Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mona's Chilaquiles

I have no idea if this recipe is authentic in any way, but it is my new favorite breakfast/brunch dish so I wanted to share:

Mona's Chilaquiles
(amounts for one person)

2 eggs
2 taco-sized corn tortillas (maybe 5 inches across)
2/3 cup black beans (I use my black beans from below, but canned would be just fine)
2/3 cup salsa
2 Tablespoons avocado
1 Teaspoon canned Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, if desired (Mahesh likes the smokiness of this, I don't like it as much so I leave it out of mine)


1. Toast the corn tortillas in a dry skillet until they start to crisp up a bit, be careful not to burn
2. Remove tortillas from skillet, chop or tear up the tortillas into strips
3. Put black beans, salsa, tortillas, and chipotle if desired into skillet. Mix up and cook until bubbly.
4. Make two wells in the mixture, crack an egg into each well. Add salt and pepper onto each egg. Cover with glass lid and let the eggs steam/poach until done to your liking. You may need to add a bit of extra water if the bean mixture looks like it's drying out. I like my yolks totally runny for this dish.
5. As smoothly as possible, pour the bean mixture and eggs out onto your plate. Try to keep the eggs on top of the bean mixture. Top with avocado and salt and pepper the avocado a bit.
6. Enjoy!


1. Toast the corn tortillas in a dry skillet until they start to crisp up a bit, be careful not to burn, remove from skillet.
3. Add a bit of butter or oil into skillet, when hot crack eggs into pan, add salt and pepper, and fry eggs over medium heat until hard throughout, flipping once.
2. Meanwhile, chop or tear up the tortillas into strips
3. When the eggs are fried to your liking, remove to your serving plate.
4. Put black beans, salsa, tortillas, and chipotle if desired into skillet. Mix up and cook until bubbly.
5. Add your fried eggs back on top of mixture and cover with lid until everything's heated through. Nothing's worse than cold eggs.
6. As smoothly as possible, pour the bean mixture and eggs out onto your plate. Try to keep the eggs on top of the bean mixture. Top with avocado and salt and pepper the avocado a bit.
7. Enjoy!


Monday, November 10, 2008

These are a few of my favorite things

When I moved to Vancouver I found good Mexican food (or Tex-Mex, or Cali-Mex, or anything) to be in very short supply. "Short supply" meaning "nonexistent." At first I sobbed and moped around the house, hankering for a small bite of El Cholo's fajitas, or even a nibble of a baja fish taco. Margaritas? Forget about it. The situation was almost too disheartening to bear.

But one fateful day, I took matters into my own hands and started making Mexican-styley food myself. One of the first recipes I found was for these "Mexican-Style Beans" from the Schwarzbein Principle Vegetarian Cookbook and ever since I first made them I haven't stopped. Now, I cook these puppies up by the bucketfull and freeze them in two-cup increments and then use them for months in all sorts of recipes, from bean burritos, to enchiladas, to that squash casserole I made the other day. Sometimes, when it's very late and I'm very hungry I eat them just as they are, warmed up in a bowl with some sour cream/cheese and cilantro.


Mexican-style Beans

2 Tablespoons oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 minced garlic cloves
1 diced green or red bell pepper (I usually use red)
1 small diced fresh jalapeno pepper, or just add in some red pepper flakes or tabasco sauce to taste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1.5 teaspoons dried oregano
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro (or 1 teaspoon coriander, or both)
4 cups cooked and drained black beans or pinto beans*
1 cup tomato sauce, enchilada sauce, or canned diced tomatoes
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

*I cook my black beans from dried for this recipe. 2/3 lb. of dried black beans will cook up to the 4 cups necessary for this recipe. Soak dried beans for 4 hours and cook in a pressure cooker for 7 whistles and let the pressure release naturally. If you don't have a pressure cooker, soak beans over night and boil 1 hour or until done or just buy canned, it's okay.


In a large nonstick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, add onion, garlic, bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, cumin, oregano, and coriander if using. Saute until vegetables are softened and nearly tender, about 5 minutes.

