Showing posts with label cumin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label cumin. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club- Honey Glazed Almonds

This month's Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club theme was Holiday Hors d'oeuvres, chosen by Sandi.
You can see the full menu by visiting Val's blog here.

I decided to make Honey Glazed Almonds. This recipe is very easy and takes about 10 minutes to throw together. You toast the almonds in a skillet for a few minutes on the stovetop and then mix together the honey & spices. That mixture is warmed in the microwave and then added to the almonds. You just stir and cook for 2 more minutes and then spread the nuts on a piece of parchment to let them set up for 10 minutes. They couldn't be easier!

I didn't have chipotle chili powder, just plain chili powder and I was wishing these nuts had a little bit more spice. Next time I will double the spice. These nuts are slightly sweet and crunchy and they make the perfect finger food. They would make a great addition to any holiday party or table, and would also be great as a gift or snack. Very versatile.

Here is the recipe for Honey Glazed Almonds
* I would add more of the spices to kick up the flavor next time

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club- Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas

This month's Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club theme was chosen by Jerry. He wanted us to have a menu full of spooky foods, that were either orange or black.

He started us off with 'Dracula's Revenge' (Baked Penne with Sausage and Garlic),

Sandi added Devilish Eggs,

I went with Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas,
I first noticed these empanadas last year and eagerly tore the page from my issue of Cooking Light. I haven't ever really been a big fan of sweet potatoes, but this savory take really made me think that it could be the turning point. Somehow, I never made them, but when the orange and black food theme came around this month, I knew they would be perfect. Orange because of the sweet potatoes and the black beans for the black part. I figured my kids would be scared to eat them, so that could count for the spooky part.

The dough for the empanadas is really easy to mix together, but it does need to chill for an hour, so make sure to add that time to your prep. The filling is fairly easy to make, if you already have your sweet potato cooked, mashed and/or pureed. I had pureed a bunch of sweet potatoes that I baked in the oven a few weeks ago and frozen the puree in little ziploc bags, so all I had to do was defrost it and I was ready to go. I made a change to the filling, just because I wanted my kids to be able to handle the heat factor- I reduced the amount of chili powder by about half.

The dough was really easy to roll out and I decided to use a fork to seal my empanadas instead of using an egg white. When I tasted one of these, I was really surprised by how good they were. The combination of spices, cilantro, black beans, etc. really took away the sweetness that usually bothers me with sweet potatoes and added a nice spice/warmth. I really, really liked these. One of my daughters also surprised me by absolutely loving them. She liked them so much that she asked me to pack a couple for her lunch the next day. My other 2 children were not big fans, but they ate them anyway. I thought they were good warm or cold. I had a few leftover and ate one cold the next day for lunch. It was fabulous. So, I am happy to report that this recipe has really changed my outlook on sweet potatoes. I hope you check out the rest of our fabulously spooky menu!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Spicy Cucumber and Blueberry Salad

I know it really isn't "technically" summer yet, but guess what- at my house, it is. When you are dealing with mid 90's, no school, swimming, sun and fun- that is summer.

I' m all about the fresh and quick salads right now. I saw this in a magazine and decided it would be a fun twist on 2 of our favorite ingredients- blueberries and cucumbers. Plus, I love spicy, so this was a fun one to try.

Colorful, light and easy. I really couldn't ask for anything more on a hot summer day.

Spicy Cucumber and Blueberry Salad from Everyday with Rachael Ray
2 lbs. english cucumbers, halved lengthwise
1 large jalapeno chile, seeds and ribs discarded, finely chopped
4 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
2 Tbls olive oil
1 pint blueberries
1 cup cilantro leaves

1. Thinly slice the cucumbers into half-moons, about 1/8-inch thick; season with salt.
2. In a large bowl, combine the jalapeno, lime juice, garlic and cumin; whisk in the olive oil. Add the cucumbers, blueberries, and cilantro and toss to coat.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Cauliflower and Spinach Curry over Red Lentils & Brown Rice

More and more frequently it seems that when the end of the week comes, I look at what is left in my fridge and end up throwing something together for dinner. Most of the time it turns out really great. I don't usually share these dishes because I am not really measuring anything, but I cook enough to know that what I am doing will turn out deliciously.

