Category Archives: Appetizers

Butternut Squash and Black Bean Eggrolls

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You know one of those recipes that you make again and again because it is so good?  Well, this is one of them in our house.  I’ve been making these for at least a year (probably more!)  They are a great recipes to whip-up and have extra in the freezer for a quick meal and they are definitely great for company too.  They take a little time to prepare (just because of the rolling) but they are sure to impress and important to note, they are very healthy and a great option for a meatless meal.

What’s even better with these?  The cilantro yogurt dipping sauce shown here.  TOTALLY takes them over the top good, and don’t worry, the recipe is also below.

Usually I make these with black beans (as the title eludes!) but when I went to make them last week I was out of black beans and so was my local store (odd, hey?).  So, I improvised, feeling confident because I had made them so often before.  I used 1 can of chickpeas and 1 can of red kidney beans.  Verdict – same result, same texture and just as good, so feel free to switch-up the beans to your liking.

Definitely give these a shot (and be sure to make the whole recipe and freeze the rest, you’ll be thankful for a quick, delicious and healthy meal on the fly).

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Butternut Squash and Black Bean Eggrolls

Yield:  About 30 rolls
Prep Time:  40 minutes or so
Cook Time:  20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 lbs peeled, diced butternut squash (about 1 medium sized squash)
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced or grated
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed (or use a mixture of your favourite beans, including chickpeas or red kidney)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 package (small/medium) egg roll wrappers (note, original recipe makes 30 with small wrappers > the ones shown above are with medium wrappers and I usually get about 20)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Wash and dry your butternut squash.  Place the butternut squash, in its whole-form, in the oven and roast for 45mins – 1hour, or until a butter knife inserted into the flesh meets no resistance. Remove from oven, allow the squash to cool.  Cut in half, remove the seeds and remove the flesh.

(You can also cut the squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds, and lay the halves cut side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake for 25-35 minutes OR as the original recipe states, you can peel, dice and boil the butternut squash – however, I prefer to roast it, just because I feel as though it retains more nutrients).

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, jalapeño  cumin, cayenne, salt and pepper, and cook for a few more minutes. Add the black beans and stir to combine evenly. Remove from heat.Place the butternut squash and the onion mixture in a large bowl and mash lightly to combine. These will be best if the mixture is left a little bit chunky.To assemble the egg rolls, place a wrapper on your surface with one corner pointing down (diamond position). Place a some of the squash mixture onto the wrapper, and use a pastry brush dipped in water to wet the edges of the wrapper (or use you finger and just dip in a small bowl of water).

Fold the bottom corner up, then fold the outside corners in, and roll it all up. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Continue until squash mixture is used up; it’ll depend entirely on you how many eggrolls you get because it depends on how much mixture you use per roll.  It is generally between 25 – 30 eggrolls for me.

To Bake:

Place a baking sheet in the oven while heating at 400F. When it’s hot, remove from the oven, spray with nonstick cooking spray, and place the egg rolls on the sheet. Spray the top well with nonstick spray. Bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

Extra egg rolls can be wrapped well in saran wrap, placed in a freezer bag, frozen and baked straight from the freezer, adding about 2-5 minutes to total cooking time.

Recipe from Cara’s Cravings

Cilantro Yogurt Dipping Sauce:

Ingredients & Directions:
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt (Greek is fine too)
  • 2 TBSP sour cream
  • 5 TBSP minced cilantro
  • dash of S&P

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl, whisk to combine and that’s it.

Enjoy!

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5 Comments

Filed under Appetizers, Healthy, Mains, Mexican, Vegetarian and Vegan

Spinach & Goat Cheese Dip

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It’s been a while, eh?  Life definitely got the best of me over the past 6 months and unfortunately something had to give.  It was truly not my intention to stop blogging, but it happened, and without going on-and-on, I truly missed it.  I’ve still been cooking, not as much as I would like, but that is changing too!

So, I will leave it at that.  I am SO happy to be back blogging, back making amazing recipes, back taking photos (especially with my new amazing light box!) and of course, sharing recipes with you all.  Thanks for sticking with me – the best is yet to come (and I promise on a more regular basis).

