Friday, September 28, 2012

Maple Glazed Chicken Apple Cheddar Pizza

Get together saga continues...
I had mentally prepared the ingredients in my head, knew what I wanted the pizza to taste like... but I seriously did not have time to make my own crust.  Normally I use my bread baker or my favorite artisan bread recipe Artisan Pizza Crust.  So I used the next best thang "EVAHHHH"!!  I used my go to in a hurry pizza crust HERE.  Can I just say that is the best, easiest pizza crust ever!!  No, I'm not getting any endorsements.  This is simply between me and you, "shhhhhh, our little secret".

This pizza follows my "theme" of Fall.  It's chock full of spiced chicken, glazed apples, sauteed onions, maple syrup and sharp cheddar cheese!!  It's absolutely outta this world good, hot or COLD!!  How do I know this you ask?  "Ahhhhh", so after "Tall guy #1 & Tall guy #2" came into the kitchen (after a few beers mind you) and asked me if there was any more pizza left.  I said yes, just a few pieces but they are cold now.  They said "no worries".  I pulled the pizza out, laid on a plate and... are you ready?  Grab hold of something now... they took the first bite, made the "moan noise" and then proceeded to find their wives and share!!
These are good men I tell you, "good men"!! :-)

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
3 tbsp canola oil
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper

2 medium Granny Smith apples sliced very thin (I used my mandolin, be CAREFUL, USE THE FINGER GUARD for the love of all Holy...)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cumin powder
pinch of salt

1 large onion sliced very thin (mandolin, follow warning above)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
pinch of salt
pinch of black pepper

2 pkgs pizza mix (follow instructions on package)

Additional ingredients
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (1 package) divided
1/4 cup pure maple syrup

Pour lemon juice over apples and stir so they do not become brown.  Set aside.

Rinse and dry your chicken. Dice into small pieces.

In a medium saute pan over medium high heat add your oil.  Heat oil and add your chicken pieces.  Saute till chicken is no longer pink.  Add your spices. Saute for a minute or so longer, take off heat, place in bowl and set aside.


Using same saute pan (why dirty another pan I say), we are going to start on our apples.
Over medium heat, melt your butter.  Add your apples, let them begin to soften, about 1 minute or so.  Now add your just delectable if I could bathe in it I would brown sugar (did I actually say that out loud)??  Oh my, YES!!!!!
Now add that spice of life cumin and your pinch of salt!!  Saute for just a minute longer. You want them soft but firm.  You don't want mush, they will bake in the oven.  Place in a bowl and set aside.

Finally, let's saute our onions.  Again using the same saute pan, melt your 2 tbsp of butter, add your onions.  Let saute till just turning soft, add your salt & pepper.  Turn off heat and set aside.  You don't have to dirty another bowl or plate, leave in pan, they will hang out till their needed!!

Prepare your pizza crust according to instructions on package, or if you have your own even better. 

Bake for 6-7 minutes.  Pull out of oven.  While still warm, drizzle/baste your maple syrup over the pizza crust.  Add 3/4 cup of your sharp cheddar cheese.

Preheat oven to 425F.
Now add your sauteed chicken, evenly distributing over the pizza, as such!

Let's place our delicious apples around the chicken, like so.

I know... it's almost "dig right in now" moment!!  But wait, there is more!!
Let's add our succulent onions!!

Oh heaven's to Betsy, I'm ready right now... but wait!!  Let's add are remaining sharp cheddar cheese!!!
Were gonna bake this amazing goodness for 12-14 minutes till nicely golden and all the gooey cheese has melted.

Cut into as many big or small pieces you would like.  I made them into appetizers so I cut about 20 pieces.  I highly recommend to go by your preference... remember, my "theme" is appetizers. If you want a meal, then I strongly suggest bigger pieces.

This tasty pizza was so very easy to make, yet the taste was utter gourmet!!
Your guests will love you, your family will love you, and amongst all this love fest, you will have an amazing pizza!!

Till next time!!

 Dishin with Didi

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Maple Chicken Pumpkin Bites (appetizers)

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Go ahead, take one...

