Goat Cheese Quesadilla with Balsamic Onions and Squash

Goat Cheese QuesadillasI was given a challenge for a friend’s birthday: bring a vegetarian dish that was filling and not pasta. I had goat cheese and squash at home and so I decided quesadillas it shall be! I also noticed some tomatoes in the refrigerator while I was there looking for that squash. And then I saw the onions and some balsamic vinegar in the pantry and voila! These quesadillas (kay-sa-di-ya) are creamy and have a subtle balsamic taste from the onions and crunchiness from the squash. The melting feeling when you bite in is just divine! I’ll admit that this is one of my new favorite dishes because I can indulge while still feeling kind of healthy about it(whole wheat+veggies-that’s healthy right?)balsamic onions

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Santa Fe Salad with Homemade Guacamole and Pico de Gallo

Santa Fe SaladWow! Already July. Well, nothing says summer like fresh salad with lots of fresh vegetables. So I decided to make a Santa Fe-style salad complete with homemade, creamy guacamole and zesty, crisp pico de gallo. I was channeling my inner Chipotle, but I also wanted to use some of the fresh ingredients at my disposable via my backyard and local supermaket produce section.  Luckily, I even had some extra cans of beans(from all the rice and beans made at my home) so it was perfect for a south-of-the-border inspired salad. Continue reading

Lentil Bruschetta Dip

Lentil Bruschetta DipI’ll start by saying this is probably one of the easiest and tastiest dips I’ve ever had. To be honest, I eat it as a side dish all the time too. It has a sweet tomato flavor from the bruschetta with a satisfying crunch from the chunks of tomato. And the feta adds little bites of creamy saltiness while the basil adds freshness to the dish. And lentils: Hello, protien!(magic to a vegetarian’s ears) Another great thing, you can get all the ingredients at your local Trader Joe’s. Continue reading

Porto’s Bakery and Cafe: My Favorite Cuban Bakery

portos-collage-burbankSo if you have ever been to L.A., specifically the San Fernando Valley, I hope you have heard of Porto’s Bakery and Cafe, a real-deal Cuban bakery that never ceases to amaze me. Everything is baked fresh daily, but sooo much of it! You see trays of fresh treats constantly coming out and just the other day I was buying bread and it was still warm from the oven. Delicious! If absolutely scrumptious smelling desserts(I haven’t eaten gotten to the savory) doesn’t make you want to check this place out, than the prices will. Since they mass produce all the pastries(and trust there is always a line), they are able to sell them for an extremely affordable price. A plain croissant is just a $1.15(wow). Now, I said there is always a long line, but they also have what must be a few dozen employees taking down your order so it goes relatively quickly. Since everyone always orders a few boxes of goodies, these people have amazing memories, I swear. They are so efficient and remember your whole order.BREAD CIABATTA Continue reading

Homemade Rosemary Farmer’s Cheese with Garlic and Cracked Pepper

Finished CheeseHomemade Cheese. The smell when it is cooking is divine(smells a bit like cheese fondue). It makes me think I am in the Italian countryside preparing a fresh meal. In other words, you definitely  need to try making this homemade cheese: easy to make and wonderful on the tongue with its savory aromas and harmony of tastes.  I love the smell of rosemary and it goes beautifully with a little garlic and some freshly ground pepper for a little spice. Continue reading

Mamãe’s Brazilian Beans

garnished with parsley
garnished with parsley

Seeing as today is the kick-off of the World Cup(GO BRAZIL!) I thought I would start this blog off by showcasing one of my favorite meals: Rice and Beans. This combination serves as the staple to any Brazilian home and is absolutely delicious! I love my mother’s recipe because it is just one of those feel-good meals that always make you feel happy and content, but is also good for you(and for all you vegetarians-it’s packed with protein!) Continue reading