TACO SALAD – MUY BUENO!

Taco Salad

Taco Salad

Taco Salad_Printable Recipe

We all eat & it would be a sad waste of opportunity to eat badly ~ Anna Thomas

Now before I say anything else I want to go on record stating that I AM NOT A SALAD IS A MEAL PERSON.  Anytime I sit down for a meal I require satisfaction.  This doesn’t mean I don’t eat healthy, I just prefer salad as PART of my meal.  But a salad like this?  I have had this for many meals and I am sure I will for many more.  This is actually my own version of a taco salad my grandmother has been making for years.  It’s an old family favorite that I have taken, added some of my own touches and a few healthier substitutes.  I make this a lot in the summer especially.

This is one of those recipes that hits every craving, taste, texture you could ever want and all at the same time.  It’s fresh and crisp, sweet, crunchy, salty, it can be as spicy as you want, and creamy & cool.  You can add or omit anything you want!  A few years ago I entered the recipe into a calorie calculator and a HUGE (we’re talking like 2 1/2 to 3 cups) was like 250 calories.  CLUTCH!

I want to get cooking with you but I have a couple of things I want to mention before we start.  First of all, I didn’t add cheese to the ingredients list but by all means add it if you like.  I love cheese in this salad but you know, swimsuit season and all….so I left it out of mine.  You will notice in the pics that I added chicken on top of the salad but also didn’t add to the ingredients list.  I had leftover grilled chicken so I just sliced it and served it cold on top.  You can add any kind of meat you like if you want some.  Leftover steak (something that gets ruined if reheated) can be sliced cold and is my personal favorite topper to this salad.  Shrimp, salmon, chicken, whatever you want!  Like most of my recipes if you don’t like something I put in then just leave it out.  If you want more or less of something then do it that way.  Want more beans, do it!  Don’t like avocados, skip them!This salad, especially this salad, is a blank canvas.  Get creative!  If you have an idea to add then please try it!

SALAD INGREDIENTS:

• 10 oz. mixed greens or chopped romaine lettuce, washed

I just buy the bags or boxes of mixed greens that are already washed, ready to serve.  You can truly use any kind of lettuce you want.  I prefer mixed greens or romaine because they can stand up to the other flavors.
• 1 15 oz. can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
• 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained & rinsed

Make sure you rinse the beans.  The liquid they come in is not tasty.  You can use any beans you enjoy.  I use these because my family & I love them. 
• 1 15 oz. can black olives, drained

You can use fresh black olives too.
• 2 cups corn

Defrosted frozen or canned corn is totally acceptable.  I also love to grill my corn on the cob for this salad.  I will add some instructions on grilling the corn and tomatoes near the end of the blog.
• 1 10 oz. bag Chili Cheese Fritos

This is the kind my grandma always uses so this is what I use.  Any kind of tortilla chip is fine – blue corn would be fantastic.  You could even make your own if you are feeling ambitious.
• 2 avocados, peeled, seeded & sliced

Confession:  I cannot stand avocados!  But I know I am in the minority on this so I am adding them in.
• 3 tomatoes, chopped

Some other toppings could be meat, some cheddar, Monterrey Jack, queso fresco cheese, sliced jalapeno or pablano.  I had some sweet bell peppers so I sliced them up and added them to mine.  They add a great flavor and crunch.

DRESSING INGREDIENTS:

These amounts are all eyeballed in my house.  If you aren’t used to doing that feel free to measure them out.  This dressing is creamy but very light.  I like it a little thinner than most. 
• ¾ cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt

I like to use the yogurt because its healthier and very similar in flavor & texture to the sour cream my grandma uses. Use what you want.
• ¼ cup mayonnaise

I prefer olive oil mayonnaise.  Use what you have.
• 1 small pinch kosher salt
• 4 green onions (scallions)

These will add a nice background spice to your creamy dressing.  If you don’t have them on hand don’t worry about it.  You could also put the avocado in the dressing instead of on top of the salad.
• 2 tablespoons chili powder

I know this seems like a lot of chili powder but we need it to be so it can compliment the creamy tang of the yogurt.  Believe me they compliment each other beautifully.
• ¼ – ½ cup milk

Whatever kind of milk you have in the fridge is fine.  This is added to make the dressing less thick which is why I gave a range amount.  You can make it as thin or as thick as you like.  I don’t like huge gobs of creamy dressing – I want it thinly distributed all over my salad.

