Spaghetti and Beanballs

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My husband and son love my meatball recipe. When I make them, I often just have some roasted mushrooms or buy frozen vegan meatballs. But last night I decided to make my own—same recipe as the ones I make the boys, just minus the meat. I wanted to use lentils, but couldn’t find any in my pantry. I did find pink beans so went with those. Pink beans look like small pink kidney beans, but taste closer to pinto beans. They are very popular in Caribbean cooking. I bought a bag awhile ago to make a Caribbean dish and forgot about them.

Also, I always make my own pasta sauce. I like knowing what’s in it for sure, and that it’s not loaded with sodium. This is just a basic recipe, feel free to doctor it up as you like. Or use a jar of your favorite sauce, too.

This recipe makes 5-6 servings.

Spaghetti and Beanballs

1 bag of pink beans
Olive oil15 - 4
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
28 ounce can of tomato puree
14.5 can of diced tomatoes
2 cups water
1/4 tsp Italian seasoning
12 tsp garlic powder
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tbs olive oil
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tsp ground sage
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 cup water, as needed
Salt and pepper to taste
A bag of your favorite pasta

Soak your pink beans in cold water overnight if possible, they will cook a lot faster.

Place your soaked beans in large pot filled with enough water to cover them with an inch of water. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook as long as directions on the package say (mine took about 45 minutes). Add more water as needed. Cook until they are soft but not mushy. Drain well and set aside.

While those are cooking, you can work on the sauce…

In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat.

Add the minced garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook for a minute or two, until the garlic is fragrant.

Add the tomato puree, diced tomatoes, water, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

Cook for a half an hour, then season with salt and pepper as desired.

Remove from heat and set aside for now.

While the sauce is cooking  you can start on the beanballs (assuming your beans are cooked now)….

In a large bowl, mash up the beans. Leave a few chunks for texture.

Add the oil, nutritional yeast,  bread crumbs, Italian seasoning, sage, and fennel. Then season with salt and pepper as desired.

Add a little water at a time to help it all come together.  You want it to still be soft, but be able to hold shape.

So you could make them into balls and pan-fry them in olive oil until they are golden on the outside. That was my original plan until I realized all my burners were being used (I was making lemonade at the same time as this).

I oiled up a ceramic pan and made them into little mounds. Then I baked them at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, and broiled on low for 3 minutes.

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Then I scooped them out with an ice ice cream scoop to keep the ball shape.

Lastly, cook your pasta according the directions on the package (I did this while beanballs cooked).

Add your pasta to the sauce and toss together well.

Plate up the pasta, top with some beanballs, top with your favorite vegan cheese, and enjoy!

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The fennel and sage really give the balls that sausage meatball kind of taste. Pair with a nice salad and you have a satisfying complete meal.

This recipe makes a lot of beanballs. You can freeze them or cut the recipe in half, too.

Red Beans and Rice

One pot meals are genius invention. Whether you be busy with work, a fussy 3 month-old or both,  it’s nice to still have a home-cooked meal. And even better when there is only one dish to clean!

I  came up with this one day while Jack was napping and I had a few spare moments to think about dinner. It’s pretty much your standard red beans and rice dish, just with frozen kale instead of bell peppers.

Red Beans and Rice
1 lb bag of Kidney Beans, soaked overnight and rinsed
5 oz frozen kale (about half a bag)
2 cups uncooked brown rice
10 cups water or vegetable broth
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large white onion, chopped
1 tbs chili powder
1/2 tbs smoked paprika
1 tps thyme
1 tps oregano
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Tabasco, to taste

Combine all ingredients–except the salt, pepper, and Tabasco– into a large pot.

Bring to boil then reduce to a simmer and cover.

Cook for an hour. The beans will be soft enough to eat but still a little firm. The rice should be fully cooked. There will be a little bit of liquid left, similar to a light sauce.

Season with the salt, pepper, and Tabasco as desired!

There is something so satisfying in a classic simple meal like red beans and rice 🙂

Sweet and Tangy Baked Beans

These baked beans are incredible. No joke. And they happened to already be vegan! My mom always made baked beans this way when I was growing up. When I had just plain beans out the can at my friends’ houses, I would think why? why would you eat something so boring? Michael loves them too. I could make these everyday and he wouldn’t complain. I could go on and on, but please make them for yourself and see. 

