Thursday, May 31, 2012

Thai Fried Rice with Runny Egg

I GOT A NEW COOKBOOK! I’m not sure how to explain to you my enthusiasm for cookbooks and cooking magazines. I’ll flip through the same cookbooks over and over marking different pages and trying to plan out recipes to try. Cooking magazines are great because they are also chalked full of new recipes and ideas for the kitchen. A new cookbook is just as great… well, except for the fact that sometimes the spine isn’t worn enough for you to keep the page open to the recipe you want to make and you have to figure out how to hold it down so you can read and cook at the same time. Oh the woes of a home cook. ;)

Ever since I’ve been living alone and cooking for myself, I’ve wanted a “cooking for one” cookbook. However, a lot of the reviews for single cookbooks that I have read seem to classify the books as more introductory cooking (how to make a hamburger, how to cook a chicken breast, etc.) designed for college kids that are trying to get away from dorm food. Not really my style—I mean, I can adapt most recipes for four or six down to one or two especially when it is things with which I’m pretty familiar. Recently, I came across the cookbook “ServeYourself” by Joe Yonan, and since I still had a B&N giftcard from Christmas (yes, I realize it is May), I figured I would give it a whirl. It is certainly an interesting cookbook with lots of “different” types of recipes. I would say he gets a lot of his inspiration from Asian cuisine. But I’ve bookmarked some recipes and will be giving them a try and sharing what I like (and potentially dislike) about them with you. What I like most about his cookbook is his mindset about cooking for one that I also share:

           “Cooking for yourself doesn’t need to feel like a chore or, perhaps worse, it doesn’t need to bring to mind that character in Hitchcock’s Rear Window. Remember Miss Lonely Hearts? As Jimmy Stewart’s character watched through his binoculars from across the courtyard, she set a table for two, raised a glass, forced a smile, and mimed a romantic dinner with an empty chair… I gotta eat, I gotta cook, and I’m determined to do both well. When I make myself dinner, I don’t pretend my true love is sitting across from me—I’m often too excited about the flavors I just put together to think about much of anything else.” –Joe Yonan, "Serve Yourself" introduction

Isn’t that just the perfect attitude? I really enjoy cooking and eating the food I make, so cooking for myself is a pleasure. It makes me happy to spend time in the kitchen and then to share those recipes here with you. Now don’t get me wrong, I love to cook for others as well. It’s just that some nights, you are eating dinner alone so you should appreciate not just the guests or family you cook for but yourself as well.

Ok, I’m stepping off the soapbox and going to share with you the first recipe I tried from Joe’s book. I chose this Thai fried rice recipe because I had some extra rice in the fridge from the weekend and fried rice is always a good bet with leftover rice. He includes a recipe for Nam Pla Prik, Thai chiles rehydrated in fish sauce, to serve alongside it. However, I didn’t have the chilis and wasn’t up for a trip to the market. Instead, I spiced it up with a drizzle of Sriracha sauce at the end. I also didn’t quite have a cup of chopped mushrooms, mine was closer to 2/3 cup, but next time I will certainly up the mushroom content. I’m not sure how I feel about Asian fish sauce. I’ve had this ginormous bottle in my pantry for a while (I bought it for some recipe) and will add it when it is called for, but I don’t really experiment with it. It has such a strong smell of fish, and I like fish, that is just so overpowering. But the taste is fine. You really just have to get over pouring it into the skillet and the flavor is good. There’s my warning.

Thai Fried Rice with Runny Egg (from “Serve Yourself” cookbook)
1 tbsp + 1 tsp peanut oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup (or less) mushrooms, cutting into ½ in pieces
1 cup cold white or brown rice
2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
½ cup canned diced tomatoes (or 1 tomato, cored and chopped)
2 tsp Asian fish sauce
1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 egg
Salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup thinly sliced cucumber
Sriracha sauce

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok over high heat. Add the garlic and stir fry until golden, about 30 sec. Add the mushroom and stir fry until softened, 1-2 min.  Add the rice, breaking it up with your fingers as you toss it into the wok. Keep the rice moving for 2-3 minutes, scooping and tossing and pressing the rice against the bottom and sides of the wok to sear it. Add the scallions, tomato, fish sauce and soy sauce. Stir fry about 30 sec. Transfer to plate.