The other night I had a huge bag of spinach, a cup of chickpeas, a head of Fiesta Flower (orange cauliflower), and most of a can of lite coconut milk. First, I was thinking that I would make a quick stir-fry, but then I decided to make a curry instead. I had some leftover cooked brown rice, so the red lentil/brown rice accompaniment was perfect.

I just used the 2 recipes below as sort of a guide, I didn't really follow them, but this dish turned out so yummy. No complaints from the kids. I love it when that happens. They all gobbled it down. And when my husband came home from work and took a bite, he was inspired to find a new station on Pandora called "Bollywood Beatdown". I guess it was all those spices. Anyway, the kids and I started dancing around the table while he was trying to eat.

I can't promise the same results, but this was a really fun dinner for us.

I served the curry over the red lentil mixture
Here is the recipe for Cauliflower and Spinach Curry
* I loosely followed this recipe-
* I added chickpeas
* I omitted the tomato paste
*I didn't make the thick paste at the beginning- I just cooked my onion and added garlic, ginger, and spices

Here is a recipe for Red Lentil Soup from 101 Cookbooks
* I added less liquid so this would be less like soup and thick
*I added cooked brown rice when the red lentils were done cooking
* I added cumin and curry powder
*I omitted the red pepper flakes

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spicy Chard Soup

Do you dye eggs for Easter?
We do and this year, we might have gone a little overboard. Lots of lots of hard-boiled eggs.

The good thing is that we love to eat hard-boiled eggs around here. Well, at least the white part of the hard-boiled egg. My kids don't like the yolk and I only like a little bit of the yolk with my white and it has to be cooked perfectly. No green ring around the yolk and no dark yellow, crusty, not cooked all the way yolk. They must be perfectly creamy and dreamy light yellow.
I don't always get them just perfect, the way I want them, but this time I did have some success.

We always make these Egg Salad Sandwich faces with some of the eggs and eat them for snacks, but I wanted to do something else this year. Something new.

When I saw this recipe for Spicy Chard Soup in a recent issue of Food Network Magazine, I thought it would be the perfect way to use some of those extra hard-boiled eggs. I have never seen a hard-boiled egg in soup before, so I was intrigued. Plus, it contains swiss chard- my favorite food.
The soup was easy to make. Not too many ingredients, but yet the results were really fabulous.

What is your favorite way to use hard-boiled eggs?

Here is the recipe for Spicy Chard Soup from Food Network Magazine
* I used less olive oil than called for and didn't drizzle the soup with olive oil at the end
* I didn't have caraway seeds, so I just skipped them
*I didn't have cumin seeds, so I just used ground cumin
* I didn't add the hot sauce to the entire pot of soup. I put the hot sauce on the table and the adults added it to their own bowls. My son even got brave and added a couple drops to his soup.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Curried Cauliflower Soup

When we were in Miami, we walked through the Lincoln Road Mall at least once a day. There are so many fun shops, restaurants, art galleries, etc. there.
I had to go in Williams-Sonoma one day, just to look around. Side note- did you know that Williams-Sonoma is now selling grains and lentils and stuff like that? I was so excited when I saw quinoa, red lentils and even black lentils in stock there.
Anyway, I started talking to the woman working there and she told me about this soup. She had made it the day before during a cooking demonstration and also at home, so I took the recipe card and decided to make it when I got home. We kept talking and talking and then I noticed my husband had left his spot outside the store where he was watching people, so I had to run out and try to find him!

Spring has officially arrived here in Georgia- we've got gorgeous weather, lots of pollen and my roses are blooming! Every once in awhile we still have a rainy day and I made this last week on a very rainy day. It was perfect.
Since I added the spices and herbs to the soup it isn't the most pleasant color to look at, but we tried to spiff it up with some of the yogurt and cilantro garnish.
I didn't follow the recipe exactly- I made few changes, like I usually do and they are noted below.

Have you ever been to the Lincoln Road Mall? Do you love Williams-Sonoma?

