Cheers to Dad’s Good Health This Father’s Day!

Cheers to Dad’s Good Health This Father’s Day!

Let’s honor Dad this Father’s Day and show him the love with these super tasty ideas that “sneak” veggies into every delectable bite! Try my twist on zesty enchiladas using farm-fresh zucchini in place of tortillas.

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For years now, I’ve written about ways to sneak veggies into your child’s diet.

You’ve written back with tons of great ideas that have made their way into recipes that we are all familiar with today.

You know what? It turns out that kids are not the only ones that need those veggies.

As we grow older, our healthy diets become just as important for us as they are for our children.

If your household is anything like mine, it’s Daddy dearest who often shoves away that cauliflower while he adds a serving or two of French fries. I’ll make you a bet that nary a pickled beet has been spooned onto his salad plate.

Even with Popeye as a role model, our father shuns any green leafy veg unless it is swimming in cream sauce.

This Father’s Day let’s honor Dad and show him the love by sneaking a couple of veggies into his everyday meals. Won’t that be FUN!

Here are some ideas…

A SALAD is a terrific way to hide fresh veggies. In addition to good old lettuce and tomatoes, try sneaking in these:

🌿Microgreens – full of nutrients and a big punch of taste in a little bitty leaf.
🥬Squash – Shave thin slices of zucchini and yellow squash into thin strips that resemble lettuce leaves.
🥕 Carrots – I know, you’re saying anybody can add carrots to a salad. BUT what if Daddy hates carrots? Here’s a secret. Put the carrot in the dressing! Use your trusty food processor to emulsify the veg into your vinaigrette. You can do this with any veggie. 🥦 Cauliflower, broccoli, and spinach will work too.

Sneak those veggies into your MAIN meals so that Dad won’t know what hit him!

For pasta sauce make your favorite red, white, or green sauce and add some new veggies into the mix. For spaghetti and meatballs, add sauteed veggies to the meatball like eggplant, peppers, or kale.

When sautéing onions and garlic to make your red sauce, add shaved Brussels, diced cabbage, or riced cauliflower. Add roasted butternut squash to your fettuccini sauce. Make pesto with spinach and pea sprouts instead of basil.

You can add every veggie to stews and soups. Bell and spicy peppers are a terrific addition to chili. Add turmeric root, turnips, or sweet potatoes to your chicken noodle soup.

VEGGIE VESSELS are a terrific way to merge more veggies into your main meal. Stuff roasted peppers with chicken and rice. Add Cajun-spiced shrimp to spaghetti squash boats. Hollow out zucchini for veggie enchiladas. (This recipe comes from “Canvas and Cuisine”, my most veggie-filled cookbook!)

Let’s give Dad a real present this year. One that will keep him around for lots of future Fathers Days!!

Zucchini Enchilada Boats
With Chorizo and Black Bean Filling

This dish has all the flavors of enchiladas but stars farm-fresh zucchini in place of tortillas. Spicy chorizo sausage and meaty black beans are the heart of its fiery filling. The yummy enchilada sauce brings the whole thing together. It’s pretty darn delicious!

Servings

6-8

Ready In:

30 minutes

Good For:

Dinner
Entertaining

Tried it? Tag it!

I would love to see what you did with this recipe.  Share your creation by tagging #inthekitchenwithjorj and with Scrumptious Possibilities With Jorj, my free private home cooking group.

Preheat the oven to 400°. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the onion in the skillet until soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the sirloin and chorizo and stir, breaking up large clumps, until the meat is browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the black beans. Season with salt and pepper. Use a potato masher to break up the beans into the meat filling. Remove the skillet from the heat.

Whisk together the vegetable oil, flour, and chili powder in a pot over medium heat to form a paste. Stir in the tomato paste and ½ cup of water. Stir in onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and oregano. Simmer the sauce for 5 minutes to thicken and allow the seasonings to merge. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If the sauce is too thick you can pour in a bit more water. Remove the pan from the heat.

