taco casserole

In dinner on April 17, 2014 at 1:19 am

long ago in a galaxy far, far away, i used to attend first friday potlucks at church.

one of the regular dishes that most sticks in my mind (besides the canned pears in green jello) was diane’s taco casserole.

now of course, diane used ground beef, but i’m going to use my favorite new trick – bulgur – as a substitute.

cook up about a cup and a half or a little less. you want it to be al dente so it doesn’t get too soft in the casserole.

next dice an onion and sautee it until soft. then add some pre-mixed taco seasoning or make your own. i used:


1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon cumin

to that mixture, add

26 ounces chopped tomatoes
15 ounces black beans, drained (or kidney beans)
about a cup of frozen corn kernels

and the pre-cooked bulgur.


taste for seasoning and let it bubble away a little while you make the cornbread. (feel free to use boxed cornbread mix – diane certainly did – but my whole paycheck didn’t have any?!)


for the cornbread topping:

1/2 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons oil

grate a pile o’ cheese (the yellow-est i could find) and add about a cup to the cornbread. save the rest for topping.


when the cornbread is ready and your oven is preheated to 400 degrees, dump the bulgur mixture into a big baking dish


and spoon your cornbread topping over it.

sprinkle with cheese and if you’re cooking for my family, add decorative rings of jalapeno to the top. if jalapenos aren’t your thing, you could use more cheese, or black olive rings, or green onion… something taco-y.


bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the cornbread is golden and the filling is bubbling.


it came out really well! i think i should have baked mine just a titch longer and added a little more salt to the filling, but otherwise, great. now if only i had some jello salad…


blueberry-peach breakfast wheat berries

In breakfast on April 6, 2014 at 2:35 pm

i love wheat berries, as you know. they are delicious and wholesome and filling and super healthy. i also love hot cereal for breakfast. so why not make hot wheat berries for breakfast??

i cooked about two cups of wheat berries in water per cooking instructions until the water almost boiled off.


then i added half a can of coconut milk, some frozen blueberries and frozen sliced peaches, and just a little bit of honey.


cook over medium heat until the liquid gets thick and almost all absorbed and the wheat berries are super soft.


it turned a delightful blue-pink color as cooked blueberries are wont to do,


and it made for a delicious breakfast for several days. just plop some into a bowl in the morning and pop it into the microwave until hot.

i even took it to work a couple times.


you could get fancy and top it with greek yogurt and nuts, too.

whole wheat scones

In breakfast on March 28, 2014 at 1:57 am

recently, i have become obsessed with scones.

okay, one scone in particular: the vegan oatmeal-walnut-date ones at whole paycheck. i would take one over a chocolate chip cookie, a piece of carrot cake or even a brownie at this point.

i think it’s the soft, slightly dry texture with crumbly edges, the subtle sweetness and the meatiness of the nuts. they are so so good! go get yourself one. go!

so when i saw this recipe in the new york times recipes for health column for whole-wheat buttermilk scones with oatmeal and raisins, i couldn’t get it off my mind until i had made it.



the only change i made to the original recipe was cutting the sugar. i used 19 grams of brown sugar instead of 25 grams of turbinado.

also, i’m newly obsessed with recipes for baked goods that use weights instead of measurements. of course, these are more accurate for baking because who knows how packed your flour is or how scant your “scant teaspoon” is?

but these are also great recipes because you use one bowl, on the scale, and keep hitting the tare button. dump dump dump! not measuring cups needed. all the ingredients in!


make sure to flour your work surface and shape a nice rectangle to end up with pretty scones. i used my bench-scraper to cut them and lift them on to the sheet pan (lined with parchment).



another thing that’s interesting about this recipe is that you flip them over at the end and bake them on their tops for another 2 minutes!


i used the bench-scraper for this, too. if you don’t have one, i highly recommend it. besides all this baking nonsense, they are great for transferring chopped veggies into a pot and myriad other kitchen tasks. you don’t know you’ve been missing one until you get it. mine’s from oxo, and no, this is not a sponsored post.

so how pretty are these?! that final flip gives them nice top color.


and so yummy. delicate, but still great texture. moist and crumbly. not sweet at all, balanced nicely by the raisins. plus the recipe is quick and easy enough for a weekend morning.

my only piece of advice would be to not even think about making them without walnuts.


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