Thursday, February 19, 2015

Enchilada Sauce

Mmmm.....we love Mexican food here in the Hayes house!  Enchiladas are one of our absolute favorites.  I really wanted to make some, but since we're doing our Processed Free February, that meant I needed to make the sauce from scratch.  This sauce was great!  Much better than anything you can get in a can.  It does take some time from start to finish, but doesn't require a lot of attention.  Sauté....simmer....blend....voila!

Don't forget to whip up a batch of tortillas for those enchiladas too!

Enchilada Sauce
Makes approximately 2 cups

2-4 dried chilis (cayenne, ancho, poblano, etc.) depending on your desired heat
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 cup water
1 cup vegetable broth
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

1.  Remove the stem and seeds from the peppers by carefully cutting them open vertically and scraping out the ribs and seeds.  Cut them into one inch chunks.  Heat a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat.  Add the chilis and gently toast over dry heat until they begin to turn brown, about 5-10 minutes.  Add in the olive oil and onions and sauté until the onions begin to turn translucent.  Add in the garlic, tomatoes, chili powder and cumin and sauté for an additional 3-5 minutes.

2.  Add the salt, pepper, water and vegetable stock to the pot.  Bring to a simmer, lower the heat and allow to simmer for about 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

3.  Using an immersion blender, or working in batches with a food processor or blender, puree the sauce to desired thickness.  You can make it as smooth or as chunky as you'd like.  Once pureed, taste and add more seasoning if needed.  You're ready for some homemade enchiladas!  Enjoy!


Enchiladas, although time consuming, are one of our favorite meals.  And, it's one of the few things I will actually eat leftover....if there are any left over!  You can put anything you'd like inside these.  Generally, I keep these vegetarian, but sometimes I make some with shredded chicken for Jason.  You could also add shredded beef, ground beef, pork, etc.  These are an ultimate comfort food.

Makes 4 servings

1 bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 cup brown rice, cooked
1 cup cooked black beans
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
10 tortillas
1-2 cups enchilada sauce
2 cups cheese (I like cheddar or Monterey Jack)

1.  Preheat the oven to 350°.  Put everything except the tortillas, enchilada sauce and cheese in a medium bowl and combine.*  Coat the bottom of a large casserole dish with 1/4-1/2 cup enchilada sauce.  Begin forming the enchiladas by placing a couple large spoonfuls of the filling into the center of a tortilla.  Roll it up and place it in the prepared dish, seam side down.

2.  Once all of the enchiladas are made, cover them with additional sauce (use however much or little you like) and top with cheese.

3.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and continue to bake until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly, about 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven, serve and enjoy!

*If you like your veggies a little softer, sauté them in a tsp of olive oil for 5-10 minutes before adding them to the rice and beans.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers

Even though I'm a vegetarian doesn't mean I don't love a good burger!  I've never been a huge fan of frozen vegetarian "meat" substances.  They're full of so many things I can't even pronounce!  I've tried a few different variations of veggie burgers before, but this one may be *the* one.  Not to mention it's chocked full of protein.  Can't beat that!
Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers
Makes 4 patties

1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
2 cups black beans
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup bell pepper, minced
1/4 cup onion, minced
3/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil

1.  Cook the quinoa in 1/2 cup of water as directed on the package.  While the quinoa is cooking, mash the black beans and egg in a large bowl with a fork or potato masher.

2.  Once beans are mashed and combined with the egg, add in the additional ingredients.  Mix well and score the mixture into four equal parts; make into patties.

3.  Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  Cook patties for 3-5 minutes per side.  Or, wrap individually in Saran Wrap and freeze.  Enjoy!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Flour Tortillas

Are you ready to never want to eat store bought tortillas again?  If you're not, I highly recommend never making these because they are amazing.


These are so simple to make.  I use my stand mixer (with the paddle attachment) and a tortilla press.  You could definitely make the dough by hand and either roll them out with a rolling pin or flatten them by hand.

Flour Tortillas
Makes about 16 tortillas

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup cold butter, cubed (or lard if you want them more authentic and non vegetarian)
2/3 cup warm water

1.  Mix together the dry ingredients until just combined.  Cut in the butter until the dough starts to look crumbly.  Add in the water and mix until the dough comes together. 

2.  Roll the dough into golf ball sized balls and place on a floured surface.  Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes or up to two hours.

3.  Place a ball of dough between plastic wrap (I like to use a gallon-sized storage bag cut in half) and press it in to a tortilla.  Or, if you're like me, have your sous chefs do it!

4.  Carefully peel the tortillas from the plastic and place on a hot, ungreased skillet or cast iron pan.  Cook for 1-2 minutes per side, until the tortilla begins to brown and char.

5.  Remove the warm tortillas and wrap in a kitchen towel while cooking the remainder of the tortillas.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Goat Cheese Bruschetta

This has become one of our favorite appetizers.  I can't even begin to describe in words how amazingly, wonderfully delicious this is.  The creamy goat cheese, the perfect balance of balsamic vinegar with the salty capers....perfection.  I've been trying to find reasons to make this.  Maybe we need to host another party....
Nah, then I'd have to share!
Goat Cheese Bruschetta

1 loaf of French bread cut into 1/2 inch slices
1 lb tomatoes
1 jar capers, drained
2-4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
2 large garlic cloves, halved
4 oz goat cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1.  Seed and chop the tomatoes.  In a large bowl mix the tomatoes, capers, basil, minced garlic, balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp olive oil.  Cover and set aside.

2.  Preheat the oven to 425.  Place the sliced bread on a large cookie sheet and drizzle the slices with the remaining olive oil.  Bake until just beginning to toast; approximately 5-8 minutes.

3.  Remove the bread and while still warm, rub with a piece of garlic, cut side down.  Spread 1-2 tsp of goat cheese on each slice of bread.  Top with a spoonful of the marinated topping and sprinkle with Parmesan.


4.  Place bruschetta back into the oven just until the Parmesan begins to melt; about 5 minutes.  Serve immediately and enjoy!

Processed Free February

My hubby and I have decided to make a change in the way we eat for the month of February.  We're cutting out anything processed - nothing from a can, jar, bag, etc.  we're excited for this change even though it means a lot more kitchen time for me.

Basically, if I can't make it myself, we aren't eating it.

I'm hoping to fill my blog with lots of new recipes as well as revamping some old ones this month.  Anything posted this month will be made from scratch and with lots of love :)

I'll be posting on my other blog along the way with updates if you'd like to follow along.  Looking forward to bettering our eating habits and becoming more healthy along the way!
~ Sara :)

Whole Grain Sandwich Bread

I love a good, seedy bread.  This one is perfect.  A soft, whole wheat bread with flax, sunflower and pumpkin seeds throughout.  A great way to add some protein and fiber to your sandwiches.  Even better topped with homemade nut butter!
Whole Grain Sandwich Bread
Makes 1 -1 1/2 lb loaf
1 1/3 cups warm water
2 tbsp butter, softened
3 tbsp honey (raw local honey if possible)
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1 1/3 cups whole wheat flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup flax seeds
1/4 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 tsp active dry yeast
1.  Place all ingredients in your bread machine per its instructions.  Select 1 1/2lb and Basic White cycle.  Allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.  Enjoy!