Black Bean Soup ~

It’s been nice having Nate home, because I can finally cook for more than one. Oh who am I kidding, I didn’t cook for one when Nate was gone, I just ate crap.

Oh, and Nate got a job!!!!! and in New York, thank goodness! So no moving to Cali for us. I’m so so happy and relieved, both that he found a job and that we get to stay on the East coast. While visiting California was nice, I’d really hate to live in LA where there are no seasons. I just love autumn and snow too much!

And now we get to house hunt…YAY!!!

Black Bean Soup ~

Oh and also somehow got a hold of my Carrot Dill Sauce recipe and has led a ton of new people to my blog, so welcome to any new folks :)

Ok back to the recipe. So, I guess I got used to not doing much cooking while Nate was gone…because I haven’t been in the mood to cook too much lately even with him back. I’ve also been short on time.

It’s days like these that I need some recipes that have few ingredients, require little to no prep, and can be pulled together in 30 minutes or less.

Black Bean Soup ~

Since spring hasn’t quite sprung here in New York yet, it’s nice to have a steaming bowl of soup to warm up when we get home. Cold rain is just the worst.

I’m not a fan of pureed soups. I’m also not a fan of thick soups. My favorites are of the broth based variety, or semi-pureed. This tastes like your traditional black bean soup but isn’t gloppy, which makes it a winner in my book.

Black Bean Soup ~

Quick Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

Slightly adapted from Epicurious

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Serves 6-8

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
8 oz sliced mushrooms
4 large garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried
2 15-ounce cans black beans plus juices
1 14 1/2-ounce can low-salt chicken broth
2 14 1/2-ounce cans Hunts diced tomatoes with zesty mild green chiles
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 lime
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons hot pepper sauce
salt to taste
Sour cream and avocado to garnish

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, sauteeing until soft. Add garlic and mushrooms; sauté until mushrooms soften, about 5-8 minutes.

Add beans+juices, broth, tomatoes with juices, cumin and hot pepper sauce. Bring soup to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until flavors blend and soup thickens slightly, stirring occasionally, about 20 minutes.

Stir in cilantro, salt and lime juice to taste.

If you have an immersion blender, puree part of the soup, leaving it mostly chunky, or to the consistency you like. If you don’t have an immersion blender, working in 2 batches, purée 2 1/2 cups soup in blender until smooth. Mix purée back into soup in pot.

Ladle soup into bowls.

Indian Cauliflower and PotatoSorry to barrage you all with cauliflower recipes, but as you know, I have a limited time period during which I can make them. I actually made this recipe once before but never got around to posting it. I’m kinda mad about that because I know I added something else last time that made it even tastier, but oh well. This was still really delicious.

In addition to my love of cauliflower, I have a love for Indian spiced dishes. Add a little Garam Masala and Tumeric, and I’m a happy girl.

Indian Cauliflower and Potato

I had some leftover potatoes laying around and knew I wanted to make something with cauliflower, so this recipe came to mind. I had every intention of using a higher cauliflower to potato ratio, but alas the stupid NYC supermarket I went to only had the most tiny cauliflowers you have ever seen…and to make matters worse, they were $5.99 each! How absurd is that?! I would have just gotten two of them, but not at that price.

Indian Cauliflower and Potato

I also wanted to use up these potatoes I had laying around, so unfortunately there was more potato to cauliflower which, had I followed the original recipe, would have ended up being really dry. This was the main reason I edited the recipe. Also, I like things a little more moist and acidic, so I threw in some diced canned tomatoes and yogurt.

This dish was perfectly spicy and satisfying. Although i suppose you could eat it as a side dish, I put a hefty dallop of greek yogurt on top rounding out a great dinner for one.

Indian Cauliflower and Potato

Indian-Spiced Cauliflower and Potatoes

adapted from Spicie Foodie

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Serves 4-6

1 cauliflower head, cut into large florets
4 small potatoes, peeled and cut into large pieces
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
small piece of fresh ginger, ginger and finely chopped
1 tsp-1 Tbsp chile garlic sauce (depending on how spicy you like it)
11/2 tbsp. garam masala
1 tsp. ground turmeric
salt to taste
1- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1/4 cup greek 2% yogurt, plus 1+ cup more for garnish
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped, plus more for garnish

Boil the cauliflower and potatoes until tender. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil and cook the onion until soft and translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and chile sauce and saute for another 3 minutes.

Place the boiled cauliflower and potatoes into the pan. Add the spices to the pan. Use a potato masher and mash until the vegetables have broken up into a thick mash, leaving chunky. Stir well and cook for another 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes, 1/4 cup yogurt, 1/2 cup cilantro and salt to taste. Stir to combine all ingredients well, and cook another minute or two.

Serve with a large dallop of yogurt and a handful of chopped cilantro.

Cilantro Lime Hummus

This weekend we had a couple of Nate’s friends over to dinner. One of them might cat-sit for us over our honeymoon, so we wanted a chance for him to come over and meet L.C. We also thought we’d sweeten the deal by cooking for him…i.e. Nate suggested that I cook for him.

Cilantro Lime Hummus

In case L.C.’s flirtation wasn’t enough to make him agree, I first liquored him up with some AMAZING Mojito Slushies (recipe to come soon) to decrease his inhibitions…and ability to say no.

After waiting for the alcohol to go into effect, I put a plate of Cilantro Lime Hummus in front of him with some chips. I would never say hummus is particularly refreshing, but this version totally is. The cilantro and lime make it reminiscent of guacamole, but with much less fat.

Cilantro Lime Hummus

Everyone, myself included, was raving about it.

I made a few other things that I will most likely be sharing on the blog in the near future: Pasta Puttanesca and a Cold Lemon Mousse.

