Thursday, July 25, 2013

Creamy Guacamole

I like my guacamole really creamy, but you don't
have to mash it or stir it as much if you want
more texture.

You can use it on the standard chips or pitas,
or place on top of burritos or tacos, make
sandwiches with it as a spread, or place
it on a salad.


1 large ripe avocado
(dark and 'gives' a little when
you squeeze it)

peel your avocado and dice it into
cubes in a bowl.
Be sure and get all slivers of the
peel and the pit off as they do
'shatter' easily.

You can use a food processor, but I prefer
manual mashing.

Put a squirt (1 tbsp) of lemon juice,
several dashes of hot sauce/Tabasco sauce,
1 teaspoon minced garlic,
1 teaspoon sea salt,
2 large spoons of salsa,
1 large spoon of mayonnaise,
1 large spoon of sour cream
(dip these by small amounts first until
you see what the consistency will end up as;
you can always add more!)
1 teaspoon black pepper,
1 dash of paprika
1/3 cup diced fresh tomato

I use the salsa because it gives
a little kick and has tomato, onion,
garlic already mixed!
You can just use fresh of all the above if you
don't have salsa handy.

Just mash and stir your
ingredients together until
the consistency is as creamy as
you want. Make your dish at least an hour
ahead of time so it can marinate.

If any liquid separates on top,
just drain it off or stir it in.

So delicious you'll eat it plain!


Friday, April 26, 2013

Scalded Mexicali Beans & Rice

This is a quick and easy 'leftovers' recipe for using up
leftover rice, which is kind of a common undesirable!

Take a large cast-iron skillet and heat about 1/4 inch of
extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat.

Add 1 tablespoon of minced or fresh garlic.

Add two small chopped yellow onions and let
saute for a few minutes.

When onions are becoming caramelized, add a can of
well-drained and dried cooked kidney beans (any style.)

Add 1/4 cup of diced jalapenos.

Top with approximately 2 cups of leftover cooked
brown rice.

Add 1/2 tablespoon each of sea salt, paprika, and
chili powder. (Add cayenne pepper, too, for really
spicy taste buds.)

Immediately begin stirring the mixture to combine
thoroughly and allow some scalding on each side of
the mix.

Add more olive oil for moisture as needed, and
continue cooking over medium heat and stirring for
about 2 to 3 minutes, or until everything is browning

Serve with a side salad and bread, and it can serve
3 people well!

Top with sour cream (optional) and either some additional
jalapenos or sliced green pepper, avocado, shredded cheese,
fresh cilantro, purple onion, chives, or whatever sounds
good to you!

(Chilled green apple slices or seedless green grapes go
nicely with this meal to balance the spicy and hot!)


Monday, April 15, 2013

Baby Beets & Feta Salad Supreme

I like a nice, crisp, alternative to Romaine and spinach
salds, and this is one of my faves.

I use the jarred or canned baby beets, and I'll give you
the sizes and measurements for a single
serving; just multiply as necessary for
your number of guests.

Take about 8 baby beets, drain and dice.
Chop up 2 medium to large stalks of
cleaned and drained celery.
Use about 1/4 of a crisp, cleaned, chopped
green bell pepper .
1/2 cup of frozen blueberries.
1/2 cup of drained green olives.
1 hard boiled egg (9 minutes) chopped
into eighths.
2 tablespoons of crumbled feta cheese.
1 tablespoon chives.
1 teaspoon paprika.
2 tablespoons honey-mustard vinaigrette.

Mix well and chill to marinate about
15 minutes.

Delicious and refreshing crisp salad
with tons of sweet and salty mixes!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Flavorful Fish

You'll never fry a fish again!
My biggest push with food is flavor; people tend to be skimpy when it comes to
using spices, and/or they rely on only one
(like salt) and overdo it!

I'm also a huge fan of marinades, and
applying rubs for a minimum of a full day
so that the meat in question is saturated
with flavor all the way through.