This recipe makes 6 serving.

Baked Beans
55 oz can vegetarian baked beans 
8 oz can crushed pineapple in juice
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp mustard powder 
Salt and Pepper, to taste as needed 
Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well. Make sure you work in the mustard powder, painful to bite into a pocket of that stuff. 
Baked for 30 minutes, or until bubbly. 
It it cool slightly before serving and then enjoy! It’s a great summertime treat, I took a big tray (made 3 times the amount) to a family picnic. I love it with a juicy Tofurky Brat

Black Bean Burgers

My best friend brought over a ton of black beans—like two Costco cases. So I decided to make some black bean burgers! This is a pretty easy recipe that can be adapted to your own tastes. Unfortunately, I am 31 weeks pregnant and suffering from severe heartburn so these are a very basic recipe. You can add in more spices, grated veggies, and even some peppers. But these still came out delicious and very satisfying.  I also baked these, rather than pan fry them like most other recipes do. If you aren’t suffering from horrible heartburn or counting calories, you can absolutely fry them in a bit of olive or coconut oil.

Did I mentioned these freeze well too? Just wrap them individually in wax paper and store in a freezer bag for up to 2 months.

This recipes makes 4 large or 8 small patties.

Black Bean Burgers
2 cans (30 oz) organic black beans
1/2 cup instant oatmeal
1/2 tbs flaxseed
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 clove of garlic, finely minced
1/4 tps salt
1 tps cumin
1 tps smoked paprika
1 tsp chili powder
Water, as needed
Hamburger buns (I used potato buns)
Condiments and veggies

In a large bowl, mix everything together except the buns and condiments/veggies. Let the mixture sit for at least 30 minutes. This allows the oatmeal to puff up and absorb some of the liquid from the beans. If it is too dry, add a tablespoon of water at a time. It should be a little gooey, but still hold a bit of shape.

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Shape the black bean mixture into patties. I suggest doing this on the baking sheet with a spoon because the mixture can be very sticky.  I made 4 large patties, but you can always make smaller ones.

Bake for 15 minutes.

Turn up the oven to broil. Bake for another 10-15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let them cool for minute or two.

Toast your buns, pop on your burger, and top with your favorite condiments.

I had to keep my condiments simple. Just romaine lettuce, stone ground mustard, and a bit of ketchup. However, I could have loved some vegan pepper jack cheese, Veganaise with some chipotle mixed in, tomatoes, and pickles. And try making my Homemade French Fries or my Sunchoke Fries as a tasty side dish.

Tamale Pie

I have no real story or reason behind the recipe. I had dry pinto beans, I had masa, and I had fresh organic veggies. So I made a tamale pie. I decided to make it more like dumplings on top instead of a solid crust, just trying something different.

Tamale Pie
2 cups dry pinto beans
6 cups water
1 tbs chili powder
2 tsp Mexican oregano
1 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper
2 zucchini, cubed
1 medium onion, diced
2 green bell peppers, diced
2 sweet gypsy peppers, diced
2 cups masa harina
Salt
About 3 cups water

Rinse the dry pinto beans.

In a large pot, add the beans, 6 cups water, chili powder, oregano, and cumin. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook for one and a half hours, or until the beans are almost soft and most of the water is absorbed. Add more water if needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Next add the zucchini, onion, bell peppers, and sweet peppers. Stir well and let if cook covered 30 minutes. Now the beans and the veggies should be all soft.

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a baking pan with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, mix together the masa and salt. Add a little water at a time until the dough reaches a moist play-dough-like consistency.

Pour the bean and veggie mixture into the baking pan.

Tear off small chunks of the dough and cover the top of the bean and veggie mixture. It’s okay if not every spot is covered.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the masa is slightly golden.

I topped mine with homemade guacamole, try one of my Guacamole 3 Ways recipes. And all the veggies (but the onion) were organic from the box delivery I mentioned in Roasted Beet and Carrot Salad post.

Beanadilla? Noquesadilla? Something Like That…

My work has these quesadillas with mushrooms in them, and it sounds amazing. But, queso is not vegan so I can’t have them. Then it dawned on me today that I could make a quesadilla with beans instead, like I often do at home. I originally got the idea from a recipe I saw on VegWeb for one with white beans.

