Wednesday, September 26, 2012

spinach & mushroom enchiladas

An answer to the age-old question: Yes, you can use salsa instead of enchilada sauce.

Both of them have basically the same ingredients, but enchilada sauce is a little more processed and/or labor-intensive to make yourself. Most of the ingredients in these enchiladas are things you might just have lying around, so salsa seems to go with that. And the filling is healthy and protein-tastic, but it gives that creamy yum you want with Mexican food.

Loosely based on these vegetarian enchiladas.

2 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 jalepenos, de-seeded and chopped
dash of red pepper flakes
1 T cumin
a big handful of cilantro, washed and chopped
1-10oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and excess water squeezed out
1 container (about 6 or 8?) large mushrooms, sliced
1 cup whipped lowfat cottage cheese (if you have regular cottage cheese, drain it first) 
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
8 corn tortillas
1 jar salsa
4oz shredded cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a skillet, sauté onion, garlic, and jalepenos until tender. When they're relatively dry, add the mushrooms and continue cooking until they're wilted.

2. Throw in the cumin, red pepper and spinach. Sauté until spinach is warmed through, then remove the skillet from the heat.

3. Combine cottage cheese, yogurt, and a bit of shredded cheese in a bowl. Stir in the black beans, cilantro and veggie mixture. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed.

4. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with olive oil or nonstick spray. Take each corn tortilla and wrap it around about 1/4 c of the filling. Place it open-side down in the baking dish. (If your tortillas are breaking apart, microwave until warm to make them more flexible.)

5. When the dish is full, pour the jar of salsa over it and sprinkle cheese on top.

6. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese is all melted and the edges of the tortillas are crispy and golden.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Apple Streusel Bars

From: Honey & Jam

I made these apple bars to celebrate all the September birthdays in our small office (half of our staff of 8 are Sept birthdays).  They were good, and everyone loved them.  I thought they could be a little less sweet, so when I make them again (and I probably will), I will try cutting down on the sugar in the apple filling first.  I'm not sure how it would affect the consistency of the crust if you decreased the sugar there... might still work.

2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. real butter, softened
1 egg, beaten

Apple Filling:
1/2 c. white sugar (could probably use less - these are pretty sweet bars)
1/4 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
4 c. (about 3 medium) sliced, peeled baking apples

2 c. powdered sugar
About 3 Tbsp. milk (whole milk is best)
1/2 tsp. almond extract

To prepare crust, mix flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until you have pea-sized crumbles. Gently mix in beaten egg.

Spray a 9x13 baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Gently pat about 2/3 of the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the dish. Preheat oven to 350 and set aside.

To prepare apple filling, combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon and toss with apples.

Spread apples out on prepared crust. Sprinkle reserved crust mixture over apples evenly and bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes.(Mine took 45 min or so).

When finished, allow to cool.

To prepare glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, almond extract, and enough milk to achieve desired consistency. Spoon glaze on top of bars. (If you glaze them when they’re still a little warm, the topping isn’t as bright white, which you may or may not prefer.  If you want bright shiny white glaze, wait until the bars are totally cool before glazing.)

Saturday, September 08, 2012

roasted tomato panzanella

The thing that makes this salad so delicious is the balsamic glaze, I think -- which is just regular old balsamic, simmered on the stove until it gets thick and sticky and sweet. Mm. Adapted from this recipe.

Preheat the oven to 400.

Cube about 3 cups of stale bread and spread it out on an oiled baking sheet. Drizzle more olive oil on top. Toast for about 10 minutes in the oven, until golden brown. Pour onto a platter or into a glass baking dish.

On another baking sheet or two, spread 2 generous pints of cherry tomatoes  -- different colors look pretty, but any cherry or grape will do; and better yet, make it 3 pints so you have leftover roasted tomatoes tomorrow -- and drizzle with olive oil and sea salt.

About 10 minutes in, take the tomatoes out and drain the hot tomato liquid (hotttt) on top of the bread. Don't soak it, just give it a bit of tasty roasted tomato love. Put the tomatoes back in for another 10 minutes, or until they start turning dark and wrinkly.

Chop 2 balls of fresh mozzarella into bite-sized pieces. Tear a bunch of basil leaves into pieces; they don't have to be tiny. Throw them in with the bread.

Make your balsamic glaze: Simmer 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar on the stove on low, until it thickens and reduces about by half. Pour into a small glass or jar.

When the tomatoes are ready, allow them to cool for a few minutes and pour on top of the bread mixture. No need to mix. Drizzle about half of the balsamic reduction on top with a little more olive oil in a lovely decorative fashion.