September Meal of the Month – Low-fat Lentil and Rice Soup

A new month means a new Meal of the Month recipe from our Member Affairs Committee (MAC)!  This month the recipe was contributed by Co-op member Nancy Steele – a tasty, naturally low-fat soup with fresh shiitakes, onions, lentils, and long-grain brown rice.

Tis the season – I was able to use local shiitakes, local criminis, local basil, WA yellow onions, and local garlic in my soup.  This recipe also has some pasta sauce in it, which I thought was an inventive use.  Nancy recommends using Classico Tomato and Pesto sauce, but I think if you already have some in your fridge, whatever you have will work.  I used Rising Moon Tomato/Basil pasta sauce (because we don’t carry the Classico brand at our stores anymore) and it turned out real nice, and was vegan to boot!

Soups are great because you can always add to them over the week (especially with a recipe this large).  Everyone who tried the soup really liked it, and some additions were suggested by customers, including adding lamb meatballs, sausage, vegetarian sausage, tofu, and  hot peppers.  Any of these would be great, and would change the flavor profile enough so you wouldn’t get tired of the leftovers!

Enjoy!

Low-fat Lentil and Rice Soup Photo © 2010 Sassy Sampler

September Meal of the Month

Low-Fat Lentil & Rice Soup


INGREDIENTS

1 –2 T Extra-virgin olive oil

2 medium onions, chopped

Salt and pepper

3 –4 large garlic cloves, minced or chopped

1/2 lb shiitake (or crimini) mushrooms, sliced

Large handful of fresh basil, chopped

1 t dried oregano

1/4 t hot red chili flakes (or more to taste)

1 T ground cumin

2 t curry powder

1 1/2 c organic lentils

1 c long grain brown rice, rinsed

10 c water

1/2—1 c Pasta Sauce (Tomato Pesto/Basil)

1/3 c red wine

2 t sugar

2 T brown rice syrup

1 T brown rice vinegar

1 bay leaf

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In large stockpot, sauté chopped onion in olive oil over medium-low heat until the onion becomes opaque.

2. Add  garlic, shiitakes, and basil.

3. Sauté for several minutes, then add oregano, salt/pepper (to taste), chili flakes, cumin, and curry powder.  Stir well.

4. Turn heat up to medium and stir in lentils.  Continue stirring for 5 minutes, making sure lentils are well coated with the oil/herb/spice mixture.

5. Carefully add (uncooked) brown rice and stir until combined.

6. Stir in water, pasta sauce, red wine, sugar, brown rice syrup, rice vinegar and the bay leaf.

7. Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and cover, simmering for at least 40 minutes, or until rice and lentils are tender.

8. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Note:  The longer this soup cooks, the better it will taste!

LF Lentil and Rice Soup PDF

Soups that have spices in them will be even further enhanced if made the day before and reheated, although you may need to add more water if the rice and lentils have absorbed  most of the water.

Serve with Rosemary bread, naan bread, or the Swan Bakery’s GF Herb Rolls

Nancy Steele © 1996

One note – this may be our last Meal of the Month recipe.  The program has run for a year now, and is currently being reassessed by the MAC.  It may return in November as a slightly different, or possibly a completely different program.  If you have feedback you would like the MAC to have on the program, please forward it to Jean Rogers, the Co-op’s Board Administrator at jeanr@communityfood.coop.  She can tell you when the next meeting is, or forward your comments/suggestion to the MAC!

August Meal of the Month – BBQ Fajitas with Corn Salsa

This month’s Meal of the Month (meal for 4 for about $10) is brought to us by Jen McBeath.  Her husband Matt is on our Board of Directors, and he’s the first to chime in about how brilliant his wife is in the kitchen, so I was looking forward to receiving her recipe.  She did not disappoint!

This is our first meat-based Meal of the Month, and what a perfect season for an easy BBQ recipe that everyone will love (well, all the omnivores out there at least)!  A little prep needs to be done in the kitchen, but after that head outside and enjoy the weather.

BBQ Fajitas with Corn Salsa

INGREDIENTS

1/2 # Fajita meat

1 red pepper, cut into long, even strips

1 yellow zucchini, cut into long, even strips

1 small Walla Walla sweet onion, cut into long, even strips

2 ears of corn, silk removed

1 lime

1 package Corn Tortillas

1 T Mexican Seasoning

1 Avocado, diced

1/4 c oil (canola or olive)

Salt and pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Place veggies, meat, oil, and Mexican seasoning in zip-top bag—massage spices into ingredients and refrigerate for 1-4 hours.

