Sunday, July 27, 2014

Make Ahead (If You Want) Breakfast Burritos...Great for Camping!

Everything I love in the world pretty much fits into a breakfast burrito! I made a huge batch of these today to bring camping with me for the 4th of July weekend. I *love* camping, and cooking while camping-but when it comes to breakfast sometimes it's nice to have something hot without too much effort.

Makes 8-10 burritos

What you need/ingredients:
1 package tortillas
2 potatoes
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 to 1 pound of breakfast sausage or bacon (I took a picture thinking I'd use both, then I realized that would be WAY too much meat, so I just used the sausage!
about 8 eggs (or more! see note)
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
jarred green chili sauce (roughly half the jar, but save some for smothering!)
cheese-I used pepperjack

*a note on eggs: this dish was not very "eggy" at ALL-you could barely taste them! I could have added a lot more, but I already was ending up with 10 breakfast burritos. If you are cooking for a crowd, go for it! If you like an "eggy" breakfast burrito you could also cut down on the other ingredients a bit. It just depends on personal preference!

What to do/instructions: 

-Scrub the potatoes, poke with a fork, and pop in the microwave. I just used the "baked potato" button, but you don't want them so soft they totally fall apart when you cut them.
-While the potatoes are in the microwave, start browning meat in a small pan over medium heat.
-When potatoes are done, let them cool a bit and cube.
-In a large pan, heat some oil and add the potatoes. Let them sit enough to get brown-no need to flip constantly. When they start browning, add the onion. Once the onion is soft, add the cooked sausage (drained), bell pepper, and green chili sauce.
-Scramble the eggs up in a bowl and pour into the mix. Add in grated cheese.
-Cook over medium heat until the eggs are cooked.

If these are for now:
Load up into tortillas, roll, smother with chili and cheese if desired, put under the broiler for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese,

and eat!

If these are for later:
Roll into tortillas and wrap individually in foil if for camping. *TIP* If you're planning to throw these onto a campfire or grill, use some nonstick spray on the foil-otherwise it can stick! If not you can put them in a baking dish like enchiladas and pop into the oven to heat when you're ready to eat. I wrapped in foil for storage, then the baking dish when I was ready to serve-just smother in green chili and cheese and put in the oven until bubbly-it was a hit!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Modified "White" Chicken Chili

As the weather is cooling off here in the southern hemisphere, I had a hankering for some white chicken chili. I went looking over my two other white chicken chili recipes (here and here) for ideas. I modified it for stovetop instead of crockpot, and of course available ingredients. I picked smaller sized beans for faster cooking. It takes quite a while, but once you get it started, it requires minimal work.

What You Need (Ingredients):

  • 2-3 cans (drained) or about 8 ounces of dry beans, soaked overnight or quick soaked. I prefer white beans but today could only find small red beans! The pot pictured was a full 500g. bag. They expanded a LOT while soaking. After soaking, I used half the pot, about 3 cups.
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • two onions, chopped
  • 3-5 cloves for garlic, chopped
  • 1.5 T cumin
  • 2 chicken bullion cubes and 3-4 cups of water, or 3-4 cups of chicken broth
  • a pound of chicken breasts (4-5), trimmed of fat and cut in half
  • 1/2 t. white pepper
  • 1 jar of green salsa (or, in the U.S., 2 cans of diced green chilis)
  • for a little more heat, a diced jalepeno of a couple diced hot red peppers
  • a bell pepper, diced
  • optional garnishes: tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese, cilantro
What To Do (Instructions):
  • If you haven't soaked your beans, see the link above to quick soak (takes one hour).
  • Heat oil in a large stock pot over low heat and add onions. Stir until they're soft. Add garlic and cumin and stir for about another minute.
  • Add water and bullion cube (or broth) and heat. Add chicken, beans, white pepper, green salsa, and diced pepper. Make sure broth covers everything, but it shouldn't be too much higher than the level of the other ingredients.
  • Cook on medium (simmering) for at least an hour to two hours, until beans are soft, stirring occasionally. I cooked covered for about a half hour, and then uncovered as it had more liquid than needed. Chicken will easily tear apart. Add bell peppers and cook for a few minutes more.
  • Garnish and serve! 

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Beef Barley Soup (Version 2, Stovetop)

Another cold, drizzly day made me so glad my mom sent me back from the U.S. with a bag of barley. This is beef barley soup weather for sure! Maybe the only good thing about the dreary weather. Since my only recipe is for the crockpot, here is the stovetop recipe. I feel like every time I make soup it is slightly different based on available ingredients, but this is a good starting point.

What you need/Ingredients:
  • 1 lb beef, cut into small pieces
  • about 1 T olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 6 cups beef broth
  • 1/2 C. red wine
  • 1/2 C. barley
  • 1 potato, diced
  • 3-4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 t. thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tomatoes and 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
What I'd add if they were available: a few stalks of chopped celery and some cut up mushrooms.

What to do/Directions

  • Cut up the beef into small pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Warm some olive oil in a pan over medium heat and cook beef, stirring frequently. Drain fat if necessary and add onion, stir. After a few minutes, add garlic and cook until fragrant; remove from heat.
  • While the beef is cooking, put broth into a pot and put on high until the broth is bubbling. Add barley, potato, carrots, wine, thyme, and bay leaves.
  • Add cooked beef into pan. Lower heat to "low" and simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour, until barley is soft. Add tomatoes and bell peppers and cook for a few more minutes. (You can add these at the beginning but I prefer them a little less cooked)
  • Add salt and pepper if necessary and enjoy with warm, fresh bread. Or, if you're like me, store-bought bread. I don't judge.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Make Ahead Quinoa Breakfast "Porridge"

I am trying to eat healthy, but there is this problem. Actually, two problems when it comes to breakfast. They are called chipa and mbeju. They are these super delicious, bready, surely too tasty to be good for you things they make here in Paraguay that I just can't get enough of. AND, they make them and sell them where I work. So I need to bring something to work to help me fight those mid-morning mbeju cravings. I just made my breakfast for the next week. It took about 30 minutes and only a few ingredients.Also, quinoa is very filling and it will keep away those morning munchies.