NOTE:  If you are not a fan of creamy dressing or for some reason stay away from dairy – not to worry.  My mom makes this salad all the time but just used a quality French dressing.  That’s the name – French.  It may sound like a weird type to put on a taco salad but it totally works!

DRESSING DIRECTIONS:

Put all the ingredients (start with ¼ cup milk) into blender and blend on high until smooth. Do a taste test. Add any needed salt or chili powder. If dressing is too thick add more milk and blend a couple of tablespoons at a time until desired thickness.

If you are omitting the onions you can do this whole thing without a blender.  Just put it in a jar, screw the lid on tight and shake away.  My daughter loves to help doing it that way. Make sure you cut off the dry ends of the green onions as well as the tip with the roots!

Just throw it all in.

Just throw it all in.

Blend until smooth.

Blend until smooth.

Pour into seal-able container & refrigerate until ready to use.

This will last about a week in the fridge.

SALAD DIRECTIONS:

In a large serving bowl pour about 2/3 of the dressing on the bottom. Top with the greens, tomatoes and Fritos. Toss until dressing is evenly distributed. Sprinkle the remaining ingredients evenly over the top and serve.

Putting the dressing on the bottom is a great way to make sure it doesn’t end up in random gobs.  When you toss the salad it will distribute evenly so every bite has the right amount.  I like to add all the stuff on top because #1 it looks beautiful and #2 if you toss the salad with all those things they kind of sink to the bottom.  When I am making an individual plate I just drizzle it on top like this.

YUMMER

YUMMER

Easy peasy, right?  If I am not planning to serve all of this at once, I just keep the greens in their own bag and all the beans, corn & olives in a Tupperware container together in the fridge.  Then when I want to eat just my own serving I assemble a single serving in a bowl, add the chips & dressing and go to town.

All in one container, ready to use!

All in one container, ready to use!

GRILLING CORN & TOMATOES

One added touch I like to do is to grill my corn (on the cob) and tomatoes.  It’s really easy.  Just drizzle with olive or vegetable oil, sprinkle with kosher salt & pepper.  Grill for about 5 minutes or until grill marks appear.  Just watch them closely.   If you are nervous about the corn then wrap each cob in foil first.  It will steam on the grill.

Seasoned & ready to grill!

Seasoned & ready to grill!

Check them often

Check them often

This is how you get the kernels off

This is how you get the kernels off

Oh yeahhhh

Oh yeahhhh

Thanks for stopping by BradyMunch! All feedback is welcome! I hope you try this recipe because I know you will love it!
See you on the flip side folks!
Don’t forget to email questions & feedback to bradymunchblog@yahoo.com &
to like this blog on Facebook!

Taco Salad

Taco Salad

DISCLAIMER: All recipes are just a jumping off point – unless I specify otherwise all ingredients or amounts are changeable. If you don’t like it then don’t use it! If you don’t have it then check your cupboard for a good dub. Remember – if you buy junk ingredients your end result will taste like junk! That being said, quality doesn’t always mean more expensive!! And most important of all, bring some pleasure into your kitchen – have some fun while cooking! Put on music, get the family involved (family time doesn’t just have to be at the table!), find things you like and enjoy the adventure. If I can do it, you can definitely do it! Like I said before – IT’S NOT THAT HARD! And if you mess up then make some PB&J and try again tomorrow. Mistakes and disasters are part of the journey. Don’t let a mistake or the possibility of one stop you!

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Risotto Primavera by Erin Brady

My weekly recipe on Eating For Our Futures – Risotto Primavera. Check out the rest of the EFF blog while you’re there – Adria has some great stuff!