2. Heat up grill or coals.  Once it is hot, place corn on the grill, turning every 5 minutes for a total cooking time of 15—20 minutes.

3. Allow corn to cool then cut the kernels off the cob into a bowl.

4. Put diced avocado in with the corn and squeeze half the lime on the mixture.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Mix gently.

5. Grill meat and veggies 3-5 minutes on each side.  Heat the tortillas directly on the grill for about 30 seconds on each side.

6. Build your fajita: tortilla, meat and veggies, and corn/avocado salsa.  Squeeze on a little extra lime juice from unused half.

7. Serve with a deli salad or green garden salad with lime vinaigrette.

BBQ Fajita with Corn Salsa PDF

July Meal of the Month – Rice-crusted Pizza (and shortcake!)

This month’s Meal of the Month was submitted Zoe Plakias, a former member of the Member Affairs Committee (she has since moved to Davis, CA to attend school – good luck Zoe!).

I was intrigued by the recipe – because I am gluten-sensitive, and because I love short grain brown rice!  Again, it was a very easy recipe to put together, and cost under $10 (I spent $9.93 and bought the Organic short grain brown rice, the organic GF falafel mix, and the pre-shredded mozzarella cheese in the Cordata Deli).  I didn’t think it would weather well for customer sampling, so I made a batch and had staff sample and got a lot of positive feedback.

Rice-crusted pizza after step 4

I let the rice cool after cooking for about a half hour, and then put it in a bowl with the falafel mix, egg, and cheese.  I wore gloves and just mixed it by hand (the rice was still pretty warm), but you could use a mixing spoon as well, but it is pretty sticky so keep that in mind!

I added the sauce to the large pizza (I am allergic to tomatoes so I made a small one for me to sample!), and then more mozzarella and Parmesan.  You could add more toppings as well, but I wanted to try it in it’s “pure” form!

Yummy - out of the oven!

It smelled even better when it came out of the oven the second time, and it was no problem finding staff to sample it for me!  It was crispy on the bottom, and cheesy gooey on top…a great combination if you ask me!

Since I wasn’t going to sample the pizza for customers, I also got to work making some berry shortcake – Zoe supplied a recipe from the Joy of Cooking (it is included in the Meal of the Month recipe as a bonus), but I love the Swan Bakery’s goodies as well, so I cut up a loaf of the Buttery Shortcake that we sell pre-made by the Bakery, and I also prepared a batch of the Bakery’s GF Pound Cake mix.  Both were excellent, and I have to say that I am very impressed with the GF Pound cake mix – it was light and fluffy and had none of the aftertaste that is unfortunately so common in gluten-free items.  The Bakery really knows what they are doing!

Berry Shortcake sample

I used both the local organic raspberries (grown by Hopewell Farm – our favorite carrot farmer is branching out, hee hee) as well as local strawberries for the sauce.  All I did was mix them in a bowl and sprinkle a little sugar on them – I then let it sit while I was preparing the pound cake mix.  If you do this the night before, then you have a great berry sauce all ready the next morning (keep it in the fridge).  I took half the berries and threw them in the blender and put them in a squeeze bottle so I could get a nice concentrated berry “shot” on each sample.

I put together the samples at the demo table, with a little whipped cream.  By the way, if you haven’t been able to find me on Fridays, it’s because Aaron, our maintenance guru, built me a great new demo table that is now between Produce and Bulk at the Cordata Co-op.  It’s a great location because it’s right by a lot of the ingredients in the recipes (this is also where the copies of recipes now live if you like to pick them up in the store).

Enjoy!

Rice-Crusted Pizza Photo © 2010 Sassy Sampler

Rice Crusted Pizza (with Berry Shortcake recipe)

INGREDIENTS—Pizza Crust

2 cups cooked brown rice

2 beaten eggs

2 cups grated mozzarella cheese

¼ cup falafel mix (Fantastic is NOT GF, but the Organic Mary Jane’s Farm is, although it might raise the cost of the recipe)

2 cups pizza sauce

½ tsp. oregano

½ tsp. basil

½ tsp. minced garlic

¼ cup grated parmesan

INSTRUCTIONS—Pizza Crust

1. Preheat oven to 450º F

2. In a large bowl, mix together cooked rice, eggs, 1 cup mozzarella, and falafel mix.

3. Press rice mixture evenly into the bottom of an edged, generously greased baking sheet.

4. Bake crust for 15-20 minutes or until lightly browned.

5. Combine pizza sauce and spices and spread over crust.

6. Top with remaining mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, and any desired toppings.

7. Bake 10 minutes.

To cook brown rice

1. Measure 2 c rice and rinse well in a large bowl.

2. Place rice in heavy saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and cover with 4 c water and a pinch of salt.

