Wednesday, December 30, 2009

5-Minute Salsa

Cook Time: about 5 minutes
Cost: $2
Serves: 2-4

This is a super fast, super easy, super good salsa recipe.


  • 1 can diced tomatoes - with jalapeno peppers (if you can't find this, just get a jar of jalapeños and add some jalapeños with juice) ($0.65 at kroger)
  • 1/4 white onion (typically <$1 per pound)
  • dash of cumin
  • tortilla chips ($1 at kroger)
  • dash of coriander or cilantro (if you have it)

I like my salsa pretty smooth. If you like yours chunky, then don't use the immersion blender.

Chop 1/4 white onion.

In a large bowl, add onion, canned tomatoes, coriander,  and "dash" of cumin (i like a lot).

If you like a smoother salsa, then use an immersion blender. Otherwise, just stir.


4/5 Beans the Cat!

This would probably get a 5/5 if I had cilantro. It's really very easy and very tasty... and pretty spicy! If its too spicy for you, get regular diced tomatoes and jalapeños in juice. Add jalapeños and juice to taste before blending.

The nice thing about the canned tomatoes with jalapeños is that the tomatoes just marinate in the jalapeños over time.

Boyfriend says: "It's a spicy tomato. Very rich in flavor with a kick that'll knock your socks off!".

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Black Bean Soup w/ Chicken

Cook Time: about 25 minutes
Cost: less than $5
Serves: 3-4

When I first started South Beach, I also had just started teaching as a GTA at UD. I used to go to Panera all of the time to get black bean soup because it is so South Beach -friendly. I decided to learn to make it myself and added chicken, so it's more like a black bean - chicken chili.

  • 2 cans of black beans
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • Cumin, Cayenne, and Chili Powder, Salt
  • Sour Cream (optional)

Thaw chicken (if already thawed, take 5 min off of cook time), rinse and place on baking sheet. Season with cumin, chili powder, cayenne and salt to taste. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes (or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle when cut).

Empty one can of black beans into soup pot. Rinse the other can before adding. Add 1/2 cup of water. Add cumin, chili powder, and cayenne to taste (probably 3to1 cumin to chili powder and cayenne). Heat on med-med low.

When chicken is done, let it cool. Then dice it and mix it into your soup. Serve in a bowl and top with a dollop of sour cream.


5/5 Beans the Cat!

This is one of my favorite things to make/eat. Sometimes I eat it with a little chunk of sourdough bread. Super easy to make. I like to make a bunch so that I have left overs because it fills you up without making you feel heavy. However, the beans may make you toot!

Boyfriend says: nothing, because he is at work. But he does love this dish.

Shrimp Pasta with Black Olive & Peppers

Cook Time: about 20 minutes
Cost: $5-10
Serves: 2

I need to go to the grocery, so I was trying to figure out how to make a meal with ingredients I already had. I had 2 bags of pre-cooked shrimp and some black olives I needed to use. This dish is the result...

  • Pre-cooked shrimp, thawed - remove tails
  • Peppers & Onions (I used a bag of frozen)
  • Black Olives
  • Cumin, Red Pepper, Garlic
  • Cream
  • Muenster Cheese
  • Butter
  • Pasta

Thaw pepper & onion blend by heating in a skillet, add chopped olives and thawed shrimp. Season with cumin, red pepper and garlic.

In a small sauce pan, combine about 1 cup of cream, shredded muenster, 1 tbs of butter, and 2 cloves chopped garlic. Bring to boil, then let simmer.

Cook pasta as directed on box, drain.

Combine pasta and pepper/onion/black olive & shrimp mix. Serve on a plate covered in the garlic cream sauce.


1/5 Beans the Cat.

The sauce was probably the downfall. The muenster was not the best cheese to use; mozzarella and/or parmesan would probably have been better. The muenster made the sauce kind of clumpy and gritty and thick. The shrimp heated nicely with the vegetables and took on the flavors of the spices and peppers/onions. This could have been a good dish with just the shrimp/veg. I only ended up eating a few bites and just gave the rest away to boyfriend. I'll just eat a brownie later ;)

Boyfriend, again, wanted to give this a 5/5. Little Foot (cat) liked the sauce; he cleaned the plates for us when we were done.

Boyfriend says: "It's better than if I just made a sandwich for myself or just made myself pasta."

Monday, June 8, 2009

BBQ Chip-ken

Cook Time: about 30 minutes
Cost: $5-10
Serves: 2

Since I buy large bags of frozen chicken, I'm always trying to think of ways to change-up regular chicken. This is essentially chicken breaded and baked with crushed BBQ kettle chips (you can use any flavor). Kettle chips are nice because they stay crunchy. I served it with a salad.

  • 3 chicken breasts (I buy big bags of frozen chicken from GFS)
  • 1/2 bag BBQ Kettle Chips (any brand)
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 350. Thaw chicken (if already thawed, take 5 min off of cook time) and rinse. Put kettle chips in bag and crush (I crushed them by rolling a drinking glass over them). Scramble egg.

Coat chicken with egg on both sides, then coat with crushed chips. Place on baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes, or until done.


3/5 Beans the Cat.

The chicken was moist and the chips were crunchy. It could be made better by adding actual BBQ sauce or using a chip with a more intense flavor. But definitely something worth trying. Also, I love kettle chips, so I got to eat the excess while cooking :)

Boyfriend wanted to give this a 5/5... but he is crazy!

Boyfriend says, "While I love the BBQ chips, I feel as if any kettle chip could do. The chips held very well to the chicken and kept it tender while letting the flavor of the kettle chips shine."

Friday, June 5, 2009

Chili Chicken

Cook Time: about 30 minutes
Cost: $5-10
Serves: 2

I came up with this when I accidentally bought a can of "chili ready" diced tomatoes. I was looking at it in the pantry and thought, "I wonder if 'chili' would be a good chicken topper?".

  • 1 can diced tomatoes - chili ready
  • 1 can great northern beans (or any bean you like)
  • 3 chicken breasts (I buy big bags of frozen chicken from GFS)
  • Cumin, Chili Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Salt
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

Thaw chicken (if already thawed, take 5 min off of cook time), rinse and place on baking sheet. Season with cumin, chili powder, cayenne and salt to taste (watch out, cumin can be over-powering). Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes (or until chicken is no longer pink in the middle when cut).

Empty canned tomatoes into sauce pan (if you can't find "chili ready", then just add cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and salt). Using an immersion blender (my favorite kitchen tool), or any blender, blend tomatoes so that there are few chunks. Add a sprinkle of cumin. Drain, rinse, and add beans. Heat at medium-low heat until chicken is done.

Serve chicken topped with chili and shredded cheese. Toast makes a nice side - we used tomato basil bread from Panera.


4/5 Beans the Cat!

This was a really tasty dinner that was easy to make. It was filling without making us feel heavy. I didn't make the chilli very spicy, but those who love spice could add red pepper, more cayenne, or even jalapeno/habenero peppers.

Boyfriend says: "Very customizable to your individual taste buds. Good alternative to Chicken Parm and low carb".