I had the luxury of making this on the flat top grill at work. And I used the homemade slow-cooked pinto beans and the already marinated mushrooms and poblano peppers. But, luckily I have already posted a recipe for how to slow cook pinto beans and it’s not that hard to marinade and sauté veggies at home.

As I was making this, the cooks all looked at me funny and asked what I was making. When I explained it was, they thought I was crazy, “Quesa-dilla, you need queso in order to make it, not frijoles!” So I said, “Fine, it’s a noquesadilla…a beanadilla.”

This makes 1 large quesadilla/beanadilla/whatever you want to call it.

Beanadilla
1/2 cup mushrooms, washed and sliced
1/2 of a poblano pepper, chopped
1/2 tbs of olive oil
Juice of a lime
Red pepper flake, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 large tortilla (read the label carefully to make sure it doesn’t have lard)
1/2 cup of cooked pinto beans (try mine)
Salsa, guacamole, or whatever other condiment for dipping

In a skillet over medium heat, sauté the sliced mushrooms and chopped poblano pepper until soft.

Immediately add to a small bowl and add the oil, lime juice, pepper, and salt and pepper. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Drain off the excess liquid when ready to use.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, place the tortilla down in it.

Spread the beans evenly on one half.

Top the beans with the veggie mixture.

Fold the tortilla over to cover the filling.

Brown on the onside as desired.

Flip carefully and brown on the other side.

Slice into wedges and serve with the sauce of your choice.

My restaurant makes killer homemade salsas. I had some of the tomatillo, my favorite and our delicious homemade guacamole.

Forget cheese, mushrooms are good no matter how you serve them. And the poblano gives it just a touch of sweetness.

Five Layer Dip



*This is repost, since for some unknown reason, the first one got deleted.


I hope you all had a fun Fourth of July!

Once again, so for not posting very often. As I mentioned in my last post, I am moving to California. I am still staying with Michael’s parents and looking for a job (got some good leads so far!). Hopefully soon I will have a job and my own place so I get back to posting more. 

Yesterday Michael’s parents had a little BBQ so I thought I would make something nice for everyone too: five layer dip. I made this for a party before and it was gone within minutes. What’s not to love about layers of spicy beans, creamy guacamole, tangy Tofutti sour cream, fresh salsa and gooey cheese sauce? 


Some of the layers are from recipes I have posted before, so I will spare you the repeat and just post the links. 

Five Layer Dip:

First layer: Spicy Beans
16 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 of a medium onion
1 large bell pepper
1 clove of garlic
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 jalapeño pepper, minced


Drain and rinse the beans. Set aside. 


Chop the onion and peppers into bite-sized pieces. Mince the jalapeño. 



Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.


Saute the onions and peppers until slightly golden.






Add the beans, garlics, and red pepper flakes. 












Cook until the beans are heated through. Mash the beans into a paste as it cooks. 








Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and add the jalapeño. 


Remove from heat and set aside to cool.






Second layer: Basic Guacamole 
Third layer: Tofutti Sour Cream


Fourth layer: Fresh Salsa 
2 large tomatoes, diced
1/4 of a medium onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
Handful of cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste


Dice tomatoes and onions, then add to a large bowl.



Mince the garlic and jalapeños and, add to the bowl. 






Add the cilantro and mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 


Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. 


Fifth layer: Cheese Sauce


Assembly:
I suggest doing this in a large see-through (I know I did it in a pink one, it was the biggest one I could find) bowl or dish so you can see all the contrasting layers.


In the bottom of the large bowl, spread an even layer of the Spicy Beans. 



Second, spread on the Basic Guacamole.



Next, cover with as much sour cream as you like. 


Then, put the salsa on top of the sour cream.

Lastly, pour on the cheese sauce. Garnish with some red pepper flakes and cilantro. 



This was big hit! We munched on this while the grill heated up and it was devoured quickly. 


Cincinnati Style Chili

I had heard of Cincinnati style chili before, but never had the chance to try it. The other day I was trying to decide what I want to make next for my blog when I saw something on the Food Network about some restaurant in Ohio that famous for their chili (can’t remember the restaurant or what show it was) and thought it looked delicious.

