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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roasted tomatillo salsa

I took advantage of cool temperatures the other day and turned on the oven to make a batch of roasted tomatillo salsa. I love making homemade salsa because it is so easy and so good! I always follow the recipes in Salsas That Cook by Rick Bayless, a trusted salsa reference around our house, and they always turn out great. This one was no exception.

Roasted tomatillo salsa

Roasted tomatillo salsa

To make this, you roast tomatillos, Serrano peppers, onions, and garlic. Then, you pulse everything up in a food processor, and stir in some chopped cilantro, salt, and a tiny bit of sugar. That’s it! I went a little nuts with the peppers for this batch and it ended up having a good amount of heat. If you don’t like things too spicy, I recommend seeding your peppers before roasting.

chips + salsa!

chips + salsa!

Happy salsa-making, everyone! ~Inge

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Adapted from Rick Bayless’s recipe in Salsas That Cook

2 pounds of tomatillos (about 13-14), husked and rinsed
8 fresh Serrano peppers, stems removed (you can also seed them if desired)
1 large white onion, cut into slices
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2/3 cup chopped cilantro
2 teaspoons salt
½ – 1 teaspoon sugar
Method:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Place tomatillos and peppers on a foil-lined baking sheet. Roast until the veggies are soft and blackened in spots. I turn everything over after 15 minutes of roasting and then put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

2. Arrange the onion slices and garlic on another foil-lined sheet pan. Roast for about 15-20 minutes, until everything looks cooked and blackened in spots. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

3. Place the roasted onions, garlic, and peppers in a food processor. Pulse until roughly chopped. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Then, place the roasted tomatillos in the food processor (no need to rinse it out!) and puree. Add the tomatillos to the onions and peppers mixture.

4. Stir in the chopped cilantro. Give the salsa a little taste at this point. It should be pretty tangy with all those tomatillos! Season very well with salt. I used 2 teaspoons of salt, which is what Rick Bayless recommended for this amount of veggies. I also added ½ teaspoon of sugar, and about a ½ cup of water to get the consistency just right. Feel free to add more water and/or sugar as needed. Tasting as you season is the best way to go for homemade salsa. Remember, you can always add more, but you can’t take it out!

Note: The amounts listed here make about 4 cups of fresh salsa. Rick Bayless advises that fresh salsa should be stored in the refrigerator and eaten within 5 days.


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easy veggie fajitas

I make these veggie fajitas all the time for an easy, weeknight meal. It comes together really quickly, so get everything chopped and ready before you start. The mix of veggies is entirely up to you. One of my favorite combinations is carrots, mushrooms, red onions, and red peppers. This time I added asparagus and it was very good.

veggie mix for fajitas

veggie mix for fajitas

Those little baby bella mushrooms would also be a good idea, along with maybe some poblano peppers? In my opinion, the carrots are a key addition, which might be surprising, but trust me on this.

Happy cooking! ~Inge

easy and tasty veggie fajitas!

easy veggie fajitas topped with shredded cheese and cilantro

Easy veggie fajitas
This isn’t really a recipe at all – more like a method. If you have any leftover cooked veggies, add them to quesadillas later in the week for a quick snack. Also, don’t omit the lime juice step. It really brightens up the flavors.

Ingredients:

  • Whatever fresh veggies you’d like: carrots, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, red onions, scallions, or asparagus.
  • Ground cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika
  • A few fresh limes
  • Tortillas, corn or flour
  • Whatever toppings you’d like: chopped cilantro, shredded cheese, sour cream (or vegan alternative), hot sauce, salsa, avocado slices, chopped fresh tomato

Method:

1. Prep and cut your veggies. I cut the mushrooms into thick slices, and for everything else, I like to cut the veggies into long thin strips approximately the same size.

2. Add a little olive oil to a sauté pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the veggies all at once and sauté. Cook until just softened (but not mushy). I like to keep things on the crunchy side.

3. Add the cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika, plus some salt (to taste). Stir everything around so the spices coat all the veggies and cook for just a few minutes. Then, add some squeezes of fresh lime juice to the pan, stirring so all the veggies get dressed with the juice.

4. Assemble your fajitas and enjoy!