faves for cooking (recipes)

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchilada Bake (delicious meatless meal)

I am not a food blogger but I make a lot of food (I cook most everything from scratch) and I try a lot of recipes so when I find ones I love I am going to post my own picture that I take of the meal here on my blog and then instead of retyping up the recipe i’ll just give you the link to where I got it from, that way I can give credit to the blogger who posted it and I don’t have to change the recipe because, well, let’s be honest if it’s already amazing why would I change it. I have my own favorite recipes up my sleeve too and when I post one of those I’ll just add the recipe right here on my blog.

As far as this Black Bean Quinoa Enchilada Bake goes, let me just say it’s amazing, so delicious. My family all LOVES it. Here is the link for the recipe and for sure don’t go off my picture (I am working on my photography skills) the pictures on the blog (two peas and their pod) are way better than mine so go to their blog to see the real deal. For sure serve it with tortilla chips and I also pulled back on the chili powder and only added about 1/2 tablespoon. Other than that I made it just like the recipe reads and it was amazing. I love that it is meatless and so so healthy. I haven’t tried it but I know this meal would freeze super well so give that a try when you need a good freezer meal. When my sister in law Pam ranted and raved about how good this recipe was and how much everyone in her family loved it, I knew I had to try it. It really is so so yummy, It won’t disappoint.


Stuffed Green Peppers (quinoa and or wild rice deliciousness)


Stuffed Green Peppers (quinoa and wild rice deliciousness)


  • 2 cups of cooked quinoa wild rice blend or you can use just quinoa or wild or brown rice, I always cook my quinoa or rice in chicken broth it tastes so much better cooked that way).
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups marinara sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (Kirkland brand from Costco is hands down my favorite)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley or 1 tablespoon of dry parsley
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6-8 medium green bell peppers, washed, stems cut off and seeds pulled out
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  • Cook onion and lean ground beef or turkey on medium high in a non stick skillet until onions are soft and meat is cooked. Put the cooked meat onion mixture on a plate and set aside.
  • In the same skillet over medium heat pour in the marinaria sauce, beef broth, balsamic vinegar, and red pepper flakes into the skillet; cook and stir for 1 minute.
  • Pour tomato sauce mixture into a 9x13-inch baking dish and set aside.
  • Combine ground beef, diced tomatoes, Italian parsley, garlic, salt, black pepper, into bowl and mix well. Stir in cooked rice and Parmesan cheese. Stuff green bell peppers with beef mixture.
  • Place stuffed green bell peppers in the baking dish with the tomato sauce mixture; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese, cover baking dish with aluminum foil, and bake in the preheated oven for 45 minutes.
  • Remove aluminum foil and bake until the green peppers are tender and the cheese is browned on top, 20 to 25 minutes.

*Those were peppers from my garden, store bought peppers will be a lot larger, I also used my big 15X10 inch baking dish I talk about in this post.

Lentil Tacos (don’t knock it until you try them, seriously so good and clean)

madras lentils

I know, I know, you are all thinking lentils, really?! They are amazing, seriously, and I have a 10 person house hold that gives you raving reviews ( I know the almost 1 year old’s vote shouldn’t count but even she loves them too, so so much), my sister in law Pam told me about these a few months ago and after I bought them the first time they have become a staple in my house, seriously TRY THESE I am telling you they are delicious. First of all they are delicious, second, they are clean (which we all know I love, I’ll explain more what I mean by clean in a later post but for now, very few real ingredients) third, they make a mean SIMPLE, FAST meal. We all love delicious right? And healthy is super important too, right? And on those nights where there is soccer, dance, piano, and a meeting and you have to be 5 places at once, we all need fast right? So here’s your solution. Lentil tacos or taco salad, or whatever you can think up to use them on/in. And to add a 4th this makes a meatless meal which is a plus, sometimes it’s good to go without meat!

Here’s what we do (I took a picture for you because we ate them for dinner today but I can’t get my camera to let me put the picture on my computer tonight so you’ll have to imagine until I can upload the picture) grab a good corn tortilla (one made with clean ingredients you can use a flour tortilla as well) cut up lettuce, grate some cheese, cut up some cilantro and some tomatoes (you can use any taco toppings your family likes), top the corn tortilla with the lentils, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, cilantro, green onions, put a dollop of sour cream on top if you’d like and enjoy. I often skip on the tortilla and make a salad for me. Start with a plate full of lettuce, add the lentils, tomatoes, cheese, onions, cilantro, and then top with Herdez salasa for an amazing dressing. Its delicious I promise I can’t wait for you to try them, and one of the best things about this meal is it’s fast, on all the nights you are in a rush and can’t think of what to make keep these on hand and you’ll be mom of the year and you didn’t drive through the drive through, all 8 of my kids love these and I can’t say that about all foods we eat. I meant to post this a couple weeks ago but time slips away from me, these babies are on coupon at Costco right now for $3 off per box (six pouches come in a box and our family of 10 eats 4-5 pouches per meal) this makes them a great deal so hurry and go stock up because the sale goes off on Sunday May 1st. I am sure you can get them at other stores as well I just wanted you to know they were on coupon at Costco because saving money is a huge favorite of mine too so I had to share while they were on sale.

*the ingredient list is: water, tomatoes, lentils, red beans, onions, cream, butter, salt, sunflower oil, chilies, and cumin