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Seedy Arepas With Black Beans and Avocado

Seedy Arepas With Black Beans and Avocado

There are countless variations of arepas all over Colombia and Venezuela, but whether they’re stuffed with cheese, chicken, or pork, the dough starts in the same way: with arepa flour (precooked corn flour) and water. Yes, you will need to seek out arepa flour (Goya and PAN are widely available). Both white and yellow will work, but keep in mind that yellow typically requires a bit more water to become properly hydrated.


  • ¾ cup raw sunflower and/or pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 2 tsp. Diamond Crystal or 1 tsp. Morton kosher salt, plus more
  • 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup cilantro leaves with tender stems, divided
  • 1 15.5-oz. can black beans, drained, rinsed
  • ½ cup crumbled queso fresco (optional)

Recipe Preparation

  • Preheat oven to 325°. Toast seeds on a parchment paper–lined rimmed baking sheet, tossing once, until darkened and fragrant, 8–10 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl; reserve baking sheet and parchment.

  • Meanwhile, combine flour and 2 tsp. Morton salt in a large bowl. Add 2 tsp. oil and 1 cup warm water and mix with a sturdy spatula or your hands to combine. If dough feels dry, add more water 1 tablespoonful at a time until it holds together. Smash and knead dough until smooth and no small clumps or dry bits remain (be patient and really knead it—it will hydrate and come together); it shouldn’t crack when you squeeze it. Cover bowl with a damp kitchen towel and set aside to let dough hydrate, 15 minutes.

  • Halve chile lengthwise, removing seeds and membranes if less heat is desired. Place one half in a food processor. Finely chop remaining chile and set aside. Add avocado, ½ cup cilantro, and juice from 1 lime to food processor and pulse until mostly smooth. With the motor running, drizzle in 2 Tbsp. oil until a smooth sauce forms. Taste and season with salt.

  • Add all but 2 Tbsp. toasted seeds to hydrated dough. Knead in bowl until seeds are incorporated and dough is firm and homogenous, 1–2 minutes. Turn out dough onto reserved parchment and divide into 4 pieces. Press and pat into disks that are 5"–5½" in diameter and ⅛"–¼" thick. Return disks with parchment to baking sheet.

  • Heat 1 tsp. oil in a large cast-iron or nonstick skillet over medium-high until shimmering. Working in batches, add arepas and cook, turning once with a spatula and reducing heat to medium if they’re browning too quickly, until a crisp, slightly charred crust forms, 3–5 minutes per side. Transfer arepas to same baking sheet and bake until slightly puffed and springy, 10–12 minutes.

  • While arepas bake, wipe out skillet, then pour in remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and heat over medium. Add chili powder and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 20 seconds. Add beans and cook, stirring frequently, until warmed through, 3–4 minutes. Add reserved chopped chile and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 more minute. Remove from heat and add remaining ½ cup cilantro. Season with salt.

  • Spread arepas with avocado sauce. Top with bean mixture, cheese (if using), and reserved seeds.

