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Food & Recipes

Easy Weeknight Meal // Black Bean & Grain Enchiladas (Vegetarian + Non Veg Versions)

March 28, 2016

EasyEnchiladas_1

Easy weeknight meals. Gosh, isn’t everyone in search of more of those? Honestly, despite the fact that the kitchen is my happy place, I still get flustered and frustrated about weeknight dinnertime. We all know how rushed it can feel to get a meal on the table in the short two hours between 5 and 7. You know, after work and before the kiddos totally melt down and refuse to eat because they are tired? The rush to eat dinner, get bath time done, read books and drink bottles and get everyone to bed and I hate when that time feels like a giant race against time.

Hence, I’m always looking for easy meals that can be made in advance so the night is less stressful and everyone is well-fed and happy. Enchiladas have always been a go-to recipe for our family because they’re easy and can be customized in so many different ways.

Have a lot of leftover veggies? Toss them into enchiladas. Left over cooked chicken? Enchiladas! You get the idea…

I made a version of these enchiladas a few weeks ago when friends were in town. They were so easy to pull together and provided me with a vegetarian option to enjoy. I also made a pan of Green Chicken Chile enchiladas that night, but these were just as popular! The recipe includes an option to make them non-veg, or partially veg (half pan for the vegetarians in your life/half for the meat eaters!) so there are a lot of ways this recipe can go. Don’t feel stuck by the ingredients I used. Customize them using this recipe as a base.

To make this in advance, prepare/assemble the enchiladas but stop before baking them. Cover and store in the refrigerator for 24 hours, then bake as directed!

EasyEnchiladas_2

Easy Weeknight Meal // Black Bean & Grain Enchiladas (Vegetarian + Non Veg Versions)
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6 enchiladas
 
Ingredients
  • 1 can (10 oz.) mild, medium or hot red enchilada sauce
  • 1 can (14- to 15 oz.) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup cooked farro, brown rice or quinoa
  • 1½ cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 whole wheat tortillas
  • Shredded lettuce, avocado and salsa, if desired
  • *Non-Veg Alternative // Swap the can of black beans for 1 lb. of browned and drained ground beef. Alternately, you could make this veg and non-veg like we do, and do black beans in half the enchiladas and ground beef in the other half, using ½ the amount of both ground beef and black beans.
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 13x9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Spread ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of the baking dish. Set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes, black beans, farro (or other grain of choice), ¾ cup of the cheese, cumin, oregano and garlic powder. Stir until well combined. Add all but ¼ cup of the remaining enchilada sauce and stir.
  3. Divide the mixture between the six tortillas. Roll up tortillas and place them in the prepared baking dish. Spread remaining ¼ cup of enchilada sauce on top of tortillas. Sprinkle with the remaining ¾ cup cheese.
  4. Cover pan with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 more minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted. Serve with lettuce, avocados, salsa and other desired toppings.

 

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Spicy Black Beans with Sweet Potatoes

January 18, 2016

BlackBeans_2

Since we ran in 2016, I’ve been making a real, honest effort to get back into the kitchen for non-work related purposes. For me that means more meal planning, taking the time to prepare a grocery list based around sales fliers and coupons, and then actually sticking to that meal plan. What I’ve realized is that we not only eat healthier (duh!) but our meals are more interesting and fun and we spend so much less on groceries each week.

I’m making it a goal of mine to share more real, everyday meals with you. Because sure, I can make a really beautiful, involved recipe to share on this blog, but chances are you don’t have the ingredients on hand nor the time or interest in actually making said recipe. So instead of sharing a Pinterest-perfect meal, I’m going to be sharing more real meals from the Hofmeyer kitchen. You know, the stuff we’re eating week in and week out!

I’ve been working with the team at Riceland Foods on some recipe development, so we have a surplus of brown rice on hand. Joe has been joking that we are going to be eating rice for the next month, which is probably very, very true. I’m a big believer that rice and beans is one of the best meals around. Basic, healthy, cheap. But if we’re going to consume rice and beans in this house, Joe needs it to be a little more interesting than the basic version.

Our whole family enjoyed this dinner. It was healthy, relatively quick and easy to make and completely filling. I added sweet potatoes to the mix for a little color and added nutrition and topped the bowls with chopped avocado and salsa. And I totally would have added sour cream if we had it on hand!

BlackBeans_3

Spiced Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes with Rice
Recipe type: Entree, Main Dish, Vegetarian
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped into small pieces
  • 1 (14- to 15-oz) can black beans (do not rinse or drain)
  • 1 (14- to 15-oz) can diced tomatoes (I used the kind with oregano and garlic)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • Hot cooked brown rice, avocado and salsa, if desired
Instructions
  1. In a medium skillet over medium high heat, heat the olive oil. Add in the onion and cook 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion is cooked and softened slightly. Add in the garlic and sweet potatoes and cook 2 minutes more or until garlic is fragrant.
  2. Add the black beans, tomatoes, oregano, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and cayenne to the skillet and reduce heat to medium. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thick and sweet potatoes are softened.
  3. Spoon brown rice into bowls. Top with some of the black bean mixture, followed by some avocado and salsa, if desired.

Madison

Food & Recipes

Pumpkin Rigatoni with Turkey Bacon

October 23, 2015

PumpkinMac_1I’ve been making some version of this easy pumpkin sauce for more nights than I can count. It’s ultra-easy once you get the hang of making it and goes with pasta as well as roasted veggies. Although my husband’s preference leans strongly toward pasta with turkey bacon, my preference is for spooning it on top of roasted broccoli with a side of toast.

This dish could easily be made a day in advance and tossed in the oven for a quick dinner. Since it’s just me and Joe eating dinner (and feeding small bites to Ainsley now and again) I scaled this dish down a bit from the typical casserole size. We love eating leftovers but not leftovers for an entire week!

