Category Archives: cooking with kaseface

cooking with kase-face: mango black bean salsa

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Mmmmm…Salsa!  What a fantastic, healthy snack even in it’s traditional form.  I would say this recipe is more like pico than salsa, but it’s still delicious nevertheless!  I wanted a light snack yesterday and as I was perusing my fridge, a ripe mango caught my eye.  From there, I started adding other things and out came this delicious salsa.

This is super easy to make, I used reduced sodium black beans from the can and thawed, frozen super sweet corn. From there all you have to do is chop the other veggies.  In the end, the heat of the serrano peppers was perfect with the sweetness of the ripe mango and corn.  It just has an all around great flavor and texture.

Mango Black Bean Salsa                                                                                                                                                                

1/4 cup black beans, cooked and drained

1/3 cup mango, peeled and chopped

3 tbsp. sweet corn kernels

2 heaping tbsp. red onion, chopped

1 serrano pepper, chopped

1 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped

1 tbsp. lime juice

2 pinches kosher salt

freshly cracked pepper

 

Easiest recipe ever?  Add all ingredients to a bowl and mix well, serve with tortilla chips or alone, it’s yummy either way.  I can’t help but wonder if this would taste great with tilapia or another seafood.  I’ll have to find a way to incorporate it into a main dish.  I’ll keep  you updated, of course.  Til next time!

cooking with kaseface: jerky turkey sangwich

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Mmmmm. What can I say about sandwiches except that they’re pretty much the best food ever.  I love a good sandwich.  The sandwich I’m going to share with you right now is a personal favorite of mine.  It’s warm, melty, spicy, crunchy, and delicious.

So let’s start with the meat.  If there is one thing that I will splurge on at the grocery store, it’s deli lunch meat.  I have a particular affinity for Boar’s Head brand pastrami seasoned turkey.  It was my favorite for the last five years, at least.  Well, I went to Kroger the other day and saw jerk seasoned turkey breast.  I thought to myself, if this tastes like I think it’s going to taste, I am going to have a new favorite lunch meat.  And I do.

The turkey is very spicy, but also a little sweet.  You could also make this sandwich  “southwest style” and add avocado to off set the heat or just to make it even more delicious.  I like to make a fruit salad with whatever fruit is in my fridge to go along with it.  It can also off-set the spice.

Jerky Turkey Sangwich

2 pieces multi-grain bread

3-4 slices of Boar’s Head jerk seasoned turkey

1 tbsp dijon mustard (I use Annie’s Homegrown)

1 slice pepper havarti or pepper jack cheese

small handful of mixed greens

3 slices roma tomato

3 or 4 rings of red onion

a bit of margarine

1/3 avocado (optional)

freshly cracked pepper

1.  Preheat oven to 400.   Spread Dijon mustard evenly onto both pieces of bread, then place turkey onto bottom piece of bread.

2.  Add the cheese, tomato, and onion on top of the turkey and crack pepper over both sides.

Spread margarine on the outside of bread and bake for 4-5 minutes or until warm.  Once warm, broil until cheese is melted through and bread is golden brown.

3.  Take out of the oven and add mixed greens and avocado and assemble sandwich.

 

This sandwich is so easy to make and it’s really satisfying.  I love to top the fruit salad with sliced almonds or add honey to nonfat plain greek yogurt and use that as a dressing.   The sliced almonds add a great crunch and also taste sweet with the fruit, especially with bananas and mango.  Enjoy!

cooking with kaseface: peanut butter banana oatmeal squares

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I told you I would do better!  Last night I was unexpectedly free when I was supposed to have been busy.  So I took advantage of my night off by going to my favorite work-out class, danceaton.  One day I will write a blog post specifically dedicated to how amazing this class is, but for now I’ll just say I’ve been four times this week because I have so much fun and it’s such a great workout.  I digress.  When I got home I got on Pintrest and came across a recipe that another friend pinned for peanut butter banana oatmeal squares.