Reviews SectionSo I just showed my grandma the photo without telling her what this was and she thought this was a Mexican tortilla, which was also my initial thought. And given the way the ingredients were used this looks far more like a tortilla. I don't want to preach about the purity of arepas, but I feel like the flavor profile and cooking method is so far off that to call this an arepa would be a disservice to the meal.I even saw a comment saying that it wasn't a weekday meal when in reality an arepa is literally the definition of weekday pantry meal in Venezuela.Next time just check with a venezuelan or a colombian, as you'll see in the comments we're all happy to tell you how to make them.Made these this morning and even threw a fried egg on top (blasphemy?!) Anyway, they were super tasty. And the arepas were easy too... just followed the directions on the package. Thanks for this one! I will take photos and brag to all my friends and say it was super complexThis was tasty, but it is not, in my view, a weekday meal. It thought it was very time-consuminThe arepas turned out like flat hockey pucks, no puff in the oven. Even steaming them didn’t help. Maybe my flour was too old. The black beans would have been boring if I hadn’t added onions, peppers and greens. The avocado sauce was great.Great recipe, nice mix of flavors and textures. My first time to work with arepa flour. Working it by hand is definitely recommended, and I think if you treat it like a pie crust (to get the water balance right) that will help. Adding pepitas to the flour makes it hard to get them thin. Still, not hard to do and really tasty.My friend and I made a dinner night out of making these arepas, and let me tell you, they were so amazing, balanced, and satisfying! The dough needs more water than what the recipe states, even when using white corn flour. The arepas will crack if there is not enough hydration so be careful with that! I also found myself wanting a salsa to top the hearty dish off with. Overall, a great recipe that didn't make me feel heavy, break the bank, or wear me out. This recipe is also one I will be playing around with in the future. Thinking of making some minis for a Thanksgiving potluck appetizer!samilynnsal5288Austin, TX11/18/19Hello Everyone,I am from Venezuela and YESSSS! this is one of the most delicious staples of our culture. The variations are endless. Also, in keeping my eating habits clean and healthy you can mix in to the dough, spinach, quinoa, kale, beets, vegan cheese, sweet potato and the list goes on and on! I try to make mine with less dough and more of the veggie portion. And, as they say... practice makes perfect. It really is not an initial easy task to conquer the perfect texture of the dough/arepa, but it can me mastered. Good luck and enjoy them. Buen Provecho!!!!I'll reduce the amount of salt next time. Otherwise really tasty and easy to prepareI’m very happy reading that arepas are between us, I love it. Arepas are more easy to cook. Pour 1/3 cup arepa flour , 1/4 teaspoon of salt in a bowl and add 1 cup water (doesn’t have to be warm) Mix with a spoon until you fill some resistance when you mix, maybe you’ll need more water, them allow the mix to get hydrate for a few minutes until you can handle it. Put over the hot pan on a medium fire, cook and enjoy it.aura guevaraVenezuela10/21/19tasty! arepas need a lot more water to make the dough an accurate consistency - otherwise end up hardened in the often instead of springy!Looks tasty! Where is the plate from??Really tasty! But I ended up adding almost 2 cups of water.

Favourite health foods in 2021

Here are some of our favourite healthy foods for 2021:

  • Bone broth – promotes gut health (constipation, bloating, intolerances), strong bones and joints, good memory and sleep, and improves immunity
  • Fatty fish – enhances memory, lowers dementia and stroke risk (go for salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and herring)
  • Dark chocolate – magnesium helps with mental clarity and weight loss
  • Nuts and seeds – contain Vitamin E which reduces cognitive decline. Flax seeds have Vitamin B and antioxidants which helps you with mental focus
  • Avocado and whole grains – mono-saturated fats are good for lowering bad cholesterol (LDL) and reducing cardiovascular risks
  • Blueberries – boost memory and concentration
  • Greens such as kale, beets, watercress and spinach – vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, calcium lowers cancer risk, improves immunity, reduces heart disease and aids vision. Even herbs are healthy!
  • Beans – lowers cholesterol and the risk of heart disease
  • Spices such as cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg – lowers inflammation.

The world’s largest nutrition research, the NutriNet-Santé study, has for the last 15 years collected dietary assessments on over 170,000 people. A couple of key findings include:

What We Ate


Mr. FG and I had our takeout date night, which we ate outside by the fire pit.


I made a shrimp remoulade recipe from Cook&rsquos Country magazine and we ate that on buttered and toasted croissants.

For Zoe, I made a chicken croissant sandwich.

And we had kiwi, watermelon, and mini sweet peppers on the side.


Since it was Memorial Day, it seemed like we should grill, despite it being a weird Memorial Day. So, I grilled some chicken sausages, which we ate on buns. And we had watermelon. 🙂


I made chicken katsu with rice (recipe from Dinner Illustrated.)

I can&rsquot for the life of me remember what produce we had with that.