Wipe out the wok and decrease the heat to low. Add 1 tsp oil followed by the egg. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until the top of the egg as barely filmed over with the white and the yolk is still runny, about 2 min. Carefully lift out the egg and place on top of rice.
Garnish with cucumber slices and Sriracha sauce (as desired).

Monday, May 28, 2012

Farm Fresh Pasta with Ricotta Meatballs

The weird things people do… I was walking around my apartment complex and I saw such a strange sight. A Meijer shopping cart was secured to the stairs of a different building with a bike lock. Wha?!? Someone steals a shopping cart and then makes sure no one can steal it from them. How weird is that?

Anyway, I digress. 

Most times when I have spaghetti, I prefer my dad’s spaghetti sauce. I’ve started making it myself and freezing it smaller portions so that I can defrost and enjoy it any time I want. Although whenever I eat my dad’s spaghetti sauce, it needs to be regular noodles topped with the sauce and a little bit of parmesan cheese, just the way it was when I was growing up. However, sometimes I enjoy some whole grain pasta primavera chalked full of fresh veggies. Add some meatballs and you have a great meal.

So, today I got home, checked the fridge and collected all vegetables I had readily available. Today it was spinach (fresh from one of my friend’s gardens, yum!), zucchini, mushrooms, tomatoes and onion. So those were all of those things I threw together for this pasta dish. I was craving some red meat so I quickly whipped up these little meatballs that are held together with some ricotta cheese. From start to stop, this dish was completely in less than 30 minutes. Perfect!

Zucchini and Spinach Spaghetti with Ricotta Meatballs
1/3 lb ground beef
¼ cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp ricotta cheese, low fat is fine
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tsp Italian seasoning

1 serving whole wheat spaghetti
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
2 cups raw spinach
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
3/4 cup chopped mushrooms
1 garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup chopped onion
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/8 cup chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and pepper, to taste
Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Preheat broiler.

Combine the meatball ingredients in a small bowl and mix thoroughly. Roll mixture into balls, approximately 1 tsp per meatball (I got 22 meatballs). Broil on a broiling pan covered with cooking spray for approximately 6-7 min. **You can make larger meatballs; they will just take longer to cook.

Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the package. With approximately 3 min left in the cooking time, add the zucchini and spinach to the boiling pasta. Drain the vegetables and pasta.

To make the sauce, combine the tomato, mushrooms, garlic, onion, seasoning and broth in a small pan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Cover and stir occasionally until the onion and mushrooms are cooked through, approximately 10-15 min.

To serve, layer half of the zucchini followed by half the spaghetti and spinach on a plate. Top with half the sauce and half the meatballs. Garnish with grated parmesan cheese, if desired.

Serves 2.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

BLTA Spring Rolls

Confession-- I’m totally into rice paper right now. Why? Because spring rolls constitute a healthy, quick and easy summer dish that can be packed with lots of goodness. I’ve made a number of different flavors in the past few months and enjoyed all of them. You can basically do WHATEVER you want with these little guys. You can add some protein (shrimp, bacon, beans, etc.) to make them a main dish or just opt for an assortment of veggies, kinda like a salad repurposed, served alongside grilled chicken or fish.

I introduced my parents to them this weekend when they were visiting. We had them stuffed with tons of vegetables as a side to sesame chicken and rice (I totally forgot to take a picture, but I promise I will next time and share the recipe here... it is great!). We had a blast making the rolls right at the dining room table.

I need to prepare you that these are certainly an “eat with your hands” food, especially if you want to dip them in some sauce (which I would suggest). Make sure to keep a napkin handy because they can be messy! :)

I’m sharing with you today a recipe for BLTA spring rolls, but I just encourage you to find the rice paper (should be in the Asian section of your supermarket) and play around with what you like best.