3. Bring to a boil over high heat; cover pot and reduce heat to low (just enough to keep it boiling).

4. Cook one hour.

5. Let cool, with lid on off the heat for a few minutes before removing the lid.  Fluff rice with fork.

INGREDIENTS—Shortcake

Biscuits – adapted from the Joy of Cooking

1 cup all-purpose flour

½ Tbsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt

1 ½ Tbsp. granulated sugar

3 Tbsp. chilled butter or shortening

1/3 cup milk

2 cups berries of your choice

8 oz. heavy whipping cream

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1 tsp. powdered sugar

INSTRUCTIONS—Shortcake

1. Sift together dry ingredients (excluding nutmeg) in a large bowl.

2. Cut in butter/shortening with a pastry cutter or two knives until pea-sized.

3. Make a well in the center and add milk.

4. Stir until dough comes away from the side of the bowl.

5. On a lightly floured board, knead lightly 8-10 times.

6. Roll until ½ inch thick.

7. Cut out circles of about 2” diameter using a biscuit cutter or an upside down Mason jar.

8. Place on an ungreased cookie sheet and bake at 450º F for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly browned.

9. Toss berries with a little sugar, depending on their sweetness.

10. Whip cream. Place on top of biscuits and berries.

11. Eat slowly for full effect of summer’s goodness.

You can also purchase a pre-made shortcake from the Swan Bakery, or a bag of GF Pound cake mix!

July MoM rice crusted pizza PDF

June Meal of the Month – Summertime Pasta

Our June Meal of the Month, Summer-time Pasta, was submitted by Member Affairs Committee member Liz Evans.  It is a very simple dish that has a lot of options depending on your family’s preferences.  I won’t be demoing the recipe this month because I will be at our Board of Director’s Spring Retreat tomorrow, but I wanted to be sure to share the recipe!  It will also be available in both stores next week.

You can prepare this recipe gluten-free for almost the same price as regular pasta.

Enjoy!

Summer-Time Pasta

1lb of your favorite pasta like angel hair or fettuccine

4 Roma tomatoes

handful of fresh basil

Olive oil to taste

1 ounce pine nuts, toasted

2 cloves minced garlic

3 ounces grated Parmesan

Instructions:

Boil enough water in a large pot to cook pasta.  While waiting for the water to boil, chop tomatoes to a half-inch, dice and mince garlic.

Cook pasta al dente.  Drain.  Return pasta to same pot and add chopped tomatoes, garlic and chopped basil.  Toss with olive oil and top with pine nuts and cheese.  Make sure to chop basil at the very last so that it will not turn black.

Optional Items (may bring cost over $10):

Italian sausage or turkey sausage

Garlic bread

Salad w/fresh seasonal greens

Fresh mozzarella as a Parmesan substitute

May Meal of the Month – Punjab Spinach Sauce with Tofu and Rice

A new month means a new Meal of the Month recipe from the Co-op’s Member Affairs Committee – this month it was submitted by Jean Rogers, with advice from local chef Robert Fong.

This was a very easy dish to prepare, as it is a “semi-homemade” recipe – you use one of the Ethnic Gourmet brand sauces*, but you add flair to it.  It only takes about fifteen minutes to toss together, and you are good to go.  Well…it does take an hour to cook the rice, but that is easy to wash up and toss in a pot!  If you are opposed to jarred sauces, or just want to try it from scratch, check out this recipe for Saag Spinach Sauce – you could then prepare the rest of the dish as instructed.  I haven’t tried this recipe myself, but it has very similar ingredients to the jarred variety.

Customers thought the dish was very tasty and my samples were gone before I knew it.  Note to self – make a much larger batch next time!

*11/2014 – We no longer sell Ethnic Gourmet Sauces, so use Jyoti Delhi Saag sauce as a replacement. It is made with spinach and mustard greens and adds a nice kick.

Enjoy!

