Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Layered "enchiladas"

After a week or two of trying to get into a routine, I think I am finally getting somewhere. This week, I have successfully made a few real meals, and, through planning ahead and shopping for just what is on my list, I have successfully cut down on a lot of wasted time, leaving me time to relax, get my studying done, and even clean the house a bit(on the one day I felt so inclined).

Two months ago, I decided to stop eating meat. To be honest, it was a rash decision and I had very little logic behind the decision, but thus far, I have been happy with it. No meat has, however, created some new challenges, trying to come up with new recipes, looking for ways to change recipes to not include meat, and convincing my husband that a meal doesn't need meat (possibly the biggest challenge of them all). When I am feeling less inspired, or just looking for something I know we will both love, I tend to lean toward Mexican fare. I find beans to be so filling, and that it is so easy to leave out meat when it is something you already love (and my husband DEFINATELY loves Mexican food). This recipe is one of those types, easy, Mexican-inspired, not at all lacking in flavor or texture, and great without needing meat. Since the dish is layered, rather than rolled like traditional enchiladas, it is quick to throw together, and much less fragile. I only made two (since there are only two of us), but definitely had enough filling for 2, or maybe even 3 more.
Layered Veggie Enchiladas
Ingredients :
1/2 cup diced onion
1 jalapeño pepper
1 bag (12 oz) frozen corn, thawed
1 pepper (I used a Hungarian pepper, but a bell pepper would work well too)
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 Tablespoon Chili powder, divided
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
1 can (14 oz) diced tomatoes
1-2 cups fresh baby spinach
Corn tortillas 1/2 - 1 cup shredded cheese

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large pot, heat oil until shimmering. Add onion and peppers and sauté for about 5 minutes, until onion is softened.
2. Add 1 tablespoon chili powder, tomatoes with liquid (reserve about 2 tablespoons of liquid), corn, and spinach and cook over medium heat until the liquid is almost evaporated, about 10 minutes.
3. In a medium sized bowl, mash beans with 2 tablespoons cilantro, remaining chili powder, and reserved liquid from tomatoes. 4. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread 1/4 of bean mixture evenly on a tortilla. Top with about 1/2 cup veggie mixture, a sprinkling of cheese, and another tortilla. Top with about another 1/4 cup or the veggie mixture and desired amount of cheese. Repeat with remaining tortillas until you run out of filling.
5. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Garnish with remaining cilantro, and any additional toppings desired (such as guacamole or sour cream).

Source: Adapted from Whole foods

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A new schedule and some pumpkin cookies

I haven't been getting much cooking done lately. Between and empty fridge, and a new class schedule that has me not getting home until 6, I haven't even made it to the store in over a week. This leaves me to be creative with meals, finding things to prepare in the back of the pantry and, though they have all been more than edible, none of the recipes have been refined enough to share. I am sorry for this.
Instead of cooking an awe-inspiring meal this weekend, my hubby and I went and experienced our first Korean meal. The restaurant was called Seoul Garden, and the food, though completely overwhelming to me, was delicious. I cannot tell you what a single thing I ate actually was called, but it was all great, and I would recommend it to anyone in the Cleveland area.
Though I have been lazy with meals lately, I did make one recipe worth sharing. The recipe comes from Annie's Eats, a blog I would suggest anyone going to, because any recipe of her's I have made has been AMAZING. This recipe was no different. The cookies were soft, with just enough spice and pumpkin flavor to be different, without being overpowering. I followed her recipe almost exactly, only adding some allspice to the dough, and was very happy with the outcome. The cookies will be a great fall dessert, maybe even as something different for Thanksgiving or other Holidays.

Pumpkin Snickerdoodles
For the dough:
3¾ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground nutmeg 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla extract

For the coating: ½ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground ginger
Dash of allspice

1. In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl with an electric mixer, cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla and mix until fully incorporated.
3. With mixer on low speed, add flour mixture and mix until just incorporated. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the sugar and spices for the coating in a bowl and mix to blend. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. Scoop the dough and roll into a ball. Coat each ball in the sugar-spice mixture and place on baking sheet, keeping the balls 2-3 inches apart.
6. Dip the bottom of a flat, heavy-bottomed drinking glass in water, then in the sugar-spice mixture. Use glass to flatten dough balls slightly, recoating the glass as needed.
7. Bake 10-12 minutes, until set and baked through. Cool for about 5 minutes on the baking sheet before moving to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Source: Annie's Eats