Let’s Stay in and Eat Nachos

Let’s Stay in and Eat Nachos

Loaded with corn, beans, cheese and avocado

There is nothing better than making a big dish of loaded nachos and sitting down in front of the TV to watch a good movie. These homemade nachos are made with homemade refried beans and a bunch of fresh, colorful ingredients. The combination of the cool tomatoes and avocado on top of the cheesy, bean and corn layered tortilla chips will definitely put a smile on your face.

I absolutely love making homemade Mexican food. I do admit that many of my dishes are Americanized Mexican recipes. Nachos are known as a Tex-Mex dish but in fact were invented in Piedras Negras, Mexico in 1943 by restaurateur Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya specifically for Americans. A group of military wives had come into his restaurant and Nacho had to quickly prepare a snack for them so he fried some tortillas and put cheese and jalapeño peppers on top. The dish was a big hit and became very popular. There are now endless varieties of nachos and really anything goes.

What else can I put in my nachos?

There are many items you can add to this nacho recipe:

  • Buy a rotisserie chicken and pull the meat apart and add it in between the layers of cheese and beans
  • Brown ground beef in a pan and add a touch of cumin and chili pepper before adding to nachos
  • Zucchini, yellow squash, spinach, kale would also all be delicious
Loaded nachos
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Loaded Nachos

corn, beans, cheese, avocado and tomatoes
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: nachos
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

Nachos

  • 12oz bag tortilla chips
  • 2 cups homemade refried beans See Jenn's View recipe
  • 2 cup sharp cheddar cheese shredded
  • 1 cup Monterey Jack cheese shredded
  • 1 can black beans (15oz) drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups frozen or fresh whole kernel corn
  • 1 avocado peeled and cubed
  • 8 oz grape tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 cup sour cream serve on side or on top
  • 2 jalapenos seeded, cored and sliced optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350
  • put ⅓ bag of chips in a large baking dish
  • tops with both types of bean, cheese, corn and jalapenos
  • continue this with additional 2 layers of chips
  • cover with foil and bake in oven for 10 minutes until cheese is melted
  • top with cubed avocado, tomatoes and sour cream

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Homemade Refried Beans

Easy and Delicious Vegetarian Refried Beans
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: beans
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 70kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 can pinto bean 15oz can drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable stock
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 oz cortija cheese

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in pan and add onion
  • saute until soft and translucent
  • add vegetable broth and beans bring to a boil while stirring
  • add cumin, chili pepper, salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes
  • puree in a food processor and blend in butter
  • Top with crumbled cortija cheese

Notes

If you want to keep this dish vegan you can leave out the butter and cheese and add a little more vegetable broth if the beans are too dry.

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 70kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 1mg | Sodium: 484mg | Potassium: 13mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 294IU | Calcium: 4mg | Iron: 1mg

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Tuscan White Bean Soup

Tuscan White Bean Soup

White Beans and Kale make this soup a meal

A hearty soup is so perfect to prepare in the Fall and Winter months. This Tuscan White Bean soup has kale added to it so it is delicious and super healthy and packed with vitamins. I know that often when you think about making soup you imagine hours at the stove but this soup is very easy to prepare and can be ready in one hour. I use canned Cannellini beans so that I do not need to soak the beans for hours before starting to make the soup. I also use frozen chopped organic kale that I always keep in my freezer. You can absolutely use dry beans and soak them as directed and you can use fresh kale if you prefer. I wanted to simplify the recipe so that you had most of the ingredients already in your kitchen ready to go when you decide to make soup. In the Winter months I like to keep some vegetables like spinach and kale in my freezer so I always have the ability to throw together a soup, pasta or omelette if I get hungry and don’t feel like going out in the cold. You can buy packaged vegetables or buy fresh and freeze your own. Every Fall I buy ears of fresh corn at the farmer’s market and cut the kernels off and freeze small pre-portioned bags. The corn can be used all winter long and is perfect for sautéing with butter or adding to stews, pasta or salads.