This past weekend I had a little get together...
When I have a get together no matter how small or how large, I must have a theme.  Everything from the food and drink to decorations must be coordinated and compliment each other.  Do I need therapy?  Am I the only one??
That being said, my "theme" was "FALL".  What with Saturday being the first day of Autumn, and it being dreary and raining not too mention chilly all day.  That was the best "theme" in my mind.
So I went about creating some recipes to match my theme. 
What reminds me of Fall?  Pumpkins, assorted winter squashes, cinnamon, apples, cloves, maple syrup, color yellow, the color orange, rust browns, cider, bon fires, FOOTBALL, Halloween, candy, caramels, nuts, butter and candles...  In other words home!! 
So I created three amazing appetizers for my get together.  When I put all three recipes on one post along with the pictures it was almost 4 pages long!!  So I have broken the recipes up into three posts for your reading and drooling pleasure!! 

These little gems will be gone the moment they take the first bite!!  They are literally "a taste of Fall" in your mouth!!  You have crunchy, buttery, maple, sweet, savory and spicy all in one!!  TOUCHDOWN!
That's what my friends said!! Well, actually what they really said was; "OMG Didi, mmmmmmmm, oh man... don't touch that, it's mine, I got dibs"!!  "Ahhhhhh", melody to my ears!! 
They are filled with a sweet spicy chicken and pumpkin base, add your real maple syrup and the most unique spices that will literally have your tastebuds jumping for joy!!  You can taste the savory, but the sweet and spicy ultimately will be the winning combination.  

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 pkg wonton wrappers (smaller size - 4 X 4)
1-1/2 cups pumpkin / winter squash puree
1 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (it really makes a world of difference)
1/4 - 1/2 tsp Fenugreek spice 

1-1/2 tsp allspice powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1-1/2 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp ground red pepper (more if you want more heat, I kept it at "oh" notch)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp salt
few cranks of black pepper
*cup of water for wetting down wonton sides*

Basting Sauce:
1 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp melted unsalted butter
dash of ground red pepper

In a small saute pan using the dry heat method, heat your ground Fenugreek spice, your allspice powder, cinnamon and finally cumin for about 1 minute or so.  This will ensure that the heat will literally wake up those spices.  You will know they are ready when your kitchen will be filled with the aromas of maple and cinnamon spices.  Pull off of heat and immediately, transfer to a small bowl, set aside.
What is Fenugreek??  HERE. The maple flavor Fenugreek adds is next to none.  But it can be extremely bitter if you use too much (trust me, I know from personal experience), so please use the lesser amount till you become familiar with it.  You can certainly omit it totally and just add a few more tbsp of maple syrup.

Dice the chicken into small pieces.

In a medium frying pan over medium heat add your butter.  Once melted add your chicken.  Saute chicken till no longer pink.

Add your spices and saute a minute more, then add your smashed, pureed pumpkin / winter squash.

I used fresh frozen pumpkin that I had steamed till soft.  You can certainly roast the pumpkin/squash if you want.  You can also buy in your produce section already peeled and cubed butternut.  Hey, I'm all about easy!! 

Finally add your maple syrup and the basil along with your salt and a few cranks of pepper.  Stir well.  Taste for seasonings.  Do you need more salt? Do you need more maple syrup? Set aside.

Let's start on the wontons.  In a small bowl add your cup of water.
Lay out your first wonton wrapper.  Using a very small pastry brush (or your fingers, I use the latter), baste all around the four corners of your wonton.  This will ensure they will seal together.  Place 1 tbsp or so of filling in the middle of your wrapper.

Fold over and seal.  Pressing down just a little and making sure all areas have some filling.  Place on sprayed aluminum foil lined baking sheet (easy clean up, hello).  Continue filling wontons. 

Preheat oven to 375F.  In a small bowl, melt your 2 tbsp of butter in your microwave (about 30 seconds), add your 1 tbsp of maple syrup and a dash of ground red pepper.  Stir till incorporated and using a pastry brush, baste the chicken bites.

Bake for approximately 20-22 minutes till golden and the edges are starting to crisp.
Remove from oven, place on pretty platter and serve. 

Make sure to keep the appetizer thieves away... 
I could not figure out for the life of me why the platter  kept looking leaner everytime I walked into the dining room... AHA!!!!

They were giggling up a storm, but still took off with the bowl!!!  The best feeling in the world!!  Even Bella was in on the action!!

So make up a batch of these, they are simple and DIVINE!!!