HERE is the recipe for Curried Cauliflower Soup

* I used less oil to start the soup and the extra veggies used for garnish, probably only 2 Tablespoons all together and used canola oil

* I just added the spices and herbs to the soup, no cheesecloth

* I didn't add as much oil as called for to the yogurt garnish

* I didn't completely puree the soup

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wheat Berry Salad with Lemon-Cumin Tuna

I bought some wheat berries a couple of weeks ago because I wanted to try this recipe that was in Ellie Krieger's So Easy.

I took this salad to a family dinner and was really hoping that there would be leftovers for me to eat the rest of the week for lunch.
Everyone tried it and most people liked it.
Wheat berries are really chewy, so you definitely get a chewing workout. They also require quite a bit of cooking time, but I read the recipe thoroughly in advance so I knew how much time they would need.

Once again, I wasn't sure how the dried cherries would work with everything else, but they added just the right amount of sweetness and tartness with each bite.
I used canned tuna instead of chicken to top the salad and modified the lemon-cumin dressing to work with the tuna.

I really love having this type of salad for lunch during the week. Filling, nutritious and so good.

Recipe for Wheat Berry Salad
Ellie changed this up in her new book and served it on a bed of spinach leaves
* I added a can of drained, rinsed chickpeas
* I used pecans instead of walnuts
* I mixed 2 cans of tuna with lemon juice, a little olive oil, 1 1/2 tsps cumin, salt & pepper and then mixed that into the wheat berry mixture

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spinach, Cucumber, and Chickpea Salad

I am always looking for ways to make green salad more exciting. Adding different vegetables and legumes is one way of doing this.
I saw this recipe in a cookbook and loved the idea of a light dressing with lemon juice and cumin.
These flavors meld really well together.

The option was given to add olive oil to the dressing, but I left it out, just to keep it a little bit lighter, and it was really good without it. Tart and lovely.

One of my favorite things about spring and summer is that I crave salad all the time.
This is one that I will be adding to the regulars.
Healthy and delicious!

Spinach, Cucumber, and Chickpea Salad by Kathleen Daelemans
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
3/4 tsp ground cumin
coarse salt
2 Tbls olive oil (optional) I left this out
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
Half a 10-oz bag salad greens (the healthiest kind you can stand)
Half a 10-oz bag prewashed baby spinach
*I added sliced mushrooms, matchstick carrots and arugula

In the bowl you'll serve the salad in, whisk together the lemon juice, cumin, salt, and olive oil. Add tomatoes, cuke, scallions, chickpeas, parsley and mint. Toss to combine. Add salad greens and spinach. Toss, taste, adjust seasonings, and serve.

* If you want to up the good calories, shredded carrots and diced mango are really delicious in this salad.
You could also top it with thinly sliced grilled flank steak or chicken. Or serve it over bulgur.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

CEiMB- Five Layer Mexican Dip

This week's CEiMB recipe is Five Layer Mexican Dip. It was chosen by Heather who blogs over at Mama Cooks. You can find the recipe on her blog or by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.
The Five Layers in this dip are: 1- a delicious black bean dip, made in the food processor with garlic, cumin, and other things 2- corn/cilantro mixture combined w/ some of the leftover onion/garlic from layer 1, 3-mashed avocado with lime juice, 4-chopped tomato, jalepeno, and scallions, 5- shredded cheese.

I went back and forth about making this recipe, mainly because I have 2 tomato haters and 1 avocado hater in my family and didn't know how it would go over.
I decided to make it for a family dinner that we were going to because then there would be more mouths to fill and hopefully more people that would like this dip.
I didn't love it. Sorry. I am not going to lie to you. I wanted to really like it, but it was just ok.
I liked the black bean layer and I would have rather eaten that with the chips.
The corn/cilantro layer just didn't fit. I don't love frozen corn-not a big fan. Don't get me wrong, I love fresh corn on the cob, but not so much the frozen kernels.
I just didn't appreciate all the layers together.

That's not to say that there weren't those family members who loved the dip. There were some. They liked it so much that they were gifted the leftovers :)

Go check out the CEiMB Blogroll to see what everyone else thought about this one!