Eating for our Future

I picked Risotto Primavera as this week’s EFF recipe. Primavera means the season of Spring in Italian, but in food language it usually means lots of vegetables. For those of you not familiar, risotto is an Italian rice dish, commonly seen in higher end restaurants. It originates from Northern Italy and is a creamy, luxurious dish. There are about as many types of risotto as there are stars in the sky. You can pretty much use the basic recipe and then go from there. I will add suggestions and ideas as we go. I can also promise you that this will not be the last risotto you see from me. Risotto and where you can go with it has become a staple here at the Brady compound.
It’s creamy, it’s rich, and it’s comforting. It can be cheesy, brimming with freshness, or meaty. And it can be all of that…

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Leek & Gruyere Souffle

LEEK & GRUYERE SOUFFLE

Spinach & Cheddar Souffle I made

Spinach & Cheddar Souffle I made

“The only thing that will make a souffle fall is if it knows you’re afraid of it” ~ James Beard

Hello fellow foodies and aspiring cooks.  It is “Carpe Diem Day”  in the kitchen.  Put on those aprons and gather your courage because today….today we conquer that elusive and mysterious dish – the souffle.  So souffles are pretty impressive.  They are puffy and rich and light all at the same time.  They can be sweet or savory and you only usually see them at restaurants where they don’t put prices on the menus.  They’ve gotten quite a rep in the food world.  But here’s the thing: yes they are very impressive, yes they are “easy” to mess up but only if you don’t know what you are doing.  It’s all about the chemistry being right.  I love making savory souffles, especially in the spring or summer with a nice astringent salad.  Dessert ones are good anytime frankly. 

Today, my friend Melissa is coming for lunch.  We have been friends since we were 6 months old and I love her very much.  I wanted to do something special for her so I chose a Gruyère & Leek souffle.  I am a huge fan of a leek.  They are like giant green onions but with a more mild & subtle flavor.  They are fantastic in soups & stews.  And Gruyère?  Where do I start?  Gruyère is a Swiss cow’s milk cheese.  Forget that stuff with the holes in it and grab Gruyère.  It’s flavor is similar to Parmesan but much creamier, nuttier with a hint of sweetness.  It melts just beautifully. I am such a freak – my favorite part of Gruyère is the rind which I love to eat as a snack.  Say what you want cause that stuff is GOOD!

So Wikipedia describes souffles as lightly baked cakes with egg yolks and beaten egg whites.  It really doesn’t do it justice but close enough.  Souffle comes from the French word souffler which means “to blow up” or “puff up”.  The base is essentially a bechamel (classic French white sauce) with beaten egg whites folded in.  You add whatever flavorings to the base (bechamel) and the egg whites are what keep it light and help it puff up.

Yes, it’s true they can be intimidating but I will debunk some of those mysteries for you today.  With the right knowledge you can GREATLY increase your success rate.  First of all, the weather can actually affect your souffle.  Never make one on a rainy or damp day.  I’m not sure why but it seems to do something to the egg whites  and keeps them from rising.    Souffles are traditionally baked in dishes called ramekins.  This is what I am using today and it is what I recommend.  Normally I don’t really like to say go out and buy specialized equipment but for souffles you do need a dish with depth.  I use mine as extra casserole dishes so they definitely get used more than just for this. They are really easy to find at Target or Wal-Mart and are not expensive.  Ramekins come in all shapes and sizes from large family-style to individual servings.  You can use 6 individual for this recipe or a larger one with a 6 1/2″ to 7 1/2″ diameter.  Another tip is make sure your eggs are at room temperature.  This just helps get them where they are going faster and easier.  The eggs (all parts) will be much easier to work with and again, increase the success rate.  Souffles fall under my “cooking” title but really they are a “baking” thing.  Follow directions and measurements EXACTLY.  Remember we are creating a chemical reaction in the oven – change the chemicals or their amounts and the reaction will change too.  The last thing is this is not a make-ahead dish.  The souffle, no matter how puffed up, will start to deflate a bit immediately after taking it out of the oven (I have pictures).  You need to make it all the way through and serve right when it comes out of the oven.    And the old wives tale is true – don’t open the oven while its baking it will deflate your souffle!

