SWASHBUCKLED! (S2E7): FFK Goes Hollywood

This week, Marie and Amanda get the star treatment with the addition of Sound Engineer Jacob! While he introduces us to a higher level of technology, we introduce him to… you guessed it… Simpler Wines! Will our dinner taste better now that we have a bigger microphone? Can a beer-loving Hufflepuff truly appreciate canned wine the way that we do? And what’s all the Happy Dancing for? Be sure to watch to find out!


Ingredients Featured in This Week’s Episode:

We decided that the Pub Cheese tastes kind of like an adult handy-snack. On its own, it is kind of like cheese whiz, but is actually pretty good with honey whole wheat pretzels. Amanda decided to use it in place of ricotta cheese and replaced mozzarella cheese with Mexican cheese. The tomato sauce was more of a chili, and thus was born the southwest take on Eggplant Parmesan.

Eggplant Chili Stacks

Eggplant Chili Stacks

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderately easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 1 Eggplant, peeled and sliced
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 cup maseca
  • 1 cup Italian Style Breadcrumbs
  • Vegetable Oil
  • 1 lb 96/4 Lean Ground Beef
  • 1/2 Package Soy Chorizo
  • 1/2 Onion, diced
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 15 oz Can Tomato Sauce
  • Pub Cheese
  • Mexican Cheese
  • Toppings: Guacamole and Sour Cream

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Peel and slice eggplant. Beat eggs in one bowl. In another, combine maseca and bread crumbs. Get vegetable oil in a large skillet and turn on medium-high. Once oil is hot, drudge each slice of eggplant in eggs, then maseca/breadcrumb mixture, and cook in hot oil until brown on each side. Remove eggplant and place on a paper towel to blot extra oil.
  2. Meanwhile, cook chili mixture by dicing up garlic. Sauté in a separate skillet with a little bit of olive oil. Once onion starts to brown, add soyrizo and ground beef and cook until brown. Add can of tomato sauce and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and let cook and develop flavor for another 10 minutes.
  3. When ready to assemble, layer one piece of eggplant, top with about 1 tbsp pub cheese, 1-2 tbsp of the chili mixture and 1 Tbsp Mexican cheese and repeat 1-2 more times. In the episode, we ended here, but we highly recommend assembling these on a baking sheet and placing in the oven for about 10 minutes, so the cheese gets nice and melty and the whole dish warms through. Top with guacamole and sour cream. We served this on a bed of arugula.


 

 

Chocolate Cupcakes wtih Caramelized Bacon

We used THIS RECIPE for the chocolate cupcakes from AllRecipes. We adapted it slightly with cutting the sugar down to 1 cup (instead of 1 1/2). We used the cacao powder in the cupcakes and then topped it with a chocolate ganache (basically melted 1 cup chocolate chips with 2 Tbsp half and half and 2 Tbsp butter mixed in) and caramelized bacon (bacon baked in the oven at 400 degrees for 10 minutes with brown sugar and cinnamon on top).

SWASHBUCKLED! S2E1: Jessie Spano Special

Welcome Back!

We’re SO EXCITED! We’re SO EXCITED! And unlike Jessie Spano in Saved by the Bell, we are NOT scared to bring you SEASON TWO of SWASHBUCKLED!


“Never Enough Thyme” Burgers

Ingredients featured in this week’s episode include:

The reasons behind the choices? Marie chose ground beef because she just loves a good cheeseburger. The chèvre cheese, because, why not? In our Simpler Wines Facebook Live Event, our friend, Ryan, suggested we use “Palm of Heart” in one of our recipes. And last, she brought thyme as a way to pay homage to one of our favorite 90’s TV shows, Saved By The Bell.

20180511_075542_1526051659649Really wanting to impress Marie for the season premier, Amanda decided to go for the cheeseburger, even though there wasn’t any buns in the house. We made this awesome 40-minute Hamburger Bun Recipe from Taste of Home. It was quick and easy, and had a biscuit-like quality to it. We replaced 1 cup of the flour with White Wheat Flour for an earthier flavor and improved nutrition profile. Make sure you watch the episode for extra tips on making yeast bread from scratch.

