soup and such

simple, fresh vegetarian soups and more


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Pinto bean tostadas with lime cabbage slaw

Here is a fantastic summer meal idea when it’s too hot to turn on the oven and you’re tired of eating salad for dinner. That was us last week! So we decided to make some tostadas with an improvised cabbage slaw and a doctored-up can of pinto beans. Everything turned out really tasty, so I figured I’d share the idea here. These aren’t really strict recipes, just ideas for inspiration in your own kitchen during these dog days of summer. Tostadas are fun – make some tonight!

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Pinto bean tostadas with lime cabbage slaw
These aren’t hard-and-fast recipes here, just quick and easy ideas to get you started! Adjust ingredients, amounts, and seasonings to your liking. Make the slaw first and let it marinate in the fridge while you get the rest of the meal prepared.

For the beans:
2 cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
About ¼ cup of diced red onion
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch of cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and/or coriander
Juice from 1-2 limes
Fresh chopped cilantro

Heat a small amount of olive oil in the bottom of a saucepan or deep skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook until fragrant. Add drained and rinsed pinto beans and whatever spices you are using. Stir everything around and let cook for a few minutes. Add lime juice. Smash up the beans a bit (I use a potato masher) to desired texture. Turn off heat and stir in cilantro, more lime juice (if you want), and adjust seasonings (sometime I add a little salt, depending on how salty the beans were to begin with).

For the lime cabbage slaw:

About 4 cups very thinly sliced cabbage
3-4 scallions or green onions, sliced
Big handful of chopped fresh cilantro
Good pinch of salt
Pinch of oregano
Juice of 2-3 limes

Place the cabbage in a bowl and add a good pinch of salt. Toss to combine. Then, add the rest of the ingredients and stir it all up. Let the slaw sit for about 30 minutes so the flavors combine and the cabbage softens a bit. Add as much lime juice as you want/need – we like ours very lime-y!

Assemble the tostadas:

On each tostada shell, spread some of the pinto bean mixture. Top with whatever toppings you’d like: chopped tomatoes, avocado slices, shredded cheese, grilled veggies, chopped onion, etc. Add your favorite salsa or hot sauce then pile on the cabbage slaw! I always add a little extra fresh chopped cilantro to mine. Enjoy!


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lime rickey

Busy, busy, busy. That has been my July and August (so far) in a nutshell. Lots of work but also lots of fun things, including a trip with family to sunny San Diego where I tried In-and-Out Burger (the veggie option) and stand-up paddle boarding for the first time. I give the former a B+ and the latter an A+. I also had a great weekend visit here in Chicago with an old friend. It’s fun to be a tourist in your own city every now and then. So far, it’s been a stellar summer.

Chicago

This post is about the lime rickey. It’s a refreshing, summery, and easy cocktail. It really hits the spot after a long day of work. I have no idea if this is the authentic way to make this drink, but it’s the way I like to make it.

lime rickey

I’ll be back soon with some great summer vegetable recipes we’ve been cooking! ~Inge

lime rickey

serves 1, scale accordingly

In a cocktail glass, squeeze the juice from half a lime. Drop the juiced lime half in the glass. Add a tiny pinch of salt and a drop or two of agave syrup. Add your desired amount of gin. Drop in 2 ice cubes and top off with club soda. Give it a quick stir and enjoy!


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grilled vegetable skewers + cucumber sangria

grilled veggie skewers

grilled veggie skewers

Inspired by the homemade salsa we had in the fridge, we decided to do a Tex-Mex cookout for July 4th weekend! It was really more of an indoor cookout. Since we don’t have an outdoor spacing for grilling, we just use a cast iron stovetop grill pan. This one works really well.

First, we made a festive drink to kick off the celebration. I had my eye on something I saw on this blog a few weeks ago, namely a white wine sangria made with honeydew, cucumber, and limes. It sounded so summery and refreshing. We mixed up a batch and it was so good! This is a great summertime drink to have in your repertoire.

refreshing cucumber sangrias!

refreshing cucumber sangria!

Next, we went to work on some grilled vegetable skewers with zucchini, red pepper, mushrooms, and red onion. To make it special, we let the veggies marinate in a jalapeno-lime dressing for about an hour before grilling. The marinade gave a ton of flavor to these veggies! We’ll be making this again for sure.

veggies with marinade

veggies with marinade

grilling up the skewers!

grilling up the skewers!

The veggies are flavorful enough to eat on their own, but we decided to make them into tacos. We stuffed them in tortillas with some smashed pinto beans, avocado slices, and tomatillo salsa. To make the smashed pinto beans, sauté some chopped onion, garlic, and cilantro in a saucepan, then add 1 can of drained and rinsed pinto beans along with a few pinches of chili powder and cumin. Cook the bean mixture for a few minutes while smashing some of the beans against the side of the pot with a wood spoon (or, just use a potato masher).

veggie skewers with smashed pinto beans and tomatillo salsa

veggie skewers with smashed pinto beans and tomatillo salsa

Everything was delicious! I highly recommend this marinade for any veggies you might want to grill this summer. Have you fired up your (indoor or outdoor) grills yet?

