Taco Tuesday: Pinto Bean & Kale


Although this may sound delicious to some of you, this was a bit of a gamble in my house. I came across this recipe and thought wow, that sounds amazing, but then I hesitated. My husband isn’t really an onion fan and he prefers spinach to kale. And then I decided, experimenting with different kinds of tacos is what Taco Tuesday is all about, so let’s do this!

I came across this taco recipe on Pinterest –here is the original recipe— and decided to make a couple small changes. I always have these multigrain tortillas on hand, so I used these instead of corn. Also already in my fridge, monterey jack cheese, so I used that instead of cheddar. Lastly, I opted to melt a generous helping of cheese on the tortilla prior to adding the beans and veggies.


One thing I did not photograph and should have is the beans. You see, I like to buy dry pinto beans and cook them slowly on the stove top with a lot of garlic, half a white onion, salt, pepper and cumin. So, for this recipe, I did not use canned beans, but you could easily do that if you don’t have the time, or the desire to spend a couple hours making beans from scratch.


Although my husband said there were too many onions, he did say that the flavors were really good, so perhaps the next time I do this, I’ll add some more kale to mask the onions. All in all, I’m calling Pinto Bean & Kale Tacos a win.


One Pan Pasta, It’ll Change Your Life…


I make one pan pasta a few times a month, and it is probably one of my most favorite recipes. I found this recipe on Pinterest –I know, where else?– this dish is easy, inexpensive, and easy to customize. You can get all of the details here.

This dish has graced our table on numerous occasions and both, my husband and guests, make yummy noises and tell me that it’s delicious. Anyone can make this, trust. Although I write Kitchen Fun posts, I am no chef. Think of me as a novice in the kitchen, and a fan of providing tasty, healthy dishes for anyone sharing a meal with us.


Here it is, the line up. If you have pasta, garlic, onion, tomatoes, basil, olive oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, you can make this dish. On any given day, I have all but the fresh basil, so guess what, make it using dried basil, and it will still be delicious. You don’t have grape tomatoes? Dice the Roma tomatoes in your fridge. Really, it’s fine.


Once you have all your ingredients ready, dump it all in a pan, add 4 1/2 cups of water, turn on your burner and give it a good 15 minutes to cook, stirring often. That’s it.

Like I mentioned, you can customize this, so get creative. Sometimes, I’ll throw some Canellini beans in there, or veggies, lots of veggies like spinach, zuchinni, peppers, mushrooms; whatever you like, or whatever you have. I normally add these sorts of extras in the last 5 minutes of cooking, since I don’t like the veggies soggy or cooked down too much. For this particular one pan pasta dinner, I remembered that I had shrimp in the freezer, so I added an extra pinch of red pepper flakes, and it became spicy shrimp one pan pasta.


Obviously I am in love with one pan pasta, but I just have one more thing to add, and then I swear, I’m done. This makes the best leftovers for lunch the next day. Okay, I’m done. Go make one pan pasta!


Taco Tuesday: Spicy Black Bean


I love tacos, and one of my favorites is any variation of the black bean taco. I found this recipe on Pinterest a while back and have been making them, or at least a version of them, pretty regularly since finding the recipe. This recipe is easy and can be adapted to what you have or don’t have.

The only essentials are:

  • Corn tortillas –I use a whole wheat/corn blend
  • Black beans
  • Cheese

If you have those things, reach into your pantry for spices, and into your produce for any yummy add ons. I used cumin, sea salt and minced garlic in the beans for this recipe. Give the beans a good stir and mix all the yummy flavors together, and then right there, beans are done. Okay, on to a very important ingredient…cheese. I happened to have a giant bag of shredded Monterey jack in the fridge, so Monterey jack it is. I minced some fresh jalapeno up and added it to the cheese. Cheese is done. Next, I added some olive oil to a large pan and got it nice and hot. Place a tortilla in the pan and coat the bottom of the tortilla with the oil, flip it and add some cheese to one side of the tortilla first, then some beans on top of the cheese, and then some more cheese on top of the beans. Then, using tongs, gently pull the other side of the tortilla over, covering the beans and cheese, forming your taco. Now, place another tortilla in the pan, so you can have two cooking at once. Allow each side to get golden brown and crispy.

For taco toppings, sour cream, hot sauce and cilantro are perfect for this dish. Also muy importante…VEGGIES! I added some lightly sautéed veggies on the side for some color and a healthy spin on this indulgent meal.


Taco Tuesday: Sweet Potato & Soyrizo

Sweet Potato & Soyrizo Tacos
As I was leafing through my Sunset Magazine (thanks for the subscription, Dad!), I came across a recipe for sweet potato and chorizo tacos. Since I don’t eat meat, and I happened to have soyrizo in the fridge, I decided that this recipe must be tried. One of the best things about this recipe is that you don’t need a ton of ingredients, so it won’t cost you and arm and a leg to try something new. You can find the recipe here.

Mine didn’t look nearly as pretty as the mag, but I promise, the flavors were fantastic together. This recipe was quick and easy, making it something we will definitely do again.


Kitchen Fun: Football Eats

On Sunday, for the AFC & NFC championship games, we did a baked potato bar with all the fixin’s and it was awesome. Baked potatoes are so easy –we made them on the grill– and they can be customized to each guest’s taste. I love watching football and actually like to be able to sit and watch the game(s), but often I find myself in the kitchen, hanging my head in shame because I missed another big play. With that said, easy recipes like this crockpot spinach artichoke dip –tried this last weekend, and it was yummy– and spreads like a baked potato bar work beautifully because you provide something tasty for your guests and you get to watch the game (or chat…no judgments). There are two more weeks of football, so I say, put on your host or hostess hat and serve up these yummy options. And for those of you, sticking to your resolutions, there are healthy pairing options listed below.

Spinach Artichoke Dip Serving Options:
Sourdough Round
Tortilla Chips
Pita Chips
Grape Tomatoes
Red Bell Peppers

Baked Potato Bar Serving Options:
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream
Shredded Carrots
Plain Greek Yogurt
Green Onion

I personally like to take some from column A and some from column B –everything in moderation, right?– but there are great options if you’re indulging or behaving.


Kitchen Fun: Take and Bake App

I do enjoy being in the kitchen, whether it’s MacGyver’ing a dinner, making a huge breakfast, or preparing an app to bring to a party, it’s always good times. Here is my latest in easy and delicious, thanks to this recipe. These were prepared ahead of time and then popped them in the oven upon arrival, so they were served at the perfect temperature. I did alter the recipe just a smidge but sautéing the mushroom stems and onions with thyme and cracked black pepper and then added some panko breadcrumbs for some crunch.


I hope you’ll give these a try. What have you been making in the kitchen?

Happy Monday!