Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mango and Black Bean Quinoa Salad


Main ingredients:
1 cup quinoa
1 lg mango (peeled and diced)
1 red bell pepper (diced)
1 cup black beans(don't forget to rinse them)
1 jalapeno pepper (diced)
1 green onion (sliced)
1 handful cilantro (chopped)

Dressing ingredients:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 lime (zest and juice)
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper to taste

  • Cook quinoa as directed on package.
  • Mix main ingredients together in a large bowl.
  • In a smaller separate bowl whisk together dressing ingredients.
  • Pour dressing over main ingredients and toss to coat.
Changes that I made:
  • I substituted diced peaches for the mango (son allergic to mango)
  • Added diced avocado (yummm!)
  • Substituted diced yellow onion for the green onion (didn't have green onion)
  • Omitted jalapeno pepper and cilantro (didn't have either of them)
  • I added a bit of seasoning to the quinoa before it started cooking so it would have a great base flavor for the salad. (Better than Buillion brand seasoning)
This recipe is really good even with all the changes, (and healthy). My kids devoured it and fought over the last bits in the bowl! (even after I added avocado, which they all say they despise). If you haven't had quinoa before, it is good. It's basically like rice, only a bit smaller. And it has a ton of protein!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Crockpot Beans

When I was first married and first pregnant I filled up my crockpot with pinto beans and then waited in anticipation for my wonderful creation! Unfortunately they weren't done by bedtime so I thought I would just let them go all night long. I woke up in the morning to a horrible burnt odor. It was so bad that I didn't try cooking beans for a very long time...I'm talking years~! I think I also threw the crockpot out because the beans were so cooked on to it.

Here's a failproof and delicious recipe for crockpot beans. They can be used in many different recipes. I will also include the old fashioned method here for cooking beans.

Crockpot Beans

3 cups dry beans
9 cups water
1-2 tsp salt, to taste
2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1. Sort beans on a dry dish towel, removing shriveled or discolored beans, as well as any foreign matter (rocks, etc.)
2. Wash beans in colander and place in a crockpot with water. Cook on low overnight or on high for 5 hours.
3. Add salt and other seasonings after beans are cooked.
Makes 8 cups.

Burrito Beans
1 lb pinto or pink beans
1 med. onion, diced
1 tsp olive oil (opt)
1 1/2 tsp salt

1. Sort the beans, then soak them overnight in a large kettle with plenty of water.
2. In the morning pour the water off and use fresh water about 10 cups, to cook the beans until tender about 2 1/2 hours. You may also use the crockpot method.
3. Puree the beans in a blender with a little water. Add raw onion to the beans in the blender or you may want to saute the onion in water or olive oild and then add the blended beans to the skillet.
4. Add salt to taste. Serve with heated tortillas, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, chopped onions, olives and brown rice.
Makes 7 cups.
Cook's tip: To bake and serve, fill tortillas with the bean mixture, diced tomatoes, rice and soy cheese. Roll and place in a casserole dish. Cover with your choice of sauce and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Pantry Taco Soup

Through some weird turn of events, my posting about herbs & cheese bread seems to have brought the Relatively Cooking site to a complete halt. I can't help but feel responsible. Therefore, I must do what I can to get it moving again.

A month or so ago we had a family get-together to which I brought a pot of taco soup, made entirely out of ingredients I happened to have in my pantry and refrigerator. Everyone seemed to like it, so I thought I'd post the recipe here.

This is the process I went through. First, I dug everything out of the pantry that sounded like it might be good in a taco soup. The ingredients I ended up with were as follows:

Pinto beans, black beans, diced tomatoes, great northern beans, light red kidney beans, southwestern style corn, two cans of white chicken in water, and diced green chiles.

I had some Frank's red hot buffalo wings sauce in the fridge, so I added a liberal splash. Probably a half a cup or so.

I also had half a jar of medium salsa in the fridge, so I dumped that in as well. (I forgot to take the picture until after I had thrown it away. Oops.)

So for those keeping score, the recipe went as follows:

1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans
I large can petite-cut tomatoes (in juice)
1 can great northern beans
1 can light red kidney beans
1 can southwestern style corn
1 can diced green chiles
2 cans chunk white chicken in water
1/2 a jar of salsa
1/2 cup Frank's red hot sauce

When all was said and done, this is what it looked like. I served it with sour cream and shredded cheese on top. Mmm, yummy! I highly recommend experimenting with whatever you happen to have on hand. You never know what sorts of exciting things you might invent!

The leftovers were also delicious eaten as a chunky dip with tortilla chips.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Italian herbs and cheese bread

I don't know if this really counts as a recipe. But I took pictures and everything, so here it is. There's this certain sandwich shop that makes several different kinds of bread. Well, I'm a fan of the Italian herbs with cheese bread. I decided to try to make it at home. I looked up recipes online, but they all involved starting from scratch and more work than I was willing to put in to get a decent loaf of bread. So I made one up in my own head.

I started with Rhodes white bread dough, which I let sit out on the counter until it defrosted.

The first real problem I faced was when I realized I have no bread pans. Oops. Slight oversight on my part. I found a small pan that was about the size of two bread pans, and decided to try cooking two loaves at a time. Hey, it could work.

So then I looked in the spice cupboard and found a bottle marked "Italian herbs." How fortuitous! I sprinkled it liberally over my double loaves of bread. Then, as luck would have it, I had an almost empty bag of shredded cheddar cheese in the fridge. I sprinkled the remains over the top of my loaves and stuck them in the oven.

