pan.
In a mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until completely smooth. Stir the melted butter into the mashed bananas.

Mix in the baking soda and salt. Stir in the sugar, beaten egg, and vanilla extract. Mix in the flour.

Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour at 350°F (175°C), or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for a few minutes. Then remove the banana bread from the pan and let cool completely before serving. Slice and serve. (A bread knife helps to make slices that aren't crumbly.)

#2,001: Yellow Squash Chocolate Chunk Bread

I received 2 huge yellow squash from a student of mine, so I have been on the hunt for different squash recipes to make for my kids.  I found this recipe which called for zucchini and suggested making it in muffin form, but I'm too lazy for that and wanted to make it into a bread/loaf instead.  So I subbed the zucchini for yellow squash and I baked it in an 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan.  This bread was super moist, and my kids loved it.  They ate it for 2 days in a row for breakfast, and as soon as it was gone I made another batch.  Next time I should just double the recipe and freeze one for later in the week.  This was seriously fantastic!  I used dark chocolate chunks, but I think mini chocolate chips would be good too because it would be incorporated more.  Either way, this is a keeper recipe!  

 1 cup all purpose flour
 1/2 cup oatmeal
 1/3 cup brown sugar
 1/3 cup granulated sugar
 2 tsp baking powder
 1/4 tsp baking soda
 1/2 tsp salt
 1 tsp cinnamon
 1/4 cup chocolate chunks
 2 cups shredded zucchini, (I used yellow squash)
 2 eggs, lightly beaten
 1/3 cup canola oil
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, oatmeal, brown and granulated sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir in chocolate chunks. In a separate mixer bowl, incorporate zucchini, eggs, and oil until well blended. Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients.

(I skipped this step and put into a greased loaf pan instead.  I baked mine at 350 degrees for 42 minutes).  Distribute into paper lined cupcake tray, place in oven and bake for about 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the muffins comes out clean.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

#2,000: Trader Joe's Inspired Mango, Jicima Coleslaw

I can't believe I'm posting our 2,000th recipe (although it could be more because I'm pretty sure I've misnumbered a few times!  Lol)  I whipped this recipe together after I had a salad similar to it at Trader Joes.  (Can someone PLEASE convince TJ's to come to our town?!?!).  I'm seriously contemplating a trip up there this weekend just to stock up on stuff I love.

Anyhow, this salad was super easy to make and really quite good.  The dressing I got was a little bit spicy so it gave it a lot of flavor.

The measurements for the ingredients are just estimates because I made a salad for 2 (2 servings, don't be fooled to think anyone else in my family ate this!) and just put as much in it that I knew I liked.

In a bowl combine:
1 1/2 cups of shredded coleslaw mix (no dressing, just the shredded cabbage and carrots)
1 mango cut into really thin pieces and strips (like REALLY thin...Trader Joes shredded theirs but mine was too soft to attempt that)
1/4 of a jicama shredded
handful of cilantro, chopped
1-2 green onions, sliced
Handful of toasted sliced almonds
2 tbsp Mango Chardonnay Vinaigrette (the brand I used was Marie, found in the produce section)

#1,999: Cranberry Lime Spritzer

I made this simple and refreshing drink using 3 ingredients.  Cranberry juice, Sprite, and Lime Vitality essential oil from Young Living.  My kids are loving this!!  I'm going to try switching out the Sprite for plain seltzer water to cut down on the sugar for them.  This is such a great summer drink!

I also think this would be great with 100% cherry juice!!  
In an 8 oz glass or larger:
Fill 1/3 of the glass with 100% cranberry juice.
Add desired amount of ice cubes. 
Fill the remainder of the glass with Sprite (or Seltzer Water).
Add ONE drop of Lime Vitatlity Essential Oil.
Stir lightly to combine the flavors. 

