mel’s kitchen

favorite recipies of a food addict

black bean and corn stew March 26, 2007

Filed under: main dishes,soup. stews,vegetarian — girlymama @ 3:22 pm

i love black beans – always looking for a new recipe that involves them! garnish with cheese, chopped scallions, some tortilla chips or a heated flour tortilla.

Black Bean and Corn Stew
4 tsp olive oil
1 med onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chilies
2 cans black beans, drained, rinsed
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 package (10 oz) frozen corn

1. Heat oil over med heat. Add onion; cook until softened. Add garlic and cumin; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 min more.
2. Add chilies, beans, tomatoes (with their juice) to the pan. Add 2 c water and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer, until it thickens slightly, about 20 min.
3. Puree 2 cups of stew in a blender or processor. Return puree to the pan, and add the frozen corn; simmer until heated through, about 5 min.


3-ingredient fettuccine alfredo January 23, 2007

Filed under: main dishes,pasta,vegetarian — girlymama @ 5:05 pm

3-Ingredient Fettuccine Alfredo
2 sticks butter
½ pound grated parmesan cheese
1 lb fettuccine

with a mixer, beat 2 sticks butter and ½ lb cheese until creamy. Cook pasta in large pot, until al dente, about 12 minutes. Reserve ½ cup cooing water, then drain pasta. Return fettuccine to pot. Toss pasta with a bit of salt, cheese mixture and ¼ cup of the pasta water. Add more water, as needed and serve with extra cheese.

recipe origin: Everyday Food


wilted spinach and tomatoes January 18, 2007

Filed under: side dishes,vegetarian — girlymama @ 4:44 pm

i could eat this every single day! 

Wilted Spinach and Tomatoes 

1 bag baby spinach
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved if desired
olive oil
minced garlic

In a large skillet, heat up a bit of olive oil. Add spinach and garlic and stir as it wilts, about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir until all is wilted (about 3-5 minutes more). Mix in a dash of balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve.


empanadas January 10, 2007

Filed under: main dishes,vegetarian — girlymama @ 3:01 pm

this is a vegetarian recipe. but when i made this last night, my husband commented “this would be great with beef.” so there you go. i thought they tasted great. 


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 package refrigerated pizza dough (about 1 pound)
 Flour for the work surface
1 16-ounce can refried beans
1 1-pint container fresh salsa
1 8-ounce package shredded Cheddar
 Sour cream (optional)

Heat oven to 400° F. Spread 1 teaspoon of the oil on a baking sheet. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions. Roll each into an 8-inch round on a lightly floured surface. On half of each round, spread some of the beans, then top with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the salsa and 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Fold over the other half of each round, covering the filling, and press the curved edge with your thumb to seal. Lightly brush the tops of the empanadas with the remaining oil, then transfer to the baking sheet. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or more salsa, if desired.

you could also use a premade pizza crust if you can’t find pizza dough – makes for a flakier crust.

recipe origin: Real Simple Magazine


roasted asparagus October 7, 2006

Filed under: side dishes,vegetarian — girlymama @ 5:27 pm

sigh. i love fall. i get to cook warm comfort food and use my oven again. i made these once and my husband said, “you must never cook asparagus any other way.” yup – they’re that good.

Roasted Asparagus

asparagus (i prefer the thin kind) washed with ends snapped
olive oil
freshly ground pepper & kosher salt
shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place asparagus in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with foil or parchment and sprayed with cooking spray. Drizzle olive oil over asparagus and season generously with salt and pepper.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until soft (but not soggy). If you’d like, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and throw back into the oven for another minute or two to melt the cheese. So yummy.

the cheese addition comes from a Barefoot Contessa cookbook. i usually do half with cheese and half without, but according to my husband, it is awesome with 😉


veggie lasagna September 13, 2006

Filed under: main dishes,vegetarian — girlymama @ 3:33 pm

i recently served this at an italian-food rehearsal dinner and it got a great response. everyone loved it and i got several requests for the recipe.


Vegetable Lasagna
serves 8
This makes one 9×13 pan or two 8×8 pans. Lasagna can be frozen for about 2 months – just deforst overnight in fridge and add about 15 minutes to the cooking time.

4 cups (32 ounces) ricotta cheese (whole milk tastes best, naturally)
2 large eggs
salt and fresh ground pepper
2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed to remove excess moisture
6 cups tomato sauce (get good sauce. It really makes a difference!)
1 pound ‘italian’ cheese, shredded (4 cups of whatever you like best)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese, eggs, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add spinach and stir well to combine.
2. Spread a small bit of tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9-by-13 glass baking dish or dishes. Arrange a layer of lasagna noodles on top.  Spread 1/3 of the ricotta cheese mixture over the noodles, followed by 1/3 of the remaining sauce; sprinkle with 1/3 of the shredded cheese. Repeat to make two more layers, ending with cheese.  If freezing, cover tightly with plastic wrap. Before baking, defrost in the refrigerator overnight.
3. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil; continue baking until top is golden brown, about 15 minutes more.  Let cool slightly before serving

whenever i make this i have a ton of leftover cheese & sauce. use it to make stuffed shells or, if you have extra noodles, make a personal lasagna (one noodle wide in a bread pan).

recipe origin: Everyday Food Magazine


three bean salad July 26, 2006

Filed under: salads,vegetarian — girlymama @ 7:31 pm

i love this. i saw it in a magazine and made it, but found some of the measurements to be waay off. they had way too many fresh herbs. yuck. but i adapted it and now its a fav.  easily the best bean salad recipe i’ve come across.

Three-Bean Salad
makes 4 to 8 servings

1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 15-ounce can other bean (black, cannellini), drained and rinsed
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1/3 cup red onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (flat-leaf best, but Italian okay)
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper

In a large bowl, combine the beans, celery, onion, parsley and rosemary. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss. Serve at room temperature.

recipe origin: adapted from recipe in Real Simple