Sunday, May 3, 2015

Grilled Pepper Nachos

Cinco de Mayo is on the way and ya'll know how I love a good theme for dinner! This makes a really great appetizer or light dinner.  Grab your sombrero and get your grill tongs.  We're grillin' this one out veggie style!
4 bell peppers (any color you like)
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
4 green onion (chop both green and white parts)
2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup fried (or grilled) corn
1/2 cup black beans (rinsed and drained)
1 cup salsa
2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cup sliced black olives
1/2 cup sour cream
canola oil, salt and pepper

Heat a few tablespoons of vegetable oil in a non stick skillet, add onion and garlic, saute' for 2 minutes.  Add chili powder, corn black beans and shredded chicken, toss until well blended and the chicken is warm.  Remove from heat and add salsa plus a pinch of salt and pepper.

Wash and half the peppers, spoon the chicken mixture evenly into the pepper halves.  Top with shredded cheddar cheese and grill over medium heat 10-15 minutes.  Top with sour cream, olives and cilantro - serve immediately.

These can be prepped ahead and kept in the fridge overnight.  You can also bake these in the oven if it rains on your fiesta!  You can adjust the heat with your favorite hot sauce.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Ravioli with Roasted Vegetables


Several things about this dish appealed to me at first sight!   Pasta and asparagus, two of my all time favs!  The real hook was that is claimed to be ready in under 20 minutes.  That is an absolute truth!  I did this for the first time ever from start to seated in 17 minutes (and I had to keep reviewing the recipe during the process)!  This dish is light and delicious.  With all these veggies included, all you need is a good crusty garlic bread and you are ready to dine in no time!  Anything that tastes this good and can be prepared this fast holds a special place in my heart and my recipe box!
You'll Need:
1 - 8 oz package of fresh ravioli with filling of your choice
1 bundle of fresh asparagus
1 cup shredded carrots
1 half lemon
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup walnut pieces - chopped
4 tbs minced fresh parsley
2 tbs grated Parmesan plus some to serve at the table
very lightly salt and pepper to taste
Place the fresh ravioli into a large microwave safe bowl, cover with water and heat for 6 minutes (until cooked thru) then drain, rinse and set aside. 
While the ravioli cooks, clean and chop the vegetables. Chop off the bottom thirds of the asparagus and discard, cut the remainder into half or thirds for bite size pieces.  In a large sauce pan, melt 2 tbs of butter over medium heat until melted. Add chopped asparagus and carrots to the pan, stir to coat veggies with butter and cover with the pan with a lid. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes (toss often to prevent burning).  Add remaining butter and walnuts - mix together with the veggies and cook for 2 minutes (again, toss often to prevent burning).   Add the ravioli and parsley and toss until heated thru and well mixed.  Give the mixture just a pinch of salt and a few grinds of black pepper then squeeze the juice from 1/2 a lemon (no seeds please) over your pan and toss to coat all ingredients well.
Remove from heat, plate and serve.  Sprinkle each serving with a healthy pinch of the grated fresh Parmesan cheese (no powdered cheese please - use the real deal).  Pair with a buttered baguette or garlic loaf and serve!
You can easily change the ravioli to tortellini, substitute your favorite veggies and switch to slivered almonds or omit nuts all together to suit your preferences.  Personally,  I like  a mix of spinach ravioli and four cheese ravioli.  I'd be very tempted to add sugar snap peas and maybe even top with bacon bits next time!  You make this the way YOU like it!  I promise you, this is not a single appearance dish....she WILL be invited to return and often!