However, if you don’t want to make your own bread and have an opportunity to go to the store, these Parm-Iago Rosemary Rolls (pictured to right) make excellent slider buns and would work well in this recipe.

We started out by “blooming” our thyme, which releases more flavor than just sprinkling into whatever you are preparing. Since some flavor compounds in some herbs and spices are fat soluble, you can extract more flavor when they are cooked (over low heat) with a fat source. We chose a mixture of oil and butter for this recipe, but you could easily just choose one or the other. Remove the herb before adding other ingredients.

(SPOILER ALER) We loved this meal and would definitely do it again. Highly recommended!

'Never Enough Thyme' Burgers

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Recipe by Amanda Hibshman, RDN

Ingredients

  • 85% lean Ground Beef
  • 1 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 10 sprigs of Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Red Onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Bag Hearts of Palm (or Palm of Hearts), sliced
  • 3 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 bag fresh spinach
  • 2 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
  • Chèvre with Honey
  • Glaze (Balsamic Glaze)
  • Your favorite bun (we love THIS RECIPE)

Directions

  1. Infuse thyme into oil and butter: over medium-low heat, melt butter and add olive oil and 8 sprigs of thyme. cook on low for about 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove thyme and discard. Turn heat up to medium or medium-high, and add sliced onion and sautée for a couple minutes, then add heart of palm. Cook for 5 minutes then add spinach, garlic, mustard and 2 additional thyme stems (chopped). Cook until spinach has cooked down. Salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Make burger patties: Preheat grill to medium-high. Combine ground beef, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper with hands. Mix well. Form into 6 balls and squash them into thin patties. Set aside (and don’t forget to wash your hands with warm soapy water!) Cook for about 4 minutes per side, until internal temperature of 165˚F is reached.
  4. To assemble, slice bread in half, butter each half and cook on griddle for a couple minutes, until golden brown. Place a tablespoon of goat cheese on top bun, burger patty on the bottom, topped with 1/4 cup mixture of onions, spinach and heart of palm. Top with “GLAZE” (balsamic reduction or balsamic glaze).

Goat Cheese and

“Never Enough Thyme” Burgers, featuring Balsamic Glaze, Chèvre with Honey, Hearts of Palm, and Spinach.

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Spinach, Mushroom & Beef Lasagna

Spinach Mushroom Beef Lasagna

Growing up, lasagna was this elusive meal only consumed by cats that sounded like Bill Murray. For some reason, we never ate it at my house. Perhaps it is the lack of Italian ancestors in my family tree? I am not sure.

Any who, fast forward about 20 years, my best friend invites me to her dad’s lasagna party. Every year, her very Italian (and awesome) father cooks multiple pans of delicious lasagna and opens his home to about a hundred of their closest family and friends. This was one of the best parties ever, not only because the wine flowed as fast as the videos of Father Guido Sarducci, but the lasagna was incredible. Now, long story short, at this point in my life, I had eaten my fair share of lasagna, but I still hadn’t ever made it. So, when the time came, I asked my friend to give me some pointers, and what does she do? She straight up gives me a link to re-create her fathers lasagna. Score! So, for the past few years, this has been a stand-by recipe. Only recently have I started to alter it to make it more of “my own.”

I did a couple of tweaks to make it a healthier choice, such as swapping regular ricotta for non-fat, decreasing the amount of meat, and using more veggies. And I am willing to bet that as soon as TJ’s starts to carry whole wheat lasagna noodles, that will be another swap!

Spinach and Mushroom Beef Lasagna

 

lasagna ready for oven Fearless Flying Kitchen

Ready for the oven!

Ingredients:

  • Lasagna Sauce (see recipe below)
  • Ricotta Cheese Mixture (see recipe below)
  • 1 bag mozzarella cheese
  • 1 package (12) lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (Fresh if possible)
  • 1 tbsp butter

Directions:

  1. Make sauce (see below)
  2. Make ricotta mixture (see below)
  3. Butter 13×9 dish
  4. Assemble: noodle, 1/2 ricotta, 1/3 sauce, mozzarella, noodle, 1/2 ricotta, 1/3 sauce, mozzarella, noodle, 1/3 sauce, Parmesan and a little more mozzarella (but not too much)
  5. Bake at 350 for 35-40 min. Let sit a few minutes prior to serving.

