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Savory Navy Beans with a Touch of Heat

Navy beans cooked with vegetables, herbs and a toiuch of spice. #beans #navy @mjskitchen

 

When it comes to white beans, navy beans are our favorite.  In comparison to the Great Northern and Cannellini, navy beans cook faster, have a creamier texture (IMO), and work with a lot of different flavors. Navy beans are normally used in baked beans, but for this recipe, I went for a more savory navy bean with hint of heat.

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Roasted Fennel Salad with Cranberry Balsamic

Roasted fennel with sprouts, feta, pomegranate seeds, and a drizzle of cranberry balsamic #fennel #salad @mjskitchen

Inspiration for a new recipe can come in different forms and from different sources, which is the case with this fennel salad.  Back in August I saw Soni’s Food Indian Spice Roasted Fennel and pinned it as a reminder to make it one day.  Then a few weeks ago when I dropped into the Santa Fe Olive Oil & Balsamic Company for a purchase and a tasting, I was asked if I would create a recipe and write a post on one of its products – specifically its Cranberry Balsamic vinegar.  After tasting this awesome balsamic and going through several different ideas for a recipe, I lit upon the marriage of Soni’s roasted fennel with the cranberry balsamic and thus this Roasted Fennel Salad with Cranberry Balsamic was born.

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Roasted Vegetables with Mexican Chorizo

A serious mix of root vegetable are combined with peppers and chorizo then roasted to perfection for a hearty one pot dish. #roasted #vegetables #chorizo mjskitchen.com

 

Roasted Vegetables with Mexican Chorizo is a potpourri of root vegetables roasted with onion, peppers and Mexican Chorizo.  It is a relatively easy dish to make but does require a lot of chopping, something that I enjoy doing. Once chopped, the root vegetables are tossed in a bowl with some simple spices and oil, then roasted.  After 20 minutes, the peppers and chorizo are added and the roasting continues until done.  This two-step roast allows the root vegetables to completely cook without overcooking the peppers and chorizo.  And what is the end result? A hearty bowl of goodness.  A complete meal all in one dish.

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Brown Rice Salad with Lime Vinaigrette

A healthy salad with brown rice, a mix of peppers (sweet & spicy), nuts and herbs, tossed with a Lime Dressing. #grains #brownrice #salad #recipe @mjskitchen

This weekend we had a wonderful meatless meals that was totally unexpected. I had made this Brown Rice Salad with a Lime Vinaigrette and was planning on serving it with chicken.  Then Bobby walked in with a bunch of green tomatoes from our garden so I couldn’t I resist making a batch of fried green tomatoes. To heck with the chicken. What a great meal that this salad with the fried green tomatoes made!

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Yellow Squash with Red Pepper

A simple side dish of sauteed summer squash with roasted red peppers | mjskitchen.com

Even though fall is my favorite season, I still resist the end of summer, primarily because of the abundance of produce.  Yellow squash is one of those vegetables that I hate to see disappear; therefore, I continue to buy it as long as it’s on the shelves.  There are so many ways to prepare it and most are relatively easy.  This Yellow Squash with Red Peppers is one of the easiest.  This dish is just yellow squash sauteed in garlic oil with some onion and red peppers.  You can use roasted reds (my favorite) or fresh reds.  You can use sweet peppers or medium/hot chile, depending on what you want or have.  Our favorite is a hot roasted red New Mexico chile.  It gives this dish a pleasant mix of sweet and spicy.

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Chicken Tacos with Green Chile Corn Relish

Tasty tacos with chicken, cheese and green chile corn relish | mjskitchen.com

 

With all of the grilled corn we’ve been eating lately, it’s not surprising to find an ear or two leftover in the refrigerator.  It was a couple of those ears and some of last year’s roasted chile that inspired this Green Chile Corn Relish. I was originally just going to use it as a side dish, but then I got a craving for tacos.  That craving resulted in these quick & easy Chicken Tacos.  Adding the relish to the chicken yielded a delightfully delicious taco with a smoky and spicy flavor.

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Grilled Corn with Red Chile Spice

A spicy and juicy grilled corn with a drizzle of olive oil and some red chile spice mix mjskitchen.com #corn #red #chile

The sweet corn of summer – YUM!  Sweet corn has hit the local markets early this year and it’s been exceptional.  It’s also been relatively cheap; therefore, we’ve been buying a lot of it. There are so many ways to cook corn, but our favorite is to grill it.  Sometimes we’ll leave it wrap in the corn husks and let it steam in the husks; however, we also like it shucked and cooked directly over the flame with a drizzle of olive oil and a generous dusting of a red chile spice blend.  The spices roast along with the corn yielding a spicy and smoky flavor.  This Grilled Corn with Red Chile Spice is about as easy a side as you can make, and, in my book, could be a meal by itself.  Hope you give it a try.

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Pickled Vegetable Salad

A salad of pickled cucumbers, daikon radish, and carrots | mjskitchen.com

 

I don’t know about where you live, but here in New Mexico we went from cool spring temperatures to the heat of the summer overnight.  This week the temperatures have been in the triple digits, a real challenge for our swamp cooler.  As a result, meal criteria is now “easy to make, at least one cold dish, and any cooking is on the grill”.  Last night’s meal met this criteria to a T:  grilled soy-ginger chicken and this Pickled Vegetable Salad – two very complementary dishes.

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Asparagus with Orange and Kalamata

A simple asparagus with an orange and olive relish | mjskitchen.com

 

Asparagus with orange and kalamata is a light and delightful dish that I love making this time of year when there’s the overlap between good quality citrus and young shoots of fresh asparagus. This dish that can be served as a warm side or cold salad.  For a warm side steamed asparagus is immediately serve with the cold orange kalamata topping.  The contrast of the hot asparagus with the chilled orange is quite enjoyable.  For a cold salad the steamed asparagus and the orange kalamata topping are both chilled at least one hour or over night.  As a cold salad, this makes a mouth calming complement to a spicy entree.

This dish makes an excellent lunch or dinner salad as well as a dinner side for numerous entrees.

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