Tag Archives: Yogurt

Hot and Spicy Nachos with a Cool Cilantro Sauce

As my test anxiety was building this week, I developed a very intense need for nachos.

A need for nachos.  Not just your average, “oh, I want nachos”, but a need for nachos.  You can’t ignore those kind of things.  When your body tells you that chips, beans, cheese, and chili powder must be in your belly in 15 minutes or you might die, you listen.

Just like when my body tells me I need to watch Christmas movies even though it’s the middle of June.  I listen and I listen well–and I’m currently watching The Family Stone.  (Please don’t judge me–times of high stress make me do weird things).

But back to the nachos.  I wanted to use up some more of my cilantro, so I decided to spice up my nachos and then cool it back down with a yogurt sauce.  Sound good?

And if you don’t like yogurt sauce, or if the smell/taste/look of cilantro makes you die a little bit inside (hi Fritz!), then you can just skip it.  Fritz enjoyed the nachos quite nicely without it.

Hot and Spicy Nachos with a Cool Cilantro Sauce

  • 8 small corn tortillas, sliced into quarters (or corn chips)
  • 1 can refried beans
  • 1/4-1/2 C jalapeno slices (depending on how much you love your spice!)
  • 1/4-1/2 C Mexican cheese blend, shredded
  • 1 t smoked paprika
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1/2 lemon (about 2 T lemon juice)
  • 1/4 C plain fat-free Greek yogurt
  • small bunch cilantro (about 2-3 T chopped)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and arrange your corn chips.  Since I had tortillas in the freezer, I microwaved them for a few seconds, sliced ’em in quarters with a pizza roller, sprinkled with a little salt, and baked them until they were crispy, about 15 minutes.  Obviously you can skip this step if you have some chips handy.

These were vegetarian chips, so I used an entire can of refried beans, but you could easily use half or less and add some meat to make them more hearty.  Once the chips are crisp, add the beans on top.  (By the way, I’ve made refried beans from scratch before, and they didn’t quite taste as yummy as the good ol’ canned version.  Reason why?  Third ingredient on the canned kind is lard.  Yeah.  Maybe not so good.)

Sprinkle with jalapenos and cheese.  Be generous.  With both.

Sprinkle on the spices and pop in the oven for a few minutes until the beans are warmed and the cheese melted.

Meanwhile, process the yogurt, cilantro, and lemon juice (lime would probably be even better if you had it!) until smooth.  Drizzle over the top and enjoy!

We both love, love, loved this dinner treat of nachos.  I definitely would have eaten these with some spicy salsa on the side, but we didn’t have any and there was no way my tummy was allowing me to hold off on the nachos.

Experiment with the spices–if you are the hot and spicy type, some cayenne might be just the thing you need.  And if you haven’t already jumped on the smoked paprika bandwagon, now is the time.

Really.  That stuff is good.

In other good and exciting news, we got our fourth CSA box yesterday!  Check out the goods for this week:

I’ve had a lot of variety in my green monsters lately–using kale, chard, and beet greens instead of only plain ol’ spinach.  For those new readers, I am a first-time CSA user from Golden Earthworm Organic Farm on Long Island–read more about their CSA program here.

Plan for tomorrow–up early for the gym, then a doctor’s appointment and spending a large majority of the day reading (for pleasure!) and definitely baking!  I feel like I haven’t baked anything in ages and I absolutely miss having it around. 

Have a great night!

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Filed under Appetizers, Snacks, Vegetarian

Valentine’s Day Fruit Dip…or Dressing?

Today a beautiful thing happened. 

I had a free moment to reorganize some of my kitchen cupboards.  Like I said, it’s a beautiful thing.

But before I talk about that I’m going to share with you a recipe for a fruit dip that I made in the spirit of Valentine’s day.  Well, it was intended to be a dip, but it turned out runnier than I wanted–and today I discovered the perfect use for it: a dressing for a quick and beautiful fruit salad.  It definitely wasn’t what I expected, but I took what I had and looked for the best in it–and it turned out better than my original idea.  Kind of like a relationship, right?  And to think, I learned all that without marriage counseling.

My idea was to make a yogurt dip to be used in lieu of chocolate fondue for a healthier (and pinker) V-tine’s day treat.  This could still be accomplished beautifully with a little recipe-tweaking.  Don’t worry, I’ll let you know what to do.

Valentine’s Day Fruit Dressing

  • 1 C plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 C milk (I may have used a bit less)
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 1-2 T brown sugar, depending on how sweet you want it
  • 3 strawberries, hulls removed

Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth.  I suggest adding the milk at the end, and slowly, so you can decide the consistency you like.  If you want to stick with the fruit dip idea, ditch the milk entirely.  You can also add some red food coloring if you want it to be pinker.

This truly tastes amazing.  The vanilla and brown sugar are the perfect complement to any fruit, without overpowering the natural flavors.  And the tanginess of the yogurt!  Don’t even get me started.  I made an impromptu fruit salad today of apple, banana, and strawberry, and drizzled this over in a sudden stroke of genius.  It was so delicious that it didn’t even occur to me to take a picture before I inhaled the entire bowl.  Perfect for the Valentine’s day sweet tooth without ruining my eating for the day.

So onto the cabinets!  They looked so nice and organized (and might I say crammed with ingredients) that I took pictures–and then I thought I’d share.  You know…just in case you’re interested.

This is our processed-food-and-non-perishable-cooking-ingredients cabinet.  Top shelf are mostly breakfast foods and snacks–two things in there that don’t belong there anymore are the Carnation Instant Breakfasts (I’m a big-breakfast girl now) and Bisquick (which should be in the fridge…oops).  However, I refuse to throw away food and I’ll use the breakfast shakes in smoothies or try to hide them in Fritz’s dinner somehow.  The middle shelf is all the canned stuff/pasta/rice noodles/pectin (in case I have a sudden urge to make jelly)/and spring roll wrappers that are just waiting for our Valentine’s day dinner-making date.  And of course, Grape Nuts courtesy of my dad.  I’m obsessed with eating 1/4 C in my plain Greek yogurt with a banana for breakfast.  The bottom shelf is my favorite–fun grains, rices, beans, and other exciting things to cook with. New on this shelf is some fun Chinese black rice Mom found in a specialty store that I’ll need to do some experimenting with.

Impressively packed, right?  This has been organized like this since we moved in, and it actually stays really nice for the most part.  Once in a while I need to shuffle some spices around so I don’t lose the little guys in the back.  On top of the cabinet are a few of the teas that I drink most often, for easy access.  The top shelf is beverage stuff on the left and dry baking ingredients on the right.  Middle is all my spices–which clearly I love.  I use all of them, but ranked among my most frequent are definitely cumin, thyme, and red pepper. Spices are free taste–no calories!  The bottom shelf is flours and sugars on the left, and all the wet ingredients I use–honey, PB, vinegar, jam, etc.  I’m most proud of the fact that I made a couple of the objects in the shelf–the mint jelly, vanilla extract, and a few of the spices were grown and/or prepared by yours truly.

Makes me feel like Laura Ingalls Wilder.

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Filed under Appetizers, Desserts