Tagged: onions

This Snow Sure is Chili

So how many of you East Coasters out there had a snow day today?!?

Lucky. You. 

I wish I could say the same. I was up extraaaaa early to make sure Johnny and I had enough time to scrape all of the ice and snow off the car and get to work on time. The roads weren’t too shabby this morning, though. Especially compared to last night! Yikes! Our usual 40 minutes commute took an additional hour. It was insane. I’ve been living in Central PA for almost four years now and they just never seem prepared for snow.

Oh well, ya know what I do when it snows?

Make cozy foods.

Like chili! And oatmeal!!

I don’t know how you feel about chili, but I effing love it.

Beef Chili. Chicken Chili. Turkey Chili. Green Chili. White Chili. Bean Chili. On a train. In the rain. You name it, I love it. It’s definitely up there as one of my most favorite foods of all time. One of the many delicious reasons I love chili so much is all of the fun ways you can serve it!! You can top it with cheese, cilantro, red onions, green onions, tortilla chips, sour cream (if you’re into that sort of thing), with cornbread, over rice, over spaghetti (Cincinnati style), on a baked potato, on french fries – the options are endless!! I’ve pretty much come to the conclusion that I just love any food that I can customize and play with! On any given day I can mix up whatever pot of chili I’m feeling like and I can top it with whatever I have on hand and it’s like a party! But ya know…with just me…and chili….which sounds kind of lame but I swear is actually really exciting!

Johnny enjoys chili…but not the same way I do.  He thinks that I make too many “southwestern” inspired dishes. Boooooooo!! Chili powder, garlic, cumin, cayenne, chipotle. I go through these spices faster than anything else in my pantry. I can’t help myself. I’m so drawn to the smokey/spicy/sweet combination that so many southwestern dishes offer and chili is no exception and the best by far! I have tried many-a-different version of chili. This, of all my recipes, is my favorite. It’s not too complicated to make and the it’s the perfect combination of lean ground beef and beans with a hearty portion of peppers and onions, too. It’s even more appropriate for me these days (meaning “being pregnant” days) since it’s super important to make sure I’m getting enough iron and fiber – which this recipe is chock full of thanks to the beef and bean combo!! Johnny describes my chili as “weird – it’s spicy and sweet all at the same time!” Well, my love, that’s exactly what I was going for!  Here is the recipe!!

My Favorite Chili Recipe Ever

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 chipotle in adobo, minced (plus 1 tablespoon of the adobo the chipotles come in)
  • 3 heaping tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional Garnishes: Cilantro, Scallions, Avocado, Lime, Cheese, Sour Cream, Red Onion, Tortilla Chips

Begin by heating 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the peppers and onion and let them cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. They will start to char in some places from the high heat and this is exactly what you want!! Add the beef and garlic and continue to cook until the beef is brown. (If your using a less lean beef, you may want to stop and drain off some of the fat).

When the beef is brown,  lower the heat and add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste to the pot. Make sure you scrape the bottom of the pan with your spoon or spatula to get up all of the good stuff from the bottom! Fill the crushed tomato can halfway with water, swirl it around to get out any extra tomato hanging out on the sides of the can, and add it to the pot. Add all off the spices and stir well to combine. Add the beans, stir, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes to 1 hour (or as long as you can patiently wait before digging in!).

Serve with whatever topping you like!

This time around I had cheese, avocado, red onion, and some tortilla chips for scooping….and it was perfection.

chili!Now did I mention something about oatmeal up there before? I seem to have gotten particularly excited about chili. Oh well! I love to enjoy a cozy bowl of oatmeal from time to time. Sometimes, though, I just don’t feel like standing over a pot in the morning to make myself a cozy bowl. The instant stuff just doesn’t do it for me anymore these days. I had some suuuuper ripe (like I had to use them up before the turned to mush) pears on hand this week and I whipped up a quick, healthy, and easy baked pear oatmeal for breakfast! If your New Year’s resolution is to watch you waistline this is a hearty recipe that will definitely tide you over until lunch (unless, maybe, you’re pregnant and find you’re eating everything in site…then you may want to have some clementines on hand to munch on the side…or maybe that’s just me…) Here is the recipe!

