Showing posts with label meatless. Show all posts
Showing posts with label meatless. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

skinny taco dip.

i found this on one of my pinterest endeavors. it was the perfect thing to make for dinner be-cause mother nature decided to bypass spring and it has been in the 80s non-stop for over a week. not that it's a bad thing. i'm just feeling a little pasty.  this is a light meal and everyone was busy playing outside and complaining that it was too hot to eat. which is kind of alarming - what are they going to say in july?! i had to remind them that they spent 3 good years in florida and floridians are no whimps when it comes to the weather.

it was also the perfect dinner because we had baseball practice the night i made it and for some reason when we have practices, things get all wonky in my house. i try to have all my to-do's completed before 3 so that when the boys come home i can focus on homework, making sure they do their chores, dinner, and then getting ready for practice, ect.

 if things would only go as planned. it never does and i am usually yelling so we're not late.

anyway, here's the recipe - which i made just a little different from the original.

1 large can of refried beans
1 8 oz. package of low fat cream cheese
8 oz. light sour cream
16 oz. jar of salsa
1 taco seasoning packet
chopped lettuce
diced tomato
shredded cheese
black olives
tortilla chips

i added the refried beans because i was making this as a meal instead of a dip. i've got hungry boys to keep full, you know!

spread the refried beans in the bottom of a 9 x 13. mix together cream cheese, sour cream, salsa, and taco seasoning until well blended and spread on top of refried beans. top with lettuce, cheese, tomato, and black olives. serve with chips.

you should eat this right away. or if you are saving the left overs (or if you are a good wife like me and put together a plate your working husband for later - leave off the lettuce, cheese, tomato, and olives until ready to serve. soggy lettuce and tomotoes are yuck.)

in other news...
photo by my mom
this little stink finally started saying "mama". i was beginning to doubt my place in his life when he started saying "lily" - the dog -  before me. and also dada, triston, bye bye, hey, hi, and bottle. and does it count that he only says it when he is pissed? i will take what i can get, i suppose. and since he just pulled an entire bag of pretzels out onto the floor..

that is my cue to go.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Pasta Salad for the 4th.

check it. this pasta salad is amazing. the writers at bon appetit warned of taking pasta salads to bbqs. that they were too overdone and never that good, anyway.

whatever, bon appetit. i am totally disagreeing with you, much like i do about something in every issue. mid-west people are exempt from trendy-food rules anyway...except for that delicious looking blackberry buttermilk cake i am about to, we love our carbs.

anyway. it's good. and got gobbled up at 2 (two!) back-to-back bbqs. so there. and, it's gorgeous, no?

you should totally make it. here's how.

2 12 oz. boxes of rainbow rotini
1 bottle of kraft sun-dried tomato vinaigrette

1 onion, diced
1 lg. tomato, diced
1 green pepper, diced
pepperoni, cut up
2 small cans of slice black olives
...and really just about anything else you want to add...

boil the pasta, drain, and start adding. once everything is added, pour the whole bottle of dressing in and mix to coat everything. refrigerate until serving time. (and it is usually better the next day)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Keeping It Fresh

towards the end of may, i was secretly d r e a d i n g summer break. and not because triston was going to be home for the summer, but that i was going to have four home for the summer and sometimes they can become this entity of chaos if i don't have all my time organized. which, i seldom do. and i don't care what anyone says about the fourth baby just fitting right is hard.

but we've been keeping busy with some fun ideas and summer has turned out to be really fun so far. my kids like to help in the kitchen, so some of our fun ideas have to do with food. (which is the best kind of fun idea, right?)
we made these sandwiches for lunch last week. i call it the 'greastest pb & j you'll ever eat', and that is exactly what it would be listed as if i ever owned my own place. i toasted the bread with *real* butter in the skillet and then slathered peanut butter on one side, strawberry preserves on the other and topped it with thinly sliced strawberries. once the sandwich was put together, i sprinkled powdered sugar on top.

holey moley, it was good. the boys loved it and gave me praises like 'i'm the best mom' and so on.

today, we're doing it again. except i'm calling it a pb & b. peanut butter and banana (with honey). it will be a nice treat from helping me in the garden.

