As-You-Like-It Veggie Enchiladas

Fall makes me want to eat home cooked meals. Owning a home makes me want to be a little more domestic. Not eating very well for the last month or so + taking a post-tri training break for the last week has me wanting to clean up my diet.

I bookmarked a veggie enchilada recipe from Runner’s Kitchen last year and finally decided Sunday was the night. Originally I was thinking of adding chicken, but the produce section at Safeway looked particularly lovely today (and crowded…apparently everyone is jumping on the healthy food train, yay!) and I picked up a few veggies that I thought would be good mixed in with my favorite black beans.

Here’s how my version ended up:

4 whole wheat tortillas
1 can black beans, drained
1 green bell pepper
1 zucchini
a few handfuls of corn kernels
small can green enchilada sauce
salsa

Chop and start sauteing the pepper and zucchini.  Add corn and finally the beans for just a bit.  Pour some sauce in a casserole dish and scoop the filling into each tortilla – mine were soft taco size, but burrito size would have probably been better for the amount of filling it made and to get them wrapped up – roll and tuck the ends.  Place in the dish.  Pour more sauce over top.  Cook at 350 for 25 minutes.  Top with salsa and serve.

I really don’t remember the last time I cooked a real meal; it was definitely the first in my new kitchen!  Since I was there getting comfortable, I also got busy cooking some chicken for take-to-work lunch salads for the week.  I love Sunday cooking and the leftovers I have stocking my fridge this week!

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Killer Tofu

New levels of crunchiness are being reached every day.

I bought tofu a while ago intending to make a recipe my parents suggested to me but I never got around to it.  The veggies that went with it didn’t last long and I used them in other ways before they went bad but that tofu has been staring at me for weeks and the expiration date was coming up, so I figured it was now or never.

Now, I could have gone to the store and bought the veggies again, but let’s be honest, if I went to the store, I’d probably find awesome dollar brie again and end up eating it with a loaf of fresh French bread for dinner.  Gosh, it’s hard to be a single twenty-something these days. 

So, I decided to use what I had.  Since this was my first time cooking with tofu, I just kinda wanted to learn the ropes.

I pressed the extra firm tofu for a bit, chopped it up a bit, sautéed it a bit and ate it a bit.  I’d give better instructions, but I got my info here, so you might as well just check that out.

It was good, but needs a little something.  I’m glad I’ve lost my adult tofu-ginity (considering how I lost it as a child – my mom’s infamous, forced-fed tofu meatballs – I wasn’t sure it was going to happen again) and plan to include more in my diet. 

Well, after I finish this first batch of leftovers!

When Life Hands You Rice, Make Rice Pancakes

I made rice the other night.  I can’t remember if I’ve ever made rice before, so A. I was intimidated because I’ve heard it’s pretty dang easy to mess up, B. I didn’t realize how long it was going to take and C. I didn’t think about how much cooked rice would result from preparing a cup of uncooked.

A girl can only eat so many burritos. 

I wanted to use what I already had and I LOVE B4D (also known as breakfast for dinner or brinner), so I was thrilled when I came across a recipe for rice pancakes that called for ingredients I already had in my kitchen!

The baker who posted it on AllRecipes.com said she came up with the recipe to accommodate a lot of food allergies.  I guess the pull is that they’re gluten-free and could be made vegan with the substitution of soy or almond milk.*

Rice Pancakes
1 cup cooked rice (mine was brown)
1 cup milk
1 and 1/4 cups rice flour (I didn’t have and used regular, therefore, mine were not gluten-free)
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons applesauce
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Combine all ingredients with a hand mixer for 2 minutes and (shocker!) cook them as you would regular pancakes.  Makes six average-sized pancakes.

As a very novice pancake-flipper, I really appreciated that theses pancakes held together pretty well in the pan.  The rice made them dense and moist, but they weren’t too “ricey” (even though my kitchen ended up smelling like a chinese restaurant).  They pretty much just tasted like pancakes! 

Last night I topped with syrup and this morning I’m taking one to work with some jam.  Yum!

I still have a lot more rice left over, so I just might have to make them again.  Such a sacrifice!

*I think.  I don’t follow either of these diets strictly and am not 100% sure of the ins and outs.  Please correct me if I’m wrong!

WTF, Eggplant Edition

That means “What The Food?”  You, potty mouth, you.

I assessed the fridge sitch this morning with a quick glance into my produce drawer, saw an eggplant and freaked.

I know eggplant is not THAT strange of an ingredient, but it does fall into my category of food-that-I-thought-was-weird-when-I-was-growing-up-and-claimed-to-not-like-even-though-I’d-never-tried-it.  

Now that I’m older wiser not as picky, I think eggplant deserves a second chance.  My problem is that it is just so shiny and purple and fun-looking.  And cheap! Eighty-eight cents for something I’m going to turn into my main course? Yes, please! 

But then I get it home and wonder what I got myself into.

I made eggplant once before – baked and topped with balsamic.  I lied and told myself it wasn’t so bad, but yeah, it was kinda bad.  I guess I’m ready to redeem myself and admit that recipes are my friend. 

Option #1 was eggplant parmesan.  Safe, but not the healthy, fresh dinner I had in mind for tonight, so I found option #2:  eggplant with yogurt and dill.

I’d post the pictures and recipe, but long story short, I don’t think I liked it very much.  Essentially, it’s roasted eggplant, garlic and shallots topped with walnuts and tossed with yogurt and dill.  I just wasn’t sure what it was supposed to be. Is it a salad?  Is it a side?  I had decided it was my main course, but the attitudy eggplant was more like, “I do what I want.”

And now I have leftovers.  Do I heat them up?  Eat them cold?  Let them sit in my fridge until I realize it’s April and something made in February desperately needs to be tossed?

Eggplant – 2.  Megan – 0.  Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me?  Hell no.  I’m too stubborn for that.  This is not over.

If you’re intrigued, and maybe if you happen to like eggplant more than I do, you can find the recipe from Food Network here.

Turkey Mini-Loaves, Get Your Own!

I live by myself so cooking a whole recipe usually means leftovers for a week, so I always make sure it’s something delicious.  One of my favorite recipes from my Cook Yourself Thin cookbook is Turkey Mini-Loaves.  They are perfectly portioned and made with lean ground turkey and spinach, which I cannot get enough of recently!

Just like the cover says, it’s a skinny meal you can make in minutes.  I actually forgot how simple it was to make!  The toughest part was chopping the onions.  Onions and I do not get along.  You get to mush everything together with your hands – score!  I loved that part when I was a kid.  The secret to the single servings is a using a measuring cup, perfect!  I really like the ketchup-Worcestershire-hot sauce glaze that goes on top too, yum! 

Find the recipe from Lifetime (the network that airs the Cook Yourself Thin TV show) here and get your own!