Recipe for Five Layer Mexican Dip

Monday, November 30, 2009

Spice-rubbed Pork Loin with Acorn Squash

(The MSC Bonus Cupcake post is below this one)

I am not usually excited about making recipes that have a big piece of meat as the star of the show, but for some reason this pork loin and squash recipe really caught my eye. I saw it in the November issue of Everyday Food and both parts look amazing. The caramelized squash just looked so delicious and the spice combination sounded perfect for the pork.
I used a smaller pork loin than the recipe called for and for that reason, did away with one of the steps, which I noted in the recipe below.

The squash was so tender and delicious, it was simply amazing. The best acorn squash I have ever had.
The pork was an absolute hit. My hubby declared it the best meat he has ever tasted and my kids went crazy for it. The perfect combination.
Plus, I had enough pork and squash leftovers to make 2 other meals later in the week. That was even better.
You must try this recipe, I promise you will love it.

Spice-rubbed Pork Loin with Acorn Squash from Everyday Food November 2009


  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chile powder or other single chile powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 pounds acorn squash, seeded and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 boneless pork loin (3 pounds), tied (I used a 1.5 pd pork loin, not tied)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425. In a large bowl, stir together 3 tablespoons oil, sugar, chile powder, cinnamon, cumin, and 2 tablespoons water. Add squash and toss to coat. Set aside.
  2. Generously season pork with salt and pepper.( Heat a cast-iron skillet or other heavy pan over high. Add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat. Cook pork on all sides until deep golden brown, about 10 minutes total. Place pork on a rimmed baking sheet; pour oil from skillet onto sheet and spread evenly. I skipped this step because my pork loin was smaller and I knew it wouldn't take as long to cook in the oven. I just added a little oil to the sugar mixture that I used on the squash)
  3. Arrange squash around pork. Brush pork with sugar mixture from bowl. Bake until pork is cooked through (an instant-read thermometer inserted in center should register 135 degrees), 40 to 45 minutes, brushing meat with sugar mixture and turning squash every 15 minutes. Tent pork with foil and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Shredded Beet and Carrot Salad

Sometimes I try a dish out of pure curiosity.
I have been loving beets lately, so when I was flipping through Great Food Fast and I saw this quick, little salad- I decided to try it.
If you haven't seen this cookbook, I have to say it is really cool, because they organize the recipes according to season. This recipe was in the autumn/fall section of the book.

I was doubtful about how well my husband and kids would like this, so I waited until my mom came to visit to make it. She likes interesting flavors and vegetables, so I was hopeful that she and I would be fans.

The heading on the page suggested serving it as a side to pork or chicken, but I decided to serve it on a meatless meal night.
I told my kids and husband that they had to try at least one bite and if they didn't like it, they were off the hook. None of them liked it.

My mom and I, on the other hand thought it was a refreshing salad.
I don't think I have ever eaten raw beets before, but the combination of spices and flavors was quite delicious.
I think it would make a nice side on Thanksgiving or at any meal, really. So there you go.

Shredded Beet and Carrot Salad from Everyday Food: Great Food Fast
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tbls olive oil
1 Tbls honey
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 to 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
Coarse salt
1 pound raw beets, peeled
2 carrots, peeled (I used matchstick carrots)
1/3 cup coarsely torn fresh parsley

1- In a medium bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, honey, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne, and 3/4 tsp salt.
2- In a food processor (I just used my box grater), fitted with the shredding disk, shred the beets and then the carrots. Add to the bowl along with the parsley, and toss all of the ingredients to combine.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lentil Soup with Chard

It is definitely soup weather. It has been all week. The temperatures have dropped and it has been raining. Cloudy skies and rain always make me feel like making soup and baking.

I found some beautiful swiss chard a couple of days ago and had a couple of recipes that I had been wanting to try. This was one of them.
It is a basic lentil soup without any meat and with the added nutrition and flavor of some dark greens. Dark greens and lentils pair together really well.
I really like lentils. They are easy to prepare and delicious. Make sure you sort and rinse them well. You don't want any tiny rocks to make it into your soup!

When I chopped my chard, I chopped up the stems and ribs and just added them to the soup. They soften up nicely and have to texture of celery in this soup.
I also used canola oil to cook my onion mixture instead of butter.
We topped ours off with a nice dollop of greek yogurt.