Baked Pear Oatmeal

  • 2 1/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/4 cup reduced fat vanilla soy milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 4 ripe pears, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oats, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the soy milk, eggs, extracts, brown sugar, and maple syrup. When the mixture is combined, add the pears and whisk gently to combine.

Add the soy milk mixture to the oat mixture and mix well until everything is combined.

Pour the mixture into a baking dish sprayed with a little nonstick spray. Bake at 375 for thirty minutes or until golden.

Serve immediately! (Or, let cool completely before slicing and placing the squares into individual baggies and freeze! Reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes or until warm through!)

bakedoatmeal

Three Bean Tamale Bake

Greetings, ya’ll! As promised, I have returned with a delightful new recipe to share with you.

Now, I mentioned in my post Monday that with this baby on board, I’ve started to be a bit less fond of chicken. It’s so weird!! I can still eat a little bit once in a while, but I’ve started seeking alternatives for my quick post-workout meals.

This particular recipe is one I’ve had in my arsenal for a while and just kind of forgot about. Do you have any recipes like that in your repertoire?  I used to make this all the time with ground turkey or shredded chicken, but I decided tonight that would make it meatless! If your husband is anything like mine…the idea of a meatless dinner (unless it’s Mac & Cheese) may not be his favorite thing. Lucky for me, top anything with Jiffy Corn Bread and he’ll manage through with a smile on his face.

Starring a hearty combination of black beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans…all you really need to make this recipe is a can opener and a skillet! This recipe is fantastic for any mom-to-be who is experiencing any meat aversions or anyone looking for a meatless, high protein recipe! Future mommies should make it a point to try and incorporate beans and whole grains into their diet daily… your baby (and digestive system) will thank you later!

 Three Bean Tamale Bake

  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can sweet corn
  • 1 can green chilies
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 cup prepared salsa verde
  • 1 tablespoon Chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 box prepared corn bread mix (like Jiffy or Bob’s Red Mill), prepared to box directions
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Optional Garnishes: avocado, lime, cilantro, scallions

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in an oven safe skillet. Add the onion, peppers, and tomatoes and sauté for 5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the remaining ingredients (except the cornbread) to the skillet and stir well until combined.

Pour prepared corn bread mix on top of the bean mixture. Top with cheese and place it in the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Let sit 5 minutes before serving (You don’t realllllllllllly have to wait if you’re impatient like me… it just will stay a bit more together this way and you are less likely to burn your tongue!!)

Here it is fresh from the oven….gosh I can’t wait to have a camera again (instead of my camera phone!)

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Annnnd heeeeeeeeere it is all delicious and served up with some shredded cheese, fresh slices of avocado, scallions, cilantro, and a little squeeze of lime. It’s not the prettiest meal I’ve ever made, but boy is it delicious!

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Pass the Beans… or Pass on the Beans??

So I have a question for you…
DO YOU or DON’T YOU like beans???

For a very long time I HATED beans. Kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, baked beans. The whole lot. I remember back in the days of watching my brother play pee-wee football, I’d stand bundled up in the freezing New Jersey winter drinking hot chocolate for warmth and I completely refuuuused to eat the chili from the snack stand – regardless of the warmth it would have provided me – because I knew there where beans in it.

I’m pretty sure my aversion to them early in life was based on the fact that my parents didn’t like them… so I just assumed I wouldn’t like them either. Most of my food aversions early in life were because of the same reason…like Brussels sprouts (which now I love)!

I wish I could say I remembered exactly when I decided I liked beans. I am pretty sure after a few years of shivering, I finally tried that snack stand chili, and my life was changed forever!!

I am genuinely fascinated by the number of people I know who still don’t eat beans. I feel like 95% of the bean haters I know have never actually even tried one!!

