Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Vegetarian Sloppy Joe

To watch this Video-Recipe please click HERE!!

Todays' recipe is going to be a "Vegetarian Sloppy Joe", super easy to make and full of flavor! This version has all the flavors of a Meat Sloppy Joe without all the fat and calories! It is super easy to make and  so delicious that you wont miss the meat in this one! I hope you like it as much as I did!


Serves 2 (to serve 4, just add 1 extra can of kidney beans and season to taste.)
Ingredients:

1 large onion cut in thin slices
1 bell pepper, finely chopped (any color)
1 15oz. can of kidney beans
1 carrot finely chopped
1 15oz. can of diced tomatoes in tomato juice
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1/2 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
salt and ground black pepper to taste
Your favorite buns to serve

Rinse and drain the beans, set a side for a minute. (Slightly mash the beans with a fork if you like.)

In a sauce pan, add in the olive oil, onion and garlic, stir together and cook for about 3 minutes or until the onion and garlic become translucent.

After 3 minutes or so add in the carrots, bell peppers and the can tomatoes, give it a stir and also add in the kidney beans, stir together and season with 3 tablespoons of ketchup, 1 tablespoon of mustard
a pinch of cayenne pepper, and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar stir together, taste the flavor and add salt to taste.

Cover with a lid and cook on medium low heat for about 30-45 minutes or until all the vegetables are nice and soft.

Warm up the buns on a griddle, and serve the bean mixture over half a bun, cover with the second half and enjoy!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Peanut Butter Bars


To watch this Video-Recipe please click HERE!

Hi Everyone!
I hope you are doing great!
So today's recipe is "Peanut Butter Bars", I really love how these came out, they have the texture of a "Protein Bar", smooth and chewy. They are really sweet and peanut buttery.

I added whole old fashion oats and chocolate chips to give them some texture and a little bit of a crunch. I drizzled them with melted chocolate! So for me, these are the perfect snack, or even better, they are the perfect Breakfast!

I think they are amazing...however, my lovely husband didn't like them! Can you believe it? I seriously CAN'T! How dare he say he didn't like them!!!

He said they were too sweet for him... oh well... too bad for him... good for me. I get to eat them all!


Seriously I was really disappointed because I LOVED them! If you do give these a try, please let me know what you think! I would really appreciate some feedback on this particular recipe!

Makes 10 1½  x  4½ bars
Ingredients:
1 ½ cups creamy peanut butter
3 ½ cups old fashion oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup of chocolate chips (optional)


In a blender or a food processor, blend 3 cups of the old fashion oats for about a minute or so, or until you get a powder-like consistency. Combine the powder oats with the whole oats, mix well and set aside for a minute.

In a saucepan on medium low heat, add in the butter and the vanilla extract, cook for 1 minute or until the butter has melted a little bit.

Add in the brown sugar, stir together, and continue to cook for 2 more minutes.

Add in the peanut butter, stir together and continue to cook on medium low heat until all the ingredients are well combine into a very soft sauce.

Once all the butter is melted into a soft sauce, pour this sauce onto the oats, mix well until thoroughly combined.

Cover a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper, (for easy cleaning), pour the peanut butter mixture onto the baking sheet. Use a spoon or a spatula to smooth the peanut butter batter into an even layer about 1 or 1½in thick.

Sprinkle some chocolate chips over the batter, use the same spoon to press down the chocolate chips into the batter. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Melt the rest of the chocolate chips and drizzle the melted chocolate over the peanut butter bar. Refrigerate for 2 hours.

After 2 hours the peanut butter bar should be firm enough to cut into smaller bars.
Make the bars any size you like. And enjoy!

Keep refrigerated!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Nachos for Dinner

To watch this Video-Recipe please click HERE!!

Hi everyone! Today will be all about "5 de Mayo", so I have a perfect dish to Celebrate "La Batalla de Puebla", which celebrates the Mexican victory over the French on May 5, 1862, this battle was held in Puebla, which is located in East-Central Mexico, just between Mexico City and Oaxaca.

You might be a little surprise to know that this date is a minor Holiday in Mexico, we don't really celebrate it as people celebrate it in the United States.
I lived in the North of Mexico for over 20 years and in those 20 years we never celebrated it, not at home or schools; there were no parades, no festivals, no mariachis and no fiestas at all!

So when I came to the United States, I was somewhat surprised to find out that 5 de Mayo was such a huge deal! Anyhow, I'm all about the parties, and celebration!

So today I'm bringing you a great idea for your 5 de Mayo party! This dish is so easy and delicious that is just perfect for any day, dinner, lunch or even breakfast, as a main dish or as an appetizer!

This one is one of my husband's top choices for dinner! If he could choose what to eat everyday, it will be wihout a doubt my "Ground Meat and Beans Nachos!" Hopefully you will like this one as much as he does!