After a little over 5 minutes deflation.  Still gorgeous though!

After a little over 5 minutes deflation. Still gorgeous though!

Just remember, you can do this!

INGREDIENTS:

• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Always use unsalted butter with any cooking or baking.  Not only can you control how much salt is going in but how salty everything tastes.
• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Sorry guys – no sub for this one.  It’s gotta be all-purpose.
• 1 cup whole milk

We need the fat in whole milk for the bechamel.
• 1 pinch cayenne pepper

This is an optional ingredient.  I just like a touch of background heat.  Also adding a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg is a classic French step in bechamel sauces.  I left it off this one as sometimes people are weird about nutmeg although I find it delicious.  Add it if you would like just be careful to not go to heavy.  Nutmeg is strong and can be very overpowering.

• Kosher salt & pepper
• 4 egg yolks @ room temperature

If I know I am making a souffle I take my eggs out in the morning so they are sure to be room temperature by lunchtime or dinner.  People are so freaky about eggs these days.  I promise you they will not go bad if left on your kitchen counter all day whether they have been pasteurized or not.  Unless its 100 degree weather and you left them on your patio for a few days just RELAX!
• ¾ cup grated Gruyère cheese
• 1 leek

Gruyère and the leek are the flavorings I chose today.  Spinach and cheddar would be awesome.  I love to do Gorgonzola cheese with lardons (small rectangles) of bacon.  The possibilities are endless.  If you want to change the flavor go right ahead using the amounts I put.  I am only doing one leek because if I add any more it may weigh down the souffle.

• 5 egg whites @ room temperature
• 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

The cream of tartar is for keeping the egg whites stiff after being beaten and to help the souffle rise.  I have heard people claim this can be omitted but no.  I have tried it.  The souffle just doesn’t rise to its glory potential.

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. With a tablespoon of the butter, grease souffle ramekin completely on the inside. Sprinkle evenly with ¼ of the grated Gruyère.

Just roll the dish around so the cheese distributes evenly.  You can also use grated Parmesan for this part.

Roll the cheese

Roll the cheese

Chop up and rinse the leek. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium heat in a skillet. Toss in the leek; add a pinch of kosher salt and saute until soft, about 10 minutes. Set aside off the heat.

They should look like this when ready.

They should look like this when ready.

Leeks grow in sand so rinsing them is crucial.  I chop them first then toss them in a colander to rinse.  We want to cook the leeks through because they won’t cook much more in the oven.  We aren’t trying to brown or caramelize them.  We add the pinch of salt because flavoring food is about layers – seasoning at each step makes it easier for those flavors to come together and shine.  This is one of the reasons I rant about kosher or sea salt instead of table salt.  Over salting is unlikely with kosher and it just highlights the food it is put on.  If we used table salt to season at each step it’s be pretty salty at the end and we’d be no better off than if we added nothing.

Pour milk into a small sauce pan or skillet and warm over low heat.

We warm the milk slowly and delicately because we want to avoid a skin forming on top.  A good rule of thumb with heating milk is to watch for small bubbles to form around the edges of the pan.  That means its warm enough but not too hot or cooked.  We heat the milk at this step because we want all parts of the souffle base to be near the same temp as they get added together.

Over low heat melt the remaining butter in a sauce pan. Add the flour and with a whisk stir until rue is formed. Stir over heat another 2 minutes.

Before...

Before…

We've got rue...

We’ve got rue…

Even though the rue is formed we want to cook while stirring another 2 minutes to cook the flour.  We don’t want our base to taste like kindergarten paste.

Turn the heat off the pan with the rue in it and slowly add the milk while whisking. Keep whisking until smooth and thick. Add a pinch of salt, pepper & cayenne pepper to taste.

Milk just added

Milk just added

We don’t want any lumps.  Don’t panic if it instantly doesn’t blend in nicely.  Sometimes you have to stir it for a minute.  Have faith my friend, if you stir it it will come!