BLTA Spring Rolls (adapted from White on Rice Couple)
2 strips bacon, cooked to your desired crispness, cut in half
4 leaves bibb lettuce
1 small or medium tomato, sliced thinly
½ avocado, sliced thinly
2 pieces of rice paper

Dipping sauce:
1/8 cup soy sauce (I prefer low sodium)
1 tsp Sriracha sauce, more or less to taste
1 tsp mayo

Whisk the sauce ingredients in bowl until completely combine (alternatively, combine in a mason jar and shake to completely mix).

Fill a pie pan (or large bowl) with warm to hot water (the hotter it is, the faster the rice paper will hydrate). Gently dip one piece of rice paper into the bowl until it hydrated, approximately 10-30 seconds. Remove and spread out on plate or cutting board.

Add one piece of bacon, two lettuce leaves, and half of the tomato and avocado slices to one side of the rice paper. Start rolling the paper over the filling away from you, tucking in the sides as you go.

Eat immediately, dipping into sauce between bites.

Serves 1. 

** You can easily double, quadruple, etc. the recipe to fit the number of people who will be at dinner.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Summer Shrimp Stir Fry

It’s getting hot in here.

And by in here, I mean outside. Champaign has been having summer weather this week and it doesn’t look like it is going to pass on by in the near future. Temperatures forecasted for this holiday weekend in the mid-90’s. Did I really move away from NC? Basically no snow this winter and now summer in late May. Not that I’m complaining, but stating facts. :)

Well, one of my all-time favorite summer dinners is stir fry! Actually, truth-be-told, stir fry is a meal I enjoy making any time of the year. You can load up on seasonal veggies and just go crazy. Plus, it is one of those quick and easy meals I’m always looking for. I cannot tell you how many times Scott and I had stir fry last summer. We were a part of a local CSA (don’t know what CSA means? Go here and find one near you. They are great!) so every week we were loaded up with fresh vegetables straight from the farm. One of the easiest ways to incorporate a lot of them into one meal was to whip up a stir fry. I’m sure I’ll be sharing with you many stir fry recipes over the next few months, but really the concept is the same for each one:

1. Pick some protein (chicken, shrimp, beef, pork, tofu, etc.)                                                                                  
2. Chop up veggies (whatever your heart desires)
3. Mix up a sauce
4. Stir fry away

Depending on the day, I like to serve my stir fry with rice or noodles or as lettuce wraps. Today I’m sharing with you a recipe for a simple clear sauce that I used with shrimp, mushrooms, red pepper, onion, zucchini and broccoli slaw served over brown rice. It is a light and fresh albeit not super flavorful sauce that really lets you enjoy the taste of the vegetables and shrimp. You could certainly use it with any combo of protein and veggies.

Summer Shrimp Stir Fry (adapted from Food Network Magazine)
¾ lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 egg white
½ red bell pepper, thickly diced
½ medium onion, sliced
8 button mushrooms, sliced
1 small zucchini, sliced
1 cup broccoli slaw                                                                                                                      
¾ cup chicken broth
2 tbsp cornstarch, divided
3 tbsp dry sherry, divided
½ tsp sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
Pinch of salt
Pinch of sugar
Peanut oil for stir frying
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
2 cups brown rice, prepared as directed

Wisk the egg white, 1 tbsp dry sherry and 1 tbsp cornstarch in a small bowl. Toss with your shrimp and refrigerate for 20 to 60 min. (I usually set up the marinating and then cut up all my veggies. When I’m done prepping everything else, I’m ready to stir fry). Drain excess marinade from shrimp.

Mix the sauce (chicken broth, 1 tbsp cornstarch, 2 tbsp dry sherry and sesame oil) in a small bowl.

Heat ½ tbsp peanut oil in a wok (or skillet) over medium heat. Add shrimp and stir until opaque, approximately 2-3 min. Transfer to a plate and wipe out pan.

Add 1 tbsp peanut oil to the wok and heat over high heat for 2 min. Add the garlic, ginger, salt and sugar and stir fry for 30 seconds. Add the vegetables and stir fry until crisp-tender.