I made a Cobb-ish salad with shrimp (chicken for Zoe), romaine, hard boiled eggs, avocado, bell peppers, and snap peas.

And Zoe had asked me to teach her how to make garlic pull-apart bread, so we did that Wednesday.


I tried the recipe for teriyaki chicken from the latest Cook&rsquos Country magazine. We ate rice on the side, as the recipe directed, and I cooked some broccoli as well.


I was going to make regular pizza, but the forecast high is in the upper 80s.

Vegetarian/Vegan meals that make you happy June 23, 2020 6:24 AM Subscribe

Somen with Tofu and Asparagus is my current favorite, with a few variations.

I tend to screw up somen, so I've been using linguini, which might be easier to find in your middle American grocery store.
I bake the tofu instead of frying it because I think it's easier (I use parchment paper to keep it from sticking).
I find the tofu absorbs all of the initial marinade, so I end make more of the marinade than the recipe calls for. Also, the marinade is delicious.
posted by FencingGal at 7:09 AM on June 23, 2020 [3 favorites]

Cuban style black beans and rice!

My wife is getting into Madhur Jaffrey's Indian cookbooks and we just did this Chana Masala the other night and it was out of this world! I could eat it once a week, no problem, and like a lot of these sorts of dishes, it's as good the next day if not better.
posted by jquinby at 7:22 AM on June 23, 2020 [4 favorites]

Easy to make ahead, delicious on pasta: Pesto(Basil, garlic, oil, grated hard cheese, nuts) or Peanut sauce. Add some pickled jalapenos to peanut sauce.

Curried Squash Soup. Cooked Butternut Squash, roux (olive oil, flour), water or broth, curry powder to taste, blender. If you like yogurt, swirl some in.

Crusty Bread, vegan 'butter.'

My favorite salad of spinach, arugula, orange sections (canned mandarin is fine), almonds, lemon-honey-olive oil dressing.
posted by theora55 at 7:38 AM on June 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Butternut squash & kale risotto, hands down. It's easy to google a recipe, but I recommend sauteeing or roasting the squash before you put it in at the end, rather than cooking it in the mix (since that's the variation you'll find in recipes). I might also make some chex mix to cozy up with, if we're talking snacks.

Man, now I want to be in a cozy cabin in the woods.
posted by hought20 at 8:05 AM on June 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

1 carton of veggie broth.
1 can of tomato sauce.
1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed.

Add salt and oregano to taste. Cook for 20-30 min on medium heat until beans are soft.

Sprinkle with a generous helping of parmesan cheese. Eat with some nice crusty bread.

Tastes great on day 2 (if there's any left).
posted by Kitchen Witch at 9:03 AM on June 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Spring Green Lemon & Basil Pasta from Love & Lemons. Use fresh pasta if you can, and very good olive oil. So long as you have the basil and the lemon, I don't think it matters which veggies you use, though the combination of peas and asaparagus + a leafy green is really stellar.

posted by CiaoMela at 10:26 AM on June 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: You guys are awesome!

I'm at work now, but I'll definitely be saving all of these this evening.

posted by ChodenKal at 12:06 PM on June 23, 2020

Taco salad with Trader Joe's soyrizo, ranch dressing, beans, tomatoes, corn, roasted pumpkin seeds, black olives, and the greens of your choice

BLT riff: smokey tempeh, avocado, tomato, lettuce, and mayo on your choice of bread

I feel happy just thinking about these dishes!
posted by esoterrica at 5:28 PM on June 23, 2020 [1 favorite]

Ooh, and it’s getting to be time for Summer Salad!

Canned chickpeas
Cucumbers, peeled and cut small
Red onion, ibid
Tomatoes (usually grape tomatoes, but a cut-up big tomato is fine)
Chopped boiled egg
Maybe a handful of cooked rice or orzo or that little-bitty pasta, or maybe not

Mix together with some Newman’s Own Light Balsamic Vinaigrette. Best if left to combobulate in the fridge overnight.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:07 PM on June 23, 2020

Stuffed shiitakes with baked sweet potato fries and wilted greens were one of my standouts from just the situation you describe.

