New Recipe: Chipotle Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

This is a super easy, yummy recipe. My kids love it because it’s cheesy, and vegetarian (important for my big kid). I’m making a big batch for dinner this week, with plenty of leftovers!

It freezes well so you can make a bigger batch and have some for later.

Chipotle Black Bean Enchilada Casserole

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1 bag MorningStar Farms® Chipotle Black Bean Crumbles (12 oz)
  • 3 cups cheese, divided (I use Mexican blend)
  • 1 large (28 oz) enchilada sauce (I like green)
  • 16-19 corn tortillas, torn into bite-size pieces
  • 1 bag (12 oz-ish) fajita blend (that’s onions and peppers)
  • spray release

Directions:

  1. Spray a 9×11 baking dish with spray release.
  2. Layer torn tortillas, black bean crumbles, fajitas blend, tortillas, sauce, and cheese.
  3. Layer until pan is filled, top with cheese.
  4. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until bubbly.
  5. Remove foil and continue to bake for 10-15 minutes until the top is brown and bubbly.

Serve with sour cream, salsa, and diced black olives (optional, but a family favorite). I serve with a Mexican Caesar Salad, or Cilantro Lime Rice-a-Roni.

To make this dish vegan, use vegan cheese.

Mexican Cesar Salad

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 cups of your favorite lettuce/lettuce blend (romaine and bibb is great!)
  • 2 tomatoes cubed/sliced
  • ½ cup purple onion, cut into rings
  • 1 small can corn, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ c ranch dressing
  • ½ c your favorite salsa

Directions:

  1. Combine the salsa and ranch together, chill in fridge 6-8 hours before servings. This allows the flavors to blend.
  2. Toss the veggies in a chilled salad bowl with the dressing.
  3. Top with ¼ c crushed corn chips/tortilla chips for some added crunch!

Serve topped with grilled chicken breasts for an entree or without meat as a side dish.  Serves 3 as an entree, serves 6 as a side dish.

 

Family Recipe: Fruit Salad

The other day I was chatting online with a group of friends and I mentioned making fruit salad. One of my younger friends asked, “Can you send me the recipe for that?”

I’ve never really thought about writing a recipe for fruit salad, since I’ve been making it since I was a kid. It was always a staple at family dinners with my maternal grandparents. My Grandma was known to make a literal punchbowl of fruit salad for parties.

This recipe does not make a punchbowl full.  The nice thing about fruit salad is that you can put any kind of fruit into it, and if you don’t eat it all in one meal, it keeps in the fridge for a few days.

I change it up based on what comes in our CSA box each week, and based on which fruits are in season.

Grammie’s Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 Apples (any kind but red delicious, those are awful)
  • 2 oranges
  • 2 bananas (not overly ripe or they fall to mush)
  • 3 cups berries, your choice (I recommend 2/1 ratio, sliced strawberries and blueberries)
  • 1 ripe pineapple, cored and skinned. You can also use a can of pineapple tidbits in juice (juice drained off and fed to a kid) if fresh pineapple isn’t available.

Optional, but tasty when in season:

  • 1 cup fresh peaches, skin removed
  • 2 kiwis sliced, skin removed
  • 1 mango, peeled and removed from the pit/core

Note: I don’t like melon in my fruit salad. If you do, add 1-2 cups of your favorite melon (Cantaloupe or Honey Dew hold up well in a fruit salad).

Directions:

  1. Clean, Chop/slice all of your fruit (not needed for blueberries). I try to make each kind of fruit bite-sized, but a different shape. That way it makes for a nice presentation.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the fruit. If you omit the oranges, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and toss the fruit to coat. This keeps the apples from browning.
  3. Serve fruit salad cold as a side dish for any meal. If you like it spicy, serve it with Tajin on the side.
  4. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days in a covered container.

Talk Back: What are your favorite fruits to include in Fruit Salad? 

New Recipe: Corn and Avocado Salsa!

I received two ears of corn the other day, and unsure of what to do with them, I left them on the counter with bell pepper, onion, avocado, and tomato and went about my day.

Coming into the kitchen to make lunch, I glanced at my pile o’produce and realized that we had almost everything to make Corn and Avocado Salsa.

This is a quick, simple recipe- Enjoy!

Corn salsa

  • 1 cup fresh corn (removed from the cob with a knife) you can also use frozen corn defrosted
  • 1 bell pepper color of your choice, chopped (I used red)
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes, de-seeded and chopped
  • 2 FRESH Jalapeños, deseeded, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped (I used a sweet onion, but red/purple onions are tasty too)
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • 1 14 ounce can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Approximately a handful of cilantro, minced (if you are like me and cilantro tastes like soap, use parsley instead)

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients, stir to combine.
  2. Place in refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours before serving. It’s best if it rests overnight before eating. This gives it time for the flavors to mingle and blend.

