Friday, September 30, 2011

Veggie Enchiladas

I'm pretty much in love with enchiladas. 
I love trying healthier versions of my favorite Mexican food at home. I love making them healthier because then I can eat it more often and that's a win win in my book.

Of course I came across another The Sweets Life recipe and that's where I found this winner. I did change it up a little bit but it's still pretty much the same. I also liked that this made 20 enchiladas! That's lots of leftovers for lunch tomorrow. The only thing David suggested and I agree is adding a cup or two of cheese onto the topping while baking. Just some cheddar or jack or even pepper jack to make it that much better. Of course, if you're watching your weight than these are perfect the way they are.

Veggie Enchiladas
Adapted from The Sweets Life

2 cups low-fat (1%) cottage cheese
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
S&P to taste
1 small zucchini, grated
3 cups spinach, roughly chopped
16 corn tortillas (I used 20!)
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 large jalapeno, seeded, and roughly chopped
1 large onion, diced small
1 T chili powder
2 T white vinegar
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
fresh cilantro, chopped, for garnish

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl combine cottage cheese, black beans, spinach, zucchini, and S&P to taste. 
3. In a medium sized pot over medium high heat add olive oil, onion, garlic, jalapeno and saute for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add in chili powder and cook for about 1 minute. Add the white vinegar and combine. Next, pour in tomato sauce and broth. Season with S&P and let simmer for 5 minutes. 
4. Stack corn tortillas on a small plate and cover with a napkin. Microwave for 1 minute. 
5. Pour tomato sauce into a blender and puree until completely liquid. Make sure to leave a crack in the top of you blender and cover with a kitchen towel. If you completely seal your blender with hot liquid the heat can cause pressure and blow the top off! 
6. In baking dishes pour enough sauce on the bottom to cover. Fill each tortilla with 2 tablespoons of the cottage cheese mixture. Place filled tortillas in baking dish seam side down. Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.

I don't usually buy sour cream anymore but I had it left over from the cheesecake bars. Man, I forgot how rich it is compared to Greek yogurt. I topped these enchiladas with fresh cilantro and sour cream and they were quite tasty!

What's your favorite enchilada topping?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bars


That's what these are. For David's birthday he requested these little bites of amazingness. They were so simple to make which was important since we were traveling to South Lake Tahoe for his birthday. They also traveled well and we had plenty to share the whole weekend!

I definitely recommend bringing these to a pot luck or anywhere that you want people to like you.

Cookies and Cream Cheesecake Bars
Recipe from Recipe Girl
1  package Oreo cookies
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs, at room temperature 

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a 9 x 13" pan with foil. Make sure there is foil hanging over the pan and spray with cooking spray
2. Place 28 Oreos in a food processor and process until finely ground. Pour into a large bowl, add the melted butter, and stir with a fork until moist. Place the cookie-crumb mixture in the  pan and, using your fingers, press the mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom. Bake 10 minutes, then remove to a wire cooling rack. Snap the remaining Oreos in half, put them in the food processor, and turn on and off quickly a few times, just until the cookies are roughly chopped.
3. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat the cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spoonula and beat again until uniform. Beat in sour cream, vanilla, and salt. Scrape down the bowl and mix again. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. After beating in the last egg, scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and beat one more time to make sure fully combined. Stir in chopped Oreos.
4. Pour the cream cheese mixture over the baked cookie crust, smooth the top and bake for 40 minutes or until edges are puffed and middle is jiggly. Remove the pan to a wire rack to cool to room temperature, about 1 hour. When cool, cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 3 hours.
5. To cut, use the foil overhang to lift the cheesecake out of the pan and place on a large cutting board. Cut into uniform squares with a large sharp knife.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Bean Curry

I seem to be pretty obsessed with The Sweets Life blog but I've never found so many good vegetarian recipes on one blog before. I am in love with her recipe collection! I promise to post something sweet next time. 

This curry was delicious! We ate it as a soup and naan would have made this meal complete. It was the perfect amount for 2 people with large servings. You could also serve this over some jasmin rice and it would provide more servings.

I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but I've never had black-eyed peas before this recipe and I'm glad it called for it because I like them!

Anytime I have curry I always think "curry in a hurry". I think I got that little saying from Rachael Ray. Most curry recipes I've made in the past haven't been in a hurry but this one really was. It was super easy and fast to make.

Bean Curry
Adapted from The Sweets Life

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves,  minced
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 large tomato, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeds removed and finely chopped
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garam masala
3/4 cup half and half
1 cup chicken broth
1 can black-eyed peas, drained
2 cups fresh spinach
chopped fresh cilantro to garnish

1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add onion, garlic, jalapeno, and ginger. Saute for 5 minutes or until soft. Add tomato and saute for 2 minutes. Add turmeric, salt, paprika, garam masala and stir for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
2. Add in half and half, chicken broth, black-eyed peas, and spinach. Let simmer for about 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.

