Reflections and Transitions
|S'mores with mom, Justin and Zsuly|
My brother, Justin, who lives in LA, was east on vacation before he started his new job, Mr. Vice President of an Insurance Company based in Pasadena and London. Maine was his fourth stop after tasting the Mediterranean. A week in Greece and another in Spain, then on to a Wedding in New Hampshire. Having the opportunity to spend time with him at our childhood home and share stories about our adult lives is always cherished.
|Webb Lake, Mt. Blue|
Each of these moments reminds me of what life is truly about and fills me with gratitude to be so blessed.
|Ferry Beach, Scarborough, Maine|
With reflecting and transitioning, here are two great recipes I have always enjoyed, and are great end-of-summer recipes to help you transition into any new season.
It might not be the prettiest looking casserole, but it is such a flavorful comfort food , whether on a hot summer day, crisp fall evening or frigid dark winter night, it really hits the spot.
Prep time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Serves 4-5
- 1 can of organic black beans
- 1 can of organic red kidney beans
- 1 small sweet onion
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 2 stalks of organic celery
- 6-8 fresh corn tortillas
- 1 cup of tomato puree
- 3-4 Tblsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 6 oz of extra sharp cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup low fat greek yogurt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Wash the cilantro well and the celery. Rinse and drain the beans and set aside.
Chop the onion finely. Remove ends of the celery, cut each stalk in half lengthwise, and then chop. Chop half a large bunch of cilantro (1/4 cup chopped). In a medium size pan, add in 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, and the onion, heat over medium heat, stirring regularly. When the onions begin to soften, add in the cilantro, cumin, chili and salt. Sauté another minute or so and add in the celery. Sauté another 2 minutes or so. When the onions are soft. Add in the tomato puree. Stir well. Add in the beans and stir well. Let cook on medium low heat for about 4-5 minutes. While the bean mixture is cooking, go on to step 2.
In a small bowl or glass mixing bowl, combine the sour cream and the yogurt. Mix well until creamy.
Cut the tortillas in half. Grate the cheddar.
When the bean mixture is finished cooking, remove from heat. layer the bottom of a loaf pan with the tortillas. Layer on a generous, but not too much, amount of the bean mixture over the entire surface of tortillas, sprinkle on cheddar, then dot on the yogurt and sour cream mixture. Repeat this process until you have reached the top of the pan. Ending with a layer of the bean mixture, yogurt mixture and then topping with cheddar.
Put the casserole in the oven, cook for 10 minutes at 425, then turn down to 375 and cook for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is browned and the casserole is bubbly.
- 1 small cabbage
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 lime
- 1/2 chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp chipotle
- 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed, chopped finely
Wash the cabbage and peel off outer layers. Remove thick stem at bottom. You can shred the cabbage using a food processor, but I slice it thinly by hand. Toss shredded cabbage into a large mixing bowl. Chop cilantro well. Add to the cabbage. Mix. In a glass measuring cup, add the sour cream and mayo. Mix well. Add in the salt, and the chipotle. Finely chop the jalapeño, and add to the sauce. Mix well. Squeeze the lime by hand or using a squeezer. Add to the sauce. Add the sauce to the cabbage and cilantro mixture and mix well.