Cucumber-Avocado Salad with Greek Yogurt Chimichurri Dressing

So Chicago has been hot.. and by hot, I mean HOT. Humid, sticky, shut all your windows, close all your doors, and sit in front of the AC unit, hot. Ordinarily, the crazy heat doesn’t keep me from cooking, baking, broiling even in my non-air conditioned apartment (Case in point: I made these cabbage roll-ups yesterday), but I’ve been melting and looking for a cool meal for lunch. Don’t judge me for posting a salad recipe.. this one is really good!!

Chimichurri is an Argentinian green sauce often used for grilled meats and consists of fresh herbs, chile, garlic, shallots, olive oil, and some wine vinegar. It’s a summertime staple apparently and has been all over the food blogs lately. It sounded so tasty and I had to give it a shot.

The other night, I shredded some chicken, topped it with fresh avocado slices and drizzled on the homemade chimichurri for dinner. Yum!  Then I took the leftover chicken and doused it in the rest of the chimichurri because hello? Can you really go wrong here? I think not.

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This afternoon, I whipped up a delicious salad that is so easy, you could probably master it with your eyes closed (Not recommended though, it involves knives). Smitten Kitchen inspired meal!

Here’s what you’ll need:

Cucumber-Avocado Salad with Greek Yogurt Chimichurri Dressing
1 Ripe Avocado, peeled and diced
1-2 Cucumbers, diced into bite-size pieces
1 c. Chopped Romaine Lettuce (Adds for a heartier bite)
Lime Juice; half a lime or more to taste
1/4 c. Chimichurri Sauce
1-2 T. Greek Yogurt
1/2 c. Shredded Chimichurri Chicken, if that’s your jam. Or just dice up your favorite protein! I bet it would be tasty with chimichurri tofu!

Chimichurri Sauce
1/2 c. Red Wine Vinegar
1 Shallot, finely chopped
1 Serrano Pepper, finely chopped
3-4 cloves of Garlic, minced
1/2 c. Cilantro, minced
1/4 c. Parsley, minced
1 T. Dried Oregano
3/4 c. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Red Pepper Flakes and Salt to taste

To start, make your chimichurri sauce. Combine red wine vinegar [can substitute with white wine vinegar], garlic, shallot, pinch of salt and serrano chile in a medium bowl and let stand for 8-10 minutes. Stir in cilantro, parsley, and oregano. Gradually whisk in the olive oil (Fork is best!). Some people like to blend all the ingredients together with a processor, but I like the rustic look better. Totally up to you!

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This chimichurri sauce can be a great thing on it’s own. Marinate meats and other proteins. Or use it like a condiment! In this case, I turned it into a salad dressing with just a couple stir-ins of lime juice and greek yogurt!

Combine cucumber, avocado, and chopped lettuce in a bowl. Mix together the chimichurri, lime and greek yogurt, adjusting levels to taste. Slowly fold in the dressing with the ingredients. Top with your favorite protein or eat it as it is! This salad is refreshing, a little spicy, and perfect for a humid hot day! Pop it in a jar and you’re off!

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Happy Eating & Keep Cool!

Love,
Mimi

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Southwest Black Bean and Poblano Pizza

Holy wow! It’s been forever since we’ve made a blog post. What a year it has been!

Mini life-update: I currently work as a full-time social worker at a therapeutic day school in Addison, IL for high school students with emotional disabilities. Francisco is working as Assistant Editor for Hello Mr. Magazine in New York City, NY.

We are still cooking, we are still eating, and we are doing our best to photo document our recipes! Oh, and we’re still best friends!

Tonight I made two pizzas. The first pizza is a staple in my kitchen and a high quality go-to pizza for any occasion: shaved asparagus pizza from my favorite food blogger, Smitten Kitchen.

The second pizza is my latest creation! A quick pizza complete with black beans, poblano peppers, grilled tomatoes, and egg.. I mean, can you really go wrong here? Plus I threw some bacon in for good measure.

Since I made two pizzas tonight using 1 batch of pizza dough, I doubled my ingredients list for this recipe since I figure most people don’t typically make half-pizzas.

