Black Bean, Corn and Zucchini Enchiladas

A few years ago, I would have thought that all enchiladas would have needed to be smothered in cheese.  Not just smothered, but oozing all over and having to sop up the extra cheese with more chips. 

While I know many are still cheese enthusiasts, I'm tending to rely on it less and less.

Don't get me wrong.  Cheese is tasty.  But if you add the right other flavorings, you won't miss it.  The only thing I did miss it for in this recipe was to stick all the goo together.  So if I added another 2 cups of shredded cheese, it might have stuck together better, but I don't think it would have been worth the extra 900 calories. 

If there is anything I've learned from cooking and blogging recipes, it's how to replace high calorie food with lower calorie tasty food.

These were good.  The sauce was flavorful and good, I think I would amp up the spice just a bit though.  Maybe add a can of green chilies, who knows.

We made these awhile ago and made 3 pans, well, all 3 pans are now gone and they were all wonderful!  They froze well and we loved them!

Black Bean, Corn and Zucchini Enchiladas Recipe
Adapted from From Apples to Zucchini

Cooking spray
1 large onion, diced
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
2 tbsp. chili powder
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. ground cumin
4 (15 oz) cans of diced tomatoes

Heat cooking spray in large pan, add onion and saute for about 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for another couple of minutes.  Add spices and remaining ingredients. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes.

4 small zucchinis, chopped (24 oz)
1 lb. frozen corn
3 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
20 - 8 in. whole wheat tortillas (or corn if gluten free)
6 oz. cheddar cheese, shredded
Additional cheese if desired for top (not in calorie count)

Heat cooking spray and heat zucchini and corn, saute for a few minutes or until veggies are tender.  Remove from heat and stir in the beans.

Spread about 1 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 2 - 13 x 9 pans. Put about a tbsp. of sauce on the bottom of tortilla, 1/2 cup of zucchini/bean mixture and a small bit of cheese. Roll up and place seam side down in pan.  Spread remaining sauce on top of enchiladas.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes.  You should get about 10 enchiladas per pan. I actually used one 13 x 9 for 10 enchiladas and 2 - 8 x 8 pans each with 5 enchiladas for the freezer.

Total calories = 4878 calories
20 enchiladas = 244 calories per enchilada

One Year Ago...

Apple Pear Waldorf Salad

This is linked with:
$5 Dinner Challenge at $5 Dinners

My Meatless Monday at My Sweet and Savory
Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale
Your Recipe, My Kitchen at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
Just another Meatless Monday at What's for Dinner, Mom?
Midnight Maniac Meatless Monday at Midnight Maniac
Made By You Mondays at Skip to my Lou
Mangia Mondays at Delightfully Dowling
Tuesday at the Table at All The Small Stuff
Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Hearth n Soul at A Moderate Life
Tasty Tidbits at Permanent Posies
Recipe of the Week at Family Fresh Meals

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.
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Menu Plan Monday ~ August 1 - August 7, 2011

Cleaned out the freezer pretty good the last couple of weeks. Time to restock!  Just got over a huge weekend of cooking, parties and cleaning up so at the moment, I'm not in the mood to cook.  But...tomorrow's another day and I suspect the family will be hungry at some point so here is the plan.  :-)

Monday: Black Bean Burgers & Summer Squash Casserole

Tuesday: Polynesian Chicken Salad (use some yogurt instead of mayo)

Wednesday: Lentil Chili

Thursday: Asian Broccoli Slaw Teriyaki Wraps

Friday: Leftovers

Saturday: Southwestern Tortilla Pizza

Sunday: Burgers

This is linked with Menu Plan Monday at I'm an Organizing Junkie.

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Splendor in the grass

Ontem lá trouxemos a tão ansiada mesa para o jardim. Comer ao ar livre é um prazer, não concordam? Aproveitamos os saldos e compramos uma mesa que dá para os 4. Eu queria-a redonda, para quebrar com as linhas dos móveis da sala e que são todos rectangulares. Claro que tinha de ser em branco! :)

A minha casa teve algumas obrinhas este ano, fico mesmo feliz! Pusemos um toldo, o que permitiu tirar o guarda-sol do jardim e a base que o suportava (era mesmo sólida e enorme) e, assim, temos mais espaço no estrado, pois não está ali uma peça que o quebra a meio. Hoje de manhã tomamos o pequeno-almoço lá fora, apesar de não estar um sol radiante. Mas adoramos!

Na mesa as chávenas de chá (eu não dispenso um chá de manhã) e algumas das minhas loiças favoritas...
A couple of tea cups (I always have tea for breakfast) and some of my favourite bits and pieces...