This dip is a recipe that showed up many times over the holiday season.  It is an amazing appetizer, it is quick to prepare and it is actually reasonably healthy.  It came to be as a pasta sauce and then I envisioned the recipe as a dip and the rest is history!

Definitely whip-up this dip for your next appetizer party, Friday night snack or just because – you won’t be disappointed.

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Spinach and Goat Cheese Dip

Yield: Appetizer for About 6 People
Prep Time:  5 minutes
Cook Time:  15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic, minced/grated
  • 5 – 6 cups of fresh spinach
  • 3 – 4 TBSP water
  • 1/2 cup goat cheese
  • 3 TBSP parmesan cheese
  • dash of lemon juice or white wine vinegar
  • dash of hot-sauce
  • dash of yellow mustard
  • S&P

Directions:

Over medium heat, heat the olive oil.  Add the onions and sautee until soft/translucent.  Add the garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant (30 seconds).

Add the fresh spinach to the pan and cook until spinach is soft and wilted.  Place the entire mixture into a blender and add the water to help with the puree process (or use a hand blender and puree in the pan).   Puree until smooth and no clumps remain.

Return the mixture to the pot over low heat, add the goat and parmesan cheese and remaining ingredients and whisk until incorporated and smooth. Season with S&P to taste and serve with fresh bread, crackers or whatever you please.

Recipe from the JBean Cuisine Kitchen.  Enjoy!

4 Comments

Filed under Appetizers, Bread, Healthy, Mains, Side Dishes, Vegetarian and Vegan

I’m Back…Arugula, Tomato and Olive Tapenade

I’m finally back… where have I been you ask?  Working a lot, writing final exams (3 in total!), getting over a serious stomach bug and finally moving into a new house.  It’s been a busy couple of weeks and we aren’t even settled in the new house yet.

After weeks of eating salads, take-out and not at all (darn stomach bug!) I was SO ready to get back in my kitchen.  But, then the move happened, which caused all of my kitchen items to be boxed up and moved into a new home.  As of last night, I have finally unpacked all of my kitchen items…the rest of the house remains untouched. I don’t know about you, but I always forget how many kitchen items I have…

However, as you can imagine I wanted a quick recipe, that wasn’t involved.  Time is still limited around here – dinners are quick, but we are trying to be healthy – even more so as usual, especially with all of the eating out we’ve been doing.

So, when I received the blog Cheese Curd In Paradise for this round of the Recipe Swap, it was very hard to steer away from some of her very sinful looking recipes (go visit her blog and you will see exactly what I am talking about!).  I browsed through almost everyone of her tabs, and came across a recipe for Olive Tapenade.  I love olives and this recipe immediately reminded me two recipes that one of my BF’s made a while back for a few parties.  Having a container of tapenade in the fridge was a welcomed idea – perfect for a quick snack while unpacking.  I also followed Cheese Curd’s recommendation to use a food processor to achieve the perfect consistency.

This is a fresh, light and easy to prepare recipe that would be welcome on any party table, appetizer spread or just over the weekend for a quick snack. Serve with a fresh loaf of bread, or even over freshly grilled chicken breast.  This recipe is so versatile, and also easy to adapt based on what you have on hand (just like I did!).

Enjoy.

Arugula, Tomato and Olive Tapenade

Yield: 3 cups
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: nil

Ingredients:

  • 2/4 cup pitted green olives
  • 1/4 cup pitted kalmata olives
  • 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 4 TBSP Parmesan cheese
  • 4 cups of fresh arugula
  • 1 red pepper, cored and seeded
  • 2 TBSP capers, drained
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 large garlic clove, grated or minced
  • 1/8 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of your food processor.

Pulse until well combined, minced well and consistent (you don’t want any big chunks of anything)!

Taste for seasoning – add more lemon juice, salt, pepper etc. if needed.

Serve with baguettes, crackers, or however you please (goat cheese is a great accompaniment – as seen in the photos!)

Recipe adapted from Cheese Curd In Paradise

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Filed under Appetizers, Bread, Healthy, Vegetarian and Vegan