Serves 4 main dishes or 10-12 as an appetizer
Ingredients:

1lb ground meat (I used turkey)
1 14.5oz can black beans
1 14.5 can Diced tomatoes with jalapeno peppers in rich juice
4-5 tablespoons taco seasoning
2-3 cups shredded cheese (Mexican blend or your favorite)
1 package of corn tortillas to make home-made nachos or 1 family bag of nachos
**Oil for frying, in case you are making home-made nachos**

Pico de Gallo:
¼ cup onion finely chopped
½ cup chopped cilantro
1 lime
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons oregano
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
ground black pepper to taste

To garnish:
Sour Cream
Pickled Jalapeños

Drain the can tomatoes, reserve the juice.

Rinse and drain the black beans. Season with 1 teaspoon of each, salt and dry oregano, mix well and set aside.


To make the Pico de Gallo:
Combine the can tomatoes, (remember to drain the juice, and reserve it, we will use the juice to season the meat), combine the tomatoes with the onion and cilantro, season with 1 teaspoon of each: salt and oregano; also add in the juice of 1 lime and ½ teaspoon of each: garlic powder and crushed red pepper. Mix well, taste the flavor and add any salt or ground black pepper if needed. Set aside until ready to use it.

To make the Home-made nachos: (or buy your favorite brand of nachos)
Cut the tortillas in quarters. In a large skillet, heat up 1-2cups of oil, bring to a temperature of 350ºF, fry the tortillas until golden brown and crisp. Drain on paper towels and while still warm season with a pinch of salt. Reserve until ready to use them.(If you prefer, bake the tortillas at 450ºF for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.)

In a large non-stick skillet cook the meat on medium-high heat, for about 10 minutes or until brown. Add in the grated onion and continue to cook for 1 more minute. Season with 4-5 tablespoons of Taco Seasoning and add in the tomato juice (from the can of tomatoes) and ¼ cup of water, also bring in the beans, stir together and continue to cook for 4-5 more minutes or until the beans are heated through.

And that's it, serve at once!

If you are making this for a party, I recommend you set all the ingredients as a buffet,(Nachos, Meat Mixture, grated cheese, Pico de Gallo, Pickled Jalapenos and the sour Cream)so your guests can build their nachos whenever they are ready.

If you are serving this as an appetizer: Place the meat mixture right in the middle of your plate, add some cheese,  top it with the Pico de Gallo, jalapeños and sour cream, arrange the nachos around the meat.

If you like melted cheese, place your plate of nachos in the oven for about 5 minutes or until the cheese
is melted.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Ground Meat Fajitas

To watch this Video-Recipe click HERE!
Hi everyone! Here you have another easy and delicious recipe for the "5 de Mayo" Celebration! Another traditional dish, "Fajitas" this one is made with Ground meat; I have a Chicken Fajita recipe right HERE!

The flavors are quite different but both versions are delicious and you can feel proud of serving this to your guests. It's easy to make, full of flavor and very figure friendly too!  It's also a very versatile dish, you can serve it on a Tostada, in a taco, with beans, rice and some guacamole or all by itself with some flour tortillas. I hope you give this one a try!

Serves 6 
Ingredients:
1 lb ground meat (any kind, I used turkey)
1 onion cut in thin slices
1 red bell pepper
1 green bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1-2 jalapeno pepper
¼ cup fresh cilantro finely chopped
1 sprig fresh rosemary (about 4-5 inches long)
2 sprigs fresh thyme (4-5 inches long)
2 fresh bay leaves
1 teaspoon ground garlic
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon seasoning
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ cup white wine (optional)
½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons of dry oregano
salt to taste
Juice of 1 lime

To serve:
Corn Tortillas / Flour Tortillas /Tostadas
Sour Cream
Lime Wedges
Guacamole 

Wash the peppers. Remove the veins and stems from all the peppers. Cut them in thin slices. Set aside for a minute.

In a large skillet, heat ½ tablespoons of oil, add in the meat (break it down), also add in the rosemary, thyme and bay leaves (no need to remove the leaves from the sprigs), season with ½ tablespoon of chicken bouillon seasoning, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin and garlic powder. Give it a quick stir, and cook on medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes or until the meat is nice and brown.

Remove the meat from the skillet, and set aside for a minute. Dispose of bay leaves, and the rosemary and thyme sprigs. The meat is already impregnated with their flavor, so there is no need to leave them in there anymore.

In the same skillet, add the white wine and cook for 1 minute or until it reduces to half, add in the onion and cook for 2 minutes or until the onion becomes soft. (if you are not using wine, just add a tiny splash of oil and cook the onions.)

Add in the the peppers, give it a quick stir and season with ½ tablespoon of chicken bouillon seasoning, 1 teaspoon of ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon of dry oregano and the the juice of ½ a lime. Stir together and cook for 1-2 more minutes (cook longer if you like the peppers to be really soft, I like mine to be kind of crisp).

