On Friday The Empty Kitchen issued a challenge. Easy to follow recipes with easy to find ingredients, adaptable for vegetarians and oh yeah, they have to taste good too. It’s a good thing (for them) that I’m competitive! While I don’t use these recipes often enough I find that they’re infinitely adaptable to diets, veggies and the pickiest of children.
1) Taco Bar
Start with bowls. Big bowls. Then go down the conga line of yummy ingredients that make your favorite taco salad or bean dip.
black olives (sliced)
ground beef (hot and crumbly)
or chicken (hot and chunked)
thousand island dressing
Everyone gets a bowl and makes their own mix. My brother loves thousand island, I prefer salsa. It’s a great way to use up the pieces of chips in the bottom of the bag and the meat is completely optional. Cheese can be any variety, pepper jack is good to try as well as regular cheddar. If you don’t like olives, don’t add them. If you can’t find lettuce at your grocery store then you’re an idiot. This is a great recipe for the Empty Pantry Challenge because you can use what you have on hand and omit what you don’t.
2) Gnocchi, cheese & veggies
I just met gnocchi in 2008 and couldn’t even pronounce the dish when ordering (that’s why I prefer to point to the menu). But yummmmm.
Pick out a package at the grocer and follow the instructions. It’s very much like cooking pasta: drop in boiling water, stir, remove.
Then comes the fun part: dressing it up. You can add to some milk and cream of mushroom soup and top with mushrooms and cheese. Or just serve with butter. The possibilities are endless.
Serve with a side of steamed zucchini or squash.
3) Grilled Vegeta-bob
soak wood kabob sticks in water for 10-15 minutes
spear a variety of vegetables
drizzle olive oil and season lightly
I love these suckers. My favorite vegetables to grill are zucchini, squash, mushrooms, peppers, onions and chunks of tomatoes.
4) Fajitas – like burritos but fancy
Tutorial here including ideas for zucchini & rice
Extra Credit: 7 layer vegetarian dip for pita chips
Layer 1: refried beans
Layer 2: avocado spread
Layer 3: mix 1 cup sour cream, 1 cup mayo & taco seasoning to taste
Layer 4: shredded cheese
Layer 5: diced tomatoes
Layer 6: black olives
Layer 7: chives
chips work fine but it’s a pretty heavy dip if you get all the layers in there. So Simply Naked pita chips are lovely for this purpose.
Tonight, well tonight I have a sore throat and need to do my taxes so I suppose my dinner will consist of hot tea, honey and maybe some frozen strawberries.