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.