For fish, I use tilapia or swai fillets--which
you can get huge frozen bags of, skinned
and boned and sometimes even individually
wrapped--in bulk for a decent value.

(For those of us without funds or proximity
to partake of fresh fish markets, these are

I take my fish, defrost it unwrapped, and
lay it out in a shallow pan. I'll lay a solid
layer of herbs and spices across them,
quite liberally applied (but of course, you
know your system and taste buds best, so...)

I typically use the following for baking fish,
since I love hot and spicy food;
*sea salt
*ground pepper
*mild curry
*cayenne pepper
*soul food seasoning
*garlic powder
*onion powder

I then spray the fish with no-stick cooking spray
to adhere the seasoning to the fillet.
Then flip and repeat the ritual for the other side.

When finished, I put a bit of red hot sauce, olive oil,
and orange juice in the pan with the fish, and slosh
it gently to disperse it evenly.

Cover your pan and place in refrigerator. You should
turn your fish at least once, preferably more often to
soak it through.

Cook fillets in a preheated 425 degree oven for 8-to-12 minutes,
or longer depending on desired crispness or the thickness
of the fillet. You can also place the oven on broil for the last
few minutes to get that golden brown coloring.

And most importantly, if you serve a meal of this delicious
flavorful fish, do not allow guests to slather their god damned
condiments on it. Beyond insulting, it's death to taste buds
and undoes all your hard work!

Meal ideas:
Place baked fish on a bed of brown rice, serve with a side of
mixed veggies.

For a different style, go with some caramelized onions added
to the top, or make it a 'Mexican' dinner with some salsa and
sour cream added.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

California Fish Wraps

Tempura Batter
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup cold water
-1 cup whole wheat flour
-1 sugar substitute pack
-1 teaspoon baking powder
-1 teaspoon baking soda
-1 teaspoon sea salt
-1 teaspoon garlic
Mix briskly and set aside.

Take an average size tilapia fillet and slice it down the middle
You'll use approximately 1 large-sized fillet per person.
Marinate with small equal amounts of;
-hot sauce
-sea salt
-orange juice

Raspberry spread
-1 cup raspberry yogurt
-1 tsp Worcester sauce
-1 tsp minced garlic
-1 tblsp sour cream
-1 tblsp mayonnaise

Cole slaw
-2 cups Tri-color slaw mix/fresh cabbage
-2 tblsp mayonnaise
-1 tblsp orange juice
-1 tblsp lemon juice
-2 tblsp sweet relish
-6 diced banana peppers
-2 tblsp chopped onion
-1 tsp celery salt
-1 tsp pepper
-1 tsp sugar

Take two whole wheat flour tortillas, heated, and lay in your plate.

Take the fish fillets and dunk them in the tempura batter.
Drop them with tongs into a deep pot of boiling canola oil.
(You only need a few inches of oil, but I use a deep pot so they
won't splatter as much.)

Fry them several minutes, then turn. When a few more minutes
pass, take them up (they'll float when ready, and be golden brown)
and set them on a wire rack or paper towel to drain. Let them cool
several minutes.

Spread 2 or 3 tablespoons of the raspberry spread on the tortillas
place the drained and slightly cooled fish across the middle of the
tortilla. Top with cole slaw, jalapenos, shallots, salsa, and shredded
cheddar cheese to taste.


Friday, February 22, 2013

"Time Won't Let Me!"

Over and over I hear people complain that they
don't have the time to cook a big meal every night
of the week.

Well, no shit, Sherlock...
who does?
(Or perhaps more importantly,
'Who wants to?' since it leads to
the entire kitchen being a wreck!)

My solution has long been to cook one or two big meals
and then simply divvy them up into leftovers and
freeze them. It's quick, easy, and I have found very few
things that don't freeze and reheat well.

I cook either a full course meal and
then prepare containers with a complete
serving of each, or I fix a 'one-pot' meal
(filled with starches, fiber, veggies, protein
all in one dish.)