(they don't know that part yet, though)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Everyone's Favorite Dip.

It is known in our family as Texas Caviar, but secretly I like to call it Cowboy Caviar.

We have it at nearly every celebration or get-together on the Clowers' side and most recently I made it for our New Year's Eve thing. It's good and never lasts long.

  • 2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans of corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (Don't throw out those seeds!)
  • 1-2 fresh tomatoes or 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 medium purple onion, diced
  • 1 bottle of regular Italian salad dressing
Mix all ingredients together in large bowl and pour salad dressing to cover. Mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours. (This isn't necessary, but it tastes better cold, I think) Serve with tortilla chips.

**Have you ever seeded a jalapeno? One time I decided to makes these little jalapeno appetizer things from Pioneer Woman and didn't read the part about seeding. My hands were on F I R E for hours. I had to soak them in milk and it didn't even help that much and I learned a valuable lesson that day. So, if you are going to seed the jalapeno, be careful. The seeds hold all the heat, you know. Wear gloves or just be careful handling it. I throw about a quarter of the seeds into the bowl with the rest of the ingredients to add a little kick, but this is optional, of course.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Black Bean Soup

I have been waiting weeks to make this. I don't know why it hasn't materialized other than the fact Travis thinks it sounds gross, so the one day I had time to make it he whisked us all out the door for Mexican. And I had a Chicken Fajita Taco Salad, which is just about the best food invention ever to come out of Mexico, and it trumps this soup any day of the week, so I wasn't sad.

I can assure you, though, the soup is not gross. Travis knows that, he has eaten it countless times. And it doesn't take a long time to make, either, I just have had some busy-ness going on lately and our dinners have maybe consisted of such novelties as frozen chicken pot pies and the like.

I know. But there is something about the winter that makes me buy those little .50 cent pies. And I confirmed with a friend--she buys them in the winter, too, so it is not just me.

I wanted to make the soup and post a picture, but since I haven't made it yet, and you should, here is the recipe that I received indirectly from Christy Astorga through a church compiled cookbook, so these are her directions, which I think suit the soup just fine:

1 T. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 medium stalk celery, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T. chili powder
1 T. ground cumin
1/4 t. pepper
3 14 oz. cans of chicken broth
4 15 oz. cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 15 oz. can of corn, drained
1 16 oz. jar of mild salsa

Saute onion, carrots, and garlic in oil for 5 minutes. Add chili powder, cumin, and pepper -  cook 1 minute more. Stir in broth, 2 cans of black beans, and the corn. Heat to boil. Put other 2 cans of black beans and salsa in a food processor or blender until smooth and then add rest of ingredients. Simmer 15 minutes. Serves 6.

Back to me. I like a chunkier soup so I don't process my salsa and black beans completely smooth and I always add a little kick - cayenne or crushed red pepper to the veggies as they are saute-ing. As for garnish, we top our soup with tortilla chips, shredded cheese, and sour cream. Oh, and you can sub the chicken broth for vegetable broth if vegetarianism is your thing. It's good either way.


I will be gone for an undisclosed amount of time. My Christmas present came a little early and I will be moving all my earthly belongings into our new house starting tonight. Let's see...this makes move number 13 in 8 years. But, this move is permanent since it seems we are signing pretty much everything but the kitchen sink (and maybe that, too) in the bazillion forms that are necessary, so I am calling move number 13 the *lucky move number 13. I was born on the 13th after all, on a Friday no less. (That last one might not be true).

And if you want to know something that is even WEIRDer, we moved from Brown County back to Evansville exactly one year to the day: Decemeber 18. It's a pretty rad story full of modern-day miracles and amazing blessings if you ask me. I will write it for you sometime because stories like that should be shared, right?

