Better-Than-Street-Vendor Hot Dogs Recipe

Better-Than-Street-Vendor Hot Dogs

In most parts of Los Angeles, you can often find street vendors selling some amazing bacon wrapped hot dogs. We never see any in the part of the city where we live, so I decided to make my own version of this greasy yummy mess. Plus, by making it myself, I can make sure it is actually free of my long list of food allergens. I was even able to find some hot dog buns from Ener-G that have no wheat gluten, dairy, soy, or egg! They were surprisingly tasty!

Ingredients:
1 diced green bell pepper
1/2 diced red onion
1 diced tomato
2 very finely chopped cloves of garlic
butter or margarine (I used the dairy-free, soy-free Earth Balance margarine)
juice of two limes
dash each of salt & pepper
bacon
hot dog
hot dog bun

I started by adding some margarine to a pan and cooking the bell pepper, onion, tomato & garlic over medium heat. After a couple of minutes cooking, I added in the juice from two limes, and the salt & pepper. I continued cooking until the onions were cooked through.

Next, I removed the vegetable mixture from the pan and set it aside in a dish. Then I wrapped the hot dogs with the bacon, and cooked them in the pan until the bacon was cooked to my liking.

I heated up the Ener-G buns in the microwave, which helps soften them up a little, then assembled everything together. They tasted even better than how I remember the street dog versions! The recipe above made enough topping for 6 hot dogs. Perfect for summer entertaining!

Stuffed Tomato Recipe

Yesterday was our one year wedding anniversary!  After we went to church, we wanted to go out to brunch to celebrate.  Since it was an unusually warm day, it seemed like the whole county drove out by the beach, and we circled around for a ridiculously long time trying to find parking anywhere before we finally gave up and decided to give up and eat at home.  One of the downsides of living in a beach city is trying to find parking anywhere on a warm day.

I had been planning to make these stuffed tomatoes sometime soon, and decided to take on another one of my cooking experiments to plan out this recipe.  I think it is by far one of my favorite “cooking inventions” yet.  The tomatoes I have growing right now are not big enough for what I planned to do, so we grabbed these from the farmer’s market.  I can’t wait until my big huge heirloom tomatoes start growing and I can make this recipe with those!

I started with cooking 1 cup of cous cous in 2 cups of vegetable broth.  I always use vegetable broth instead of water for a little extra flavor.  Then I sliced up a few shallots (the last of my garden harvest from last year), and sauteed them in a little olive oil.  I diced up two garlic cloves and added those in as well, and added a little salt.

Next I added in about a 1/4 of a package of ground turkey meat into the skillet, a little freshly ground pepper, along with some freshly chopped herbs:  a few sprigs each of rosemary and oregano.  Once the meat was almost fully cooked, I added in some chopped mixed leafy salad greens, and cooked until those were softened.

After the two stuffing components were finished cooking, I added the cous cous in with the meat mixture, and cooked on low for a few minutes to blend the flavors.

Then I sliced off the tops of the tomatoes, and scooped out some of the insides (saving for another meal later).  I scooped in the filling mix, and placed them in the toaster oven on broil for about 15 minutes (no need to turn on the oven on a warm day!).  To finish, I made a little arugula pesto with the little bit of arugula leaves I have starting to grow, some olive oil, shredded Parmesan cheese, and some toasted pine nuts and one clove of garlic.  I put all of that in my mini food processor, and then surrounded the tomatoes with a circle of the pesto.

The pesto was perfect for dipping the tomato in.  The flavors all blended together wonderfully and made a perfect light lunch!  I am very pleased with how this came out!

Stuffed Tomato Recipe Stuffed Tomato Recipe

Garlic Herb Butter Sandwiches

I made these little sandwiches yesterday for my friend’s potluck Oscars party (per her request).  I started with prepping some homemade honey wheat bread, with this recipe.  If I am not using homemade bread, I always start by cutting the crusts off the bread.  When I bake the bread myself, I bake it so that the crusts don’t get too dark.

Then I started prepping my garlic herb butter.  I make this quite often, and it works for a lot of things.  I start with a handful each of fresh rosemary, oregano & chives.  I chop all of the herbs very finely.  Then I chop up about 4 cloves of garlic into as small of pieces as I can get them.  Then I sprinkle the garlic with ample salt, and mix to make a garlic salt paste.  Then I take the garlic/salt mix, chopped herbs, and one stick of softened unsalted butter, and put them all in the mixer until well blended.  I then place the mixture on a piece of cellophane wrap, and roll it up into a log, like a cheese log.  I chill in the fridge (or freezer if I am in a rush) until it gets back to just softened consistency.  Then I spread a little of this garlic herb butter on each slice of bread.

After the butter comes a little avocado on each slice, salami, and sliced turkey lunch meat.  I cut each sandwich into finger sized pieces, and secure with a toothpick.  Super easy, and very tasty!

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Homemade Minestrone Soup

This is one of my favorite homemade lunches lately. 🙂  I made a large batch of this minestrone soup and canned it all to last me for a few months.  Here’s how I made it:

I started with a large bunch of tomatoes (maybe about 15-20 tomatoes), and started by removing the skins.  To do this, I made an X with a paring knife in the bottom of each tomato, and them put them in boiling water for a few minutes until the skins started to come loose.  Once the skins started to come off, I put the tomatoes into ice water for a few more minutes.  Once all the skins were removed, I loosely chopped all the tomatoes and started cooking them in a large stock pot to make the base of the soup.

In a separate pan, I started the other part of the soup base.  I sauteed a few cloves of garlic and some chopped onion in some olive oil until lightly golden, then added the mixture to the soup base.  I then added in some chopped rosemary and oregano, a little freshly ground salt and a lot of freshly ground pepper.  I also put in three whole bay leaves, which I removed once the soup was finished cooking.

From there, I added a few cans of beans; some garbanzo and some mixed.  I also added a variety of chopped vegetables:  carrots, celery, sliced mushrooms, and red and yellow bell peppers.  I let this all cook over a medium flame until the veggies were nice and soft.  From there, I went through the canning process, and have been enjoying this soup for the past couple of months!  So much better than any store bought soup!

Homemade Ministrone Soup Recipe