Vegetable Black Bean Enchiladas

My CSA this week was one of the best!  I’m not sure if it’s that I missed it since I haven’t been able to pick it up for about 3 weeks or it was just outstanding.

Kale, Green Onions, Sweet Peppers, Jalapenos, Eggplant, Beets, Parsley, Basil, Lettuce, Cabbage, Tomatoes, Oh my!

Wayy too excited.  Another exciting thing was this

Maseca to make tortillas!  Just add water!

I’ve been going TORTILLA CRAZZYYYY!  Yesterday, all the talk of families made me miss my own.  Naturally, Guatemalan breakfast came to the rescue: Black Beans, Eggs, Sour Cream and Homemade Tortillas.

Today I decided to combine the two wonderful things: Handmade Tortillas + CSA Vegetables.  Result = Black Bean Vegetable Enchiladas


Vegetable Black Bean Enchiladas

1 tbsp olive oil
2 small summer squashes, chopped
1 medium onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped*
2 cups greens (spinach, kale, beet greens, etc.)
2 cups black beans, cooked
1 1/2 tbsp cumin
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/2 tbsp paprika
salt and pepper to taste
12 tortillas (handmade or store bought)
2 cans enchilada sauce
2 oz cheese (optional)

In a large pot or pan, heat oil.  Add onions and squash.  Cook until onions are translucent.  Add red pepper and jalapeno, cook for a few more minutes.  Add beans, spices and greens (I used beet greens), cook for a few minutes until the greens have wilted.  Now you have the delicious filling that is a wonderful side dish on its own as well!

Next, take a tortilla, spread some of the filling in the center and roll like a taquito/flauta.  Place on a 9 x 13 baking dish.  Repeat until all 12 tortillas are rolled or you run out of filling.  Pour enchilada sauce over the tortilla rolls.    Sprinkle with cheese (I used string cheese, because that’s how I roll but I bet chedder or monterey would be better).

Let the tortillas soak up the liquid for at least 30 minutes.  In the meantime, clean up and preheat the oven to 350.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Allow to cool and serve with a dollop of sour cream (or greek yogurt) and some chopped green onion!

*Please use gloves when chopping the jalapeno!  I had a terrible experience over 4th of July weekend where jalapeno got in my eye, saturated my contact and pain ensued!  Trust me take the precaution.  Use gloves!

Deeeeelicious!  Wayyyy better than a lot of the stuff at Mexican restaurants.  I generally don’t like Mexican restaurants because the food a lot of times isn’t that great.  Refried beans and sour cream covered in cheese is not my idea of a delicious Mexican meal. Maybe that’s the food snob in me 🙂

Are you a fan of Mexican food?

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Wafflezone-o-wich?

Nope.  Those aren’t burnt waffles.

It’s a waffle, pizza, calzone, and a panini all in one!

Okay so I have no idea if I read about this or dreamt about it.  Let’s be realistic, I probably read about it because I doubt I could be this creative.

Actually nevermind, let’s pretend I’m great and I thought it up all on my own.

I made a quick whole wheat pizza dough by mixing together:

1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour (or just 1 cup WW flour and omit all purpose)
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/8 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
3/4 cup warm water
1/2 tbsp olive oil

After kneading it for about 2 minutes.  I let the dough rest for about 10 minutes.  Then I divided it into two equal sized pieces and on a well floured surface, rolled each piece VERY thinly.  I topped one side with some pasta sauce, kale (obviously), smart dog and 1 string cheese.  I put the other thinly rolled piece of dough on top and sealed the edges by folding over and pinching together.  After I put it in a heated waffle iron for 5 minutes.  The dough shouldn’t reach the edges, you’re going to squish it down so it’ll get there but leave about an inch of room all around.

It got a little messy in the spots where the sauce oozed out.  But it was completely worth it.

Perfect for days like today when turning on the oven could easily qualify as murder.  Not to mention it takes about 20 minutes total to make and if you use store bought pizza dough, the process takes less than 10 minutes.

Also fun because I’m obsessed with this waffle maker!  While these were delicious, there’s always room for improvement.

A few suggestions:

  • Roll the dough very thinly,  maybe don’t use all the dough.
  • If something is in chunks (i.e. kale and smart dog in this situation), chop them very finely.  Big chunks are okay but I bet it would be less messy if the chunks were smaller.
  • Reduce the sauce or just use tomatoes.  Ragu is a little more runny than other sauces.  I’d reduce it a bit (or maybe I was just over zealous with the sauciness, as I often tend to do).