For the stuffing, finely dice the mushroom stems and add walnuts and blue cheese and fresh oregano.

(I foraged the mushrooms and stinging nettles since I was in an actual cabin and was avoiding grocery stores, but that's optional.)
posted by joeyh at 7:35 AM on June 25, 2020

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  1. Preheat the broiler to high.
  2. Make sure the crackers have had time to cool before assembling the nachos.
  3. Arrange the crackers in a square (3 rows of 3, as pictured) in the middle of a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  4. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the crackers, distributing evenly.
  5. Place the crackers and cheese under the broiler just until the cheese melts, 3-4 minutes (check after 2 minutes).
  6. Serve immediately, or top the cheesy crackers with the toppings of your choice and then serve. 

If You're Tired of Breakfast Tacos, You're Tired of Life. November 14, 2014 1:17 PM Subscribe

Part of the reason I'm so obsessed with them is that I've been cutting out the major sources of animal fat in my cooking lately (I'm not vegetarian, I eat whatever the hell I want at parties and restaurants, but I don't bring home pounds of butter and cheese on a weekly basis anymore). It turns out a taco with black beans, poblano rajas, green onions, and chipotle sauce is just as flavorful and filling as one with eggs scrambled with chorizo and topped with cotija!

Feel free to post meat and cheese ideas, but if you post a recipe for a salsa, or tell me your regular order from Rancho Gordo, or your favorite chile to make rajas from, please know I'm putting a mental gold star next to your answer and wishing we could cook breakfast together.

I live literally across the street from a mercado/carniceria and I'm a Mexican-American who has been receiving family cooking lessons since I was eye-level with a stove, if that expands your suggestions at all. I am aware that breakfast tacos are mostly a Tex-Mex thing but they are still delicious.

I like those jarred cactus strips in tacos. Those plus avocado plus chipotles in adobo would prob be fantastic.

If I were you, I'd grow a cilantro plant and snip a few leaves off in the morning, too.
posted by showbiz_liz at 1:31 PM on November 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

It's a simple salsa, but it's in my house more often than not.

1 onion - diced
2 tomatoes - diced
1 jalapeno - minced
2 garlic cloves - minced
1/2 'package' of cilantro - diced/minced
1 lime - squeezed
1 - 2 tsp salt
(optional) 1/2 green pepper diced

ideally let sit in fridge for a couple of hours to before eating (lets the flavors soak in).

For the most part all of the ingredient proportions are to taste you might want more tomato, you might want less/more salt, etc, etc. I'm honing this all the time to the households preferences.

If you want it less hot, take the seeds out of the jalapenos (oh, and wash your hands immediately after cutting that).

I use that for salsa omelets all the time (+ some sharp cheddar), but it's a great fresh salsa for all uses.

Oh, and learning to properly cut an onion made my life a better one.
posted by el io at 1:33 PM on November 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

Potato and kale is good. Sweet potato and kale is amazing. With or without a tiny bit of soyrizo.

A white bean mash or puree makes a good sticky base for stuff that may be dry enough to escape, in lieu of eggs or cheese.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:43 PM on November 14, 2014 [3 favorites]

I don't eat eggs (am weird), so when I have breakfast tacos or burritos OUT, I ask them to sub fried potatotes for the eggs, and lemme tell ya it's AWESOME. I cook a recipe at home from the Homesick Texan cookbook, that goes like this:

2 tablespoons canola oil/bacon grease
2 pounds Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 medium yellow onion, diced
1 jalapeno chile, seeds and stems removed, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup crushed canned tomatoes, drained
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Black pepper, to taste
Optional: About 1/2 pound chorizo, fried
3-4 eggs, scrambled

In a large skillet, preferably a cast-iron skillet, heat the oil on medium-low heat. When warm, add the potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and while stirring occasionally, cook uncovered for 10 minutes.