Having absolutely nothing to do, I was probably a little too excited when I realized that I had every single ingredient this recipe required on hand at that moment.  As usual I made a substitution, but only a small one.  I had quick cooking oats, but I also had several flavors of organic instant oatmeal on hand.  After a 5-minute internal debate, I decided to use a package of apple cinnamon in place of 1/2 cup of the standard.  I would like more banana flavor too, so next time I am going to use 1 1/2 to 2 bananas.  That being said, I also topped mine with banana.

They turned out well.  I ate them for dessert last night and this morning they tasted especially delicious cold.  I will enjoy them for breakfast all weekend.  Let me know if you make them, I’d love to hear how they turned out for you. Here’s another link to the recipe.

cooking with kaseface: baked potato soupy soup

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You may have noticed that I almost never do cooking posts, and this is despite  the fact that I cook quite often. I rarely have the patience to sit down and remember what I used.  I already have a few drafts of recipes written up for this category though so I am trying to do better.  However, I am not one to strictly adhere to a recipe myself.  I usually just do a little research about what ingredients the meal entails and investigate the ratio of liquids to solids.  I am also apt to make several substitutions.

All of that being said, last night I decided to make baked potato soup.  First of all, when I eat baked potato soup, I always think of Houston’s restaurant.  They have, hands down, the best baked potato soup I have ever had.  Growing up, I always wanted to have my birthday dinner at Houston’s just so I could get the baked potato soup.  A lot of the times, they didn’t have it the day we went, but when they did I was in heaven!  For the record, at the Addison location, they serve it on Wednesdays.

Yesterday being Wednesday, I decided it was the perfect opportunity to try to make a similar version. I did some research here and also combined what I liked from another recipe I found on Pintrest.  I substituted butter, sour cream, and half the half and half for margarine, nonfat plain greek yogurt, and chicken broth, respectively.  Additionally, I cooked half of a piece of turkey bacon only a little bit and let it simmer in the broth mixture at the end. I was very pleased with how the soup turned out and now I can have delicious baked potato soup any time I want!  This recipe yields 4 servings.  I hope that you’ll try it and let me know how it turns out for you.

Baked Potato Soupy Soup

1 1/4 cup chicken broth

1 1/4 cup half and half

1 cup lowfat milk

5 Russet potatoes

1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tbsp margarine

1/2 cup nonfat, plain greek yogurt

1 1/4 tsp celery salt

1 1/4 tsp fennel seeds

1 1/2 tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper (however much you like, I used a lot, probably a tablespoon)

Garnishes:

1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese

fresh green onion

2 strips turkey bacon, chopped (cooked very crispy)

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Wash and scrub potatoes, pat dry.  Rub with olive oil and poke a couple holes in them with a fork.  Place on a baking sheet covered with foil and bake until tender, about an hour and 15 minutes.

2.  While you’re waiting for the potatoes to bake, cook the bacon until crispy.  Dry, chop and set aside.  Grate the cheese, chop both of the onions.

3.  In a skillet melt the rest of the margarine and saute the yellow onion over medium heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Set aside.

4.  In a large pot heat broth, milk, and half and half over med-low heat.  Stir in fennel seeds and 1 1/2 tbsp. margarine and cook until just under a boil.  Do not bring it to a boil.  When you feel it is about to boil, quickly remove from heat and let cool.

5.  Once your potatoes are finished baking, let them cool enough so you can handle them.  Peel and discard the skins of four of the potatoes and put them in a large bowl.  Leave the skin of the fifth potato on and cut into quarters.

6.  Add greek yogurt, celery and regular salts, pepper,  and even a little green onion if you’re so inclined to the potatoes in the bowl.  Stir.

7.  Strain the fennel seeds out of the cooling milk mixture.  Place potatoes in food processor or blender and add the entirety of the milk mixture.  Blend until texture becomes smooth.  It should be soupy, but not too soupy.  Not necessarily hearty, but thick.

8.  Pour the mixture back into the pot and add the quartered potato with skin and the yellow onion.  Season to taste (I added a tbsp of cream cheese, salt, a little creole seasoning,  more freshly cracked pepper of course-make it your own).