What You Need

  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2 cups of your favorite type of milk and/or water. I used about a cup of coconut milk and a cup of water.
  • Toppings of choice: I like raisins, cinnamon, and a tiny bit of brown sugar. Sometimes I throw on a few almonds, too.

What to do
  • RINSE the quinoa. Most people who don't like quinoa didn't rinse before preparing.
  • Put the rinsed quinoa and your 2 cups of liquid into a pot, and boil over low heat until the quinoa "pops." Optional, but not recommended step: go to turn on the stove, realize you are out of propane, and go cook your quinoa outside on the grill instead.
  • Serve, or dole out into your dishes for the week. I always eat my breakfast at work so I like to have it ready to grab from the fridge to go. The hardest part of this whole recipe (for me) was finding 4 clean containers with lids!

  • Heat when ready to serve, if you aren't eating it right away. (I like to eat it hot, but I guess you could eat it cold too).

Monday, April 28, 2014

How to turn your thin, runny yogurt into thick, Greek-like yogurt

This is so simple I'm not even sure it counts as a recipe. But I didn't know it before, and now I do, and I am happier for it! So it stays.

For some reason, all the yogurt in Paraguay (and I assume, all of Latin America) is a liquidy drink. Now I admit, this comes in handy if you only have one hand free because you have coffee in the other hand, or if you don't have a spoon. However, I *love* thick, creamy yogurt with berries and other goodies mixed in. Sometimes the fancy stores here have Greek yogurt but only the flavored kind, and I'm really a flavor-it-yourself kind of girl.

I'm not sure if it counts as "Greek" but it is delicious. And all it takes is a coffee filter and some time.

What you need:
Regular yogurt
coffee filter or cheesecloth
clothespins and a container

What to do:
Put your coffee filter over the top of a container, and secure with clothespins or a rubber band.
Pour yogurt in.
(I put it in before going to bed so it's ready in the morning. I don't like waiting that much)
When the majority of the liquid has drained into the cup, it's done! Dump the liquid, and pour/squeeze the yogurt in the coffee filter into a container. Wallah! It's so easy!

I don't have the "after" picture yet...I'm too impatient. Hopefully I won't oversleep and I'll take it in the morning.

Has anyone tried this with the metal reusable coffee filters? I haven't, because, well, you know, I need it to make coffee. High priority in this house. But leave a comment and let me know if you have.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Recipe Mashup: Quinoa Shrimp + Red Lentil Curry = Yum!

So first of all I wasn't planning on blogging this recipe, so I didn't take pictures or exactly measure things. Think of this as a "rough draft" of a recipe to come. Basically, I was cleaning out the fridge to prepare for a vacation. I recently made this yummy Garlic Butter Shrimp Quinoa recipe, from Pinch of Yum. It was really good but made a ginormous amount so I still had a lot left. And freezing quinoa? Didn't sound like a good idea. So I thought if I could add it into some kind of stew, there would be freezing potential. I found Hummusapien's Curried Quinoa Red Lentil Soup, and I made a plan. Oh yeah, since I'm not very good at following directions, and I love curry, in the Garlic Butter Shrimp recipe I used curry paste instead of chili powder, so that's why I was looking for a soup with curry flavors. In case you were wondering.

Anyway, geez, why don't I just get to the recipe already instead of blabbing on and on?

Remember how I told you this is a rough draft until I make it again with measuring and pictures and stuff? So here's kind of the gist of my recipe. I kind of mostly followed the Hummusapien recipe with the following changes: I didn't use tomatoes or almond milk. I used about 250-300 grams coconut milk and 2 cups of water and a chicken bullion cube. I also added some chopped green onions. I would have added fresh tomatoes and red bell peppers too, only they were not so fresh after all when I took them out of the fridge! Since I was using precooked quinoa, I just added it in at the end. This had a little bit of shrimp in it, but it would also be a great meatless or chicken meal. The blend of spices and flavors is delish!! I will try to incorporate some of these ideas next time I make this dish, but wanted to share it now so you can experiment, and so I don't forget.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Make-ahead Quinoa and Bulgar Wheat Breakfast Porridge

Not my finest food blog photo moment. I was at work, using my camera phone,
and it was a Monday morning....what do you want? :)
I've been having yogurt and fruit for breakfast every day for approximately the last three years, so I decided it was time to change it up a bit. Also I was out of fruit. I need something filling to keep me going through teaching reading and math to a bunch of 11-year olds and this yummy "porridge" did the trick! I'm totally not a morning person and this is perfectly fine to make the night before and just top and heat up in the morning! Also, quinoa and bulgar wheat are both super good for you-it's a great way to start the day.

What you need-ingredients
2 Servings

  • 1/2 C dry quinoa, rinsed in a seive
  • 1/2 C bulgar wheat
  • 1 cup of water and 1 cup of whole milk is what I used because I had it on hand. You could also use 2 cups of skim milk, or, even better, almond milk. I love almond milk. Paraguay has never heard of almond milk.
  • toppings: I used about a tablespoon of brown sugar, a sprinkle of cinnamon, golden raisins, and a few almonds. I also topped it with a little more milk when I heated it up.
What do do-Directions
  • Add the first three ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil, then turn down heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa "pops." If you are doing this the night before, put into single-serving bowls and refrigerate until ready to eat.
  • If eating immediately, add toppings, stir, and enjoy! If not, heat up, then add toppings and eat. Tasty!