Tag Archives: lime

Meatless Monday: Rice and Bean Crunchy Tacos with Ginger Chile Salsa

We’re sitting under a layer of ice with all but a handful of things near us closed and cancelled for the day.  We’re forced into the terrible comfort of our own home;  made to lounge in our slippers in front of the fire for an extra day.

Oh, darn you, winter.

…or not.



This weekend we did the bulk of our holiday decorating and shopping.  We got our tree up, the lights untangled, the hooks have been located and the Christmas music files have finally been unearthed.   Not too shabby for one weekend if I say so myself, now it’s time to take it easy.



This fast and easy meatless Monday dish will warm anyone up.   This recipe is adapted from the April, 2013 issue of Bon Appetit Magazine.  And, by adapted, I mean I pretty much made their recipe and then put it in a taco.  Nothing too extravagant, obviously but it’s Monday, and this quick little addition made this dish go from officially kid loathed, to kid-loved by the simple little miracle of a taco shell.  I left the salsa separate since the kids are not fans of anything with flavor that’s spicy.


The result was a very budget conscious, time efficient, gluten-free, vegan dish that is easily adaptable to hold your favorite garnishes and personal twists.  It was hailed as an official winner by three of the pickiest eaters I’ve ever known –otherwise known as my two boys and husband.

Rice and Bean Tacos with Ginger Chile Salsa

Adapted from: Bon Appetit, April 2013

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium onion, chopped, divided
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, divided (optional or you may substitute fresh parsley)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 15-ounce cans black or red beans, rinsed (I used one can of each)
  • 1 cup low-sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 2 red jalapeños or Fresno or Holland chiles, stemmed, halved, seeded
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon chopped peeled ginger
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lime zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, heat one tablespoon of oil.  Add 1/4 of onion and cook until soft or about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat in oil.  Add 2 cups water and season water to taste with salt.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low to simmer until rice is just tender, or about 40-50 minutes.

Remove saucepan from heat. Let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff rice with a fork. Add cilantro if desired and season with salt and pepper.

While rice is cooking, preheat medium saucepan over medium heat and add oil and 2/3 of remaining onion. Cook onion until softened, or about five minutes.  Stir in coriander and cumin and allow to cook for one minute.  Add beans and broth; season with salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer gently, occasionally mashing beans, until thickened, 8-10 minutes.

Pulse chiles, garlic, ginger, lime zest, lime juice, and remaining onion in a blender until a chunky sauce forms. Season salsa with salt.  Crisp corn tortilla taco shells in oven until warm.  Gently fold rice and beans together.  Spoon salsa into bottom of taco shells and top with rice and beans.  Garnish with arugula and if desired, some cheese.

Serve with lime wedges.  Enjoy.


Posted in All, Dinner, For Kids, Lunch, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Spiced Belgian Endive and Sweet Potato

This is a simple recipe that requires a mere modicum of effort yet yields palatial results.  How can anyone argue with such a thing?  It’s an elegant vegetable side dish or a warm salad that inherently shines on a fall or winter menu.  If you’re making this toward the end of the season, I would recommend replacing the green beans with some toasted pecans; a perfectly cogent move.  Or just add both if in season.  I promise it will only add a distinct and familiar richness to the dish.



It’s wildly complex and flavorful and not to mention, it’s also crazy amounts of healthy and easy, if you’re into that sort of thing…today.   I would serve this alongside a lentil dish for dinner or as I did today, eat it alone for lunch as a hot salad.    The acidity of the lime, the natural sugar of the sweet potato balanced by a pinch of cayenne and the light bitterness of the endive topped with the freshness of the cilantro and crisp sweet green beans, all braised in a spiced vegetable stock.  It’s empirically delicious

Coming soon: Our trip to Vermont!


Spiced Belgian Endive and Sweet Potato

Recipe level: Easy

Serves: 2-4

  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • three cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 lime’s juice and zest
  • 3 Belgian endive, sliced in half lengthwise then into quarters
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into sticks
  • garam masala, to taste
  • pinch of cayenne (optional, to taste)
  • Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
  • garnish: cilantro, chopped raw green beans and/or toasted pecans
  1. In a sauté pan over medium heat add onion, tomato paste, garlic, ginger, lime juice and zest and stock.
  2. Bring to a simmer and add endive and sweet potatoes.
  3. Increase heat to medium high and season with garam masala, salt and pepper and cayenne (if desired) to taste.




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Mango Raspberry Margarita Granita

Yes! It’s a margarita granita and I made it with mango and raspberries, which makes it healthy, so you should have at least two.  See how I can rationalize anything? It’s a gift, most of the time.Mango Raspberry Margarita Granita: A cool treat that's sweet and tangy with a little bite.   They're the adult equivalent to the best ice pops ever.

