Tag Archives: Southwestern

Meatless Monday: Southwestern Pierogi Bake

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Millennial Central for Mrs. T’s Pierogies. I received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item as a thank you for participating.

I’m aware that the title of this blog post may seem a bit confusing; pierogies are typically Polish… so how could I use them in a Southwestern dish?! Well, I’m completely obsessed with Southwestern and Mexican food, so I’ll make it any chance I can. When I was selected to participate in this Mrs. T’s Pierogies campaign, I knew I wanted to do more with them than just serve them as-is with dipping sauce, or with sautéed cabbage. And with 11 different varieties, there’s something for (almost) everyone. Being that I love bakes (who doesn’t like to throw everything into a dish and put it in the oven?) and Southwestern flavors are my favorite, I decided to run with it.

I had visions of this meal the entire time I was running my 15 miler on Saturday, and couldn’t wait to put it all together. It was easy to prepare, and really hit the spot for dinner. Of course I was pretty wiped out after my long run, so I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening on the couch; though I may have even taken a pancake induced nap in the early afternoon. Conveniently, Mean Girls was on (can you believe the 10 year anniversary is coming up?!), so I enjoyed my pierogi bake while watching one of the greatest movies of all time (yes, I said it).

This Southwestern Pierogi Bake is perfect for any night of the week, and can easily be transported for a potluck dinner or party. Plus, it can be made with real chorizo or soy chorizo, so it’s easily adaptable to everyone’s meat preference. I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to think outside of the box when it comes to pierogi meals. While I love a good pierogi and cabbage mix, this may be my new favorite way to enjoy Mrs. T’s Pierogies!

Southwestern Pierogi Bake | FoodosaurusRex.com

Southwestern Pierogi Bake
– Serves 4 – 

Ingredients: 
1 box Mrs. T’s Pierogies, any variety [I used potato + cheddar]
1 red onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, diced [you can use less/de-seed it if you don’t like spice]
6 oz. (soy) chorizo [I used soy chorizo to make it vegetarian, but you can use the real-deal, too]
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup of chunky salsa
1 cup shredded cheese blend
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
salt + pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray, and cook the pierogies for 10 minutes
3. Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium-high heat, and sauté the onion and peppers for 10 minutes until they begin to soften. 
4. Add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, and oregano, and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, until combined and fragrant.
5. Turn the heat down to medium, add the chorizo and beans, and cook for another 5 minutes.
6. In a 9×11 baking dish, pour the salsa and layer the cooked pierogies, followed by the sautéed mixture. Top with shredded cheese.
7. Bake an additional 12 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown.

Feel free to check out Mrs. T’s WebsiteFacebook, or Twitter for more information and to see all the different kinds of pierogies they offer!

Tell me…
Are you a pierogi fan? What’s your favorite combination? 

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Filed under Food Blogging, Home Cooking, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan

Veggie Packed Enchiladas

Just the other day I was counting how long I’ve been vegetarian, and it’s been 10 months! Sometimes it seems like it’s been much longer than that, and other times I’m so impressed with myself for still going strong. When I first made the switch to being a full-on vegetarian (I hadn’t been eating meat often for a year or two prior, but still had it once in awhile), people would often ask “why” and I never really had a good reason. While I still don’t enjoy people asking me “why,” as though I need to validate my choices, I’ve come to realize that it is definitely more of an ethical thing for me than not – I just hate the idea of seeing animals suffer or be hurt. I realize it’s the “circle of life” and how things go, but I’m not going to participate in something if I’m not comfortable with it! And don’t get me wrong, hamburgers are delicious so I understand and have no problem with you eating one, I just won’t eat one myself.

So why the blabbering about my vegetarian lifestyle choices? Well, I’ve found that there are so many dishes that seem to have meat in them “just because.” There are plenty of dishes where meat is the centerpiece and main focus, but there are also a lot of dishes that seem to include meat more as an accessory. I love the versatility of Southwestern food, because even though it can be very meat-centric, there is also plenty of wiggle room for vegetables (and beans)! I love Southwestern food for the flavors, too, but it’s great that it is something I can continue to enjoy as a vegetarian.

So with a hankering for enchiladas, I took a look at the CSA box ingredients I had for the week, and put together a pretty tasty, meat (and fake meat) free enchilada! I suppose you could say I cut corners by not using homemade tortillas or enchilada sauce, but the time and effort required for those two things in addition to the rest of the cooking just isn’t realistic for your average working, marathon training, zonked from the heat wave person. If you have the time, by all means, go for it… but if you don’t, I promise your dish will be just as tasty!