Yield:  30-32 appetizers

Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi

Monday, September 24, 2012

Baked Cabbage Rolls

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With the change of weather and cooler temperatures finally coming our way, comfort foods come to mind.  I love Autumn!!  It is my favorite season.  I love everything about it... the cooler temperatures, the colors, the smells, the foods!!
So the other day it was raining all day long, a steady rainfall.  The temperature was in the low 60's and it was dark and dreary.  I came home, promptly lit my toparies and all my candles... "ahhh, yes, much, much better"...
Well you all know by now what that ambiance does to me right?  Makes me want to cook and bake!!
Since we're talking about ambiance, does anyone else get an immediate need to make popcorn and cocoa when the fireplace is lit?  No really, SERIOUSLY? 
I have to ask myself sometimes if I was born in the wrong era, I have seriously thought this about me for a while now... another post, another day!!
Anyway, back to the recipe. ;-)

I had bought a beautiful head of savoy cabbage at the farmers market over the weekend.  Cabbage rolls it is!! 
This recipe was given to me by "who else", one of my amazing elderly patients.  I have since tweaked it just a little bit.  If I don't say so myself, it's DELICIOUS!!
So simple, yet utterly satisfying!!  Not too salty, not too mushy, not too tomatoey, just enough meat, just enough rice...
I feel like "Goldilocks", for this one is "just right"!!!

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go;

1 head of cabbage
1lb ground beef
1 cup rice
2 cans condensed tomato soup
1 medium onion diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup celery leaves (see post here) or 1/2 cup of finely diced celery
2-1/2 cups water (divided)
salt & pepper to taste

Using a large saucepan, add 4-5 qts water and bring to boil.  Clean your cabbage by removing outer leaves, then coring from the bottom.  I usually pound the core on the counter a few times, see if it wiggles free.  If not, then I use a knife to hollow out the core and dispose.  Wash your cabbage leaves and set aside.  Once water is boiling, add 2-3 leaves in the boiling water and let sit for about 1 minute till they have softened and are pliable.  Using a slotted spoon, remove leaves and place in a strainer.  This is called "blanching".
Continue blanching leaves till you reach the smaller leaves.  I would then stop.  You don't want tiny bitty cabbage rolls, you want medium size ones.  Save cabbage for slaw, salad what have you.
Let cabbage leafs drain while you prepare your beef mixture.

In a large saute pan over medium heat, brown your ground beef till no longer pink.  Add your onions, saute till translucent.  Now add in your rice and stir till all rice is coated with the drippings of the ground beef.  Let's add in our flavor enhancing herbs, the parsley and celery leaves (or celery).  Simmer for just a minute more.  Scoop out 3/4 can of UNDILUTED tomato soup onto the mixture.  Stir well, add in 1-1/2 cups water and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for about 10 minutes or so till the water has almost been absorbed by the rice, turn off heat.  You want the rice almost cooked but still with a crunch, they will finish baking in the oven.  Salt & pepper to taste and set aside.

Preheat oven to 325F.  Pre-spray a 13 x 9 baking pan with baking spray.  Spread the other 1/4 can of tomato soup plus a few tbsp of the second can of UNDILUTED tomato soup on the bottom of the pan.  Set aside.
Lay your cabbage leaf on a flat surface with the bottom portion facing you.  If there is a hard stem, cut that out and discard, you want a flatter surface.
Place 2-3 tbsp (more if larger leaves) of beef mixture at the base of the leaf.  Spread to create a cylinder.  Start to roll from the bottom.  Lift the bottom of leaf up and over the beef mixture.  Take the first right side of leaf and bring over directly to the left and over the mixture, then do the same with the left side of the leaf.  Like your making and a burrito!!  Continue to roll and place seam side down in your pan.
Finish off the rest of your leaves and beef mixture. 
Spread the rest of your UNDILUTED tomato soup on top of the cabbage rolls.  Using the same can, fill with water and pour water all around the sides of the cabbage rolls.

Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for 1-1/2  to 1-3/4 hours.  You will know the cabbage rolls are done with your cabbage leaves are almost translucent!!
Let sit for just a few minutes and plate this amazing comfort food!!

I served mine with drop biscuits.  Go ahead, make a pan, they're so easy and the leftovers are simply divine!!  Makes me hungry all over again...

Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi

Friday, September 21, 2012

Manicotti With Roasted Garlic Eggplant & Italian Sausage

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Let me get you a knife and fork...

Lasagna version as my readers suggested...

Call me a traditionalist... go ahead, cuz that is exactly what I am.
Sunday dinner's to me is exactly that!!
Whether it is football season, deck parties, a picnic, mid Autumn bonfires or a get together in front of the fireplace... I want my family and friends around me and I want to FEED THEM!!!  I know, I'm weird that way, but that's how I "roll"!!

