Life | Table | Uncategorized

Monday Meal: Veggie & Bean Wrap

July 18, 2011

Sometimes, after a long day, dinner needs to not only be quick but substantial. This can be accomplished easily by modifying a quesadilla.

2 flour tortillas
1 bell pepper, thinly sliced
1/2 an onion
1 can of refried black beans
1/4 cup of extra sharp Cheddar cheese, finely grated
2 tbls.  of milk
1 tbls.  olive oil
Additional extra sharp Cheddar cheese, finely grated

Turn heat on medium and pour olive oil into pan. While the oil warms, prepare peppers and onion. Saute on medium heat in olive oil until peppers are soft and flexible and onions are transparent.

While the vegetables are heating, heat the refried beans, milk, and cheese in another pan over medium heat. Remove the vegetables from the pan and allow tortillas to warm in the pan on low heat.

Sprinkle cheese lightly in a line down the center of each tortilla, leaving about half an inch of space between the top and bottom edges and the cheese.

Add a layer of beans on top of the cheese. Add sauteed vegetables. Tightly wrap tortilla around the cheese, beans, and vegetables.  Repeat for the second tortilla. Place both wraps back in the pan and cook on medium heat until cheese is fully melted and tortilla begins to brown.

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Life | Table | Uncategorized

Monday Meal: Quesdilla

July 4, 2011

This recipe is quick, flexible, and satisfying.

2 flour tortillas
1/2 a bell pepper
1/2 an onion
olive oil
Sharp Cheddar cheese, finely grated

Pour 3-4 tbls. olive oil into pan. Thinly slice pepper and onion. Saute on medium heat in olive oil until peppers are soft and flexible and onions are transparent. Remove vegetables from pan.

Swish tortillas around in oil, making sure both sides of each are lightly covered. Let tortillas warm in pan on low heat. Remove tortillas from pan.

Cover half of each tortilla with a thin layer of cheese. Add a layer of vegetables. Fold uncovered layer of tortilla over covered half so that each tortilla resembles a half-moon.

Place both quesadillas in pan. Cook on medium heat and flip occasionally until each side is satisfactorily browned. Enjoy! And Happy Fourth of July!

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Life | Table | Uncategorized

Monday Meal

June 27, 2011

Another one of my favorite, quick, go-to meals during the week is a twist on the simple grilled cheese sandwich.

 Pepper-Jack Cheese Panini

1/2 a pepper
1/2 a red onion
Pepper Jack cheese, thinly sliced
Pepper
Garlic
2 slices of sourdough bread
Olive oil

Pour 2 tbls. olive oil into a medium frying pan. Slice peppers and onion thinly. Saute sliced peppers and onions in olive oil on medium heat until onions are transparent and peppers are soft and flexible (about ten minutes). Transfer peppers and onions to a plate or bowl.

Sweep one side of each piece of bread around the pan to oil. (One side of each piece should be lightly covered in olive oil.) Lay one piece of bread flat in pan. Cover with one layer of thinly-sliced cheese. Cover cheese with sauteed onions and peppers. Add another layer of cheese. Add final piece of bread (oiled side up).

Cook on medium-heat, pressing firmly occasionally with a large spatula. Once cheese has begun to melt and the bottom-piece of bread has begun to brown, flip quickly.  Continue to cook, pressing firmly on occasion with spatula.

When cooked as desired, enjoy!

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Life | Table | Uncategorized

Monday Meal

June 20, 2011
I love trying new recipes and expanding my food repertoire. There's just one tiny obstacle: the reality of time. In reality, I have a job that generally requires me to leave my before 7:45 in the morning; during a typical week I don't ever get home before 6:00 and often walk in the door after 7:00. 
This is not an unusual dilemma…..most of my friends, acquaintances, and colleagues also work (or study) between 40 and 60 hours a week.
I refuse to eat dinner out for the sake of time. If I am spending time with friends over a meal, fine. But I have fully boycotted eating out or relying on fast food simply to save effort. Among other reasons, eating out tends to be both less healthful and more expensive than cooking. 
So how does one balance a desire for healthful, beautiful food with the reality of a crazy work week? Building an arsenal of quick yet healthful recipes takes time, but there are many healthful, creative, lovely meals that can be prepared with a minimum of time and effort.
For a while, Mondays around here will be dedicated to these kinds of recipes. I'm determined to build my repertoire and I hope you'll share in my search! For now, I'm going to share one of my go-to week-night meals.
Pasta with Veggies and Basil
1/2 a bell pepper
1/2 a red onion
Fresh basil leaves
Garlic
Pepper
Olive oil
Farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
Mozzarella cheese
Tomatoes
Fill a small pot with hot water. Add 2 tablespoons (all measurements are approximate) of olive oil and stir. Let the water come to a full, rolling boil and then add pasta. Let the pasta boil for about 9 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Wash and chop the bell pepper, red onion, and fresh basil leaves. Place the chopped vegetables and basil in a medium frying-pan with about 1/8 cup of olive oil. Sprinkle generously with garlic and pepper. Saute on a medium-low heat until onions are transparent and peppers are pliable. 
Meanwhile, chop tomatoes. Place in a cereal-size bowl. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of mozzarella cheese over the tomatoes. When the pasta is done, drain well and add to the bowl. Add sauteed vegetables. Stir. (The vegetables and pasta should be hot enough to melt the cheese.) Enjoy!

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