Add the shrimp and the sauce. Stir until the sauce in thick and everything is cooked through, about 3-4 min.

Serve hot over cooked brown rice and garnish with sesame seeds.

Serves 4.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Beans, Beans

The magical fruit.

I would say that black beans are typically my go-to bean of choice. They are perfect for burritos, burgers, nachos or as a side. Sometimes I enjoy chickpeas (in the form of hummus, in particular) and pinto beans (in chili, of course). Recently, I’ve been trying to expand my bean repertoire. 

Meijer was having a sale on canned beans and I decided to pick up a can of butter beans. I had never had them before, but I figured I could make bean burgers with them and see how I felt. So, for those of you who are new, like me, to the butter bean world, these beans are HUGE! I mean like 3 times as large as a “normal” bean. They aren’t really round and puffy like a “normal” bean either- they are pretty flat. From my extensive google-ing (ok, I just looked on Wikipedia), butter beans are another form of lima beans. But they aren’t green; they are off white in color similar to a Northern bean. 

Anyway, that’s really all beside the point. The most important question is, what do they taste like? They definitely taste good but are not strongly flavored one way or another. Just like many beans, they will pick up the flavors you throw at them, so really being creative with what you put in and on your bean burger is essential. I started with a Cooking Light base recipe for black bean burgers that I made a while ago (see the link below) and changed things up a little bit. I added some CRP for a little kick, but I think it would have been even better if I had gone for some minced jalapeno. However, I had no jalapenos in my apartment, so I used what I had. The egg and bread crumbs are essential for forming a patty that won’t fall apart. If you are a vegan, I’m not sure what you can substitute in here for the egg, but please let me know if you have had success with anything. The burger itself was not super flavorful and next time I may play around with additional seasonings. However, the cucumber relish is superb if you pile it on top. I actually used this jalapeno infused honey that I picked up from the farmers’ market the other week and that really put it over the top. You can obviously use whatever honey you have in stock. 

You may want to use this cucumber relish to top off hotdogs from the grill at your Memorial Day party this weekend. I’m thinking it will taste good on just about everything. :)

Butter Bean Burgers with Cucumber Relish (Recipe inspired by Cooking Light, June 2001 issue)
15 oz can butter beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 cup dry breadcrumbs
¼ cup minced onion
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 egg
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cooking spray
4 hamburger buns or sandwich thins
Parmesan cheese, for topping

½ cup finely chopped cucumber
1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
¼ cup finely chopped onion
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp honey
Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all of the relish ingredients on a bowl. Chill until ready to use.

For burgers, place beans in a bowl and partially mash with a fork. Stir in the breadcrumbs, onion, CRP, egg and salt and pepper until completely combined and moist. Divide into 4 equal portions and shape into ½ in thick patties.

Preheat George Forman grill (or pan or outdoor grill) coated with cooking spray. Grill for 10 minutes (flip halfway through if not using George Forman) until heated through.

Toast the buns or sandwich thins. Top each bun with a patty, ¼ cup relish and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Homemade Taco Seasoning.

I know, I know. Why make something at home that is super simple to pick up at the grocery store? Well, I can give you a few reasons why homemade taco seasoning is worth the effort (truthfully, it isn’t much effort at all):

1. You can control the amount of sodium.
2. You can control the amount of spice.
3. You can control the portion size.

For me, the biggest draw is #3. Since I’m cooking for myself most days, I’m not browning up a pound of ground beef to mix with one of the pre-packaged taco seasonings. If you only use a quarter to a third of the package, you have to wrap up the rest of it and wait until you’re ready for tacos again. So much effort, right? Ok, not really. Additionally, I don’t know about you, but I never know when I craving for tacos (or something Mexican inspired) will hit me, so having a jar full of taco seasoning at the ready is perfect. It is super simple--- just combine your spices and keep it in an airtight container. Then when you’re ready for tacos, combine the same amount of the seasoning with cornstarch in your pan with your ground beef (or ground turkey or pulled pork or black beans or whatever) and a little bit of water and you are all set.