After a minute of whisking it's a sauce!

After a minute of whisking it’s a sauce!

Still off the heat, add egg yolks one-at-a-time. Stir until each one is incorporated before adding next one. Stir in cheese and leek.

One at a time

One at a time

Look at the color the eggs gave our base!

Look at the color the eggs gave our base!

With cheese and leek.

With cheese and leek.

Now if you are not used to separating egg yolks and whites here is a trick.  When you crack the shell pour its contents onto your fingers like in the below picture.  The white will naturally fall off (make sure you have a bowl under your hand!) and the yolk will stay. 

White/yolk separate trick

White/yolk separate trick

Transfer mixture to a mixing bowl and set aside.

In another mixing bowl add in egg whites, a pinch of kosher salt and cream of tartar. Beat with electric beaters at a low-speed for about a minute then raise speed every 30 seconds or so until you get to high until firm glossy peaks are formed.

You can also use a stand mixer with a whisk attachment or even a blender for this part.  If you are really ambitious or drunk you can always do this with a whisk by hand. I don’t know why you would if you didn’t have to but shine on you crazy diamond! You want the whites to be stiff enough they don’t move off the whisk.

Stiff stiff peaks

Stiff stiff peaks

Add 1/3 of whipped egg whites at a time to the cheese sauce, gently folding the two mixtures together. Fold gently until fully incorporated and then add another third until fully mixed.

1/3 at a time

1/3 at a time

Now “folding” is to get those two pieces of the puzzle (the base and the whipped egg whites) fully incorporated while deflating the egg whites as little as possible. 

The traditional or formal way to fold is to carefully pour the whipped egg whites on top of the latter in a deep mixing bowl. Using a dry flat spoon or rubber spatula and starting at one side of the bowl, push the implement along the bottom of the bowl; in one fluid motion, lift the batter and place it on top, just like you would fold a piece of cloth. Rotate the bowl a quarter turn and repeat.  This works great.  Do it VERY VERY GENTLY.  If you feel like it needs a little help coming together gently stir a figure 8 shape in the bowl – I have found this helps in between folds.  All those formerly trained cooks on Food Network would probably say not to do what I just wrote but then again maybe they shouldn’t do the same thing on Iron Chef.  People in glass houses and all that. Haha.

Not even baked yet and so pretty!

Not even baked yet and so pretty!

Pour into souffle ramekin and smooth the top. Place dish on a baking sheet.

Smooth out the top.

Smooth out the top.

Place into the 400 degree oven on a lower level rack. Make sure no racks are above it. Close the over door, reduce heat to 375 degrees and bake 30 to 35 minutes without opening the oven door. Serve immediately.

Seriously DON’T open that oven door or you’ll deflate your souffle!  It’s going to rise quite a bit but you’ll have to wait for that timer to beep!

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

It's deflated a little already but look how excited Melissa is!  Victory is mine!

It’s deflated a little already but look how excited Melissa is! Victory is mine!

Time to eat!

Time to eat!

As always here is a printable link to the recipe without my clever commentary.

GruyerLeekSouffle_Printable Recipe

Thanks for stopping by BradyMunch! All feedback is welcome! I hope you try this recipe because I know you will love it!
See you on the flip side folks!
Don’t forget to email questions & feedback to bradymunchblog@yahoo.com &
to like this blog on Facebook!

DISCLAIMER: All recipes are just a jumping off point – unless I specify otherwise all ingredients or amounts are changeable. If you don’t like it then don’t use it! If you don’t have it then check your cupboard for a good dub. Remember – if you buy junk ingredients your end result will taste like junk! That being said, quality doesn’t always mean more expensive!! And most important of all, bring some pleasure into your kitchen – have some fun while cooking! Put on music, get the family involved (family time doesn’t just have to be at the table!), find things you like and enjoy the adventure. If I can do it, you can definitely do it! Like I said before – IT’S NOT THAT HARD! And if you mess up then make some PB&J and try again tomorrow. Mistakes and disasters are part of the journey. Don’t let a mistake or the possibility of one stop you!