My friends and family know this, and truth be told, they love it!!  They know they can come over any time of day or night and I will be donning my apron on / or not ;-) and feeding them!!  This, my friends is a true passion of mine, nothing gives me greater joy!!  "Shhhhhh, this is between you and me now".

This dish is one of our ultimate favorites.  I have not served it to anyone that has not absolutely loved it, raved about it, even better yet, wanted more!!
It could be Sunday dinner, it could be friends coming over and serving this in small portions with amazing rosemary buttermilk biscuits while their watching the game, (you so know I've served it this way right)?  Or just a simple Friday or Saturday night get together with a, "hey, why don't you come over and we'll rent a movie" night.  No matter what occasion you serve this dish, you will have accolades out the door and requests for "more please".  If that doesn't warm your heart, I don't know what will...
This dish is bursting with flavor and is so non-traditional!  These manicotti are chock full of roasted sweet garlic & eggplant, sauteed mushrooms, Italian Sausage, fresh herbs & cheese.  Then, we top these luscious gems with a velvety bechamel sauce... it's definitely LOVE AT FIRST BITE!! 

This dish is not complicated at all, just a few steps and I will walk you thru them I promise.  Ready for the standing lines at your door!!

Here we go: 

1 medium eggplant
5 cloves garlic - divided
5-7 tbsp olive oil - divided *see notes*
1/4 cup fresh parsley (reserve 1 tbsp for garnish)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary (1/2 tbsp dried)
1/2 cup fresh celery leaves (or) 1/4 cup diced celery *see link below*
2 cups fresh mushrooms sliced
1lb bulk Italian Sausage
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese - divided
2-1/2 tbsp butter
pinch of salt & freshly grated pepper

Bechamel Sauce:
4 tbsp flour
4-1/2 cups milk
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
pinch of salt
1 sprig fresh rosemary (1/2 tsp dried) *topping*

Preheat oven to 400F.  Wash and dry your eggplant. Score eggplant vertically, not all the way through, just score it leaving about an inch gap.  To the gap add 3 cloves of garlic, drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil, pinch of salt & pepper.  

Cover with a small sheet of foil and bake till eggplant is very soft and outer skin has sagged. About 35-45 minutes.  You can certainly do this beforehand, even the day before for ease of preparation.

As eggplant is baking, in a large saucepan, add enough water with a few pinches of salt and cook your manicotti.  Eight (8) minutes is the perfect al dente, so we are going to stop them at 6 minutes.  Drain and rinse with cold water immediately to stop the cooking process.  Gently separate each manicotti so they don't fold over and stick onto themselves, it makes it very difficult to separate without tearing later.  Set aside.

Once pasta is cooked and set aside, check on your eggplant, check with a fork to see how tender they are.  They should be almost half way through.
Let's start on our mushrooms.  In a large saute pan melt your 1-1/2 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp olive oil.  When hot add your mushrooms.  Continue to saute till they have reduced nicely in size add a pinch of salt, voila, the mushrooms will now release their liquid.  Add your chopped celery leaves (or celery) and the remaining 1 tbsp of butter.  The magic of the extra fat will now render these beautifully!! Take off heat, place directly in your food processor, set aside.

What are celery leaves?  HERE They are absolutely delicious!  These are from my step dad's garden.  I washed and washed, dried, chopped and placed in baggies in the freezer. These are absolutely out of this world in frittata scrambles of any kind, stews, soups... anywhere you want the slight taste of celery!!  Not only are they delicious, they are a great source of Calcium and Vitamin E.

Using the same saute pan place your sausage and crumble it into small pieces.  Fry sausage till no longer pink.  Place in medium size bowl.

The eggplant should be done now.  Take out of oven and using a large spoon, scoop out the inside "only" of the eggplant along with the roasted garlic.  Place directly in the food processor where it's partner in crime "aka the mushrooms" are awaiting their arrival!!

Add your parsley, your rosemary and your 2 fresh garlic cloves that you have crushed, along with 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Process till nicely combined.

Add your now pureed eggplant mixture to the sausage mixture.  Sprinkle on 1/4 cup of the Parmesan cheese (reserve the other 1/2 cup for baking),  and a couple good cranks of pepper. Stir mixture thoroughly. 

*Notes: Depending on the eggplant, some eggplants retain more moisture than others.  When mixing, you will see if it needs a smidgen more olive oil.  At other times it does not, again depending on the eggplant, when making this recipe and taking the pictures, I indeed needed 2 tbsp more of olive oil.  You want the mixture moist, not overly moist, but not dry...

