Category Archives: cilantro

Corn & Black Bean Burger with a Fresh Carrot Salad

As I’ve mentioned (probably numerous times) we don’t have a grill here.  I like burgers.  There is something amazing about a fresh bun, tomato and an onion.  Although it’s unfortunate that we don’t have a grill, it is fantastic that it forces us to make different kinds of burgers.  There are so many to choose from, and there are different variations.  Some might not be very pretty to look at, but they are all full of flavor.

Now, when you think of a burger, the side that goes with it is usually fries.  Trying to be healthy, and take advantage of all of the fresh vegetables that are around, I try to find other options.  This was very colorful and light carrot salad, so perfect to go with a filling burger!

And remember, this is great for any friends that are vegetarians!

Corn & Black Bean Burger
Adapted from: Eat, Live, Run

1-2 jalapeños, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans of black beans, rinsed & drained
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tbsp flaxseeds
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1/2 cup of frozen corn, defrosted
2 tbsp olive oil
4-6 burger buns
4-6 slices of onion
4-6 tomato slices
1 avocado, sliced
burger condiments of your choice

Add the jalapeños and garlic to a food processor and mince finely.  Add 1 can of beans, cumin, salt, chili powder and ground pepper, pulse the processor some more until the mixture looks like a bean dip.

Transfer the bean mixture to a bowl, then add: flaxseeds, Panko breadcrumbs, tomato sauce, corn and the second can of beans.  Stir everything until it is well blended.  Make patties out of the mixture, we made 4 (very) large one’s.  I think 6 is actually the more appropriate size.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add the burgers (we had 2 at a time) and fry for about 5 minutes on each side.

We served the burgers on a fresh bun, with onion slices, tomato slices avocado slices.  Feel free to add ketchup, mustard or other condiments.

Fresh Carrot Salad
Adapted from: So Good and Tasty

4-6 carrots, peeled and shaved
3 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp cilantro, minced
3 tbsp parsley, minced
1 tsp salt
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all of the ingredients, but the carrots.  Whisk together.  Then pour over the shaved carrots.  Toss well, and then put into the fridge for at least 30 minutes.  Enjoy when chilled.

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Zucchini Enchiladas

I apologize for the lack of posts this week.  I was actually planning on putting this recipe up on Thursday (Cinco de Mayo), but unfortunately I was not eating Mexican that evening but at a work function.  It’s been a busy week!

We love Mexican food.  We (more like Sam, but I’m getting there) cannot find anything spicy enough in restaurants.  So, homemade is usually better since it is spicy enough.  In this recipe, we added the adobo chiles and jalapeños in the sauce, but feel free to omit them if super spicy is not your taste.

These are excellent vegetable enchiladas, I would have not thought to shred the zucchini before adding it to the dish.  But it gives it a meaty and soft texture, even though there is no meat in there.  Excellent idea!

We plan on making these again, but adding either shredded pork or chicken, we’ll make sure to share it with you!

Zucchini Enchiladas
Adapted from: Skinny Taste

Non-stick Cooking Spray
2 tbsp olive oil
7 garlic cloves, chopped
1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce (optional or more if you want spicy)
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
2 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp pepper
2 zucchinis, sliced or grated
1 onion, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 cups Mexican-blend cheese
4 large tortillas
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Preheat the over to 400°F degrees.  Spray a baking dish so the tortillas do not stick (appropriately sized dish to fit the tortillas).

In a medium saucepan, heat 1 tbsp olive oil.  Then add 3 chopped garlics and sauté.  After a minute add: chipotle chile, jalapeño, 1 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, vegetable broth, crushed tomatoes, 1/2 tbsp salt and 1 tsp pepper.  Bring to a boil.  Then reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 5-10 minutes.  Set aside until you are ready to pour over the enchiladas.

Either grate the zucchini with a grater or in a food processor.  In a saucepan, add 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Once it’s heated, add 4 garlic cloves and onion and sauté.  Then add the zucchini, green onions, 1/2 tbsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1 tsp chili powder and 1 tsp ground cumin.  Cook for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, and stir in 1/2 cup of cheese.  Mix well, until the cheese has melted in the mixture.

Divide the zucchini mixture between the 4 tortillas.  Roll each tortilla and place, seam side down, into the baking dish.  Once all of them have been arranged, pour the sauce over the tortillas.  Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the dish.  Bake until the cheese has melted, and enchilada sauce is bubbling, about 20 minutes.

After plating, sprinkle chopped cilantro on each enchilada.

Veggie Flatbread with Cilantro Hummus

As many of you have probably noticed through  most of these posts, we don’t eat much meat here at Fifth Floor Kitchen.  Our thoughts are that if we do want to eat meat, we prefer “happy cows/chickens/etc”.  The fact that we didn’t have any meat in our fridge came in handy this weekend.  Our fridge broke!  Well, the freezer was working, but the fridge was warm.  (Yes, the beer did not get as cold.)  It’ll be completely fixed today, at 5pm, when the Refrigerator Man comes by and changes a thermostat.  I guess these are the pleasures of home ownership?  Most of the food survived, except some of the dairy products such as: milk, sour cream and some half-and-half.  But we’re back to a happy kitchen. 