Stir in the onions and cook for 2 more minutes then stir in the jalapeno, garlic, tomatoes, cumin, and smoked paprika. Cook for 30 more seconds and then turn the heat to low and cook covered for 15 minutes.

Remove the cover and stir, scraping up any potatoes that may be stuck to the bottom. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes or until the potatoes are your preferred texture. Stir in the vinegar and the chopped cilantro, add pepper, taste and adjust seasonings.

Optional: Fry 1/2 pound chorizo in a skillet and scramble 3-4 eggs. Top the potatoes first with the chorizo and then with the eggs. Garnish and serve as a breakfast skillet.

The vinegar is an important step here, and I often put a big blob of chopped up chipotle in adobo instead of (or with) the jalepeno - these are AMAZING in tacos. Here's another potato recipe of hers that I'd eat in a tortilla in a heartbeat, and then fall asleep from the carbs for a couple hours - Hatch Chile Potato Casserole
posted by ersatzkat at 1:56 PM on November 14, 2014 [5 favorites]

Best answer: 15-minute fire-roasted tomato salsa
4 tomatoes, quartered and seeded + 1 jalapeno, halved and seeded + 1/2 onion + 1 or 2 cloves garlic, peeled

Toss everything with a bit of olive oil, dump the tomatoes, jalapeno, and onion onto a baking sheet, flip all the pieces over so everything is cut side down, and stick it under your broiler for

6-8 minutes or until everything is a bit charred on top. Pull out the pan, add the garlic, and stick the pan back under the broiler for another minute or two. Dump everything into a bowl and blend it with a stick blender. Add lime juice, cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. Nom.

red sauce for everything
2 15-ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes + 3 to 5 dried chiles (a combination of anchos, guajillos, and New Mexico I usually toss a chipotle in there for good measure as well) or 2 chipotles in adobo + 1/2 onion, diced + 3 cloves garlic, minced + 1 tsp cumin + 1/2 c vegetable broth

If you're using dried chiles, remove the stems and seeds and tear them into pieces. Heat a medium-size pot over medium-high heat and toast the chiles until fragrant and puffy, anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes. Dump the toasted chiles into a bowl, add hot or boiling water to cover, put a plate on top to trap the steam inside, and set the bowl off to the side. Heat up some vegetable oil in the pot and add the diced onion, fry for 5 or 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin, fry for another minute. Deglaze the pan with the diced tomatoes (and chipotles in adobo, if you opted for those), bring to a boil, and reduce the heat to low to maintain a simmer. Drain the water off of the soaking chiles, reserving

1/2 cup of the soaking liquid. Add the chiles to the tomato mixture in the pot and blend everything with a stick blender, adding splashes of soaking liquid and/or vegetable broth to thin the sauce as needed. Simmer for at least 30 minutes, salt to taste, pour all over all of your food.

One of my favorite things to eat in a breakfast taco (especially with black or Rio Zape beans, zomg) is chipotle butternut squash.
posted by divined by radio at 2:05 PM on November 14, 2014 [13 favorites]

These are breakfast nachos but make all of that and put them in tacos instead (that's even recommended!).

I don't know how you feel about tofu in general, but tofu scramble is an excellent addition to things like this -- bulks up the protein and is tasty.
posted by darksong at 2:14 PM on November 14, 2014

Nopales came to mind, perhaps with a tomatillo sauce. In CORN tortillas, or better yet, breakfast tamales!

Tomatoes, guacamole, black olives, diced potatoes in a mole sauce.

Black beans, diced avocado, tomatoes, corn in salsa fresca.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:24 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Easiest Salsa - canned tomatoes in blender with whatever other salsa ingredients, blend to desired consistency, done. Simple ingredients are delicious - handful cilantro and adobe sauce/jalapeno from a can is my favorite for fast salsa. I'm not saying there aren't better salsas but this is fastest and a lot of reward for a little effort.