Cincinnati style chili is more like a sauce than a chili. It was first made by Macedonian immigrants who wanted to expand their restaurant menus. It consist of not only traditional chili ingredients like chili powder and cumin, but has some unusual ones like chocolate, cinnamon, and vinegar. I like savory/sweet combinations so I knew I was going to like it. The real version has worcestershire sauce (not vegan since it is fish based, though there are some vegan versions out there) and ground beef. I omitted the worcestershire and used Smart Ground Veggie Protein Crumbles instead of beef.   
The chili is normally served over spaghetti or a hot dog since it is more sauce-like, though it is good enough to eat on its own. I got to give it you Cincinnati, you make a very fine chili. I will definitely make this again sometime. This recipe is based on one from foodnetwork.com called Cincinnati Chili
Cincinnati Style Chili

  • 1 large onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbs chili powder
  • 1 tbs smoked paprika
  • 1 and 1/2 fps ground cumin
  • 1 fps ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp chili turmeric 
  • 1 package Smart Ground Veggie Protein Crumbles  
  • 1/4 cup red wine 
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs cider vinegar 
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato sauce (I used a pasta sauce) 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • Salt and pepper to taste 





Heat cooking spray in a large pot over medium heat. I made mine in sauce pan but I only made a single serving. Add the onions and garlic, cooked until the onions are translucent. 



Add the chili powder, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, and turmeric. Thoroughly coat the onions and garlic. 



Add the protein crumbles and cooked until the crumbles are heated through. Don’t worry if the spices start to stick to the bottom of the pot. 



Add the wine, soy sauce and vinegar to deglaze the pan, make sure to scrap all the brunt/stuck stuff off the bottom of the pan. 



Next add the tomato sauce and chocolate, mix together well. 



Cook for about 15 minutes until the chili tightens up a bit more.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 










I boiled up some pasta (ok, it’s actually ramen noodles, I didn’t have any spaghetti on hand and I am a college kid!) and slathered the noodles with the chili. Traditionally, the dish is then topped with kidney beans, onions, and TONS of cheddar cheese. I just went with some kidney beans to keep it healthier. 


Taste of the South: Collard Greens, Black-eyed Peas, and Fried Tofu.

One of my favorite vendors at the Hilo Farmers Market had a special on greens—kale, Swiss chard and collard greens. I got a bunch of each for only $5 total. Like I said before,  your local farmers market will always have the best deals. I haven’t had collard greens before so I thought I’d make  a whole Southern dinner to have the full experience: collard greens, black-eyed peas, and fried tofu.

Love the deep green color.

Collard greens are amazing. Although kind of bitter raw, they are buttery and rich when cooked. They are also loaded with vitamin C, fiber and can even fight cancer. And it smelled sooooooo good while it was cooking. I looked up a bunch of recipes and decided to stay pretty traditional, just minus the bacon. I based this recipe on the Kickin’ Collard Greens from Allrecipes.com (although Paula Dean’s recipe looked really good too).

However, I am no stranger to black-eyed peas. They are buttery like collard greens but saltier, which is why they are perfect for a salt queen like me. I’ve tried several recipes before, but I came up with my own recently. It’s still fairly traditional, just minus the bacon and add some Tabasco.

Now, do not freak out at the sound of fried tofu. It is amazing. For those people who say they don’t like tofu, I question how they had it prepared. Is plain, unseasoned, undercooked chicken good? No. So why would plain, unseasoned, uncooked tofu be? Tofu will take on the flavor of whatever you cook or marinade it in, so don’t be afraid to experiment and slather it in anything. There are also several preparation techniques that can alter the texture to be more meat-like too.  For fried chicken, I recommend freezing it, which I explain later in this post. There are many fried tofu recipes on VegWeb, but I had trouble with most of them. I came up with this recipe after many trial and errors. The tofu needs to freeze overnight. The other two dishes come together quickly, but you need to plan ahead for the tofu.

My kitchen smelled so good!

Collard Greens
1 large bunch collard greens (sorry I don’t have a precise measurement)
1/2 tbs olive oil
1/2 large white onion
2 cloves of garlic
3 cups vegetable broth
1 tsp red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop into smaller pieces so it cooks faster and is easier to eat.

Wash and dry the collard greens. Chop off the ends, the stem is edible so only take off the browned parts.  Chop the greens into 2 inch pieces.

Chop the onion and garlic.

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.

Don’t burn the garlic, it gets bitter and nasty.