Beans aren’t called “the magical fruit” (as my father likes to call them) for nothing, ya know. To my knowledge, beans are typically most associated with fiber, which I think we all know at this point is good for your health (not JUST because they help you poop! grow up!). The soluble fiber in beans aids in lowering bad cholesterol and regular consumption increases heart health. Beans are also super low in fat and high in protein – on average there are about 7 grams of protein in 1/2 cup of beans. Beans also contain loads of antioxidants and the complex carbohydrates in them keep you fuller and happier for longer. I don’t know about you, but I love to be full and happy!!

The best part about beans, though, in my opinion is that THEY ARE SO FLIPPIN’ CHEAP!!!! Dry or canned, beans are one of the cheapest sources of protein ever….and I love it.

This is one of my favorite weeknight dinner recipes using one of my favorite beans – cannellini beans! This recipe is quick, easy, and has an awesome balance of whole grains, protein, vegetables, and healthy fats! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!!

Balsamic Chicken Spaghetti with Spinach and White Beans

serves 2 -4 (depending on your appetite)

  • 1/2 box whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup cannelini beans
  • 2 whole, roasted red peppers, sliced into strips
  • 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese, to taste

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook to package directions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water before draining.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.

Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and oregano. Add the chicken to the skillet with garlic and onions and cook until no longer pink – about 8 to 10 minutes more.

Add the balsamic vinegar to the pan and stir well to combine. Let cook for about 2 minutes until the vinegar begins to thicken.

Add the cooked pasta, beans, peppers, and spinach to the chicken mixture and toss well until the spinach wilts and everything is combined. Add pasta water as necessary if the mixture seems to dry.

Serve immediately, topped with parmesan cheese, with a big glass of wine!

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So tell me, are you or aren’t you on the bean wagon??

A Little Bit Sweet & A Little Bit Spicy

No, no, no.

We’re not talking about me…though my husband might beg to differ…(HEYO!)

What we are talking about are these deliciously, fantastically, awesomely, wonderfully (I could do this all day) spectacular recipes I’m about to share with you. (YES! I did say RECIPES – You’ve got a twofer today!)

Personally, I LOVE sweet and spicy things! I also love that according to  Women’s Health that makes me trendy (at least my food anyway…). Give me a nice fruit salsa with an extra dose of  jalapeños or some chocolate and chili peppers, like this old gem of mine – White Chocolate, Cranberry, and Chile De Arbol Bread Pudding – and I’ll be happy as a clam.

(Note to self…make that bread pudding again ASAP! )

I’ve even tried Tabasco Ice Cream, and let me tell you, it was awesome!  I just find something so pleasurable about indulging in flavors that compliment and contrast each other at the same time. I can never say no to something sweet and spicy. Can you?

(Second note to self…you gave up bread for Lent, fool, make it for Easter!)

You can enjoy this recipe hot or cold, and with or without the Spicy Lime Tilapia (below) I served it with!

Sweet & Spicy Pineapple
& Black Bean Quinoa

  •  1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup water/chicken/vegetable stock
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup pineapple, cubed (I use the canned stuff  until summer time. Still super delicious!)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Cilantro, chopped, to taste (I use SO MUCH! Because I love it. But if you’re not a fan go ahead and leave it out or sub in parsley.)
  • 1 juice and zest of 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.

Add the onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño. Season with cumin, garlic, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the quinoa and stir to combine. Add the water and turn the heat to high. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and let simmer – covered – for about 15 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.

Add the black beans, pineapple, cilantro, lime zest, and lime juice. Stir gently to combine and cover five minute more until the beans and pineapple are heated through. Serve topped with more cilantro if you’re a freak, like me!

sweetandspicypineapplequinoa

 

Spicy Lime Tilapia

  • 2 tilapia filets
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • The juice and zest of 1 lime

Combine the spices and lime zest in a small dish. Sprinkle evenly over both sides of the tilapia filets.

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over high heat. Add the seasoned tilapia filets and let cook for about 5 minutes.

Carefully flip with a spatula and continue cooking for about 2 minutes more.

Add the lime juice to the pan and cover. Reduce heat to low and let cook 2 to 4 minutes more or until the fish is cooked through.