I use chicken broth in this recipe and prosciutto but you can leave out the prosciutto and use vegetable broth if you would like to keep the soup vegetarian and vegan. The key to making the soup creamy and delicious is to puree one can of beans with 2 cups of the broth before adding the rest of the beans. So one can is pureed with some of the simmering broth and put back into the soup and then the other can of beans is drained and added whole to the soup. The result is a heartier soup with an ample amount of whole Cannellini beans. Please be careful during this step because broth will be hot.

After you add the beans it is time to add the kale. The soup is almost done at this point so you should taste it to see if you need to add more salt and pepper.

Can I Make This Soup Ahead of Time?

Yes! You can keep this soup for 5 days in your refrigerator. You can also freeze the soup if you want it to last longer. I do not like keeping soup frozen for more than 2 months so remember to write the date on the container before putting it in the freezer. This is a good habit anytime you put leftovers in the freezer or refrigerator.

What Should I Serve The Tuscan White Bean Soup With?

Serve this soup with a good amount of fresh grated Parmigiana Reggiano on top, some crusty Italian bread, a simple salad and you have a delicious, easy meal.

White bean soup
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Tuscan White Bean Soup

White Bean Soup with Chopped Kale
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Appetizer, Soup, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Soup
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 297kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 oz prosciutto – cubed
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • ½ small onion – chopped
  • 2 carrots – chopped
  • 2 celery stalks – chopped
  • cups can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 2 cans Cannellini beans
  • 2 cups chopped kale

Instructions

  • In a stock pot or dutch oven add Olive Oil
  • Add prosciutto and garlic and saute for 2 min
  • Add onion, carrot and celery
  • Saute until starting to soften, around 5 minutes
  • Add crushed tomatoes and cook for a few minutes
  • Add chicken broth, water, bay leaf, oregano, red pepper, salt and pepper
  • Simmer for 30 minutes
  • Remove 2 cups of soup and put in food processor with 1 can of drained beans
  • Puree until smooth and put back into soup pot
  • Add the second can of drained beans and chopped kale
  • Simmer for 5 minutes then taste to see if you need more salt or pepper
  • Grate fresh Parmigiana Reggiano on top before serving

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 297kcal | Carbohydrates: 34g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 798mg | Potassium: 573mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5843IU | Vitamin C: 35mg | Calcium: 168mg | Iron: 5mg

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Panko-Crusted Stuffed Mushrooms

Panko-Crusted Stuffed Mushrooms

with spinach, Roasted Peppers and Smoked Mozzarella

I love creating recipes that are vegetarian and taste great. There are so many plant based options around so it’s really a lot of fun to combine them. This recipe does use mozzarella so it is not vegan but you can definitely leave out the mozzarella and it would be still be delicious.

Can I make the mushrooms ahead of time?

Yes, you can fry the mushrooms ahead of time and layer the spinach and peppers on top. Cover them with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and leave them out at room temperature. Top with sliced smoked mozzarella just before you are ready to put the mushrooms in the oven. After frying the mushrooms they will need another 10 minutes in the oven to finish cooking and to melt the smoked mozzarella.

I used large portobello mushrooms in this recipe but you can also use the smaller ones. The small portobello mushrooms will be easier to fry. You can serve this dish as an appetizer or entree, for lunch or for dinner. The mushrooms are quite meaty and are definitely filling enough as a main dish. The colors are so beautiful together which makes the dish just as pleasing to look at as to eat. I always feel that people eat with their eyes so it is so nice to serve food that looks good and tastes great. Serve the mushrooms on a platter or put them on a bun and serve as a vegetarian burger. Jenn’s View special sauce recipe would be a delicious addition on top of the mushroom burger.

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Special Sauce for Burgers and Sandwiches

Prep Time10 mins
Course: Sauces and Dips
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Sauce

Ingredients

Special Sauce

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp mustard
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp sweet relish or 4 slices kosher dill pickles chopped
  • tsp hot sauce

Instructions

For the Sauce

  • Blend together all the ingredients.
  • Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes
stuffed mushroom
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Panko-Crusted Stuffed Mushrooms

with Marsala-Caper Sauce
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, American
Keyword: vegetable, vegetarian, Side Dishes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 340kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 portobello mushrooms
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • ½ cup flour
  • ¾ cup Panko breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • 2 roasted peppers sliced
  • 3 oz smoked mozzarella
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Marsala Caper Sauce