Less Easy Hot Sauce - this Rick Bayless recipe takes a taco to another level.

novelgazer - open the can of adobo sauce with chipotle pepper and puree contents in blender, place in freezer bag, freeze flat, break off piece from freezer as needed, no unwanted chunks or seeds.
posted by RoadScholar at 2:31 PM on November 14, 2014 [6 favorites]

I highly recommend looking at the menus of Austin's finest breakfast taco joints and just copying their recipes.

I like:
Taco Deli
Mi Madres
posted by lunalaguna at 3:30 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Oh! Here's a link to Border Grill's Trio of Salsas (Chipotle, Tomatillo, and Roasted Arbol.) They're all great but the Chipotle is my favorite salsa ever -- I buy it fresh from the restaurant once in a while and pour it on everything until it's gone.

While you're at it, you might as well make the Skillet Chilaquiles on the same page and throw it in a taco!
posted by Room 641-A at 4:54 PM on November 14, 2014

it's a very creamy mashed potato with a ton of milk/cream and serrano or jalapeno mixed in. the babyfood consistency is actually divine. I have never been able to successfully replicate it at home but I think the key must be boiling then mashing the potatoes with the right amount of added liquid and the chiles without letting them turn gummy.

I swear I have no affiliation with Border Grill (I wish I did!) but it sounds a lot like their Potato Rajas Tacos, just mashed. It's actually the first recipe I thought of but changed my mind because of all the cream and cheese.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:35 PM on November 14, 2014

Just popping in to say bacon, refried bean and pickled jalapeño, preferably from la canaria on Airport.

At home we do a lot of nopales and kale, steamed with the picking juice of a jar of jalapeños.
posted by CharlesV42 at 9:48 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

It used to be you could get Jackfruit Carnitas at a restaurant here called Pure Luck, but they went out of business despite having the most delicious vegetarian food. They are fantastic.

The Oaxacan cheese called Quesillo is this mildly tangy and fragrant white cheese that is stringy and will melt. Pair it with refried black or pinto beans and avocado.

And put this on everything:

14.5oz can of tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1 tsp salt
4-? chile tepins*
1 tsp dried Mexican oregano
Blend ingredients well.

* I've seen them two ways: whole dried and ground fine. The ground chile tepins are like freakin' pepper spray, be careful. The pea-sized, bright red whole and dried version is not any less hot, but it's not so easily airborne. I put 8 whole ones in the blender.
posted by carsonb at 9:48 PM on November 14, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Here's a tomatillo salsa I like to make:

8 tomatillos (about 12 ounces), (husked & rinsed)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 jalapeno (with seeds)
1/4 cup chopped fresh coriander/cilantro

Put the tomatillos in a medium saucepan and cover with water by about an inch. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer until tender, about 7 minutes.

In a blender, combine the onions, garlic, jalapeno, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and puree until smooth. Using a slotted spoon transfer the tomatillos to the blender, along with about 1/4-cup of the cooking liquid, puree until smooth. Add the coriander and blend briefly.

Swiss chard + potatoes makes a good filling:

1/2 pound Swiss chard (stems and leaves), rinsed
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus as needed
1 teaspoons kosher salt
6 ounces Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Fresh ground pepper

Strip the leaves from the stems of the Swiss chard, and chop the leaves and coarsely slice the stems and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium high heat, heat the 2 tablespoons oil. Add the potatoes and cook until golden brown and tender, about 8 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, and pepper, to taste. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon, and drain on a paper towel-lined plate. Add the onions and garlic, and cook until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the Swiss chard stems, cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the leaves, and remaining salt and pepper, cover, stirring occasionally, until the leaves are wilted, about 5 minutes more. Transfer the mixture to a strainer over a medium bowl, drain off any excess liquid.

(If you have a random bit of bacon on hand, toss it in with the potatoes while they cook)
posted by mikepop at 6:42 AM on November 17, 2014

Mushrooms, lentils*, onions, chipotle in adobo. Top with avocado, eat until you feel ill.

