Archive | August, 2017

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Sharing Summer Meals

When the weather outside is sizzlin, the last thing I want to do is spend a lot of time slaving in a hot kitchen. I generally don’t have a big appetite for heavy meals and meaty dishes, and I like to keep summer food prep a little more simple. My daughter, Nicole, and I recently tried out this yummy recipe for vegetarian tacos. Although I’m sharing the recipe below, I was thinking about how enjoyable the actual process of creating a meal is when you do it with someone special. I have so many fond memories of cooking or baking with my mom, grandmother, children, friends and husband. This past Christmas Eve, our family was in several different locations, so my hubby and I decided to make a special dinner together at home, and we had a wonderful evening. There are so many memories to be made right in your own kitchen! Now, back to the tacos. There was a little prep required, but with some cool background music, a little wine, and great conversation, dinner was on the table in no time. I love how versatile this recipe is too!

Vegetarian Tacos

3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 poblano pepper, diced

1 tsp. chili powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tabs. fresh lime juice, plus wedges for serving

Sea Salt

Fresh ground black pepper

1/2 lb. medium carrots, cut into 3″to 4” sticks

1 tsp. ground cumin

8 whole grain tortillas (you can also use taco shells or flour tortillas, your preference)

Toppings:

Sliced avocado

crumbled goat or queso fresco cheese

chopped cilantro

sliced black olives

radishes

broccoli slaw

salsa

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat.  Add onion, pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add chili powder and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add black beans and 1/3 cup water. Reduce heat to medium-low and stir occasionally until thickened. Mash beans with the back of a spoon or potato masher until thick, then stir in lime juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, toss carrots with cumin and 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Roast turning occasionally for 10 to 12 minutes, until carrots are tender. 

Divide beans and carrots between taco shells or tortillas. (We warmed our tortillas in a pan.) Finish with toppings, a squeeze of lime and enjoy. We made a tossed salad as a side. 

Enjoy and have a great week!

~May

“I’m just someone who likes cooking and for whom sharing food is a form of expression.” Maya Angelou

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What We’ve Learned Lately

Well, it’s official. We have entered the dog days of summer. Store aisles that have been filled with coolers, beach towels, and gardening tools the last few months are now stocked with pencils, spiral notebooks, and other school supplies, ready for a school year that is quickly approaching. We know the pumpkins are next! With that said, we’re not quite ready to say goodbye to the long days of the season just yet, and here are a few things we’ve learned this summer.

It’s nice to take a vacation from healthy eating and our workout routine, but always a bit painful getting back on the wagon.  Summer tends to lend itself to getting out of your eating and workout regime, so give yourself a bit of a break knowing that you will make up for it when the regular schedule of life resumes.

For those of us who are very structured with our schedule (May and June), it’s ok to take a break, re-evaluate, and try something new. Remember, change is healthy and can even open new doors.

If you’re not already in one, join a book club or start your own. You will get an opportunity to read something you wouldn’t ordinarily pick on your own, it’s a great place to cultivate new friendships, and of course there’s always great food and wine.

This is a difficult one, we know, but try to embrace adversity. Generally, when something difficult enters our world, it is a tap on the shoulder that a new road is waiting for us. Try to understand what that challenge is teaching us, and go with it. Change always results in growth, even if it is wearisome. 

Similarly, stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something that scares you shakes things up.  It may be uncomfortable in the moment, but ultimately the feeling of pride overrules fear.

It is nice to have the house to yourself for a few days, and even better when your spouse comes home.  Absence sometimes makes you remember how much you miss each other.

Chocolate makes everything better.  Indulge (in moderation of course)!

Have a good weekend. –May and June

Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. Mahatma Gandhi

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