Monday, April 29, 2013

red beans and brown rice with cajun butter shrimp and peppers (lower fat version).

After our weekend in New Orleans we fell in love with Cajun food. We have been wanting red beans and rice for the last several weeks, so finally I decided to conquer this meal.

The problem with real red beans and rice is it is full of bacon, sausage and ham. That's just a little too much for me. So I cut the meat way back, but still ended up with a very flavorful dinner!

P.S. for real cajun black beans and rice add celery, I HATE celery and just can't have it in my food. Throw some in with the peppers and onion.

Black Beans and rice

adapted from Emeril Lagasse

3/4 lb red beans
6 slices bacon
1 green pepper-diced
1 onion-diced
1-2 t cajun seasoning
2 bay leaves
2 T fresh parsley (or 1 T dried)
2 t fresh thyme (or 1/2 t dried)
3 T garlic
5 cups water or broth (I think vegetable broth would be the best!)

Rinse and sort beans. Soak overnight and drain. Cook bacon in a large pot. Remove cooked bacon and cook onion and pepper in the bacon grease. Add cajun seasoning, bay leaves, parsley, thyme and garlic. Stir and cook until well mixed. Add beans and water and stir well. Bring to boil, the reduce heat and cook uncovered for 1-1 1/2 hours.

Cook brown rice according to package, add a bay leave while cooking.

Cajun butter shrimp and peppers

1/2 lb shrimp
2 T butter
1 red pepper-sliced
1 yellow pepper-sliced
cajun seasoning to taste

Sprinkle shrimp with cajun seasoning. Place in fridge for 30 minutes. Heat 2 T butter in skillet, add peppers. Sprinkle with cajun seasoning and cook about 3 minutes. Add shrimp, stir and cook 4-5 minutes more.

In New Orleans the rice is served in a lump, so I put the rice in the cup, backed it in and turned it over on the plate on top of the beans. Top with shrimp and peppers.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Honey Chipotle Pepper Tostadas

I love peppers and these peppers are my new obsession. I just cannot get enough of them. I made them twice in five days. They are good on just about anything, and I eat them plain. These tostadas were my first complete gluten-free meal and John's response was "I didn't think gluten-free could be so good."

Honey Chipotle Pepper Tostadas

1 green pepper
1 red pepper
1 T. honey
1-3 chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, diced
1 can pinto beans
1 c. brown rice-cooked
1/2 t. cumin
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. salt
1 avocados
1/4 c. plain greek yogurt
1 clove garlic
Corn Tortillas
olive oil

Preheat oven to 425

Combine rice with cumin, chili powder and salt and a couple drizzles of EVOO. Spread out on baking sheet and toast in the oven for about ten minutes-stirring occasionally. Rice should become crispy.

Heat a little EVOO over medium heat. Add peppers and cook for 5 minutes. Add honey and chipotle, stir and cook for a minute or two until the peppers are covered with sauce.

Warm beans on stove

Blend together garlic, avocado and yogurt until smooth.

Heat corn tortillas. Top with rice, beans, peppers, lettuce, salsa and avocado dressing. Enjoy!

Cajun Veggie Frittata

Last November we visited my uncle. He is a new bachelor and didn't have much in the kitchen, but he had the seasoning "Slap your mama." You can only buy it in Louisiana so he has it mailed to him in California. I figured this must be some good seasoning so we picked some up last month in New Orleans. It is now one of our only seasonings in our hotel for 8 weeks, so we have had everything seasoned with it over the last month.

One of my favorite was this frittata, easy to make, but amazing to eat.

Cajun Veggie Frittata

1/2 zucchini
1/2 yellow squash
1/2 red pepper
1/2 green pepper
5 eggs
1 T milk
1/3-1/2 cheddar cheese
1 t. cajun seasoning (more or less depending on how hot you like it!)

Roast peppers under broiler until skin is charred. Place in tubberware with lid on. Roast pealed and diced zucchini and squash at 425 for 10 minutes (sprinkle with a little olive oil first). 

Meanwhile peal and dice the peppers. Lightly beat the eggs, milk and seasoning.

Once the squash is cooked place all veggies in a strainer to drain liquids (I saved the juices because it made a great sauce for leftover veggies the next day).

Heat ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Pour egg mixture into pan, throw veggies then cheese on top. Allow to cook about five minutes or until almost set. Place pan in over at 425 for another 5-8 minutes until set.


*Since I was cooking veggies anyway I did a full one of each and then had veggies for lunch the next couple of days. Or make my phyllo dough sandwich the next day-kill two birds with one stone.  

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Roasted pesto vegetables wrapped in phyllo dough

After over two weeks on the road I just needed a delicious veggie packed dinner. I was having an insane craving for phyllo dough and pesto (I really don't know why those are not two foods I normal eat) so I came up with this little meal. John and I pretty much devoured it all in a matter of minutes after Caleb went down. So yummy!!

Roasted pesto vegetables wrapped in phyllo dough

1 zucchini-pealed and diced
1 yellow squash-pealed and diced
1 red pepper
4 handfuls spinach
1/2-3/4 c. pesto
1/2 c. shredded mozzarella
1/2 of one pack of phyllo dough
Olive Oil spray

Roast red pepper under broiler until skin is charred. Place pepper in tubberware with lid on. Once it is cool enough to touch pull off the skin and cut into strips. Mix squash and zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 425 for about 10 minutes until cooked but not too squishy. Meanwhile place single sheet of dough on a cookie sheet. Spray with olive oil then repeat until you have about 8 sheets. Spread pesto over the dough. Sprinkle with cheese. Place peppers on one half of the dough and fold dough over. Bake 10-15 minutes until golden brown. Cut into squares and enjoy!