Sunday, April 28, 2013

Spiced Black Bean, Grilled Avocado and Steak Tacos

I made this dish for dinner the other night, working with whatever I had lying around the fridge and pantry and it actually turned out really good! -- it's sort of adapted from a recipe from Naturally Ella but I took it in a completely different direction because I was missing quite a few of the ingredients. This is my take on it:


1 tablespoon Coriander Seeds
½ tablespoon Cumin Seeds
Pinch Dried Pepper Flakes
½ cup Black beans, with liquids
1 Avocado
Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
1 teaspoon Olive Oil
¼ cup Feta Cheese
4 Corn or Flour Tortillas


Preheat Grill

In a dry skillet over medium-low heat, toast the coriander and cumin seeds for 2-3 minutes. Seeds should be fragrant and beginning to brown. Place in a pestle with dried pepper flakes and crush until spices are ground.

Return spices to the skillet and add ½ cup of black beans and liquids. Heat over medium low and let cook until liquids have cooked out, anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Taste and adjust pepper if needed.

Take avocado and slice in half. Brush with the one teaspoon of olive oil, season with salt & pepper and place cut side down on grill. Let cook until lightly charred. Remove and carefully slice avocado out of skin.

Season & grill steak to your liking. Let rest and then slice into strips. Warm tortillas on grill if desired.

Assemble tacos; place spoonful of spiced black beans in tortilla, add a few strips of steak and avocado, sprinkle with feta. 

Friday, April 26, 2013

Grilled Bang Bang Shrimp Skewers

This yummy recipe is super easy and perfect for grilling out on these beautiful spring nights. We love to grill. I grill more than any other cooking style so it was fun to adapt this shrimp recipe from Skinny Taste. I love that this dish can be so versatile and served as an appetizer or an entree. It was a big hit at our latest dinner and fire-pit get-together.


1/3 cup Light Mayonnaise
2 Scallions, chopped fine
3-4 tbs Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
1-2 tsp Sriracha (or to taste)

For the Shrimp

40 large ( about 2 lbs) Raw Shrimp, peeled and deveined
Sea Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
Cooking Oil


If you're using disposable wooden skewers, soak them in water at least 30 minutes before grilling so that they don't catch on fire. 

Warm up the grill on medium-high heat.

Combine the mayo, scallions, sweet chili sauce and sriracha sauce in a small bowl. Set aside.

Skewer your shrimp, about 5 per stick, leaving a little bit of space between each shrimp. Season with fresh ground pepper and sea salt.

Lightly oil heated grill. Grill shrimp skewers for 4-6 minutes on each side or until shrimp has pinked, is opaque and cooked through. 

Transfer skewers to platter and brush with sauce. Serve immediately.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Banana Cream Pie

I made this delicious, refreshing pie for Easter Sunday. A perfect spring-time desert that you're allowed to trick yourself into pretending it's healthy because it has bananas in it (definitely not healthy)!

Graham Cracker Crust

14 Graham crackers (7 oz-ish)
6 tbs Melted butter
1/4 cup Sugar
Pinch of Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1-2 tbs Water

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the graham crackers in the food processor. Pulse until the crackers are chopped to fine crumbs (or cheat and buy the pre-crumbed graham crackers in the baking aisle). Add the melted butter, sugar, salt and cinnamon, pulse to combine. Add 1 tablespoon of water and pulse a couple more times. If the crumbs are moist and pinch together well, dump into a pie pan. If not, repeat with another tablespoon of water and proceed.

2.  Press the graham cracker mixture firmly against the bottom and sides of the pie pan. Then bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool completely. (I put the crust in the freezer while I prepared the filling, it was barely cool when I was finished, so if you're in a rush I definitely recommend doing this). 

Banana Cream Pie Filling 

2 cup Heavy Cream
3 tbs Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 - 3.4 oz. box Instant Vanilla Pudding
1 cup Cold Milk
8 oz. Cream Cheese
14 oz. Sweetened Condensed Milk
4-5 Ripe Bananas
1/2 cup Toasted Coconut

1.  Using an electric or stand mixer, whip the heavy cream with the 3 tablespoons of sugar and vanilla. Scoop into a separate bowl and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix the instant pudding and milk until well combined and set aside.

2.  Then using the mixer, beat the cream cheese until fluffy, then with the mixer still running, add the sweetened condensed milk and pudding. scrape the bowl and beat until smooth. Using a spatula, fold in half the whipped cream.

3.  Now spread a thin layer of the filling over the bottom and sides of the cooled pie crust. Cut 3-4 bananas into chunks. Press the chunks to the bottom and sides of the pie crust. Then scoop the remaining filling into the pan crust. Smooth the filling, top with the remaining whipped cream, cover gently with plastic wrap, and chill for at least one hour.

4.  When you are ready to serve the pie, decorate the top with more fresh cut banana chunks and toasted coconut.