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.

Mixed Vegetable Curry… Or What To Do With Lonely Vegetables

Ever look in your pantry or refrigerator and see those random vegetables?  You know, the extra ones you bought just in case your recipe didn’t work out, or the ones you bought for the recipe you never tried but you used the other necessary ingredients so you can’t make it anyway?  Well, here’s a simple recipe to use up those lonely veggies.  You can use pretty much any vegetables for this.  Just be sure to pay attention to cook times so that some veggies don’t end up uncooked while others turn to mush.  Oh, and serve this with rice or any Indian bread.  Heck, have it with toast.  Still tastes good.

Ingredients

1 tbsp canola or vegetable oil

2 tsp cumin seeds

1 to 3 tsp red chilli powder, depending on how spicy you like it

2 to 4 green chillies, chopped, depending on how spicy you like it

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced or grated

1 medium onion, chopped

2 potatoes, peeled and chopped in 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch pieces

2 carrots, peeled and chopped in 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch pieces

1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped in 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch pieces

1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped in 1/2 inch x 1 1/2 inch pieces

1 tsp salt

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions

1.  Heat the oil in a large pan.  Add the cumin seeds and saute until just starting to brown.  Add the red chilli powder, saute for a few seconds, and then add the green chillies, garlic and ginger.  Try not to breathe the cooking fumes as the spice level will irritate your respiratory system.  Saute for a few more seconds and add the onions.  Saute until onions turn translucent.

2.  Add the carrots and potatoes and mix well.  Saute for about 5 minutes.  Add the bell peppers and saute a few more minutes.

3.  Add water to the pan, until the vegetables are just covered.  Add the salt and mix well.  Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and continue cooking for about 20 minutes, until the potatoes and carrots are just tender.  Add water if needed.  By the time the vegetables are cooked, the liquid will reduce to nice gravy thickened by the starch from the potatoes.  (If your gravy is too watery, you can mix in a thin paste made of 1 tbsp rice flour and a 1/4 cup of water and cook for a few extra minutes.)

4.  Mix in the peas and continue to cook for about 3 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve with rice or bread.