Expliquem-me, por favor: por que é que gostamos tanto de comer ao ar livre?

Yesterday we finally brought home the table for the garden that we have been wanting for so long. Eating in the garden is such a pleasure, don't you agree? We got a nice white and round table in the sales - I wanted it round to change the main lines of furniture of the living room - they're all rectangular. And of course it had to be in white! :) 

We've managed to make some changes in our home this year, and that makes me really happy! We now have an canvas awning and that way we don't use the sun umbrella any more. It had such a huge and sturdy holder that it almost divided the floor in two! Today we had breakfast in the garden, even though the sun wasn't shining that much. We loved it anyway!

Can you please explain me why people love to have meals on the outside?

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Pieces of my home ♥

Do you like the colors of the new decor?

Hope you're having a lovely Saturday...♥ 

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Lemon Yogurt Mini Muffins

Check out my Vitatops Giveaway here!!

These adorable muffins were awesome. The kids got to roll them in sugar which they loved.  Then we ate them up while warm.  Perfect summer muffin!

Lemon Yogurt Mini Muffin Recipe

1/4 cup lemon juice, fresh-squeezed
3/4 cup milk
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 + 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg, slightly beaten
1/2 cup non fat vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons melted butter
sugar for rolling muffins in

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or a mini muffin pan.

2. Add lemon juice to a large glass then add milk; set aside. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. In a separate large bowl stir together milk mixture, butter, egg, yogurt, lemon zest and vanilla (don't worry if it looks clumpy or curdled).

3. Make a well in center of dry ingredients and add wet, stir just to combine. Spoon batter or use an ice cream scoop to fill muffin pan. Bake minis 12-14 minutes and large 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool pans on wire racks 5 minutes, turn out and brush tops with melted butter, dip or roll in sugar while still warm. Best eaten immediately. If they cool off and become sticky roll in sugar again.

Makes 36 mini muffins

This is linked with:
Sweets for a Saturday at Sweet as Sugar Cookies
Weekend Wrap Up Party at Tater Tots and Jello

One Year Ago...

Ethiopian Lentils with Sweet Potatoes
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Tiny Footpath Garden

Not far from here is a row of tiny cottages where very elderly people live.

These little houses are very close to the road and have pocket handkerchief-sized front yards.  Yet despite the age and frailty of the residents, they have the most amazing gardens.  Some grow roses or dahlias or other flowers, and others grow the most beautiful vegetables.  All are immaculately and lovingly tended.  Each summer, one very elderly gentleman grows the largest and earliest tomatoes that I have ever seen. 

Many of the tiny gardens have been extended into the even tinier nature strips.  As I passed yesterday afternoon I saw the miniature winter vegetable garden below.  From what I could tell, the gardener was growing broccoli, cabbages, lettuce and green onions.  And all in a space of about 2 metres by 50 centimetres.

Whenever I wish I had more space in my own garden I think about these inspiring elderly gardeners.  It goes to show, you really don't need much space to grow a productive and delicious garden.

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Vita Top Vitalicious Giveaway

It can't all be about cooking, right? Sometimes I need a healthy snack that is already there with no prep.  Vitatops are perfect for a quick healthy snack.

Vitalicious has offered one of my readers a super sample pack of delicious Vitatops! Have you heard of these before? If not, you're missing out! They totally rock! The triple chocolate fudge is probably my favorite but really, I love them all. I have not found one that I avoid or don't care for. They are all super tasty! The cornbread muffins are awesome with chili, I buy those all the time. Seriously, for 100 calories, there is no way I could make something that tasty. I have to fight my 12 year old for the chocolate mint ones, he totally loves them.

Not only are they tasty, they are super filling, nutritious and only 100 calories. Everyone is on the 100 calorie bandwagon and I've tried them all. There is not ONE 100 calorie snack that is as filling as this in my opinion. Not to mention, if you have a chocolate craving, this does the trick. The chocolate ones are REALLY chocolaty, they satisfy the most intense cravings. Let's not get started on the brownies, oh my. 100 calories and insanely awesome. And not tiny, they are very decent portions.

So here's the deal, I recommend you check out and order some of these tasty vitatops. They do sell them in some grocery stores but I think they are slightly more expensive and they don't have near the variety.

To Enter: CLOSED will be giving one of my readers a super sample pack. Check out the super sample pack online and leave me comment letting me know which one sounds the best to you. I can't wait to try the Pumpkin Spice! That's a new one!

