Fiesta Bowls!!! (Yes, fiestas require three exclamation points… always.)

These little guys make a great appetizer.  You could even set out all the ingredients (along with any other fillings/toppings you enjoy) and let your guests build their own bowls.  Carnivores can include the cooked meats of their choice, too.  Enjoy!

Ingredients

12 small (5- or 6-inch) corn or flour tortillas

One can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped

1 cup roasted poblano and bell pepper salsa (or other salsa of your choosing)

1 cup pepperjack cheese sauce

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Tuck the tortillas into the wells of a 12-muffin tin to form small bowls.  Corn tortillas have a tendency to tear, so be a little careful when using corn tortillas.  Bake until the tortillas are crisp.  Remove from oven and allow to cool.

2.  Fill the tortilla shells with black beans and avocado.  Top with salsa and cheese sauce.  Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve.

Tortilla shells can be kept in a tightly lidded box or tightly sealed plastic bag for a day or two.

Black Bean Salad with Avocado Lime Dressing

Here’s a simple, refreshing and healthy salad for the summer.  Just a few ingredients and homemade dressing.  Serve as is, or on a slice of toasted baguette rubbed with garlic, or rolled up in a warm tortilla.  Yum!

Ingredients

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

3 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

1/2 cup red onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

For the dressing:

1 ripe avocado, skin removed, pitted and roughly chopped

Juice from two small limes

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup cold water

Salt & pepper to taste

1 clove garlic (optional)

Directions

1.  Combine the black beans, tomato and onion in a large bowl.

2.  For the dressing, blend the avocado, lime juice, olive oil, water, salt & pepper, and garlic (if using) until it is creamy.  If it is too thick, add water in small amounts until you achieve the desired consistency.  I prefer the dressing a little thin, so the salad stays light.

3.  Pour dressing over the salad and stir gently to combine.  Serve garnished with fresh cilantro.

Note: It’s best to make the dressing just before serving.  However, the dressing will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days without browning IF you keep it in a tightly sealed glass jar.

Vegetarian Chili with Quinoa

Found a great recipe online for quinoa chili and, of course, had to recreate it with my personal tweaks.  I served it garnished with a little fresh cilantro, and with avocado veggie quesadillas on the side.  Without further ado…

 

 

 

Ingredients

3/4 cup quinoa, washed and cooked

1 tsp olive oil

2 medium onions, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 medium carrots, diced

1 jalapeno pepper, finely diced, seeds included

1 dried guajillo chilli pepper, crushed

2 tsp cumin powder

2 tsp chilli powder (or 2 tsp red chilli pepper flakes)

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 zucchini, diced

1 golden zucchini, diced

1 green bell pepper, diced

1 red bell pepper, diced

3 cans peeled and diced tomatoes, with liquid

1 15-oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 15-oz can of red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 quart vegetable stock

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1.  Cook the quinoa in water or vegetable stock and set aside.

2.  While the quinoa is cooking, heat the oil in a 5 or 6 quart pot over medium high heat.  Add the onions, garlic, celery and carrots and saute until the vegetables are sweating.  Add the spices and peppers and continue to saute a few more minutes.  Now, add the tomato paste and mix well.  Allow to cook for a few minutes.  Now, add the zucchini, bell peppers and diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer.  Continue simmering for 7 or 8 minutes.

3.  Add the black beans, kidney beans, vegetable stock and quinoa and mix.  Bring to a simmer, lower the heat, and continue simmering for about 30 minutes.  Add more vegetable stock or water if the chili looks like it is getting dry.

4.  Remove from heat.  Serve hot with bread, tortillas or quesadillas on the side.  Optional garnishes: cilantro, scallions, jalapeno peppers, avocado, fresh tomatoes, onion slices, sour cream, Greek yogurt, shredded cheese, etc.  Can be stored, refrigerated, for up to a week.