*I've also used tofu (ok), crumbled tempeh (also ok), seitan (great), and kale (besssst) instead.
posted by libraritarian at 4:07 PM on November 18, 2014

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A few weeks back I had the unique pleasure of leading a cooking class for children. It's one of my favorite things to do. I appreciate any chance to affect young people's perspective on eating, and they are such honest students. They always approach a class with a healthy dose of suspicion. "Will this really be worth my time and attention?" I so love when that question gets answered in the affirmative and they "click" in and decide to get involved.

So I wisely started with the class by making Brownies. Yes chocolate and sugar does tend to trend positive among the 10 year old set. The rest of the menu was:

Won Ton Soup
Oven "Fried" Chicken Fingers with Buttermilk Chive Sauce
Classic Macaroni and Cheese
Roasted Broccoli

Pretty kid friendly I thought, with lots of easy and fun kitchen skills to learn. And then I received an email from the hostess of the party. "One of the children is a vegetarian, can we make sure the soup is vegetarian?"

Well so much for my lingering doubts that children wouldn't eat the broccoli! I was naively surprised at this news and I felt every pound the meat and potatoes midwestern boy that I was raised to be. But why wouldn't I expect a vegetarian kid among the mix. I happily include vegetarian options at all my catered events, many of my friends are vegetarian and I'm always striving to make several of our own weekly meals vegetable based. Did I somehow imagine vegetarian parents cooking up rib steaks and lamb chops for their kinder folks? Sometimes Big Mary amazes himself with obtuseness.

And so, the results of my re-thinking are presented here. As is usually the case, when required to think outside the box, something newly delicious has presented itself. The challenge was to make vegetarian won ton soup that would please the meat eaters as much as the vegetarians. For the stock I turned to lots of roasted root vegetables, heightened by mushrooms for that satisfying umami base note and accented by spices used in Vietnamese Pho Soup (cinnamon, star anise, ginger and coriander). The dumplings also relied on mushrooms for a meaty texture, augmented by mashed tofu for consistency.

I am happy to report that the result received thumbs up, both diminutive and full grown, across the board. While the recipe for the broth takes some time, it's mostly non active time while the broth simmers. Feel free to make it a few days ahead, or weeks ahead and freeze it. The filling is pretty easily made by adults, and making won tons, of any style or flavor, is a great hands on, kid friendly activity.

Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, carrot and ginger. Sauté over high heat 3 – 4 minutes until vegetables are cooked. Add remaining ingredients (except won ton wrappers) and transfer mix to the work bowl of a food processor, fitted with the knife blade. Pulse several times until mixture is broken down to a very fine chop. Lay out several wonton wrappers on a cutting board with the point facing up (like a diamond shape) Paint the top two edges of the wonton very lightly with the egg wash. Place a rounded teaspoon of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Fold the bottom corner up to meet the top corner of the wrapper. Press down the edges to seal and force out any air in the wont ton. Paint one of the bottom corners of the triangle with some egg wash and press it into the opposite corner, forming the wonton.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ki: Inspired Modern Japanese Cuisine at BCE Place

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bloggiversary: Annalise's 5 Favorite Recipes from 5 Years

Today, this bloggy of ours turns 5 years old - we can scarcely believe it. In all of those five years, we've never celebrated the anniversary, but we figured 5 is a big deal. If our blog were a human, it could be starting kindergarten! All 3 of us will be posting to share our top 5 recipes over the next few days, a "Greatest Hits" collection, if you will.

While we know posts have been few and far between recently, we really love this blog, and searching through the archive for ALL-TIME FAVORITES (an impossible task) reminded me of why I'm personally so happy we have it. Looking through posts reminded me of some of my happiest memories with my sisters, as well as some of harder times we've faced together and the therapy that cooking provided. I also found myself (as our Mum would say) LOL-ing over the signature Parady cornball humor that is sprinkled throughout all of our posts. I remembered how K was so excited over her IMMERSION BLENDER that she demanded we caps-lock those words in all recipes, found this joke from Sarah that went sadly un-appreciated and laughed over my own early cooking college days.

