Tag Archives: peppers

Give new life to your recipes…

30 Aug

In the spirit of reusing, reducing and recycling I wanted to share with you some of my recipes and how do I use them and re-use them in other preparations. As a very wise Alton Brown once said in one of his TV shows – “There is no room in my kitchen for uni-taskers!!!” I think Alton was referring more to kitchen utensils and gadgets than recipes… but you get my drift.

In my everyday life I cook and eat most everything I post here in this blog… and when making a recipe, I sometimes have leftovers. Sometimes… too much leftovers for just one person to chow down. I personally try as much as possible to cook just for now and maybe, to have something for tomorrow… but in my ideal world, I would cook for just now and make everything fresh right before I eat it.

Something I learned from the Yoga Center is that if you’re using leftovers, at least combine them with fresh stuff to give the leftovers a new lease on life. You see… leftovers have lost some of its nutritional value because it’s been a while since they’ve been cooked. This is the exact same reason why I discourage the consumption of frozen prepared meals or that convenient idea of cooking one day for the whole week and then just reheat and eat it whenever you’re hungry. If it’s something you do occasionally… it’s not that bad, but doing it as a system, well, in my opinion, you’re always eating old food that’s not as healthy and nutritious as when it was originally cooked.

So here are my ideas to use recipes the next day converting them into new dishes altogether. This way, we use our leftovers right away and do not accumulate lots if little containers in our fridge. OK??

Whenever I make Bruschetta Mix, I eat some as a snack or appetizer, but I always try to make more than I think I’ll need and eat with pasta.

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When I have leftover mashed potatoes – or just leftover boiled potatoes – this is a perfect opportunity to create a pastelón with it. Cook a filling made of veggies or soy protein and top with your favorite cheese…. And there you have a complete meal.

You are familiar already with my Meyer Lemon Thyme Granita recipe… if you do not want to eat it all as a granita, what I have done in the past is save pieces of the leftover frozen simple syrup in a freezer bag. And every time I want to create a fruit smoothie I supplement the ice/juice in my smoothie with a few pieces of the frozen lemon thyme mixture. The end result is a great tangy taste to your favorite morning drink… My suggestion, add a few pieces to a BB Shake – banana, blueberries, meyer lemon, thyme… YUM!!!

Anytime you have leftover rice, it’s easy to give it new life by adding a few delicious odds and ends you might have in your fridge. Just make your very own version of Millionaire Rice, the one that would cost you and arm and a leg if you had to go and buy so many ingredients to make, but it’s cinch just using up whatever you have cluttering up you fridge. Or make some Rice with Corn.  And if after making rice you still end up with a leftover, you can revive it once again into a Stuffed Pepper.

Cooked greens is not something I grew up with… eating spinach, for example, was an acquired taste I developed well into adulthood. If you make a version of creamed spinach to fill a spinach crepe… you can use any leftover mix into a Spinach Canelloni with the same crepes but adding some ricotta cheese to the filling and topping with tomato sauce. Add some more flour and create delicious Spinach Croquetas. You could even use it to fill a traditional Spinach Lasagna.

I hope you have learned a few tricks on how to give more mileage to the recipes you already know and how to use similar ingredients and flavors to enhance a brand new dish. This is kinda taking the semi-homemade concept to your leftovers.

What other magical recipes do you create based on your leftovers??? I want to learn something from you guys too!!!

Chickpea Cocido

1 Apr

I’ve been meaning to eat more beans… because to me beans are an acquired taste.

Rice and beans is a staple in most Puerto Rican meals, except in mine.  My mom eats them but never cooked them at home. My grandma would make rice and beans almost every day… and for the first 17 years of my life I got offered rice and beans everyday to eat and every day I would say no, thanks.  I would only eat the rice and the sauce of the beans. The actual beans… never.

I truly do not know what happened about 10 years ago, but I saw this nice plate of garbanzos and I not only had the sauce, I actually put some garbanzos in my plate.  I liked them.  I still do not crave them, but I can enjoy them up to a point. 

Because my mom never made beans at home, I never learned to make them from her.  And when my grandma was making beans each day, I was not interested in learning how to make them.  So this recipe is my way to learning how to make beans in a way I would enjoy eating them the most.  This recipe had several incarnations… but by far this is the best one so far.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

 

 chickpea-cocido

 

CHICKPEA COCIDO

1 tsp olive oil
½ vegetable bouillon cube
2 tbs sofrito
1 small onion, chopped
½ green bell pepper, chopped
1 small carrot, peeled and sliced thin
½ can stewed tomatoes
½ chopped tomato
1 small can garbanzo beans
1 roasted red pepper
5 manzanilla olives, chopped
2 tbs tomato sauce
1 bay leaf
½ tsp Herbamare
Salt and freshly cracked pepper

 

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil, ½ bouillon cube, sofrito, onion and pepper. Sautee everything for about 5-6 minutes until onions start to get translucent.
  2. Add the carrots, the tomatoes and the garbanzo beans.  Now add the red peppers, olives, tomato sauce, bay leaf and season with salt, pepper and Herbamare seasoning.  If you would like more sauce… add about ¼ cup of water.
  3. Simmer over medium/low heat for about 20 minutes.  Turn the stove off and let it continue cooking for about 10-15 minutes.

 

Serve over whole grain rice or over steamed potatoes.

Tuno Antipasto

19 Jan

Antipasto… when you hear the word you probably think of a platter of salamis, deli meats, Italian cheeses, olives, roasted peppers, etc.  And you would be right…

However, don’t ask me why or how, but in Puerto Rico, a party delicacy served warm made out of tuna or chicken, stewed with lots of onions, peppers and in a rich tomato sauce is also called an antipasto.  My version, of course, is made with Tuno – a brand of frozen soy protein flavored with seeweeds to taste like tuna.

You can have this as a warm party “dip” or  it goes great on top of rice or even pasta.

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TUNO ANTIPASTO

1/3 cup of Tuno, defrosted
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
1 medium cubanelle pepper, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, finely minced 
1/2 cup pureed tomatoes or tomato sauce
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 laurel bay leaf
1 roasted red bell pepper
2 tbs capers or sliced green stuffed olives
Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, pour olive oil and onions.  Sautee for a few minutes, add peppers and garlic.  Add some slat and pepper to help the mixture release some moisture.  Sautee until softened.
  2. Add frozen Tuno.  Cover saucepan, this will help the Tuno defrost completely.

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3.  Add tomato sauce, vinegar, roasted peppers, bay leaf, capers or olives. 

4.  Cover and simmer for about 20-30 minutes. 

Serve warm with crackers as a warm dip.  Or serve on top of whole grain rice as a main course.

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Buon Appetito!!!

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