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Food & Recipes

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

March 28, 2016


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!


Easy Weeknight Meal // Black Bean & Grain Enchiladas (Vegetarian + Non Veg Versions)
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6 enchiladas
  • 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.
  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.



Spicy Black Beans with Sweet Potatoes

January 18, 2016


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!


Spiced Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes with Rice
Recipe type: Entree, Main Dish, Vegetarian
  • 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
  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.


Food & Recipes

Sweet and Salty Roasted Kalettes

September 24, 2015

If I had to choose my favorite vegetable, I would have a seriously difficult time deciding between kale and Brussels sprouts. I know, I know, how chilché and expected, right? But here’s the thing about food trends: most of the time foods become trendy because they’re actually really delicious, so I’ll sing the praises of trendy veggies for as long as I live.

Why all this talk about kale and Brussels sprouts? Well, I recently tried Kalettes, a kale-Brussels sprout hybrid, for the first time while eating at the Lunds & Byerly’s salad bar in Edina and have been hooked ever since. They require zero prep before cooking (something I can’t say about kale OR Brussels sprouts) and have a fun taste and texture that really is a good cross between the two veggies. A crisp-tender base with leafy, tender, kale-like tops.

Since I am all about the sweet-salty combinations, I turned these little Kalettes into an Asian-inspired side dish. They’re crispy and caramelized around the edges thanks to a bit of brown sugar but have plenty of salt to balance out the sweet. My personal favorite way to serve this dish is on top of brown rice (the kind that cooks in the microwave in 3 minutes!) for an easy, healthy lunch or dinner. If you’re looking to add a little bit more protein, you could always scramble the brown rice with an egg for a quick fried rice as well!



Asian Roasted Kalettes
Recipe type: Side Dish
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
  • 1 bag (xx oz) Kalettes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Thai Red Curry Paste
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • Hot-cooked brown rice for serving (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 425F. Toss the Kalettes with the 1 tablespoon olive oil and place in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Roast 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar, curry paste and ginger.
  3. Drizzle mixture over Kalettes after 10 minutes of cooking and toss to coat evenly. Roast 5 to 10 minutes more or until edges of Kalettes are crispy and caramelized and they become tender. Serve immediately over hot-cooked brown rice and sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

*This post is sponsored by Kalettes. All opinions are my own. 


Sweet and Salty Roasted Brussels Sprouts

November 3, 2014

Sweet and Salty Roasted Brussels Sprouts | Espresso and Cream

Can we talk side dishes? I’ll be the first to admit that when planning meals during the week, I think about dishes more commonly thought of as “sides” (mainly veggie and grain sides) as the building blocks for my meals before I think about anything else. It seems to be a way for us to focus on eating whole, healthy foods and makes the meat of our meals a supplement rather than the star of the show.

These Brussels sprouts I made last week are totally worthy of being the star of any meal. They’re simply roasted with oil and salt, then finished off with a quick sweet and salty sauce made with Asian sweet chili sauce, soy sauce and a little toasted sesame oil for rich, nutty flavor.

I think the best part is how easy it is to make these sprouts. Just toss them in oil, roast for 20 minutes and stir together the sauce for drizzling on top of the sprouts just before serving. And if you have someone in your family that doesn’t love Brussels sprouts (my husband comes to mind…) I promise these Brussels sprouts have the power to win them over.

Sweet and Salty Roasted Brussels Sprouts (1) | Espresso and Cream

Sweet and Salty Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Recipe type: Side Dish
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4
  • 1 lb Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and halved
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil or vegetable/canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons Asian sweet chili sauce
  • 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
  1. Heat oven to 400F. Toss Brussels sprouts with the ½ tablespoon oil. Spread in an even layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with the salt.
  2. Bake 20 minutes, turning once halfway through baking, until Brussels sprouts are deep golden brown.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the toasted sesame oil, chili sauce, soy sauce and ginger until well combined. Drizzle over roasted sprouts until well combined. Serve immediately.



Vegan Thai Chopped Salad

June 23, 2014

Thai Chopped Salad (2) | Espresso and Cream
Last month I developed a Thai Chicken and Kale Chopped Salad recipe for the Tasteseekers Kitchen blog at work that I’ve since made a handful of times. Big, colorful salads are one of my favorite things to make for lunch and dinner, especially when the salad is substantial enough to keep you full and satisfied hours later.

This past weekend Joe helped one of his friends paint his house. It was a two-day ordeal that involved quite a few hours out in the sun so when they got done on Saturday night and headed to our house for a late dinner, I was in charge of preparing a side dish to go with their very large grilled steaks. Steaks and a vegan salad: It goes together, right? I didn’t exactly set out with the intention of making this recipe vegan, but as I chopped and tossed things together, I realized that’s just what I did.

Don’t be intimidated by all the ingredients, chopping and making of your own dressing. I promise that it really is quite simple, and the flavors of all the fresh veggies paired with the thai peanut dressing is nothing short of amazing. The recipe itself serves quite a bit, enough for four main-dish portions or six to seven smaller side-dish sized salads. I highly suggest chopping all the ingredients in advance and making the dressing, then tossing everything together just before you plan to eat. And since the ingredients in this salad are heartier than, say, a Romaine lettuce salad, dressing the salad a little early won’t leave your salad soggy.

Thai Chopped Salad (1) | Espresso and Cream

Vegan Thai Chopped Salad
Recipe type: Entree, Side Dish
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
  • 10 cups finely chopped kale, stems removed
  • ½ tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bag (16 oz) coleslaw mix
  • 4 miniature red sweet peppers, thinly sliced (or ½ cup chopped red sweet pepper)
  • 3 medium carrots, grated
  • 2 green onions, sliced (white and green parts)
  • 3 tablespoons peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup hot water
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  1. In a very large bowl, combine the kale and olive oil. Work together the kale and olive oil with your hands until kale is evenly coated with the oil. Add the remaining salad ingredients to bowl.
  2. To make dressing, whisk together the peanut butter and hot water until smooth. Whisk in the remaining ingredients until well combined. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss until well combined and salad is evenly coated.



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