Check it out!

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Southwest Black Bean and Poblano Pizza

1 batch of fresh pizza dough*
1 large Poblano Pepper, de-veined and de-seeded, sliced into 3-inch strips
4 T. diced Tomatoes, fresh is best!
1/4 c. minced Onion
2 clove Garlic, minced
1/2 c. fresh Mozzarella, shredded or cubed
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 c. Black Beans, cooked and drained or rinsed from a can
3 slices of Bacon, cooked and sliced into 1/2-inch pieces (optional)
2 egg (optional)
Salt and Pepper to taste

*I picked up my pizza dough from a grocer in Logan Square, Half Italian.

Preheat your oven to the hottest temperature it goes, or about 500 in most cases.

In a skillet or a pan, grill your poblano pepper slices until they are tender and have some char then set aside. Next, throw on your hot skillet, the tomato, onion, and garlic and cook until fragrant. Set aside.

If using, cook your bacon and then set it on paper towels to drain out the excess oil.

And now the assembly!

On your pizza dough which is stretched or rolled out to your liking, place a layer of some of the mozzarella cheese and then the parmesan cheese. Then plop on top all of your cooked ingredients except the eggs! Cover with the remainder of your cheeses! Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the pizza to your liking – keep in mind that the cheese and bacon will add a decent amount of salt already!

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Cook for approximately 8-10 minutes or until your crust is golden brown!

If using, when your pizza is about 70% done cooking, crack your eggs on top and ensure that the egg white is cooked before serving.

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This pizza had a ton of flavor! Plus it is so colorful! You can always change up some of the ingredients. Next time, I might try adding on some grilled corn.

If you’re looking to get fancy, you could also drizzle on some chipotle crema.. or your favorite salsa or hot sauce!

Happy Eating!

Love,
Mimi

Sweet and Sour Chicken

One of my favorite places to be in the entire world is in the kitchen with my Ngin-ngin (grandmother). Watching her in the kitchen as she scoops up some rice, mixes together a sauce, or guesstimates various measurements with a splash or a dash has always made the kitchen a whole lot less intimidating. I’ve actually featured a recipe by her on this blog about 2 years ago.

Alright, everyone. It’s true. I’ve gone back to meat. Here’s my first REAL meat dish on Soups & Roots & Rants.

Today, we decided to attempt making Sweet and Sour Chicken. Even though Ngin-ngin refers to it as an American “Chinese” dish, she really likes it! While cooking, she said to me, “Restaurant, they make you pay $10.99. And they give so little! But this is so easy. They are so crazy.”

So if you go bonkers for American “Chinese” dishes, too, I recommend you try this recipe out! There are a couple of variations that you can make along the way and even as we were eating ours, we kept thinking about modifications. So don’t feel tied down by this recipe!

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Sweet and Sour Chicken

2-3 Boneless Chicken Thighs, trimmed and large diced
1 Egg
1/2 c. Flour
1 T. and 2 T. Soy sauce, separated
Salt, as needed
1 T. and 1 T. Sugar, separated
1/4 c. Corn Starch
3-4 Heaping T. of Honey
1/2 c. White Vinegar
1 c. Water
Corn oil
1/2 Small Onion, large diced
1-2 Sweet Bell Peppers, large diced
1/2 c. Pineapple, large diced (optional)

After trimming and slicing up your ingredients, place the diced chicken on a plate. Season the chicken with 1 T. Soy sauce, 1 T. Sugar, and some dashes of salt. Next scramble up the egg and pour on top. Mix all of the ingredients together!

Next, we have to flour the chicken. You can either be fancy and dredge the chicken pieces in flour. Or, if you’re like us, you can just pour the flour onto the mixture and just make sure that all of the pieces are covered.

Once the chicken is ready, take out a wok, place it on high heat and fill it with corn oil. You should have enough oil so that the chicken will be covered (about 2-3 inches). Once the oil is nice and hot, (we check using some chopsticks – place your chopsticks in the oil and if bubbles start to surround the sticks, you are ready!!) pour in about 1/2 of the chicken. As you place the chicken pieces into the oil, make sure to separate them so that they do not stick together. Let cook with occasional stirring until the chicken pieces are fried to a perfect golden brown.