After a minute or so bring back the meat to the skillet, also add in the rest of the lime juice and the fresh cilantro. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the meat is well heated through.


You can serve this dish with rice and beans, or serve it on Tostadas, or in Tortillas, garnish with sour cream, fresh cilantro and Guacamole.

Enjoy!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Tamarind Balls (Traditional Mexican Candy)


Hey everyone! Here you have my third recipe for the "5 de Mayo Celebration", this one is one of the most famous "Candies" in Mexico and it is my favorite treat of all times! I would eat this every single day for the rest of my life if I could! I admit, I do eat it almost every day when I am in Mexico, and that's why I always gain weight when I'm there! I just can't help it, this delicious treat is spicy, sweet, tangy and everything in between! My mouth is watering just by talking about it, seriously I can almost taste this delicious goodness all over again!

If you ever go to Mexico, go to the Markets or the main Plazas, and there you will find some Tarahumara (Native American) man or woman selling this Tamarindo Balls, they sell a bunch of different candies, Coconut candies, Guava candies, Palanquetas, Masapanes, and all kinds of toasted seeds, everything is just delish! But Tamarindo Balls are my #1 when it comes to Traditional candies!

If you have never had one before, and you like spicy-tangy flavors, you should definitely give this one a try! It will hit all the right spots for your cravings!

Makes 6 2in Balls
Ingredients:
300 grams Tamarind pods
½ cup sugar
¼cup of water
2-3 tablespoons of cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon salt

For garnish:
2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon of salt

Peel off the tamarind pods. Press them in between your finger tips and their shell will break right away, peel them off and remove the veins that run along the tamarind pods.

For the garnish:
Combine 2 tablespoons of sugar, with 1 tablespoon of cayenne pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt, mix well and set aside until you are ready to use it.

In a sauce pan combine the water, sugar, salt and cayenne pepper, stir together and bring to a boil. When it starts to boil, add in the tamarind pods and continue to cook on medium low heat for about 10-15 minutes or until the liquid evaporates and the tamarindo dissolves into a paste. Set it aside to cool.

After it cools, remove some of the seeds. Do not remove all the seeds! They will add some texture to the Tamarind balls. Every single Tamarind candy I had eaten in my life has had seeds!

Grab some of the tamarind paste and form it into a ball with your hands. If the paste is too sticky, sprinkle more sugar and cayenne pepper over it. Don't worry if the balls don't look like a perfect-ball at first. You will finish shaping them later.

Once all the balls are ready, roll them over the spicy-sugar mixture. Rub a little bit of this mixture on the palm of your hands, grab the ball once again and roll it with your hands until you have a nice round ball. Keep on doing this until you are done. And that's it! They are ready to be eaten! Yummm. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Orange Chicken

To watch this video Recipe please click HERE!!

Hi everyone, today's recipe is another Asian inspired dish! One of my favorite Chinese recipes, Orange Chicken. I'm using a lot less sugar than most recipes out there, so it is somewhat healthier and way better than regular take out food. I hope you enjoy this one! It's sweet, but not too sweet, tangy,orangy and very delicious!

Serves 4-5
Ingredients:
1½ lbs chicken breast tenders
½ cup cornstarch
1 cup flour
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons Asian seasoning, (replace w/ salt, garlic and ground black pepper)
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoon oil for frying (canola, vegetable or peanut oil)

For the Orange sauce:
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup orange juice
zest of 1 orange
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/3 cup water

Season the flour with the Asian seasoning. Mix well and set aside.

In a bowl, beat the eggs together, season with 1 teaspoon of salt, whisk well and set aside.

Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces.

Coat the chicken pieces with the cornstarch.  Then Coat them with the egg mixture and finally cover them with the flour. Let the chicken rest for about 10 minutes before cooking it.

In a large skillet on medium heat, add 1½ cups of water, also add in the juice, brown sugar, orange zest, ginger, garlic, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, and the crushed red pepper, stir together and bring to a boil.

While the sauce comes to a boil, cook the chicken: On a skillet on medium high, heat 2 tablespoons of oil, stir fry half the chicken for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown on all sides. (it doesn't matter if the chicken doesn't cook all the way through, it will finish cooking with the orange sauce.) Once the chicken is golden brown, remove it from the skillet, and drain on paper towels. Reheat the skillet, add 1 more tablespoon of oil, and cook the rest of the chicken. Drain on paper towels.

To finish the orange sauce: combine 2 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/3cup of water, mix well.  Once the orange sauce comes to a boil, add in the cornstarch mixture and continue to cook until the sauce thickens. (2 minutes)

Once the sauce has thicken, add in the the chicken pieces and continue to cook for 3-4 minutes or until the chicken is heated and fully cooked.

That's it, serve with white rice and garnish with chopped green onions.
Enjoy!

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