Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Beefy 5 Layer Burrito - Taco Bell Copycat

I love Taco Bell. I admit. I know it's quite unhealthy but every once in awhile I got to have a Taco Bell fix. I have to admit, I've never had the Beefy 5 Layer Burrito.  One of my kids' friends orders it when we go there.  So when I saw this copycat recipe, I thought of him.  

I've been looking at Sarah's copycat recipes on her blog Fantastical Sharing of Recipes.  She has over 60 of them!!  There are several that I want to try.  

This Beefy 5 Layer Burrito was a hit and tasted very similar.  I think I went a little heavy with the cheese in this one but no one really complained.  What restaurant meal would you like to see a copycat of?

Beefy 5 Layer Burrito - Taco Bell Copycat Recipe
Recipe from Fantastical Sharing of Recipes

What you need:
1 lb. ground beef or ground turkey
Taco seasoning mix
Refried beans
Nacho cheese or salsa con queso
Sour cream
Cheddar cheese
1. Brown ground beef and drain if necessary. Add taco seasoning plus water and simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Heat refried beans.
3. To build, spread beans on one half of each tortilla. Top with beef, sour cream, and cheddar cheese.
4. Spread nacho cheese on the empty half of the tortilla.
5. Fold the burrito tightly starting at the full end.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Brandied Yams with Pecan Crumble Topping

I can hardly resist a sweet potato recipe. Or yams.  I haven't actually figured out which are which.  As soon as I think I have it figured out which is which, my grocery store changes signs on me. I'm not sure they even know which is which. I know that I like the orange ones. I don't mind the others but the orange ones are my favorite.  

So while perusing Lisa's blog Authentic Suburban Gourmet this month for The Secret Recipe Club, I found this Brandied Yam recipe.  It was love at first sight. It looked creamy, buttery and sugary and I knew I had to make it. I was hoping to make her Chocolate Banana Bread for dessert but I didn't have quite enough bananas.  

Much as I wanted the sugary, buttery potatoes, I did try to cut the butter and sugar a bit. My potatoes yielded a bit less than hers too. I also tried to make it a vegan side dish before I realized that my brandy wasn't vegan.  Whoops, I'm still learning.  

It turned out fantastic and we all loved it.  

Brandied Yams with Pecan Crumble Topping
Adapted from Authentic Suburban Gourmet

8 medium yams or sweet potatoes (about 5 cups after cooked)
2 tbsp. Earth Balance or butter
2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 1/2 tbsp. brandy
scant 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

Pecan Topping:
1 cup chopped pecans, toasted
4 tbsp. Earth Balance or butter
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 c. flour (I used gluten free)
1/4 c. oats
1 tsp. salt

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with foil. Cut each yam in half lengthwise and lay cut side down flat on the foil.  Poke with a fork, so they won't explode.  Bake 60 - 75 minutes until tender. Let cool a bit. Use a large spoon and scoop out into a large bowl.

Add melted butter, maple syrup, brandy, cinnamon and salt. Using a mixer, whip the yams together until fluffy.  

Place into a baking dish and spread evenly. 


Ina medium bowl, add the pecans, brown sugar, flour, oats and salt.  Mix together.  Add the butter and work butter into the mixture until it is combined and crumbly.

Spread the topping over the yam mixture.  Cook at 350 for about 30 - 40 minutes or until the topping is slightly browned. 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cherry Dark Chocolate Chip Bread

Cherries and chocolate just belong together, don't you think?  

A friend gave me a loaf of this bread many months ago. I'm thankful that she included the recipe!  The bread was amazing and I soon had to make a loaf of my own. My daughter is often asking me to make it again. 

The day I made this I didn't have any powdered sugar. Oops!  So I didn't make the glaze.  I will for sure include the glaze (and some better pictures).

Cherry Dark Chocolate Chip Bread Recipe

2 cups (8.5 oz) all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 large eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup dark chocolate morsels or chips
1 10 oz. jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped

Glaze, optional
1 cup powdered sugar,sifted
2 - 3 tbsp. maraschino cherry juice

Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour loaf pan. 
Combine flour, baking soda and salt in bowl.  
In another bowl, cream together butter, sugar, eggs and extract until light and fluffy. 
Add flour mixture and buttermilk to wet ingredients, alternating and ending with flour.  Beat until just blended after each addition. 
Fold in the dark chocolate chips and cherries.  (first dredge the cherries in a bit of flour to keep them from sinking)
Pour into pan.  Bake for 55 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Remove from pan and cool.  
Once completely cool, top with glaze. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Sweet Potato Tacos with Pineapple Chutney

 There really is nothing quite like fresh cut pineapple.  I think when the Europeans found the America's and first bit into a pineapple, they were hooked. That must be what kept them coming back. 

I love this Pineapple Chutney. The combination of the sweet and spicy is incredible. I paired it with creamy refried beans and a sweet potato. The result was a fantastic tasty taco that I can't wait to make again. 

This is great over beans and rice or stir fry too!  

Sweet Potato Tacos with Pineapple Chutney Recipe

2 sweet potatoes, cooked
Refried beans 
Pineapple Chutney
Corn tortillas

Pineapple Chutney Recipe

1/2 medium onion, peeled and diced small
1 tbsp. grated ginger
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
1/2 tbsp. cumin (maybe less)
1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored and diced
1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
Salt to taste

Place the onions in a large skillet and saute for about 7 - 8 minutes.  Add water to keep the onions from sticking to the pan.  Add the ginger, jalapeno pepper, and cumin and cook for another 4 minutes.  Add pineapple and remove the pan from the heat.  Stir in cilantro and salt. 

To make tacos:
Warm corn tortillas either in the microwave or toast until golden and slightly crispy in a pan on the stove.  Spread refried beans over a corn tortilla.  Remove sweet potato from the skin and slightly mash.  Add on top of refried beans. Top with Pineapple Chutney. I didn't measure, just add what looks good.  Enjoy!

*Feel free to add some taco seasoning to refried beans for a more taco-y flavor. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sandwich

A healthy meat free sandwich that you don't have to feel guilty about eating. 

I'm all about quick meals. I can't handle meat and cheese most days so I am always trying to find new sandwich concoctions. 

Chickpeas are a staple around here. When they are on sale, it's actually kinda embarrassing how many cans I buy at a time.

This filling reminds me of tuna or chicken salad. It is a similar texture.  It comes together super fast and is so, so easy.  

Plus I think that smashing beans is rather therapeutic.  You get to just grind and smash all your frustrations away.  Well, it does help a bit at least.  

You can put more toppings on this sandwich if you'd like. I sometimes will add red onions and tomato but usually just spinach works good for me.  

Smashed Chickpea & Avocado Salad Sandwich Recipe
Adapted by Two Peas in Their Pod

1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas or garbanzo beans
1 large ripe avocado
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped green onion
Juice from 1 lime
Salt and pepper, to taste
Whole wheat bread
Fresh spinach leaves or other sandwich toppings: lettuce, tomato slices, sprouts, etc.

1. Rinse and drain the chickpeas. 
2. In a medium bowl, using a fork or potato masher smash the chickpeas and avocado together. Add in cilantro, green onion, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
3. Spread salad on bread and top with your favorite sandwich toppings. I like to add fresh spinach leaves. Makes about 4 sandwiches.