A Recipe for “It’s been one of those weeks!” by Erin Brady

Here’s my weekly recipe post for my friend Adria’s amazing blog Eating For Our Future! Check it out & lurk around her other posts – she’s got some amazing ideas & insights!

Eating for our Future


WHAT A WEEK! Has anyone else had their busy-ness put into overdrive lately?  Between the end of McKenna’s softball season activities plus the games, my work encounters with crazy humans, family shiiii…stuff, and my normal wife/mother job duties…oh did I mention BOTH my dogs got sprayed by a skunk?  I love my life, but this week I feel more inclined to fix myself a Big Gulp-sized cocktail rather than dinner.  It happens to all of us.  It’s been a long day/week and I feel like a toddler who is screaming “I AM NOT TIRED!” while rubbing his eyes. 

We all have these days.  I LOVE to cook but there are definitely times when I want to be in and out of the kitchen ASAP so I can get on with my day.  This is one of those times. I have those thoughts of picking up take out or going through…

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The Possibilities of Pesto

 

“Food should be a carefully balanced reflection of all things good of the earth”~Jean & Pierre Troisgros

 

When I think of this time of year, that gradual yet seemingly instant transition between Spring & Summer I think of a lot of things – sunshine and the heat from it, flowers blooming, longer days and warmer nights.  More importantly though, I think of Basil.  Fresh, piney, minty, lemony Basil.  And usually when I think of Basil my mind jumps right to Pesto, that cheesy, nutty, bright and fresh all at the same time sauce.  And it’s not just for pasta.  The possibilities are endless and I will elaborate on some later on.  Yes, its something you can easily buy pre-made in the store but….why?  It literally takes a few minutes to make a lot of it and comparing the taste of fresh homemade to store-bought who knows how long its sat there is like comparing an Aston Martin to a Ford Taurus.  Pesto is a very simple dish to make.  But if your ingredients are sub-par it will be much more obvious in something this simple.  The quality of what you cook has great impact on the finished product.  This doesn’t always mean more expensive though.  So are you ready?  I’m hungry so let’s go!

Pesto Sace

INGREDIENTS:

• 3 cups fresh Basil, stems removed

We grow our own basil in our garden but it’s an ingredient that can be found in any store.   One or two bunches should get you by.  Trader Joe’s always has fresh basil that they sell in bulk too.

• 1/3 cup pine nuts (aka pinoles)

This is the most traditional nut used to make pesto but many people use walnuts or some combination of the two.  I say use whatever nuts you like.  Like today I was out of both so I used almonds and it turned out AWESOME!  I always buy nuts, raw and unsalted (Trader Joe’s has great prices and most natural foods co-ops do too) and then I toast & season as I use them while controlling the salt contentStore your nuts in the freezer to preserve their oils so they won’t spoil.

• 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated

I usually buy this in chunks and grate this myself or with a food processor when I am feeling lazy (which is always).  I recommend real Pecorino Romano, not just Pecorino or whatever.  The flavor is unmatched.  There are many brands and at the risk of sounding like a walking, talking Trader Joe’s billboard they always have very high quality cheeses at low prices.

• 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

Although it can be served on warm or hot things, Pesto is not a cooked sauce.  It is raw.  Because of that we want the best quality most flavorful olive oil we can use.  Extra Virgin is the way to go.  I really wouldn’t sub any other oil unless it was like a walnut oil or something. 

• 1 whole garlic clove, peeled
• 1 small pinch kosher salt

Have you started using kosher salt yet?  Awesome right?  Use only a tiny pinch for this recipe.  The cheese will add a lot of the saltiness we want so thins pinch is just about bringing it all home.  If you only have table salt then skip it.

DIRECTIONS:

Put the pine nuts in a small skillet and toast over medium-low heat for about 5 to 10 minutes or until they darken or become slightly more golden in color. Set aside off the heat to cool for 5 minutes.