Serve with sweet & spicy pineapple & black bean quinoa!!

spicylimetilapia

This is one BEAUTIFUL, HEALTHY, SWEET & SPICY  meal you don’t want to miss out on.

Monday Morning Munchies

Happy Monday!!

I hope everyone got to enjoy their weekend as much as I did. Do anything exciting??

Mine was pretty casual and super relaxing. That’s the best kind of weekend in my opinion!

I got to my Zumba class on Saturday morning which was awesome! Johnny and I went out a bit and I bought a new workout top at Target for $12 which I’m super excited about. It’s just a simple short sleeved top but anytime I find a nice workout top for under $15 I always take advantage. I LOVE certain brands and lines of workout attire but I can NOT justify ever spending $60 on a tank top. Ever, ever, ever, ever, ever. *sigh* When you work out, do you prefer tank tops or short sleeved tops? I totally prefer short sleeves. No idea why. 

We also went to a local Mexican place to celebrate my father-in-law’s birthday for dinner Saturday night. I got tamales and they were ridic! Ya know, in a good way. I was so hungry I forgot to snap a picture though. *OOPS!*

Sunday was delightful, too! I got to my yoga class and we had a substitute instructor who teaches in the Kirpala style, rather than the standard Vinyasa style most folks (including myself) are accustomed to. It was different and refreshing to try something new! Kirpala yoga focuses more on holding poses for longer periods of time, or “surrendering” to the poses. Vinyasa – which means “flow” – is much more intense and you flow from pose to pose moving with the breath. I love my Vinyasa yoga, but Kirpala was a nice change of pace. I also felt super energized after the Kirpala class so I hopped on the treadmill and ran for a solid 20 minutes. This, for me, is quite an accomplishment! We hung out for most of Sunday after the gym. Johnny was super sweet and made dinner with me!! That’s a rare occurrence that I was thrilled to take advantage of. We made mini turkey pesto meatloaves with mac &  cheese and peas. They weren’t particularly photogenic, but I may post the recipe on here soon if I make them again!

Anywho,  onto the morning munchies!!

I was up early enough over the weekend to take a little longer to prepare my breakfast. The recipe I’m sharing with you is one of my absolute favoritessssssss. I used to make it all the time when I was in college and I’ve recently revamped it a little bit – nutritionally and flavorly (because this is my blog and I can make up words if I want to). No butter, just 1 teaspoon of oil, and loadssss of flavor…and Frank’s Red Hot!

*Please be advised the amount of hot sauce in this recipe is to taste. I use a BOATLOAD of it…but you could even omit it if you don’t care for spicy and this will still be a hella cool (or hot 🙂 ) way to start your day*

Red Hot Breakfast Hash & Eggs

serves 2

  • 1 large russet potato, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 yellow (or green, or orange, or whatever) bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot
  • 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 green onion, sliced (for garnish)
  • 4 eggs (cooked to your liking)

Add the olive oil to a small skillet and heat on medium heat. Season the potatoes with salt and pepper and add to the pan. Toss the potatoes to coat with oil and then let them sit, untouched for abour 5 minutes. They will start to form a delicious, crispy, brown crust!

Add the peppers and onions to the pan, stir, and let sit for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat up to high and continue to cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes more. Add the garlic powder and Frank’s Red Hot, stirring everything to coat and combine. (You may want to stand back when you add the hot sauce…or you may suffer a coughing attack from all of the spicy goodness hitting the heat.)

Once everything is coated, turn the heat to low to keep warm. Sprinkle with cheese.

If you’re like me and you like an egg with a runny yolk – here’s how I make my eggs.

In a separate pan, spray with nonstick spray to coat and set over medium-low heat. Crack in your eggs and let cook until the white is mostly set. Add 1 tablespoon of water to the pan, cover, and crank the heat. Let cook until the yolk is set to your desired doneness. (This technique is called Steam Basting the egg…though some restaurants may do this butter or oil…the water will create steam which will cook the top of the egg. KNOWLEDGE!)

Serve your hash and eggs topped with more green onions and – you guessed it – more hot sauce!

redhothash&eggs