Sweet Potato, Kale, and Black Bean Enchiladas | FoodosaurusRex.com

Sweet Potato, Kale, and Black Bean Enchiladas
– Serves 4 –

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp oil
2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 large yellow onion, diced
3 scallions, diced
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup corn
1/2 bunch of kale, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 tsp Adobo
1/4 tsp paprika
2 Tbsp water
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used Mexican blend)
6 fajita size flour tortillas
1 10 oz. can enchilada sauce

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until the begin to become translucent. 
3. Add the cubed sweet potatoes, and sauté for another 3-5 minutes, until they begin to soften. 
4. Add the black beans and corn, followed by all of the spices (chili powder, cumin, adobo, and paprika). 
5. Begin to add the kale, a little bit at a time to allow it to wilt a bit and make room in the pan. As it’s wilting, add the 2 tablespoons of water to help deglaze the pan of the spices and aid in the wilting. Sauté until everything is combined and kale is slightly wilted, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from the heat. 
6. Pour 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of an 8 x 11 dish. 
7. Take a tortilla and add three spoonfuls of the mixture to the center of the tortilla, and roll. You don’t need to roll it like a burrito (but you can); just roll it more like a taquito – it’s okay if some of the “guts” are coming out of the sides. Place it in the dish. Repeat for the remaining 5 tortillas, layering them next to each other, slightly overlapping. 
8. Top with the remaining sauce, the shredded cheese, and the scallions. 
9. Bake for 18 minutes. Serve with avocado or guacamole, and sour cream or Greek yogurt. 

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Filed under Food Blogging, Home Cooking, Recipe, Spanish Food, Vegetarian/Vegan

Cooking creme and kitchen time

On Monday, I had grand plans of whipping up some huevos rancheros for Meatless Monday, but my plan was foiled when on top of my stressful day, I came home to a note from a professor telling me that my latest homework assignment was incorrect, and in order to get points, I should consider doing it over again. After a serious breakdown (the original assignment took me 4 hours!), I got crackin’ while the fiancé threw together some tortellini for us. I took a break for dinner, and then got back to the homework, finishing in about 2ish hours. So, hopefully I’ll get to try my hand at the recipe I had brewing next week.

I always hate when I miss a day in the kitchen, so I was happy to have time to make something on Tuesday night. After seeing quite a few commercials for the new Philadelphia Crème, and also receiving a $1 off coupon, I decided to pick some up. Of course, I gravitated towards the “Santa Fe” style, and thought it would make a great creamy and cheesey (and quick!) pasta dish. I’m always up for trying new things, and I think this cooking crème is a nice substitute for a healthier version of an alfredo. It comes in four different flavors, so it’s really versatile. The little tub even came with some recipe ideas attached, which was pretty neat!

I’m happy to report that since I started running last week, I’ve tackled 2, 3, and 4 miles! Even though it’s been extremely difficult to breathe (apparently my lungs forgot how to work under pressure), I’ve been able to keep it under 9 minute miles, without pushing myself. It’s nothing spectacular, but considering I really haven’t run since January, and throughout December only ran maybe 3-4 times, I can’t complain! The discomfort in my foot isn’t completely gone, but it goes away within a mile or so of starting the run, and isn’t a pain so much as it just feels “weird.” I’m hoping this means I can finish the race on April 17th (hey, I want that medal!), and then take a little time off before starting again to train for the big guy, the Philadelphia Marathon. Fingers crossed!

But back to the food… I highly recommend checking out the Philadelphia Crème if you’re looking for a quick dish that easily adds a lot of flavor. I’m not going to lie, I was pretty skeptical (and a little weirded out) of the idea at first, but I’m glad I decided to give it a try. It was quick and easy, which has been all I can afford to devote my time to the past few weeks. The semester is thankfully coming to a close in the next few weeks, so hopefully before the next one starts up (it’s never ending!) I’ll get to spend some more time in the kitchen. If only there were more hours in the day…

Baked Southwestern Pasta Skillet
-Serves 4-

Ingredients:
2 cups pasta (I used elbow, you can use any kind you’d like)
3/4 cup black beans
3/4 cup corn
1 can diced tomatoes & jalapenos
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp cooking oil
1/2 cup shredded cheese (I used a jack and cheddar combo), plus another 1/2 cup
1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp Philadelphia Crème – Santa Fe style
1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
2. Prepare pasta according to package
3. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet, add onion, and cook for 5 minutes. Then, add black beans, tomatoes, and corn, cooking for an additional 5 minutes. Set aside.
4. Once pasta is fully cooked, combine in skillet with sauteed mixture, add Philadelphia Crème and 1/2 cup of cheese, making sure to combine evenly.
5. Transfer pasta to a greased baking dish, top with bread crumbs and bake for 10 minutes. Top with remaining cheese, and bake for an additional 10 minutes.