Add the onions to the pot, cook until tender and slightly translucent. Add the garlic and cook for about another 2 minute. Be careful not the burn the garlic, it will ruin the flavor.

Add the collard greens and mix together well. Cooked for another few minutes, just until the leafs start to wilt.

Pour in the vegetable broth then season with the red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until tender, about 45 minutes. Try not to open the lid unless absolutely necessary.



Spicy Black-Eyed Peas
1 can black-eyed peas, drained
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup white onion
1/2 tbs chili powder
1/2 cup water
5-10 shake of Tabasco sauce, depending on taste

Put everything into a small pot, mix together well, and cook over medium-low heat until majority of the liquid is gone, about 10 minutes. So easy!

 

Fried Tofu
1 block extra firm tofu
Marinade:
1tbs soy sauce
1tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup vegetable broth
Batter:
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp Ener-G Egg replacer
1/2 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk
2 shakes Tabasco sauce
pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt and pepper
Olive oil

Drain the tofu.

This part may sound crazy, but it is very necessary. Place several sheets of paper towels on a flat, clean surface. Put the tofu on the paper towels, then place some more paper towels on top. Now get something heavy (I use my science textbooks, my mom uses stone bookends) and place it on top. This will squeeze out all the liquid so it will get a denser texture when cooked. Leave this for at least an hour, but the longer the better.

Next, place the tofu in a freezable container and freeze over night.

It will have a slightly leathery appearance.

The next morning, place it on the counter to thaw.

Once fairly thawed, combine all the marinade ingredients and marinade the tofu for at least 2 hours. I know it’s weird to put more liquid in when you just spent all that time getting it out, but now you are putting in flavor.

Marinated and dried again.

Pour off the excess liquid and pat the tofu dry.

Slice the tofu into 1/2 inch strips. You can cut it lengthwise so it’s more steak-like, but I find it doesn’t fry as evenly.

Batter tastes pretty good on its own too.

Now, in a small bowl mix together all the ingredients for the batter, except the 1/4 cup flour and second pinches of salt and pepper.  It should make a fairly thick mixture.

In another small bowl, mix together the remaining flour,  and salt and pepper.

1 tbs of olive oil, only 120 calories and gets the job done just fine.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Get the pan good and hot. The pan is ready when a sprinkle of water sizzles and bounces straight off. You really don’t need tons on oil if you have the pan heated properly and are patient.

Now it’s finally time to bread and cook the tofu. It’s best to set-up an assembly line: dry flour bowl, batter bowl, then the your heated skillet.

First, lightly coat the tofu strip on both sides in the flour.

Next dip the the strip in the batter, making sure it is coated in a thick layer on both sides.

Then drop it straight into the hot pan.

Repeat with the remaining strips.

Cook on each side till golden, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.

Plate up your fried tofu with generous scoops of the collard greens and black-eyed peas. It went lovely with a glass of ice cold lemonade.

The tofu is crunchy on the outside and has the perfect “meaty” texture” on the inside. Some mushroom gravy would be good with the tofu….too bad I didn’t think of that beforehand. However, just like chicken, it also goes wonderfully with ketchup (and a bit more Tabasco).

Tastes like chicken, but even better!

The black-eyed peas are a bit spicy and the buttery collard greens are heavenly. This meal is not only a good balance of flavors, but so good for you too. I am normally not a big leftover fan, but I am more than happy to have this again tomorrow.

Feliz Cinco de Mayo: Tostadas and Margaritas!

 

On May 5, 1862 the Mexican Army had a surprise victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla during their occupation after the Mexican-American War. Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day like most Americans think. The holiday has minor significance in Mexico, mainly celebrated in the state of Puebla. It was first celebrated in the United States by Mexican immigrants in southern California as a way to celebrate their heritage.

The holiday is mostly celebrated by Americans because it’s an excuse to party during the week. I can hear the phrase “Cinco de Drinko” echoing all over college campuses now. The victory actually had great significance for America as well. France had been giving supplies to the Confederacy at the start of the Civil War. The loss stopped France from continuing aide to the South, who already was being crippled by lack of goods and supplies.  So, might as well toast to Mexico for helping end slavery if you going to get totally wasted on Thursday.

Sadly, this college kid has very tough finals all next week and will be shutting herself up in the library studying for the week, so I will not be partaking in the festivities tomorrow. But today was the last day of class, so I thought I’d throw my self a little fiesta to celebrate surviving my first year in Hawaii.

