Wednesday, October 21, 2009

"Nacho" every day nacho

Please pardon the pathetic joke in the title. I could not resist. (This is what happens when you spend all day with 2nd graders that make you want to pull you hair out and then you find euphoria when your 3 hour class is cancelled.)

This recipe is pretty simple. Make it. It's one of the most omni friendly recipes I have. It's also super simple to modify. And it can please picky sisters. My sis came home, saw this on the table and said "Oh my gosh, yesss!! Nachos" (insert big eyes, gasp and happy teenager.)

1 bag healthish tortilla chips (look for something with wheat, beans, flax, veggies, etc.)
1 package chickenless chicken
5 oz. vegan nacho cheese
4 oz. vegan monterey jack cheese
1 can black beans
1 package spanish rice
2 tbsp. healthy oil
2 tbsp. wheat flour
1/3-1/2 soy milk

Cook rice to package's specifications. Set aside.

Shred nacho cheese. In a pot at medium low, mix healthy oil and wheat flour until it makes a roux. Add milk and stir to avoid clumps. When hot, add cheese until mixed well. Set aside. Keep adding milk, or water or broth (any liquid) to keep from thickening.

Preheat oven to 400.
Place chips in one layer on baking sheet or casserole dish. Make sure the baking sheet has a lip, or your nachos will tumble to the floor! Add a layer of cheese sauce. Add some beans, rice and chicken. Top with desired amount of shredded jack cheese. Repeat steps, starting with nachos, until all ingredients are gone... make sure the goods are evenly spread over the chips.

Place in oven for 10-15 minutes. Chips should be crispy, cheese should melt. Serve with guacamole and salsa.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Enchilada Casserole

I am on a roll. And at least one of you better make one of these dishes on here and then post how you liked it. Please?
If you're going to make anything, make this!
Enchilada casserole is a staple in our house. It's simple, cheap and feeds the picky masses (aka my omni sisters). Mix it up, add some fall veggies, or a different "meat".

corn tortillas (just buy the package if you're lazy)
1 can enchilada sauce or one recipe homemade enchilada sauce
1 small can diced mild green chiles
2 packages soyrizo (I like TJ- cheaper than any other brand)
1 chopped onion
1 rd or green pepper
1 box whole grain spanish rice

Cook rice according to box
Saute chopped onion and pepper in 1 tablespoon of water. Add soyrizo and cook until hot. Add 1 can mild green chiles. Mix and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375
Spoon a thin layer of sauce in a large casserole dish (about 11x14 ish).
Cut tortillas in half and layer them in the dish (you can set them rounded edge to straight or rounded to rounded, your choice). Spread soyrizo and veggie mixture on tortillas.
Spread rice on soyrizo mix.
Place another layer of halved tortillas in the dish and top with sauce. Repeat the soyrizo mixture and rice. Add another layer of tortillas and repeat if still more soyrizo. Top with tortillas and a layer of sauce.

Bake until hot, about 15 minutes.
Serve with chips, salsa and guacamole.

Here is the enchilada sauce (terrible pic, but I wanted you to get an idea)- my first time making it from scratch. I am never going back!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pumpkin muffins

I make pumpkin cookies every year, but I rarely take advantage of other pumpkin baked goods.
Last night I found a recipe for pumpkin bread on I was amazed at the positive 2000+ reviews, but appaled by the ingredients in the bread: 1 cup of oil, 3 cups of sugar, 4 eggs, etc. I am willing to indulge, but if I can modify, I'd much rather save my indulgences for something really special.
This recipe is completely adapted from the recipe I found. In addition, I turned these into mini muffins, topped half with a cinnamon swirl glaze and the other half with chocolate chips- yum.

Mini pumpkin muffins (or bread)*

1 15. oz can pumpkin puree
4 tablespoons flax + 4 tablespoons water
1 cup apple sauce
2 tablespoons healthy oil
2/3 cup water
1/2 squeezed orange
1 cup natural sugar
2 1/2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (you can use cinnamon and nutmeg)

Unnecessary additions
1/2 cup chocolate chips (for half of the batter)
1 tablespoon earth balance
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
In a large bowl, mix together pumpkin puree, flax, applesauce, oil, water and sugar until well blended.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and spice. Stir the dry ingredients into the pumpkin mixture until just blended.
Scoop half of the batter into mini muffin tins. (pre-greased or paper lined.) For sugar glaze- place butter, brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, blend with fork. Top half of the muffins with the mixture.
For the other half of the batter, mix in chocolate chips and pour into muffin tins.
Bake for about 10-15 minutes in the preheated oven.