You can get the new Tupperware that are
microwave safe (don't emit toxins when
heated) at dollar stores for next to nothing,
and it's a fine investment for the ability
to keep fully cooked meals on hand.
(I own about 40!)

With freezing your meals, they're good for
taking lunches to work, and folks who
don't like the same meal 2 days in a row don't
have to dread leftovers in the refrigerator.

By having multiple sorts of frozen meals on hand,
you can even vary your selection of leftovers
for several nights. And fixing several large meals
is a superb money-savings.

Some good suggestions are lasagna, beef stew
(just mix rice in alongside, and corn bread on top to
freeze,) casseroles, soups, chili, and so on.
With meats and rices, make sure you place any excess juices
from the pan in with the leftovers to help them stay
moist when reheating. If there are no
leftover juices, place a few drops of water over the
top of the food before heating.

Always make sure your Tupperware has had the
lid popped ajar when heating, and it's better
to under-heat and heat again than to overheat.

You can also make a huge salad ahead of time
and eat off of it for a few days before the greens get
limp. This saves doing all of the cleaning and chopping of
vegetables every night. There may be some ingredients
you want to store separately (tomatoes) so as to
better preserve the quality of your salad.


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cornbread Salad

Take leftover Jiffy cornbread, chilled, and crumble up in a bowl.

Depending on how many pieces you have left over, you'll
adjust the amount of your other ingredients. I just do it to
taste and eyeball it anyway, so....

You want to put a couple of spoons of mayonnaise, just enough
to wet the cornbread. (I prefer Hellman's, Saur's, or Blue Plate,
but everyone's tastes on mayo are different, so use what you will.
However, using a different brand will alter the dish's taste, so be

You can dress up your dish decoratively by adding tomato
slices or sliced grapes, etc on top!
This is one of those recipes that can be altered depending on
'what's available' at the time. Substitutions are encouraged.

After you moisten your base with the mayo, I add a little hot
sauce (to taste,) and; (I add about equal amounts of all my add-ins;)
-chopped onion
-chopped bell pepper
-chunk or shredded pineapple
-diced tomatoes

Add about a tablespoon or so of juice from the canned pineapple (or fresh)

Add a teaspoon of each of the following:
-black pepper
-garlic powder (or minced garlic)
-sea salt

Mix thoroughly and be sure and let it set in the refrigerator for
an hour or two to meld and marinate.

As for substitutions, some that I have used are:
-seedless grapes
-shredded carrot
-chopped celery
-chopped nuts
-crisp corn kernels

Whatever combination sounds good to you so long as you have
an appropriate mix of sweet, tangy, soft, crunchy, etc.

How creamy or how dry you make your salad with the mayo can
be easily adding less at first, and more as needed once you see
what it looks like blended.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Turkey-Broccoli Cheddar Quiche

Take 2 pre-made, generic frozen pastry crusts

Chop 2 cups of leftover turkey meat, de-boned and skinned
Chop one medium white onion
Chop 1 cup of broccoli head very fine
Shred 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese

*Place the items in order listed, one layer at a time in pie shells,
evenly spread out.
*Sprinkle evenly the following seasonings (this is the full amount;
divide between the two pies)

  1 tablespoon garlic powder
  2 teaspoons sea salt
  2 teaspoons black pepper
  1 tablespoon crushed basil
  1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  1 tablespoon paprika
  (if you like, add 2 teaspoons of curry for more flavor)

Take a can of cream of chicken (or cream of celery) and mix with;
   1/2 cup of milk,
   1 tablespoon olive oil,
   4 eggs
   1/4 cup sour cream
Mix well and pour over the pies, evenly, letting it sink in.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Place pies on baking sheet, center of oven for about 45 minutes,
turning halfway through. When properly done they should have
a dark golden brown look to them. You can also do the toothpick
test to make sure the insides are done.

Let cool on a wire rack. Serve one warm and tightly wrap and freeze
the extra for a quick prepared meal later.