Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Busy dinner night

Who here has a busy family?  Much to my dismay, the mini McGhees are way too busy.  See, I would prefer to pick the minis up from school, come home to a homemade snack, ride bikes, play board games, do an art project, eat dinner, take baths/showers, read, pray, bedtime.  You know, end our nights with one of those "Good Night Jon-boy" moments from the show, The Waltons.  Our real life is more like this, pick kids up from school, shove snack down their throats in the car, yoga lesson, therapy session, golf lesson, swim practice, soccer practice, baseball tryouts, homework, dinner, sniff-test (oh, you're fine, no showers tonight!), read, pray, collapse in bed in a state of exhaustion with shouts of "we said good night, that means we don't need to see you until it's time to say good morning." 

And I don't see life slowing down anytime soon, as I have minis chasing dreams of becoming the next great swimmer/baseball player/soccer player/yogi/golfer.  And if those dreams don't work out, my minis want to work at a smoothie shop when they grow up.  And live in an RV on the beach.  I'm all like, "dude, if you can find out a way to make that work, go for it."  My dreams are to find a way to help provide for my family without ever having to leave the comfort of my own home.  So, to me, an RV on the beach sounds like a lofty goal.

Today is Wednesday which means we will be eating an early dinner before swim practice and then coming home and having a snack afterwards.  Dinner will be tortillas with hummus and black bean stuffed bell peppers.  I got the hummus recipe from Mr. HPT.   

I won't have the time to make homemade tortillas, so we will eating these raw tortillas.

  • 2 cans garbanzo beans
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 6 dashes cayenne pepper
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 dashes cumin
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
1.  Drain most of juice from garbanzo beans.
2.  Place beans in Pyrex dish or equivalent and spread out evenly.
3.  Place in oven at 375 degrees for approximately 15 minutes.
4.  Remove from oven and place in blender or food processor with other ingredients.
5.  Blend until smooth.

I added a bit of tahini and a pinch of kosher salt.  I don't have a fancy food processor, so I needed to thin mine out a big with the juice from the garanzo beans.
Spicy Black Bean Stuffed Peppers
First step is to roast your peppers.  You can do this ahead of time.  You can also make extras.  I love to mix roasted red peppers in with my scrambled eggs or on top of salads. 
1.  Coat bell peppers generously with olive oil. Put them on a baking sheet and broil them under flame until they begin to turn black. Turn peppers until each side has been blackened. Remove from baking sheet and place in a bowl. Cover bowl with saran wrap. 

2.  Let the peppers sit for a while, at least 30 minutes. Take peppers out of jar and pull stem off. Dig inside of pepper and remove the seeds.

3.  Carefully peel the outer skin off of the pepper.

4.  After peppers are all peeled, set aside. Resist all temptation to eat them. They're worth the wait.

Next step is to make the black bean stuffing.

  • 1/2 medium sized onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch cayenne pepper for a little heat
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese, or any cheese you like
  • fresh cilantro, salsa, and sour cream for serving 

    1. Heat olive oil in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add your onion and saute for 3 minutes, until beginning to soften and turn translucent.
    2. Add garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
    3. Stir in your black beans along with the water.
    4. Add your cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt, and cayenne. Stir, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low and simmer the beans for at least 15 minutes, but up to 30 minutes.
    5. Stir in corn. Divide the bean mixture evenly among the two peppers and sprinkle with cheese.
    6. Broil for 3 minutes, until the cheese is melted and bubbling. Garnish with fresh cilantro, salsa, and sour cream if you’d like. 
    Just a tip, make a double or triple batch of the beans and once they are cooled, stick them in a freezer bag.  These freeze very well and are a blessing on those, "oh *&#@, what's for dinner?" nights. 

    After swim practice, we will most likely come home and have pomegranate smoothies (the minis are obsessed with those right now) and popcorn.

    • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
    • 1/2 banana (I freeze brown bananas and they are perfect for smoothies)
    • 5 strawberries
    • 1/2 cup yogurt (please use plain, I used my homemade yogurt)
    • 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
    Put all ingredients in a blender, and blend until desired consistency is reached.