9.  Simmer on low to let flavors mingle and until heated through, at least 15 minutes.

10.  Ladle into bowls, making sure to include a skinned potato quarter in each serving.  Top with cheese, fresh chives, and turkey bacon and enjoy!

Cooking w/Kaseface: Spicy Turkey Tacos

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This is the first of the recipes that I plan to share with you and it’s definitely one of my favorites, if not my very favorite. I use it all the time, especially recently. I find that turkey tacos are something that I can eat and enjoy when I’m hungry but don’t necessarily have a taste for anything so here’s how I make mine:

Spicy Turkey Tacos (serves 2-3)

1lb ground turkey

1/2 cup sweet yellow onion, chopped

1/2 cup green pepper, chopped

1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, chopped

3/4 cup cheese, grated*

1 cup lettuce, shredded*

1 cup tomato, chopped*

1 package of Lawry’s or McCormick’s Spicy Taco Seasoning Mix

1 package of corn tortillas (I use Mission White Corn)

vegetable oil

seasoned salt, to taste

taco sauce, to taste

*Taco toppings, use as much or as little as you want.

1. In a large pan, brown turkey meat with onions, green pepper, and jalapeno pepper. Stir occasionally, until brown.

2. Add seasoning mix and 3/4 cup of water like the package says. Simmer, stirring occasionally.

Side Note: Do NOT forget the water!!

3. While your turkey is cooking, get a skillet and pour a shallow amount of vegetable oil in it. Heat the oil on med-high until hot. This is where you will be frying your chips and shells.

Side Note: Frying the shells is the hardest part of the whole recipe, but it is worth the extra effort! The fresh chips and shells really set the tacos off. BELIEVE ME! Just keep the kids/adults acting like kids out of the kitchen and away from the stove!

4. So to fry the shells you will need a pair of kitchen tongs. Drop the tortilla in the oil and let it fry for about ten seconds. Pick up one side of the tortilla with the tongs and hold the tortilla as it folds sideways (should look like a taco shell!). Fry one side of the tortilla until crispy, then pick up the other side of the tortilla and fry the side you were holding. To make sure you have room in the middle for fillings, once the shell has taken shape you can push out the sides with the kitchen tongs (see the picture below). Place the finished shell on a plate with paper towels to dry off. Repeat for as many shells as you would like.

Side Note: You want to fry them long enough that they are crispy. I deem them ready once they reach a rich golden color. It can take some practice, but once you figure it out, I can’t imagine that you’ll ever go back to store-bought shells. I never did!

4. To make chips, you simply cut the tortillas into fours and place into the grease. Fry for a few minutes on one side, turn, and fry on the other side until crispy. Place on plate with napkins to dry off. After they dry, salt to taste.

Side Note: I usually go through and dry off all the fried items again with a paper towel to make sure the extra grease is off.

5. The hard part is over, now all you have to do is put together your tacos and serve! I served mine with an ice cold Dos XX Amber.

If you don’t like spicy food or have small children, cut out the jalapenos and get the regular seasoning mix. If you are so inclined, you could also substitute chicken and buy the chicken taco mix. All variations of these tacos are very tasty.

In fact, I tried a new variation today and I had to update this post to tell you!  I made Turkey Taco Lettuce Wraps.  I swapped the shells for lettuce and added a little bit of light sour cream, which made the texture unbelievable.  If you’re looking to go the healthy route, I definitely recommend these.

If you do decide to go make chips and have leftovers, you can make nachos! You can store the extra chips or shells in a baggie to keep them fresh. These were my next-day nachos.

My mom taught me how to make tacos this way many years ago, as they were a favorite of many of my friends when I was in high school. This recipe has been a staple since I was about 15 so I hope you try it and love it as much as I do. It’s great if you live someplace like Baltimore, where the comida de “Mexicana” es MUY mal. Let me know if you try it and how you liked it! Feel free to ask questions too. Til next time…