Lasagna Sauce

Spinach Mushroom Beef Lasagna from The Fearless Flying KitchenIngredients

  • 1 lb 96/4 ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, or 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 bag mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 bag baby spinach
  • 1 jar Tomato Basil pasta sauce

Directions:

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, start to brown ground beef. Once it starts to release its juices, add diced onions and cook until meat is starting to brown and onions are starting to soften. Add mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms begin to soften. Add pasta sauce and put to simmer on a low heat for about a half an hour. Towards the end, add spinach until just wilted and remove from heat.

Ricotta Cheese Mixture

Spinach Mushroom Beef Lasagna from The Fearless Flying KitchenIngredients:

  • 1 container non- fat ricotta
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • 2 tsp basil, dried
  • 1 tsp oregano, dried
  • 1 tsp garlic powder

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a bowl and stir until combined.

Suggested pairings: 

A nice Chianti

sautéed zucchini sprinkled with parmesan cheese

A light salad with balsamic glaze, meyer lemon olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Tacoladas: Beef and Veggie Pie

Beef-and-Veggie-Taco-Pie

Do you remember math class in school? I do, and I remember two things in particular: One, was that I hated it. Two, was that I would get such a rush every time I found out I had the right answer when I checked the back of the book.

I sometimes get that same feeling when I COMPLETELY create and improvise a recipe from scratch. I am talking, no pinterest-ing, no internet searching. Nothing. And then it actually turns out, and it is delicious. Even better when there are lots of vegetables too! Such a rush.

So, behold my Taco Pie, aka. the source of this rush:

Taco Pie

Taco Pie. Er, Casserole. Er, …nevermind

Ok, that seems a little silly after I look at this picture. I mean, it looks like just any regular casserole, right? (Side note – If anyone can come up with a better name for this, please let me know in the comments below. It does not resemble a pie in any way shape or form, that is just what I keep calling it. And I think the term “casserole” can scare some people off with nightmares of cream of chicken soup and mayonnaise. )

From the bottom to the top, this casserole starts out with a hint of my favorite TJ’s salsa (I use the Trader Joe’s Roasted Tomatillo Salsa, but there are many you can choose from, just pick your favorite), then a layer of corn tortillas, cut into triangles.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

Now, many of my friends have gone back and forth over “what is the best corn tortilla found on the shelves of Trader Joe’s.” My personal favorite is the “De Mi Abuela: Wheat and Corn Tortillas” because they are a little bit thicker, and have lots of flavor. Not every one in my house is a fan of that one, so I usually end up getting the “Corn Tortillas” that are gluten-free and have minimal ingredients. They are just your regular, run-of-the-mill tortillas. And that is perfectly acceptable in a dish like this, that has so much flavor and other textures going on.

Trader Joe's Corn Tortillas

Left: De Mi Abuela
Right: Corn Tortillas

The next layer is a mix of 6 different veggies that have been sautéed in a little bit of olive oil. You could probably swap out some of the veggies if you have other favorites. It is kind of a cool way to clean out your fridge if you have just a few randoms laying around. While I had my cutting board out, I actually ended up dicing a lot more veggies than this, and then saving them for the following morning to add to an egg scramble.

Nothing more beautiful than a rainbow of veggies in a skillet

Nothing more beautiful than a rainbow of veggies in a skillet

After that layer, add some more corn tortilla triangles, then the layer of ground beef. I like lean ground beef (96% lean) because it is pretty inexpensive, and is easy to freeze and de-thaw. I also ALWAYS have some hanging out in my kitchen. But if you prefer a different type of protein, you could easily swap the ground beef with turkey, or even shredded chicken (YUM!) Simply brown the ground beef (or ground turkey or chicken) in a skillet. It can be the same one you just cooked the veggies in. Then add a can of diced tomatoes and a half packet of taco seasoning. If you like your food on the spicy side, add a little more. If you like it less spicy, add a little less. However, there was enough heat for me and my family with just half a packet.