This accompanied the Cucumber Gazpacho for dinner one night.  Also very simple to make, and very springy.  The original recipe called for pita bread, but while searching for it at Whole Foods I was concentrating on the “whole wheat”.  So instead I grabbed a flatbread.  (to me, these two are fairly similar- pita bread is thinner, while the flatbread is a bit thicker and softer)  I would say this was similar to a personal pizza, it’s got veggies and cheese (but could have so much  more on it).  The only exception is the “sauce” is cilantro-hummus-flavored.  So as long as you like cilantro, this is defintely worth a try.  The veggies on this don’t need to be the same, feel free to add what you like on your flatbread. 

Veggie Flatbread with Cilantro Hummus
Inspired by: Vegetarian Times

1/2 cup cilantro leaves
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 15-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
juice of 1/2 lime
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup water
2 flatbreads (or pita’s)
2 jarred roasted red peppers, drained & sliced into strips
1 cup spinach leaves
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

To make hummus, add the cilantro and garlic into the food processor.  Turn on for about 1 minute until everything is chopped.  Then add the chickpeas, lime juice, oil and water.  Puree for 3 minutes until the mixture is creamy. 

Place the 2 flatbreads on baking sheet.  Spread each with the cilantro hummus.  Then top with peppers, mushrooms and spinach leaves.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake for about 10 minutes, the flatbread should be crisp and the cheese should be melting.

Cucumber Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a cold, tomato-based soup which originated in Spain.  I spent the summer of 2004 studying abroad in Spain, while living with a Spanish family.  For my first meal with the family, my señora made gazpacho.  Having only had warm tomato soup growing up, I did not like it.  The idea of a cold soup just wasn’t appealing to me.  But she kept making it throughout the summer, and I kept on eating it a little at a time.  After the summer of falling in love with Sevilla, when I arrived back in the US, I realized I began craving gazpacho.

It’s a great summer staple for me: fast, easy, simple.  You can make it ahead and the flavors blend nicely.  It’s perfect when tomatoes are in season, full of flavors.

So when I was flipping through the April’s Cooking Light and saw a cucumber gazpacho, I was excited to try a new version of the cold soup.  The original recipe had shrimp, which is also a great addition, so keep that in mind.

Cucumber Gazpacho
Adapted from: Cooking Light

1 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp cumin
1/3 cup cilantro, lightly chopped
2 large cucumbers, lightly chopped
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup yogurt
1/4 cup onion, chopped
dash of red pepper flakes
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

Add all of the ingredients, except the cherry tomatoes, into a blender or food processor.  Process until smooth.  Ladle into bowls, and use cherry tomatoes as a garnish.

Fish Taco’s

I love Mexican…a lot!  Especially chips and salsa- definitely my weakness.  So this might seem weird- I have never had fish taco’s until about a month ago.  When I did try them, I was already thinking how we could recreate some at home.

Flipping through the Mexican cookbook, I liked how the picture looked, and decided we should have some for dinner.  We’ve made taco’s once that had the red cabbage in it, and I fell in love with the crunchiness of the cabbage with the soft tortilla.  Sam made the fish, so he gets all of the credit- the tilapia was tender and flaky.  Mexican food is great since there aren’t any concrete rules.  You can add any ingredients which you like (extra cilantro for me!).

Lastly, Sam’s Special Sauce was wonderful- we’ve had some in our fridge for a couple of days now and have been using it whenever we could.  (Perfect on panini’s!)

Fish Taco’s with Sam’s Special Sauce
Inspired by: Mexican Cookbook: A Practical Guide to Preparing and Cooking Delicious Mexican Meals

1 lb tilapia
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cayenne
1/4 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
4 tortillas
1/4 cup cilantro
1 cup salsa (we make our own, but that’s another post)
1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 cup Sam’s Special Sauce*

Mix together the salt, pepper, chili powder and cayenne in a small bowl.  Then use all of the spice mix to sprinkle both sides of the fish.  In a pan melt the butter, and then add the olive oil.  Cook the fish for 2 minutes on both sides over medium-high heat.

Assemble the taco: 1 tortilla, some fish, small handful of red cabbage, pinch of cilantro, 2 tbsp salsa, 2 tbsp cheese and 1-2 tbsp of Sam’s Special Sauce.*

 

* Sam’s Special Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 of an onion, chopped
1 canned chipotle

In a food processor, add 1 cup of mayo, onion, and 1 canned chipotle.  Blend, until smooth.  Taste, and add more chipotle’s if you want it to be more spicy.