Cooking is (clearly) a big deal to our family, and whether we are calling each other on the phone for a recipe reminder and throwing in a quick life update on the way or spending hours together baking way too many pies for a big holiday dinner, it keeps us close in moments big and small. This blog allows us to record that, along with being a virtual recipe box, so thank you for reading and allowing us to share our delicious memories with you.

Starting with the oldest sister first, here are my two favorite recipes by Sarah:
I would be remiss if I were to not choose a soup recipe from Sarah, and as the title of this recipe states, tomato soup recipes are her particular favorite. There are 47 soup recipes on this blog, and once when I wanted to make one for a sick roommate I called Sarah directly because I was too overwhelmed to choose. This is the one she directed me to and it certainly lived up to the caps-locked hype. I would declare it her favorite but fall is on its way and I would not be shocked if another tomato soup recipe appeared along with it. Making it reminds me of many such phone calls over the years to my sisters, who always have the right food answers.

Watermelon Feta Quinoa Salad
An alternate title for this blog could be "". While our tastes and preferences vary drastically, there are also strong similarities between the three of us, one being that our cooking/eating alternates between very healthy and very indulgent. We call it a "balanced" diet - a favorite lunch order for all three of us is sweet potato fries + salad. Here's a recipe that came out of a suggestion I made on an email thread where we all challenged each other to come up with something we all three would eat (initially Sarah said she hates watermelon, then she ended up being the one to post it, so ha!) and came to fruition during a summer cookout at Sarah's home. Triple-Parady-approved!

By Kate:
Maple Custard Cream Pie
Choosing a pie from Kate was essentially mandatory for me, as our joint love of pie has been a dominating theme on this blog and also in many happy memories together during our years in Phoenix. We are the sisters who once made 5 Thanksgiving pies for only 10 people. However, I will admit that there was a time where I *gasp* didn't have a deep love of pie. This was the pie that changed that, so of course it came from K. It's still a long-time favorite of mine, particularly for Christmas morning.

Roasted Corn and Tomato Risotto
Risottos are a specialty of K's, and they are partially responsible for me starting to eat vegetables a few years ago while I was still listed as the "finicky carnivore" in our blog description. Big sisters are excellent for tucking foods you are skeptical of into creamy, cheesy, flavorful rice so that eventually you will eat them on their own. I chose this one because we are just at the tail end of abundant corn and tomatoes, but you can't go wrong with any of the risottos she's shared.

By me:
Costan Rican Casado and Guanabana Batidos
As the youngest sister on this blog, my culinary skills are always lagging just a tad behind the others (and some of my more embarrassing cooking moments have been archived here). It's a point of pride and amusement for me, then, that I wrote our TWO MOST VIEWED POSTS of all time. Muahahaha. This is the second most-viewed, but I am actually proud of rather than embarrassed by this one. Going abroad was the best thing for my development as a cook, because I became the de facto cook for my roommates and was challenged by unusual ingredients. Upon return, I took it upon myself to recreate my favorite meal from Costa Rica, and the result is this post that has apparently become some sort of "expert" recipe for others who miss the light, fresh meals found there.

Bonus favorite by Mum:
French Onion Cream of Mushroom Soup
I couldn't resist including a guest post from our Mom in my list of favorite-ever posts. While I myself have never made this soup (the picky eater in me still can't stomach mushrooms), K captured our family perfectly in writing this post. I remember reading it and laughing so hard I fell off my bed and startled my roommate two rooms away. It deserved to be on here.

Look forward to hearing from K and S soon, and maybe take some time to glance through our archives yourself. Happy bloggiversary to us!

Watch the video: Ντιπ με αβοκάντο και ντομάτα γκουακαμόλε. Yiannis Lucacos (September 2021).