Did you know that Ignacio Anaya invented the first plate of nachos? Yep! He did it for a group of hungry military spouses in Mexico. Bam! Thank you 1943. I am an avid eater of nachos, although, these days my nachos look more like salads with lettuce as the chips, but you know what? Every now and then, we make the most delicious batch of baked nachos.
My favorite way to make nachos is with vegan ground "meat", black beans, olives, and avocado. I've provided our recipe and a few ideas for variations. Bake them on a huge baking sheet and put it in the center of the table for everyone to enjoy.
Being from the West coast has been a gift of life because I am always two skips shy of a river with salmon in it. Salmon is my second favorite fish, coming in shy behind rainbow trout. I wrote this recipe after we went on a fishing trip at the Columbia River Gorge. We had so many beautiful salmon that I had to do them justice.
Of course, my youngest daughter insisted that she get sashimi because she is the sweetest and most darling cousin of Gollum. Everything is better raw she says,...and shoot, the kid won't eat salmon unless it is raw.
Anyways, this salmon is dressed with dijon mustard, lemon juice and fresh dill. Yum.
Potstickers make a meal that adults and children can both fall in love with. Potstickers can be eaten with a fork, chopsticks, or cute little fingers. They can be baked, broiled, fried or steamed, and then dipped into a variety of sauces.
Perfect way to teach kids how to cook too.
I love potstickers. In my home, we make potstickers every week because I am a ninja. Actually, at the beginning of every month, I make a batch of 200 potstickers and freeze them.
Talk about hard work, but it definitely pays off on those nights that I have nothing left and am on the verge on committing fast food suicide. And then a child reminds me that she "sure wishes that she could just have a potsticker" and BAHM...dinner is done.
Once you have mastered this recipe, you will find yourself doing all sorts of good and not-so-great variations. Honestly, I like to think of potstickers as teeny tiny vegetable delivery pouches. Kids and picky adults love love love them.
Hearth bread is one of our favorite breads to bake. Hearth bread is a fancy way of saying calzone dough. This bread is used to wrap fillings inside and serve piping hot alongside a huge salad (unless, you are like me and put your salad inside your calzone). Calzones are ideal for portable, hearty meals. You can make them for breakfast, lunch, or dare I say it, dessert.
As with any yeast bread, this is a time-intensive recipe. Loads of waiting. I like to start this one in the morning before we head to the garden because I know that I can complete the next step when we get back from picking tomatoes and infant-sized zucchini. The dough is a blank slate. Add herbs to the dough. Knead in some cinnamon and nutmeg...you get the point. Be daring with this one. You'll thank yourself later.
The savory kick of Anaheim chilies mixed with roasted corn and shredded turkey makes for a perfect burrito, enchilada or taco. I used leftover Thanksgiving turkey to start this dish and then combined it with green enchilada sauce before roasting it in the oven at 350 for an hour. Yum!
Turkey is everywhere. Turkey sandwiches. Turkey soup. Turkey eggrolls. Turkey in my oatmeal. There is a lot of turkey goin' on 'round here. Tonight I took some of the turkey and transformed it into fall off the bone shredded brown sugary BBQ sweetness. Oh yes, I did.
BBQ shredded turkey is so delicious. You can stuff into a tortilla of between two slices of crusty bread topped with pickled red onions and apple cider vinegar coleslaw. My favorite thing about this recipe is that you can put it together in the pot and let it sit for 3-4 hours without doing anything.
The key to this recipe is to have homemade BBQ sauce on hand so you can be super lazy and watch the meat shred itself in a pot of sauce. Mmmm. Oh and I did I mention that I add carrots and onions to my shredded meat? Mmmm...Keep reading to get the BBQ sauce recipe.
Once you have made the recipe, add it to 3 cups shredded turkey, 1 diced, sauteed onion and a diced carrot.
Thanksgiving left a lot of food in my fridge -- mostly turkey -- turkey wings; turkey legs ; turkey everything...turkey carcass...yup. I used the turkey bones to make a rich, marrowy stock that served as the base for the soup that I made last night. The soup is so easy -- you can use veggie leftovers and add new veggies to the soup for a rich, winter stew. It features spinach, carrots, potatoes, corn and ditalini pasta.
I love this recipe because you can eat it immediately, store some in the fridge and freeze the rest in heavy-duty bags for another night. The stew will last 3-6 months in the freezer if properly packaged.
This soup pairs well with crust bread and butter.
Lasagna -- a classic Italian dish filled with cheese, meat, and red sauce -- oh and noodles. I like to fill my lasagna with an abundance of rich cheeses, ground turkey, fresh oregano, and my *secret* ingredient -- lemon zest -- to give it a punch. My feelings on portion control come into play when I make this dish because it is one of those meals where you can accidentally overeat as you go in for seconds. We as human underestimate our caloric intake daily. To avoid overeating and to maintain portion control, I like to make lasagna in individual ramekins. And I only make enough for the people at the table. No overeating; unless you want more salad!
I've been on a major sweet potato kick lately. Almost every night, there is a plate of sweet pots of the table. Mmm. Some nights I chop them and other nights, I like to wedge them. A batch takes about 20 minutes to cook under the broiler -- yes, the broiler. Never use the "oven" to bake sweet potato fries because you will end up with half-cooked potatoes or having to wait 1 hour to eat them.
Chili is a great way to have a dinner party. Yes, I'm serious. A chili dinner party. Throughout my undergraduate education, I held monthly dinner parties for friends and classmates. Instead of slaving away over a plate that requires 3 components cooked to perfection (in my tiny kitchen, no way), I made of pot of something delicious that puts a smile on everybody's faces.
Given that some of my friends are vegetarians, vegans, or otherwise, I always made the dish eater-friendly. No meat. No dairy, and a gluten-free side. My three-bean chili with soyrizo always won people over.
It is rich, hearty, and healthy. The soyrizo lends a textured spicy addition to the beans. The chili can sit on the stove for hours, making it a great set-it and come back to get it dish. I make cornbread with the dish, but it does great on its own too.