From the Young Living Blog: 
Young Living’s Lime essential oil has a wide variety of uses. Aromatically, the pleasant citrus scent is invigorating and may help promote mental clarity and encourage creativity.* Topically, Lime provides antioxidants to the skin, which may reduce dark spots due to aging and acts as an insect deterrent.* Taken internally, Lime supports a healthy digestive system and may aid in weight management. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

#1,998: Low Carb (Quick and Easy!!) Flatbread Pizza

I have an abundance of basil growing in my garden (anyone want some?!) and ONE small orange bell pepper that I wanted to use up.  So I grabbed a low carb tortilla and topped it with diced bell pepper, diced sun dried tomato chicken sausage, shredded mozzarella cheese, and some chopped basil.  I popped it in the oven for about 12 minutes or so until the cheese was melted and the tortilla was crisp (370 degree oven).  Healthy, delicious, and easy!  

Friday, July 7, 2017

#1,997: Grilled Zucchini and Eggplant Stacks

This super easy side dish was SO good.  It took no time at all to throw together and even my 10 year old enjoyed eating it with me.  It's quite filling too so this would make a great, healthy side dish to some grilled meat (skirt steak sounds especially appealing!).  This is a perfect summer recipe...especially when you have basil in your garden (and zucchini growing!).  

1 (1½ lb.) eggplant
1 large zucchini
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 oz. fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
1½ cups tomato sauce (your favorite kind)
10 large basil leaves

Preheat the grill to medium heat.

Cut the eggplant into ½-inch slices (total 12 slices). Cut the zucchini in half crosswise. Cut each half into ¼/-inch slices (total 8 slices).

Lay the eggplant and zucchini slices on a baking sheet. Brush on both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Grill until the vegetables are tender, but not overcooked, about 4 minutes per side for the eggplant and 3 minutes per side for the zucchini.

In the last 30 seconds of cooking, divide the mozzarella evenly between the eggplant rounds. Re-close the barbecue lid and cook for additional 30 seconds, or until the mozzarella is melted.

Lay one eggplant round on each of 4 plates. Top each with 2 tbsp tomato sauce. Next, divide half of the basil between the 4 portions.

Top each with one zucchini slice. Continue stacking in this order, ending with an eggplant round and tomato sauce. Spoon any remaining tomato sauce around each stack.
Serve immediately.

#1,996: Garlic and Lemon Butternut Squash Noodles

Kroger, my favorite grocery store to wander around in the mornings when it is quiet, had butternut squash noodles for 20 cents (you read that right), so I grabbed a few containers for lunches this week.  I found this super easy recipe that ironically had every things I needed on hand (it was meant to be!).  This is so good, I will probably eat it again for dinner.  
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups spiralized butternut squash "noodles"
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Grated parmesan cheese, for serving

In large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Add squash, rosemary, salt and pepper; cook 5 minutes or until squash noodles are tender, stirring frequently. Add lemon juice; toss until well combined.

Serve noodles garnished with cheese.

#1,995: Lavender Lemonade

After having lavender lemonade at the Young Living Farm in Mona, Utah, I was excited to come home and try this recipe on my family and friends.  It was so simple to make and personally I really, really enjoy it (and it brings me back to the farm when I drink it).  It's not overly tart, nor too sweet, so it's a perfectly refreshing drink.  Make sure to only use 1 or 2 drops of the Vitality Lavender or it will be way too overpowering.  

6 lemons, juiced
1 lime, juiced
½ cup honey (I used agave)
2 drops Lavender Vitality essential oil
Ice water, about 10 cups
Lavender sprigs, optional

Combine lemon juice, lime juice, honey, and Lavender Vitality in a large glass pitcher.
Add water to taste.  Stir until well mixed.  Garnish with sprigs of lavender.

#1,994: Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Chipotle Mayo

I'll be honest, I wasn't sure I was going to like this recipe. I'm not a fan of spicy and I don't love adobe peppers.  So I thought adding the peppers and the sauce to the burger would make it too hot, and I never thought I'd eat the mayo at all.  This recipe totally proved me wrong!  The burgers were very easy to make and it is definitely even better with the melted cheese AND the chipotle mayo on it!  The original recipe says to serve immediately, but we had these a second time as leftovers, and they were just as good (obviously best fresh, but reheated works too).  