Scoop and strain them up and set on a plate (with optional paper towels to sop up the oil). Repeat with your second batch!

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Once all the chicken is done, remove about 95% of the oil from the wok. Next, sauté your onions, bell peppers, and (optional) pineapple on medium to high until they are almost soft – but not quite.

Pour in the vinegar and water and bring to high heat. Let the onions and peppers cook in the mixture until it comes to a boil. While that is cooking, in a small bowl, mix together the corn starch, 2 T. soy sauce, 1 T. sugar, and about 2 T. water.

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Once the mixture has come to a boil, taste one of your bell pepper pieces or onion to see if the sour flavor is to your liking. If not, feel free to add more vinegar. If it is right, pour in the honey and soy sauce mixture. Stir quickly! This sauce thickens up fast!

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Once again, taste your mixture! If you think it needs more sweet, add in some more honey or sugar.

Last, mix in the fried chicken pieces and turn off the heat. Ready to go!

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Serve hot over rice.

Admittedly, we felt that our dish was a bit more sour than we would’ve liked, but I am not a huge fan of entrees that are overly sweet anyway. Next time, we’ll have to try adding a bit more sugar or honey to the sauce. But adding pineapple also could’ve given us a nice natural sweetness, too!

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Deconstructed Elote Casserole

Elote is a Mexican street food that consists of grilled corn, mayonnaise, spices, & cheese. It’s super messy, it’s delightfully cheesy, and full on delicious.

SimpleFoodie, Wikipedia Photo

And it also happens to be one of my guilty pleasures – actually, I am not that guilty about it. Not at all.

For the Super Bowl, I decided to try out making elote in casserole form with all the ingredients still in it, plus some garlic, green chiles and red onion for some extra flare! I can’t take all the credit though, props to Food & Wine + The Food In My Beard for popping up on my google search and proving to me that this idea wasn’t all that crazy.

It works well as a side dish, a dip for chips, or a great addition to a taco!

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Deconstructed Elote Casserole

2 cans of Whole Kernel Corn or 2-3 Husks of Corn
1 medium Red Onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves Garlic
3 Green Chiles
1 c. Mayonnaise
1 1/2 c. Cotija cheese, 1/4 c. Cotija cheese for topping
3 Green Onions, sliced
3/4 c. Cilantro, minced
1-2 Limes, for juice and zest (save some juice for garnish)
1 T. Oregano
2 T. Cayenne Pepper
2 T. Chili Powder
3 T. Paprika
Salt (optional, to taste – the cheese is pretty salty already!)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium size mixing bowl, mix together the green onion, cilantro, mayonnaise, cheese, and spices. Feel free to take culinary liberties in the different amounts of spice used. If you prefer spicier, add more cayenne. If you like it a little smokier, throw on some more paprika. Make sure to taste as you go along! Next add some lime juice from 1 lime and about 1-2 tsp. of lime zest.

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If you prefer spicier, add more cayenne. If you like it a little smokier, throw on some more paprika. Make sure to taste as you go along! Next add some lime juice from 1 lime and about 1-2 tsp. of lime zest.

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In a medium-large size oven-safe pot, spray or brush with oil and put on high heat. Grill the corn until it starts to char or brown, then throw in the red onion, garlic, and chiles. As the onions start to release moisture, turn the heat down and let it simmer until majority of the moisture is evaporated.

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Turn off the stove and pour in the mayonnaise mixture with the corn. Whip it up so that all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.

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Add a little more cheese on top and pop it in the oven for approximately 45 minutes or until the whole mixture starts to bubble!

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Serve hot with some warm tortillas or chips. Don’t forget the lime wedges!

This was a big hit with everyone! I admit that I put a lot more cayenne than this recipe says since I like it pretty spicy. It had an amazing kick and paired really well with the caramelized red onion. The only thing that I wish was that the corn grilled a bit better. This would be awesome to make in little ramekins as well! Try it out!

Keep warm out there!