Happy summer cooking and grilling, everyone! ~Inge

Grilled vegetable skewers
This is a delicious and easy marinade idea for grilled veggies. We ate these grilled veggies in tortillas with smashed pinto beans, tomatillo salsa, and avocado slices. I highly recommend this delicious combo!

For the marinade:
4 tablespoons olive oil
Juice of one lime
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
½ teaspoon each of chili powder and smoked paprika
Pinch of salt

For the veggies:

1 large (or 2 medium) zucchini
1 red onion
1 red pepper
8-ounce container of mushrooms (I used baby bellas)

You’ll also need about 15 skewers. If you’re using bamboo skewers, make sure to soak them in water for about 30 minutes so they don’t burn on the grill.

Method:

1. Whisk all the marinade ingredients together in a large bowl. Cut the veggies into chunks that you’ll be able to easily spear onto the skewers. Add the veggies to the marinade and stir to coat. Let the coated veggies marinate for about an hour (I kept it in the fridge).

2. After the veggies have marinated, make up your skewers. I ended up with about 15 skewers, which I grilled up in 3 batches on a stovetop cast iron grill pan. I let each batch cook for about 5-7 minutes on one side, then flipped them over for another 5-7 minutes. I took them off once I saw blackened grill marks on most of the veggies. Yum!

Tip: Squeeze additional fresh lime juice over the platter of grilled veggies before serving. Delicious!

Cucumber sangria
Adapted from The Forest Feast

1 bottle of chilled white wine (we used a budget-friendly Sauvignon Blanc from Chile)
Honeydew melon, about 2 cups chopped
Cucumber, about 1.5 cups sliced
1 lime, sliced
A handful of fresh mint leaves
A little bit of Agave syrup or honey, just to sweeten it up a bit
Club soda or seltzer, chilled

Method:

1. Add the honeydew, cucumber, lime, mint leaves, and agave to a pitcher. Pour in the bottle of wine. Give the mixture a little stir. Refrigerate the sangria for 2 hours before serving.

2. Pour sangria into pretty glasses. Top off each glass with a little chilled seltzer. Enjoy!


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cardamom-lime sweet rolls

cardamom-lime sweet rolls

cardamom-lime sweet rolls

I found myself with a pocket of free time a few weeks ago and I decided to take on a little baking project. If you can believe it, I clipped this recipe from an issue of Cooking Light about 5 years ago and I finally got around to making it.

These little rolls were pretty good and fun to make. They didn’t rise as much as I thought they would, but the yeast I used was a little old, so that might have been the reason. I’m not an expert baker by any means, but when I’m in the mood, I do enjoy it. For this recipe, the first step is to mix up the dough, turn it out onto a floured work surface, and knead for about 8 minutes until it is smooth and elastic.

sweet roll dough post-kneading

sweet roll dough post-kneading

Then, you let it rise for about 1 hour. When it is ready, cut the dough into two pieces and roll each one out into a 12 x 10 inch rectangle. Sprinkle on the filling (a mixture of brown sugar, cardamom, and lime zest). Then, roll up and cut into small pieces.

sprinkle the filling + roll it up!

sprinkle the filling + roll it up!

It’s all pretty easy enough. As soon as the rolls came out of the oven, I mixed up the glaze to drizzle on while they were still warm. In the end, I felt that they were a little on the sweet side for me, so I think I would use less of the glaze topping next time.

Finished product!

Finished product!

Lots more posts in the works – including a new favorite veggie and quinoa dish! In the meantime, happy baking! ~Inge

Cardamom-lime sweet rolls
From Cooking Light

Ingredients for the dough:

one package dry yeast
¼ cup warm water
½ cup sour cream
1/3 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¾ teaspoon salt
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 1/3 cup flour

Ingredients for the filling and glaze:

½ cup packed brown sugar
1 tablespoon lime zest
¾ teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons lime juice

Method:

1. To make the dough, dissolve yeast in warm water in a small bowl and let it stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine sour cream and next five ingredients (through egg) in bowl. Stir until well blended. Gradually stir yeast mixture into sour cream mixture.

2. Add 2 cups flour to the sour cream mixture, stirring just enough to create a soft dough.

3. Turn dough out onto floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 8 minutes). While kneading, add remaining amount of flour, a little at a time.

4. Place dough in large bowl coated with cooking spray (turning it over to coat). Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let sit for about an hour. The recipe indicates it should double in size. Mine did not, but it did rise a little.

5. Mix the filling in a small bowl: combine brown sugar, cardamom and lime zest. Set aside.

6. When the dough has risen enough, divide it in half. Working with one half at a time, roll it out on a floured surface (keep your rolling pin lightly floured too!) into a 12 x 10 rectangle. Sprinkle with half of the filling mixture. Then, roll it up jelly-roll style, beginning with the long end. Cut into about 12 1-inch slices.

7. Place the slices cut-side up in a baking dish that’s been sprayed with cooking spray. Cover with another clean kitchen towel and let rest/rise for about 30 minutes.

8. When ready, bake rolls for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees, until lightly browned. Let cool on cooling rack for about 5 minutes. While the rolls are cooling, mix up the glaze by combining powdered sugar with lime juice in a small bowl. Drizzle glaze over warm rolls. Enjoy!