Put that mixture on top of the corn tortilla triangles, then load the top up with some shredded Mexican cheese and bake in the oven until it is bubbly, about 20-25 minutes.

IMG_1672

I topped mine with some guacamole, salsa, sour cream and Jalapeño Greek yogurt dip. No, I am not a glutton, just indecisive. I think the Jalapeño Greek Yogurt dip won. It is my current favorite.

And the icing on the cake, is the leftovers are even better. I just love when meals get better with age.

Tacoladas: Beef and Veggie Pie

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 yellow squash, diced
  • 1/2 package of mushrooms, diced
  • 2 cups kale
  • 1/4 cup salsa verde (Roasted Tomatillo Salsa)
  • 8 corn tortillas, cut into triangle wedges
  • 1 lb 95% lean ground beef
  • 1 can tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1/2 packet taco seasoning
  • 1/2 package Mexican cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Once warm, add onions and cook for a few minutes, then add bell pepper and cook for another couple minutes. Next, add zucchini and yellow squash, continue to cook for a few minutes. Then add mushrooms and cook for a few motte minutes. Lastly, add the kale.
  3. In a 9×13 glass dish, spread salsa along the bottom of the pan, then spread corn tortillas on top. Put cooked veggies on top. Do another layer of corn tortillas.
  4. In the same large skillet, brown lean grown beef. Once brown, add taco seasoning and tomatoes and cook on low for 8-10 minutes. Once cooked, add to casserole dish. Cover with cheese and bake for 25 minutes, until cheese is starting to bubble and brown. Remove from oven and let sit a few minutes before serving.

Suggested Side items – Black beans and a salad with Cucumbers, Tomatoes and Cilantro Dressing

Suggested Drinks – Trader Joe’s Organic Mango Lemonade (with or without tequila)

Black And White Chili with Cornbread Waffles

black-and-white-chili

Original Blog Entry Dated July 10, 2013:

If you have ever trolled my Pinterest boards, you might be wondering what the deal is with the waffles. Obsession, right? I have been looking up all the different things that could be waffled, and have been a little bit amazed with everything I have found. Cookies, cakes, apple pies, grilled cheese, grilled peanut butter and jelly, hash browns, tater tots, brownies and cornbread (just to name a few). And I wanna try them all! This past weekend, the hubs gotme a waffle iron for my birthday. The next day, we broke in the iron with a meal I have always wanted to try: chicken n’ waffles. It was delicious, and just made me want to waffle everything in my kitchen even more.

chicken and waffles

So, on to dinner.

I am a big fan of making chili and cornbread. Not only is it a super easy meal to make, it is actually pretty good for you! I double the amount of beans, which is an excellent source of fiber. It also is the perfect dish to make if you are trying to get more iron in your diet. The ground beef and beans are high in iron, and the tomato sauce is high in vitamin c, which will help you absorb the iron. Even better, is this recipe translates really well into a crock pot meal, which is how I prepared it below.

 

Black and White Chili

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients:

ground beef

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 large onion
  • 1 cup frozen bell peppers, chopped or half of a red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 8 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz can black beans, undrained
  • 1 15 oz can white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions:

chili doneBrown one pound of lean ground beef in a pan with chopped garlic. Add onion. Cook until onions are tender. Transfer to a crock pot (using a slotted spoon, trying to not bring any drippings).  Add the rest of the ingredients to the crock pot and stir well. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Tastes delicious as left overs. Freezes really well too!

Note- I have also made this where I don’t cook the onion and garlic with the beef, and there was more of a crunch, which was delicious. Both ways work.

Now, on to the fun part!

cornbreadTo make things easy, I use the cornbread mix from trader joes. It is sweet and has whole corn kernels, which make a delicious combination.

Mix according to directions (you will also need 1 egg, 3/4 cup milk, and 1/2 cup vegetable oil in addition to the box). Preheat waffle iron, and cook a half cup of batter at a time.

They turned out beautiful! Simply delicious. Would go well with some honey butter too! Mmmm… Honey butter…

If you are a fan of “end pieces” then you’ll die over these cornbread waffles!