Love,
Mimi

Black Bean and Cheese Chiles Rellenos

Now that me and Esther live together, we are going to make all the delicious things and we’re pulling out the big guns! The Logan Square Farmer’s Market wins again for having beautiful poblano peppers and I knew exactly what I wanted to make this week.

Thanks to Eddie for teaching me the techniques to the perfect chiles rellenos! Also, conveniently, there are tons of little bodegas in the neighborhood packed with the right cheese!

Chiles Rellenos

4 Poblano Peppers
3-4 oz. Queso Chihuahua
1 c. Black Beans
1/4 White Onion, minced
2 Egg Whites, 1 yolk separated
Dried Oregano to taste
Salt and Pepper to taste
1/2 Can Diced or Puréed Tomatoes
Toothpicks*

First, roast/char your peppers over the flame on the gas stove til they start to blister and turn black. Each time a pepper is fully blackened, place in a mixing bowl and top with saran wrap or a baggie to let the peppers steam. Leave the peppers to steam while you go through the rest of the food prep.

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Mince up your onion, grate your cheese, and strain your black beans! Mix all together and season with oregano, salt, and pepper to taste! Note that the cheese is pretty salty already so you may not even need to use salt!

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Once your stuffing is all ready to go, pop it in the fridge to keep it nice and fresh!

Pull out your peppers and rinse them with cold water and brush away the charred pieces to reveal the smooth green flesh. Make a small-medium incision in the flesh and remove/rinse (as best you can) the seeds from the inside of the pepper. I like to leave some just to keep a bit of a kick, but it’s not for everybody. Esther’s had quite a bit of seeds and she said it was kind of “a punch in the face,” but in a good way!

For the egg batter, place your egg whites in a mixing bowl and whisk them into submission to stiff peaks. Then pour in the egg yolk and whip it up to a nice cream color.

Stuff your peppers with the filling, but not so much so that they are overflowing. We kind of stuffed ’em a bit too much. If you have toothpicks, it is best to seal your peppers so that they do not spill in your pan, I like to do about 3 per pepper. Me and Esther definitely forgot these, so we made a makeshift seal with a fork. Whoops!

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In a medium sized skillet, pour in 1 T. of oil on medium-high heat. As the oil is heating up, dredge your peppers in the batter.

Once the oil is hot enough, place the peppers into the oil and let them cook on each side for about 2-3 minutes or until the batter begins to brown.

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If needed, re-batter and fry again if some batter falls off in the process.

Let the peppers rest on a plate with paper towels to soak up the oil and to let the cheese fully melt and cook the insides. Warm the canned tomatoes in a pot and lightly season if necessary.

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Serve with the tomato sauce on rice! I added some extra slices of cheese on top! What a delicious and hearty meal chockfull of green things tonight! We served our peppers with rice, salad, sliced avocado, sautéed green beans with lemon thyme, AND LOVE.

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Bon appétit !

Love,
Mimi

Eggplant Stewed in Black Bean Garlic Sauce

So.. Soups & Roots & Rants has flatlined on the blogosphere – this was a crazy summer and again, we apologize, but never fear! Now that summer is winding down and the weather is beginning to change, the days of cooking and photographing have returned! I’ve officially moved into my new apartment in Chicago with my gardening and cooking friend, Esther. It has been wonderful!

But I have to say it didn’t feel like I was truly moved in until we cooked our first meal together. Esther bought these beautiful Italian heirloom eggplants at the Logan Square farmer’s market and they were too beautiful to cut up – so we left them whole and stewed them up!

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Here’s what we created:
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Eggplant Stewed in Black Bean Garlic Sauce

1 can of Black beans, half drained
3-4 Cloves of Garlic, chopped
1 1/2 c. Water (more or less if needed)
1 T. Olive oil
2-3 T. and 1 T. Soy Sauce (separated)
2 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper
1 1/2 T. Corn Starch
14 Italian Heirloom Eggplants

First, chop off the tops and create a small incision of an ‘X’ on the bottom of each eggplant. Set aside until the sauce is ready to go!

