Tag Archives: hot

Chipotle Nachos with Beans


chipotle nachos

Perfect football game food

I really like Chipotle (the restaurant).  I know, I know, the burritos ain’t good for ya.  Over 1,000 calories, lots of sodium, fat and cholesterol, and I never feel good after eating a whole one.  But I feel great while I’m eating it.  Delicious.

As a restaurant chain, they also get brownie points for being conscious of dietary restrictions.  Everything but the meat and pinto beans are vegetarian (no rennet used in the cheese), everything but the taco shells are gluten free and they do a good job of buying local and from sustainable farmers.  They claim to buy a larger percentage of naturally raised meat than any other restaurant chain in the county, and I don’t doubt that.

Don’t listen to those who say it’s far worse than a Big Mac.  As they say, haters gonna hate.

But until a few weeks ago, I never really thought about what an actual chipotle chile is.  Turns out, it’s a jalapeno.

Apparently (and this is from Wikipedia, so if I’m wrong, it’s not my fault), jalapeno farmers pick and sell unripe green peppers early in the season and we buy those at grocery stores and produce stands and pickled in jars.  Then, later in the season, the peppers turn bright red and are picked and sold as fresh peppers in the US and Mexico.  At the end of the season, the peppers that are left usually begin to turn brown and shrivel.

Those are the chipotle peppers.  They are picked and then smoked, and you can buy them dry or canned.

chipotle pepper

Dried and smoked chipotle pepper | Photo from Wikipedia

I’ve cooked with ’em twice.  Once for this recipe and another time, where I famously (to my wife, at least) misread “add one canned chipotle pepper” for “add one can chipotle peppers.”  I added the whole can to a soup.  The whole can.  Tasted like lava.

But it’s an easy mistake to make.  It was a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, which smells sort of barbeque-y, not spicy.  So keep that in mind if you try out this recipe.  You need one PEPPER, not one CAN.

Here’s what you need:

  • Tortilla chips
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (your call on the type)
  • 1 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 7 oz (or half a 14 oz can) diced tomatoes with basil and garlic
  • 1 tomato (diced)
  • Shredded lettuce (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Guacamole (bought or homemade)

Here’s what to do:

Step 1) Add diced onion and red peppers to a pan with a little olive oil.  Simmer until the onions become translucent (about 5 minutes).

Preppin' the onions

Step 2) Add in one finely diced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, plus another spoonful or two of the adobo sauce.  Add in the drained/rinsed pinto beans.  Add in the diced tomatoes.  Let it mingle for a few minutes, until everything is blended and hot and the mixture has reduced.

Step 3) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 4) Spread chips on a cookie sheet and top first with cheese and then with the onion/pepper/bean/chipotle mixture.

Step 5) Bake for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Step 6) Remove and top with diced tomato and lettuce, sour cream and guacamole.

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Vegetarian Stuffed Bell Peppers


Stuffed Peppers

Easy, cheesy, beautiful | Photo by HFLP

I hope everyone out there had a great Memorial Day weekend.  We spent a lot of time on the boat, the jet ski and in the pool, saw some old friends, caught a Rays game and ate lots of good food – which was as good a break as I could hope for from the heat and tedium of school in Gainesville.

We went bowling, too, which is something that, despite my enthusiasm for, I am absolutely terrible at.  You’d think rolling a ball in a straight line would be easy, but it ain’t.  I did, however, win $1 during the aptly-named “Strike it Rich” competition held Saturday nights at that bowling alley, which was enough to make me smile but not quite enough to get a pack of gum from the vending machine.

Back in Gainesville now, and back to the blog.

Before we left, I whipped up some stuffed peppers, which is a great thing to make if you’ve got a few peppers around and don’t want to the grocery store.  Really, you can stuff them with anything you’d like.  I used a hefty amount of yellow rice, but brown rice works great as well – some people even like to use quinoa or cousous.  Feel free to experiment.

Also, this particular recipe made more stuffing than I could fit in four peppers.  I could have used more peppers, but decided instead to save the extra stuffing to make a burrito the next day – which was delicious.

Here’s what you need:

  • 4 large bell peppers of any color
  • 3 cups cooked rice (I used yellow rice, but brown is good as well)
  • 1/2 can black beans
  • 1/2 can corn
  • 1/2 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14 oz crushed tomato (jarred or fresh tomatoes crushed by hand)
  • 1 cup cheese (Mexican blends are good, but whatever you have handy works)
  • 1/4 cup diced jalapenos (optional)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Serve with salsa and sour cream
  • 1/2 packet or a few shakes of fajita seasoning (optional)

Here’s what to do:

Step 1) Cook rice according to package instructions and set aside.

Step 2) Cut the tops off of the bell peppers and scoop out the seeds and white stuff.  They need to be softened before being stuffed, so either steam them for a few minutes or boil them (which I did) for about 8 minutes.  You want them “soft” but not “floppy.”  They should still stand up by themselves and hold their shape, but they shouldn’t be “crisp.”  That’s the best I can do – use your judgement :)

Step 3) In a small fry pan, sautee the onions and garlic in a little olive oil until the onions become translucent.