**This could easily be made completely vegetarian by using veggie stock, so I'm adding it to my Vegetarian section. 

Last year for David's birthday we went to Tahoe. One day for lunch we went to this restaurant called Jake's on the Lake . David ordered Samuel Adams' Octoberfest, when it came out he gave me a sip to try. I fell in love with it and couldn't wait to get home and buy some more. Unfortunately, it was only available for about 2 weeks, so I only ended up buying 1 six pack of it. I've been waiting almost a year to buy some more since it's seasonal and, it's finally back in the stores! Yay! I'm more of an hoppy IPA girl these days but there is something so fall-ish about those malty octoberfests that I love.

Have a great weekend! 
Hope you have some delicious eats!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf

It's no secret, meatloaf is one of the worse things you can photograph but it is not one of the worse things to eat. It is actually super tasty! I was intrigued by this recipe because I'd never heard of putting quinoa in meatloaf before. I actually really liked it and think I'll add it to other recipes in the future.

To make your 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa for this recipe rinse quinoa in a strainer thoroughly. In a medium sized pot add 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Stir in quinoa and lower heat. Place lid on pot and let simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, fluff your quinoa and you're ready to go! Any left overs make a great snack for the next day. 

Every time I have meatloaf I always think, "MMAAA, WHERE'S THE MEATLOAF?!"

Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf
Adapted from The Sweets Life

2 tbsp  olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 lb ground turkey
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp ketchup
1 large egg

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a loaf pan with non stick spray.
2. In a medium skillet add olive oil over medium high heat. Saute onion and jalapeno for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add in cumin.
3. In a large bowl mix, onion and jalapeno, cooked quinoa, turkey, basil, tomato paste, ketchup, egg, and S&P. Transfer to loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.

I made this cantaloup smoothie when I got home. 2 cups cantaloup with 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt and YUCK! I think I'm starting to really dislike cantaloup. I used to love it! It was one of my favorite fruits and now...well, now I can barely stand to eat it. : (

Today in our CSA we got celery! It was SO big. I should have taken a picture but instead I took a picture of this lovely. I'm not a huge fan of raisins and we only had craisins on hand so I made ladybugs on a log. I don't know if this is in existence yet. I'm sure it is but I thought it was awesome! Super tasty and I've never tasted celery like this before. It's so vibrant tasting and not all watery -- very good stuff!

Ryder always sits on this rug in the kitchen while I cook and prep. He's probably just waiting for me to drop something but he usually ends up just falling asleep -- so cute!

Have you ever experienced not liking something you used to once love?
You know that saying grownups say when you're a kid?
"You'll like it when you grow up..."
Well, sometimes I guess the opposite can happen!
i.e. cantaloup

Monday, September 19, 2011

Kale and Bean Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce

Well, hello! 

Let's start off with the recipe since it was probably the best thing I ate all weekend. I've totally become obsessed with The Sweets Life meatless meals recipes. So darn tasty and original! Take these enchiladas for example. I would have never of thought to put kale in my enchiladas. Kale + Enchiladas just doesn't seem to equal amazing Mexican food in your mind, right? Let's just say, it should! These were the

In my picture you can tell I was only able to make 6 enchiladas. That is because David did the grocery shopping this week and bought flour tortillas rather than corn. Regardless, these were absolutely satisfying but, I do recommend trying them with corn. 

Kale and Bean Enchiladas with Pumpkin Sauce
adapted from The Sweets Life

For the Filling:
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 jalapeno, finely diced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 zucchini, finely chopped
1 bunch kale, roughly torn
1 can pinto beans drained and rinsed
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, minced
salt and pepper

For the Pumpkin Sauce:
1 can pumpkin
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 jalapeno pepper, quartered ribs & seeds removed 
1 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp tomato paste

To Assemble:
12 corn tortillas
1 cup cheddar cheeses, shredded

1. Preheat  oven to 400 degrees
2. In a saute pan add olive oil and saute garlic, onions, jalapeno, zucchini, and cumin for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add in kale and saute for another 5 minutes or until wilted. Add in pinto beans, cilantro, and season with salt and pepper. Add about 1/3 cup pumpkin sauce to kale and bean mixture.
3. In a blender or food processor combine all pumpkin sauce ingredients and blend until smooth. 
4. In a 9x13 baking dish pour 1.5 cups pumpkin sauce. Assemble enchiladas by spooning in kale and bean mixture. Roll tightly and place in baking dish seem side down. Pour remaining pumpkin sauce on top of enchiladas and top with cheddar cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes. 