So the next time I write on this little pet blog of mine, I will be sitting next to a roaring fire in OUR fireplace looking out OUR window into OUR backyard contemplating the Spring and what we are going to plant in OUR already dedicated raised beds, among other some such things that go along with owning a home.

Merry CHRISTmas!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Seriously Awesome Bruschetta with a Side of Surprise

I got this recipe from Cooking Light. Ever read it? It is the best...but since my last day of work is today, I won't be able to snag them from the gym anymore. A subscription is in the works.

1 baguette
2-3 large tomatoes (garden tomatoes are the best!)
6 t. good quality olive oil
4 t. balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper
raw garlic cloves

Cut the baguette into thin slices and place in oven at 425 until toasted (about 8-10 minutes). Meanwhile, dice your tomatoes and place in bowl. Add oil and vinegar and toss well. The original recipe called for 2 T. chopped fresh basil, but I used dried. Just a few's hard to measure seasonings exactly. Salt and pepper, and stir to meld all the flavor together. Cover bowl and set in fridge. Once the baguette toasts have slightly cooled, rub your raw garlic clove over the top of one side.

When you are ready to serve, spoon tomato mixture on to the garlic side of the toast.Seriously awesome. My guests even thought it was fancy.  Yum!

As for the surprise...check out this fantastical cloud I saw hovering directly over the West side Wal-Mart.

It was so striking that I thought of the Second Coming, which is just...weird. But if Christ was going to return to Earth on a cloud, it would have look like that one.

I came out 30 minutes later and it had turned a most spectacular shade of pink.

But, then I quickly squashed the idea of Christ returning on this cloud...I mean, it was over Wal-Mart. (joke. joke. it was a joke...Christ loves the people from Wal-Mart, too...)

And just because it is fun, I will share this picture (even though I look hefty and hot).

We blew up 250 balloons at the Posey County Fair to hand out to children so their parents would read CLOWERS for PROSECUTOR and want to vote for Travis.

I hope it worked. Those balloons took FOREVER to blow up. It was a lot of fun though, as we looked out across the arena during the Demolition Derby, the first thing we could see were red and blue balloons bopping around. The kids loved it.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer Lovin': Zucchini Squash Pasta Toss

It's nearly August. People who have gardens are surely seeing their harvest's bounty by now.

We haven't been so lucky in the garden department. Last year, it was too shady. This year, we moved June 1st. I wanted to at least do a window pane herb garden, but I was consumed with spur-of-the-moment moving/campaigning details. You know.

But, we are lucky enough to have family members that have big beautiful gardens that like to share....and hopefully they will share their gardening tips when we finally buy our own house.

So we've had an abundance of asparagus, blackberries, sweet corn, squash, cucumbers, zucchini, and now...tomatoes!

But, I have to admit...when you've eaten squash 3 days in a gets a little boring. And don't even ask what my boys have to say about it.

All this week I am going to feature recipes that include fresh garden vegetables. First up...

Zucchini Squash Pasta Toss

1 pound squash, chopped
1 pound zucchini, chopped
1 onion, chopped
fresh garlic, minced
16 oz. whole-wheat pasta (I used spaghetti)
freshly shredded Parmesan
olive oil
fresh ground pepper and salt

Add oil to a saute pan and throw in the garlic. Saute for just a minute then add the squash, zucchini, and onion. Saute vegetables until tender. Meanwhile, boil pasta until done. Place in large bowl. When the vegetables are done, pour into bowl with pasta (including any the juice!) and toss well with tongs so that the vegetables are evenly distributed throughout the pasta. Top with freshly ground black pepper and salt. Put desired amount into individual bowls or plates and top with chopped tomato, parsley, and shredded parm. This is fabulous with garlic bread! Yum Yum!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Summer Lovin: Pear Gorgonzola Salad With a Balsamic Vinegarette.

