Tag Archives: jalapeno

Mexican Meatballs with Rice

When I was making our grocery list over a week ago, I mentioned to Sam that I was planning to make meatballs.  To his surprise, they were Mexican-flavored meatballs.


These were a great alternative to enchiladas or tacos.  Something a little different, but still having the spicy, Mexican flavors.  Rather than using breadcrumbs, I used oats (the same one’s we use of oatmeal)- and it was still just as tasty.  Feel free to play around with the heat items (jalapeño, habañero or red pepper flakes) to your preferences.  We didn’t have fresh cilantro, which definitely would have made this dish better, but I used some dried cilantro and it worked out fine.

Mexican Meatballs with Rice
Adapted from: Branny Boils Over
Serving: 5 (5 meatballs; 1 1/2 cups of rice)

1 cup of dried rice
1 lb ground turkey
2 eggs
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup oates
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
6 tbsp olive oil
14 oz can of chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp dried cilantro
1 habañero, chopped
1 jalapeño, chopped
1 can of 12 oz black beans
juice of 1/2 lime

In a small pan, heat up water and add rice.  Heat up the rice until it is soft.

In a large bowl, combine the turkey, eggs, onion, garlic and oates.  Then add 1/4 tsp of each: chili powder, cumin, cayenne and red pepper flakes.  Then add 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper.  Mix all of the ingredients well, and shape them into individual meatballs.  I had made about 25 of them, each were the size of golf balls (or smaller).

In a cast iron skillet or large saucepan, heat up about 4 tbsp of olive oil.  Add about 10 meatballs at a time (if you have smaller pan, don’t add as many meatballs).  Let them sit on each side until they brown, for about 3 minutes.  Cook it on all sides until they feel firm.  When you take them out of the pan, place them on a plate with a paper towel (soaks in the extra olive oil).

In a separate saucepan, heat up about 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Add the tomatoes, cilantro,  habañero, jalapeño, black beans and rice.  To give it some flavor, add 1/4 tsp of each: chili powder, cumin, cayenne and red pepper flakes.  Then add 1/2 tsp of salt and pepper.  Heat it up for about 3-5 minutes, until most of the tomato juice is absorbed.  At the end, add the lime juice and stir it into the mixture.

Finally, serve the rice mixture on a place, and add some meatballs on top.  Feel free to add cheese if you’d like, although we enjoyed it without.

Black Bean Citrus Salad

Corn is just overflowing at our farmer’s market.  This summer we’ve been trying to eat mostly fresh ingredients (lots and lots of tomatoes!), and corn is a summer-must-eat on my list.  So when I was browsing the Eat, Live, Run blog, I noticed Jenna posted a great lunch salad and it had corn- I was excited.

Naturally, I assumed you’d have to cook the corn, and then add it to the salad.  Boy, was I wrong!  Yes, you can eat raw corn- I never knew that.  And it’s so delicious, clearly I’ve been missing out.

If you’re like me, you might ask how this is possible.  What you have to do is peel of the corn husks, peel of the silks (the hairy stuff) and wash the corn.  Cut off an inch off of the pointy side of the corn, so you can set it down on a flat surface.  Grasp the stalk end holding it vertically over a cutting board, and carefully slice downward over the cob cutting off the kernels.

Great salad that incorporates the fresh vegetables available this month, and it’s very healthy!

Black Bean Citrus Salad with Quinoa
Adapted from: Eat, Live, Run

1 cup quinoa, uncooked
2 15oz cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, diced
1 large grapefruit, divided into segments & chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
3 ears of fresh corn, kernels chopped off
1 jalapeño, optional
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
juice of 2 limes
3 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 large avocado, diced

Cook quinoa per package directions.  Once cooked and cooled, add to a large bowl.

Into the bowl, add the: black beans, red onion, grapefruit segments, bell pepper, corn kernels, jalapeño and cilantro.  Toss well to combine.

In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, olive oil and salt.  Pour dressing into the bowl, and toss well to combine.

Once you divide the salad over bowls or plates to serve, top off with avocado pieces.

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.

Baingan Bharta (Eggplant)

My love for Indian food has grown over the last 2 years and as I’ve gotten better at making it, it’s become even tastier.  You have no idea how excited I was to pick up garam masala from the store a while back since that would help me make Indian dishes even more delicious.

When I found this recipe from a new blog which I had discovered, I couldn’t wait to try this out.  It’s a very simple, but an extremely flavorful dish.  I was able to make this in between finishing up some cleaning around the house.  Low-stress recipes are always the best, especially during really busy weeks.  In addition, this is a vegan recipe that will not require any meat additions- it’s just perfect on its own.  It’ll taste great over rice or with a piece of naan bread.

Baingan Bharta
Adapted from: Eat, Live, Run

1 eggplant
1 tbsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped
(we also added a habañero- so that’s an option)
1 green pepper, chopped
small (1 inch) piece of ginger, chopped
3 tsp garam masala
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp curry powder
1 15oz can of diced tomatoes

Preheat over to 400°F.  Slice the eggplant lengthwise, and sprinkle with 1 tbsp of salt on the fleshy side.  Also, rub the whole eggplant (fleshy and skin sides) with 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Then, place the eggplant on a cookie sheet, flesh side down.  Bake the eggplant for 30 minutes.  Switch the oven to a broil, and broil it for another 5 minutes.  Then take it out of the oven, and let it cool off.

In a large skillet, heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Once it’s heated, add the onion and garlic.  Sauté until the onion is translucent, then add: jalapeño, green pepper and ginger.  Sauté all of the vegetables until they are tender, about 5 minutes.  Next, add the garam marsala, cumin seeds, turmeric, chili powder and curry powder.  Add the tomatoes, and stir well.

Next, once the eggplant has cooled off a bit, scoop out the seeds.  With what is left over, try to cut it up into a couple large chunks (skin included).  Add the eggplant to the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes.

Lastly, ladle all of the vegetables into a food processor.  Process the mixture until it is smooth.  Serve over rice, and with a piece of naan bread.

Fish and Vegetable Stew

We had this for dinner a couple of weeks ago, but it seems fitting to post it today.  In DC it’s gloomy and rainy this afternoon/evening, so some comfort food would be perfect.  Oftentimes during the summer I feel bad staying indoors when it’s so gorgeous out (yes, even when the humidity and temperature are high).  So today would be a perfect day to sit home, relax, watch a movie and eat some stew.

I think both of us were a little surprised how well this came out.  I’ve never made a soup out of fish, so this was a first.  But it’s nice and light- so even when it’s super hot out- it doesn’t feel like a heavy dinner.  And, in case you’re making this during the fall or winter months, you can eat some bread with this to make it a bit more filling.

Fish Stew
Inspired by: Easy Everyday: Simple Recipes

2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 tsp dried thyme
1 small or 1/2 of a large fennel bulb, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups tomato juice
2 tbsp grated orange peel
juice of 1 orange
1 cup of water
about 1 lb of cod (or other white fish)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup parsley, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a pan.  Add the onion, garlic, jalapeño, red bell pepper, thyme and fennel for about 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are soft.  Then add the wine, heat it until it boils, and then simmer it uncovered until the liquid has reduced.

Then, add the tomato juice, orange peel, orange juice and 1 cup of water.  Turn up the heat once again, let it cook for about 10 minutes.  Lastly, add the fish and cook for another 5-10 minutes on low to medium heat.  Season with salt and pepper.  Finally, ladle the stew into soup bowls, and sprinkle with parsley.