June 27, 2012

Cook Once, Eat Twice - Day 2 Recipe!

Last week, I made those little Mexican Stuffed Peppers.  They were oh so very yummy.  Afterwards, I had a ton of leftover filling, but didn't want to have the same meal the next night.

What was a plant based rock star to do?!

I came up with an idea, but wasn't so sure how it was going to turn out.  It seemed like a crazy idea, but it turned out to be genius (funny how those two things are so closely related sometimes).

We asked our fans on our Facebook page, what they thought I was going to use the leftover filling for.  Some of the guesses were: Tacos, sandwiches, burritos, and a taco salad.

All good responses, but you weren't thinking CRAZY enough!  Okay, here's what I made...drum roll please.........



BBQ MEXICAN PIZZAS!

And they were amazing.

The drizzle of BBQ sauce was the perfect hint of smokiness to add to the charred corn mixture.  The pizzas were crunchy, chewy, smoky, spicy, sweet, and delicious.  I think I may like this recipe more than the original one!

I love the simplicity of the flavors in both of these recipes, but my very favorite part is the efficiency of making something once, and using it for two totally different meals!

I love it when a crazy plan works out......

Love & Kale,
Ali

                       ______________________________________________________
BBQ Mexican Pizza
Serves:  2-3

Print here.

Ingredients:

  • Leftover filling from the Mexican Stuffed Peppers
  • 1/4 cup or so of BBQ sauce (homemade if possible!)
  • 1/2 cup or so of Daiya Pepperjack Cheese
  • Other toppings of choice:  Chopped Gardein Chick'n Tenders, Kale, Spinach, Olives, Avocado, whatever you want!
  • 2 medium pizza crusts
Instructions:
  1. Preheat your oven according to the directions on the pizza crust (mine was 350).
  2. Drizzle some BBQ sauce onto your pizza crusts.  Top with the corn and bean mixture, then top with a sprinkle of the pepperjack cheese, and your toppings of choice (I used the Gardein Chick'n on my hubby's pizza, and kale on mine).
  3. Bake according to package directions - probably around 12-15 minutes.
  4. Slice and serve with a big old salad and some avocado!  YUM!

Drizzle crusts with BBQ sauce - not too much, just a drizzle

Top with charred corn and bean filling

Top with cheese and toppings of choice - bake!

The cool avocado is so perfect with the spicy, smoky pizza....

Don't I look amazing!?

It's because I am amazing.

June 22, 2012

Mexican Stuffed Peppers - Cook Once, Eat Twice!

So I am all about multi-tasking.  I love doing everything as efficiently as possible.  That doesn't mean I actually do everything as efficiently as possible - just that I enjoy when it actually happens.

Kind of like this recipe.


I had made something like this years ago, but stumbled upon the recipe and decided to tweak it and add some things to make it my own.  I love stuffed peppers (remember our Quinoa & Sweet Potato Stuffed Peppers?), but especially when you char the crap out of the pepper before they're stuffed.  It adds so much flavor and just a hint of smokiness.

My mom had just dropped off some fresh corn-on-the-cob from the farmer's market, which inspired me to make this Mexican version of stuffed peppers.  They are simple, with just a few ingredients - but the flavors are out of control.  So, so good.  The poblano peppers can be pretty spicy, so if you have kids (or wimpy adults), feel free to sub regular bell peppers.  

As for the efficiency of this recipe - you'll have leftover filling.  Now if it was me, I would just shovel it in, and eat the leftover filling on it's own.  But I have picky eaters to contend with and I need to get into a bikini next week.  So I decided to save the leftover filling and came up with another recipe to use it in.  

Man did I score big.  I think I might even like the next recipe more than the first!  But you'll have to wait for Monday for that one :)  

Question of the day:  Can you guess what the second recipe will be!?  What will I use the filling for??


Stay tuned for the Part 2 of this recipe - it's a winner!


Love & Kale,
Ali


                                   __________________________________________________


Mexican Stuffed Peppers
Serves: 2 (with leftovers for another meal) or 4 (with no leftovers)

Print here.


Ingredients:

  • 2-3 large poblano peppers 
  • 4-6 ears of corn (or 3 cups frozen corn kernels)
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 - 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 - 15-oz can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (adjust to spice level you want)
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 cup Daiya pepperjack cheese
  • Fresh lime juice (optional)
Instructions:
  1. Preheat broiler to high.  Place poblanos under broiler until evenly charred all over, about 15 minutes, turning twice.  Take out of oven and set aside to cool a bit.
  2. Scrape the corn off the cooked cobs.  Heat a large skillet over high heat.  When it's good and hot, put a little vegetable broth or water in the pan.  Add the corn and onions and toss until they char at the edges and onions are tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce heat to medium-high and add in garlic, fire roasted tomatoes, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper.  Cook another minute or two, then turn pan off.
  4. When peppers are cool enough to handle, carefully slice open the pepper, being careful not to cut all the way through.  Remove seeds and stem.  Stuff each pepper with filling, and top with a sprinkle of the Daiya cheese.
  5. Place the stuffed peppers back into the oven (on broiler still) for another couple of minutes, just until the cheese is melted.
  6. Serve with some Mexican rice, a splash of lime juice, some cool avocado, and a big margarita!!  ENJOY!