I will pick a winner randomly on August 26th so make sure I have an email address to contact you!
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Orange Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream Frosting

As I pondered what to make my guests for dessert tonight, the obvious answer was "something with oranges".

You see, here in South Australia it is orange season, and my orange tree is laden with fruit.  I think it's wonderful that winter, when we are beset with sniffles and need extra doses of Vitamin C, is citrus season.

I hope the guests like them as much as we did when we ate a few for afternoon tea!

This recipe makes 24 cupcakes; fewer if you use larger tins.

Orange Cupcakes with Orange Buttercream Frosting

1 1/2 C self-raising flour
2/3 C sugar
125g (4 oz) butter
3 eggs
zest of one orange
1/4 C freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to moderate (180 degrees C or about 160 C fan forced).  Line cupcake pans with cupcake papers or grease if you aren't using them.  Beat all ingredients with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes, or until pale and creamy. Spoon into tins then bake for about 20 minutes.  Cool on racks before icing.

2 Tbsp (40ml) freshly squeezed orange juice
250g (8 oz) unsalted butter
3 C icing (confectioner's) sugar

Beat butter and juice with an electric mixer until pale and creamy.  Add sugar and continue to beat until pale and fluffy.  Pipe or spread onto cool cakes.
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Meaty Spaghetti Sauce

So did you see my Tomato Zucchini Bisque last week?  Quite the tasty soup.  However, it made a lot and I was the only one eating it.  So at the last minute, while making this pasta sauce, I added a couple of cups of the soup into it.  Just because it seemed like it would go well and the sauce needed more volume. 

It worked wonderfully. If you don't have extra soup, feel free to just add more tomato sauce as desired.  Or follow Reeni's recipe.  It will be good either way. I promise. Italian sausage rocks.

Meaty Sauce and Pasta Recipe
Adapted from Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice

1 green pepper, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
1 lb. ground turkey, 92%
1 lb. Italian sausage, ground
1 heaping tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 can tomato paste, 6 oz.
2 can diced tomatoes, 15 oz.
1 bay leaf
2 cups leftover Tomato Zucchini Bisque or a can of tomato sauce would work
Red pepper flakes to taste

In a large pan, saute onion and pepper in cooking spray until tender, about 4 - 5 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add garlic, saute for another minute.  Add the ground turkey and sausage, cook until done.  Add italian seasoning and tomato paste, combine with meat, allow to cook for 3 - 4 minutes stirring often.  Add diced tomatoes, bay leaf, red pepper flakes and leftover soup or a can of tomato sauce.  Add a bit of water if you think it's too thick. Bring to a simmer and cook for 35 - 45 minutes, tasting to see if it needs to be re-seasoned.  Remove bay leaf before serving.  Serve over pasta or veggies.

Total calories = 2371 calories for sauce
216 calories per cup

One Year Ago...

Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato Pasta Salad

This is linked with:

Full Plate Thursday at Miz Helen's Country Cottage
Tasty Traditions at Coupon Cookin'
Cooking Thursday at Diary of a Stay at Home Mom
Things I Love Thursday at The Diaper Diaries
It's a Keeper Thursday at It's a Keeper
Recipe Swap at Prairie Story
Ultimate Recipe Swap:Food that Travels Well - Life as Mom
Made it on Monday at Lark's Country Heart
Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum
Friday Favorites at Simply Sweet Home
Recipe Swap at The Grocery Cart Challenge
I'm Lovin' It at Tidy Mom
Foodie Friday at Little Brick Ranch
Fresh Food Friday at LaBella Vita

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.
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Living on an Austerity Budget

All over the Australian media there are stories about how people have stopped spending and how bad this is for shops like David Jones and Harvey Norman.

Various reasons for the new austerity are given: job insecurity; the dramatic increases in food, fuel, education and utility prices that have eaten up discretionary income; the decision by many to shop online and benefit from our high dollar rather than buy from more expensive local stores.  

Certainly, it seems that many Australians are less willing to spend on consumer items such as clothes and electrical items.  I have a sneaking suspicion that people are tired of nasty, poor-quality imported products made from sweat-shop labour.   The expensive brands seem just as rubbishy these days as the cheaper ones.

For various reasons, at our red house we are following the trend of cutting back.  

I have recently reduced our grocery budget significantly and am focusing on staples such as flour, sugar, meat, dairy, bread, fruit and vegetables.  Breakfast cereals have risen in price so much that I only buy generic cornflakes, weet-bix and plain rolled oats for porridge. 

