Saturday, April 10, 2010

Black Bean Nachos

Everyone has their own nacho recipe. Mine is very simple, but it works for a fast and relatively healthy snack or meal.

Katie Mae's Nachos
Preheat oven or toaster oven to 350 degrees. Arrange chips on pizza tray or baking sheet so they are close but not overlapping. Distribute beans generously, then add cheese, making sure to get every chip. Bake for about 5 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. Add hot sauce to taste (I use a lot of the wimp stuff). Try not to burn your hands grabbing them.

Note: If this sounds good but you want something a little heartier or healthier, try this delicious quesadilla recipe from The New Home Economics. I make variations of this frequently (I always add corn to the bean mixture). If you have a toaster oven, you can make small ones in there instead of heating up the whole oven.

How do you make nachos? Please comment!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Mediterranean Dinner

Inspired by Amy of Runs with Spatula, I decided a few weeks ago to try making hummus again. To round the meal out, I made mujadara (a lentil and rice dish) and homemade pita.

It turned out pretty well. I'm starting to realize that when I compare my versions of certain dishes with the ones I get from stores and restaurants, they're disappointing, but if I approach them as a new and different food, they can still be good. This happened with the mujadara - it didn't taste like what I get from Aladdin's or Sultan's, but Chris doesn't remember those versions and thought mine was perfect.

Recipes after the break -

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Dinner with Friends: Kaesespaetzle, Salad, and Apple Crisp

This week Chris and I had dinner with our friends Sarynna and Chase at their beautiful new house. They lived in East Berlin for two years and picked up a fondness for Spaetzle - German egg noodles/little dumplings. Sarynna made a Kaesespaetzle recipe from scratch with the noodles, Emmentaler cheese, and fried purple onions. It was delicious and we enjoyed reminiscing about Europe while we ate it (Chris and I have both spent time in Germany as well).

In addition to Sarynna's Spaetzle, Chase made a tossed salad with romaine, artichokes, palm hearts, tomatoes, cucumber, and homemade balsamic dressing - kalamata olives on the side. I love salads with a lot going on, so this was perfect. Chris liked it too, without the olives.

I brought dessert - a new recipe. Ever since I read Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food last year, along with a few other books with a similar philosophy, I've been trying to eat more whole foods and less refined and processed stuff. This seemed like a good opportunity to challenge myself - could I make a dessert without refined sugar that still tastes like dessert? This apple crisp fit the bill, and I'm definitely going to make it again. I'll do my best to translate "fistful" and "pinch" into traditional measurements.