Sassy Sampler ©2010

Sassy Sampler ©2010

Punjab Spinach Sauce with Tofu and Rice

Recipe courtesy Jean Rogers

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 1/2 c short grain brown rice
  • 4-6 T safflower or canola oil
  • 1 block tofu
  • 3 med garlic cloves, freshly sliced
  • 1 jar Ethnic Gourmet Punjab Saag Spinach Sauce (2014 – 1 can Jyoti Delhi Saag Sauce)
  • 1/4 c water
  • 1/4 –1/3 # bulk spinach (or approx 1/2 bunch spinach)
  • 1-2 large pinches of sea salt
  • 1/2 t cumin
  • 1/2 t curry powder
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into four slices

Optional:

  • 1/2—1 t chili powder or red chili flakes
  • Fresh cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Rinse and drain rice.  Combine rice and 3 c water (salt is optional) in a pot with a tight-fitting lid.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 60 minutes (until all the water is absorbed).  Turn off heat, fluff rice, and let it sit covered until you are ready to serve.
  2. Wait about 1/2 an hour, and then rinse spinach and break up larger leaves.  Cut tofu into 1/4” cubes and let it drain on a paper towel for several minutes.
  3. Put 1-2 T oil into a hot, medium-sized heavy-duty skillet.  Add the sliced garlic and a pinch of sea salt and cook for about 15 seconds.
  4. Stir in and lightly wilt spinach (about 30 seconds).  Add 2-3 T water.
  5. Remove spinach.  You can either reserve it in a bowl or  you can spread to desired shape on a warm plate.
  6. Remove water from skillet and add 3 T oil at medium heat.
  7. Stir in 1 t hot chili powder or red chili flakes (optional), 1/2 t cumin, 1/2 t curry.
  8. Stir in tofu and mix with spices for about a minute.
  9. Stir in full jar of Punjab/Delhi (or homemade) sauce and 1-4 T water.  Lightly simmer for a minute.
  10. Turn off heat, and let sauce sit for 1 minute.  Stir spinach back into sauce, or ladle sauce and tofu on top of cooked spinach.
  11. Serve with rice on the side or in a ring and a slice of lemon (highly recommended!).  Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro (optional).  For stronger flavor, increase salt and all spices.

Delhi Saag Sauce with Tofu and Rice PDF

April Meal of the Month – Carrot Ginger Soup

This month’s Meal of the Month recipe was submitted by our own Jean Rogers,Co-op  Board Administrator (although she wears many hats!).  The recipe is for a Carrot Ginger Soup that she makes all the time at home, and is an excellent recipe.  The recipe even includes a loaf of the Avenue Bread Rosemary Loavette – all for about $10!

This is truly a carrot ginger soup!  It is very spicy and a beautiful color.  It was easy to make, and smelled divine as it was cooking.  I used the Imagine Vegetable Broth when I prepared the recipe for my demo, and used about a half cup of cooking sherry (because that is what the Cafe had on hand!).  I also used about one tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice (the recipe calls for up to two).  This would be fabulous if you make your own stock, or if you have some bouillon at home, you could always use that in place of the pre-packaged stock.

This was my shortest demo yet!  The soup only lasted an hour –  it was a mob scene a few times around the demo table, and before I knew it the soup was gone (I did manage to save a sample for Jean, who was upstairs tallying all the ballots from our Board of Directors election).

Carrot Ginger Soup

April Meal of the Month – Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup

Recipe courtesy Jean Rogers.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 –4 T butter/margarine
  • 1 medium yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 c finely chopped fresh ginger root
  • 3 –4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 16 oz chicken or veggie broth
  • 4 c water (or substitute 5-7 c of homemade stock and omit store bought broth)
  • 1 c dry white wine or hard cider (optional)
  • 5 –7 carrots (1 1/2 –2 lbs), peeled and cut into 1/2” chunks
  • ~2 T fresh lemon or lime juice (1 small lemon)
  • Pinch curry powder (optional)
  • Salt and Pepper (to taste)
  • 1 Avenue Bread Rosemary Loavette
  • Optional Garnish —chopped Italian Parsley or Coriander (cilantro), and/or a dollop of yogurt in each bowl.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Melt butter/margarine over medium heat in stock pot.
  2. Sauté onion, ginger and garlic for 15-20 minutes (try not to brown the mix) in stockpot.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Add stock, water, wine/cider (if using) and carrots.  Heat to boiling and then reduce heat to low and simmer covered for about 45 minutes, until carrots are tender.  (If you simmer without a lid, check from time to time in case you need to add more water).
  4. Remove from heat and let cool for about 5 minutes.  Purée in blender or food processor (see note) or with immersion blender, and season to taste with the lemon or lime juice, salt, pepper and (optional) curry powder.
  5. Serve with or without the optional garnishes, and with the bread.