As a West Coast girl, I grew up eating killer Mexican Food. I loved going to my Mexican friends’ houses, nothing like a homemade tortilla. And there is no shortage of awesome Mexican restaurants. Two of my favorites in the Portland area are Maztalan and Lupe’s Escape. And if you are in Eugene, you have to try Daniel’s or The Mission, spent some good May 5th’s in those places as an undergrad at University of Oregon. As for Hilo, there is only one Mexican place, Ruben’s. It’s good, but nothing special to be honest.

Mexican is my second favorite cuisine after Thai, so I had a hard time deciding what dish I wanted to make. After probably more thought than necessary, I decided on tostadas because I had not had one in awhile. This also works out well because they are gluten free and May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month. But, I knew there would be margaritas. I love tequila, and there is nothing like a sweet and tangy margarita to refresh you after a long day. I will forever think of my friend Joely every time I have one. During my senior year at U of O, she and I would often go share a pitcher (or two) at The Mission and gossip for hours. I miss you terribly girl, please come visit me soon!

This recipe should feed 4 people, 2 tostadas each.

Pinto Bean Tostadas
2 cans pinto beans, drained
4 cloves garlic
1 cup water
1 tbs chili powder
2 tsp smoked paprika
Salt to taste
1 large red bell pepper
1 large green bell pepper
1/2 medium white onion
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 Anaheim pepper
8 Corn tortillas
Salsa
Vegan sour cream

Margaritas
Sweet and Sour Mix
Gold Tequila
Salt
Fresh lime
Ice

The smoked paprika makes all the difference.

Drain and rinse the pinto beans. I picked pinto because it is very common in Mexican cooking and I like the mild flavor. Mince the garlic cloves, and add along with the pinto beans to a sauce pan. Add the water, chili powder, smoked paprika and salt. I really suggest you used smoked paprika, it can be found in most stores and really gives the beans a great flavor.

Similar to refried, but way less fat and sodium.

Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Coook until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Stir occasionally.

All organic, of course.

While the beans cook, cut the bell peppers and onions into thin strips. I picked red and green for the colors of the Mexican flag.

 

Love the smell of cooked bell peppers.

Spray a skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the veggies to the skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook until the onions are slightly golden and the peppers start to blacken a bit.

 

All organic corn tortilla.

Remove the peppers from the skillet and cover to keep warm. Spray the skillet again with cooking spray and keep it on medium heat. Depending on the size of the skillet, put 1 to 2 tortillas in at a time and heat until they crisp up and start to blacken slightly. Watch carefully, they tend to burn quickly.

 

I leave a few seeds because I like it hot.

Lastly, chop up the Anaheim peppers. You can use any hot pepper you like. I strongly suggest doing this last so you don’t contaminate everything and make your food insanely hot. Cut the pepper down the middle. If you want less heat, clean out the membrane and seeds with a spoon. Chop into small pieces. WASH YOUR HANDS afterward, the juice will soak into your fingers and can get into your eyes.

 

Green, white, and red like the Mexican flag.

Now time to assemble. Plate one crisped tortilla and evenly spread about 1 to 2 tbs of beans on top. Next put on about 1/4 cup of veggies.

Tofutti sour cream is so good.

Then top with as much fresh salsa and sour cream as you like. Then sprinkle on some of the Anaheim peppers and squirt some lime juice for kick. A little cilantro is wonderful too.

 

Both on sale, score.

Now, for the margaritas.  I like mine on the rocks instead of blended. I am not the best bartender so I used sweet and sour mix. I don’t like triple sec  and I don’t notice a different without it, so I don’t use it.

 

The salt is red because it’s Hawaiian sea salt, tainted from algae

I used a regular drinking glass since I used my margarita glasses for my Chocolate Chili Mousse yesterday. Wet the rim of your glass with lime juice. Pour some salt on a plate and roll the rim in the salt.

 

Here’s to the end of my first year as a geology undergrad!

Add a handful of ice cubes to the glass. The best ratio is 3 parts mix to 1 part tequila. Pour the liquids over the ice and stir gently. Squirt in a little lime juice and garnish with a wedge.

Yeah for Mexico’s victory over France that prevented aide to the Confederacy! Feliz Cinco de Mayo!

I am one happy gringa.