Cilantro Lime Hummus

He’s checking on the dates to make sure he can catsit, but I’m pretty sure he’ll say yes.

I’d like to think it will have everything to do with the meal, and nothing to do with this adorable face:

Cilantro Lime Hummus

Slightly adapted from How Sweet It is

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makes about 2-2.5 cups

2 15-ounce can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
3 cloves of garlic, minced (more or less, depending on your tastes)
3/4 cup cilantro
zest and juice of 1 lime
2/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine beans, cilantro, lime zest, juice and garlic in the food processor and blend until mixed. With the processor on, stream in olive oil until desired consistency is reached. 3-4 minutes to make it super creamy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with pita chips or tortilla chips.

I have the most romantic fiancé ever…

Shrimp Quesadilla

The other day at work, Nate and I were talking on gchat and he asked me what I was making for dinner:

me: why don’t you get a pizza for dinner

Nate: im just not sure i want pizza

me: well how do you know you’d be in the mood for whatever i made for dinner?

Nate: i can’t make these decisions anymore
thats why i’m getting married
so i don’t have to
my food thinking days are over

Shrimp Quesadilla

If that’s not a reason to get married (to someone you had a “good” date with), I don’t know what is.

Since Nate never has any idea what he wants for dinner, I have to come up with these things myself.

I knew I wanted to use my new panini press, one of my bridal gifts!! I immediately thought of quesadillas and tried to figure out what else was in my fridge.

Shrimp Quesadilla

I had that goat cheese I’ve been meaning to use, plus some Trader Joes Red Pepper Jelly that I haven’t tried yet (courtesy of Nate’s mom). For some reason I knew I wanted roasted corn too, and then I threw in mushrooms to add some more veggies and sauteed shrimp for protein.

Before I knew it, a delicious quesadilla was born.

Shrimp Quesadilla

Since Nate doesn’t mind making me come up with dinner ideas and cooking every day, I didn’t mind hiding some chopped up shrimp, his most hated of foods, into this tasty meal :)

Had it not been for a small piece of shrimp falling out of these very messy quesadillas, Nate never would have known.

And you know what? He saw it fall out and kept eating. They were THAT GOOD people!

Roasted Corn, Shrimp, Mushroom and Goat Cheese Quesadilla with Red Pepper Jelly and Salsa Verde

Recipe by Me

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makes 4 quesadillas

*Note: amounts are not exact, as it really depends what you like

4 tortillas
15ish small shrimp
3 ears corn, kernels cut off (about 1 cup kernels I think?)
Olive oil
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
3-4 oz. crumbled goat cheese
Salsa verde (any jarred version is fine, or you could make your own)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup Red Pepper Jelly

Toss corn kernels with some oil, spread on a foil-line baking sheet, and sprinkle with pepper.

Broil corn kernels, keeping an eye on them, until lightly browned. Set aside.

Put about a teaspoon of oil in a grill pan or skillet and heat over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring until they begin to soften. Add a tablespoon of salsa, stir, and push to one side of the pan.

Toss shrimp with olive oil, cilantro, salt and pepper. Add shrimp to the empty half of the pan containing the mushrooms.

Flip shrimp over when the bottom side turns pink, and continue cooking another minute or two until entire shrimp is pink.

Remove shrimp from pan and cut each into quarters.

Remove mushrooms from heat and set aside.

Put 1 tortilla down. Spread half with about 1 Tbsp red pepper Jelly. Sprinkle 3-4 shrimp (9-12 chopped pieces) evenly over the jelly. Top with 1 Tbsp mushrooms and about 3-4 Tbsp corn. Sprinkle with an ounce of goat cheese, cilantro and 1 Tbsp salsa verde. (Amounts are all approximate and can vary based on your taste)

Fold tortilla over the filling and cook in a panini press for a few minutes or until crispy on outside and cheese is melted.

Cut in half and enjoy!

I’ve been on a flatbread kick lately. But not just any flatbread…flatbread that doesn’t require yeast, is quick to make, and has the delicious, doughy, flaky bread consistency.

Lucky for me I have a new food buddy who came to the rescue. I’ve recently reconnected with a friend from high school, Emily, who was living abroad in Paris for the last two years and just moved back to nyc.

It’s very exciting to have someone I can discuss food/cooking/recipes with :) I have a lot of other friends who like food, but liking food and knowing how to cook it are two very different things. Emily actually has a food blog as well that has some great recipes!

So when I told Emily about my flatbread dilemma, she provided me with two recipes, both based on the Indian roti bread. I kind of combined them into one puffy, flavorful masterpiece that I highly recommend. It goes extremely well with an Indian Spiced Chicken and Butternut Squash Stew that I will be posting in the next week.

Yeast-Free Cilantro Chickpea Flatbread

Adapted from Bon Appetit

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makes 8- four inch flatbreads

3/4  cup unbleached all purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
2 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3/4 cup (or more) plain low-fat yogurt
Olive oil (for frying)

Combine first 6 ingredients into medium bowl. Whisk to mix. Stir in cilantro.

Add yogurt and stir with fork until small clumps form. Knead mixture in bowl just until dough holds together, adding more flour or yogurt by tablespoonfuls for soft and slightly sticky dough. Turn dough out onto floured surface. Knead just until smooth, about 1 minute. Divide dough into 8 equal pieces.

Roll each piece into ball, then roll each dough piece out on floured surface to 4 1/2-inch round. Brush large nonstick skillet generously with olive oil; heat over medium heat.

Working in batches, add 3 dough rounds to skillet; cook until golden brown and puffed, adjusting heat to medium-high as needed to brown evenly, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer flatbreads to platter; serve warm.