Spoon some of the enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking dish. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and hollow out the zucchini leaving about a ¾-inch boat. Place these into the dish. Season zucchini with salt and pepper. Spoon the filling into the boats. It’s ok if the filling spills over. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the boats. Layer cheese over the top. Cover the dish with a sheet of aluminum foil. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until the cheese is melted and beginning to brown, and the zucchini is fork-tender, about 20 minutes more.

Garnish the boats with fresh cilantro, jalapeno slices, guacamole, and sour cream. 

Plan a Mother’s Day Brunch Fiesta

Plan a Mother’s Day Brunch Fiesta

Make Mother’s Day weekend a fiesta in your kitchen with this fun (AND EASY) brunch recipe! Bonus: You may already have all of the ingredients you need already!

Cinco de Mayo (May 5th) and Mother’s Day (May 8th) come callin’ pretty darn soon and pretty close together.

Let’s don our sombrero’s, tune up the guitars and add some spice to our Sunday Brunch dish to treat Mom and friends and neighbors alike.

Huevos rancheros is a traditional mid-morning dish served on rural Mexican farms featuring tortillas topped with black beans with cheese, spicy red sauce and topped with a fried egg.

Workers gather together to share the meal, taking a much needed break from farm chores.

I am inspired by this communal meal and opted to create my own version of this dish with a strong Southern flare.

Why the heck not….Right?

And here you have it:

Baked beans spiced with onions and peppers, topped with hand grated cheddar cheese, sautéed ham in mustard-maple butter, fried eggs and garnished of diced avocado and (farm fresh again) chopped tomatoes.

This is a great dish to share with friends, especially when most (if not all) of the ingredients are probably sitting in your pantry and fridge.

It’s also a great brunch dish to serve Mom on Mother’s Day. 

You can serve one large portion and pass around forks, or you can use smaller tortillas and let everyone choose their toppings.

Either way this is an eggcellent way to combine two FUN holidays!

Here’s my dish for a mixed up Huevos Rancheros that puts a whole bunch of South in your mouth!

Southern Style Huevos Rancheros

Serves:

2 Large Plates -or- 4 Small Plates

Ready In:

30 minutes ’til you’re ready to eat

Ingredients

For baked beans:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 slices bacon, diced
1 bunch green onions, tough tops removed, cut into thin slices, about 1 cup
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded, deveined and finely diced
1 (16-ounce) can baked beans, drained
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon coarse black pepper

For the tortilla:

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 (10-inch) spinach tortillas
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard
2 tablespoon pure maple syrup
8 slices deli ham
4 ounces shredded cheddar cheese, about 1 cup
4 large eggs
1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
1 small tomato, diced

Directions

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and onions and cook until the bacon begins to crisp, and the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Drain as much liquid as you can from the baked beans and pour them into the skillet. Season with some of the salt and pepper, stir and reduce the heat to low. Simmer the beans while you cook the ham.

Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, carefully lay one tortilla into the oil. Cook for a few seconds. Use tongs to turn the tortilla to the other side. Cook for a couple of seconds more and transfer to a large platter. Repeat with the second tortilla and transfer to a second platter. Add the butter, mustard, and maple syrup to the same skillet. Stir together to melt the butter. Add the ham slices to the pan. Cook until the ham begins to brown and crisp on the edges, turning several times, about 2 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Spoon half of the beans onto one tortilla. Top the beans with half of the shredded cheese. Arrange four slices of ham on top of the cheese and beans. Repeat with the second tortilla. Crack the eggs into the same skillet. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the whites of the eggs are set, and the yolks are still runny (about 3 to 4 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Transfer two eggs onto each tortilla. Top with diced tomatoes and avocados.

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My Best Cinco de Mayo Recipes 🌮

My Best Cinco de Mayo Recipes 🌮

Cinco de Mayo may come but once a year, but Taco Tuesday is forever! Discover new twists on old favorites from my recipe archive.