I used it the other day to doctor up some leftover pulled pork to make a great taco salad. I loaded up the lettuce with tomatoes, cheese, avocado, celery and the pork. Served alongside some tortilla chips and it was perfect.

Try it out. You’ll like it.

Side note: I think I added closer to 2 tsp of CRP (crushed red pepper) because I love the spice. Feel free to experiment with what fits your taste buds.

Homemade Taco Seasoning (Adapted from All Recipes)
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp black pepper

Mix together all ingredients. Store in an airtight container. To use, combine equal parts seasoning mix and cornstarch with cooked meat or beans and water (approximately 2 tbsp of each for a pound of ground beef). 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Honey Wheat Waffles with Homemade Strawberry Syrup

Name this movie:  “We can stay up late, swapping manly stories, and in the morning, I'm making waffles!”

I enjoy a weekend morning when I can sleep in and lounge around in my PJs while catching up on some TV and drinking my coffee. On those mornings, I also prefer to make something a little more elaborate for breakfast like an omelet, biscuits or waffles (a typical morning is usually toast, yogurt or cereal). So today I'm sharing with you a great waffle recipe made with mostly whole wheat flour and flavored with yogurt and honey. In addition, please please please, make this homemade strawberry syrup. It is strawberry season right now and it is so easy! You can load it up on waffles like I did, or maybe pour it over some vanilla bean ice cream. Or just eat it directly out of the pan... (I may have done that as well).

Honey Wheat Waffles (adapted from Annie's Eats)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 cup old fashioned oats
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp baking soda
dash of salt
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup plain yogurt (low fat is fine)
1/4 cup honey
1 egg
1 tbsp canola oil 

In a bowl, whisk together the flours, oats, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, yogurt, honey, egg and oil until well blended. Pour the liquid ingredients over the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined.

Pour into a pre-heated waffle iron and cook as directed by the manufacturer. 

Serves 2.

Strawberry Syrup
1 cup diced strawberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp orange juice
1/4 tsp orange zest
1/4 tsp chili powder

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan over med high heat. Bring to a boil and lower heat. Simmer until thicken 10-15 minutes. Cool slightly before use.

Makes 1/2-3/4 cup.

P.S. Shrek! :)

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Stuffed Bell Peppers with Spicy Mac and Cheese

Do you ever have “one of those days”? You know, the day when you walk over to the MS building and totally get lost and cannot find the room to drop off your samples so you have to walk back to your lab and look it up online because you are too embarrassed just to ask someone. And then 30 minutes later, you are rotovapping down your last glimmer of hope for the day because you’ve already had two reactions fail, and your product bumps for like the twelve time. And then you have to struggle to fight back the tears welling up in your eyes. No? me either… Okay, okay. This may be a true story of an over-emotional moment one afternoon this week. So to attempt to brighten my day, I turned my iPod to Taylor Swift and rocked out to her girly music. This helped A LOT. Day looked up significantly. What about you? Do you have music that will automatically give you that little pick-me-up? What do you do when you have “one of those days” and you just need to put a smile on your face?

You know what else puts a smile on my face? COOKING!! (and EATING!) And on a day that isn’t the happiest, we all need a little comfort food. For me, comfort food tends to revolve around gooey, melting, delicious cheese. So today I’m sharing with you a great recipe for spicy mac and cheese. I stuffed it into some green bell peppers, but you could certainly skip that step and serve it alongside whatever you wanted.

Spicy Mac and Cheese Stuffed Bell Peppers (Mac and Cheese Recipe from Annie’s Eats)
2 cups penne pasta, cooked according to the directions on the box and drained
¼ cup onion, finely chopped
¼ cup roasted red pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, finely minced (remove seeds if you don’t like a lot of spice)
2 tbsp butter, divided
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cup milk
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
1 dash salt
1 dash black pepper
4 oz. colby jack cheese, shredded
2 oz. pepper jack cheese, shredded
2 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2-4 bell peppers (depending on the size), tops removed and cored

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Melt ½ tbsp butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, red pepper and jalapeno and cook, stirring occasionally until fragrant and tender, about 5 min. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt 1 ½ tbsp butter over medium-high heat. After the butter has melted completely, whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly, until it turns a light golden brown color and begins to foam, about 2 min. Whisk in the milk. Cook, whisking frequently, until it begins to thicken, about 5 min. Reduce heat to medium-low and whisk in spices. Finally, add the cheeses and whisk until completely melted and incorporated. 