I had the oven preheated to whatever the Rhodes dough bag recommended. I think it said to cook for 25 minutes or so. I set the timer and went upstairs to clean my room. Unfortunately, then I forgot all about it, and it was about 45 minutes later when I remembered I had bread in the oven and bolted down the stairs. As you can imagine, the bread was pretty brown by this time.

However, though it had a pretty stiff crust on it, it was still edible on the inside. Surprisingly tasty, if I do say so myself.

The saddest part is that I went out of town right after I made this, and when I came back it had mysteriously disappeared. Probably carried off by rats.

So to recap. Ingredients:
Rhodes white bread dough
Italian herbs


Monday, June 15, 2009

Fiesta Chopped Salad

Love this salad. I tried it for the first time tonight. I highly recommend it. I had it with a turkey burger and thought I was in love. It really was flavorful. My pictures aren't the best but the salad sure is! Try it!

Fiesta Chopped Salad

1 med. red pepper chopped
1 med. yellow pepper chopped
1 med. tomato, seeded and chopped (I did not seed it)
1 med. cucumber, seeded and chopped (same as above)
1 small zucchini, chopped
2 green onions, chopped (I used dried onions)
2 T fresh parsley (I didn't use this)
2 T olive oil
1 T red wine vinegar (I used balsamic)
1/2 tsp sugar (I used stevia)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 large ripe avocado, peeled and chopped (you could also substitute olives here)
1 T lemon juice
In a large bowl combine the first 7 ingredients. Combine oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper in a tight-fitting lidded container and shake well. Drizzle over veggies and toss to coat. Toss avocado with lemon juice; sprinkle over salad.

On another note, on top of my turkey patty I had this really awesome garlic sauce that I purchased from Costco. I am not sorry I bought this. It is really yummy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Chewy Granola Bars

I admit I am doing a lot of baking this week due to end of the year stuff and birthdays. Soon though I would like to include a series of salad recipes! Be prepared! This recipe is from You can make them your own by picking different ingredients to add in. Try using any combination of miniature chocolate chips, sunflower seeds, raisins, chopped dried fruits, candy-coated chocolate pieces, chopped nuts, etc...

4 1/2 cups rolled oats
1 cup all-purpose flour (I used ww flour)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease one 9x13 inch pan.
2. In a large mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, baking soda, vanilla, butter, honey and brown sugar. Stir in the 2 cups assorted choc chips, raisins, nuts, etc.
3. Lightly press mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 325 degrees F for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool for 10 minutes then cut into bars. Let bars cool completely in pan before removing or serving.

After creaming together the honey, sugar, butter, vanilla, and baking soda.

After adding the flour.

After adding oats. Remember that I doubled the recipe.

Here it is right before I placed it in the oven!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pizza on the Barbie

I have heard that you can make pizza on the barbecue grill but I was a little skeptical of how you do it without the dough falling through the slats, for instance. Well I found a blog that gave a little of the ins and outs of pizza on the grill and it's actually quite simple and really yummy!

"Pizza on the Barbie"

First take your favorite pizza dough recipe and mix it up. (If you haven't yet found a recipe that you like I will share one at the end of this blog posting.)The recipe that we used made enough dough for 2 larger pizzas so we made 4 pizzas because the grill isn't that big and it might be hard to get a larger pizza off. Separate the dough into 4 balls.

Either roll each ball out, or use your hands, and form a small pizza. Now take a cookie sheet and pour about a TBSP of Olive Oil into it. Take the dough that you formed and coat it on both sides in the olive oil - this is so it doesn't stick to the grill. (You can also use a pizza stone, but you need to heat it up first - and it is a lot quicker and more flavorful just putting it straight onto the grill.)

Take the pizza crust and put it directly onto the barbecue grill and leave it for about 3 minutes, until the bottom becomes crusty and has really pretty grill marks. After 3 minutes check your pizza, it should have beautiful grill marks on the bottom and be ready to flip. Flip it and now you can put the sauce, cheese and/or toppings on while it's on the grill and while the bottom side gets some of those beautiful grill marks. Close the lid and leave it closed for at least 3 minutes. Brett thinks you should check the pizza during this time and I think you should just be patient. Either way it works, so you choose. After your cheese is melted and/or the bottom of your pizza has those grill marks, then it's done and time to eat! Enjoy!

(p.s. the toppings and sauces are limitless so try just about anything. I loved this pizza so much more than even take-out pizza. It has so much more flavor!)

p.p.s. I told you I'd share this awesome pizza dough recipe that we found, didn't I? Well here it is.

Yummy Pizza Dough

5 tsp Saf instant yeast (I supposed you could just use active yeast and it would work the same)

2 cups warm water

3 TBSP oil (I used Olive Oil)

1 1/2 tsp salt

4 - 6 cups flour

Directions: Dissolve yeast in water in a large mixing bowl. Wait about 5 minutes for it to start bubbling a little. Then add the salt, oil, and 2 cups flour. Turn mixer to medium and leave it alone for about 3 minutes. Then add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Knead until smooth and elastic, either by hand or with the mixer; it'll take longer if by hand, about 7 minutes, half that with a mixer. If you use the mixer you'll have to turn it out onto the counter in some flour and knead a little of that flour in by hand so it's not too sticky. Then spray a bowl with oil and put the dough into the bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rest in a warm place about 10 minutes. Then it's ready to roll out. (Don't forget if you make this in an oven you will need to cook it for about 10-15 minutes first before you add the toppings and then cook it another 15 minutes. It's so much faster in the barbecue grill! and much tastier!)