In a deep and wide pot on medium to high heat, sauté the chopped garlic until it begins to slightly brown. Then pour in the can of black beans and occasionally stir. Once the mixture begins to boil, reduce down to a simmer. Add in the 2 T. of soy sauce and some water. This will help the black beans break down to create the sauce.
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In a small bowl, mix together the corn starch, 1 T. of soy sauce, and 1-2 T. of water to create a good thickening agent for the sauce.

Once the sauce has reduced down to an even balance between paste-y and watery, place in the eggplants on their sides and cover.
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After approximately 8-10 minutes, uncover the eggplants and flip them over so that each side stews evenly in the pot. Cover for another 4-5 minutes until the eggplants are tender and easily punctured with a fork.
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During the cooking process, the eggplants will release quite a bit of liquid which adds tremendously to the sauce! If you feel like it needs any additional seasoning before serving, have at it!

Serve with some extra sauce over rice next to some sautéed greens (we used beet greens!) or paired with a meaty protein! Italian heirloom eggplant’s creamy texture paired with the sweet and mild flesh went nicely with my homemade sauce!

We had some leftover sauce to store away for another meal! Perhaps for another meal throw onto some rice or top it onto another delicious veggie, meat, or tofu! Yum!

Love,

Mimi

Ethiopian Diamond, Chicago, IL

It is VERY rare that there is a cuisine I’ve never tried before. I am an extremely adventurous eater and I never say no to a new opportunity!

This afternoon, I got to experience Ethiopian cuisine for the first time. I went to Ethiopian Diamond on Broadway in Edgewater with Erica, Kate, and Anna. While it seems like a little hole-in-the-wall place, it is SO worth it to head inside! You must try this place!

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We made sure to go all out. We ordered vegetarian sambusas, two veggie combos (we tried 6 out of the 7 options on the vegetarian list of watt & alicha), and a pot of Ethiopian tea.

Sambusas are very similar to Indian Samosas. They are fried and filled with all kinds of goodies. We tried the three different vegetarian types: Spinach, Potato and Carrot, and Whole Lentils served with a sweet sauce.

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Ethiopian food is eaten entirely with your hands. They serve it on a giant tray covered in these spongy flat breads called “injera” that are almost crepe-like and have a nice tangy taste.

Injera is a very symbolic aspect of the Ethiopian dining experience – eating the bread all from the same plate symbolizes the bonds of loyalty and friendship. It is especially encouraged that those eating from the same plate should express these bonds through “gursha” and feed each other different bites.

Atop the injera, they put different blobs of stewed goodness called “wat” or “alicha” (wat is spicy and alicha is mild) in different spots with a little salad in the center.

All of the foods we ordered were vegetarian. The restaurant states: “all vegetarian dishes are cooked in vegetable oil and contain no eggs, butter, milk, or honey!”

Specifically, we got (starting from the middle right and going counter-clockwise):

Yemisir Watt: Red lentils simmered with onions in a spicy homemade sauce.
Kik Alicha: Split peas cooked in a mild sauce of onion, garlic and ginger.
Quosta: Chopped spinach simmered in a mild sauce of onions and fresh garlic.
Tikel Gomen: Sliced cabbage and carrots cooked in a mild sauce.
Yatkilt Watt: String beans, carrots and potatoes cooked in a mild sauce of onions, garlic, ginger and Ethiopian spices.
Dinich Alicha: Potato cubes and carrots cooked in a mild sauce of onions, garlic, ginger and Ethiopian spices.

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Along with eating the breads that are the base of the platter, everyone also gets their own plate of a giant flatbread to scoop up those delicious tasty blobs.

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Overall, I’d say the first thing I thought of after my first bite was: “YUM! Whoa, mushy texture!” Everything is all stewed and so it’s all pretty gloopy, of course. Gotta be careful not to make too big of a mess. Luckily, Anna had her trust tide to-go stick!

All the different flavors were unique. Some had a nice spiced flavor while others were on the sweeter end.

I think my favorite of all the globs of “wat” and “alicha” would be the Yatkilt Watt. The different vegetables were extremely flavorful and cooked quite nicely, plus this wat had the most diverse textures. But all of us had different favorites!