Add drained beans, enchilada sauce or tomato sauce or tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste (it will need a LOT of salt) and stir well. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Stir in cilantro, taste, and adjust seasonings.


Monday, November 3, 2008

Pumpkin and Black Bean Casserole

Fall is here and so is an urge to turn on the oven and bake up something warming that will make the house smell great. When I saw Susan V's recipe for this casserole, I knew I would have to give it a try. It has so many of my favorite ingredients, black beans and squash and that hit of spiciness. The recipe is vegan but I am not (no one tell Susan!) so I de-veganized the cheese sauce for this casserole and it was very delicious. I will definitely be making this again. Here is the recipe, with my changes:


1 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or one can, rinsed and drained)
1/2 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon canned chipotle pepper (or more, to taste)
10 drops spicy habanero chili sauce
15-ounce can of tomatoes

1 pound pumpkin (about 1/2 small pumpkin) or any winter squash (butternut, acorn, etc.) peeled and cut into thin slices, 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick

1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
1/2 teaspoon mustard (I used prepared mustard, you can use powdered too)
1/2 teaspoon Spanish paprika

In a large bowl, combine the black beans with the next 8 ingredients and set aside.

If you haven't already, peel the squash/pumpkin and slice it into very thin slices about 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick and 2 inches long. Use one pound of pumpkin or squash for this recipe, save the rest for another use.

Preheat oven to 425F. Spray a 2-quart casserole dish with canola oil. Lay one-third of the pumpkin slices in the bottom of the dish, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Cover with half of the bean mixture. Repeat layers with another third of the pumpkin and the remainder of the beans. Finish with the final third of the pumpkin slices.

In a blender or mini food processor, combine the milk, cheese and remaining ingredients. Blend well and pour over the pumpkin as evenly as possible. Cover tightly with aluminum foil or lid, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for 20-30 minutes, until sauce is thick and bubbly and pumpkin is tender.


This was a great recipe, we just ate it as enjoying the sweet squash paired with the smoky/spicy bean mixture. I think it would also work very well as a burrito filling with lettuce, tomato, and sour cream. Try it for yourself and let me know what you think!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Savory Southwest Cornmeal Muffins take 1

Ok, so I have been fooling around with trying to make a low-fat vegetable-laden version of cornmeal muffins for quite some time now. I tried a new recipe today based on this recipe with a bit of success in terms of base and vegetable content, but it still needs some fanangling to be perfect. I'm adjusting the recipe I post here to reflect what I want to try next so I can remember:

2 tsp oil
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage
1/2 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced red bell pepper
1/4 cup minced green bell pepper
salt and pepper

3/4 cup yellow cornmeal -- it is not a good idea to substitute polenta for this (I found that out the hard way)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tbsp bakign powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp canned chipotles and sauce
1 tsp cumin
2 tbsp minced cilantro
1 cup lowfat yogurt (or buttermilk)
1 large egg
1 tbsp butter

-- Preheat oven to 325 Farenheit
-- Saute cabbage, onion, and peppers in oil in a frying pan until cooked through. Add salt and pepper to taste.
-- Put veggies and all the other ingredients into a bowl and mix up. Spoon into muffin tins. I got 9 large muffins with this recipe. Bake for 35 minutes in the oven, or until a toothpick inserted into a muffin comes out clean.

My recipe, which had double the baking powder and only 1 t. of chipotle as seasoning, was way too baking powder-y and blandish. It also had sugar in the recipe which was a mistake. I put in a two cup measure of veggies, it could easily have a total of 3 cups of veggies in it, cream corn would be a nice addition too, or maybe tomatoes cut into a small dice. The yogurt gives a sour-creamy taste which is good. The big thing missing was the seasoning, the chipotle dissapeared and it really needs a lot more, so I added some ideas above.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

cranberry jalapeno jam take one

It's cranberry season everyone! That means a trip to the Cranberry Festival in Ft. Langley and 2 pounds of fresh cranberries for me. I wasn't sure what to do with the fresh cranberries, but after some thought an idea came to me: I wanted to try and make a no-pectin cranberry version of the pepper jelly that I had enjoyed so much at a family gathering last year. After snooping around on the internet the closest I could find was this recipe which had pectin in it. I know that cranberries have lots of natural pectin, so I modified the recipe a bit by using less vinegar to make it easier to jel and adjusting the sugar a bit to compensate. This is what I ended up with:

