Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Adventures in Cooking: Vol. 8

It's been quite a long time since I last posted anything.  Honestly it has been a very very busy summer for me and my son.  We've had a ton of adventures outside the home so there hasn't really been much cooking.  Things are starting to whined down now and school will be back in session soon which means it's time to tighten up the budget and get back to cooking at home!

The last time I posted I announced that I was going vegan.  I tried it but I haven't quite been able to give up cheese, I just love it too much!  I did find an almond cheese that is delicious.  It could easily be used to veganize the recipes I am about to share.  Another flaw to my vegan plan has been eggs.  Since we have been dining out a lot I have found it difficult to find non-meat dishes that don't contain eggs, especially when eating breakfast out.  So, I have decided that for now I will stick with being a lacto-ovo vegetarian for simplicity sake.  Perhaps veganism is something I will pursue more in the future but for now, "Imma Vegetaaaaaaarian!"

Our garden has been very successful. We ended up with a ton of zucchini early on.  Right now we are overloaded with tomatoes, cucumbers and bell peppers.  My main cooking goal has been to utilize the delicious goodies that our garden has provided.  Here are a few recipes that I cooked up with them.

First up, Calabacitas Tacos!   This recipe made great use of our home-grown tomatoes and zucchini.  I originally got the recipe from a blog I follow called Last Night's Dinner which is full of delicious recipes, many of which I plan to make in the future.  I used fresh oregano instead of dried and the combination of it mixed with the fresh sweet corn was amazing!

Of course I still had more tomatoes and bell peppers left over so I decided to make my Veggie Pizza.  I have been making variations of this pizza for awhile now but never quite like this, I think this is my favorite so far.  The recipe utilizes a loaf of Trader Joe's Panne Rustico bread as the crust which you can pick up at your local store for about $3.  All in all it's a great tasting pizza for a fraction of the cost and calories as take-out pizza.  You can jazz this recipe up any way you want.  My son made his half of the pizza with pepperoni and cheese.  The Quattro Fromaggio cheese from Trader Joe's is my favorite for this recipe because it combines several kinds of highly flavorful cheeses that make for a tasty pizza.  You could also use just mozzerella or a mixture of italian shredded cheeses.

Last but not least is tonight's dinner, Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas. I always cook the dish before I calculate the nutrition information.  In retrospect this dish is pretty high in calories.  In the future I will probably only use one tortilla folded in half for each serving instead of the full two to save about 140 calories.  Other then that these were yummy.  The classic tomato and garlic flavor mixed with the southwestern style black beans and fresh corn were just right.  You can never go wrong with cheese right?  The gooey goodness of the melted cheese completes this dish.  These go perfect with some lime drizzled avocado.  Cilantro would have been nice too but I didn't have any.

Until next time, happy cooking!

- j

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