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Filed under Food Review, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan

Southwestern Breakfast Bake

Thankfully, Saturday’s excursion to find Bridesmaid dresses was a success! Not only did we find those dresses, but my mom also found her dress, and I stumbled upon an adorable dress I’m planning to wear for either the rehearsal dinner or bridal shower, and will definitely be taking on my honeymoon. Triple score at Macy’s!

After the shopping trip, I had worked up a serious appetite, and since I had been out pretty much all day, felt as though I needed to spend a little time in the kitchen. This recipe really didn’t require much kitchen time, though, because as soon as a I put it in the oven, I went off to do a 30 minute yoga session. If any of you have iPads, iPhones, iPod touches, Macs, etc., I highly recommend Pocket Yoga (the app) – you can choose between three different practice styles, three levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced), and also three lengths of practice. It also has a library of all of the poses, and a few sun salutation sets also. I’m no yogi, but I’m really enjoying it!

But back to the food. It’s a really yummy twist on a quiche, and by naming it “breakfast pie,” it gets you excited for something different. Even though it’s a savory pie and isn’t sweet, it rightfully owns the title. The great thing about a breakfast bake, quiche, etc. is that you can really throw anything into the mix; anything goes. So I suggest getting creative!

Southwestern Breakfast Bake
– Serves 4 –

Ingredients:
1 pre-made pie crust
1 small onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 chile peppers of your choice (I used habaneros)
1/4 cup corn
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp taco seasoning (I used chipotle, but any flavor will do)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp Adobo
6 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream, or Greek yogurt (I used plain Chobani)
2/3 cup shredded cheese
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 scallion, chopped

Directions:
1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Sauté diced onion and peppers about 3-5 minutes. Add spices, and continue to cook an additional 2 minutes. Add corn and black beans, continue cooking for an additional 3 minutes.
3. Place pre-made pie crust in a greased pie dish, and layer cooked bean, corn, and pepper mixture.
4. Whisk eggs together in a medium bowl, adding the sour cream/Greek yogurt. Mix in cheese and cilantro until combined, and pour mixture into pie dish.
5. Bake for 30-35 minutes, top with scallions, and a sprinkling of cheese (if desired) and cook for additional 5 minutes.
6. Serve with additional sour cream/Greek yogurt, and salsa

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Filed under Breakfast, Recipe, Vegetarian/Vegan

Mexican Stuffed Peppers

This past weekend was filled with homework and Christmas decorating. Since I’ve managed to hurt myself again (hello shin splints), I haven’t run since last Sunday’s Turkey Trot. This sideline is only partially welcomed because it’s the end of the semester so I have a few projects that I’m trying to finish up. Other than that, though, I’ve been eager to get back out and run since I just got a new pair of running tights, compression socks, AND a rolling stick! I’m hoping at some point later this week I can get back out there, since the Disney Half Marathon is only a month away.

As I mentioned, Saturday was full of homework and Christmas decorations. Since we go grocery shopping on Sundays, food was scarce, and it left me hungry. Thankfully I was able to make up for it on Sunday.

We started the day at our favorite breakfast spot, Le Peep, where I ordered my typical breakfast burrito. This thing is massive, as it’s stuffed with beans, cheese, salsa, onions, peppers, eggs, and your choice of meat (I went no-meat). It’s then topped with more cheese and chili (no chili for me!) and served along side their famous “peasant potatoes” which are unbelievably delicious home fries. We then headed over to the grocery store to stock up for the week, and I got back to my homework. The fiancé took some time to do a little window shopping for where we want to go on our honeymoon, and we have no idea. All we know is that we want to go somewhere warm and tropical-like, and we don’t have the intention of doing much aside from laying around pool/beachside and eating delicious food. So, if anyone has any suggestions I would gladly welcome them! But keep in mind, we’re getting married in September, and that unfortunately is hurricane season for most of the Caribbean.