Steak Tacos/Carnitas

 

 

Mexican-American dishes are a welcome addition to your kitchen’s menu any day of the year.  Savor these Cinco de Mayo specials today and as new Taco Tuesday favorites!

Easy Mexican Street Corn, Skillet Style

No fresh corn? No problem. The recipe produces results that are super savory with the right amount of tang, even with frozen or canned kernels!

Steak Tacos With Tomatillo-Ancho Chili Sauce and Avocado Cream

Chili seasoned meat drizzled with spicy red and creamy green sauce, garnished with fresh herbs make this street food taco an elevated Cinco de Mayo treat

Steak Tacos/Carnitas

Pico De Gallo The Green Goddess Way

This green goddess chunky pico de gallo sauce is absolute perfection on a pork-filled burrito, or in a bowl of rice and beans – or simply weighing down a tortilla chip.

Grilled Guacamole

Serve on nachos, as a condiment on fish or chicken, or…how about frying a tortilla in oil for just a couple of secs. 

Guacamole Dip

My Best Cinco de Mayo Recipes 🌮

Steak Tacos w/my Signature Sauce for Cinco de Mayo

My travels have taken me to the warm climates of Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona. Besides the sites, the shopping, the restaurants, the art and the local taverns, a favorite activity of mine is to wander the streets in search of fresh markets. There I can find new varieties of fresh fruits and veggies, spices, meats and cheese. Often you can find street foods prepared by vendors. My favorites were the Tortilla Espanola (a combination of scalloped potatoes and a frittata), Patatas Bravas, (a variation on French fried potatoes with a spicy sauce over the top) and Churros (a Spanish fried dough doused in sugar and dipped in chocolate). I loved these so much, I created the home cook’s version of these recipes in my new book, Canvas & Cuisine.

In seeking out recipes for Cinco de Mayo, I turned my attention to the street foods of Mexico. They are similar. They have tortas and churros, but there are also different offerings like quesadillas, enchiladas and tacos.  I thought I might just try to elevate my Latin American repertoire, beyond what I’ve tasted in Spain. In doing so I looked at the famous street food that Mexico offers… tacos!

Here is an elevated version of a taco that features two sauces, one with dried ancho chilis as a base, and one with an avocado cream. I used marinated skirt steak for the meat, Monterey Jack for the cheese, and thin red onion slices and cilantro for the garnish. The end result was delish and reminded me of the fresh markets featured in my new book.

Oh to travel those streets, portrayed as paintings again…

I could smell the sidewalks with hot sizzling food, cooked right in front of me – when simple ingredients come together over sizzling griddles heated over open flames. It’s the sauces that make the dish. The ones in this steak taco recipe are made from dried chilis and fresh vegetables, harvested from the backyards of local farmers. Chili seasoned meat drizzled with spicy red and creamy green sauce, garnished with fresh herbs make this street food taco an elevated Cinco de Mayo treat. Give it a try and let me know what you think.

 

Steak Tacos

with Tomatillo-Ancho Chili Sauce and Avocado Cream

serves 4

45 minute cuisine (plus marinating)

For Tacos:

1 (12 to 16-ounce) skirt steak

2 tablespoons chili powder

Juice of 1 lime, about 2 tablespoons

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 to 4 tablespoons olive oil

4 to 6 small (6-inch) corn tortillas

4 to 6 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese

½ red onion peeled and thinly sliced

Chopped fresh cilantro

For Chili Sauce:

3 dried ancho chilis, seeded and stems removed

5 medium tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed

2 large garlic cloves, peeled

1 cup chopped tomatoes

Juice of ½ lime, about 2 tablespoons

For Avocado Cream:

2 medium avocados, pitted and peeled

Juice of 2 limes, about ¼ cup

1/3 cup half and half

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Place the skirt steak into a large baking dish. Season both sides with chili powder and drizzle with lime juice. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and as much as overnight.