*If baking bread, put into loaf pans and cook for about 45-50 minutes.

Adapted from

Tomato soup and grilled cheese sammies...a classic

My sister will tell you that I went a little soup crazy this week. What can I say?

I went grocery shopping on Tuesday when it rained hard enough for Noah and his arc to sail through the city. (The high school's parking lot flooded- if that tells you anything) Rain and wind and grey clouds equal soup. So here is another soup recipe, but I promise this is the last one for the week.

This tomato soup is nothing super original, but why mess with a classic? Serve it with crackers, or if you're feeling really old school, a grilled cheese sandwich- I used wheat sourdough bread and vegan nacho flavored cheese. My little trick- grill the sandwiches on a pancake griddle, then microwave to really melt the cheese (these were the star of dinner.)

Classic tomato soup:

Serves 8-10 (Cut recipe in half if you don't want leftovers)

2 24 oz cans crushed tomatoes with basil (basil optional)
1 small can tomato paste
1 red pepper
1 tablespoon water
1/2 yellow onion
2 celery stalks
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp dried herbs (you pick)
2 cups vegetable broth

Preheat oven to 400.
Cut red pepper in half, long way, de-seed. Place on a baking sheet, hollowed side down. Bake until the skin in brown/black. (About 40 min)
Chop onion and celery and place in a hot skillet with water. Cook until onion start to turn golden. Set aside
Mince garlic, set aside.
Place all tomato products, herbs, spices and broth in vitamix or blender. Add onions, celery and garlic. Blend until smooth.
Cut red pepper into large chunks (just so it is easy to blend.) Add to blender. Pulse until smooth.
If using the vitamix, turn on high until soup heats- about 5 minutes.

Serve immediately with grilled cheese sandwiches.

*I did not use a blender, may produce different results. You can heat the soup in the microwave or on the stove.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Butternut Squash soup- can you say fall?

I know, I know. I have been more than remiss the past several weeks. What can I say? A girl goes from the end of a lazy summer to starting school, work, etc., etc. all at the same time.
In case you haven't recently experienced really cold weather (my trip to Boise last weekend exposed me to real, non-California, cold) or tons of rain, I'll get you in the loop and's FALL!!
I'm excited (if those caps and exclamation points didn't clue you in). This means sweaters, fires, the smell of Christmas and really excellent food. I'm getting a little tired of sandwiches and veggie burgers.
Tonight's meal screamed fall:
Roasted Butternut Squash soup, apple cinnamon bread and roasted veggies. You won't find the bread or veggies in this post (don't tell, but the bread was in a box from Trader Joe's and the veggies are cut, drizzled with grapeseed oil, salt and herbs, which I roasted in the oven.)
The soup recipe was built from many recipes: Alton Brown, allrecipes, Vitamix and my head. Please enjoy- this was truly delicious and creamy and if you're unsure of squash soup, let this year be the one that you grow up, stop complaining and try it!

1 large butternut squash
1 apple (choose the variety, I used Honeycrisp)
1/2 onion
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp soy butter, melted
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 whole wheat flour
2 cups vegetable broth
Grapeseed or olive oil

Preheat oven to 350.
Cut squash in half, peel skin and cube into 1.5-2 in cubes (I know it takes work, deal). Cut apple into similar chunks. Place squash and apple in a casserole dish (try not to overlap) Pour melted butter, salt, cinnamon and herbs over the squash and apple. Bake for 40-45 minutes (until tender)
Chop onion and mix garlic. Saute onion in a bit of grapeseed oil. When translucent, add garlic and heat.
In a vitamix (or blender*) mix vegetable broth and flour. If using the vitamix, blend on high for 5 minutes- it should get hot. Add squash and apple, onion and garlic mixture to flour and broth. Blend until pureed. Serve hot with bread and roasted veggies.

*I made my soup in a vitamix, so the blender may produce different results. You may not need to blend as long because it will not heat like a vitamix will.