Let me tell you a story. This morning, I woke up (after only 3 hours of sleep that I sacrificed in the name of Edward Cullen...Eclipse premiere at midnight...which was amazing, in case you wanted to know) I was exhausted, but, as you know, your kids never care for this detail. And when you choose to watch a movie such as Twilight at the crazy fan midnight showing, neither does your husband. I digress.

So I woke up. I put a cartoon on for Bryce and let Triston and Jackson play a PBSKids game on the computer. Curious George, their favorite. I started to do my normal mom-routine - picking up from the night before, opening all the blinds, making beds, holding my skin up on my face in their mirror trying to conceal the bags under my eyes, ect. I made breakfast for the boys and called for them to come eat it at the table. At this point, 45 minutes had passed since the time we woke up, maybe 20 since I had checked on the kids. Triston  and Jackson came running to the table when I called, but Bryce was not trailing them, like usual.

"Bryce"? I called. No answer. I went into the living room, no Bryce. I checked in my room, the bathrooms - no Bryce. I immediately checked all the doors, they were all locked. I ran down to the basement,  no Bryce. I started calling for him more urgently, looking under beds and in closets. Triston and Jackson started to worry and joined me. I ran outside, even though there was absolutely no way he could have gotten out, and I ran to the pond. It was still. I ran back inside around the house screaming his name at this point. NO BRYCE.

This kid was no where to be found. He wasn't anywhere.Triston stopped me in my tracks and told me we needed to pray, so we did. In my panicked state, I grabbed the phone and dialed 9-1-1. I told the operator that my 2-year-old was missing, that I couldn't find him anywhere. She took my name and address as I walked back into the living room, my eyes darting in every corner.

I scanned across the room and stopped. I looked back to a recliner that sits caddy corner agaist a wall. There is thismuch space between the side of the chair and the wall. And I saw a tuft of hair sticking up over the left arm. I ripped the chair away from the wall and there he was. WITH A WHOLE TRAY OF ICE CUBES THAT HE SNAGGED OUT OF THE FREEZER, happily sucking and munching on them, away.

"I found him!" I shouted at the operator. I gave my apologies and appreciation and got off the phone. I kneeled down and asked Bryce, "Did you know we were looking for you?"

"MMM-Hmmm," he sang out. "Me eating ice cubes!" What could I do? I was so relieved, I just let him finish off the tray. And then I promptly said a prayer of thanks.
 The End.

Now, if that didn't give you heartburn....try this salad. I liked it when I made it. I did, but I didn't think I loved it. However, I have thought about this salad every single day, since. That sounds like love to me, don't you think? It's really very good.

Pear Gongorzola Salad.

2 Hearts of Romaine, washed and chopped
Handful of fresh Spinach, washed and torn
4 ripe pears, skinned, cored, and chopped
almond slices or slivers
Gorgonzola Cheese (I think Bleu or Feta would work just fine)

Toast the almonds in butter over medium heat until browned. Set aside. Place romaine, spinach, and pears in large bowl, tossing until combined. Sprinkle toasted almonds and Gorgonzola over top and combine. Make this Balsamic Vinegarette from Emeril. It's simple and sassy. I decreased the oil to 1/2 cup and I didn't add the sugar. Just pour over salad and toss to coat.
 And don't loose your kids in the house and call 9-1-1, like me.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Perfect Caesar Salad.

The perfect Caesar Salad.
It only needs 5 things. Maybe 6.
Romaine Lettuce, chopped.
Great Value brand Caesar salad dressing from Wal-Mart.
Packaged croutons.
SHREDDED Parmesan cheese.
Cracked Black Pepper.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Super Easy Best Ever Black Bean Chili.

This is just about the most delicious thing I have ever put in my mouth. It is an adaptation of a recipe that I copied off a food blog that is no more. I know it is good, and not just me who thinks this, for two reasons. 1) I brought it to work with me one day and I had to write the recipe out THREE times because everyone thought it smelled so good and then they went home and made it and TOLD me how good it is and how awesome I am. 2) The kids eat every last drop in their bowl and ask for seconds.