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Pumpkin Rigatoni with Turkey Bacon
Recipe type: Main Dish
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 to 3 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cups rigatoni pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup chicken stock (or broth)
  • ¼ cup 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • ¼ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme
  • ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Pinch of salt and ground black pepper
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 4 pieces turkey bacon, crisp-cooked according to package directions and crumbled
  • Additional grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350F. Spray a small baking dish with cooking spray - I used a 6x6-inch dish. Set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain.
  2. In a small saucepan or skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add in the flour and whisk together until smooth. Continue to cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until flour is cooked slightly. Whisk in the stock and milk and continue to cook 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken just slightly. Whisk in the Parmesan cheese, pumpkin puree and ricotta cheese. Stir in the basil, thyme, nutmeg, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add the pasta to the sauce along with ¼ cup of the mozzarella cheese and all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon. Spoon mixture into the prepared dish.
  4. Top the pasta with the remaining ¼ cup of mozzarella cheese, an additional 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese and the remaining crumbled bacon.
  5. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

 

Uncategorized

Quick Weeknight Pastitsio

October 27, 2014

Quick Pastitsio (1) | Espresso and Cream
Even as someone who cooks and develops recipes for a living, the question of what to have for dinner frequently leaves me a little bit weary. I love cooking when I have plenty of time to plan and prepare, but the weeknight routine of figuring out what to eat serves more as a stressor than a stress reliever. Usually dinner is sandwiched in between after-work plans and trips to the gym and by the time it’s actually mealtime, I just want to eat NOW. You know the feeling?

I’m always looking for easy weeknight meals to add to the rotation of favorites, and this simple creamy pasta dish has quickly made its way onto the list. It comes together in just about 20 minutes and is super family-friendly. This dish is modeled after Joe’s favorite dish, Ina Garten’s Pastitsio, which is a recipe that’s labor-intensive and a total calorie bomb, so it’s reserved for special events and holidays rather than everyday meals.

My version is made creamy with a small amount of cream cheese to mimic the creaminess of the traditional pastitsio along with a can of crushed tomatoes, marinara sauce and lean ground beef seasoned with spices to mimic the higher-fat sausage that’s commonly used. It’s not nearly as indulgent as the real thing, but for a weeknight meal it certainly makes the cut.

Quick Pastitsio | Espresso and Cream

Quick Weeknight Pastitsio
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 to 15-oz) diced tomatoes
  • 2 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1½ cups marinara sauce
  • 1 box rotini pasta, cooked according to package directions
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, if desired
Instructions
  1. In a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium high heat, heat the oil. In a medium mixing bowl, combine ground beef, Italian seasoning, salt,cinnamon, cayenne pepper and black pepper until well combined. Add ground beef to skillet and cook until browned; drain if necessary. Add garlic to pan and cook 3 to 4 minutes more until garlic is lightly browned and fragrant.
  2. Add diced tomatoes and cream cheese and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until cream cheese is evenly incorporated. Add marinara sauce and cook until heated through, about 1 to 2 minutes more.
  3. Divide pasta among bowls. Top with the marinara sauce. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

 

 

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Tortilla-Crusted Baked Chicken Strips with Sriracha Aioli

September 7, 2014

Baked Chicken Tenders 4 | Espresso and CreamRemember when I mentioned that I’m working with Food Should Taste Good to create some great recipes for game day? Well today marks the second installment  of this three part series and boy is the recipe I have to share with you good. Although the recipe for these chicken strips only makes two it can easily be doubled, tripled or even quadrupled depending on how many people you have coming over to watch the game. Since it was just Joe and me watching football this weekend, I kept the serving size to two.

I’m a huge fan of a certain chicken-based southern fast food chain that makes the world’s best chicken sandwiches. When I did a little digging, I found out that the key to their juicy, flavorful chicken is to marinade the chicken in pickle juice before cooking. Or, at least that’s what the internet told me. I’ve since started deploying that same strategy at home and it’s amazing how well it works! It’s a step I included when making these Tortilla-Crusted Baked Chicken Strips and it makes all the difference. The chicken is so juicy and flavorful, not dry in the least bit.

After marinading the chicken in pickle juice for at least 12 hours, I cut the boneless, skinless chicken breasts into strips and coated them in a mixture of crushed Food Should Taste Good multigrain tortilla chips and panko bread crumbs, along with a little salt, pepper and cayenne for a little kick.

Personally, I love that these chicken strips are baked, not fried, but still have a ton of crunch thanks to the crushed tortilla chips and panko. And to make things a little extra special, I served these with a simple sriracha aioli, which is really just a fancy name for a flavored mayonnaise.

Baked Chicken Tenders 3 | Espresso and Cream

Tortilla-Crusted Baked Chicken Strips with Sriracha Aioli
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 2
 
Ingredients
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup dill pickle juice (from a jar of dill pickles)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 cups Food Should Taste Good multigrain tortilla chips, finely crushed
  • 1 cup plain panko bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ⅛ to ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne
  • Sriracha Aioli
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
Instructions
  1. Place chicken breasts and pickle juice in a plastic air-tight container or zip-top bag and allow chicken to marinade 24 hours or at least 12 hours.
  2. Heat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.
  3. Cut each chicken breast into 4 or 5 strips. Place egg in a shallow bowl. In a second shallow bowl, combine crushed tortilla chips, panko, kosher salt, pepper and cayenne.
  4. Dip chicken in egg, followed by the tortilla mixture. Place coated chicken strips on baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until chicken is baked through and no pink remains.
  5. To make Sriracha Aioli: Stir together the mayonnaise and sriracha in a small bowl. Serve with chicken strips.

This post is brought to you in partnership with Food Should Taste Good. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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