Notes:

  • Never fill a blender or food processor with boiling hot liquid —it will explode out the top and burn you!  Always let it cool slightly and never fill more than half full.  Put the lid on (but not tightly), and cover the lid with a dry towel.  Be sure to “burp” the lid.  Use the slowest speed possible.  Puree in batches.
  • This recipe can easily be doubled for a crowd.
  • Optional ingredients may bring the cost over $10.
  • To peel ginger, use the edge of a spoon.
  • You can also add a bouillon cube for more intense flavor.

Carrot Ginger Soup PDF

Meal of the Month – Vegan Red Beans and Rice

Once again it is the first Friday of the month, so I whipped up a batch of the Meal of the Month recipe – Vegan Red Beans and Rice.  The recipe was contributed by member Glen Denkler, and I adapted it to a four portion size (the original recipe would feed an army!).  Gabriella, one of our volunteers, tested the recipe, and submitted her own recipe for Spicy Slaw that she thought went real well with it.  I didn’t make the slaw to demo, but the recipe sounds really great (I love toasted pumpkin seeds, and they are a great addition to lots of dishes!).

I had never made red beans and rice before, so this was pretty new to me.  Boy, was it easy!  I even remembered to soak the beans first.  I made it on the mild side, as is my usual m.o., to appeal to a broad selection of palettes.  Most adults thought it needed a little more kick, but the kids that tried it liked it the way it was.  If you have children, you could always make it on the mild side and add more Tabasco sauce after you serve the kids.

This recipe is SO easy, and is hard to mess up.  Don’t worry if you don’t  have the exact amount of ingredients, the beauty is that you can add more or less of your favorites (including bacon or sausage if you are not vegetarian).  This recipe is wheat-free, but not gluten-free because of the Cajun Seasoning from bulk – if you are GF, it is best to assume that spice blends are not GF because they could be blended in a facility that also processes wheat products, so it is better to be safe than sorry.  I have included a homemade Cajun seasoning recipe from Glen as an alternative – it makes much more than you need, but you can always use it over the next six months if you keep it in an airtight container away from light.  I also used the Rapunzel Vegan Bouillon cubes – they are my favorite – although they are also wheat-free but not necessarily gluten-free.  I will contact them to see if it is really GF or not for my personal use in recipes.

Vegan Red Beans and Rice

Vegan Red Beans and Rice

INGREDIENTS

1/2 # Dried Kidney Beans, soaked overnight

6 T Vegetable Broth Powder or 1 1/2 bouillon cubes

1 1/2 c Diced Celery

1 1/2 c Diced Onion

1 c Diced Green (or Red, or both) Peppers

1 large Bay Leaf

1 T Tabasco

1 t (plus more to taste) Cajun Seasoning

Sea Salt

Cooked Long Grain Rice (1 1/2 c uncooked)

1/2 c Chopped Parsley

INSTRUCTIONS

1.     Soak beans overnight covered in water .

2.     Drain beans, discard water.

3. In a large stockpot place soaked beans, 3 cups water, celery, onion, peppers, bay leaf, Tabasco/hot sauce and 2 T Cajun Seasoning.

4. Bring to a boil over high heat and add vegetable broth powder or bouillon cubes.  Reduce heat to maintain a slow simmer. Simmer until beans are tender, about one hour.

5.  Adjust seasoning with salt and more Cajun Seasoning to taste (I added about another teaspoon)

6. Remove bay leaf.

7. Serve over prepared rice. Top with parsley.

To cook rice :

1. Measure 1 1/2 c of chosen long grain rice.

2. Rinse rice in bowl or saucepan multiple times (until rinse water is mostly clear).

3. Put rinsed rice in a saucepan (with a lid) and add 3 c water and about 1/2 t salt.

4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and put on lid.  Cook over low heat for 30-45 minutes until all the water is absorbed.  Try not to remove the lid for at least a half hour—it will keep more nutrients inside!

Optional* Side Dish: Spicy Slaw

INGREDIENTS

4 T flaxseed oil

2 T balsamic vinegar

1/4 head of green cabbage, shredded

3 carrots, coarsely grated

1/4 c pumpkin seeds, toasted

Salt and pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Toast pumpkin seeds in skillet on stove over med-low heat.  Stir often and remove when seeds start to inflate and are slightly browned.

