'/> Sharing My Joy: February 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Recipe: Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos with Yogurt Lime Dipping Sauce

I have another meatless recipe to share! Lately I've been cooking more vegetarian meals, plus I have never really enjoyed working with raw meat at home anyway. This recipe is inspired by the sweet potato and black bean burrito from Beans and Barley, an awesome, locally-owned market/deli/cafe in Milwaukee that I used to frequent when I lived there. It turned out to be just like the one from the cafe - very flavorful and delicious! I love the the combination of black beans and sweet potatoes, and the Mexican flavors complement them well. Don't skip out on the dipping sauce either- it really makes it!  I also love how toasting them in the pan makes the tortillas nice and crispy. These were very easy to make, and they are super easy to refrigerate or freeze for leftovers!

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burritos (makes 6)

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained and rinsed
1 package minute rice (I used Uncle Ben's brown rice- shameless shortcut!)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp salt
1 avocado (or guacamole)
1 cup Mexican cheese
large flour tortillas

1/2 cup plain Greek Yogurt
Juice of 1/2 lime

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place sweet potatoes on baking sheet, spray or toss in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 45 minutes, stirring halfway through.
2. After potatoes are done, heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add in sweet potatoes, corn, black beans and rice (after rice is heated in the microwave).
2. Add in spices and salt, heat over stove for about 10 minutes.
3. Heat saute or grill pan over medium heat to toast the burritos.
4. Heat the plain tortillas in the microwave for about 30 seconds to warm to make them easier to stretch. Spoon in rice mixture into tortilla, add avocado and a spoonful of cheese and wrap burrito.
5. Add burrito to grill pan, toast on each side for about 5 minutes.
6. Mix yogurt with lime juice as a dipping sauce.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Recipe: Hot and Spicy Cheesy Pull Apart Bread

Anyone who has spent time with me in Madison, Wisconsin knows that I have a deep (slightly unhealthy) obsession with Stella's Hot and Spicy Cheese Bread. Stella's is a bakery in Madison, but they sell their bread at the farmer's market on the Capitol square on Saturdays mornings - and if I'm there, I HAVE to pick some up (to share, of course - and preferably on the way to a Badger football game). Served warm, it's quote "the perfect buttery blend of red pepper, chives, provolone and monterey jack cheeses, and our secret sweet dough that melts in your mouth." Say no more. I had to attempt to recreate it at home, but instead of making the dough from scratch, I followed this pull-apart bread recipe and altered it a bit. It wasn't quite like getting a warm loaf from the farmer's market, but I will say it was a good stand-in when I can't be there! There is nothing not to love about warm, cheesy goodness. Perfect for a tailgate or football watching party!

1 large loaf Italian bread (or sourdough)
1/4 cup butter, melted
4 ounces provolone cheese, shredded or sliced (about a cup)
4 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded (about a cup)
2 tsp red pepper flakes (or more!)
1 Tb fresh chives, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a sheet of foil with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.
2. Cut a cross-hatch pattern into the top of the bread by slicing ½-inch grid lines into the bread, stopping about ¼-inch from the bottom of the bread so that it stays together. Place the bread on the piece of foil that has been sprayed.
3. Combine the cheese, chives and red pepper flakes in a bowl, set aside.
4. Gently separate the bread with your fingers, then spoon the butter mixture in all of the seams, making sure it is evenly distributed among the whole loaf. Wrap the loaf up in the foil and place on a baking stone or directly on the oven rack and bake for 10 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F.
6. Open the foil and sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the bread. Push down as much as you can in between all of the crevices in the bread. Leave the foil open and return it to the oven. Bake until the cheese is completely melted, bubbling and starting to brown on top, about 15 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

If you're looking for a recipe for the loaf from scratch, try this!

Stella's Stand at the Dane County Farmers' Market on Capitol Square

Serving up the hot bread

Monday, February 9, 2015

Recipe: Eggplant Polenta Lasagna

I have a great recipe to share on this Meatless Monday! This one was introduced to me several years ago by one of my vegetarian friends. You will not miss the meat in this at all - and you don't even have to cook any pasta. Simply layer eggplant, polenta, sauce and cheese and then bake. Super simple and delicious! You could easily add additional veggies in, or even a layer of pesto would be good!

1 large eggplant
1 package (18 oz) pre cooked polenta
1 24 oz jar of tomato pasta sauce of your choice
16 oz fresh mozzarella (pre sliced package is easy!)

1. Slice eggplant and polenta into 1/4 inch slices.
2. Lightly panfry both eggplant and polenta slices in olive oil, set aside.
3. Spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of a 13 x 9 pan.
4. Arrange a layer of polenta on bottom of pan. Follow with eggplant, cheese and sauce, continuing to alternate layers.
5. Bake at 375 for 35-40 minutes. Let cool, top with fresh basil.

*Note: You can use shredded or block mozzarella instead of fresh.