Place the chilis in a skillet over medium heat. Turn often and toast until the skin begins to puff (but not char), about 2 to 3 minutes. Place the toasted chilis, tomatillos and garlic cloves in a pot. Cover the veggies with water (about 1 ½ cup). Cover the pot and simmer until the tomatillos are soft and pale green, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Transfer the veggies to a blender or food processor. Add the tomatoes and lime juice. Add about 1 cup of the cooking liquid from the pot. Pulse to combine. Season with salt. You can add more cooking liquid to reach the consistency of a drizzling sauce.

Place the avocados into a blender or bowl of a food processor. Add the lime juice, half and half and cilantro. Season with salt. Pulse to combine. Add enough water to reach a thin, drizzling consistency.

Remove the skirt steak from the fridge and cut into very small cubes (about ¼ -inch squares). Season with salt. Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil on a griddle in large sauté pan over medium heat. Place the steak into the hot oil and cook until browned, about 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter. Add additional oil to the pan to coat the bottom.

Lay 4 to 6 (depending on the size of your griddle) tortillas into the hot oil. Once the bottom begins to brown and the tortilla begins to puff, turn and flip over. (This happens quickly.) Top the tortilla with some of the cheese. Top the cheese with seasoned steak. Cook until the cheese melts, about 2 minutes. Drizzle the tacos with chili sauce and then with avocado cream. Garnish with thin slices of red onion and fresh cilantro. Serve with a fork as an open faced taco or fold over and eat with your hands!

 

 

 

It’s Taco Tuesday! Wait…what?

It’s Taco Tuesday! Wait…what?

I know what you’re thinking. What does bratwurst have to do with Cinco de Mayo? Well, mi amigos, once you experience the Mexican treatment this German dish gets, you’ll see why it popped into my head as the perfect cookout meal. In honor of Taco Tuesday, I thought I’d shake things up with a recipe that lets me do two things: 1) Use up the veggies in my crisper and 2) debut a recipe that is not exactly Mexican in nature, but a celebration of different world cuisines in one dish. Enjoying a German bratwurst, presented as a colorful Mexican taco, is a very CANVAS & CUISINE-Y Thing to do! I’m talking about my work in progress, a cookbook that my good friend, Sue Fazio inspired with her beautiful oil paintings of food markets around the world.

Our collaborative cookbook features many of Sue’s gorgeous renderings of the ingredients in this “taco” dish – like Napa cabbage, red bell peppers and other scrumptious produce splattered across canvases, depicting yumminess from Spain to Viet Nam. I hope you’ll join my Facebook group, Scrumptious Possibilities to learn more! Just comment here or in my social media feed, and I’ll send you an invite.

Keep in mind: if Mom loves a good brat, you might wanna save this grill marked dinner for Mother’s Day weekend. It’s fun to enjoy poolside!

Grilled Taco Dogs

Serves 4 to 8

30 Minute Cuisine

2 red bell peppers, seeded and cut into quarters
1 large red onion, peeled and sliced into ½-inch rounds
1 small head Napa cabbage, cut into quarters
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher sat
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
8 (3-ounce) bratwurst, you can substitute with your favorite artisanal sausage or hot dog
8 flour tortillas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Lime wedges
Yellow mustard

Heat an outdoor grill (or grill pan) to medium high heat. Brush both sides of the peppers, onion and cabbage with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill the veggies until just beginning to char on the edges and soften in the center, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the veggies to a parchment lined baking sheet. Do not overcook. You don’t want mushy veggies on your dog! Drizzle the vinegar over the warm cabbage. This will simulate sauerkraut in the taco.

Cut the brats in half lengthwise and brush both sides with the remaining olive oil. Grill until the brats just begin to char, about 3 to 5 minutes. Lay the tortillas on the grill to warm, turning after just a couple of seconds.

Assemble the tacos by placing the tortilla onto a plate. Slice the onions and peppers into strips. Slice the cabbage into thin wedges. Lay one piece of brat onto the taco. Top with slices of vegetables. Sprinkle cilantro over the top and drizzle with a bit of lime juice. Squeeze a bit of mustard over the top and serve!