Mango Raspberry Margarita Granita: A cool ending to your Cinco de Mayo Celebration.

Cinco de Mayo literally translates to the fifth of May, so there’s no excuse in blanking on the date of this awesome excuse to eat lots of Mexican food holiday which is just a few short days away.  Get your Mexican groove on with these mango raspberry margarita granitas which are, pretty much, the adult equivalent to the best ice pops ever.  They are sweet and tangy and simply fresh, yet effectively impressive and delicious. They’re a party in a glass and the perfect way to finish off a Cinco de Mayo celebration.


Mango Raspberry Margarita Granita

Serves 2-4


  • 1 fresh mango, diced
  • 3/4 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2/3 cup tequila (preferably silver, 80 proof)
  • 2 tablespoons Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 2 cups ice water
  • Raspberry syrup for garnish (to add color, sweetness)


Put all the ingredients into a blender except for raspberry syrup and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass bakeware dish.  Cover and place into the freezer.  Rake the solution with a fork every fifteen minutes to half an hour to break up the ice crystals. Scoop into a glass and drizzle the top with raspberry syrup if desired. Enjoy!

Adapted from Ellie Krieger: Frozen Mango Margarita,2007.

Mango Raspberry Margarita Granita
Recipe Type: Dessert, Cocktail,
Cuisine: Mexican, American
Author: Kate from Scratch
Serves two to four as a cocktail-like dessert – the perfect ending to a Cinco de Mayo celebration. Adapted from Ellie Krieger: Frozen Mango Margarita, 2007.
  • 1 fresh mango, diced
  • 3/4 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2/3 cup tequila (preferably silver, 80 proof)
  • 2 tablespoons Cointreau or other orange liqueur
  • 2 tablespoons superfine sugar
  • 2 cups ice water
  • Raspberry syrup for garnish (to add color, sweetness)
  1. Put all the ingredients into a blender except for raspberry syrup and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass bakeware dish. Cover and place into the freezer. Rake the solution with a fork every fifteen minutes to half an hour to break up the ice crystals. Scoop into a glass and drizzle the top with raspberry syrup if desired. Enjoy!


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Peperonata Potatoes

I had some peperonata rustica (recipe from Keller’s Ad Hoc) and some leftover potatoes sitting in the fridge from last night’s dinner and so I just put them together for a very simple brunch this morning.  I served it with poached eggs and sprinkle of Manchego and it was absolutely one of my most favorite brunch items I’ve ever made, and I’m not normally much of a fan of breakfast items.  This could easily be lunch or dinner with a twist or two.
Peperonata Potatoes
  • 6 yellow bell peppers, deseeded roasted -cooled and peeled
  • 6 red bell peppers, deseeded, roasted -cooled and peeled
  • 8 ounces piquillo peppers (drained peeled and seeded)
  • 1/2 cup soffritto
  • 1 1/3 cups Vegetable (or chicken) Stock
  • 3/4 teaspoon piment d’Espelette (+2 teaspoons for seasoning potatoes)
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 5 pounds Gold Waxy Potatoes, baked until tender and cooled to room temperature
  • your favorite oil for sautéing
  • lime juice and extra virgin olive oil


Note:  After rinsing and trimming the potatoes I bake them on a baking sheet in a hot oven until fork tender.   The soffritto can be store-bought or homemade.   I make the peperonata rustica often and keep it in the fridge and/or freezer just to have on hand because  it goes well over almost anything (toast, garlic bread, eggs, potatoes, pasta, chicken, fish, etc).  This recipe happened as a very happy refrigerator coincidence.  I had leftover peperonata rustica and leftover baked potatoes.   Add poached or fried eggs for a delicious and impressive brunch item, perhaps with some grilled vegetables or savory muffins on the side.

Serves: The full recipe makes up to 12 servings.

Directions: Tear the cooled bell peppers into long strips about 3/4 inch wide.  Tear the piquillo peppers into strips the same way.   Combine all peppers, soffritto, stock and Espelette in a medium saucepan over medium heat and season with salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and cook for thirty minutes.

Slice baked potatoes into 1/2 inch slices and season with kosher salt and two teaspoons espelette pepper.  In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add your favorite oil.  Add 1 cup sliced potatoes and 1 cup peperonata rustica.  Toss until the potatoes begin to blister and char, lightly.

Serve over spring greens doused in lime juice and a bit of olive oil with eggs and cheese of your choice, (I’d go with Manchego if asked).


“Peperonata Rustica” from Ad Hoc at Home, by Thomas Keller p.208-209.