1/2 cup mayonnaise (I used vegan mayo)
2 teaspoons finely chopped chipotle pepper in adobo sauce 
1 teaspoon adobo sauce (from the can of chipotles)
1 small clove garlic, minced (about 1/2 teaspoon)
Pinch kosher salt

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 egg
1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 small clove garlic, finely minced (about 1 teaspoon)
1 cup bread crumbs
2 teaspoons adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

16 slider buns or dinner rolls, sliced in half
8 ounces pepper jack cheese, sliced thin
1/2 red onion, sliced
Sliced sweet pickles

Chipotle Mayo:
Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to use.

Black Bean Burgers:Place beans in a small bow and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add egg, bread crumbs, adobo sauce, oregano, cumin, smoked paprika, cayenne (if using), salt and pepper. Mix well.  Form into one-ounce patties – about 2 tablespoons per patty – by rolling mixture into a ball, packing together firmly, then flattening slightly.

Add the olive oil to a large saute pan over medium heat. Working in batches so that the burgers aren’t too crowded, cook one one side until browned – about 5 minutes, then carefully flip and cook until browned and cooked through, about 10 minutes total.
Remove patties to a paper-towel-lined plate to drain and cool slightly.

Put slider buns sliced-side up on a cookie sheet. Add black bean patties to the bottom halves of the buns and top with cheese. Place under oven broiler until cheese has melted and buns are golden brown, about one minute (depending on your broiler – just watch carefully!)

Remove from oven and slather chipotle mayo on the inside of the bun tops. Top burgers with red onions and pickles, sandwich with the bun top, and secure with a toothpick or skewer. Serve immediately.

#1,993: Mexican Street Corn Salad

So I am having a slight (TMI) issue with corn so I really had to avoid this recipe unfortunately.  But I still made it for my family and made sure to get their reviews/take on this dish.  When I first served it they all thought it was just ok....then it sat in the fridge overnight and it got MUCH better reviews.  My family all agrees, the longer this sits and the flavors blend, the better it is.  Good to know.  :)  We served this as a side dish to burgers, they ate it with tortilla chips, and some threw it on top of their burrito bowls.  As you can see, this dish is super versatile!  Yes, I will definitely make this again!
Also, I looked all over for cotija cheese and couldn't find it, so I subbed out feta.  Cotija would have been better!  (I just didn't have time to run to an authentic grocery store).

½ cup plain nonfat yogurt
1 Tbsp lime juice 
1 tsp honey 
½ tsp paprika
¼ tsp cumin

Splash of oil
4 ears corn about 3 cups, shucked and kernels removed
1 clove garlic minced
2 Tbsp lime juice 
¼ tsp salt
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
½ cup chopped red onion 
½ cup packed fresh cilantro chopped
½ cup cotija cheese, crumbled, can sub feta

Mix all dressing ingredients and set aside.

Heat oil over medium/high heat in a large saute pan then add garlic and corn. Cook about 15 minutes, flipping frequently, until corn begins to char a bit. Gently toss with lime juice and salt.

In a large bowl, combine corn mix, black beans, pepper, onion, cilantro, and cheese. Drizzle sauce over and serve either warm or cold. Perfect over tacos, as a chip dip, or by itself!

#1,992: Balsamic Green Beans

I made this recipe for our family over the 4th of July.  Personally I really enjoyed it and as you can see (sort of) from the photo, I added in some roasted red potatoes (cut into pieces) to make this more of a heartier side dish.  This was good leftover the next day, but after that it was absorbing the dressing too much and getting a bit soft for my liking.  There definitely needs to be more feta in this, but my sister is a feta hater so I tried not to add too much.  

1 lb. green beans
1 cup cherry tomatoes
1/2 small red onion (ugh I totally forgot to add the red onion!)
Optional: Soy feta

{For the dressing}
2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced

Make the dressing: in a small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients.

Trim ends off green beans and rinse. Steam (or boil) for about 3-4 minutes until crisp-tender. In a colander, rinse well with cold water to stop cooking, then pat dry. Cut green beans into 1 to 2 inch pieces.

Dice red onion and halve cherry tomatoes.

Place onion and green beans in a bowl. Drizzle dressing over top and toss to coat.

Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour to marinate.

When ready to serve, add in tomatoes and soy feta and lightly toss.