My rule of thumb on dry toasting nuts is if you can smell them they are done.  They won’t turn super golden but you will notice their color darkens slightly.  They can burn easily so keep an eye on them and give the pan an occasional shake.

In a blender or food processor, add the basil, garlic clove and pine nuts. Pulse until roughly minced. Add cheese and salt, and then pulse until finely minced.

Rough mince

It should look pretty close to this when you’re ready for the next step. If you notice stuff sticking to the sides just push it back into the line of fire with a spatula between pulses.

Turn the blender on and then through the removable top of the blender cap pour in the olive oil. Let it go another few seconds then turn off.

Now thickness of pesto really comes down to preference.  I make mine pretty thick because I can do more things with it and I can always thin it out.  If you want yours thinner then add a bit more oil.

Refrigerate if not using immediately.

Pesto Resistance!

If you want to make the pesto really was spoon it into ice trays, cover and freeze.  Pop out however many cubes at a time that you need.  This trick is fantastic because it will make your pesto last forever, where it only has about a week’s lifespan in the fridge.  Although I must admit I don’t use this trick much as if its made it gets used up in a flash – YUM!

So most us are familiar with pesto going on pasta.  Yes that’s great but there is so much more!  I took about 1/3 of a cup shook it up in a jar with 2 tablespoons olive oil mayo & about 1/4 cup milk and what I got was the most delicious creamy pesto salad dressing I’ve ever had.  Anyone had the Creamy Pesto dressing at The Old Spaghetti Factory?  Yeah like that but better!  I also use pesto as a sandwich spread instead of the usual mayo/mustard.  I am grilling chicken for dinner tonight and you can bet it will be on top of it.  You can drizzle it on salads or veggies raw or cooked. It can go on meat, fish, seafood, potatoes, bread, omelets, pizza – get the picture? Here is  what I used it for to make an Heirloom Tomato “tart” for Mother’s Day.  I saw a commercial for Giada At Home that featured this and I just made up my own.

Heirloom Tomato "Tart"

Here is the printable recipe minus all the witty banter from me!

Pesto_Printable Recipe

So I hope you enjoyed reading this recipe enough to try it.  Questions? Comments?  Email me at bradymunchblog@yahoo.com!  Thanks for stopping by & come back soon!

See you on the flip side ~ Erin Brady

DISCLAIMER:

All recipes are just a jumping off point – unless I specify otherwise all ingredients or amounts are changeable. If you don’t like it then don’t use it! If you don’t have it then check your cupboard for a good dub. Remember – if you buy junk ingredients your end result will taste like junk! That being said, quality doesn’t always mean more expensive!! And most important of all, bring some pleasure into your kitchen – have some fun while cooking! Put on music, get the family involved (family time doesn’t just have to be at the table!), find things you like and enjoy the adventure. If I can do it, you can definitely do it! Like I said before – IT’S NOT THAT HARD! And if you mess up then make some PB&J and try again tomorrow. Mistakes and disasters are part of the journey. Don’t let a mistake or the possibility of one stop you!

Tuesday Chili & Cornbread with Honey Butter by Erin Brady

Here’s my recipe for this week featured on Eating For Our Futures, an amazing blog by my friend Adria. Check it out – you won’t be disappointed!

PS – New BradyMunch post coming up this week!

Eating for our Future

20130513-101928.jpg

Chili has become a new obsession in my house that my daughter and husband request weekly. I love it because it’s easy and I always have the ingredients on hand. I call it Tuesday Chili because it’s fast and easy enough for a weekday dinner, but because of my little tricks it tastes like it has been simmering all day. My daughter (who never suffers in silence when she doesn’t care for a dish) says I should make this chili for restaurants!

This recipe is fantastic when you are running out of fresh stuff in the fridge. I’m not a fan of canned veggies in general – they just seem so gross to me. But beans (and tomatoes) I go for. They don’t seem to be altered as much as other vegetables. Of course, if you want to re-hydrate some dried beans or use fresh tomatoes PLEASE do! It’ll be delish!

This chili is…

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