Earlier this year we took advantage of government subsidies and installed solar panels on the roof.  In winter they don't provide enough electricity to meet all our electricity needs but they should hopefully cover most of our usage over the warmer months.  Other ways we are trying to reduce our utility costs include:
  • keeping the heating in the house down to 16 degrees C (61 F) over winter and not having it on at all overnight.
  • turning the water heater down; this forces shorter showers thus saving both on gas and water
  • washing all clothes in cold water
  • not using the dryer over winter (winter is the only season we use the dryer occasionally)
  • only using the oven when several items are being cooked at once
  • turning off electrical items at the wall when not in use
I am keen to establish my summer vegetable garden early this year so that the food plants are growing strongly before the worst heat arrives.  I am also hoping to 'grow' most of my own fertiliser by using our own chook poo, compost, worm castings and worm juice.  With some luck and organisation I should be able to grow all my seedling from seed - a big saver!

As I have mentioned in other posts, since April I have commuted to work by bicycle.  My three sons travel to school by bike and my daughter catches a bus.  Only my husband drives to work.  I am now filling up my petrol tank about once every two months.

I am sure that there are many other ways we could be saving money, and I am constantly trying to improve.

Are you living on an austerity budget?  How are you trying to cut back?

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Sloppy Joe Slaw

I love broccoli slaw.

I love sloppy joes.

So of course I jumped at the chance to combine the two for an another awesome version of the sloppy joe. 

Hungry Girl's recipe was super simple, just ground turkey, broccoli slaw and sloppy joe sauce.  I like to make my own sauce whenever possible. So I did.  I also added some more veggies.  Still a super simple recipe and amazingly delicious!!

Sloppy Joe Slaw
Adapted from Hungry Girl

1 lb. ground turkey, 97%
1 large onion, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 tbsp. garlic, minced
2 - 12 oz. bags of broccoli slaw
2 cups sloppy joe sauce

Brown ground turkey with onions and peppers.  Add garlic, cook for another minute or so.  Add broccoli slaw and sloppy joe sauce.  Mix together and cook for about 10 minutes or until broccoli slaw has softened some. 

BBQ Sloppy Joe Sauce
1 - 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 - 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 1/2 cups BBQ sauce
2 tsp. hot sauce
2 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper

Mix ingredients together and stir.  This will make more than the 2 cups needed for the recipe. You can save it for something else or just add more to your sloppy joe.

Total calories = 1647 calories
2/3 cup = 122 calories
1 serving Sloppy Joe Slaw with 100 calorie Arnold Select Sandwich Thin = 222 calories
Or eat it on a corn tortilla if you are gluten free.

One Year Ago...

Oreo Amish Friendship Bread

This is linked with:

No Whine Wednesday at Food on the Table
Let's Do Brunch at My Sweet and Savory
Works for me Wednesday at We are THAT Family
Real Food Wednesdays at Kelly the Kitchen Kop
What's on your Plate? at Good Cheap Eats
What's on the Menu Wednesdays at Dining with Debbie
Made it on Monday at Lark's Country Heart
My Best Recipes at This Chick Cooks

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.
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Carlota's birthday party + sweet Amy Atlas

A Carlota fez 9 anos no Sábado. São 9 anos de felicidade e de um sentimento de amor inexplicável! Andei meses com ideias na cabeça mas, com o cansaço, mudava de planos constantemente, não conseguia concentrar-me ou visualizar nada em concreto... Já no próprio dia, e depois de ter quase tudo montado, decidi mudar à última da hora e não incorporar os azuis ou verdes que inicialmente tinha planeado. Queria era o coral, as cores de rebuçado, de Verão, femininas e delicadas, tal como a Carlota. Estava apaixonada por peónias em rosa coral e, como sabia que nesta altura do ano não as arranjava (aliás, aqui no Porto nem sei onde se vendem, se é que as vendem), pedi à Diane da DK Design para me fazer um bouquet que incorporasse 3 das minhas flores favoritas - peónias, papoilas e ranunculos - e nas cores em que pensava - rosa coral, cor-de-pêssego e branco. A Francisca da Cupcake uma vez mais superou as minhas expectativas (aqueles cupcakes com as papoilas em pasta de açúcar são uma obra de arte!) e, inspirada na Hello Naomi, pedi-lhe para me fazer um bolo feminino e doce. Tudo perfeito - cupcakes de côco e o meu bolo favorito, de amêndoa com ovos moles!

Vi as mesas da Amy Atlas aí umas 1.000 vezes. São maravilhosas de tão criativas, perfeitas, equilibradas - vão sempre mais além! E, querida como sempre, publicou hoje no seu blog as fotos que lhe enviei. Sou a sua fã nº 1, não vejo a hora do seu livro ser publicado!

