Spinach-Tomato-Pesto Pita

This recipe is my default recipe for using up those last odds-and-ends vegetables in my fridge. When I’ve got an extra tomato, half an onion… I turn to this. It’s also a great Sunday night recipe to make for lunch the next week.

It’s healthy, flexible, and tasty – what’s not to love?

IMAG0012

Take the base recipe (originally from AllRecipes) & make it your own: use the leftovers in the fridge, your favorite veggies, or whatever your dinner-partner will tolerate.

4 whole wheat pitas
1 tub of sundried tomato pesto
1 bunch of spinach, rinsed well & dried
2 tomatoes
2 mushrooms
2 bell peppers
handful of basil leaves, rinsed & de-stemmed (parsley & oregano go well too, if you have those on hand)
olive oil
Parmesan cheese
feta or mozzarella cheese
salt & pepper

pre-cook

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toast pita for 5 minutes or until beginning to brown. (If you skip this step, the middle will be soggy from the pesto & olive oil at the end.)

2. While the pita is toasting, deseed and chop tomatos, mushrooms, and bell peppers. Toss together with olive oil. Coarsely chop spinach but keep separate.

3. Remove pita and spread with pesto. Top with a layer of spinach, then spoon out vegetable mixture. Tear basil leaves and sprinkle on top. Salt & pepper to taste. Grate Parmesan cheese and add mozzarella/feta.

4. Return pita bread to oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, until the edges are crispy.

Serve hot!

Quick & Dirty: Black Bean Tacos with Avocado-Cilantro Sauce

I had intended to have leftovers for dinner, when I found myself paging through some truly delicious-looking Pinterest recipes. I was looking for something else, I promise! I just…got distracted by the recipes. As usual. It turned out to be a gain, though, because 20 minutes after I found this recipe online, it was sitting in front of me, ready to be eaten.

IMAG0121

As written, the recipe was a bit bland, but the addition of chili powder, oregano, and paprika made it easy to amp up the flavor.

Filling:
Olive oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 cans black beans, well rinsed
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano, paprika, & garlic powder
1 cup salsa

Sauce:
1/2 avocado
3/4 cup cilantro (destemmed)
1 lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp honey (the original recipe calls for a whole teaspoon, but I found that too sweet)
pinch of salt, to taste

Toppings (diced tomato, more salsa, shredded lettuce, jalapenos, etc)
Corn tortillas

1. Saute onions in medium skillet until transparent (5 minutes), add spices. Add drained baked beans and mash with fork to desired consistency. Pour in salsa and heat through (another 5 minutes).

2. Warm tortillas for 5 minutes in a oven preheated to 300 degrees.

3. In a food processor, combine sauce ingredients & blend until smooth. Add a little water to thin, if desired. If you don’t have a food processor (or if all you have is an awful blender, like me), it’s still possible to make: chop the cilantro, mash the avocado, and mix everything together well.

4. And that’s it! Spoon filing into the tortilla, add toppings as desired, and generously pour on the sauce!

Original recipe, and some gorgeous pictures, here.

Spiced Apple Mug Cake

mug cake

I was sitting around one night after dinner, not particularly hungry but desperately craving something sweet. I took to Pinterest to distract myself and found this little gem: spiced apple mug cake. Apples, cake, near instant gratification… what more could I want? Since it’s a microwave mug cake, there aren’t actual apples in, but the spices mean one important thing:

It’s officially fall, y’all.

mug with yogurt

I made some modifications to make it healthier, and it ended up more of an apple bread rather than cake. No less delicious, though. And since any apple dessert calls for vanilla ice cream, I substituted what I had on hand: plain greek yogurt and honey. It ended up being healthy, delicious, quick dessert. Exactly what I wanted!

1/4c whole wheat flour
1/2tsp apple pie spice – the original author has a great mix, but a store premix works too
1/2tsp baking powder
1 1/2tbsp brown sugar
1 generous tbsp white sugar
pinch salt

1 1/2 tbsp plain applesauce
2tbsp + 1tsp skim milk
1tsp vegetable oil

apple spice

Just look at those gorgeous spices

1. Whisk dry ingredients together in a small bowl.

2. Add wet ingredients and mix until smooth.

3. Pour into a mug, stick in the microwave, and zap for 1:50.

And that’s it! You’ve got apple spice mug cake. That easy. I dug the cake out of the mug, plopped some of my greek yogurt on it, and drizzled honey on it. The original recipe calls for salted caramel sauce, but I all I had was the honey. To me, the honey added just the right note of sweetness. To keep the apple pie taste, I sprinkled (poured) more cinnamon over top.

Delicious.

cinnamon yogurt cake

Original recipe here.