Posted in All, Basics, Breakfast, Dinner, Entertaining, For Kids, Lunch, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad Stuffed Tomatoes with Cilantro and Basil

I tend to do a lot of bite sized things as the weather heats up.  It’s perfect for entertaining.  This dish is just a little something extra to put out at a barbecue while people wait for the main event.  I’ve also made this using heirloom tomatoes and plum tomatoes and it works great as an interesting salad no matter the tomatoes you use, as long as they are ripe. The grilled corn with diced avocado, onion, a little garlic, basil, cilantro, lime is good by itself.  So, if you’re not into stuffing teeeeny tiny tomatoes, I’m ok with you just putting it in a bowl or using bigger tomatoes.  Either way, it makes an excellent salad or appetizer.

You could add some extra heat and spice to it with some chiles, but since the corn is so insanely fresh right now, I wanted to just leave it alone as much as I could.  With the cilantro and the basil it adds a unique amount of freshness that you don’t normally get with an average salad.

It tastes like summer in one perfect bite.


Grilled Corn and Avocado Salad Stuffed Tomatoes


  • 1/4 cup minced vidalia onion
  • small handful of cilantro (about a quarter cup) +more for garnish, chopped
  • small handful of basil (about a quarter cup), chopped
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • the juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 of one avocado, diced
  • cracked black pepper and sea salt
  • 1 ear of sweet corn
  • 1 lb. tomatoes of your choice

Combine minced onion, chopped herbs, olive oil, lime juice, garlic powder and the avocado in a bowl and toss.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.

Preheat grill or large griddle over high heat. Remove all silks and some of the corn husks (just enough to prevent it from catching fire over the open flame) from the corn.  Submerge into cold water for ten+ minutes. The water will prevent the husk from catching fire and will steam the corn simultaneously.

Grill sweet corn until fully steamed and partially charred, or about ten minutes.  Remove kernels from cob with a knife once cool enough to handle.

Add corn to vidalia onion and avocado mixture.  Season to taste.

Slice tomatoes in half and remove seeds to hollow each half. Season the hollowed tomatoes with salt and pepper.

Stuff tomato halves with avocado corn salad and garnish with additional cilantro.  Enjoy!

Posted in Entertaining, Vegetarian | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Beer & Lime Battered Onion Rings

So, what I’ve noticed lately is that people love easy stuff.  They do, it’s true.  Who can blame them?  I love easy stuff too.  Simple is always better than complicated, especially when most of the United States is under an extreme heat wave.  It’s going to be about 120 degrees in the sun here on the east coast today and mind you, this is not a “dry heat”.  This is the oppressive, disgusting humid, ridiculous kind of heat that no human being could ever possibly enjoy unless completely drenched in freezing cold water, which also doesn’t sound very fun to me.  So, today…I will let the kids go outside in the shade for about an hour tops while I slather them with sunscreen nearly obsessively and then we will enjoy ourselves in the air conditioning doing fun things to keep our minds off of it.


I just got an air conditioner in the kitchen.  Thanks to Mike, my husband for that.   He knows I get very grouchy when it’s too hot to cook and my hair gets frizzy and gross – again not fun.  So, to say thank you to him for the air conditioner and so many other wonderful things he does for us, I made these beer and lime battered onion rings topped with black pepper.  They’re easy and they’re fried and they’re delicious.  Just be sure to stay hydrated.  They’re best eaten after the sun goes down and everything cools off a bit.

Have these with a beer, but don’t forget to drink plenty of water before and after!


Beer & Lime Battered Onion Rings

  • 1 very large sweet summer onion of your choice (or two medium onions of your choice)
  • 1 1/3 cup flour + additional 2 cups  (in baking dish) for coating
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper + a light dusting more for garnish
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried cilantro (optional)
  • 3/4 cup beer
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 1 egg (beaten)

You will need a pot that is large & tall (if you want to reduce splatter without a splatter guard) with 3 inches of canola oil in the bottom and one gallon sized zipper bag or storage container.

  1. Remove root ends and outer skin from onions and slice into rings.  Remove inner rings and set aside/store in air tight container for use in another recipe.
  2. Next, add flour, salt, pepper, beer and lime juice to a ziploc bag (or air tight container with lid).  Mix it up and then taste the batter (season to your taste if necessary) then add the beaten egg and mix shake, squish mix it up again.
  3. Drop the additional 2 cups of flour in a baking dish.
  4. PREHEAT: Place pot with oil over medium high heat.
  5. Drop the sliced onions into the batter bag.  Shake it up!
  6. Next, fish them out of the batter with a fork and drop them into the baking dish with the flour. Set each one aside and bring next to preheated oil.
  7. Using long tongs pick up one onion ring and dip into preheated oil.  If it doesn’t bubble like crazy…wait a few minutes until oil is hot enough.
  8. When oil is hot enough, drop prepared onions into the hot oil in batches of about 4-5 rings.  Remove the rings when golden brown and place on plate with paper towels.  Continue to do this with the other rings until complete.
  9. Drizzle fried onion rings with fresh lime juice and dust with black pepper.

Enjoy with a beer and friends and family.

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