Monday, October 29, 2012

Meatless Monday

In an effort to eat less meat and to keep our waistlines in check, I’m going to try to go meatless at least once a week, if not more. However, vegetable anything in this house takes some creativity! Chili may not be the most creative recipes, but what this lacks in creativity it made up for in taste and healthfulness. The original recipe is listed below, but I made a few changes. I used a red bell pepper instead of the green, used only one jalapeno and used vegetable broth instead of water for more flavor. Even though there is a jalapeno in this chili, it barely had any heat. This is not the type of chili that is going to make your nose run and eyes tear up! I served this with some brown rice and homemade cornbread.

Here is a cute joke for you before you get cooking:

Q: What does a nosey pepper do?
A: Gets jalapeño in your business!!

I know, I know! It’s totally corny but it made me laugh.

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 or 2 fresh jalapeño or serrano chiles, seeded, finely chopped
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, drained, rinsed
2 cans (14.5 oz each) organic fire roasted or plain diced tomatoes, undrained
1 ½ cups water
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon coarse (kosher or sea) salt
1 cup frozen organic sweet corn

Sour cream or plain yogurt
Shredded Cheddar cheese
Chopped fresh cilantro

In 4-quart saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, garlic and chiles; cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until tender.

Stir in black beans, tomatoes, water, chili powder, cumin and salt. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in corn. Heat to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered 5 minutes longer.

Top each serving with any optional ingredients you like. And for health's sake, the nutritional information is listed below.

1 Serving (1 Serving= 1 1/3 cups)
  •  Calories 280 (calories from Fat 35)
  • Total Fat 3 1/2g (Saturated Fat 1/2g, Trans Fat 0g),
  • Cholesterol 0mg
  • Sodium 390mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 48g (Dietary Fiber 11g, Sugars 10g)
  • Protein 13g

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

Fall is the time of year when pumpkin makes it's appearance in all things food and also when Starbucks fans look forward to the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte!

I myself never knew how good it was until last year, however I don't want to pay that much for a coffee drink as often as I want to drink it. Well, I found an alternative that is pretty close. I'm on my second bottle so I'm not sick of it yet!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Easiest Ribs Ever!

I apologize that I don't have a better picture to post of these ribs but they were gone before I realized they were blog worthy! And then people started asking about them and I knew I should include them in the blog.

At the family reunion last month we planned to serve ribs along with our usual assortment of barbecue-type foods. Well, one of the grills crapped out earlier in the day and we needed to find a way to get everything cooked...ribs take up a lot of grill real estate!  So I took to the oven!

These ribs are by far the best I've ever had homemade and I think I'll continue to make them like this even if there is a grill around! There is minimal prep time and mess and they come out juicy, flavorful and fall-off-the bone tender. This is a case of less is more in terms of ingredients and never underestimating the flavor of some pork fat! All you need is kosher salt, fresh black pepper, and your favorite BBQ sauce-jarred or homemade, and a rack or two of ribs.


Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Salt and pepper both sides of ribs-be generous. Wrap each rack in a foil packet with the top (or meaty) side of ribs facing down (use two pieces of foil crimped together around the edges). Place on sheet pan and in the oven for one hour. After time is up, carefully unwrap the ribs and turn over. The tops should be nicely browned. Slather them with some BBQ sauce and put them back in the oven, uncovered, for about 20 minutes for the sauce to cook into them and they are done!  Slice into individual ribs, slap on a rib bib and enjoy!