Besides these enchiladas making my weekend great I was able to 
spend time with my new pup, and my old pups, andddd..
spend some time with my friend, Elise, who recently
became engaged to her bf of 7 years!
Congratulations to them!

She kindly brought over this sauvignon blanc from New Zealand which I really enjoyed! 
It had a great tropical fruit flavor. Thanks, Elise!

While us girls enjoyed the wine, David enjoyed this...

I had a sip and thought it tasted like a campfire which David thought I was CRAZY. Even though I thought that, I thought it still tasted pretty good. 

Cutest picture of Ryder from the weekend. On Friday night Ry learned how to swim! We were such proud parents. : ) 
Here is lil Ry with my Lexi girl. They have a blast together and love each other SO much. It's absolutely adorable and so cute to watch. 

As you can see, it was a pretty awesome weekend!
I hope you had a great one!

Did you did anything awesome this past weekend or have any awesome upcoming plans?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Curry Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers

I found this recipe from a fellow blogger but decided to change it up a bit. I love anything sweet potato and anything vegetarian burger. I'm sure you can guess how excited I was to find a recipe that combined sweet potatoes AND chick peas - best of both worlds!

This recipe would be perfect for fall. It requires you to use your oven so no more bbq burgers - back to baking them! I changed this recipe a tad because I prefer to bake my veggie burgers rather than pan fry them. With the accompaniment of the heirloom tomato and red onion from my local farm, it was heavenly!

Curry Sweet Potato Chickpea Burgers
Adapted from The Sweets Life

2 sweet potatoes, baked and peeled, roughly chopped
1 can chickpeas, drained
2 green onions, roughly chopped
2 tsp curry powder
1 cup old fashioned oats
buns, tomatoes, lettuce, onion, etc.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. In a food processor add sweet potatoes and chick peas and process until smooth (you could also do this in a bowl with a potato masher).  Add in the green onions, curry powder, oats, and S&P. You may need to add up to 1/3 cup water at this point if the mixture is not coming together.
3. Form mixture into 6 patties and place on a baking sheet with cooking spray or a silt pad.
4. Bake patties for 25-30 minutes or until crispy.

What's your favorite veggie burger? Please share!
I can't wait to try The Sweets Life lentil burgers next...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


This post has nothing to do with food but if I was slacking on my blog before, I'm sure I'll be slacking even more. It's all due to this little guy. Meet Ryder!

This is mine and David's new little guy. We lucked out in getting him free from a family whose daughter was highly allergic to him.

He's an absolute sweetheart!

He is surprisingly calm for a little yellow lab and we're falling in love with him more each day.

I promise I won't forget about my blog but bear with me. 

K, thanks!

Do you have any pets?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pizza Swirl Bread

When I first spotted this recipe on the blogsphere I knew it would only be a matter of time until I would be making it in my own kitchen. I mean, seriously! This bread is just a show stopper. How come no one hasn't thought of this before?! What could be better than pizza in a loaf form?? I'm not sure.

 Pizza Swirl Bread
adapted from How Sweet It Is

2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 large egg
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, freshly grated
4 ounces grated parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling
pepperoni (depends how much you'd like)
1/3 cup tomato sauce, or more if desired
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

1. In a small saucepan combine milk and butter. Heat until small bubbles form around the pans edges and then remove from heat.

2. Measure 1/4 cup warm water and combine with yeast and sugar. Let sit 5-10 minutes or until foamy.

3. Whisk egg with the milk mixture. Using an electric mixture with the dough hook combine flour and salt and combine on low speed. Still on low speed, add in the milk mixture slowly and then the yeast mixture. Turn speed up to medium and let mix for 5-6 minutes. Remove dough from bowl and place on lightly floured surface. Knead dough for about another minute by hand.

4. Let dough sit for 1 hour or until double in size in a greased bowl. This is where I'd use a heating pad on low under the bowl or find a warm spot in your house.

5. Preheat oven to 350 and spray/butter loaf pan.

6. After the dough has risen, punch the dough down and then roll out into a rectangle about 8 x 12 inches. Spread tomato sauce on dough, followed by garlic, Italian seasoning, mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, and ending with parmesan. Roll dough from one short end to the other. Gently spread with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan.  Place rolled dough in loaf pan and let rise for about another 30 minutes.

7. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Once done baking let sit for 30 minutes.

The great thing about this idea is you could use any pizza toppings you'd like. I think pesto would be so delicious!

Have a great week!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Recent Eats & Reads

I read this book over Labor Day weekend. I actually ended up reading it in 1.5 days because it was so good! The prologue didn't capture me right away but right after the first chapter I was hooked. The story is about 2 sisters (half sisters) who are torn apart by their parent's will after their untimely death. It spans the years of 1993-2009 and uses real life events in the book. I definitely recommend it as the perfect lazy summer day read.