If it is cold and rainy where you are or you are in the mood for soup, give this one a try. It will warm you up.
Have a good weekend!
Recipe for Lentil Soup with Chard

One Year Ago-Vegetarian Pad Thai

Monday, May 4, 2009

Muhammara Dip (Red Pepper and Walnut Dip)

Here is the fabulous dip I was talking about the other day. This dip is soooo good!

If it went head to head with The Best Dip Ever-Garlicky Red Lentil Dal, it would be a very close battle.

I have been looking for ways to use the Pomegranate Molasses I made a couple of months ago and this dip was calling my name. It was really simple. I just mixed it up in the food processor and then we ate it. Unfortunately, I didn't have any pita chips, so we just used tortilla chips to dip. Not that it really mattered too much- the dip was so good, you probably could've used anything and this dip would have made it taste great.
I was thinking of all the great ways I could use the leftovers, like as a spread in a pita or something, but you guessed it, there weren't any leftovers!

Muhammara (Red Pepper and Walnut Dip) 2006, Ellie Krieger
3/4 cup pomegranate juice or 4 teaspoons of pomegranate molasses
1/2 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 (16-ounce) jar roasted red peppers, drained
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 1 teaspoon for garnish
Pita Toasts, for serving
Put the pomegranate juice, into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until juice is reduced to about 2 tablespoons, about 6 minutes. Set aside to cool and thicken.
Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet over a medium-high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Put the walnuts and bread crumbs into a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the reduced pomegranate juice or pomegranate molasses, lemon juice, red peppers, cayenne pepper and cumin and process until smooth. With the processor on add the olive oil in a thin stream. Season with salt, to taste. Sprinkle with cumin and olive oil and serve.
Serve with pita toasts.

Coming Tomorrow- Blogging for Babies Event- Mini Layer Cakes

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Mexican Salad with Pomegranate-Lime Dressing

Here is a quick, fresh salad that I wanted to try even though pomegranates aren't in season right now. I still had some of the POM Wonderful juice that I received in the mail and used that in the dressing. Because of that, I omitted the pomegranate arils and made a few other substitutions as well.
This was a fun salad, with lots of different flavors and textures. The fact that you can find POM juice in the grocery store, makes this salad accessible all year round. so give it a try!

Mexican Salad with Pomegranate-Lime Dressing from Cooking Light
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons fresh pomegranate juice (I used POM Wonderful juice)
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups arugula leaves (I used spinach)
1 1/2 cups (3-inch) julienne-cut peeled jicama
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
1/2 cup diced peeled avocado
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup fresh pomegranate seeds (I omitted these)
4 teaspoons pine nuts, toasted

Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl. Add olive oil, and stir with a whisk. Add arugula and the next 4 ingredients (through cilantro), and toss gently. Place 1 cup salad on each of 4 salad plates. Top each with 1 tablespoon seeds and 1 teaspoon pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Coming Tomorrow- Huevos Rancheros

Monday, April 20, 2009

Red Curry Falafel

I saw this recipe in the newspaper and was intrigued by the combination of falafel and red curry paste. I have recently been trying lots of different curries and recipes that include red and green curry paste. I really like the flavors and thought this would be another great recipe. I was right. This was so delicious!
The only problem that I had with this recipe was that the falafel patties were very fragile and I had trouble keeping them in patty-form. I don't know if this is because I didn't want to overprocess the mixture in the food processor (there was a warning about doing so in the article-which I included with the recipe below) or just something else.
I replaced the flatbread that the falafel was supposed to be served on and instead served the patties on spinach with the tomato and avocado garnish on top. I am going to make these again because they were soo good, fast and easy!

*** Update! (7/09/09)
I just received an email from J.M. Hirsch, the creator of this recipe and here are his tips-
"As for the fragility issue, I'd say a couple more quick pulses in the
food processor would fix that. The chunks of chickpea in your patties
look larger than mine. I also sort of manhandled the patties, forming
them into pretty firm disks. FYI, I made these again on July 4, but did
them on the grill. Very good."