No Pectin Cranberry Jalapeno Jam

1/4 lb. jalapenos
3/4 lb. fresh cranberries (you could probably use frozen too)
4 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice

5 8-ounce jam jars, sterilized

In a food processor grind the peppers and berries (I used my mini food prep, although it took several batches). Then put them in a large pot with all other ingredients. Heat to a boil, cook for 20 minutes or until it looks like it's ready to set.

Ladle into jelly jars, leaving 1/4 inch clearance. Water bath process 10 minutes.

Store in cupboard for two weeks, then serve.

Over cream cheese with crackers, bagels, toast, English muffins, etc.
With pork loin, roast beef, chicken, lamb, and strong flavored fish.
As a veggie dip.


This jam is a beautiful vibrant red color that I just love. I tasted this jam straight out of the pot and it tasted a very sweet to me, and because of the strength of the sugar and vinegar I couldn't detect any cranberry at all. This might change in two weeks. Also since the jars aren't cool I'm not 100 percent sure if it will actually set up or not.

I tried some with a bit of cream cheese on a cracker and it was great. I think it would also be good in grilled cheese sandwiches, or on a ham and cheese, or as a condiment to meat. Next time to emphasize the cranberry flavor more I might try cutting down the vinegar to 1/2 cup and use only 2-3 cups of sugar.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

good easy peanut sauce

OK this is what I put together today based on this recipe from Fat Free Vegan:

2 T. natural peanut butter (I had sweetened natural almond butter so I used that)
1/4 c. veggie broth
1 T. soy sauce
1-2 t. spicy asian chili sauce (I used 1 t. rooster sauce and 1 t. sambal chili sauce)
1 t. lime juice
1-2 T. powdered coconut
if the coconut and peanut butter is not sweetened (mine was), add in 1/2 T. honey or other sweetener

I microwaved it to heat it all up and used a fork to combine to a delicious sauce! We used it over steamed romanesco brocolli on rice. Yum!

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Veggie loaf: attempt one

I found this recipe online and wanted to give it a shot:

Vegetable Soybean Loaf

6 servings

1 teaspoon Olive oil
2 cup Carrots; finely shredded
2 cup Broccoli; finely chopped, both stems and florets
½ cup Red bell pepper; diced
3 medium Scallions; finely chopped
1 Stalk celery; diced
1 teaspoon Minced garlic
1½ cup Cooked soybeans; (or 15 oz can)
2 Eggs
2 Plum tomatoes; in 1/2 inch cubes, 3/4 cup
¼ cup Dry bread crumbs; or toasted wheat germ
2 teaspoon Fresh basil; minced
½ teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon Salt
1 dash Paprika

Preheat oven to 375F. Spray a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan with the cooking spray. Heat the oil and saute the carrots, broccoli, bell pepper, scallions, and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are tender, but not brown, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic during the last minute. Remove from heat. Process the soybeans and eggs in a food processor until smooth. Then add it to the saute pan. Stir in the remaining ingredients (except the paprika). Press the mixture into the loaf pan; sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow o stand for about 5 minutes before serving. Serve the slices topped with sauce of your choice. =


I added in roughly 2 t. vegetable bullion powder, 1 T. nutritional yeast, and some spicy rooster sauce, but other than that I kept pretty much to the recipe as stated. My verdict is that it was pretty good but the main flavor was salt, and I thought it needed a more complex flavor, so next time I want to try adding in some goat cheese or caramelizing some onions/mushrooms and adding those in, also I think this would be good with a mushroom sauce.