  • 1 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 tbsp shallots minced
  • ¼ cup capers drained
  • ¾ cup Marsala wine
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • tsp cracked black pepper

Instructions

  • preheat oven to 375
  • Clean mushrooms with a damp paper towel
  • dredge mushroom in flour then egg then breadcrumb
  • heat ½ inch of vegetable oil in a deep frying pan
  • fry mushrooms until breadcrumb is golden
  • drain on paper towel
  • put mushrooms on baking sheet
  • In a seperate pan saute spinach in olive oil until just wilted
  • put spinach on top of mushrooms
  • lay a slice of roasted pepper over spinach then top with sliced smoked mozzarella
    stuffed mushroom
  • bake in oven for 10 minutes

Marsala Caper Sauce

  • melt butter in pan and saute shallot until light brown
  • add capers and cook 1 minute
  • add Marsala wine and let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes
  • add heavy cream and pepper. Simmer until coats back of spoon
  • Spoon sauce over mushrooms before serving

Nutrition

Serving: 1mushroom | Calories: 340kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 127mg | Sodium: 604mg | Potassium: 527mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 1990IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 175mg | Iron: 3mg

Roasted Broccoli with Jalapeño, Sweet Twister Peppers and Garlic

Roasted Broccoli with Jalapeño, Sweet Twister Peppers and Garlic

Roasting broccoli is so easy, tastes delicious and is very healthy. I think it’s silly when I read a recipe that over-complicates roasted broccoli. All you need to do is cut the florets off of the head of broccoli give them a quick rinse and toss with olive oil and some salt and pepper. Pop it in the oven for 15 minutes and you’re done. I like when the the broccoli gets a little char on it. The broccoli remains crisp but tender.

In this recipe I decided to give the broccoli a little kick. I wanted a little more heat in the dish and some more color so I decided to add Jalapeño, Sweet Twister Peppers and Garlic. I sautéed the peppers and garlic in Extra Virgin Olive Oil before tossing with the broccoli. This step allowed the peppers and garlic to flavor the Olive Oil before tossing it with the broccoli. I was having a couple of friends over for dinner and was serving a buffet dinner. I prepped the whole dish ahead of time so all I had to do was pop it in the oven 15 minutes before I wanted to serve dinner. I love recipes that don’t require you to spend a lot of time in the kitchen when your guests have arrived. You should be enjoying your company, not sweating it out in the kitchen.

Roasted Broccoli
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Roasted Broccoli with Jalapeño, Sweet Twister Peppers and Garlic

Charred Broccoli with Peppers and Garlic
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish, Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: vegetable, broccoli
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 245kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 heads of broccoli
  • ½ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Jalapeno Pepper
  • 2 Sweet Twister Peppers
  • 5 cloves garlic

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Cut florets off of broccoli. Florets should be bite sized
  • Thinly slice the Jalapeno, peppers and garlic
  • Saute the peppers and garlic in Olive oil until garlic starts to turn a pale brown. About 5 min
  • Toss peppers and oil with broccoli
  • Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper
  • Roast for 15 minutes until broccoli begins to char and is bright green

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 245kcal | Carbohydrates: 17g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 69mg | Potassium: 734mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2530IU | Vitamin C: 235mg | Calcium: 103mg | Iron: 2mg

Tomato Soup Caprese

Tomato Soup Caprese

Pureed Tomato Soup with Fresh Mozzarella Crostini

All you need for delicious homemade tomato soup

Tomato Soup pairs so perfectly with a grilled cheese sandwich. I thought it would be a great idea to come up with a new version of this combo so I decided to float a toasted slice of Italian bread with melted mozzarella on top of the soup. I also added fresh basil to the soup which I feel is much better than dried. I do recommend using Muir Glen or San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes. I think that these brands use the best tomatoes. I always remove the tomatoes from the juice and rinse the seeds out before adding them (and the juice) to the pot. This step is not absolutely necessary but my mom always told me that it is better for your stomach to remove the seeds so that’s what I do. The addition of a carrot also creates a brighter, beautiful soup. This soup is not difficult to make and you can make it in advance and warm it up when it’s time to serve. Great for lunch or dinner. It’s starting to get cold out so I think soup definitely needs to be on the menu. Let me know what you think.