In a bowl, combine the cooked, drained pasta with the onion and pepper mix and cheese. Mix completely and then spoon into the cored bell peppers. Place the peppers into a baking dish with a small amount of water in the bottom.

Bake for 25 minutes or until the mixture is heated through.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Spicy Black Bean Burritos

You may be wondering “What type of foods can I expect to see on your blog, Julie?” Well, the short answer is ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. Ha. Actually, whatever I make (and like!) may possibly make an appearance on the blog. I just have to remember to take photos of the meal, before I scarf it down, so that I can entice you with the pictures. I predicting that I will focus mostly on main dishes and sides with minimal desserts. That’s because I do not make a lot of desserts. Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy sweets, but I try not to make them often, otherwise I’ll eat them all…

I grew up in a meat-eating household (full of lots of yummy food, thanks Mom and Dad!). I really only remember one vegetarian recipe that would make regular appearances- stuffed shells. They were delicious and I have fond memories of those meals because my sister’s childhood best friend would be over almost every time we had them. Anyway, once I started cooking for myself, in college most specifically, I viewed a meal as some sort of meat with some veggies/beans/starches as sides. In the past few years, I started incorporating more vegetarian meals into my repertoire. When I was cooking for Scott in NC, I tried to slip in maybe one vegetarian meal a week. Not that we didn’t enjoy the more experimental dishes, but my mindset was still focused on meat-centric meals. However, after I moved to IL and have been cooking for only yours truly, I have been making a lot more meat-less meals. I think this stems from getting home from work later and wanting to eat as soon as possible. Quick and easy comes with dishes when you don’t have to worry cooking meat completely. Recently I came across an article that defined this choice of not eating meat every day as “flexitarian”. I’m not sure I want to place myself into this box; I would prefer if you just referred to me as “someone who will eat just about anything, as long as it tastes yummy”. 

So with that little introduction, here is one of those “quick and easy” vegetarian recipes. I would suggest you put it into the rotation when you don’t really feel like cooking and the Taco Bell on your way home is calling your name (or is that just me?). The quick pickled onion and pepper (you could certainly use sweet peppers instead of the banana pepper) pick up the citrus very well and the cumin makes them super yummy. The black beans are AMAZING (and so easy)! I got the idea of chipotle peppers and black beans from Cooking Light a few years back; they served them alongside some carne asado tacos (that were also delicious). Now the smoky spice of the adobo sauce is one of my favorite ways to jazz up beans. If you can’t handle the spice, leave out the chopped chipotle and just go for the adobo sauce. You’ll get the same taste without the large kick. You could certainly go all out and add some cheese, sour cream and/or guac to these burritos, but I prefer to not add too many extra flavors to the mix and so I just went for lettuce, tomatoes and plain avocado. 


Spicy Black Bean Burritos with Quick Pickled Onions and Peppers
¼ red onion, sliced thinly
½ banana pepper, sliced thinly
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of ½ orange
½ tsp sugar
½ tsp ground cumin
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
½ chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, chopped and 1 tsp sauce
Lettuce, chopped
Tomato, chopped
½ avocado, chopped
2 tortilla shells, 9” burrito size

Combine juice of the citrus with the sugar and cumin in a bowl and stir to dissolve completely. Add the onion and banana pepper to a saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and then drain and plunge into ice water. Add the onion and pepper to the bowl with the citrus and mix to coat. Chill in fridge until everything else is ready.

Add black bean, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce and ¼ cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Mash the black beans to the texture you desire.

Assemble the burritos by splitting the bean mixture and veggies between two tortillas. Add lettuce, tomato and ¼ avocado to each. Roll up and enjoy-- preferably with the rest of the orange and some chips and fresh salsa.

Serves 2.