I found this article and recipe in The Deseret News
Thai red curry paste adds spark to falafel
By J.M. Hirsch
Associated Press
Published: February 25, 2009
Thai red curry paste, a spicy staple of many Thai recipes, lends gentle oomph to this rethinking of falafel (fritters made from chopped chickpeas and herbs). Jars of curry paste can be found in the ethnic food aisle of most large grocers.
These Middle Eastern fritters traditionally are served with a yogurt sauce, which cuts some of the heat. This version uses thick slices of avocado instead. The fat in the avocado plays the same cooling role as the yogurt.
A food processor makes easy work of this recipe, but be careful not to over-process the chickpeas. Process for too long and you'll end up with hummus (though it probably will be delicious).
And don't be intimidated by the spicy factor. The "heat" of Thai red curry paste is more akin to a vinegary bite than to a hot pepper burn.
1 teaspoon Thai red curry paste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 slices bread (about 4 ounces)
Zest of 1 lemon
15-ounce can chickpeas, drained
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil, divided
3 flatbreads, warmed (I skipped this)
Smoked paprika, to garnish
1 avocado, pitted, skinned and cut into slices
1 large tomato, cut into wedges

In a food processor, combine the red curry paste, cilantro, parsley, cumin, salt, pepper, bread and lemon zest. Pulse until the bread is chopped to mostly fine crumbs. Add the chickpeas and pulse until the chickpeas are well-chopped.
Form the mixture into 9 patties, using about 1/4 cup of the mixture for each.
In a large skillet over medium, heat 1 tablespoon of the canola oil. Fry half of the patties until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 1 to 2 minutes. Use a spatula to carefully flip the falafel and brown on the other sides, about another 1 to 2 minutes.
Transfer the falafel to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and repeat with the remaining ingredients. To serve, arrange 3 falafel on each flatbread. Sprinkle with paprika, then top with avocado and tomato wedges

Coming Tomorrow- TWD- Chocolate Bread Pudding

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Caribbean Pork Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

I could really use some summer. At this point, I will even settle for spring. I have been trying so hard not to complain about the weather. But, yesterday morning it was blizzarding! In April? Sheesh.
Well, I guess if I can't get the weather to cooperate, I can still pretend that it is warm and start eating summery foods. Like these tacos.
I found this recipe a couple of years ago in Parents Magazine and thought they sounded really delicious. I made them then and have kept making them ever since.
The marinated pork is delicious, but the real star of the show is the pineapple salsa. I love fresh fruit, so I make sure to pick a perfect pineapple and make this salsa as soon as possible. It is really a simple recipe and can be made in a fairly quickly.
The colors are really pretty in the salsa and something about it just makes you think you are on a beach somewhere. Even if you're not. And that is the power of food.
What is one of your favorite spring/summer foods or dishes?

Caribbean Pork Tacos
1 pork tenderloin, about 1 lb.
1 jalepeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbls. plus 2 tsp. fresh lime juice
1 Tbls pineapple juice
1 Tbls canola oil
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp salt, divided
1 cup diced fresh pineapple
1 large tomato, chopped
2 Tbls red onion, minced
1 Tbls chopped fresh cilantro
taco shells or tortillas
1. In a large resealable plastic bag, place pork tenderloin, jalepeno, garlic, 1 Tbls lime juice, pineapple juice, oil, garlic, ginger, cumin, and 1/2 tsp salt. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
2. Heat oven to 425 degrees F. In a medium bowl, combine pineapple, tomato, red onion, cilantro, remaining lime juice and 1/4 tsp salt. Refrigerate salsa until ready to serve.
3. Place tenderloin on a foil-lined baking pan. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the center reaches 155 degrees. Cover with foil and let rest 10 minutes. Internal temperature will rise to 160 degrees.
Warm taco shells according to package directions. Cut pork into slices. Place a few slices of pork in each taco and top with salsa.
You can serve lettuce in the taco, if desired.