Tomato Soup
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Tomato Soup Caprese

Pureed Tomato Soup with Mozzarella Crostini
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Appetizer, Soup
Cuisine: Italian, American
Keyword: Soup, tomato
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 348kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • ½ onion chopped
  • 1 carrot peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil chopped (about 3 large leaves)
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup heavy cream

Mozzarella Crostini

  • 6 slices Italian or French bread
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 6 oz fresh mozzarella

Instructions

  • Melt butter in a large pot or dutch oven
  • Add onion and saute until translucent – about 5 min
  • Add carrot and garlic and saute for another 2 minutes
  • Add tomatoes with the juice
  • Add vegetable broth
  • Add salt, pepper,sugar, basil and cream
  • Bring to a boil then cover and reduce to simmer for ½ hour
  • Puree soup in batches in a food processor or blender
  • Brush bread with olive oil and toast in oven
  • When bread is light brown place a slice of mozzarella on top and melt in oven
  • Serve Soup in bowl and top with Mozzarella crostini and a basil leaf

Nutrition

Serving: 1person | Calories: 348kcal | Carbohydrates: 46g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 46mg | Sodium: 998mg | Potassium: 406mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 2325IU | Vitamin C: 14mg | Calcium: 216mg | Iron: 3mg

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Roasted Maitake Mushroom

Roasted Maitake Mushroom

With Garlic Aioli

Raw Maitake or Hen of the Wood Mushroom

Maitake mushrooms are also known as Hen of the Wood mushrooms. I absolutely love the large floral shape of these mushrooms. It has a very earthy flavor. The word ‘Maitake’ means dancing in Japanese. It is said that the mushroom got this name because people started dancing around it when it was first discovered. This mushroom is typically found in the Fall months and it not only tastes great but is also very healthy for you. The Maitake or Hen of the Wood mushroom is considered a medicinal mushroom because it is full of antioxidants, vitamin B and C, potassium and fiber. The mushroom is being tested to see its effectiveness in regulating cholesterol. A 2013 study found that the Maitake mushroom reduced cholesterol levels in mice which lead researchers to believe that there are benefits to eating these mushrooms. The mushroom is best used the same day you buy it but if you need to store it you should put it in a paper bag in the refrigerator. They are very delicate and crisp up on the edges when roasted or fried. I have tried this recipe by frying the mushroom in oil and of course it is delicious but I really wanted to keep this recipe a little healthier so I think roasting the mushroom is equally as good. Ok, maybe not equally, but definitely a close second. If you want to try frying the Maitake you will need to put it on a skewer so you can gently place it in the vegetable oil. Fry the mushroom until crispy and then sprinkle with salt and pepper after you remove it from the oil and place it on a paper towel to drain. Remove the skewer and serve with the garlic aioli. The garlic aioli adds a lot of flavor to this dish and works well with the earthy flavor of the mushroom. It’s simple to prepare and can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Making it ahead of time will give the flavors time to blend. Always use fresh lemon juice and garlic when making the aioli. I like to put the aioli on the side so people can use as much as they want.

A fresh squeeze of lemon is essential to brighten the aioli and give it a little zing. Regular lemon is fine but use Meyer if you can find it.

This Maitake mushroom recipe is super easy to prepare and pairs well with many main dishes. Serve it with seafood, chicken or meat. It makes a great side dish to serve family style or you can serve it as an appetizer before dinner.

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Roasted Maitake Mushroom

Roasted Maitake Mushroom with Garlic Aioli
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Japanese, American
Keyword: vegetable, Hen of the Wood mushroom
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

Garlic Aioli

  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • tsp fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat Oven to 325
  • gently brush off any dirt from mushroom with a paper towel
  • Trim stem a little. It's ok if the mushroom breaks into large pieces.
  • Place mushrooms on baking sheet and spray with olive oil
  • Sprinkle with salt and pepper
  • Roast for 45-50 minutes until edges are crispy

Make the Aioli

  • mix mayonnaise, garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper together
  • Serve the mushroom with aioli and some lemon wedges

Notes

To clean the mushroom just brush the dirt off with a paper towel and trim the stem. Do not submerge the mushroom into water because it will absorb the water like a sponge and be soggy.