1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
2 cans of black beans
1 onion, chopped
chili powder
1 can of corn
salt & pep
olive oil

Sautee the chopped onion in a little oil over medium-high heat in a stock pot. Add a little garlic, salt and pepper, cumin, and chili powder. Cook till soft. Here's the thing. I don't measure my seasoning. I add a little here and there until it tastes good. I will say, though, cumin can be too strong if you add too much, so I would start out slow. We like spice, so we add a lot of chili powder, but add however much of these seasonings that will suit you or your family.


Add the tomatoes, black beans, and corn. Add a little water if you need too or add another can of tomatoes. Or even another can of corn. There are no rules here!  Let simmer for as long as you'd like then spoon this bad boy into a bowl and eat it up.

We top it off with a piece of Jiffy Cornbread (Gasp!) and sour cream. Or sometimes I use tortilla chips.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Homemade Tomato Soup

I made this on a whim. It turned out really good.

Canned tomatoes (I used canned garden tomatoes, about 28 oz.)
1 can of chicken broth (you could use vegetable broth also)
cayenne pepper
olive oil

*I guess-timate a lot. Use your own discretion when measuring. Also, make sure you add enough sugar to counter-act the acidity of the tomatoes!

Saute a little garlic and onion in olive oil until tender. In a blender, combine tomatoes, broth, sauteed garlic and onion, and rest of ingredients. Puree until smooth and pour into pot. Bring to a rolling boil and serve with grilled cheese. I added a dollop of sour cream to top the soup.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lentil Casserole

I love love love this. It was so stinkin' good. I can't wait to make it again! I found the recipe from here--but I doubled the recipe. If I could cook meatless meal this good all the time, I would be a vegetarian for sure.

1 c. lentils

1 c. long grain rice

28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, undrained

3 c. chicken broth or water

2-3 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. oregano

1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. salt (although I had to add more)

pepper to taste

shredded cheddar

Mix all ingredients together in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes. Pull out of oven and top with cheese. Place back into oven until cheese fully melts. Although this recipe is awesome, it's not as filling as I thought it would be. Next time I will make a few sides to go along with it. A green salad and homemade whole wheat bread sounds good.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tortellini Primavera

1 c. sliced mushrooms
1 c. diced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T. butter
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 tomato, chopped
1/4 c. milk
1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 t. Italian seasoning
salt and pepper, to taste
2 8oz. packages of tortellini

Combine mushrooms, onion, and garlic--saute over medium heat in butter. Add remaining ingredients except tortellini. Mix well. Cook until mixture boils, stirring occasionally. Stir in tortellini (unless it is the dry packaged kind, in which you would have to cook first). Heat through.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Butter Bean Soup

1.5 c. sliced carrots
1.5 c. sliced celery
1 c. diced onion
2 T. olive oil
2 T. all-purpose flour
1-2 cans chicken broth
(at least) 28 oz. diced tomatoes
2-3 cans large butter beans
salt and pepper, to taste
basil, to taste
parsley, to taste

Sautee your vegetables in oil in a covered stock pot, until soft (about 10 minutes). Stir occasionally to avoid sticking on bottom. Add 2 tablespoons of flour, stir well. Begin adding liquid ingredients and beans. I throw this recipe together, so it's hard to measure it out precisely. If you need more liquid, add water. Sometimes I use 1 can of broth and 1 can of water. Either way is fine. After all ingredients are added, season with salt, pepper, basil, and parsley--just to your taste. I usually add several sprinkles of each...I like a lot of flavor. Let simmer for up to an hour, although I usually do 30 minutes.

This soup goes great with a good grilled cheese know with real butter and Texas Toast. The soup is pretty healthy, you can afford the extra calories--if not, I promise, you will be raiding the kitchen an hour or so later--it's just not very filling. It's a great soup, just a little light. Enjoy!

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In January, boys 7th grade took home conference championship Disney on Ice with Emma  Pretty meager winter, we...