Digam-me de vossa justiça!!!

No jardim montamos a bancada dos sumos feita pelo meu cunhado, com os copos numerados, para que as crianças não se esquecessem deles ao fim de 5 minutos...
We assembled a lemonade stand made by my brother-in-law, with numbered glasses, so that the kids wouldn't loose them...

Mais alguns doces...
Some more sweets...

A anivesariante...
The birthday girl...

Carlota turned 9 last Saturday. It's been 9 years of total happiness and of an amazing love! I've been thinking of this party theme or color palette for the last couple of months but, being tired as I am, I couldn't decide on anything in particular. I would change my mind on a daily basis and I couldn't imagine how it might look in the end... After having everything set, I decided to change the colors at the last minute, and droped the green and blues that I had iniatially thought of. I knew I wanted coral, candy colors, feminine and delicate as Carlota. I was in love with coral peonies for a long time, and as I knew I couldn't find them at this time of year (I couldn't find them in any other color here at Porto, let me tell you), I decided to as Diane of DK Design to make me a flower arrangement that included 3 of my favorite flowers: peonies, poppies and ranunculus - in the 3 colors that I wanted to incorporate: coral pink, peach and white. Francisca of Cupcake amazed me once again with the beautiful poppies cupcakes and she recreated perfectly the Hello Naomi inspired cake that I asked her to make. She and Diane are absolutely great!

I saw Amy Atlas dessert tables about a 1.000 times. Her styling is impecable, super creative, balanced - she's amazing! And she featured the photos that I sent her on her lovely blog (here). I can't wait for her book to be released, I'm her number 1 fan!

Well, tell me what you think!!!

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Chickpea Squash Pot Pie with Pumpkin Biscuit Crust

I've mentioned my love for chickpeas and squash.  It's a match like chocolate and peanut butter, although that is a completely different different kind of love.

 I LOVED the idea of a biscuit topped pot pie.  Not only delicious but fun to make!

I know this recipe just screams FALL or AUTUMN but I just had to post it now. 

The leftovers were great too!  My husband even forgave me for putting peas in it.  In past years, that would have been just cause for divorce.  He let it slide this time. Whew!! :-)

Chickpea Squash Pot Pie
Adapted from Eats Well With Others

1 2 - 2 1/2 lb. butternut squash
1 large sweet potato, cut into chunks
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced (who are we kidding, I'm sure I added more)
2 cans (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can light coconut milk
1 cup water
4 tsp red curry paste
2.5 tbsp soy sauce
1-2 tbsp brown sugar, depending on taste
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas
2 tbsp flour (I used gluten free)

For the biscuits
2 cups flour (I used gluten free)
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 450. Toss squash and sweet potato chunks with 1 tbsp oil and some salt. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 45-50 minutes or until fork tender. Or just microwave until soft.

2. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large-ish pot. Add in the onion. Saute for 3 minutes or until translucent. Add in one clove garlic. Saute 30 seconds. Add in red curry paste. Saute 30 seconds. Add in chickpeas. Saute 1-2 minutes.

3. Pour the roasted squash and sweet potato into the pot. Stir. Mix in the coconut milk, water, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Stir until well combined. Bring to a simmer. Pour in the peas. Cook until heated through. Add salt, sugar, and curry paste to taste. Add in 2 tbsp flour and stir until mixed in. Remove from heat while you prepare the biscuits.

4. Lower oven to 400. In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pumpkin, milk and lemon juice. 

5. Pour the pot pie filling into a large dutch oven or oven-safe casserole dish. Drop handfuls of the biscuit dough onto the top of the pot pie. I dropped them for 12 biscuits. Bake for 20 minutes or until biscuits start to brown.

Total calories = 3974 calories
12 servings = 332 calories per serving

One Year Ago...

Cinnamon Apples

This is linked with:

$5 Dinner Challenge at $5 Dinners
My Meatless Monday at My Sweet and Savory
Mouthwatering Mondays at A Southern Fairytale
Your Recipe, My Kitchen at Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker
Just another Meatless Monday at What's for Dinner, Mom?
Midnight Maniac Meatless Monday at Midnight Maniac
Made By You Mondays at Skip to my Lou
Mangia Mondays at Delightfully Dowling
Tuesday at the Table at All The Small Stuff
Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam
Hearth n Soul at A Moderate Life
Tasty Tidbits at Permanent Posies & Grocery Shopping for Free
Ingredient Spotlight:Pumpkin at Eat at Home

Calories calculated from Some numbers are approximate and rounded.
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