Monday, January 14, 2013

Meatless Monday Veggies and Cheese Quesadillas

Let's see if we can use up some of those yummy pre-prepared veggies I have ready to go. You will notice there are no amounts in this recipe.. if you like onions add more.. if you don't like tomatoes, leave them out.. this is one of those NRS (not rocket science) recipes... seriously I just threw things don't even have to use two tortillas, you could just warm one and flap it over.. (flap it over is a very technical cooking term.. trust me)

I started out with some green onions and green peppers sauteed in a little Extra Virgin Olive

remember this spinach.. pretend you see a picture here of it getting chopped up and then a picture of it being put in the pan with the peppers and green onions.. I am all about helping you expand you imagination!!!!

after the spinach is wilted add some tomatoes and heat them..

 grab your favorite cheeses.. these make it all ooey and gooey.. 

Good ole flour tortillas 

 heat both tortillas over medium heat  first, as this helps the cheese melt...  

 on the warm tortilla place the veggie mixture..

 top with grated mozzarella cheese 

 I then added basil, tomato feta cheese, if you are not a fan, just stick with mozzarella..

 the other warmed tortilla on top and press down.. with your old wrinkly hand..  hey look I'm a Shar pei 

when it is brown on one side flip.. the flipping process took two hands  and left no hand to take a picture, but it is doable.. with a large spatula placed all the way under the quesadilla and put your old wrinkly hand on top and flip with confidence...

 Cut with your pizza cutter, 
 the pre prepared tomatoes, onions, cilantro and a little chopped jalapeno and minced garlic  a squeeze of lime juice made for a quick pico de gallo.. served with a dollop of sour cream..

This would make an amazing lunch or supper, but I will admit.. I had it for breakfast with coffee.  I loved it.  Don't be afraid.. it would be very hard to make  a quesadilla incorrectly, it is all what you like.. and I like it ooey and gooey.. see it squeezing out the sides in picture above.. YUMMO!!!!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Big Chop

New Year... same resolution.. be healthier... Last year I was going to give up caffeine... I realized no caffeine was not doable with schedule. Maybe that is my addiction talking but how about less caffeine . (just a little less).  

One thing I have tried to incorporate this year was to eat more REAL food.  On the last post I talked about throwing so much food away.  I started thinking why wasn't I using all the vegetables that I bought, and I realized part of it was just being tired at the end of the day.  I think I have mentioned I commute 37 miles each way on one of the busiest highways in Dallas, and through construction, by the time I get home I just sometimes don't want to wash and chop and prepare food. So I had the great idea to wash and chop all the vegetables ahead of time  to see if it would help me prepare real food, instead of doing the drive through or eating peanut butter sammiches at the end of a long drive.  So began THE BIG CHOP, after a trip to the grocery store...

Let's start with the spinach.. I love, love love fresh spinach, but I usually buy baby spinach, my store was out of baby spinach, so I bought the bunch...

and had to deal with the stems.. I pulled all the stems off and washed the spinach thoroughly..

and spun it in my favorite salad spinner... weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee..

 I store it in paper towel to make sure it is VERY dry.

In a plastic container with a lid
 These are leftover from spinach, but have no fear of waste I have an idea for them :)

 next celery... some chopped and some cut in sticks to stay in water to stay crisp for snacks, alone, or with peanut butter

 Chopped yellow onions.. notice a few left over.. Qman is going to have some pan fried tators and onions later...

 Chopped and seeded roma tomatoes

Cilantro.. I love me some cilantro 

Destemed, washed and SPUN!!!

 Wrapped in papertowel...

 lightly secured with a rubber band

Chopped green peppers

Beautiful carrots..

Stacks of veggies all ready to be put in the fridge awaiting some fabulous meals or being great snacks.. now to see what I can come up with to make with all these clean, prepared vegetables...

and this is a bag full of all the leftover pieces including the spinach, celery, green onions.. I think it is calling for a vegetable stock to be simmering on the stove. (stay tuned)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Meatless Monday Black Beans and Rice

(Not sure why this didn't post yesterday as scheduled.. but just like me.. Meatless Monday is running late...) 

Okay here is the problem I have lately.  I throw food away CONSTANTLY.  When I was growing up I learned to cook for 6 people. Two brothers who could consume as much as you could cook. (I wasn't too shabby myself at eating.)  

Then I got married and improved my cooking skills while raising three boys of my own and a girl.  I called my boys the garbage disposals.  Do you know how much 3 teenage boys can eat.  I  never had to worry about leftovers. Until....::play the dum da dum dum tune here::  They all GREW UP and left... now I just don't know how to cook just a tad. If I make a casserole I end up with two huge ONES. I haven't been able to make a small pot of soup, or a small salad.  

I think empty nesters need to unite and buy fresh vegetables. I just need two green onions, not a whole bunch, spinach by the bulk, not a whole bag or bunch!!!   

With that being said... for this first Meatless Monday, I am making my first attempt at cutting a recipe down.  For these Black Beans and Rice I went to The Food Network's website and found 
Ingrid Hoffman's Black Beans and Rice.  Now if you still have a big family and all your kids home  this makes 16 servings. Do you know how long it would take for me to eat 16 SERVINGS? I cut this by 1/4  and when I make it again, I will cut the Apple cider vinegar back as reflected in the following recipe.  It was a bit overpowering in the dish.

I also topped with with fresh chopped green onions and tomatoes.. yanno trying to use up those empty nester's vegetables. :)

Empty Nester's Black Beans and Rice  

4 T. Olive Oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
4 t. cumin
1/2 c. rice3
1 c. black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 can diced tomatoes, with green chilies(I didn't drain)
1/2 c. water 
2T. apple cider vinegar

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. Stir in the onions, peppers, garlic, bay leaves and cumin. Stir and cook for 8 minutes.Stir in the rice, black beans, tomatoes, water, vinegar and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for about 40 minutes or until the rice is tender. Serve hot.

The best part... 
Leftovers were just two small dishes, all packed and ready for lunches for the week.  Did I mention I have to go back to work, after two weeks off... I am going to need grab and go lunches!!!!

Hope you ENJOY!!!