To wash down our delicious meal, we also ordered a pot of Ethiopian tea which was a spicy chai-like tea. It was perfect to warm us up on this cold and rainy spring day after such a sunny and beautiful week.

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It was so thrilling to get Ethiopian food for the first time! I definitely would go back sooner rather than later, but I am SO stuffed. I highly recommend checking this place out! Next time, I definitely want to try “tibs” – which is usually a meat dish, but Ethiopian Diamond had two kinds that were veggie friendly: one was stewed pumpkin and the other was a stewed tofu dish and both were calling my name!

Here’s my happy face as a result of my first bite:

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Enough said!

Love,

Mimi

Tacos with Homemade Pico de Gallo

I am a humongous junkie for Mexican food lately. I love it all! Tamales, burritos, chile rellenos – you name it, I probably love it. I’ve been eye-ing the corn tortillas at the store for weeks now, but I wanted to wait until I had a day when I could fully invest the time to make super delicious vegetarian tacos.

Today, I had the day off from my internship so it was perfect! I made the pico de gallo the night before and roasted the sweet potatoes this morning and everything was ready by 12:30. What a fantastic day! I originally planned to eat three, but then I went in for a 4th. This recipe makes for quite a bit of tacos! Look forward to leftovers or think about entertaining some guests!

Here’s what I did:

IMG_0023Tacos

2 Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced
1 12 oz. can of Black Beans, drained
1 12 oz. can of Whole Kernel Corn, drained
2-3 cups of Kale, chopped
1-2 Avocados, diced
Small Corn Tortillas
Olive oil
Chipotle Pepper grind
Cumin
Salt and Pepper to taste
Hot Sauce for added flavor – I used Tapatío, obviously.

Homemade Pico de Gallo

3 Small-Medium Tomatoes, de-seeded and diced
1/2 Red Onion, diced
1 Jalapenos (de-veined and de-seeded optional), diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2-3 T. Lime Juice
Salt & Pepper to taste
2 T. Cilantro, chopped

I highly recommend making the pico de gallo the night before. It lets the flavors meld together nicely and gives it that extra bit of flavor.

For the pico de gallo, simply dice all of the ingredients vegetables, mince the garlic and mix into a bowl. I don’t de-vein or de-seed my jalapeños, but that’s just because I like the extra kick! Then pour in the lime juice – you can use fresh lime in which case I recommend using 1 whole lime! To be honest, I didn’t have any cilantro handy, but it’s pretty essential! So if you’re making this recipe, toss with some chopped cilantro and add salt and pepper to taste! Cover and refrigerate!

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In a large mixing bowl, toss the diced sweet potatoes with 1-2 T. of olive oil, chipotle pepper grind, cumin, salt and pepper. Feel free to be generous with the salt! I roasted my potatoes for about 40 minutes at 325 F then for an additional 10 minutes at 400 F. This gives them a nice crisp outside! Make sure you occasionally open the oven and give these potatoes a nice toss! For those of you who do not know about the Silpat – I highly recommend this purchase! It will change your life!

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While your sweet potatoes are roasting, it’s time to cook the rest of the ingredients. In a wide skillet on high heat, brush only the teeniest bit of oil and then once it is hot, pour in your corn kernels. Spread them out evenly and let them cook for a good 5-7 minutes until they start to brown on the bottom. Season with salt and pepper – maybe a little cumin if you’re feeling cumin-y today. Then mix them around for a bit longer and then pour into a mixing bowl. Cover with saran wrap!

Next, cook your black beans in the same skillet on medium heat – just until they are hot. No need to stir too frequently, otherwise your beans will turn to mush fast! If you are concerned about the mushiness, pour in a tiny bit of water to the pan, but make sure to drain it! Then pour into the same bowl as the corn and re-cover!

Now you need to steam your kale! Make sure to wash the leaves thoroughly. Kale’s coarse leaves can hold quite a bit of dirt! Steaming the kale shouldn’t take too long – you could even use the same skillet if you rinse after the beans! In the skillet, add about 1″ of water and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Throw in the kale and cover for about 3-5 minutes until the kale is wilted! Then place to the side!