Using your favorite lasagna pan, spray with baking spray, set aside.  Let's start filling our manicotti shall we??  Using a small spoon (I like to use an ice cream spoon, it's long and fits just right), fill one end of the manicotti, turn over fill the other end. Place in baking pan and continue filling till all the manicotti are filled, set aside.  Or you can make it into a lasagna as readers have suggested and I also made.

Preheat oven to 350F.  Prepare your Bechamel sauce.
BECHAMEL SAUCE, recipe and video - HERE

Pour Bechamel sauce over your Manicotti and add your sprig of rosemary and a few cranks of pepper.

Bake uncovered for 45-55 minutes.  Halfway through baking, pull out of the oven and sprinkle on the reserved 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese.  Why are we adding the cheese halfway through the baking process you ask?  Ah!!  Well if we add the Parmesan cheese to the dish, as it is uncovered, the cheese will burn.  We don't want that, we want crispy, gooey goodness!!

Continue baking till golden and your house is just emitting wonderful aromas of the Mediterranean!!


The hardest part, as always.  We have to wait about 10-15 minutes before we cut... I know trust me, I feel the same way!

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Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Peach & Vanilla Jam (canning recipe)

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The canning bug continues...
I made up these beauties the same day that I made my Peach/Mango/Jalapeno Chutney, the very easy recipe can be found HERE.

The peach & vanilla jam recipe to be quite honest came about accidentally.  I have two sugar containers.  One has just plain sugar in it, and the other that I use for cakes etc., that one has vanilla beans buried into the sugar. This gives the sugar a wonderful vanilla flavor.
When I pulled out the sugar, you guessed it ... I pulled the vanilla one out. After I scooped out and poured the allotted sugar into the cooking peach puree, I spotted the beans.  
Now you are going to ask me, "Didi, couldn't you smell the vanilla when you opened the container"?  Yes, yes I did, but since I had been canning with various spices all day ... it literally all just blended into one for me.
So I said to myself, "self, just add a couple of beans in the mix and take out before canning, I bet it will taste wonderful".  Well, the risk was worth it.
This is downright DELICIOUS!!
You can taste the sweetness of the peaches and just a hint of vanilla almost like a whisper on your tongue.  I know I will be preparing my peach jam like this from now on, and this time, on purpose!!

I can see this spread liberally over buttery toast on a cold winters morning.  As a marinade for a succulent pork roast. As the sweetener for a stir fry ...
lightly marinated chicken breasts ... the possibilities are endless!!

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go:

4 cups peaches diced, skins and pits removed
1-3/4 - 2 cups sugar (taste your peaches to see how sweet they are)
1 pkg sur-gel for fruits and vegetables
1 tbsp lemon juice (I used bottled)
2 vanilla beans, seeds removed
pinch of salt
1/2 tsp butter (to help with foam)

Using your food processor or blender, add your diced peaches till they are pureed.
Using a stainless steel saucepan, add the peaches, lemon juice, pinch of salt and the dab of butter.  Bring to a simmer.  Once simmering, add your gelatin. Bring to a simmer again and add your sugar and beans.  Bring to a rolling boil and continue cooking for about a minute or so.  Turn off heat, cover and keep hot.

Follow canning instructions HERE.  Let cool, and enjoy all winter long!!

On that note, last weekend I made another batch of peach jam.  This time I added vanilla powder and 3/4 tsp of grated orange zest.

vanilla powder

orange zest

"Holy Wonderful Peach Marmalade Batman"!!!  It is out of this world good!!

Peach jam with a hint of vanilla and orange!!  I have plenty of baking ideas rolling around in my head using this delicious peachy/orange beauty!!

So my friends, get busy!! ;-)  I know I am!!  Oops, I think I heard the timer...

Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Island Meze Skewers

These little skewers are not only lowfat, they are bursting with flavor!! There is just something extra ordinary about orange and mint, they just go so well together... it brings me back to my Greek roots.
You start off with ground chicken, then add the luscious pureed fruit, devine fresh mint, then grill them.  Top with the basting sauce, and you have a melody in your mouth. 