Ingredients

Char your peppers, then slice open and de-seed them.
Char your corn and onions

Add in tomatoes, garlic, and seasonings

Char char char

Stuff your peppers - are they purty?

Sprinkle with a little cheese - not too much!

And there you have it - yummy stuffed peppers

Served with rice and a ton of cold avocado - YUMMY YUMMY

So pretty and so yummy


June 12, 2012

Ridiculously Easy Baked Ziti

I'm also coming off of a great weekend - one that I will never, ever forget.  You see, I celebrated my 30th birthday with a surprise party this weekend, and my cousins flew in from out of town.  It was amazing.  I really was not looking forward to this birthday (you can confirm this with Ann - she has had to treat several panic attacks. It's great having a nurse next door....).

However, I was forced into celebration mode when I walked into my mom's house to a resounding, "SURPRISE!"

That's always fun.

While the first words out of my mouth were curse words, I eventually decided to embrace the birthday, let loose, and celebrate!  After lots of margaritas, dancing, and laughing, I am totally looking forward to this new decade.  Bring it on 30s!!

So anyway, summer is here and lately I have absolutely lost my motivation to cook.  I'm craving light meals, lots of fruit, and wine.  Typical summer cravings.

While this recipe isn't super light, it's great for the summer because it takes about 5 seconds to prep and 30 to bake.  I have told so many people about this recipe, but I noticed the other day that I have never posted it!  For shame!  This recipe is such a no-brainer, I have a hard time calling it a recipe.  There are literally three ingredients, and three instructions.  In fact, it would be really great recipe to make with a novice cook, a child, or a monkey.

You probably have all of the ingredients on-hand, so it's a great recipe when you're out of time, or out of ideas.  To make a meal out of it, pair it with veggies, a huge salad, whole grain bread, and wine.

Lots of wine.

Love & Kale,
Ali

                         ____________________________________________________
Ridiculously Easy Baked Ziti
Serves: 4-5

Print here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb whole grain pasta (I used a gluten-free corn/rice pasta)
  • 1 jar marinara sauce (oil-free and sugar-free preferably!)
  • Couple handfuls of Daiya mozzarella cheese
Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.  Combine the dry pasta and jar of sauce in a casserole dish.  Fill the pasta jar up with water, and add that in too.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for about 25 minutes.
  2. Remove from oven, remove foil, and stir.  Top with just a couple handfuls of Daiya cheese.  Put back in oven for another 10 minutes, or until golden and bubbly.
  3. ENJOY!

Ingredients

Put dry pasta in dish

Add jar of sauce, and jar of water

Cover tightly with foil




Top with a little cheese

Top with dried parsley, if you're feelin' fancy!

YUM

SO, SO YUM


June 5, 2012

Vegan Shells & Cheese

Wanna hear a good zombie joke?  Of course you do....

What do vegan zombies eat?  Graaaaaaaaaaains!



We've been on a zombie kick lately, so I decided to name this dish I created "Zombie Vegan Shells & Cheese," because if Mac-N-Cheese died in the inevitable zombie apocalypse, it would come back as this awesome vegan Shells & Cheese zombie.

Anyway, one thing I've noticed since becoming vegan, I don't usually have many "side" dishes.  With a whole-foods, plant-based diet, you can get all the nutrients, proteins and carbs you need in one plateful, without the pain of extra dishes to wash.  Love that. 

This recipe is a perfect example of that. 

So here it is, a complete meal (no sides needed), comforting, and packed with vegan goodness.  It does yet again include our "tofredo" sauce, which is a great creamy sauce staple - one you can use as a base, and tweak any way you'd like!

Enjoy this yummy recipe and remember, if you encounter a zombie, shoot it in its' head.

Love and Kale,
Ali

                 ________________________________________________________

Zombie Vegan Shells & Cheese
Serves: 4-6
If you don't have kids and want to spice it up a bit, sub Daiya pepper-jack cheese for mozzarella, and throw in a little cayenne powder to your liking.  You could also add any veggies you have on hand - I've made this with broccoli before too.

Print here.

Ingredients:
  • 1 8 oz box quinoa pasta shells 
  • 1 block of silken (or soft) tofu (12 oz) 
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic (or 2 heads if you love garlic like I did)
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast (optional) 
  • 1 tsp salt, pepper 
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup ground flax seeds
  • 2 handfuls of organic baby spinach
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, slightly cooked
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup daiya mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4- 1/2 cup daiya cheddar cheese

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cook pasta according to instructions on box, but make sure pasta is a little al dente (a touch under-cooked).  Rinse with cold water to stop cooking. 
  2. Meanwhile, combine tofu, garlic, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and flax seeds in a blender and blend until smooth.  
  3. Combine cooked pasta, sauce and spinach in a casserole dish until thoroughly combined.  Bake for 5-10 minutes. 
  4. Add Daiya cheese and bake for another 5 minutes, until golden brown and bubbly.  Remove from oven and stir.  Serve immediately.

Ingredients

Combine cooked noodles and broccoli (if using)

Add spinach and sauce




YUMMINESS