For dinner, I decided to make Mexican Stuffed Peppers. Growing up we had stuffed peppers with ground beef, rice, tomato sauce, and sauteed onions frequently. Since I’ve tried to commit myself to really not eating meat, I opted for a vegetarian friendly version, with a Mexican twist, of course. I was inspired by Abby’s Don’t Unstuff These Peppers and decided to make my own! And let me tell you – they were delicious. The perfect amount of spice (for me), the semi-crunch of the cooked green peppers, and everything else I love about Mexican and Southwestern styled food (onions, black beans, corn, etc.). They’re also surprisingly filling. I had it with my usual side salad and was pleasantly satisfied. I wound up making four, so the fiancé and I had ourselves a pretty sweet lunch lined up for Monday, too!

Mexican Stuffed Peppers
– Serves 4 –

Ingredients:
4 medium sized green peppers
1 small yellow onion
1 cup white rice
3/4 can of black beans (of a 14 oz can)
1 4.5 oz can of sweet corn
1/2 cup chunky salsa
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp Adobo
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cumin

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. Cook rice according to package instructions.
3. Wash green peppers, leaving them a little damp (the moisture will help them get soft when they bake)
4. Dice onion and sauté in a heated pan with the 2 Tbsp of oil until translucent (about 5 minutes). Add spices and sauté for an additional 3-5 minutes
5. Add black beans and corn to onion mixture, followed by rice once it’s completely cooked, and cook for about 5 minutes
6. While the mixture is cooking, slice the tops of the green peppers, and remove the seeds and core
7. Once the bean, corn, and rice mixture is warm all over, mix in salsa, making sure to coat everything
8. Using a spoon, transfer the mixture into each pepper filling to the top
9. Place the peppers in a sprayed casserole dish, and bake for 25-30 minutes until peppers are soft and filling is heated through

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Filed under Home Cooking, Recipe, Running, Vegetarian/Vegan

An Early November Fiesta

Similar to Tuesday’s dinner, Thursday was another long prep meal. It actually required to be refrigerated for at least 8 hours, so I prepared everything on Wednesday post-run then threw it in the oven after work on Thursday. Thankfully I read the directions way before I planned to make it, giving me enough time to figure out which day of the week would be best to have it.

I’ve somehow been subscribed to Betty Crocker’s weekly e-mails that come Sunday nights. Often times I don’t really find anything I’m interested in (they’re your typical family styled meal), but every so often I find a gem. Enter the Fiesta Taco Chicken Lasagna (that’s a mouthful!). I decided to omit the chicken just to make things a little easier on myself as well as the black olives because the fiancé isn’t a big fan, and instead of taco sauce I used salsa to give it more texture.

These big bakes with a fiesta, Mexican, or Southwestern label seem to be some of my favorite meals (like this one, or this one). They take some time to prepare because of all the ingredients, but in the end it’s so worth it. I imagine you could throw some eggs into this bad boy to make it a great brunch item. Of course the mention of brunch brings up thoughts of booze (is that normal?), and this would probably go quite nicely with a giant margarita… yes please!

While it wasn’t the most photogenic meal I’ve made, it was delicious. The fiancé was extremely impressed at how great it was, despite it being “a big bunch of mush.”

Since the recipe makes enough to feed a family, I’ll be enjoying this for days.

Taco Fiesta Chicken Lasagna
– Serves 4 –

Ingredients:
2 (14 1/2-oz.) cans diced tomatoes with zesty mild green chiles, undrained
1/4 cup taco sauce
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
1 (16-oz.) can Old El Paso® Refried Beans
1/2 cup sour cream
12 uncooked lasagna noodles
12 oz. (3 cups) shredded colby-Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup sliced ripe olives, if desired
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:
1. Spray 15×12-inch sheet of foil and 13×9-inch (3-quart) glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl, combine tomatoes and taco sauce; mix well. Stir in chicken. In medium bowl, combine refried beans and sour cream; mix well.
Spread about 1 cup chicken mixture in bottom of sprayed baking dish. Top with 4 uncooked noodles, breaking to fit if necessary. Spread with half of bean mixture and 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the cheese, half of the onions and half of the olives.
2. Layer 4 more noodles, remaining bean mixture, 1 1/2 cups chicken mixture and 1 cup cheese. Top with remaining 4 noodles, chicken mixture, onions, olives and cheese. (Be sure top noodles are covered.) Cover with foil, sprayed side down. Refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
3. Heat oven to 350°F. Bake covered lasagna for 50 minutes. Uncover baking dish; bake an additional 18 to 22 minutes or until bubbly and thoroughly heated. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with cilantro. If desired, garnish each serving with dollop of sour cream, chopped tomato and shredded lettuce.

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Filed under Recipe, Spanish Food