Ready for the recipe?  Here we go:

1lb ground chicken
1 large can (15 oz) mandarin oranges drained - reserve 1/2 cup juice
1-1/2 cups unseasoned breadcrumbs
1-1/4 tsp garlic powder
3 tbsp lemon juice
small bunch of parsley (about 1/3 cup)
5-6 mint leaves
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp grain mustard
pinch red pepper flakes
salt & pepper

In a medium bowl add your ground chicken, spices and bread crumbs, set aside.  In your food processor add your drained  oranges, lemon juice, parsley and mint leaves.  Pulse till pureed fine.
Add the pureed fruit mixture to the ground chicken.  Mix well and make into small balls.  I use a small cookie scoop which I dip into cold water every 2-3 scoops.  Makes for much easier, non stick processing.

Pierce 3-4 balls onto each pre-soaked skewers.  Place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.
Let's make our sauce.
Using a small saucepan add your reserved juice, brown sugar, mustard and pinch of red pepper flakes.  Simmer over medium low heat for 6-8 minutes, and sauce has reduced slightly.  Turn off heat and let cool.

Heat your grill to medium heat, place skewers on the grill.  When you get a grill mark on one side, turn over.  Repeat till all sides have a nice grill mark.  Now take that tasty sauce and baste the skewers.  Continue basting and turning till chicken has cooked through and reaches an internal temperature of 165F.  Remove from grill and enjoy!!

These will be wonderfull served over salad, or two skewers crisscrossing over rice, how about as an appetizer...
No matter how you serve these little beauties, you will just be happy you made them.
Their easy, low fat, bursting with flavor and just delicious!!

Till next time!!

Dishin with Didi

Monday, September 17, 2012

Leftover Bean Taco Dinner - Vegetarian Meal

Go ahead take one... I'll make more!!

So tonight was a fast and delicious dinner.  Ever feel like that?  Is it just me, no really? 
You come home and really just want to make a delicious dinner quickly!! Well transformed leftovers are always a quick, effective and delicious way...

Remember the "pinto beans" I made a few days ago??  Well, my friends, they are now revamped, absolutely out of this world, and even "carnivore hubby" was more than satisfied!  His exact words?  "Honey, this is delicious... those are the beans we had the other day, really"?  Yes, *insert fist pump*!  
By using a bag of dried pintos that I had purchased for $1.69, and a free ham bone, (ham that I had cooked and frozen the bone w/ bits of ham on)... I made 5 dinners (well 6 with hubby's 2nd serving) of Lynn's Pinto Beans found HERE.  Plus two lunches the next day!!
I then had a little over a quart of beans left.  
Voila... tonight I transformed into vegetarian tacos with a bit of addition of spices and cheese.  I mean cheese being one of the staples of life... well at least in "my house"!!  This produced an amazing dinner for 5 (well 9 if your count my daughter's boyfriend, does anyone ever feed this young man, seriously)???
I will not be providing you with a recipe my friends because all I did was smash some of the leftover beans using a potato masher, added spices and reheated.
Not all of them, because I like some sustance to beans.  I do not prefer mush, it reminds me too much of baby food, YUK!!

I then added some cumin spice (about 1 tsp), a little bit of garlic powder (about 1 tsp), a few good cranks of pepper & a smidgen of Adobo spice (about 1/2 tsp) with pepper.  I brought it up to a good simmer and then covered to keep warm.

As the beans were simmering, I chopped the pre-washed romaine lettuce, opened up a can of sliced black olives, rinsed and set aside.  I then diced 2 Roma tomatoes.  

I set the veggies aside and started on the flour tortillas.
Now, as you all know, I adore, adore, CORN TORTILLAS.  However, for this recipe I truly recommend flour tortillas. 

Using a dry small saute pan, bring to medium high heat.  Add the first tortilla, cook for 20-40 seconds, flip over and repeat on opposite side.
Remove from heat.  Add 1 tbsp or so of cheese (let's not skimp on this part shall we)...

Then we add about 1/4 cup or so of the bean mixture right over the cheese, like so.  Look at this gooey goodness already....  "Heaven's to Betsy"!!!

Of course we are going to add more cheese, "hello, McCfly"???  Then we are going to top this amazing bundle of goodness with lettuce, tomatoes, olives...
Whatever you are in the mood for my friends, you can add.  Fold over and place on a plate (I would be watching out for taco snatching people around my kitchen at this point).  The most important part??  Let's not forget the hot sauce!!!  

Grab your napkins and forks because these will be messy, aren't all tacos?? These vegetarian delights are beyond filling and trust me, no-one will ever miss the meat!!  Mix and match, add or subtract... 
But most of all, know you will have an amazingly delicious dinner ready in less than 30 minutes for your family.  

Where is that Tequila, gosh darn it all???

Till next time!!!

Dishin with Didi