I post recipes here the way that I make them, so of course you should feel free to adapt these to what your family likes!
To make this blog user-friendly, I put tags for each major ingredient of each recipe, as well as for type of dish, and ethnicity, so you can go to the list on the side here (scroll down) and search for specific things.
If you like a recipe, please comment! If you have a yummy adaptation, please leave that in the comments as well!

Veggie Gingerbread Muffins

I invented these as a good snack for my son to take to school. He loves muffins, but isn't so much into veggies...so I decided to put his veggies into muffins so that he would have something healthy and conveniently portable (and yummy!) all in one. I usually make them as mini-muffins, and a batch rarely lasts 24 hours. He has taken them as a class snack as well and said that everybody liked them.
There are two ways to make these muffins--one is with grated veggies (carrots or zucchini), and the other is with pureed veggies, such as squash or even baby food. There are a couple of other changes to make up for the textural differences between those two options, so read the recipe carefully! (Using the pureed veggies makes it an egg-free recipe.) The veggie taste is masked by the stronger gingerbread flavor, so you can use pretty much whatever veggies you want. I have done it with carrots, mixed veggies, and squash, but I'd love to hear about your experiences with other veggies!
As a note--this is a pretty potent gingerbread. We like it that way. However if you like a milder flavor, just use half the amount of cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.

1 1/2-2 c grated carrots or other veggie
2 eggs
7-8oz pureed veggies (carrots, pumpkin, squash, etc)
2 tsp vinegar

1/2 c oil
1/3 c molasses
2/3 c white sugar
1 tsp vanilla

mix well
2 c flour (I use whole wheat, as you can't tell in the gingerbread flavor)
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp salt (optional)

Bake at 350 for about 20-25 min for regular size muffins (10 min for mini-muffins)

Hot Mexican Salad

I realized recently that one of my favorite things at a Mexican restaurant is the rice and beans that they serve on the side--especially when they have melted cheese and that little bit of lettuce and tomato and sour cream. So I played around a bit and came up with this. I like the contrast of hot and cold, as well as different textures. Rice + beans makes a complete protein so it is filling as well as delicious. Think of it as being like a taco salad...only without the taco bowl!
We have been on an extra-tight budget since being laid off, so one thing I have done is figured out ways to use my WIC vouchers more effectively, to make entire meals rather than just compliment them. This salad is one of those meals. (I know there is some variance between states, but ingredients marked with * can be purchased with WIC vouchers in Alaska.)

serves 2

*2-3 cups cooked white and/or brown rice (1ish cups dry)
*1 can beans (I like black beans) (alternately use about 1 1/2-2 cups cooked beans which is about 3/4c dry)
*1 can diced tomatoes OR 1 largeish fresh tomato
*2/3 cup grated cheese
*1- 1 1/2 cups chopped lettuce
Sour cream, ranch, or other creamy dressing

a note on lettuce--I like the crunch and texture of iceburg lettuce, but you could use a leaf lettuce as well, or some other kind of greens if you prefer.

This can be prepared two different ways--one is to prepare all the parts and then let people put them together at the table. The other is to put the plates together as you prepare them.
For a la carte serving:
Cook rice. Heat beans, then drain. Chop up tomato, or drain/rinse canned diced tomato (if using canned, heat tomatoes, if using fresh, keep them cold). Grate cheese and chop lettuce. Serve everything in little bowls.
For prepared plates:
Cook rice then divide and portion onto plates or wide bowls. Drain and rinse beans, then layer over rice. Sprinkle on grated cheese. If using canned tomatoes, drain and rinse, then layer over rice/beans/cheese, then put the whole thing in the oven or microwave until heated through. If using fresh tomato, then heat plates before adding tomato. Then top warm mixture with cold lettuce (fresh tomato if applicable), and dressing.

If you want to use this as a packed lunch, it does reheat really well. Just use two containers--one for the hot parts and one for the cold parts. Heat the hot parts, then add on the cold parts...voila, easy meal on the go!
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