Browsing articles tagged with " mushroom"

Two Pepper, Mushroom & Black Bean Quesadillas

Pepper, Mushroom & Black Bean Quesadilla
Oh man has it been cold lately. I’m not talking below freezing put on a scarf before you go out cold. This is the real deal. Like –17 degrees kind of cold. Like stay in bed and huddle under the covers kind of cold. Or sit in front of the fire and read a book kind of cold. The good news is that we finally have a nice layer of snow on the ground and the sun is out this morning so at least it looks pretty outside.

cold snowy view

Let me show you. This is the view through my kitchen window. What? You thought I was going to go outside and take a picture for you? Did I mention it’s below zero right now. Besides, I kind of like the contrast of my window sill succulents against the snowy cold backdrop. It’s like two worlds colliding.

So besides staying in bed or huddling by the fire how do I stay warm when the temperature dips below frigid? I cook of course!  Nothing warms the kitchen faster than a hot oven, and nothing warms the body better than a big glass of wine…umm,I mean plate of spicy food. Pepper and Mushroom Quesadilla
Quesadillas are the kind of food that everyone likes and anyone can make. Okay, maybe I’m generalizing a bit, but really what’s not to like? And can you say quick and easy- that’s what this dish is all about. Chop your ingredients, layer them in a tortilla with some cheese, pop in the oven and that’s it! Simple, simple, simple. The other thing I like about quesadillas is how many different ways you can make them. Pork, chicken, rice, pineapple, peaches, goat cheese, white beans, black beans…I could go on and on. If you can chop it and fit it between two tortillas you can make it into a quesadilla. I went pretty basic with this recipe. Partly because I really like this simple combo of peppers, mushroom and black bean, but mostly because it was what I had and it was far to cold to go to the store.

Here are my ingredients. Yes, that is frozen corn. Not many fresh ears floating around in the middle of January so the frozen stuff will have to do. The good thing- frozen corn from a bag is much less messy than cutting the kernels off the ears. I always find those little buggers all dried out under my toaster oven like a month later.
Here is everything all chopped up. You can adjust the amount of heat by either removing the ribs and seeds from the pepper for less heat, or leaving them for more. Since grocery store jalapeños tend to be pretty mild I left all the seeds and ribs for this recipe. In the summer though, when they come fresh from the garden, that’s a whole different story.
All the veggies go in a pan for a quick sauté.
Sprinkle the tortillas with cheese and top with the veggie mixture.
I added a bit of chopped roasted chicken that was leftover from a few nights ago, sprinkled on more cheese and topped with another tortilla.
After baking for 10 minutes top with fresh mashed avocado mixed with a squeeze of lime and serve with salsa. Guaranteed to warm you from the inside out!Pepper, Mushroom & Black Bean Quesadilla
Before I give you the recipe I feel obligated to include this note about tortillas:Not to be preachy but did you know that this innocent flat piece of dough can actually be incredibly unhealthy? A normal size 10-12” tortilla has an average of 130 calories, about 5 grams of sugar and only 3 grams of protein. That’s the whole wheat kind, don’t even get me started on the white ones. It doesn’t have to be this way. There are healthy tortillas out there. My favorite are the Cedar’s brand 8” whole wheat. Unlike many other “whole wheat” tortillas these actually contain whole wheat flour. They also only have one gram of sugar, 80 calories and 8 grams of protein. You might not be able to find this brand where you live, but PLEASE read the ingredients before you buy. And whatever you do, don’t buy the ones next to the taco shells in the middle of the store (yeah I am talking about the huge white Mission brand ones- you might as well be eating a donut). Generally the tortillas in the refrigerated section of the store are a far healthier option. Okay, enough lecturing…on to the recipe.

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New Year’s Appetizers – times two!

Sometimes I am the type of person who slaves for 3 hours over delicate mushroom filled pastry dough triangles . Annnd…sometimes I am the type of person who spends 20 minutes smearing cream cheese on canned crescent roll dough and calls it a day. These two sides of me often battle it out. The first side nags at me with her instance that everything must be made from scratch, artfully arranged, and taste like it came straight from the kitchen of Martha Stewart. The latter scoffs at this ridiculous notion that time and perfection equal taste and satisfaction. Usually, I can manage to broker some sort of compromise between the two, but not today. Today, on this New Year’s Eve Eve, the lazier (and more realistic) side won hands down- she even went so far as to buy dough in a can!


So what’s the bonus to taking the quick approach? More time to do laundry? Wash the dishes? Make New Year’s resolutions? Nope, nope, and nope. How about make more appetizers? Now that’s just my style. Actually, the second app didn’t take any extra time because I made it while the crescent rolls were baking. Multi-tasking and dough from a can…I must be channeling some sort of domestic goddess today.

Well, from one domestic goddess to another, I am here to tell you that you too can make not one, but two, impressive and delicious appetizers in a mere 20 minutes. And if that little voice in your head starts screeching about homemade dough and organic goat cheese infused with herbs, you can tell her I said to shut it! Sometimes simpler is better – especially on Friday.

TAW03624-1These mushroom cheese roll-ups are so simple that they take just four easy steps to make. Ready? Step one: sauté some mushrooms and onion. Opps…forgot to take pictures of this step, but you know what mushrooms in a pan look like.

Step two: mix together cheese, herbs and garlicTAW03586Step three: Spread cheese and mushrooms on the rolled out doughTAW93547

Step four: roll up, slice and bakeTAW03596-1

That’s it. Four steps to cheesy baked goodness. And while these little guys are in the oven you can make a creamy white bean dip that I swear tastes just as good as some other dips that shall remain nameless (artichokes and sour cream you know who you are) but with none of the fat and more of the fiber. The best part of this dip – it only take two steps to make. Ready, set, go!

Step one: Combine everything in the food processorTAW03600-1

Step two: scoop into a bowl and eat with crackers or bread. Or skip the bowl part and eat it right out of the food processor…who I am to judge? TAW03630

That’s it. Twenty minutes and two appetizers. Throw in some champagne and you’re ready to celebrate New Year’s in style! Best wishes for the last days of 2011 and I’ll be back in the new year with more recipes.

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