This is a very pretty, colorful dish. It is great as salsa or as a salad.  It’s great with chips, as a side, on tacos, in burritos. No lie, I ate some out of the mixing bowl. 10/10, would do it again.

If you don’t like black beans, good substitutes are white beans or pinto beans.

 

 

Review: Hen in a Hurry

In October, I was offered a sample meal box from Hen in a Hurry. It arrived towards the end of the month, and I was stoked. We’ve been making our way through the meals. 

Hen in a Hurry is an awesome new frozen family meal Delivery service. Hen in a Hurry was created in the small kitchen of the popular Greensboro, North Carolina eatery, Iron Hen Cafe. By customer request, the idea of Hen in a Hurry came to be. They love organic and locally grown, but make exceptions for some farmers and producers. Meals are precooked and flash frozen so all you have to do is heat it up. All subscriptions are no commitment – pause or cancel at whenever you want!

We Received 4 meals to try out: 

-Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo with Fire Roasted Vegetables
-Pesto Zucchini Noodles with Fire Roasted Vegetables
-Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Pepper with Loaded Cauliflower
-Fresh Garlic and Turkey Meatloaf with Grilled Green Beans

The meals arrived frozen in a large styrofoam box. They were packed with dry ice, and when they arrived, most of the dry ice had evaporated, but the food was frozen like a rock!

We had the Philly Cheesesteak Stuffed Pepper with Loaded Cauliflower first. The directions give you the option to cook them in the microwave or the oven. I microwaved the peppers, which was a mistake. All of the cheese melted and turned into a puddle of fat in the bottom of the tray.  No problem! I put the peppers into a baking dish and sprinkled some Italian cheese blend on the top and put them under the broiler for 3 minutes. Dinner was saved.  The only thing that was missing was there were no onions in ours, so I had to grill some up separately and add them to the top before serving. 

And I’ve got a coupon code and deal to share with you!  You can chose which plan works best for your family. And this makes a great gift!

  • (30) Individual Meals – Subscription for a month – Regular Price: $315.00 – Deal: 45% off ($141.75 off) 1st months subscription Use Code: 45offFamilyGuide             
  •  (7) Individual Meals – Subscription for a week – Regular Price: $99.00 – Deal: $40 Off 1st week’s subscription Use Code: 40offFamilyGuide
  • (4) 4 days a week- Family Meals – Includes a side and entree for a family of 4 (16 total meals) – Regular Price $96 – Deal: $25 Off 1st week’s subscription Use Code: 25offFamilyGuide
  • (6) 6 days a week – Family Meals – Includes a side and entree for a family of 4 (24 total meals) – Regular Price $132 – Deal: $35 Off 1st week’s subscription Use Code: 35offFamilyGuide

To get started:

Visit Hen in a Hurry and pick one of the advertised subscriptions. During checkout set up your account and then enter in the promo code associated with the deal you choose. Easy peasy!

USE CODE “SHIP4FREE” TO GET FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $100.

And remember, all subscriptions are no commitment – pause or cancel any time. Orders placed by 12 Noon EST on Thursday will be shipped the following Monday afternoon.

I received these meals in order to facilitate this review, I received no financial compensation and all honest opinions are my own. Thanks to US Family Guide and Hen in a Hurry for this opportunity.

Recipe: Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Bacon!

IMG_7046.jpgBrussels Sprouts have a bad rap… Stinky, weird texture, gross. All of these things can be true if you boil them whole.

I’ve got a great recipe to share than turns our poor, stinky, vilified veggie into a tasty side dish! I made these for Thanksgiving and they were a HIT!

Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Onions and Bacon

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs yellow or white onions, thinly sliced
  • 4T. Butter
  •  1/4 c water or white wine
  • 2 lbs cleaned and chopped Brussels Sprouts
  • 1 lb bacon, cooked, drained, and chopped
  • Salt and Pepper as needed
  • 1/4 C shaved parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:

IMG_7047.jpgCook the bacon- I bake mine at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Then I drain it on paper towels. Once it has cooled, I take my super sharp knife and chop it up.

IMG_7045.jpgCaramelize the onions. Cook onions in butter on low for several hours, stirring occasionally. Scrape the yummy brown bits off the bottom of the pan, adding water or wine to help loosen the brown bits.

Once the onions turn a lovely brown (about 3-4 hours on low), add in the cooked chopped bacon and combine.

IMG_7051.jpgAdd in the chopped Brussels Sprouts and cook on medium for about 10-15 minutes. Season with Salt and pepper as needed. Pour into a serving dish and top with cheese.

We had this for Thanksgiving, but it also is great any time. If you end up with leftovers, it’s also great on a homemade pizza crust, topped with some extra mozzarella and parm baked at 450 for about 10-15 minutes.

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