Other than that...I've been totally obsessed with cottage cheese and fresh tomatoes from my CSA farm. They are so good right now that I just eat a tomato and cottage cheese for dinner. Oh yah, and a lemon cucumber!

Last Sunday David and I ate chicken hot dogs off the barbie. It was quite tasty! I love hot dogs. Isn't that bad? I know they aren't good for you but they are so simple and totally remind me of summer. I've only had 2 this summer so don't worry...I did make a turkey burger on Monday which was SO tasty. I used to make turkey burgers all the time but I just recently had my first turkey burger again. It'd been like 5 months! What is wrong with me?!

School is back in now and cooking has kind of come to a halt again. We're surviving off of salads and mean green juices.  I've mentioned before that my Dad is on a fruit juice fast for 60 day's.  He's on day 45 or 46 (hard to keep count!). He's mostly drinking kale, celery, cucumber, apples, ginger, and lemon. I actually really like this juice. It's called MEAN GREEN.

Well, I'm off to yoga!

 What do you eat for dinner when your short on time but still want to be healthy?

Monday, September 5, 2011

5 , 4 , 3 , 2 , 1

I've seen this post going around a few blogs and I really liked the idea.  My about me page doesn't share too much information about me so I thought this might give you a better insight on little ol' me.

5 words to describe me:

 1. Clean-freak: It's true...I like things clean. I'm not the worlds best organizer but I do love a clean space. I like my home to be clean and I don't like being in dirty places.

2. Funny: I like to make people laugh. I usually only do this with people I'm close to but there isn't much more that I love then making someone I love laugh.

3. Outdoorsy: I love being outdoors. This doesn't mean I love dirt and bugs though. I actually can't stand bugs and I don't like dirt under my nails (goes back to clean-freak). I love hiking, rivers, beaches, lakes, and the mountains. I would rather sit outside than sit indoors. I love sitting by a fire or even a heating lamp at a restaurant.

4. Gemini: See above. I would say most qualities I've read about Gemini's are true for me. Sometimes I get sick of this blog and wonder if even want to keep it. Sometimes I think about deleting every post and erasing all my entries. I become restless sitting at home and complain "I'm bored".

5. Family: I love to be around my family. I work with my family and I feel so lucky that I have a close relationship with both my parents. I also love getting together with my extended family. They mean to world to me.

4 favorite foods:

1. ice cream/frozen yogurt

2. pancakes

3. homemade mexican food

4. butternut squash

5. sushi rolls

3 things I'm most proud of:

1. following my passion of going to school for my AA in Culinary Arts. Sometimes I get mad at my self that I spent my time doing this but when I think about it, I went for what I wanted at the time.

2. my relationship with David. Sappy, I know...but he's my best friend and I'm proud of our relationship.

3. Annual backpacking trips. Every year I go backpacking with my family and it's something that I have to physically push my self to do. It's never easy but I always love the reward. It's something I hope to continue doing for the rest of my life.

2 favorite work outs:

I am LOVING the practice of yoga

- Hiking
Goes with being outdoors

1 thing to expect from my  blog:

Recipes I enjoy and want to share with people!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Banana Walnut Pancakes

One of my happiest time of the week is weekend breakfasts.  David and I don't eat breakfast together during the week so I love it on Saturday or Sunday mornings when we get to share breakfast together. I usually wake up before him so I get started on pancakes. David calls them "cookies" which makes me smile. Once he wakes up, I'm about half way done. He then starts the french press and my morning gets that much happier.

David makes the best cup of french press. He knows exactly how much sugar to put in the cup for me. I couldn't make it better for myself if I tried. He knows I love lots of foam. My motto is "the more foam the better". We call our french press "faux lattes".

This morning we had lots of very ripe banana's on hand so I decided to make some banana walnut pancakes and I'm sure glad I did. They tasted like personal sized banana walnut bread cakes. YUM!

Banana Walnut Pancakes

2 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 4 medium)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 cup chopped walnuts

1. Preheat griddle or pan over medium-low heat. It's always best to have a hot griddle ready for you!
2. Beat eggs in medium bowl with whisk until fluffy. Stir in remaining ingredients except walnuts. Stir until smooth.  
3. For each pancake pour about 1/4 cup batter on to hot griddle. Cook until bubbles begin to form. Sprinkle on walnut pieces and then flip and cook other side until golden brown. 

** this recipe makes a ton of pancakes. I recommend cutting the recipe in half if it's only for 2 people.


I hope it's going swell and enjoy your day off! 

Any cool plans?
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