I should also note that this waffle maker is huge!  So one waffle is enough for two people.

If you have a waffle maker, try it!  Super easy and relatively healthy!

The Pros and Cons of a CSA Share

Hi friends!  Hope your day is starting out well.  This morning I went to a TERRIBLE spinning class, but we won’t talk about that.  Instead, let’s talk about vegetables.

I’ve had my CSA share for about a month now.

Overall I’d say it’s been great.  Here in Ithaca, having a CSA share is pretty common, but I know in other places it’s not.  So why not do some pros and cons. Feel free to chime in with some comments!

Cons:

1. My salad spinner is my new best friend.

With a CSA you don’t have the luxury of packaged/pre-washed vegetables.  Preparing things takes a bit longer as everything has to be washed, trimmed, chopped, etc.

2.  No more green monsters everyday.

I haven’t gotten any spinach in my share so I’ve been going through green monster withdrawal.  I actually went to the grocery store at one point this month ONLY to buy spinach so I could make a green monster.  I tried it with JUST kale, it was NOT good.

So sometimes you miss certain vegetables.  I also haven’t had a carrot since May even though I used to have one every day.  But I have plenty of other vegetable options.

3.  Eat cautiously.

Because the veggies are so fresh and haven’t traveled far, I’ve found my fair share of worms in my lettuce.  Some would see this as horrible, but I don’t think it’s that big a deal.  If anything, it’s a marker of freshness.

Added bonus: helps me slow down (as I tend to eat very quickly) when I have to inspect each bite 🙂

4.  Somewhat pricey?  I’m torn on this one.  My share ends up costing $19 per week.  For that amount, I have unlimited local organic vegetables.  For one person, that might be a lot but I think if I bought the same stuff (entirely local and organic) at the grocery store it would probably cost more.

Pros:

1.  Supporting local agriculture.  You can feel good about yourself… or something.

2.  Plenty of organic vegetables!

Having a CSA share has definitely made me increase my vegetable intake.  Since I don’t have the heart to throw anything away, I eat a huge bag of vegetables each week usually something to the effect of: 2-3 bunches of kale, 1 head of lettuce, a kohlrabi, some broccoli and a cucumber.  Kind of a lot.

3.  Forces you to get creative.  A lot of times, you’ve never heard of a vegetable that’s in your share (check out my first experience with kohlrabi).  But a lot of times you don’t want to eat the same vegetable prepared the exact same way for weeks on end.

So you try to get creative, like this:

Vegetable Polenta Bake for One (or Two)

1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
1 small yellow squash, thinly sliced
1-2 cups greens (I used kale and chard)
1 cup pasta sauce (jarred or homemade)
1-2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
1 oz mozzarella (I used 1 string cheese)
1-2 tbsp grated paremesan/pecorino romano/asiago cheese
1/4 cup cornmeal
1 cup water
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp salt

Heat oil in a pan, add onion and cook for a few minutes (until translucent), add garlic, zucchini and yellow squash and cook for a few minutes (it shouldn’t be cooked all the way).  Next add greens and stir around until they start to wilt.  Add pasta sauce and stir until greens have cooked down.  Turn off the heat and stir in the parsley.

In a small pot or sauce pan, combine cornmeal, water, garlic powder, onion powder and salt.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Once cornmeal starts to thicken (aka polenta), keep stirring until the polenta starts to come off the sides.

Take a small baking dish,  spread half of the sauce/vegetable mixture in the baking dish, then on top of that spread half of the polenta.  Next top with half the string cheese/mozzarella and half of the parmesan.  Repeat.

Bake in the toaster oven for 20 minutes.

Allow to cool.  Either eat it straight from the dish for another single lady (or gent) meal or serve on a plate with a simple green salad.

Ingredients from CSA in this dish: zucchini, yellow squash, kale and chard, parsley. + side salad with lettuce and cucumbers from CSA as well.

4.  Less trips to the grocery store!   Since I pick up at the Farmer’s Market once or twice, I make less frequent trips to the grocery store.  As a result, I spend less on things I don’t really need.  Because let’s face it, who actually sticks to their shopping list when they go to the store?

5.  It’s fun!  If you’re like me, vegetables are probably one of the most exciting things ever!  You get fun new ones every week!