Step 4) In a large mixing bowl, combine the cooked rice, sauteed onions, garlic, jalapenos, black beans, corn, fajita seasoning and 1/2 a cup of cheese.  Stir it up good.  This is your filling.

stuffed pepper filling

Filling for the peppers | Photo by HFLP

Step 5) When the peppers are softened, stand them upright in a baking dish and fill them with stuffing mixture and top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheese.

uncooked stuffed peppers

Pre-cheese, pre-oven

Step 6) Pour a 1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the dish around the peppers (this creates a steamy environment and prevents the peppers from browning too much).

Step 7) Cover with foil, but make sure not to let the foil sit on top of the peppers or your cheese will melt to the foil.  Set the oven to 350 degrees, and bake covered for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the cheese on top is golden brown.

stuffed peppers in the oven

Vegetarian stuffed peppers | Photo by HFLP

The water in the bottom of the dish should have cooked off, and the peppers should be tender but not mushy.  Serve with a little sour cream and salsa, or hot sauce if the jalapenos didn’t do the trick.

Thanks for reading!


Vegan Sweet Potato Burritos


Vegan Sweet Potato Burrito

Vegan Sweet Potato Burrito | Photo by HealthyandLazy

Spring break!

I’ve changed cities, temporarily, and have left the comfy confines of my Gainesville kitchen for the spacious kitchens of parents and in-laws.  These folks even have dishwashers!

With all the extra space, we decided to make a big, vegan feast.  For dinner, a burrito unlike any I’ve ever had – sweet potatoes and black beans seem like an unusual pairing to me, but we went for it.  It’s not a Healthy/Lazy original, but it might get added to the regular recipe rotation.  We found the idea over here. Continue reading


My Big Fat Greek Burgers


Spinach and feta burger

Greek and Spinach and Feta Burger | Photo by HealthyandLazy

This recipe comes to me from Better Homes and Gardens, via my mom.  It’s a lot like my black bean burgers in preparation, but totally different in flavor.  There’s not a whole lot to say about it – put all the goods in a bowl and mix it up, squish them into pattie shape, toss ’em into a pan.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

The only difficulty I had was that the burgers tended to crumble a bit when I flipped them.  The spinach/stuffing/feta mixture didn’t hold together as well as black bean burgers – there’s just no mushy ingredient to hold it all together.  I toyed with the original recipe a little bit.  Adding a little more olive oil and stuffing mix seemed to improve the consistency and made it a little easier to work with (those changes are reflected in the recipe below). Continue reading


(Sloppy) Mexican Lasagna


Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna | Photo by HealthyandLazy

As the old joke goes, all Mexican food has the same four ingredients, there’s just a dozen names for it – taco, burrito, enchilada, quesadilla – and today, I’d like to add another candidate to the field.  Mexican Lasagna.

It really isn’t much different from other Mexican foods (and for the record, when I say “Mexican food,” I mean the type of food they serve in Mexican restaurants in the US, not in Mexico – and I’ve been told there’s a difference).  However, lasagna is much easier to serve – you don’t have to assemble 20 tacos in the kitchen, or lay out every bowl and serving utensil in your armory for a make-it-yourself buffet line.

All you need is one big pan and a casserole dish, and you’ll have a nice, hot dinner for four.

Continue reading


Homemade Spinach and Potato Gnocchi


 

Potato and Spinach Gnocchi

Potato and Spinach Gnocchi | Photo by HealthyandLazy

Saturday afternoon, not much going on, hanging out at the house watching movies and surfing the web and it hits me – tonight would be a great night for gnocchi.

When I was studying in Italy, I had some of the best gnocchi ever, specific meals that I still remember years later.  I’ve had it at restaurants and I’ve bought packaged gnocchi that is super quick to make at home.  BUT, until yesterday, I had never made it myself, from scratch.

So, I looked up some recipes online and set to work.  Turns out, just about every potato gnocchi recipe on the web is the same, but I liked this one because of the spinach (definitely a blog worth reading, too).

Let’s start with the positives – it was delicious, it was fun, it was filling.  I had a great time making the gnocchi.  I used every space in my kitchen and then some.

The downside?  It took forever.  I wasn’t exactly rushing through it, but the meal clocked in at just under 3 hours from start to delicious finish – it was like the Super Bowl of healthy/lazy cooking.  Oh, and I somehow managed to dust the kitchen, the dining room and my entire body in a fine layer of flour.  Perhaps careful cooking could avoid the flour problem, but it’s in my nature to be a little sloppy in the kitchen. Continue reading


Super Easy Eggplant Parm


Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan | Photo by HealthyandLazy

This is the kind of dish that you can impress your classy friends with.  Eggplant has an air of sophistication to it, I think.

Eggplant parmesan is always a crowd pleaser, and since it uses many of the same ingredients as traditional chicken parmesan, they can be made at the same time to accomodate mixed company.

I’ve pared this recipe down to six essential ingredients, all of which you probably already have in the kitchen, with the exception of the eggplant.  It can, though, be spruced up in a number of ways.  The sauce is a big deal with eggplant parm, and I sometimes like to add spinach to my sauce of choice.  Ricotta cheese also makes a great addition, but it isn’t necessary by any means for an enjoyable meal.

Continue reading


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