Monday, June 25, 2012

Black Bean Tacos

This is a funky, vegetarian taco recipe.  The texture of the bean mixture strongly resembles ground beef, so they are even good for non-vegetarians!
It practically looks like a normal beef fascinating.  If you are a taco lover like myself, feel free to check out my other taco recipe on the blog: Shrimp Tacos with Lime Cilantro Dressing. I'm still considered a Taco Week on my blog, where I feature a taco-a-day.  YUM!
This recipe is super easy. Check it out.

Measure out spices/seasonings/cornmeal.
Make sure you arrange it in the bowl so it looks pretty.  It makes all the difference..... ;)

Add canned black beans (well rinsed/drained).
Smoosh (yes, this is a word!) with potato smasher... or if you are really fancy and sophisticated, you can put all this in a food processor and pulse until you make a crumbly mixture.

Arrange the mixture in a thin layer on a greased baking sheet, like so:

Bake at 375* for 15-20 minutes, then stir to break up the bean mixture.  Return to oven for 5-10 minutes or until crumbly, brown and slightly crisp.  Remove from oven and continue to stir to break up the beans even more.

Place beans among your favorite taco accompaniments and enjoy.  Also, don't tell your meat eater friends that it's 100% vegetarian and see if they notice.  I love playing the trick your meat-head friend game :)  It's the best.

Black Bean Tacos

1 (14oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cornmeal
1.5 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili in adobe
1 clove garlic, minced

Preheat oven to 375*. Measure out all seasonings into a large bowl.  Add beans and mash with a potato smasher or fork until you make a crumbly mixture. (You could also pulse in a food processor, if you have one).
Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray and pour mixture on top, spreading into an even layer. Bake 15-20 minutes.  Break up the bean mixture with a spatula and return to oven for 5-10 minutes until brown and crisp.  Remove from oven and continue to break up bean mixture until it resembles ground meat.  Use as taco filling and top with salsa, cheese, sour cream or your other favorite taco toppings.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Balsamic Strawberry Jam

Strawberries are in season, so check out this jam recipe.  It's sweet, tangy and delish!

Rinse some lovely, ripe, sweet berries. Preferably local ones, they are always the sweetest! Take a picture because they are seriously gorgeous.

Dump in a large pot with vinegar (I know it's weird, but it's yummy) and sugar.

Stir and bring to a bubble.  Use a potato smasher to smoosh (Yes, this is a word) the berries or leave them chunky.  Your choice.  Reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes or until jam thickens.  Stir frequently.

Pour into storage container and either freeze or put in the fridge.  This jam is not heavily sweetened, so it may not last as long in the fridge as your usually sugary jams.
Enjoy on pancakes, toast, PB&J's, or stir into plain yogurt or ice cream.  YUMMY.

Strawberry Balsamic Jam

2 pounds strawberries, washed & sliced
5 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a large pot, bring to a bubble over medium heat.  Reduce heat to low and continue to simmer for 30-45 minutes, until jam begins to thicken.  Stir frequently.  Pour into containers and allow to cool.  Store in freezer or fridge.
This is a syrup/jam, by no means is it a jelly.  It would be so yummy on waffles, pancakes, crepes, ice cream, yogurt, and just eaten by the spoonful out of the jar.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Spicy Garbanzo Beans Snackers

I'm currently watching what I eat, AKA trying practice some extra self control on the food situation! Which, it seems like each time I intend to do this, the temptations come in full effect. Ugh.
 See, the thing is, is that I ordered my wedding dress direct from China and it is tini-tiny.  So I am trying to be extra "good" for the 2 months before the big day, so I am able to actually breathe on my wedding day.
All of that nonsense brings me to the recipe today.  These little numbers are oh-so freakin' good and pretty darn healthy for you, too!  Think fiber, b-vitamins, & minerals in the beans, plus a dose of heart heathy fats from the olive oil and a little metabolism boosting cayenne pepper.  A perfect substitute for chips, nuts, and other snack foods.  Wholesome and Mmm-mmm! 

This is super simple.

Drain and rinse a can of garbanzo beans (chick peas) really well.  Pour onto a flat surface and pat dry.

In a medium bowl, combine seasoning & oil well.  Dump the beans into the bowl and toss to coat thoroughly.

Spread beans out on a parchment line baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, then give a good stir and bake an additional 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crispy.  Keep a watchful eye the last few minutes.  Allow to cool completely and snack away.
Feel free to double the recipe if you really start munching on these little numbers.

Spicy Garbanzo Beans Snackers

1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
1 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven 400*.  Pat the garbanzo beans dry with paper towels.  In a medium bowl, combine spices & oil.  Add garbanzo beans and toss to coat in spice mixture. Pour into even layer on parchment line baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes; Stir. Replace in oven for 15-20 minutes or until browned and crispy. Keep a watchful eye for the last few minutes, so ensure they don't burn. Cool completely. 
Recipe Adapted from: Our Best Bites

Monday, June 4, 2012

Cucumber Hummus Bites

Do you ever get invited to a BBQ (or something like that) and not know what to bring?  
You want to bring something healthy, but you don't want it to go untouched by guests?  
Maybe you are trying to lose a few and desperately need something at the party that you can eat without overindulging?
Or maybe you simply prefer some healthier items to balance out your typical burger fare?
What ever it may be, these little cucumber appetizer bites are the thing to do.  I'm telling ya, they are the next big thing at your family get-togethers!  
They look like you spent all day making them, when actually it took about 10 minutes.
They are perfect finger food...and who doesn't like finger food?
Look at these Beaut's:

To start, prepare some of my delicious homemade hummus!  Or if you're in a rush, buy some from the super market.  If you haven't made your own before, give it a whirl.  It's easy and you can tweak it to your taste preference. 

Then, Peel an english cucumber like SO:

Slice cucumber into 1-inch rounds.

Spoon hummus into plastic bag and snip off one of the bottom corners for a make-shift pastry bag.

Squeeze hummus through "pastry bag" on top of cuke rounds, sprinkle with sesame seeds (use black sesame seeds for a pretty presentation) and course sea salt.

Serve to your friends for a healthy, pretty and fun appetizer or side dish.  Enjoy!