2. In a large bowl, whisk oil and vinegar.

3. Add remaining ingredients and mix well.

4. Add salt and pepper to taste.

*Optional additions may bring the cost over $10.

Homemade Cajun Seasoning

Ingredients:

2 T  Sea Salt

2 T  Cayenne Pepper

1 T  White Pepper

1 T  Black Pepper

1 T  Paprika

1 t  Dry Whole Thyme

Mix all together.  Store in airtight container in a dark place for up to six months.

Meal of the Month – Mexironi and Cheese Casserole

This month we selected a recipe submitted by our own Marc Westenberger, Cordata Co-op cashier/customer service wiz.  He makes this dish at home as an easy weeknight meal, and was very excited to have his recipe selected.  He was also eager to taste the recipe prepared by someone other than him.  He likened it to writing a song and then hearing someone else singing it.  (FYI – he gave the thumbs up for my preparation!)

Customer response was great to his recipe – many thought it tasted like enchiladas, and others thought it tasted like an Hispanic flavored mac and cheese (which it pretty much is!).  It was a big hit with kids and parents – the kids thought it tasted great, and the parents loved that it was a quick, nutritious meal!  Once again, I had “repeat” tasters, and also garnered comments and support when I came into work this morning – it was still on people’s minds!

I prepared the recipe for samples at Cordata using whole wheat elbows in bulk, OG Washington yellow onion, OG local garlic, the Australian Cheddar that is one of our Member-Only deals this week (tomorrow is the last day for this special $1 off price!), Have’A Corn chips, and Oregon’s own Sweet Creek Foods Mild Enchilada Sauce.  Because I opted for the local, organic enchilada sauce, my cost was at $12 instead of $10, but I feel that local and organic is worth two more dollars, and I love to introduce people to Sweet Creek because they are such a fantastic company.

I strayed from the recipe by sautéing the onions, garlic and spices as the pasta cooked, so I added my “Sassified” instructions at the bottom of the recipe.  I added 1/2 t of chili powder to spice it up just a tad, although you could certainly add more if you like it hot!  You can also make this gluten-free – just use the brown rice pasta (corn would also be tasty) and Sweet Creek’s enchilada sauce is gluten-free (the others are not).  Also, be sure you pick a corn chip without any gluten ingredients (Have’A Chips are not GF).

Enjoy!

Meal of the Month: Mexironi and Cheese Casserole Photo © 2010 Sassy Sampler

Mexironi and Cheese Casserole

Ingredients

2 cups Elbow macaroni

1 can Enchilada sauce

1/2 cup Green onion or Yellow onion, chopped

2 ½ cups grated Cheddar cheese

1 large clove garlic – peeled and minced

1 cup crushed tortilla/corn chips of your choice

Salt to taste

Hot spices to taste (cayenne, hot sauce, chili peppers, or whatever you have on hand).  Start with a 1/4 t—you can always add more, but you can’t take it back!

Optional (see note below): Well drained cooked ground beef or cooked, shredded chicken, frozen corn or peas, GF enchilada sauce and brown rice elbow pasta, cilantro

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Cook macaroni al dente (about a minute or so less than the package directions—you want the pasta to still be a little stiff), drain and place back in pot.  You should have about 4 1/2—5 cups of cooked pasta.

3. Add enchilada sauce,  1 ½ cups cheddar (a handful at a time), onion, garlic, any optional ingredients, salt to taste and whatever hot spices you like (to taste) and stir to combine.  Make sure your pasta is still warm so the cheese doesn’t clump—it is best to add it in handfuls and mix thoroughly.

4.    Place in oiled 9” x 13” baking pan.

5.    Sprinkle crushed corn chips (about a third of the bag) over mixture and top with rest of the cheese.

6.    Bake, covered with tented foil, at 350 degrees for 25 minutes and then uncovered until crust is golden brown (about 10-15 minutes more)

Side Dish suggestion:  Green salad

Note:  optional items may bring cost over $10.  This recipe is very open to interpretation—if you think something would be great in it, add it!

“Sassified” Instructions:

Complete steps 1 and 2.

  • While pasta is cooking, sauté onion in 1 t oil in large skillet until soft, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, salt and any optional spices, and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
  • Add any other optional ingredients (corn, beef, chicken) and sauté until warmed, about 1 –2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and add enchilada sauce and mix to combine.  Add mixture to drained pasta, and add cheese in handfuls—mix until combined and proceed to step 4.

You can also find a PDF versions of all of my demo recipes and Meal of the Month recipes here.