Coming Tomorrow- Cocoa Buttermilk Birthday Cake with Ina's Peanut Butter Frosting

Monday, April 13, 2009

Spicy Black Bean Cakes with Lime Cream

Recently, Kristina Drociak, from Stonyfield Farm, contacted me and asked me if I had heard of OIKOS Organic Greek Yogurt. She mentioned that it was a great substitute for sour cream and mayonnaise, and a wonderful way to make lower-fat dishes. I told her that I had heard of it and actually kept it in my fridge and used it as a substitute in almost every dish I prepared that called for sour cream and even in baking. I was so excited when she sent me some coupons in the mail!
I like to get the large containers of plain Oikos that I use for cooking/baking and the smaller containers that are flavored with blueberries or honey, to eat for snacks. The great thing about it, is how natural it is and also, that it isn't too sugary sweet. That is my main problem with most yogurts out there. They are so sweet and sugary, it just doesn't seem that they can really be healthy. I also like how Oikos is thick and creamy and natural.
My friends mother found this recipe for Spicy Black Bean Cakes on and sent me the link because she thought it looked like something I would like. Guess what? She was sooo right.
I really love black beans and this was a really great recipe. You cook up some onion, garlic, spices and then add the black beans and mash up the mixture a little bit. Add some shredded sweet potato, an egg and bread crumbs, and you have great little patties. To keep it healthy, they are baked in the oven and they get nice and crisp.
They are paired with a spicy lime cream (This is where the Oikos came in) and I also served sliced tomatoes on the side. We had these for dinner and I will definitely make them again. Yum!

Spicy Black Bean Cakes with Lime Cream from
Lime Sour Cream:
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream (I used Plain Oikos Greek Yogurt)
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 small fresh jalapeno pepper, minced
salt to taste
Bean Cakes:
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 green onions, thinly sliced
6 cloves garlic, pressed
2 fresh jalapeno peppers, finely diced
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 (14.5 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups grated raw sweet potato
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1. To prepare lime sour cream, mix the sour cream, lime juice, 1 small minced jalapeno, and salt together in a small bowl. Cover, and refrigerate.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook green onions until softened, about 1 minute. Stir in garlic, 2 diced jalapenos, and cumin; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
3. Transfer contents of skillet to a large bowl. Stir in black beans, and mash with a fork. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix in sweet potatoes, egg, and bread crumbs. Divide into 8 balls, and flatten into patties.
4. In the oven, set cooking rack about 4 inches from heat source. Set oven to broil. Lightly grease baking sheet with 1 tablespoon oil.
5. Place bean patties on baking sheet, and broil 8 to 10 minutes. Turn cakes over, and broil until crispy, about 3 minutes more. Serve with lime cream.

Up Next- TWD- Amaretti Torte

Friday, January 23, 2009

Prudy's Corn and Black Bean Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette and Prudy's Fresh Corn Tamales

Don't you wish you had this snowy backdrop? Maybe you do and maybe you love it. I mostly wish it would melt away, although it is pretty sometimes. Enough about the cold weather and on to some delicious food.
When I saw that Prudy made homemade tamales a couple of weeks ago, I immediately printed out the recipe and wrote her tamales into the menu. I have been wanting to make tamales from scratch, but was too scared for some reason. I haven't eaten them very often, if ever, but it sounded like an adventure-so, I went for it.
Thankfully Prudy included step by step photos of the entire process, so I was able to make sure I was proceeding correctly.
My son loved these! That is saying something. He is usually one of the pickiest eaters at the table. They were worth the effort.
I made 2 fillings- cooked chicken with green chiles and taco-flavored shredded chicken. Both were delicious. I am eager to try these again and play around with the fillings.
I also served Prudy's Black Bean Salad on the side, but opted for more beans and bell peppers and less corn, since the tamales had lots of corn in them. What a fancy Fiesta!

For the Fresh Corn Tamales go to Prudy's post- HERE
Corn and Black Bean Salad with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette adapted from Prudence Pennywise
2 (15 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed well
1/2 cup corn kernels, (frozen and thawed, or canned, or cut off the cob)
1 plum tomato, chopped
1/2 cup chopped green onion
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
juice and zest of one lime
1 each, orange and yellow bell pepper, chopped
garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
Combine beans, corn, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, and jalapeno in a medium bowl. Sprinkle cumin and salt and pepper over the top. Drizzle with oil, lime juice and zest; taste for salt and pepper and adjust seasonings if necessary. Toss and serve.
Prudy's suggestion for turning this into a main dish:Add 2 cups each cooked brown rice and fully cooked meat, adding extra cumin, lime, and olive oil if necessary. I used leftover grilled chicken slices.
Up next- Not-Just-For- Thanksgiving Cranberry Shortbread Cake