Last step:  you have two different choices! You could either steam or grill your tortillas! To grill, simply place on the skillet for about 2-3 minutes on each side until it is warm! Or you could wet a paper towel with water – wrap the tortillas in the paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute! Either way, you’re ready to start assembling! Don’t forget the best part: the diced avocado!

Add all the ingredients to the tortillas and take a big bite!

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I like to add some hot sauce for some bonus flavor, but that’s up to you! That’s the best part about homemade tacos, you can make them your own! You could even make a non-vegan version and throw in some cheese! These tacos were UNREAL and totally worth the time to make!

I can’t wait to eat them again for lunch tomorrow!

Love,
Mimi

Pasta e Fagioli

Looking for a delicious soup to warm you up from these cold wintery days? This Italian classic soup is the perfect fix. Plus, it’s vegan! My version is definitely on the carb-heavy side since I used potatoes AND pasta, but feel free to eliminate the potatoes if that’s not your style!

The beans make for a thick and chunky soup! The fragrant herbs will fill your kitchen with delight!

Warning: This recipe makes a TON of soup! Somewhere between 8-10 servings of soup! 

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Pasta e Fagioli

3 Celery Ribs, diced
2 Carrots, peeled and diced
1/2 Red onion, diced
2 T. Garlic, minced
1 12 oz. can of Red Beans
1 12 oz. can of Cannellini Beans
4 Red Potatoes or 1 Large potato, diced
3 c. of Pasta of your choice, I used Campanelle
32 oz. Vegetable broth
1/4 c. Dry White Wine
1/2 c. Crushed Tomatoes
3 Bay Leaves
1 T. Dried Oregano
1 T. Dried Basil
1/2 T. Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh Parsley to garnish

In a deep 5+ quart dutch oven, heat up some olive oil and sauté some garlic and onions until the onions become translucent. Then add the carrots, potatoes, and celery. Make sure to mix it up so that they are coated with the olive oil. Throw on your herbs (oregano, basil, bay leaves, and crushed red pepper flakes). Then top your pot for about 5-10 minutes. Feel free to peek every once in awhile and stir – if you feel so inclined – I have trouble leaving my vegetables sometimes, too.

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Next, deglaze the pot with your dry white wine and mix. Then throw in your broth and beans. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer on very low heat. Cover for approximately 20-30 minutes.

Lastly, add your crushed tomatoes and the pasta! Let it cook until the pasta gets tender and the soup gets a beautiful red hue! You may or may not need to add some more water or broth depending on the soup’s thickness. Garnish the soup with parsley!

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*Take note: Your soup is going to thicken up because of the beans and potatoes so you may lose the soupiness of the broth. Feel free to add some more broth or water if you plan to eat this as leftovers!

I absolutely loved this soup! Yum yum yum! It is very hearty! But beware, the heaviness of this soup will creep up on you fast!! Also, if you’d like a bit of cheesiness, you could add some grated parmesan on top! Enjoy!

Love,

Mimi

Utter NAANsense with Mint Chutney

Alright, shameless pun, but here’s what Rachel and I were up to tonight. This is the easiest dough of all time. It’s fun to do in groups, there’s hardly any rising, and it goes with everything.

Naan

1 c. whole wheat flour
3/4 c. greek yogurt
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t/ powdered garlic

Chutney (blend all ingredients together)

1 c. mint leaves
1 large sprig cilantro
1/2 t. chili powder
1/8-1/4 c. water
1/2 onion
2 T. lemon juice
1/2 t. salt

1. Mix dry ingredients together, then add yogurt until a dough forms.

2. Place rounded dough into a bowl covered in plastic wrap and let sit 30 minutes ish.

3. Cut dough into six parts.

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Roll the dough out into tortilla-thin slices.

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5. Heat oil on medium-high heat and grill.

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Enjoy!

Fran

Ps. To try something new, cut the powdered garlic. Instead sautée some garlic and onions in a pan and roll into the dough before refrigerating! Or try some other add-ins as well! – Mimi