Do you have a CSA share?  Consider getting one?
Any Pros or Cons I missed?

Lentil Chili over Sun Dried Tomato Cornmeal Waffles

Ever since my friend Liz left me her waffle iron for the summer, I’ve had waffles on the brain.

It sits in the living room next to my basil plant and mini rose bush, because there’s no where in the kitchen to put it.

I basically think about waffle ideas all the time. In the shower.  On runs.  During movies.

Today was no exception.  It was kind of cold out today (low 60s), something warm and tasty was in order.

Lentil Chili

1 onion, diced
1 tsp garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne
1 cup lentils
2 cups water or vegetable broth
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt (optional)
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1 smart dog (or real hot dog if you eat meat), diced, optional
1/2 bunch of kale (about 7 leaves), cleaned, stemmed and finely chopped

Heat oil in a pot.  Add onions and cook for a few minutes.  Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.  Add can of  tomatoes, spices, lentils, water and corn.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add kale and smart dog and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Serve over savory sun dried tomato cornmeal waffles

Sun Dried Tomato Cornmeal Waffles

1/4-1/3 sun dried tomatoes (about 10 pieces), rehydrated or packed in oil
1 cup buttermilk (or the old trickeroo 1 tbsp of vinegar + enough milk to fill up 1 cup, let sit for 10 mins)
1/2 cup flour
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cornmeal
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 egg white
3 tbsp olive oil

Blend together rehydrated sun dried tomato and milk until smooth.  Add eggs pulse.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking soda, baking powder, salt, parmesan cheese.  Gradually pulse in dry ingredients until just combined and smooth (make sure to scrape the sides of the blender).  Pour into a hot waffle iron, bake for 3 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through.  Makes 2 huge belgian waffles and probably a few regular waffles.  Enough for 4 people.

Honestly, this might be one of the best things I’ve ever made.  Sort of like a better version of corn bread and chili, right?

Who knew savory waffles could be so good!

Not only was it ridiculous quick and easy, it’s pretty healthy!  The lentil chili is vegan and all sorts of healthy (because I put kale in everything) and the waffles… well we all need a little bit of carb and fat in our life.  We especially need sun dried tomato!  You could probably blend in some spinach or kale to sneak in some more vegetables.

You can also freeze the waffles if you have leftovers then pop them in the toaster oven when you’re ready to enjoy them again!

Try it.  You won’t regret it.

Well, I’m headed to the middle of nowhere NY to do some stuff for my internship then I’m headed out of town for the weekend!

Have a great 4th of July!!

Lentils, Quinoa and Kale

I swear the weather in Ithaca has terrible mood swings! It’s cloudy and gross out today.

The day started off with more World Cup and waffles, but I’ll spare you that.  I’m sure your tired of hearing about waffles and the World Cup (not that I’m going to stop talking about it… more on that later).  In between games, I went for a run.  It was great!  5 miles that flew by! It probably helped that it was pretty cool out.

For dinner, I decided I should probably finish up the kale I got last Saturday before it goes bad.  This ensued…

Lentil, Quinoa, Kale Sautee

1 tsp olive oil
1 shallot, sliced
1 bunch of kale, cleaned and chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup cooked lentils
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup tomato sauce (aka pasta sauce, or sautee some fresh tomatoes and herbs with the shallot if you have them instead!)
3 eggs

Heat the oil in a pan, add shallot and cook for 2 minutes.  Add kale and cook down for a few minutes.  Stir in pasta sauce, quinoa and lentils.

While kale is cooking, boil some water to poach eggs.  Once water starts boiling, slowly slide in raw eggs and poach for 3 minutes.  Remove with a slotted spoon.

Serve quinoa, lentil, kale mixture on a plate, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and top with poached egg, because really everything tastes better with a runny yolk.

I like this because it’s quick, easy and healthy, but also because you can easily adjust the measurements to feed as many or as few people as you need.

Not gonna lie.  I’m a little bummed the US lost today (although I’m not completely surprised).  Sort of put a damper on my night.  Although I will say I’m looking forward to tomorrow!

Germany vs England in the morning.
Mexico vs Argentina in the afternoon.

My guesses:  Germany beats England.  Argentina beats Mexico.

I hope I don’t jinx them!

What do you think?  Not that into it?

I think I might do some baking tonight since 1) I’m a little bummed and 2) it’s not that hot and 3) I really have nothing else to do!

Have a great night!